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More perks of the tenure track

Now Todd Starnes has republished his hit piece on Town Hall — he seems to be dumping it on lower and lower levels of the self-devouring far right internet. Although, I do have to say that the comments are becoming even more entertaining.

Yes, there are conservative students at Morris. And Myers thinks he should be entitled to hunt them down and kill them. Talk about a sanctimonious jerk.

I want to hunt conservative students? Do I need to get a license, is there a specific season, and is there a bag limit?

Alas, once again, we have a rabid commenter who didn’t bother to read my article. Why should he, when Todd Starnes has told him what’s in it?

He’s a pompous fool, a bully, a merciless self-promoter, and a lousy excuse for a human being. He’s also a state employee who should be terminated immediately and barred from further public. . .um. . .service. Indeed, he should’ve been fired six years ago, when, in another act of scientific inquiry, he desecrated the Eucharist. But as an associate professor, he’s tenured, and absolutely no one would touch him if he strolled into the North Star offices, shot the editor between the eyes, and posted the video on YouTube.

I CAN DO THAT? When I get home, I’m going to have to check my employment contract — I don’t remember seeing that in there. Maybe it’s in the fine print.

Never let it be said that the fever swamp of the right wing has any connection with reality at all.

Comments

  1. aziraphale says

    But his statements are obviously metaphorical! Like the more embarrassing bits of the Bible. How unsophisticated of you to take them literally.

  2. William R. Dickson says

    “I want to hunt conservative students?”

    Conservatives are too easy to bait. Not exactly the Most Dangerous Game.

  3. Larry says

    You do not want to hunt and kill conservative students for food, however. You need to boil them for hours and hours and they still come out like shoe leather. Plus, they have a really nasty aftertaste. Must be all that bile they keep in themselves.

  4. unclefrogy says

    I hope someone some of the asks some of the putative candidates for high office their opinion on these outrageous actions of this renegade biology professor.
    that would be even more entertaining!
    uncle frogy

  5. cswella says

    “He has a license to teach, now he has a license…to Kill!”

    PZ Myers: Squids Never Die.

  6. ragarth says

    On the topic of shooting people in the face because of ideology. I can think of quite a few examples of right-wing terrorism in the US, but on the left end of things I can only think of PETA. I then did some google finger walking and can easily find more incidences of right-wing than left wing. Yes, this certainly isn’t scientific, but it is indicative.

    So based purely on the left-or-right spectrum, who is more likely to walk into a room of other-affiliated people and open fire? I think this guy’s projecting.

  7. Louis says

    Whoa! Professors can kill students? Is this just tenured profs or does the right extend to post docs? Are people only allowed to kill people down the academic hierarchy? Can a PhD student kill an undergrad? How does it work with industrial consultants and partners? Can I kill a prof who comes to consult for my company or can he kill me? Does it change if I’m in charge of deciding who gets industrial funding?

    What are the rules?

    Louis

  8. says

    Goodness. You didn’t tell us you were a member of the Assassin’s Guild, PZ. This is Ankh-Morpork, right?

  9. cuervocuero says

    Dr. PZeevil. He has one simple request. Zebra fish sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! But with the grant economy the way it is, he may have to settle for ill-tempered mutated ones.

  10. Mobius says

    I was reading Google News yesterday when I came across the Fox News article about PZ. Talk about faux outrage. The article was proof that Fox is anything but “fair and balanced”. Just more of the propaganda that Fox has become so adept and putting out.

  11. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Don’t hunt conservatives unless you can eat or use the *whole* conservative. And there’s no use for conservatives.

    That’s what Ted Nugent would tell you anyway.

    Oh, no wait. That’s hippies.* I always get confused about whether conservatives are the peaceful helpless game or the violent hunters in this metaphor.

    *e.g. “if I would have gone over there, I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed, or I’d kill all the hippies in the foxholes…” in reference to vietnam.

  12. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @inaji:

    member of the Assassin’s Guild, PZ. This is Ankh-Morpork, right?

    There’s totally a joke there that I’m not getting. I’m quite sure of it.

    Book or movie? Seems like it would be more likely to be a book.

