Episode CCLXXXVI: Escape from Wisconsin!


I’m back from my brief diversion into the savage wilderness of Wisconsin, so I thought it only appropriate to tell you all about the wonders that Governor Scott Walker has wrought.

I saw a lot of “recall Walker” signs. How can they do that to such a sweet guy?

(Episode CCLXXXV: The monkey does the work.)

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Escape from Wisconsin!

    Hey, there’s good things in Wisconsin. Give me a few days and I’ll think of some.

  2. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    More disconcerting than how bestial the Koch Brothers are in their feelings of entitlement, is how they pronounce their own surname. They owe absolutely everything to their predecessors, …really… everything. They should at least show a modicum of respect by learning to pronounce their own surname. Come on kiddies… KoCH…. with ending like the KH in Khartoum… at least get one thing right.

  3. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    I might be banned from Ed Brayton’s blog. I just criticized Ron Paul and “his hateful ideology.” I know Ed doesn’t like Paul as a candidate but Ed is a libertarian who might not like someone calling his pet socio-political fascination “hateful.”

  4. Happiestsadist says

    ‘Tis, that’s a pretty impressively dumb reason to ban someone. Hell, most of the libertoonians I’ve seen just try to somehow claim Paul’s not a true Scotsman anyway. But then, expecting much sense from a libertarian about libertarianism is a bit much to hope for. (And I say that enjoying many of Ed’s posts.)

  5. alysonmiers says

    I might soon be the cause of a great deal of consternation on my grandfather’s part. He recently found my (atheist) novel on Amazon and I can’t stop him from reading it. My grandfather the Presbyterian minister’s son is about to find out that his granddaughter is a heathen. I’m trying to convince myself that he’ll be understanding. He’s a very loving grandfather, really.

  6. alysonmiers says

    @happiestsadist Thank you. I honestly don’t know how he’ll feel about the philosophy involved. I’m hoping he just goes with the “oh, look, my granddaughter put a lot of effort into this story!” angle.

    @jamescasterlin it is called Charlnder’s Walk.

    @Tis, if Ed bans you from his blog, it’ll be his loss.

  7. says

    Happy Monkey, all! I hope the holiday was good for everyone. It was a nice, quiet one here, the Cephalopodmas trees were beautiful, the gifties appreciated.

    We watched movies, Mister made his whiskey hamburgers and we had pumpkin pie for dessert. :D

    We were going to go into town today to hunt for a blu-ray player* but it’s very, very windy, so we’ll go tomorrow instead.

    *Any suggestions on this score?

  8. bastionofsass says

    Ugh, this insipid comment about Christopher Hitchens was published today in The Baltimore Sun in Susan Reimer’s column:

    But the 2011 death that haunts me most is that of the eloquent essayist and contrarian Christopher Hitchens. His intellect was so broad and so on fire that he was writing until almost his last breath. But he disparaged Mother Teresa and he titled a book on religion “God is Not Great.”

    I cannot help but wonder where he is now. In an over-populated heaven, filled with all the believers he disdained and a God who forgave him? Or in an underpopulated hell, with a few defiant friends, a bottle of booze, a pile of books and all the time in the universe to talk?

    Uh, Susan, Christopher is gone. He’s DEAD. There’s no need to “wonder where he is now.” He surely didn’t go to some mythological place ruled by a mysterious magical superbeing, nor is he partying in the equally mythological hell. His corpse has been donated to medical science.

    I did chuckle at your implication that you have some population density data for both heaven and hell.

    Your silly speculations about Hitchens’ post-death whereabouts are good examples of the kind of superstitious nonsense that exasperated Hitchens.

  9. says

    In an over-populated heaven

    in an underpopulated hell

    Hmmm. Seems to me it would be the other way around, no? (We have population stats for imaginary places now?)

    a few defiant friends, a bottle of booze, a pile of books and all the time in the universe to talk?

    Hell would seem to bear a resemblance to my everyday life.

  10. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I cannot help but wonder where he is now. In an over-populated heaven, filled with all the believers he disdained and a God who forgave him? Or in an underpopulated hell, with a few defiant friends, a bottle of booze, a pile of books and all the time in the universe to talk?

    So… hell is populated by a few defiant atheists. Murderers, rapists, everyone but those nasty unrepentant atheists can be forgiven.

  11. shouldbeworking says

    If Beatrice is correct, a peaceful nonbeliever like me would be much safer in hell, as well as more entertained by the occupants and better educated by the books. Plus the booze? Where do I sign up?

  12. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Hm, it is difficult to conclude who exactly goes to Susan’s hell only from those two sentences, but it does sound like an interesting place to be. If nothing else, it wouldn’t be too crowded. I hate crowds. Books, wine and interesting conversation on the other hand…mmm.

  13. chigau (難しい) says

    Caine
    I still own a VHS player.
    I expect to get to blu-ray after the next innovation.

  14. alysonmiers says

    Well, Susan Reimer makes Hell sound like a lot more fun. I’ll take the booze, books and good friends, thanks.

  15. says

    The Sailor:

    Caine, any rat stories from Xmas?

    Oh, nothing standout. Rubin is still a major skitterbiscuit, but adjusting well. Chas kept busy trying to steal any cephalopod ornament I was working on (and did make off with a squid at one point) and stomping through my paint palette. Esme should be a carpet remover, she digs and chews until she gets sizable pieces up, given the opportunity. (No carpet in my studio, but there is carpet in the bathroom – which I intend to get rid of anyway.)

    They all got a small plate of baked beans for an Xmas treat (all three of them think baked beans are the finest of foods) and peanut butter for dessert.

    Chas & Esme both evinced interest in my, uh, smoking material and successfully stole a joint a few days ago, took me hours to find it. They only chomped on it a few times.

  16. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    I still own a VHS player.

    So what? I still own a manual typewriter. That doesn’t mean I still use it.

    I’m thinking of giving the keys to this guy to use in a steampunk keyboard.

  17. says

    Chigau:

    I still own a VHS player.

    Yeah, we do too. I want Serenity* and Futurama 6 on blu-ray though, so it’s time for a player.

    *I have the DVD, but they put all the good extras on blu-ray these days.

  18. ibyea says

    @Tis
    I really don’t get the love for Ron Paul. Even among liberals. Seriously, the guy is loony when it comes to economic ideas, and plus there are issues like abortion and racism which for me seriously discredits him.

  19. says

    Thanks Caine, that was exactly the kinda fix I was looking for;-)
    ++++++++++++
    I had a perfect Xmas, I didn’t receive any gifts and I got to not see my family*, hang out in my sweats watching Dr Who.

    * I love my family, I just don’t like most of them

  20. carlie says

    Today the radio show Tell Me More interviewed the doctor in charge of the adolescent gender transition clinic that was the focus of the NYTimes article I and a few other people linked to a week or so ago: website.

  21. Julien Rousseau says

    HappiestSadist, can i take you up on your offer from a couple of threads ago:

    Julien Rousseau @ #11: I have rather excellent dermatographic urticaria, I could likely do that up myself with the blunt end of a bobby pin. It’d be a lot easier than applying chili to yourself.

    I would have preferred to do it myself as seeing it in the flesh (quite literally) would be more impactful than a picture but my attempt was not legible enough.

    So if you could do it for me that would be nice. My email is firstname.lastname and it is a gmail adress, or you can post it on the web and link to it in this thread if you want to.

    I also have other various pictures from the web but like I said in my original post, what I am looking for is something which says:

    “There is no god!”

    With the exclamation point showing that they got it wrong when they said “there is no god but allah and mohammed is his prophet”, they should have stopped after the first 4 words to get it right.

    Another I would like is:

    “Skin writing is not a miracle.”

    If they believe that skin writing is a miracle and the message says it is not a miracle then it is a logical contradiction.

    There is of course an approximately 0% chance that they will stop being deluded about their god but if I can introduce a little bit of rational thinking so that when somebody claims something is a miracle they don’t take it at face value and try to first explain it naturally then that would be a good thing (and something with a small chance of happening).

    Thanks in advance for the pictures.

  22. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @Caine,

    Mister made his whiskey hamburgers

    I have to know what one of these is…

  23. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    My 36:

    Sorry… I am alcoherent today (out for boxing day lunch and drinking ever since) so that didn’t come out at all right…

    Pray tell, what is a whiskey hamburger?

  24. John Morales says

    Is it bad of me to be amused at the strangely inappropriate spamming I see before me?

    Recent Comments

          Toy Story Party Ideas on Steve Jobs is dead

  25. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    ‘Tis Himself,
    I think that to those on the left, Paul’s comparative pacifism is appealing. I have to say that I wish that we could pull back from our military commitments in Europe, Korea, etc. The US is no longer in a position to be the globe’s policeman…the Pax Americana–in all its bloody, war-filled glory–is over.

    I also think that there is such disillusionment on the left with gummint, that many are tempted by the idea of shrinking it. Let’s face it, there are stupid folks on the left as well.

    The problem with politics is that we all have things we value above all else, and the left is much worse at putting those aside so that something good can be achieved.

    Frankly, I am wondering whether Paul might try a 3rd party bid when he fails to get the nomination, especially if he comes close. The most likely nominees are certainly no friend to his agenda.

  26. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    I’m feeling really very sorry for myself today. It’s just me and one sproglet in the house, and all I wanted to do was sit in my new jimjams and catch up on Mark Watches Doctor Who. But my connection is buggy and it appears to be entirely up to the whim of a capricious and sadistic interweb god whether I can stare slackjawed at what I want to any given moment.

    Oh, my first world problems.

  27. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    Ginger was available at least as far back as The Forme of Cury, and was a component of the powder forte spice mixture that crops up in period recipes.

    Best of luck, alysonmiers.

    8) It’s not Oklahoma.
    -

  28. says

    “the left is much worse at putting those aside so that something good can be achieved.”

    ARID, nope. The right is fractured between crazy and insane. They are doubling down on teh stupid to win the primaries. No way in hell they can field a candidate that can win the general election.

  29. shouldbeworking says

    Typewriter? I still have my slide rule and I know how to use it. One day I had just loaned out my two calculators to students for a physics quiz when I realized I didn’t have the answer key. Out comes the slide rule and I have the answers worked out. None of the students believed I had the right answers.

    I didn’t know Wisconsin was known for its cheese. Must be some local fad.

  30. carlie says

    Reasons Wisconsin is good:

    3) Farmer’s market in Madison
    2) all the restaurants along the way between the university campus and the farmer’s market in Madison

  31. Happiestsadist says

    Julien: as it turns out, our camera is not just out of batteries, apparently it’s broken. Sorry. :( (I wanted to use my Stupid Human Trick for good!)

  32. Tethys says

    Reasons why Wisconsin is good….
    9) it has shore on Lake Michigan!

    8) And Lake Superior

    7) apostle islands / sea caves

    6) lake trout

    7) blueberries

    6) some of my best friends live there

    5) football team owned by the city of Green Bay

    4) Beer

    3-1 Cheese

  33. Rey Fox says

    Oh, and the House on the rock, and Taliesen. If I can get a few days off this year, I want to do a cheesehead road trip, since it’s not too terribly far from me.

  34. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Mark Watches Doctor Who.

    Hahaha! I’ve been reading almost nothing but Mark Watches and Mark Reads for like, weeks.

  35. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @Caine,

    …done up with herbs and spices and flamed with whiskey at the end. Tasty.

    I can’t even guess how one would discover flambé and hamburgers, I have never managed to actually light alcohol even on the xmas pudding :D

  36. shouldbeworking says

    Thanks for the link Weed Monkey. I really didn’t know Wisconsin was famous for its cheese. Occasionally I see plates from Idaho up here in Alberta so I know Idaho grows potatoes.

  37. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    football team owned by the city of Green Bay

    Nope, wrong. The Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned company.

    Green Bay Packers, Inc., has been a publicly owned, nonprofit corporation since Aug. 18, 1923, when original articles of incorporation were filed with Wisconsin’s secretary of state.

    A total of 4,750,937 shares is owned by 112,158 stockholders none of whom receives any dividend on the initial investment.

  38. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Caine,

    Mister’s a pyro.

    So am I but I draw the line at burning drinkable alcohol!

    I can see I have missed out on a whole genre of cookery.

  39. Tethys says

    Lacrosse Wisconsin is home to the giant six pack

    Nope, wrong. The Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned company.

    Well that’s even better. A publicly owned non-profit professional sports team.

  40. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Hah, my feeling-sorry-for-myself post was originally composed at about 2 this afternoon and did not post because, yes, the co0nnection went down. Mr kristinc came home a few minutes ago and did some jiggery-pokery and now it’s popped up out of the ether. :/

    Classical_cipher! High five for nerdy flailing and fansquee and gifs! o/*

  41. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    The Sailor: “No way in hell they can field a candidate that can win the general election.”

    To those of us old enough to remember the elections in 1980 and 2000, your reassurances are…well, not reassuring. Americans are stupid and getting stupider. They are also racist as fuck. If the wrong voters stay home on election day, we could easily have a President Gingrich or President Bachman. The only hope I hold out is a third party bid by Ron Paul.

  42. Julien Rousseau says

    Happiestsadist:

    Julien: as it turns out, our camera is not just out of batteries, apparently it’s broken. Sorry. :( (I wanted to use my Stupid Human Trick for good!)

    Oh well, thanks anyway. I have a variety of samples from the web, just not as targeted.

  43. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    … and high five for getting Classical Cipher’s nick all fucked up! Sorry.

  44. changeable moniker says

    arids:

    To those of us old enough to remember the elections in 1980 and 2000, your reassurances are…well, not reassuring.

    Some of us (even those of us outside the USA) remember them, and even (!) some of the the other elections …

  45. shouldbeworking says

    Wow, the school board lawyers and the chemistry teacher next door would love to see that!

  46. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Still brings a smile to my face. One of our final displays before winding the company up was this one. If it hadn’t been for 9/11 we would still be going but these days we just fire a couple of much smaller shows a year.

  47. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I got lots of nice yarn for Christmas. So I can do lots of cool projects. :)

    Also “Religion Explained” by Pascal Boyer. So far it’s awesome.

    How about youse guys?

  48. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Good evening SallyStrange…

    Snuff (excellent), Last Continent (surprising omission from my bookshelves over the years)

    Bottle of Merlot

    Beer

    2 chocolate santas (white with darker hightlights and dark with light highlights)

    Assorted favourtite foodstuffs

    Nice XD

  49. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Favorite gifts given: plush E. Coli for mom (she’s a nurse), plush H. pylorii (ulcer-causing bacterium) for sister’s baby, and plush bright green nerve cell for brother’s baby.

    Still haven’t gotten into Terry Pratchett. Oh well. At least I know I have something to look forward to someday.

  50. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Nice new pajamas, a cordless screwdriver, a block plane, some hard to find perfume decants I was wishing for, fantastic merino wool boot socks (my mother in law has been well trained in the art of gift socks and I look forward to them all fall and winter). I’m a lucky person.

  51. carlie says

    Ben – nice closeups!

    I eschew gifts for myself at Christmas. That said, I got myself the comfiest pair of pajamas ever at Kmart the day after thanksgiving, so I think that counts, and I got myself the cookbook “Make the bread, buy the butter”, got a little money from my in-laws, and the package from my parents hasn’t arrived yet.

  52. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Still haven’t gotten into Terry Pratchett.

    I got into him in the very early days when he was somewhat sillier – I was much sillier then, so his writing really appealed to me. Over the years his writing has matured and though it is still funny, the themes are more deeply developed. Snuff is another book centring around Vimes so it is somewhat darker than a book like Unseen Academicals (as was Nightwatch and Thud.)

  53. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Nice, kristinc! I got some nice warm socks as well. But my brother-in-law got LOTS of socks. On account of all of his socks were ruined when Hurricanes Irene and Lee flooded Sis and BiL out of their house.

    There was the usual Christmas eve party at the greenhouse filled with delicious seafood edibles.

    Also, my mom insisted we go to Christmas eve service at the local UU church, and invited our friend Krishna, who is an awesome guy, Indian physics professor who’s interested in “spiritual ecology” and once requested to clean outhouses as a way of subverting his Brahman upbringing. I knew him when I was a kid, wrote him letters when I was in high school, but hadn’t seen him since before I went to India myself. So it was a good time. And the UU service was charming and hokey as usual. There was a modern retelling of the miraculous baby birth, with the birth taking place in a WalMart bathroom, persecuted Hispanic legal citizens Jose and Maria as the parents, and idealistic college students standing in for the 3 Kings and protecting the parents from nosy, prejudiced cops. Ahh, UU church. Nice to know some things haven’t changed AT ALL since I was a kid. They apparently have a new rug, but that’s about it.

  54. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Blimey, it’s 03:30 here. I think it’s time to go to sleep!

    Goodnight all.

  55. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Thanks to Cicely for pointing us toward The Spoon Theory. It is a fantastic article that I’ll be saving forever. It also almost immediately inspired me to write a blog post using a different spoon analogy.

  56. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    You don’t mind if I call you S-Dawg, I hope.

    I wouldn’t mind whatever you called me…

    XD

    ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  57. says

    Xmas loot…I received a quarter of smoke, Mister got:

    A giant remote controlled helicopter, the book The Beekeeper’s Lament, a Periodic beer glass, a gyroscope and bacon-flavour popcorn. :D

  58. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Bacon-flavoured popcorn! Now I haz a jellus.

    And the thing about the smoke reminds me: *pfffft* ahhhhhhh…

  59. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Hey, all I have to do for bacon-flavored popcorn is to save some bacon fat and use it instead of oil to pop my corn? Fuck this artificial flavor stuff! I think I have some bacon fat in my freezer RIGHT NOW! Back in a few…

  60. says

    I’m debating getting a US passport, thanks to the ridiculous voter suppression law here in Florida. Are there any particular issues I’m likely to run into?

    I’m going to get three copies of my birth certificate: one for my records, one for the DMV, and one for the Department of State. Should I get more?

  61. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    I got The Poisoner’s Handbook, Black Bag Jobs, and much chocolate. :)

    Thanks to Cicely for pointing us toward The Spoon Theory.

    Not my doing, and I’m due no credit; someone up-Thread linked to it; I only adapted the idea for a D&D approach, as applicable to my out-of-warranty (60/40 blend of Suck and FAIL) knees.
    -

  62. says

    Hiya folks! I’ll catch up with the thread in a bit but I’ve had an encounter with a woomeister. Gina Pera is a journalist (and now,apparently,an expert) who wrote a book called ‘Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD’. She seems to now be branching out into medical advice. The following is an account of a FB conversation with the name of a relative of mine removed.

