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March 29, 2017

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In other situations (e.g. Congress) you would be sure that this is a joke. (Which is my excuse for putting it here. Shameless!) But here's this from our state senator's latest newsletter:

Continuing on last year's successful slate of bipartisan town halls, Assemblywoman Catharine Baker [R-Dublin] and I [State Senator Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa] have joined again to share our legislative priorities with residents around the 7th District. In total, we've now combined to hold nine town halls, with more to come. I believe we've set a good example for civil discourse between members of the two parties, especially in these times of partisan conflict.
As bad as the national political scene routinely is, it's nice to say that, at least locally, things are not totally bleak.

What has seven arms and sucks?

Def Lepperd

Knock knock
Who's there?
Owls.
Owls who?
That's right they do.

Not a joke. An offering.

A paraphrase from Paula Poundstone and "A Prairie Home Companion":

What do Winnie the Pooh, Mack the Knife, and Attila the Hun have in common?

Same middle name.

These put me in mind of an episode of the British police procedural Inspector Lewis "Your Sudden Death Question". It's actually a rather good show (available on Amazon Prime, as well as your local library). But the questions (more accurately, the answers) in this one! Arrrrr indeed.

What's a pirate's favorite restaurant?

Arrrrby's.

In another British police procedural, Wire in the Blood, a neurosurgeon tells the protagonist to name ten words starting with a "p."

Protagonist: "psithurism, ptyalism, ptilopus, psychedelic, psionic, phthisis, ptisan, psithurism, phthalocyanine, morning."

Neurosurgeon: "Morning doesn't start with a "p."

Protagonist: "Mine does."


(Not the exact list of words, but the words recited started with silent p's.)

two positives don't make a negative!
yeah, right.

This isn't exactly a joke, but it cracked me up anyhow.

My kids played Magic: The Gathering with their friends (and sometimes me) when they were growing up in the nineties. My son got exposed to the game again recently when some people who were visiting him wanted to play it. Not long after that, I saw a link (probably on Balloon-Juice) to a Magic take-off called MAGA: the Blathering.

The title alone made me laugh out loud.

I am more into bad puns.

Q: Why do virtuous folks always seem so stiff?
A: Rigor moris

sapient - lovely, thanks.

I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Shane.

sapient, yes - that is a lovely piece, thank you.

cleek, that's an excellent joke - I can't remember where I recently read about its first IRL iteration by Sidney Morgenbesser, it might even have been here, but I remember loving the wit, and the quickness of his reaction.

What's a pirates favorite letter?
Arrr?
Most people think so, but actually their first love is the C

An old favorite: the Alice and Bob After Dinner Speech

cleek, that's an excellent joke - I can't remember where I recently read about its first IRL iteration by Sidney Morgenbesser

i recently read it in "Origin Of The Specious", a book about some of English's more ridiculous rules.

It's been around a while, but I just heard it today:

An SEO expert walks into a bar, bars, pub, tavern, public house, Irish pub, drinks, beer, alcohol

Since pirates seem to be one of the themes:

A crew member comes rushing up to the pirate captain.

Pirate: We've spotted a navy ship on the horizon! We think they plan to attack us.

Captain: Don't worry. We can fight them off. Bring me my red shirt!

Pirate: Why do you want your red shirt?

Captain: If I get wounded I don't want the men to see it. I want them to fight on.

The pirates fight off the navy ship. A few days later the same pirate approaches the captain.

Pirate: We've spotted two navy ships on the horizon! We think they plan to attack us.

Captain: Don't worry. We can fight them off. Bring me my red shirt!

Pirate: OK.

The pirates fight off the ships. A week later the pirate approaches the captain again.

Pirate: We've spotted five navy ships on the horizon! We think they plan to attack us.

Captain: How many ships did you say?

Pirate: Five.

Captain: Bring me my brown pants!


[Note: this works better verbally when you can throw on a thick Irish accent for the priest and parishioner]

An Irish Catholic Priest in a small town is worried that there seems to be a plethora of ghost sightings among his flock. To knock this very un-biblical event down he calls his flock together after a Sunday morning sermon, planning to prove to a member of the congregation that claims to have seen the ghost that he/she has seen no such things After everyone is settled he asks:

"Now, show of hands, who among you have seen a ghost around here lately?" and about 2/3 of the parishioners raise their hands. Hmmm, he thinks, too many to pick from, so he asks "Okay, who of you have seen a ghost and spoken to a ghost?" That leaves 10 hands up, still too numerous. So he asks "Alright, who has seen a ghost, spoken to a ghost, and had sexual relations with a ghost?"

