Exhumed Book Club Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

The first is, at first read, an allegory. Written in 1914, just before the horrors of a Great War between the two most civilised peoples in the history of humanity. Obviously the translation lacks some of the flavour of the original, and is without the songs and dances (obligatory here with all theatre) which in many places, set the scene.

http://www.online-literature.com/tagore-rabindranath/dark-chamber/

Russell once wrote - "the business of language is to assert or deny facts", which I think neatly encapsulates the difference between our cultures and yours. We feel rather, that the business of language is to conceal, conceal our most personal thoughts, and the search for precision of expression is almost certainly a mistake.

The second is one of my [url=http://www.amazon.com/Tibet-Personal-History-Lost-Land/dp/1400041007/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top]interpreters of ourselves to the world outside.[/URL] There is a considerable amount of literature on Tibet out there. This one is definitely well-written, but one that also falls into the trap of attempting to rationalise mysticism.

What's everyone else reading, and what are recommended good reads on a vacation?

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Another NFL scandal

(#275809)
HankP's picture

it turns out that New Orleans coach Sean Payton had a bounty program that paid players for hurting members of the opposing teams. Really disturbing, even more so because I find it hard to believe that they were the only team that behaved in this way. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who was in charge of the program) admits to running a similar scheme when he was with the Redskins. Heads should roll over this, and probably will. I'm hoping for millions in fines, not even counting exposure to civil lawsuits.

 

I can't believe these guys have never seen Slap Shot: [link] no embed available

 

 

I blame it all on the Internet

I Waited For Your Reaction On This One

(#275813)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Aside from lawsuits, I have the following suggestion for penalties from the league:

--1 game suspension per "bounty" collected;

--triple the current going rate for whatever the infraction involved was as a fine, with two-thirds of that going to the player victimized.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The only problems I have

(#275814)
HankP's picture

are

 

1. I think it would take months if not years to determine the first unless the find written records (which is unlikely).

 

2. The second is far too small. I think they should be looking for a percentage of salary number, somewhere in the range of 25 - 50%. Possibly years long suspensions or even permanent banning from the sport. As far as the injured players, my guess is they'll be filing civil suits shortly.

 

This is going to be a huge mess, I can't see what the league can do to minimize or avoid endless legal fallout. And stupid, stupid, stupid.

I blame it all on the Internet

How Will The Union Play It?

(#275815)
M Scott Eiland's picture

On the one hand, they're supposed to be in the players' corner even when they've screwed up--on the other, the victims here were fellow players. This could get ugly.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

If they're smart they'll cut them loose

(#275818)
HankP's picture

the same way that most unions cut members loose when they break the law. According to wikipedia, "The responsibility of the organization is to represent all players in matters concerning wages, hours, and working conditions, to protect players' rights as professional athletes, and to ensure the terms of a collective bargaining agreement are met." Nothing there about excusing this kind of behavior. They'll probably stick to the letter of the existing agreements about pensions, etc. but not go one step beyond that. If they're smart.

I blame it all on the Internet

Romney Wins Washington Republican Caucuses

(#275807)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Bird Dog and the other three Washington Republicans can go back to their bridge game now. ]:-)

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Heh

(#275967)
Bird Dog's picture

The other Republican's partner was sick, so we went to the pool hall and played screw your buddy. When you live and do business in Henry Jackson's hometown, you keep your conservatism on the downlow. But there are times when GOPers and Dems find common ground, such as criticizing the current sleazebag county executive.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Actually the news was record turnout

(#275810)
HankP's picture

probably because this is the first time the WA caucuses or primaries have meant anything in decades.

I blame it all on the Internet

Fair warning to all

(#275777)
HankP's picture

I passed a kidney stone Wednesday night and another one last night, with possibly more to come. Don't push me.

 

This is what you've all feared - a crazy sysadmin.

I blame it all on the Internet

Wow!

(#275779)
aireachail's picture

Passing that many in that span of time?

 

What are you, some kind of Laura?