  13. says

    ragarth
    There are few incidents that aren’t PETA related; a few years back a couple dipshits near here tried to torch a car dealership ‘cos the environment, but it’s not at all common.

  14. Samuel Vimes says

    I have an odd fondness for nut-cases that are this over-the-top. This guy is like a far-right Timecube. On a purely entertainment level, I hope he keep on ranting!

  15. says

    CD #14
    It’s a Discworld reference (originally literature, but several of the books have been adapted to film with varying degrees of quality and fidelity). In Ankh-Morpork, the Assassin’s Guild is legally recognized, and a member of the Guild killing someone for money is not legally counted as murder and will not attract the attention of the police. (Killing someone for money while not being a Guild member will attract the attention of the police if you’re lucky; if you’re not, it will attract the attention of the Guild first, and they do not like competition).

  16. Doubting Thomas says

    Weapons grade projection. To my knowledge PZ has never suggested or even advocated violence toward anyone. From the comments he’s shared, hundreds have at the least wished violence on him. It’s to the point that if this blog is quiet for more than a day, I get worried for him.

  17. fernando says

    It is crystal clear that the things this far-right people accuse PZ of doing, or wanting to do, are examples of what this fanatics would do if they have the chance.

  18. vaiyt says

    On the topic of shooting people in the face because of ideology. I can think of quite a few examples of right-wing terrorism in the US, but on the left end of things I can only think of PETA.

    Al-Qaeda and black-on-white murders count as “left-wing terrorism” for that crowd. Also, mildly inconveniencing right-wingers, disagreeing with them, being in favor of Obamacare…

  19. says

    Naked Bunny with a Whip:

    I still giggle at the idea of being able to “desecrate” a piece of mass-produced bread you can buy in boxes of 1000 through Amazon.

    Hey, unconsecrated Jesus inna box is still Jesus! Sort of…Jesus in waiting, I suppose.

  20. mikeyb says

    Chinese whiskers in the conservative echo chamber of lies get amplified to exclusively focus on ad hominem attacks.

  21. Lofty says

    Unconsecrated jesus crackers are like sperm, souls-in-waiting. Probably just as numerous, too. Definitely worth a fundie’s time to panic over.

  22. screechymonkey says

    Inaji @9:

    You didn’t tell us you were a member of the Assassin’s Guild, PZ. This is Ankh-Morpork, right?

    Nah, he’s a member of the Faceless Men of Bravos. All that stuff about losing interest in A Song of Ice and Fire is just to divert us from the truth — PZ is Jaqen H’ghar!

  23. steve oberski says

    Yes, there are conservative students at Morris. And Myers thinks he should be entitled to hunt them down and kill them. Talk about a sanctimonious jerk.

    I think he has you confused with Dick Cheney.

  24. numerobis says

    Does tenure only allow you to shoot someone between the eyes, or can you shoot them in other places too?

  25. Trebuchet says

    Hey, unconsecrated Jesus inna box is still Jesus! Sort of…Jesus in waiting, I suppose.

    It’s like a fetus! A Jesus-Fetus! And you know how conservatives feel about fetuses. And Jesus.

  26. lorn says

    “But as an associate professor, he’s tenured, and absolutely no one would touch him if he strolled into the North Star offices, shot the editor between the eyes, and posted the video on YouTube.”

    Damn, now I want to be an associate professor.

    Even 007 can’t post the kill to YouTube and get away with it. Color Bond … James Bond … jealous.

  27. gmacs says

    Don’t do it, PZ! Think of the effect on the grading curve!

    Most Morris profs don’t use an adjusted curve like that.

    Though, it is best to let these assholes dig their own graves. They don’t need anyone’s help. But, no matter what happens, rest assured that Obama and his atheist army will be blamed.

  28. b. - Order of Lagomorpha says

    Alas, once again, we have a rabid commenter who didn’t bother to read my article. Why should he, when Todd Starnes has told him what’s in it?

    Read it? Why would he read it? Like many on the Right Wing, he apparently prefers his information pre-digested and would never think of bestirring himself to look at the original source material. Hmmm…much like religious folk.

  29. qwerty says

    “The Alliance Defending Freedom has accused Myers, an associate professor in the school’s biology program, of encouraging people to steal and throw away a copy of the November 22nd edition of the newspaper.”

