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January 2007 Archives

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Extremely Helpful Summary: The Path of the Episocopal Church

January 30, 2007 10:40 PM

I've written about the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up several times here at NBS, but have been reluctant to devote more time to the topic.  Even though I follow it--obsessively--it's just too hard to know where to start.  Especially with many non-Anglican readers.  So if you're interested, here's a great resource... a timeline of all the major developments.  Granted, you really need to start in the Sixteenth Century to get up to speed, but I recognize that's asking a lot.

And for those who are wondering why I'm even interested, it is because I have never felt that the Anglican Communion has as much promise as it does right now.  We are on the verge of triangulating out all that is wrong with it: the New England leftists, the militant environmentalists, the folks who think service to the third world means propping up Castro, the anti-Americanism masking as anti-war.  Etc. Etc. I'm done with all that.

Hopefully we're all done with all that, and we can go back to being a holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

Remember John Edwards and his "Two Americas" Campaign Theme?

You may recall that the theme went something like this:

Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks. One America - middle-class America - whose needs Washington has long forgotten, another America - narrow-interest America - whose every wish is Washington's command. One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president.

Well, John Edwards is building a new house, with his hard-earned plaintiff's bar cash.  And it looks like he's buying everything he wants.  From the Carolina Journal Online:

Story photo

 RALEIGH — Presidential candidate John Edwards and his family recently moved into what county tax officials say is the most valuable home in Orange County. The house, which includes a recreational building attached to the main living quarters, also is probably the largest in the county....

Knight approved the building plans that showed the Edwards home totaling 28,200 square feet of connected space. The main house is 10,400 square feet and has two garages. The recreation building, a red, barn-like building containing 15,600 square feet, is connected to the house by a closed-in and roofed structure of varying widths and elevations that totals 2,200 square feet....

The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge."

Conservative Commentator Tammy Bruce...

...on the topic of Barbaro:

I grew up in a home where horse racing and betting were part of the experience. My Uncle Jack was a bookie, and my Uncle Ed was always betting on the horses. He would have office pools for the horse races and I was always good at picking winners. At a very young age, he started taking me to Hollywood Park and Santa Anita tracks. I enjoyed the sport a great deal, loved how beautiful the horses were, and was told over and over again, the horses love to run like that, they love to run together.

Through the years, though, you would see horrific accidents, legs breaking, horses dropping. I was loathe to admit that's because of the unnatural pressure, the unnatural training, and the push to drive the horses literally to their limit.

No, that does not happen in nature. This is not how horses run normally. I'm sorry to say this, but and even sorrier that it took the death of a favorite horse of mine to finally come to this conclusion, but now I will be officially against horse racing. While I have enjoyed it, and it's very exciting, the price for the horses is just too high.

She has more, here.

Quote of the Day

January 29, 2007 11:43 AM

"The question is, we face a lot of dangers in the world and,
in the gentleman's words, we face a lot of evil men and
what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?"

Hillary Clinton, speaking in Davenport, Iowa.

In case you missed it...the liberals at Saturday Night Live have Hillary pegged

January 25, 2007 12:31 PM

Unity v. Anglican: The Basketball Game

January 24, 2007 10:03 PM

As the Episcopal/Anglican crack up continues, NBS discovers that this issue has been settled before. On the basketball court. Who will win out? Unity? Or the Anglicans?

How bad are things for Republicans?

Redstate's editor surveys the Republican '08 field.  His conclusion?

They all suck. Let's just admit it. Every one of the thus far announced Republican candidates for President sucks. From the lecherous adulterer to the egomaniacal nut job to the flip-flopping opportunist with the perfect hair to the guy who hates brown people to the guy we've never heard of to the guy who has a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while being consumed by a blue whale being struck by lightening.

He's speaking of Rudy, McCain, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback, respectively. 

Maybe "they all suck" is too strong, but let's face it: We have major problems with the '08 ticket.

What is Ken Blackwell doing now?

He's writing, in Townhall, about the '06 election:

I think about the considerable personal and political setbacks endured by Abraham Lincoln before he ascended to the presidency. The death of a child, unsuccessful business endeavors and several election losses shaped his perspective but did not dampen his resolve.

Lincoln understood that life is about struggle – wins and losses. He refused to be defined by defeat because he was driven by hope and a belief that we can improve the human condition.

I like what Elie Wiesel wrote: “When He created man, God gave him a secret—and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again. It is not given to man to begin; that privilege is God’s alone. But it is given to man to begin again—and he does so every time he chooses to defy death and side with the living.”

Our conservative causes are just as true and worth fighting for as they were on November 6 (the day before the election). So, we must keep perspective, and continue. We must encourage others to also remain engaged in the struggle – to be a force for living change. In more than thirty years of pubic service one thing I have learned is that the only way a cause is truly lost is if the army is scattered and resolved to defeat.

What an interesting juxtaposition between that and Jim Petro's Stan Chesley news.

HT: Right Angle Blog.

