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February 21, 2006

Comments

LJ: Looks like it was water you poured onto the discussion.

At risk of adding oil again, I wanted to bring up the Amerind genocides again. First, thanks for the references. I'll look them up as soon as is practical for me. I agree that there is a lot of good research going on in academia that belies the "manifest destiny, great and glorious history of the (white) Americans" myth. However, there's still a lot more acceptance of some very nasty behavior in the country's history than I'd like. I think it's time to take Amherst's name off of the town and university currently named after him. There are no towns in Germany named after Hitler or even Hindenberg. Why do we continue to honor one of the early practitioners of bioterrorism? It's also time to get Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill. Replace him with Jesse Jackson. Or Martin Luther King. Or George Bush, for all I care, but get rid of him. Rename a few sports teams. Sorry, but the Washington Redskins really doesn't sound any better than the Munchen Jews to me. And along with the symbolic gestures, perhaps we could do a little towards abating the poverty of the surviving Amerind? Yes, Gary, I know that there are rich individuals and even rich tribes, but they are the exception. The majority of Amerind are impoverished, which (along with hundreds of years of oppression) has resulted in major social, psychological, and physical problems. I respect the fact that Germany acknowledges and has apologized both symbolically and practically for the Holocaust. Yes, I realize that they did that because they were forced to when they lost, but they followed through even when the coercion lessened. It's past time for the US to acknowledge and apologize for its past crimes.

I refrain from fanning any more flames.
Thank you, Dianne, thank you Liberal Japonicus, and thank you Gary Faber.

"...thank you Gary Faber."

You're welcome. But since you keep repeating this, please note that my name is "Farber," not "Faber." Thanks.

"Sorry, but the Washington Redskins really doesn't sound any better than the Munchen Jews to me."

Me, neither, as it happens.

If anyone would like to read about Lord Jeffrey Amherst and his notions towards Indians, try here.

"It's also time to get Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill. Replace him with Jesse Jackson."

I have a great and abiding despisal for Andrew Jackson, as I've written many times, including here. Here is a typical view of Jackson from me.

However, the second sentence of yours I quote is astoundingly politically tone-deaf. Yes, I know what you followed it with; I'm just saying. Even King is unlikely to get on a bill, given that he has a national holiday now. I'd suggest sticking to either another President or another Founding Father as a suggestion for a replacement (you could try Abigail Adams for a Mother, but I think that would be not be clear-cut sailing, either; John Adams, maybe, but then we immediately run into his Great Stain, the Alien and Sedition Acts). Now, if you want to be a bit radical, there's Tom Paine....

I suggested Jesse Jackson just for the conservation of Jackson effect. I don't think he much deserves it. Michael or Janet Jackson would be just as good as far as I'm concerned. King I think might have a shot and really be a reasonable choice, he makes at least as much sense as Sacajawea (spelling?) on the dollar coin. Abigail Adams, eh, what did she do? She was the wife of one president and the mother of another, but did she, personally, do all that much historically? I kind of like the idea of Paine on a bill, for the puns if no other reason.

How about James K. Polk as the new face on the $20 bill? He was a Democrat (so there won't be any complaints about grabbiness on the part of Republicans), and was probably the best of the one-term Presidents (having voluntarily chosen not to run again, and who added more territory to the United States than any other President). Of course, the very mention of his name tends to cause foaming at the mouth among those who quiver in well-conditioned outrage at the mention of "manifest destiny", but that's just a bonus. ]:-)

I'd much prefer Teddy Roosevelt to Polk. Is TR on some larger denomination I've never seen?

But I think it's silly to have to limit oneself to founders and presidents. The Sacajawea dollar annoys me because we have no idea what she looked like, but in general, looking to more sources'd be a good thing.

Sorry, Garry, Farber it is indeed.
Well noted, won't happen again :)

"But I think it's silly to have to limit oneself to founders and presidents. The Sacajawea dollar annoys me because we have no idea what she looked like, but in general, looking to more sources'd be a good thing."

In that case, I'd like Bill Murray, please.

If we want gender balance, would it be too sectarian to nominate Dorothy Day? How about Emma Goldman? No political controversy there.

"I'd much prefer Teddy Roosevelt to Polk."

TR is one of my great fascinations, by the way, and there's certainly a vast amount to admire about him. But if we want to move away from racist believers in manifest destiny and militarism, it's possible he might not quite be the ideal choice, shall we say.

I'd much prefer Teddy Roosevelt to Polk. Is TR on some larger denomination I've never seen?

