May 14, 2011

"That wasn't addressed to you, Mr. Meade. I've seen enough of your shameless trolling in every corner of the Internets to take any thing you say in good faith."

Commenter in a ridiculous thread in which Meade challenges people who characterize the voter ID requirement as "Jim Crow" racism.

"If Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels, then Mitch is in and... Mitch Daniels is who the Bush people (the political team) hopes gets the nomination."

Says Rush Limbaugh, who is also leery of the way the press is pushing Daniels:
The Washington Post, everybody knows, is gonna vote for Obama; is gonna do everything it can to reelect Obama. Now, I'm sorry, folks, but I can't help it. I live in Realville....  and if I got Ruth Marcus here writing about how she wants Mitch Daniels to run for president and win the Republican nomination but wants Obama to win, then something tells me that she believes that Mitch Daniels would pose not that big a challenge.

Turn it around. Let's say we're all supporters of Ronald Reagan. He's coming up on his second term, and the Democrats tell us that they're going to nominate either Mario Cuomo or Walter Mondull, and we say, "Well, you know what? We really want a good campaign; we want to be entertained here. We think Mondale is good. Mondale, Mondale, that's the guy! Mondale, he'd give Reagan the best run for his money." Who would believe us? If we did something akin to this -- started trying to pick their nominee -- they would accuse us of trying to pick somebody's gonna lose. Here they are, at least the Washington Post, trying to pick our nominee on the basis that it would be boring to have anybody but Mitch be the nominee, and only Mitch stands a chance of winning.

"The greatest thing anyone could do for our proud state of Wisconsin is accidentally slip some cyanide into your morning coffee or accidentally push you down the stairs of our great state capitol."

"Go fuck yourself. Please. Just fucking die already.... You are the worst thing that has ever happened to Wisconsin, and all the red-necked hillbillies that elected you should be ashamed of themselves. It will not be long until my brothers and sisters in Madison have forced you out of office. I sincerely wish you harm, Mr. Governor. I hope you and your dictatorial regime spend (sic) get to spend and (sic) extended amount of time in Hell. Honestly."

Email sent to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker that the Capitol Police regarded as not worth pursuing — reported in an article in the Isthmus that seems more concerned about the fact that a that a state senator told another senator's chief of staff that she "was stupid, amongst other mean and hurtful things."

"If nitecruzr is just some random dude with no connection to Google, how does he have the ability to flag your account for calling him rude and unprofessional?"

Patterico gets to the root of things!

"You plaster your naked daughters across billboards in order to sell a product without any shame."

"You have brainwashed your daughters into believing they are liberated by wearing revealing clothes, yet in reality all they have liberated is your sexual desire."

Wrote Osama bin Laden in his letter to us — the American people — in 2002. That's why it's considered really funny and helpful that there's a treasure trove of pornography in the bin Laden treasure trove. It's a treasure trove, you know?

"Google Introduces New Computer-Like Object, Where Everything Happens On the Web."

Oh? Great.
Benefit? It's a neat idea.

Drawback? Do you feel lucky?
Well, I'm not feeling lucky with Google this week. I'd like to like the cloud, though. You know, one reason that I've stayed on Blogger is that I want my archive to be around after I'm dead. I trust Google to continue on indefinitely, and because Blogger doesn't demand payments, I wasn't worried about my blog going away when I'm not here anymore to pay my bills.

So like, Google had become an idea of the afterlife. And now, they're all about the cloud. It's becoming so God-ish. Google as God. It's a mystical experience we are having here in the world, getting absorbed into The Whole.

The link goes to Ace of Spades, whose next post is "Google Pulls Althouse's Blog And Isn't Telling Her Why?" Why?! Well, clearly, I have sinned, and Google has said unto me — I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

And I enjoyed the comments over there, even the ones that brought up the old show about "nutting." At some point, the commenters get into my political orientation:
I know that Althouse gets lots of link love from Instapundit, but I've never been all that impressed with her. She'll talk a good game about not being a liberal, but if you read her blog long enough you can tell that she's still emotionally wedded to the Democrats.

So no matter what complaints she has about the Democratic candidate, I doubt she'll ever be able to bring herself to vote for a <shudder> conservative. Plus she tends to be rather thin-skinned and quick to anger.


IN THE COMMENTS: Some advise me to switch to Catholicism and Don't Tread 2012 points to...

"Why as a Developer, I Switched to and Why I'm Staying With It."

Everyone's telling me to get out of Blogger. Here's the counter-argument, blogged last Monday — before the epic outage. This is hard to take:
I can expect my blog to be up 100% of the time. They simply don't go down! It was actually quite a relief today, with such a high traffic day (see my blog post about it), to not have to worry about any of my servers in the process. You simply don't need to worry about a burst in traffic, DoS attacks, or anything like that. Google handles all that for you and they're pros at it.
He's talking about going down because you get too much traffic. I've never had to deal with that issue. The idea of traffic as a bad, damaging thing... I've never blogged in that sort of environment. I've had the issue of getting waves of traffic from a very negative link, where I'm suddenly dealing with readers who are Althouse-haters. That's a problem in the comments, or if I click through to the link and see what sort of awful thing that's been said. Like on that blog that I don't link to anymore, where someone is trashing me for using the letter "M" to mean a thousand.

"Terror twit cries a river."

A Daily News headline about Mohamed Mamdouh, who was arrested and "charged with terrorism and hate crimes for a scheme to dress as Hasidic Jews and go on a killing spree in New York synagogues." The News interviewed him in jail:
"I was at the wrong place at the wrong time... I don't have problems with anyone - not Jews, not anyone."...

"I never spoke about guns and blowing things up, either... That was [the other guy, Ahmed Ferhani]. It was all his idea. I had nothing to do with any of it."

..."I was drunk ... We had a conversation after the movie ['The Ultra Zionists'] was over. . . . It was just a conversation. It was not serious."
Mamdouh points the finger at Ferhani, but he also tries to help him....
"At the bottom of my heart, I swear I don't think he would kill anyone either... I don't think he has the b----."
... help him and insult him.

"Althouse appeared to have fared the worst, with a number of missing entries and comments — and a full 24 hours offline."

You could say that... if by "a number," you mean 23,850 missing entries and — what? — a quarter million comments!

And those hours offline entailed readers going to my URL and seeing a notice telling them that my blog had been removed from the Blogger system. I have worked for 7.5 years building up a readership, and thousands of people were given the false information that the site no longer exists. I have to hope that they don't take that information seriously and that they try again now that the blog is restored, but that hurt a lot more than if the blog were displayed but not working or if it didn't display but the notice accurately explained that it was only a temporary outage.