Ridiculousness at Nursery Schools in NYC

From The New York Times:

The cars gather in front of the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan about 8:30 a.m. In the front seats sit hired drivers (nobody uses the term chauffeur anymore). The cars are mostly big and mostly black luxury-edition sport utility vehicles like the Mercedes GL-Class or the GMC Yukon Denali. They fill the lanes in front of the Y’s entrance on Lexington Avenue, often two or three rows deep.

There are so many cars and drivers that the director of the school has sent home threatening letters to the parents, warning that their child will get a bad kindergarten recommendation, if drivers fail to circle the block.

In the letter, which parents received once in the spring of 2006 and twice this school year, Ms. Schulman played perhaps the only bargaining chip she has, stating that failure to observe this rule could hinder their children’s chances of getting into the kindergarten of their choice.

The letter said that idling cars posed a safety risk, several parents said, and reminded families that one assessment Ms. Schulman and her colleagues are asked to make by lower-school admissions officers is whether the applicant’s parents have been “cooperative” with the school’s requests.

“The letter said, ‘When the ongoing schools ask about your cooperation, I will have no choice but to tell them the truth,’ ” one parent said.

Tuition at the 92nd Street Y is $20,050 for 4 and 5 year olds

Petro Goes for the Ambulance Chasing Cash

Former Republican Ohio AG Jim Petro has signed on with Democrat Stan Chesley's law firm.  A lot of lawyers are going to be very surprised by this.  So will a lot of Republicans.  You'd expect someone in Jim Petro's position to sign on with a big law firm, have his name on the letterhead, and be in charge of bringing in big ticket clients.  But the fact is, there's a lot more money to be made working for the Plaintiff's bar.

Apparently making money is Jim's priority right now.  And there's nothing wrong with that, in theory.  But when you saddle up with a major Democratic fundraiser, whose approach to the law is that is should be used as a redistributivist tool, it's a problem.  Stan Chesley has devoted decades of legal practice to taking money from one person, and giving it to another--while keeping 1/3 of it for himself.  He probably thinks he has provided a public service.  Apparently Jim Petro does too.

I hope Jim realizes that it is harder for a RINO to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  But I don't think he does.

So if you're ever in a police chase...

...should you try the whole stop the car in the middle of the bridge approach, and jump off into the water?

It seems as though this technique hardly ever works.

Vindictive Blogging--Should I Go For It?

January 22, 2007 11:05 PM

The Wall Street Journal had an article out last week that I am just now getting around to, about vindictive blogging.  You know, when some ordinary person does something completely annoying, and you blog about it.  They write:

Last month, Eva Burgess was eating breakfast at the Rose Cafe in Venice, Calif., when she remembered she needed to make an appointment with her eye doctor. So the New York theater director got on her cellphone and booked a date.

Almost immediately, she started receiving "weird and creepy" calls directing her to a blog. There, under the posting "Eva Burgess Is Getting Glasses!" her name, cellphone number and other details mentioned in her call to the doctor's office were posted, along with the admonition, "next time, you might take your business outside." The offended blogger had been sitting next to Ms. Burgess in the cafe.

Is this sick and twisted, or a good idea?  I have to say, I'm leaning towards the later.  Some people are so rude and obnoxious, and it just seems like there's no way to reign them in.  Perhaps we need the threat of public shaming and humiliation on the internet to do the trick?

In case you were wondering, here's the original blogger's post about Eva Burgess (who by now, must really, really be regretting that rude, loud cell phone call):

Eva Burgess Is Getting Glasses!
And she’s picking them up Saturday after 4pm! I know this because she was bellowing into a cell phone about it next to me in a café. Apparently, she’s not only inconsiderate, she doesn’t seeem to mind giving a lot of personal information, starting with her full name, to a total stranger.

She continued, Eva and Ken Hashimoto “have insurance there," she said…”under a flexible spending account.” “We just have to pay by the end of the year,” she said. And then she most helpfully bellowed her phone number -- 347-886-2157 -- perhaps because she’s lonely and wants total strangers to call and ask how her glasses are working out for her.

Hey, Eva, can I have your bank account number and your log-in so I can transfer a few bucks to my account? I’d like to get a pair of noise-canceling headphones in case you sit next to me again.

On a positive note, the little girl with them, probably Eva’s (and maybe Ken’s) daughter, was very quiet and well-behaved.

Hey, Eva, I know it’s kinda cold in NYC, where you’re apparently from (according to the area code you helpfully dispensed), but here in sunny southern California, at the moment you were talking, it was 58 degrees. Next time, you might take your business outside –- as exciting as I found it, on a morning I would normally have relaxed to the classical music while eating my breakfast and thinking my own thoughts, to instead be a part of your eyecare needs.

Over the top, or just what the Dr. ordered?

You know your law practice is sucking the humanity out of life..

...when a friend calls you up and invites you to the Burns Dinner and you immediately assume it's a benefit for victims of industrial accidents. 

It's not.