That leaves only a single hand standing, and the Priest says "You sir, you have seen a ghost, spoken to a ghost, and had sexual relations with a ghost?"

And the parishioner says, "fnck me, I thought you said goat!"

The Aristocrats!

Will this Flynn thing have legs, or is it just an over-hyped nothingburger?

the top-rated comment at Breitbart assures me that the Flynn story is completely "FAKE NEWS", because Lou Dobbs says so.

so, i guess that means it can only have one leg, at most.

Flynn appears to have hired quite a serious lawyer, one with no ties to the current WH crew it seems, and one who is a partner at the same firm as former Obama AG Eric Holder and former Senator John Kyl.

All of which is to say, based solely on choice of lawyer and law firm (which is a DC institution and is not going to sully itself diving into the fever swamp just to earn some fees), there seems to be some there there

"When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime," Flynn said during an interview with MSNBC commentator Chuck Todd.

Business Insider

You can't make this stuff up, it's rip and read.

Flynn appears to have hired quite a serious lawyer, one with no ties to the current WH crew it seems

Sounds like Flynn wanted to be sure he had someone competent -- for whatever reason. Which would make avoiding any ties to the current White House crew very high priority.

LJ, just popping in here to say I would have responded-- at length-- to your last comment, but the thread is closed. Which actually is fine. But it was weird to see that Moynihan comment raised-- I looked it up way back and I thought it was awful in context. Moynihan later partly redeemed himself. But focusing on that? Um no, an alleged injustice to Moynihan is not the central thing I learned. This in microcosm is what is weird about Chomsky debates. I learned from Chomsky that the US assisted in the mass murder of 100,000 or more people under five Presidents of both parties. Others learn that Chomsky was unfair to Moynihan. Virtually every discussion I have ever seen about Noam online turns into something like this. I feel like a member of a different species sometimes.

Nevis wrote the definitive book on East Timot, imo.

Nevins, not Nevis. Stupid spell check.

I don't know any good jokes.

hi Donald, apologies for closing the comments, I didn't mean to get in the last comment and turn the mic off, it was just that I thought that for other reasons it would be a good place to stop. I honestly was just offering that as an example of the kind of argumentation that I have problems with. I could have given you something that explains why Chomsky's discussion of recursion is fatally flawed, but you aren't a linguist, so you probably wouldn't understand or care why Chomsky arguments are so disingenuous.

And the quote is not a question of whether Chomsky was being unfair to Moynihan (it's not like Moynihan is around and needs to be defended), it's whether Chomsky is arguing in a way that brings about meaningful results. If rhetoric is always trumped by body counts, there is no reason to talk about Chomsky's rhetoric, but I think that the way arguments are deployed is actually something that is important and has an impact.

I'm also more than a bit interested in East Timor because I'm involved in a group that has been trying to organize English teaching workshops there, though medical problems have made it difficult for me to get more involved. What happened there (which happened exactly the same distance in time from us as WWII was from that event) is important to know, and discuss, but if you don't acknowledge the context of the times (The US withdrawing from Vietnam and trying to maintain an anti-communist bulwark, with the Soviet Union seeking to organize and expand its influence in SE Asia, while the Indonesians argued that to not allow them to annex East Timor was a redux of colonialism (which is why they were supported by the Non-Aligned movement), Australia's recognition of East Timor as a Indonesian province which was quickly followed by Australian companies getting access to the resources there) I don't think we are learning what we need to know.

I think there is a lot of room for discussion about this, and I'd welcome it. But if it is deployed to shut down discussion of Chomsky's rhetoric, I don't it really gets anything done. imho

Two clowns, a midget, and Donald Trump walk into a bar. The first clow-

Nah, I can't tell that joke.

A playboy TV game show hosts run on the family-values and religious right ticket.

He wins!

/rimshot

I can still limbo under however low the bar.

