April 23, 2011

Meade fells a tree.

"Hold It Against Me"...

... Marine version.

Once when I was a kid, my brother and I raked leaves for Uncle Henry, who then paid us $5.

I asked my father to split it for us, and he tore it in half. That made a big impression on me.

That memory came back to me when I watched this video clip from "The Office"...

... which somebody pointed out to me when I mentioned that I was thinking of buying a desk that has a push-button motor that raises it into a standing desk.

Movies with the name of a famous person in the title where the famous person is in the movie but isn't a main character.

The famous person plays the role of himself/herself in the movie. It's not an actor playing the role (although if you can think of anything in that category, feel free to mention it).

Help me make a list.

The favorite childhood joke of the brain scientist who focuses on the the perception of time.

A turtle enters the sheriff's office:
“I’ve just been attacked by three snails!” he shouts.

“Tell me what happened,” the sheriff replies.

The turtle shakes his head: “I don’t know, it all happened so fast.”

Gov. Walker's Twitter feed reminds me of "Jim's Journal."

It finally hit me when I read the governor's most recent tweet: "Haircut then went out w/Alex who is driving (he is doing well)."

It's like "Jim's Journal"! Remember "Jim's Journal"? "I Made Some Brownies and they were pretty good." 

"Jim's Journal" was Scott Dikkers (the founding editor of The Onion) from back before The Onion got started... here in Madison, Wisconsin.

Recreating an old reality show, with actors playing the parts of the real people...

... who once lived their supposedly real lives in front of the cameras.

Is this something we want to watch now, or do we feel sorry for actors who are stuck with roles like this? Why not watch the original show, "An American Family," which aired in 1973?

HBO's "Cinema Verite" makes me feel the way I felt about the movie "Frost/Nixon." The original is still available. What's the point of actors imitating them? Presumably, there can be some different angles on what was really happening, but, most likely, we'll just be more aware of the phoniness of acting than we usually are.

Meanwhile, speaking of HBO, I'm struggling through the 5 episodes of the mini-series "Mildred Pierce." (I'm not watching alone, but I'm saying "I'm struggling," because I'm the one with the will to watch, and Meade mainly has this thing of hanging out with me when I'm watching one of my shows, which is something I also do for him sometimes (read:  sports).)

Now, "Mildred Pierce," isn't the recreation of something that happened in reality, but it is the recreation of an old and (for some people) very familiar movie. Kate Winslet is playing Joan Crawford. Now, it's not the same as watching Faye Dunaway play Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest," because both Joan and Kate were playing this fictional entity Mildred, but, come on. It was Joan Crawford. Winslet has the challenge of getting us to not think about Crawford.

Now, Kate's doing a fine job of not being Joan Crawford, but... the real thing here is melodrama, and Joan was more truly melodramatic, which means that Kate, by trying to be more authentically human, gives us a less genuine melodrama.

"Obama Raises Celebrity Cash, But Trip Goes Off Script."

NPR reports:
During a fancy breakfast at San Francisco's St. Regis Hotel, donors at one table stood up and complained in song: "We paid our dues/Where's our change?"

... On Wednesday night at the big San Francisco rally, Obama said... "I know there are times where some of you have felt frustrated because we haven't gotten everything done as fast as we wanted"...

People in the audience started to shout: Gay marriage! Clean energy! Single-payer health care!...

"See there. Case in point, right? All right. See, I knew I'd open up this can of worms," the president said...

Why did Caitlin Flanagan write such a poorly supported article on fraternities and rape?

And why did the Wall Street Journal publish it? Was there a whole lot more material in the original article, which was then edited down to make Flanagan look utterly ridiculous?

It begins with the description of one horrible crime.
It ends with Flanagan describing her own fear of men. It's lurid and emotional to tell us about one woman's victimization and another woman's feelings, but where's the support for Flanagan's proposition that fraternities should be shut so that women can achieve equality on campus? Here's the middle of the article, where the substance should be:
The Greek system is dedicated to quelling young men's anxiety about submitting themselves to four years of sissy-pants book learning by providing them with a variety of he-man activities: drinking, drugging, ESPN watching and the sexual mistreatment of women.
So... guys in college seek fun in addition to study. That's unremarkable. So do females. Characterizing study as inherently feminine — "sissy-pants book learning" — doesn't make the assertion any less shallow. It seems to me that many young males and females indulge in substances, sports, and sex. Those activities maybe be great fun or horrible (or something in between).
A 2007 National Institute of Justice study found that about one in five women are victims of sexual assault in college; almost all of those incidents go unreported.
How did they find it if it was unreported? Much of life is ugly but not criminal. If it's a crime report it. If it's not a crime, what was it? What are these statistics that get thrown at us constantly? I've been seeing them since 1988 when "I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape" was published. Over the years, college women have learned to call it rape, but why haven't they learned to report it, if it is rape or some other crime?  You can chose to think of something bad that happened as a crime but are you willing to hold your opinion up to the judgment of officials who have the obligation to treat the accused man fairly? Almost all of those incidents go unreported. Exactly why?
It also noted that fraternity men—who tend to drink more heavily and frequently than nonmembers — are more likely to perpetrate sexual assault than nonfraternity men, according to previous studies. Over a quarter of sexual-assault victims who were incapacitated reported that the assailant was a fraternity member.
Over a quarter?! Is this limited to the college situation? What are we learning from this flabby factual material? Young people drink too much.
It is against this boorish cartel...
Cartel? What cartel?
... that 16 Yale students and recent alumni asserted themselves in a Title IX complaint brought against the institution last month — a complaint that could cost the university $500 million in federal funds.

The claim concerns both the ways that sexual assaults are handled by the university and also the effect that various fraternity "pranks" have had on its female students. The last straw for the complainants seems to have been a Delta Kappa Epsilon initiation last fall in which a mob of pledges chanted "No Means Yes! Yes Means Anal!" and other enlightening slogans....
That was the last straw? A stupid chant? Why don't women use their immense power of being able to laugh at men? Give them the finger? Wasn't the idea of the chant to humiliate the pledges by making them say things that would make them look bad to women? Why don't women claim the power they have instead of running to Daddy (i.e., the government)?

The Yale complaint is a pathetic step backward for feminism. It is not empowerment.


Here's a book I read a while back: "Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus." By the way, for a few years in the early 90s, I taught law school course on rape and wrote articles on the subject.

April 22, 2011

"The sound of the mountains in the 19th century."

Hazel Dickens. RIP.

Paul Krugman says "So, let’s try another shot to the head."

