Nasty, Brutish & Short

Culture Archives

Flight Delayed for Six Hours Due to Three Ticks

July 9, 2008 12:37 PM

What a bunch of patsies we have become.

A Des Moines bound United Airlines flight from Denver was delayed six hours Tuesday when passengers alerted flight attendants to three ticks in the plane’s cabin.

“It is an unusual situation to find ticks on the plane, and we regret any inconvenience this might have caused our customers,” United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said.

How the wayward arachnids got on the jet had not been determined. A replacement aircraft shuttled the 107 passengers to Des Moines while Flight 1178 was deticked and checked.

Urbanski said no ticks were found on passengers.

Thank God.  Thank God. 

Severe thunderstorms, meanwhile, further delayed the trip to Des Moines.

“I never heard of it before, but it is a serious matter, and they had to get plane cleaned up,” said former West Des Moines resident and passenger William B. Seward, 80, of The Villages, Fla. “I’m retired, so my schedule is flexible.”

"Also, I'm an idiot.  Did I mention I live at The Villages?"  God, what an moron.  "I'm retired, so my schedule is flexible."  What the hell?

A six hour delay.  I think I would have had to kill the three people who complained about the three ticks.  Shut up about the ticks!

I blame The Villages for John McCain, BTW.  Thanks for nothing, The Villages.  And while we're on the topic, check out the unintended hilarity of this headline:

Energy of McCain, 71, appeals to many oldsters

Maybe he should give a stump speech about ticks?

The Blogging Blondes. Much to my complete surprise, I know them.

July 8, 2008 09:19 PM

Well, one of them anyway.

I got a text from a mutual friend yesterday, all "you have to turn on the homer right now!" So I did. Since it was the radio, it took me a minute to figure it out. Especially because the blogging blonde was not blonde the last time I saw her. She looked better brunette, but I have to say, the new color suits her personality better.

I think the most amusing thing is, they aren't even blogging.

Local WASP Curtis Sittenfeld to Publish "Thinly Veiled Novel" About Laura Bush

July 7, 2008 02:21 PM

How thinly veiled?  This thinly veiled:

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

Radar has more scoop, and it's even worse than you might expect:

On the heels of two best-selling books, (Prep, The Man of My Dreams), young, Iowa-trained [ed.  Cincinnati-bred, her sister was in my class at Seven Hills, her dad Paul, is a principal at Baird] author Curtis Sittenfeld is about to release her most controversial book yet—a thinly veiled novel based on Laura Bush's life that is sure to send the White House into a fury.

According to Radar, the book describes "Alice's" trip to get an abortion administered by her grandmother's lesbian lover.  Since it's a "novel," you see, it doesn't have to be true. 

Here's another repulsive tidbit: It also describes "Alice" having sex with the brother of the boy she killed.  Now Laura Bush was in a teenage car accident that took the life of a friend of hers.  But of course, there's no evidence she had a relationship with the dead friend's brother, much less did this:

[H]e pushed me back against the mattress, straddled me, and leaned forward to roll his face between my breasts, pressing them against his cheeks and licking my nipples, his stubble rubbing not unpleasantly against my skin, and the more he grabbed and thrashed, the more the grabbing and thrashing seemed to stir rather than satisfy his desire. He pulled off my pants and underwear at the same time—I was wearing blue jeans, and he had to unbutton and unzip them first—and then I was naked except for my socks, which were white with lace trim. He tugged me upward and flipped me over, and when he said, 'No, you have to be on your knees,' it was the first time either of us had spoken in several minutes.

As far as thinly veiled novels go, I'd say this is clearly in the despicable camp.  It least Kitty Kelly used real names when she was making shit up, Curtis.

I expect the Seven Hills alumni mag will produce a fawning review.  I saw that because my expectations of my alma mater are so pathetically low.  Perhaps the book will be too awful, even for their standards.  But I doubt it.

UPDATE: Yes, I realize that for some inexplicable, blogospheric reason, you can't comment on this post.  I don't know why.  Sorry.

Scientists Peeved They Don't Have All the Answers

June 3, 2008 10:06 AM

From the NYT:

A decade ago, astronomers discovered that what is true for your car keys is not true for the galaxies. Having been impelled apart by the force of the Big Bang, the galaxies, in defiance of cosmic gravity, are picking up speed on a dash toward eternity. If they were keys, they would be shooting for the ceiling.

“That is how shocking this was,” Dr. Livio said.

It is still shocking. Although cosmologists have adopted a cute name, dark energy, for whatever is driving this apparently antigravitational behavior on the part of the universe, nobody claims to understand why it is happening, or its implications for the future of the universe and of the life within it, despite thousands of learned papers, scores of conferences and millions of dollars’ worth of telescope time. It has led some cosmologists to the verge of abandoning their fondest dream: a theory that can account for the universe and everything about it in a single breath.

What a bunch of idiots.  Fools on fools' errands.  And such arrogance!  They want a theory that can account for no less than "the universe and everything about it."  And they're looking in telescopes to try to find it. 

Amusing though that they call this b.s. "dark energy."  Wonder who had a hand in that? 

Attorney General of Ohio one day, and the next...

May 16, 2008 12:34 PM

...it's helping the missuz slog crap on ebay (no really).  From the Columbus Dispatch:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann spent his first day after resigning helping his wife with her business selling dishes online.

Dann's attorney Mike Harshman says Dann helped his wife, Alyssa Lenhoff Dann, with her side job selling Fiestaware on the Internet.

Dann walked two miles from his suburban Youngstown home Thursday to the office where he took orders and packed dishes.

Harshman says Dann is weighing career options that could include the law, teaching or another run for political office.

Dann resigned Wednesday after acknowledging an affair with a subordinate and ahead of a threat of impeachment.  

So pathetic.  If you did what he did would your wife let you pack her Fiestaware?

More socialized medicine horror stories from our friends up north

May 14, 2008 02:29 PM

This time from The Kraalspace, where Dr. Mabuse's 18 year-old daughter is having chronic seizures:

We finally got in to see our GP, after 2 weeks' wait. A week later, Emma went to the General Hospital and had an EEG - it was the middle of the day, not a time when she usually has a problem, so it didn't show up anything too unusual. Except when they started flashing the lights at her - when they got up to 16 pulses per second, her brainwaves started going haywire, so they stopped at that point and didn't do the last 3 levels (I think they can go up to 64 pulses per second).

About 2 weeks later, we finally got the referral to a neurologist at the Civic Hospital. Are you ready for this? The appointment is for August 18. April 4, when she had her big seizure, to August 18 - that's 4.5 months, for an 18-year old girl who is having chronic seizures.

Dr. Mabuse says:

I dream about getting rich, I'm sure many people do. But I never think, "If I had lots of money, I could buy a giant plasma TV and have a computer in every room of the house, and take vacations on a private island in the Caribbean." All I think is, "I'd get my kids the hell out of this dingy backwater, and down the U.S. where they have a decent medical system, and you don't die waiting for a doctor to look at a lump in your breast."

I should point out that Dr. Mabuse lives in Canada's capital city, which hardly needs to be a "dingy backwater," but because of the stupidity of socialism, apparently it is.  Meanwhile, down here in our supposedly "broken" American health care system, I have been shallowly dreaming of plasma tvs and Caribbean vacations.  Even worse, I've been complaining that our private insurer is making us pay the annual deductible for both Mrs. NBS and Baby NBS for the exciting, expensive birth.  I guess they are two people, but I felt the charges ($500 x 2) were outrageous, because it kind of felt like it was "one event" and not two.  But at least no one ended up dead, and when we wanted to stay an extra night, they said no problem.  And they covered the balance of the bill--which was well in excess of $15,000--without batting an eye.

Canada puts it all in perspective though, doesn't it?

Dusty Rhodes to Single Moms: "And your little dog, too!!!"

May 6, 2008 12:22 PM

From today's Enquirer:

Kathleen Akin of Wyoming was featured in The Enquirer April 24 for her decision to be a single mother. But it was her dog that got the attention of the Hamilton County Auditor's Office.

After a photo showed Akin, 45, and her children walking with Sophie, the family's King Charles spaniel, Akin got a letter from the Auditor's Office.

"We saw a picture from Thursday's Cincinnati Enquirer of you in the 'Single Women Who Choose Motherhood" article,'" stated the letter. "When we checked our dog registration database, we didn't find any references you had licensed your dog Sophie."

Obviously, something had to be done about these law breakers:

 

Dr. Kathleen Akin, Wyoming, walks with her children, Matthew and Claire, and their dog, Sophie.

 

Can you f***ing believe?  The Auditor justifies it thusly:

"We've done it six times so far," said Auditor, DEMOCRAT [ed.] Dusty Rhodes. "We've got a pretty hip staff and people are reading things."

His advice: "Keep your dog out of the picture if it's not licensed."

Since when is being an ass "pretty hip"?

Breaking economic news from the New York Times: People are being forced to live within their incomes!

May 1, 2008 07:10 AM

My times are bad, aren't they?  Per the NYT:

As real estate prices plunge, so does the ability of homeowners to borrow against the value of their homes, crimping a major artery of spending. As banks grow tighter with their dollars in a period of uncertainty, families are running up against credit limits, forcing many to live within their incomes.

First, what's so bad about people living within their incomes? And second, if these people are up against their credit limits, THEY STOPPING LIVING WITHIN THEIR INCOME A LONG TIME AGO.

Maybe these people aren't the victims?  Maybe they're actually the ones who deserve the blame for the bad economy? 

Last night's Reds game, Jesse Jackson and two guys in gorilla suits

April 10, 2008 09:00 AM

Was anyone else watching last night's game on FSN Ohio?  Mrs. NBS and I had it on in the background, and we both glanced up when announcer Jeff Brantley started talking about how Jesse Jackson was in attendance at the game.  And then our mouths fell open when the camera focused in on two guys in the stands--wearing gorilla suits.  

We could not believe it. 

I'm not one to see racism where it doesn't exist, but MY GOD they really did cross the line putting that audio with that video.  I'm wondering if the camera guy thought it was a funny joke, and Jeff Brantley didn't know what was on the screen as he was talking about Jesse Jackson?  Brantley didn't sound like he was saying anything deliberate.

But still--someone needs to look into it.  Surely someone else noticed it besides just us?

A few minutes later Jeff Brantley was talking about some player who got hit in the groin with a baseball--and talking about it in great detail.  Weird, weird, weird.  Mrs. NBS said "Is he drunk?"  It sure seemed like it.  But he kind of always sounds that way.

"Expelled"--The Art House Film no Art House is Going to Show

April 2, 2008 10:30 PM

But it sure sounds interesting.

In fact, I wonder who, if anyone, is going to show this film. It obviously isn't typical indie film fare. And those who like indie films aren't open-minded enough to see it. We shall see if the independent film theaters in town--the Esquire in Clifton and the Mariemont--are actually brave enough to show it. My guess is no.

For one intellect's thoughts on the film, check out this learned prof:

He seems smart.

Big lib implicated in prostitution sting...

Stabenow's husband caught in Troy prostitution sting, police report says

Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News

TROY -- The co-founder and former CEO of the liberal-progressive Democracy Radio and husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was caught in February by a Troy police sting aimed at catching prostitutes, according to a police report.

Thomas L. Athans was stopped Feb. 26 by undercover officers investigating a possible prostitution ring in a room at the Residence Inn near Big Beaver and Interstate 75. Athans paid a 20-year-old prostitute $150 for sex in a Troy hotel but was not arrested, according to police reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by The Detroit News. The police report said officers observed Athans enter a room under surveillance and leave 15 minutes later. Detectives followed and stopped Athans' silver 2002 Cadillac DeVille on Interstate 75 near Square Lake Road.

I do so love that he was arrested in a town called Big Beaver.  That's almost as embarrassing as the report that he left "15 minutes later."  You know they put that part in on purpose. 

And he drives a 2002 Cadillac DeVille.  How typical.  Wonder what he looks like?

Yep, he's pretty much as you would have guessed.

John McCain's New Ad...

March 7, 2008 03:58 PM

...is excellent.

Of course, I would never vote for someone because of a campaign ad. But that's just me, and a lot of people don't think that way.

How funny is it that the Democrats are calling each other names, and the McCain campaign is producing video like this?

Ann Althouse has excellent commentary up on the visuals, from the subtle references to "The Color Purple" to the LBJ daisy ad. I suspect there's more there, if you look. This was very, very well thought out.

For the first time, I walked in to the polls not knowing who I was going to vote for.

March 4, 2008 09:07 AM

The temptation to cross party lines and vote for Hillary was very, very strong.  Having her continue to battle it out with Obama is very good for the cause.  But in the end, I couldn't do it.  The woman in front of me did, though.  And I know a lot of people who were considering it.  When you switch parties, you have to complete a form that says you swear "to uphold the principles of the Democratic party."  Well that wouldn't be too hard--since they have no principles. 

How's that for an obvious joke?

Anyway... I placed my protest vote for Mitt Romney.  Not that it will matter in the end.  My protest vote in the 2000 primary didn't matter either.

I did get to vote in all the down ticket Republican races.  For Congress, I voted for Jean Schmidt.  Over at WMD, they've pretty much summarized my thoughts on that race, so I won't repeat it all here.  The only other contested race was Pat DeWine v. Kathy King for Judge.  I voted for Pat, since he's pro-life, and Kathy is not.  For most of the other judicial races, I refrained from voting for the party's endorsed candidates.  Most of the people they put up are total chuckleheads--though it was a nice reminder of how glad I am that I litigate almost entirely in federal courts these days. 

And of course, I voted against the Cincinnati public school levy and the zoo levy.  The only way I'd get behind either of those two organizations would be if they switched missions.  Let the zoo put the CPS students behind bars, and let the schools educate the animals.  We'd end up with a safer community and a more intelligent workforce.

I'm kidding of course.  Well, slightly kidding.

McCain Local Radiogate '08

February 27, 2008 03:55 PM

Just how many people did the McCain campaign manage to offend when they were in town?  Here we have the producer of 55KRC's morning radio show, chiming in about the treatment he received from the McCain camp.  Take it away, Joe Strecker:

As you know, it's Ohio's turn to be in the spotlight, for the last 2 weeks, I have been pitched and pitched AND PITCHED every person under the sun to stump for Sen. McCain.  As agreed to by his PR, if I put guests on to stump for Sen. McCain, he would be made available to 55KRC when he came to town (2/26)...

Well here is the email reply I received from the McCain camp

"I don't think for tomorrow, things are pretty set by now. " Rebecca - McCain 2008

As you can tell by my response, I was a little upset.

"I am getting a little frustrated.  55KRC is / has a very Conservative base...Much more than a lot of people think.  These are the voters Sen. McCain needs to win over.  Since the election started, most of our callers initially were Thompson fans, then when he dropped out, Paul and Romney fans.  If there are any listeners/voters to win over, it would be 55KRC's.  I hope you reconsider.  We could do just 5 minutes on his drive up from downtown to West Chester?"

Here was my reply.

"I'm sorry but the decision is not mine.  I recomended you to the higher ups for the exact reason you mentioned.  I will try to ask again when I can but right now I am stuck." - Rebecca McCain 2008

I find out at 10:30 yesterday that McCain was on with Mike McConnell, who McCain called "Bob".  I called Rebecca, and when she said on the phone he wasn't available, I told her he is on right now with WLW.  >>>Silence<<< then she told me "Can't you just use their audio??"  You have to be kidding me..I let her know that we will let our listener's know what happened.

Now, I do understand this is a business and we constantly try to scoop the other guys, but for McCain's people to actually go back on their promise and to act the way they acted and treated the station with the listener's he needs to convince, is just reprehensible. This proves to me what kind of person he is.  Why?  You surround yourself with like minded people.  If his 'people' don't care about you '55KRC listener' vicariously he doesn't care about you '55KRC' listener....

What's even funnier is that last night at 9PM, I received a pitch for another guest to stump for McCain.  I don't think I'm going to book them..

I honestly don't know why he'd even consider it.  And it's more than a little concerning that they're willling to put a candidate's supporters on the radio in exchange for the big "get"--i.e. an interview with the candidate himself.  I suppose that's the way the media game is played, but it doesn't speak well of its participants.  When you whore yourself out, Joe, don't be surpised when you get stabbed by jack the ripper.

And again, how stupid is the McCain camp for missing the interview?  Joe is totally right that the Morning Show's audience is exactly the people McCain needs to be reaching out to.  But there's just little or no effort.

It's almost a parody of a well-run campaign.  "Can't you just use their audio?"  Um no.  Have they ever worked with the news media before? 

William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925-2008

From The New York Times (!):

Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America.

And it is so obvious these day, isn't it?  There is a big distinction between electoral Republicanism and conservatism as a system of ideas.  Sign me up with the later.

Also timely?  The NYT's amusing reminder of National Review's lukewarm endorsement of Eisenhower in the 1956 presidential election:

"We prefer Ike."

It seems we are still fighting the same battles.  But we would have already lost the war if it weren't for WFB.

A reader contributes: Politically Incorrect Ads of Yesteryear

February 22, 2008 09:25 AM

Lose Weight, with Worms

I can envision my ancestors eating sanitized tapeworms to help shed some pounds.  That's just the kind of people we are.  Practical.

Lots of cigarette ads in the bunch:

The Cigarette Even a Doctor Could Love

I like how the Doctor invites you to test Camels in your "T-zone" for thirty days.  T for Throat, T for taste.

And this one?  Well, it reminds me of John McCain:

A Pill for Your Pop

Yes, Thorazine "can control the agitated, beligerent senile and help the patient to live a composed and useful life." 

More Politically Incorrect Ads of Yesteryear are available here.  Thanks to the reader for sending them in.

Something I had not quite expected someone would ask me today: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?"

February 18, 2008 11:05 PM

So I was at Molly Malone's for a meeting with some fellow Republicans--prominent, you'd-recognize-their-names-as-major-local-right-wingers types of people--and up comes this breathless young man. He asks: "Are you here for the Barack Obama meeting?" I looked around for the camera, thinking "Am I on Punk'd?"

But no, this guy was serious. Because a few minutes later, they started arriving. So we ordered another round, thinking we'd hear some good stuff. I know that I, personally, wanted to hear about Change and The Future, and also thought it would be fun to see some people overcome by emotion, and passing out--as was widely reported today, people are wont to do at Obama rallies. He's a regular political Benny Hinn, from what I hear. A modern-day faith healer. You'll recall that the faith healers of old usually ended up leaving town with their tent and your money. I just throw that out there as an aside. Not sure exactly why.

Anyway. I was so disappointed with the Obama crowd. All they did was sit around looking pissed off and disaffected. We waited and waited for the meeting to start, but nothing ever happened, and then people started leaving. There was one guy with a laptop who appeared to be in charge. I say that because, well, he had a laptop. It had Obama stickers all over it, and the blue glow from the screen really lit up his white liberal pallor. And he had one of those kinky haired beards that looks, well, pubic. You know. You've seen these people. I know it's rude to point this out, and talk about the physical attributes of the political opposition. But when nothing substantive is said, what else is there to criticize? I was waiting for the policy conversation, I'd happily criticize that. That was why I stayed. But no. Nothing.

So.... I guess it was like a real Obama Rally. Nothing substantive. All build up, and no.... POP.

I'll probably be the first person to quote Gertrude Stein while criticizing Barack Obama. But seriously. "There was no there there." Literally, there was NONE. And unfortunately, I was expecting something like this:

And that just goes to illustrate something that I expect will soon be a problem for Barack Obama. He's over-promised. Expectations are too high. In trial practice class in law school, there's one big thing they teach you about opening statements. Don't overstate your case. Don't promise too much. Don't tell the jury you can deliver something that you can't. Because at the end of the trial, they're going to go into the jury room, alone, and ask each other, "Did he give us, what he said he was going to give us?" The answer to that needs to be "Yes!"

In Barack's case, he's told us he's going to give us Change. Not just minor change. But a major reworking of American political life and American culture. When people go into the voting both, alone, are they honestly going to believe he will give them what he's promised?

The Village of Indian Hill: "We don't care if poor peoples' babies go flying through windshields."

Okay, so Mrs. NBS and I spent Saturday at Childbirth Class (more on that later) and I wanted to make sure I blogged about one of the leaflets we were given, because it was so obnoxious.  And that leaflet was the list of all the fire departments in the Greater Cincinnati area where they'll put your car seat in properly for you.  You know, because car seats are so complicated that people can't figure them out, and then they get in an accident and the next thing you know, there's a dead baby.

So it's basically a service that's a good thing, something that firemen can do while they're waiting around for a fire that needs to be put out.  Because I'm sure nobody's going to show up and be like "Wait!  Don't leave! You can't go to that fire, I need you to put my car seat in."

Except that must be what the Indian Hill-Madeira Fire Department is afraid of.  Either that, or hordes of people from Madisonville demanding immediate car seat attention.  I don't know what.  Because yes, you guessed it.  On the lengthy list of fire departments in the Tri-State that you can go to to get your car seat put in, Indian Hill is the only one that specifies: "RESIDENTS' ONLY."  It is the only one, out of dozens and dozens of municipalities, that puts ANY restrictions on its car seat installation policy.  And this is on a list that goes to practically every expectant couple in the Tri-State, nearly all of whom don't live in Indian Hill and would never dream of going to the Indian Hill Fire Department and demanding car seat attention.  Bad PR, Indian Hill.  Bad, bad PR.

When we were looking over these materials on Saturday, I saw the woman in front of me pointing to Indian Hill and saying to her husband "Look, they say 'RESIDENTS' ONLY.'"  This was a couple that was probably going to have difficulty even affording to buy a car seat.  Much less a house in Indian Hill, which is apparently what they need if they happen to stop by the I-H Fire Department because they can't figure out how to put the damn thing in.

I would think the hassle of putting in maybe five or six extra car seats per year for non-Indian Hill residents would be more than outweighed by the benefits of not singling your municipality out as being horrifically snobby.  What the hell is this, India during the reign of Queen Victoria?

And today's total lack of class outrage from the Enquirer is...

February 15, 2008 09:43 AM

Crotch shots of teenage boys, now up on the Enquirer's main page:

I honestly don't see how that's not intentional. 

UPDATE: This story has been rolled to the sports section, and the photo placed in the "photo gallery."  The "Triplets' Mom" has been found not guilty, so that's now on the main page.

UPDATE NO. 2: A reader, quite rightfully, pointed out to me tonight that part of the problem is people don't know how to sit properly.  The kid in this photo is old enough to know better.  And should certainly have been warned about creepy "photographers."

From the "I wish I wrote it department..."

February 14, 2008 09:33 AM

...Iowahawk chimes in with:

Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte.

An Archbishop of Canterbury Tale

 

1  Whan in Februar, withe hise global warmynge

2  Midst unseasonabyl rain and stormynge

3  Gaia in hyr heat encourages

4  Englande folke to goon pilgrimages.

5  Frome everiches farme and shire

6  Frome London Towne and Lancanshire

7  The pilgryms toward Canterbury wended

8  Wyth fyve weke holiday leave extended

9  In hybryd Prius and Subaru

10  Off the Boughton Bypasse, east on M2.

11  Fouer and Twyntie theye came to seke

12  The Arche-Bishop, wyse and meke

13  Labouryte and hippye, Gaye and Greene

14  Anti-warre and libertyne

15  All sondry folke urbayne and progressyve

16  Vexed by Musselmans aggressyve.

17  Hie and thither to the Arche-Bishop's manse

18  The pilgryms ryde and fynde perchance

19  The hooly Bishop takynge tea

20  Whilste watching himselfe on BBC.

Read the whole thing.

It's shaping up to be a depressing Super Tuesday.

February 5, 2008 04:17 PM

But this thing makes me happy.

"If you can sit, you can get fit. Hu-wah-ee Chair." I love that.

Well, they killed Louise, our escaped cow

January 30, 2008 09:17 AM

WHY WHY WHY DID LOUISE HAVE TO DIE?

Oh, because she weighed 1,150 pounds, and was headed for I-275.  I'm waiting for the uproar.  Why didn't they taze her?  Someone always asks that question.

Evidently, they did try a tranquilizer dart, but it didn't work. 

And apparently, she was a he.  Which I find amusing because the News 5 reporter who was covering this on Monday night was dressed entirely in bright red.  Someone in wardrobe at News 5 must have had it in for her. 

Some people also did not know that one of our commenters named her him Louise.  Here's the owner of Stehlin's Meats:

"We didn't give this steer a nickname," Stehlin said. "My grandfather always told us never to name the cattle. They're animals, not pets."

You know some people read that and were shocked to hear that food comes from animals, not grocery stores.  You know they were. 

Anyway, Louise, may you rest in peace.  Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did.

Louise

_____-2008

“The road to the White House goes through Florida, and the road to Florida goes through The Villages."

January 29, 2008 12:53 PM

So says an old fart quoted in this article, anyway. Mrs. NBS and I always laugh at the commercials for The Villages. It makes Florida--God's waiting room--look like a hellhole.

Sorry I can't find the commercial where they're all tap dancing. That one's a classic.

Here we go again. Cincinnati has another escaped cow.

January 28, 2008 10:20 AM

Isn't this the third time this has happened in the past few years?

COLERAIN TWP. -- Police are searching for a 1000-pound black Angus cow that escaped this morning about 8:15 from a holding pen at Stehlin's Meat Packing Co. in Colerain Township.

It appears that a holding pen gate was inadvertently left open, according to the Hamilton County sheriff's office and Colerain Township police.

The cow is owned by the meat packing company. The cow was last seen near the intersection of Colerain Avenue and Dry Ridge Road.

Report any sightings of the cow to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, 513-825-1500.

Run, Elsie, run!  Nothing brings Cincinnatians together like an escaped cow.

Yale Med Students Celebrate 35 Years of Roe v. Wade

January 23, 2008 09:22 AM

Thusly:

Evans and Rasha Khoury MED ’08, another member of Medical Students for Choice, who said she plans to become a gynecologist and expects to perform abortions, went on to describe one of the most common abortion procedures, manual vacuum aspiration, which “creates suction to evacuate pregnancy,” Evans said. The technique is a good option because the device involved is reusable and relatively cheap, she said.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said, referring to the fetus remains in the device. She added, “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.”

Evans and Khoury also explained the finer points of abortion-clinic etiquette, including some potentially sensitive terminology. Khoury said physicians performing abortions generally refer to the aborted fetus remains as “POC,” an acronym for “product of conception,” and refer to fetus’ hearts as “FH.”

The most complicated part of the procedure can be the emotional fallout some patients experience, she said.

“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” Khoury said. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

The presenters also urged the crowd to become involved in the abortion-rights movement by joining Reproductive Health Externships, a campaign in which volunteers are taught how to conduct abortions.