I can't tell if we're living in a good spy novel, a bad spy novel, a farce dramedy spy novel with a heart and a surprise ending, some bad political drama knock-off modeled on Game of Thrones only with white-nationalist self-fellating soulless idiots-but-think-they're-geniuses sh1theads in charge of the Iron Throne instead of the Lanisters, or what:

at a minimum [NSC senior director for intelligence programs] Cohen-Watnick was using his access to highly classified information to mount a political pushback campaign against the various Trump/Russia probes and quite likely breaking the law to do so.

But Bart Gellman, who has a very granular understanding of the modalities and rules tied to handling this kind of material, suggests an additional possibility: that Cohen-Watnick et al. had this material because they were using their privileged access to the nation's top secrets to keep tabs on the FBI's investigation of Trump and his top associates.

But hey, only more than 1,300 days until the end of his term.

Freaking pod people, I swear.

i'm sure GOP congress will get right on this.

of course!

i think this is the part where someone from the conservative side is supposed to jump up and tell us how Obama was 'lawless'.

Freaking pod people, I swear.

If there's no reason (or very, very few reasons) to have dinner with someone of the opposite sex who isn't your wife or some other family member, what are the reasons for having dinner with someone of the same sex who isn't your wife or some other family member?

I mean, why are these unrelated and unmarried people having dinner together? What the hell is that about?

Seriously.

It's this kind of sh1t that makes me view modern US-based public Christianity as 75% misogyny and fear/repression of female sexuality.

It's a weird hang-up. It's like boys in 3rd grade who think girls have cooties.

Well, some of it might be an age-related thing.

I can remember, back in my youth, my high school counselor saying, "You may think it's silly. But I never have a female student in my office with the door closed. Because if that little girl gets mad, and rips her [own] dress and screams, you have absolutely no defense." Pence might be old enough to have been taught that lesson when he was young, too.

I agree that it's over the top in today's world. But I think I can see where he might be coming from.

That's a horribly misapplied lesson - and of course nothing stops boys/men from doing the same thing.

it's cute how Pence can be so rigidly fundamentalist about something like this but still work for the pussy grabbing, daughter-lusting, serial adulterer.

I agree that it's over the top in today's world. But I think I can see where he might be coming from.

I don't think it's over the top for a high school counselor who is meeting with lots of teenagers all the time.

It's insane for the VP. Does he think Susan Collins or Nikki Haley are going to accuse him of attempting rape?

"I can remember, back in my youth, my high school counselor saying, "You may think it's silly. But I never have a female student in my office with the door closed. Because if that little girl gets mad, and rips her [own] dress and screams, you have absolutely no defense." Pence might be old enough to have been taught that lesson when he was young, too. "

Over the top my ass. We now have glass offices almost exclusively, I never had a meeting one on one with a woman with the door closed in a room without one. That is, after the first time that sexual harassment charges were levelled at me with no basis other than I pissed a woman off with a reprimand she clearly deserved. I also avoid(ed) any situation where I would be alone with a woman that was clearly outside the workplace unless business dictated it.

Anyone who thinks that is not good practice, for male or female executives, is blithely uninformed.

But it's okay to meet one on one with a male with the door closed or alone outside the workplace with a male....why?

nobody in my building has glass offices - good ol sheetrock for us. and i've had plenty of one-on-ones with women behind closed doors.

it never occurred to me that i needed a chaperone. i'd probably get a letter from HR if i did.

it's cute how Pence can be so rigidly fundamentalist about something like this but still work for the pussy grabbing, daughter-lusting, serial adulterer.

Frankly, I'm surprised by who acts surprised by this. It's pretty much par for the course when someone decides to put pragmatism and lesser-evilism above ideological purity. I'd say it's cuter for someone who claims at great length and volume that lesser-evilism doesn't represent betraying your principles to turn and point to this while waggling their eyebrows as suggestively as possible when it's the other party lesser-eviling.

So what was the greater evil relative to working for Trump?

Letting the Democrats win, thus filling SCOTUS with left-leaning jurists and the USC with godless hippy-commie nonsense; and/or leaving the evangelical bloc without an advocate at the highest levels of government.

"But it's okay to meet one on one with a male with the door closed or alone outside the workplace with a male....why?"

Culturally you are not suspect, thus not subject to as much liability risk.