    NovaC

    Nova Parrozzo Casterlin
    Sorry to bring my aggravation with woomeisters here, but this woman is out of her tree…completely barking mad.
    Nova

    James: (Hubby)

    Ok so pretend for a second there is a magical gift giving fairy the only thing I would ever ask for is for you or it to heal my wifes back and let her be pain free.Anything else I can get or achieve myself

    Gina Pera(Author/expert): Give the gift of magnesium (and maybe Pilates!).

    James: Gina if it were only that easy.five to seven herniated discs make that impossible. Surgery is the only option at this point and it brings tears to my eyes to think what she goes through everyday

    Gina Pera: Poor thing. I hope she gets relief soon.

    NovaC:
    Thank you Gina..the degenerative discs are now up to twelve. The Thoracic spine is shot and I have Kyphosis of about 45 degrees with deviation towards the right.Lumbar spine has joined the party with deviation to the right as well. Was given the diagnosis of degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis of the spine and kyphosis and they have no clue as to why. The thoracic spine is the worst off and the surgeons are a bit skittish messing about in that area until I absolutely cannot function anymore (risk factors are too high). I also have labular tears in both hips due to the imbalance in my stance and my walking. Long story short–I’m 40 and have many days where I move like an 80 year old. I used to be a highly active nurse and now cannot receive any govt. help because I can still walk without assistive devices and want to keep from doing so until it is again, absolutely necessary. I love my Husband dearly and he’s been my rock when my stubborness gives out.

    Linda(Cousin): nova i feel your pain. Im 62 and i do take pain meds otherwise im disfunctional physically. Besides injuries, it seems that all my brothers and sisters are succuming to the same spinal dysfuntion. Have been for many years. Good luck nova take care and dont over stress your spine.

    NovaC:Thank you Linda. I’m my own worst enemy in this. I know that I shouldn’t do some things but my stubbornness wins out against better judgement.

    Gina Pera: So sorry to hear this, Nova.

    Gina Pera: You know, I would take what the docs say with a grain of salt. Many years ago, the rheumatologists told me that my ankylosing spondylitis would soon leave me immobile because it was fusing my spine into a concrete-like rod.

    Linda(cousin,again): i know what you mean. It takes awhile for strong independant women to finally ask for help. But you will one day and its ok.

    Gina Pera:
    I knew there had to be other answers, so I pursued them. Magnesium helps with many physiological functions. Not saying it will be a miracle cure for you but it might prevent further degradation. And it might even help reverse some damage. The thoracic spine registers the first major magnesium deficiency; in short, it is sort of the canary in the coal mine. At the very least, magnesium supplementation (my favorite is mag citrate but yours might be different) won’t hurt you and it stands to help not just your spine but the rest of your body. A good book on this is The Miracle of Magnesium by Carolyn Deane (hokey title but solid info).

    Linda: anything that doesnt compromise other health problems is worth a try.

    NovaC:Gina, according to all the research (all available peer reviewed medical published research…..amazing what you can get access to with the right credentials) and consulting with orthopedic specialists (my own GP has no problem with my asking for different opinions..in fact she encourages my research so that I may make VERY informed decisions) asking questions and sharing images of my spine with doctors from the Mayo Clinic and the Maryland Spine Institute the kyphosis is likely an inherited trait that may effect MANY members of my family to varying degrees. The Degenerative Disc Disease is speeding the problem along and increasing the angle of the kyphosis and causing my stance and gait to change putting pressure on my ligaments and causing labular tears in my hips as I try to stay as independently active as possible.Nothing that I have found in peer reviewed research gives any indication that any substance is going to “bring my discs back”. On top of the osteoarthritis of the spine I also have bone spurs that are doing their damnedest to stabilize my spine. My muscles in my back get one hell of a workout trying to keep me stabilized as well. This also leaves me prone to further injuries and permanent damage. The only supplement I was found deficient in was D2 which was causing osteomalacia.I also have RRMS and I’ve taken some time to look more into Carolyn Deane MD ND, and have not been impressed with what she has touted as evidence for her miracle. The only thing you get when you take supplements that you are not truly deficient in is very expensive urine. There’s also a false belief that” if a little is good for you more is even better”. More people get themselves into serious trouble with this kind of thinking. One last note:Magnesium Citrate is a wonderful laxative. And the disclaimer of, in your words, (hokey but solid info) is hardly an endorsement. In your place I would check in again with a few medical doctors(osteopaths are well versed in these things) about your diagnosis of ankylosing spodylitis. It is a slow moving and devastating condition. If you want an example of a well exposed human being with this disorder take a look at Mick Mars of Motley Crue…took years to show the worst of its damage and he can barely move. I think I’ll stick with the advice of people who have devoted years to studying these conditions and not put any stock in “miracle supplements”.
    4 minutes ago · Like

  63. says

    I thought about buying a medium sized remote controlled helicopter for myself, but I can’t quite justify something so frivolous.

    The other frivolous things I want to buy start at around $900. That’s really hard to justify. (A new mainsail or a flight sim w/ stick and rudder pedals and a second screen.)

  64. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Oh! I mashed up my memories. Sorry, cicely and carlie, for confusing the two of you. (And thanks to carlie for the initial pointing.)

  65. says

    Benjamin, You probably only need one copy, they give it back after they see it. I got my last passport in about 2 weeks. My local post office was a one stop shop.

    p.s Miami has a big regional office. I got my first one there in 72 hours, with prepaid FedEx hurry up fees. YMMV.

  66. jimmauch says

    Now that I have my Supreme Leader in Madison I can not to see him with my belated Christmas present. His pink slip is waiting.

  67. says

    Nova:

    Don’tcha just love it when you get to know the distinct feeling of another one going to shit?

    Such a special feeling, that. If only it were so simple as magnesium – gosh, no one would have bone problems at all if we only taxed our livers even more with mega-doses of it! :eyeroll:

  68. says

    Thanks for the guffaw Sailor…I have felt that way too many times to count. Not all of my family are easily explainable other than “How the fuck am I related to you again????”

  69. says

    Caine:
    Wouldn’t it just? Woo peddlers get up my nose in such a way that I CAN’T stop the urge to try my hand at Hitch Slapping. People like that are dangerous.
    I have the health issues and a background in the medical field.The legitimate information is out there and surprisingly easy to find when you aren’t in denial.

  70. DLC says

    Wisconsin: good points : the real people of Wisconsin who have shown that they will indeed come out for something besides Packers games or Cheese. The other two — Packers games and Cheese.

  71. chigau (難しい) says

    I had a lovely evening.
    I now have photographs of me, on the job, in 1978.
    *hahahflipflopshohobikiniharahr*
    not a trace of safety equipment

  72. says

    chigau, I’m happy for you.

    They used to tell us clipping on slowed you down too much.
    +++++++++++++++++
    I’m considering stepping out for a slurp at my local watering hole.

  73. says

    Nova:

    The legitimate information is out there and surprisingly easy to find

    True. Good doctors are out and about, too. I ♥ my neurologist.

    Wooists have no interest in reality, they go to great lengths to ignore it. “If I just take this, it will be alright! It’s a cure, I know it! :claps hands:

  74. says

    Caine

    I have a great team working on me. Started with my GP (brilliant woman and great fun to talk to) noticing I had an odd gait and I was rubbing my sternum quite a bit during my first visit (moved from TX to MN and had to find a new GP). She lined me up with an MRI after asking me if anyone had taken a good look at my spine. She got the results and made a few calls to get me in with a top notch neurologist (he found the RRMS and the osteomalacia)and an osteopath that has done all he can to keep me mobile. PT ended up giving me labular tears in both hips (that he needed to repair)and ended up shredding a few more discs. Since then the emphasis is “SLOW AND GENTLE, for cryin’ out loud woman!”
    Surgery has been put on the back burner until absolutely necessary due to the area of worst damage being the thoracic spine. I’ve been given to understand that this area is high risk and more than a bit touchy.Plus I have a number of plaques from the RRMS there.
    I try not to kvetch about it too much. I can walk, I have a great and hugely supportive husband, I’m mostly independent,if a bit slow, with most things and I have my mental faculties intact (although there are those that would debate that at length given some of the things I’ve done just for the hell of it). So,all in all, not too shabby for a lame horse.

  75. John Morales says

    NovaC:

    according to all the research (all available peer reviewed medical published research…..amazing what you can get access to with the right credentials) and consulting with orthopedic specialists (my own GP has no problem with my asking for different opinions..in fact she encourages my research so that I may make VERY informed decisions) asking questions and sharing images of my spine with doctors from the Mayo Clinic and the Maryland Spine Institute the kyphosis is likely an inherited trait that may effect MANY members of my family to varying degrees. The Degenerative Disc Disease is speeding the problem along and increasing the angle of the kyphosis and causing my stance and gait to change putting pressure on my ligaments and causing labular tears in my hips as I try to stay as independently active as possible.

    Aaaaarrrgh!

    Sympathy. I take it you’re doing whatever physiotherapy is possible under your circumstances.

    (Best wishes, and may medical science advance in your lifetime)

  76. John Morales says

    PS “and an osteopath that has done all he can to keep me mobile.”

    Never mind.

    Again, best wishes, and hang in there.

  77. says

    While we’re doing gift reports: motorbike luggage from the bloke. Chocolate from the cats. Some cute kitchen gear from my sister – best of which is the Gingerdead men! They will be awesome when I get round to baking again. A pretty seashell bowl from my mum, and money, which I transformed (in part) into
    * REAMDE
    * Emperor of Maladies
    * Wolf Hall
    * Death comes to Pemberley (*spits, stupid book*)

    Yay! REAMDE is grabbing my attention very well so I’m not spending much time online right now.

  78. says

    Thanks John and chigau! I take a very aggressive approach to my care and the team (GP,Osteopath,and Neurologist communicate with each other constantly and keep me in the loop as well)are very supportive. They give me new information as they come across it and are always willing to give me a return call when I have questions.
    I’m lucky to have found them all and I feel lucky to be able to face the reality of my situation with courage and dignity. There’s so much out there in the world and the universe to be in awe of to feel sorry for myself.

    PS: Way too many awesome people to get to know and learn from as well!

  79. andyo says

    Hello, everyone

    In an over-populated heaven

    in an underpopulated hell

    Hmmm. Seems to me it would be the other way around, no?

    Not for someone who is such an asshole that for her taste, too many people are going to heaven and too few to hell.

  80. says

    Silly me, I thought since it was raining and the students were out o’ town, and it was the day after Squidmas, the place would be dead. As it turns out it was hopping.

    I’m guessing a significant amount of people between 21 and 60 are sick of their family at this point.

  81. says

    Sailor

    Can you blame them? I have family that,if I didn’t look so much like them,make me wonder just how the hell we’re actually related.

  82. says

    Malls are often packed with the post Xmas sales and people returning unwanted gifts, I hear. Not that I’ve ever done that.

    Nova, I’m sorry to hear you’re having such trouble. I’m pretty sure that a nice hefty dram of whisky will help more than any tedious vitamin supplements, so cheers!

  83. birgerjohansson says

    “No way in hell they can field a candidate that can win the general election.”

    -Assuming sanity automatically will prevail is wishful thinking. These guys have resources Göbbels would die for. Expect a hard struggle.

    — — — — —
    Good TV series viewed during Xmas holiday:
    “Dead Set”, about a group that long remain unconcerned by the zombie apocalypse unfolding around them in Britain.
    This is because they are isolated in a “Big Brother”-type set, only noticing something is wrong when just about everyone else is dead.
    Trust the Brits to come up with an original angle on an otherwise worn-out trope.
    The people recruited for reality TV are usually picked for having various dysfunctional traits that makes for conflict in a “Big Brother” context -and thus good ratings- but those personality traits make them pretty useless for working together for survival. The many and varied fuck-ups followed by blood and gore made this almost as fun as watching “Severance”!
    Spoiler: The survival rate among the contestants is not high.
    — — — — — —
    PS -If you want to see how Dilbert-type managers raised on management clichées handle getting isolated in a forest surrounded by insane killers, “Severance” is for you.

  84. says

    HI there
    What Santa brought me?
    A dragon necklace, handknitted socks, Harry Potter cookbook, a DVD, awesome handpainted dragon-glasses, vouvher for my favourite thread-dealer, money.

    Now, it’s the time for the usual end of the year cleaning, since we’re expecting guests. Additionally I have to take care of grandma in the mornings.

  85. echidna says

    Well, JW Loftus is up to his old tricks of censoring comments that disagree with him. He claimed that he does not censor posts. I said that he knew as well as I do that this was not true. I took a screen print.
    He deleted the comment.

    I commented on this. He deleted the comment.

    Pathetic.

  86. says

    Serendipitydawg

    You would have to link to that I have a TON of family in Italy and Sicily that would go absolutely mad for those products. Now I’ve got to figure out a way to get those to them.

  87. says

    WTF is wrong with Loftus???
    Respect their delusions? Don’t hold them accountable?? They’re mentally ill (THAT I can somewhat agree with…but they constantly reinforce their own delusions and then try to force them on others)??
    Letting them get away with bad behavior hasn’t worked in the past and it isn’t going to work now. I also take issue with his view of respect. Respect (to me) is being able to stand face to face with someone and voice your disagreements freely. No pussyfooting around, just “You’re wrong and this is why I think so”.
    To borrow a phrase from John Morales…..BAH!!

    And yes, I’ve read the blog post in question, witnessed the behavior of the blogger, and have come to the conclusion that I have no use for his philosophy.

  88. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Now I’ve got to figure out a way to get those to them.

    Sorry NovaC; PZ linked to their inflatable beard for JT and I went to have a look… I couldn’t believe that anyone would have a bacon button on their online shop. After drooling for a while, I was crestfallen to discover that they don’t deliver outside the US.

    Bah, Humbug!

    XD

  89. says

    S-Dawg
    There’s a way…I just haven’t figured it out….yet. Ohhhh, but I will! With enough coffee and determination, I will!

  90. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    With enough coffee and determination, I will!

    That’s the spirit, go NovaC!

  91. says

    S-Dawg
    My mother sees this as a personality flaw,but I take the phrases “No” and “You can’t” as personal challenges and retort with variations of “You just hide and watch me”.

  92. says

    BTW calling me Nova is perfectly fine with me. It is my name after all.
    True story behind the name: My father named me after the woman in the movie ‘Planet of the Apes’. The Nerd runs strong in my family.

  93. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    My father named me after the woman in the movie ‘Planet of the Apes’.

    That is so cool, Nova!

  94. says

    Uff, mission accomplished.
    Nursery tidied up, cleaned out and repaired.
    I am impressed with the Little One’s ability to tear things out of the fucking wall and break massive wooden objects in two. Not amused, but impressed. Credit where credit is due, that’s some achievement at age two.
    If she can keep up that power and determination and channel it into something less destructive she’ll kick ass.

    Nova
    That’s cool. I like names with a story.

  95. Muse says

    I will point out that the standard way to get around shipping only to the US is to know someone friendly in the US…

  96. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @Muse,

    It’s a good point but the cost of international money transfers would need a large bacon themed order (and with bacon air fresheners among so many wonderful products, that isn’t totally out of the question.)

  97. says

    Santorum is frothing again:

    If you want to send a message to the man, those are the folks that are the experts, the folks that are trying to shape this race.”

    If you want to stick it to the folks who want to shape the debate and think they can tell you who you should pay attention to, as opposed to you who have been on the ground listening to all the candidates, this is where you step up and say, ‘No, you don’t get to decide.

    I’m pretty sure santorum will be involved if you’re sticking it to the man. At least I hope he used lube.

  98. Sili says

    In case any Danes are reading there’s a documentary about the intelligence of octopusses on DR2 in 20 minutes.

  99. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Good thing I went for nerdy science gifts (mine your own gems kit, break your own geodes pack and book on evolution) for the 7-year-old girl this year. The rest of the family went nuts on the sparkly pink fashion-and-beauty-obsessed stuff. She just walked out the door looking like a sequin factory vomited on her and smelling like 40 fruity cocktails.

  100. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Yay kristinc, let’s hope she only walked out the door looking like that to appease the others. In the privacy of her own space she can marvel a your wonders :D

  101. says

    Muse, there are also remailer companies that will do it for you. I don’t bother, because the one time I looked into it, they were very expensive. So I can’t recommend any. (Also we have very serious quarantine rules for food and plant & animal matter here. Which are good.)

  102. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Serendipitydawg, she did put “science kits” on her wish list, and she was so jazzed about the rock gifts she carried them around with her for an entire day and told everyone she could find all about them. Score.

  103. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Annnnd after a year of saving I have enough money to have all my wisdom teeth removed and finally scheduled the appointment. Gulp.

  104. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Score indeed.

    It’s hard for young girls to get away from the pink princess role, so the fact that they were on her wish list raises a cheer from me.

  105. says

    kristinc, I assume they’re giving you problems. It’s a case of short term discomfort over long term misery. (I bet you knew that;-)

    Pro note: If you can, get the meds before the procedure. Adding to the miserable index is standing in line at the pharmacy with a mouth full of blood and cotton wool trying to get the Rx filled.

  106. carlie says

    Glad to see you, Nova! There are so many people I miss now that I’m not on FB.

    kristinc, the only advice I have is to keep drinking water after it’s all over, even though you might not want to. I didn’t heed that warning, and woke up at midnight thirsty the night after I got it done, only to get up for a drink and manage to think “too late” as I went down in a heap of dehydrated faint.

    Serendipitydawg – I literally *just* discovered the monkey cage podcast a couple of days ago whilst searching itunes for something new to listen to! I’ve listened to about four of them so far.

    Today was quite exciting for me. I’m allergic to the new cat, which of course I knew I would be; interestingly, the reaction seems to be concentrated in my eyes. Much better than in the throat, definitely. Anyway, this morning around 8 she was sitting on me and started self-suckling (AGAIN, she does it all the freakin time), and I tried to distract her and got slobbered all over. Then, like an idiot, rubbed my eye. Over the next half-hour, I couldn’t get up because she was lying on me, and I rubbed my eye a few more times. Yeah, stupid. By the time I got up to take a shower it was pretty bad, and by the time I got out of the shower it was almost completely swollen shut and my eyeball was bulging out all over. I had to wake up Spouse to ask him to drive to the pharmacy for allergy eye drops (which I thought I had but couldn’t find), and more Benadryl (which I had just finished off) because I couldn’t drive by then. Two doses of Benadryl, one Allegra-D, one Zyrtec, several allergy drops, and some Flonase later, I took a brief nap (gee, wonder why) and woke up to it at least holding steady, if not getting any better. It’s just now back to almost normal, but my eyeball is still sore and a bit swollen (almost 12 hours later).