“It’s fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them,” Khoury said. “It’s pretty inspiring.”

So which is more disturbing, the quote about how you can see "arms and legs and stuff," or the guy who says "It's fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them.  It's pretty inspiring"?

UPDATE: Hmmm.  The article has been pulled from the website of the Yale Daily News.  I can't imagine why.

"The Groesbecks were another comely race."

January 22, 2008 10:05 PM

In the comments, Polite, Refined and Tall suggests that the video "Price Hill Girls" should be reason enough for me to visit the West Side.  And here's what that comment reminds me of, and that's this passage from The Serene Cincinnatians, which was published in 1950 as part of the "Society in America" series (if you haven't already, do check out The Spectacular San Franciscans, the authors of which must have had no idea of what was yet to come):

The Groesbecks were another comely race.  In mid-nineteenth century, the Misses Olivia Groesbeck and Sally Carneal were spoken of as the two most beautiful girls in Cincinnati.  A portrait of Olivia by Thomas Buchanan Read, in the home of a kinswoman in New York, confirms not only the fact of her beauty but of Read's fine ability as a painter.  She visited England once, and met the Duke of Wellington, evidently making a distinct impression upon that old connoisseur; for there is a legend that when, long afterward, he tasted some of Nicholas Longworth's wine, and praising it, asked where it came from, "Cincinnati!" he repeated.  "Ah, that is where Miss Groesbeck lives."

Back in my Bachelor days, I used to think this anecdote would make a great toast.  I would re-tell it, and then raise my glass to the beautiful young lady, and salute both her, and our fair city, saying, "To Cincinnati.  Where Miss Groesbeck lives."

But you know what?  We never had any Groesbecks as débutantes.  Much less any from there. 

I like them Price Hill Girls

HT: Nixguy

When I said I feared the NBS baby would be a Democrat, perhaps I misspoke.

January 18, 2008 11:35 PM

Though it is a pity Democrats would say it's child abuse to kick his ass.

Pop quiz. Sharon Stone's catsuit is __________.

Just right...

stonemorocco.jpg

Too tight?

The Candidates' Homes, an NBS Tour

January 17, 2008 02:59 PM

Of course, Mother Jones put these photos up because they want you to think we're ruled by monied, hypocritical, gas guzzling aristocrats, no matter which party wins.  I'm putting them up because real estate is porn for married people.  So let's begin!

Here's Huckabee's house.  Not surprisingly, the candidate that I like the least has the house I like the least.  It's weighs in at 5,124 square feet, with a deck and a swimming pool.  It's also boring, and has atrocious landscaping:

huckabeehouse-big.jpg

Here's Rudy's pad in New York.  I really can't relate to it, but it's got a Walnut-paneled dining room and a cigar room.  I don't smoke, but I like the sound of that.  There's no rule that says you can't use your cigar room as a drinking room.

guiliani.jpg

The McCains do the tall building thing too, but theirs is a $4.7 mill condo in Phoenix.  They also have a ranch in Sedona, which was profiled in Home & Garden.  I think I also saw it in Architectural Digest a few years ago.  It was nice.  Better than their condo, anyway:

mccains-condo-500x389.jpg

Turning for a minute to the other side of the aisle, here's Hill and Bill's place in Westchester County.  I have no problems with it, and it certainly comports with whatever their pollster told them to buy.  I just wonder if they've ever seen it themselves?

clinton-large.jpg

Can't you just feel the love radiating off of the Clinton's house?  You know it's just a place of intimate diners for two, and passionate, romantic interludes.  When Hillary's in D.C.

The Obamas' place in Chicago is also nice.  And, it has a 1,000 bottle wine cellar.  Me like the sound of that!  Party at the Obamas!  They need to learn to bring the trash cans back up promptly though.  How rude.

obamas-house-500x375.jpg

You've already heard me opine in the hideousness of the Edwards home in North Carolina.  It is too big (21,000 square feet).  And it has an indoor basketball court.  They also have a beach house in North Carolina.  Presumably it's more suitable to his "Two Americas" crap than this is:

edwardshome-500x333.jpg

Here's one that's big and tasteful.  It's the Romney's ski retreat in Park City, Utah.  Looks like a house the Bushes would own.  Mitt has residences in several states, I believe.  Mrs. Romney must do a lot of dusting.  Of course, when you don't smoke or drink, what else is there to do?

romney-house-500x333.jpg

NBS is ready to call the winner in the taste department, though.  This is the Thompsons' house in McLean, Virginia.  A seven bedroom, five bath stunner with a real Presidential air.

thompson-house.jpg

Gorgeous.

Does anyone actually believe Hillary Clinton's favorite tv shows are Grey's Anatomy, Antiques Roadshow, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars?

January 16, 2008 03:34 PM

I mean seriously.  What campaign aide made this shit up?  Dancing with the Stars?  You know she spends her nights throwing popcorn at Chris Matthews.  I mean come on.  You know she does. 

I do see her watching Grey's Anatomy and Idol, though.  They're probably the training videos she uses to teach herself to cry on command.  And Antiques Roadshow?  Probably reminds her of the White House furniture she and Bill stole when they were on their way out the door in January, 2000.

No way she watches these shows to be entertained by them.  No way.

And on the Republican side...  John McCain.  Prison Break?  Are you kidding me?  The reason he gives:

"...because as a fellow prisoner, I always dreamed and plotted how I would break out of the Hanoi Hilton."

Ridiculous.  Surely, he must think we're idiots. 

Elevator Etiquette

January 11, 2008 08:45 AM

The Rule: You let ladies go first when getting on an empty elevator.  But when you're getting off a crowded elevator, the person who gets off first is the one closest to the door.

You do not slam yourself up against the wall so the ladies can try to stumble past you.

You do not snicker when the other man who's standing closest to the door knows the rules, and try to make him look like he's not being considerate of the ladies.  He's being considerate by not blocking them in.  He's also being considerate by wearing an undershirt to work, so while we're talking etiquette, you need to be wearing one.  Chest hair is not allowed at the office. 

"We are facing an epidemic of cocktails served in inappropriately large glasses."

January 10, 2008 09:54 AM

Well at least it's not bird flu.  A oversized cocktail epidemic?  Is this really a concern?  Apparently so:

"A too-large glass gives the drink more time to lose its chill and initial zest, and a half-filled glass looks unexciting, so an average-size cocktail glass of 4 1/2 ounces is the most satisfactory," wrote Collette Richardson in the 1973 edition of "House & Garden's Drink Guide."

Thirty-five years later, just try finding a 4.5-ounce cocktail glass. In fact, most glassware called for in cocktail books has become exceedingly difficult to find. Retailers also are stocked with ridiculously huge double old-fashioned glasses, clocking in at 10 to 15 ounces. Finding the normal six- to eight-ounce old-fashioned glass that most drink recipes call for is difficult but not impossible....

The same is true with wine glasses these days.  The sizing has gotten ridiculous.  Now you don't buy a glass, you buy a "pour."  And that's usually a third of a bottle.  And apparently, it's not a good thing.  The Washington Post tells us:

"Cocktail geeks have always known that small martini glasses are better."

I'm a cocktail geek and I didn't know that.  I like the oversized glasses because they look less... dainty.  But apparently the theory is that if the drink is too big, you won't finish it while it is still ice, ice cold.  Makes sense to me.  Have two small ones instead of one big one.  Or, four small ones instead of two big ones.  Or, six small ones instead of three big ones.  You get the idea.

So the Bucks may have lost last night, but we'll always have Michigan to make fun of.

January 8, 2008 10:01 AM

And they are such easy targets, aren't they?  From the University of Michigan's course catalog:

Section 002 — How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Instructor(s): David M Halperin (halperin@umich.edu)

Course Description:

Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn't mean that you don't have to learn how to become one. Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not.

This course will examine the general topic of the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity. We will approach it from three angles: (1) as a sub-cultural practice — subtle, complex, and difficult to theorize — which a small but significant body of work in queer studies has begun to explore; (2) as a theme in gay male writing; and (3) as a class project, since the course itself will constitute an experiment in the very process of initiation that it hopes to understand.

In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: Hollywood movies, grand opera, Broadway musicals, and other works of classical and popular music, as well as camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style, and political activism. Are there a number of classically 'gay' works such that, despite changing tastes and generations, all gay men, of whatever class, race, or ethnicity, need to know them, in order to be gay? What is there about gay identity that explains the gay appropriation of these works? What do we learn about gay male identity by asking not who gay men are but what it is that gay men do or like? One aim of exploring these questions is to approach gay identity from the perspective of social practices and cultural identifications rather than from the perspective of gay sexuality itself. What can such an approach tell us about the sentimental, affective, or subjective dimensions of gay identity, including gay sexuality, that an exclusive focus on gay sexuality cannot?

At the core of gay experience there is not only identification but disidentification. Almost as soon as I learn how to be gay, or perhaps even before, I also learn how not to be gay. I say to myself, 'Well, I may be gay, but at least I'm not like that!' Rather than attempting to promote one version of gay identity at the expense of others, this course will investigate the stakes in gay identifications and disidentifications, seeking ultimately to create the basis for a wider acceptance of the plurality of ways in which people determine how to be gay.

Additional note. This course is not a basic introduction to gay male culture, but an exploration of certain issues arising from it. It assumes some background knowledge. Students wishing to inform themselves about gay men and gay culture in a preliminary way should enroll in an introductory course in lesbian/gay studies.

HT: Stand Firm.

UPDATE: Comments are not working again.  No idea why.  It's probably for the best.

Pet Detectives are real...

January 7, 2008 09:14 AM

...I had no idea.  This family searched for six days, and the pet detective (and his bluetick) found their dog in six minutes.

They took Samantha to the place where Rudy was last seen - a broken backyard fence - and gave her a whiff of one of Rudy's toys. Samantha followed the scent of the little black dog to a neighbor's yard where the family had looked several times before. But this time, as they called Rudy's name, his little head popped up from a ditch and he barked.

He was pinned between a log and a fence in a neighbor's yard. He couldn't move his legs, but he was alive.

"I've never been so happy in my entire life!" said Ellis of the moment she saw her dog. "I was screaming 'That's my dog! That's my dog!"

Wouldn't that be a rewarding side job?  And he charges $350 a pop.  Not bad for a side gig doing what you enjoy. 

This is creepy though:  Rudy's owner had already hired a pet psychic, who told the dog was "near the house and couldn't move," but couldn't pin down the exact spot.

Turned out to be true!

Commenting problem. Solved?

January 5, 2008 11:03 PM

Well they appear to be working again, for no reason other than I've been on an anti-spam commenting crusade.  I think cleaning them out was like a blogospheric angioplasty or something. Now every thing is flowing much more properly.

If you've ever scrolled through the archives, you've probably noticed a lot of spam in the comments.  I've gotten lazy about deleting these, because I know most people only read the main page.  Apparently, I've gotten too lazy.  And I think I figured out the source of the problem.  It was this post, which was about a minor kerfuffle I had with the Cincinnati Beacon in August.  They had taken me to task for (supposedly) not knowing the difference between cuckolding and swinging.  In my post, I apologized for my gross ignorance (well, kind of apologized.  As much as I would ever apologize anyway), and clarified that I do, in fact, know what a "hot wife" is.

Well, you can imagine the kind of comment spam this post attracted.  Apparently there are a lot of people trying to peddle their spam wares, and those wares have much to do with cuckolding, swinging, and hot wives.  In fact, since that post went up in August, it has attracted 13,670 comments, from people attempting to sell loyal NBSers all sorts of services, products, website entertainments, etc.  None of which were endorsed by me.  Nor did I get a cut of any proceeds from those of you who got pervy entertainment via links from my comments. 

I discovered this by simply going through old posts, and turning off the comments on old posts that seemed to attract a lot of spam.  Most of them would maybe have 30-100 spam comments, and I'd wipe those out, thinking that all of them, collectively, must have been slowing the system.  And then I got to the post with the 13,670 comments.  The system crashed twice, just while I was deleting them.  And it took forever to get rid of them all.  My commenting problems must have been caused by this minor Cincinnati Beacon kerfuffle.  Who would of thought?  A kerfuffle with Beacon... hardly something worthy of my time.

And as for the spamers, I'm pretty ignorant of how they target what they do.  I assume they have programs that pick out posts that suit whatever they've been hired to peddle, and then they target those posts with lots of spam comments (all of which contain hyperlinks to their products).

But what I don't understand is, why they think someone is going to be reading NBS and getting some anti-Hillary Clinton diatribe and then suddenly decide to link on some pervy hyperlink in the comments.  I get the point of the spam comments, but why the hell leave them here?  Are you all a bunch of pervs?  Is Senator Larry Craig an NBSer?  Are you all secretly interested in cuckolding, swinging and hot wives?  What is with you freaks?

FYI: Comments on this post will be turned of in three days.  If you have anything to say, say it now.

At long last, the details on the Kucinich UFO sighting

January 2, 2008 02:22 PM

I've been interested in this ever since Shirley MacLaine chimed in last fall, and said that Dennis Kucinich had seen a UFO in the backyard of her house.  He's refused to give us the details, but now we've got 'em, thanks to the intrepid reporters at The Wall Street JournalThey spoke to the others who were there, Paul Costanzo, "a Juilliard-trained trumpet player and jujitsu black belt, who worked as Ms. MacLaine's assistant, personal trainer and bodyguard," and Mr. Costanzo's then-girfriend.

Ms. MacLaine was up performing her one woman show in Canada at the time, and wasn't home.  Dennis was living at her house, though, writing his memoirs after Clevelanders voted him out of office after one term as Mayor.  So it was just the three of them.  You know, hanging out at Shirley's place.

Anyway, back to the story:

The day was strange from the start. For hours, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Costanzo and his companion noticed a high-pitched sound. "There was a sense that something extraordinary was happening all day," says the girlfriend. She and Mr. Costanzo say that none of the three consumed alcohol or took drugs.

As they sat down to a dinner, Mr. Kucinich spotted a light in the distance, to the left of Mount Rainier. Mr. Costanzo thought it was a helicopter.

But Mr. Kucinich walked outside to the deck to look through the telescope that he had bought Ms. MacLaine as a house gift. After a few minutes, Mr. Kucinich summoned the other two: "Guys, come on out here and look at this."

Mr. Costanzo and his girlfriend joined Mr. Kucinich, where they took turns peering through the telescope. What they saw in the far distance, according to both witnesses, was a hovering light, which soon divided into two, and then three.

After a few minutes, the lights moved closer and it became apparent that they were actually three charcoal-gray, triangular craft, flying in a tight wedge. The girlfriend remembers each triangle having red and green lights running down the edges, with a laser-like red light at the tail. Mr. Costanzo recalls white lights, but no tail.

Mr. Costanzo says each triangle was roughly the size of a large van, while his former girlfriend compares it to a "larger Cessna, smaller than a jet certainly." Neither recalls seeing any markings, landing gear, engines, windows or cockpits.

The craft approached to within 200 yards, suspended over the field just beyond the swimming pool. Both witnesses say it emitted a quiet, throbbing sound -- nothing like an airplane engine.

"There was a feeling of wanting to communicate something, but I didn't know what," says Mr. Costanzo.

The craft held steady in midair, for perhaps a minute, then sped away, Mr. Costanzo says. "Nothing had landed," he says. "No strange beings had disembarked. No obvious messages were beamed down. When they were completely out of sight, we all looked at each other disbelieving what we had seen."

At Mr. Kucinich's suggestion, they jotted down their impressions and drew pictures to memorialize the event. Mr. Kucinich kept the notes, according to Ms. MacLaine, who said he promised her recently that he would try to find them.

"It was proof to me that we're obviously not alone," says the girlfriend.

The next day, the group spotted what they thought to be military helicopters buzzing around the valley where they had made the sighting. And the high-pitched sound remained.

Mr. Kucinich called Ms. MacLaine in Canada to tell her what had happened. "He said it was beautiful, serene, and it moved him," says Ms. MacLaine, who is supporting Mr. Kucinich's candidacy. "He was not afraid of it, let's put it that way. Seeing something that close and sophisticated and gentle."

Ms. MacLaine says she has seen UFOs from a distance in New Mexico and Peru, but never up close. She was envious. "I'm the one who reports them, but they never make close visitation. What am I doing wrong?"

What is she doing wrong, indeed?

Also, where are those notes?  Dennis promised Shirley recently that he would try to find them.  Why doesn't he get on that?

And what about this:

Ms. MacLaine says she called Mr. Kucinich before she included his UFO sighting in her book, "Sage-ing while Age-ing," a recounting of her spiritual and professional journeys. "I can handle it," she says he told her.

Talk about things you can say when you know your Presidential campaign is going nowhere.  Here's how I imagine that conversation going down:

Drrrrrring.  Drrrrrrrrring.  [phone ringing].

Dennis:  "Howdy ho!"

Shirley: "Hey Denny it's Shirls."

Dennis: "Haaaaay Shirls!!!!"

Shirley: "Your voice.  Dennis.  God, I miss you.  When you need me in New Hampshire, I'm there for you."

Dennis: "I need to check with Elizabeth."

Shirley: "LOVE that girl.  You know Den, I was thinking..."

Dennis: "Talk to me Shirls!  Talk to me!"

Shirley: "...remember when you were staying with me twenty five years ago..."

Dennis: "OH YEAH.  KEEP TALKING.  OH YEAH!"

Shirley: "Well I was just down in Peru looking at cave art drawn here five million years by Our Friends and was thinking about that time you were at my house with Pauly and his girl, and you all had that special experience."

Dennis: "OH YEAH.  KEEP TALKING.  OH YEAH!"

Shirley:  "Dennis! (giggles)  I'm talking about the time you saw The Ship!  I was wondering if I could put that in my new book, Sage-ing While Age-ing."

Dennis: "Oh what the hell.  Why not."

Shirley: "Wonders, Den.  Wonders.  You're the best!  Hugs and kisses to Elizabeth!"

Dennis: "OH YEAH.  KEEP TALKING.  OH YEAH!"

An "I Only Date Democrats" Girl

January 1, 2008 11:41 AM

[Phote pulled due to guilt trip by Jackie Danicki.  Jackie, at the very least, your friend has bitchface.] 

A severe, manly jaw.  Stringy hair.  No make-up.  Pale skin.  Eyebrows tweezed into mean little lines.  No sense of pride in her appearance.  And just this aura of anger.

What makes her think she's in a position to be so choosy?

[Photo one of the many interesting ones that are always up over at 5chw4r7z.]

Christmas like it used to be...

December 31, 2007 09:31 AM

Housing Prices: Blaming Republicans, the rich, etc, on the way down...

December 28, 2007 09:08 AM

...just like on the way up.  Mickey Kaus reminds us of the benefit to the housing "crisis":

Are you impressed with a drop in home values of 6.6% over a year? It doesn't seem like such a big correction, given the dramatic run-up in prices over the last decade or so. ... And don't declining prices make housing more... what's the word? ... affordable?** ... This evening NBC Nightly News billboarded a "housing CRISIS." (Link available here.) I thought a "housing crisis" was when people couldn't find housing, not when it got cheaper. (NBC's expert: "It's very, very difficult to find any silver lining." No it's not.) ...

He's absolutely right.  Chez NBS has been on the market since October 1, and hasn't sold yet.  But when it does sell, we'll be able to take advantage of a huge drop in prices on houses that are bigger, nicer, and in better neighborhoods than what we first thought we could afford.  It has been quite enjoyable to see houses that were once outside of our price range fall within it.   

And Mickey reminds us of who got all the blame when housing prices shot up so high in the first place:

During the runup in housing prices the air was filled with complaints from the left that the rich were bidding up the value of housing, which was becoming unaffordable for ordinary Americans whose wages were rising only slowly, etc.. Now that this process is unwinding, much of this affordability problem is presumably being corrected.

Right again.  Mrs. NBS and I are constantly astounded when we watch those HGTV "Flip that House" type of shows, and they profile some complete dump in California that lists for $650,000 while still in an unrenovated crack-house-infested-with-feral-cats condition.  How can anyone afford to live out there?  Especially the working class?  How can they possibly save up for a decent down payment?

Now that prices on the coasts are falling so dramatically, maybe people who are just starting out in life will be able to put more than 5% down, and thus won't lose all of their equity during a price slump?  And I do feel sorry for the people who are losing their homes, don't get me wrong.  But why didn't they know that if you can't put 20% down, you can't afford the house?  That's been the rule of thumb for decades. 

How'd that enormous flat screen get in my slum?

December 26, 2007 02:48 PM

Meet Sharon Jasper.  She lives in Section 8 housing in New Orleans.  She is not happy with her lot in life:

A HANO voucher covers her rent on a unit in an old Faubourg St. John home, but she said she faced several hundred dollars in deposit charges and now faces a steep utility bill.

"I'm tired of the slum landlords, and I'm tired of the slum houses," she said.

Pointing across the street to an encampment of homeless people at Duncan Plaza, Jasper said, "I might do better out here with one of these tents."

Get that?  She might do better in a homeless encampment. 

Now meet Sharon Jasper's tv:

 

Sharon says:  "I might be poor but I don't like to live poor.  I thank God for a place to live but it's pitiful what people give you."

Sharon, I give you 28% of my income every April 15.  The only thing that's pitiful is that I don't have a 60 inch flat screen tv, and you're a welfare queen and you do.  Where are my housing vouchers?  Where's my flat screen tv?  I don't like to live poor, either.  It's pitiful what people give you.  I'm still waiting for some stranger to come along and give me my flat screen tv.  Where the hell is my new flat screen tv?

HT: Nixguy. 

UPDATE: Oh my God, she's even worse than I thought.

The paps confront a pregnant Jamie Lynn...

December 24, 2007 10:18 AM

So much better than slogging through "We Three Kings of Orient Are"

December 23, 2007 10:44 AM

The text:

Three kings from Persian lands afar To Jordan follow the pointing star: And this the quest of the travellers three, Where the new-born King of the Jews may be. Full royal gifts they bear for the King; Gold, incense, myrrh are their offering. The star shines out with a steadfast ray; The kings to Bethlehem make their way, And there in worship they bend the knee, As Mary's child in her lap they see; Their royal gifts they show to the King; Gold, incense, myrrh are their offering. Thou child of man, lo, to Bethlehem The kings are travelling, travel with them! The star of mercy, the star of grace, Shall lead thy heart to its resting-place. Gold, incense, myrrh thou canst not bring; Offer thy heart to the infant King.

While the choir sings:

How brightly shines the morning star With grace and truth from heav'n afar The Jesse tree now bloweth Of Jacobs stem and David's line For thee, my Bridegroom, King divine My soul with love o'er floweth Thy word, Thy word, Jesu, Jesu Inly feeds us, rightly leads us, life bestowing. Praise, O praise such love o'er flowing.

Sublime.

Why it is very important to be honest with your attorneys...

December 21, 2007 01:06 PM

Here we have Jamie Lynn Spears' attorneys, threatening to sue the National Enquirer for reporting a few months ago that Ms. Spears is pregnant:

 “Ms. Spears is a devout Christian with a spotless reputation, who lives in accordance with the highest moral and ethical standards in accordance with her faith.

There is no “rumor” concerning Ms. Spears’ (non-existent) pregnancy, except perhaps for the baseless “rumor” just now being created by the National Enquirer.

Ms. Spears is not pregnant. It is pathetic for the National Enquirer to attempt to create a wholly baseless “rumor” that Ms. Spears is pregnant, so it can run a malicious story and false story which would be emotionally devastating to a morally upright 16 year old girl.”

Which lead the National Enquirer to leak the Spears threat letter to Perez Hilton, who published it with unhesitant glee.  Hilarious.

Is it really a gift if you had to buy it for yourself? With your own tax dollars?

December 20, 2007 12:41 PM

It's enough to make your stomach churn. And Mom NBS, don't show this to Dad NBS. He'll blow a gasket.

Bonus question: What losing Democratic primary candidate once proudly declared "I don't want to be Santa Claus?" Triple Bonus points if you can explain why Hillary does.

If dogs don't get to go...

December 19, 2007 06:07 PM

... I don't want to either.  From the Enquirer:

With almost all the pomp and circumstance befitting an officer’s funeral, Alec, Monroe’s police dog was buried this afternoon at the Pines Pet Cemetery near Lebanon.

Alec, a 9-year-old black German Shepherd, died unexpectedly a week ago after suffering a seizure and a stroke after finishing his shift with Officer Gregg Myers....

Police officers and 19 dogs from at least 14 departments in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton looked on as poems about the bravery and loyalty of police dogs were read graveside where Alec’s dark-stained pine casket was draped with the American flag.

Another flag flew at half-staff in the special section for service dogs where Alec will be buried later today.

Stories were shared about some of Alec’s best qualities before Mason Police Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute.

The Rev. Brad Olson, pastor of Monroe United Methodist Church, finished the service with a prayer that Alec would make it to heaven.

“We pray you will welcome him into your eternal kingdom,” he said.

Video, here.

White House Christmas, interesting on two fronts

December 17, 2007 09:06 AM

From Lisa Schiffren, writing in The Corner at National Review:

Each year instead of the usual Christmas card, my friend Diana Bannister sends out the official White House Christmas tree ornament. Despite our treelessness, we always look forward to getting them, and hanging them from a sconce. This year, the White House ornament features a sepia-toned scene of the wedding of Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom. That was the very first White House wedding, in 1886.

I am going out on a limb here and presuming that Laura Bush chose the scene on the 2007 ornament. I suspect that it foreshadows a White House wedding to come for the engaged Jenna.

Here's hoping it's before the general election, as it will generate lots of goodwill towards the Republican administration.  And piss off all the right people in the process.

The Cleveland/Folsom match sounds like it was interesting:

While there have been several White House weddings for presidential daughters, Grover Cleveland's was the only wedding of a president himself. He was, at the time an "imposing" bachelor of 49, "just under 6 feet tall, and almost 300 lbs." Frances, a lovely young woman of 21, had been Cleveland's ward since the age of 12, when her father, who was Cleveland's law partner, died. In the accompanying booklet, the White House Historical Association tells us that "the public was captivated." (Not so clear what we would make of that today.)

Talk about a question that does not need to be answered.  The public today would be mortified.

Apparently Barbara Walters is keeping the Christ in Christmas by making normal people sit back and yell "Oh, CHRIST!"

December 14, 2007 12:20 AM



Can you believe? Does she even know the Old Testament isn't just a Christian thing? And doesn't she remember the card she got last year? The White House Christmas cards since the Bushes have been in have always quoted the OT, at least in the ones we've gotten (do not be impressed by this, they send out a blue billion).

HT: Today's Laura Ingraham Show, and Stand Firm.

Now I understand the "green" shopping movement...