Robert Burns, preeminent Scottish poet

Robert Burns (January 25, 1759July 21, 1796) was a poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.

"I aestheticized the sleaze right out of it."

So says the Director of "Zoo," a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend.  The film critic for the L.A. Times describes it as "remarkable" and "an elegant, eerily lyrical film."  It's about people who have sex with animals.

The Director is miffed that some people don't appreciate his topic.

"A lot of people looked at me as if I was an exploitative person, dredging up something for profit, and that bothered me. I was certainly asked many times, often with a wrinkled brow, 'Why are you making this film?' It was something I did resent; I thought artists had the opportunity to explore anything."

Apparently, being an artist also means you get to do whatever you want, and not be accountable for your actions.

Welcome to Blue Monday...

...the most depressing day of the year.

Best "Help Wanted" Ad Ever

January 20, 2007 11:21 PM

Okay, so as "help wanted" ads go, The Economist is basically akin to the real estate ads in The New York Times magazine: The jobs advertised are as hopelessly unrealistic as a 10,000 square foot pre-War apartment on Park Avenue.  For me, at least.  So I had to laugh out loud when I saw this ad, in the "Executive Focus" section of The Economist:

The Royal Household: Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen, Buckingham Palace

So it really is true!  Good help is hard to come by!  She has to take out a want ad!

But anyway, "want ad" from The Queen or no, it is still hopelessly unrealistic, right?

Actually, maybe not.  Here's the job description:

The Private Secretary's Office acts as the primary source of advice to The Queen on all policy matters and is responsible for managing the official programme.  The role of Assistant Private Secretary includes:

"Planning and organising The Queen's official programme and dealing with constitutional issues in the UK and in the Commonwealth Countries" [ed.  Well, I did the official programme for the big NBS wedding, and everybody thought it was just about the classiest service leaflet they had ever seen!  And as for "constitutional issues," it just so happens that Con Law is my specialty!]

"Keeping The Queen informed of developments and dealing with constitutional issues in the UK and in the Commonwealth Countries" [ed. I could easily keep her informed about Anglican Church politics.  She is the Defender of The Faith, and I have several suggestions for her in that regard.  And again with the constitutional issues... does she want to know how many santas she needs to put in a nativity scene to get it to pass First Amendment muster?  I can help her with that!].

Working with Government departments and devolved administrations [ed. As a lawyer, I do this kind of thing every day, though truth be told, I have no idea what she means by "devolved" administrations"]

Dealing with management and organisational issues within the Private Secretary's Office and Household generally [ed. Wow!  I have experience with this too!  I not only have experience in running a law office, as a newlywed, I also have experience running a Household!  I start the dishwasher, take out the trash, and move clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, which is down in the basement where the crickets are (the insect kind not the English sporting kind--hopefully if I apply, having the wrong kind of crickets won't work against me.)]

But the best part of the ad?  The conclusion, which reads:

"The Royal Household is committed to equality of opportunity"

God bless a hereditary monarch who believes in quality of opportunity.  It must mean she'll take Americans!  It's so big of her to put past differences aside!  So....  It looks like I am qualified to be Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen!  I think I might apply.

UPDATE:  It is done.  I have emailed my resume, per the ad's request, to recruitment@royal.gsx.gov.uk.  Check back here at NBS to see how The Household responds to my resume. 

Really, I'm not kidding.  I sent my real resume.  Not some fake NBS one.

UPDATE No. 2: Could this be the best sit-com ever, or what?

UPDATE No. 3.  Whoops!  I meant to say "enclosed is my CV."  I have been advised that "resume" is too French!

NBS quoted in CityBeat!

January 19, 2007 05:37 PM

Well this is fun!  We've been quoted in CityBeat.  You know, a real publication that puts ink on paper and sells advertising and everything!

This all stems from back when we were talking about the anti-war protestors who were arrested for trespassing at Steve Chabot's office.  Their attorney had announced that they were going to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld to testify at their trial.  They were going to "put the war on trial," and get Rumsfeld on the witness stand to interrogate him about it.

We thought the very notion was laughable and still do.  The Defendants were apparently going to raise a necessity defense.  That basically means that they'd argue that violating the law was necessary, because they done it to save innocent lives.  For example, if you see someone drowning, and have to trespass on someone else's property to save them, you can say that your trespass was a necessity, and get off the hook on trespass charges.

The protestor's problem, however, is that the case law is clear that what one is doing out of "necessity," actually has to be necessary.  Protesting the war in Iraq from a Congressman's office in Ohio is never going to be necessary.  There's no connection between protesting here and saving a life there.  Sorry Protestors, but it's true. 

But anyway, CityBeat is out with an update on all of this

Critics have blasted the protesters, saying that sit-ins are an ineffective method for changing other people's views and that the effort to force Rumsfeld to testify was a publicity stunt.

"Whether or not he agrees with this president's policies is not an issue," says Assistant City Prosecutor Elizabeth Tye. "What is at issue is that Mr. Flannery trespassed at Mr. Chabot's office."