Patterico reassembles the Google support thread in which "nitecruzr" "kept taunting Ann, and then removing (memory-holing) his own taunts, but leaving her responses — making the thread an unreadable mess."

Original, unexpurgated forum thread here. Patterico reviews it with commentary here. Excerpt:
Oh, she was complaining about your helpful statement that you escalated your complaint to Blogger Support for her? Is that it, nitecruzr? Uh, sorry, that doesn’t pass the smell test. It’s just that, now that he has deleted all the abusive comments, that’s the last comment of his left standing.
Patterico does an excellent job showing what happened in that thread and how the power to delete was used for ass-covering and making me look presumptuous and thin-skinned.

But is nitecruzr a Google employee? He takes on a gatekeeping function in the forum, but he isn't designated as an employee like Brett — electrobutter — who finally shows up and treats me with some respect.

"If Ann wanted to sue people who falsely reported her blog as a spam-blog, could she make Google cough up their information?"

"I think the answer is yes."

Says lawprof Glenn Reynolds, contemplating the possibility that Google removed my blog because, as a longtime reader/former Google employee wrote:
Blogger lets users report spam blogs here...

so one possibility is that people who don’t like Ann’s blog launched an astroturf campaign to get her marked as spam.

May 13, 2011

Is this thing really back?

I hope to see the return of the old posts!

ADDED: I'm moving everything I wrote over on Althouse2 today. I'm setting the times to when they were originally posted there, so scroll down. Not all of the posts are about the blog problem. For example, there's one about parakeets.

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: "So, your blog goes down right after being reported as a cesspool of [misogyny] and homophobia? Hmmmmm . . ."

Says LawGirl, over in the "weasel" post.

The anonymous professor who emailed lawprof Brian Leiter to attack my commentariat said "She has the free speech right to run whatever cesspool she wants, but is she prioritizing her desire for a widely read blog over her obligation to be a responsible member of academia?" — which is quoted by Freeman Hunt, who laughs, calls it the "quote of the day," and paraphrases it: "Free speech is incompatible with academia!" Freeman adds: "Free speech areas are cesspools. Restricted speech areas are responsible academia." Yeah, but can you really expect law professors to drape their brains around that?

Maguro said: "The email is so prissy and self-important that Leiter almost certainly wrote it himself. Anonymous colleague, my ass." Well, let's be fair. Professor Anonymous does call the blog comments here a "festival of misogyny and homophobia." Palladian said: "I hope there's an open bar at your festival of misogyny and homophobia."

Roger J. said:
Professor A: unless I have completely misread you over the last five years, I am thinking you arent going down without a fight--(just dont ask me for money however, my principles arent THAT strong :) )
Hey, good idea. Please! Encourage me:

I need some love!

dbp said:
An interesting logical loop here: Brian Leiter's blog posts an anonymous comment, which presumably is in agreement with the blog's editor. The comment is actively put forward by that blog, unlike at Althouse where comments are all posted and hardly ever deleted.

Both blogs contain what could fairly be described as scurrilous comments. The difference is that Alhouse neither approves or disapproves of the comments while Leiter clearly takes an editorial ownership.

"She has the free speech right to run whatever cesspool she wants, but is she prioritizing her desire for a widely read blog over her obligation to be a responsible member of academia?"

This had got to be the most lame use of a question mark in history. Oh, I make a big long ugly accusation then make it all right with a meaningless squiggle on top of the dot.

If the Leiter post led to the removal of the Althouse blog, then is there a case of slander here?
Good point. But it's not slander. If it's in writing, we lawyers say libel, not slander. But it's not libel. It's just opinion. Lame ass opinion from a lawprof who — in my opinion — envies my readership, which is bigger than his.


Now, maybe you're wondering just what the hell was in those terrible comments — that supposed "festival of misogyny and homophobia." You try the link at Leiter's, but it gets you nowhere, because Blogger removed my blog. But here's the cached version of the page the Leiter blog links to. Check out the comments and see if you can tell what's really upset the people who are on my case. There are only 32 comments. They are easy enough to read. I pick out a few.

Maguro said:
[The 3 candidates] seem notably lacking in victim-group credentials. Are any of them gay, trans or gender non-conforming?
This is a criticism based on one commenter's sense of what law schools do.

gutless said:
Is Margaret a lesbian? One imagines so in that her background doesn't seem competitive and yet, here she is. If so, she has the job. If not ,she is merely window dressing and the less offensive of the other two gets the nod.
That's obviously another criticism of law schools, reflecting an assumption that law schools make choices based on diversity factors. I'm sure the criticism hurts some people, but it doesn't say there's something wrong with being a lesbian or that the candidate is a lesbian. Maybe a nervous reader could take that the wrong way, in which case, I'd say: that festival of misogyny and homophobia is in your head. Good thing you hid your name!

Thorley Winston said:
I think it’s generally a bad idea to announce the “finalists” when conducting a job interview, particularly for the top position. IMO there shouldn’t be a public announcement until they’ve made their selection.
I agree, but the Law School chose to put the names and their credentials on its official website, obviously inviting public comment. I linked, opening it up to the comments. You know we are a public law school, and it's appropriate that people around the state receive information and have an opportunity to speak. And yet, feelings can be hurt. People in legal academia like to think that their feelings are righteous indignation having to do with women and minorities... but are they really? Think carefully!

Titus said:
If the woman candidate has big tits I say hire her. Otherwise, go with one of the men.

You can't go wrong with big tits.

All right, that's absurd and over-the-top, by our dear, treasured Titus — a gay man. He's been talking like that on this blog for years. The regulars know him. And they know I love him. If that's what Leiter and the Anonymous Professor feel such angst about... it's because they don't understand the community here. They're like Sean Hannity fretting about Common in White House.

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: "Wonder if this has anything to do with Ann’s objective (and thus, anti-administration) coverage of the Wisconsin protests?"

Asks Moe Lane at RedState:
Well, isn’t this interesting: apparently Blogger/Google has decided to remove Ann Althouse’s blog. They’re also being neither particularly helpful in either explaining why, nor sounding particularly sympathetic that it’s been taken down, either.
You know, I'm beginning to suspect that there's some behind-the-scenes campaign to report my blog as abusive. People who hate/fear the Althouse blog could make a loud noise to Google.

Back in 2004, 98% of Google employees gave money to Democrats. [ADDED: That should say, 98% of the Google employees who made political donations, donated to Democrats. Presumably, not all employees made donations.]

COMMENTS (Relocated):

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: "I’d prefer not to say this for attribution...only because I’m..."

... only because I'm a weasel.

