Tea Party Pig People and the National Debt

Stan Collender of Capital Gains and Games can’t figure out why the Tea Party Republicans are so concerned about the national debt and against additional borrowing when interest on rates on Treasury debt is lower than it has ever been, and real interest rates are such that purchasers of Treasury debt are actually paying the Federal Government to borrow their money:

[T]he real question is why government borrowing has been and continues to be such a political issue and why the tea partiers in the Republican Party continue to insist it’s the tool of the devil.

The answer is, of course, very simple. It is the culmination of the so-called “Southern Strategy” for GOP dominance. The “tea partiers”–who are nothing more nor less than the same exact white racist, misogynist, homophobic, nativist, christian pig people base of the GOP that has served as such since the “Dixiecrats” left the Democratic Party over desegregation and the Civil Rights Act–are convinced that this borrowing is going to pay for benefits to “parasites” and “moochers”: black and latino americans, jews, coastal elites, immigrants, muslims, homosexuals, democrats, and all the other non-white, non-christians they have been trained to despise for the last 40+ years.

Go read the Lee Atwater interview again, and the answer to Stan’s question is right there. “The national debt” is nothing more than the current version of the same old, same old code words since the pig people can’t say “nigger, nigger, nigger” anymore: “forced busing”, “states rights”, “freedom”, “liberty”, “government employees”, etc. The “tea partiers” are neo-Confederate pig people who long for the days when the power of white christian privilege was completely unquestioned and had no real challengers.

Stuffed Manicotti (Vegetarian)

INGREDIENTS
fourteen manicotti
two cups ricotta
one cup grated mozzarella
half-cup grated hard cheese (pecorino moliterno and/or parmigiano reggiano)
major fuckeloade of fresh basil leaves
two jumbo eggs
one quarter large white onion, diced
six large garlic cloves, diced
salt
olive oil
large pinch dried oregano
large pinch dried thyme
fresh-ground black pepper
fresh-ground long pepper (or some ground nutmeg)
crushed red pepper flakes
one cup dry white wine
one shot Bulleit rye
one large can crushed san marzanos

Sautee the onions in olive oil with oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and fresh-ground black pepper until translucent.

Add garlic and continue to sautee until golden brown.

Deglaze with the white wine and boil off the alcohol.

Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer on low while you do the rest of the shitte, stirring occasionally and salting to taste.

These are the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. The two cups of ricotta was about one and a half twleve ounce packages (this ricotta is less dense than your typical mass-produced ricotta), and the cup of grated mozzarella was about half this piece (the rest was used for the topping).

Add about half the major fuckeloade of basil to the sauce after it has been cooking for about twenty minutes. Boil the manicotti in salty water for about four minutes, drain, and lay them out on a metal rack of whatever so they don’t stick together to cool.

Combine the ricotta, grated mozzarella, grated hard cheese, the other half of the major fuckeloade of basil (reserving a bit for garnish), the two eggs (after beating them), fresh-ground long pepper (or nutmeg) and salt to taste, and mix very well.

Sauce is done, so turn it off.

Put the filling in a zippy bag, push it all down to one corner, and then cut a little bit of the corner off, to form the filling injector.

Spread a nice generous layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, and sprinkle with some extra tap water.

Use the injector to fill the manicotti and arrange them in a single layer in the baking dish.

Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with the shot of rye (or bourbon) and also a little tap water. The point of the added tap water sprinkled on the sauce layers is to make sure there is sufficient moisture to come to a boil at the end of the cooking process without drying out the sauce. Grate the ramaining mozzarella and more hard cheese and spread on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees until the liquid at the bottom has boiled for a bit and the topping is toasted, about 45 minutes.

Plate and YUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wut?

Can someone please explain to me how it can possibly make sense for Mitt Romney to run in motherfucken Michigan–whose economy was undeniably flat-out saved by George W. Bush’s decision to bail out the automobile companies–on a platform of “that was a socialist terrible idea”? I mean is this some kind of Lee Atwater “nigger, nigger, nigger” thing that I’m not understanding?

When To Submit Your First R01 (i.e., Hugeasse) Grant Application

When I got the asst prof jobbe offer I wanted, I called my close friend–who is now a Hughes investigator and full prof at Rockefeller–and told him about it. He was all like “Have you started writing your R01?” And I was all like “What the fucke are you talking about? I’m fucken drinking!” And he was all like “Get writing, motherfucker.”

So I submit the fucker before I even arrive at my asst prof jobbe. And it gets triaged. But it was *definitely* the right thing to have submitted then, and led to me getting my first R01 earlier than otherwise, even though I never even resubmitted the fucker.

This is for a number of reasons:

(1) Practice writing a grant.

