Why I am an atheist – Sophie Davis »« I have a bad feeling about this

Episode CCLXVI: The Pharyngula bump?

Recently, that goofy guru Deepak Chopra thanked me on Twitter for helping his book, whatever it was, become a NYT bestseller. It would be nice to imagine that I have some fraction of the power of Colbert or Oprah, but I think he was indulging in some wishful thinking. So what else is new?

Anyway, just because I can, here’s a short video of a young woman asking Chopra a straightforward question…which he is unable to answer. His mouth moves, his lips flap, his tongue wiggles, but no sense comes out. Again…so what else is new?

(Episode CCLXV: I like turtles)

Comments

  1. julian says

    in which the majority of the Court held that a person convicted of a crime had no constitutional cright, after conviction, to have the DNA evidence against him independently re-tested (even at his own expense).

    My ignorance may be shining through but, why would that even be a case? How does having a separate lab retest evidence in anyway undermine the justice system?

  2. says

    I’d say so, because you can stay registered with your home town registry (a Continental notion I know, but Europeans usually register at their place of residence).

    Which spares us the troubles the USA have with registering voters and the fraud the rethuglicans commit by barring undesirable groups from voting.
    Not the worst concept, I’d say.

  3. says

    Now I don’t know if those 3,300 count are included among the 23,649, I’d say so, because you can stay registered with your home town registry (a Continental notion I know, but Europeans usually register at their place of residence).

    I think my guess is correct. The Liechtensteiners abroad are not counted amongst the eligible voters. The law also says that in order to participate in elections, a Liechtensteiner must have lived in Liechtenstein for at least a month prior. So you couldn’t just return home to cast ballots (which would work because most Liechtensteiners abroad live in Switzerland, Austria and Germany).

    According to news sources, I found the following figures for the 2003 referendum:

    16,932 citizens eligible
    87.7% of those eligible voted

    from those 14,633

    64% voted for the Prince’s bill and 83% voted against a bill which would have given the Landtag more powers.

  4. says

    I also note that there is a contradiction here, but I can’t resolve as I’m not an expert in Liechtenstein law, so I don’t know if you could stay registered in order to vote, or whether there are requirements that you have to maintain a presence in Liechtenstein so you can stay registered.

    Probably at some point, most European states would make you de-register too.

  5. walton says

    My ignorance may be shining through but, why would that even be a case? How does having a separate lab retest evidence in anyway undermine the justice system?

    Osborne was convicted of a sexual assault in state court in Alaska. He claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. During the trial process, a condom found at the crime scene was tested for DNA using a relatively inexact method of DNA testing called “DQ Alpha” testing, which, according to the facts in evidence, can only narrow the perpetrator down to about 5 percent of the population.* At trial, his defense attorney failed to seek the more precise form of DNA testing (known as “restriction-fragment-length-polymorphism” testing, or RFLP), and he was convicted.

    (*I can’t confirm this claim myself, since I have no expertise in forensic science, but these are the facts that appear in the judgment.)

    Later, on appeal, he wanted to have the DNA retested, using either RFLP testing or a more effective method, “short-repeat testing” or STR, which had since become available. After the state appellate courts refused to allow him to access the DNA evidence, he brought proceedings in the federal courts, claiming that he had a constitutional right under the Due Process Clause to have the evidence re-tested. He won in the District Court and the Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court reversed the judgment. Chief Justice Roberts, writing the majority opinion (with which Scalia joined), held:

    A criminal defendant proved guilty after a fair trial does not have the same liberty interests as a free man. At trial, the defendant is presumed innocent and may demand that the government prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. But “[o]nce a defendant has been afforded a fair trial and convicted of the offense for which he was charged, the presumption of innocence disappears.”…

    The State accordingly has more flexibility in deciding what procedures are needed in the context of postconviction relief… Osborne’s right to due process is not parallel to a trial right, but rather must be analyzed in light of the fact that he has already been found guilty at a fair trial, and has only a limited interest in postconviction relief.

  6. trinioler says

    Good news! The gf, has been approved for Gender Reassignment Therapy by one of her two therapists today! She just has to pass the second one, and save up the money. Yay!

  7. walton says

    Giliell:

    Yes… I think perhaps I misunderstood what you were originally arguing; I don’t think we’re really in disagreement. Of course I don’t think it’s ever right to hold people collectively accountable for the acts of other inhabitants of an arbitrarily-defined polity; but obviously you are absolutely right that people should be considered accountable for their own actions or inactions, including their failure to actively oppose a bad law. I’m not personally responsible for the fact that the British government is detaining immigrants in inhumane conditions and deporting them by force to very nasty places, for instance; but it would be fair to criticize me if I were not speaking out against it. So it’s fair to say that citizens of Liechtenstein have a moral responsibility to actively oppose the abortion ban, for instance.

  8. julian says

    @Walton

    So in short, once we find you guilty, we get to decide if we’ve made a mistake or not?

  9. walton says

    @Walton

    So in short, once we find you guilty, we get to decide if we’ve made a mistake or not?

    Yep. Basically. And given the number of people who have been convicted and imprisoned based on inaccurate eyewitness testimony, and later exonerated by DNA evidence, it’s a very worrying holding. (The jury trial process is remarkably unscientific and relies very heavily on unreliable eyewitness evidence, and even trials which meet all the formal requirements of due process are still prone to convicting innocent people.)

  10. The Ys says

    I wasn’t sure if the ‘Thugs Amuck’ thread was the right spot to mention this, so I’m bringing it up here.

    This depresses the hell out of me:
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-occupy-security-statement,0,7071518.htmlpage

    “Sexual abuse and assault are dehumanizing acts for the survivor as well as the abuser.”

    So…we’re supposed to care about the abuser being dehumanized because that person hurt someone else?

    And then:

    “Though we do not encourage the involvement of the police in our community, the survivor has every right, and the support of Occupy Baltimore, to report the abuse to the appropriate law enforcement.”

    Isn’t it nice of them to admit that people have a right to protection from those who’ve abused them?

    WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

  11. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Giliell:

    I tried the fail-fudge last night (sixth time in 35 years). And I have caramel-textured fudge. Sticky and the consistency of soft caramel. Well, it’ll be good as hot fudge over ice cream anyway.

  12. Algernon says

    “Sexual abuse and assault are dehumanizing acts for the survivor as well as the abuser.”

    Oh yes, won’t some one think of the abusers. They deserve real sympathy here.

    Fuck, wasn’t I just arguing about that? You really never do get away from it. No where you go, so long as there are humans.

  13. Algernon says

    “Sexual abuse and assault are dehumanizing acts for the survivor as well as the abuser.”

    Armed robbery is dehumanizing for both the survivor and the robber.

    “Though we do not encourage the involvement of the police in our community, the survivor has every right, and the support of Occupy Baltimore, to report the abuse to the appropriate law enforcement.”

    Though we do not encourage the involvement of the police in our community, the survivor has every right, and the support of Occupy Baltimore, to report the robbery to the appropriate law enforcement.

    Thought not.

  14. consciousness razor says

    The State accordingly has more flexibility in deciding what procedures are needed in the context of postconviction relief… Osborne’s right to due process is not parallel to a trial right, but rather must be analyzed in light of the fact that he has already been found guilty at a fair trial, and has only a limited interest in postconviction relief.

    That last clause just makes my head hurt. Isn’t this saying Osborne has a limited interest? How? What? The state can’t determine a person’s own interests. The only exception I can think of is if one is mentally incapable of making such a determination for oneself, and in that context it wouldn’t be to deny them their rights but to secure them.

    Of course I don’t think it’s ever right to hold people collectively accountable for the acts of other inhabitants […] I’m not personally responsible for the fact that the British government […]

    Don’t you think the same rule applies to a government as it does to a nation-state? One could just as well claim not everyone in the government is responsible for a government’s actions, that governments ought not be personified either*, but it looks you’ve done that more than a few times, rather than referring to some individuals working in it. I don’t think it’s really a problem when speaking casually, but since to me this looks exactly like your complaint, I figured I’d mention it because I’m often surprised by which particular ways you disagree with me. ;)

    *I will not mention the “M” word, for fear of what that may cause, but please don’t take this as a reference to it.

  15. walton says

    Don’t you think the same rule applies to a government as it does to a nation-state? One could just as well claim not everyone in the government is responsible for a government’s actions, that governments ought not be personified either*, but it looks you’ve done that more than a few times, rather than referring to some individuals working in it. I don’t think it’s really a problem when speaking casually, but since to me this looks exactly like your complaint, I figured I’d mention it because I’m often surprised by which particular ways you disagree with me. ;)

    Hmmm. I think there’s some truth there, but it’s still a slightly different situation. (And yes, I’m sometimes lazy in talking of “the state” or “the government” as though it were a single body with a single guiding will, rather than – as most modern states are – an overlapping network of different bureaucracies.)

    In the case of governments, I’d say whether a person should be considered to be responsible for the actions of the government should depend on hir rank, position, and extent of personal involvement with the actions we’re complaining about. To take an obvious example, a desk clerk in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or a ranger in the US Forest Service is not personally morally responsible for the torture of detainees at Guantánamo; the director of the CIA is, even if he was acting on direct orders. But if one is a government official and one is told to do something that violates one’s conscience, I’m comfortable saying that one has, in general, a moral obligation to resign rather than do it.

    (Military personnel are in a special position here because members of the armed forces can’t just resign at will. Even so, it’s well-established in international humanitarian law that a soldier should refuse to commit a war crime if ordered to do so, and that xe has a defence if subsequently court-martialled for refusing orders. Whether a soldier should refuse an order that is immoral but not illegal, and risk being executed or imprisoned for mutiny as a result, I’m less willing to offer an opinion on; I’d like to think that I’d have the courage to do so, but of course I’ve never been in that situation. But I admire Bradley Manning very much.)

    Of course, I should add that my analysis is forward-looking rather than backward-looking. I’m talking about what one should do when one is in such a position. I’m not necessarily saying that people who are complicit in such acts should be held responsible and punished after the fact; since, as you know, I don’t buy into the idea of retributive justice, and I don’t think punishment should always be assumed to be the right response to wrongdoing. (Which is not to say that I don’t think punishment is ever an appropriate response; I wouldn’t make such a sweeping claim, by any means. But it depends on the parameters of the situation.)

  16. sandiseattle says

    So I’m back:

    Cicely- I don’t know much about the teabaggers.

    chigau- is Ted Neely the one who played Judas or Simom Zealotes? (My fav scene in JCS is “The Power and the Glory” with Simon Zealotes. Its very frenetic.)

  17. consciousness razor says

    Military personnel are in a special position here because members of the armed forces can’t just resign at will.

    Well, they can, but there are dire consequences for doing so. This is just one of many reasons not to join the military. Most of them involve killing people. I’m not at all inclined to put military personal in a special category in regard to ethics. Inter arma enim silent leges.

    Of course, I should add that my analysis is forward-looking rather than backward-looking.

    I know this is just a metaphor, but it always bothers me*. We can’t actually see the future, just the past. We analyze the past and use it to make decisions.

    *I mean it always has. Whether it always will, I couldn’t say.

    I’m talking about what one should do when one is in such a position. I’m not necessarily saying that people who are complicit in such acts should be held responsible and punished after the fact; since, as you know, I don’t buy into the idea of retributive justice, and I don’t think punishment should always be assumed to be the right response to wrongdoing. (Which is not to say that I don’t think punishment is ever an appropriate response; I wouldn’t make such a sweeping claim, by any means. But it depends on the parameters of the situation.)

    I agree, but I think sometimes you’re a bit too keen on labeling something as “retributive punishment” when it doesn’t seem so obvious to me. (I wish I could remember a specific instance where I disagreed with your assessment, but I’m just going to have leave it at that for now.) As a general example, one might think of imprisonment as a kind of punishment in some cases, while another thinks of it as protecting society. I don’t think it really matters how people think about it if they’re doing the right thing, but the point is that it’s not clear where the boundary is, so we have to be careful that we’re not arguing against the only effective option available in a particular situation.

  18. mythusmage says

    (My apologies if this has been answered.)

    #487, LS,

    Was she on SSI? If she was (is?) they have a program where a recipient can work and still receive Medicaid.

  19. mythusmage says

    #515, Algernon

    Armed robbery is dehumanizing for both the survivor and the robber.

    You’ve never been a robber.