COMMENTS (Relocated):

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: Save Ann Althouse's Blog.

The Facebook page.

COMMENTS (Relocated):

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: "[T]he canny performer whose utilitarian decisions and whimsical tastes became the totems and scripture of a tribe."

= how they write in The New Yorker about... well, try to guess before clicking. Here's some more high-tone verbiage:
She has been the regulator of weight; the titrator of substances; the veteran of a love triangle; the female artist who escaped the long shadow of a male collaborator; the commercial artist who passed through wildly different stations of commerce... She survived both the corrosive lift of cocaine and the lead apron of Klonopin.
Come on. Klonopin is the giveaway. If you're in the know. In the klono...

ADDED: Oh, that reminds me. We were just watching this.

COMMENTS (Relocated):

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: "I was delighted when I first saw one in my yard, but when you have a flock of 300, it’s a different matter."

"They eat all the berries. They ate all the food from my feeder in one day; it was ludicrous. I had to stop putting it out because it got too expensive."

Parakeets are ruining London!

COMMENTS (Relocated):

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: Today's bin Laden news: Soufflé & Porn.

Everyone's talking about:

1. George Bush was eating soufflé when he got the phone call saying that bin Laden was dead.

2. They found porn in bin Laden's Abbottabad abode.


RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: Jean Shrimpton today.

"I’m not sure contentment is obtainable and I find the banality of modern life terrifying. I sometimes feel I’m damaged goods."

COMMENTS (Relocated):

rhhardin said...
Life isn't banal if you have a dog.

MAY 13, 2011 3:06:00 PM CDT
k*thy said...
More times, lately, I find comfort ordinary and, somewhat, anonymous.

MAY 13, 2011 3:17:00 PM CDT
AJ Lynch said...
Her frowning face physically resembles what she said in the quote.

MAY 13, 2011 4:54:00 PM CDT
AJ Lynch said...
I wonder why your blog got singled out?

MAY 13, 2011 4:54:00 PM CDT
traditionalguy said...
If Althouse was singled out, it was not for banality of modern life. My guess is that this downtime is only a test of Obama's new Political Emergency Preparedness System.

MAY 13, 2011 5:58:00 PM CDT
David said...
Being old is not too bad if being young was never your principal identity.

MAY 13, 2011 6:04:00 PM CDT
tim maguire said...
The banality of modern life is often boring, but terrifying?

Drama queen.

MAY 13, 2011 6:23:00 PM CDT

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: Blogger Buzz explains...

... to some extent:
Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages. A small subset of Blogger users (we estimate 0.16%) may have encountered additional problems specific to their accounts.
I guess I'm in the small subset. I'm sure my blog is unusually large. There are well over 20,000 posts.

COMMENTS (Relocated):

Almost Ali said...
I suspect the so-called "scheduled maintenance" was performed by Facebook. Maybe nobody's noticed, but there's a war going on.

MAY 13, 2011 2:19:00 PM CDT
chickelit said...
Blogger ate a post of mine I put up on Wednesday. I couldn't log on until an hour ago. The missing post is in my draft stage folder, but it really is an earlier draft, and not at all what I posted and lost.

MAY 13, 2011 2:21:00 PM CDT
chickelit said...
Maybe nobody's noticed, but there's a war going on.

Oh, is this like a "Stones vs. Beatles" thing?

MAY 13, 2011 2:22:00 PM CDT
reader_iam said...
chickelit: Oh noes!

MAY 13, 2011 2:27:00 PM CDT
Almost Ali said...
FWIW: I have a tiny, unrelated blog off in the Blogspot wilderness - and access was just returned. But the comments posted since Wednesday are still missing.

MAY 13, 2011 2:32:00 PM CDT
Almost Ali said...
Oh, is this like a "Stones vs. Beatles" thing?

I think it's more like Mafia Wars.

MAY 13, 2011 2:34:00 PM CDT
Pogo said...
I think if you sacrifice a small goat or bury a potato in the back yard, things will return to normal.

MAY 13, 2011 2:44:00 PM CDT
rhhardin said...
That you've violated the terms of service is always high on their list of probabilities.

My experience is that it's always their fault.

The difference in perception is because they're Democrats.

MAY 13, 2011 2:48:00 PM CDT
rhhardin said...
I think if you sacrifice a small goat or bury a potato in the back yard, things will return to normal.

You actually have to contact them; the blog is really gone.

It's not mysterious software action but deliberate removing of any blogs that have pointers making recovery too messy.

They accept collateral damage even if you don't.

MAY 13, 2011 2:50:00 PM CDT
Lem said...
They better be back before midnight tonight.. otherwise.. the unthinkable will have happened.

MAY 13, 2011 2:51:00 PM CDT
Lem said...
Should Althouse sue?

I have been injured ;)

MAY 13, 2011 2:53:00 PM CDT
Palladian said...
rhhardin is correct, your blog got deliberately removed. Every other blogspot blog that I've visited is operational again. Contact them.

MAY 13, 2011 2:56:00 PM CDT
Ralph L said...
"Create a blog. It's free."

And worth what you paid for it.

Apparently, the NYT has lost its pull.

MAY 13, 2011 3:18:00 PM CDT
Almost Ali said...
Not to mention that it's also Friday the 13th.

MAY 13, 2011 3:50:00 PM CDT
Palladian said...
Who the hell is that little pissant in the Blogger "help" center thread? Does he or she realize how much Althouse could fuck up their already tarnished reputation?

I've been saying it for years, but hopefully this episode has driven it home- take your valuable blog off Blogger and host it somewhere safe, somewhere that doesn't shit all over one of their most prominent users.

MAY 13, 2011 4:08:00 PM CDT
Sixty Grit said...
Blogger is AWESOME!

MAY 13, 2011 4:11:00 PM CDT
Palladian said...
Althouse, I don't think the aforementioned pissant ("nitecruzr") is an actual Google/Blogger employee. I would try to appeal to someone who can identify themselves as being an employee. I think that person is just some loser who has appointed themselves help forum moderator.

MAY 13, 2011 4:17:00 PM CDT
Tibore said...
Palladian is correct. That's not an actual Google/Blogger staff member, that's just a volunteer web helper who's just there to comb through the easy stuff to pass along to the "higher ups". In short, he's a screener who can answer some basic questions. I don't know how to move on up the chain, and I see that he's saying he's escalated the problem, but he's definitely nothing more than another Blogger user who's simply agreed to help with basic questions posted in forums.

MAY 13, 2011 4:34:00 PM CDT
Ann Althouse said...
I am doing what I can, but that help forum is the closest I can get to any kind of contact.