(2) Feedback from the subfield study section on what they expect in a legit R01.

(3) Subfield study section knows I’m now a player.

Pork Chile Verde

INGREDIENTS

two pounds cubed trimmed pork shoulder
two pounds tomatillos
one head garlic, rough dice
one large white onion, rough chop
different peppers (see photo), including one habanero, seeded and stemmed
extra light olive oil
fucketonne of chopped cilantro
one pint chicken stock
one large splash rye (or bourbon)
one cup dry white wine
one teaspoon ground coriander
one teaspoon ground cumin
one half tablespoon dried oregano
fresh-ground cracked pepper
salt to taste
one cup whole-grain buckwheat kasha

These are the peppers. The red one is a habanero, the others I don’t know what they are called, but the smaller darker green ones I think are probably serranos, and the others are not hot.

Take off the little jackets from the tomatillos and clean them well.

Broil on high to fully soften them, allowing the skin to partially brown/blacken. Any really large burnt skin pieces can be discarded, but plenty of the brown/black can be left in.

Blend the fucke out of the tomatillos (and the juice they exuded on the broiling pan) and peppers to make the base of the chile sauce.

Very nice fresh cubed trimmed pork shoulder.

Brown the pork in batches in hot extra-light olive oil, and reserve.

This is the beautiful browned residue left in the pot.

Throw the onions and garlic into the pot, add the cumin, coriander, oregano, bay leaf, and fresh-ground black pepper. Sautee until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fully soft.

We have both Bulleit and Templeton rye, so we did a little comparative tasting to decide which one to use for deglazing. The Bulleit is spicier and the Templeton has more vanilla notes, so we chose the Templeton.

Deglaze with a hugeasse splash of the Templeton rye, and also take a bigge motherfucken swigge. Reduce until the alcohol is gone.

Add the wine to finish deglazing the pan, and reduce until all of the alcohol is gone.

Add the tomatillo chile base and the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, add the pork, cover, and turn the heat down to a very low simmer. Simmer for a couple hours, stirring occasionally, until the pork is almost done, salting to taste.

Add a fuckeloade of cilantro, stir to incorporate well, and keep simmering. If you want to reduce/thicken the sauce, you can leave the lid off at this point.

After about another half hour of simmering, itte’s done! Cook the kasha by bringing two cups of water to a boil with some salt to taste, add the kasha, stir well, cover, turn down the heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed, ten-to-twelve minutes. Let the kasha rest for a few minutes covered, uncover, and fluff with a fork.

Put some kasha in a bowl and ladle the chile verde on top. After I took this picture, I added more liquid sauce on top cause I love chile verde sauce. EATTE ITTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moving The Needle On Open-Access Science Publishing

The Open Access supporters who are calling for a boycott of certain non-Open Access journals and–mostly simultaneously–decrying what they see as the undue influence of “Glamour journals” (Science, Cell, Nature, PLoS Biology, and some of the top field-specific journals) are going about this all wrong. You don’t build support for people publishing in non-Open Access journals–both glamour and non-glamour–by telling them that it is unethical and pragmatically bad to do otherwise. Rather, you need to make them *want* to do so.

For example, DoucheMonkey has made the point that–beyond the issue of scientists chasing glamour–there are numerous closed-access low-profile low-impact journals that fill a very specific niche: they have real-scientist editorial staff and a steady roster of expert reviewers who are *known to and trusted by the motherfucken authors*. Many of these journals are the official organs of scientific societies. Until open-access journals replicate this situation, they are not going to convince authors to flock to them.

Those of you who are dissatisfied with the roster of academic editors at PLoS ONE in your field, how about *you* fucken volunteer to serve? Send your CV to Pete Binfield, and if you are a credible member of your field, he’ll happily sign you up! And then–once you have enough experience to be credible–you suggest to your fucken colleagues in your field/subfield that they (1) submit their non-glamour work and (2) sign up as editors themselves?

This is exactly what has occurred in each of the several fields/subfields that I operate within, and there are now excellent editors in those fields/subfields, we receive excellent paper submissions, and we have little trouble enlisting excellent reviewers for those submissions.

This is how you build a critical mass, not by telling people that it is unethical for them to publish in some subset of journals.

Boycotting Paper Submissions To Glamour Journals

This interesting discussion continues over at Michael Eisen’s blogge, where he asserts the following, which extends the thinking from non-open-access journals to glamour journals in general (such as Science, Nature, and Cell, and even those that are open access, such as PLoS Biology):

Encouraging the people we train to focus so exclusively on journal titles as the determinant of their success downplays the many other factors that play into these decisions: letters of recommendation, how effectively they communicate in person, and, most importantly, the inherent quality of their science. Sure, reviewers sometimes take shortcuts, but the quality of the underlying science and candidate matter a lot – and in most cases are paramount.