  20. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Aaron Baker does not like me. How shall I go on?

    A more pressing question: who the hell is Aaron Baker, and why is he so very very stupid?

  21. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    I wish I knew but he keeps showing up when the topic is Hitler. And he keeps bringing the Table Talks.

  22. walton says

    I know this is just a metaphor, but it always bothers me*. We can’t actually see the future, just the past. We analyze the past and use it to make decisions.

    *I mean it always has. Whether it always will, I couldn’t say.

    This isn’t quite what I meant. What I meant is that my analysis is intended to be used for making decisions in the present about how we should resolve dilemmas now; it’s not intended to be used for looking back and condemning everyone who’s been responsible for perpetrating bad acts in the past. We could engage in the latter pastime all day – condemning everyone from Paul Tibbetts to Harry Truman to Henry Kissinger to Donald Rumsfeld to Leon Panetta for their part in perpetrating various atrocities, as though we were judges at the Hague – and it won’t accomplish anything. I’m not interested in “responsibility” in the sense of “finding someone to blame”. (Not that I haven’t sometimes judged and condemned bad politicians in my mind, or labelled them “monsters” and suchlike – I have – but the fact that I’ve done so doesn’t imply that I can justify it as a rational or useful endeavour.)

    Of course you’re right, though, that we have to analyze the past in order to make decisions in the present. And I’m not meaning to suggest that an analysis of the moral dynamics of past situations is useless. Rather, I was just concerned because I found myself talking about “moral responsibility” a great deal in the preceding post, and I wanted to reassure people that I do not mean that I buy into the mindset of “we have to hold someone responsible and punish them”. (That would be rather obviously inconsistent with my own past statements on the subject of free will, moral agency and punishment.)

  23. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    He has a history of referring to Table Talks until someone calls him on it. He will back away until the next time and do it all over again. Because, as consciousness razor points out in the latest thread about Hitler, Nazism was an primarily a secular movement. So Darwin must remain in the discussion.

    As an other person pointed out, there is a distinct David Marshall feel to him.

  24. consciousness razor says

    Walton:
    I understand what you meant, and in a sense I agree what you’re talking about is “forward-looking” rather than “backward.” The metaphor just bothers me. That’s all I was trying to say, but I’ve been very tired and scatterbrained lately, so I probably didn’t make that as clear as it should’ve been.

    I’m not interested in “responsibility” in the sense of “finding someone to blame”.

    That’s not what responsibility means anyway.

    Rather, I was just concerned because I found myself talking about “moral responsibility” a great deal in the preceding post, and I wanted to reassure people that I do not mean that I buy into the mindset of “we have to hold someone responsible and punish them”. (That would be rather obviously inconsistent with my own past statements on the subject of free will, moral agency and punishment.)

    Responsibility doesn’t entail all of that. It just means, quite literally, the ability to respond, so unless you do start talking about blame and punishment, I don’t think many people will confuse them. Also, none of that stuff about determinism enters into the question of whether or not a certain act is “punishment.”

  25. says

    He has a history of referring to Table Talks until someone calls him on it. He will back away until the next time and do it all over again. Because, as consciousness razor points out in the latest thread about Hitler, Nazism was an primarily a secular movement. So Darwin must remain in the discussion.

    As an other person pointed out, there is a distinct David Marshall feel to him.

    I see. I did notice a certain obtuseness re the Social Darwinism issue.

  26. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Also, just heard a radio ad– apparently the Misfits are playing around here this weekend.

    The Misfits, really? Who wants to see The Misfits without Glenn Danzig?

  27. Carlie says

    Audley – noooooooo!!!! I was just eying the rain an hour ago thinking that some of those drops were falling a little too slow to be just liquid water…

  28. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Audley, the Only brothers have been doing this for decades. Enough continue to show up for them to keep on the road. If the Doors and Queen can do it, why not the Misfits?

  29. Algernon says

    When the women are liberated by the revolution, the hot ones will wear bikinis!

    Meh… what an ass.

  30. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Janine,
    Yeah… I know. I just didn’t realize that The Misfits were still a thing.

  31. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Oh, shit. The Rookie just showed up at the latest Hitler thread. It only took a couple of comments to show that he is still an idiot.

  32. Algernon says

    Wow. Pete Rooke! You know, it was partially because of him that I got the nerve up to talk to Walton.

    Hmmm…. I wonder if he’ll have any tortured analogies handy.

  33. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Caine, actually, I was too amused by the Rookie to want the banhammer brought down on him. But his mistake was to want to talk to the insane Canadian when he did his shit fingerpainting when PZ was gone for a weekend and had to clean up hundreds of comments.

  34. says

    Well, today with Alfie was interesting. He’s not getting much better, so it will be back to the vet on Monday. When I got him up today, his poor little eyes were stuck together, so I took him in the bathroom to clean up. He had a fair amount of hair stuck together from peeing too, so I went to clean up there and noticed his monumental* testicles were missing. I now have him on a heating pad, hoping they’ll descend again.

    *Anyone who has ever had a male rat can tell you that their testicles are *enormous*.

  35. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    I wonder if he’ll have any tortured analogies handy.

    Nah. He’s just riffing one liners. Lame ones, at that.

  36. says

    European (religious) idiocy of the day

    The last witch trial in Western Germany was 1738 in Gerresheim, today a district of Düsseldorf. Two women, Helena Curtens, 16, and Agnes Olmans, 47, were burned at the stake. The City Council was discussing the issue of rehabilitating the two women, supported by the Social Democratic (SPD) and Green Parties.

    The city councillor in charge of cultural affairs, from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said that City Hall would not be able to grant that request, as it had been a lawful verdict at the time. He had sought the expertise of a theologian and proclaimed that it was beyond doubt that the two women were “engaged in superstitious acts”.

    (Source)

  37. walton says

    Why has Freethoughtblogs now started sending me email notifications every time someone posts on the Endless Thread? And how can I stop this?

  38. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Why has Freethoughtblogs now started sending me email notifications every time someone posts on the Endless Thread? And how can I stop this?

    Under the ‘Leave a Reply’ box is a checkbox with “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.” I suspect that if you uncheck the box it may stop filling your inbox.

    BTW, Wife (who grew up in Lexington) wants to know if Ruggles (a British-style pizza restaurant) is still in Harvard Square?

  39. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Walton, look at the bottom of the screen when you type out a reply. See the line Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting. Is the box checked? Uncheck it.

  40. says

    Laughing Coyote, pet stores have (or used to have) tubes of fine sandpaper that you could slip onto birds’ perches to keep their claws trimmed. I’m sure you could improvise with your own sandpaper and a bit of glue.

    However, people do hold birds for measuring and tagging, so maybe you could just hold him and trim the claws or get a friend to do so. It sounds like a bit of a three-handed operation. Or you could wrap him in a handkerchief with just the feet sticking out, for the required 30 seconds or so.

    Then do the sandpaper perches so they won’t grow back so quickly.

  41. says

    Yes, I must have checked the box by accident. The problem is now solved. (I managed to access the “Manage my subscriptions” page and deleted my subscription to the thread.)

  42. says

    Pet stores also have some hard calcium carbonate stuff for birds to strop their beaks on–cuttlefish bone, I believe it’s called.

    I see you trimmed the claws by stealth–good for you!

  43. First Approximation says

    Oh nonexistent gods, Rooke is back.

    As long as he doesn’t post those creepy fuckin’ analogies, I don’t think he should get banned. I actually do think we were getting to him before. He kinda reminds me of another young naive English commenter, except for being far, far, far more out there.

  44. David Marjanović, OM says

    O hai! Not caught up, of course. Among other things, one of onion girl’s kittehz doesn’t leave me enough time. ^_^

    Good news:

    Scientists join Occupy Baltimore.

    In France, there is no gay marriage (though teh gheyz can has Marriage Lite, called PACS, which is open to everyone and most common among young hetero couples). In comes a woman in the body of a man, marries a woman, has 3 children in 15 years with her, and then transitions. What happens to the marriage??? Attorney General sez it stays. Lawyer says gay marriage is just around the corner. Harold Camping may only have been off by two months this time. :-) News feature in German citing AFP (Agence France Presse).

  45. says

    BTW, Wife (who grew up in Lexington) wants to know if Ruggles (a British-style pizza restaurant) is still in Harvard Square?

    Eh… not to my knowledge, but I haven’t explored all the side streets around there. (There is, however, a good pizza place called Oggi’s in the Holyoke Center, by the university health clinic. And there’s also an excellent vegetarian-fast-food place to which I was introduced a few weeks ago by MrFire.)

  46. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Walton:

    Considering she hung out there 25 years ago, there are probably a few changes. Newbury Comics is still there, right?

  47. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Caine,
    Poor Alfie. And I will agree, rat nuts are huge.

    The heat lamp in Emery’s tank just blew. *sigh*I do not want to have to replace that right now, but it’s gonna be hella cold tonight, so I gotta.

  48. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    sandiseattle, I am way too tired and depressed to tell you about the Tea Party. Google is your friend.

    Good news! The gf, has been approved for Gender Reassignment Therapy by one of her two therapists today! She just has to pass the second one, and save up the money. Yay!

    *confetti*

    I’m sorry to hear that Alfie is still under the weather.
    -

  49. Algernon says

    How the hell do you get yourself out of a real slump. Weeks go by like days. Every evening I get off and I think I’ll do something but I don’t. I veg around (like the people I used to scoff at who worked all day and then just watched TV and waited around to die) and then go to sleep.

    It’s pathetic and worthless. I hate it.

    How the fuck do you stop it though? It seems like I just come home and sleep then work then sleep then work then…

    and I don’t even get paid enough for such a worthless and meaningless existence. It’s utter shit. But when I come home, nothing seems to happen. I just *don’t* fucking do anything I mean to anymore.

    Part of it is not having enough alone time, I know that. I have almost none anymore, and it’s not totally in my power right now to fix that.

    But even when I do, I’m still just not using it. What the fuck can one do?

  50. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Would you like to be truly educated? Fear!

    This book right here, every Bible says, in Proverbs 1:7, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’ Now I don’t know why today we think, ‘oh I’m going to know more about the Lord if I fear God,’ we’ve made the fear of the Lord the beginning of spiritual knowledge. He didn’t say that, He said the fear of the Lord’s the beginning of knowledge. If you want education you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good scientist you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good musician—1962, ’63, the U.S. Supreme Court in three decisions said no more fear of God in education, we want education to be secular. All right, that’s a theological issue. How’s that working out? In 1962, ’63, America was number one in the world in literacy, we are now number sixty-five in the world in literacy. We don’t have the fear of the Lord, because guess what, we don’t have knowledge, it goes down.

  51. Algernon says

    Maybe I should set a clear goal, like “One creative project a day start-to-finish (or else it will never get done” for one month.

    Then see what the fuck happens, because I can’t see a point in going on like this.

  52. says

    Algernon:

    Maybe I should set a clear goal, like “One creative project a day start-to-finish (or else it will never get done” for one month.

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but on my latest piece, I lost all motivation some time ago. That’s why I started the blog to document daily work. That motivation worked – even when I don’t feel like working on it, I have to have something to photograph and post.

  53. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Caine, Fleur du Mal@578, Damn that’s rough. I’m so sorry. I’ve been lurking and reading TET trying to keep up and from the updates it sounded like he was getting better. I hope Chas can calm down. Best to y’all.

    Condolences

  54. says

    Ray, r-a y, thank you. The infection was just too much. Chas has had it rough, he’s been upset that Alfie was sick, now he’s being uncharacteristically quiet.

    We’ll think about getting him a new companion or two next week.

  55. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    My condolences for Alfie, Caine. He was clearly a great rat.

  56. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Algernon@575, Just my $.02 of course but if it helps to motivate and energize you then go ahead, but don’t get stuck on the “start to finish” part. Sometimes a creative project can take more time to gel. Maybe something like Caine’s approach (@577) with documenting progress every day. Kind of an incremental thing.
    Keep trying, don’t ever give up. The best is yet to be!

    G’night everyone.

  57. Kseniya says

    Caine: Oh, dear. We had two generations of pet rats when I was a ‘tween and my brothers were still in elementary school. They were pretty nice pets, being quite a bit smarter than the smaller (and allegedly cuter) gnawing critters. Sorry to hear that Alfie didn’t make it. Even under the best of circumstances, rat life expectancy isn’t very long, so it’s hard to see one go ahead of his time. We lost one of our first pair at a very young age (maybe 4 months) and our friends never really got why we were so sad about it. Hug.