    Silly kitty.

  107. says

    Glad to see you too carlie! I’m usually on both keeping up with the Horde I love! Sorry about your allergies. I live on zyrtec as mine are seasonal and pretty random. Conga rats on the new kitteh!

  108. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @carlie,

    Excellent! I posted the link in the hope that radio broadcasts are available worldwide… good to know they are at least available by some means.

    Part 6 does feature a truly terrible muon joke but is still worth listening to (it’s a cracker joke so it has to be bad…)

  109. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    I am currently watching a programme on BBC2 called The Toys That Made Christmas and it just featured a toy from the 50’s that is totally “OMG, I wish had been born in the 1940’s instead of the 1950’s!”

  110. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Serendipitydawg: it is! I’ve told this story before but she used to be utterly comfortable in her own body and personality, loving her mohawks and buzz cuts, fond of every color in existence, wearing utterly absurd clothing combinations, into all sorts of games and activities. Then I sent her to school, Kindergarten wasn’t too bad but by first grade I started hearing talk about being pretty and not pretty, and things for girls and things for boys. Now in second grade she talks about popularity and whether clothes are “fashionable” and “hot”, she’s absorbed that she ought to pick (pretty much at random) a boy to have a crush on and hope he wants her to be his girlfriend, and everything must be pink, purple or turquoise blue. And sparkly. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that pretty =/= smart and interested in science, nor that she shouldn’t be opinionated.

    carlie and Sailor: noted. The surgeon did recommend having the pain pills at home ready for me. Mr kristinc will be taking the day off to babysit me. I am fully prepared for total suckage. (But completely ready to have these teeth gone. They have been significantly decayed and sore for years. OMG! I’ll be able to eat ice cream again!)

  111. says

    Having a conversation and trying to educate a godbotherer high school classmate of mine about Atheism….You can imagine her shock and horror “But you were always such a good person with strong morals…You did your best not to hurt anyone and always stood up for the people being bullied!” She didn’t like the answer that there was no need for a deity for this to be possible.

    *headdesk*

    Maybe I just should have charged out of the gate with a resounding “Fuck You and your twisted sky fairy!”?

    Lesson learned…true believers skulls are made of titanium.

  112. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @kristinc,

    Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that pretty =/= smart and interested in science, nor that she shouldn’t be opinionated.

    Phew! Let’s hope it is lost in the post forever.

  113. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    Absolutely and totlly Thread Bankrupt.

    I am in Florida visiting the in-laws. This year, the weather is nice. And my new* car got 29 mpg on the trip from Pennsylvania to Florida. And a lot of it, I was cruising at 75 to 80 mph (have I mentioned I love this car?). And that was with Boy, Girl, presents for neice and sister-in-law (she has Down’s Syndrome and still professes a belief in Santa . . . ), a large wooden skittles game and a wooden soccer game, and the clothing (Girl (almost 19) is a bit of a clothes horse).

    So, did I miss anything?

    * well, new to me — it is a 2008

  114. says

    Hiya Brother Og!
    Could you do me a small (tiny really) favor and dip your toes in the ocean for me…I used to live in Homestead,FL as a sproglet. Any ocean water will do! I do miss the ocean quite a bit

    1

  115. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    NovaC:

    Sorry. No can do. I am in a town called DeBary — halfway between (shudder) Orlando and Daytona. And I don’t think we are going near the ocean.

  116. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    Actually, I take that back — right now, I am in my hotel room in Orange City.

  117. says

    Oh well….(kicks dirt). Thanks for replying and considering. I don’t blame you for the *shudder*. I remember those places well…even from childhood. I’m sure they haven’t gotten better over time.

  118. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    If I get out to shop for a new laptop tomorrow, Nova, I will slip down to the North Sea and see if the tide is in. Should it be so, I promise to dip a toe in, along with a thermometer because I suspect that it will be around 10°C if I am lucky. XD

  119. says

    Bro Og, welcome back to the intertubes.

    Nothing has happened in your absence, our lives were on hold until you resurfaced.

    Congrats on the ‘new’ car, it’s newer than anything I’ve ever owned.

    I think a belief in Santa is cool.

  120. says

    Starstuff
    I’ve lived most of my life near the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. I can’t get people here in Minnesota to understand just how wonderful the feel of the water and the sand on your feet is….or the sounds of the waves.

  121. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    But no frostbite on my account!

    All of my holidays were spent on the North Sea and the temperature is pretty much the same all year round… it’s just that in summer you are warm while drying off.

    I will definitely have to take pictures if I do it…

    This reminds me: a few years ago, Mrs S and I used to spend xmas away in various places to avoid family. One year we spent it in a very nice hotel in Criccieth and on xmas day, the sea was warm so we had a paddle, much to the amusement of the locals.

  122. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    The Sailor:

    Thanks. You may now have a life for the next half hour or so. Then I need to shower and will be off line, most likely until tomorrow night. Sorry bout that.

    It wasn’t the car we were looking for, but the price, mpg, and miles for the age were really good and we ended up with a bourgeois-mobile.

  123. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    G’night, all.

    Sorry I sent the conversation into the drink.

  124. shouldbeworking says

    From orbit may prevent any Mythbusters style”oops” moments, but there is something to be said about feeling the blast wave. I can assure that having eyebrows are over-rate and do grow back.

  125. says

    Starstuff

    I started teaching myself a few months ago by reading books and watching the Youtube channels (It’s been good therapy for my hands considering the RRMS) and I’ve become positively obsessed! Next project to learn is knitting.

  126. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    I’ve lived most of my life near the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. I can’t get people here in Minnesota to understand just how wonderful the feel of the water and the sand on your feet is….or the sounds of the waves.

    I’ve lived within an hour’s drive of the ocean since I was 28. Right now I’m sitting less than a mile from Long Island Sound. When the weather is nice I spend much of the weekend sailing.

    Lakes are nice. I grew up on the shore of a large lake (where I also did a lot of sailing). But lakes aren’t the ocean.

  127. says

    @ Nova

    I learned about two months ago and I’ve spend a lot of time and money on it since. It’s a really great hobby. I crocheted all my christmas gifts this year (total price for 6 gifts: ~$15). I made a pair of fingerless gloves earlier today for myself (I’m getting really quick). I think I’m just going to stick to crocheting, at least for now. I want to get really good at it before I learn another craft.

  128. chigau (難しい) says

    I once knit about 40 child-sized sweaters in about 60 days.
    It prevented me from killing my self.

  129. says

    Starstuff

    My next big project is a T.A.R.D.I.S. afghan for the Hubby. I love to crochet there’s something almost zen-like about it.

  130. says

    You rock!

    Speaking of finding out pressies (ours will be late due to being broke to the point of eating boxed mac’n’cheese for extended periods (copays and meds are killer on one income)).
    I had a FB chat with an old and much admired teacher asking me when I was going to try my hand at writing.

    My answer: When I talk pretty one day.

    I DO love writing,but I don’t feel I’m good enough and tend to toss much of it in a box.
    My Hubby has revealed plans to get me into the Loft in Minneapolis,MN or into Chuck Palahniuk’s group!

    Squeeeeeeeee!

    And now I’m worried about how the hell we’re going to afford it.

  131. says

    ‘Tis, I’ve got some pics of me in an E-Scow. One race it looked like we were in the pack, (what a still photo doesn’t show is that we’d been lapped).

    Another pic is when we were short handed, just me and the owner/helmsman, and the wind knocked us down. The masthead was floated so we just went horizontal. Great pic of us balanced on the rail.

  132. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    Wife crocheted a Nancat scarf (looks like a cat with a cherry pop tart for a body and a rainbow coming out of its ass (arse for those English talker types)) for FutureSonInLaw. And she had enough left over that she made a second one. She is currently crocheting an open scarf/shawl out of crochet thread (size 10 (I think)).

    Today we head for Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to see Actual Wildlife(TM) in its Natural Habitat(R)! One of my favourite places (can’t hold a candle to Hayden Valley, but Hayden Valley is subzero and has five to ten feet of snow right now).

    I’ll check in tonight and find out who is doing what to whom.

  133. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    I’ll check in tonight and find out who is doing what to whom.

    Sorry. That should be: I’ll check in tonight and find out who is doing what with whom.

  134. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    No luck today, Nova… my eyes aren’t good enough for me to drive safely with the low, winter sun. I really would like to try and get a new laptop: this one is Mrs S’s old laptop, and it is soooo sloooow – it is also several years old and lacking in memory, so this is hardly surprising.

    Fingers crossed for tomorrow… though high tide is 08:07 and when the tide goes out it really goes out.

  135. carlie says

    No crochet here, but I just started knitting one of these blankets for an upcoming baby. I went with a vibrant 70s kind of theme, so it’s this yarn, with the yellow 1382, red 9601 (which is actually a bright red), orange 1383, blue 515, and white.

  136. says

    Back home from my Christmas break.

    First, getting disrespected and treated like a child is not an endearing method of treating a family member. Second, I have the frickin’ cutest and most well-behaved nephews ever. Thirdly, kitty!

    Hokay, so on Christmas Eve we were with my father’s side of the family and I had brought along my cell phone and Kindle – my grandmother’s house is somewhat dull, and I did want to catch up on some reading. My uncle decides to explain no less than four times that I’m not to bring my electronic devices to brunch the next morning. It was incredibly disrespectful. My grandmother asked about three times about why I have long hair and whether I have a girlfriend yet or not – although the former reason I gave was untrue, the latter she already knows I’m bisexual so it was meant as a direct dig at that, I know. At brunch, I didn’t bring my electronic equipment, not because I didn’t want to, but because I never planned to. My aunt, first thing she says to me is “I don’t know why you like your hair long, your father looks so handsome with short hair.” My response, “So you’re saying I’m not handsome?” is met with abject silence.

    Nephews now. They’re both so goddamned adorable – I know it’s a bit of family bias, but my 2-year old nephew is so cute, curly dark hair, big eyes, cute round baby face. And he’s also polite – saying please and thank you. My 3-month old nephew was so quiet, except when he was babbling incoherently towards my family. I love the both of them.

    Lastly, my kitty was happy to see me when I got back, I left him at the vet for boarding and when I got him, he sulked in the corner of his cage for a few minutes, but then came to the front and started meowing at me, licking and nuzzling against my fingers when I stuck them through the bars. He sat on or with me for the rest of the day.

  137. says

    Hello, everybody
    Back from our final shopping trip for this year which took us to France. Thankfully New Year’s Eve is in the middle of winter around here so I can use the balcony as a second fridge.
    So, tonight we’ll have Crevettes cuites geantes avec baguette. (Giant prawns and baguette)
    Tomorrow we’ll have grosse truite rose avec champignons à la crème et pasta fraiche (large trout with mushrooms with cream and fresh pasta)
    Day after tomorrow there’s jambon en croute avec crudités (ham in pastry with salad)
    And that’s only before I start cooking the big dinner

    #1 got herself a bad abrasion right underneath the eye, poor thing, but she freaked out so much that the only thing that worked was threatening her that she could go to the car and sit there all the time (with dad waiting outside of the car) until we get back.
    I always feel bad about those situations. I already tried all the usual things like comforting and cuddling her, trying to distract her, briding her and so on. The moment I announce bad consequences she calms down just fine :(

    kristinc

    Serendipitydawg: it is! I’ve told this story before but she used to be utterly comfortable in her own body and personality, loving her mohawks and buzz cuts, fond of every color in existence, wearing utterly absurd clothing combinations, into all sorts of games and activities. Then I sent her to school, Kindergarten wasn’t too bad but by first grade I started hearing talk about being pretty and not pretty, and things for girls and things for boys.

    That sounds sadly familiar :(
    At least most of the family is just as annoyed at the girlie-girl stuff that we’re working in the same direction.
    I’m soooo jealous of those dig for your own gems and excravate your own dinosaur bones sets. I’d have loved to have them as a kid.
    Good luck for the wisdom teeth. Once mine were out they were like no problem at all, I went off painkillers the second day. I hope you’re seeing a surgeon on the first try, my problem was that although they looked like the dentist should be able to get them out, they weren’t.

  138. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    From KG’s link:

    Bemused tourists looked on as about 100 priests fought with brooms while cleaning the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas, on 7 January.

    This just doesn’t do it justice, the video is hilarious.

  139. Rey Fox says

    Bemused tourists looked on as about 100 priests fought with brooms while cleaning the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas, on 7 January.

    I think they might be laboring under the common misconception of the meaning of “bemused” here. I know if it were me, I would have been Amused.

    “No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God,” he said.

    Thbbbt.

  140. Moggie says

    KG:

    A Christmas tradition is enacted in Bethlehem.

    “No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God”, said the police spokesman. It’s almost literally a get out of jail free card, isn’t it?

  141. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    “No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God,” he said.

    Ah, the ol’ Religious Immunity Trick. I wonder…would they, somehow, figure out a way to get along in peace and harmony (sing Kumbaya!) if there were consequences of their misbehavior? A little public embarrassment might be good for their “souls”.
    -

  142. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    The first of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures was screened last night, this year’s series centres on the brain and is presented by Professor Bruce Hood.

    Excellent first part: it made the point that we are our brain’s functions and that what we perceive is determined by the brain’s model of the universe. The best bit for me was when he said that he would conjure a real ghost and proceeded to arrange four circles of paper with 90° segment missing to conjure a ghost square which can be demonstrated to activate the areas of the brain that detect squares. There was a subsequent demonstration of a piece of apparatus that I have never seen before: three groups of said circles in a row that are geared to revolve in tandem that produce the illusion of a square that shrinks and moves before shrinking and moving, repeated ad infinitum. The best bit of this is that it activates the areas of the brain associated with moving objects, a true ghost in the machine.

    These days, there tend to be only three lectures. Shame, in the days when Richard Dawkins and Eric Laithwaite delivered them there were five.

  143. says

    Hello TET, I’ve missed you.

    You know, as a kid the month of December was always pretty busy because there were lots of different family events, but I am still amazed at how frantic Christmastime feels now that I’ve doubled my obligations through marriage. I feel like I’ve been running nonstop for weeks now. It was wonderful to see family but I’m a little fried.

    Hey, did all of you know that Democrats are just like Nazis according to tea-party Jew Don Feder? Seriously, I think people like this need some psychological evaluation.

  144. says

    Oggie, I love me some Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, tho mostly I visit the area for NASA launches and tours.

    One of the great things about my ex-GF was that she liked the NASA stuff as much as me. The pass works for 2 days and she was just as enthusiastic as me to go for both days. When we went into the gift shop at the end of the 2nd day she bought xmas presents for her nieces & nephews, and a NASA jacket for her self.

    It’s a shame there aren’t any launches while you’re there (I checked;-)

  145. janine says

    Slignot, that list by Don Feder is as ahistorical as any David Barton screed or Jonah Goldberg book.

  146. says

    Previous clashes between the denominations which share the administration of the church have been sparked by perceived encroachments on one group’s territory by another.

    It’s so Wild Kingdom.

  147. janine says

    I saw that ad. Damn it! How did they find out the truth about we queers. The only reason why any of us supported the concept of LGBT marriage was to destroy straight marriage.

    You know what happens when a married gay couple moves next door to a straight married couple with children. The parents get divorced, at least one of the kids turns queer, the dog and cat shares a bed and does strange things with the gerbil and the lawn dies.

  148. chigau (難しい) says

    I thought The Gays™ are out to convert The Normals™ not kill them.
    Or is the gun loaded with gayification darts?

  149. shouldbeworking says

    When the gays take over America, will they allow straight marriage, or will they see it as an abomination and a threat? Paranoid minds want to know.

  150. says

    @janine, I laughed. I was trying to come up with a way to shower the target with glitter when struck. I’m kind of embarrassed my mind didn’t immediately head into the gutter.

  151. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    My xmas beer is TINS’ALE’ brewed by Shepherd Neame. From the front label: “A cracker of an ale for the festive season” and “A little bit of magic”, which is monstrously twee. From the back label: “A deliciously fruity, spicy, festive ale that will leave a warming glow and make your baubles sparkle”, which is alarming… I will check for sparkling when I Have finished it.

    For all the xmas hype it is a splendid beer that delivers.

  152. shouldbeworking says

    Mine is Howe Sound Rail Ale, a brown ale tht was highly recommended. Hints of licorice and chocolate.

  153. says

    “lawn dies”!?

    Are those what you throw before the lawn darts?
    ++++++++++++++
    They never get their memes right. It’s atheists that hunt down straight newlyweds. But that’s just to tag and track them for when they spawn.

  154. janine says

    Rick Perry has seen the light!

    “It was … when the lady who was in (The Gift of Life) was looking me in the eye and said ‘you really need to think this through,'” he said. “She said ‘I am the product of a rape’ and she said ‘my life is worth (it).’ It was a powerful moment.”
    After the town hall ended, Verwers said Perry’s answer was “perfect.”

  155. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    @shouldbeworking,

    Oddly enough, mine also has definite hints of licorice and chocolate – I guess these must be festive requirements!

    The smell is supposed to be Hoppy, Toffee, Fruit and the taste is supposed to be Spicy, Bitter, Hoppy, and I agree with both of these, but there is a definite hint of both licorice and chocolate.

  156. janine says

    The smell is supposed to be Hoppy, Toffee, Fruit and the taste is supposed to be Spicy, Bitter, Hoppy, and I agree with both of these, but there is a definite hint of both licorice and chocolate.

    Find a bottle of Aventinus.

  157. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    Slignot, how can they be penetrated if you are using Nerf darts?

    Oh, but janine—it isn’t the physical penetration of the (mere) body that counts; it’s the persyckical “penetration” of their souls that’s important. The lack of a perceptible wound is evidence of the insidiousness of your plot!

    Y’all just…won’t…stop “touching” them. And they can’t stand it.
    -

  158. says

    slignot, you haven’t missed much for at least a week. Slow comment flow. I blame it on people who had to spend time with their families even when they didn’t want to.

    Therapy bags, the new free speech enclosures.

  159. says

    @The Sailor, given that I was among those who spent all their time juggling holiday events and parties, I understand. It’s an incredibly busy time of year. Spouse proposed that we climb into bed and refuse to get out until Christmas was over about halfway through.

