Archive for March, 2015


My title cites the very words of Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, words that demonstrate his mastery of the fine art of doublespeak.  So far he has not admitted that Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law discriminates, but that failure hasn’t stopped big businesses (Angie’s List, Marriott, NASCAR, NCAA) from threatening to pull out of Indiana if this law isn’t changed.  Most satisfying, Pence earned himself the opprobrium of the governor of Connecticut, who called him a bigot on national teevee.

I admit I haven’t read the text of the Indiana version of this law, although I did read the Arizona version.  I assume they are similar, given that both are products of the shit-shovelers who work for ALEC.  Arizona’s governor vetoed our version, not because she wanted to but because AZ business leaders reminded her what happened back when the state refused to establish a holiday in honor of MLK (if you don’t recall, the NFL moved the Super Bowl to California).

In theory, this legislation could allow business owners to discriminate against almost anyone–Hindus, women, people of color–unless the state wherein the discrimination takes place specifically protects these groups in other legislation.  This is the problem in Indiana, which has no separate protection for gay people.

What is it with these Chreestyens?  How can they reconcile Christ’s message (“Love your neighbor,” if I recall my catechism correctly) with such hatred?


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eugene_walking_dead_a_lFor those who don’t watch The Walking Dead, this is Eugene, the mulleted pseudo-scientist.   The actor who plays Eugene, Josh McDermitt, recently appeared on a talk show where he used the word “Otis” as a verb.  As in “I just Otis-ed him and moved on.” I was at a loss to know what happened to the object of that sentence (hey, I’m an Old).  So I enlisted the help of the Urban Dictionary, whose first definition is not entirely savory (don’t look it up–it’s repellent).  Farther along, though, Eugene’s use of the term appears:

“Verb – When somebody is slowing you down in a crisis because they are hurt, fat, old, or any combination of the three. Often somebody you don’t know or like so you decide to save yourself by killing or ditching them so you can make your escape. Comes from the show The Walking Dead.”
Here is UD’s example:  “I was running from a starving rabid bear and Dave was slowing me down because he broke his leg so I had to Otis his ass and leave him.”
See Katherine’s comment below for a description of the character from whose demise this verb is derived.
I plan to use “Otis” as a verb once a day until it is my own.  I expect occasions will be hard to find, although Inky and Sassy may provide them.

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In The World of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin and friends have produced a prehistory of Game of Thrones that is simply beautiful to behold–and to hold.


This is Dragonstone, home of the Targaryens and their dragons.  This painting graces the end-pages of WIF, and is shown off to better advantage in a larger size, which you can find readily on the web.

The text fills in the background of Westeros in such detail that events in the novels finally begin to make sense.  We learn about all the races that preceded colonization of the continent by humans, and about the families who eventually became the powers in the Seven Kingdoms.  There is a long history of the Targaryens, who conquered Westeros with their fierce dragons.  Here is Aegon the Conquerer on Balerion:


The authors also give us the history of each of the great houses that are competing for mastery of Westeros–Stark, Lannister, Tyrell, and so on.  Here is WIF‘s depiction of the battle of the Trident:


Rhaegar Targaryen’s helmet is graced by dragon wings, while Robert Baratheon wears the antlers of the stag–his sigil.  This battle, which is told in flashback in the novels, sets the stage for the struggle retold in Game of Thrones, which begins when Robert has been king for seventeen years.

As you can see, the artwork is breathtaking.  Even if you are not a fan of the series, you might want to hie yourself to the nearest bookstore and hold this book in your hands just to get a sense of its tactile appeal. as well as its majesty.

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Suh Picks 93


Suh will wear his old number from Nebraska when he plays for Miami this year.  The Dolphins have just added the population of one whole state to their fan base.


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Everywhere I look Rethug shills are saying  “you can’t trust the Clintons.”

May I remind those who were born yesterday that Rethugs invented this meme?  And that they did so well before Bill Clinton said he hadn’t “had sex with that woman.”  The Clintons were investigated when they still lived in Arkansas–remember Whitewater?  They were investigated incessantly during Bill’s presidency–remember Vince Foster?  the travel records?  the claims that they trashed the White House when they moved out?  None of these had any substance whatever.

And they are still being investigated.  Benghazi is on its third or fourth House committee investigation.  And now the Thugs are trying to keep e-mailgate alive, although it looks as though this will fizzle out too, now that it’s being revealed that lots of other officials keep their records on private servers.  (Here’s looking at you, Jeb).

But that doesn’t stop the shills from repeating, over and over, that the Clintons can’t be trusted.  The implication is that she must be lying about something or other (always unspecified) that happened while she was First Lady/Senator from New York/Secretary of State and now she is covering up (whatever it is).  The Rethug hope is, of course, that so-called “low-information voters” will hear only the meme, and won’t demand either facts or context.

This fallacy is so tawdry that ancient rhetoricians never even gave it a name.  So I will.  Say hello to “the beggars’ scam”.

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Happy Pi Day!

pi-day-pie-landscapeIf you missed 9:56 this morning, you can still salute 3.14.15 this evening at the same time.

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