I realize he's talking about a misconception, and he has designated the misconception a "zombie," and according to zombie lore, zombies are destroyed by shooting them in the head. But still. That's quite a violent way to talk about the thoughts in the minds of the people you want to correct.

And it was just last January that Kruman, responding to a terrible shooting, wrote:
So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?

If Arizona promotes some real soul-searching, it could prove a turning point. If it doesn’t, Saturday’s atrocity will be just the beginning.

"You had a very specific vision for your work and for your life, and that vision included your death."

"It didn’t have to, but that’s how it turned out. I’m so sorry, Tim. The conversation we could have had about this crazy stunt of yours! Christ, I would have yelled at you, but you know that. Getting mad was how we kept each other safe, how we kept the other from doing something stupid."

Krauthammer says Palin and Huckabee will probably not run for President in 2012.

And it's too early for Paul Ryan. And Trump is "a clown." Bachmann's a long shot. The serious candidates are: Romney, Gingrich, Barbour, Pawlenty, and Daniels. According to Krauthammer.

If I wasn't one of the "conservative bloggers" that Kloppenburg was talking about...

... why doesn't the Kloppenburg campaign respond to my email and specify who they were? The idea that I was one of the bloggers is now an internet meme with some life to it. Here's Power Line, this morning. [AND: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.]

As I wrote in an update at the first link, above, I've been able to figure out that one of the "conservative bloggers" was Christian Schneider. Someone in the comments states flatly: "You were not one of the bloggers." Meade responds:
Who were the bloggers? Kloppenburg used the plural, so she clearly meant more than one. Or was she not accurate with her facts?

Also, why would her campaign not reply to Althouse?

Now that the question of Althouse being the "conservative blogger" is becoming an internet meme, it appears that the Kloppenburg campaign is incompetent and unprepared for the questions and scrutiny that lie ahead.

That "15 second" pregnant pause may be only the beginning of awkward moments for JoAnne Kloppenburg.
Indeed. I'm not being vain and narcissistic about the campaign's failure to respond to my email. I'm commenting on the meaning of the absence of a response. In my post, I note that Kloppenburg listed 4 reasons being suspicious of what happened with the reporting of the votes in Waukesha, but "2 of the items are the absence of anything." I added:
An absence of evidence might be probative of something that matters, but you have to build a foundation for why it matters.
Now, I'm talking about an absence: the failure to provide the names of the bloggers and the links to the blog posts that show the "prior knowledge" of the missing votes. And I have built the foundation for why this absence is probative of something that matters. The internet meme is hurting Kloppenburg's credibility and undermining the assertion that an independent investigation is needed.

My working theory at this point is that there was only one blogger, Christian Schneider, and the Kloppenburg campaign is afraid to admit that the plural "bloggers" was false.

Or they really were talking about me.

"MORE ON VIBRATORS, from Eugene Volokh."

Possibly the most absurd teaser ever from Instapundit. Anyway, Glenn's been going crazy with the vibrators lately.

Oh, my lord, I just looked over to see what Volokh is doing with the vibrators. He's got a 1357-word post! You know, if you guys can go on long enough, women might not need vibrators.

Now, I'll actually read what Volokh says:
This is... a family blog, and you can’t very well start a family if you’re too interested in your vibrator.
Well, hell! It depends on how you use it!
So here’s a circumstance I’ve wondered about. Imagine that a close single female friend (just a friend) mentioned to you that she has a vibrator that’s shaped like a highly stylized penis....
Oh! These lawprofs and their hypos! In this one, a female friend volunteers that she loves her vibrator. Volokh says most people would think that's okay. Then, he changes the hypo — this is what lawprofs do with hypos — and the friend expressing love for the sex appliance is male. Volokh says "many people will think it’s a bit icky, in some hard to pin down way." He then explores 5 theories. You can go over there and read them. They all assume solo use of the vibrator, so it's really more about why people would rather think about a woman masturbating than think about a man masturbating. That's a matter of the sexual preference of the person doing the thinking.

"Progressives are just looking to keep the pot boiling and their base excited."

Patrick McIlheran at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, speculating about the Kloppenburg recount here in Wisconsin. The recall elections are coming up, but the protests at the Capitol have cooled off and the actual Supreme Court election is/was over. This recount then is a way to keep people stirred up. Can't afford a lull before the big recall elections. Blech!

"The 'New Civility' As Asymmetrical Warfare."

"Do you think that the new civility is: I'm entitled to have other people be civil to me?"

"Recall petitions against three Democratic senators and one more Republican were filed... Thursday..."

"... bringing the total count of state senators facing potential recall elections up to eight."

In Wisconsin, where democracy never ends. We have a thoroughly, continually, annoyingly politically engaged citizenry.

By the way, what's the score now? 4 to 4? 3 to 5? I can't keep track. I hate the recall thing, but if the Dems do it to the Republicans, I find it hard not to support the pushback of Republicans against Dems. But really, I think it's unfair to ordinary citizens, who got their voting work done last November and deserved to be free from elections until those terms end. It's also a waste of money.

The Republicans won power decisively last fall and have been focused more on exercising power than talking to the public about why what they are doing is a good idea. I hope they use this recall opportunity to explain and persuade. It's not just a matter of winning the recall election. Flip it into something very positive. As I've said, I hate this recall movement, but now that it's here, I hope the folks who made it happen come to bitterly regret what they have done.

"Don't squish it and after it's dead, flush it down the toilet."

"Hey, and flush it a couple of times."

(Movie scene alluded to this morning.)

April 21, 2011

Bratz wins $88.4 million from Mattel... and Mattel started the legal battle.

Let this be a lesson to all you litigious people!
Mattel had argued that the dolls' designer Carter Bryant developed the Bratz concept while working for it in the late 1990s and secretly took the idea to MGA. MGA denied the claims and countersued, accusing Mattel of corporate espionage, using spies with fake business cards and dummy invoices to gain access to MGA's ideas. MGA also accused Mattel of threatening to scupper business deals with retailers and media firms if they did business with Bratz....
Hail, the countersuit! Let those who start lawsuits cringe!

Oh, Barbie! How far you have fallen:


(That's my original Barbie doll, people. Bow down to the awesome Barbie!)

"What Is the Cost of a Law Review Article by a Top Prof?"

"Estimate Is $100K."

"Pseudoscience is insinuating itself into our medical schools across the nation, going by the name 'Integrative Medicine.'"

"Integrative medicine is just the latest buzzword for a collection of superstitions, myths, and pseudoscience that has gone by various names over the years. First it was Holistic medicine, and once that fell out of favor, it became Alternative medicine, followed soon after by Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM), and lately Integrative medicine...."