December 13, 2007 12:31 PM

...it's an idiot tax, like lottery tickets.  Economic natural selection, but for rich, coastal people.  From The New York Times:

Some designs marketed as environment-friendly might include only a fraction of organic cotton, or a tag made of recycled paper. And some so-called green fashion may be downright silly, like the Goyard canvas shopping tote shown in the Barneys “Have a Green Holiday” catalog: the bag is $1,065, plus $310 for painted monogramming of a triangular recycle symbol in gold. The canvas, the catalog says, is “100% recyclable.”

Isn't it good to know you can recycle that $1,065 canvas bag ($1,375, if you get it monogrammed)?  What a great stewardship of resources!

And the old patchwork quilt has come full circle.  At Barney's, you can get a Duro Olowu dress that is made from a patchwork of “recycled fabric.”   And by that, he means "a mix of his own prints and some original, unused samples of leftover couture textiles he found."

It retails at $7,600.

Camille Paglia in Romney's Religion Speech

December 12, 2007 07:20 PM

The atheist was not offended:

Romney's move may have been tactically necessary to counter evangelical Protestants' rejection of Mormonism as a cult, but the speech wasn't as conceptually developed as it should have been. As an atheist, I wasn't offended by Romney's omission of nonbelievers from his narrative of American history. On the contrary, I agree with him that the founders of the U.S. social experiment were Christians (even if many were intellectual deists) and that our separation of church and state entails the rejection of an official, government-sanctioned creed rather than the obligatory erasure of references to God in civic life.

But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe.

Amen, Amen.  Or something like that.  If you can't believe in God, at least believe in art and nature.*  This sixties secular humanism crap has got to go.

*How's that for pathetically typical Anglo-Episcopal evangelism?

And from the "why didn't another loved one step in and stop this" file...

...we have this obituary from Sunday's New Orleans Times-Picayune, which was "composed, written, and submitted by [the decedent's grieving widow]. All thoughts, opinions and declarations in it are ENTIRELY hers and do not reflect input from any other persons, LIVING OR DEAD:"

EVANICK Robert Bruce Evanick (always known as Bruce to those who loved him - and those who employed him and exploited his work ethic) -- died Tuesday afternoon, December 4th, 2007. A massive heart attack killed him - despite the heroic efforts of many physicians, surgeons and nurses - in a waiting area at Ochsner Hospital. He was not an inpatient there. He was there to provide company and comfort to Brenda, his wife, whom he loved and supported, in all ways, for 32 years. Her heart is broken. He died a horrendous death, on the floor of the waiting room, at Brenda's feet. To her, he was the most kind, most gentle, and most generous person she has ever known. His death should be a warning to all those who believe that they are being used by insensitive employers. He deserved better, both in life and death. Bruce had been seduced into a sedentary and high stress life style after he moved to New Orleans by the promise of "big money" from a corporate defense law firm. Essentially, his succumbing to that seduction and his devotion to duty caused his death. Of the many shareholders in the firm for which he labored, only one took the personal initiative to call Brenda to offer her personal condolences.

Oh my.  But enough about his job, tell us about his personal life!

Several colleagues believe that Brenda and Bruce were divorced. This is not true. They lived apart for several years but were in friendly communication, especially enjoying Sunday breakfasts together....

And his passions!  What were his passions?!?

Bruce was brilliantly intelligent, with an impressive knowledge of the law and many other disciplines. Bruce's encyclopedic knowledge of sterling silver -- including the most rare and sought after makers and patterns - put him far above the average collectors. He also knew textiles intimately, including old and new quilts, embroideries from ancient to modern, laces, silks, and all forms of the highest quality handwork in fabric and thread. His appreciation of textiles included loving the custom made shirts that Brenda designed and constructed for him....

Talking about how much the decedent appreciated your own talents.  Not good for an obituary.  And why bring up the endanged Rothschilds Mynah birds?  Or the bromeliads?  The goldfish pond?  The what you say?  Well, here:

While residing in York, PA, Bruce was very much involved in the care of a large collection of exotic birds that he and Brenda collected and kept and propagated. They received permission from the federal government to keep and attempt to propagate the crucially endangered Rothschilds Mynahs. Bruce and Brenda succeeded in raising four Rothschilds (Bali) Mynahs, hand-feeding them from the day they hatched in an incubator. They also raised hundreds of rare and delicate finches and softbilled birds and exhibited them all across the USA. They won many awards, including "Exhibitor of the Year" and "Outstanding Grassroots Activist" awards for supporting the captive breeding programs for rare and endangered species. They expanded that loving care into founding and operating a wild bird rescue agency that treated and released native wild birds that had been orphaned or injured. They released many hundreds of them back to the wild. That organization still flourishes and serves today in the care of dear friends of Bruce and Brenda. While still in Pennsylvania, Bruce became a successful gardener. He expanded that knowledge and skill in Louisiana. With Brenda he amassed a collection of rare orchids, ferns, ivies and bromeliads that comprise a lush garden at their Algiers Point home. Bruce had a fabulous goldfish pond built for Brenda as a birthday gift and it still sparkles and gurgles in their garden. Bruce's death leaves a huge void in the world. It is truly a sin and a shame that only one of his fellow shareholders were moved to personally console his widow.

I think, what she's trying to say is, is that only one of his fellow shareholders called her after he died, and that she would have appreciated it if more had done so.  So what's she going to do about it?

He loved her to his last breath and would have been deeply saddened by their cold attitude. Bruce is survived by two siblings from whom he was estranged. [ed. an estrangement which, I am sure, the author of the obit played no role in, whatsoever]. The firm will be holding a Memorial Service in their office sometime on Monday, December 10, 2007. It is not known if they would welcome people from outside the firm and the firms prestigious client list. Brenda will not attend.

But it would have been quite interesting, if she had.   

She wraps it all up with a little too much information:

Bruce has been cremated and his remains will be placed in an exquisite wooden box which he loved and will remain with his grieving widow.

Emphasis added (not that it was needed).  HT: Above the Law

Upon leaving the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, the Huckabees Registered for Gifts

December 11, 2007 09:26 AM

At Dillards and Target.  Tacky.  Can't a former Governor's outfit his own private sector home?

The Clintons did this too when they left the White House (as you may recall, they also stole took White House furniture and household items with them).  Not that acting like the Clintons is any excuse.

If you want to know what lawyers really talk about these days...

December 7, 2007 10:29 AM

...and really, why wouldn't you?  It's all about the green, and how we don't make enough of it.  Because of the damn investment bankers!  From the American Lawyer:

Time was, lawyers were near the top of the heap. Investment bankers and other finance types have long eclipsed them, but the difference used to be one of degree. Then came private equity investors and hedge-funders, and lawyers nose-dived on the socioeconomic ladder. "Face it, we have no status," says an Am Law 100 partner of the pecking order at his sons' private school. "We go to these school functions, and this well-heeled group looks right through you. They won't give you the time of day. You're just one step ahead of the doorman."

Me no like the sound of that!  Or this tale of woe:

And what about those poor schleps making a mere $600,000 or so-the average profit per partner of The Am Law 200? Should they head for the outer boroughs, the suburbs, or Cleveland?

No!  Not Cleveland

The situation is causing a lot of strife:

It's enough to make otherwise sensible lawyers resent their clients. "You have these young people making $5 million a year," sputters one 60-something partner. What's worse, he adds, "they are inexperienced and have to be led by lawyers."

Deep down (or is it right on the surface?), lawyers feel they are smarter than the average Wall Street Joe they service. "Some seem not to have that much education," sniffs one lawyer. "Why am I doing all the thinking when I'm making a quarter of what they make?"

Fortunately, we don't really have investment bankers in Cincinnati.  But we do have plenty of resentment.  The lawyers think all the doctors make too much money, and the doctors think the lawyers are making all the money prosecuting or defending their malpractice cases, when it's really the insurance companies raking in all the doctor's dough from their hefty premiums.  And everybody's jealous of the people with successful business start-ups.  As for the trust-funders (except for some notable exceptions), their funds are drying up, and the professionals want to suck what they can off of them, before they wise up and realize they can't live like they used to.

HT: Above the Law

Is it time for an increase in the office gift exchange amount?

It always goes like this: Someone says "What limit should we put on it?" and then someone else says "Twenty-five bucks."  And then we all have to run around trying to find a crappy $25 gift for the person whose name you pulled out of a hat.  Well, it's been $25 everywhere I've ever worked, since I joined the "real" workforce.  Ten years ago.

The problem is there is nothing anyone actually wants that only costs $25.  One year I had this metal framed candle thing that I was going to give my secretary, and then my sister told me it was a gift that said "Hey, I stopped for gas on the way in to work this morning, and realized, oh crap, I have to get you a gift."  That that metal framed candle thing had cost me $25 at TJ Maxx!

This year I have a new firm and a new secretary, and the bright office idea is that we are all supposed to list three things that cost $25 and put that on the piece of paper with our name on it that gets drawn out of the hat.  The theory is that way, we'll all get something we want.

But there's NOTHING I want that costs $25.

Romney's Speech

December 6, 2007 11:15 AM

Spectacular.

Reason why I love the British press, no. 345

December 4, 2007 08:30 PM

They run things like this little gem from the BBC:

"...the tiny bitch was whisked away under an assumed name after receiving about 20 threats."

It's from an article about Leona Helmsley's dog.

HT: Althouse

NASA explores sex in space (face it, you've wondered about this)

A new book says NASA had a mission codenamed STS-XX.  And guess what it was about?  Per the book's author:

"The issue of sex in space is a serious one," he says. "The experiments carried out so far relate to missions planned for married couples on the future International Space Station, the successor to Mir. Scientists need to know how far sexual relations are possible without gravity."

He cites a confidential Nasa report on a space shuttle mission in 1996. A project codenamed STS-XX was to explore sexual positions possible in a weightless atmosphere.

Twenty positions were tested by computer simulation to obtain the best 10, he says. "Two guinea pigs then tested them in real zero-gravity conditions. The results were videotaped but are considered so sensitive that even Nasa was only given a censored version."

Only four positions were found possible without "mechanical assistance". The other six needed a special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel, like an open-ended sleeping bag.

A special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel.  Hot.

Armed Robbery for Tuition...

December 3, 2007 04:37 PM

...uh, since when do you need $130,000 for tuition at UC and the University of Toledo?

Can we agree now to shoot the first person who writes the Enquirer to say this shows how higher ed costs too much?  Because someone will, you know.

Idiots Delight: "Green" galas are now the rage

November 30, 2007 03:01 PM

From The New York Times' House and Garden section, check out the events planner who tried to make his topiaries himself, out of 6,000 pounds of recycled paper strips:

It was the language of excess — those topiaries recalled the gardens of Versailles — expressed in the material of frugality.

But then he discovered that he couldn't use them in the museum where the event was to be held, because the material wasn't flame retardant:

“So then we had to find the organic fire retardant guy,” he continued, “and for two and a half months we were dipping 6,000 pounds of paper in fire retardant and then trying to dry it out by spreading it on the floors of our warehouse.” As the date of the event loomed closer, Mr. Stark looked out upon the soggy landscape, realized he needed help, and bought three energy-hogging commercial dryers to finish the job.

Organic fire retardant for the organic retardeds.  Incredible.

As were the hosts who planned this entertainment for the swells at a book party:

The décor was supplied by Gelitin, four male Viennese conceptual artists who wore high heels and buckets on their heads but no pants, and who spent the evening building a plywood structure over the bewildered guests’ heads. Anthony Roth Costanzo, a countertenor, sang a 16th-century melody called “Flow My Tears.” And then the Gelitin members, along with three Icelandic artists, also men, from a collective called Moms, took the buckets off their heads and urinated — with dead-eye accuracy, said Dodie Kazanjian, a Vogue editor and one of the events’ hosts — into one another’s pails.

Cultural trash.

So flattered to have been asked, so bewildered about what to say

November 29, 2007 03:19 PM

Oh Crap.  I've been asked to participate in a literary roundtable and recommend a bunch of books for the Christmas season at a popular website read by a bunch of smart people.  I feel kind of like the airhead celebrities they profile in Vanity Fair and ask, "What's on your nightstand?"  And they come up with something like Elfriede Jelinek's Einar that their publicist googled and had them say when they filled out Vanity Fair's form and which we all know is total b.s.

Do I just come right one and say uhh... well... I haven't actually, you know, been reading a lot of what you might call "books" lately.  What with the new job and the baby and, um, you know...  all of that.  Also I kind of maybe only have a two minute attention span anymore because of blogs.  So.... I'm not really down with all the latest editions and, like, it's been a while since I've been in a bookstore except to get to the cafe at Joseph-Beth.  You know, so maybe my contribution wouldn't be exactly what you're looking for, which is what people like National Review and New Criterion contributors are reading these days, because that's the kind of people who are contributing to this thing. 

Do I just come right out and say that?  Or should I just recommend Elfriede Jelinek's Einar?  Suggestions, please!

Sharing is not the lesson of Thanksgiving. Capitalism is.

November 21, 2007 10:39 AM

When the Pilgrims first arrived, they tried the communal approach to farming: Everyone assists in the work, everyone shares in the harvest.

And, everyone nearly died:

Why?  [Because w]hen people can get the same return with a small amount of effort as with a large amount, most people will make little effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. Some ate rats, dogs, horses and cats. This went on for two years.

So they switched to a system of private ownership.  From Governor Bradford's diary:

The colonists, he said, "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, [I] (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. ... And so assigned to every family a parcel of land."

And then they prospered.  The first Thanksgiving came after the ecomonic prosperity brought on by private ownership.  So make sure you include private property in your list of things you are thankful for this year.

Also: I wish my grandmother were alive to alive to share her views on the communistic nature of the Venerated Ancestors!  She hated the communists, but God, she loved those ancestors.

Soldier's Return: One of Many Classroom Surprises

November 16, 2007 12:11 AM

There is another, here (after a ridiculous commerical MSNBC makes you watch).

And now, the latest in our series: "Things you do not tell the judge."

November 10, 2007 07:29 AM

"You are not a pop star with a number one album, so you don't know."

--Britney Spears' lawyer, Anne Kiley, explaining to the Court why Britney missed 8 of 14 phone calls demanding she report for court-ordered drug testing.

HT: Althouse

Jimmy Carter, the Great Humanitarian

November 8, 2007 05:27 PM

This is a letter from the ex-Pres to his sister-in-law, Sybil:

It reads:

5/13/90

To Sybil,

Lamentably, I killed your cat while trying just to sting it. It was crouched, as usual, under one of our bird feeders & I fired from some distance with bird shot. It may ease your grief somewhat to know that the cat was buried properly with a prayer & that I’ll be glad to get you another of your choice.

I called & came by your house several times. We will be in the Dominican Republic until Thursday. I’ll see you then.

Love, Jimmy

What an ass.

And there's one more book I won't be writin'

Dang, Marc Levin (conservative commentator, attorney, man of all seasons) is out with a new book, Rescuing Sprite:

 Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish

I could have written this book.  Why didn't I?  Grrrr. 

Anyway, Mark tells National Review Online:

I wasn’t planning on writing Rescuing Sprite.  As much as we try to plan our lives, life is unpredictable.  I was thinking about writing a book that was more along the lines you mention — about philosophy and politics.  We had actually begun the process of talking to several interested publishers about that project, but then Sprite passed away.  It was a crushing blow to me, as I am sure other dog lovers can relate. I put in very long days.  My radio show finishes at 8 P.M. ET, after which I eat dinner with my dogs every night; I take long walks with them; I talk with them at length. T hey give me enormous pleasure and enjoyment.  They keep me company.  They give me far more than I could ever give them and, in return, they ask for nothing more than something to eat and drink, a warm place to sleep, and some loving attention.

It never occurred to me to adopt a dog from a shelter.  It was my wife’s and kids’ idea, and their persistence, that brought this wonderful dog, Sprite, into our family.

You know, I’d never been to a shelter before.  I’d never given them a first thought, let alone a second thought. But I have since come to know that there are literally millions of dogs (and cats and other animals) who are living in crates or cages in thousands of shelters across the country who are in desperate need of loving families.  They became lost from their families, or were turned in by their owners, or had been abused.  When you go to a shelter, it’s a difficult experience — at least it was for me.  The people there are truly remarkable.  They do something I could never do.  They care for an endless stream of needy animals, and their contributions to society are enormous.  But to see those dogs and cats in those crates, who have to wonder what happened to their world, and who are surrounded by strangers and strange sounds, is heartbreaking.  In most cases, just a few weeks earlier, they were in a loving home.

Anyway, back to your question. It never crossed my mind to write a book like this, until my Sprite passed away. Simon & Schuster and several other publishers wanted me to write a book for them — a political book. Well, this was the book I wanted to write. I had to write it. It was this or nothing.

"Well, this was the book I wanted to write. I had to write it. It was this or nothing."  And guess what?  He wrote it, and Simon & Schuster loved it. 

Read the whole interview, if not the book.  Especially you, Mrs. NBS.  It sounds like you'd love it.

And remember gentle readers, that link to Lab Rescue over there on the blogroll is there for a reason.  Go check it out sometime.

Oh I forgot this one. I love this one.

October 23, 2007 11:43 PM

UPDATE: Well screw NBC! So stupid of them to pull video that gives them free publicity!

Yes, I've been out of town in "training" for the new job. No, it was not anything like this.

An even worse thing to say to a judge than "well, that's your opinion."

October 20, 2007 02:52 PM

"I'm not a morning person."  Especially not good when that's your defense to child abuse charges.

HT: Althouse

Breaking: Women Come in 12 Different Shapes

October 18, 2007 09:37 PM

Such as brick, goblet, cello, lollipop, and of course, the dreaded pear.  At the link, you can find what works best for each shape.  Yes, turn to NBS for news you can use.

Where's the article about what shapes men come in?  And better yet, the advice about what to do about it?  If you're short, I can tell you on good authority to get your pants cuffed at an inch and a quarter.  The look also works well if you're nasty and brutish. 

HT: Althouse

Too much information, left on the printer tray

October 17, 2007 02:48 PM

It's an email from a paralegal to the receptionist, announcing that she's leaving early today to go to an urgent care center.  She has a urinary tract infection, and her regular doctor can't see her until tomorrow!

Why would you email that to a colleague, and then leave a copy of it on the printer?

And in the "telling things to the papers that won't help the Church's reputation" department...

October 16, 2007 08:33 AM

... we have this article about infertility treatments from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  They are talking about "options" for infertile Catholic couples:

Catholic ethicists are divided over whether it's permissible to artificially inseminate a wife with her husband's sperm, she said. Although conservative theologians once rejected the practice, some now say it can be done if the semen is collected during intercourse using a condom with a tiny hole that makes it open to the possibility of conception.

Can you imagine?  I'm usually a big defender of the Catholic Church's position on medical ethics.  But this one is just ridiculous! 

This year's crime stats for Cincinnati are way down...

October 15, 2007 10:59 PM

...but what does it mean?  Homicides are down 21% from last year.  There have been 55 as opposed to 70 at this time last year.  I maintain that if you aren't involved in drugs, your chances of being murdered in Cincinnati are basically nil.  About the same as being struck by lightening or hit by a drunk driver.  Killed in the crossfire... sometimes it just happens.  But hardly ever to anyone who is not involved in drugs. 

Violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and assault) in Cincinnati is down 12% for 2007.  That's a recognizable difference.  

But what causes the improved stats?  Better policing?  More police?  Luck?  And what are the trends nationwide?  Is crime down in all the major cities?  If so, we can't claim we are doing something right here. 

If you want the neighborhood breakdown, things are getting much better in Over the Rhine, the West End, English Woods, Hyde Park, East Walnut Hills, Spring Grove Village (f.k.a. Winton Place) and North Avondale.  Things are worse in Mount Washington, Sayler Park and Bond Hill.

And while we're on the topic of pants, did I mention the NBS humiliation of the weekend?

So we're sitting there at a very, very nice steakhouse (St. Elmo's in Indianapolis--if you haven't been there, go) for my father-in-law's retirement party.  And we all consume a fantastic meal of Thanksgiving-sized quantity.  And when it's all done, we're all sitting there talking about how full we all are, and how much we all had to eat.  You know how you do. 

And so we're sitting there talking about this, and Mrs. NBS says, jokingly, "I'm glad I'm in my elastic pregnancy pants."  And so what do I, who was still in the  "I had waaaaaay too much to eat mode" then loudly proclaim, like a complete idiot?

"GOD, I WISH I WERE IN YOUR PANTS."

This was met by TOTAL SILENCE.  Mrs. NBS just totally froze.  I totally froze.  Her dad and her brother started talking about something else.  Maybe they were so polite that they just pretended not to hear.  We still don't know.  They didn't even twitch.  I have to think if they were paying attention, they would have at least twitched.  I mean how far can good manners take you?  You just can't hear something like that and not twitch.

So we decided they didn't hear it.  And I then decided the situation was hysterical, and started cracking up.  It's amazing what two martinis and a glass of pinot noir will do to help you speedily recover from an embarrassing faux pas.  Thank you martinis and pinot noir!

"Can't the man have a mid-life crisis in peace? In the animal kingdom such displays often attract a willing mate."

Oh dear.  The Brits are upset one of their better known tv hosts appeared on tv in moleskin trousers.  Maybe he should have used LBJ's tailor?

terry wogan

HT: Jackie Danicki

The Brits call that a lunch box.  Yes, the slogan was new to me to.

UPDATE:  I almost forgot.  This Brit has nothing on Dick Cheney, as photographed during the 2004 campaign.  What's the slogan?  A [Republican] elephant never forgets?

And now, we know how he died.

October 11, 2007 03:26 PM

Who, you ask?  Count Gottfried Alexander Leopold Graf von Bismarck-Schonhausen!  We profiled his obituary back in July, because it began as few obituaries do:

Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.

It's an awful lot to put on a tombstone, but at least he managed to get in in the first sentence of his Telegraph obit.  And back in July, NBS commeter Dr. Mabuse asked, "But what did he die of?"  And now we know.  He'd injected himself with cocaine once an hour, for 24 hours.

And on a totally unrelated sidenote: This does kind of remind me of the time the Enquirer was interviewing my mom for my grandmother's obit and the reporter had never heard of "Vassar."  We still shake our heads in wonder over that.  [A weird obituary story is the only link between my grandmother and Count Gottfried von Bismark, lest you be wondering how he put me in mind of her.  She was not flamboyant waster or a reckless and extragagant host of homosexual orgies.  Well, not unless you count the times she'd have in her antiques appraiser.  That always got pretty crazy.]

President Johnson on the phone ordering pants: Mentions his nuts, bunghole

Here's the transcript of Our Classiest President, LBJ, on the phone ordering pants from Joe Haggar.

LBJ: Now the pockets, when you sit down, everything falls out, your money, your knife, everything, so I need at least another inch in the pockets. And another thing - the crotch, down where your nuts hang - is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it's just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I've had anywhere in the United States,

JH: Fine

LBJ: But, uh when I gain a little weight they cut me under there. So, leave me , you never do have much of margin there. See if you can't leave me an inch from where the zipper (burps) ends, round, under my, back to my bunghole, so I can let it out there if I need to.

I know you're wondering: Is there audio?  And the answer to that my friends is yes.  It's rather incredible, to say the least, that this conversation was recorded for posterior posterity.

I do like that he carried a knife though.  Someone should research who the last President was that carried a knife regularly.  There was a time when all American men did--my Dad still does.

HT: Althouse.

So when is Jennifer Nettles going to turn from star to icon? Because I'm thinking it is going to be soon.

October 9, 2007 09:00 PM

As if Republicans needed yet another reason not to vote for Leslie Ghiz...

...today we hear the news that she has been endorsed by the Republican Leadership Council.  The RLC is a group of left-leaning Republicans whose express goal is to drive the party further to the left.  They call it "the middle," but believe me when I tell you, it is not that.  Mark my words, gentle readers: This is the path of disaster and electoral defeat.  Just ask, well, pretty much all the Republicans who lost in Ohio last year because of the "moderate" sixteen years we had under Voinovich and Taft.  We do not need to be grooming more leaders in that mold.

Also disturbing: The email trumpeting this news contains a link to Leslie's campaign website, where we read:

Leslie is engaged to be married shortly after the November election.  She and her fiancé, Steve, reside in North Avondale. 

I know we are well past the point where we can expect model behavior from politicians, but when did we pass the point that they stopped pretending?  I mean, why put this information out there?  Not classy.  At all.

So THIS is why mom didn't want me to go in the bathroom at Kings Island by myself!

October 4, 2007 09:54 PM

Notable Quotable: Albert Einstein on Freedom

Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. …
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.

Albert Einstein, TIME, 23 September 1940

HT: Andrew Cusack

As bad as the Episcopal/Anglican break down has been, at least it hasn't been THIS bad.

September 30, 2007 10:11 PM

New York Times: "Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church's Orders"

September 25, 2007 10:46 PM

I haven't written much about the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up in recent months, because most of my readers just aren't interested.  But they should be, because this has implications for all Protestant and Catholic denominations.  This is, really and truly, a big deal.  So listen up!

Shockingly,  New York Times has the big news of the day.  If you want context, it follows up on my earlier post about how the Episcopal Church in the US has been ordered into receivership by the rest of the Anglican Communion.  The Anglican Communion made certain demands of the Episcopal Church, and, well, per the NYT:

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 25 — Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Tuesday rejected demands by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion to roll back the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, increasing the possibility of fracture within the communion and the Episcopal Church itself.

After nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church.

That's all you need to hear, really.  That the Episcopal Church defied a directive from the Anglican Communion to bring its theology back into the fold of mainstream Christianity.  I'm sure the fact that a prominent liberal Episcopal Bishop blatantly lied to the NYT reporter covering this meeting did not help matters much.  It seems the mainstream media is not always fooled, not when they are surrounded by bloggers pointing them to actual facts.  If you're at all interested in the power of the Internet, the way things have played out in the past few days have been extremely interesting.  Bloggers have changed politics, now they are changing how religious news is covered, in major, major ways.  When a Bishop lies to the media, it only takes a few thousand googling monkeys to prove him a liar.

But anyway, the Episcopal Church has refused to go along with what the rest of the Anglican Church has demanded.  So what's next?  Honestly, I don't know.  I just know that I am done with the Episcopal Church in its current form, and I am hopeful that an authentic Anglican presence will soon arrive on these shores.  The conservative Bishops are gathering at this moment in a Common Cause partnership meeting.  Whether they will be recognized as the legitimate Anglican presence in the U.S. remains to be seen.  One can only hope.

Day 4: Is Steve Black Black?