  58. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Alfie is dead. Chas is damn near hysterical.

    Oh Caine :( I’m so sorry. *hugs, chocolate, swill, hugblankets, the works* Little guy had a great life, and great friends, and lots of love, and that’s the most any of us can ever ask for. But I’m sorry.

  59. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Oh, I just open this for a minute before work and there’s sad news.

    I’m sorry to hear about Alfie, Caine. A hug if you want it. And a little hug for Chas.

  60. Tethys says

    Caine

    I’m so sorry about Alfie. I’m sure from all your stories that he was well loved. Losing our furry friends is always sad, most especially when it comes too soon. *hugs/chocolate/tea/snuggly soft blanket for you and Chas*

  61. Crudely Wrott says

    Farewell, Alfie, small one.
    You were a welcome addition to the Horde and a source of great delight.
    We will miss you.

    Condolences to you, Caine, and to Chas.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    . . . need Kleenex now

  62. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    We lost one of our first pair at a very young age (maybe 4 months) and our friends never really got why we were so sad about it. Hug.

    Lots of people don’t ‘get’ rats, but anyone who’s owned them and actually paid attention gets it.

  63. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh, how sad. I was just popping in to say good night, and now I learn that Alfie is no more? What a sad day. Well, he was a well-loved rat. And now he is a well-mourned rat.

    Here’s to Afie.

    *pours one out for Alfie*

    May all beings know such love.

    Gnight all. Wish me luck at my job interview tomorrowstrike> in eight hours. It’s a low-paid food service job, but it’s at the coop so if I get it I’ll get a major discount on all kinds of delectable organic produce and food products. And it’s temporary.

    It’s been hard really taking good care of myself lately. Low motivation, just want to stay in bed all the time, play games, watch movies. It’s hard even just admitting that this is a problem for me. Thanks for being here.

  64. Sally Strange, OM says

    Dang, I am tired. Sorry.

    It’s a low-paid food service job, but it’s at the coop so if I get it I’ll get a major discount on all kinds of delectable organic produce and food products. And it’s temporary.

    It’s been hard really taking good care of myself lately. Low motivation, just want to stay in bed all the time, play games, watch movies. It’s hard even just admitting that this is a problem for me. Thanks for being here.

  65. says

    Caine, I’m sorry about Alfie. (And I’m also sorry for snapping at you the other day about the bluharmony thing. In retrospect, it was very bad timing.)

    And Sally, good to hear about the job.

  66. says

    Good morning

    Caine
    I’m sorry about Alfie.
    I hope Chas comes around soon.

    Sally Strange
    Fingers are crossed. You had an exceptiona amount of bad luck lately and I hope this will change now.
    I “need” creativity. When I’m not doing much in that department, even though there are projects enough, it shows that I’m doing badly.
    But I know what you mean, I need projects that show progress, too.
    What have you thought about?

    pelamun
    Well, I’m glad the CDU remains strong. What would happen to us if we admitted that there were times in our history when law was shitty and unjust, especially if it was a mixture of holy and state law.
    Keep showing people that you give shit about innocent women.
    Kind of reminds me of the “no DNA testing after you’ve been convicted” verdict Walton cited.

  67. LS says

    @mythusmage:

    I honestly don’t know the exact specifics, she started having seizures at age 14 or so, and her mother signed her up for disability. After she moved out and got a job, they reduced and finally removed her disability and Medicaid. Her Disability came up for review, and they decided to drop her entirely. Not sure why.

    Her epilepsy has recently gotten worse, and she’s having ‘cluster seizures’, where she has a dozen or more seizures in a 30 minute to 1 hour period.

  68. says

    Aaron Baker does not like me. How shall I go on?

    He’s been here a long time, as you know. I am a bit torn over that one, we’ve had so many fights, I don’t even remember, but every now and then he does say something of value, or something that I wasn’t aware of. So yeah, he’s not the worst I guess….

  69. says

    The Walton needs to sleep. He has been up all night writing a paper and it is now half-past two in the morning, and he is tired enough to do something so pretentious as to write about himself consistently in the third person. Also, his brain hurts.

  70. says

    In case people aren’t aware, bluharmony has been misrepresenting the wiki page and what happened with it (claiming vicious lies, libel, violation of terms) for the past few days on Twitter.

    I can haz linky ?

  71. says

    Ah thanks pelamum, btw, my dad sent me the same link you posted above.
    As to bluharmony, remind me, isn’t that the one who put all this private info about herself onto the wiki in the first place ? I haven’t been following, sorry. Reading twitter now.

  72. says

    Rorschach:

    As to bluharmony, remind me, isn’t that the one who put all this private info about herself onto the wiki in the first place ?

    Yes. After discovering the entry, she added all the personal, identifying info, then whined and moaned about it being taken down. She didn’t care about personal info, but she used it to get all the links to things she’d posted (and the criticism) disappeared.

    She’s still going on about it being taken down, touting it all over as a major victory and a sign of how powerful she is, what with being a mighty lawyer and all.

  73. says

    Hm, those tweets are intriguing indeed. Brian Dunning, Kylie Sturgess, Metamagician (Blackford) ? Seems like blu has found herself some allies.
    Btw, a blog Blackford linked to the other day turns out to have the Hoggler on his blogroll.
    This is all very regrettable, and I have absolutely no clue how it all turned out to become some sick Lord of the Flies rerun.

  74. says

    rorschach,

    which link is that? The one about the women burned at the stake?

    Re BH

    Yes, that’s her. If you wish to see the original page in order to better assess her claims, shoot me an email, I have saved it on my computer.

    I’m a bit worried that she will now talk people into believing that the page really had unsubstantiated claims about her. Ophelia Benson on twitter seemed to appear at least neutral about this claim of BH’s.

  75. you_monster says

    Hi everybody. I heard about this phenomenon where you can suppress the gag reflex by clinching your left thumb in your palm. I was wondering if anyone had heard of this, or could confirm this effect. If so, what is the mechanism behind this response.

    I have a terribly severe gag reflex. I avoid going to the doctor when I think I have strep because the test for it is more traumatizing to me than suffering through the illness.

    Is this a legitimate means to suppress gagging? I couldn’t find many scholarly articles on it.

    Thanks in advance to anyone with any input.

  76. says

    And then there is this :

    bluharmony (name removed)
    @
    @name removed I contacted the hotel. RW was on the second floor.

    I imagine the conversation went something like this :

    blu : Hi, my name is XY, I’m from the USA, and I’d like you to tell me what Rebecca Watson’s floor and room number were when she was staying there back in June.

    Hotel clerk : *blink*

    Goodness. What is this supposed to prove anyway ? That the elevator ride wasn’t long enough to propose Watson ? Jebus H Christ.

  77. says

    rorschach,

    about her elevator research, you might also want to check the post on Greg Laden’s blog (“XXXX can kiss my ass”), and his talk of hotels with first floor zaniness…

  78. Beatrice says

    Wow, if she actually went to check what floor Rebecca was on and isn’t just pulling that info out of her ass, that’s a seriously unhealthy obsession. Actually, even if she did make up the information, it’s still an unhealthy obsession.

  79. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    You know, occasionally I really do get the urge to say violent things.
    I restrain myself. But the impulse is there.

  80. says

    I read through Laden’s post, thanks for the tip. And I think it was good of him to close comments. I reckon Matt Penfold wins one internet there :

    Given she is a lawyer, it seems rather harsh on her clients to suggest she spends more time working.

    In other news, love interest is hastily fleeing Bangkok as we speak, because in addition to the 50cm of water in her district already, major additional flood waters are currently only 15-20km away from the CBD. It’s going to get much worse before it gets better there.

  81. julian says

    So this is what skepticism is all about.

    sigh

    At first I thought The Lousy Canuck was going to far with his accusations of denialism. Now I’m starting to think he’s right.

    I’m not even upset with any of them anymore (well most of them anyway).

  82. Beatrice says

    pelamun,

    People in the office are now looking at me strangely for laughing so hard.
    I don’t know should I fear or hope the next thing you say is that she also checked all men in single rooms on the same or above Rebecca’s floor.

  83. julian says

    @ pelanum

    just this new egate chapter. They really are going all the way with this ‘true skeptic’ thing.

  84. says

    Goodness. What is this supposed to prove anyway ? That the elevator ride wasn’t long enough to propose Watson ? Jebus H Christ.

    Oh dear.
    Did she also think about checking what type of elevator they have?
    Because, there are fast ones and slow ones.

    I will further propose the following experiment:
    If you’re in the mood and have an acceptable sparrings partner ready tonight, at about 10pm, ask them if they’d like coffee.
    Report whether you end up in the kitchen or in the bedroom (or on the kitchentable, whatever fancies you).
    Let’s take science and skepticism to a whole new level!

  85. says

    julian,

    didn’t see any particular post on the Lousy Canuck. But I think I
    got it now. It’s along the lines of “a true skeptic questions the (feminist) dogma” or sth like that?

  86. julian says

    It’s along the lines of “a true skeptic questions the (feminist) dogma” or sth like that

    It’s how they obsess over everything, make huge leaps in logic but call out every minut detail, misinterpret everything that’s said to them, preserve every slight ever done against, take screen shots of everything they write and how they refuse to beleive everyone isn’t out to get them while simultaneuasly arguing the world is finally waking up to the evils of their opressors. At this point they’ve become E-Gate Truthers.

  87. says

    Some more news:

    – 200 North Koreans stranded in Libya as they have been barred from returning home for fear that news of the Arab Spring will become known in N.K. http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/10/27/north_koreans_in_libya_banned_from_returning_home

    – Pope denounces atheists, praises agnostic in apparent misunderstanding that agnostics are “searching for god”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/281522/pope-praises-agnostics-michael-potemra

  88. says

    pelamun
    It’s the “unless you have peer reviewed evidence I’m not going to believe that you have had cornflakes for breakfast” stance.
    They completely fail to realize that it wouldn’t matter shit if RW had dreamed the whole episode while falling asleep on the elevator.

    Urgh, I think I’ve just given them a new idea.

  89. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    They completely fail to realize that it wouldn’t matter shit if RW had dreamed the whole episode while falling asleep on the elevator.

    Urgh, I think I’ve just given them a new idea.

    Well, it was 4 in the morning. (just kidding)

  90. says

    Beatrice,

    well I had an idea that would work for a lawyer – just subpoena the hotel for the records of its security system, to get to the bottom of E-Gate once and for all!

    And if the hotel tells you that the records no longer exist, you know the Atheist-Feminist Cabal is responsible for hiding the truth!

  91. says

    Julian:

    At this point they’ve become E-Gate Truthers.

    There really isn’t an “at this point” though. They’ve been saying this shit since July. It’s just intensified, thanks to people like Abbie giving them a home for their foment.

  92. julian says

    Well, it was 4 in the morning.

    And she had been drinking after all.

    That actually hurt to type. I’m one of those people who is prone to conspiracy thinking and the kind of crap you see come out denialist groups. My entire motivation behind adopting skepticism was because I recognized I was close to wearing a tin foil hat (no really. I had some pretty crazy thoughts running through my head in high school) and needed something to ground me. Skepticism seemed the way to go. It not only required you to consider the evidence but how you may be interpreting the evidence and how easily fallible you were in your conclusions. So seeing so many skeptics devolve into this crap sucks all the optimism right out of me.

    Come on guys, be skeptical about your conclusions and your biases. Does this behavior seem reasonable given the claims made?

  93. says

    Julian:

    So seeing so many skeptics devolve into this crap sucks all the optimism right out of me.

    It isn’t about skepticism. It’s about a lot of people being confronted with their own privilege and sexism. A lot of people who chose to get defensive and have kept upping the ante in order to protect their privilege and sexism. Skepticism is simply being used as an excuse.

  94. says

    julian
    Any good tips how to get somebody to take the tinfoil hat off?
    Mr. sometimes shows those tendencies.
    You know, since famous person X died in a car crash, and car crashs are easy to arrange for, ergo X was murdered by the CIA/MI6/FBI/KGB…

    Come on guys, be skeptical about your conclusions and your biases. Does this behavior seem reasonable given the claims made?

    Oh they don’t have any.

  95. says

    Any good tips how to get somebody to take the tinfoil hat off?