One local lawyer, who is a conservative Republican, wrote on his blog, "The necessity defense is actually a viable defense in criminal cases, but certainly is not under these circumstances."

In his ruling, Stockdale essentially agreed, stating that Rumsfeld's testimony would be irrelevant.

That's us!  We are that "one local lawyer, who is a conservative Republican."  What a nice description!  Who knew we'd get such slathering press from CityBeat?  It's just about the nicest thing anyone could possibly say.  And they even helpfully point out that Judge Stockdale agreed with NBS in his ruling.  It's almost like we know what the law is around here. 

But we're more excited about the way CityBeat fawns all over us.  "One local lawyer, who is a conservative Republican."  We'll have to give mom a copy for the fridge!

"So it that a yes or a no?"

January 18, 2007 09:23 AM

NBS is in depositions all day today and tomorrow. We're expecting them to go something like this one. We'll be taking notes on memorable quotes, and if anything like this happens, you'll hear about it here.

Recipe for Success???

January 15, 2007 04:21 PM

Oh Sweet Jesus.  Nat Comisar, of all people, sent me spam promising me Maisonnette recipies in exchange for real estate listings.  He writes:

Recipe for Success can sell your home! Call or email me and I will show you how.

Now when you register for Recipe for Success you will receive Maisonette Chocolate Mousse! Well, you’ll get the recipe at least! I will send you my favorite recipes from Maisonette about once a month. If you are already a member don’t do a thing. Just let me know what‘s cooking!

Dinner’s over… dessert is finished… nothing left but coffee and the glow of a wonderful evening… then we brought you cookies…. These raspberry coconut bars were by far my favorite. I used to sneak into the dessert pantry and steal a few when I thought no one was looking.

He actually calls this marketing inititative "Recipe for Success."  Do I really have to point out that the person who ran The Maisonette out of business should not be calling his new marketing initiative "Recipe for Success"?  He took the longest running five star restaurant in North America and drove it into the ground.  People showed up for lunch one day and the doors were locked.  The contents of the restaurant were sold at auction.  I don't think I can benefit from his "recipes for success."

Could Paula Abdul possibly be more drunk? Here she is on a local news show this morning...

And we'll all feel WHAT when Johnny comes marching home?

January 14, 2007 11:14 PM

How many politically incorrect themes are there in this toy commercial? It's got the whole "South will rise again" bit, and all that implies (racist). It's got the half a second tag on the end about how girls will like it too (sexist to even suggest. Of course they will! If they're racist!). Plus, it just doesn't look all that safe (the consumer products safety people would flip out). And how about that theme song? You don't hear people sing that much these days, do you?

We will be watching...

... to see if 24's outlook becomes as liberal as some are suggesting it has.  Time Magazine reports:

As the war has dragged on and become less black-and-white, so has 24. In 2003 it featured a conspiracy to provoke a Middle East invasion using bogus WMD evidence. (Yellowcake, anyone?) Last year's villain was the President, who had his predecessor assassinated [ed. the President in last year's season was clearly modeled after Nixon, not the current President.  The similarities were obvious]. In the new season, a string of suicide bombings has led, chillingly, to federal "detention centers" for Muslims, much like in the liberal pre-9/11 movie The Siege.

Then there's Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who has seen his wife killed, executed an innocent man to stop an attack, tortured people (sometimes mistakenly), been tortured and spent two years in a Chinese prison. Unlike James Bond, who just gets younger and tougher, by the new season Bauer is tired, disillusioned and wondering how much longer he can fight the Long War. His scars are not only physical; his work has cost him relationships and perhaps some part of his humanity. He has been changed and damaged by every compromise he has had to make. By extension, he forces us to ask if we have too.

He keeps fighting, of course (he has 24 episodes to fill), but for people, not politics. 24's ideology--Jack Bauerism, if you will--is not so much in between left and right as it is outside them, impatient with both A.C.L.U. niceties and Bushian moral absolutes.

Indeed, we are picking quite a bit of that up.  Tonight's episode was very good--but there are some disconcerting plot trends.  First, there was Jack Bauer getting squeamish about torture, and saying "I just don't know if I can do this anymore!"  What is this Jack, Oprah?  Don't be such a freakin' p***y!

And then there's the plot line about the FBI's investigation of supposedly legitimate charitable organizations.  This being 24, we don't know yet if these charitable organizations are actually all that charitable.  But the liberal line on such investigations certainly was trotted out during tonight's episode.  And done, I might add, in such a way that it suggested that the feds are actually doing such things now.  They're not, and in the case of many "charitable" organizations in this country, they should be.  For more on 24, the indomitable Debbie Schlussel is all over it

For those who don't have time to check out Debbie's word on the subject, please allow us to summarize:  The Patriot Act, which the left claims is the apogee of civil liberties erosion, simply affords the Feds the same investigatory rights that they already have when combating organized crime.   No more, no less, than an investigatory scheme that has already been on the books for 20+ years.  It's something to think about, the next time you hear someone on 24 complaining about it, or read about in the New York Times.