September 21, 2007 09:25 AM

So it's been four days since the Dean of Cincinnati and Nate Livingston from the Cincinnati Black Blog debated whether Congressional Candidate Steve Black actually is black.  And guess what?  Nate still can't figure it out.  He writes:

It really doesn't matter, but I'd like to know if Steve Black, the guy being challenged by Victoria Wulsin in the Democratic primary for Congress, is white or Black?

If it doesn't matter, why does someone who runs the Cincinnati Black Blog need to know?  Should we answer Nate's question, readers?  I'm thinking we shouldn't.  You know.  Since it doesn't matter.

UPDATE: The Dean still can't figure it out either.  Too funny.

First they came for the Methodists, but I did not say anything, because I was not a Methodist

September 19, 2007 07:42 PM

So I'm paraphrasing Pastor Niemoeller, and posting something here.  From the Garden State we have this news: The State of New Jersey has revoked a church camp's tax except status because they refused to allow a same sex civil union ceremony to take place at a pavilion on the premises:

The pavilion, said Scott Hoffman, the camp's chief administrative officer to LifeSiteNews, "is a facility we have used exclusively for our camp meeting mission and worship celebrations since 1869."

Until recently the camp held tax-exempt status on its entire boardwalk property under a New Jersey program that gives tax-breaks to organizations that open up their property to the general public....

"It is clear that the pavilion is not open to all persons on an equal basis," DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson, wrote to the camp on Monday, in announcing the DEP's decision to revoke the camp's tax-exempt status.

"When people hear the words 'open space,' we want them to think not just of open air and land, but that it is open to all people," Jackson continued. "And when the public subsidizes it with tax breaks, it goes with the expectation that it is not going to be parsed out, whether it be by activity or any particular beliefs."

And if you're thinking that New Jersey's same logic would allow them to tax almost every other Church in the State, you'd be right.  Very, very alarming.

Image:Martin Niemoeller.jpg

HT: Stand Firm

Idiots Delight, Wednesday Edition: The ladies of The View discuss--in all seriousness--whether the earth is round. And at the very end, Barbara Walters is EXTREMELY confused about the internet and where babies come from.

Patricia Heaton for President!

September 18, 2007 09:27 AM

She responds to Sally Field's ridiculous Emmy Award speech “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any god-damned wars in the first place,” thusly:

“I’ve actually become a more violent person since I became a mother, If someone came between me and my kids, they’d be dead meat. So I didn’t agree with that particular statement.”

Thanks to Global Warming, Entire Point of Colonizing the Americas Now Realized!

September 17, 2007 12:54 PM

Yes, it's true.  The Northwest Passage is now open for thru traffic.  If this had happened 400 years ago, we could have gotten our opium directly from China instead of cocaine from South America.  So life as we know it today would be much, much different.  Yay, global warming!

I say call me when it's warm enough for tourism potential. 

Below: A young woman reassures her sea captain father that yes, one day we will be able to get poisonous dog food and toys containing dangerous quantities of lead shipped directly to the East Coast.

Image:Millais - Überfahrt nach Nordwest.jpg

The Northwest Passage, by John Everett Millais (1874).

HT: Dr. Mabuse, who says "Quick!  Someone call the Queen!  The Northwest Passage is open!"

It's been awfully quiet around here

So sorry for the lack of posts here at NBS lately.  The press of every day life has pretty much overwhelmed.  But more on that later.  In the meantime, if you're looking for entertainment, check out this round of Idiots Delight, which we find (predictably) over in the comments section at the Cincinnati Beacon.  There, we find the self-important Dean of Cincinnati debating the race-mongering Nate Livingston over this key question:

Is Steve Black, the guy who is running for Congress, actually black?

If so, someone needs to tell the Camargo Club, stat!

So folks, today's discussion topics are:  Is Steve Black the "It's Pat" of local indentity politics? 

 It's Pat

Can a dark skinned whitie ride to victory with the help of confused African Americans like Nate Livingston?  Has Steve Black out-tanned John Boehner and locked up the minority vote?

Round table discussion: Effective Strategies for Dealing with Childhood Obseity

September 12, 2007 08:52 AM


In The Know: Should We Be Shaming Obese Children More?

One Year Ago on NBS, Six Years Ago in New York

September 10, 2007 11:16 PM

Last year for the 5th Anniversary of September 11, I participated in the 2,996 Project, in which small websites came together to honor each victim of September 11.  It was easy to sign up for, but harder to do.  There's really nothing you can say that does the subject matter justice.  And I struggled in my research, because I couldn't find the material I thought I needed.  Here's what I came up with:

As we mentioned last week, this website is honored to participate in the 2,996 project this year, which commemorates the individuals who were murdered on September 11, 2001.  The response to this project has been so overwhelming, that far more than 2,996 private websites have signed up to participate, and the organizers have started through the list a second time.  We encourage everyone to spend some time today, and review some of the tributes that are appearing on the internet.  Each of the lives that were lost five years ago were precious.  We encourage our readers to reflect on those individuals today, and what they meant to those who loved them.

David Ortiz was one of those individuals.  He was a locksmith from Nanuet, New York, who worked for the Port Authority.  He had a wife named Lillian, and two children: Richard, who was 14 years old in 2001, and Crystal, who was 6.  He was very close to his brother, Martin, and his sister, Maria.  We encourage you to think about Lillian, Richard, Crystal, Martin and Maria today.  They think about David often, and you can read some of their thoughts at the Legacy.com guestbook.

David was a family man, with a sense of humor.  When David wasn't working overtime to pay for renovations to their house, he was fishing with his son, spreading joy to those around him, or riding his blue Harley Davidson.  He enjoyed playing practical jokes on his co-workers in the WTC Lock Shop.

David was also one of the heroes of September 11th.  He knew the layout of the World Trade Center complex like the back of his hand.  And after the attacks came, he went back in, to help.  He was one of 13 civilians who was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his service on September 11, 2001.

On September 14, 2003, David's brother Martin and his wife became parents.  Their new son is named David Ortiz.

One year ago on NBS, six years ago in New York, and three years, 362 days ago for a family who lost, and gained.

Remembering 9/11, New Jersey Style

From the Newark Star-Ledger:

In Westfield, weeds have taken over the brick walkways around the 9/11 memorial and heavy traffic exhaust has left its mark on the obelisk.

In Morris County -- where fundraising to expand the 9/11 county memorial is stalled for lack of interest -- visitors can no longer throw coins into the pool around the existing monument, custodians said, because the homeless went wading for change and "we were afraid somebody would drown."

In Middletown, where an estimated 2,000 people attended the 9/11 ceremony last year, Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger said events have been scaled "way back" because "nobody really wanted something that big again."

Why would anyone want to live in New Jersey, where they fear the homeless may drown in disused 9/11 memorials?

Still MORE on Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby

September 9, 2007 09:56 AM

Kudos to Dan Horn and the Enquirer for writing a story about the Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby case that actually explains the legal issues involved.  Newspapers rarely look at these matters in depth, and it's definitely unusual to see the popular press analyze mental states and what they mean under criminal law.  Oh sure, Dan doesn't throw out the Latin, so I will:

Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea.

It means "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty."  There are different mens rea (i.e. mental states) and culpability is based on whether the offending party possessed the mental state that comports with a particular crime.  In the Nesselroad-Slaby case, the necessary mental state is recklessness, and to prove that, you need to show that the offending party perversely disregarded a known risk.  That is different than forgetting something.  As the Prosecutor explained:

"Here's my challenge to anyone who thinks she should have been charged: Do you believe she left her child in there on purpose?" White said. "That's what I have to believe as prosecutor to charge her. That's what the law is."

The law he's referring to is child endangering, which in Ohio requires a parent or guardian to act recklessly by disregarding a substantial risk.

To many, there is little doubt the mother was reckless. But the legal definition of reckless requires proof the mother perversely disregarded a known risk.

"When people hear the word reckless, they say, 'Well, certainly this person was reckless,' " Piper said. "But the legal definition of reckless is way, way higher than the definition we use every day."

White decided the evidence supported Nesselroad-Slaby's claim she forgot her child was in the car. Once he made that decision, criminal charges were out of the question.

If the mother forgot, White said, she could not have disregarded a risk because she didn't know the child was there.

That is why this is completely different than cases where someone leaves a baby in the car while running errands.  In those cases, they haven't forgotten the baby.  They're just leaving it the car, and assuming (wrongly) that nothing is going to happen to it.  When someone does that, they are perversely disregarding a known risk, and they can be charged with child endangering.

One other quick legal point: The purpose of criminal law is two-fold.  It is designed to punish the offending party, and to deter future conduct (either the offending party's future conduct, or someone else's).  In this case, prosecuting Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby would not have a deterrent effect on her or anyone else.  There's zero chance she'll leave a baby in a hot car again.  And as for members of the public, no one is more likely to leave their baby in a hot car just because Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby wasn't prosecuted.  If anything, people are going to look at this tragic situation and be more cautious about their kids, not less.

And as for punishing her, I have to say that the people who think she needs to be punished more are just creepy.  I can think of no worse a punishment than having your child die and have it all be your fault.  The idea that something more should be piled on top of that is just vile.  People need to keep their blood lust in check.  And, they need to watch out for bad karma when they demand that someone else be prosecuted for what was obviously an accident.  It's not something you would want to have happen to you. 

The woman who forgot her child in the car...

September 5, 2007 08:10 AM

...will not face criminal charges.  The Clermont County Prosectutor took two weeks to arrive at a decision that was perfectly obvious from the beginning: She did not have the requisite mental state, and thus committed no crime.  Horrible accidents happen.

Already, people are screaming racism.  Take it away, Chris Smitherman

"Here today, we have a white woman down in Clermont County who killed her daughter, clearly endangerment of a child and we have the prosecutors saying not one charge will be levied against this woman," said Smitherman.

"And, at the same time, we have a an African-American woman in Avondale who's locked up right now for leaving her children in the closet," said Smitherman. "We have a prosecutor saying he's going to lock her up for 100 years."

Is it possible that he does not see the difference between these two cases?  Does he understand "intent" at all?  Or is creating racial discord all part of his plan?

I will say though, that Nate Livingston over at the Cincinnati Black Blog is right about one thing: It is ridiculous that Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby's attorney is a Clermont County Commissioner.  Talk about creating an appearance of impropriety!  I'm mortified that a county commissioner is acting as a criminal defense lawyer in any case pending in his county's courts, much less this one.  It's almost as bad as Butler County, where you have Judges who operate as criminal defense attorneys.

Update: Wow, it's even generated allegations of sexism.  Still unexplained?  Why someone should be charged with a crime just because a man would be, or because an ethnic minority would be (even assuming that is true, and I don't believe it is).  If that were happening, the right thing to do would be to stop charging similarly situted men or minorities with these kinds of crimes--instead of just charging this poor women because others have not been.  But apparently cries for guillotine justice aren't limited by the two wrongs don't make a right concept. 

Nutty liberal Europeans should think before hitting "reply all."

September 4, 2007 02:46 PM

Oh the perils of "reply all."  It seems that even in 2007, there are still people who do not know that one should never hit "reply all" in the corporate setting and send an email to all personnel.  I honestly cannot think of a good reason for doing that.  Ever.

Check out attorney Hanspeter Wurstiner's "reply all" email to thousands of his colleagues at the international (but mostly American) law firm, Greenberg Traurig.  He's responding to an email about work place efforts to buy phone cards for U.S. troops so they can call home once in a while.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wustiner, Hanspeter (Shld-ZUR-CP)
To: Mak, Annette (Shld-AMS-IP); ALLATTY; ALLSTAFF
Cc: Compton, Katherine (Shld-Dal-LT/IP)
Sent: Thu Aug 30 17:29:44 2007
Subject: AW: Phone card project (results and thanks by Annette Mak and Katherine Compton)

I am aware that GT is supposed to be politically a non partisan organisation. However, since the phone card project is not unpolitical I should like to make the follwing comments (even if it may affect my bonus):

Why isn't some of the surplus used for innocent iraqi victims?

It is most interesting for a european to note that the US can not properly take care of their soldiers and the war budget does not allow to care for the wounded soldiers. But cannon fudder is probably not budgeted by Cheney to be alloiwed to call home. (Why should I make up for the difference?)

I am glad to see that bush and his war clique run out of money for funding this war. (Although this should be first applied to the wounded )

As a side remark I did not make a contribution for political considerations although I think each american soldier should have free calls to his family, since I do support this war and the bush politic. I assume I am not the only one sharing this opinion, considering that the average contribution of GT per employee is less than 10 dollars.

Please appologize for this interruption, but I just have to make this point, since I think this matter is inconsistent with a neutral non partisan approach.

Kind regards
Hanspeter Wüstiner

Not.  Smart.  And it drew this response from the firm's President, Richard Rosenbaum:

-----Original Message-----
From: Rosenbaum, Richard A. (President)
Sent: Thursday, August
30, 2007 6:02 PM
To: Wustiner, Hanspeter (Shld-ZUR-CP); Mak, Annette (Shld-AMS-IP); ALLATTY; ALLSTAFF
Cc: Compton, Katherine (Shld-Dal-LT/IP)
Subject: Re: AW: Phone card project (results and thanks by Annette Mak and Katherine Compton)

In the hope that, unlike this one, no one else will reply to all but only to those leading the effort, perhaps Cesar, Matt or me, let me send one quick response to fill the void. This firm is not a political party. As a business organization, we do not take political positions. I see nothing in the efforts of Annette or anyone else involved but a desire to help human beings and families. We most certainly are an organization with compassion for human beings and their families, our charitable endeavors, as a group and individually, announced and most not publicized at all, have always been an essential part of our culture. It is who our founders were, it is who most everyone here is.

Personally, I did not appreciate your politicizing or creating negative energy over such a warm and giving gesture by so many. Your cynism and political views however will never be taken into account in your compensation, that is determined by your performance. Thanks and my deep apologies to all who received your email and had to spend time reading it and this one.

What a masterful schooling of an out of line employee!

HT: Above the Law.

Worthless Academic Study No. 3,678: "Men Want Hot Women, Study Confirms"

From the AP:

Participants ranged in age from 26 to their early 40s and took part in "speed dating," short meetings of three to seven minutes in which people chat, then move on to meet another dater. Afterward, participants check off the people they'd like to meet again, and dates can be arranged between pairs who select one another.

Speed dating let researchers look at a lot of mate choices in a short time, Todd said.

In the study, participants were asked before the session to fill out a questionnaire about what they were looking for in a mate, listing such categories as wealth and status, family commitment, physical appearance, healthiness and attractiveness.

After the session, the researchers compared what the participants said they were looking for with the people they actually chose to ask for another date.

Men's choices did not reflect their stated preferences, the researchers concluded. Instead, men appeared to base their decisions mostly on the women's physical attractiveness.

The men also appeared to be much less choosy. Men tended to select nearly every woman above a certain minimum attractiveness threshold, Todd said.

I hope this study wasn't funded with taxpayer dollars.  Though I do wonder what they mean by "minimum attractiveness threshold?"  Is it like Hot or Not?

More on Dennis Kucinich and his freaky wife

August 31, 2007 10:32 AM

From the Plain Dealer's Openers Blog, we hear of their plans to celebrate their anniversary.  And the Kuciniches want us all to participate:

In an Aug. 22 e-mail titled "Help Celebrate our Wedding Anniversary," Kucinich notified backers that he and Elizabeth were celebrating their second wedding anniversary that week.

"I know we are newly weds and all, but I felt the undying urge to share this occasion with our supporters," Kucinich said in the e-mail.

 Um.  Ew.

"The love Elizabeth and I share encompasses all of the reasons you support our campaign and all the reasons we exist as human beings."

Using the word "love" 17 times, Kucinich proceeded to claim that "the Power of Love" could eliminate world hunger, establish universal health care and return U.S. troops from Iraq. Then he decided to see if "Love" could also generate campaign money by urging e-mail recipients to "share in our celebration."

Tacky.  Tacky.  Tacky.  An unnecessary sexual reference and a shake down for cash.  Hell, it's almost as tacky as some of the ads that are running on this site right now.  I'm making millions, by the way.  Who knew Republicans were such pervs?

Leona Helmsley's Will Confirms She Was "Trouble"

August 29, 2007 08:12 AM

She left $12,000,000 to her dog, a white Maltese named "Trouble."  At the end of his life, "Trouble" is to be buried in the Helmsley mausoleum, next to Leona and Harry.  She gave $5,000,000 to two of her grandchildren, as long as they visit their father's grave site at least once a year.  If they don't, they get nothing.  Oh, and the other two grandchildren?  They get nothing, "for reasons that are known to them."

I suppose I should also point out that the balance of her estate is to be given to her charitable trust.  That could be billions that she's leaving to charitable causes.  But it's also no excuse for so rudely and publically screwing over two of your grandchildren--"for reasons that are known to them." 

Does anyone actually believe the two screwed over grandchildren were responsible for whatever happened between them and their grandmother?

Question for the Catholics*

August 24, 2007 10:33 AM

From NBS's sister (also a perpetually irked Episcopalian), who was dropping her son off for his first day of kindergarten at Catholic school.  During the big first-day-of-school-drop-off, this little episode occurred in the parking lot.  It involves my two-year old niece:

...This part of the parking lot included a small rock garden with a statue of Mary.  Mary had been decorated with a wilted and ancient daisy chain and gold pipe cleaner wreath.  After redirecting Gracie from the construction trailer, she and I were discussing the merits of putting the shiny white rocks carefully down on the ground rather than practicing her forearm when she spotted Mary.  Mary and Gracie were pretty much eyeball to eyeball, and Gracie wanted that beautiful crown.

When Gracie realized that Mary was neither going to hand it over nor attempt to stop her, Gracie grabbed for the crown.  Then Gracie started either hugging Mary or tugging her up out of the ground so that she could carry the big dolly.  (You can make your own assumptions about Gracie's plans).  All this seemed like fairly normal behaviour, but deferring to unknown Catholic sensibilities I ran interference.

So does it offend Catholics for toddlers to play with/manhandle/attempt to carry around Mary or is it more offensive to hear a hot, tired, cranky mother saying "Stop that"?

Readers, what say you?  It is okay to maul Mary?

*By which of course I mean Roman Catholics.  As Anglicans, we are, of course, catholic.

Hollywood Hates

An entry, from Melissa Etheridge's partner's blog:

so if i blog
about what an idiotic, parasitical, country-raping piece of shit george w. bush is, i could
go to jail?

george bush
you are a criminal
you are raping our country of our intentions
i do wonder if his mom and dad go to bed at night
proud of little whiskey-cokey-georgie poo
for
his dictatorship?
how does laura lay her head down at night
pulled eyes and all
and dream sweetly of lambies and cashmere sweaters?
when she f**** him
does she call him adolf or castro?

rove
you sweaty little piggish oompa loompa elmer fudd ass
karma is a bitch
and i don't think you'll ever get
that wascaly wabbit
while torturing the fellas at abu gharib

this war is
war for profit
something i am sure
the bible does not favor

weapons of mass destruction:
the current american government.

now come arrest me
you f*ckers.

And the Hollywood left thinks Republicans are the ones with the problems?

Careful guys, this one sounds like a trap

August 23, 2007 04:22 PM

From Craigslist.  I've had to edit it slightly, to preserve that PG13 rating.

I want to meet a Republican - w4m - 19


Reply to: pers-404047991@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-08-23, 12:05PM EDT


I want to meet you ASAP. No need for lots of emails back and forth. I will make you *** and *** and ***. I am 5'7", 133#, shoulder length curly hair, full lips, bedroom eyes and sexy. I'm so ready for you.

  • Location: Cincinnati
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Chalk me up as skeptical about this nineteen year-old GOP loving hussy.  You don't want to be bit by a rabid liberal.  You can't be too careful--those W. haters will do anything these days.  Chomp Chomp! 

Bette Midler, one of Hollywood's most prominent "environmentalists"...

August 22, 2007 12:26 PM

...is to be fined for cutting down more than 230 trees on her estate on Kauai.  She also had a road built without obtaining necessary permits.  Reminds me of John Travolta.

Not exactly what you expect from the NYT's "Vows" Column

August 20, 2007 04:48 PM

I started out wanting to make fun of this, but I ended up rather impressed.  Here's the NYT profile on newlyweds Donnie Andrews and Fran Boyd:

In 1987, Mr. Andrews was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man on the troubled streets of West Baltimore, where Ms. Boyd, a former junkie, said she got high on heroin and exchanged sex for other drugs....

This is not, by the way, how the typical NYT "Vows" Column begins.

Their first conversation took place on Jan. 21, 1993. The connection had been set up by Edward Burns, a former Baltimore homicide detective whom Mr. Andrews had surrendered to in 1986, and David Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter who had written about Mr. Andrews’s criminal activities....

They had a hunch Mr. Andrews, who was turning his life around by earning a general equivalency diploma, taking college-level courses and studying the Bible, could influence the life of Ms. Boyd, who was still nodding out in the old neighborhood. They gave Mr. Andrews her phone number.

“From that very first call, I could hear in her voice that she wanted help,” said Mr. Andrews, who was in the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix. “She was looking for a way out.”

Mr. Andrews, also a former heroin user, understood her struggle and her pain. His first wife was murdered three years after he went to prison. He began calling Ms. Boyd frequently. Their conversations were sometimes “four and five hours long,” he said. After a $2,900 phone bill, limits were set on their calls. He used less expensive communication, too, sometimes writing three or four letters a week.

Okay, this is getting to be a nice story of redemption, but can we just pause a minute and ask why prison officials were allowing such excessive phone time in the first place?

“I was often in bad shape when I answered that phone, but no matter what I did or what I said, Donnie never criticized me,” Ms. Boyd said. “He just kept giving me reasons why I should be doing something else, saying that if he can change, I can change. Through the worst of times, I kept holding on to that.”

Indeed, there was little else that Ms. Boyd could hold on to for 28 grueling days later that year at the Baltimore Recovery Center. For six of those days she said she “lay on a cold, hard floor, all alone, just shaking and detoxing.” “On that sixth day, I got up and took a shower,” she said, “and that was that.”

Two years after they were introduced, their relationship turned a romantic corner, and the telephone soul mates decided to exchange photographs. When his landed in her mailbox, she pulled the photo from the envelope and peeked at it through her fingers. “I thought, ‘Dear Lord, please make this man be good looking,’ ” she said, laughing. “When I saw how nice looking he was, I just said, ‘Thank you, Jesus.’ ”

By now, Ms. Boyd had fallen hard for Mr. Andrews, but she was afraid to be in love with him.

“I didn’t want to be one of those woman in love with a guy in prison who was never coming home,” she said. “But I knew that Donnie really cared about me and that we were in this thing together, so letting him go was no longer an option.”

In the ensuing years, Ms. Boyd, guided by the steady influence of Mr. Andrews, began standing firmly on her own feet. She became a guardian for two nieces and a nephew, while providing for her own two sons. She began doing outreach work for drug addicts at New Hope Treatment Center in West Baltimore, a methadone clinic associated with Bon Secours Hospital. And she began visiting Mr. Andrews....

In April 2005, Ms. Boyd’s unwavering love and loyalty was rewarded with Mr. Andrews’s release after 17 and a half years of time served.

The roads that took Mr. Andrews from central booking to central casting, and Ms. Boyd from heroin to heroine, led to their wedding at the Forum, a Baltimore catering hall. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, the church where Mr. Andrews is head of security and works doing anti-gang outreach programs.

“Love never fails,” Mr. Reid told the nearly 200 guests, “You see with all the tragedies of their lives that love brought them up.”

Awwwwwww!  It sounds like these two have completely turned their lives around.  Best wishes to the happy couple.

Monday morning and I'm busy with real work...

...but I do have to take a minute to roll my eyes over this comment, left over at the Beacon:

Of possible interest to local blogwatchers, yesterday Nasty, Brutish and Short ran an item about the Beacon’s cuckold story with the title, “Ridiculous Blind Item of the Day.”

Interestingly, earlier today the above faxed letter to George Vincent was posted as a comment under NBS’s item and appeared briefly on his blog before being deleted. (NBS, if the story’s so ridiculous, why delete a letter to the chair of the local Republican Party?)

In his item, and this is typical for NBS, he pontificates without knowing what he’s talking about. There are several examples in his cuck item which confuses cuckoldry (a fetish behavior) with swinging. Here’s the most obvious example of NBS’s ignorance of the subject:

And what about that “hot wife” clue?  Surely it’s not a physical description?  If so, it certainly narrows the list of potential cuckolds quite dramatically.

If NBS had done minimal Googling, he’d know that “hot wife” doesn’t mean “good looking wife” or “sexy wife” as he assumes. From Wiki:

The term hot wife refers to a married woman who has sex with men other than her spouse, with the husband’s consent. In most cases the husbands take a vicarious pleasure in watching their wives and the other male’s enjoyment, or enjoy watching, hearing, or knowing about their wives’ adventures.

Therefore, NBS, for failing to do mininal research before posting, for writing and posting an ignorant item, and for censoring legitimate comments simply because you disagree with the POV, you must be disciplined without mercy. Your punishment is to get down on all fours, beg, and vote the straight Republican ticket!

Oops, nevermind. You’re already there. I’ll have to think of something else....

Typical.  I suppose I should ignore crap like this, but I do want to point out that I am having major problems with comment spam, as I have mentioned numerous times.*  If a "real" comment gets deleted, it is an accident.  I would have been more than happy to have a copy of the letter to George Vincent (Hamilton County GOP Chairman) left in my comment section.  Because the letter is so asinine!

Also, who knew I'd ever be excoriated regarding the subtle difference between swinging and cuckolding?  Apparently I am an idiot on these matters, and I apologize for misleading my readers.  If you set out to swing this weekend and instead ended up cuckolded, I apologize.  It is all my fault.  You should have known not to rely on me, as I have such ignorance of my subjects!

I do know about the "hot wife" term, though--thanks for the suggestion that I google it.  As was completely obvious from my original post, I was making a joke about the relative unattractiveness of policial wives.

*Comments are turned back on, by the way.  We'll see if my new fix works.

Ridiculous Blind Item of the Day

August 16, 2007 08:34 AM

Comes from The Cincinnati Beacon, where the Dean announces that a high profile local Republican (who he refuses to name) is into some kinky hanky panky:

[W]ord is that Hamilton County has its own high-profile hypocrite with a taste for unusual extra-curricular activities. Like Vitter, this Republican preaches “traditional family values” and attacks all the usual targets. Like Vitter, he’s used his own family to hype his wholesome image. But in private he’s said to indulge in a decidedly more exotic activity known as “cuckolding.”

He then goes on to explain what cockolding is, inexplicably assuming that his readers are all over the age of 75.  And the clues he gives us about the identify of this person are pretty lean:

A source tells us that Southern Ohio has an active “cuckold” subculture, complete with internet hook-ups. Rumor has it our family values Repub and “hot wife” are known on the scene.