    I’d just go with Occam’s Razor. And that vast bureaucratic apparatuses are bound to leak at some point.

  96. says

    Actually I was asked this at a job interview once. What would you do if you were posted to the United States and an American colleague brings up a 9/11 conspiracy theory…

  97. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Caine, just read about Alfie (time zones) and wanted to say I’m sorry. I loved reading all your posts about living with the two of them – he must have been just about the best-loved and best-looked-after a rat can be.

    Good luck with the job, Sally Strange (mmm for discounted Good Things!)

    Algernon, that’s very hard to break (at least, I find it very hard). fwiw I think your idea is spot on, but maybe you could try starting with really small chunks of a goal? Just to begin with? So if you don’t manage to complete a whole project it doesn’t make you feel worse; it’s progress.

  98. says

    In breaking news, CHOGM has embraced changes to the succession on the British throne, allowing women to be considered as successors, starting with Charles and working downwards. Or something. Also, monarchs can now marry Catholics. As if that was a pressing issue.

  99. says

    Argh, I just realized that this part:

    I “need” creativity. When I’m not doing much in that department, even though there are projects enough, it shows that I’m doing badly.
    But I know what you mean, I need projects that show progress, too.
    What have you thought about?

    of what I’ve written to Sally Strange is of course meant for Algernon

    Sorry for the mix-up

  100. says

    Also, monarchs can now marry Catholics. As if that was a pressing issue.

    IIRC, there were still reservations about a Catholic being British PM. So Tony Blair waited until he had left office to formally convert.

  101. says

    opposablethumbs:

    Caine, just read about Alfie (time zones) and wanted to say I’m sorry. I loved reading all your posts about living with the two of them – he must have been just about the best-loved and best-looked-after a rat can be.

    Thank you. :) Alfie was a terrific rat. He never was a cuddly sort and boggling was a rarity for him. He spent more time boggling this last two weeks than he did his whole life, which let me know our caring for him did matter and it was appreciated.

  102. Carlie says

    I’m really sorry about Alfie, Caine.

    I haven’t been to the pharynguwiki page (don’t have the link), but I think given what bluharmony is saying about it now, it would be a good idea to note somewhere related to her name on it why her page was taken down. She’s claiming things that aren’t true, so there should be something in “print” on the site that documents that there was a page there and that it was taken down because the subject put personally identifying info on it but that the admins felt that to be a bad idea, or that it was taken down because the focus of the wiki changed to not emphasize trolls, or something like that.

  103. theophontes says

    @ Caine #578

    Hi Caine, so sorry to hear about Alfie. Thanks for bringing him round to TET, we’ll miss him.

  104. says

    Occupants are still at San Diego, even though the live stream got cut off and the cameraman arrested. Reports of a police officer with an assault rifle on Twitter.

    Occupy Nashville and Tampa also got evicted.

    But most importantly of all, the media was not allowed at Occupy San Diego when the police moved in. This is getting somewhere.

  105. Algernon says

    Caine, just waking up and reading before work. I’m sorry to hear :( That’s sad, you’ve been taking such great care of him.

  106. Algernon says

    That’s why I started the blog to document daily work.

    That’s a great idea. It might alleviate both my zombi-like state, and my guilt over never updating my blog.

  107. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Shit, Caine. That is awful. *hugs* to you and gentle smooches for Chas.

  108. says

    Looks like the thread I linked has become the Slimepit’s version of TET, it’s still active even though it started in August. And further upthread, lo-behold what BH herself wrote there, addressing the Slimepit folks

    And I consider all of you my friends, respect all of you, and welcome you to join me on Facebook if you already haven’t.

    (lest I be accused of quote-mining: with two exceptions. Yeah, those two exceptions totally prove that she didn’t condone anything misogynist that was said over there)

  109. says

    Algernon: I trick myself into it by starting very small.

    So I tell myself: just do one stupid little chord progression. It can be a dumb two chord hook six bars long and repeated thirty times or a completely bullshit cliche sketch of 600 words; it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to turn into anything. Just do it, record it or save it somewhere, leave it there. Sure ya can, champ*. Yes, you’re in a funk and a slump and the days are a fucking treadmill. But just do this one stupid little thing, anyway. And then use whatever’s left of the precious six seconds you actually had to yourself for sleeping or staring irritably at bad news, if you must.

    And next night it’s: now add something to it. It’s just sitting there, after all. Just one little thing. Trivial, crappy, stupid, useless, doesn’t matter. Just do it anyway. Don’t feel inspired? Fine, just edit yesterday’s, refine it, if that’s all you got.

    Me, I keep at that, and before I know it, either I’m in the mood again because something caught my interest, or, okay, maybe I only every was a tiny bit and for a moment or two, I’m already done something anyway, and that, actually, is better than nothing, and at least gives you a little something to tell yourself the next time you feel like that: it doesn’t matter. Who gives a rat’s ass? Yeah, I’m down. It happens. So what. I can work around it.

    I do sometimes think I’m a mite prone to depression. Not terribly or nothing, but yeah, a bit. And I’m not quite the only one saying it, and some of ‘em should probably know. But I think I’ve just been at it so long, y’know, I function around it. I’ve done entire works people actually later told me they quite liked with only very limited bits of enthusiasm occurring at my end of the deal, in those tiny flashes, at best, through the whole thing.

    What comes out of such efforts, oddly enough, can become something pretty cool, given long enough and enough effort. Or, okay, you’ll wind up burning them, to protect the innocent. Either way, it’s a bit of exercise, at least.

    (/And yes, I know, I’m just full of advice this week.)

    (*/For the record, in my actual inner monologue, I rarely use a phrase quite so irritatingly glib and likely to cause homicide as ‘sure ya can, champ’. But that is kinda the attitude.)

  110. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Caine:

    Sorry to hear about Alfie. You have my sympathy. Amazing the way the little furry things can worm their way into our hearts, ain’t it?

  111. Algernon says

    I hope everyone already reas it, but there’s a new hyperbole and a half, about why she hasn’t been posting lately due to depression. It’s sad and fantastic in the way she does so well.

    Holy fucking shit. She just made a comic about my whole fucking life!

  112. says

    In breaking news, CHOGM has embraced changes to the succession on the British throne, allowing women to be considered as successors

    At the moment, the succession to the British throne follows the rule of “male-preference primogeniture”. So the throne passes to the monarch’s eldest son; if the monarch has no sons, it passes to the monarch’s eldest daughter. Sons always inherit before daughters. (So, for instance, the Queen’s sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are higher in the line of succession than the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne, even though Anne is older.) A woman can inherit if she has no brothers, however, as was the case with the present Queen when her father George VI died.

    The proposal is to change the rule of succession – as has already been done in Sweden, for instance – to equal primogeniture, so that the oldest child always inherits, irrespective of gender.

    (Historically, the British system was actually very progressive for its time. Historically, most continental European monarchies used “Salic Law”, which meant that only men could inherit. Some, such as the Austrian monarchy, used “Semi-Salic Law”, in which a woman could inherit only if there were no remaining male heirs in any branch of the family.)

  113. says

    Also, David Cameron is a little clueless:

    On scrapping the ban on future monarchs marrying Roman Catholics, Mr Cameron said: “Let me be clear, the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is the head of that Church.

    Technically, the monarch isn’t “the head” of the Church of England, but the “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England.

    (And there’s no particular reason why the monarch’s religious role need continue, in any case. Though I don’t feel strongly about it either way.)

  114. Carlie says

    Algernon – she’s getting a lot of comments saying the same thing. I just noticed that Token Skeptic here has a similar story, with a snake: here

  115. trinioler says

    Hey Caine,

    Sorry to hear about Alfie. That is a terrible thing to go through. My condolences, and it was obvious he was very well cared for and loved, and he knew it. I hope Chas gets better.

  116. says

    Since we’re on the topic of primogeniture/monarch and religion, let’s talk about Japan:

    Primogeniture and female succession

    There have been female Empresses (as sovereign I mean) in Japanese history, but that was 1,000 years ago and back then the real power was in the hands of a chancellor, who was effectively ruling instead of the regenbt, who was nominally governing for the Empress or the Emperor (and sometimes even abdicated Emperors were in the mix too) – yeah Japanese history has always been complex about the question who actually ruled.

    But when the current crown prince’s wife couldn’t conceive, and after years of pressure*) finally gave birth to a girl, for a brief moment, it looked like conservative monarchists and feminists would join hands in Japan to change the law of successoin, but alas, the crown prince’s younger brother’s wife then gave birth to a son, and he willl take precedence.

    *) here we can see how misogynist the institution of monarchy truly is: here we had a self-confident woman, a diplomat schooled in Oxford and Harvard and fluent in a couple of languages (I’m typing this from the road so I might misremember a thing or two), and then she marries the Crown Prince, and very shortly after that her spirit is totally crushed, by the pressure, the misogynist rituals (like walking three steps behind her husband), all these arch-conservative mandarins from the Imperial Household Agency

    Monarchy and state religion:

    yet another aspect monarchy violates modern democratic principles. But in Japan, the most important role of the monarch has always been the function of a high priest of Shintoism, since ancient times. As I’ve alluded above, for vast periods of time, the actual power was never in the hands of the Emperor, that was always just a symbolic idea (no wonder the dynasty has endured continuously, as the real rulers could always count on the Yamato clan, whoever came on top). In a way, the title Emperor is a misnomer.

    And it’s a big violation of the separation of state and shrine (I guess that’d be the Japanese version), which is mandated by the Japanese constitution (though one dictated by the US), and it’s an embodiment of privilege. There are Japanese that don’t belong to Shintoism, after all..

  117. says

    *) here we can see how misogynist the institution of monarchy some monarchies truly is are:

    FTFY.

    The British monarchy was way ahead of its time when it came to gender equality. The Kingdom of England, and later that of Great Britain, had ruling Queens – Elizabeth I, Anne, Mary II, Victoria – in an era when women could not vote or hold positions of leadership in most European societies. The system of male-preference primogeniture is anachronistic now – and it should be changed, certainly – but in its historical context, it was exceptionally progressive.

    (Number of women to succeed to the throne in Great Britain since 1789: 2.
    Number of women to be elected President of the United States since 1789: 0.
    Number of years that Britain has had a woman as head of state since 1789: 123. (1837-1901 and 1952-present.)
    Number of years that the United States has had a woman as head of state since 1789: 0.)

    And some monarchies have already changed the line of succession to adopt equal primogeniture: Sweden did so in 1980, for instance, and the current heiress apparent is a woman, Crown Princess Victoria. There is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy.

  118. says

    There is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy

    Haha, keep deluding yourself. That’s all I can say for now, as I’m in a car right now. Probably in the interest of anyone else here, I WON’T elaborate later, I’m sure people will agree without me having to spell it out.

  119. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    There is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy.

    Yeah I’m gonna echo pelamun here, that was a bit of a WHAT? statement for me too.

  120. Matt Penfold says

    I guess the fact the British Monarchy is not misogynistic explains why it has taken till now to realise that primogeniture discriminates against women.

  121. says

    I said that there is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy. I did not deny that many monarchies have been misogynistic; many monarchies have existed in highly sexist and patriarchal societies, because most societies have been highly sexist and patriarchal.

    But this does not mean that the concept of monarchy is inherently misogynistic. A gender-equal monarchy is absolutely possible: and, indeed, such monarchies exist (in Sweden, for example).

    In the US, no woman has ever been elected President, thanks to a long history of ingrained misogyny in the culture. Does this mean that the concept of a presidential republic is inherently misogynistic? Of course not. It is not the form of government that is misogynistic, but the culture surrounding it. And that’s what needs to be changed. Replacing hereditary succession with presidential elections, or vice versa, will not magically make a difference to gender equality.

  122. Matt Penfold says

    There is also at least one example of a legal heir being usurped because she happened to be female.

  123. Matt Penfold says

    Walton,

    Well a monarchy does start from the position that one group of people are more important that everyone else.

  124. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dammit. Why doesn’t the strikethru tag work any more?

    With freethoughtblogs, you need to use the full word strike instead of the letter s. <strike>example</strike> = example

  125. trinioler says

    The reason for that is so people don’t abuse rendering quirks and sneak a script tag in there, so they can run javascript.

  126. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ pelamun

    There is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy

    Haha, keep deluding yourself.

    Yup, I have to echo pelamun here. But only in the contemporary monarchies. In days of yore it was the High Priestess that swung the scepter. The king was a lowly sex toy. My, how humanity has sunk since the swing to patriarchy.