And despite there being lots of small businesses not that way, in the 90's and going forward, particularly in large companies, almost every office was provided a door with a window and most new office space design preferred glass offices. These were changes driven by HR and insurance companies.

Culturally you are not suspect, thus not subject to as much liability risk.

But "culturally" women are?

Culturally, if a female subordinate, or even a peer, complains about harassment, given opportunity is proven then you end up trying to prove the negative.

That same after work drink or dinner with a male is not considered opportunity, culturally so the liability risk is significantly less.

That risk has been increasing for women as they have achieved higher positions, although culturally the male is considered more likely to be the unwanted aggressor so that risk is less.

That same after work drink or dinner with a male is not considered opportunity, culturally so the liability risk is significantly less.

Do you suppose, as homosexuality becomes less stigmatized, the difference will diminish?

Maybe wj, I have no idea.

Damned if you do, damed if you don't...

Vice President Pence’s “never dine alone with a woman” rule isn’t honorable. It’s probably illegal.: An employment lawyer weighs in.

The only thing I disagree with in that article, CharlesWT, is the assumption that because something is rare then one shouldn't take steps to avoid it.

The other is the whole discussion about things being "hard to prove".

No one has to prove anything to cost a person a job, reputation and marriage.

I don't really know how everyone dealt with it, but I simply quit going out except for very important engagements, with men or women.

So both bathroom stalls and offices require a line of sight.

And jail cells.

Who needs Big Brother when we have each other?

Of course, it gets started early when one's mother raps on the locked bathroom door and inquires suspiciously "What ARE you doing in there?"

Reading Proust and caulking the shower! What's it to ya?

The trend now is completely open office spaces, without even cubicles separated by dividers, I'm told. I guess so a guy can't even do some innocent malingering a bit now and then, let alone canoodling.

At the same time, another trend is being encouraged as well: chairs and desks designed to make a cat nap comfortable to improve productivity.

We're a peculiar sort, we Americans.

Why not just put the toilets where the desk chairs are and call it enhanced productivity.

I had a college buddy who would eat breakfast while sitting on the commode every morning.

Forty years later, I heard he fell asleep while driving and died after hitting a bridge abutment.

Multitasking is overrated.

...I disagree with [...] the assumption that because something is rare then one shouldn't take steps to avoid it.

The problem with this is that when it becomes institutional received wisdom, then women become a liability. It's easier and simpler for women to not be there, either by not hiring them or not promoting them to a level where this is an issue for (default male) decision-makers. The authority figure may not seek to exclude women for the sake of excluding women, but if operations are perceived to run more smoothly when you don't have to "take reasonable precautions", it's natural to have some bias in that direction, acted on or not...

To point to a peripheral topic this calls to mind, this is a major recurring theme in conversations about women in combat arms in the military. "Women [or "integrated units" if the speaker is being cagier] are disruptive, so unless there's a specific mission requirement that demands female personnel, they shouldn't be there" is an argument I've seen over and over again in various forms (the quoted language is nearly verbatim from an argument I was in on social media earlier today). That has a direct impact on the gender breakdown of upper military ranks, as combat command is a favorite path to distinguished leadership.

No one has to prove anything to cost a person a job, reputation and marriage.

...because an awful lot of what goes on in workplace relations aren't formal interactions; they're perceptions, reputation, and such. And this is just as much a problem for women as men; there need not be evidence that you're disruptive or manipulative to garner ill will and disfavorable treatment because of reputed behavior. It's not just the male manager who risks losing job, reputation, and marriage based on gendered perceptions without proof...

No one has to prove anything to cost a person a job, reputation and marriage.

Similarly, someone willing to launch a false accusation of sexual harassment isn't likely to be deterred by an open door or glass windows.

I don't think doing either of those is a problem generally, although I would argue that if you feel it necessary to leave a door open when meeting in an office with a woman, you should do the same thing with a man, but it's not too far from that to what NV says above - having women around is the problem, so it's better just not to have them around.

I will get back to you on the other kind of windows...

Plexiglass.

somehow i don't think pence was talking about possible claims of harassment.

Since I posted the note above, I have seen a couple of things which seem to suggest Pence (and perhaps others) share the Arab view that a man will be unable to restrain himself if alone with a woman.