“Jesus had two Dads."


"Why the Hell Does Hell Still Matter?"

"Controversies over hell keep recurring because to its believers, hell stands for more than fire, brimstone, and worms that never die. Hell also represents a backstop on the slippery slope to social chaos in a nation founded not on ethnicity or religion, but on the premise of a virtuous citizenry."

What if people really believed in hell?  I mean really. Come on! The world would be completely different.

At the Corporate Propaganda Café...


... you'd better watch it.

"Grace absolutely loves it — she just turns into a puddle."

It would be funny if she turned into a poodle.

The quote is from an article in the NYT about dog massage. Grace is a... oh, wait... Grace is a poodle! I was mixing Grace up with the dog in the photo, which is a Weimaraner. At Weimaraner named Karma. Enough said.

Webcam spying on college roommate charged as a hate crime.

The NYT reports on the indictment of Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers student who invaded the privacy of his roommate Tyler Clementi. Clementi, who subsequently murdered himself, was gay, which gives rise to a theory that his roommate was motivated by anti-gay sentiment and — this is much more difficult — the belief that Ravi — who is only 19 years old — ought to go to prison for at least 5 to 10 years. If his behavior were not portrayed it as a "hate crime," the punishment, according to the article, would probably be probation.

Ravi, it should be noted, did not kill Clementi.

Ravi was an ass. He tweeted: "I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." Imagine if he'd used the webcam, caught Clementi kissing a female and tweeted "I saw him making out with a girl. Yay." Would that have been a dramatically different crime, justifying the difference between probation and 5 years in prison? The invasion of privacy is serious, but I don't see the seriousness differing depending on whether or not Clementi was gay. And I don't think people who care about the feelings of gay people ought to play out their politics on Ravi, who deserves what he deserves and nothing more.

"[N]early 60 percent of Republicans cannot point to a single candidate [for the 2012 presidential nomination] about whom they are enthusiastic..."

Says the New York Times, citing a Times/CBS News poll:
Only those possible contenders who regularly appear on television — or have made bids before — are well known enough to elicit significant views from their fellow Republicans....
The poll would seem to reflect the late start to the Republican primary season, with many of the major likely candidates seeking to hoard their money and avoid making any missteps that they might have to live with later, when voters go to polls or caucus rooms.
Is this a bad thing for Republicans?

Arguably not: hoard their money and avoid making any missteps... as the article says. Why become conspicuous now and get knocked down? Why fight amongst yourselves? Why commit to positions when the economy and other matters are in continual flux? Why struggle to draw attention to yourself when Obama holds and controls the nation's attention? Let him make mistakes, let those mistakes accumulate, and decide how and when to use those mistakes against him?
[Donald] Trump has been getting considerable attention as a possibly strong contender, but just about as many Republicans view him favorably as view him unfavorably — 35 percent favorably and 32 percent unfavorably— and nearly 60 percent of Republicans interviewed said they did not believe he was a serious candidate. (Far more of all voters view him unfavorably — 46 percent — than view him favorably, 25 percent.)
Yes, exactly. Let Donald Trump attract attention for now. He'll go away later. Let him take all the shots no one serious wants to take responsibility for.

"But sequencing the troubles, the activism need never end."

I said that in the previous post, the one about light bulbs. I'm quoting myself because I want to quote Bob Dylan, about doors:

"Electrical smog develops around" CFL light bulbs — phenol, naphthalene and styrene.

"They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head."

This is quite apart from the mercury inside the bulbs, which (presumably) only becomes a problem — in your home — if you happen to break one. Outside of your home, who knows where those things will end up? The "environmentalists" like to deal with one environmental thing at a time. First, scare everyone about using too much energy, and force them to switch to CFL bulb. Then, with that noble accomplishment done, it will be time for all the anguish about the horrible chemicals in and around the bulbs, and all the money that must be spent cleaning that up.

But sequencing the troubles, the activism need never end.


Instapundit sent me to that article at The Telegraph, which tries to drag me further into its website with a sidebar that includes "Liz Hurley's tips for looking good." Oh, no, you can't can't make me click on that. I know the Liz Hurley tip for looking good: Look like Liz Hurley.

I'll give you the Ann Althouse tip for looking good: Stay out of fluorescent light. Position your head in the proximity of incandescence.

ADDED: Sorry, it's CFL not "CFC." Corrected. I was thinking Compact Fluorescent Crap.

What "conservative bloggers" was JoAnne Kloppenburg casting aspersions on yesterday as she asked for an investigation?

At her press conference yesterday, JoAnne Kloppenburg — the Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate — asked for an independent investigation of the Waukesha County Clerk based on a list of things that she said "raise significant questions." 

One of the things on the list was: "the prior knowledge by conservative bloggers." I believe that "knowledge" refers to the clerk's failure to include one city's votes in her first report. But Kloppenburg casts aspersions on bloggers as evidence of something worrisome going on.

Who are the bloggers? I'd like the links to the blog posts that support the statement! 

I'd like to know if I'm one of the "conservative bloggers," and, if so, why am I being called "conservative"? (At the link, above, you can see why I suspect the reference is to me [and how I got my knowledge]. ) And who are the other bloggers?

Kloppenburg is stirring up public suspicion of the vote-counting process. That is a very serious matter, especially for someone who aspires to a seat on this highest court in the state. She should be scrupulous about the way she presents facts and should not manipulate public opinion. If the evidence does not warrant mistrust, it is injudicious to stimulate mistrust.

Her list of things that "raise significant questions" about the process in Waukesha felt long, but what is really on it?
a one-and-a-half day delay in notifying any responsible party about a county vote total that [the clerk] knew was incorrect

the absence of any reasonable basis for her explanations

the prior knowledge by conservative bloggers

the complete absence of knowledge by the canvass board until the press conference
It sounded like big list, but there are only 4 items. And 2 of the items are the absence of anything. An absence of evidence might be probative of something that matters, but you have to build a foundation for why it matters.

The first item on the list is simply the mistake we all know about: The clerk, Kathy Nickolaus, initially reported zero votes from the city of Brookfield and later provided a vote total. (The vote total is easily consistent with what you would expect from Brookfield.)

The second item is an attempt to make something out of what looks like a mistake. What is the evidence that it's anything but a mistake? The most substantive point is the prior knowledge by conservative bloggers.

So, really, this is important! What was she talking about?

ADDED: Before writing this post, I emailed campaign@kloppenburgforjustice.com: "What does 'the prior knowledge by conservative bloggers' refer to? I would like the names of the bloggers and the links to the blog posts that support this statement." That was 2 hours ago. I'll let you know if I get a response.