What to do about a blogging video store clerk?

Because one in the D.C. area blogged about Tucker Carlson coming in to rent a movie:

Tucker Carlson opened an account last night at my video store. I thought the name seemed familiar but I couldn't figure out why. It was after he left that I realized he was on the list of Gigantic Cobagz [ed.  this is, apparently, a slang term for colostomy bag.  Who knew?] I could tell you what he and his ridiculously wasped-out female companion (wife?) rented if you really want to know. I won't tell you where he lives, though. That would be wrong and stupid...

Fast-forward to a week later, when Tucker was apparently googling himself (sounds dirty, doesn't it?), and discovered the post.  He was not pleased, and went back to the store for a tete-a-tete with the clerk.  And to make a long story short, the blogging clerk has now been fired.  And he wants us to feel sorry for him.  Tucker claims he didn't want the guy to get fired, he just wanted the post to be taken down.

So who's the victim, Tucker Carlson, or the video store clerk?  We're tempted to side with Tucker, and not the video store clerk for two reasons.  One, the clerk apparently thinks "ridiculously wasped-out female companion" is some sort of a slur.  In our mind, "wasped-out female companion" equals H-O-T.  And two, the name of the 28 year-old video clerk's blog is "Freelance Genius."  In all likelihood, he has a college degree he is not using it.  He's also got a chip on his shoulder about conservatives.  And he hates the wasp patriarchy.  So he's not, in fact, a genius, much less a freelance one.  He's just a loser giving out his opinions on the internet, and wondering why he has yet to be discovered.  "Pluck me from my video store obscurity," he says.  "I am a freelance genius!

So yeah.  Chalk us up on Tucker's side.

6AM-9AM & 4PM-6PM

Those are the new curfew hours for white people in Cincinnati.  No, really:

Calling the conviction of Lonnie Webster 'conspiratorial' and 'criminal', Prophet and scientist Yacub 7 Ali cast a stern condemnation against Cincinnati's whites today and issued a strict curfew for them, effective Friday, January 12th thru the remainder of 2007.

So make sure you mark your calendars, and don't stay out after hours, because: 

Those who violate [the curfew's] hours will receive carcinomas, sarcomas, melanomas and other types of skin cancers.

Yacub 7 Ali explains,

Ali, who trains blacks in a new science he developed that teaches them how they can use their 'distinctive' eumelanin to reradiate ultraviolet light and focus it on whites for the purpose of giving whites skin cancers (carcinomas, sarcomas and melanomas), visited Cincinnati to champion Webster and to institute a branch of his science here in the city.

"Through the remainder of 2007, with the new science now instituted here, God has said we must impose a curfew upon the whites until their level of humanity evolves.


"The only hours God wants them outdoors are between 6am-9am and 4pm-6pm.


"When those of you who have mastered the science witness a white out before or after the hours of the curfew, burn them!" Ali lashed.


"When you hear them thinking their evil, hateful and ugly thoughts, burn them!"

But they're not targeting all whites.  According to Lucifer Nigaros, Prime Minister and secretary of State of Yacub 7 Ali's movement,

The Cincinnati chapter will focus their skin cancer campaign on 'prissy and successful' whites like Carol Williams a WPOC television employee. "While we will not excuse poor, bigoted whites in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati movement will focus on whites who live in gated communities and work downtown.

Oh Crap!  They're targeting the prissy and successful!  Honey, does this mole look like it's getting bigger?

HT: The Cincinnati Beacon.

"Grandma Got Run Over by Her Reign, Dears."

Mark Steyn, on Speaker Pelosi, feminism and the press's newly created "grandmother cult."

Mistake on the lake

January 12, 2007 09:28 AM

Appalling story about the Cleveland Clinic...

Surgeon sacrifices dog for sales demo

CLEVELAND - A neurosurgeon at the renowned Cleveland Clinic induced an aneurysm in a dog's brain during a sales demonstration of a medical device, the clinic said Thursday.

The surgeon, who was not immediately identified, was presenting the device to a group of salespeople Wednesday. The hospital said that was unauthorized. "As an academic medical center, Cleveland Clinic does not allow procedures with animals for the sole purpose of sales training. The situation ... was unauthorized and not in compliance with our policy," a statement said...

I hope something more comes of this than just bad press for the Clinic.  Who was the doctor?  I think he deserves to take the heat himself.  Why not bring animal cruelty charges?  This was not even medical research, it was a sales demo!

The Top 12 Most "Bizarre and Politically Correct" College Courses in the U.S.

January 9, 2007 10:23 PM

...have been ranked by the Young America's Foundation.  You can read about them all, here.  My favorites for the most ridiculous?  I rank the Top 3:

No. 1:

Occidental College’s The Phallus, which "covers a broad study on the relation 'between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism.'"

So....do you get an "A" for just showing... up?