Which, if true (that that's the belief which motivates his behavior), is rather appalling. And if it's true that he couldn't, that’s worse.

See what happens when an American man cannot restrain himself when NOT alone and in full view of complicit Americans with an American boy.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/03/31/life-imitates-satire-tsa-edition/

Courtesy of al-Qaeda and Steve King.

Those two need to get a stall or an office where they can be surveilled, and I'll bet someone would put a stop to that.

American is pretty much full of shit.

Besides, it's obvious the kid is carrying at the orders of the NRA. I can see the automatic weapon under his t-shirt.

having women around is the problem, so it's better just not to have them around.

Almost as soon as I posted my prior comment, it occurred to me that mommytracking and crap like that also fits into this sort of gendered precautionary principle.

Count, and the groper did not even find the ceramic razors that terrorist toddler hid between his toes and did not notice that his hair consisted of nitrokeratin and that under each fingernail there was a different bioagent.
Not to forget the plutonium-filled condoms in his stomach. During the flight that kid would have shat the cadmium pills that kept it from getting critical and gone nuclear on the toilet.

Since I posted the note above, I have seen a couple of things which seem to suggest Pence (and perhaps others) share the Arab view that a man will be unable to restrain himself if alone with a woman.

On sex and gender, modern fundamentalist US-based Christianity has more in common with fundamentalist Islam than the former cares to admit. Also, too.

Also, three:

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Neighborhoods:
Some Israeli cities house neighborhoods with strong ultra-Orthodox beliefs. Meah She’arim in West Jerusalem is an example. If you plan to visit one of these neighborhoods, ensure you are dressed appropriately. For men, this means not wearing shorts, but for women the list of requirements is longer. Female travelers should avoid wearing trousers or jeans – select a long skirt, ideally well below the knee, and a blouse that covers your shoulders and upper arms. The U.S. State Department warns that people failing to dress appropriately in these neighborhoods may be assaulted, stoned or spat on.

I'm sure there will be a female pope any day now.

Yup, (fundamentalist adherents of) the three great monotheistic religions have much in common with regard to their attitude to women. This has formed the subject matter of some of my most heated arguments with McKinney.

I'm starting to think that strident adherence to rigid ideologies of various kinds causes problems with human social and political behavior. (Animals are more pragmatic.)

strident adherence to rigid ideologies

oh sure. but at the same time, who would want to be a rudderless pragmatist?

"It's not just the male manager who risks losing job, reputation, and marriage based on gendered perceptions without proof..."

This strikes me as true, and irrelevant to the point I was making.

oh sure. but at the same time, who would want to be a rudderless pragmatist?

I don't know. Would it allow me to have dinner with women I'm not related or married to? That might be cool. Dinner's one of my favorites.

Any woman who has lunch with Mike Pence, that hot hunk of love who will shall refer to as Daddy for the purposes of this post, alone should be forced to undergo an ultrasound on her abdomen within one week after the meal and must look AT the screen during the procedure.

No references to intercourse may be introduced during the procedure to avoid having to explain what exactly intercourse is to Mike Pence if he ever asks. Instead, the clinician conducting the exam may lead off the questioning by asking each woman "Shall we take a peek at what the Vice President ordered for you at lunch the other week, hmmm?"

A tape loop of Michele Bachmann "tsking" disapprovingly to the sultry beat of a Barry White number shall be played for the duration of the procedure, as tribute to the parlous and contradicktory attitudes toward whoopy in ChristenDumb.

If the woman looks away from the ultrasound screen or does not reveal the proper degree of motherly emotion, these behavioral tells will be noted in her permanent medical records and distributed to the Governors of 26 states in America in which this practice is mandated, the dirty latter of whom may view the ultrasound results behind closed doors at their leisure, but make it look like the viewing is part of their jobs, like filling potholes on state highways.

Pants are optional.

Any of the 26 Governors may at any time thereafter demand the women in question physically attend a subsequent exploratory pelvic exam in their state, which may be conducted by the said Governor, Donald Trump, and Ted Nugent, in what professionals in the business call "the six-handed conservative canoodle".

"Man Date", for short.

Mr Pence may attend via remote video feed unless it gives him a case of the flop sweats.