AND: Still no response from the Kloppenburg campaign, but a few people have indicated that they think one of the "conservative bloggers" was Christian Schneider, writing at National Review's Corner, noting the "computer error... revealed today" approximately 1 hour before the press conference. I don't know who the other bloggers were or what their sources were.

April 20, 2011

Rush Limbaugh puts the Resurrection in perspective.

Today, Rush Limbaugh went off on Obama for saying this about Easter:
We are reminded that there's something about the Resurrection, something about the Resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective.
It's not the most eloquent or insightful thing anyone ever said about Easter, but, good lord, let it go. But Rush does not let it go:
I've just never heard [the Resurrection] discussed this way.  When he discusses the call to prayer in the Muslim world as being one of the sweetest sounds in the world, I mean that's an eloquent way to describe the Muslim call to prayer.  Here we're talking the Resurrection.  There's something about that....

You know, after hearing him describe it that way, I'm actually surprised that Obama doesn't think of Easter as the day a big rabbit comes out of his hole and, depending on whether he sees his shadow or not, tells us if we're in for a long winter.  
Rush repeats the line "puts everything else in perspective" 13 times in that segment. The only reason for getting that worked up about the casual, nonspecific way Obama talked about the Resurrection would be if you if you felt profound reverence toward it. But if you felt profound reverence about it, you wouldn't use it for cheap political leverage against the President.

Kloppenburg asks for a recount — the Althouse edit of the Meade video.

A tight edit of things I found interesting:

ADDED: Omitted from the video is one passage that I've transcribed using boldface to show something I found very interesting:
An independent investigation needs to occur to get to the bottom of: What the [Waukesha County] clerk did there (when and why); the timing of her various statements and actions, including a one-and-a-half day delay in notifying any responsible party about a county vote total that she knew was incorrect; the absence of any reasonable basis for her explanations; the prior knowledge by conservative bloggers, contrasted with the complete absence of knowledge by the canvass board until the press conference — all of these raise significant questions about the clerk's conduct and her handling of the public trust.
What prior knowledge of conservative bloggers? Does that refer to me? I got a lot of links for saying I could tell there was a mistake in Waukesha county. I got the knowledge the way anyone with access to the internet (and a brain) could have gotten the knowledge. I watched the AP website that was displaying the list of the counties with the precincts reporting and the number of votes reported.

At 11:35, I was annoyed that there were a lot of precincts in Waukesha that hadn't reported. Then at 11:43, I saw that "Waukesha is now shown as completely in, but the numbers didn't change." I guessed that "something may have been misreported."  There was no suspicious back channel to me. I was observing and thinking.

Maybe that's a special conservative way to acquire knowledge. Hmm?

ADDED: I have more to say here.

Email from Tricia Willoughby, the 14-year-old girl who spoke at Saturday's Tea Party rally.

As I've shown in other posts — here, here, and here — there were anti-Tea Party protesters who were shouting and noisemaking throughout her speech. She writes:
First off, I’d like to thank Ms. Althouse for giving me the opportunity to write about my experience at the tea party. Also, before another word is spoken, I’d like to clarify that I was most certainly NOT forced to speak at the tea party by my parents or anyone else. My parents would never force me to do that. I did it completely out of my own free will and wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, doing anything else that day.

Here are my (“14 year old, Tricia Willoughby”) views and opinions of what occurred on that extraordinary day…

"Greatest Living American: A Children’s Treasury of Trig Crap On His Birthday."

Wonkette did this, and as my mother used to say, "He's just trying to get a rise out of you." The point was: IGNORE! But you did not ignore. As my mother would say: "You're only encouraging him."

"Kloppenburg to announce recount decision at 4 p.m."

I hope she'll give a gracious concession speech.

Should Kloppenburg ask for the recount?
No, but she will.
Yes, but she won't.
No, and she won't.
Yes, and she will.

pollcode.com free polls

UPDATE: 4:00 Central Time, of course. I'll be in class until 4:50, but Meade will be covering the event, so go into the comments to see what he's got to say.

UPDATE 2: Kloppenburg has called for a statewide recount. Video to come.

UPDATE 3: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg requested Wednesday a statewide recount - the first in 22 years - to check the results in the April 5 election for state Supreme Court race she lost to Justice David Prosser, the Government Accountability Board said....

Kloppenburg also called on the board to appoint a special investigator to probe the "actions and words" of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.

Drudge goes all out promoting Jerome Corsi's birther book.

The book — to be published next month  — is "Where's the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President." It's Drudge's top headline, linking to this:
... Jerome Corsi, the man who torpedoed John Kerry's presidential dreams with SWIFT BOAT, has gone underground and is holding his new findings thisclose.

"It's utterly devastating," reveals a source close to the publisher. "Obama may learn things he didn't even know about himself!"
Well, no one has first-hand knowledge of his own birth, so excuse me if I don't get all excited about that. Obama's mother was obviously an American citizen. I'm not too interested in the technical details beyond that. Me, a law professor! I'm satisfied that he's eligible to be President. The argument that he doesn't have the American values you think a President must have should be made directly.

Drudge notes that the book was "#1,341 on AMAZON's hitparade late Wednesday morning." It's #6 right now. Soon to be #1, presumably. You've got to give Corsi credit for knowing how to rake in cash. Which reminds me: If you want to read that book, please buy it through my link, above, not Drudge's. Because I'm never going to write a book that people get all jazzed about. Book commerce belongs to guys like Corsi.

UPDATE, 15 minutes after posting: The book is up to #2 on Amazon. I'm not suggesting that's because ot this post, of course. It's Drudge-power.

"Have you noticed all the huge antiwar demonstrations in the last twelve months? Yeah, me neither."

"It turns out that a lot of the energy for the movement seems to have been provided by Democrats who are a lot less worried about wars conducted by Democratic presidents."

I have not noticed huge antiwar demonstrations in the last decade, and I live in Madison, Wisconsin, a place where, if there are going to be demonstrations somewhere, there will be demonstrations. During the height of President Bush's wars, I saw only small demonstrations, peopled by folks who look like they'd been around to demonstrate against the Vietnam War. I saw students stream by, showing very little interest.

"'She was a very strong person in her own way,' Obama said, when I asked about Ann’s limitations as a mother."