    In return for not letting him hermit his way through Christmas, we celebrated Scotchmas, where he received at least four bottles of scotch (only two of which were from me), molds for spherical ice and some new glasses.

  160. shouldbeworking says

    @slignot
    There are some things that should remain private between consenting adults (alleged adult iin my case).

  161. says

    @shouldbeworking, Wow, my brain is very nearly clean today. That’s twice that I swear I normally would have gone to dirty thoughts and completely missed them. Sadly, I wish I was talking about private actions between consenting adults.

    Spouse is fairly socially anxious, and sleeps. A lot. He would happily sleep 16 hours at a stretch on daily basis and would probably still be sleepy. (It’s not sleep apnea that we can tell, at least according to oxygen saturation tests.) He really did just want to try to sleep for four days or so.

  162. carlie says

    Heh.

    More than 18,000 people have now signed an online petition to the Kentucky board of education calling for the teacher responsible, believed to be a special educational aide, to be sacked,

    British slang creates irony.

    But seriously, the fuck. I would NOT be satisfied with “the school board is investigating”. I doubt I would have the wits about me to have done it right then, but I wonder how it would have gone if she had called the police right then in the hallway and reported an abuse in action. That is absolutely not the kind of thing you let the school decide whether it was a problem or not. The only thing I can think of that is remotely similar to that being “therapeutic” is bodysox, which are entirely different because they are a) see-through and b)stretchy and c) easy to get out of and d) NOT A PUNISHMENT.

  163. says

    It sounds like a very, merry xmas to me! (aside from the hangovers, which is why you have 4 bottles not 2. (Pain delayed is pain denied;-))

    I finally got old enough to outright refuse family gatherings. I used to just volunteer to work the hollow days so my co-workers could do the ritual Festivus celebration.
    ++++++++++++++++
    As much as I tried to avoid my family, on the 26th I got an email from my eldest sibling where he complained the family was fractured and it wasn’t his fault. He’s the only one we agree upon not to invite to family gatherings.

    He’s a bully, and since adulthood he’s proved it over and over. He’s only nice when he feels injured. He’s one of those folks that when they offer to do you a favor you have to ask yourself “what’s in it for you?”

    I don’t like having to think that way. Also, too, I’m very bad at it. I just don’t calculate things in those terms. He thinks everyone does.

  164. says

    @carlie, I’m so angry. that would be traumatic for a neurotypical child, let alone a boy on the autism spectrum. The school’s response is nothing short of insulting.

    It looks like there was small update on Change.org’s site where the bag was not technically a duffel bag, but was in fact a sensory bag used in therapies by clinicians. BUT, when used properly by people who are trained, it’s supposed to be soothing and the patient is always to be allowed to leave when they desire. In this case, someone with no training forced a child into a bag designed to press in on them and used it as a restraint and punishment. It was used against the use guidelines for the device and against normal clinical practice.

  165. says

    As much as I tried to avoid my family, on the 26th I got an email from my eldest sibling where he complained the family was fractured and it wasn’t his fault. He’s the only one we agree upon not to invite to family gatherings.

    He’s a bully, and since adulthood he’s proved it over and over. He’s only nice when he feels injured. He’s one of those folks that when they offer to do you a favor you have to ask yourself “what’s in it for you?”

    I don’t like having to think that way. Also, too, I’m very bad at it. I just don’t calculate things in those terms. He thinks everyone does.

    That’s always hard, but I’m glad you had a nice holiday otherwise. We have a similar situation with a childless great aunt who used to be part of our family gatherings until she started attacking people. She was a bit like your brother in that she tended to evaluate whether something was of benefit to her before doing anything. I think it’s simply alien for most of us to weigh friend and family relationships that way.

  166. carlie says

    In this case, someone with no training forced a child into a bag designed to press in on them and used it as a restraint and punishment. It was used against the use guidelines for the device and against normal clinical practice.

    I would assume without parental permission, either. My son’s IEP has always been very explicit about what would be done in what circumstances and has always had a behavioral plan laid out that we agreed to. Something off the list like this? They would be in for a huge fight.

  167. says

    @carlie, It only makes sense to me to have a behavioral plan. This is unconscionable. I worry what (if any) specialized training special ed teachers in this district are required to get if the officials are backing this as normal and therapeutic.

  168. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Wow, I was have been fully prepared for a physically-wince-inducing story of Cheetah’s life once he was not longer in showbiz — so often they end up in roadside “animal parks” and shit like that. What a lucky chimp.

  169. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    “was have been”.

    Thhpppppppbt! I’m just too cool for coherent grammar, mannnn. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, mannnn.

  170. says

    NovaC,

    Having a conversation and trying to educate a godbotherer high school classmate of mine about Atheism….You can imagine her shock and horror “But you were always such a good person with strong morals…You did your best not to hurt anyone and always stood up for the people being bullied!” She didn’t like the answer that there was no need for a deity for this to be possible.

    If this conversation continues, you might try forwarding her this recent essay by Louise Antony.

  171. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    AUGH! Bella took scissors to her hair! What the hell are kids thinking? It’s not that I care about her hair being long — SHE spent the last year growing it out because she wanted it to be long! She wanted to wear barrettes! she wanted ponytails! So naturally, chopping off chunks of it so she could no longer do any of those things is a completely reasonable plan, right?

    And now I’m the bad guy because I’m telling her that of course most what she left will have to be cut off to even things up. *eyeroll*

  172. changeable moniker says

    @kristinc, it happens.

    Even it up, take photos, move on. My #2 did it, now she’s Rapunzel.

  173. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    Have we talked about the school in Kentucky that put a nine year old autistic child in a bag as “therapy?

    :( :( :( :(

    My youngest brother is ADHD. Back in the day (late ’70s or possibly early ’80s) his teacher wanted to keep him isolated in a refrigerator box.
    -

  174. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    kristinc:

    Part of me is so glad that Kids are now 21 and 18. Part of me is scared by it, but then I read accounts such as yours and, well, damn.

    Went to Merritt Island NWR today. Saw Great Blue, Little Blue, Tricolour and Night Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets, roseate Spoonbills, White Pelicans, four alligators, a shitload of Buffleheads, some grebes, a few other ducks, a Wood Stork, a Northern Harrier, and a Red Shouldered Hawk. I love that place.

  175. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    Oh, and Boy (21 years old) is, right now, watching Fox and Hound.

  176. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    And saw a Bald Eagle standing on a mud flat. And some black vultures and a buzzard. And some brown bird with a vicious looking beak. And a Boat-Tailed Grackle.

    And I also got a new Cowboy Hat today.

    It was a good day.

  177. changeable moniker says

    “Boat-Tailed Grackle”

    I’m actually surprised that that’s a real bird. It has such an epic name.

  178. Brother Ogvorbis, OM: Reading Comprehension Fail Warning! says

    changeable moniker:

    They are a beautiful irridessant (sp?) black, ant eh tail feathers form a very obvious v-shape.

  179. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    changeable moniker: yeah, this is not the first time. When she was almost three she gave herself Bettie Page bangs. When she was five she ended up with a #4 clipper cut because it was the only way to even up a “trim” she gave herself (and she kept that clipper cut for almost 2 years because she loved the whole no-combing-or-washing thing).

    I just can’t wrap my head around the whole “Yay, my hair is getting so pretty and long … what now? … let’s chop it off!” thought process. Kid, I didn’t make you grow the damn stuff. *I* tried to talk you into keeping the buzz cut. Or a nice bob, a bob would have been cute. But no, I wasn’t even allowed to trim up the growing-out-mullet. And now this. Gah!

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

    Ohhhh . . . I feel like I gained ten pounds or more. So much food, so much dessert. All crammed into what, four days, though not consecutive?

    Anyway, food, family, friends, way too much booze. And gifts. And hot chocolate. It’s not the bounty I mind so much, it’s the fucking aftermath! Even with all the fun, the aftermath!
    ————————————

    Anyone know of a bank that’s good to do business with? I’ve been with Bank of America since I had enough money to act as reason for opening an account. But with all the brouhaha I’ve been hearing, and particularly how they’ll be hiking their rates, I’ve been thinking about switching. My cousin uses Wells Fargo, says it’s a good bank, Mom uses Citizens. Any other suggestions?
    ——————————–

    Aside from just not liking the way I feel when I’ve eaten too much for several days, is it horribly paranoid of me to have the thought, “Must not get out of shape, must be able to outrun the fundies if they take over”?

  181. chigau (難しい) says

    kristinc
    It sounds like Bella is ready for a wild, retro, waxed, coloured “mohawk”.
    Would that work?

  182. Pteryxx says

    Greetz and happy dark time y’all. I’m back and here’s my report.

    I bailed on internet and everything and drove cross-country, there to spend a week in a cabin with dearly beloved partner who hasn’t seen me in meatspace for a year. Xe gifted me with my first ever console (old and used but still good) and a starter kit of games, including Metroid Prime and some Zelda or other. I dragged a TV with me in the car (to a campground yet!) specifically so we could game together.

    As for my gift to partner, as it was NSFW, I’ll just say that it was… ahem… very well received. Yowza.

  183. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    chigau: oh no, no, no no no. That would not work at all. Because, you see, mohawks or indeed any kind of short hair aren’t “pretty”. And it is of supreme importance that she be “pretty”. Only Disney-teen-actress style hair will possibly be adequate.

    Can’t wait till she grows out of this.

  184. John Morales says

    kristinc:

    And now I’m the bad guy because I’m telling her that of course most what she left will have to be cut off to even things up.

    She’s right; you don’t have to.

    (What’s so necessary about evening things up?)

  185. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    (What’s so necessary about evening things up?)

    Technically nothing, since it’s not endangering her health. But it looks awful. She has a bizarre three-level mullet going on. And, well, I have to be seen with her, and unfortunately people do judge mothers for their kids’ lack of haircuts. I let her wear practically anything she wants but letting her walk around looking like a badger chewed her head is a bit much.

  186. John Morales says

    Thanks, kristinc, your honesty is refreshing. Really.

    (I’m so, so glad I chose not to become a parent!)

  187. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Yep chigau, I’m thinking that’s about the way to go. I like my haircutter a lot and she’ll figure something out. I’m sure the kid will look adorable but she’s going to be sad she can’t wear her hair elastics anymore (it’ll probably be too short for even stubby pigtails). Well, kid, nobody made ya chop at it.

    John: I did have a friend whose kid got lost in a crowd and she was so frantic the only thing she could think of to describe him was “he has a really bad home haircut”. He was found in about 5 minutes, so apparently there is that benefit of looking like a badger chewed on your head.

  188. janine says

    I find that just as distasteful as mandating religion by force.

    So, how much force. A simple beating. Detaining. Imprisonment. Torture. Death.

    What are the acceptable lines here?

  189. says

    Good morning
    Damn, I just broke a plastic bit off our washing machine :(

    kristinc

    Technically nothing, since it’s not endangering her health. But it looks awful. She has a bizarre three-level mullet going on. And, well, I have to be seen with her, and unfortunately people do judge mothers for their kids’ lack of haircuts. I let her wear practically anything she wants but letting her walk around looking like a badger chewed her head is a bit much.

    I usually make sure that people who really deal with us are informed about what happened and give a fuck about the rest.
    So, I wouldn’t take her to the hairdresser until she wants it and inform her teachers and say, friends’ parents.
    #1’s kindergarten teachers know that she dresses herself and that I only veto if it is indeed not weather appropriate, and that I don’t beg her to let me comb her hair, so if she doesn’t show up when I call her, she goes unkempt.
    That’s not my problem.

  190. drbunsen le savant fou says

    janine:

    California Uber Alles The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy

    \o/

    Amazing how a song from the early 90s, sampling a song from the early 80s, is still so relevant. In the words of a net-famous protest sign, “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit.”

    Banging tune though :)

    Hello again, TETlings. I’ve missed you all.

  191. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    2011 celebrities and science

    Dr Simon Boxall, oceanographer, tackles

    …reality TV’s Snooki Polizzi put forward her own theory for why the sea is salty (too much whale sperm).

    And Dr Chris Lintott, astrophysicist, tackles Bill O’Reilly’s claim that we have no understanding of how the tides work.

  192. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Kat, pretty much. As the good Dr says:

    Snooki – it would take a lot of whale sperm to make the sea that salty! The salt in the sea comes from many millions of years of water flowing over rocks and minerals. It slowly dissolves them leading to the ‘salty’ nature of the seas – it’s not just salt but every material on the planet including gold. Salt water actually keeps our oceans free from many human pathogens (microorganisms that cause disease) – so why not give the beach another try and get back in the water?

    I was sorry to read your tale of xmas… at least nephews are awesome and cats are cute!

  193. carlie says

    kristinc, is she acting out about something else that’s really bothering her? I wonder if she isn’t subconsciously objecting to her own adoption of the princess-pretty meme. She might like a pixie cut like Ginnifer Goodwin for the cut fix (she’s had several lengths, all of them cute). I got my hair all chopped off yesterday too, although on purpose. Went from just below my shoulders to an angled layered bob thing that barely reaches my chin in front. Not quite sure about it, but you know, it will grow. Hers will too.

    PTI – I second the credit union. Ask around town about it, though; we went with one and ended up being not all that pleased with the service (we refinanced our mortgage, were told by the credit union that it was serviced through another company that never never sold off their mortgages, and it was sold not two weeks after it went through). But in general, credit unions are definitely the way to go.

  194. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ John M. & kristinc

    A parents’ dictum: Great responsibility but small power.

    Danish/Scandinavian proverb:

    Children are certain sorrow, but uncertain joy.

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

    Dear fellow Brit Pharyngulites: for your delectation, and another opportunity to express your righteous opprobrium –

    .

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/18914

    Thatcher state funeral to be privatised

    Responsible department: Cabinet Office

    In keeping with the great lady’s legacy, Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders. The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.

    Almost 22k signatories so far, and it hasn’t been up all that long – I’m sure a little pharyngulation wouldn’t come amiss (and it’s so nicely written, too …)

  196. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Kat,

    They may cause problems because of other people but they are most definitely not problems intrinsically.

    I don’t know what gender counselling in the US is like but my own transgender friends in the UK found theirs useful…

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

    Oh, and I quite forgot to add the traditional exchange:

    “Should Thatcher have a State Funeral?”
    “Yes, why wait ’til she’s dead”

    aaand … rimshot

    @Katherine,
    I remember what you wrote earlier about some of your family members in “holiday” mode – particularly your uncle, who sounds like an obnoxious overbearing self-satisfied paternalistic arse – and I just wanted to say, go you for surviving it ::clenched tentacle salute::.

  198. says

    @serendipitydawg:

    I merely fear that having to come out to family as transgender may make a solid wall between us. I want to stay in their lives, be a part of the family still, but I don’t know how they’d react and it scares me.

    Anyway, lunch and a Toastmasters meeting. Back later.

  199. says

    Katherine
    Although I cannot relate to your level of difficulties, I know how hard it is to take steps that are good and necessary but that might break family connections.
    You have my hugs and sympathy.

    +++++

    I hereby declare Giliell’s Law: the more stupid an argument adressed to me is, the more crudely the author will misspell my nym…

  200. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

    Kat,

    I want to stay in their lives, be a part of the family still, but I don’t know how they’d react and it scares me.

    I can certainly understand that and only you can judge their likely reaction. Certainly my own friends’ experiences have been very mixed, one losing contact with her brother for several years before a recent tentative reconciliation.

  201. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    LOCAL DC HORDE:

    Hey folks, Protoplasmoid is visiting DC next week, and we’re organizing a meet-up. Go here to vote on the dates and possible activities:

    Choices include:
    Movie matinee
    Dinner
    Ice-skating
    A night walk around the monuments

    Email me with questions, I’m still not able to keep up TET. :(

  202. says

    PTI, I third the credit union suggestion. Not all are equal, but at your bank you are a customer, at your CU you are a member. In theory you can vote for who’s on the board and you can become a board member. Your money is also federally protected, just like in a bank.
    ++++++++++++++++
    kristinc, to any stranger that says anything, just smile sadly and whisper “chemotherapy.”

  203. chigau (難しい) says

    The Sailor

    kristinc, to any stranger that says anything, just smile sadly and whisper “chemotherapy.”

    That is soooo much better than “None of your fucking business!”

  204. says

    The Art Garfunkel was very nice.

    He also did one of my favorite renditions of I Only Have Eyes For You
    ++++++++++++++++
    After taking a couple of days off I went into work this morning. I first tackled a solution problem left behind by a computer scientist that works on a CORE grant that is supposed to provide solutions to programming problems that multiple research groups have in common.

    Her solution was to write it in a C flavor compiled for Ubuntu.

    None of us have that flavor of *nix, the closest we come is OS X, which has a BSD base.
    So here is her solution for our Windoze:
    1) Buy VMWARE ($200 per machine)
    2) D/L Ubuntu and install this OS in the VMWARE partition. (You may have to reboot twice to change the BIOS settings of the PC.)
    3) D/L OpenCV client and install it.
    3) Use the Ubuntu CLI to install a Bourne shell script she wrote that resides on her CVS.
    4) That shell script calls a (probably C flavored) executable.

    Total installation time for an experienced user? About 2 hours.

    Once I had a hold of the shell script I installed it and the executable on my Mac locally, fired up Terminal, and attempted to run the script. Access not authorized, so I sudoed as root and set everything in the path to 777 (kids, don’t try this at home).
    Ran the shell script again … but it won’t run the exe code she produced and the source code isn’t there so I can’t recompile for OS’s that we actually use.

    BTW, she shit this turd on the Friday before her 2 week holiday vacation and isn’t replying to email.
    ++++++++++++++++++
    My solution is to fire her and get someone that understands that we can’t spend $200 for software, 2 hours of labor, (billed to our grant at about $100/hr), for something that the non-sophisticated end user needs clumsy CLI commands to operate.

    We spent at least 6 hours to have this capability on 3 machines. I was so pissed that I left early. (It helps that there were zero cars in the faculty parking lot;-)

    OK, slash rant. (I was kinda first drafting this email I want to write to my boss but I have to phrase it much more politically. My boss is a feminist (yea!) and an atheist (yea!) and keeps trying to support this programmer, but a lot of researchers are complaining about her work. Men & women.

    The CS MS doesn’t understand how to transpose coordinates between XY to X’Y’.
    The CS MS doesn’t understand that you program in the OS and language people use, not expect them to spend hours of arcane commands and spend hundreds of dollars per workstation to use your tool.

    OK, now /rant.