For the record:

Washington-- $1
Jefferson-- $2
Lincoln-- $5
Hamilton-- $10
Jackson-- $20
Grant-- $50
Franklin-- $100
McKinley-- $500
Cleveland-- $1,000
Madison-- $5,000
Salmon P. Chase-- $10,000
Wilson-- $100,000

The $100,000 bill was never in general circulation, and none of the bills over $100 are being printed any more, though some remain in circulation.

Of course, you can obtain one-million-dollar bills from the right source.

The million dollar bill thing is actually rather close to home. It happened in my prefecture. As mitigating factors, I would suggest that these are elderly living in the countryside. The scammer was a 54 year old building materials company owner, an industry that has been really slammed due to the bubble. Unfortunately, money deposited in regular accounts here in Japan has a miniscule interest rate (at least twice, the central bank has a 0% interest rate). Also, Kumamoto, the prefecture I live in, has over 25% elderly (over 65) and a lot of those people have amassed considerable savings (thrift is or was a strong Japanese trait) and are now quite confused about what to do. I know that there is no mocking in Gary's link, but anyone who reads it should be aware of the social and economic conditions behind it.

"I know that there is no mocking in Gary's link, but anyone who reads it should be aware of the social and economic conditions behind it."

I had read a considerably more elaborate story on the con some days ago, but didn't run across it on a quick googling when I went to find a reference link; it's usually a shame when people are conned and it's not a matter of their own greed, of course. Here is a slightly longer version, though still not the one I originally saw.

On the subject of free speech, I don't know what to make of this:

ISLAMABAD: Former US president Bill Clinton on Friday condemned the publication of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers.

The story also shows up on WorldNetDaily, there attributed to "reports in the Islamic press and elsewhere", and it's a week old, yet this is the first I've seen of it. Did I somehow miss it?

Anyway, it looks bogus to me. The quotes themselves appear all over the place, but the bit about convicting the publishers is suspiciously absent in a lot of places where that would be the focus of the story. What gives?

"On the subject of free speech, I don't know what to make of this:"

First off, that link is either broken, or maybe it's just not in service at this minute. Second of all, if you're not familiar with the "Daily Times" of Pakistan, why would you give whatever they say a moment's thought? Do you think every paper around the world is a reliable reporter of fact? Or, rather, that there aren't tens of thousands of papers around the world that don't constantly make sh*t up? If not, why even ask?

Oh, and I'd say "don't even mention 'WorldNetDaily,' except that I haven't had a good laugh yet this evening.

The links seem to work for me. Not sure what the problem is.

I wouldn't even have mentioned the story, except that the current right-wing talking point is that Clinton is busy trying to surrender our right of free speech to the Muslim horde. I thought I had a handle on Clinton's public comments on the cartoon ruckus, but when I did a quick search (Clinton Pakistan cartoon) this bizarre story came up as the top hit. I realize WND isn't credible by any stretch, but, if I understand Google's sorting algorithm, this means a lot of folks are linking to this story (or that it's been Google-bombed). Yet I haven't heard anything about it in the week or so it's been out there, even on sites frequented by on-message righties.

Am I to take it you hadn't seen it either, Gary?

Gary, the Japanese papers didn't have much detail, but they are local and may not want to go into too much detail. (The major Japanese newspapers have regional editions) If you do come across the more detailed version, could you give me a shout? Thx

"The links seem to work for me."

Links? I only addressed one. The Worldnetdaily one works fine (sadly).

The other: "Firefox can't find the server at www.dailytimes.com.pk."

But that's okay, I'm sure they're making sh*t up; I don't need to see it to know that Bill Clinton wasn't calling for "countries concerned to convict the publishers." I flat don't believe it.

"Am I to take it you hadn't seen it either, Gary?"

I'm not sure I can honestly say; I mentally filter out endless nutbar stories and forget about them, unless there's a hue and cry about them. In this case, well, all I can say is that anyone who takes WorldnetDaily seriously is an idiot or a confirmed blind ideologue. Which is to say that Malkin and her fans are probably posting even now.

Technorati shows only 14 links to the WND link. Nobody I've ever heard of.

The Pakistani version gets this:

Sorry, there are no links to:
Clinton urges EU to convict publishers of caricatures
Technorati does tend to take a few hours to pick up links, and is somewhat flakey, in my experience, besides, but given that the links have been around for days, no, hardly anyone seems to be paying any attention to it.

Mind, the first four blogs (as sorted by "authority") that do link to the WND story are blogrolled by a couple of hundred or a few hundred blogs. But this just shows what we already know: there are a lot of nutbar blogs out there (and, yeah, we can find endless examples on all "sides"). And those links are all six days old. So the story hasn't had any legs, which we already pretty much knew from lack of seeing anyone we've heard of pick it up.