There may be more to come

(#275781)
HankP's picture

I can't get in to have a CAT scan until Monday.

I blame it all on the Internet

Unless It Is Medically Contraindicated. . .

(#275785)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I'd suggest treating the condition until then with repeated application of ethanol, filtered through the liver. Hope it helps. (-:

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I have to be careful

(#275787)
HankP's picture

the current pain meds have tylenol in them, I can't drink much or it will ruin my liver. The pain meds with aspirin should be available Monday.

I blame it all on the Internet

I Stopped Using Tylenol A Long Time Ago

(#275788)
M Scott Eiland's picture

My uncle made a joke once in front of me once about it being a placebo, and darned if it never worked right for me after that. Stupid sadistic subconscious. . .

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

tylenol is included in Percocet and vicadin

(#275789)

so you may have taken it w/out realizing it.

Take your pain meds!

(#275778)

Don't get behind on em!

Actually

(#275780)
HankP's picture

I passed the one last night without pain meds for the first hour because I was driving to pick up my daughter at a friends house. It was ... unpleasant.

I blame it all on the Internet

I've been predicting a Romney win in '12

(#275772)

That looks less likely currently, but it's hardly time to celebrate an Obama win.

 

Bernanke claimed unemployment wasn't likely to improve much if at all in '12 and recent economic news shows how soft the economy is:

 

the ISM manufacturing index was weaker than expected, personal income and spending growth was sluggish in January, construction spending declined slightly and durable goods orders declined sharply (a combination of fewer airplane sales and the expiration of the investment tax credit).

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/03/summary-for-week-ending-march-2nd.html 

Durable goods are "noisy"

(#275773)

from month to month and the ISM manufacturing index (and more importantly the employment index) is in fairly positive territory.  As long as the labor market numbers stay where they're at--first time UI claims trending solidly down and payroll numbers fairly robust--I'm not going to be doing *too* much puckering.  Especially because all of the regional Fed surveys are still in solid expansionary territory.

 

 

"Fairly positive territory"

(#275775)

PMI was at 52.4% in February, down from 54.1% in January. The employment index was at 53.2%, down from 54.3%, and new orders index was at 54.9%, down from 57.6%.

 

Anything over 50 is expansion, but this is simply a week report, not "solid expansionary territory." Of course the worry isn't an outright recession, just anemic growth that doesn't address the 25 million under and unemployed in this country.

 

As for durable goods being noisy, maybe so, but according to Dean Baker:

 

 this is a big drop that can't be explained by the usual suspects. New orders excluding transportation (airplane orders are especially erratic) fell by 3.2 percent. Excluding military goods, new orders fell by 4.5 percent, so this is not a result of the peace dividend. The weather goes the wrong here since January was unusually warm this year meaning that businesses were not shut by snow storms. New orders for non-defense capital goods (i.e. investment) fell by 6.3 percent, or 4.5 percent if we exclude aircraft.

In short, this is an unambiguously bad report. My view is that it is probably an anomaly. We will perhaps see upward revisions in the second report for January or a big bounceback in the February numbers. But, this report definitely deserved some attention. 

 

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/secret-commerce-depar...


No word yet

(#275722)
aireachail's picture

on their ability to actually compose:

 

 

As the drones are flying through Manhattan

(#275723)

picking off stragglers foolish enough to emerge from beneath the rubble, it'll be cool when one of them whips out a Stratocaster and plays Hendrix's version of the Star-Spangled Banner.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Underwater lab

(#275719)

From the Guardian - [img=440x440]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/2/13/1329137868199/A-black-labrador-retrieve-020.jpg[/img]

Lunar Industries Presents: The Moon

(#275712)
brutusettu's picture

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

OMFG

(#275709)
HankP's picture

I just downloaded and installed the latest beta version of Windows 8. What a f*&king disaster. It doesn't make anything easier as far as iI can tell, and requires every Windows user to learn a bunch of different methods of doing things THAT WERE JUST FINE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Also, to use a lot of the features you have to create a windows live email account and use it to enable the services.