  205. says

    chigau, it’s at least one step above “well, bless your heart.”

    Alternative: “I’z going to Beauty School, can I give you an appointment card?”

  206. says

    not feeling too well, so just as a drive-by:

    my Christmas wasn’t so swell, this song sums it about up ;), but I got a neat Christmas present, a manga set in a (Japanese) Catholic all-girls schools originally for nobility. This manga, called Maria-sama ga miteru (literally “Lady Mary is watching”), is famous for being a trail-blazer in the field of LGBT manga (I was never a big shojo manga fan, so I might have missed earlier works). This led to a session of downloading all kinds of LGBT-themed raws (because what was given to me was a translation, it’s just too weird when the junior students use “Sie” when speaking to the senior students (“senpai”), while the senior students use “Du”)

    North Korea: it is a monarchy, even in legal terms. In communist systems, the most important post is that of the secretary-general, while the presidency (or chairmanship) is really just window-dressing. And just have a look at who’s just been appointed SG, after his father and his grandfather before him. The funeral was like a soap opera to me, all these question whether (a) Princess Tenko, (b) Kim Jong-Nam, (c) Zhang Dejiang would attend (all no-shows in the end). German newspaper christened Kim Jeong-Un “Pu das Brot”, a blend of “Pooh the Bear” and the “Bernd das Brot”

    Gender neutral pronoun: Again, I ask: what’s wrong with singular they? It’s only been around for 600 years or so?? But to those using “xe/hir”, I’ve read up now on how these are supposed to be pronounced, but why do you advocate the usage of pronouns that completely look out of whack from the p.o.v. of English orthography. English orthography has rules (or broad tendencies), and I don’t think it’ll be helpful to use forms that slow down the reader (initial x) or mislead them (hir, often misread as “her”, because that’s how the sequence /ir/ is usually read!)

    But re theophontes’ proposal of using Mandarin ta: I’ve thought of the same thing, but then I thought of how the reader would be thrown off by it, and just decided to use singular they whenever possible, including “themself”. But I’d also like to add that in writing Chinese does differentiate a LOT:

    these are all read ta1, and are 3rd p. singular pronouns
    他: “human radical” referring to a man
    她: “woman radical” referring to a woman
    牠: “cow radical” referring to an animal
    祂: “religious radical” referring to god
    它: “house radical” referring to an object, and abstract concepts

    (apparently the PRC doesn’t use the animal and religious ones)
    plural can be created by adding -men. Respectful pronoun tan 1 怹 (the only time I’ve seen this is in a MA thesis dedication to the author’s parents)

    K-Pop Anyone listen to Kanto-Pop? I don’t because I don’t understand Cantonese. But so many people claim that the Cantonese versions ALWAYS sound much better than the Mandarin ones (and probably Cantonese singers, especially from HK, will be more comfortable singing in their mother tongue, I presume)

    Eason Chan, “the King of Karaoke”

    Cantonese
    Mandarin

    Jacky Cheung, “Every Day I Love You a Little More”

    Cantonese

    Mandarin

  207. says

    not feeling too well, so just as a drive-by:

    my Christmas wasn’t so swell, this song sums it about up ;), but I got a neat Christmas present, a manga set in a (Japanese) Catholic all-girls schools originally for nobility. This manga, called Maria-sama ga miteru (literally “Lady Mary is watching”), is famous for being a trail-blazer in the field of LGBT manga (I was never a big shojo manga fan, so I might have missed earlier works). This led to a session of downloading all kinds of LGBT -themed raws (because what was given to me was a translation, it’s just too weird when the junior students use “Sie” when speaking to the senior students (“senpai”), while the senior students use “Du”)

    North Korea: it is a monarchy, even in legal terms. In communist systems, the most important post is that of the secretary-general, while the presidency (or chairmanship) is really just window-dressing. And just have a look at who’s just been appointed SG, after his father and his grandfather before him. The funeral was like a soap opera to me, all these question whether (a) Princess Tenko, (b) Kim Jong-Nam, (c) Zhang Dejiang would attend (all no-shows in the end). German newspaper christened Kim Jong-Un “Pu das Brot”, a blend of “Pooh the Bear” and the “Bernd das Brot”

    Gender neutral pronoun: Again, I ask: what’s wrong with singular they? It’s only been around for 600 years or so?? But to those using “xe/hir”, I’ve read up now on how these are supposed to be pronounced, but why do you advocate the usage of pronouns that completely look out of whack from the p.o.v. of English orthography. English orthography has rules (or broad tendencies), and I don’t think it’ll be helpful to use forms that slow down the reader (initial x) or mislead them (hir, often misread as “her”, because that’s how the sequence /ir/ is often read!)

    But re theophontes’ proposal of using Mandarin ta: I’ve thought of the same thing, but then I thought of how the reader would be thrown off by it, and just decided to use singular they whenever possible, including “themself”. But I’d also like to add that in writing Chinese does differentiate a LOT:

    these are all read ta1, and are 3rd p. singular pronouns
    他: “human radical” referring to a man
    她: “woman radical” referring to a woman
    牠: “cow radical” referring to an animal
    祂: “religious radical” referring to god
    它: “house radical” referring to an object, and abstract concepts

    (apparently the PRC doesn’t use the animal and religious ones)
    plural can be created by adding -men. Respectful pronoun tan 1 怹 (the only time I’ve seen this is in a MA thesis dedication to the author’s parents)

    K-Pop Anyone listen to Kanto-Pop? I don’t because I don’t understand Cantonese. But so many people claim that the Cantonese versions ALWAYS sound much better than the Mandarin ones (and probably Cantonese singers, especially from HK, will be more comfortable singing in their mother tongue, I presume)

  208. says

    oh right, Alethea: I think we did reach the point of diminishing returns wrt the question of Roman (non)democracy. But I just wanted to add, that I’ve studied Latin for enough years in school to find many admirable things about the Roman empire, but democracy was never one of them. (Maybe the struggle of the plebes for more representation that’s something I could identify with as a social democrat, but that this struggle was necessary does not work in favour of the Roman system in my eyes)

  209. says

    Ah, Chinese rock, a topic I don’t know much about. Hüsker Dü?

    (I usuall listen to (foreign) music in order to learn the language, so I need to be able to follow the lyrics)

    There’s a Taiwanese alt rock band though I like, Mayday (五月天)

    瘋狂世界 (Crazy World)

    They also sing some of their songs in Taiwanese.

    HoSee

    This was one of the Taiwanese expressions Japanese exchange students in Taiwan found immensely funny: ho i si 呼伊死 sounds similar to Japanese “oishii” (delicious), but the Taiwanese phrase means “kill him/her/it”

  210. says

    this reminds me of a German greeting Chinese exchange students find very funny:

    tschüß (good bye) sounds like qu4si3 去死 “go die”

    and this reminds me of the German woman in Australia who was telling her son to “be careful” on his way to school by saying “pass auf!”. Her Australian neighbours thought she was telling him to “piss off”. So she started saying “Achtung” like in a bad Hollywood Nazi movie.

  211. says

    TheSailor,

    incorrect according to who?

    English speakers, including Chaucer,*) Shakespeare**) and various babble translators, have been using it in the singular for 500 years.
    Even the Canadian Department of Justice now recommends using singular they in legal texts. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=26

    *) Chaucer example:
    “And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame,
    They wol come up […]“

    **) Shakespeare example:
    There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me
    As if I were their well-acquainted friend

    No babble quotes, but as a bonus, even the dreadful White and Strunk use singular they, when they don’t pay attention to it:
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2420#more-2420

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

    I have long loved singular they – and I had no idea that it had quite such a long and “respectable” pedigree. Thank you for that interesting info, pelamun et al

  213. says

    oh the Canadians also cite the Australian Attorney-General’s example, quoting them

    Australia

    As part of its Corporations Law Simplification Program, the Attorney-General’s Department of the Commonwealth of Australia has decided to use the indefinite singular they and, among other convincing reasons, gives the following examples:

    1. There used to be two second-person pronouns in English: thou in the singular and ye in the plural. By the end of the 17th century you had replaced both and today remains the only second-person pronoun. For the past three centuries, English speakers have demonstrated by their usage that they are not disturbed by using the one pronoun in both a singular and a plural sense…language can — and does — change without a collapse in successful communication.

    2. We may be prepared to accept a sole use of he or she but in a string of sentences it becomes far too cumbersome and they is by far the happier solution […]

    So kudos not only to the Canadians, but also to the Australians!

  214. says

    Shakespeare & Chaucer cuun’t spell gude. (p,s WS was referring “not a man” meaning multiple men, => plural.

    Chaucer … I’m at a loss as to what the fuck he meant. Is Hym plural? Or did he just fuck up his antecedents? Kinda hard to tell when speakers & writers were both illiterate.

    At any rate, My Fucking Wagnalls tells me “used as third person pronoun serving as the plural of he, she, or it or referring to a group of two or more individuals not all of the same sex”

    (I prevaricated, I no longer own a Funk & Wagnalls, Online Merriam informed me. ;-)

  215. says

    oh oops, my one link about Strunk and White was actually not about them using it.

    It has happened for other rules they posit, I think the split infinitive, that they do use it in other parts of their book. So it’s totally conceivable they’d do the same for singular they, but the link isn’t about that.

    Strunk and White, if I understand correctly, would advocate the use of “gender-neutral” he.

  216. says

    Another Shakespeare example then:

    Now leaden slumber with life’s strength doth fight;
    And every one to rest themselves betake,
    Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds, that wake.

    More on this here: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002748.html

    And to quote their conclusion:

    By all means, avoid using they with singular antecedents in your own writing and speaking if you feel you cannot bear it. Language Log is not here to tell you how to write or speak. But don’t try to tell us that it’s grammatically incorrect. Because when a construction is clearly present several times in Shakespeare’s rightly admired plays and poems, and occurs in the carefully prepared published work of just about all major writers down the centuries, and is systematically present in the unreflecting conversational usage of just about everyone including Sean Lennon, then the claim that it is ungrammatical begins to look utterly unsustainable to us here at Language Log Plaza. This use of they isn’t ungrammatical, it isn’t a mistake, it’s a feature of ordinary English syntax that for some reason attracts the ire of particularly puristic pusillanimous pontificators, and we don’t buy what they’re selling.

  217. changeable moniker says

    “particularly puristic pusillanimous pontificators”. Heh.

    But they missed “pedantic”. ;)

  218. says

    Bah, bah, I say, your human chortle is benieth contempt.
    For you Squire, I submit,
    we only speak … we do not aquit.
    ++++++++++
    It’s actually kinda fun when cunning linguists are not a party to our chores.
    Pro scriptive, and pre scriptive are just a burden to my brain
    I tend to write and speak so others will obtain.

    (It scanned in the original Latin;-)

  219. changeable moniker says

    @pelamun, prolly not. My Concise OED sez: “a person who [1] insists on strict adherence to formal rules; [2] who rates academic learning above everything; [3] who is obsessed by a theory, a doctrinaire”.

    Of course, my appeal to the authority of the COED makes me a pedant. ;)

  220. says

    fair enough, changeable moniker. in my mind though, a pedant obsesses about trivial matters which nonetheless are correct. but I guess singular they could be “incorrect” within a faulty framework, like that of Strunk and White.

    Note: I’m not talking about idiolects here, for some people, singular they might indeed be incorrect, we’ll have to take their word for it. I’m talking about standard English here.

  221. says

    janine,

    What are the acceptable lines here?

    A criminal should always be regarded as a person, who can still be treated unjustly, therefore some line should be drawn. Torture is a perpetual temptation to cross a line into inflicting pain because it’s exciting to inflict pain, inherently a dehumanizing activity for the victim and usually the torturer as well. I would oppose torture.

    +++++
    John,

    Religious Confucianism.

    I’m not sure what your point might be here. I did indicate that the Confucian revival encouraged by followers of Deng Xiaoping is a problem. Maoists during the Cultural Revolution were not so tolerant.

  222. says

    but love moderately,

    you are aware that by defending the Maoist stance against religion, you also condone one of the most extensive excesses in human history of destroying cultural artifacts from all periods of Chinese history? And don’t tell me you only like the anti-religious bits of it. The Red Guards didn’t care about pesky distinctions like that.

    I hope I misunderstand you here that you intend to defend the Cultural Revolution. If you indeed do, then I’d have some epithets for you.

  223. says

    Drive by Hi and how are ya?
    Tired….waaaaay tired. Just got through writing, editing,and rewriting a piece that was supposed to be small (100 words or so) but ended up being me spilling my guts all over the place. Posted in P.E.T. Docs for review and because quite a few folks were demanding it.
    I need a drink.
    Kat, sorry about your holiday. But YAY kitteh and nephews!
    Glad to see everyone back.
    Going to be a bit spacey for a bit while I think of an idea for another piece.
    I will also publicly acknowledge on T.E.T. (I’ve already done this on P.E.T.) that the Horde was right and I was wrong. I may have a modicum of talent for writing and should not have thrown my writings in a box and declared them crap.

  224. says

    pelamun, like anything else, I could only give certain answers about particular cases. I’m sure many mistakes were made. I said what I said about the anti-religious bits of it. But since you ask: in general, I can see a case for destroying the secular monuments and artifacts of imperial dynasties, so I would not object to this in principle.

  225. Cannabinaceae says

    Drive by gift report.

    Well, nothing much to report. I forgot to get B.I.L. anything special (I got all the adults, including him, big herkin’ ice scrapers for their cars), so I gave him a lump of coal (well, chunk charcoal but he got the idea). By complete coincidence, his parents (who have their own giftie thing on the eve), who for some reason adore me, got be a bunch of “Lump of Coal” English Stout. Quite hilarious, and quite good.

  226. John Morales says

    ॐ, isn’t it obvious that your hope for ongoing Chinese communist anti-religionism* is not exactly well-founded, and that their Maoism is mutating (becoming more pragmatic and less ideologic)?

  227. Cannabinaceae says

    On wisdom teeth.

    The most pleasurable moment in my life was when, after the X-rays were taken, I was injected with a local anesthetic, which silenced the pain from a wisdom tooth that had come in sideways, gotten cracked, and then impacted. Painful pain of extreme painfulness.

    Note 1: chewing your tongue while trying to eat when half your jaw is asleep is kind of like eating tripe.

    Note 2: the local they used didn’t seem to have any combinatory effets with cannabis.

  228. says

    love moderately,

    first off about anti-religious measures: even if the Cultural Revolution was fully peaceful in its means, and “only” imposed fines and jail on believers, what good is there to be found in coerced atheism? I fail to see how that would benefit the cause of skepticist atheism.

    But on to the you condoning the Cultural

  229. says

    love moderately,

    first off about anti-religious measures: even if the Cultural Revolution was fully peaceful in its means, and “only” imposed fines and jail on believers, what good is there to be found in coerced atheism? I fail to see how that would benefit the cause of skepticist atheism.

    But on to the you condoning the Cultural Revolution. You seem to have chosen enough weasel words so I hesitate to direct my epithets at you, but:

    – many people were killed. In June 1966, in Beijing alone 100 school teachers were murdered by the Red Guards. Watch this documentary, banned in China (Eng subtitles). There were no Cambodian style killing fields, but who knows what would have happened if Mao hadn’t died in 1976?

    – many more were forcibly moved from cities to the countryside. Many were publicly humiliated (this video shows some of this, though I don’t know the wider context of this material)

    – and many, many artifacts and documents were destroyed. You know that I’m passionate in my disgust of and opposition to monarchy and nobility, but how can you condone destroying artifacts and documents? What purpose is there to erase a country’s history and culture? I find this kind of thinking bordering on totalitarianism. (also to further Godwin this: Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.)

    Anyway, how anyone can condone the Cultural Revolution is just beyond me. Even the CCP has acknowledged this. They ban films like the one I linked, but enough of their cadres have suffered through the horrors of it that they are well aware of how devastating it was. The official party line is 毛泽东七分功三分过 (Mao Zedong 70% success, 30% mistakes). The Cultural Revolution is firmly in the mistake rubric.

  230. changeable moniker says

    @pelamun, I’m a lapsed Scouser. We don’t have a particularly consistent view of language, other than that Mancunians and the Welsh talk funny.

  231. says

    Some more figures on the estimated victims:

    official numbers at the trial of the Gang of Four:

    In the trial of the so-called Gang of Four, a Chinese court stated that 729,511 people had been persecuted, of which 34,800 were said to have died

    Other sources differ wildly, but are all much higher than the official numbers

    The true figure of those who were persecuted or died during the Cultural Revolution may never be known, since many deaths went unreported or were actively covered up by the police or local authorities. The state of Chinese demographics at the time was very poor, and the PRC has been hesitant to allow formal research into the period.[72] In their book Mao’s Last Revolution (2006), the Sinologists Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals assert that in rural China alone some 36 million people were persecuted, of whom between 750,000 and 1.5 million were killed, with roughly the same number permanently injured.[73] In Mao: The Unknown Story, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday claim that as many as 3 million people died in the violence of the Cultural Revolution.[74] Sociologist Daniel Chirot claims that around 100 million people suffered and at least one million people, and perhaps as many as 20 million, died in the Cultural Revolution.[75]

  232. says

    On a pessimistic day, I can see Love Moderately’s point. I can also appreciate the classic plan of strangling the last king with the entrails of the last priest. Though for “king” we need to read more broadly than Diderot – last Koch brother, last plutocrat.

    On optimistic days, one can hope for non-violent revolution. I’m not sure that’s realistic, though.

  233. says

    changeable moniker,

    I love Labskaus, the dish the term “scouse” is apparently derived from.

    Trick to remember when trying to get Japanese exchange groups to eat it (the dish at first glance can look like vomit, at least in the North German variant): make them all cook it together, it’s a fun communal experience and they’ll know what’s inside…

  234. says

    BTW, that’s specifically the point about outlawing religion, not the whole “cultural revolution”. I don’t think LM said anything about that horror, but maybe I missed something.

  235. says

    On optimistic days, one can hope for non-violent revolution. I’m not sure that’s realistic, though.

    This has always been the credo of the Social Democratic movement (known as Labour parties in the Anglo-Saxon world). Or rather non-violent reformation through the system. Prior to WW2, many Social Democratic Parties actually wanted to achieve socialism through the democratic process, but this is a goal most parties no longer follow…

  236. says

    Alethea,

    I’m not sure. But I find it hard to try and just separate the acceptable bits out of Maoism (ignoring for the time being that I don’t think outlawing religion is particularly useful either).