I find it unlikely in the extreme that Clinton would urge prosecution of the publishers of the cartoons under any circumstances. He might pander to a particular audience by accusing the publishers of having inappropriate motives, including outright religious bigotry, but if he advocated that European nations throw people in jail for exercising free speech, Hillary would have his guts for garters for giving their political enemies such a nice big club to batter them with.

Mind you, he's capable of all kinds of behavior I consider despicable--but this particular scenario isn't plausible.

Well this google search seems to get at what Gromit is pointing to (works in preview for me)

I would like to see the entire transcript (including the framing question and the guest list) before I jump in. I'm sure that won't stop some folks, but just saying.

Central Europe takes the whole Nazi episode very seriously. A political party in Germany that starts using certain rhetoric can be disbanded and its leaders imprisoned. The attitude is one of "Free speach is free speach, but we are NEVER going back there". That said, while I appreciate his free speach rights and don't think he should be in prison, I have a REAL hard time getting worked up about this guy and have less than no desire to make his case for him. Guess that's why organizations like the ACLU are necessary.

"Well this google search seems to get at what Gromit is pointing to (works in preview for me)"

Hmm? Gromit isn't talking about Clinton condemning the cartoons -- there's no controversy about that, everyone knows that happened. Gromit was asking about the version that claimed that Bill Clinton "urged countries concerned to convict the publishers."

Which your basic search doesn't "get to" at all.

All Clinton did was say the same thing as the Bush Administration. (Ditto Chirac.) None has called for arresting or convicting the cartoonists, of course.

Actually, Gary, from reading your post, I got the impression that all that was in question was Clinton urging EU countries to convict, and I was trying to figure out where the locus of the story was formed. Since you said that you hadn't heard of it or had mentally filtered it out, I just thought that the google search might tickle commentators' memories. I'm also scratching my head at why "get to" is in quotation marks, given that I didn't say that. What phrasal verb would you recommend to say 'I think this is the story that Gromit is talking about'?

Maybe it's just that "Pakistan" tripped me up in my Google search? The reason I included it is that one of the diarists who is going apesh*t over the cartoon issue at tacitus.org mentioned Clinton's visit to Pakistan specifically, but neglected to actually link to the story.

And I would think that if Malkin was linking this story (I don't have the stomach to actually try to find out) it would be all over the place.

Everything I'm seeing in the links seems to be derived on some level from that one article with no direct quotes from the Pakistani paper, and which does not mention "conviction" again after the opening summary paragraph. I'm going to assume that the writer intentionally or unintentionally misconstrued what Bubba said. Now, if the allegation was that he had gratuitously apologized for the Crusades on behalf of all Christendom, I'd believe it without needing much in the way of backup--unapologetic repeat offenders don't deserve much in the way of benefit of the doubt, after all.

"I'm also scratching my head at why 'get to' is in quotation marks, given that I didn't say that."

Typo for "get at."

Gromit: "And I would think that if Malkin was linking this story (I don't have the stomach to actually try to find out)"

Well, she isn't, as I noted with my mention of what Technorati says. If a similar question arises in future, checking Technorati is the obvious first place to look, I would think.

OK, but why put "get at" in quotation marks? I'm not sure why you chose to put that in quotation marks. Could you explain?

Via Sullivan, here's the transcript of Clinton's remarks. No calls to convict that I could spot.

"OK, but why put 'get at' in quotation marks? I'm not sure why you chose to put that in quotation marks. Could you explain?

Sure. Because I was quoting you, and it's what you said. When quoting someone, one uses quote marks. What else?

kenB, thanks, that answers my question. That's what I get for not reading Andrew Sullivan, I suppose.

Sorry, I guess cause it's a slow day, I'm wondering about this. Why 'get at'? Did you have a different meaning than what you think I had in mind? I'm assuming that you are not randomly quoting two word segments of what I write, so I hate to repeat, but I'm baffled by this. I think that you've read me enough here to know that I try to be a good linker and since the story was out of left field for me, I thought it would be helpful to put a link to a search. Perhaps I should have asked Gromit for a rundown of the kerfluffle, but I was addressing what he said and how I really wanted to see a transcript. Thanks.

btw, (and this is not directed at you, Gary, but just an unrelated addenda to this comment) we haven't heard from Slart lately. Everything ok?

And I see that I skipped over kenb's link to the transcript. Thanks for that.

"Sorry, I guess cause it's a slow day, I'm wondering about this. Why 'get at'?"

I thought "Because I was quoting you, and it's what you said" was pretty clear. Was there some part that was not?

Why do people always try to read something additional into things? If there was something more, I'd say so, you know.