    I’d like to know how do you steal something that is FREE?

  30. David Marjanović says

    In France, the saying goes, once you’re tenured, the only way to get fired is to kill your boss, his wife, and their children.

  31. moarscienceplz says

    You do not want to hunt and kill conservative students for food, however. You need to boil them for hours and hours and they still come out like shoe leather.

    Yes, that’s true, but their skulls, once you clean out the fecal matter, make excellent shot glasses. 1.25 ounces maximum capacity.

  32. says

    @ Crip Dyke #14 (and anyone else who’s interested)

    Handy guide to reading Discworld books:

    http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/

    Start with The Color of Magic followed by The Light Fantastic then any “line” will make sense.

    Also, There are 3 mini-series made from Discworld novels I have seen: two good and one horrible. The horrible one is the The Color of Magic. But Hogfather and Going Postal are hilarious and very much in the spirit of the books.

    As for RWNs and comparisons to Discworld, when life imitates art, it’s amusing, but when real-life imitates Discworld that mixes in some pathos with the unintentional comedy.

  33. woozy says

    So what the hell is “Townhall”? The original fox piece had differing opinions but this is blather-react 100%. Um some weird comments that make no-sense.

    I have heard that this so call professor has pictures of 0bama adorning his “throne room”…the word is out

    Huh? I can’t even comprehend what that means.

    This professor is a pompous fool. Did he spout off in a “Free Speech Zone”. If not he should be fined and sent to the corner with a dunce cap.

    Free speech isn’t allowed in a place except in free-speech zones? Weird view of the world and … what the *heck* is the first commentor’s reading comprehension? How do you get from “Conservative students are assholes” to “I’m entitled to hunt conservatives and kill them”? Seriously, HOW?

  34. says

    sadunlap
    I’m going to have to absolutely contradict your recommendation there (although I agree that the mini-series adaptation of Color of Magic was an atrocity. I haven’t found the time to watch the other two live action ones yet. Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters were made into excellent animated mini-series (by a now-defunct studio, unfortunately)). It’s been my experience that many people who thoroughly enjoy the series as a whole gain no pleasure whatsoever from the first two books, and I generally recommend that anyone who isn’t already a devotee of Fritz Leiber, Robert Howard, L Sprague De Camp and/or other pulp sword and sorcery writers from that era give them a miss entirely, or read them later for the sake of completeness.

  35. anuran says

    PZ hunts down conservatives and kills them?
    In Minnesota it would mean getting a gun or bow. Can’t see that happening.

    Todd Starnes is an ignorant, lying right winger. But I repeat myself.

  36. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    lorn #34:

    Color Bond … James Bond … jealous.

    Here in the antipodes Colour Bond is the brand name of pre-painted corrugated tin sheets. They’re used for roofing and siding. My house has “Loft” (sorta dark eggplant colour) siding and “Evening Haze” roofing. That sentence was so hard for me to parse that I had to go caffeinate myself in order to make sense of it. /comment as pointless as that of your average RWA

  37. bryanfeir says

    One extra note on the Discworld and Assassin’s Guild lines of thought: it should also be noted that the Assassin’s Guild also had some of the best training and finishing schools in Ankh-Morpork, to the point where a number of richer families apprenticed their children to the Assassin’s Guild long enough to get an education, then pulled them out. The Guild didn’t mind at all, as that was one of their more regular sources of cash.

    Maybe somebody thinks PZ trained at one of the Assassin’s Guild chapterhouse schools.

  38. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @woozy, 42:

    Throne is sometimes slang for toilet…? Does that help?

    It doesn’t really help me. Throne room would then equal water closet/bathroom. But why would this be a problem/ be degrading/ make sense at all?

    Who knows.

  39. woozy says

    Throne is sometimes slang for toilet…? Does that help?

    No. It does not.

    “This professor who hates conservative students and wants to censor their newspaper… He has a pictures of Obama over his toilet! Ha! I sure told him!”

    No. I do not get it.

    (And, yes, I assumed he was talking about the toilet.)