If subsequently any of these women one day conceive a child in the state of holy matrimony and bring the baby to term, but have no health insurance, excuse me, "access" to prenatal and postnatal care for their child, the Freedom Caucus shall declare them shit outta luck.

No more man dates for her.


It sucks being prevented from doing things that you used to be able to do without thinking. I'm getting old and am reminded of that constantly.

However, in this case, a problem may be that it isn't something that you really can't do anything about (you can't stop getting old), but because of changing norms. Or, as young people (I think) say 'because society'.

It seems that the lesson some people take from that is that there is something you can do about it, so by all means, hold on to that privilege and ridicule others when they suggest otherwise.

However, the lesson I take from it is that if you don't gracefully give up your perquisites, you might end up in a situation where you will really find yourself at a disadvantage. And if you keep trying to hold on to those perks, the other side is going to find a way to take them from you, probably in a way that you are not happy about.

One of my very guilty pleasures is watching kung-fu movies. One of the lessons one can draw from these 3-5 minute morality plays is that the hero usually gets the crap beat out of him until he does something differently and ends up turning the tables. The hero will win because he (or she) will think outside of the box. Bruce Lee changing to Jeet Kun Do to finish off Chuck Norris in Way of the Dragon. Donnie Yen moving to a ground stance to get the best of Mike Tyson. Jet Li besting Cyril Raffaelli and Didier Azoulay in Kiss of the Dragon (look em up on YouTube if you want)

The fact is that the other side always has weapons they can use, if they are willing, and if you force the issue to the point where they are going to resort to those weapons, you have to take some of the blame for pushing the issue to that point. That's why it is not in your best interests to take things to that level. You may win today, you may win tomorrow. You may win until you croak, but they someday, someone in your "tribe" is going to be on the losing end.

So yeah, I have to keep the door open when female students visit me. I have to think about what my body language and gestures suggest all the time. And because Japanese often adopt the form of these things, but are blissfully unaware of the function, there are cases of people getting railroaded, and all the care in the world may not be enough. But if there weren't so many idiots who couldn't understand that their privilege ended sometime in the last century, maybe I wouldn't have had to worry about that. So I blame them rather than society.

Your daily WTF:

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/03/your-moment-of-zen_31.html

I have to admit that sometimes when I meet a woman whom I find smart and attractive, my mouth and eyes say Hello but my body is saying Bonjour.

Of course, I assume no privilege whatsoever. Every open door seems to get slammed shut or hits me in the keester me on the way out. No does not mean yes. In fact, yes rarely means yes.

But, I kid.

I agree that doors in professional and other power situations should remain open at all times for the protection of all parties.

And like lj, I'd like to thank our many idiot predecessors for ruining things for everyone.

"I'm sure there will be a female pope any day now."

That would be a "Mome". They rath outgrabe also, too.

oh sure. but at the same time, who would want to be a rudderless pragmatist?

...and this is what I mean by pointing to ongoing unaccountable drive-by nose-tweaking crap. No particular value, no content, not even much in the way of relevance to the conversation, but it should piss off the right people by bringing up old arguments, yeah?

Of course, being "pragmatic" and "centerist" in this case is only true when you've bought into the convenient lie that not just politics but all social beliefs fall on a simple one-dimensional spectrum where you've seized the moderate middle ground. rather than admitting that it's a three-plus-dimensional space with no clear origin point, and your constant tacking towards one region is in fact showing a strong preference that you work towards in favor of other outcomes rather than pragmatic flexibility that strangely just so happens to lead to the same end results every single time.

Mike Pence's batter-up theme song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh1IxhPwMb4

That might sound good in karaoke tonight.

One of my very guilty pleasures is watching kung-fu movies.

I recall that. It's a long time past, but one other constant feature remains vivid:
The hero's girl friend (rarely, sister) gets battered to a pulp by the bad guy. The hero finds herself, and rushes to take her, dying, in his arms. And his words to her always show in the subtitles as "brace up".

I've long been curious what the phrase he uses actually means. But it regularly brought a (totally inappropriate) grin.

"Brace up" -- taking the stiff upper lip to a whole new level.