I'm really disgusted by the way they are treating me. I think I may be the highest traffic blog on Blogger or if no the top, then close to the top.

Simultaneously, I'm getting pushed around by Leiter, who seems to delight in causing trouble for Wisconsin.

MAY 13, 2011 4:35:00 PM CDT
Jason (the commenter) said...
Palladian: Who the hell is that little pissant in the Blogger "help" center thread?

That is a nerd, and you NEVER try "Don't you know who I am?" on a nerd.

Poor Althouse, I knew she was going to have trouble when I saw how she was talking!

MAY 13, 2011 4:35:00 PM CDT
Beldar said...
Among the things I've enjoyed in my relationship with TypePad since 2003 has been their genuinely exceptional customer service. It has consistently been the best customer service of any business I use. 3.7M page views later, I'm still very pleased with them, and recommend that you consider them if you're considering leaving Blogger.

MAY 13, 2011 4:41:00 PM CDT
Palladian said...
Nerd or not, it's not the way a company should appear to treat a very popular user. That moderator started off with an attitude before Althouse said anything resembling "don't you know who I am?" If that person isn't a spokesperson or employee if Blogger/Google, it would really be Google/Blogger's best interest to make that clear and quietly resolve this little problem. If building their social products is a priority (see Google/Facebook war) this is NOT good optics.

MAY 13, 2011 4:46:00 PM CDT
rhhardin said...
He's not much of a nerd if he doesn't know that blogs get deleted to simplify cleanup.

He's certain at the top of his voice that it ran afoul of the spambot detector.

MAY 13, 2011 4:48:00 PM CDT
Jason (the commenter) said...
I do enjoy how everyone is flagging his comments as "not helpful".


MAY 13, 2011 4:59:00 PM CDT
Original Mike said...
Time for you to finally dump Blogger, Althouse.

MAY 13, 2011 5:02:00 PM CDT
Beth said...
Go to wordpress; buy your own server space. You shouldn't give your content to a company and trust them with it - so don't rely on FACEBOOK either!

MAY 13, 2011 5:07:00 PM CDT
gail said...
whew...I feel the world is its back-to-normal-screwed-up self now that Althouse is back.

I became a fan during the WI protests, and didn't realize until I couldn't access the blog how much it has become a part of my day.

Glad you're back Professor, Meade and the familiar commentors.

MAY 13, 2011 5:08:00 PM CDT
Palladian said...
What Beth said.

MAY 13, 2011 5:20:00 PM CDT
Indigo Red said...
I, too, had a problem with Blogger recently and I was treated just as shabbily as you, Ann. The customer service folks are volunteer amateurs who do the help desk thing in their spare time and apparently are sensitive about their expert status as perceived Jedi masters. My Jedi geek was actually calling me names when I informed him I didn't find his help helpful (switch to Google Chrome, avoid Internet Explorer at all costs) and had found my own solution which others with the same problem found helpful (even a guy using Chrome.)

MAY 13, 2011 5:40:00 PM CDT
Beldar said...
Prof. Althouse, if you're not already paranoid and compulsive about automatically and independently backing up your posts, you should become so.

MAY 13, 2011 5:41:00 PM CDT
edutcher said...
Blogger has been acting very strangely for the better part of a month.

I have to admit I was wondering if it was just me or that the union slugs had hacked her.

Either that or, with Finals at last over, she was running through the house, tearing off her clothes, singing, "No more pencils, no more books, no more conlaw students' dirty looks", and had forgotten to log in or something.

MAY 13, 2011 5:45:00 PM CDT
shiloh said...
I guess I'm in the small subset.

AA, as I always suspected, you're special! :-P

MAY 13, 2011 5:46:00 PM CDT
SWWBO said...
Ann's blog is one of the few I follow regularly that is still on blogger.
I kept waiting for her to move to a better platform with reliable service and people you can actually talk to if you have a problem.

Ann, I hope they get your blog back soon, and as soon as they do, back the whole thing up and move it to a hosting service that can and will support you - it's not much money. My husband and I have used Hosting Matters for over 7 years, and they have been great and reasonably priced. I know there are other companies who will also host your blog for very little money -and you won't have to be concerned whether you are being politically correct enough for them.

MAY 13, 2011 5:55:00 PM CDT
Leland said...
Well, I'm not too impressed with Google of as a place for storing critical data.

MAY 13, 2011 6:07:00 PM CDT
Jason (the commenter) said...
Come on, you can do better than that. How about 100 at least? Surely you have more than 100 loyal readers.

OMG! The "helper" over there is taunting someone asking for help!

You know what I did? I reported him for offensive content, afterwhich he deleted his comments!

Thankfully, I took a screenshot.

MAY 13, 2011 6:52:00 PM CDT
Jason (the commenter) said...
I know these guys have a lot of responsibility and little oversight, but I'm pretty sure it's not good when they become famous.

MAY 13, 2011 7:05:00 PM CDT
Rose said...
It's weird because nitcruzr is usually very helpful.

This is obviously related to whatever glitch they have been dealing with - and he should have approached it from that angle - a "let's see what we have to do to fix this" not "don't question my authority" kind of thing....

i don't think it is malicious - and I don't think they are trying to shut you down - but it may be that a number of flags by people who WERE got caught into the glitch - it will be interesting to see what happens.

if they can treat you like this - none of the rest of us will fare very well, I fear....

But I am betting it is just frustrations and weariness that has led to that exchange....

MAY 13, 2011 8:26:00 PM CDT
Rose said...
Mine were all down yesterday - and half of today, too.

BUT - I remind myself how grateful I am for this wonderful, and ever-improving, FREE platform. I know that they suffered much anxiety and frustration trying to solve this, and all I really want to say to them is THANK YOU - for the space, for the improvements (when I first started you'd lose every third post as you hit publish - AND you had to learn html) and for the hard work solving these issues and setting up the upgrades.

I wish there was some way to actually get to talk to a PERSON sometimes, but I realize the sheer numbers make that impossible.

And I am REALLY sorry to see the tone of that 'support' thread... guilty until proven innocent.

Back up blogs are good - if for no other reason than it ca be yanked at any time - Blogger or Wordpress - should we have offshore backups?

MAY 13, 2011 8:29:00 PM CDT

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: With Kohl out, who wants to be the junior senator from Wisconsin?

Reps. Ron Kind, Tammy Baldwin and Steve Kagen as well as former Sen. Russ Feingold and former Rep. Tom Barrett, who ran [for Governor and] lost to Walker last November, are mentioned....

For Republicans, the obvious name is Rep. Paul Ryan, the architect of House Republicans’ controversial budget plan. It’s not clear whether Ryan wants to leave his perch as chairman of the House Budget Commtitee to make a statewide run, however.

