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September 10, 2010


OT: Pastor Jones is back in the news today (first he says he will, and then he won't), and Mr Older and I have decided to donate $20 to the local mosque for the express purpose of providing a copy of the Quran to someone who wants or needs it. We'll inform our local newspapers, also, in the hope that other non-Muslims will follow our example. Maybe we can out-weigh the "pastor's" destruction, for a net increase in the number of Qurans.

lack any analytical framework beyond "I want my country back."

you forgot that they want their country back from "those people." "Those people" being any or all of democrats, gays & lesbians, muslims, african-americans, latinos, illegal immigrants, New Yorkers, San Franciscans, etc. etc. etc. The "wrong people" stole their country, and they hate those people for it.

Well Gary, since it is an open thread, can we get an update on the move, since it doesn't seem to have made it to Amygdala? A simple no is an acceptable response, just wondering.

As I said on balloon-juice.com, that is one of the three worst Kirk Douglas impersonations I've ever seen.

Is it this?


Or this?:


Number nein? Number nein? Number nein? Number nein? Number nein?


You can't be off-topic in an open thread.

"Well Gary, since it is an open thread, can we get an update on the move...?"

I still need to do it real soon, and I hope to write about it as soon as I can.

The short version is that relatively little has changed in my situation since last January save that I've been able to keep putting off moving; otherwise, frankly, my situation has deteriorated, with no access since then to a therapist (although I've been able to keep up my meds), and an ever-continuing completely understandable dropping off of my monthly subscribers, thus giving me more and more money worries again, and question marks about what I should budget for moving and rent.

(Another 4 $5/month cancellations in the last week alone, making over a dozen in the last month, more before then, and an only-increasing set of cancellations.)

But I'd rather not have this thread turn heavily to a discussion of my personal problems, much as I don't mind polite questions, and it's entirely reasonable and understandable people would be curious.

I think we now have a candidate if they ever take Too Much Coffee Man to live-action TV.

I can certainly see why he was awarded a "Masters Degree in Communication."

Can't nobody refudiate how masterful his communication.

Seriously, isn't there a resemblance?


"But folks like Phil still need answers. Democrats had best give them some coherent ones."

I can't tell you how glad I am to see you back at Obsidian Wings, Gary, but I disagree just this once.

Louts like Phil, the new normal in bullying Republican politics, are not owed anything by Democrats, especially since coherency has been offered up time and time again and refused, in the manner that Phil uses here.

Phil is owed a chair-throwing "Shut Up!" and and an invite outside to seek an apology for his "manner".

Just as President Obama should have halted his SOTU speech last year, brought up the house lights, and called out Confederate Joe Wilson on National T.V. to get his butt down on the floor of the chambers and say "You Lie" to Obama's face, so bullying drama queen demagogues like our dear Phil deserve neither a polite audience, nor a coherent answer.

My opinion.

Dude needs a hug.

and an ever-continuing completely understandable dropping off of my monthly subscribers

Well, just know that you've got our $25 as long as we can manage. Mine is the only income in the house right now, but it's income.

I'm certainly not mind-reading Phil Davison, and, of course, he as an individual isn't important, and any impression I have is completely tentative, but what I take away from his various post-speech interviews -- and I think this best comes across when you listen to his tone -- is a sincere confusion as to where political answers lie.

And I take away that same impression from many common Tea Party folks I've seen interviewed, when the interviewers aren't focusing on the hucksters and more lunatic.

I prefer to approach as many people as possible as potentially persuadable, and dismiss as unreachable as few people as possible.

I like to get votes.

To be sure, I did note on Facebook that Phil had almost Hitlerian overtones and rhythms, particularly when he starts on "in-fest-a-tion!," and how politics is always hardball.

I have no doubt that he practiced that speech.

But that Dunning-Kruger effect prevented him from noticing any over-the-topness.

Switching topics, Radley Balko is right, of course, as to what a terrible idea this is:

Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

The state sheriff’s association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse…

Dude needs a hug Haldol.

Here come the Viekings (long "e" as pronounced in Sweden):


DARPA wants to control soldiers' brains.

Sorry for the unexplained silence. I was off camping in the desert with 50,000 of my closest friends.

That's my little Airstream in the middle of our camp... we had about 30 people this year, which is more than usual, mostly it's just a little group of friends that I go with. I met my wife there and later proposed to her there, and we were married by a camp-mate, so you can see how the experience has undermined our conventional morality and values.

Our group cooks a shared meal every night and sits down to dinner together as well as building various structures and so on. I do much of the electrical wiring and lighting which means my hands are shredded by the 2nd day. Between eating nothing but meat, working hard in the sun, and walking miles every day, it's a pretty good spa cure. After 10 days you feel like a new person.