Best April Fool joke I've seen in while
https://view.e.economist.com/?qs=4bd4e705b509befbdcdb397d1dbf3f462969da6358aabba4699970ba561db3e793f97cc09fe46e330d0c472069f7bc38a3d72843c9c29beae943c70f1f298fc2
(Fourth item down)

It seems that the International Space Station has declared independence. It "would be the smallest country on Earth (population, six), if it were indeed on Earth." No mention of whether independence will be expanded to gravitational independence.

This paragon of Texan conservative virtue needs to keep the door open:

http://prattontexas.com/2016/05/03/22685/

He practices sadism right out in the open:

http://juanitajean.com/put-that-on-your-fork-and-eat-it-jodey/

I've probably told this joke a million times, but whatever.

Bad musician to Lester Young - "Hey Prez, when was the last time we played together?"

Lester Young replies: "Tonight!"

Some things just never get old.

Not a joke, but a prank. Apparently jazz violinist Joe Venuti on one occasion went through the musician's union book and called, like, 40 bass players.

"Hey, it's Joe, I got a gig for you. Meet me at the corner of 5th and whatever tomorrow at 5:00".

Next day at five, he watches 40 bass players congregate on the corner of 5th and whatever, wondering WTF was up.

Rim shot!!

Another prank, perhaps my all-time favorite. Stop me if I'll told it before (hah hah!).

My father in law gets about 100 helium balloons. To each one he ties a card saying:

"I will pay the bearer of this card $5"

and signed it with his brother-in-laws name and address. This was, like, 60 years ago, when $5 was real money, especially around Akron.

Then, he released all the balloons.

I really hate to post this after russell's great comment but

and this is what I mean by pointing to ongoing unaccountable drive-by nose-tweaking crap. No particular value, no content, not even much in the way of relevance to the conversation, but it should piss off the right people by bringing up old arguments, yeah?

NV, maybe cleek (or the person impersonating him) is really just taking this opportunity to be an ass. Maybe. But it was in response to hsh, not you. I understand that people are going to get upset with what people get upset with, but if you are getting angry on behalf of others, it's not really helpful. especially in an open thread devoted to tell us a joke. And yes, I'm not one to talk, answering Donald and now you and tramping mud all over this nice carpet.

I really thought about just letting this slide, but given the fact that we've just gone thru some radical transparency, where I posted messages I sent to others that might have been better left unrevealed, I felt like I should say something. Obviously, this bothers you enough to say something, so I don't want to brush it off. This is not a threat and I appreciate your contribution to this commentariat. we would be much poorer if you left.

And maybe cleek is tweaking you and if he is, I hope he'll stop it. But I don't see how, do you feel like you are a rudderless pragmatist? Maybe there is some thread that I've forgotten where cleek called you that, but I'm having a hard time imagining anyone suggesting that you are rudderless. If there is anyone who could be accused of being a rudderless pragmatist on this board, it's probably me. And I'm not sure if anyone would want to be me.

In line with my previous comment, it's about being nice to each other, not because they may deserve it (sometimes they don't, but this is not a comment on this current problem), but because the alternative is to have everyone take up sides and leave the place a smoking wreck.

So, as for opposite sex dining and drinking:

I've enjoyed lots of meals with colleagues of various genders. I've also been in situations where I traveled with colleagues of various genders. A lot of people I've worked with have been in similar situations. Lots of opportunities and temptations.

In the end, it comes down to you. Do we deal with that with gender apartheid, or with personal responsibility?

As someone who has represented criminal defendants (not many times - that wasn't my strength), I'm not averse to leaving the door open. The trouble is, when there's a reason to close the door, I wouldn't want anyone to draw conclusions from that. Sexual abuse and assault is a very difficult issue, from any perspective, because it happens behind closed doors with no witnesses.

That horriffying TSA video that the Count posted is pretty much cut and dried, but whaaaa?

I, for one, am completely rudderless.

The ailerons work fine though. I don't put much stock in the yaw way of doing things.

In the end, it comes down to you. Do we deal with that with gender apartheid, or with personal responsibility?

I guess it's why I view folks like Pence (or the other fundamentalists, of whichever sect) with such total incomprehension. Among the people I associate with, this would be considered normal and expected behavior:

A man and a women (unmarried, roughly 30s) are traveling for a meeting of an organization that they belong to. When they arrive in town, acquaintances have offered them crash space (is it still called that?). They are not, and never have been, a couple. But their acquaintances, assuming that they are, have provided one room with a double bed. Rather than cause a difficulty, they just use what's provided . . . and just sleep.