    @ [Rachel Maddow]

    OK, I think Rachel Maddow is flippin’ fantastic.

    HOWEVER…. she really must learn how to pronounce the Koch brothers surname. It is not “Coke”. It is pronounced with the “Ko-” part as the front end of “cough”. The “-ch” part is pronounced as the “kh” in “Khartoum”. Yes it sounds like clearing snot from the roof of your mouth. Quite appropriate rather.

  127. The Ys says

    I said that there is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy.

    Um, what?

    Monarchies were started by men with swords who raised armies, subjugated people, and killed those who disagreed with them or who rebelled against them.

    Men. Patriarchy. Etc.

    It’s incredibly rare to read about a woman establishing a monarchy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a mention of this occurring.

  128. curiouser says

    theophontes:

    she really must learn how to pronounce the Koch brothers surname. It is not “Coke”. It is pronounced with the “Ko-” part as the front end of “cough”. The “-ch” part is pronounced as the “kh” in “Khartoum”. Yes it sounds like clearing snot from the roof of your mouth. Quite appropriate rather.

    Is that really true? If so, the Wikipedia entry’s pronunciation needs to be fixed (unless I’m reading it wrong?), and a close family member I have who works at the company has been getting the name wrong for a decade or so now. Wouldn’t that be funny. I always had to say “No, not Coca-Cola, Koch as in the huge scary private company.” (Back before people had heard of the Brothers or the Industries.) A different pronunciation would make that much less difficult to clarify…

  129. Matt Penfold says

    How can one argue that treating one group of people as being more important than another group is wrong when it is in respect of sexism and men being treated as being more important that women, but a good idea if the groups are a hereditary ruling family and their subjects ?

  130. Matt Penfold says

    Vincent Tabak, the person who killed Jo Yates and who has been discussed here has just been found guilty of her murder. He has pleased guilty to manslaughter but the plea was rejected by the prosecution.

    He has been given a life sentence and will have to serve at 20 years before he can be considered for parole.

  131. First Approximation says

    I said that there is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy.

    I’m going to disagree with people here and say that’s technically true. While monarchy’s history is unquestionably misogynistic, you can theoretically set up a monarchy that is not. However, hereditary monarchy is inherently anti-egalitarian, anti-democratic and unfair. Which raises the question of why bother updating this medieval relic and not just scrap altogether?

    Anyway, we’ve had the monarchy debate with Walton here many, many, many times before and it doesn’t look like either side is changing its mind. The last time I had it with Walton was in meatspace among sheep and wool. Later that night we put a crown on his head. For me, that’s great place to leave it.

  132. Muse (evidently temptress of Pharyngula women) says

    @Caine – I’m so sorry to hear about Alfie. It was lovely the way you brought him into the lounge with you.

  133. Moggie says

    Carlie:

    I hope everyone already reas it, but there’s a new hyperbole and a half, about why she hasn’t been posting lately due to depression. It’s sad and fantastic in the way she does so well.

    Oh boy, the death of feelings. Been there, done that.

  134. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Caine,
    Sorry to hear about Alfie. It’s enough to make you want to get a parrot or a tortoise–something that will outlive you.

    You gave Alfie a good home, plenty of love and plenty of stimulation for his tiny, little rat brain. He died warm and in comfort. A rat could expect no more.

  135. says

    Monarchy is inherently misogynist because the hereditary principle puts pressure on the woman, regardless of whether she is queen or the consort, to bear children. I mean you did read my story about the Japanese crown prince’s wife who had her spirit crushed also BECAUSE she couldn’t conceive. And of course SHE was the one who was blamed (though one time a German newspaper made a joke about HIM, titling a photo of him with “Tote Hose”, a slang term, lit. “dead pants” meaning “nothing going on”, it’s also the name of the OTHER great German punk rock band; of course the Japanese ambassador got all huffy and protested yaddayaddayadda – how dare you put the blame on the man).

    Theophontes,

    German immigrants to the US have been known to change the pronunciation of their names, sometimes even Anglicise them. Two World Wars will do that to you…

  136. Matt Penfold says

    German immigrants to the US have been known to change the pronunciation of their names, sometimes even Anglicise them. Two World Wars will do that to you…

    Plus, it has to be said, a good number of Americans don’t do foreign pronunciation.

  137. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    First Approximation # 692

    “…technically true. While monarchy’s history is unquestionably misogynistic, you can theoretically set up a monarchy that is not. … we put a crown on his head. For me, that’s great place to leave it.”

    +1

    Walton would do a better job of it than most, I suspect. But I’d much rather a pantomime crown on the head of a thoughtful and compassionate person than a real one on the head of someone so far removed from the trials of normal life that s/he wouldn’t recognise them if they bit hir on the arse.

  138. says

    Plus, it has to be said, a good number of Americans don’t do foreign pronunciation.

    Also, German immigrants have generally been among the groups that have assimilated rather quickly. Well apparently 1/3 of Americans have German ancestry.

  139. says

    I guess you get around the hereditary principle by setting up an electoral monarchy, like the King of the Holy Roman Empire, or the Pope. But then you might as well get a ceremonial president…

  140. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ curiouser

    Koch

    Sounds great in Dutch, less so in English. Trust me on this one.

    [wikipedia]: /ˈkoʊk/ gillende geile gadverdomme KOCH …. this is 100% wrong.

    @ FA (former Feynmaniac … kewl nym)

    medieval relic

    Woah Safari! Much, much older. As Walton will confirm. Religions and monarchies ALWAYS reflect their underlying societies. There was a long time when the women where in the lead. It was only recently that teh menz tried taking over. There are still several fully functioning matriarchal societies out there. The old religions worshiped female gods. Yahwe is a pathetic johnny-come-lately.

  141. Moggie says

    I will raise a glass tonight to Alfie, a wise and generous relative who I wish I could have known better.

  142. says

    thephontes,

    can you give me examples with sources of real matriarchal societies? Because the only ones I can come up with are matrilineal or matrilocal ones, and everyone knows that these societies can still be full of patriarchal shit.

  143. First Approximation says

    Woah Safari! Much, much older. As Walton will confirm.

    I was talking specifically about the British monarchy.

    There was a long time when the women where in the lead. It was only recently that teh menz tried taking over.

    When were women in the lead?

    There are still several fully functioning matriarchal societies out there

    I’d also like some examples. From what I’ve read, there are no unambiguous examples of (human) matriarchal societies.

  144. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ pelamun

    German immigrants to the US have been known to change the pronunciation of their names, sometimes even Anglicise them. Two World Wars will do that to you…

    I realise there have been some changes to fit in. But I would find it kind funny if Rachel Maddow would start using the real ethnic Dutch (not German, as far as I know) pronunciation. Koh-KH. kekeke. Kinda funny.

    can you give me examples with sources of real matriarchal societies?

    Sadly matriarchal societies have been dying out for millenia. There are still several in China. Including true matriarchal societies. The Southwestern Yunnan province is full of them. (Though the largest minority, the Dai, are not full matriarchies, the Mosuo people are truly matriarchal.)

    European societies where matriarchal up to a few thousand years ago. The Greeks even report of matriarchal tribes during the Golden Age. This menz shit is a pretty new idea.

    thephontes

    Well there is theaphontes, spawnphontes and theophontes…

  145. says

    I’d also like some examples. From what I’ve read, there are no unambiguous examples of (human) matriarchal societies.

    The place where I did my fieldwork research (a remote place in SE Asia), some ethnic groups were patrilocal, some were matrilocal, but they were patriarchic all the same. Big factor contributing to this, their adopted religion, either Islam, or Catholicism, though I daresay that their traditions were partly patriarchal even before the advent of missionaries in the reason.

  146. First Approximation says

    European societies where matriarchal up to a few thousand years ago. The Greeks even report of matriarchal tribes during the Golden Age. This menz shit is a pretty new idea.

    The patriarchy shit really started to come around the time of the development of agriculture and domestication.

    Anyway, from Wikipedia’s article on matriarchy:

    In 19th century Western scholarship, the hypothesis of matriarchy representing an early stage of human development—now mostly lost in prehistory, with the exception of some “primitive” societies—enjoyed popularity. The hypothesis survived into the 20th century and was notably advanced in the context of feminism and especially second wave feminism, but this hypothesis of matriarchy as having been an early stage of human development is mostly discredited today, most experts saying that it never existed.[10]

    While the existence of numerous matrilineal or avuncular societies is undisputed, it has been recognized since the 1970s that there are no societies which are matriarchal in the strong sense that some societies are patriarchal. Joan Bamberger in her 1974 The Myth of Matriarchy argued that the historical record contains no reliable evidence of any society in which women dominated.

  147. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ pelamun

    Mosuo are pretty damn matriarchal. The Dai are not so straightforward. Societies are traditionally run by women, but the men are still very important. (Unlike amongst the Musuo.) It is more a fairly distinct seperation of roles. The women take authority AND responsibility(and it is hard work). (Contrast this with the “wham, bam” rethuglicans and teh menz.)

    In an offshoot of the Dai, the Honi, the woman are also very strong within society. They would make great pharangulites.

  148. says

    theophontes,

    according to Hua Cai, the Mosuo are rather matrilineal than truly matriarchal.

    A society without fathers or husbands: the Na of China.

    (This is referenced on the Wiki article on the Mosuo. I just got me the book, so I’ll check it in more detail.)

    But in the mean time, this quote from Wikipedia:

    Mosuo families tend to trace their lineage through the female side of the family. Occasionally, in fact, they may not know who the father of a child is, which, although embarrassing, does not carry stigma to the same extent as in Western societies. An important historical fact often missed in studies of the Mosuo was that their social organization has traditionally been feudal, with a small nobility controlling a larger peasant population.[5] The Mosuo nobility practiced a “parallel line of descent” that encouraged cohabitation, usually within the nobility,[7] in which the father passed his social status to his sons, while the women passed their status to their daughters. Thus, if a Mosuo commoner female married a male serf, her daughter would be another commoner, while her son would have serf status.[5]
    Hua (2001) has theorized that the matriarchal system of the Mosuo lower classes was enforced by the nobility to neutralize threats to their power.[5] Since leadership was inherited through the male family line, potential threats to leadership from the peasant class were eliminated by tracing the lineage of the latter through the female line. Thus, depicting Mosuo culture as an idealized “matriarchal” culture with more freedom than patriarchal societies and with special rights for women, are unfounded. In actuality, the Mosuo peasant class has historically been subjugated and “sometimes treated as little better than slaves.” [2]

  149. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ pelamun

    Yup, the whole entitlement of the “nobility” in China is a huge factor in screwing up the ideal. I would treat the Pfft of All Knowledge with the same regard as they deserve for screwing up the pronunciation of “Koch”.

    But I would be glad to hear from you if my views on the Mosuo have been corrupted by my own rosy coloured spectacles.

  150. says

    Well I’ve first ascertained that Na indeed are Mo-Suo. For the rest I’d need to read the book a little bit in more detail. I’ll see if Wiki represents Hua correctly or not. Watch this space ;)

  151. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    (For example with the Dai, they do not entertain non-Dai, “uninitiates” into ceremonies or lore. It is hard to gain a real picture of what the societies are about in terms of these “blind spots”. Also, they are constantly changing.

    I have had he good fortune to travel a lot in these areas (not the Mosuo though) and to meet up with some very knowledgeable people in this regard. I still have very much to learn and probably will never get the whole picture.)

  152. says

    theophontes,

    I don’t know if effort to get into these societies, staying there for years, even for a PhD. Hua seems have been trained in France (the book was originally titled Une société sans père ni mari: Les Na de Chine). I’ve made only good experiences with French anthropologists in my area ;)

  153. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ pelamun

    The most knowledgeable person I have met (wrt the Dai) is Gao Lishi, who has written extensively on his experiences with the Dai. He is married to a Dai princess (there are quite a number – Walton take note).

    You might be able to get hold of his: “A collection of Gao Lishi’s Research Works on the Dai”. (ISBN: 7-5367-3541-3). He is also very knowledgeable about water management and agriculture, which gives this a unique perspective.

  154. Esteleth says

    I foolishly decided to debate the MRA over in the circumcision thread. Should have known better.
    Among other things, I learned that white American middle-class women control 80% of the country’s wealth! Oh, and we’re living in a matriarchy.