  40. anteprepro says

    woozy re: Townhall:

    Townhall is a website where basically the crankiest of right-wing writers like to post a few articles. Often the people who post on Townhall have writing gigs aside from just writing on Townhall. Or are political pundits of some kind. It isn’t exclusively for the little nobody bloggers: Townhall is for middle tier conservative hacks republishing their bilge. As you can imagine and as you have seen, their comment sections are Youtube comment caliber.

    The wikipedia article mentions the following people having contributed to Townhall at one point:
    Dinesh D’Souza
    Ann Coulter
    Michael Savage
    Jeb Bush
    Jonah Goldberg
    Michelle Malkin

    So, yeah, like I said.

  41. anteprepro says

    Two observations from looking at the article:
    1. Holy shit do those grumpy Townhall commenting True Americas dislike college professors. Edumucated libruls shoving librul edumucation down our childrenz throats, dontcha know!

    2. I’m fairly certain that Todd Starnes might actually be Forrest MacNeil .

  42. kc9oq says

    I’m sure by now PZ has elevated himself to the level of a Public Figure at least regarding this discourse. This means that to be defamatory a statement must not only be false and maligning but also made in a reckless and/or negligent manner. I’m sure at Faux News they’re well aware of how to stay on their side of that line.

    However, maybe those responsible for the North Star aren’t so aware; so let’s hope they spool out sufficient rope to hang themselves.

  43. says

    Seconding Dalillama at #44 on the Pratchett reading order – DO NOT READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES AS YOUR INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES.
    .
    I missed out on approximately 15 years where I could have been gleefully rereading my Discworld books until they fell apart because somebody loaned me The Colour Of Magic & The Light Fantastic when I was 20, and although I had in fact done a fair amount of the classic sword & sorcery reading required to get most of the puns and parodies, it just didn’t leave me hungry for more. Then in my mid-30s someone lent me a copy of Wyrd Sisters because they knew I liked Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and Shakespearian stuff, and from then on I was irreversibly hooked.

    I like the l-space reading guide with its multiple entry points. One of the great advantages of the Discworld oeuvre is that it’s not essential to read them in publication order. Knowing Crip Dyke as I do, I suspect that starting with the Witches books is most likely to be her cup of tea.

    http://www.au.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg

  44. Amphiox says

    My first Discworld novel was The Last Hero. The second was Monstrous Regiment. I read the two of them without knowing they were in the same series.

    Then I went back and read the rest in order, except for the Tiffany Aching books, which I read separately.

  45. jefrir says

    There is also the Discworld: Ankh Morpork board game, which is excellent, even if you haven’t read the books.

  46. says

    Hey, unconsecrated Jesus inna box is still Jesus! Sort of…Jesus in waiting, I suppose.

    STOP the Jesus abortion!

    +++
    Yeah, projection, pure and simple.
    Killing people, wanting to kill people, advocating for killing people (while still denying it, sometimes), advocating for more guns to kill people is a decidedly right-wing hobby, especially in the USA.
    Yes, there are probably a few left-wing terrorist. You can probably post an extensive list of them. For the last 30 years. Which is probably shorter that the one for right wing terrorism for this year…

  47. blf says

    This isn’t weapons grade projection, this is starship grade propulsion: Pointed in the same direction and projecting in unison, with a bit of careful focusing and a constant supply of faux outrage, you obtain enough thrust to achieve FTL velocities. And they are so dense the massive G‘s aren’t a problem.

    Well, how do you think the B Ark was propelled…?

  48. =8)-DX says

    #44 @Dalillama, Schmott Guy
    &
    #55 @tigtog

    WHAT? Hah! The first two books are among the best! Now you’re going to start saying DEATH is your favourite character and MORT is one of the best books, followed by telling people to skip Sourcery! Ah for those old days of the fresh and unapologetic fantasy mayhem with random deaths of the first two books!

    *mumble grumble, reapermanincomprehensiblewhiningreapermanwasagoodbook mumble grumble*

  49. quasar says

    Amusingly, the Fox News version of this article is censoring any mention of what North Star actually *did* to earn PZ’s anger.

    I left a short, polite message informing them of how NS had used a crime-scene photo of Trayvon Martin’s body to mock affirmative action, and it never saw the light of day. (And a search for that name turns up nothing in the comments: you’d think *someone* would have mentioned it)

    And this in an articled whining about the horrors of librul censorship.