    The idea behind the Great Cultural Revolution was to eliminate anything connected to the feudal past, and this included not only religion and other types of non-Communist ideology, but also monuments, artwork, buildings, books and documents, and ultimately, people also (in Cambodia this was done to perfection, I think they killed 25% of their population IIRC).

    But probably LM knows much more about Maoism than I do, and might be able to shed more light on the finer distinctions here.

  237. says

    weird: interest rates on Danish bonds:

    three months: -0.21%
    six months: -0.07%
    nine months: +0.03%

    (total volume, sold on Thursday: 310 million EUR / 2.32 billion DKR)

  238. says

    John,

    ॐ, isn’t it obvious that your hope for ongoing Chinese communist anti-religionism* is not exactly well-founded,

    Oh, yes! It certainly looks that way. Rather, when I say I “am ultimately in favor of a communist state which mandates atheism by force, although I believe successful implementation of such a program will take several generations, the first of which should focus on suppressing clergy rather than all believers“, I’m expressing a general hope about the communist states of the future.

  239. says

    am ultimately in favor of a communist state which mandates atheism by force

    Morally disgusting and utterly unethical. The tactics of an intellectual coward.

    You do forget, there COULD be a god or some force. Replacing them with a dogma of atheism is disgusting, just vile.

    I think I’ll keep you in my kill file, clearly you’re not on the side of angles.

  240. says

    Clarification: I feel any utopia or improved state would have significant education on rational thought and science and history and enough egalitarian laws and protections against violence to render the danger of religion obsolete.

  241. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Sigh

    Both my sisters and myself are not vaccinated, by choice of our parents (and I, in turn, am not going to vaccinate my children). My sisters and I are all totally fine and have never had any problems, and we were consistently less sick than all of our classmates growing up. We’ve always been in the top percentiles for “health”. I’m not saying this to incite any fury or anything, I just want to throw it out there that we’re normal people, too.

    And trust me, everyone in the world knows that non-vaccinated people are apparently subhuman because we don’t have vials and vials of unnecessary junk pumped into our veins; we have to sign waivers for every school and every job. If there’s an outbreak of MMR at my university, I can’t be on campus and my professors don’t have to let me make up the work. I’ll just lose my tuition money with a “W” for a grade.

    All that just because everyone else is so bent on controlling everyone else’s life. That’s also the reason for any debates on abortion. Everyone wants to have a say on how other people live their life when it doesn’t affect them at ALL.

    If I am not vaccinated against a disease and I become a carrier, and you and I are in the same room… if you’re vaccinated against it, what does it matter? I think people should stop being obsessed with everyone else’s lives and quit trying to foist their choice of lifestyle on the rest of the world. That’ll be a little easier for everyone.

  242. says

    what good is there to be found in coerced atheism? I fail to see how that would benefit the cause of skepticist atheism.

    The good is in the lack of religious organizations which can threaten the people’s revolution.

    Neither am I content to stomp out racism by merely arguing skeptically against racism.

    many people were killed. In June 1966, in Beijing alone 100 school teachers were murdered by the Red Guards.

    I suspect that was unnecessary brutality. If it was necessary to get them out of their occupations, they could have been sent into other lines of work.

    many more were forcibly moved from cities to the countryside. Many were publicly humiliated

    I won’t condemn those tactics, although I would stipulate that the forcible moves in particular may have often been unnecessary.

    and many, many artifacts and documents were destroyed. You know that I’m passionate in my disgust of and opposition to monarchy and nobility, but how can you condone destroying artifacts and documents? What purpose is there to erase a country’s history and culture?

    You already know the purpose — “to eliminate anything connected to the feudal past” — you apparently just don’t agree it’s a useful goal. I think there’s an argument to be made for it; by eliminating old objects of veneration, nostalgia may be minimized after the generations who remember are gone.

    Anyway, how anyone can condone the Cultural Revolution is just beyond me. Even the CCP has acknowledged this.

    Yes, but I wonder if that’s because so many people died unnecessarily during the Cultural Revolution. That may be reason enough for the modern party to condemn it.

    But probably LM knows much more about Maoism than I do, and might be able to shed more light on the finer distinctions here.

    Nah. I think you’re probably better informed than I am.

    I don’t do the sort of apologetics which require a “right-thinking Maoist” to learn a bunch of point-counterpoint by rote. That’s terribly boring. I just hear of something that sounds to me like a good idea, or something that sounds to me like a bad idea, and I say so.

  243. says

    You do forget, there COULD be a god or some force. Replacing them with a dogma of atheism is disgusting, just vile.

    Presumably, if it is a benevolent god, it will regard the fact that people were raised under the coercion of state atheism to be a mitigating circumstance which should count against their eternal damnation.

  244. says

    Clarification: I feel any utopia or improved state would have significant education on rational thought and science and history and enough egalitarian laws and protections against violence to render the danger of religion obsolete.

    And if that day ever comes, then I will be happy to admit I was unduly pessimistic.

  245. says

    Presumably, if it is a benevolent god, it will regard the fact that people were raised under the coercion of state atheism to be a mitigating circumstance which should count against their eternal damnation.

    Did I mention damnation at all? Or even any threat from the god? I was mentioning you basically squashing honest pursuit and truth for the sake of purity.

    I guess having the state stomp people into the ground is fine as long as you’re the one wearing the boots.

    I’m done. The blog just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Later.

  246. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter
    Of course these fools think herd immunity will protect them when they’re the ones actually decreasing the effectiveness of it. Thanks for bringing whooping cough back you sacks of human offal!

  247. says

    One of the bitterly amusing things about Maoism is that the Little Red Book is so lovely. It’s all in favour of tolerance of various ideas and education and stuff. Pity Mao didn’t practise what he preached.

  248. says

    Did I mention damnation at all? Or even any threat from the god? I was mentioning you basically squashing honest pursuit and truth for the sake of purity.

    Ah. Sorry. I assumed wrongly.

    It’s not for the sake of purity, though. It’s for the sake of taking power away from religious organizations. Wrong or “impure” ideas which do not threaten humanism can be ignored by the state.

  249. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    I’ve decided that from now on when someone asks my religion I’m going to respond “Chanel No. 19″. Mmmmmmm.

  250. says

    Now that I’ve made it loud and clear that I’m an Atheist I can only use Sith or Jedi with folks that don’t know me.

  251. says

    To conflate the topics, I don’t see anything wrong per se with outlawing some kinds of religion – it goes right along with having antiquackery laws, and truth in advertising laws, and consumer rights laws. It’s about protecting the public from exploitation by harmful liars.

  252. carlie says

    Book rant:

    I wanted a book. Went online to amazon, book is on sale cheap! Decide no, I should buy it at my local bookstore, which is a chain, but still employing people in town. Looked at its own online site, and it’s on sale there too, yay! Go to the store, find out no, not on sale in store itself. But I have a membership, which gives me 40% off of bestselling hardcovers, which this is! Yay! But no, it’s classified as a YA book, so not eligible for the discount.

    Got annoyed at the whole thing, went home, logged into the library site and put a copy on hold.

    This is why booksellers are going out of business. Hmpf.

    (I can understand it costing more at a brick and mortar store than on amazon, but it cost more than its own website, and was classified as to be ineligible for the discount based on a membership that I paid for to get discounts. That’s just aggravating.)

  253. carlie says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Feministe just linked to a NYTimes op-ed about why you should get vaccinated here.

    excerpt:

    The truth is, we should not get vaccinated for ourselves alone; we should do it for one another. Having cancer has taught me the value of living in a community. We assist the infirm, pay our taxes and donate to charity, and getting vaccinated — for the flu, for adult whooping cough, for pneumonia — is just another important societal responsibility. After all, we’re in the same herd.

  254. John Morales says

    Alethea, I’m entirely in favour of outlawing specific activities — but not of outlawing religion(s) per se.

    (Smacks too much of thought-policing, to me)

  255. says

    Yeah, John, that’s why I said “some kinds” not “all”. It would be tricky to codify, but some form of consumer protection does seem in order. Selling pie in the sky when you die is a lot more nebulous than selling cancer-curing apricot pits and piss. But the sorts of scam that Mother Theresa pulled off should be liable. Taking millions for the poor and spending it on other things entirely is clearly deceptive.

  256. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    shouldbeworking: heeeeeee. Gimme that old time religion!

    After all, it was good enough for Isis. And whatever else you may say, you do have to admit she came through in a crisis. Plus, she never raised her prices. So, yeah, it’s a fair bet to say it’s good enough for me.

    :P

  257. says

    <rant>

    This family is so damn dysfunctional.

    Mom works a full time job and still maintains the house. My brother works as many hours as he can get and takes care of his son when he’s home.

    Then there’s my uncle and my brother’s girlfriend. The biggest difference is that my uncle at least tries to help around the house. (Frankly, he doesn’t leave his room very often, and when he makes a mess elsewhere in the house, he cleans it up.) My brother’s girlfriend doesn’t even do that.

    Case in point: a short while ago, she turned on a stove burner, despite seeing cat urine dried onto it. Her exact words, after I had evacuated the house because of the smell: “Well, I’m not gonna clean it!”

    She lives here rent-free, doesn’t do a damn bit of housework here, but is willing to go do housework at her cousin’s house…

    </rant>

  258. Happiestsadist says

    Depeche Mode has its good songs, but Enjoy The Silence ain’t one of them. But then, it is the thing most guaranteed to cause a PTSD flashback.

    I’m not even going to touch all their songs about 15 year old girls.

  259. Happiestsadist says

    Also, though I’m not surprised Love Moderately is a nasty authoritarian piece of work (having been here long enough to know), fucking hell, it’s still surprising when the apologetics for the Cultural Revolution come up.

  260. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    I wonder: if it were only illegal for a church to receive money from its congregation in any way, wouldn’t most of them just dry up right there?

  261. firstapproximation says

    Let it again be entered into the record that I defend Maoist suppression of religion, and am ultimately in favor of a communist state which mandates atheism by force, although I believe successful implementation of such a program will take several generations, the first of which should focus on suppressing clergy rather than all believers.

    Whoa. sgbm can sometimes take some radical stances, but wow….

  262. chigau (難しい) says

    Well, I’m back.
    An hour late due to an accident on Highway 2 northbound just south of Leduc.
    Almost everyone on the bus had some kind of Device™ and we were sharing info but I still don’t know what happened.
    By the time we got to The Scene it was all tidy.
    It was the Middle of Nowhere

  263. amblebury says

    So, I see two reviewers where I am have made Blue Valentine their movie of the year. I couldn’t agree more, I thinks it’s the most carefully crafted and poignant flick I’ve seen since Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas.

    Benjamin, that’s not dysfunctional, it’s disgusting.

  264. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I just recorded some music with my band.

    That’s the worst thing about leaving Vermont. I’ll miss my bandmates. I think this is the best band I’ve ever played in, not in terms of musical talent (that ranges) but in terms of commitment to having lots of FUN and not being assholes.

    I’ll be sure to post some links once the recordings are finished. :)

  265. chigau (難しい) says

    feh
    Brownian
    What are you doing for New Year Eve?
    Can I get an invite?
    are there other Edmontonians?

  266. amblebury says

    My day. Signed up a woman for a library visitor’s card – she was from Christchurch. Waived the usual $20.00 fee, told her she’d been through enough. She burst into tears. Not the first refugee from Christchurch who needed someone to have a debrief with.

    Dealt with an evidently fragile, scared woman. After a little while, discern she’s looking for books on dealing with childhood sexual abuse. She says people must think she’s mad. I give her a hug and tell her she most certainly isn’t.

    And, total crazyness – public holidays and foul weather. Anyone who says that libraries are dying institutions will be bludgeoned with an encyclopedia. When we have time.

  267. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Thanks amblebury!

    I have to say though, I didn’t realize the damage in Christchurch was bad enough to have refugees. Whereabouts are you?

  268. amblebury says

    I’m in the north island – New Plymouth. people come up here to visit friends or relatives, but really it’s just an escape. The ongoing problem with Christchurch is the duration and severity of the aftershocks – imagine being traumatized, trying to recover, and the trauma going on and on. The last big shocks were on 23rd Dec. The woman I was dealing with was at the airport, which had to be evacuated, at the time.

  269. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Kitty 316

    I just wish that it was better since this year I’m going to seriously look into a counselor for my gender problems …

    Not a “gender problem” but a “gender solution”. You are being honest with yourself and improving your life. That is 100% good. Kudos.

    It is society that has the problem and perhaps, though hopefully not, members of your family in particular. My take is that you are right in seeking a councilor though – not because you are wrong in anyway, but rather that they (singular) may be of great help in dealing with those mistaken individuals around you.

    @ The Sailor 326

    So here is her solution for our Windoze:…

    Sounds like you have got the problem the wrong way round. Rather than spending $200 on a vm for windose, you could be installing a vm for FREE on Ubuntu. (There is a lot to be said for stopping the bus and fixing the real problem before continuing…)

    @ Love Moderately 350

    Deng Xiaoping

    I just had a delectable meal at Deng Xiaoping’s favourite restaurant in Shekou (one of his pet projects in Shenzhen). The spicy crab was to die for…

    @ pelamun 358

    Watch this documentary, banned in China

    Sorry, can’t comment on that… youtube itself is banned in China.

  270. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Mt. Taranaki! Well, I’m glad you librarians are there to help people through the trauma.

    I can tell I’m up too late when the only other people posting are in NZ and Australia.

    Bon soir everyone.

  271. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Caine

    Article on teh laughing animulz…. scroll down to the vid on the laughing rodent. (Linky to Beeb) squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

  272. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    Cheers Sally!

    Slaap lekker… & schone traumen

  273. says

    changeable moniker,

    thanks for the Krugman link. I knew why the Danish bonds are considered stable, but the question is more why would institutional investors go for negative interest (I assume individual investors wouldn’t go for that)

    LM,

    The good is in the lack of religious organizations which can threaten the people’s revolution.

    Neither am I content to stomp out racism by merely arguing skeptically against racism.

    Yes, it is fine (for me) to penalise ideologies if they endanger other human beings’ lives. I fully support the hate crime laws in various European countries, especially the anti-Nazi laws in Germany and Austria.

    I also could behind a consumer protection law as suggested by Alethea.

    But a revolution people are forced to support, or an atheism people are forced to embrace as their “belief system” is worthless to me.

    I guess this is the difference between communists and social democrats..

    I suspect that was unnecessary brutality. If it was necessary to get them out of their occupations, they could have been sent into other lines of work.

    I won’t condemn those tactics, although I would stipulate that the forcible moves in particular may have often been unnecessary.

    I freely admit that as a social democrat I am biased against communism, but to me, looking at all the instances where communists have been in power, this what you call “unnecessary brutality” reeks to me of “no true Scotsman”. From where I am, the brutality and countless lives taken look like a feature, not a bug.

    You already know the purpose — “to eliminate anything connected to the feudal past” — you apparently just don’t agree it’s a useful goal. I think there’s an argument to be made for it; by eliminating old objects of veneration, nostalgia may be minimized after the generations who remember are gone.

    This is a totalitarian and for me totally despicable position. Have you learnt nothing from reading Nineteen Eighty-Four? The damage the CCP has dealt the Chinese culture is unimaginable. Studying history and historical objects isn’t just done for nostalgic reasons (and even if it were, again, a revolution that needs to eliminate its rivals by force and cannot succeed by persuasion is worthless to me). History helps us understand our past, and through it we can understand our present (and future) better.

    Yes, but I wonder if that’s because so many people died unnecessarily during the Cultural Revolution. That may be reason enough for the modern party to condemn it.

    Ya think? /sarc

    Anyways, I can imagine being in favour of various anti-religious measures such as:

    – getting rid of all privileges, such as tax exemptions, or state-paid salaries for clergy and other religious employees
    – “consumer protection”: state supervision of church finances (I don’t think you could outlaw giving money to churches, but maximum scrutiny of this should be called for), anywhere clergy deal with children
    – state observation (and intervention if possible) of all religious groups that seek to take over their members’ lives. Probably through child protection laws, education laws (outlawing home-schooling for instance, or even when allowing home-schooling, implementing a state-controlled curriculum and exam system ensuring that a proper scientific education) and maybe inheritance laws (I’d include cases of seniors signing away their money to a mainstream church too, that whenever this occurs, it should be flagged)
    – I’m also supportive of Dawkins’ stance that educating children from a young age in a specific religion borders on abuse, but we walk a very fine line here between coercion and liberty. If the parents wish to educate their kids in a specific denomination, and as long as it doesn’t cross the thresholds outlined above, then I’d have a hard time arguing against it. Maybe one could mandate that children could not register a religious affiliation until they’re adults (in countries where there is such a registration system). Maybe the state education could emphasise that it is a right of every person to choose their religion or non-religion freely (and teaching that there is no scientific evidence for any religious claims might be a countermeasure to religious parents trying to steer their kids towards their own religion)

  274. says

    Sally,

    you’re up so late that it is morning already in Europe XD…

    theophontes,

    what about the various solutions to circumvent the GFWoC? At least 1-2 years ago it was said that no teach-savvy person would be stopped by it…

  275. says

    “intervention if necessary” the point of having state observation of extremist groups, and harmful religious groups is to be able to intervene, after all..

  276. says

    in fact, religious education classes in some European countries no longer teach the dogma of the dominant Christian denomilnation, but take a more clinical look at various religions. One could develop this further to a pro-atheist curriculum, but not based on coercion, but on reasoning:

    – explaining how the dogmas and claims of all religions can’t be proven scientifically.
    – studying the harm religions have brought to the world
    – making this mandatory, with no religious opt-out (and no home-schooling/or home-schooling only with the constraints as outlined above)

  277. says

    But a revolution people are forced to support, or an atheism people are forced to embrace as their “belief system” is worthless to me.

    Under liberal capitalism, everyone is forced to support, via taxes and laws against treason, a great many state institutions that they don’t agree with. Lately this practice has often been justified by John Rawls’ work on “legal obligation”, but one fanciful lie or another about the “consent of the governed” has been with us for centuries.

    I hear your complaint, but it is misleading to suggest that anything except anarchism offers a real alternative to state violence.

    I freely admit that as a social democrat I am biased against communism, but to me, looking at all the instances where communists have been in power, this what you call “unnecessary brutality” reeks to me of “no true Scotsman”.

    You’re confused. It’s precisely the opposite. It is an acknowledgement that communists have done bad shit, and should do differently in the future.

    Studying history and historical objects isn’t just done for nostalgic reasons

    I didn’t say it was.