You gotta love the ridiculousness of the phrase "a source tells us that Southern Ohio has an active 'cuckold' subculture."  Did someone finally tell him about the Terrace Park Swingers?  They've got to be a myth, by the way.  I just can't believe that Terrace Park swings.

And what about that "hot wife" clue?  Surely it's not a physical description?  If so, it certainly narrows the list of potential cuckolds quite dramatically.

Evil, leg-breaking Steelers must be in bed by 11:00, and no drinky-poo

August 15, 2007 09:07 AM

The Smoking Gun has obtained the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2007 "Hotel Requirements."  Among the highlights:

No other hotel guests on the players' floor.

No alcohol in hotel rooms; mini-bars are NOT to be stocked.

No room service delivery of alcohol.

Hotel security is needed to assist with "bed check."

Players are not permitted phone calls after 11:00 p.m.

Hmmmm.  Why do they have to try so hard to prevent drinking, raping and pillaging?

A link from the technorati glitterati!

August 14, 2007 03:50 PM

Welcome Althouse readers!  So glad to have you, so mortified that I didn't give Dolley Madison her "e."  In my defense, the Dolly Madison bakery doesn't give her an "e," though I suppose I shouldn't have relied on them.  Tant pis!

I guess I should act all mature and professional, and pretend I get links from the likes of Ann Althouse all the time.  Will you stay if I do?  Or do I have to find more first lady cleavage to get you all to stick around?

Does Edith Wilson do anything for you?

White House portrait

Deleting spam comments and listening to Bloggingheads.tv

August 13, 2007 08:54 PM

How fun is that for a Monday night?  More so than you might think: This episode of Bloggingheads has supreme legal blogger Ann Althouse talking to Robin Givhan of the Washington Post about Hillary's cleavage, Al Gore's earth tones and Jeri Thompson's being hot and over 40.  Fast forward if you're short on time to their discussion of crocs--they hate them, as do I.  Please, people.  Do not wear crocs.  Up until the croc discussion, though, it's a fascinating commentary about fashion and how people in the political spectrum chose to present themselves.

I completely agree with both of them that these topics are fair game.  This has been an issue since the famous debate between Nixon and Kennedy.  Nixon refused to wear make-up, because he thought it word of it would get out, and it would make him appear unmanly.  Kennedy, of course, wore make-up and looked fantastic (obviously he had other advantages over Nixon in this regard).  After the debate, people who had watched on tv thought Kennedy had won; those who heard it on the radio though Nixon prevailed.

It's a long episode of Bloggingheads, but it's well worth it.  For the record, I thought Hillary wasn't showing too much cleavage.  It's just the thought of Hillary showing any cleavage that I have a problem with.  It's just too weird, too un-Hillary.  It's so much of a departure from what we expect from her that it is disarming.  It is pretty unfortunate that the first major female presidential candidate is so unfeminine.  She could have been feminine while she was first lady.  Then it would have been natural.  Dolly Madison had a decent rack, and now there's a whole line of cookies names after her.  By today's standards, she showed a lot of cleavage.  But Hillary refused to be feminine as first lady, because it just wasn't her.  She wanted to be taken seriously, and thought she needed to look like a man to achieve that.  Now she's the first woman to have a real shot at the presidency, and she can't take advantage of her feminine wiles.  Does she have any?  Or because it's Hillary Clinton, are we just too skeptical about being manipulated? 

With Hillary, you have to ask whether she's wearing something low-cut because of some political calculation.  Is she channeling Eva Peron now?  She used to be channeling Eleanor Roosevelt.  What gives?  Is it just too hard to believe Hillary would do something because it's what she wants to?  With Hillary, do we assume there has to be a reason?  Hillary and her mind games!

Mind games, manipulation.... maybe she is feminine!!

As for the comments I'm deleting, I've noticed that I've gotten a lot of bowflex spam since I started posting about the elliptical machine.  Do the bowflex people think someone's going to buy their machine after reading a post about how I can't even carry my elliptical machine up the stairs?  What's up with that?

And I'm still getting lots of spam comments that advertise Cialis.  Who would buy Cialis off a website called Nasty, Brutish & Short?  That's what I'd like to know. 

Michael Vick: The other shoe drops!

July 30, 2007 11:13 AM

In the form of this pro se lawsuit, filed last week by Jonathan Lee Riches, Inmate No. 42948-018.  He seeks $63,000,000,000 "backed by gold and silver."  He alleges that Michael Vick stole his pit bulls, his identity (and used it to by dogfood) and his copyright.  And check out Count IV.  That one's a doozy.

 Michael Vick Pro Se 1 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg

vickprose2.jpg

vickprose3.jpg

HT: Above the Law

How is it responsible journalism to publish the homeowner's addresses for the 10 most expensive homes on the Magic Mountain?

July 27, 2007 08:11 AM

As the Enquirer does this morning.  It's class warfare journalism, and it's unsafe.  I know it's part of the public record, but it doesn't have to be publicized.  Those are two different things.

Remember this from two years ago in Chicago?

Federal judge's family killed

Husband, mother found slain in basement

Jurist had been a target of white supremacist

Well the Enquirer's list includes a federal judge's home address, and she has to deal with the criminal element every single day.  That doesn't need to be in the paper.  Most judges try to keep their home addresses on the dl security reasons. 

And as for the other names on this list, why not just run that under the headline "Kidnappers Look Here"?

Tony Snow on Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

July 26, 2007 01:46 PM

And writing like American leaders used to write, in Christianity Today:

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

The whole thing is an excellent read.  It's like a nice mix of C.S. Lewis and Peggy Noonan. 

And, how come Tony's day job doesn't keep him from writing?  I can barely get in a handful of blog posts per day, and I'm not the White House Press Secretary.

Airhead TV

It's summer, so it's terrorist dry run time

July 25, 2007 09:10 AM

Lovely.  The TSA has sent out a memo to airport screeners and air marshals warning them to be on the lookout.  Apparently they have had several people who have tried to get some strange items through airport security recently:

  • San Diego, July 7. A U.S. person — either a citizen or a foreigner legally here — checked baggage containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay inside them rather than the normal blue gel.
  • Milwaukee, June 4. A U.S. person’s carryon baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to some explosives.
  • Houston, Nov. 8, 2006. A U.S. person’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown clay-like minerals and pipes.
  • Baltimore, Sept. 16, 2006. A couple’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellular phone charger.

Over at National Review's media blog, Greg Pollowitz wants to know "what happened to the four people who had these odd items taken from them?"  A very good question.  I would like to think they've all been tortured and forced to give up what else they know.  Such as: Why were they doing this?  Who asked them to do this?  How can we find these people if we'd like to speak to them?  You know, the kind of information that maybe it would be good to have.

But I'm quite confident these people have only been asked polite questions, which they dodged before going on their way.  Why?  Because innocent people always travel with blocks of cheese wrapped with wire coil, batteries, electrical switches and tubes.  I know I never leave home without my improvised cheese bomb.

And in the Washington Post, they talk about Hillary's heaving bosoms

July 20, 2007 03:15 PM

Pulitzer prize winning columnist Robin Givhan writes:

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.

And they run a picture:

 The presidential hopeful revealed a changing fashion sense in the Senate.

Now if that isn't enough to get you to turn away from the computer screen for the weekend, I don't know what is.  Go.  Outside.

Hummer is vandalized in upscale tree-hugger neighborhood

July 19, 2007 01:11 PM

From the Washington Post:

On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

Oh the open-mindedness of the modern American environmentalist.  You don't like something, destroy it.  Can't sensible people simply agree that Hummers and Priuses are both tacky, and have no place in our common life?

Public sector attorney pay... Woefully pathetic or just what they deserve?

Meet Adam Greenway, the public defender who delivers pizza by night to make ends meet:

"I never thought I would be 30 years old driving pizzas out after graduating from law school," said Greenway, whose second job is delivering pizza for Papa John's. "But you have got to make ends meet."

Greenway, who works for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, graduated in 2005 from Syracuse University College of Law in New York with a $130,000 student loan.

As unfortunate as it may be, a $130,000 student loan is not unheard of for law school graduates.

International human rights law was Greenways first path of choice for his profession, but a law professor turned him on to public defending.

"I loved it," the Pennsylvania native said. "I just loved being in the trenches and digging."

The same professor said Greenway should head to the South to become successful at public defending. And the South is where Greenway and his family headed, relocating to Kentucky in the summer of 2005 upon graduation.

Whoever this professor is, he should be taken out back and shot.  Not giving out career advice to students.  You do not need to relocate to rural Kentucky to become good at public defending.  That advice makes zero sense.  The cases in big cities will be much better and more important.

And, taking the lowest possible paying job is really stupid when you know this about to happen:

A few months later, the monstrous student loan reared its ugly head and it was time to pay up.

With a salary lingering right around $30,000 per year, a mortgage, three children and a $130,000 student law school loan to pay, Greenway picked up the second job in October 2006.

His student loan payment is $477 each month for the next 20 years.

I started out sympathic to him, and then, no.  I did a two-year stint as an Assistant Attorney General before going into private practice, and yes, the pay was awful.  But the only person I was supporting was myself.  Granted, public defenders are weird as a whole, but I do not understand how this guy thinks he is being a responsible husband and father of three.  Taking a job that pays $30,000 a year when you have a law degree and $130,000 in student loans is ridiculous.

His children are the ones that suffer the most, he said.

"My wife's pretty OK with it," he said. "She doesn't like it, but she understands that's what we have to do."

Actually, no.  It's not what you have to do.  You're doing it because you want to, not because you have to.

Before you accuse a co-worker of checking you out from a neighboring urinal...

July 18, 2007 01:50 PM

... make sure he does not have a medically diagnosed "lazy eye."  At least so holds the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming that Todd Bernier's sexual harassment suit against Morningstar should be tossed.  From the Court's opinion:

[O]n Friday, January 23, 2004, Bernier noticed Davis taking “an overt, purposeful and glaring look” at Bernier’s penis while they were both standing at the urinals in the men’s bathroom on their floor. Bernier knew that Davis was gay—he had learned this in 2003, some time after Davis brought a male date to the company’s 2002 Christmas party—but he was not aware until this litigation commenced that Davis had a “lazy” left eye that sometimes made it appear that he was “looking off at something” when conversing.

What Bernier did after the incident, though, was what killed his claim:

[H]e sent Davis an anonymous instant message through a little-used internal system. The message, which popped up on Davis’s computer without warning, said, “Stop staring! The guys on the floor don’t like it.” Davis, under the impression that he was being harassed for being gay, promptly notified Morningstar’s Human Resources department.

Big, big mistake.  The law is that if you feel you're being sexually harassed in the workplace, you must follow the reporting procedures set forth by your employer.  Do not take matters into your own hands by sending anonymous messages.  It won't take Tech Support long to figure out who you are. 

And of course, always follow established urinal protocol by taking an end one first, and never going to one next to one which is being used by someone else.  A little common sense never hurts in these situations, especially if it keeps you from having to figure out which of your co-workers have medically diagnosed lazy eyes.

HT: Keeping Up With Jonas via Above the Law

From the "Making NBS Seem Mainstream" Department

July 16, 2007 09:26 PM

Last week I introduced you all to someone who is even more conservative than I, this week, I give you someone more snobby.  Do check out the writings of one Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, and his blog, Reflections of a Young Fogey.  Mr. Heydel-Mankoo is an historian, honours consultant, protocol and etiquette consultant, and a royal and political commentator.  He is also the editor of Burke's Peerage & Gentry, and the grandson of Polish aristocrats Baron Adam Heydel and HSH Princess Karolina-Katarzyna Jablonowska. 

He also appears to be about 30, thus making him rather young to have devoted a career to monitoring other people's breeding.  I'm a Colonial Warrior, but I don't try to make a living off of it.  It would be fun to have him at a Warrior's event, though--mostly because he's significantly under the average age of 70, and also because he probably doesn't approve of Colonials Who Are Warriors.  A monarchist could really stir things up.  One gets the sense from reading his blog that he is definitely peeved we won the Revolutionary War.

Here's a sample:

Monarchists, traditionalists and historians gathered en masse yesterday evening in the dignified surroundings of London's Travellers Club library to honour the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660; thus marking the end of 11 years of hated, puritanical republican dictatorship. The Royal Stuart Society organises this splendid annual dinner on or around Oak Apple Day, May 29th, King Charles II's birthday and the date of his triumphal entry into London.

He then goes into a lengthy discussion of The Royal Stuart Society, and its aims:

The Society gladly recognises that those who form its membership are likely to have a varied range of particular interests. For some it will primarily be support for the institution of monarchy and the upholding of monarchical institutions against attack from their opponents. This support may favour, for instance, the legitimist stance based on hereditary principles and exemplified in the Jacobite movement and tradition after 1688. Adherents of this position will look with favour on the senior and direct hereditary heirs of the Royal House of Stuart although as our page on ‘Succession’ makes clear, none of those heirs has claimed any or all of the thrones of the British Isles since 1807. Other members of the Society will support or find acceptable the ‘parliamentary’ monarchy created by the Act of Settlement (1701) and now embodied in the reigning House of Windsor. For all there will be a consensus based on the desirability of having a monarchy rather than a republic. Closely linked with support for monarchy, members are likely to favour organised society in these islands being of a Christian, civilized and traditionalist nature. In a more general way they will favour co-operation with other credible monarchist bodies such as the International Monarchist League to support monarchical forms of government worldwide.

The Colonial Warriors have a rather different charter, but we do allow membership to descendants of those who fought for the Crown.  So we'd welcome members of The Royal Stuart Society to join our "hated, puritanical republican" brood.  Apparently, though, the feeling is not mutual.

But I do have something that Mr. Heydel-Mankoo and I surely do agree on.  True story: A few years ago, I was in the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey, near the stone that reads "The Burial Place of Oliver Cromwell 1658-1661."  And hand to God, this obese tourist woman who was standing next to me exclaimed:

"Awwwwwwwww.  He only lived to be three years old!"

If we hadn't been in a Church, I would have just unloaded on that woman.  I'm trying to take in the surroundings, and then there's this idiot.  If you are that stupid, you need to keep your mouth shut.  Those were the years that he was interred her, you fool.  Oliver Cromwell was not a baby.  He was a brutal dictator who got dug up, hanged, and decapitated after the Restoration of the Monarchy.  Not a baby.

Anyway, I'd like to think Mr. Heydel-Mankoo and I would share a common disdain for stupid people.  And both of us would probably would like this photo:

It's the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey, sans fat, ignorant tourists.

Meet Paulina Bandy. The girl who passed the bar exam on the 14th try.

Thanks to the hilarious David Lat over at Above the Law, Paulina Bandy has been brought to my attention.  The timing is perfect too, because I've been down in the dumps about my law practice.   They don't show it on the tv shows, but it can be... well... extremely boring.  But there's nothing like the less fortunate to make one feel better about one's self:

ORANGE – Paulina Bandy couldn't fail the state bar exam again.

Not after she failed 13 times before.

Not after she had spent tens of thousands to attend law school. Not after she put her husband Jon Gomez through the ringer for so many years. Not after the debt she piled up forced her family to move into a 365-square-foot home.

Not after she spent the last eight years of her life studying to pass one stinking test.

Her 14th try came on a day in February. She did breathing exercises and self-hypnosis.

During this time, she sold off her wedding gifts at garage sales, spent thousands of dollars on exam fees and prep courses, and was told by her father-in-law that she was "a pretend lawyer" who had ruined his son's life. 

But after the 14th attempt, the call came.  She passed: 

Paulina Brady bar exam well endowed Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Paulina Bandy.  You are one crazy, self-destructive woman an inspiration.

Love blooms in the jury box

From wire reports:

Love blossomed at a New York City murder trial last year between jurors Traci Nagy and Jonathan Cinkay. They picked up their marriage license last week, and Queens County Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, who presided over the case, is to marry them next month, a newspaper reported.

The two made goo-goo eyes on the first day, and fellow jurors encouraged Nagy, 36, to date Cinkay, 33.

The judge said he had noticed that rather than the usual somber panel, this jury seemed "full of beaming, happy people," but he "didn't imagine they were all playing matchmaker."

The warm feelings didn't do the murder defendant much good. He was convicted.

Maybe dodging jury duty is not such a good idea, for some?

The NBS Summer Spot...

July 13, 2007 09:10 AM

... is profiled in today's New York Times:

The Sailing Ship Manitou on Grand Traverse Bay.

The article begins:

DRIVING along the fingerlike peninsulas of Grand Traverse Bay, it’s easy to see why this part of Michigan calls itself the cherry capital. In spring, dense orchards explode in creamy blossoms, their pink hues like Impressionist smudges against the brilliant blue of Lake Michigan; come July’s harvest time, the branches are thick with ruby fruit.

But sprouting from the rolling green hillsides between the orchards is evidence of yet another fruitful enterprise — the neat rows of vineyards, which are fast turning this area into a destination for oenophiles and casual wine tasters alike.

The article leans heavily on the region's booming wine business--which I heartily support, even though it seems so foreign to those of us who have been going for years.

To ease into your exploration, sidestep Traverse City at first and head due north on Old Mission, a 22-mile strip that’s narrow enough in stretches to let you drive up its spine while taking in bay views in both directions. It’s home to six wineries, soon to be seven, including the Chateau Grand Traverse and Chateau Chantal, both of which have guest houses with rooms overlooking the vineyards. All offer daily tastings of their rieslings and pinot noirs and, naturally, some version or other of a cloying cherry port.

They even talk about one of my favorite spots:

The peninsula exudes a breezy country vibe, felt on quiet residential streets and in the stuck-in-time Old Mission General Store — opened in a wigwam in 1839 as the first trading post between Detroit and Mackinac Island. It’s run now by Jim Richards, a former actor from Detroit who inherited a family cherry orchard and purchased the store nine years ago.

“I thought it would be a noble cause to preserve this store,” said Mr. Richards, his days onstage and in soap operas still evident in his booming voice and jaunty derby (it’s a store rule that all the male workers wear period hats, a homage to those in the first photo of the store, in 1863, which is framed and hanging on the wall). There are plenty of other leftovers — creaky wood floors and big wooden barrels of peanuts, an antique Victrola and a heavy, ancient telephone whose receiver Mr. Richards picks up when it ding-a-lings — plus modern additions like store-made cherry salsa, steaming cups of chai and fat Italian sandwiches.

And they run a picture of the Old Mission lighthouse:

Ahhhhhh.  Just a few more weeks.

Remember Pearl the two-year old landlord? There are out takes...

July 11, 2007 08:35 AM

The Landlord Out Takes

For those of you who think NBS is too conservative...

July 8, 2007 10:45 PM

... you really need to check out Andrew Cusack's blog.  He's young, extremely intelligent, a great writer, and an American who doesn't even believe in the Declaration of Independence.  Yes, he's a monarchist.  Talk about diversity of opinion!  You don't run into many monarchists these days.

It takes a special kind of person to post on the Fourth of July the following words: "Two hundred and thirty-one years ago today, the tragedy of our people commenced."  He then has a picture of George III alongside a picture of George W. Bush, and says he prefers the former.  Misguided, I know, but a fascinating perspective.

And he has some great things to say about Sewanee.  Check out his feature "Maces of America," a "series of post covering the history, design, and use of ceremonial maces in the United States."  In it, he writes of Sewanee:

The University of the South, which sits on a 10,000-acre domain in Sewanee, Tennesee, is in my opinion the St Andrews of America. To my knowledge it is the only university on this side of the Atlantic which comes close to, and in many regards exceeds, the Universitas Sancti Andrea apud Scotus in the maintenance of tradition.

High praise, my friends.  High praise.  Do check out his blog.  It's so well-written that you may find the comment sections too intimidating.  But go there and lurk.

The apotheosis of the modern American yuppie

July 7, 2007 11:40 PM

Mrs. NBS and I now have this insured with Lloyds of London:

 

No, not kidding. 

In our defense, we are extremely worried about hip displasia.

[Apotheosis defined, here.]

The Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem is a troll

I'm using internet lingo, of course, which defines "troll" as follows:

Troll.  One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks with no substance or relevance to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.

Over at my friend Brad Drell's blog, Paul Marshall has started speaking up in the comments.  He's the Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem, PA.  Brad's a fellow attorney, was a fraternity brother of mine at Sewanee, and on the conservative side of things in the Episcopal-Anglican crack-up.  Bishop Marshall is not in the same camp. 

So guess what Bishop Marshall is saying in Brad's comments section?  He accuses Brad of being crazy.  He says that there are meds available to cure Brad's condition (conservatism, I guess), and that he hopes Brad's "symptoms are being managed."

And yes, we do know that is THE Bishop of Bethlehem who is posting the comments, not someone doing so under an assumed name.  Can you imagine?  Granted, Bishop Marshall is best known for recently launching an unhinged attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, accusing him of coddling conservatives (would that were so!) and destroying the church.  So at least Brad's in good company.  He's right there on Bishop Marshall's shit list, along with the The Most Rev. Rowan D. Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England, and heir to the throne of St. Augustine.  Not bad for a guy from a small town in Louisiana.

But good company aside...  isn't it a little bizarre for a Bishop to be accusing members of the laity of being crazy via blog comments?  It certainly does makes one wonder who is off their meds.  And it doesn't seem to me like it's Brad.

Housesitters from Hell

July 5, 2007 02:12 PM

The New York Times is out with a special interest story about what can happen when you make bad choices about housesitters:

The first sign of trouble came when Ms. Gottlieb’s secretary called from New York to say there had been a large party in the apartment, according to the building’s doorman. The estimate was about 100 guests. “It was a great entertaining space,” Ms. Gottlieb says dryly, “as this woman may have realized.”

Then came the terrible moment when Ms. Gottlieb and her husband returned home.

“The first thing we’re greeted by is the dead ficus,” she says. “The phone bill for $400 didn’t come till later. Then we go upstairs and we’re unpacking and I lift the hamper and every pair of underwear I owned is in the hamper.”

Ms. Gottlieb pauses. “She had used all my underpants and left them dirty in the hamper,” she says.

Yes, that would be a bad thing to discover.  How disgusting.

There's also the story of the couple who went off to Bora Bora on their honeymoon, and returned to discover that their housesitter had posted a video of their cat (which weighed 37 pounds) on YouTube.  You can watch the video "My Big Pussy (cat) Babe!" here.

And there's the story of the woman who returned to L.A. to discover there had been a mudslide:

“I go back to L.A. a few days early and go to my house,” Ms. Strickland says. “I go into the bathroom to wash my face and I look in the mirror and what’s exactly behind me is a wall of mud. It’s come through the window; completely buried the toilet. I can’t register this. I turn around. There is a large Jacuzzi bathtub and tile on the same wall as the toilet. That wall is bowed.”

Going outside — the sensible thing to do when a supporting wall appears to be giving way — Ms. Strickland found that the five-foot space between the back wall and the hill was filled with mud that was rising over the roof. She hot-footed it over to her boyfriend’s apartment. When Ms. Strickland called her friend and told her that mud was filling up the bathroom, her friend, who had apparently been using a second bathroom, was not surprised.

“She said, ‘I know,’ ” Ms. Strickland says. “I said, ‘When I called from Alabama, why didn’t you tell me?’ She said: ‘I didn’t want to worry you. You know, we have cockroaches in New York.’ Somehow she equated the two.”

But this, hands-down, is the worst story:

Ms. Michaels’s young housesitter had not mentioned that his mother was on the lam from child welfare authorities, who wanted to remove the children from her home because she was keeping company with a drug addict who beat her.

It was not until Ms. Michaels returned that she learned her tenant had moved upstate to be near her boyfriend in Attica and turned the apartment over to her ex-husband. The ex-husband had taken up with a 42nd Street junkie and hustler. (As we said, this is an old story: 42nd Street was frequented by people not necessarily going to see “Mary Poppins.”)

The two housesitters had sold Ms. Michaels’s furniture and Oriental rug, but this was not sufficient to meet their financial obligations, including those to the junkie’s dealers, one of whom came to the apartment and knifed the ex-husband, who bled on one of Ms. Michaels’s last remaining possessions, her mattress. Also, her cats had grown so wild that a neighbor had taken them to the A.S.P.C.A., where she assumes they were destroyed.

Ms. Michaels sued the ex-husband, winning a settlement of about $39,000, of which, she says, she received one payment of $35.

While I have never heard of anyone leaving their home in the hands of a street junkie and huster, who sold off their possessions and got knifed on the premises, I do know of someone who (1) drank the entire contents of the homeowners' wine cellar (including many. many bottles of expensive champagne), (2) hosted innumerable parties, (3) wore their clothes, and (4) managed to flood the garage, ruining a Mercedes.

No, this was not I.  But I did help (with the wine).

Happy Birthday...

July 4, 2007 03:53 PM

...to my alma mater.

HT: Drell

Summer dress code No 2. And this one goes out to all the ladies.

July 3, 2007 01:44 PM

Once again, Above the Law is asking the important questions: Capri pants at work, yea or nay?  In my opinion, the correct answer is clear: yea for secretaries, big nay for professionals.

And spaghetti strap tank tops... ever okay in the office?  I'm very much in the pro-spaghetti strap tank top camp, but have to reluctantly state that they are only appropriate under a jacket or blazer.  It's a shame, I know.

At our office, there's a big debate every summer over what constitutes appropriate summer footwear, and the secretaries start agitating about mules and strappy shoes.  A good rule of thumb: if it makes a flip flop noise when you walk, it's not okay.  Another pet peeve of mine?  People who call flip-flops thongs.  Those are totally different.

Summer dress code, male edition

What is okay?  A seersucker suit?  A short-sleeved dress shirt?

My take is that seersucker suits are great, though I personally can't wear them because they make me look like Babar.  The fact that I have an elephant head doesn't help, either.

And short-sleeved dress shirts?  They're for the guys in tech support.

"I love Jesus but I drink a little." Who doesn't!

June 28, 2007 09:47 PM

Britain has a new Prime Minister. Gordon Brown will never be as good as this one, though.

June 27, 2007 08:07 AM

Antioch Alumni just need $39,600,000 more

June 25, 2007 10:32 PM

From the Dayton Business Journal (and if that's not an oxymoron, I don't know what is.  Have you driven through downtown Dayton lately?  It's a ghost town.  Nothing but bums and tumbleweed).  But anyway:

Antioch College alumni raised $400,000 over the weekend as part of a $40 million push to save the college.

Pathetic.  The alumni comes up with $400,000?  And they need $40,000,000?  Where are they going to get the rest?  It's not like one of their Freegan alumni is going to find that in a dumpster.  They're going to try, though:

About 500 alumni were in Yellow Springs Friday though Sunday for a homecoming weekend that turned into an organizing effort against the board of trustee's decision to shutter the school.