Other GOP names being mentioned include state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, wealthy businessman Tim Michels and former Rep. Mark Neumann.

ADDED: WaPo's Greg Sargent opines:
But the key is that a lot has happened in Wisconsin since Feingold’s loss. The months long war in the state over Scott Walker’s effort to strip public employees of their bargaining rights has galvanized the Democratic Party in Wisconsin in a major way and — if polls showing the unpopularity of Walker’s proposals are any guide — has tilted independents and moderates in the state against GOP rule. It’s true that this battle has galvanized the grassroots on both sides, but the emerging shape of the recall elections suggest the left has more momentum and energy.
A lot has happened... including the big Prosser-Kloppenburg race, which Sargent doesn't seem to have heard of.

COMMENTS (Relocated):

RELOCATED FROM ALTHOUSE2: Suddenly, I can post on this alternate blog!

Sorry the main blog is looking nonexistent at the moment. I am working on getting it restored.

I guess I'll blog here for now and then move the posts over to the main blog when it's back.

COMMENTS (Relocated):

May 12, 2011

The problem of seeing a problem: "One-fifth of all men in their prime working ages are not getting up and going to work."

David Brooks called this statistic to our attention, and people are talking about it, but mainly in the context of objecting to Brooks's call for "a broad menu of" government programs.  I want to question the blind leap from statistic to assumption that there is a problem.

The "prime working age" is defined as 25 to 54. If you heard that one fifth of women in that age group didn't work, would you assume that's a problem? Maybe you'd think it would be great if even more women choose to spend their time and effort on unpaid activities in the home and the community.

Tell me what these men are doing! Are they caring for children or aging parents, doing volunteer work, furthering their education, working on projects that may produce generate wealth next year? Brooks guesses that they are "idle." Are they? Can we get some fine-grained information about the individuals in that "missing fifth"? And how are they missing? The people who know them know where they are.

Let's not insult men just because they don't show up in the labor statistics. The government doesn't have them officially linked up with a tax-withheld-from-wages-paid job, but that doesn't mean they aren't functioning members of the community.

"We hold the American President (Barack) Obama legally responsible to clarify the fate of our father, Osama bin Laden..."

"... for it is unacceptable, humanely and religiously, to dispose of a person with such importance and status among his people, by throwing his body into the sea in that way, which demeans and humiliates his family and his supporters and which challenges religious provisions and feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims."

Is the issue of how to treat the dead body separate from the question of killing the man? Note the assertion that the treatment of the body is something that you do to the living. But why show respect to the people who are devoted to someone you marked for execution? And yet we did show respect for the body. Omar bin Laden's argument can only be that we botched our attempt at showing respect. I think he's using Alinsky rule #4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky tries, embarrassingly, to say what Chris Matthews wants her to say...

... and comes out with 2 idiotically phrased comments:

1. Trying to criticize Republicans for wanting to see the photos of dead bin Laden, she unwittingly refers to the killing as "murder."

2. Having just portrayed Republicans who want to see the photos as somehow engaging in "chest-thumping," she expresses approval of the young people who celebrated the killing, because it was important for them, psychologically, to get to feel like "a winner" and not "a loser."

I'm not sure I want to be too hard on Schakowsky, because she seems, quite frankly, dumb. But it's a dumbness exacerbated by a ridiculous awe of Matthews and a desire to please him. Good lord, who watches that show?

May 11, 2011

At the Burst Bud Café...


... you can let it all out.

Frisbee in the rain.

The view from my office window this afternoon. It was a solid downpour, with many flashes of lightning. And yet...

"Do you remember how the news media warned Bush how they would go after him if he even dared to mention 9/11 in any of his campaign speeches or ads?"

"Do you remember those admonitions? Do you hear any similar admonitions against President Obama as he runs around and practically campaigns with the corpse?"

It's Rush Limbaugh on his show today:
... ladies and gentlemen, our brave young president has added his heroic killing of Bin Laden to his campaign stump speech, which means he's practically dredged up the body of Bin Laden so he can campaign with it.  "Obama and Bin Laden Appear in El Paso," is an appropriate headline.  It's kind of like, do you remember the movie Weekend with Bernie, did you see that?  Well, I'm starting to think that the way Obama is talking, everywhere he goes he's gonna be taking Osama with him, gonna be reminding everybody how heroic he was and how uniquely intelligent he was.  How all of these people tried to get Osama but only he, Obama, pulled it off, an event that we have memorialized in our Club Gitmo merchandise line at the EIB Store. (interruption) Whoa, whoa, whoa -- don't tell me that. 

My friends, a staffer just said to me that the way I'm recounting this, comparing this to 'Weekend at Bernie's' and so forth, that this is distasteful. No, look, what I am doing is no more tasteless than what Obama himself is doing on the campaign. 
So... what do you think?

Make a taste judgment.
Obama and Rush are both within a decent realm of political speech.
Obama has stooped below the presidential level, but Rush is doing fine for talk-radio purposes.
Obama is speaking appropriately, and Rush has fallen below a decent taste level for talk radio.
Both men need to raise their taste level. free polls

"Why are Americans so angry about petrol prices?"

BBC tries to explain those strange Americans.
Americans use their cars more, so the pain is greater. They have, on average, a longer daily commute than all Europeans, except Hungarians and Romanians. Public transport is generally poor so many Americans have no alternative but to drive.

But there is also a symbolic significance about gas that goes to the heart of what America is.

It signifies mobility, freedom and personal liberty, says Dan Neil, motoring correspondent on the Wall Street Journal. "Anger is probably more tied up with a wider sense of decline and also a loss of privilege. Cheap gas has been one of the prerogatives of the American Empire so people have become accustomed to it in a way which is somehow associated with our ability to wield our will around the world. We're mad because we've spent a lot of money in the Middle East and made a lot of enemies and defended a lot of tyrants and still gas prices go up."
Europeans pay twice as much, and they don't get angry. Maybe that goes to the heart of what Europe is.

Top ten bin Laden memes.

According to Jim Pinkerton....

"19-year-old man... was buried in sand up to his neck for two hours..."

... after he dug a 7-foot deep hole and — as a joke — jumped into it. It took 60 rescue workers to dig him out.

ADDED: Reminds me of the Beckett play:

UW Law School announces the 3 finalists in the search for the new dean.

From the law school website:
Nicholas W. Allard, partner at Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C. Allard is chair of the law firm's lobbying, political and elections law practice. Allard has been an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and Georgetown University Law Center. He earned his law degree from Yale University, was a Rhodes Scholar earning a master's degree from Oxford University and received a bachelor's degree from Princeton University.