Writes Janny Scott at the end of a long NYT Magazine article about Stanley Ann Dunham:
“Resilient, able to bounce back from setbacks, persistent — the fact that she ended up finishing her dissertation. But despite all those strengths, she was not a well-organized person. And that disorganization, you know, spilled over. Had it not been for my grandparents, I think, providing some sort of safety net financially, being able to take me and my sister on at certain spots, I think my mother would have had to make some different decisions. And I think that sometimes she took for granted that, ‘Well, it’ll all work out, and it’ll be fine.’ But the fact is, it might not always have been fine, had it not been for my grandmother. . . . Had she not been there to provide that floor, I think our young lives could have been much more chaotic than they were.”
Did you have a flash — reading that — that he's like his mother, and we, the taxpayers, are like the grandparents? We'll come through. We'll provide the floor through which the country cannot crash.
But he did not, he said, hold his mother’s choices against her. Part of being an adult is seeing your parents “as people who have their own strengths, weaknesses, quirks, longings.” He did not believe, he said, that parents served their children well by being unhappy. If his mother had cramped her spirit, it would not have given him a happier childhood. As it was, she gave him the single most important gift a parent can give — “a sense of un conditional love that was big enough that, with all the surface disturbances of our lives, it sustained me, entirely.”
Please, America. Don't cramp my style. I'm a unique spirit, here to give that special gift that I have brought into the world. It's all for the best, if you'll be that floor.

"Tim Hetherington, the Oscar-nominated film director and conflict photographer who produced the film 'Restrepo' was killed..."

"... in the besieged city of Misurata on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded."

Here's the trailer for "Restrepo" (a highly praised film):

By writing on the web, you can toughen up to the point where you can stand your ground in the physical space that is dominated by people who feel physically and intellectually invulnerable.

That's what I say, in this dialogue with Dahlia Litwick, who feels much the same way...

... except that when I say there's a wall you need to bust through because there's freedom on the other side, she says she doesn't know if she's through the wall. "I think my head's sticking out one side of the wall and my feet are at the other end." I pictured this:

Also in that clip is a comparison of the Wisconsin protesters to the Westboro Baptist Church protesters, whose free-speech right to protest near soldiers' funerals was upheld recently in Snyder v. Phelps. Unlike the Wisconsin protesters who sought to drown out Sarah Palin's speech, the protesters in Phelps took care not to disrupt the funeral:
The record confirms that any distress occasioned by Westboro’s picketing turned on the content and viewpoint of the message conveyed, rather than any interference with the funeral itself....

Here, Westboro stayed well away from the memorial service. Snyder could see no more than the tops of the signs when driving to the funeral. And there is no indication that the picketing in any way interfered with the funeral service itself.

"Does mocking and belittling your goldfish make you feel like a big man..."

"... Ziggy?"

"Oh, God. So pathetic. I never thought I'd feel sorry for Caribou Barbie. Go lie down in your political grave, Hon. It's over."

That's one of 2 top-rated comments at YouTube on Meade's video, which I blogged here, showing Sarah Palin giving a speech here in Madison over obnoxious noise-making by people who don't like her. I blogged my video of the same thing here, where I question why these people thought it was a good idea to try to drown out the speaker.)

Go lie down in your political grave.... That's what YouTube viewers have given the most "thumbs up" to.

A more civil comment:
And to add a personal experience about yesterday here in Madison. Before the rally I had a very good civil discussion with a tea party member and I had gone into the day with the goal of getting as many hugs from them as possible haha. I got one from him and one from a lady at the rally. SO although it was loud and contentious, there were a couple walls brought down. Although I did go back to booing and being kind of obnoxious, it was more directed at Palin though.
See? He thinks he's a good guy.

By the way, the liberal meme on Saturday's rally is that pathetically few tea partiers showed up. Now, why was that? With Sarah Palin appearing, you'd think there would have been an impressive crowd. Is it that Palin and the Tea Party movement are on the wane? Or is it that the kind of people who voted for Scott Walker (and, more recently, Justice Prosser) no longer feel good/safe coming to the Wisconsin Capitol.

Obama: "Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, for, you know, historic reasons."

That's from an interview is getting a lot of press because it supposedly shows Obama's "prickly" side. Frankly, I don't think there's anything wrong with Obama's saying, after an interview, “Let me finish my answers next time we do an interview, all right?”

I question whether it should have been aired at all. The TV station — WFAA — seems to be taking advantage of its access to the President, but given the attention this local TV reporter — Brad Watson — has received, there's an obvious incentive to exploit after-interview material like this. And it's not like Brad Watson will get access again. Obama's reference to "next time" is, essentially, a joke.

But I want to talk about the quote I extracted. What "historic reasons" is he referring to? It's actually not true that "Texas has always been a pretty Republican state," unless by "Republican," you mean something other than the Republican Party. I suspect that his stumbling — "you know" — covers some thought processes. My guess: He knew he was fudging, and he was deciding how clear or veiled he wanted to be in insulting Texas.

ADDED: Instapundit says:
Apparently, when Obama taught Constitutional Law he never got around to teaching the Texas White Primary cases. Or talking about which side was which in the Civil War...

April 19, 2011

At the "GOP Sucks" Café...


... you can sneer or close your eyes and laugh and laugh but you know "I dream [of] a world where I have all the money and I need to retire, and the public unions have to hold a bake sale in order to be a pain in our butts."

ADDED: This photo shows a part of the crowd that had both pro- and anti-Walker protesters. Unless the person is holding a sign, don't assume you know which side they're on.

What would the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing have been like if law professors were blogging back then?

And what about the Bork hearings? And Watergate?! (I assert that Nixon would not have resigned if blogging had been around.)

"You get drunk, you hook up, and you see if it sticks in the morning."

You see if what sticks?

"Did the Roe effect sink JoAnne Kloppenburg?"

Asks James Taranto, who's thinking about that 14-year-old girl (Tricia Willoughby) who spoke at the Tea Party rally here in Madison.
[H]er parents are "pro-life activists"...  People on the other political side are more inclined toward subtraction (or as they call it, "choice")....

The Wisconsin Department of Health has statewide figures on the annual number of abortions going back to 1975. Tot up the numbers through 1992, and you come up with 316,457.

Scott Walker won the governorship last year by a margin of 124,638. That may not be within the margin of abortion; after all, some of the missing 316,457 would have voted Republican had they existed, and many would not have voted.

But JoAnne Kloppenburg, the left-liberal state Supreme Court candidate who was supposed to save Wisconsin's labor monopolies from Walker's reforms, lost by just 7,316 votes, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (this figure is pending a possible futile recount). It's almost inconceivable that the Roe effect alone is insufficient to account for Justice David Prosser's victory.
Taranto also turns up another video taken during Willoughby's speech: a man shouts "Who the fuck are you to lecture me, you little brat?!" Incredible.