    I’ve been caught in a CLEAN ALL THE THINGS spiral for the past few days, which is never healthy. Stopped when my roommate asked me why the spice rack was alphabetized by chemical formula / binomial species name. *twitch*

  155. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    I should also add that, whatever the hidden truths are about Musou society, they have a very real idealised existence within the Chinese consciousness. They are certainly perceived by most as being an inversion of the male oriented status quo. This alternative form of society might be more important as myth, than reality (as you suggest), but I am still for it.

    (If I was to bet, I would call it a real matriarchal society. It is more likely to be as it appears.)

    My experience in Yunnan has been very much in support of very (by Chinese standards) empowered women running the show. Women clients, women CEO’s, women managers… This is a very strong reason why Yunnan is my favourite part of China. I really think the whole world would be better off following this way of doing. (Actually I have a lot of other reasons to think this, but I don’t want to commandeer the Endless Thread completely.)

  156. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Caine, I’m so sorry. *hugs/boozes/chocolates/bacons* and commiserations.

    *hug* for Sally Strange, and best of luck at your interview. And please do take care of yourself for us.

    …there’s a new hyperbole and a half, about why she hasn’t been posting lately due to depression.

    And damme if it doesn’t sound all too familiar <John Astin voice>…but I’m feeling much better now.</John Astin voice>
    *enormous, slightly unhinged grin*
    -

  157. curiouser says

    theophontes:
    Ah, that makes sense now. You’re talking about the original Dutch. I thought you meant we were pronouncing it differently than they pronounce their own name, which I would agree would be factually incorrect (and embarrassing for the employee). I don’t see how using their own pronunciation is really wrong for Maddow, though, considering it was most likely changed to fit when their ancestors immigrated, and she is using their own version, from what I understand. The existence of one (possibly original) pronunciation doesn’t make another one invalid, especially in the case of names.
    I like the spirit of it, though. Coughing and hacking is too good for those guys, but at least it’s closer to what they deserve.

  158. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    I’m gonna have to start blogging again. This shit is just too easy:

    Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum told supporters in Greenville, South Carolina that it was a “wonderful thing” when scientists in Iran lose their lives.

    “On occasion, scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead,” he explained. “I think that’s a wonderful thing, candidly.”

    Yeah. That whole ‘culture of life’ phrase he keeps using? I do not think those words mean what he thinks they mean.

  159. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I said that there is nothing inherently misogynistic about monarchy.

    True. In theory, a monarchy with matrilineal primogeniture would be just as much a monarchy as the patrilineal variety, or straight first-come-first-serves primogeniture; or for that matter, a non-primogenital (*snerk*), last-royal-standing monarchy.
    -

  160. David Marjanović, OM says

    Till right now, one of onion girl’s kittehz was sleeping next to me, on the sofa, with her back against my thigh, for something like 4 hours, following a round of purring. (Now only her feet and tail touch me.) That cat officially owns me. Every time onion girl leaves, teh kitteh cuddles herself against my shins and demands to be petted a lot, rubbing what must be her scent glands against me just like she does with all corners of furniture. (I can’t smell the scent.) She also sometimes jumps on my bed and dozes there before I get up.

    I like the mountains.

    I’m sure you can see them from Liechtenstein, but there aren’t any in the country itself, which is in the Rhine plain.

  161. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    I like the mountains.

    I’m sure you can see them from Liechtenstein, but there aren’t any in the country itself, which is in the Rhine plain.

    Wait a minute. IIRC, the main hamlet is in a valley…

  162. says

    David H. Koch is one of the underwriters for the PBS show NOVA, and at the start and end of every episode it is pronounced “coke”.

    In the 1970s I knew a family named Koch. Pronounced it “cook”.

  163. Algernon says

    ” What are the implications of this for a democracy founded on free speech ideals? Are these “teaching moments” like mine going to dissuade people who have jobs they want to keep from expressing their opinions, however benign?”

    Indeed.

  164. Katrina says

    Oh, Caine, I’m so sorry. {{hugs}} for you and an extra spoonful of peanut butter for Chas should be coming through the USB port any minute now.

  165. Dhorvath, OM says

    LS,
    Catch-22, eh? This is not the sign of a healthy society. Sadly I have only outrage to offer, I don’t even live there and no little about how to escape the trials of your nation’s healthcare system.
    ___

    mythusmage

    Armed robbery is dehumanizing for both the survivor and the robber.

    You’ve never been a robber.

    I think it would be fair to point out that having been dehumanized is more than likely what leads someone to becoming an armed robber, while committing the act spreads that to the survivor as well. My sympathies are still stronger for the one than the other, and were it an immediate situation I know who I would act to help first.
    ___

    Audley,
    Snow? Ooof.
    _

    Who wants to see The Misfits without Glenn Danzig?

    Err, I would watch Glenn without the Misfits.
    ___

    Caine,
    I am sorry to hear about Alfie. Give Chas an extra bit of attention from the wet coast.
    ___

    Audley,
    Can you get by with heater pads? Our frogs and our tarantula both had the heater pads which seem to last indefinitely and generate a good amount of heat for comfortable baking.
    ___

    SallyStrange,
    Best of luck with the interview.
    ___

    rorschach,
    Hope love interest can keep above the waters. That sounds very scary, keep us up to date.
    ___

    Giliell,

    I will further propose the following experiment:

    Challenge accepted. I would expect something akin to all of the above though.
    ___

    Carlie,
    Thanks for that link. I hesitate to comment at all as I can grasp but poorly the troubles that too many find familiar in that comic. Still, it will stick with me whenever I ride with furious intent, eat skittles, or touch spiders.

  166. says

    Carlie, Theophontes, Nerd, Algernon, Audley, Ogvorbis, Trinioler, Katherine Lorraine, Aladegorrion, The Ys, Muse, A_Ray, SteveV, Moggie, The Sailor, Cicely, Katrina and Dhorvath, Thank you all so very much. I’m smiling and crying a little.

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  167. Algernon says

    You’ve never been a robber.

    I’ve never been a rapist either.

    Abuse tends to be commonly experienced by abusers, but as an abuse survivor I will honestly be offended if you say that it excuses it.

  168. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Thank you all so very much. I’m smiling and crying a little.

    You’re welcome and I understand.

  169. Arkady says

    Caine {hugs}, sorry to hear about Alfie

    Question for the academic/tech geeks among the horde: I recently had to get a new computer due to old one dying, and it turns out my copy of Endnote X2 is not compatible with Word 2010. I heard vaguely some time ago of an equivalent open-source bibliography program, but for the life of me can’t remember what it was called. Any recommendations? I’m in the final, hectic year of my PhD (I used to think the UK system with 3-4 year time limits was better than the US with indefinite-length PhDs, now that I’m hitting the final year I’m not so sure…) so will need something reliable for thesis-bibliography.

  170. trinioler says

    Caine, I cuddled Munchkin extra hard for you and Alfie today. She seemed to rather enjoy it and went to sleep in my lap while purring.

  171. says

    Algernon:

    Abuse tends to be commonly experienced by abusers, but as an abuse survivor I will honestly be offended if you say that it excuses it.

    Emphatically seconded.

    Arkady, Gyeong Hwa and Aratina Cage, thank you. ♥♥♥

    Trinioler, that’s nice. Love her while you can. :)

  172. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Audley,
    Snow? Ooof.

    We’re expecting somewhere between 4″ and 16″. All depends on where the low sets up off of New Jersey.

  173. Carlie says

    Caine – snuggles for Chas, too.

    We didn’t have snow here, but finally got wood delivered today from about a half hour away and it had been under 6 inches of snow before coming our way.

    Speaking of shoveling, there’s some shit happening on today’s “why I am an atheist” thread if anyone’s sitting around bored.

    Ooo, if anyone has open-source biblio programs, I’d be interested too.

  174. Dhorvath, OM says

    Ogvorbis,
    We aren’t really that far along in autumn yet, snow still feels very distant. Remember that small shovels more often is actually faster than big shovels and injured.
    ___

    Carlie,
    Noted.

  175. Sili says

    pelamun says:

    David, are you still here?

    I thought he was at Mattir’s.

    And I didn’t know oniongirl had a cat.

  176. says

    Carlie:

    Caine – snuggles for Chas, too.

    Thank you. He’s having some tea now, after setting some choice lettuce leaves aside in the ferret tent for Alfie. :sigh:

    Speaking of shoveling, there’s some shit happening on today’s “why I am an atheist” thread if anyone’s sitting around bored.

    I found the entry unfortunate and distasteful, but I’m not going to get in the middle of those comments. I think it was mostly thoughtlessness, hopefully the person that wrote it will comprehend the problems now.

  177. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    Caine, I’m so sorry to hear about Alfie. :( Lots of *hugs* and chocolate coming your way.

  178. Carlie says

    Sili – still sending virtual hugs and chocolate and liquor your way.

    And for everyone – it’s been a hell of a couple of months around here, looking at everybody’s problems together. We need a Spanking Saloon holodeck we can all transport to on the weekends.

  179. says

    Dang, has anyone seen the controversy about James Randi’s partner?

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/fl-amazing-randi-jose-alvarez-identity-theft-20111018,0,3618316.story
    and
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/plantation/fl-amazing-randi-jose-alvarez-identity-20111021,0,6085219.story

    I assume they mean life partner, as in lover. If so, it would seem that Randi fell into the same legal trap that all binational same-sex couples in the USA face since we are not allowed to sponsor our partners for a visa like opposite-sex couples can. Randi would have had it even worse than same-sex families today because the two apparently met in the 1980s before legal recognition of one’s relationship at the state level existed and before we ever had a president who is somewhat sympathetic to the plights of binational same-sex families.

    This just fucking sucks! The news report says his partner is going to plead guilty to stealing someone else’s identity (a man in New York who is still alive), which probably means deportation and a very difficult road ahead for him and Randi.

  180. Algernon says

    Aratina Cage, am I confusing you with some one else or were you recently in a similarly difficult situation with your partner having to leave the country indefinitely? I’ve been gone for a while and I may also be getting confused.

    I don’t mean to be invasive, just hoping things got better.

  181. Sili says

    Carlie says:

    Sili – still sending virtual hugs and chocolate and liquor your way.

    Thanks, but what have I done to deserve such care?

    Algernon says:

    ?

    !

  182. Sili says

    I do not like Andrew Napolitano. He tries to appeal directly to the audience, while turning his back on Jon Stewart who asked the question.

    And he lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

  183. says

    Algernon, you are not confused. That was me. My defacto husband’s visa ran out and he had to leave. Luckily, he was able to come back for a few years for work so we are hoping for the best (repeal of DOMA or sponsorship through work) by the time it becomes an issue for us again. Really, we are very lucky. So many families have no chance like we did and no way to launch a legal fight as some other binational same-sex couples have recently done; most either have to separate or live here or in the foreign country together under a lie. (And I can’t stress enough how if a binational same-sex couple legally weds, the marriage itself is grounds for deportation under federal law. Talk about fucked up!)

  184. says

    If so, it would seem that Randi fell into the same legal trap that all binational same-sex couples in the USA face since we are not allowed to sponsor our partners for a visa like opposite-sex couples can.

    Indeed. (I work in an immigration law clinic on campus, so this is an issue I’ve come across before.)

    A US citizen who is married to a non-citizen can file a Form I-130 petition in order to get hir spouse Legal Permanent Resident (“green card”) status. This is one of the fastest ways to get a green card, since one can file the I-130 and I-485 (application for permanent residence) at the same time (unlike the other family-based petition categories, for which Congress sets annual limits, so one often has to wait years after filing the petition for a visa number to become available). But thanks to DOMA, the most misnamed and ridiculous piece of legislation in history, this doesn’t apply to same-sex couples – even if, as here in Massachusetts, they are legally able to marry under state law. It’s completely fucking stupid.

    Repealing DOMA would be just the tip of the iceberg in fixing America’s screwed-up immigration laws, but it would be a good start. There is absolutely no justification for splitting same-sex couples apart by force, where an opposite-sex couple in the same position would have the right to stay together.

  185. says

    Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum told supporters in Greenville, South Carolina that it was a “wonderful thing” when scientists in Iran lose their lives.

    “On occasion, scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead,” he explained. “I think that’s a wonderful thing, candidly.”

    Yeah. That whole ‘culture of life’ phrase he keeps using? I do not think those words mean what he thinks they mean.