 

I'll post instructions on how to load it on a virtual machine for testing if anyone's interested.

I blame it all on the Internet

Nope, not interested...

(#275718)

...my home will be Windows free by the end of the year, just one machine left now, though not MS Office free.

 

At work I still deal with XP and expect a migration to 7 sometime during the year. No 8 on the horizon.

 

So really, I could not care less about the latest brain farts from Redmond.

 

Well, except Metro and the badly named Windows Phone.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Is this article for real?

(#275687)

http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.full.pdf+html


Abstract:


Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled. 

Didn't read it

(#275695)

... but why wouldn't it be for real?  Sounds like a typical bullet-biting/reductio move to me.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Question for you (or catchy) as a philosopher:

(#275761)

My knowledge of the state of philosophical research is about five hundred years out of date.  Are ethicists like Peter Singer who construct Kill the Useless Eaters arguments the norm in the field of ethics, or are they outliers who are more visible because they're trying to generate buzz so that they get reputation, superstar status, prestige, etc.?

They're outliers

(#275762)

Ethicists are much more likely to try and systematically explain what people already find morally intuitive or resolve a dilemma where both of the opposing viewpoints aren't too provocative. 

 

Research that's counterintuitive isn't typically going to go for shocking things like infanticide, it just has to be interesting. A dissertation I came across recently claimed it was the moral duty of women who were sexually harassed to confront or resist it (when it's safe to do so). That's a modestly unintuitive position, not provocative or offensive, just different enough to be interesting. She's got a nice tenure track job. 

 

The important thing is to find a niche, and the majority can do that w/out becoming provocative. I was at a conference this summer where a guy was talking about wanting to be "the incest guy"; he wanted this to be his niche and was wondering if the best way to do it was to be as provocative as possible. The advice from others was to not make it look like he was trying to get attention, that people in the field wouldn't necessarily respect him for it.  

 

 

TIL: professional philosophers are hipsters.

(#275764)

Never, ever, ever let on that you think something is cool, or that you enjoy getting attention.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Because. . .

(#275700)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .it's so insanely unhelpful to the pro-choice movement that it reminds me of those foreskin obsessive comics from last year--only now infanticide (and eugenics) are on the menu this time. Jack Chick should be hired to illustrate this piece of deranged--yet "peer-reviewed"--trash.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Abstract missed one (4)If killing in war is ok,

(#275706)
brutusettu's picture

....why not just random people in a cafeteria?

I'm reading that abstract again, and once again, I'm looked at my monitor with a similar squint to the man in [url=http://cache.ohinternet.com/images/2/24/I_see_what_you_did_there_super.jpg]this link[/url]

---Why wait for birth and then, after all of that, infanticide.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Why should they care about the political fortunes

(#275704)

of any movement?  I don't know the authors or the journal, but they're presumably legitimate scholars working out an argument, not political actors looking to influence public debate.  The fact that their conclusions are distasteful isn't and shouldn't be their concern.  

 

I'm not terribly interested in hashing this out, but I think the difficulty of finding criteria which are (i) not arbitrary, (ii) based on rational (rather than emotive) grounds, and (iii) render abortion clearly permissible while rendering infanticide (esp. by passive means, like exposure) impermissible is not inconsiderable.  

 

And, look, I don't know; maybe hanging out with philosophers for too many years colored my views about things like this, but nothing about the argument per se strikes me as even a little beyond the pale.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Would you agree with the abstract?

(#275697)
mmghosh's picture

Abortion after 24 weeks is currently illegal as well being socially unacceptable in most societies AFAIK.

What do you mean, do I agree?

(#275705)

Do I think infanticide should be practiced?  No.  But I think defenses of abortion which focus on the non-personhood of the fetus are liable to that particular slippery slope.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

So, termination of pregnancy after 24 weeks is infanticide.

(#275713)
mmghosh's picture

Actually, I agree with that, and it seems to me to be a very reasonable compromise, as 24 weeks is the current threshold of statistical viability. 