My own lab provides several examples that demonstrate this reality. My graduate students have gone on to great postdocs and many have landed prestigious fellowships “despite” having only published in open access journals. More curiously, I have had four postdoctoral fellows go out onto the academic job market, who all got great jobs: at Wash U., Wisconsin, Idaho and Harvard Medical School. Not only did none of them have glamour mag publications from my lab. None of them had yet published the work on the basis of which they were hired! They got their interviews on the basis of my letters and their research statements, and got the jobs because they are great scientists who had done outstanding, as of yet unpublished, work. If anything demonstrates the fallacy of the glamour mag or bust mentality this is it.

So, when I suggest that we all refuse to publish in non-open access journals, I am not being cavalier about the career prospects of the next generation. I don’t suggest we abandon them to the winds of fate. Rather I believe we can simultaneous do right by science, by the public AND by our trainees by explaining to them what is at stake, pointing out the holes in the prevailing wisdom they hear from all sides, and then explaining and defending their actions to the hilt when we write letters on their behalf.

Encouraging the people we train to focus so exclusively on journal titles as the determinant of their success downplays the many other factors that play into these decisions: letters of recommendation, how effectively they communicate in person, and, most importantly, the inherent quality of their science. Sure, reviewers sometimes take shortcuts, but the quality of the underlying science and candidate matter a lot – and in most cases are paramount.

My own lab provides several examples that demonstrate this reality. My graduate students have gone on to great postdocs and many have landed prestigious fellowships “despite” having only published in open access journals. More curiously, I have had four postdoctoral fellows go out onto the academic job market, who all got great jobs: at Wash U., Wisconsin, Idaho and Harvard Medical School. Not only did none of them have glamour mag publications from my lab. None of them had yet published the work on the basis of which they were hired! They got their interviews on the basis of my letters and their research statements, and got the jobs because they are great scientists who had done outstanding, as of yet unpublished, work. If anything demonstrates the fallacy of the glamour mag or bust mentality this is it.

So, when I suggest that we all refuse to publish in non-open access journals, I am not being cavalier about the career prospects of the next generation. I don’t suggest we abandon them to the winds of fate. Rather I believe we can simultaneous do right by science, by the public AND by our trainees by explaining to them what is at stake, pointing out the holes in the prevailing wisdom they hear from all sides, and then explaining and defending their actions to the hilt when we write letters on their behalf.

Scientific publishing is broken, and it’s dragging down the field. We can either sit by and do nothing, allowing another generation to be captured by the allure of high impact publications. Or we can show some courage, shake off this silly dogma, and lead the next generation to a place that will be better for all concerned. You know what I choose. Please join me.

In interpreting these comments–which I completely agree with in principle–the following is also essential to take note of:

I’m an evolutionary biologist at UC Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

How many post-docs are gonna get jobs like that under circumstances like that who don’t come from institutions like Berkeley and–even more importantly–whose mentors aren’t Hughes investigators?

When one of my post-docs has her paper triaged without peer review by the PLoS Biology star chamber, and then triaged without peer review by the PLoS Genetics star chamber, how can I in good conscience tell her to send it to PLoS ONE–which I know to be viewed as of right now as a “dump” journal by most people whose opinions matter–instead of to another relevant journal that is viewed as of right now as a “prestigious” journal by most people whose opinions matter?

Don’t get me wrong. It is great that Michael Eisen and his post-docs are in the privileged position of being able to tell the glamour journals–including those that are open access–to fucke offe. If more people in that privileged position do the same, it will definitely move the needle in the direction we all agree is desirable.

But not everyone is privileged like that, and cannot be expected to do the same. I was a post-doc in the just-started lab of an assistant professor with no real reputation and definitively not plugged into the Hughes network. If I didn’t publish the most important part of my post-doctoral work in Nature, I wouldn’t have ever got job interviews at the kind of institution where I am now employed.

I know of people who got excellent assistant professor jobs at prestigious institutions contemporaneously with me on the basis of being plugged into the right networks–yes, including the Hughes network–who never got any substantial funding, who never published any research from their labs (presumably thus destroying the careers of any post-docs who were in their labs), who accordingly got shitcanned by their institutions, and who then–again on the basis of being plugged into the right networks–got *second* jobs at equally prestigious institutions to try again (we’ll see how many post-docs’ careers they destroy this time around).

The awesome blogger Driftglass has a very apt saying that he applies to the Beltway political-media Village:

There are two Rules for left-wing bloggers:

(1) There is a Club.

(2) You are not in it.

There is a biomedical research Club. Not everyone is in it. Different rules apply to those who are in it and those who are not.