Archive for the 'Serious Pants' Category

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Les pantaloons des serieusement serieux

First off I am a giant hypocrite for reading the Mickey Cobag Kaus JournoList-leaked and edited thread, talking about it here, and not linking that a-hole for publishing it. Only discovered from following this (thank you Thers). My comments here are going to obliquely relate to an ongoing discussion here at 3B about the function of The Daily Howler and our current understanding of a “liberal media elite.” They really only tangentially have to do with our previous exhortations on some related matters, as featured in this thread at Whiskey Fire, most likely lauded as “Wow… half the comments here are nearly as annoying as Somerby himself” by the delightful bh.

They are going to be extensive, and possibly many-threaded. I apologize for the excessive and suffocating seriouspants- in fact they may chafe. However, I might rip Althouse at the end. 1)Amending: Althouse rip will be in comments if I have the energy.

Continue reading ‘Les pantaloons des serieusement serieux’

References   [ + ]

1. Amending: Althouse rip will be in comments if I have the energy.

A different kind of abstinence

As regards sex education, the Soviet Union is probably best described as having none. Zero. Utter bupkis.

One observer opines: “There is no doubt that communism in its Soviet version has been one of the most repressive sexual systems that ever existed, worse than most religions, and on a par with nazism.” Here is a recent reminiscence by someone from a Soviet member state:

Indeed, no one ever discussed how babies were born. My sister believed our dad found her in his vomit. For some reason he thought that was the most suitable explanation. I had a better story. I was purchased by my older sister at a diamond store. It is fun to reminisce about such stories but there is a deeper question to address in the former Soviet Union. How to encourage people to both use contraceptives and to have babies? First of all, schools and families should raise awareness.

My anatomy teacher in ninth grade did not want to deal with students giggling. So for the sake of discipline in class, she skipped chapters that talked about sex and reproduction. Some of us bothered to skim through them on our own. It was the closest we ever got to the topic.

(The reason she mentions encouraging people to have babies is that Russia and some of the other former Soviet Republics are undergoing a dramatic demographic crash at the moment.)

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Raising the Stakes

As you may know, we’ve attempted to buy the Consumerist, as outlined here. We’ve taken on kindly financial backing from fish. Take a look at these financial guns. Below we blog cc you, our readers and supporters.

Agree or Disagree?


I kind of agree. I think I need to be skeptical everytime we have some group pat-ourselves-on-the-backism.

To Publius

Boycotting the State of Utah over the LDS Church’s support of Prop 8 in California is a bad idea because John Aravosis thinks it is a good idea.

Regardless of how much the LDS Church needs some serious protesting and spotlight on this issue because of the financial engine they provided for the campaign for Prop 8, Aravosis’ stance on Mormons has always been offensively bigoted. I do not wish to discuss theology with anyone, and I have no special place in my heart for any particular organized doctrine, and certainly not the Mormon faith. I merely propose that we not lie down with dogs on this issue as we wish to not become flea-ridden.

You don’t treat the LDS Church like a company that can be boycotted, you aim to change hearts and minds of the people voting to take away gay rights. You can’t change someone’s mind about gays if you trample their entire religion. If you attack their forest, how can you convince them about a tree?

Important on California’s Prop 8

From the deeply thoughtful Pam Spaulding.

Muslim children gassed in Dayton, Ohio

From Chris Rodda (author of Liars for Jesus exposing the “Christian nation” moosechunder being pushed on history classrooms, and research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation):

[A] ‘chemical irritant’ was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers.

As I understand it, no one was badly hurt. However, Rodda quotes an email she received from a friend of one of the victimized families:

“She tells me that her daughters slept with her last night, the little one in her arms and sobbing throughout the night. She tells me she is afraid, and will never return to the mosque, and I wonder what kind of country is this where people have to fear attending their place of worship?

“The children come into the room, and tell me they want to leave America and return to Syria, where they had fled to from Iraq. They say they like me, … , and other American friends — but they are too afraid and want to leave. Should a 6 and 7 year old even have to contemplate the safety of their living situation?

The incident coincided with:

This week, 28 million copies of a right-wing, terror propaganda DVD are being mailed and bundled in newspaper deliveries to voters in swing states. The 60-minute DVDs, titled Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, are landing on doorsteps in a campaign coinciding with the 7th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Funding is coming from a New York-based group called the Clarion Fund, a shadowy outfit whose financial backers are unclear.

Rodda notes:

The presidential campaign edition of the Obsession DVD, currently being distributed by the Clarion Fund, carries the endorsement of the chair of the counter-terrorism department of the U.S. Naval War College, using the name and authority of an official U.S. military institution not only to validate an attack the religion of Islam, but to influence a political campaign. For these reasons, this endorsement has been included in MRFF’s second lawsuit against the Department of Defense, which was filed on September 25 in the Federal District Court in Kansas.

The incident took place on Friday; Rodda’s post was promoted to the front page of DailyKos on Sunday; there has at the time of this post still been almost no media coverage of this outside of the local Dayton paper.

Today’s Howler

Read it. It isn’t the same thing over and over. It spells out how not to be a hack. It spells out what it means to have some sort of integrity and not argue like you are a 14 year old flaming your enemy on Usenet, or perhaps writing a column for the HuffPo, or just blathering to fill up airtime, or happy to be on TV. Do the work.

How to Parse, How to be Precise

Issues of note in this Daily Howler:

A) When somebody is lying, they might be lying in several different ways, wouldn’t it be helpful to identify just how many? Magnitude of the lie is important.

B) The troubling nature if Insider’s Insiders. In addition to their stated agendae, they will always have one of self-service and survival of the status quo. This is exemplified by the oily, unctuous Steve Clemons. I had fallen under that spell of legitimacy at one point. Now I must disabuse myself of notions that this person is an honest actor.

C) The unsettling nature of odd fellow travelers. At what point does one do oneself no favors in altering the execrable system by quoting a weather gauge such as Andrew Sullivan? If there is nothing an insider can do other than lose or gain legitimacy by merely disagreeing or agreeing with you, what reward is there for being anything but an absolute hack with a decent mental thesaurus?

In short, no matter what, we will continue to eat it.

Weekend Anthrax

I’d like to point to this transcript of an NPR interview with Ivins’ defense lawyer, who I consider to be (truly) professional and credit to the institution. I’ve been rounding up a number of abstracts that layout some of the genotyping technology involved with the typing of anthrax strains. Getting into the weeds there will not be useful until we know some very basic information about the case: a) the nature and number of the “1000 strains” tested, b) the nature of the test speculated to have been performed on the mailed spores and the vial of spores at Detrick that identified a specific mixture of genotypes (likely a ratio and an accounting of variants) that supposedly fingerprinted the letter spores as being a direct relation to the Detrick vial, and not likely a more indirect descendant of the Detrick spores. Do I suspect some poor understanding of the science and implementation in the case description by the FBI? It certainly is possible, and must be kept in mind. I think that any Congressional inquiry should subpoena several experts in the field to validate the scientists and who’ve been contracted by the FBI and their approach. This case will never be proven, however I hope that the science will allow some sorts of conclusions to be made.