Homecoming in June?  And it was an "organizing effort"?  Nothing is more fun than replacing what is supposed to be a weekend of drinking and football with a protest.  Wild times!

The alumni association has formed a nonprofit organization, College Revival Fund, to raise $40 million by the end of the year, said alumni board member Steve Duffy. The group hopes to raise $1 million in the next 60 days.

Steve Duffy?  Don't we know him?  Oh yes, I believe we do.  And per the Dayton Business Courier, thanks to loyal assistant librarians like Steve:

Alumni and faculty are fighting the decision to close. The alumni weekend included several meetings between alumni, faculty and the board of trustees members. Faculty met with legal experts among the alumni to discuss potential legal action to stop the closing, said Dimi Reber, a retired dance professor.

You know what they say: "Hell hath no fury like a retired dance professor."  Bring on the lawyers!  Sue the trustees!  Git giggy wit it, dance alumni of Antioch!

[Because I'm all about helping people, I will say that the disgruntled alumni should have their lawyers contact the Ohio Attorney General, and do a little research about the cy pres doctrine, which states that:

When a gift is made by will or trust (usually for charitable or educational purposes), and the named recipient of the gift does not exist, has dissolved or no longer conducts the activity for which the gift is made, then the estate or trustee must make the gift to an organization which comes closest to fulfilling the purpose of the gift.

In other words, people who have given money to Antioch over the years may have a legit gripe.  They may be able to argue that their money should be put to the cause for which it was intended.  This is an ancient doctrine, and thus a tool of the patriarchy, so I'm sure the Antioch alumni won't in good conscience avail themselves of its opportunities the cy pres doctrine may provide.  But still... isn't it beautiful the way I just "gave back"?  Yes, I'm a one man legal aid society  You do not need to email me your thanks, Antioch alumni.]

I had never heard of "Freegans"

June 22, 2007 10:58 AM

Apparently, they're bums with college degrees, who think being a vegan just isn't good enough.  From The New York Times:

Freegans are scavengers of the developed world, living off consumer waste in an effort to minimize their support of corporations and their impact on the planet, and to distance themselves from what they see as out-of-control consumerism. They forage through supermarket trash and eat the slightly bruised produce or just-expired canned goods that are routinely thrown out, and negotiate gifts of surplus food from sympathetic stores and restaurants.

They organized a dumpster dive at NYU:

Ms. Brewster and her mother, who had come from New Jersey, loaded two area rugs into their cart. Her mother, who declined to give her name, seemed to be on a search for laundry detergent, and was overjoyed to discover a couple of half-empty bottles of Trader Joe’s organic brand. (Free and organic is a double bonus). Nearby, a woman munched on a found bag of Nature’s Promise veggie fries.

What digusting people!  I bet they all smell terrible.  Check out what they do about dental care:

“Once in a while I may buy a box of baking soda for toothpaste,” Mr. Weissman said. “And, sure, getting that to market has negative impacts, like everything.” But, he said, parsing the point, a box of baking soda is more ecologically friendly than a tube of toothpaste, because its cardboard container is biodegradable.

The rest of the article as all about how you have to quit your job and eat food that comes from dumpsters.  And then, you too can live like an animal!  Check out how this raccoon describes the creatures around her dumpster:

“Sometimes people will swoop in and grab something, especially when you see a half-used bottle of Tide detergent,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want it?  But most people realize there’s plenty to go around.” She rooted around in the trash bin and found several half-eaten jars of peanut butter. “It’s a never-ending supply,” she said.

Never-ending supply, indeed.  Wouldn't it be fun to get a bunch of liberals, put them in a gigantic terrarium, and just observe?

Local Cases of Prosecutorial Misconduct...

June 21, 2007 08:06 AM

...are all over the paper this morning.  First up is Butler County Prosecutor's decision to prosecute the Miami students who got drunk with the girl who died on the railroad tracks:

Three of the accused women - Christine Carr, Kathleen Byrne and Kristina Sicker - have court appearances today on charges of permitting underage consumption at a private place.

Danielle Davis faces the same charge in court July 5. Maureen Grady is to appear June 28 on a charge of furnishing alcohol to an underage person while at an uptown bar.

Like Speidel, the women were themselves too young to drink legally.

How on earth do any of these woman share any more responsibility for this tragedy than the girl who died?

And second up is the Hamilton County Prosecutor's horrific decision to prosecute 16 year-old Chad Metzgar.  He's the kid from Northwest High School who was driving when Lauren Dietz and Miranda Phelps were killed last week.  That community is appalled by Joe Deters' decision:

"Nobody wants to lose anybody anymore in any type of manner," said Jeanne Glore, a close friend of the Dietz family.

Glore called on the community to continue to come together each Wednesday to grieve and bond. The gatherings will also be a sign of solidarity for Metzcar.

Joe Deters wants to have Metzgar tried as an adult, which means if he is convicted, he will be serving hard time in a state prison with the worse of the worst.  He faces 13 1/2 years.  I heard Joe Deters speak about this issue yesterday, and his explanation was basically that they have brought similar charges in similar cases.  What kind of excuse is that?  Where's the introspection about whether the charges in those cases were excessive, too?

One of the fundamental principles of criminal law is that the punishment is supposed to match the mens rea (mental state) of the offending party.  For centuries, criminal law has recognized that accidents happen.  But in Hamilton County, prosecutors have made it a policy to always seek jail time whenever there is a fatal car accident.  This means all of us are always one wrong turn away from a lengthy jail sentence.

It used to be that prosecutors would excercise discretion, and not bring charges when there was an accident.  When I heard Joe Deters speak yesterday, the principle of prosecutorial discretion seemed lost on him.  It's a shame. 

Dr. McChild-Baker

June 19, 2007 04:19 PM

From the Enquirer:

DEERFIELD TWP. -- A man who drives a yellow Porsche sports car with the vanity license plate, “KEPT GUY,” is accused of leaving two small children locked inside the car on a hot afternoon.

Jeff Betts, 41, was charged with child endangering, authorities said today, following an incident Friday at a hardware store.

He told police that he went inside the Lowe’s store on Mason-Montgomery Road for only a few minutes, a Warren County Sheriff’s report says.

But deputies told him that the car could become dangerously hot rather quickly because of Friday’s temperatures in the 90s.

After attempts to rouse the children with knocks on the window, a deputy broke a window and freed the children. Paramedics examined the two girls, ages 2 and 4, and found they were uninjured.

A police report says Betts is a self-employed physician.

He was arrested at the scene and later released.

Don't the folks at the Enquirer even read themselves?  From John Kiesewetter's Enquirer blog on November 10, 2006...

Are you looking at the real Dr. McDreamy?
Dr. Jeff Betts, a pediatric interventional radiologist at Children's Hospital Medical Center, is one of 10 semifinalists in the "Access Hollwood" contest, "Are You The Real Dr. McDreamy?"
Dr. Betts' two-minute video entry, submitted by a coworker, will air on "Access Hollywood" at 7 p.m. today (Ch. 5). It also will be posted on www.accesshollywood.com after 4:30 p.m. today.
Two contestant videos will be posted and televised today. Viewers will chose one of the two docs, who will advance to the final five late next week.
Voting opens at 4:30 p.m. today, and runs through 1 p.m. Saturday. The winner will be announced on the 7 p.m. Monday show.

Sadly, I can't find the video he his "co-worker" submitted to Access Hollywood.  But still, wouldn't this bit of color enliven the whole "I left my kids to bake in the Porsche" story that the Enquirer ran with today in the online edition?

Perhaps they'll pick up on this before they go to print.

UPDATE:  The Enquirer has updated their story to include my Access Hollywood scoop.  Among the other revelations... the Dr.'s Porsche vanity plate used to say "HUGE EGO," and that was shown in his Access Hollywood video, which apparently also showed him stripping his scrubs to reveal him wearing a speedo.  He left the employ of Children's Hospital a week after the show aired, and now is "self-employed."

Hence there vanity plate revision to "Kept Guy"?

"It was liberalism gone mad." The New York Times has a shockingly frank obituary for Antioch

June 18, 2007 08:57 AM

Michael Goldfarb was a freshman at Antioch in 1968.  He writes:

With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the college increased African-American enrollment to 25 percent in 1968, from virtually nil in previous years. The new students were recruited from the inner city. At around the same time, Antioch created coeducational residence halls, with no adult supervision. Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll became the rule, as you might imagine, and there was enormous peer pressure to be involved in all of them. No member of the faculty or administration, and certainly none of the students, could guess what these sudden changes would mean. They were simply embraced in the spirit of the time.

I moved into this sociological petri dish from a well-to-do suburb. Within my first week I twice had guns drawn on me, once in fun and once in a state of drunken for real by a couple of ex-cons whom one of my classmates, in the interest of breaking down class barriers, had invited to live with her....

Each semester, the college seemed to create a new program. “We need to take education to the people” became a mantra, and so satellite campuses began to sprout around the country. Something called Antioch University was created, and every faculty member whose marriage was going bad or who simply couldn’t hack living in a village of 3,000 people and longed for the city came up with a proposal to start a new campus.

“It was liberalism gone mad,” a former professor, Hannah Goldberg, once told me, and she was right. The college seemed to forget the pragmatism that had been a key to its ethos, and tried blindly to extend its mission beyond education to social reform. But there were too many new programs and too little cash reserve to deal with the inevitable growing pains.

For the increasingly vocal radical members of the community, change wasn’t going far enough or fast enough. They wanted revolution, but out there in the middle of the cornfields the only “bourgeois” thing to fight was Antioch College itself. The let’s-try-anything, free-thinking society of 1968 evolved into a catastrophic blend of legitimate paranoia (Nixon did keep enemies lists, and the F.B.I. did infiltrate campuses) and postadolescent melodrama. In 1973, a strike trashed the campus and effectively destroyed Antioch’s spirit of community. The next year, student enrollment was down by half....

Antioch College became a rump where the most illiberal trends in education became entrenched. Since it is always easier to impose a conformist ethos on a small group than a large one, as the student body dwindled, free expression and freedom of thought were crushed under the weight of ultraliberal orthodoxy. By the 1990s the breadth of challenging ideas a student might encounter at Antioch had narrowed, and the college became a place not for education, but for indoctrination. Everyone was on the same page, a little to the left of The Nation in worldview....

Scathing.  Read the whole thing.

This was not on the menu the last time I ate at the Cheesecake Factory

June 13, 2007 12:26 PM

From Craigslist:

Cheesecake Factory Fireworks- Allison, Andrea, Amy...?.. - m4w - 24


The way our eyes met outside of the restrooms was so electric, I just had to say something…and was so glad that I did! We laughed about love at first sight, but now I do believe it. The way we felt so comfortable with one another was wonderfully eerie. Thank you so much for the wonderful afternoon/evening- BBQ, Sopranos, and the mind blowing monkey sex… The problem is as you left my room this morning, I realized that we never exchanged numbers (and that you have stolen my favorite Sponge Bob Squarepants boxers- Bitch... oh, but I could never stay mad at you!). All that I do know is that your name begins with an ‘A’, you drive a Nissan Sentra, you speak sweetly- arousing butterflies in my stomach with a wonderful southern accent, and I think I love you.

  • Location: Cheesecake Factory- Kenwood
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Allison, Andrea, Amy... if you're reading this, someone is looking for you.  And their Sponge Bob Squarepants boxers.

Paglia on the Democrats, Gore and Young Hollywood

Camille Paglia is out with another profoundly insightful essay on American culture and politics.  After watching the Democratic debates, she suggests that her party may be in trouble:

Despite numerous polls claiming that registered Democrats like myself are happy with their current field of presidential contenders, the Gore boomlet betrays subterranean tremors of doubt. After two major televised debates by both parties, only a Pollyanna on helium would believe that any of the top-tier Democrats will definitely be able to defeat a leading Republican like Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.

But, she explains, Gore is not the answer:

As a global warming agnostic, I dislike the way that Gore's preachy, apocalyptic fundamentalism has fomented an atmosphere of hysteria around this issue and potentially compromised the long-term credibility of environmentalism. Democrats who long for his return as the anti-Hillary may not realize how Gore has become a risible cartoon character for much of the country at large. Anyone who listens to talk radio has been repeatedly regaled by clips of Gore bizarrely going off the deep end at one speech or another. And Gore, far worse than Hillary, is the Phantom of a Thousand Accents -- telegraphing his supercilious condescension to whatever audience he's trying to manipulate.

And her armchair psyschological quarterbacking of young Hollywood is dead on:

What links the Lohan and Hilton cases is the weird behavior of the parents -- either flaky and dysfunctional or overbearing and coddling. The Lohan and Hilton mothers seem to reject aging by trying to keep their daughters in developmental limbo. Paris in particular seems to have become a psychic prisoner, turned into a flash-frozen marzipan doll by her belligerently benevolent mom. Neither family is typical, of course, but are the Hiltons exposing an unhealthy symbiosis in recent American family life? Adulthood keeps getting postponed for white middle-class girls, who even after they arrive at college are obsessively linked by umbilical cellphones to their hovering parents, who want to shield their progeny from all of life's nicks and scrapes.

Camille Paglia is the only reason Salon is worth reading.

Antioch College to Close; Students Don't Want to Attend Hippie School

June 12, 2007 06:42 PM

Kids these days!  They don't want to be like these winners:

They probably want jobs after college, those crazy scamps.  Selfish pigs!  From the college's news release:

Over the past several years, Antioch College has experienced a continuing decline in its student enrollment. Given its small endowment and heavy dependence on tuition revenue, this low enrollment has threatened the College’s survival. Efforts to balance the College’s budget over the years through faculty and staff reductions, programmatic changes and deferred maintenance of the physical plant have eroded the confidence students and parents have in the College’s academic program. After careful analysis the Board determined that the College’s resources are inadequate to continue providing a quality education for its students beyond July 1, 2008.

I'd suggest to them there is a lesson here about how the free market works, but I'm not sure they'd grasp the concept.

They do claim they're going to re-open with a "state of the art" campus in 2012, though.  What kind of college thinks they can close for four years and re-open?  Where are they going to get the money for a "state of the art" campus if they haven't been able to shake down their alumni to keep the doors open?  What if you were currently a student there, wouldn't you be livid?  Or would you just go smoke some grass and accept it?

UPDATE: Lori Kurtzman for the Enquirer has more scoop.  Like this anecdote about alum Steve Duffy:

When Steve Duffy was a high school student in the 1970s, his history teacher told him one of the most utopian places on the planet was in Yellow Springs, Ohio, at a college called Antioch.

Duffy, a New Yorker, liked the sound of that. He enrolled at Antioch without ever visiting the campus, left for Ohio and arrived at a school that was everything his teacher had promised – brimming with brilliant students hoping to change the world. Duffy grew so enamored of the college that he is still there, three decades later, helping to run the library.

He's "helping run the library?"  I thought this was where students went to "change the world."  It's 30 years later, Steve, and you're "helping" run the library at a school no one wants to go to.  Is it time to reflect on what you've done to "change the world?"  Because I'm thinking 30 years has resulted in a whole lot of nuthin'.

"Confidence has always been sort... like a difficult thing for me"

June 11, 2007 08:28 PM

HT: Jackie Danicki

What I was not doing this weekend... participating in the World Naked Bike Ride!

Of course, it's a protest against global warming:

The naked cyclists - and others with strategically-placed body paint, sticky tape or bum bags - were highlighting the damage caused by car dependency.

Here I am, 33 years old, and I've never even heard of a bum bag. 

One of the participants explains the larger point of the World Naked Bike Ride:

He said: "We are seeing an increasing number of stories of melting ice caps and Antarctica crumbling away and no government is doing anything serious about this.

"They are paying lip service to the problem so people have been taking to their bikes, unclothing, to express their feelings about it."

Never talk about paying lip service to a problem when you're bike riding naked.

Want pictures?  Of course you do!

 Photo

That's the World Naked Cyclists in Mexico City.  Hope these Mexicans don't want amnesty here, too!

Here they are in Vancouver:

Photo

Awww, too bad it rained!  Good weather in London, though:

Photo

A perfect day for a naked bike ride!  And, now everybody believes in global warming!

Previously: "It's spectacular!"

Paris on the phone with Baba Wawa

Paris's mom was on the phone with Barbara Walters when Paris called in from jail.  And Paris ends up on the phone with Barbara Walters.  That doesn't sound like a p.r. stunt at all!

Paris tells Baba:

I used to act dumb," she told Walters in the exclusive phone conversation. "That act is no longer cute.  Now, I would like to make a difference. ... God has given me this new chance."

Get that?  "God has given me a new chance."  I'm with Ann Althouse:

"I just hope this making a difference business doesn't involve adopting children or letting us know what's wrong with the government."

But chances of that are pretty good, aren't they?  Are we ready for Paris as the moral arbiter?

Homeschooling and socialization. No E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E there's a problem

June 8, 2007 09:44 AM


Spellingbee jerk - Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

Manners... it's not how you behave, but why

From Giles Fraser:

What is needed today is a reformation of manners, a concerted effort to re-think our p’s and q’s, so that they are founded on respect for others rather than on a self-interested expression of social class.

As the wise and kindly Henry Higgins put it in Pygmalion: “The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.”

At their best, manners are the training and practice of loving your neighbour as yourself. They take this fundamental principle, and cut it up into millions of minute social interactions: “Please,” “Thank you,” “Would you like this seat?” “Is my music too loud?” and so on.

HT: Stand Firm

That Monster Hog Was No Wild Hog

June 7, 2007 11:10 PM

We're talking about the one we posted about, here.  It turns out it was a farm raised pig named Fred.  And it was killed in a fenced-in area.

Good Times: Jerry Springer's "I paid her with a check" spot from the 1980 campaign

June 5, 2007 09:21 AM

Jerry Springer for Governor - kewego
Jerry Springer for Governor - kewego
Jerry Springer for Governor - kewego
In this campaign ad from 1980, Jerry Springer admitted he has slept with a hooker and paid her by check.
HT: Llama Butchers

Tabloid Love

How does this happen?  JonBenet Ramsey's dad and Natalie Holloway's mom are dating.

This week in "Up Against the Wall"

June 4, 2007 11:39 AM

We have the kids--and their parents--who book private jets to get to summer camp.  From The New York Post:

The charter company Revolution Air has assigned more than 20 private jets to fly children to summer camp at the end of June, at a cost of about $8,000 a flight.

HOW.  UN.  NECESSARY.

And we're not talking about long trips, either:

Property developer and mother of three Robin O'Hara is sending her 8-year-old, Danielle, on a 30-minute flight to Lake Bryn Mawr Camp in Honesdale, Pa.

"The bus takes 31/2 hours. It is crowded, and it's always a very dramatic scene," said O'Hara, of Great Neck, L.I.

"This year, she is not going with her [older] sisters, so we want to make it a special, unique experience for her.

"It's a trend. A lot of my friends do it," O'Hara said. "They play videos, they serve kids' food, sometimes, we'll have a manicurist on board."

Read it and weep.

Ask, and ye shall receive... from Laura Ingraham

June 1, 2007 10:11 AM

On last Friday's drive up to Michigan, I caught Laura Ingraham's radio show.  She was taking calls from veterans and military families, and I was so moved by this call from Barb in Annapolis, Maryland.  Her son reenlisted with the Marines on Friday.  I emailed Laura and asked for the clip.  Give it a listen.

Download file

I just think she's awesome.

Crazy. C-R-A-Z-Y. Crazy.

So last night was the big finals of the national Spelling Bee.  And it drew protesters:

Yes, they're serious.  They're from the Simplified Spelling Society!  They explain their aims thusly:

One of the picketers, ALC chair and SSS member, Alan Mole, from Boulder, Colorado, puts it this way: "Our odd spelling retains words like cough, bough, through and though. This increases illiteracy and crime. Fix it and you fix a host of problems. We want to fix it."

Get that folks?  It's the spelling that increases illiteracy and crime.  Spelling must be stopped!

Susan Jacoby thinks Memorial Day is Disgusting

May 31, 2007 03:44 PM

This is how she answers the question "How do you keep your faith during times of war?" in the Washington Post-Newsweek blog "On Faith."  At first, she says that she doesn't want to answer the question, because she rejects the premise.  And then:

The reason I changed my mind and decided to comment, however, has nothing to do with the unanswerable theodicy question and everything to do with my disgust at the annual American celebration of a melding of patriotism and religion so often used to justify war. I was at home working on Memorial Day and wanted to take a break to watch a movie on television. Fat chance. Nonstop movies glorifying war were the only movies being shown. Iwo Jima. Custer's last stand. The Civil War, including the "glorious" lost southern cause as well as the cause of ending slavery. Alvin York overcoming his pacifism. General George Patton, as certifiable a military lunatic as America has ever produced, quoting scripture and slapping a soldier with what would today be called post-traumatic stress disorder.

The endless references in these movies to the Bible, and to God keeping watch over soldiers, are as nauseating as the endless television news stories about the "miracle" of a slain U.S. soldier's family finding an Iraqi puppy who was, apparently, the last creature the doomed young soldier had a chance to cuddle.

And Newsweek and the Wa-Po think this kind of commentary constitutes "intelligent, informed, eclectic, respectful conversation" about religion?  It's none of those things, not when one of your panelists thinks Memorial Day is disgusting, and Biblical references are "nauseating."

HT: Amy Alkon, who thinks Susan Jacoby is marvelous.

Tacky

If you're going to have a wedding website--a pretty dangerously tacky idea to begin with--do not say things like this:

Marisa Stones, manager at a financial-services company in Bermuda, used her wedding blog to keep friends and family members up to date on her engagement ring: "The ring has a three-stone setting. The middle stone is a princess-cut diamond, .74 carats, clarity of VS1, and color E," wrote Mrs. Stones. "The side stones are amazing sapphires that weigh about half a carat altogether."

What a completely inappropriate thing to say to anyone, much less broadcast on the web!

How about this pair?

Chris and Anna Saccheri chose to tie the knot at a chapel in Las Vegas largely because the place offered streaming video. On April 15, at 4 p.m. Pacific time, friends and family could tune in on www.vivalasvegasweddings.com, where they got to see the couple drive down the aisle in a pink Cadillac, get serenaded by an Elvis impersonator wearing gold lamé, and see a dozen guests in a conga line.

They picked the location of their wedding because it offered streaming video???  Can you imagine?

It's been just under a year since The Big NBS Wedding.  Several people urged us to do a website.  I am really glad we didn't.  Not that we would have ever been so crass.  But still!

Can you believe this thing was running around in the woods in Alabama?

May 29, 2007 03:33 PM

Photo

That's eleven year old Jameson Stone (top) and the wild hog he killed in 'Bama over the weekend.  It weighs 1051 pounds and is over nine feet long.

It feels really good," Jamison said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good accomplishment. I probably won't ever kill anything else that big."

Well, not unless he takes out Dennis Kucinich's wife.  But in the meantime, what's going to happen to that hog?

The hog's head is being mounted by Jerry Cunningham of Jerry's Taxidermy. Cunningham said the animal measured 54 inches around the head, 74 inches around the shoulders and 11 inches from the eyes to the end of its snout.

"It's huge," he said. "It's just the biggest thing I've ever seen."

Mike Stone is having sausage made from the rest of the animal. "We'll probably get 500 to 700 pounds," he said.

Mmmmmm [smacks lips].  Tasty sausage.

There was no Kent State conspiracy or cover up. I'm telling you, I know.

May 23, 2007 10:01 PM

But first, a little context:

The Cincinnati Beacon is up with a post on the Kent State shootings, which happened 37 years ago, in a time of angst and uncertainty about a foreign war.  And when a good many people became extremely exercised about the motives of people in power, and were inclined to believe the worst. 

The Beacon links to an article by Bob Fitrakis (a former Green Party candidate for Ohio Gov.) and Harvey Wasserman (a very well known left-wing academic and commentator).  Their article contends that there is "new proof" that shows the Ohio National Guard intentionally opened fire on the students at Kent State, killing four of them.  They write:

For 37 years the official cover story has been that a mysterious shot rang out and the young Guardsmen panicked, firing directly into the “mob” of students.

This week, that cover story was definitively proven to be a lie.

Prior to the shooting, a student named Terry Strubbe put a microphone at the window of his dorm, which overlooked the rally. According to the Associated Press, the 20-second tape is filled with “screaming anti-war protectors followed by the sound of gunfire.”

But in an amplified version of the tape, a Guard officer is also heard shouting “Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!”

The sound of gunshots follow the word “Point.” Four students soon lay dead.

The article contends that this tape was recently discovered, and that it proves what conspiracy theorists had long suspected--that the Government killed these students.  In fact, Fitrakis and Wasserman go so far as to directly accuse then-Governor Rhodes of ordering the National Guard to open fire.  They call it a "premeditated and unprovoked order" to fire live ammunition at the students, and that it came from the Governor:

For we now know that a premeditated, unprovoked order was indeed given to National Guardsmen to fire live ammunition at peaceful, unarmed American students, killing four of them. The illegal order to arm the Guard with live ammunition in the first place could only have come from the governor of Ohio.

It is a scathing claim.  They are accusing Governor Rhodes and the Ohio National Guardsmen of murder.  It is a claim that is not worthy of two people who are, though to the left, well-within the confines of customary Ohio political discourse.

And they are wrong.  How do I know this?  Seven years ago was the 30th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.  At that time, I was a newly-minted law school grad, and was working for the government.  And I was given an extraordinary assignment: review the Kent State files, and determine what the media could and could not see in response to FOIA and Ohio Public Records Act requests (they were writing their thirtieth anniversary retrospectives).*  And I got to see everything, and determine what the press and the public would be allowed to see.  There were boxes and boxes of materials--including all the records pertaining to the numerous investigations after the shootings.  The records were so voluminous, it took weeks to review all of them.  It was a brutal assignment--there are photos from the scene that day which are so graphic and disturbing that the press will not publish them.  And, I quickly became an expert in all things related to Kent State.

I cannot comment on the contents of the non-public records, but I can say that very, very few fall in the non-public category, and the press got to see every thing pertinent.  And the important thing is this:  There is absolutely no evidence to support Fitrakis's and Wasserman's outrageous claims.  None.  All of the evidence supports the conclusions of the official investigations from thirty-seven years ago.  There was no conspiracy, and neither the Ohio National Guard, nor Governor Rhodes, murdered anyone.  It is disgraceful that Fitrakis and Wasserman would level the allegations that they have.  There is no evidence to back up their claims of intentional and premeditated murder.  None.

*If you're wondering why all the records are not available to the press or the public, the reason is that law enforcement investigatory records--especially those pertaining to uncharged suspects--cannot be produced under FOIA or the Ohio Public Records Act.

