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Certainly manners can be used to separate and even to insult, but it's also instructive to consider how Americans of the 18th and perhaps later were often considered in polite European society to be "rough-hewn, but charming frontiersmen" despite their lack of conventional manners. The question of how the outsider interacts when he doesn't know the rules is kind of interesting - if you don't realize that you're being insulted in Japan, does that change the interactions? Similarly, if you decide to ignore insults and simply continue along obliviously, does the insulter lose points? The whole thing about manners and social interactions, with their local and specific rules seems to be just one more of the tribal recognition rituals we all like to have, whether it's Shriners or people from the same club or the old neighborhood. Sure sometimes there are unspoken rules about how and when and why to use phrases for either good or bad effect, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2012 on Why, bless their hearts at Obsidian Wings
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Sorry about that whole "scarabble" thing. It's hard to type when the mere thought of commitment and scrabble and Jesus drives me to non-stop multi-orgasmic orgasms.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Like Rockets through Molasses at Whiskey Fire
She blinded me ... with Science! (and imaginary 'studies' which would totally show what she imagines to be the case if they were ever done, but since we know what the results would be, why bother doing them since it would just be a waste of time and money that could be spent on more important things like Scarabble. And Commitment. Mmmmm, tasty orgasms!)
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Like Rockets through Molasses at Whiskey Fire
I'm not sure I was able to make sense of the contents of the post there, but I'm not sure it matters all that much. My understanding of the phrase "The David Brooks Tragedy" is that it refers to the decision by the NY Times to hire the man. Nothing I read in that block of text has given me reason to change my mind.
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Man, I can't believe Obama's going to take that lying down. I mean, the usual racist insults and gratuitous political smears are one thing, but saying he's only as smart as Newt? That's got to sting.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2011 on Oh Fuck Me at Whiskey Fire
"It is not a sacrifice for the industrialist or the wage earner, the farmer or the shopkeeper, the trainman or the doctor, to pay more taxes, to buy more bonds, to forego extra profits, to work longer or harder at the task for which he is best fitted. Rather is it a privilege." I'm just trying to figure out how the Second World War would have ended if it had taken place with today's leaders and today's citizenry. The Man in the High Castle is probably not far off. Good thing we're not at war, eh?
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The really impressive aspect to all this is that folks like these guys apparently don't need mind-altering pharmaceuticals to develop what in a lesser person would be strong evidence of paranoid schizophrenia. Every time I read something like this I can't help but feel like Egon at the end of Ghostbusters, to Louis Tully: "We'd like to get a sample of your brain tissue." God only knows what it would show, but it sure would be interesting.
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2011 on This Time I Want to Keep It Alone at Whiskey Fire
I can see why it's LRon; he's just a harmless scam artist. OSCard is too edgy for Mitt. Anyway, inventing a religion out of whole cloth is the very foundation of LDS, so Hubbardism is second nature to a Mormon (not to mention that afaik Scientology is a glorious stew of LDS, EST and PCP. It's bred in the bone, you might say.
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And it's stinking to high heaven! (shoutout to LWIII fans everywhere...)
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2011 on Herman Cain's Campaign And Such As at Whiskey Fire
You call that Mountain Laurel? Why in my day, we had Mountain Laurel 25 feet high and 40 feet across! It flowered from early March to Late August, and each bush would support a whole _herd_ of deer! These kids today and their "Mountain Laurel". Whoop-de-doo. I blame all those hippies and that "free love" stuff and the mary-joo-wana. And where's my Prune Juice?!
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2011 on Cacapon Mountain 11.28.2011 at Whiskey Fire
Remember when Apple had a lock on most non-business computing? Remember what led to IBM-_compatible_ computers taking about 90% of that market away from them in less than a decade?
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Tracks in the sandtraps? Oh, deer. Also, only three shots of the fairways? Shouldn't there have been fore?
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2011 on Bambi Don't Rake at Whiskey Fire
"When a bank makes an error of this magnitude, it dies" Eh? I thought the banks that made errors of that magnitude were thriving, and have just about finished eating up all the smaller banks that didn't make those errors. Perhaps Mr. Salmon is making a point that I am just too simple-minded to appreciate.
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I think we all tend to miss the point - it's not that many of the rank-and-file are necessarily intellectually dishonest; it's more that, like all of us, they tend to assume that everybody thinks like they do. If their lives are ruled by belief rather than assesment, then so must everyone's, and therefore anyone who makes a contradictory claim must be lying for some reason. When you measure everything in terms of money, then that must be the reason for the lies. You start with ludicrous assumptions and the road leads inexorably to patently ridiculous conclusions. You can tell a lot about people by the things they say and the claims they make. We all use ourselves as benchmarks, which is why we're all so often really badly wrong (and worse, foolish) in our attempts to analyze each other. The leaders of the GOP movement are primarily, as far as I can tell, either clearly insane (like Michelle Bachmann), or simply greasy slimeballs and second-rate con men (like Perry, Palin and Uncle Newt). This may help to explain their particular approach to things (and why we're so screwed - since the Titanic's lookouts have been trained to report only that the seas are calm and free of icebergs).