    History helps us understand our past, and through it we can understand our present (and future) better.

    Of course, I didn’t advocate the erasure of history. I said there’s a case to be made for destruction of artifacts and monuments from imperial dynasties, so that people do not venerate these objects. I don’t have a problem with keeping documentation on what is demolished.

  278. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ pelamun

    GFWoC

    People certainly do get around it. I guess I could if I had the time. I have pottered with TOR (worked in HK but not Shenzhen). I could also try paying for an overseas VPN but haven’t bothered. To me it is not such a big thing as I spend a lot of my time in Honkers. I have heard that kindle can leap it in a single bound via 3G (which I have, though again have not experimented.)

    …………….

    Re: Mao. We must bear in mind that for Mao, it was all about Mao. If he didn’t like jeebus, it was because he couldn’t stand competition in the personality cult stakes.

    Also he did not think much about the peasant in the field. He watched the clique around him like a hawk and governed his every move around oneupmanship of this small group of very powerful (and to him potentially dangerous) people. The whole gang-of-four cultural revolution can be understood in this light. “I stepped aside and see what happened!” He could also use the tumult and time to consolidate his position.

    Do not underestimate what a genius he was for political close fighting. I trust SGBM does not have an over-romanticized impression of what made the man tick.

  279. says

    One could develop this further to a pro-atheist curriculum, but not based on coercion

    Such must entail allowing fundamentalists to homeschool their children according to whatever nonsense curriculum they dream up, else you’re talking about coercion.

    But you don’t want that:

    - making this mandatory, with no religious opt-out (and no home-schooling/or home-schooling only with the constraints as outlined above)

    So you want coercion, you just don’t have the courage (or perhaps even the introspection) to call it what it is.

  280. says

    You’re confused. It’s precisely the opposite. It is an acknowledgement that communists have done bad shit, and should do differently in the future.

    I’m not confused. As a leftist, I regard communism as a “noble idea” worth striving for. It’s the communists I have problems with. Show me one example where communists in power have NOT been authoritarian.

    For me the debate about the feasibility of communism came to a negative conclusion in 1989. The social democratic alternative is to work within the capitalist system to improve conditions from within. (Probably communists regard this kind of stance as cowardly accommodationism, along the lines of “Wer hat uns verraten – Sozialdemokraten”, but I’ll live with that)

    I’ll take Sverige over 조선민주주의인민공화국 any day…

  281. says

    LM,

    no, now you’re confusing my position. There is something called mandatory education, usually nine years, in most countries. This is certainly based on coercion (home-schooling is outlawed in many those countries, people can get fined or go to jail for not sending their kids to school, or even lose custody)

    I advocate teaching atheism as a rational stance in a mandatory education system. What I don’t advocate is to make atheism the only legal option to take. What I mean is that children after being exposed to the pro-rational curriculum, would still have the right to choose to be religious. And they shouldn’t be forced here to adopt atheism, this is the type of coercion I absolutely oppose.

  282. says

    Gah, don’t know what happened there.

    I’ll take Sverige over 조선민주주의인민공화국 any day.

    In Sverige, they even abolished the Privy Council and took away the King’s role in appointing governments (something done by the Speaker now). If I had to live in a monarchy, it would be Sweden. (of course my Swedish relatives still hate the King, because he says stupid things)

  283. says

    OK, it seems to be a problem on FtB’s end: 조선민주주의인민공화국 Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk, the official name of the Kim Hermit Kingdom…

  284. says

    Re: Mao. We must bear in mind that for Mao, it was all about Mao. If he didn’t like jeebus, it was because he couldn’t stand competition in the personality cult stakes.

    That misunderstands why most Marxists are atheists: because Marx advocated historical materialism.

    Had Marx advocated religion instead, Mao may still have developed a personality cult, but it would more likely have included religion.

    You’re not wrong about the existence of Mao’s personality cult, but it’s almost certainly incorrect to attribute any Marxist leader’s anti-religious stance to their own personality cult, when Marx’s own atheism, the doctrine of historical materialism, and the anti-revolutionary tendencies of most religious organizations are such obvious causes.

    I trust SGBM does not have an over-romanticized impression of what made the man tick.

    I have no care for or against Mao himself, in any case.

  285. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    Kim Hermit Kingdom…

    Aaah! Him Kermit! (Yes I had those for lunch too,..*BURP*

  286. says

    I’m not confused.

    You are confused, if you regard “communists have done bad shit” to be equivalent to “true communists would not do bad shit”. The latter is a No True Scotsman, and I’m obviously doing no such thing.

    Show me one example where communists in power have NOT been authoritarian.

    Why on Earth would I do that, when I’m not claiming otherwise? See, you are confused.

  287. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ ॐ

    the doctrine of historical materialism, and the anti-revolutionary tendencies of most religious organizations are such obvious causes.

    General point taken, I was referring only to Mao’s particular case (where I suspect less Marxist conviction and far more personal forces at play).

    As an aside I must say I am impressed that you are so into Marxism. It is just so out of keeping with the general creep show that is today’s “Merkin politics. Good on you.

  288. says

    You are confused, if you regard “communists have done bad shit” to be equivalent to “true communists would not do bad shit”. The latter is a No True Scotsman, and I’m obviously doing no such thing.
    .

    Why on Earth would I do that, when I’m not claiming otherwise? See, you are confused.

    Now I’m confused. Are you saying that it was to be expected that any communist government would rule in an authoritarian way?

  289. says

    Are you saying that it was to be expected that any communist government would rule in an authoritarian way?

    I don’t know. I only know that they have. I am not very confident about predicting alternate histories.

  290. says

    well, then spell out exactly what you think I’m confused about.
    I said that whenever communists have been in power, they have turned out to be authoritarian. While this doesn’t mean that it is a absolute necessity that future communist regimes wouldn’t be, I’d think I’d not want to take the risk.

    We can discuss the role coercion and authoritarianism play within communist ideology. FWIW, to me 1989 has demonstrated that the problem posed by Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (in the modern sense re political corruption, not the marital infidelity problem) can only be addressed in a liberal demcracy, whatever its flaws…

  291. says

    theophontes,

    have you read Governing China by Ken Lieberthal? he describes the process how one-man rule from Mao to Deng to Jiang became more and more collegial quite well.

  292. says

    Theophontes, that’s been known about rats for a very long time. At least it’s known among rat owners. Rats also have an audible chirp. Chas often chirps and lately Esme has started chirping, but only to Chas.

  293. says

    well, then spell out exactly what you think I’m confused about.

    The part where you claim I’m doing a No True Scotsman. That term has a meaning, and I can’t be doing that if I’m acknowledging that the communists who did bad shit were indeed communists.

    FWIW, to me 1989 has demonstrated that the problem posed by Quis custodiet ipsos custodes can only be addressed in a liberal democracy

    That’s more attributable to the consolidation of power in the executive, which is why the same problem is more prominent in some liberal democracies than others.

    A strong judiciary which can enforce constitutional guarantees of personal freedom — such as the Bill of Rights Socialism proposed by the CPUSA — is possible and probably desireable in any revolution.

  294. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    Ken Lieberthal?

    No, but I shall spoil myself when I am back on my (financial) feet.

    ……..

    On whether or not communism dooms a country to authoritarianism:

    I don’t think that this question matters in the context of American politics (it being so unlikely). On the other hand it IS important to have people within government who see things from a communist perspective.

    (Like frogs …*burp*) A good indicator of a healthy political eco-system. Let a hundred flowers bloom …

  295. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Caine

    Esme has started chirping, but only to Chas.

    Rodent Romance? ;D

  296. consciousness razor says

    I hear your complaint, but it is misleading to suggest that anything except anarchism offers a real alternative to state violence.

    It would be misleading to suggest that all “state violence” is equivalent, or that forced atheism is necessary for a society to function with minimal negative consequences. This is beside the fact that attempting to force any belief would itself be negative, and if not impossible then quixotic. And stupid.)

    Of course, I didn’t advocate the erasure of history. I said there’s a case to be made for destruction of artifacts and monuments from imperial dynasties, so that people do not venerate these objects. I don’t have a problem with keeping documentation on what is demolished.

    How does it harm anyone if someone venerates an object?

  297. says

    Question to all:

    is there anything like German cabaret in an English-speaking country, and available on youtube? Preferably something other than the “Daily Show”? Kabarett involves a comedian on the stage making fun (often in an acerbic way) of politics. Even under the Nazis and the SED cabaret existed, though treading a very fine line. (Karl Valetin, a Bavarian cabaretist in the Nazi era, once famously said when power was cut during one of his performances, “it’s because of the Leitung”, Leitung being ambiguous between “power circuit” and “political leadership”)

    I really enjoy this type of art performance, and wish there was something comparable criticising American, UK or Japanese politics (for the latter, I’ll have to make to with watching Aibo)

    love moderately,

    The part where you claim I’m doing a No True Scotsman. That term has a meaning, and I can’t be doing that if I’m acknowledging that the communists who did bad shit were indeed communists.

    All right then. But I did use a weasel word, namely “reeks of”

    That’s more attributable to the consolidation of power in the executive, which is why the same problem is more prominent in some liberal democracies than others.

    A strong judiciary which can enforce constitutional guarantees of personal freedom — such as the Bill of Rights Socialism proposed by the CPUSA — is possible and probably desireable in any revolution.

    As I said, I acknowledge liberal democracies have a lot of flaws. But look at the rights guaranteed by the constitutions of the PRC, the GDR, the USSR. The gap between constitution and reality was wide. And if the CPUSA should come to power and erect a one-party state, the same would happen.

    In a liberal democracy, change of power (however cosmetic this might be in some cases) occurs from time to time, and parties of different political stripes keep each other at bay. Again, this doesn’t work perfectly, but I still think it’s the least bad system we have.

    theophontes,

    oh don’t spend to much money on Lieberthal. In the world of American China strategists, he’s known as an unabashed panda hugger willing to sell out Taiwan in a New York minute ;)

  298. says

    pelamun, I adore cabaret of the political stripe. But it’s not very common, sadly. Most of the cabaret performers I go to see do pieces by historical artists like Brecht & Weil or Jacques Brel.

    We do have some good musical political satire in Australia – you could look on YouTube for Keating the Musical, or The Wharf Revue – but you’d really need to know about our pollies for it to make any sense. Not just feds, either, the latest wharf revue was heavily NSW-centric.

  299. says

    Alethea,

    I did follow Australian politics intensively in 1996, but after that only very sporadically, but I could start again ;)….

    Have you seen this Taiwanese video (turn on the English subtitles in youtube). I especially like the “backstabbing” scene….

  300. says

    LM,

    Democratic Socialism is different from Social Democracy. Sanders is an independent officially, but refers to himself as a Democratic Socialist I wish he would refer to himself as a Social Democrat, but then I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, the relationship between the successor organisations of SDUSA and DSA etc.

  301. says

    haha, piece of advice given to teachers of German in Chinese-speaking countries:

    about teaching “tschüß” to students of German 101: teachers must bring this word to the class as carefully as they could lest students feel like doomed and cursed

  302. consciousness razor says

    We know that it works; the results of a natural experiment demonstrate this.

    You point to Germany. Hmm… Bold move.

    First, I’ve heard plenty of people say WWII and the Holocaust were enough to get them to realize there couldn’t be a benevolent deity watching over them. In other words, correlation is not causation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, blah, blah, blah.

    But wouldn’t you expect that now that those in former East Germany have religious freedom, there would be some negative effect? Instead, I think they’re generally much better off now.

  303. says

    First, I’ve heard plenty of people say WWII and the Holocaust were enough to get them to realize there couldn’t be a benevolent deity watching over them. In other words, correlation is not causation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, blah, blah, blah.

    Ah, but I’m talking about the current differences in religiosity between former East and West Germany, not comparing Germany to other countries.

    But wouldn’t you expect that now that those in former East Germany have religious freedom, there would be some negative effect? Instead, I think they’re generally much better off now.

    I would not expect that the modest increase in religiosity is enough to counteract all the benefits of being tossed headlong into a much more robust economy, if that’s what you’re asking.

  304. says

    Also, I dispute putting the GDR forward as a natural experiment.

    Secularisation was well in course before the communists came to power. In Western Germany, many people are still “Christians in name only”, while in the GDR people were pressured to leave.

    I can’t find the link now, but I remember studies of how participation in Sunday services was dropping in the Weimar Republic and that the trend towards being a two-day a year Christian was already visible.

    But yes, in western Germany, the two state churches have still societal prestige as more or less integral parts of the system, while their role in the east is much more diminished. But remember that they were never completely eliminated:

    – Angela Merkel, born in Hamburg, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor who moved to the east (one of the few to take that direction in the 50s). She was allowed to go to university without joining the party.

    – Manfred Stolpe, a higher-up in the Lutheran church hierarchy in Brandenburg. Became governor of Brandenburg after reunification. had some pesky Stasi-related problems later on.

    Especially the area Luther was from is famous for having kept its faith (probably also CINOs mostly).

  305. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    pelamun says:

    I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, the relationship between the successor organisations of SDUSA and DSA etc.

    The relationship between the various American socialist parties is severe feuding, usually sparked by minor differences in interpreting dogma.

  306. says

    To clarify: I don’t dispute that East Germany is way less religious than the West. But there already was an ongoing secularisation process, and I’d like to check first if that process wasn’t more pronounced in the Lutheran parts (as Eastern Germany was mostly Lutheran).

    Another data point:
    Measuring religiosity is a complex issue. A conservative think tank has tried to measure it, for instance regarding the question of life after death. They really like to spin their numbers, but one can say

    – 78% of East Germans do not believe or do believe a little in life after death
    – 40% of West Germans do not believe or do believe a little in life after death.

    the figures for “do not believe at all” would be 60% v. 25%. So yeah, there is a pronounced difference nowadays.

  307. says

    Secularisation was well in course before the communists came to power.

    Significantly more so in the east than the west?

    In Western Germany, many people are still “Christians in name only”, while in the GDR people were pressured to leave.

    Differences in belief appear to be significant and robust across various studies. Phil Zuckerman reports:

    “Norris and Inglehart (2004) found that 31% of West Germans do not believe in God. According to Greeley (2003), 35% of West Germans do not believe in God. According to Froese (2001), 35% of West Germans are either atheist or agnostic. According to Greeley (2003), 75% of East Germans do not believe in God. According to Pollack (2002), 74% of East Germans and 38% of West Germans do not believe in God. According to Shand (1998), 42% of West Germans and 72% of East Germans are either atheist or agnostic.”

    But yes, in western Germany, the two state churches have still societal prestige as more or less integral parts of the system, while their role in the east is much more diminished.

    But you suggest this has nothing to do with communism in the DDR?

    But remember that they were never completely eliminated:

    Of course. It was just a couple of generations.

  308. says

    This discussion needs more vagina I think. How about Keira Knightley’s ? From the department of film critic weirdness comes this piece, and I quote :

    I’ve never wondered about Knightley’s vagina before. Her characters, though romantic leads, seem vagina-less, and yet watching A Dangerous Method, I was very aware of it. To be quite honest, I was concerned with its scent, which, according to my imagination, is distinct but not unpleasant.

    I read this after Roger Ebert tweeted this review of her new movie “A dangerous method”, directed by David Cronenberg, in our tearoom at work, and got funny looks when I broke out in uncontrollabe giggles.

  309. consciousness razor says

    Ah, but I’m talking about the current differences in religiosity between former East and West Germany, not comparing Germany to other countries.

    Okay, you’re right. Too much wine tonight maybe. I still doubt very much this “experiment” is controlled enough to identify forced atheism as causing the drop in religiosity (assuming there was a drop). Perhaps living in East Germany was so terrible that that was enough to stop believing in a benevolent deity. Etc., etc.

    I would not expect that the modest increase in religiosity is enough to counteract all the benefits of being tossed headlong into a much more robust economy, if that’s what you’re asking.

    I didn’t mean the alleged increase in religiosity*, but the simple fact they they had the freedom to be religious. That’s what you think should not be allowed, isn’t it? Suppose none of the East Germans became religious after Germany was reunified, even though they gained religious freedom. Would gaining that freedom be a bad thing itself?

    *It probably wasn’t much of an increase in religiosity, so much as people having the freedom to acknowledge in public what they hadn’t been able to say before. Instead of “forced atheism,” you may as well advocate “forced lying” for a large segment of the population. Which is just fucking wrong and stupid.

    … But honestly, I don’t fucking care. It’s such a repugnant idea to begin with that I don’t know why I should bother at all.

  310. says

    Right now I can only find current figures:

    in 2010, 12.6% of Catholics went to mass, compared with 3.7% of Lutherans in 2009.

    However, in 1990, the figure for Catholics was 21.6%, that of Lutherans still 4.2%. While this tells us that Lutherans have been CINOs to a higher degree than Catholics have, it doesn’t tell us what happened prior to 1990.

    (I’m still trying to understand what the percentages mean though. It’s estimated that in the eastern Protestant synods, 60% of members go to the Christmas service, presumably for many the only time in the year they to to a service, it might be a weekly average, but they don’t explain their numbers. I hate statistics like that)

    (Source)

  311. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    I’m keen to see A Dangerous Method – but in spite of Keira Knightley (who I dislike) rather than because of her –since it’s based on Christopher Hampton’s play, and I’m a huge fan of his other work, especially Les Liaison Dangereuses, a production of which I stage managed a few years ago.

  312. says

    from a book, with a different statistical framework, for West Germany

    “at the beginning of the 60s, only 55% of Catholics and 15% of Lutherans were going to church regularly, in 1973 this had further diminished to 35% and 7% respectively, and in 1982 32% and 6%”

    This happened in the eebil capitalist West, without any state coercion. Works for me.

  313. says

    there was a “international values study” in 1981:

    comparing youth in the US and W. Germany, they found:

    – only 39% of W. German youth had the same religious convictions as their parents, compared to 69% in the US
    – only 14% of W. German youth had the same sexual convictions as their parents, compared to 43% in the US
    – only 38% of W. German youth had the same morals as their parents, compared to 77% of youth in the US

    Sociologists in the 80s also found that in W. Germany, the younger generation would not argue with their parents about religion, and instead just stop communicating about these issues and “just move out”.