Folks like Pence would probably consider such a thing wildly improbable to impossible. Folks like my people consider it unexceptional.

Kind of a joke here relating to what wj said. When I went to grad school, I was fortunate that my undergrad roommate had gotten a tenure track position at the university and he let me live with him. He also had come out when we were undergraduates.

So I roll up to grad school, and everyone in the department assumed that I was his boyfriend, something I found out after I got engaged. 'We thought you were gay'. I could recall a time where that would have horrified me, but I got the impression that my roommate was the one upset because if I were his boyfriend, it would reflect poorly on him and his standards...

So wj, hypothetical, two people, one is the boss, the other not. The one that is not the boss is married.

So, how likely would they be to be planning to share crash space? If so, Would sharing the single space be unexceptional? For both. And the spouse, who doesn't really know the boss?

You started with the least tense of all examples, I suspect lots of people would find it unexceptional, if not ideal.

NV, maybe cleek (or the person impersonating him) is really just taking this opportunity to be an ass. Maybe. But it was in response to hsh, not you. I understand that people are going to get upset with what people get upset with, but if you are getting angry on behalf of others, it's not really helpful. especially in an open thread devoted to tell us a joke.

FWIW when I read this I was pretty sure that cleek was tweaking NV with the "rudderless pragmatist" comment - only cleek is sarcastically referring to himself as a rudderless pragmatist, suggesting that is how NV views him, going back to their (and others) argument about whether to vote for Hillary and the reasons for Trump's win.

But obviously cleek can speak for himself.

For myself, they are both a pleasure to have around, other than when this topic (and its newly associated penumbras) comes up - and part of that is me getting tired of the topic generally, especially when ISTM the two people disagreeing disagreeably over it seems to have the same (or mostly the same) underlying substantive policy views on the big questions of the day.

Read "This" where "this" is cleek's rudderless pragmatist comment.

Marty, in that first (type) case, the (martial arts) teacher was unmarried but not unattached. The girlfriend heard of events when we got back home. And joined the eye rolling at the assumptions of the locals. Never even occurred to her that there might have been an issue.

As for the sort of situation you describe, it hasn't quite come my way. But close. Small company. Business trip. It wouldn't have been quite the same, since hotel rooms typically have two separate beds. But still unthinkable to the Pence set.

Actually, I did raise the option, since funds were tight at the time. My sense is that we ended up with separate rooms at least as much because we're both serious introverts -- after a day of schmoozing with potential customers, we were both going to be in need of alone time.

Would my spouse have been distressed? Well since she's also involved in the company, she was present at the discussion. Her comment: Be warned, he snores. So, not super concerned.

Yes in each case you are assuming, or noting, an existing relationship with the spouse. In small companies I have worked in I can imagine similar discussions. I would suggest you may not be processing the reason you didnt end up in a common room.

Also, both of these situations involve you, we have clearly established you are open to whatever arrangement. I am pretty sanguine about situations like this, but I would be unlikely to PLAN to share a room with a female coworker. I am certain my significant other would find that troubling. However, in various situations beyond my control I have PLANNED to share a room on the road with a male coworker. I only had to once. In general I don't want to share a room with anyone, ever.

In general I don't want to share a room with anyone, ever.

I'm totally with you there!

It does occur to me to wonder. As homosexuality becomes unexceptional in the workplace, how do the various acceptable room sharings change? Can you put a mixed gender pair in the same room if one is gay? Can you not put a pair of people of the same gender in a room if both are gay? How about if just one is?

lj mentions above the case of college roommates. How is that being dealt with these days?

what's all this about rooms? I thought we were just talking dinner and maybe a cocktail.

you guys move way too fast for me...

Well on one hand, if you won't even be alone or to dinner with a woman, sharing a room would be inconceivable. Contrawise, if you can see sharing a room at need, you won't see what the problem would be with sharing dinner or a drink. In short, it's a reflection of how differently we see the world.

also, rudderless pragmatists = great band name, if anyone needs one.

oddly, perhaps, jazz ensembles rarely have the 'band name' issue. if Joe blow booked it and it's a trio, it's the 'Joe Blow trio'.

not a big market for merch there, though.

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