Toggle Commented Nov 23, 2011 on Hooray, Fresh Hooey at Whiskey Fire
I forgot - I had resolved to end all my posts with "GOP delenda est!" in tribute to that grand old man of letters who posted just above me. I'm pleased to see that he supports (like all true conservatives) the good old traditional punishments (if not necessarily for the good old traditional crimes). Not all has changed for the better, I fear.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2011 on Huddling Where It's Always Nice at Whiskey Fire
"..a Republican who is not insane." Ah, yes. Much like a scorpion who will let you carry him _most_ of the way across the river before stinging you and killing you while committing suicide. At this point, I contend that there is no such thing as a Republican who is not insane. Some may only be delusional rather than criminal psychopaths, but they all operate in a world which has little or no actual connection to what we might define as "objective reality"
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2011 on Huddling Where It's Always Nice at Whiskey Fire
"..he got one out of three right. I do agree it is an institution." If the statement that the CBO is an institution counts as his "one" in the "one out of three", then it's actually (by my count) one out of four. Although, perhaps we can give him a foul ball on the "does not believe in [externally generated] data" claim. That's still "one out of three" only by generosity; using my stricter view of things, a .250 average is not terribly positive unless you're hitting 40 home runs and generating a butt-load of runs. Old Newty's a star in his own mind, but it's hard to see why anybody who's not drunk or infatuated would agree with him.
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Technocracy never fails; it can only be failed.
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Actually, the first thing I thought when Ms. Shlaes' name came up was "Amity Shlaes? Why not McArdle?" [image of Zoidberg holding up his claws in protest]
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You know, Creeping Lesbianism would be a great name for a band, with apologies to Dave Barry. Also, too, I suppose it's only a matter of time before the Tip Jar button is joined by a "Legal Crack" Thin Mints button. Brace yourselves to become stinkin' rich in a few years when you start doing online cookie orders, you monsters. As for the Scouts, it was good for me - I was a moderately bad kid: I started brush fires, did a fair amount of property damage (penny-ante stuff like broken windows, damage to swimmming pools, car tires, that sort of thing) and being in the scouts let me do stuff like that legally and relatively safely. Plus, it was fun to learn how to camp, canoe and all that. The only time we ever saw any Girl Scouts, though, was on a longish canoe trip when we pulled out at a spot they were already at. That was a memorable night, and it was a good thing that at least some of us were, as Tom Lehrer put it so well, Prepared. Ah, a simpler time then. We'd be in deep trouble nowadays.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2011 on A Prayer for My Daughter at Whiskey Fire
"Who knows what rich life it's missing by living with us?" Now there's a statement I know my kids would definitely sympathize with.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2011 on Happy Nigel Tufnel Day! at Whiskey Fire
It's actually even wilder than that, and it's not just Jumping Spiders, although they're the most amazing spiders we know of right now. The whole idea of "intelligence" and behavioral complexity is really going through some interesting seismic activity over the past few decades, what with octopi, dolphin behavior, and the truly impressive learned and complicated behaviors of such tiny animals with such relatively simple neural networks. This: is relatively simple stuff. This, like all Jackson's stuff on Portia spp.: is almost unbelievably cool.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2011 on Happy Nigel Tufnel Day! at Whiskey Fire
They seem pretty young (button-mushroom stage), and that pointy-hat look should be a useful ID tag, but I've got nothing. I'll tell you what; I'll go watch Buzzcocks and if that doesn't jar a few ideas loose in my brain, nothing will. Fwiw, the middle right ones look awfully familiar; something like "pancake" nibbles at the edges of my recollection, but that might just be that I like pancakes and I'm hungry.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2011 on Mushroom Mushroom! II at Whiskey Fire
I used to know mushrooms a tad, but most of it's gone from me; about the only thing that I can still recall is that multicolored (green, orange, yellow, red) mushrooms are likely to be Parrot Mushrooms. I don't know if these are those, but your red one looks like what I've been calling Parrot Mushrooms for the past 30 years.
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2011 on Mushroom Mushroom! at Whiskey Fire
Bottom right looks like Honey Mushrooms, top right looks a bit like Hen of the Woods (is that an Oak it's growing on?). Of course the only way to be sure that they're safe is to have somebody else try them. Maybe every mushroom trek should be open to GOP Presidential candidates?
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2011 on Mushroom Mushroom! II at Whiskey Fire