I like to describe the experience as half forced-labor camp and half cult indoctrination session. At a rave party. In a mental institution. That is on fire. As usual, a good time was had by all.

I meant to post about it, but I started a new job yesterday and things have been hectic, as you'd expect. Haven't been reading comments either but I'm sure I will be back to that soon...

DARPA wants to control soldiers' brains.

How much longer do they think they can go on getting people to sign up for this shvt? Quite a while, I guess, at 10% unemployment...

Well, it was pretty well a kidding lead-in, actually, Nell. If you read the article, you'll see it's largely about investigating a possible treatment of traumatic brain injury in the field.

Something a lot more immediate to be concerned about is this: Troops Popping Anxiety, Depression Meds Like Never Before.

[...] The use of psychiatric medications among 18 to 34-year-olds (both troops and their spouses) soared by 42 percent between 2005 and 2009, Army Times is reporting.

Antidepressants were the most commonly prescribed medication, but the use of anti-psychotic meds — like Seroquel, which is used off-label to treat nightmares and insomnia caused by PTSD — nearly doubled. And the use of anti-anxiety drugs, like Xanax, surged by 72 percent.

The numbers are startling, but it’s hardly surprising that prescription drugs have become the Pentagon’s solution of choice, when they’re essentially the only option. With both wars lagging on for years, and troops being redeployed despite psychiatric problems, the military’s fast-tracked efforts at more effective alternatives can’t keep up. [....]

JD: I can't wait to hear more.

But I'll have to--I'll be mooching off my sister and her husband in Cape Cod all next week, starting tomorrow. Au revoir, summer.

Open thread, but this is for our friends MckTexas and GoodOleBoy and whomever else, including our friend Phil up top:

So much anger, so little evidence.


Thanks to Steve Benen

So much anger, so little evidence.

Yeah, but what about the arugula?

Moving beads with laser beams.

We should be happy Muslims don't drink

It is not the first time that Mr Sha, a career diplomat, has let the mask of diplomacy slip. In a BBC interview in 2006 he was goaded into a furious, shrieking attack on American criticisms of China's rapidly growing defence budget.
"It is much better for [America] to shut up, keep quiet. Are you the number one? Is it true that the US has almost 50 per cent of the world's military budget?"
The Chinese population is five or six times bigger.
"Why blame China? Forget it. It's high time to shut up. It's America's sovereign right to do whatever is good for them. But don't tell us what is good for China."

Ted Koppel says we need to stop doing what Osama bin Laden wants.

Hogan, care to share who the other two worst-Kirk-Douglas-imitators would be?

Stuff people like. This is fascinating data, albeit of an entirely self-selected population skewed from the norm.

Dude needs a hug

No volunteering from me (*shudder*)...but I'll hold 'im until they get the trank in him....

Gary: ditto on the 'great to have you back around' part!

Jacob: looking forward hearing your tale! Just did something similar-but-more-woodsy

Digby tells scary stories about her grocery encounter with three people and their beliefs about Social Security.

An open question for an open thread:
Can anybody here name something that needs inventing?

No, seriously. Is there some device or tool or system that, if it was on the market you'd buy it, and if it isn't you'd make it yourself if you could? Is there some chore or task, at home or at work, that has made you say "There HAS to be a better way to do this" more than once?

Or has everything we need in everyday life already been invented, so that only new financial services and medical procedures can possibly "grow the economy"?


Tony's good question -- many entries though I might need to make to answer it -- makes me feel like a complete poopface to note this very depressing story.

debbie: Frank Gorshin is definitely one of them. I'll have to think about the other one. It could just possibly be my own.

Douglas Trumbull is making a documentary about 2001 that will take place as if *within* 2001.

Whoa, man. That means that... our whole solar system... could be, like... one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being.

Have you ever looked really closely at your hand?

Interactive map of the world's internet cable connections.

Pastor Terry Jones is not beloved in Gainesville.

Jacob, would that be "Burning Man"? I've never been there but I know a couple of regular attendees. I look forward to your posts.

"Jacob, would that be 'Burning Man'"?

I am not Jacob, and I am not at all familiar with any detail, or indeed aspect, of his life, but I predict the answer will be "yes."

First Palin, now Terry Jones. Who will be the next Python namesake be that will provide us with sick entertainment?
Speech reminds me less of Hitler than Robert Ley (but he has still to work on the foaming a bit) as performed by a MP's Flying Circus member.
Btw, Ley. I noticed that in nazi newsreels he usually is shown talking only for a very short time then there will be a cut. This, not coincidentally I think, tends to occur when the first signs of him going into rabid rant mode show up. The guy would go into barely intelligible foaming and spitting on any topic. Sufficient to say, he'd feel right at home in the Tea Party campaign (where They would not cut the tape on him). Oh for a Beck/Ley show (provided earplugs are available).

(Wow, my post from last night is already on Google.)