No. 2:

Amherst's Taking Marx Seriously: “Should Marx be given another chance?”  [ed. Um... hell no?]  "Students in this class are asked to question if Marxism still has “credibility,” while also inquiring if societies can gain new insights by “returning to [Marx’s] texts.” Coming to Marx’s rescue, this course also states that Lenin, Stalin, and Pol Pot misapplied the concepts of Marxism."

Lenin, Stalin and Pol Pot all got the wrong memo!  What a coincidence that so many major communist figures of the past century have all turned out to be brutal dictators!  They must not have read Marx very carefully!

And, last but not least, No. 3:

Swarthmore's Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism, which “deconstruct[s] terrorism” and “build[s] on promising nonviolent procedures to combat today’s terrorism.”

Yes, that's what is needed.  More non-violent approaches to combat terrorism!

On a serious note:  I am on my law firm's hiring committee.  Any resume showing an Occidental, Amherst or Swarthmore undergraduate degree will be thrown in trash.

The property tax bill has arrived chez NBS

Happy *---ing New Year.  Seriously folks, this *---ing shiz is ridiculous.  It is what was expected, and yet, [insert string of really, really bad explicatives here].  Mrs. NBS is ready to pack up and head for a more taxpayer-friendly state.  I hope she takes me with her.

The property tax bill comes, of course, just the week after the first pay stub of the New Year... on which we learn that a nice year-end salary bump is really not quite so nice when 62% of it goes to taxes and withholding.  Yes, 62%.  That news came on a Friday, after I'd worked every night that week (including New Year's day, ostensibly a holiday) until midnight or after.

Really, why even bother getting out of *---ing bed in the morning?

Sorry for the slow posting here at NBS

I had a nice post all drafted this morning based on the article in the Enquirer about Governor Strickland's first day on the job.  Then, I did a little research, and lo and behold, the Enquirer was the only newspaper in the state to report the lead-paint-veto story the way they did.  Frankly, it just looks like they had their facts wrong.

Furious that they wasted my time, I re-did the post, and turned it from a substantive topic into a highly negative review of the Enquirer's ability to get the story right.  And then Moveable Type ate what I'd written when I tried to post it.

After that, I decided I had enough blogging for the day.

GO BUCKS!!!

January 8, 2007 08:36 AM

And the Enquirer is actually covering it!

Oh God, I've been tagged for one of those "meme" things

January 5, 2007 08:09 PM

For those of you not in the know, "a meme" is basically the blogospheric equivalent of one of those getting to know you games.  Kind of like "slap a back, slap a back, slap a back next to ya" or passing an orange to the person beside you without using your hands.  With a meme, different bloggers all answer the same group of questions.

It's not exactly my favorite kind of activity.  But such is the respect I have for the blogger who tagged me--Dr. Mabuse, over at The Kraalspace--who is a fantastic writer, and a very witty and funny person.  And, she recently learned My True Identity, which is the blogospheric equivalent of "I Know Where You Live."

So compelled out of both respect and fear, and fortified by two vodka tonics, I present you with my Meme Thing.

1. Favorite movie:  This one is easy, though my choice may strike some as strange, and here's why.  I was raised by abusive parents, who believed that when it was nice out, children should be outside playing, and when it wasn't nice out, children should be inside, reading or playing board games.  This message was fortified by their refusal to get cable, or upgrade to a color tv (note, I'm only 33--not 73, so color tvs and cable were pretty much the norm in the homes of my classmates).  But anyway, while my choice may be odd, this really is a great movie.  We saw it once while our parents were visiting friends, and begged to borrow the videotape of Thoroughly Modern Millie.  It was billed as "The Happiest Movie of the Year."  In 1967.  So it was definitely outdated by the time we saw it.  It's got Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing.  In other words, it's so gay-tastic that it should be enough to cause anyone to question my commitment to, um... the conservative wing of the Episcopal Church.  But the movie's great, even though it drags in the middle when Mille goes off to sing, inexplicably, at a Jewish wedding.  We watched it over and over again, what with it being the only videotape we had, other than the tape we had of Mom appearing on a local talk show to speak out against communism. 

Favorite movie with a religious theme:  Shadowlands.  Of course I like Shadowlands, because it is about C.S. Lewis, and the scenery is fantastic.  It probably has more of a romantic theme to it than a religious theme, though.  I honestly can't think of any other movies I've seen with a religious theme, other than The Ten Commandments.  I have seen The Mission.  It's pretty gory, but the soundtrack is fantastic.

Favorite movie priest:  This one is tough.  What movies even have priests in them?  I can't think of any, off hand.  Oh wait.  I suppose there's The Exorcist.  So there you go.  My favorite movie with a priest in it is The Exorcist.  And I guess there's also that whole series where the woman gives birth to the anti-Christ named "Damion."  I forget what they're called, but I think I like The Exorcist better.