I'll try to explain very slowly. I was replying to you. Therefore I quoted what you said. Therefore I put what you said in quote marks.

That's all. Why would there be more to it? That's all there is to it. Period. End of story. Nothing. More. To. It.

I wouldn't reply to you without quoting you. I wouldn't paraphrase to no point when I can quote the relevant two words. To quote something, one puts it in between quotation marks. The end. -30- I can't think of another way to put this that isn't simple repetition. I don't understand what the puzzle is.

I can't think of another way to put this that isn't simple repetition. I don't understand what the puzzle is.

Well, I appreciate the time you took to type this, but I wasn't addressing you in my comment (I agree that one should quote someone just to keep things straight), so you seem to think that 'get at' (or 'get to') (and again, I really don't understand what that is) is a key phrase. You obviously thought that I was addressing you, so I assume that you must have thought that 'get at' had some meaning, and I am telling you that I am unaware of even addressing you, so I can't understand the point. Again, sorry to be so obtuse about that, and I apologize if you feel that I am reading something additional into what you said, but I'm wondering if you think that 'get to/at' has something there that I don't see.

"...so you seem to think that 'get at' (or 'get to') (and again, I really don't understand what that is) is a key phrase. You obviously thought that I was addressing you...."

No. I don't. I don't think you were addressing me. I didn't say I thought you were addressing me. I didn't indicate I thought you were addressing me. I didn't hint that I thought you were addressing me. I have no idea why you think I thought you were addressing me. I have no idea why you think that something that isn't true is obvious.

Please. Stop. Trying. To. Read. My. Mind.

You suck at it.

"Get at" is. Not. A. Key. Phrase.

It. Doesn't. Mean. To. Me. Anything. More. Than. That. It's. What. You. Wrote.

Why. I. Wouldn't. Specifically. Quote. You. I. Don't. Know.

Why. You. Insist. There. Must. Be. A. Hidden. Meaning. I. Can't. Imagine.

You wrote: "Well this google search seems to get at what Gromit is pointing to (works in preview for me)"

Sic, punctuation just as. I quoted you because I was replying to. Because. I. Was. Replying. To. You. If I can quote, why would I paraphrase? If I changed the wording of the above, I might distort the meaning; any changing of wording risks changes the meaning at least slightly. So rather than paraphrase, I quote. Quoting preserves your words. Quoting eliminates the risk that I would be mind-reading, and mis-stating what you meant. I wouldn't want to rewrite you to no point.

Gee. I. Wonder. Why. Anyone. Would. Want. To. Avoid. That.

Why on earth would I want to rewrite you, when I can just quote you?

I swear I'm an effing alien on this planet, and I have no effing idea how other people communicate, when a linguist can't understand why someone would quote what he said in replying to him, simply because it's the writer's SOP to not engage in rewriting someone else to no end or point. Jeebus. Effing. Expletivus.

I "seem to mean" what I wrote. I wrote what I meant. I meant what I wrote. NOTHING MORE.

I'm really not going to say this for another hundred times. I swear, next time you refuse to believe that I meant what I said at 11:42 p.m. last night -- "Because I was quoting you, and it's what you said." -- I'm going to confess that what I really meant was that giant lizards created you as their demon child, and you are actually a large banana, and that's why I wrote the incredibly hard to understand and believe explanation that "When quoting someone, one uses quote marks," because obviously I couldn't mean just that, obviously I must be lying, and concealing a Deeper Meaning.

And then I wouldn't have to write endless messages repeating "no; I put it in quote marks because I was quoting you; I was quoting you because I was replying to you; when replying to someone, one quotes them rather than reword them to change their meaning."

Of course, I chose "banana" because it's the Secret Symbol of my Banana Cult, as given unto my people by the Giant Lizards, who are responsible for Hidden Meanings behind all my words. Happy?

I'm so glad I avoided a misunderstanding by not rewriting you. Why, I might have had to spend a lot of time on about as simple an exchange as one can have. I might have to exchange multiple messages to make sure we understood each other.

I am a goddamn alien.

I am a goddamn alien

Vulcan or Klingon? Still trying to figure that part out :)

"I am a goddamn alien."

If there were a Hating on Gary Farber site, the first order of business would be to take up a collection to send Gary back to his home planet.

(I kid, of course)

I "seem to mean" what I wrote. I wrote what I meant. I meant what I wrote. NOTHING MORE.

I think I've said this in other ways on more than one occasion, and to date it hasn't worked. I'd advise you to give it up, if I were in the business of offering unsolicited advise. And if I were, I'd also advise you to lose the one-word sentences. Best used in moderation, those.

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