    Because the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth, apparently. Especially if one happens to be a furriner.

  186. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Carlie

    We need a Spanking Saloon holodeck we can all transport to on the weekends.

    That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? It would be such fun to virtually meet the far-flung horde!
    .

    Aratina Cage

    we are not allowed to sponsor our partners for a visa like opposite-sex couples can.

    Fuck. Of course not – that would be too much like recognising opposite-sex couples as real human beings with real relationships. How can people not see how unjust that is?

    And I’ve just realised I don’t know whether – despite the existence of Civil Partnerships – same-sex couples can get “fiancé visas” in the UK either …

  187. says

    Caine,
    More hugs for you and peanut butter for Chas. That story about the lettuce is making me cry. my furry kids will get a little extra scritching tonight.

  188. says

    opposablethumbs: Yes. For most legal purposes, including those of Part 8 of the Immigration Rules, a civil partnership is treated as equivalent to a marriage. So the civil partner of a British citizen can apply for leave to enter and/or remain on the same basis as the husband or wife of a British citizen.

    The rules are still ludicrously restrictive, but at least they treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally.

  189. says

    MikeG:

    More hugs for you and peanut butter for Chas. That story about the lettuce is making me cry. my furry kids will get a little extra scritching tonight.

    Aaw, thank you. Chas is having a tough time, but he’s coping. He’s just so used to having Alfie around, that he does things from habit. I know that extra scritching will be appreciated. :)

  190. says

    Of course, in a sensible world, it wouldn’t be an issue, because it would be possible to live and work wherever the hell one pleases without having to plead for the permission of a government in order to do so, and a person’s rights would not be defined by the accidental factor of where xe happened to be born. But that’s a faraway goal. All one can do is seek to make it better one step at a time.

  191. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    A quick google suggests that same-sex couples can in fact get a same-sex equivalent of the “fiancé visa” to the UK.
    .

    Apropos of nothing (TET rules OK) I was suddenly reminded earlier today that Carlotta Ikeda is perhaps the most wonderful dancer the world has ever known (British understatement ur doing it wrong but I don’t care). Well, in butoh anyway. I am a dance ignoramus, but she is so powerful it takes your breath away (I admit I don’t know much – hardly anything about dance. I’m mostly thinking of one time I saw her perform when she was younger – strength incarnate. I’ve read she is still like that even now that she is older).

  192. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Oh, sorry Walton – I was writing (slowly) while you were posting. I thought you would certainly know all about this, but wasn’t certain if you were around right that moment (and it felt a bit presumptuous to just say “oh, Walton will know” – you know?)

  193. says

    USAtoady had an article about Unvaccinated behind largest U.S. measles outbreak in years

    I was so surprised that the comments I’ve read so far seriously smack down the anti-vaxxers crowd.

    I expected less from the people who read USA Today. (It came up on FARK.)
    ++++++++++++++++
    Yeah, I was slightly bothered by the latest “why I am an atheist” post. I thought the post was touching and honest, if clumsy and unaware.

    I thought the vituperative attacks on the writer were unjustified. A simple “ya know, this is where you fucked up” would have been sufficient.

  194. says

    Caine, I’m so sorry about Alfie. I know it’s hard on pets when they lose a compaions, so I hope that Chas handles it okay in the next few days. Chocolate and alcoholic beverages added to the pile.

    Immigration and marriage: people here have a much greater degree of experience in this area and it’s currently under discussion, but my question is a little bit off the current topic of same-sex partner inequity under the system. I have a cousin (once removed I think, but my extended family is pretty close) who is married to a Danish woman. She is here illegally and has been for years (I’d guess a total of eight or so based on their son’s age). I believe she’s using the fact that she’s not gotten a green card to avoid having to contribute to her household. She keeps lamenting that they have no money and that’s such a shame she can’t work to help out.

    My aunts who are resident aliens have told her that she should just get it taken care of, but she whines that they don’t understand it’s so hard because she’s currently here illegally. Is this true? Is it actually the case that it would be difficult for her to get residency because she’s been here illegally since her marriage?

    I should note that I personally don’t like her because I think she’s the laziest person I’ve ever met. She is sleeping or hiding every time I go to visit my elderly great-aunt, who they live with off of, and their place is perpetually filthy. (Not simply messy mind you, it’s actually a bit gross.) It feels like she just wants to not do anything at all, whether it’s help an old lady clean up or hold down a job.

  195. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I thought the vituperative attacks on the writer were unjustified. A simple “ya know, this is where you fucked up” would have been sufficient.

    Eh. This is another one of those things where… it’s an open wound for some people.

  196. Carlie says

    Aratina, I’m glad it’s worked out for now. I hope it continues to do so. Also, very good to see you around more again. :)

    The Sailor – most of the more vituperative comments were aimed at other commenters who swooped in to say there was nothing wrong with anything in the essay at all. And yeah, for people who are seeing that attitude for the five hundredth time, I think they had reason to be upset.

  197. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    Hugs and snuggles for Chas, and chocolatehugsswillwhateverelse to Caine. I don’t care if it’s a bird, a rat, or a dog – losing a pet too early is never easy.
    ————————————————-

    It must be realizing that the anniversary of WinAce’s death is drawing close, or my job is really getting to me, but for the past two nights I’ve had bouts of crying. For the former, WinAce was only a few months younger than me when he died. I think that really drove home just how fragile and brief life is/can be. You’d think losing my dad just two months earlier would have done the job.

    Tonight I’m tired, sad, and frustrated all at once. I feel like stabbing something or someone. We wouldn’t happen to have any life-size dummies of the Teabag Party figureheads, or maybe of the people at my place of work, in the back of the Saloon?

    No? Right…off to play some DDO and hope that killing vampires and such will help me feel better.

  198. says

    Classical Cipher “Eh. This is another one of those things where… it’s an open wound for some people.”
    yeah, I get it.

    Carlie, I do get it, but when I left the thread they were attacking the author. I thought the author had nothing but best intentions.

    I didn’t find ‘man-boy’ insulting, it’s kind of an accurate description. It’s a boys thinking process stuck in an ever aging body. (That was badly phrased, like the author’s)

    It is called ‘developmentally disabled’ for a reason.

    I live next door to a foster family that has 2 developmentally disabled children. The boy is around 10 and kind of a bully, but when you call him on it he’s fairly amenable to reconsidering his actions. And not sullenly. e.g. He gets it that you shouldn’t throw rocks at the (tethered) dog.

    His sister is about 14, she’s sprouting out all over, and she has no idea why ‘uncle jimmy’ is bringing her presents. Her foster parents seem aware of this.

    I’ve lived next to these kids for 4 years. Soon she will be a woman-girl. I’m sorry if that offends, but men and women are treated differently in our society, and I would be stupid not to acknowledge it.

    I just try to be a good neighbor, and treat people the same, but I do make allowances.

    Does that make me condescending?

  199. First Approximation says

    I didn’t find ‘man-boy’ insulting, it’s kind of an accurate description. It’s a boys thinking process stuck in an ever aging body. (That was badly phrased, like the author’s)

    Yeah….

  200. First Approximation says

    Bwwwwwwwwwwhahahahahah

    From there:

    The faith of Camping’s most ardent followers was not swayed by the recent news.

    According to Fred Store, a longtime Family Radio listener, the general belief is “Judgment Day did in fact occur on May 21.”

    Wow.

  201. Carlie says

    The Sailor – but would you use them in a story about yourself, as an example of what a kind and generous person you are to be so good to those poor lesser people? I really don’t think you would. That’s what’s really being objected to, that the guy is so proud of himself for being kind to such a lesser being and doing so while thinking that he’s so superior.

    I’ll stop, because I know this is a refuge from other threads where people don’t want to have stuff dragged in. But I did make a lot of comments on the other one, if you want to see my viewpoint on it.

  202. David Marjanović, OM says

    David, are you still here?

    On rare occasions. :-) I’m busy with (among other things) a manuscript that has come back from peer review and needs additions, I suddenly have a social life in meatspace this month, and Freethoughtblogs is still much worse than ScienceBlogs at dealing with long threads.

    I still haven’t mentioned (why do I keep forgetting such things?) that teh kittehz chirp like Jurassic Park “compies”*. It’s quite incredible. At least one of them can meow, but only does it at special occasions.

    Sili, what goes how? And yes, I was in the Mattir House of Pets and Chaos (…Mattir’s term), now I’m at onion girl’s Apartment of Purple and Glitter and Stars and Butterflies where the cats have their own room (but don’t stay in it), tomorrow a Horde shall gather at the National Museum of Natural History in the Smithsonian Institution and I’m probably expected to give them a guided tour, and then the Mattir family plans to take me on a trip through West Virginia and its roadcut geology/paleontology. Then, Las Vegas; then, Los Angeles, and I still don’t know how many people want to meet me and/or each other there. Bliss all over, it’s just all too short. :-(

    Caine, *hugs* *chocolate* *tea with honeybush custom-mixed for onion girl* *more hugs*

    * In the book and the movie, cat-sized or smaller, predaceous, mildly venomous, attack in hordes large enough to kill people; in the book, stupidly lizardlike, complete with specifically lizard/snake skin, behavior like seen in some lizards and nowhere else, and all the rest of Crichton’s ignorance. “Based” on the Triassic (not Jurassic or Cretaceous) Procompsognathus, which was – in hindsight – a bad idea, because that animal is known from little more than a leg; the skull that came with it was identified as belonging to a crocodile-in-the-widest-sense in 1992.

  203. Algernon says

    Then, Las Vegas; then, Los Angeles, and I still don’t know how many people want to meet me and/or each other there. Bliss all over, it’s just all too short. :-(

    *sniff*

    :(

  204. ChasCPeterson says

    Caine, I do not doubt it.
    It’s the young who need reminding. Or get it anyway. *shrug*

  205. ChasCPeterson says

    Yeah, but aw fuck I’m being an asshole I guess.
    I am old and dissatisfied.
    So what: enjoy yer youth; what the fuck. I’ll shut up.

  206. says

    Is this true? Is it actually the case that it would be difficult for her to get residency because she’s been here illegally since her marriage?

    Unfortunately, yes. I haven’t dealt with cases of this kind and don’t have any direct expertise; I’ve just spent the evening trawling through statutes, law review articles and the USCIS website to check, but I’ll have to do some more research before I give you a definite answer. But, since she is unlawfully present, my understanding is that she can’t file a Form I-485 application for adjustment of status from within the United States. Instead, she would have to leave the country and apply for an immigrant visa through a US embassy or consulate in her home country. Unfortunately, due to a nasty xenophobic piece of legislation passed in 1996 called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), those who have been unlawfully present in the US for more than one year are thereafter inadmissible to the US for ten years. So, if I’m understanding this correctly… if an undocumented migrant who is married to a US citizen wants to become an LPR, she has to leave the country; but, having left, she will not be allowed back into the country for ten years. It is possible to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility – Form I-601 – but this will only be granted if the applicant’s US-citizen-spouse would experience “extreme hardship” in the event of her being denied admission.

    (Obligatory disclaimer: This is not legal advice. And I’m also not certain that I’m right; I’ll do some more digging and confirm at a later time.)

  207. says

    if an undocumented migrant who is married to a US citizen wants to become an LPR, she has to leave the country; but, having left, she will not be allowed back into the country for ten years.

    (That is, an undocumented migrant who has been unlawfully present for more than one year. If xe has been present for more than 180 days but less than one year, xe is inadmissible for three years. Again, there is the possibility of applying for a waiver on the ground of extreme hardship. But obviously it’s very risky.)

  208. says

    (This just illustrates the way that the present US immigration laws tear families apart, and seek to make people – including children – suffer merely for being born in the wrong place and for crossing a border without permission.)

  209. Esteleth says

    US immigration law is completely fucked up and deeply cruel. The things it does to LGBT binational couples is horrid.

    I have a pair of friends who are engaged. They’re utterly perfect for each other. One is American, one is not. They decided to not plan their wedding (they live in MA) because that would look like the non-American is intending to overstay her visa. So they (both highly educated in fields that desperately need talent) are planning to emigrate to the country where the one can sponsor her wife for residence.

  210. chigau (meh) says

    Caine
    re Jack’s ass
    As a fifteen-year-old I didn’t respond to his 30-something ass.
    As a fifty-something, I do.
    Isn’t life strange.