Spring snow is more entertaining than rain.

(The second voice is a stranger on the street who talks to me when I go outside to photograph today's snow.)

I'm Bloggingheadsing with Dahlia Lithwick... and it's all about law.

The episode is titled "Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter" — which is the title of the Tina Turner song I pointed at in my post about Justice Breyer referring to "the tweeter."

The Supreme Court’s real diversity problem
How blogging made Ann bold
Is the real world more of an echo chamber than the Internet?
Do judicial elections make a mockery of justice?
Dahlia: Having three female justices has changed the Court
The problems with France’s anti-burqa law

Accused of "being in bed" with Gov. Scott Walker, UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin said "It's an affront to my sexual orientation."

But, don't laugh. This "public authority" model for the UW is really important:
During the gubernatorial campaign last fall, Martin pitched all three major candidates on the idea of giving UW-Madison more freedom from a maze of state regulations, an idea she called the New Badger Partnership.

When Walker was elected, it was his idea to turn UW-Madison into a public authority, Martin said. Under the plan included in Walker's budget proposal, UW-Madison would split off from the UW System, get its own 21-member board and more autonomy. It would allow UW-Madison to set tuition, avoid a 4 percent state fee on construction projects, design its own personnel system and keep university revenue from being swept into state coffers. UW-Madison is facing a $125 million cut in state aid over the next two-year budget, half of the cuts to the UW System....

But with anger still raw over his move to stunt collective bargaining, critics question the motives behind the plan and the chancellor's wisdom of teaming up with Walker.

That has hurt Martin's argument, said Jeremi Suri, a UW-Madison history professor who supports the public authority model.

"This is a nightmare scenario," Suri said. "She is poisoned in the eyes of those who hate Walker. She appears to be on his side on this issue. She couldn't have anticipated quite that level of vitriol."
Sigh. How can academics be so petty and short-sighted? Oh... did my question answer itself?

11 thoughts about hammering "Piss Christ" into destruction.

1. Here's the news article everyone's linking to, which says that the famously controversial photograph "was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an 'anti-blasphemy' campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon." The use of "after" is a weirdly hedged insinuation of cause-and-effect. "After" is the "post" in the phrase "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" ("after this, therefore because of this"), which identifies a logical fallacy.

2. Quite aside from that "after" problem, I can't tell what happened in "the southern city of Avignon." Was it the anti-blasphemy campaign or the hammering? (More details in the linked article. I know what happened. )

3. Andres Serrano sure made a splash with that urine of his! He's been famous and provocative since 1987 for what really ought to have been shaken off at the time as a mere droplet of bad art.

4. A hammer was used to destroy a picture of the crucifixion and a hammer was used to nail Jesus to the cross.

5. The destruction itself could be viewed as a work of art — like "Erased De Kooning."

6. Indeed, the museum — the Collection Lambert — will reopen "with the damaged works shown as they are." And many will come to view and talk about the already over-talked-about photograph.

7. "Piss Christ" is a photograph — a print from a negative — so the destroyed work is not the only "Piss Christ." "Serrano made 10 Cibachrome prints of 'Piss Christ." Presumably, the negative still exists as well, though the value of the prints must depend on the small size of the edition of prints.

8. The value of the prints also depends on the controversy! In 2008, a print of "Piss Christ" sold for $277,000. You figure out the cause-and-effect.

9. The destruction of one print enhances the value of the other 9 prints in 2 ways: It cut the edition of undestroyed prints down to 9 and it bumped up the controversy. And the bonus is the 10th print exists in destroyed — "Erased De Kooning" — form. It is now unique, and it embodies the controversy in a new way. Question: It is now more or less valuable than the undestroyed prints?

10. How do you know the destruction of the "Piss Christ" was not an inside job? Here's another Latin phrase: Cui bono?

11. The first linked article, from a UK website (The Guardian), has a correction appended: "The original [article] referred to the Senator Jesse Helms as Jesse James." Ha. The Brits can't keep their American outlaws straight.

"Gotta be careful what goes on line pookies... The ex would love to fry me with that."

Written on a blog by a woman who subsequently lost the monthly $850 she'd been receiving after she testified that she was too disabled to work. The woman, Dorothy McGurk, had been blogging about belly dancing:
"My belly dancing is the reason why I adore myself so much."
The ex, it should be noted, is a mailman.

House Republicans hire former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

After the Justice Department declined to defend it. Speaker Boehner wants to deduct the cost from money that would otherwise go to the Justice Department.

Reaction from interested groups:
"Not only are House Republican leaders defending the indefensible, they've brought in a high-priced attorney to deny federal recognition to loving, married couples," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "Speaker Boehner appears ready to go to great lengths, and the great expense of a high-power law firm, to try to score some cheap political points on the backs of same-sex couples."

"At last we have a legal eagle on this case who actually wants to win in court," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. "Thanks to Speaker Boehner's actions, President Obama's attempt to sabotage the legal defense of DOMA is not going to work."
I would like to see the Defense of Marriage Act go, and I encouraged the Obama administration to decline to defend it, but I don't think it's "indefensible," and in fact, it deserves to be defended, and the House Republicans did the right thing in hiring Clement. The country deserves a well-briefed, well-argued case presented to the Supreme Court. The other side is already represented by Theodore Olson, another former Solicitor General. I hope Olson wins, but not because he's the better lawyer. It is absolutely fitting that he be matched with a lawyer of equal stature, skill, and will to prevail.

Whatever the outcome, we will all benefit from the marvelous lesson in law these 2 men will provide.

April 18, 2011

Semen might be a mood enhancer for women.

But a doctor can get into a lot of trouble making light-hearted remarks about that.

"It was really unclear at first what was even happening. Because, you know, it is an open mic and it's a performance."

Kipp Rusty Walker played "Sorry for the Mess," then "pulled out a knife with a double-edged 6 inch blade and stabbed himself multiple times in the chest in front of a confused crowd of roughly 15 people."

"Wisconsin's Election Snafu Is a National Wake-Up Call."

Says John Fund.


Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser's campaign consultants pressured his challenger to forego a recount in their messy race Monday, warning that such efforts would be costly and frivolous.

"The Tea Party is often seen as being made up entirely of cranky middle-aged people who don’t like paying taxes."

"But here is [a] smart, engaging young woman speaking with the poise of someone older.... There is much debate over what long-lasting impact the Tea Party will have, if any. If there are many more like Tricia Willoughby, I wouldn’t underestimate it."

Rachael Larimore, in Slate.

"Grand Old corporate Prostitution ring."