Favorite movie nun:  Other than The Sound of Music, I also can't think of any movies with nuns, other than The Flying Nun, which I've never actually seen.  And now that I've already named Thoroughly Modern Millie, I can hardly pick yet another Julie Andrews movie and select The Sound of Music.  But I can say that just the words The Flying Nun remind me of Cathy Siepp's review of the short-lived tv show Pepper Dennis, which Cathy compared unfavorably to "The Flying Nun:"

So 19-year-old Sally Field became The Flying Nun, who because she only weighed 98 pounds was regularly carried aloft by that wing-shaped hat and the winds of Puerto Rico. Mother Superior didn't like it, but still, Sister Bertrille just kept soaring away, regularly dropping in on Carlos the playboy casino owner and hitting him up for money whenever the convent needed new plumbing or something.

My sister and I found The Flying Nun absolutely riveting when we were small, and now I can see why: its connected themes are anorexia and the power of adolescent ecstasy, which in the show disapproving adults can only partially suppress. You don't need to be a compulsive dieter to understand the magical notion of impossible skinniness connected to superpowers.

So there you have it.  All I can contribute to the whole nuns-in-movies thing is a reference that demonstrates good writing about a bad movie.  That's my contribution to the Meme thing.  Now I am supposed to tag someone else.  Curmudgeonry, you're it.  Unless you'd rather I just passed you an orange, without using my hands?

I love you, a bushel and a peck

January 4, 2007 04:22 PM

Joyce Branham gets to keep her chickens!  The Ohio Civil Rights Commission intervened on her behalf, after the City of Fairfield decided it was illegal to keep barnyard animals in residential neighborhoods.  Mrs. Branham argued that the chickens are therapy animals that help her cope with chronic anxiety.  Now it's all settled, and she gets to keep her chickens!

Who's a little chicken?  Yes you are.  Yes you are a little chicken.

Photo: The Enquirer/Carrie Cochran.

UPDATE:  How is it that when the Enquirer changes the picture they have running--after I have copied it and posted it here--this photo automatically changes and gets switched out when they change theirs?  These internets, I tell you I will never understand it.  I thought the other picture went with my caption better.

Anyway: Does the Fairfield chronic anxiety-chicken lady remind anyone else of the Miami Township jumping goat-ADHD boy?  I guess the moral of these stories is that you can keep any kind of farm animal you want in a residential neighborhood, as long as you have a doctor's note.  Such legal silliness would not be necessary if people were more mature about chickens and goats!

Subpoena to be quashed like a bug...

The attorney representing several anti-war protestors here in Hamilton County plan to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld and Congressman Steve Chabot.

They want to "put the war on trial."  They want to present a "necessity defense."*  What they're going to get is Judge Stockdale throttling their attorney.

The funniest part is the press release from some of the defendants, which begins,

CINCINNATI—Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be a key witness in the trial of five local anti-war protesters.

Um.  No.  He will not be a key witness, because he won't be here.  What they may get, though, is a few gullible reporters at their press conference, which is in front of the courthouse tomorrow afternoon.

*The necessity defense is actually a viable defense in criminal cases, but certainly is not under these circumstances.

The Emporess Needs New Shoes

Famous law blogging diva Ann Althouse has posted this picture of herself--as she is wont to do.

 Indie Coffee

What is she thinking?  She looks like a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory escapee.

Even their Christmas card is obnoxious!

The Washington Post reports...

The senator from Massachusetts and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, sent out 75,000 Christmas cards with pictures of trees at each season. The Kerrys gushed over their "gratitude for the beauty of these trees and the life they represent."

Okay, that message doesn't have anything to do with Christmas, but ignoring that: 

The card came in an odd-looking envelope, one of those with a return-mail flap and instructions to send it to . . . well, to a recycling company, so "it can be made into new carpet tile."

What?  Made into new carpet tile?  Yes, the card actually instructs you to:

"1. Remove this panel and insert it along with the card into the envelope. 2. Expose adhesive strip and fold the flap over to seal the envelope. 3. Drop this mailer into any U.S. mailbox."

With everything there is to do around the holidays, who the hell has time to turn John Kerry's Christmas card into carpet tile?

How to answer Sam Donaldson

A look back at our favorite video from '06

January 3, 2007 11:48 PM

Now that we kinda sorta have the YouTube embedded video thing figured out (there is something seriously wrong with our moveable type settings), we have to repost this video from earlier this year. It's got everything. A (drunk?) Alan Thicke, a child-angel dangling from a rope, indignant married ladies, massive language barrier problems, the crowning of the wrong woman as "Mrs. World," and a hysterical "take two," where half of the contestants refuse to return to the stage. Make sure you stick with it until 1:51, that's when it gets good--though you need the earlier bits for context.

Democrats, welcome to the bed you have made.

Now you get to lie in it. 

From the Washington Business Journal's report on the Democrats' first day in charge:

House Democrats tried to unveil their lobbying reform package today, but their press conference was drowned out by chants from anti-war activists who want Congress to stop funding the Iraq war before taking on other issues.

Led by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier, the protesters chanted "De-escalate, investigate, troops home now" as Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., began outlining the Democrats' plans to ban lobbyist-funded travel and institute other ethics reforms. The press conference was held in the Cannon House Office Building in an area open to the public.