I could also argue (as I would, wouldn't I) that this is a rich man's criterion, as keeping an infant alive at 24 weeks requires a considerable investment in medical technology.  But we can regard that as a quibble for the sake of this discussion.


What's the philosophical problem with accepting viability as a criterion, as an indirect criterion for personhood?  I am also not sure what you mean by a slippery slope.  Are you saying that improvements in medical technology could push back the time of viability to 12 weeks, and that therefore the criterion would need to be redefined?  Well, what's wrong with that? Seems eminently pragmatic.

I don't think "Persoonhood =/= Viability" here

(#275714)
brutusettu's picture

-My take, and I think hobbiest's take too, is the abstract was looking at personhood, as it relates to "being able to think with higher level cognitive abilities." not so much "viability."

That should clear up the slippery slope in this case, I think.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

OK, I get it

(#275715)
mmghosh's picture

I think.

What the authors of the article are saying is that any "unwanted" "potential person" whether a fetus or a new born (especially given point 3 in the abstract) can be eliminated (?executed/?killed) if currently applicable moral principles are held.

I was on the wrong track, in that I define as a person anyone capable of being kept alive by current technology, post conception.

Yep

(#275707)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Which is the advantage of the Thirteenth Amendment based approach that I advocate, though it is admittedly based on US constitutional law and would need tweaking to apply on a worldwide basis.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Not the same thing, I think

(#275711)
HankP's picture

he's talking about a philosophically consistent way of reaching a conclusion, not a legal or judicial strategy.

I blame it all on the Internet

Perhaps It Was Published Exactly One Month Too Soon By Mistake

(#275688)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Or someone realized that the penumbras and emanations of a woman's uterus by necessity* reach beyond its geographical boundaries--particularly for those who aren't even willing to accept viability as a barrier to abortion on demand.

*--do I really need to post the sarcasm disclaimer again?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Took a stroll

(#275680)

over to Ace's house of cards today to see how the Arpaio birther-gasm was being received. I clicked on their story, which was pretty sensible "ignore this crackpot" stuff, only to get to the comments section.

 

http://minx.cc/?post=327143

 

Wow these people are unhinged. Granted there's around one person every ten posts or so who refute the birther idiocy (often for political expediency alone though), but for the most part the comments are one lunatic bark after another. These people really think obama is an alien of some kind and it's a conspiracy hiding the truth from most americans.  

 

I might have DNA similar to these folks, but theirs must be quadruple helixed. Twisted. Black helicopters and dolphins saving little elian sounds positively sane compared to this stuff.

This doesn't seem to make sense

(#275671)
HankP's picture

here's the map of the GOP delegates by state:

 

 

and here's a link to a list of states by population: List of U.S. states and territories by population

 

If you compare the two you'll see some huge anomalies

 

PA (pop 12.7M) has two fewer delegates than GA (pop 9.8M)

MO (pop 6M) has two more delegates than NJ (pop 8.8M)

LA (pop 4.5M) has the same number of delegates as IN (pop 6.5M)

TN (pop 6.4M) has 29 more delegates than AZ (pop 6.5M)

 

and there are plenty of others. What gives?

 

I blame it all on the Internet

AZ is low

(#275675)

(as is Florida) because they are being penalized half their delegates for not following the rules on when to hold thei primary. 


GA has more than PA mainly because there are more Republicans in GA, likewise for the other cases. The way this is measured is by number of Republicans elected and percentage of Republican vote.


http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/R-Del.phtml


http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/R-Alloc.phtml


It seems reasonable to me - the delegates are there to represent Republicans, not the general population. 

Maybe to reward existing officeholders

(#275676)
HankP's picture

but it sure seems to penalize potential Republican officeholders in liberal or swing states. Even if you get elected (which you would think is what a national party wants) you're always going to be weaker and less influential than officeholders in majority Republican states. It seems like a recipe for party stagnation.