Clever wordplay at the anti-Tea Party protest Saturday.

Man holding a "dry cow" sign rings a cowbell.


Protest nonsense, from last Saturday at the Wisconsin Capitol.

His buttons say "Recall Walker" and "I Was There" (not sure where, but there is unreadable fine print).

The solemnity of the Bucky Badger hat.


At Saturday's protest.

Partly visible sign appears to say: "I [heart] NPR/Actually Fair & Balanced."

A man and his Scott Walker puppet.


Hey, the Facebook page said bring puppets...

Tricia Willoughby, the 14-year-old girl who spoke — over boos and heckling — at the Tea Party rally in Madison.

I wrote about her here and here, with video showing how she was abused by the anti-Tea Party protesters. This video shows the whole speech, close-up:

What a tough kid! Impressive to have built up such strength and nerve so young.

Why did the anti-Palin protesters think it was right and good to shout her down?

The more I think about it, the less sense it makes to me. On Saturday, there was a planned Tea Party rally to take place at the King Street side of the Wisconsin Capitol. It was the usual "tax day" event, made special by the appearance of Sarah Palin and also because the Capitol has been dominated over the last 2 months by intense anti-GOP/anti-conservative protesters. In fact, it was quite nervy of Sarah to show up in this town, which, even in quieter times, Republicans avoid if they can. I've been living here since 1984, and I don't remember any GOP presidential candidates ever stopping in for a rally. (By contrast, Obama has held huge rallies here twice.)

The anti-Tea party people had a rally planned for the opposite side of the Capitol, at State Street. Here's some video, shot by Meade and me, the first half of which shows the State Street rally, where the audience is able to assemble and listen to their speakers. In the video, you see a poet named Josh Healey who is mocking Sarah Palin. (What if Scott Walker and Sarah Palin had a baby?) No one is heckling him or interfering with his presentation.

At 1:55 in the video, we're suddenly at the other side of the Capitol, midway through Sarah Palin's speech, in a crowd that contains people who want to hear the speech and people who are trying to deny them that privilege. Watch:

At 2:09, you see a man in a black and yellow jacket pointing and yelling "shame, shame." After a cut, switching from Meade's camera to mine, you see this man directly in front of me. The black in the upper left corner is the brim of my hat. He had been shouting right behind me as I tried to listen to Palin, and I turned to include him in my video. He thinks he can deny me the right to show his face on camera as the person who was most interfering with my hearing the speech. The cut at 2:22 is the switch from my camera to Meade's, Meade having just arrived at my side.

At 2:25, the man says "I will knock those cameras out of your hands." Meade says, "No, you won't That would be assault." (Question: What do the letters CPD on the side of the man's hat stands for? )Clearly visible at 2:58.)) He tries to block my view with his hands and yells, "You're here to see the damned rally. Turn around and watch it." And he goes back to yelling "shame," as if I could listen to a speech with a guy yelling "shame" right behind me. Eventually, our cameras cause him to shrink back into the crowd.

Then you can see, there are people yelling "liar, liar" right next to me. The noise of vuvuzelas and "booooooo" seems to come from everywhere. Even though we are near a loudspeaker, you can barely hear Palin.

Now, my question is: What is the argument that making that noise was a worthy and good thing to do? I know these protesters believe they are the good people with the right values. So explain this to me. Now, any crowd is diverse. Maybe there were respectful anti-Palinistas. Maybe the local Madison folk were polite and the rude ones were from out of town, perhaps Chicago. Maybe the letter "C" on that man's hat stood for Chicago. CPD. Chicago PD. I don't know. You tell me. Anyone could have a CPD hat.

"It's Now Patriotic to Call Paul Krugman a !@%$#%@ Hypocrite."

Snipes William A. Jacobson after digesting Krugman's new column. But what Krugman said was: "So let’s not be civil. Instead, let’s have a frank discussion of our differences."

It seems that Krugman is associating civility with affecting agreement when there is and should be none. What's wrong with that? Rush Limbaugh says the same thing on practically every show. Let's speak clearly about the different ideologies and policies so people can see what they are and judge. Don't obfuscate with the pretense of agreement and friendliness.

Do we the people really give a damn whether our representatives in Congress and the state legislatures like each other and get along socially?

ADDED: Here's the link to Krugman's column.

April 17, 2011

At the Protest Dog Café...


... you can yap all night.

Did the anti-Tea Party protesters boo the national anthem at the Madison rally yesterday?

I'm seeing some assertions about this on blogs and in YouTube videos, and it's wrong if not unfair and deceptive. I don't have my own video, because I mishandled the button on my camera, but I was right behind the Tea Party crowd amid anti-Tea Party protesters who were making a lot of noise trying to drown out whatever was coming from the podium. They were, in fact, succeeding in their purpose so well that they could not hear when the national anthem began.

I started walking forward and it took a while for me to recognize the anthem. My observation was that those who could hear it were not booing. The "rockets red glare" line seemed louder, and there was a noticeable hushing that extended back into the anti-Tea Party areas of the crowd.

Meade and I have observed some of the most raucous rallies at the Capitol over the last 2 months, and the national anthem was sung many times, by the protesters themselves, and we witnessed respect for the anthem. In fact, you could go into the rotunda and start singing the anthem and people would go silent and even sing along with real feeling. They might have resented having to switch to solemnity when they were into raucousness, but they knew very well that they had to at least look like they respected the anthem.

Outdoors, yesterday, the acoustics were distorted, the anthem began unexpectedly, and the noisemakers were into their thing, drowning out the tea partiers. You cannot infer disrespect for the national anthem. But if you want to get back at people who are trying to drown you out, it's a good trick to start singing the anthem, while video-recording.... though maybe that's not properly respectful of the anthem.

Protest fashion — pick your favorite from yesterday's protest fest.

1. Red ram's-horns hat, orange storm coat:


2. Homage to the Shangri-Las:


3. Looney Tunes, in leather:


4. Gauzy skirt with woolly everything else:


5. Retro-hippie:


6. Shorts-n-sneaks in the snow:

Your fashion choice is:
1. Ram's-horns on a hat.
2. The Shangri-Las look.
3. Looney Tunes.
4. Gauzy woolly.
5. Retro-hippie.
6. Man in shorts.

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"Stop the Insanitea/Stop Mama Grizz."


At the protest yesterday, you could express yourself... about stopping other people from expressing yourself. I don't know what inspired the guy with the corrugated cardboard sign around his neck, but just before this picture was taken, the other guy, the seemingly mellow guy with the Strand bookbag, was yelling at the Tea Party speaker "You don't know what you're talking about." He didn't sound angry at all though. He sounded intellectually — comically — distanced from the entire scene. To me (maybe because I feel intellectually — comically — distanced at these things). 