Emanuel finally gave up trying to be heard over the chants, and retreated to a caucus room where Democrats were meeting.

Do we feel sorry for them?  Hell no.

A Food Writer's Eulogy...

...for conservative doyenne Jeane Kirkpatrick:

Jeane cooked with the characteristic gusto that she threw into her writing on neoconservative causes or the latest speech defending U.S. foreign policy before the United Nations. As she sauteed the ham, beat her natilla, a Spanish custard pudding she loved, or made paella, a regular party dish, she told me about her techniques.

Read the whole thing.  It is heartfelt and delightful.

Is she destined to be single?

Writing in the Washington Post, Richard Cohen wants to know if Monica Lewinsky will ever find a man:

But she is now a woman with a master's degree from a prestigious school and is going to be 34 come July. Her clock ticks, her life ebbs. Where is the man for her? Where is the guy brave enough, strong enough, admirable enough to take her as his wife, to suffer the slings and arrows of her outrageous fortune -- to say to the world (for it would be the entire world) that he loves this woman who will always be an asterisk in American history. I hope there is such a guy out there. It would be nice. It would be fair.

It would be too much baggage for any guy to take on.

What the Gospel Says, and the Episcopal Church in Washington Will Not

January 2, 2007 01:30 PM

The gospel reading selected for the memorial service for Gerald Ford at the National Cathedral today is John 14:1-6.  Here is the text that was read during the service.

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”

But the sixth verse of John does not end there.  Jesus goes on speaking.  What he says is “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

Hat tip to the formidable Kendall Harmon, for noticing the omission.  And yes, I realize the request to change the text could have been made by the Ford family.  But I highly doubt it.  Especially because they specifically requested Rite I, which is the more conservative and historic liturgy.

The Chief wants...

January 1, 2007 11:31 PM

...better pay for federal judges.  Currently, district court judges (an, ahem... entry level position) are paid $165,200, appeals court judges make $175,100, the Supremes make $203,000 each, and the Chief pulls down $212,100.  Complaining about this annually is part of the Chief's job (it's why he's paid more).  Rehnquist used to do this every year.

And yes, the salaries don't sound too bad, but the Chief's right.  With college tuition that can easily be 40K per year, and new federal judges being right about the age where they'll have to pay for their kids to go, their salary is too low.  They can't educated their own kids based on their current salary, much less pay for fun stuff like country club memberships.

So join us in shedding a tear for for the poor, underprivileged federal judges and their families.

Cohesion

That's what this thing needs.  Cohesion.  And right now, it doesn't have it.

So what's the it?  It is Defendant AAA and BBB's Civil Rule 56 Motion for Summary Judgment, which I hope will dispense with a woman's sexual harassment suit against her employer.  Among other things, she's alleging that during her three week employment she was subjected to a hostile work environment.  In fact, one of her co-workers kept referring to her as "babydoll."  So naturally she's also brought a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as just about every cause of action her attorneys remembered from torts class.

Which is why my pleading is now weighing in at 42 pages.  All those separate claims that have to be addressed, one by one.  By the time it's all indexed and appended, it will be several hundred pages long. 

And what it's lacking now is cohesion.

Disclosure:   Here at NBS, we are very, very careful not to talk about the real job, unless it's something that's already in the public record.  And we don't identify clients or unique fact patterns.  For the reasons behind this, scroll down three posts, and read item number 7.

Looking back on '06: Steve Irwin (RIP) and Ross the Intern

Shalom!

Over at The Kraalspace, NBS fave Dr. Mabuse has a post up about the new Episcopal Presiding Bishop's repeated use of the word "shalom," even though she ain't Jewish:

I must be the only one who really hates all this "shalom" stuff. I must be, because I haven't read anyone else complain about it. And yet it gets right up my nose every time I read it. It's not that I don't like Judaism - on the contrary, I love it. I love it so much, I regard it as a free-standing religion with its own dignity and coherence, just like my own. I do NOT regard it as Christianity's storage basement, into which we can burrow to drag up sparkly little nuggets to ornament our own tradition whenever we get bored with it.

Indeed.  "Shalom" has become the new P.B.'s favorite word, for inexplicable reasons.  You'd think she'd be trying to shore up her Christian credentials, but instead it's shalom this, shalom that.  It's practically in every sermon, asinine op-ed piece about defeating global poverty, or war-denouncing missive she sends out.  Shalom is a wonderful word, but it's not one that should be co-opted by an entirely different religion.  Enough with the Epishaloms!

New Years' Resolutions at NBS

1.  Post more often.

2.  Say what I really think about liberals.  They're even worse than you think!

3.  Start using those "category" flags you see at left.

4.  Figure out why YouTube videos make my formatting go whopertyjog.

5.  Figure out how to update my sidebar.

6.  Figure out how to get National Review Online to link to me.

7.  Figure out if the partners at the firm know what a blog is, and ascertain if I would be fired if they found out I have one.