The Times of London Profiles Dennis Kucinich's Hippie Freak of a Wife

May 21, 2007 03:28 PM

She is 29 and he is 60, by the way.  Third marriage for him, first for her.  Check out their hot hippie freak rush to the altar:

Kucinich met her husband-to-be two years ago when she visited his office in the House of Representatives with her boss as a volunteer worker for the American Monetary Institute, an offbeat group dedicated to reforming the “unjust monetary system”.

Offbeat indeed!  From their website, one learns that "the actual history of government control over money shows a far superior record to private control."  In other words, socialize everything!

So she's pretty much perfect for Dennis, and he recognized this, too. 

It was love at first sight for both of them. Immediately after their meeting, Dennis Kucinich phoned a friend and said: “I’ve met her [my future wife].”

Creepy!  Nevertheless,

He was mesmerised to receive a business e-mail from Harper with her usual signature line from Kama Sutra, one of her favourite films: “Knowing love, I shall allow all things to come and go, to be as supple as the wind and take everything that comes with great courage. My heart is as open as the sky.”

That's how she signs a business email?.  Wonder how Dennis signs his?  But anyway:

He proposed at their second meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and they married three months later. The Hollywood actress Shirley MacLaine attended their wedding.

Proposal on a second date?  Tacky and foolish.  Married three months later?  Tacky and foolish.  Shirley MacLaine at the wedding?  Tacky, foolish and totally unsurprising.

On his presidential prospects, the new missuz says:

“Can you imagine what it would be like to have real love in the White House and a true union between the masculine and the feminine?”

Ooooo, sounds like sequel to The DaVinci Code.  Like those characters, she is well-traveled:

It was in India that she encountered somebody with a tongue stud and later had her own implanted — a bar with two delicate balls on either side.

Flash ahead to the "Decline and Fall of the American Empire" history books of tomorrow:  With a flick of the tongue, she said to the Foreign Minister "I can prowmiss you don't have to worry about American intervention in your war of agression.  I have Dennis's foreign pwolicy firmly in cheek."

After all, she's even opposed to aggressive responses to 9-11:

At Kent she unexpectedly signed up for a master’s degree in conflict resolution after meeting the course lecturer in a pub. She knew she had chosen the right subject when her final exam took place on September 11, 2001.

“The rest of the world was sending out its love to America but US officials just wanted to kick out. I remember thinking then I’d love to come to America and help them to reconcile with the rest of the world,” she said.

Perhaps she's just part of some secret Democratic plan to make us all less scared about Hillary?

Apparently, yes:

On her MySpace website she ... says her heroes are “my beautiful husband and anyone else who embraces peace”. She describes Dennis as a “very philosophical, deep thinking person” rather than a new age type, but he is a vegan, unlike her — she still cannot resist occasional dairy products.

Which is why she is now 7 feet tall. -------------->

Draped in the Mexican flag again ... - Wonkette

Photo via Wonkette

Pete Rose's Persecutor's Secretary is a Hooker! Allegedly!

May 18, 2007 02:51 PM

Remember John Dowd, the D.C. attorney, investigator, and author of the Dowd Report--which secured Pete Rose's lifetime ban from baseball?

Well, he's back in the news.  It turns out that the alleged D.C. madam who has been in the news of late had an "employee" who worked as Dowd's secretary at Akin Gump, the prestigious D.C. law firm.

Will he forgive her if she admits it and apologizes?  And which does he think is worse... hooking or betting on baseball?

"Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight"

I didn't know this kind of thing still happens.  The BBC reports:

The fight was slated when an angry fan contested Yang Sihamoni, President of the CMFL [ed. CMFL stands for "Cambodian Midget Fighting League"], claiming that one lion could defeat his entire league of 42 fighters.

Sihamoni takes great pride in the league he helped create, as was conveyed in his recent advertising campaign for the CMFL that stated his midgets will "... take on anything; man, beast, or machine."

This campaign is believed to be what sparked the undisclosed fan to challenge the entire league to fight a lion; a challenge that Sihamoni readily accepted....

The Cambodian Government allowed the fight to take place, under the condition that they receive a 50% commission on each ticket sold, and that no cameras would be allowed in the arena.

The fight was called in only 12 minutes, after which 28 fighters were declared dead, while the other 14 suffered severe injuries including broken bones and lost limbs, rendering them unable to fight back.

Sihamoni was quoted before the fight stating that he felt since his fighters out-numbered the lion 42 to 1, that they “… could out-wit and out-muscle [it].”

Unfortunately, he was wrong.

I love how the BBC just ends it report with the simple sentence "Unfortunately, he was wrong."  And how about those good government Cambodians?  Sure you can do this, just give us half the take.  Nice.

UPDATE:  I can't believe I missed the obvious nasty, brutish and short joke with this post.

UPDATE NO. 2:  A loyal reader just texted us "I'm pretty sure your cambodian midgets story is a hoax."  Could be, who knows.  Who even cares?  All we know is "42 Cambodian Midgets Potentially Not Slaughtered by Lion" doesn't make for much of a headline, does it Mr. Smartypants?

Unbelievable

May 17, 2007 10:45 AM

The Westboro Baptist Church--you know, the people who go to soldier's funerals and scream "God Hates Fags" at the attendees--has announced they are going to picket another funeral.

Guess whose?

 

At least this shows just how nutty the Westboro Baptist Church crowd is. 

Coming to College Campuses: Nudist Colony Recruiting Drives

May 14, 2007 01:24 PM

The Associated Press Reports "Nudists Trying to Attract Younger Following."

To draw 20- and 30-somethings, nudist groups and camps are trying everything from deep discounts on membership fees to a young ambassador program that encourages college and graduate students to talk to their peers about having fun in the buff.

What, young people don't want to hang out with this guy?

 Photo

Gordon Adams, Solair's membership director, walks along the beach at Solair Recreation League, a nudist camp in Woodstock, Conn., Saturday, May 5, 2007.

What really made me laugh was this line, though:

"I hope to get the word out to younger people that hey, it is OK, and here's a safe place to be, a very accepting place," Maguire said. "Unlike any other place in life, people actually look at you when they talk to you."

Yes, at the nudist colony, "people actually look at you when they talk to you."  But where "at you" do they look?

Ivy Leaguers Not All That

May 11, 2007 08:42 AM

Cornell has to re-print its yearbook:

Ahhh, so this explains it

May 10, 2007 08:37 AM

Image hosting by Warst.com

From Warst.com

 

Jeff Ruby Kicks O.J. Simpson Out of Restaurant

May 9, 2007 08:22 AM

I'm not a big Jeff Ruby fan, but I'm even less of an O.J. Simpson fan.  Good for Jeff for telling O.J. we don't serve his kind around here.

And what is with The Times' Other Latest Obsession?

May 8, 2007 03:33 PM

And no, I don't mean preppies.  I mean animals and their love lives.  On April 30, it was the ducks:

Dr. Brennan was oblivious to bird phalluses until 1999.  While working in a Costa Rican forest, she observed a pair of birds called tinamous mating. “They became unattached, and I saw this huge thing hanging off of him,” she said. “I could not believe it. It became one of those questions I wrote down: why do these males have this huge phallus?” ...

Gazing at the enormous organs, she asked herself a question that apparently no one had asked before.  “So what does the female look like?” she said. “Obviously you can’t have something like that without some place to put it in. You need a garage to park the car.”

And then on May 3 it was the frogs:

Then Mr. Noonan said in a low voice, “Hey, come look at this.”

The glare of his flashlight showed a male frog locked onto the back of a female twice his size.

“They’re in amplexus,” Mr. Barker said, using the polite biological term, and the Latin word, for embrace.

Some embrace. It’s more like a lock hold. The male atop the female grasps her with his forelegs and hangs on for dear life as he fertilizes the eggs she releases into the water, all the while fending off other males trying to depose him.

“Look at them!” Mr. Barker said as we watched four or five desperate males fling themselves onto the mating pair, only to get a quick kick in the gut or go somersaulting over the female’s head.

And today it's the last giant tortoise in the Galapagos:

A few years later, in 1993, there was briefly a companion known as “Lonesome George’s girlfriend,” but she was not a tortoise. She was a 26-year-old graduate student in zoology from Switzerland named Sveva Grigioni.

By coating her hands in the genital secretions of female tortoises and gently stroking him, she managed to demonstrate a couple of times (in the course of several months’ work) that George was capable of an erection. But whereas her touch could induce other male tortoises to reach orgasm within a few minutes, with George she never managed to collect any sperm.

What the hell?  And where is this editorial trend heading next?

HT: Gawker

The New York Times Writes About Preppies

They write

“We’re talking about a culture that came to this country in the 17th century and hasn’t changed all that much except that some schools are co-ed now and polar fleece was invented,” said Lisa Birnbach, the editor of “The Official Preppy Handbook,” the best-selling 1980 guide that caught the national fancy by celebrating and ridiculing American blue bloods. “Preppies like to be with other preppies,” Ms. Birnbach said. “If someone colonizes a bar, they all have to go to that bar. That’s never changed since the time of the Pilgrims.”

It's funny because it's true!

"They're probably having to go out and rent theirs this afternoon."

...so says Laura Bush, talking about American males needing to rent white tie and tails for the State Dinner for QEII.  Surely she's just joking?  If you were invited to a State Dinner, wouldn't you shell out for clothes you actually own?  Chances are you can afford it, if you're invited to a State Dinner for the Queen of England.  Hell, even I own my own white tie and tails.  Granted, this is because I never returned some I rented a few years ago, so technically, they are stolen white tie and tails.  But at least that's better than rented. 

I also have a quibble with the Queen's English.  In her remarks, she said "A state visit . . . is the time to look forward, jointly renewing our commitment to a more prosperous, safer and freer world.”

Freer?  I think it should be "more free."  I am sure she pronounced it "free-er," (with not a lot of "r"), and I am sure that is technically correct.  She should know, and I am sure these things are vetted.  But in print, it reads like poor grammar, and she should be cognizant of that.  What would have been wrong with "jointly renewing our commitment to a more prosperous, more safe, and more free world"?  Or, even better "jointly renewing our commitment to prosperity, safety and freedom"?

Anything to avoid "freer."  We have nothing to freer but freer itself, is what I say.

Charming Pre-Mother's Day Blog Comment...

May 3, 2007 03:46 PM

...attached to a post in which the author is complaining about migraines and other problems of modern life.

It's me, your mother, and I just read in a book about herbs that feverfew leaves are one way to deal with migraines. You are supposed to eat a couple of these (VERY BITTER)leaves several times a day, between two slices of bread. Believe me, feverfew leaves are wrenchingly bitter, as I found out yesterday when (in the dark of a tropical night) I went to my garden for parsley and accidently cut a bunch of feverfew. Just a thought. It's supposed to drive away headaches.
xoxoxo ME

I love that "It's me, your mother" bit.  And then the inane home remedy of eating "feverfew leaves" (whatever those are) several times a day, between two slices of bread.  Not between one slice of bread folded over, or between two Ritz crackers.  No, between two slices of bread, several times a day.  Get it right, or it won't work, and you'll just have wasted all that bitter leaf eating effort. 

In Bob Novak's latest column...

...there are two things of interest.  First, the column speculates that "September Dawn" a movie about Mormons opening this weekend is damaging to Mitt Romney's presidential prospects.  The movie details the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and portrays Brigham Young as a 19th century Osama bin Laden.  In the September 11, 1857 massacre,

Mormons mobilized Paiute Indians, accompanied by Mormons disguised as Indians, to attack a peaceful wagon train. The settlers beat off the attack but were left short of food and ammunition. They disarmed themselves at the request of Mormons who said they would lead them to safety but instead turned on the settlers, murdering every man, woman and child above the age of 8. All that is in doubt historically is whether this was ordered by Brigham Young, president of the Mormon Church. ''September Dawn'' says he was responsible, and the church denies it.

I was having a conversation last night about the PBS special that has been running this week on the Mormons, and everyone was in universal agreement that Mormons represent their faith very well.  Nice.  Clean-cut.  Peaceful.  Needless to say, it sounds like "September Dawn" reaches a different conclusion.  And I am sure it won't be helpful to Mitt Romney, who is surely the reason we've been hearing so much about Mormon's lately (which all started with Andrew Sullivan's post about Mormon underwear).

Which brings me to the second thing of interest.  Novak writes:

I attended a screening of the movie hosted by Academy Award-winner Jon Voight (who plays a fictional Mormon bishop). A conservative, he said this was no hit against Romney. ''I didn't even know he was running when we began this,'' Voight told viewers after the screening. But he said this terrible story is important considering America's war against terrorists.

Jon Voight is a "conservative"?  Angelina Jolie's dad?  No wonder they're not talking.

Probably not the right gift for Mother's Day

May 2, 2007 12:21 PM

From theblogblog, we hear of this product:

 

 

The Wonders of Modern Science...

April 30, 2007 03:24 PM

...they are developing a pill which boosts the libido and reduces the appetite.  Yes, it's an appetite suppressant and a sex pill all in one.

When it was given to monkeys, they displayed mating behaviour such as tongue-flicking and eyebrow-raising to the males, while female shrews displayed their feelings via "rump presentation and tail wagging".

But the animals also ate around a third less food than they normally would.

"Rump presentation" and "tail-wagging."  Those monkey chicks aren't too subtle, are they?

What do you think of the Chicago Spire?

April 23, 2007 04:06 PM

Which will be North America's tallest skycraper, at 2,000 feet.  That's 550 feet taller than the Sears Tower, which is the next highest structure.

The Spire is designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and will house 1,200 condos.  The top floor will provide views of four states.  The estimated construction cost is $2 billion.

And here's what it will look like:

 Chicago_spire

News You Can Use: "What You Should Do When Confronted with a Gun Wielding Madman"

Depending on the situation, chose Flight or Fight.

Flight:

At 20 feet from the gunman, you're still within a deadly range, but at 40 feet, you're a difficult shot. If he starts to shoot as you're making your escape, try to run in a zigzag or another unpredictable pattern. To escape through an upper-floor window, find a drain pipe or a ledge that can slow your descent or let you slide down part of the way. You'll likely hurt your ankles when you land, so be prepared to break the fall with a quick roll. Protect your body by rolling over one shoulder, diagonally across the back and onto the opposite hip.

I've heard you do the same zig-zagging thing if you're chased by a crocodile.

Fight:

To disarm a gunman, you'll need to take his focus off his weapon and his plan of attack. To do this, you might throw chairs, laptops, or fire extinguishers at him, or set off the sprinkler system or fire alarm. Then, you'd want to pick up a desk or some other shield and charge right at the killer. There's a chance you'll be killed in the process, but if two or three people rush at once, there's also a chance that somebody will take him down. (Unarmed civilians who band together have a much better chance of surviving an attack.)

If you're already within a step or two of the gunman, you might be able to grab his weapon. If he's facing you, quickly reach up and take hold of the barrel, and then aim it away from your body. The move should be as clean and economical as possible. The gunman will reflexively pull the gun back away from you. Go with him: Keep gripping the gun and push your weight forward. Then, punch him in the face or the throat as hard as you can. Hit him on the nose, jab your fingers into his eyes, or strike him with the heel of your open palm. Then use your free hand to grab the nonbusiness end of the gun. With two hands on the gun, you can knee the killer in the groin or head-butt him. A better idea might be to twist your hands like they are revving a motorcycle engine. The weapon will pivot and break the gunman's finger inside the trigger guard.

That's a great tip about breaking his finger inside the trigger guard.  Though of course, the best bet is one that isn't mentioned in the article: Take the gunman out with your own concealed firearm. 

HT: Jackie Danicki

Perv on the Lunken Bike Path

April 19, 2007 04:09 PM

So Mrs. NBS calls in via cell phone, from an isolated part of the Lunken bike path to report that she has just been passed by a white male in his 30s, wearing white thigh high stockings, white boy shorts with a purple g-string overlay, a turquoise mesh top, and a black pleather hat.  He was on roller skates.

It sounds suspiciously like that firefighter who was arrested recently for showing up at a park in a bikini with flesh colored balloons taped to his chest, I say.  We wonder if he's still in jail, and I assure her that she's probably not this roller skater's type, and that even though she's in an isolated area with no one else around, she should be fine.  Plus, Henry is with her.  Secretly, of course, I wonder if I should call the cops.  If one sees someone who's clearly pervy like that, but not actually exposing themselves, what should one do?

Anyway, we talk until he's skated some distance away.  Five minutes later, Mrs. NBS calls back.  We have a terrible connection, and I hear her excitedly saying "MR. NBS?  MR. NBS?" (not, actually, what she calls me).  Then the call gets dropped.  Thanks a lot, Verizon!

So now I really am wondering if I should call the cops.  Especially because Verizon seems incapable of putting a call through.  Minutes pass.  Really, how long does it take for a perv to skate off with one's wife?  Time is of the essence in moments like that, VERIZON. 

We reconnect.  It turns out Mrs. NBS just wanted to be on the phone with someone, because she was about to pass the guy, who had stopped to lay down on a bench.  His chosen position?  On his back, still clothed, but business side up.

So basically we were dealing with someone who gets a tingly feeling by being noticed, and he wanted to put on a show.  Mrs. NBS kept on walking, and ignored him.  And of course, she made it back safely.  But we're still wondering, what do you do in a situation like that?  Do you call the cops?  And if so, what do you report?

Brian Stepp, my former elementary school classmate, and fellow former rider of Bus No. 3...

April 14, 2007 09:20 AM

...gets 55 years in the slammer for rape, sexual assault and kidnapping.  The prosecutor says:

"This is a very sociopathic, deceptive criminal, with a truly dark spirit and evil intent, who tries to come across as a victim himself - when in reality he represents the type of terror that lurks in the darkness and can grab any one of us at any time."

And I wish I could say that was not the Brian Stepp I knew in the fourth grade.  But it was.  He was an extremely violent and belligerent, even then. 

The national conversation about race we've had this week sure has been healthy and productive

April 13, 2007 02:22 PM

Reminding Liberal Academics at State Universities Who They Work For, Step 1

A few weeks ago, the faculty Senate at the University of Florida voted against giving former Governor Jeb Bush an honorary degree.  Earlier this week, the Republican controlled House in Florida voted to make the University rename it's entire college of education after the former Governor:

The University of Florida's education school would be renamed the "Jeb Bush College of Education," under an amendment approved this morning by the House Schools & Learning Council. What's more, UF would also have to erect "suitable markers" noting the college's new name and include the revised name in all university documents, including catalogues and brochures.

That will irk all the people who need irking.

The Hyphenated Male: A Few Questions.

April 11, 2007 09:54 PM

In corresponding with some college friends today, we discussed the fact that a former classmate of ours got married and became the rarest of all birds: The hyphenated male.  Yes, when he got married, not only did his bride take his name and hyphenate it with hers, he took her name and hyphenated it with his. 

In college, he was a prominent conservative Evangelical on campus, so his decision leaves all of us puzzled.  What the hell happened?  Or, as my friends and I discussed, what the hell did she do to him?  I have known lots of women who have decided to hyphenate, or who have switched their maiden names to their middle name, and use both, absent a hyphen.  I also know a quite a few female attorneys who were in practice for a few years and then got married.  For professional purposes, they decided to keep their maiden names. 

But a male hyphenating his own last name?  That is a new one on me.  And his case is really weird.  He comes from a very prominent Southern family, for which lineage was clearly important.  Surely, they are not thrilled with his name change.  So was he rebelling against them?  He never was much of a rebel before.  Was it becoming an Episcopal priest that did him in?  He meet his wife while they were both in seminary together.  Is she some crazy ball-busting shrew?  Is she so hot she has him brainwashed?  Do they know that this bizarre name change is a big topic of conversation behind their backs?  How could they not?

And why, in reading this post over, did I briefly consider changing the word "male" to "man" in the header, and then subconsciously decide against it?   

The Living Stones: The Anglican Church in the Holy Land... making the Episcopal left look like spoiled brats

April 10, 2007 09:58 PM

"There were about 20 different things that irritated me about that service"

April 9, 2007 11:00 AM

That's what I said to Mrs. NBS, on the way to the car after the Easter Sunday service at the Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park.  Was I exaggerating?  Could there really have been 20?  Let's make a list:

1.  The service was at 11:00, a special Easter Sunday time that is an hour later than the 10:00 service we usually go to.  We arrive at the customary time, and learn we are an hour early.  So, we go home, and sit around in our church clothes, because it's not like you can get anything done at that point.  [We do feel sorrier for the family with young kids that we saw running to make it in time a few minutes before ten.  You know they went through hell to get the kids ready for church and out the door.  For nothing!  Also, they prove that we aren't the only ones who didn't get the memo].

2.  An hour later, we return to church.  There is no place to sit.

3.  They didn't copy enough service leaflets.

4.  One of the associate priests, a male who is well in to his forties, is sporting a ponytail.  It looks ridiculous.  But the more annoying thing is that you just know he thinks it makes him look cool.  Good Lord, deliver us.

5.  The rector mentions Iraq in his Easter sermon.  Whatever his point was, it was lost on me, because I was bored out of my skull, gazing at the stained glass.  I perked up when I heard the word "Iraq," though.  And then I waited for his point.  I'm still waiting.

6.  Then, the rector mentions the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up during his sermon.  He doesn't understand why we can't learn to live with our differences.  Funny thing is, he earnestly seems to believe this is the middle of the road position.  It's not.

7.  I can't listen to the rest of the sermon, because I am so annoyed that the rector mentioned Iraq and the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up.  But, it's not like I listed to the first half of the sermon, so I guess I didn't really miss anything.  I had actually thought on Easter Sunday we'd be safe from this kind of thing, and the rector's sermon would be on point, appropriate and resurrection-focused.  How naive!

8.  The offertory anthem is by Bruce Neswick.  He's very well regarded in the church music world, and I don't hate all present-day composers.  But I've never heard anything that he has done that is particularly good, or which will stand the test of time.  Selecting one of his works for Easter Sunday is just a completely strange decision.

9.  And then: Oh, no it's Eucharistic Prayer C!  This is the flaky as hell one, about "the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home."  It's the "2001 A Space Odyssey" version of the Holy Eucharist.  Most parishes know this, and avoid it like the plague.  What they hell are they thinking?  Isn't Easter Sunday the day for the best of the best, and not the worst of the worst?

10.  The Easter Floral Array.  You contribute for dead people, people.  Not out of thanksgiving for the lives of your own children.  Especially the ones that are hopped up on candy, climbing the walls, sliding under the pews, and trying to play peek-a-boo with me the entire time.  Come on!

Well that's it, I guess.  Only 10!  But, I am generously not blaming the clergy for the weather (colder on Easter than Christmas) or for the some of the appalling clothing choices of our fellow parishioners, etc. etc..  But that's the kind of guy I am.  Generous!

UPDATE:  How could I forget?  There were two more things:

11.  The rector commencing his sermon with "In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer & Sanctifier."  Those words are only partially discriptive of the three members of the Trinity.  They are not to be used to identify the members of the Trinity.  For further details, see the comments on this thread.

12.  Everybody got a pansy on their way out.  Irony of ironies!

Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Implicated in Controversal AIDS Research Program

April 6, 2007 08:52 AM

Well!  Here's something to chew on this Good Friday morning.  The Cincinnati Beacon, which is itself a somewhat controversal publication here in Cincinnati, has published a story implicating the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in an extraordinarily controversal AIDS treatment program in Africa.

I do not have time this morning to get in to all the details, but the gist is this.  Non-locals may not realize this, but in recent years, Cincinnati medical hero Dr. Henry Heimlich has turned his attention away from rescuing chocking victims, and has instead focused on curing AIDs.  As I understand it, his research has not passed bio-ethical muster here in the U.S., so he's had to turn to sources overseas.  In layman's terms, his medical theory is this: AIDs can be cured by "frying" the virus at extremely high temperatures.  The malaria causes the immune system to go into overdrive, and attack not just the malaria, but HIV.  To achieve these temperatures, Dr. Heimlich introduces malaria to Third World AIDs victims, and allows their body temperature to soar to extraordinarly high levels.  The results are not pretty.

The World Health Organization has described this research as a modern medical monstrosity.  The FDA and the CDC are strongly opposed to it.  I, frankly, think it could be worth it if an AIDs cure can be found.  But it is hard not to have extremely serious reservations about performing this kind of medical research on humans.

Apparently, our late Bishop, Herbert Thompson, did not share those reservations.  It appears he was actively involved in soliciting patients for Heimlich Institute malariotherapy research.  Those patients came from Anglican parishes in Africa.

Cincinnati Lawyers in the 1790s

April 4, 2007 09:11 PM

Well I've switched books, and now I'm reading Mansfield's Personal Memories, an 1879 book written by a very early Cincinnatian, who went off east for school, and came back a lawyer.  I got a kick out his description of legal practice here in the 1790s:

In that day, to practice law in Cincinnati required the lawyer to ride the circuit.  And what was the circuit?  No less than the whole Northwest Territory, now comprising five states and ten millions of people.  In the circuit in which [attorney Jacob ]Burnet rode were Marietta, Detroit and Vincennes.  He would tell stories of hair-breadth escapes by field and flood.  Here there were almost impassable swamps and there unfordable streams.  One night they were belated in making a certain point, and their horses stopped suddenly and would not go.  They got off and had to camp there.  Next morning they found the horses had stopped just at the edge of a precipice which overhung Wolfe Creek.  At other times they would stop in an Indian Village and be caressed by greasy squaws, and joked with by swarthy warriors.  Such was a part of the Cincinnati lawyers' practice in the close of the last century.  Burnet says that when he came to the bar, there were nine lawyers, who, all but one, became intemperate.

So basically, not much has changed.  Though I do have to admit, it's been months since I've been caressed by a greasy squaw.  Swarthy warriors, them I joke with every day.  And eight out of nine of us are still drunks.

If you send a sympathy note to the Edwardses...

... as thousands of people have apparently done, you get solicited for a campaign contribution.

Classy.

Flashback: How a Real Leader Starts a Ballgame

April 3, 2007 04:29 PM

Beautiful day, great game... marred only by the Mayor throwing out the first pitch

Practicing Law and Live Blogging the Parade

April 2, 2007 10:32 AM

Well downtown is filled with people who seem confused by elevators.  And that means one thing:

It's Opening Day!

I moved offices this year, and my new one looks out on Fifth Street, with a view of Fountain Square.  A great place to watch the parade.  Here come the cops on motorcycles!  They drive dangerously and weave in and out.  I realize that if I'm ever resisting arrest via high speed chase, I'm screwed. 

Next: people in kilts and members of the military!

On the radio, Pete Rose tells Bill Cunningham of nervousness on his first opening day, saying "I didn't know whether to wind my head or scratch my crotch watch."