Allard served as administrative assistant and chief of staff to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan from 1986 to 1987, and from 1984 to 1986, he was minority staff counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where he served as legal counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy. He is also a prolific author on a broad range of issues, including more than 20 articles on Internet law, new media and privacy.

Gene Nichol, professor and director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Nichol was president of the College of William & Mary from 2005-2008 and earlier served as dean of the University of North Carolina School of Law from 1999-2005 and dean of the University of Colorado Law School from 1988-1995. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas and has a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University, where he also played varsity football.

Nichol was James Gould Cutler professor and director of the Bill of Rights Institute at William & Mary from 1985-1988. He has also taught at Oxford, Exeter, Florida and West Virginia. He founded the Byron White Center of Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado (1990) and the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina (2001). Nichol is co-author of Federal Courts; Federal Courts: Cases and Comments; and contributing author of Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent. In 2004, he was named Pro Bono Professor of the Year at the University of North Carolina.

Margaret Raymond, William G. Hammond professor of law at the University of Iowa College of Law. Raymond has been a professor at the University of Iowa since 1995, serving in a number of campus leadership roles, including president of the University Faculty Senate. Raymond earned her law degree from Columbia University and has a bachelor's degree from Carleton College. She served as a clerk to the late Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Following her clerkship, Raymond worked in private practice, first as a commercial litigator and later as a criminal defense lawyer. Her scholarship focuses on constitutional criminal procedure, substantive criminal law, and the professional responsibility of lawyers. In 2004, she received the Collegiate Teaching Award at the University of Iowa Law School. Raymond is the author of a Professional Responsibility casebook, The Law and Ethics of Law Practice.

Who's accused of blaming the rape victim now?

The Peace Corps.
[F]rom 2000 to 2009, on average, 22 Peace Corps women each year reported being the victims of rape or attempted rape...

Jessica Gregg, who was drugged and sexually assaulted in 2007 in Mozambique, said a Peace Corps medical officer “made me write in my testimony that I was intoxicated” and suggested that “I willingly had sex with this guy.”...

Many, like Kate Finn, who was raped in Costa Rica and now works in the district attorney’s office in Denver as a victim’s advocate, complain that they are not advised on how to prosecute their attackers; a 2010 survey of Peace Corps volunteers revealed that nearly 40 percent of those raped and 50 percent of those sexually assaulted did not report their attacks. Ms. Finn said that her attacker’s family was on the police force and that she “did not feel safe” reporting what had happened....

Bathrooms and "the gender norms of their context."

From the Harvard Crimson:
"So many people I know, including many women who are not trans-identified but whose gender presentation to some degree transgresses the gender norms of their context, have had the experience of being asked if they are in the ‘right bathroom’ or told they are in the ‘wrong’ one..."
The current solution is single stalled bathrooms with no gender designation. There are 73 on the Harvard Campus, but there are complaints that it's not enough.
“So many people take it for granted that they can use a public bathroom,” [says Trans Task Force student leader Jia Hui Lee ’12.] “For those who are trans and gender non-conforming, it’s much more difficult to use a bathroom in public.”

Critics of expanding access to gender neutral bathrooms say that they increase the likelihood of sexual assaults in such spaces, but the concept of individuals of different sexes sharing the same restroom is not all that radical, according to Marco Chan ’11, Queer Students and Allies Co-Chair.

“Everyone lives their gender in different ways, so this is everyone’s business,” he says with an uncharacteristic note of anger. Chan is arguably the most prominent face of the gay rights movement on campus, and this media-savvy spokesperson rarely gets angry in interviews. This is an issue, however, of paramount importance to his organization. “We all know people who bring their small children of a different sex into the bathroom, people who have caretakers of a different sex assist them in the bathroom. Gender neutral bathrooms will simplify the way we all live our lives. This is not just transgender or queer people’s business.”
In the early 90s, I visited Harvard Law School and met some women who were extremely concerned about men getting into the women's bathroom. You needed a code to get through the lock on the door. Interesting how these issues cycle around over the years! Thoughts of the likelihood of sexual assaults in such spaces stirred up notes of anger. But now, it seems that what the good people are supposed to believe is that only retrograde women are worried about sharing the bathroom with men.

The iPad2 hologram setting.

May 10, 2011

Is Mitch Daniels reluctant to run because of the strange story of his marriage?

Here's what we know about it now:
In 1993, Cheri Daniels left her husband with their four daughters and married another man in California. She returned a few years later, reconciled with Daniels, and the two were remarried in 1997.
Obviously, we want more details, and if he runs he'll have to give them. But why not? He seems too drab right now, and that is un-drab. Figure out a good way to tell the story, and run with it.

The new gay is: Minneapolis!


... slump.

"I've always said that sports is at the forefront of what 'real men' (read: macho men) would wear."

"There's a very simple reason... men will do or wear anything to win a game. They will shave off all their body hair, they will wear skintight lycra bodysuits, they will wear shorts that look like skirts if they think it will help them win or fit in with the team."

So... then does that mean that if those shorts that look like skirts don't help a guy play basketball then he's unmanly... even more unmanly than the usual guy in shorts... that look like skirts?

Do those skirt-like shorts help? What if those old-style short-short basketball shorts help? Wear them and you're more manly?

I'm just testing the theory!

ADDED: I'm noticing how The Sartolialist has hedged his theory: "if they think it will help them win or fit in with the team." And now it seems incoherent. Doing what it takes to win does seem manly, but doing things because you believe it will help covers all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things. What's manly about that? And wanting to fit in? Now you're getting downright girly!

Who does Newt Gingrich think he is?

The last guy to be elected president without having won statewide or national office was Dwight D. Eisenhower...
De Gaulle?
... Gingrich is a devotee of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, who meditated on the concept of “departure and return” — the idea that great leaders have to leave (or be banished from) their kingdoms before they can better themselves and return as conquering heroes. One of Newt’s heroes, the French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle, embodies just this kind of romantic narrative, having spent 12 years out of power before returning to lead his country.
So does Ronald Reagan, who traveled the country after losing his bid for the Republican nomination in 1976, then came roaring back to win it all four years later.
Unlike Mr. Reagan, who even in his lower moments retained a certain celebrity appeal, Mr. Nixon was humiliated and all but exiled after publicly self-destructing in 1962. He then retreated to the sidelines and watched as his party disintegrated, leaving a vacuum of leadership and gravitas on the right that enabled Mr. Nixon to make one of the great comebacks in political history.

At the Big Bud Café...


... you seem to be starting to blush.

"The bridge between Donna Summer and the Human League..."