  211. says

    Chigau:

    As a fifteen-year-old I didn’t respond to his 30-something ass.
    As a fifty-something, I do.

    Ya know, I understand that perfectly. Life is just so eminently fucked up.

    I’m doing that sort of thing with books right now. I never read many young adult books when I was young, so I’m doing it now, in my fifties. The Monstrumologist is the one I’m currently reading.

  212. chigau (meh) says

    Caine
    I’m counting it as a “first!”.
    I’m also liking the Five Easy Pieces sound track.
    —-
    I just went to make a peanut butter sandwich.
    I’m out.
    Does Chas have any to share?

  213. trinioler says

    Can I just say how much I hate, hate, hate, HATE, the whole “color-blind” idea?

    Dealing with it at Occupy Vancouver’s facebook page. One woman spoke out about a need for a safe space for women. She was immediately challenged and asked what had happened to make her feel unsafe, “I was unaware of any violent assaults that had happened.”

    Oy and *facepalm*. Then there was the whole, “There is a safe space for humans, period.” Which is just…. rrrgghhh.

    FINALLY got him to concede there may be a need after more women spoke up about their experiences and how uncomfortable they had felt at times. But he’s still harping on the whole “segregation” and “separate” issue.

    This from a guy that claims the following resume:
    “.like when i fought hard at the 1st United Church in the DTES for a separate women’s section or refuge for women because they were being sexually assaulted…there is so much to me you don’t know…..i think women should be seperate…like when in college i advocated for a safe house for battered women in a swanky neighbourhood in N. Van but got shut down. I have no patience for segregation in the Occupy Van site as all are equal and safe and welcome….!”

    But having women speak up, and having guys tell him to fucking listen is actually having an effect. The women are eloquent and passionate, including testimonies like this:
    ” I agree with the OP. I don’t think men are always aware of what makes women feel unsafe. When I was facilitating last weekend, I had a man come on stage and grab me from behind. When I stepped off the stage, I was surrounded by men and it wasn’t comfortable. They were supportive, but hugs aren’t something that should be demanded. None of these things were noticed by the men around me. They aren’t sensitized to how easily women feel unsafe, sometimes. the amount of intoxication on site deters me from going by when it’s late and makes me nervous when I’m there/leaving – yet, when I brought up the issue of intoxication the first weekend, all that happened was an announcement was made that someone had asked about it – despite the lengthy debate about smoking on site. I feel like when women say what they need to feel safe/what makes them feel unsafe, they need to be listened to more attentively.”

  214. Algernon says

    Crap. I shouldn’t have looked :(

    Awww… animals affect me more some times than people.

    (Yes, I know, I’m not going to bother with the conflict there right now. Another time.)

  215. trinioler says

    Oh and this great testimonial, from the same woman, Sasha Wiley:

    Veritas Integritas, I will try again here. I, as a women, don’t want to need to be separate. I want the men around me to understand that touching me isn’t necessarily okay, and say something when they notice men being physical with women, entering their personal space, and presuming access. if these things improve, there won’t be the need for any separation. But as it is, there are things that happen on site that make women feel unsafe, and we don’t want to be shut out of the movement. Given that we can’t control men’s behaviour or the extent to which they put themselves out to keep us feeling safe, the request is about making a safe space for ourselves, because that is all that we can control.

  216. trinioler says

    ARGH, and now one of the women is saying this:

    sounds like your at a bar and not the occupy sight…I can appriciate fending off drunks and men grabbing from behind…but I wasn’t there so I have no comment other than; get a thicker skin or stay away from place you might be suggected to unwanted drunk hugs, or getting grabbed from behind.

    What did we decide to call these people?

  217. trinioler says

    AUGH!

    Boundaries? Women violate my boundaries all the time. I work with a women who demands and guilt trips hugs from me all the time even though i have told her i am uncomfortable ….. i know it’s not the same.. i am not physically threatened by her, but still people violate my boundaries all the time….

  218. chigau (meh) says

    Now we are watching Catch 22.
    The SO has never seen.
    During the opening credits he is commenting on the accents of the dogs and crows and loons.

  219. says

    Chigau:

    Does Chas have any to share?

    Share? Peanut Butter? Those words don’t go together in the Chas ‘verse. Honestly, it acts on him like a drug, a nice little nosh of rattie downers.

    Algernon:

    Crap. I shouldn’t have looked :(

    Oh no, don’t be sad. I don’t want anyone to be sad. Alfie had a very good life and his death was a quiet one, just went to sleep and didn’t wake up.

  220. says

    Speaking of the stupidity of immigration laws, apparently Alabama’s draconian immigration statute is completely destroying the state’s agricultural economy, which relies heavily on undocumented migrant labour.

    There’s something so sick and twisted about the whole situation… everyone knows that the farm economy in the southern US is very, very, very reliant on undocumented migrants. Yet there’s so much political resistance (backed up by stupid xenophobic arguments) against giving undocumented workers amnesty and a path to citizenship. Because, while people are evidently happy to hire undocumented workers, it would, apparently, be “un-American” actually to give them civil rights and protect them from exploitation and abuse. *sigh*

  221. says

    Immigration reform is a basic human rights issue. The treatment of migrants in the US – detention, deportation, tearing families apart, and depriving undocumented migrants of basic civil rights even though the economy relies on their labour, and so on – is appalling beyond belief. IIRAIRA in 1996 made it a great deal worse. And since the government doesn’t even pay for legal counsel for aliens in removal proceedings – immigration courts have no equivalent to the public defender system that exists in criminal cases – many migrants aren’t even aware of the legal remedies they have even under the grossly-unsatisfactory existing law.

  222. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Slimebag, impersonating an OM, in the Jim Mader thread. That means I’m out of there.

    Alfie had a very good life and his death was a quiet one, just went to sleep and didn’t wake up.

    The picture actually made me smile a little for that reason. I’m glad he seems to have gone so peacefully.

  223. Algernon says

    Who is that person, and why are they referring to SC that way? From the slimepit thread?

  224. Algernon says

    Alfie had a very good life and his death was a quiet one, just went to sleep and didn’t wake up.

    No no, it’s not that. It’s just the unbearable juxtaposition of cute and gone.

    Though it’s a nice momento mori.

  225. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Who is that person, and why are they referring to SC that way? From the slimepit thread?

    As far as I can tell, it’s to make juvenile jokes by capitalizing certain letters of her surnym. If there’s another reason, I don’t know about it, but it’s a useful shibboleth.

  226. Algernon says

    Oh ok, I wasn’t sure if it was that or a TM incarnation. Fuck if I know. All I know is that they don’t have much of a point other than a list of people they don’t like.

  227. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I’m guessing “Slimebag” is the demonym for denizens of the Slimepit.

    It’s mine, anyway.

  228. chigau (meh) says

    Kseniya
    Seconded on the “yes” for Five Easy Pieces
    Just understand it’s now a “period piece” and the blatant sexism is part of the “milieu”.

  229. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Oh ok, I wasn’t sure if it was that or a TM incarnation. Fuck if I know. All I know is that they don’t have much of a point other than a list of people they don’t like.

    It’s true. But now that TU’s blatantly lying about me, I think we can be fairly certain it’s not TM (I don’t think that’s his style).

  230. chigau (meh) says

    Caine
    I have Eastern European in my background.
    Death photos are completely normal.

  231. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Death photos are completely normal.

    I remember reading Wisconsin Death Trip for a class. I cannot for the life of me remember why. It was such a strange, sad little book.

  232. says

    CC:

    I think we can be fairly certain it’s not TM (I don’t think that’s his style).

    I’d be extremely surprised if that was TM, given that he does respect those who have garnered a Molly. Also, he posts here as nothing sacred these days.

    It’s someone who has been smacked around by OMs, and there are a lot of idiots in that category.

  233. Algernon says

    But now that TU’s blatantly lying about me, I think we can be fairly certain it’s not TM (I don’t think that’s his style).

    No, I agree. That could never be TM. TU has gone on to be a complete liar, much more like a slimepit poster and really concerned about the word cunt.

  234. Algernon says

    I remember reading Wisconsin Death Trip for a class. I cannot for the life of me remember why. It was such a strange, sad little book.

    Ooh I have that! It’s really a nice and interesting little collection.

  235. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    TM is still over at SB, doing duty on threads with real and dumb trolls (txpip*r, S*lach**, Sh*l*h), as a Yahoomess. I don’t think he has migrated to FTB yet, nor do I know if he will.

  236. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    837 Responses to “Episode CCLXVI: The Pharyngula bump?”

    837 comments? I only see 41 … What is up with yesterday’s comments on TET?

  237. says

    Nerd: Well, according to the same post by the latest troll, you’ve been beatified. (What do I have to do to become the Blessed Walton?)

    (And the troll has also appended “OM” to his name without being a Molly recipient. Perhaps he’s a member of the Order of Merit, but somehow I doubt it. Alternatively, maybe it’s national Award Oneself A Title To Which One Has No Claim Day: if so, I want to be Duke of Devonshire, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and a Knight of the Order of the Elephant.)

  238. says

    Theophontes:

    837 comments? I only see 41 … What is up with yesterday’s comments on TET?

    Pagination kicks in at 800 comments. See the ‘older comments’ above Leave a Reply? That will take you to the first page.

  239. says

    @Walton

    But anyway, I’m sorry for filling the thread up with rants. I’m very sleepy and should go to bed.

    Please don’t be sorry over that. I really appreciated your rants today about immigration laws.

    @Carlie from #780 in previous comments:
    Thanks! *blush* I am mostly lurking these days but am still around.

  240. says

    @Caine,

    Algernon was right. Alfie’s death photo teared me up a little. I think it’s the first one I’ve seen outside of the news. Such a cute little rat he was.

  241. chigau (meh) says

    Because We got left-over breadandbuns from community events I have not made bread in almost a month.
    Wish me luck.

  242. amblebury says

    Resoundingly seconded, Chigau.

    I just picked up the news about Alfie – I’ve been following. I used to have a pet rat, Wes. He was brilliant.

    A few of you know I’m dealing with the death of Sandy, my fourteen-year-old border collie, two days ago.

    Hurts, all right.

  243. says

    Partial bancrupty…

    For those who need a smile (and like “cute kids stories”, I’m aware not everybody thinks them to be as cute as the parents):
    The following scene just happened at here.

    Daughter #1 (4 yo) picks up a sponge, holds it against her ear and goes “hello, who’s there?”
    Her dad asks: Oh, is it a phone?
    She gives him a long, hard, “are you stupid or what?” look and tells him: No, I’m only playing, that’s a sponge!

  244. julian says

    This is late but

    I’m sorry to hear about Alfie. I know it may not mean much but at least he died surrounded by friends and those who cared for him.

  245. says

    Fun at Laden’s :

    Do not try to draw similarities to Men’s Rights Activists & confirmed bigots like the klu klux klan or feminists. The Men’s Rights Movement is a a rapidly growing movement for the betterment of men, women, their families & society wide egalitarianism. There is no more justified & desperately needed movement today, then the cause of men’s rights.

    Posted by: Razlo | October 27, 2011 11:02 PM[kill]​[hide comment]

    *BLINK*

  246. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    …confirmed bigots like the klu klux klan or feminists.

    What the
    Wha
    whtfk
    oh fuck it i don’t even care anymore

  247. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    @amblebury #56 – my sympathies re Sandy. Fourteen years is a long time, and they leave such a big hole in your life.

  248. Carlie says

    So sorry, amblebury. There’s been a lot of loss lately.

    837 comments? I only see 41 … What is up with yesterday’s comments on TET?

    I was the opposite – kept refreshing yesterday’s page thinking “why are there no new comments?” The link to newer didn’t show up until I had exited and started the page new.

  249. says

    Sympathies, Amblebury.

    Speaking of MRAs, the self-styled Marxist is still going on in the MRA thread. He is so hilariously blind; it’s oddly cathartic just calling him a moron.

  250. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I suspect that TU is Slanted Science. The MO is typical of it. IIRC it nominated itself for a Molly. Must have self-awarded one.

  251. says

    OK, mostly caught up.

    Esteleth
    Bu-hu-hu-hu, you stole my MRA-friend.
    I didn’t read all of it, but that seems to be his game: Try to play “good cop” by making compliments about “how reasonable” somebody is (what happend? 20 posts ago I was the only reasonable person there *cry*) and when they’re not falling for him, start sprouting bullshit.

    amblebury
    I’m sorry about your collie.