Here comes a firetruck with monster wheels, and a beauty queen in a red convertible.  The Reds Cheerleaders are back (boo-hoo!  There are not supposed to be cheerleaders in baseball!  Plus, not all that attractive, most of them).

Now we're seeing people dressed in historic uniforms and people dressed as bobble heads.

On the radio, Pete Rose blames the aging process on Los Angelos's water, which he describes as "too close to Mexico."  He then threatens to live to 110 just to annoy Bud Selig. 

Here comes an enormous livestock truck sponsored by Bob Evans.  I hope it's not full of little piggies on the way to the slaughterhouse.  Is this a porkopolis thing?

The baton twillers from South Dearborn high school walk way to slowly, creating a huge gap.  They get closer.  Oh no.  Maybe this is the porkopolis tribute?

Here comes Rosie Red.  Her shirt is cherry but her shoes are tomato.

On the radio, Pete tells Bill that he made Marge all that money, but she didn't leave him anything.  He genuinely sounds pissed. 

Draft horses, marching band and some flag waivers.  There's one guy with a scoop shovel and one guy with a wheelbarrow full of horse manure. 

First politician up: Steve Chabot.  Then Pat Fischer, the Bar Association Pres. and candidate for City Council.  He scores a good spot for a non-incumbent!

Budweiser beer truck, more flag waivers and another marching band.  The B-105 DJs are on party barge on a boat trailer.  A driver of a bob cat scoop entertains the crowd by raising the bucket up and down and spinning in circles.  Some balloons get loose.  I don't understand the guy dressed as a green bean.

Vice-Mayor Tarbell is in his Peanut Jim outfit, of course.

I don't think corporate floats should be allowed.  Yes, I'm talking to YOU, National City Bank.  Also, maybe they should place a limit on the number of marching bands and flag corps?

Rumpke's float is a garbage truck decorated with balloons.  More pigs on floats.  Councilman Crowley wisely goes with red, instead of his signature green.

There's Tricia Macke from Fox 19 in the back of a pick-up truck with her 42 children.  And it looks like she's pregnant AGAIN.  Jack Atheron is with her, sitting on one of those cheap folding chairs.  Speaking of, this weekend, someone told me that Jack Atherton is a lay reader at the Indian Hill Presbyterian-Episcopal Church.  Can you imagine a more annoying lay reader?  Plus, he doesn't even live in Indian Hill.  C-L-I-M-B-E-R.

Here come some dogs that are up for adoption, followed by Councilman John Cranley.  If he steps in something, I won't be sad.  He only has two supporters with him. 

Next: Really, why would Metro just have one bus in, when they could have THREE?  Councilperson Berding has a decent group of followers.  He's followed by Burger King's float: 3 people dressed as a whopper, fries and a coke. 

Man this a long parade.  More later, maybe. 

I'm back: Crosby Elementary School teaches kids to ride the unicycle?  Hopefully they are all reading above level, first? 

Next: Councilwoman Laketa Cole has a good crowd, but she rides with her heading sticking out of the sunroof of an SUV.  Doesn't she know that policians with class, walk, not ride?

The crowd from CityBeat has a flatbed truck with a band on it, rapping.

Councilman Chris Bortz gets it right, walking with his wife and having a supporter (a sassy black woman!) ride in the convertible.  Councilman Monzel tries to top this by holding hands with his wife.  The sweaty palms one must suffer for votes!

Hop, hop, hoping are a bunch of girls in yellow jumping rope.  Do you supposed they jumped rope the entire way?  Note to banner makers: you need to weight the bottom, otherwise it blows backwards and bloggers can't give your rope jumpers their due.

On the radio: Bill Cunningham makes a joke about Mayor Mallory being the pitcher, and Elton John being the catcher.  Sometimes there isn't much distance between what flashes through his mind and what comes out of his mouth.  He should get a blog!

It's now 1:00 and still going strong.  I'm heading out for my free hot dog.  Play ball!

One more thing: WOW (and not a good wow) Council candidate Charlie Winburn's supporters appear to be the praise band and liturgical dancers from his church.

John Travolta Speaks Out Against Global Warming

March 30, 2007 12:25 PM

He says we need to starting thinking about colonizing other planets and building "dome cities."

Dome cities!

"It [global warming] is a very valid issue," Travolta declared. "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.

"Everyone can do their bit. But I don't know if it's not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.

Here is John Travolta's house in Florida:

 John Travolta

Everyone do their bit to help, now!

Finally, a good use for that ridiculous Jesus statue north of town

March 29, 2007 11:24 PM

A photograph, from Mark Daniels' blog, via Ann Althouse.

Go Bucks!

Yes folks, that is the Jesus statue that rises out of the man-made lake outside of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe.  The statue is sixty-two feet of fiberglass and styrofoam on a metal frame, and overlooks a baptismal pool.  Naturally, it is all up against the interstate.  You can read more, and see more pictures, here.  Some believe it has reduced highway deaths.  Others, myself included, believe is scares children away from religion.  It is truly hideous.  Though I do like driving by it, rolling my eyes, and muttering "Jesus."  I do that even if no one else is in the car.

Is the Cincinnati "Please" Dead?

I'm still working my way through the history of Cincinnati that I have been reading.  It's The Serene Cincinnatians, by Alvin F. Harlow.  It's from the '50's and is part of the "Society in America" series.  It's hysterical. 

Anyway, in one of the many passages about the German wave of immigration in the Nineteenth Century, the author talks about the Cincinnati "Please":

But to this day, if someone is Cincinnati does not catch your last remark, he or she is apt to say, "Please?"  -- the "Bitte?" which a German would say, politely requesting repetition.

Well for one thing, I never knew that the Cincinnati "Please" was tied to the German "Bitte," but it is not very surprising.  I had one German grandparent (German Swiss) who died before I was born.  Everyone else was of English stock.  So I didn't hear the Cincinnati Please growing up, but I did hear it outside the house. 

And my reading got me thinking... when WAS the last time I had heard the Cincinnati "Please?"  I have memories of hearing it as a child.  And I can remember it being part of various conversations about regionalisms growing up.  People from outside the Cincinnati area always thought it was a very unique thing to say, and it was unique enough to be remarkable.  No one could believe that "please," in and of itself, could be a question.  But it was.  And it was so much better than "whuh?" or "huhhh?" which is what one hears now.

I haven't heard the Cincinnati Please in years, though.  I am sure it still persists, especially with some of the oldsters of German immigrant stock.  But among younger people, the Cincinnati "Please" is dying out, and in a few years, I'm sure it will be gone altogether.  It's a pity.  Regionalisms are charming, fascinating, and so grounded.

Resolved: The next time someone says something I can't hear, I'm going to say "Please?"

Don't these people know about the "date sweep"?

That's when you run around the house picking things up, in case your date winds up inside.  [ed. your house, that is].  I guess some folks don't know about this basic rule, because their homes aren't "relationship ready."  In extreme cases, would-be suitors are scared away.

Check out the problems of Albert Podell, a lawyer in New York:

Last year, Mr. Podell, a 70-year-old lawyer, gave N.Y.U. Law School $2.9 million. He goes out four nights a week, to the opera, symphony or theater. He is well read. He says he has traveled to 162 countries.

Then comes that magic evening when the woman is ready to go back to his place.

“It’s totally unchanged, like it was when I went to law school in 1973, a time warp,” Mr. Podell says of his small one-bedroom in SoHo, a description that seems plausible, given the hot pink living room with the futon seating and the fraying contact paper on the kitchen cabinets.

Oh no!

All these things have proved detriments to love, but none so effectively as his sheets. Mr. Podell likes the ones from the ’60s and ’70s that tell a story: sheets with intergalactic battles or pink hippopotami or the Beatles. Since these are no longer available in adult-bed sizes, Mr. Podell’s sheets are now 30 to 40 years old.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for him?  Because he sounds completely self-absorbed and immature.  Chicks don't like gross things, Albert.  It's not too late to learn that lesson.

It's not always men who are the problem.  Matt Heindl has a terrible experience at a date's apartment,

As he entered her apartment, a free-flying parrot relieved itself on his head. Then a large rabbit darted out from somewhere and licked his feet. A baby gate separated a second rabbit from the first — there had been a nasty penis-biting episode, his date explained. Also, the kitchen wall was covered with antique egg beaters, which looked to Mr. Heindl like weird tools.

That would be a bit off-putting, to say the least.  I once took a date to the annual law firm picnic.   We usually rent a petting zoo to come and entertain the kids, and one of the rabbits defecated on my date.  We did not go out again.  I think you are "on notice" of potential rabbit defecation when you insist it is so cute that it cannot be put down.  I am still surprised there is another school of thought on this.  Oh well, things have all worked out for the best!

Things worked out for Matt, too.  He ended up marrying the girl with the parrot who shat on him, and now they have a baby: 

“I seriously thought, ‘Shall I run? No, I like her, I like her, I’ll check it out,’ ” he says. “I thought about it, I asked myself, ‘Why are you doing this?’ and I decided it showed she can really nurture, because one was like a really old rabbit, a geriatric rabbit. And she baked, obviously.”

So there really is someone out there for the geriatric rabbit nurturing bakers.

Anna Nicole's Autopsy Results...

March 26, 2007 05:27 PM

...show she had all of the following in her system:

· Trichloroethanol (a sedative and hypnotic)

· Trichloroacetic acid (treatment of warts, including genital warts)

· Diphenhydramine hydrochloride (an antihistimine and sedative)

· Clonazepam (aka Klonopin; used for treating anxiety)

· Diazepam (muscle relaxant, used for treating anxiety, insomnia)

· Nordiazapam (sedative)

· Temazepam (a sedative and hypnotic)

· Oxazepam (a muscle relaxant and sedative)

· Lorazapam (anti-nausea, sedative, muscle relaxant)

Six different sedatives, muscle relaxants and genital wart pills.  It may be $500 million, but I'm still glad I'm not her baby daddy.  What a mess.

A Day in the Life of NBS...

March 21, 2007 01:16 PM

...so I've got a sister up at Christ giving birth and a 95 year-old great aunt 'round the corner at Deaconess in her waning days (hours?).  Both hospitalizations happened within moments of the other.  The life and death imagery is pretty hard to ignore when it all occurs on the same day.  The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.  Etc. Etc.  "I am the resurrection and the life."  Etc. Etc. 

And yes, I know there's big news today in the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up.  Someone else has already said what I think about it, so if you're looking for that, go here

Wanted: A Life for this Chubby Chick

March 20, 2007 12:49 PM

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

Yes, the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case has finally arrived before the Supremes:

Alaska high-school student Joseph Frederick hoisted his 14-foot "Bong hits 4 Jesus" banner to get on TV....  Frederick wanted to annoy school administrators, and he wanted media attention, and as we discovered today, he chose well on both fronts. He was suspended for 10 days.

So of course, he sued, and now his free speech case is pending before the highest court in the land.  His parents must be so proud.

I still remember my Con Law prof from college talking about Cohen v. California.  He began class with the proscribed speech from that case with a dramatic "F*** the Draft!"  He was old and very crusty, so this was a surprise.  It was memorable.

We'll see if "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" has the same staying power.

I have come to hate Movable Type...

March 19, 2007 10:05 PM

...but love Jackie Danicki.

So the past two weeks here at NBS has been a nonstop fiasco with the comments section.  I continue to get several thousand spam comment posts per day, and if they pile up, the whole site grinds to a halt, and I can only delete one of them at a time.  I spent hours over the weekend trying to get them all deleted.  It was a nightmare.

And then tonight, I had a great post drafted and Movable Type lost the whole thing.  So damn frustrating.  Now you may never hear how thrilled I am to have discovered Jackie Danicki's blog, and that someone of her caliber has decided to relocate to Cincinnati.  It says such great things about our City, and I can't say enough great things about her blog and her writing ability.  She used to write for Television Without Pity!  She knows Cathy Seipp!  She hysterically describes Al Gore's new book "An Assault on Reason" as akin to Paris Hilton writing a book called "An Assault on Modesty"!

But those passing praises will have to suffice for now.  Go check her out for yourself.  And thanks for profiling her, Joe.

And if anyone reading this has contemplated starting a blog, stay away from Movable Type. 

NBS PSA

Do NOT fill out the entry form to try to win that BMW at Kenwood Towne Centre.  They'll just keep calling you, to tell you that even though they haven't raffled off the car yet, you have "won a free trip to Orlando" (Gee, great.  ORLANDO).

There's "no purchase necessary to claim your prize," you just have to sit through some travel presentation.  NO THANK YOU.  Wasting valuable time listening to some crappy sales pitch is a "purchase necessary."

Coming to a theater near you

This is Oak Hill, the cottage in North Haven, Maine, where the heirs of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., founder of I.B.M., spend their summers:

Not too shabby, is it?  Well, it and the I.B.M. family trusts are embroiled in a huge lawsuit:

It concerns Olive F. Watson, 59, granddaughter of the I.B.M. founder and daughter of Thomas J. Watson Jr., the company’s longtime chief executive; and Patricia Ann Spado, 59, her former lesbian partner of 14 years.

Lots of money and a racy family scandal!  Let's read on!

In 1991, Ms. Watson, then 43, adopted Ms. Spado, then 44, under a Maine law that allows one adult to adopt another.

Does that sound like it was well thought through?  No, of course not:

But less than a year after the adoption, Ms. Watson and Ms. Spado broke up. Then in 2004, Ms. Watson’s mother died, leaving multimillion-dollar trusts established by her husband to be divided among their 18 grandchildren.

Guess who re-appeared on the scene after grandma died?  Yes, the "adopted" ex-lesbian lover from some years prior: 

Re-enter Ms. Spado with a claim: Because she was adopted by Olive F. Watson, she said, she is technically Thomas J. Watson Jr.’s 19th grandchild and is therefore eligible for a share of the trusts.

Of course, Grandpa didn't even know about Ms. Spado when his trust was set up.  But why should that stop her from claiming she's his grandchild?

And, to complicate matters even more, in the past few years Olive Watson has adopted again--children, this time.  And she claims those children are proper adoptees and trust beneficiaries.  But not the lesbian ex from 15 years ago.  Go figure.

The Maine and Connecticut courts have to figure it all out.  In the meantime, it should make for some interesting family conversations at Oak Hill.

Evil beyond belief

March 15, 2007 02:21 PM

From CNN:

After Crystal Brown's 4-year-old Australian shepherd mix, Chevy, wandered away last month, she put up "missing" posters in her neighborhood and went door to door looking for him. She called the St. Paul animal shelter and rode the bus there several times.

"I felt empty," Crystal told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. "I couldn't talk to anyone. He was my dog. It was just me and him. ... I told him everything and he never shared any of my secrets."

Two weeks ago, a gift-wrapped box was left at the house Crystal shares with her grandmother. The box had batteries on top, and a note that said "Congratulations Crystal. This side up. Batteries included."

Crystal opened the box and found her dog's head inside. The box also contained Valentine's Day candy.

Crystal screamed when she saw her dog's face.

"She was just hysterical," said Crystal's grandmother, Shirley Brown. "She was screaming. She said, 'Grandma, it's my dog's head!'

How could anyone be so cruel?

UPDATE:  The Enquirer reports on some similar evils out in St. Clair Township.  What the hell is wrong with people?

How men and women read the web

There's a fascinating article in the Online Journalism Review about an "eyetracking" study of how different people "see" online information... and it turns out that men are fascinated by naughty bits:

When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Take a look at the hotspot below.

Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed.

Image

This doesn't just occur with images of people:

Coyne adds that this difference doesn’t just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site.

I don't know what conclusion we are supposed to draw from this, but it can't be good.

"Women, Know Your Limits" ... Funny or Not So Funny?

March 13, 2007 11:16 PM

King of the Hill on Church Shopping

March 8, 2007 11:27 PM

Tree Hugging Lawyer Whack Job

Over at Above the Law, NBS friend David Lat has posted this hysterical pleading filed by Alison "Sunny" Maynard, who is a former Green Party Candidate for Attorney General of Colorado.  Naturally (get it "naturally"?) she wasn't elected, so she's still in private practice.  And in this case, she's representing an environmental group called the Citizens Progressive Alliance, and asking for an extension of time because she blew a deadline.  Which is usually considered legal malpractice.

Check out the reasons she gives for blowing the deadline.  No, that's not usually what you want to tell the tribunal and leave in the official record.  Nor is it common practice to use smiley face emoticons in your pleadings.

Make sure you scroll down through the comments over at Above the Law.  David doesn't identify Ms. Maynard at first, and then some commenters out her.  She then chimes in herself with a hilarious, indignant, and ridiculously lengthy retort.  Too funny.

inebriation excusable neglect motion 1.jpg

You know you're over-educated when...

March 7, 2007 02:31 PM

... a Washington Post article about a popular new plastic surgery--Designer Laser Vaginoplasty--reminds you of Robert Frost (1874-1963).  From his 1915 poem "Mending Wall"

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.

Dr. 90210 should use this poem in his promotional materials. 

Ohio considering green license plates for sex offenders...

... we already have red and yellow ones for multiple DUI offenders.  I've only seen a handful of them since the legislation was enacted a few years ago.

But a green sex offender license plate certainly would be more memorable.  And I was amused by this line from The New York Times:

A 2005 bill that called for pink license plates for all sex offenders failed after critics deemed it too harsh and Mary Kay Cosmetics and advocates for breast cancer research objected to the color.

Pink was "too harsh"?  Perhaps it was the sex offenders who didn't want to be confused with the Mary Kay reps, rather than the other way around?

Ready for summer

March 6, 2007 12:21 AM

It's amazing what you get when you google.  A longtime NBS friend has a Flickr slideshow up that is a tribute to Neahtawanta 2006--NBS's summer stomping ground. 

Heaven. 

I don't care if it is old news. It is basketball season and I still love this video.

March 5, 2007 10:55 PM

This week, in "Up Against the Wall"

We have Gayle Greenberg and Matthew Slonim.  She's an Assistant V.P. for Marketing at L'Oreal Paris in New York.  He's the son of a lawyer "who owns a law firm in New York bearing his name."  Naturally, they made the Vows column of The Times, and landed this week's coveted big write-up.

Ms. Greenberg and Mr. Slonim met in July 2003, and within two years they had begun having what Ms. Greenberg described as “heated discussions” about how and when he would propose to her. “He told me, ‘I will hand you a ring over dinner,’ and I said, ‘You have to say nice stuff, too. You can’t just hand me a ring,’ ” she said, recalling her frustration with the pace of the relationship. “He acted like he didn’t understand the process.”

Well you know what?  He still doesn't understand the process.  Check out his ridiculous "Quest for the Holy Gayle" of a marriage proposal:

When Ms. Greenberg woke up on April 29 last year, she found an envelope, entitled “The Quest for Yes,” tucked into her cellphone.

The note instructed her to pack a bag, take a glass of orange juice to her doorman and ask him for the mail.

Tiresome and annoying, and this is only Act I.  Here's Act II:

The mail revealed another clue: Go for a jog to the park bench in Central Park that had been donated by his parents. At the bench was a clue that sent her back home “to the place where George Foreman rests his head.”

George Foreman grills are not romantic or mysterious, and neither is the cringe-inducing demand that she jog in Central Park until she finds the bench that was donated by his parents.  But anyway,

Behind a George Foreman grill was a bag containing her favorite cupcakes and another note. Next, she was directed to shower, dress and go down to the street where a driver waited to take her to “a major destination named after a dead president.”

Would any sane person not be completely annoyed at this point?  Girl must be desperate to get married.  (Yep, just confirmed it from the Vow's Column itself.  Gayle's 34).

On the way to Kennedy Airport, Mr. Slonim had instructed her to look inside the travel backgammon set she had been told to pack. It contained a confirmation number for a Delta Airlines flight.

Get it?  Kennedy Airport.  It's a major destination and he's a dead President.  It's so clever!

“The driver said, ‘Where are you going, ma’am?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Ms. Greenberg said. She guessed it was a domestic flight and asked the driver to drop her at the terminal.

I can only imagine how Mrs. NBS would have reacted if she'd been told to pack for an unknown destination with no prior notice.  And had to jog through Central Park first, looking for clues.  Also, I love that "she guessed it was a domestic flight" line.  Aren't they all, Gayle?  Aren't they all?

It wasn’t until she put the number into the ticket dispenser that she learned that the plane was headed to Charlotte, N.C. Once there, Ms. Greenberg was picked up by a driver who took her to the assisted-living home where her 94-year-old grandfather, Ted Greenberg, lives.

Gayle, that retching sensation is not air sickness.  In fact, we're all experiencing it.  Surely the whole "hand the ring over during dinner" idea is looking pretty good right now?

“I thought I had been sent to visit my grandfather and then get another clue,” she said.

When she walked in, she found her grandfather with Mr. Slonim, who had arrived a few hours earlier to chat with him.

“It was very important to her that I meet her grandfather, but I wanted to wait until I was ready to propose,” Mr. Slonim said, adding, “I dropped to one knee and said, ‘Which one of you am I proposing to?’ ”

(1) That doesn't even make sense; and (2) Wouldn't you be totally embarrassed to have this schlock published in The New York Times?

Gayle, it seems, is not:

“All the effort and work that went into the planning gave me the most wonderful, secure feeling,” she said, adding, “it made me fall even more deeply in love with Matt. I was amazed he could pull it all together.”

We're amazed too, Gayle.  He managed to put together a bunch of ridiculous clues, buy you some cupcakes and book a plane ticket to North Carolina.  He's a keeper.

"It's spectacular!"

The Dutch are experimenting with a new idea: nude gyms.

HETEREN, Netherlands (AP) - A dozen middle-age and elderly men were game enough for a Dutch gym's invitation to work out nude. But they were vastly outnumbered by the dozens of journalists watching them lift, row and cycle in the buff.

Why is it that old, unattractive men are the ones who are drawn to this type of thing?  Never any one young and fit, and (much to dismay of an old guy named Henk) never any women: 

No women showed up for "Naked Sunday," even though eight were among the 100 people who had signed up for the event.

"It's always the same - the first ones to shy away are the women. You see that at nudist camps too," said Henk.

Yes, it's a story that's old as the hills.  Women are always the first ones to shy away from naked stationary cycling.  'Twas ever thus.

"We already had naked swimming ... but a gym, that's unique," said one white-haired bespectacled man, who gave only his first name, Henk.

"It's spectacular!" he said, as he pedaled away.

Dying to see a picture of Henk.  No?  Well, too late:

No need to blur the image if you pedal fast enough.  Thanks Henk!  You're spectacular!

What about owners of fat dogs?

March 1, 2007 12:08 PM

overweight dog

Should a mother lose custody of her 8 year old...

... if he weighs 218 pounds?

Image: Connor McCreaddie and Nicola McKeown

In case you missed it...

February 25, 2007 10:32 PM

...on December 11, 2006, NBS published a post entitled "All of Episcopal Church's Problems Helpfully Summarized on Back of Hybrid Vehicle."

People are still commenting.  To review the action, go here.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

February 20, 2007 01:39 PM

...creepy Valentine's Day articles in The New York Times about old people.  Having sex!

Or, as the headine broadcasts: "Greatest Generation Learns About Great Safe Sex."  There's even a picture.

Don't you love the body language on the geezer in the front row?  He's all "yeah, baby" with a shit eating grin, but the grandma next to him is not having any of it.

The copy is cringe-worthy too:

As the teacher, Monique Binford, delved into an unexpurgated discussion covering issues from vaginal dryness to Viagra, one student’s cane clattered to the floor, another student adjusted his hearing aid and a third fidgeted in her orthopedic shoes.

Oh yeah!  It looks like Justin Timberlake really has brought sexy back!

As one might expect, the sex educator sounds pretty clueless:

Urging her charges to meet potential partners at senior centers, social functions and places of worship, Ms. Binford recommended carrying a “bag of tricks” containing condoms, lubricant and wipes.

Yes, that's a great way to meet people.  With a perv bag.  At church.

Fortunately, there was one realist in the crowd:

Out of a pink Victoria’s Secret shopping bag, Ms. Binford and Ms. Bigio pulled out lubricant and condoms. “You can actually get this in drugstores, so you don’t have to go to sex shops or anything,” Ms. Binford said of the lubricant, noting there were also coupons in her pink bag. “You can even get your lube flavored. After I get finished with you, you’re all going to rush out and buy condoms.”

Bella Cohen, an 89-year-old widow in the front row, scoffed, “Oh yeah, by the thousands.”

Bella sounds like our kind of of gal.

The wheels on the bus go round and round

February 8, 2007 05:28 PM

Once upon a time, there were two little boys who rode the school bus together.  One little boy was nice, adorable, humble and meek.  The other little boy was not.  One day on the school bus, the other little boy grabbed the nice little boy's sister and twisted her nose ALL THE WAY AROUND.

The authorities did nothing.

The nice little boy studied Church History, Shakespeare and the architecture of the English Renaissance at Oxford.  The other little boy fled to Cambridge to avoid a 2004 trial, before being extradicted back to the United States.

The nice little boy grew up to be a successful attorney and charming (though under-appreciated) blogger.  The other little boy grew up to be convicted of "three counts of rape, three counts of kidnapping and one count of sexual battery."

MORAL OF STORY: Heed the prophetic voice of the nice little boy.

In a new twist on the grandmotherly admonition about always wearing clean underwear in case you're in a car accident...

February 6, 2007 10:49 PM

...we have the case of Lisa Nowak, the NASA astronaut who set off on a 900 mile love triangle kidnapping crime spree with a wig, a trench coat, a pepper spray package, a BB-gun cartridge, a new steel mallet, a knife, rubber tubing and large garbage bags.  And to fortify her for the journey... adult diapers to avoid bathroom breaks.

Lisa, Lisa.  Never be caught in adult diapers when you're on a kidnapping, pepper-spraying crime spree to take out your romantic rival!  It reflects very poorly on your upbringing.

BTW:  We also love that she gave a typical NASA puff-piece astronaut interview in September to, of all publications, Ladies' Home Journal.

Run for your lives!!!!!!!

The snow is coming.  RUN!  FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

Willy Cunningham is playing Mozart's Dies Irae on his radio show.  Derek Beasley (Channel 5's weatherman) is on saying it will be 3-5 inches.  The support staff is all atwitter.  The illegal space heaters that the attorneys have running in their offices have caused fuses here at NBS's downtown headquarter's to blow.  And the Mayor is pleading with the business community to let their employees go home early!

RUN!  FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

UPDATE: Derek Beasley successfully navigated Willy's loaded global warming question.

Oldie But Goodie: Ali G Interviews Former AG Dick Thornburgh

February 1, 2007 09:34 PM

Conservative Commentator Tammy Bruce...

January 30, 2007 01:27 PM

...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.

Ridiculousness at Nursery Schools in NYC

January 24, 2007 10:56 AM

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