The song that got us from 1979 to 1980 was....

How does it feel to be called a racist?

Here, in Madison, in the midst of a concealed carry debate, a local liberal (Stu Levitan) comes out with a statement that would be a career-ender if it came from a conservative, and a local conservative (Dave Blaska) refrains from "going 'all-Madison'" on him. What Levitan wrote:
I think it would be fun to have 2 or 3 dangerous-looking black guys testify next week in support of concealed carry. The more gang-banger the better. Let the committee know EXACTLY who they'll be letting carry guns.

Deep thoughts about Obama's bin Laden bounce.

From Nate Silver. What will it mean in November 2012? If it means 1 percentage point, distributed evenly across all the states, that could correspond to a 13 percent improvement in the chance of winning in the Electoral College... but not really.

Crazy about...

... coffee cup lids.

"The Tragedy of Sarah Palin" is the melodramatic title...

... of a lengthy new article in The Atlantic. I haven't read it. I've been staring at the odd illustration, a weirdly masculinized painting of Palin. That title and that painting... so angsty... so expressive of something eating at the hearts of Palin-haters.

That serviceberry we planted in the fall...

... of '09... which "popped into bloom" on April 16, 2010... is only just now blooming this year.


Wolf hunting in Wisconsin.

"I would say that, absolutely, people want a hunt... I don't mind when there are a few wolves, but I talk to a lot of people around here and they're pretty much upset with the number of wolves we have here."

"The family of an 11-year-old boy killed by a bear in Utah in 2007 was awarded nearly $2 million in damages...."

"Judge Dale Kimball... ruled that the federal government was 65 percent responsible for Samuel's death, the state government 25 percent responsible, and the boy's family 10 percent responsible."

"Mr. Schwarzenegger might never have been elected were it not for his wife..."

"... Ms. Shriver gave a passionate speech on behalf of her husband in the final days of his campaign for governor after The Los Angeles Times published a series of stories painting him as womanizer and groper."

Paragraph 7 of the NYT story about the breakup of Arnold and Maria. Now, why doesn't the NYT, with its fabulous archive of old stories, link to those old "womanizer" reports that were whipped out at the last minute to try to preserve the power of the Democratic governor?

I'll do it for them. October 3, 2003, "THE CALIFORNIA RECALL: THE LEADING REPUBLICAN; Sexual Accusations Prompt an Apology By Schwarzenegger":
Mr. Schwarzenegger's attitude toward women has been an issue since the start of his campaign. But the new accusations, and Mr. Schwarzenegger's reply, set off a maelstrom of protest from his critics, including women's groups, Democrats and Arianna Huffington, who dropped out of the race this week but had repeatedly clashed with Mr. Schwarzenegger during a debate last week.
Oh! Arianna was in the center of the maelstrom!
''I consider his campaign a very expensively produced masquerade,'' Ms. Huffington, who was running as an independent, said, "the question is will the mask be removed before the election or after. I believe what this story is going to do is really bring to question this big issue of trust and credibility. If his word and image are consistently proven to be false, he doesn't have a leg to stand on.''

The Los Angeles Times reported that three of the women said Mr. Schwarzenegger had grabbed their breasts. Another said he reached under her skirt. A fifth said he tried to strip off her bikini in a hotel elevator. The sixth said Mr. Schwarzenegger pulled her to his lap and asked if she was experienced in a particular sexual act. The accusations covered a 25-year period, ending in 2000....

May 9, 2011

At the Mid-Spring Café...


... feel free to jump in.

"There were only 12 playboys - not more - in the world."

"They were charming and spoke languages and behaved well with women. I think that today most of the fun has gone. To go with a girl to Tahiti was incredible. Now everybody goes to Tahiti. This generation can do anything, but it's less fun."

Waukesha gets more time for the Wisconsin Supreme Court recount.

We know the outcome, and yet this seems endless. So much waste!

"More than six years ago, John and Ann Giese stood at their daughter's hospital bed as saliva flooded her mouth and the rabies virus progressed toward its end."

"In every case to that point, if you got the virus without prompt vaccination, you died - usually within seven days of the first symptoms."

The daughter, Jeanna, survived and has now graduated from college.

Rush Limbaugh says — about OBL — "Here's a guy with three wives living in a pigsty. One ought to be enough to keep it clean."

One of his assistants warns him he's going to get in trouble with the feminists, and he reacts:
No, no, no! Don't do that to me. Do not look at me that way. We're talking about the Muslim religion. We're not talking about feminized America. Even warning you, I got the reaction I was warning you not to bother me with. You know, it's suicide to tell a joke today about how a dirty place is because a woman won't clean it.

I'm not stupid enough to do that, but over there? What else do they do? You know, that and run around in the kitchen. That's exactly it. Osama had three of them over there, and the place is still a pigsty....

To live in squalor like that, it's almost a choice, but then to hear the President of the United States... 
The President said "This guy was living in a million-dollar compound in a residential neighborhood," and the point Rush is trying to make is that the place was a mess:
I mean, for crying out loud, dirty windows, half eaten food on the floor, filthy clothes shoved under the unmade bed.  I mean it looked worse than a teenage kids room.  It looked like a crack house.
So why are the media (and the President) acting like it was a fabulous mansion? Rush's point is that they're building up OBL to amplify the President's achievement.
[But t]his guy huddled in a cheap blanket wearing a ski cap watching television in his big sty.  He looks like a bum in a homeless shelter somewhere.  And now... they are trying to convince us that he was in total charge of Al-Qaeda....
Rush is trying to minimize Obama's achievement, of course.

If you want to motivate yourself to get rid of clutter...

... calculate what you're paying to store it.
[I]f you live in a 1,500-square-foot house and have a $1,500 monthly payment, that's obviously $1 per square foot per month. Now multiply by how many square feet are devoted to storage. This can be an eye-opening experience. Let's say you've let an entire room slowly drift into a "junk" room even though it was originally intended as a guest bedroom or a sewing room. You've got 100 square feet or more devoted to storage in that one room alone. So you're paying 100 x $1 = $100 a month for the privilege of having a junk room....
Count all the shelf, closet, and drawer space too. Put a dollar amount on what you pay a month to keep the stuff you've got there. That's the rent that stuff should be paying. Is it worth that much to you? If not, why won't you evict it?

"Deprivation of the ability to speak is more like an attack of impotence, or the amputation of part of the personality."