I anticipate the future, when books will feel alien...

... because I'm already saying — only as a joke now, but still — "I don't know how to read this; I can't figure out where you're supposed to click."

Said while reading "Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric," which is actually a pretty cool book, but would be much better — to me — as a webpage. The main reasons for making this a book: 1. So Ward Farnsworth can earn royalties, and 2. Books, unlike webpages, are giftable. Got any rhetoric buffs that you give gifts to? Dad, maybe, for Dad's Day?

The main reasons for writing this post: 1. I think the book-vs.-webpage observation is interesting, 2. If you buy the book at the link, Prof. Althouse will probably make more via Amazon Associates than Prof. Farnsworth will make via publisher's royalties.

"One night at a gathering at an apartment in New York City, a woman blithely announced, 'I would pay someone to have sex with my husband.'"

"There were snorts and yips of laughter. I believe one woman even clapped. 'What did they mean?' I asked my friend. '"Here’s to no sex with our husbands ever again?"' 'Here’s to the end of sex?'"

So begins Meg Wolitzer's NYT article on the (perceived) decline of the (female) sex drive. She notes that people these days have a prurient interest in famous women not having sex:
Think of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor or the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I can picture either woman in a big, beautiful bed with great sheets, the duvet scattered with legal briefs or policy papers. The bedside lamp burns a peachy, erotic glow all night as she works.
So... Wolitzer just identified the prurient interest... and wrote some porn for it!

How to look adorable...

... while old.

"Let's play dress up. Let's pretend... these are special people..."

"... That's what the royal family is. It's a huge game of pretend."

Jerry Seinfeld, asked about Kate and William's wedding, embedded chez Crack Emcee, whose blog Blogger has flagged as offensive, which means you now have to consent to be exposed to Crack (unless he comes over here, as he is wont to do, and exposes himself.)

Next to the meat, concern for the fish... and for fraud... chanting "shame"... yelling "Koch suckers!" at a 14-year-old girl... laughing at Andrew Breitbart's "Go to Hell!"

Yesterday, at the Capitol Square, there was a big Tea Party rally, starring Sarah Palin, but it was opening day for the Dane County Farmers' Market. We pass a farmer's meat stand, and then we get to the signs. (Oh, it was a hard day yesterday, as I just indicated to myself by typoing, for "signs": "sighs.") There's a woman with a fish sign, blaming Walker for some piscine woes. There are a couple of anti-Prosser/pro-Kloppenburg signs alarming us about the possibility of election fraud. As Abe Lincoln strides across the green, the rally comes into view. I gotta feeling... despair is not an option.

At 0:40, we arrive at some "shame... shame... shame..." chanters. These are anti-Tea Party people, and maybe they're ashamed of themselves for not making it clear what the shame is. What's shameful about a Tea Party gathering? Be clear, folks! This chanting is inarticulate, unless your purpose is that we should all just feel terrible about ourselves. Is self-esteem passé? "Despair is not an option" but shame is the only option. I know you want to manipulate our feelings, but I can't even understand how you want me to feel... except very, very tired of you.

At 1:04, a woman's "Recall Walker" chant is hilariously half-hearted. Maybe we could just recall him a little. Let's not recall him. Let's reminisce about him.

At 1:07, we jump to the middle of that 14-year-old girl, speaking from the podium over clamorous chanting and heckling. Last night, I put up an edit of the video Meade shot during her speech. This is my video, from a different place in the crowd. There's an older woman in purple who yells "Corporate thief!" after the girl says "the debt... in my future is overwhelming." There are periodic outbursts from this woman, including "Koch suckers!" Imagine yelling "Koch suckers" at a 14-year-old girl.

At 1:46, I talk to the guy with the sign that purports to be "hand printed in union blood." (He should meet this artist who works in used Band-Aids.) (I guess the AIDS scare is over.)

2:15: "That girl was 14-years-old and she made more sense than Barack Obama," says the announcer.

2:25: The voice is Vicki McKenna, the local talk radio personality, who has no trouble powering over the "You lie!" characters in the union T-shirts.

2:53: A rag-tag band that had been at the corner gets the idea to march straight into the back of the Tea Party crowd, apparently with no idea of the danger of pushing into the back of a crowd. If people in the front were getting crushed against a barrier, these self-involved musicians would not realize what they were causing . To them, it's just brash, youthful misbehavior, fun-loving japery — shutting up the people who need to be shut up.

3:36: The voice is Andrew Breitbart, who gets to the point where he tells the counter-Tea Party protesters to "go to hell." As you can see, they laugh at him.

I want to be free.

You've seen the sign. Here's the song choice:

1. The Ohio Players, "I Want To Be Free."

2. The Monkees, "I Wanna Be Free."

3. Queen, "I Want To Break Free."

Vote based on the song, not the visuals in the video:

You must familiarize yourself with all 3 songs before voting.
"I Want To Be Free."
"I Wanna Be Free."
I Want To Break Free."
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The clown is not amused.


I love the array of characters in this picture (by me, from yesterday's Tea Party/anti-Tea Party protest). Enlarge.

The girl in the Bucky Badger hat is holding a sign that says: "This Revolution is powered by: PIZZA & BEER/Not TEA and BULLSHIT." The clown's arms are folded across his chest — I know, it looks like he has no arms — so you can only read half of the button he's wearing: "I could be..." I could be... what?! The woman on the right with a red headband has a sign about Reince Priebus. Reince Priebus. It's about time somebody concentrated on the Reince Priebus threat. The man in the brown fedora looks like he's reading the newspaper, but it's another sign.

As for "I can see 1840 from here"... I just don't know, but the man seems awfully pleased about it. Does he mean to invoke "I can see Russia from my house" (because Sarah Palin's in town)? What happened in 1840? He's referring to the year, right? William Henry Harrison was elected President in 1840, and proceeded to die the following April, after going out without a coat on a cold stormy spring day and catching a cold.

It was a cold and stormy spring day in Madison yesterday, and I don't know if Sarah Palin wore a coat. Nor do I know if the man with the "I can see 1840 from here" meant to refer to Sarah Palin's health.

By the way, William Henry Harrison's last words were: "Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more."

Would you carry a sign that said that?

"I want to be free."


From yesterday's Tea Party/counter-Tea Party protest. I heartily agree with this sign, but which side was he on?

Which side is he on?
Tea Party
Counter-Tea Party
His own
All of humanity's
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