I blame it all on the Internet

Delegates

(#275677)

to coventions aren't controlled by elected office holders (as many elected RINOs have found out)  so officeholders are neither penalized nor rewarded by their state getting more delegates, unless the office holder happens to be running for president. I don't see how someone like Scott Brown would get much personal benefit if MA got more delegates.


If you look at the Democrats delegate allocation, they do the same thing.  Texas gets way fewer delegates to the D convention than New York  (288 vs 384), even though New York as 5M fewer people.

I think it's a mistake no matter who does it

(#275678)
HankP's picture

and maybe I'm thinking back to less polarized times, but if you want a true national party you'd want a state like Texas (for the Dems) or New York (for the GOP) to have power proportional to it's size, that would allow the party to incorporate themes and issues that will appeal to a broader spectrum of people than just preaching to the choir. In an ideal world, anyway.

 

Let's take an extreme case - let's say the Green party does really well in WA, OR and CA, horribly everywhere else, and allocates delegates similarly to how it's done now. They'd have something like 100 each for WA and OR and 300 for CA and maybe 10 or so each for all the other states. Now how would a party like that ever get any input from other states to make their philosophy more appealing to the people in those other states? The situation isn't that unbalanced now, but I could see a party appealing more and more to the true believers and abandoning other areas rather than trying to figure out what will apply to a larger group of states and people.

I blame it all on the Internet

It's A Better Model For More Established Parties

(#275690)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Perhaps the states with reduced representation could view it as an opportunity--elect more officials in the party, get more delegates. Note that even with the weighting, the utterly incompetent California Republicans have the most delegates of any state--maybe the threat of cutting that number further would light a fire under them.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

See, I think the opposite

(#275692)
HankP's picture

I think cutting their delegates would demoralize them and help push moderates out. Ideological purity is not a way to national success.

I blame it all on the Internet

That Logic Doesn't Track

(#275693)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Assuming that attracting moderates is going to allow a party to elect more officials than a party that can't, the system seems perfectly set up to reward the state parties that manage to simultaneously attract moderates while not offending the base.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You abandon logic

(#275696)
HankP's picture

when you equate "compromise" and "offend", that mixes emotion into the process.

I blame it all on the Internet

Not At All

(#275698)
M Scott Eiland's picture

It's laying out a goal by acknowledging that human beings--who have emotions--are involved. Under a population based system, California--whose Republicans have been miserably failing for well over a decade--would get an even greater share of delegates than under the current system. What's the logic in rewarding epic failure?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The question is

(#275702)
HankP's picture

will minimizing their participation in the national party estrange them or encourage them? Will it turn them into a harder core of ideologues or make them moderate to reach more voters? Obviously whatever has been done over the past decade or two hasn't been working.

I blame it all on the Internet

No, It's Been Working Right Well if You're a Right Wing Zealot

(#275703)

...everything in the United States, and especially the Democratic Party have moved right-ward...what's the need to even win elections when you can control the drift, the slow but steady movement of the entire society in the direction...you want?

 

When you are winning, just shut up and do more of it....moderation?

 

Pifft.

 

Traveller

????

(#275708)
HankP's picture

- no end to abortion

- expanded national health care

- all attacks on SS and Medicare have failed horribly

- a conservative President and congress passed Medicare part D

- a conservative President and congress increased federal spending to a ridiculous degree

- the US is pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan

- all signs point to re-election of a socialist communist fascist black Democrat with a muslim name

 

sure, they've had some "successes" that blew up in their faces (immigration, SS reform; Iraq, lately contraception, no bailout for Detroit, etc.) but the idea that conservatism is reigning supreme in the US without failure or opposition is a serious exaggeration. Stop listening to their PR and believing that it's the truth.

I blame it all on the Internet

BTW

(#275681)

since you brought up the Greens.


The long standing third parties (Green and Libertarian) are made up of two groups.  The temporary fraction is dreamers who think the upcoming election will bring victory, they mostly quit in disillusionment when the total comes in under 1%, but they're replaced by a new crop of suckers for the next cycle.