  50. says

    How have so many people ended up with such a confused sense of morality?

    Here in Oz a state premier accepted a bribe, lied about it in an investigation into the behaviour and then had to resign when evidence surfaced that he had done exactly what he was accused of. Our PM called him a great example of worthy humanity or some such. :(

  51. Frenzie says

    @44, Dalillama, Schmott Guy; @55, tigtog, @60, =8)-DX
    I also liked The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic an awful lot better than Mort. However, I could probably get behind recommending Equal Rites in favor of the first two.

    My own introduction was actually Discworld Noir and The Wee Free Men.

  52. Frenzie says

    Aw damn, I thought that was just the preview being weird. Apparently <cite> has some unusual styles applied to it. Let’s try that again, less semantically:

    I also liked The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic an awful lot better than Mort. However, I could probably get behind recommending Equal Rites in favor of the first two.
    My own introduction was actually Discworld Noir and The Wee Free Men.

  53. azhael says

    The door opens, a servant comes in with the afternoon tea for the two men who are talking at the headmaster´s desk. When the servant comes close all he can hear is the following:

    Headmaster -With due elegance, of course.-

    Mr.Myers -With elegance guaranteed, sir.-

  54. carlie says

    Now you’re going to start saying DEATH is your favourite character and MORT is one of the best books,

    That was, in fact, what I was going to write. MORT was the first one I read, and it’s still my favorite. DEATH AND SUSAN FOREVER

  55. azhael says

    @67 Carlie

    DEATH AND SUSAN FOREVER

    I hate to be that guy but i’m afraid you made a little typo, that sentence is missing a GRANNY WEATHERWAX.

  56. davidjanes says

    “Conservative students are assholes” to “I’m entitled to hunt conservatives and kill them”? Seriously, HOW?

    You think the other side must feel about you what you feel about them?

  57. says

    Some of the DIsc is more accessible than others. Raising Steam for example is the least welcoming to new readers as just about every previous plotline appears as a cameo.

    I started with THUD which is wonderful.

    Also surprised no one has mentioned Mois Von Lipwig yet? He went up against John Galt ffs!

  58. dannysichel says

    @49 and @42 – perhaps the implication is that “pictures of Obama, in the bathroom” (as opposed to “pictures of Obama in the bathroom”) are PZ’s masturbation fodder? If not, I’m honestly not sure what else it could be.

  59. says

    Re the order of reading Discworld books.

    I read the them in order of publication as they were published.

    Those of us who thoroughly enjoyed The Colour Of Magic and The Light Fantastic on publication may not have been sword and sorcery fans, but knew people who were.

    After all, the object of satire rarely gets the joke.

  60. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Well shit. Somebody should have told me that tenure lets you kill people before I decided that starving to death on my own terms was a better choice than pursuing a career in teaching. No wonder those positions are so damn hard to get.

    If you kill someone who is tenured and then yourself become tenured, does the career-advancement-via-murder then retroactively become acceptable? Basically, can we get murders grandfathered in? Maybe that goes against the spirit of things, but it seems like a nice way to keep freshnew blood in the system.

  61. Louis says

    You are all deviant scum who should be tortured to death and burned for all eternity in the shittiest furnace of the most agonising hell.

    Or in other words, how could anyone not recommend Nightwatch as the best Discworld novel and all the other books, whilst excellent (how dare anyone criticise them!!!!), can be considered build ups, or footnotes (appropriately Pratchettian) to it?

    Not that I’m, like, a fundamentalist about this or anything.

    Louis.

  62. =8)-DX says

    @Louis – to put this DW discussion in context: Vimes is exactly the kind of seedy character that was being maligned in the OP linked article: he got tenure. Pratchett should’ve killed him off long ago in the series, but no! Now that dude can do whatever he wants! (Analogies to cracker-eating anyone?) (only partially joking.. Nightwatch was good too =)

  63. Seize says

    I second Louis! Nightwatch is a fantastic book. If you start with that you’ll be hooked for sure.