Hogan: Yes, Gorshin's impersonation is probably the best. There was also a guy from about the same time with black hair who was also pretty good. Wish I could remember his name.

" Yes, Gorshin's impersonation is probably the best."

Well, Rich Little was a little younger than Frank (IIRC)but kind of the same time (he had black hair).

Couldn't find Gorshin doing Douglas but here's the next best thing.


Here's Rich Little doing Kirk with the real item sitting to Little's left. Make sure you catch the brief Tony Curtis/Spartacus impression at the end.


See also Joe Flaherty here.

How much longer do they think they can go on getting people to sign up for this shvt? Quite a while, I guess, at 10% unemployment...

Yeah. Recruiting and retention are not an issue. At all. Uniformed services currently have the luxury of being very selective (well, by their standards) about who they take and who they reject. A plus side of this is at least they're not doing things like running around granting (as many) enlistment waivers to random felons, but in the grand scheme of things, that's pretty small comfort.

It just came to me: I was thinking of David Frye. He also did a great Nixon.

Frye did.

Re-entering the U.S., you have the right to remain silent. No matter what you're told.

Not a lot of hunger for a weekend open thread, I take it, folks?


Weekends are really slow at OBWi in general these days.

"Weekends are really slow at OBWi in general these days."

Human behavior is dynamic.

Switching back to linking stuff, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles is seeking political asylum, saying:

[...] The diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, has informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman.

In a recent letter that he posted on a Saudi website, Asseri angrily criticized his country’s “backwardness” as well as the role of “militant imams” in Saudi society who have “defaced the tolerance of Islam.” Perhaps most provocatively of all, he has threatened to expose what he describes as politically embarrassing information about members of the Saudi royal family living in luxury in the U.S.

If he is forced to go back to Saudi Arabia — as Saudi officials are demanding — Asseri says he could face political persecution and even death.

“My life is in a great danger here and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight,” Asseri said Saturday in an email to NBC.

In a recent interview, Asseri and his lawyer said that the Saudi diplomat was questioned by a Department of Homeland Security official in Los Angeles on Aug. 30 after formally applying for asylum on the grounds that he is a member of a “particular social group” — gays — that would subject him to persecution if he returns to his home country.

Officials at DHS in Washington as well as the Saudi Embassy in Washington and the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles did not respond to requests for comment.

Yes, I imagine that even if it were a weekday, you'd want to bounce this upstairs. Bit embarrassing, this one.

It's a Michael Isikoff story, for what's worth.

I'm moving to Oakland, Californa, circa November 1st, through at least mid-August of 2011.

I'm almost as surprised as you are.

Wow, Gary. If there's more to this move that you care to discuss, I'm interested in hearing it.

You can follow the bouncing ball here:

People -- y'all, those of you who pass for people -- are invited and welcome to send me Facebook Friend requests; just tell me you know me from ObWi. If you can tie yourself to your ID here, that would be nice, but if you're just a lurker, and don't give the appearance of being a fake profile, I'm happy to Friend you, and then we may all sing Kumbaya together.

But an old friend, whom I've known since 1978, but been out of touch with for many years until hooking up again on Facebook, who spends many months at a time away sailing the oceans of the earth, needs a house-and-cats-sitter for his Oakland house through next August.

So I'll be moving around the first of November.

Forrest Gump was wrong: life is like teh internets: you never know what a passing few words on teh internets may bring.

Also, I'm working on my new book proposal/business plan: "How I Spent Ten Years Finding Free Places To Live Using Only Facebook."

Incidentally, since this is an open thread, if anyone wants to see happy people having a good time surprising a bride at her wedding celebration, I thought this was kinda heartwarming.

And I'm kinda feeling like celebrating, although I'm still in sink-in mode.

Can anybody here name something that needs inventing?

A single, unified cable box/dvd/cd/tivo etc unit with one--and only one--connection cord and one--and only one--remote. If this already exists, I'd like to know where I can buy one.

And, on behalf of all conservatives, I apologize for taking up oxygen unnecessarily. Really, I do.

That device does exist, McKinney: It's called "An Apple Mac Mini with an Elgato EyeTV plugged into it." :)

OK, OK, it's not, strictly speaking, a "cable box" -- EyeTV will receive and interpret basic cable channels over your wire, but not anything you need a box to decode. But the setup I describe is darned close. It will act as a CD player, DVD player, DVR, tuner for basic cable and over-the-air signals, and will stream media to other locations and devices in your home.

Phil, thanks much.

And, on behalf of all conservatives, I apologize for taking up oxygen unnecessarily.

It's not so much the oxygen uptake as the CO2 generation, I think.

I apologize for the CO2 as well.

Don't apologize, I heard the jury's still out on science.

The answer is to privatize oxygen and price conservatives out of the market. :D

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