The permanent fraction is people who have knowingly given up any chance of being on the winning side in an election, because they see no point in winning if it requires giving up on key issues. 

Right

(#275684)
HankP's picture

but I'm talking about parties that acually want a chance of winning a majority and governing.

I blame it all on the Internet

Depends how

(#275679)

you view the puirpose of a political party - is it to advance certain policies, or simply to win as many offices as possible.


If your main goal is "less government",  it's kind of pointless to change your philosophy to "more government" to make it more appealing to people in Massachusetts, so you really don't need their input.


If your main goal is simply to be a highly paid, powerful Senator, and you're willing to believe in whatever gets the most votes, then sure, listen to what they say.

If your goal is to actually govern a large country

(#275683)
HankP's picture

I don't really see how you can do it in the absence of compromise. But I know a lot of Republicans no longer agree with that.

I blame it all on the Internet

There's some math here.

(#275686)

One guy stands pat, and "loses".   The other guy compromises with him, and "wins".   Repeat several times.  Which way have things moved?


Getting "winning" Democracts to govern like Republicans constitutes victory for the Republicans.

And vice versa

(#275691)
HankP's picture

which is the way things used to work. Up until Clinton, when the GOP started believing their own PR.

I blame it all on the Internet

Meanwhile, conservative media

(#275655)

continues to keep it classy. This from a guy with well-known problems with narcotics and an insatiable need for a little help with his own romantic life.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Blunt Amendment blunted

(#275620)
Jay C's picture

The Senate just voted on a mainly party-line 51-48 vote to table the so-called "Blunt Amendment" to a trasportation bill - the amendment which would allow employers to deny - or-pick-and-choose - healthcare coverage on "conscience" objections.

 

Hopefully, this embarrassing piece of retrograde misogyny will die a swift death in the abyss of Congressional Committee wrangling:though it's more likely to have a sort of zombie revival as a campaign issue...

Breitbart dead.

(#275612)

http://bigjournalism.com/lsolov/2012/03/01/draft/

 

It's been confirmed by actual news organizations as well.

 

edit- I had the window open for a while and didn't see BD's post below. Delete if you think necessary.

Big death

(#275648)

Breitbart is a dead man

(#275611)
Bird Dog's picture

Link. He looked older than 43. I expect a number of liberals and left-wingers will exult.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

My take

(#275672)

An old guy named Joe who had lived in my building with his wife for the last 20 years died just this week. He was a nice man, to the point of getting to know the names of every single person in the building. He didn't just know my name, he knew what I did for a living, asked where I was travelling this year, and followed up after my trip, asking how we liked it. Now he's dead. Just like Breitbart is dead, and you and I will some day be dead.*

 

Breitbart was a loudmouthed lying bully. He woke up every morning and made his living being a loudmouthed lying bully. He had charisma and could speak well on camera for the most part, and he was smart about getting platforms together on the internet to sell his loudmouth bullying bullsh!t. He made his entire reputation and living on being a lying, loudmouthed bully. I didn't know him. But I have known some lying loudmouthed bullies in my life, and out of all the billions of fellow humans on this planet, I put them in a lower rank as far as how much I care about them or repect them. The people I choose to live with and love do not make their livings being loud, lying bullies. If they did, I would purposely avoid them and disassociate myself from them. Again, there's another several billion of you bipeds out there I can choose to spend my short time with, or caring about.

 

So I didn't know him, but it's my personal belief -- based on the many tirades, lies and mass media platforms and appearances that he chose to try to foist on me - some times successfully  - that he wasn't a good person. In fact, I don't just disagree with his weird bellicose radicalism, but I think that he's been a major player in the poluting of the world I live in. I don't think he's a monster, but I think his net effect on the world was negative, him and his tinpot army of liars and media sycophants and crazed spotlight seekers.

 

See, there is no god to judge him. Just a bunch of us, stranded here on earth. I judge people by their actions. I don't actively mourn the hundreds of people who died on the planet since I read the news of breitbart's passing. And I don't mourn for breitbart. In fact, I think his being gone is a small net positive.