    It’s simply this: a book about all of the nameless faceless grunts who populate the ranks of every fictional political entity. It’s riotously funny and as down-to-earth as mud — if fantasy usually turns you off, this is a book you will be delighted by repeatedly. It is also the origin story of the character Sam Vimes, whose combination of pragmatism, decency and wit seems like it would be a great pleasure for most Pharyngula regulars (and seems to have inspired more than one nym).

    My only reservation about starting with Nightwatch is that you might have to reread it later to get a few jokes. There are constant cameos and references to other characters and other books which heighten the overall experience. If you are a quick reader, you might want to start with “Small Gods,” in which a fairly dull religious apprentice in an oppressive rural society receives a visitation from the gods in the form of a wise-cracking turtle who sends him on a…erm, pilgrimage. Hilarity ensues, but more importantly you get your first look at the world from the perspective of an uneducated “outsider.” A similar experience might be had from reading “Monstrous Regiment,” in which a girl from a rural area in a more bellicose nation decides to disguise herself as a boy and go off to war…only to discover that she’s not the only one in her unit who had the same idea. That one’s a great laugh for feminists, while I’d recommend “Small Gods” to any atheist, and particularly anyone who mistakenly suffered through a philosophy degree.

  64. says

    I’ve been a Discworld grognard since Pterry started publishing them, and not only did CoM and LM not put me off the series, but being a fan of Moorcock, Tolkien, and Gygax, I even liked the jokes. Different strokes, I guess. But I do second the recommendation for new readers to follow the L-Space map.

    Meanwhile, when I reach a difficult part of my life, I try to pause, look into my heart and ask, “What would Lord Vetinari do?”

  65. epicurus says

    Just wow…”desecrating the Eucharist” is now a terminable offense? Further, tenured professors are immune from prosecution for murder?? The things you learn…about the delusional beliefs of your average RWNJ. Cripes, it’s just stunning some times. But then, as Todd Starnes is an irredeemable POS, I don’t really pay any attention when he starts throwing feces through the bars of his cage.

  66. says

    I think the “Free Speech Zone” might be a reference to the Cliven Bundy standoff in Nevada. Militia men who showed up with guns, (ready to shoot Bureau of Land Management officials), were provided with a Free Speech Zone by the BLM. This was clumsily done, but the BLM was trying to avoid armed conflict. The Militia men (and women) and Bundy himself were really insulted by the Free Speech Zone.

    This story is not obscure on rightwing radio, TV and blogs. It is the red meat of the day.

    http://aattp.org/watch-rachel-maddow-rip-fox-news-worship-of-cliven-bundy-right-wing-terrorists-video/

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-bundy-crisis-nevada

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/right-wing-loves-militia-rancher-cliven-bundy-except-glenn-beck

    In the case of commenters on the PZ story, I think the idea was that PZ should only have freedom of speech if he is in a Free Speech Zone. What liberals did to Bundy supporters (and by extension, to conservatives) should be done to PZ. Or something like that. It’s hard to tell with conservative commenters since they rely on dog whistles we don’t get, and their writing skills are not the best.

  67. woozy says

    I think the “Free Speech Zone” might be a reference to the Cliven Bundy standoff in Nevada. Militia men who showed up with guns, (ready to shoot Bureau of Land Management officials), were provided with a Free Speech Zone by the BLM.

    Ah! That makes sense then. In fact it’s almost …. clever. Well, not really.

  68. coffeehound says

    @ 82, Lynna,

    What liberals did to Bundy supporters (and by extension, to conservatives) should be done to PZ. Or something like that

    WTF? I hadn’t heard this, but this was done and worse during years of protesting the Iraq war, sometimes the free speech zone was a mile from the event; I’d say it’s about damned time conservatives WERE finally treated like the liberals.

  69. says

    In reference to coffeehound’s comment #84: the Free Speech Zone the BLM set up was okay, and was an acceptable way to let protesters say what they wanted to say without blocking traffic or blocking law enforcement. There was some clumsy interaction with protestors that could have been avoided. However, Bundy and his militia buddies do not understand the free speech concept.

    Also Bundy and his militia buddies amply demonstrated rightwing fantasies of shooting somebody in the forehead. Only they set up to do it for real. Very macho and freedom-loving of them, I’m sure.