    Looks like 1968 had a bigger impact in W. Germany than in the US…

  314. melissaf says

    /delurks
    Trigger Warning: the following contains possible triggers & TMI
    Ugh I need a good rant. I’m so fucking hurt & pissed off. The husband & i went to bed tonight, & as I wasn’t really in the mood I just wanted to give some oral. Then out of nowhere he grabs me, hauls me up & tries to fuck me.
    I said ‘honey, what are you doing? Hey, stop it, I just want to suck you off’, & he didn’t listen. I blocked him & eventually he let me go, & I thought, ok, he was just playing, he gets I don’t want to now, & resumed, ah, the oral. But he tried it again, & although he’s the kindest gentlest man, it actually scared me a little. He wasn’t saying a word, just tried to pull me up while I resisted with alll my strength.
    Now, I have this thing (not uncommon I believe) that when in uncomfortable situations I get almost giggly from nervousness, plus I didn’t want to hurt his feelings with a serious ‘get the fuck away from me (stupid, I know). But I said, ‘seriously stop it, I don’t want to, just let me get back to sucking you off’ ane variations of that, & he didn’t stop. He let me go again, and said, ‘I think this is a game’, & I just said, ‘I just want to suck you off’. I was hoping to play it down, & didn’t want him to feel bad – and its not like he was a stranger I was scared of, it didnt seem right to make it into a big deal.
    He tried it once more, & managed to, you know, & I felt real upset, like, I couldnt believe he’d actually done it. And I said stop, & my voice was really upset, & I pinched him & tried to push him away & he didnt stop. And then the baby cried, & he stopped.
    I said, ‘what the fuck was that about? Why didnt you stop!’. And he got mad at me, and said I wasnt serious enough, that he thought I was playing, that I was being jailbait, going along with it and then getting pissed off at the end. And I tried to explain that I was serious, that I’d told him to stop, & he just kept saying, ‘why didnt you sound serious then?’ and refused to believe me. And now I feel like shit. He’s a lovely guy, I know he’d never knowingly force anyone. But I don’t feel like I did anything wrong either. And now he’s hurt and mad at me, for not being forceful enough… And I don’t know what the fuck to think. Did I lead him on? I didnt, not on purpose anyway. I just, I don’t know. Anyway, thanks for being a place I can spill this shit to. I feel a bit better for getting it off my chest.

  315. says

    Enforcing atheism-bad. Educating people to arrive at atheism-good. That is all.

    Sociologists in the 80s also found that in W. Germany, the younger generation would not argue with their parents about religion, and instead just stop communicating about these issues and “just move out”.

    As you all know, religion seemed nonsensical to me from a young age, and I went with the whole catholic communion and confirmation thingy only until I had secured my own TV to watch Starsky & Hutch and Vegas when the light was officially out in my bedroom. I didn’t argue with my grandmother about religion, because I had realised that it upset her and that she had no idea what I even meant by stating that I didn’t believe in the catholic brand of Christianity. My mother, well, I still don’t know why she made me go through all this communion and confirmation verse study, since it would have had to have been clear to her that I didn’t believe in that crap. But anyway, so I guess that quote is correct, I didn’t argue religion with parents or grandparents, I just dumped it.

  316. says

    melissaf,

    sorry you had to go through that. Based on what you wrote, I can’t see anything that’d suggest you leading him, you say you expressed your wishes several times explicitly… I don’t think he has the right to be mad at you here…

  317. says

    Just a quick note here. PZ kindly linked to my post about Bruzynski the cancer quack and a Sydney neurosurgeon the other day, and although I didn’t have much online evidence to go on, it was clear to me that Charles Teo had in fact recommended Burzynski to at least some of his patients, from stuff I read online and from some other sources. Orac went all ueber-skeptic on me and wrote a fairly nasty post, fair enough, but I maintain what I said in the blog post, and see no reason at all to retract it. I haven’t received a desist notice or SLAPP suit from Teo either so far.
    This was my post and my research, and PZ had nothing to do with it. Cheers.

  318. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ pelamun

    [cabaret]

    Look up Pieter Dirk Uys. (Linky( => guess where I am now)) He performed cabaret 4evah in South Africa. (Tidbits: The Space Theatre he refers to was my favourite place as a very young kid. He bought a train station in the countryside and converted into a theatre/restaurant/museum complex. There is actually a train that goes there from Cape Town.)

    oh don’t spend to much money on Lieberthal.

    Yay! I can save money…

    unabashed panda hugger willing to sell out Taiwan in a New York minute ;)

    Oh! {theophontes reconsiders the above jubilation} I often wonder how big a threat China (for all its posing and rhetoric) really is to Taiwan. I can’t really see the reason Taiwan couldn’t function, in the manner of Hong Kong, quite happily under the umbrella of China. I also often wonder if the relationship is skewed by politicians in Taiwan who paint China as the big bad wolf whatever the reality of the situation is… {dons fireproof g-string, just in case.}

    ……………….
    Morgan Freeman on CNN, kewl. (Interview by the catholic Piers Morgan)

  319. Minnie The Finn, avec de cèpes de Bordeaux says

    melissaf:

    That sounds terrible; hugs, if you go for that sort of thing.

    Hope you guys are able to talk it out, after you’ve both calmed down a bit. In the meanwhile, rant here all you want, I’m all ears if you think you need to get anything out of your system!

    I’ve been in similar situations myself, although never quite as … um, harsh, as you describe. It would probably take me a long time to get rid of the rage & hurt, and start forgiving.

  320. birgerjohansson says

    I like “Peter Sagal wakes eldritch terror” http://www.xkcd.com/997/
    — — — —
    Mother Donates Kidney To Dying Stranger She Met At Party
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/29/veronica-buttigieg-donates-kidney-to-manoly-viravong_n_1174042.html?ref=uk
    — — — — — — —
    ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Film To Be Set On The French Riviera, Confirms Jennifer Saunders http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/29/absolutely-fabulous-film-jennifer-saunders_n_1173971.html?ref=uk
    My favourite clueless middle-aged protagonsits!
    — — — — —
    Protests Continue Following Orthodox Jewish Group’s Attack On Schoolgirl http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/28/israel-beit-shemesh-protests-ultra-orthodox-jews_n_1173232.html?ref=uk -It is heartwarming to see that orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Muslims have values in common (sarcasm).
    — — —
    This guy had paranormal powers, and could -among other things- change the weather through sheer willpower.
    “Kim Jong Il: Even Better than Tim Tebow” http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2011/12/26/kim-jong-il-even-better-than-tebow/
    North Korean schools teach children that Jong-Il’s birth was “supernatural.” He was born in a log cabin inside a secret base on the sacred Mt. Paekdu, the story goes, and his arrival was accompanied by the apparition of a new star. State textbooks claim Jong-Il does not produce urine or feces.

    “Finally, we can stop making all those stupid Chuck Norris jokes and make them into Kim Jong-Il jokes instead!”

  321. melissaf says

    Thanks Minnie the Finn. Hugs are gladly accepted :) My sympathies for the similar situations you’ve experienced – it sucks arse, feeling like this. *rants* I’m not even that angry about what happened anymore, I’m sure he didn’t mean to force me. I’m more hurt & angry about how he’s reacting – trying to make it my fault. Ok, I get that he thinks I could have been more forceful in saying no – but I still think I was clear enough in saying I didn’t want it. I just want to sort things out, figure out how we so misunderstood each other, & make sure this doesn’t happen again. And he’s too busy being shitty at me & blaming me. And then I wonder why I’m the one trying to reach out & mend this – he’s the one who did the arsehole thing here. *sigh* And here I thought he finally understood the concept of enthusiastic consent. Obviously not :s

  322. melissaf says

    Argh. Anyway, its the wee hours of the morning for me here. Off to bed & hopefully husband will have calmed down enough for us to talk reasonably in the morning. Thanks, Pelamun, Minnie & horde :)

  323. says

    theophontes,

    so you’re back and can now go listen to all these Canto-Pop links I posted (sorry, I used K-Pop earlier which is really Korean pop – but I listen to neither, for me it’s a big Korean-Canto-Pop melange, jk)

    Oh! {theophontes reconsiders the above jubilation} I often wonder how big a threat China (for all its posing and rhetoric) really is to Taiwan. I can’t really see the reason Taiwan couldn’t function, in the manner of Hong Kong, quite happily under the umbrella of China. I also often wonder if the relationship is skewed by politicians in Taiwan who paint China as the big bad wolf whatever the reality of the situation is… {dons fireproof g-string, just in case.}

    *shakes head sadly* I did write a longish post about Chinese nationalism, didn’t I. Because of the Geister, die sie riefen, the Chinese govt can’t afford to make any concessions on the issue. 100s of missiles are directed towards the island until this day, even bothering KMT president Ma Ying-Jeou who was on record begging the Chinese to pretty please do something about it. Jan 14, 2012, is Election Day in Taiwan for both the presidency and the Legislative Yuan. Go 小英! (Both candidates, president Ma Ying-Jeou 馬英九, and his (female) challenger Tsai Ing-Wen 蔡英文, share a character, so the presidential debate was termed “Double Ing Debate”)

    Granted, my post was only about the Chinese perspective. You want to talk about the Taiwanese perspective? It’s different from Hongkongers, who never had enough time develop a separate national identity. A piece of advice, if you ever meet a non-台商 Taiwanese,*) DO NOT make the Hong Kong comparison, it will be outright offensive to most of them (probably will be polite enough not to tell you off though, Taiwanese aren’t like Koreans, or so they like to joke, with a mixture of admiration and envy). No-one in TW is buying that 一國兩制 crap, everybody know what’s going on in HK (though granted the British also bear a lot of the blame, after ruling for decades, trying to introduce democracy at the very last juncture is a monument to hypocrisy itself).

    The key moment in modern Taiwanese history would be the 2-28 massacre (in Chinese it is customary to use the dates, so 6-4 is the Tiananmen Square massacre). Also, 走了狗,來了豬 (the dogs (Japanese) left, the pigs came (Chinese)). There is a famous book by an American diplomat describing the events surrounding 2-28, called Formosa Betrayed. I’ll be happy to send it to you.

    That said, at this point, an independence referendum would probably fail because

    – there is considerable fear of a Chinese invasion (under siege mentality), to which most people just react with not thinking about it. Statistics show that 50-60% consistently support the status quo, preferably for ever.
    – from those who support eventual/immediate unification or independence, the numbers of those supporting independence are always higher (2009: 14.9% independece later, 8.7% unification later, 5% independence immediately, 1.7% unification immediately)
    (Source)

    I’d compare it to Austria – Germany. The two countries have a common language, culture and history, but due to historical events, the smaller country, which once considered itself part of the larger one, has developed its own national identity.

    And once you have your own national identity, there will be no “quite happily under the big umbrella”. There might be a “resigning oneself to yet another time of subjugation to a foreign power because the international community has deserted us” but that doesn’t sound exactly too happy now, does it?

    *) the Taiwanese businesspeople in China will say anything their Chinese “compatriots” want to hear if it helps them make money, this is a cliche even among pro-DPP Taiwanese

  324. says

    sorry forgot:

    – it’s not only the fear of a Chinese invasion, but also economic considerations. Taiwan’s economy is now highly intertwined with China’s, and the 台商 are making a lot of money so the business lobby is afraid of upsetting China.

    Two political songs>

    “This is not the Taiwan area” a song showing the resignation many Taiwanese people feel about the international situation and political problems at home (corruption) (區 is also what Hong Kong is today, sometimes people joke that Ma Ying-Jeou wants to swap his title of president for that of the “Taiwan SAR chief administrator”, 台灣地區區長)

    couldn’t find an English translation of the lyrics, but the chorus goes like this:
    睜開眼睛 這不是台灣地區 我不要當中國人民 命運交別人手裏
    zhēngkāi yǎnjīng / zhè bú shì Táiwān dìqū wǒ bù yào dāng Zhōngguó rénmín / mìngyùn jiāo biérén shǒulǐ

    open your eyes / this is not the “Taiwan area” / I don’t want to be a Chinese citizen / give up my fate to somebody else

    這塊土地 明天要往哪裡去 會不會有自由空氣 該讓我們來決定
    zhè kuài tǔdì / míngtiān yào wǎng nǎlǐ qù / huì bù huì yǒu zìyóu kōngqì / gāi ràng wǒmén lái juédìng
    this piece of land / where will it go tomorrow / will there be an air of freedom (whiff of freedom?) / allowing us to decide for ourselves.

    Another song, more on the fence (I think the singer lives in China now), also singing about the corruption, more wondering about the future of Taiwan (written shortly about the “the empire where the sun never set capitulated to China, but nobody is helping Taiwan”). Chorus: “This is no longer an island under a dictatorship”

  325. says

    sorry

    written shortly after Hong Kong was returned: “the empire where the sun never set capitulated to China, but nobody is helping Taiwan”). Chorus: “This is no longer an island under a dictatorship

  326. says

    melissaf

    Honest,no bullshit answer here:
    You were raped. You did not consent. You attempted to fight him off. He DID NOT STOP when you told him to and when you tried to fight him off. He then tried to rationalize his actions (raping you) by saying it was a game and blaming you for “not being serious enough”. You are the victim in this. Don’t worry about his “feeling bad” he raped you. As to him being your husband….At that moment he WAS someone you were scared of and he did “Knowingly force you”. This does not sound like a lovely and kind and gentle man to me.
    I know you might be trying to play it down by telling yourself these things about your husband but it doesn’t make the fear and pain any less real.Most women are raped by their spouses, partners, friends,or acquaintances. Stranger rape happens but at lower rates than people think.
    You did not cause this. He did.

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

    melissaf, I’m a bit late but I’d just like to send you another virtual hug. I’m really sorry that happened to you, and especially that he is apparently all about making this your fault (to salve his own feelings). Instead of complaining you didn’t shout loud enough, he should clean out his damn ears and try bloody listening.

  328. janine says

    What a way to promote that this is a Judea-Christian culture, by promoting traditional antisemitism.

  329. says

    I still doubt very much this “experiment” is controlled enough to identify forced atheism as causing the drop in religiosity (assuming there was a drop).

    There does appear to be a drop, since now that Germans in the east have the same level of religious freedom as Germans in the west, they still declare themselves, at much higher rates, to not believe in God.

    Perhaps living in East Germany was so terrible that that was enough to stop believing in a benevolent deity.

    It’s possible, but I don’t know of any reason to expect this. Where atheism has increased significantly in the absence of state coercion, it has coincided with increases in living standards, and there are hints about the direction of causality: lack of control increases pattern recognition.

    I didn’t mean the alleged increase in religiosity*, but the simple fact they they had the freedom to be religious.

    Hm. People in East Germany did have some freedom to be religious during communism. Lutheran and Catholic churches continued to operate. It wasn’t as though it became illegal to believe in God or go to church. (Although if you wanted a successful career within the Communist Party itself, it was a good idea to be an atheist.)

    That’s what you think should not be allowed, isn’t it?

    No, not yet over the course of only 40 years. I think the East German government was too repressive against the average believer, and not repressive enough against the priests. It would have been better if believers faced no personal discrimination outside the Party, but had no churches to attend, and no priests to confer with.

    It probably wasn’t much of an increase in religiosity, so much as people having the freedom to acknowledge in public what they hadn’t been able to say before. Instead of “forced atheism,” you may as well advocate “forced lying” for a large segment of the population

    To the degree this is true, it’s probably most true for those who believed in God back in pre-communist Germany. The difference in religiosity today does suggest that younger generations adopted atheism sincerely.

  330. says

    Theophontes:

    Rodent Romance? ;D

    Not between those two. When they chirp, it’s about food and the stealing of said food.

    We did actually hear rat sex noises from Rubin last week…most interesting, sounds electronic.

  331. says

    theophontes @ 410 – “Rather than spending $200 on a vm for windose, you could be installing a vm for FREE on Ubuntu. (There is a lot to be said for stopping the bus and fixing the real problem before continuing…) ”

    Well, aside from the fact that she isn’t writing software for the OS’s we actually use, we would then have to buy a copy of W7 for each of the VMs.

  332. amblebury says

    Somebody else doesn’t like Keira Knightly – I *sniff* thought I was all alone *sob*

    So, I often, for some inexplicable reason, forget my password at work. This always results in me muttering ‘oh, bollocks.’ I now have a memorable password, can you guess what it is?

    Hint:It’s not ‘oh’

  333. changeable moniker says

  334. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, back on the west side of the Lake. Now to catch up (already saw where a troll doing trollish activities doesn’t like being called out for being one).

  335. says

    Singing the anthem: Are you doing it ‘right’?
    Lawmaker wants rules for performances at schools

    Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, has introduced a bill that would set specific “performance standards” for singing and playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at any event sponsored by public schools and state universities.

    The law also would cover private schools receiving state or local scholarship funds, including vouchers.
    +++++++++++++++++++
    Arizona ruling hits Mexican-American studies program

    […]
    He cited a lesson that taught students that the historic treatment of Mexican-Americans was “marked by the use of force, fraud and exploitation,” and a parent’s complaint that one of her daughters, who was white, was shunned by Latino classmates after a government course was taught “in an extremely biased manner.”
    ++++++++++++++++++
    Hey republicans! Where are the jobs?

  336. melissaf says

    Thanks NovaC, opposablethumbs & Giliell – youse are awesome.
    NovaC, yeah, it was rape, but I don’t think he thought it was at the time. Rightly or wrongly I can’t believe that after 5 years of respecting & loving me, he’d do that on purpose. I think he was being a deaf bastard, was convinced I was playing along (fuck knows why – we’ve never done that before), & now feels so shit about it that he’s trying to make it not his fault – & thus it must be mine. Pretty much what opposablethumbs said. Him & I are going to have to have a long talk about this though, he needs to get that he fucked up majorly, and its not ok.
    Giliell, yeah I’m doing ok thanks, mostly just pissed off at this point, & frustrated with him. He was a total arse, & he doesn’t seem to want to accept that.

  337. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    yeah, it was rape, but I don’t think he thought it was at the time.

    That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Seriously, keep repeating it to yourself until you truly believe it. It doesn’t matter what he thought was going on, because you just experienced being raped.

    I too was raped by an intimate partner I trusted. It was particularly devastating because of the confusion it caused. I wanted to tell myself in so many different ways that I couldn’t have been raped because he was a good person who loved me. And I wasn’t able to start healing until I stripped away all that denial and realized that when he intended and whether he was a nice guy didn’t matter. I needed to recover from the experience of being raped.

    I am so sorry he did that to you and I hope you have resources to help you. (If you don’t I’m sure there are lots of people here, including me, who would be happy to help you find some.)

  338. says

    melissaf, I agree with the advice so far and just wanted to offer a possible future solution; when you have that talk, maybe agree on a safe word.