Writes Christopher Hitchens:
To a great degree, in public and private, I “was” my voice. All the rituals and etiquette of conversation, from clearing the throat in preparation for the telling of an extremely long and taxing joke to (in younger days) trying to make my proposals more persuasive as I sank the tone by a strategic octave of shame, were innate and essential to me....
To my writing classes I used later to open by saying that anybody who could talk could also write. Having cheered them up with this easy-to-grasp ladder, I then replaced it with a huge and loathsome snake: “How many people in this class, would you say, can talk? I mean really talk?”...

What do I hope for? If not a cure, then a remission. And what do I want back? In the most beautiful apposition of two of the simplest words in our language: the freedom of speech.


... large scale.

OBL said: "I would rather receive two bullets in the head than be taken prisoner. I want to die a martyr – but certainly not in prison."

Says Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, who says he was in charge of killing OBL so that he wouldn't be taken prisoner.

Justice Stevens, still voting...

... says he would have joined Justice Alito's "powerful dissent" in Snyder v. Phelps.

Kissing! Yay!!!

The OBL feelings graph.

A matrix of emotion.

"[T]he Kentucky Derby ain't what it once was for most of America..."

"... nor are the Penn Relays, America's Cup, the PBA Tour, Indianapolis 500 or prize fights anywhere close to where they once were in popular consciousness. Is this an irretrievable decline? Or does Barbaro-mania suggest that any of them could come back at any time -- it just takes the right star?"

Too Big for Stroller.

The website.

This has long been a big issue of mine. Back in 2005, I said:
Actually, my pet peeve about strollers isn't about how large they've gotten. (I assume this trend is worse in NYC, where people are into the "Sex and the City" trendy strollers and where walkways are more crowded.) My problem is the way people use strollers to immobilize older children who ought to be encouraged to walk. The dopey faces of the children who have adapted to this restraint really disturb me. What is happening to their minds and bodies?
And in '06, reacting to the trend of carrying dogs in purses:
... worse than not letting your dog walk is not letting your child walk. There are way too many children stuffed into strollers for the convenience of an adult and left with little to do but learn indolence and to grow fat.

"Home values fell 3% in the first quarter..."

"... Prices have now fallen for 57 consecutive months.... "

A product, Avena syrup, gets a sudden boost in publicity, with a bad celebrity endorsement.

Bin Laden's herbal Viagra.

I wonder if that helps or hurts business. Probably helps!

Democrats see high gas prices as a good occasion for raising taxes on oil companies.

The NYT passes along the Democrats' puzzling PR on the subject. Senator Menendez says: "Big Oil certainly doesn’t need the collective money of taxpayers in this country. This is as good a time as any in terms of pain at the pump and in revenues needed for deficit reduction." The collective money? Interesting use of the word "collective." It's a tell, isn't it? If anyone has money, they have the people's collective money. Somehow taking that is supposed to to help people who are feeling "pain at the pump." It's hard to see how. But maybe the key phrase is "This is as good a time as any." It's always a good time for taxing!

(Also posted at Instapundit.)

At the Magnolia Café...


... I'm just trying to eat my pancake... and come up with some Monday morning posts. Talk about whatever you like. Tell me what I should link to over at Instapundit. Or here.

(Photo taken yesterday, at Longnecker Garden. You do know about the longnecker conspiracy don't you? There were lots of mothers there too!

May 8, 2011

Simon and Paula...

... together again.

New Age nail polish nonsense.

"SpaRitual Nail Lacquers fuse the disciplines of color therapy with numerology to deliver vibrant pigments, which have the power to nurture, ignite, soothe or seduce, and convey unique messages with numerological value and meaning. Each blend is formulated for superior shine, with a quick drying time and flawless coverage. Packaged in Italian crafted bottles from recycled glass, these sleek bottles feature a patented Plum Cap™ for non-slip grip and custom brushes for optimal application of lacquer."

(I hesitate to link, but if you want to convince yourself that text represents real commerce click here.)

At the Boardwalk Café...


... we'll be having some fun.

"I'm so glad you posted this. I've been trying to convince my husband not to read your blog for weeks and this finally did the trick.."

Comment at the end of a long thread.

"Comments are incredibly slow this morning," I say out loud before suddenly realizing...

"I know why!"

Good for all of you who are celebrating Mother's Day!

Spider sex moves...

... are very intense. The spideress makes a strong implicit argument for relentless passivity.

"I talk to my mom now and then."

About that cheerleader who wouldn't cheer for the player she'd accused of rape...

Let's talk about the free speech and other legal issues, but you've got to get the timeline right.

We don't need a fast train.

We've got a fast crane:

(Chip Ahoy animates my sandhill-crane-walking-the-railroad-track pic.)

The watching-yourself-on-TV thing.

Yeah, turn it on Obama. That's obvious, but funny. Surely you guys can think of some more applications.

The iPhone app that lets you find open parking spaces in a city that has embedded sensors at 1,000s of spaces.

What a great fact pattern for a torts exam!
“It could be really distracting,” said Daniel Simons, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, where he studies the science of attention. And, he said, it could also be dangerous: “Most people are looking for parking spaces in places that have a lot of traffic and a lot of pedestrians.”

City officials acknowledge the potential problem. They are urging drivers to pull over before they pull up the city’s iPhone app, or to do so before they leave home. 
Before they leave home! But the sensor sends out its signal seconds after the space opens up in an area where drivers are circling looking for spots to pounce on before the next car snags it. That's why installing the sensors seemed to make sense in the first place.
Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said safety could actually improve if drivers quickly found a spot instead of circling and getting frustrated. “I get you off the streets as quickly as possible,” he said.
San Francisco spent $20 million on this system, not counting the money they will spend on struck-pedestrian law suits. One way to get a person "off the streets as quickly as possible" is to... ugh! Sorry to go morbid on you. Technology is cool. San Francisco is cutting edge... cutting down traffic... and hopefully not pedestrians.

In this time of "truthers," "birthers," and "deathers," it's hard not to look at the word "mother" and think...

... this must be somebody with a crazy-ass theory about moths.

There was a time when Americans "believed in 'the empire of the mother' and grown sons..."

"... were not embarrassed about rhapsodizing over their 'darling mama,' carrying her picture with them to work or war."

That changed in the 20th century...
... under the influence of Freudianism, Americans began to view public avowals of “Mother Love” as unmanly and redefine what used to be called “uplifting encouragement” as nagging. By the 1940s, educators, psychiatrists and popular opinion-makers were assailing the idealization of mothers; in their view, women should stop seeing themselves as guardians of societal and familial morality and content themselves with being, in the self-deprecating words of so many 1960s homemakers, “just a housewife.”

"Some women have skated around on inline skates in lingerie, while their male supporters wore shirts reading, 'I love sluts.'"

Distinguishing SlutWalking rallies from old-school "Take Back the Night" rallies.