    The rightwing frequently projects their desire to shoot people onto liberals, as in the conspiracy theories that claim Obama was arming postal workers, or that Obama is planning to use other federal employees to put freedom-loving patriots in internment camps. That’s what they would like to do to liberals. They think we think like they do, that we have the same dreams.

    Here’s some new information related to the Bundy affair:

    Link.

    […] The public lands livestock grazing program uses approximately 250 million acres of the arid west, with permitted users paying a pittance to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Forest Service for the privilege to do so. And it is truly a pittance. When Bundy stopped paying BLM in 1993, he owed just $1.86 per animal unit month for his mama cows, or $3,348 to use the land year-round. But Bundy refused to pay the fees because he didn’t want to reduce his herd to just 150 animals in order to help save the Mojave desert tortoise, a species given an emergency Endangered Species Act listing, and whose existence is specifically threatened by livestock competition for scarce desert vegetation and direct crushing and trampling of tortoise burrows.

    Bundy’s non-payment of fees was coupled with non-cooperation about getting his cows off the range. Since 1993, Bundy’s herd has ranged from 550 to more than 900 animals, far more than he was ever legally permitted. His cows have roamed over a much broader area than he was ever legally allowed to use. Without accounting for the legal expenses incurred by BLM and the costs of last week’s failed roundup, Bundy has since racked up a million dollar bill for overdue fees, trespass fees, and fines. […]

    Turning Bundy’s cattle back out onto Gold Butte does more than continue his illegal actions; it turns back the clock to a time when the West was controlled by whoever had the most guns, federal laws notwithstanding.[…]

    BTW, Bundy’s “rights” as he calls them depend, in part, on a kind of tenure. He claims that since his ancestors grazed cattle there for generations, he has a right to continue to do so. Native Americans might disagree with him.

    The most troubling aspect of this is that guys (and some women) with guns backed an old white mormon libertarian in his refusal to obey the law.

  70. says

    It’s been my experience that many people who thoroughly enjoy the series as a whole gain no pleasure whatsoever from the first two books

    The first two books where pure mockery of the genre. They have some bits that, if done differently, would have made them better, and fit nicely into the world overall, but.. political commentary, and other clear satire wasn’t something really being tried for in them. Still, I liked them, and.. can almost forgive even the live action mini series, if they hadn’t crammed both bloody books into one series, then tacked on the Summoner of Eight’s temple, as an after thought, at the tail end, as some place the tourist had planned to see, but wasn’t able to (in the books, he and Rincewind more or less end up there by shear accident, and shear accident with the tourist’s picture box manages to scare off the squid like monster, swallowing the temple, and the surrounding landscape with it). It was neat to see it made into live action, but also.. rushed.

    Going Postal they kind of did some of the same things with, opting to change up certain things a bit, to, I can only assume, fit it in the right time limit, and have it still make sense. The result was good enough that I didn’t catch on to all the “adjustments” they had made right off, until I went back and re-read the book. By comparison, the cartoons where much closer to the books, and.. I don’t think they did too much to mangle Hogsfather (which includes a nice bit at the end on human imagination, and the need to make shit up, including gods, or tooth fairies, and the like, for people to actually *be* human, while at the same time acknowledging that, yes, indeed, they are all *made up*).

  71. John Horstman says

    @Lynna, OM #85: And, of course, they also project the desire onto imaginary roving gangs of Black people, which is why they need to be armed to the teeth both when at home and out about town. The present political reality is making me seriously question my position on thought crimes (never an okay concept), which I find deeply troubling in its own right. In an environment where we can’t manage to consistently convict overtly racist fanatics for present-day lynchings, though, otherwise-untenable authoritarianism starts looking disturbingly appealing to me. I think I need to take my meds and get a good night’s sleep.

  72. Snoof says

    Night Watch is my favourite Discworld novel, but I strongly disagree that it’s the first one you should read.

    Start with Guards, Guards and read the City Watch series from there until you get to Night Watch. That way you get to see Vimes’ character arc and development along the way, and it’ll have the biggest impact.

  73. Snoof says

    Whoops. Sorry, chigau, I didn’t see your post there at 80. I apologise for the tangent.