 

Did I want him dead? No. Ideally he would have woken up this morning and said "I'm not going to be a lunatic loudmouthed media hungry bully anymore" and then followed through with that plan. But it didn't work out that way. He's dead, just like the guy in my building is dead. Just like you and I will be dead. I don't believe in forgiving people who were professional destructive assh0|3s in life. I don't want this moron who spent every day with his army of wannabe media clowns pissing in the punchbowl of life getting elevated to a respected position by doing what comes naturally for all of us: dying. Screw that. Oh yeah, sorry for the kids. Truth is though, your dad was a self promoting d!ck who made sure that the entire world knew it every morning, on teevee or the internet. And it'll all be there for you to read while you grow up. You can thank good old dad for that.

 

I judge him by his actions and behavior. Just like I do everyone. Just like you do. Just like everyone does. I don't want to see this bozo put up on a pedestal as a brave truth teller just because he gave good interview and was friendly in the green room.

 

I have several billion people who I care about more than him. Good riddance. I'll be gone soon too. So will all the posters on the Forvm, but not one of us has been the tiniest scintilla of a c0ck-n)zz|3 that breitbart was.

 

 

*reading this again, the story about the guy in my building Joe sounds apocryphal. It isn't.

And At Least One RINO, Apparently

(#275646)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Thanks for sharing, David.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

He was far kinder

(#275653)

to him than Breitbart was to Ted Kennedy. There is no real way of white washing Breitbarts life. When you make a career out of ugliness and vitriol thats what you will be remembered for.

I respectfully disagreed in good faith with Andrew Brietbart

(#275654)

We did not share the same views about the best political policies for this country.

 

But I recognize that even though we disagreed over the means, we shared the same ends, namely, wide-shared prosperity and a strong country.

 

I am not so politically narrow that I cannot salute those across the political aisle even when we strongly and ferociously differ.

 

I recognize in Andrew Breitbart a man of great energy, passion, and dedication, and respect him for his love, however he may have expressed it, for the people of this country.

 

Godspeed, Andrew.

Tell us

(#275661)

whether it's Jordan or me that has the broken snark detector.

 

EDIT:  Thanks. Thought I was losing it, or you were on something.

I don't know about "good faith."

(#275656)

The guy was a political knife fighter, a gotcha journalist, and he only cared about facts and sincere opinions to the degree they could be twisted to shore up his own take-no-prisoners agenda. A polemicist, and a propagandist. I think you're a bit too kind...and I think even he might agree. It's awful that he died so young, awful that his family has lost a father, husband, and son, and maybe a little awful that he didn't keep going long enough for his career and his energy to mature into something perhaps even a little constructive for the country (I think modern conservatism tends to be inherently undemocratic, but that doesn't mean all conservative policies or initiatives have bad consequences).

 

Just, let's not pretend he leaves behind a record of well-meaning attempts to better all of our lives. He had the interests of one narrow slice of the population at heart, and very few scruples about running the rest of us down like peasants in the street if he felt it served his purposes.  

 

I respect his commitment, but deplore both his tactics and their negative influence on the larger political conversation in this country. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I posted that comment just for fun

(#275660)

Breitbart epitomized the lack of good faith disagreement in politics.

 

If Nixon was appropriately eulogized with 18.5 minutes of silence, Breitbart deserves to have any good parts of his eulogy edited out and to be mercilessly attacked.

Well don't I feel like a horse's associate.

(#275664)

Needle on my sarcasmometer didn't budge while reading your eulogy. 

 

I'm not as harsh as all that, and not the gravedancing type anyway. If politics can't stop at death's door, they can't stop anywhere.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Gratuitous insult

(#275638)

Thanks for that. Real classy.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Wrong

(#275663)
Bird Dog's picture

It was an easy prediction, which happened to come true. Here's an example: "Good! F**k him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead." More here. And here's a kouple from Kos.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

An easy prediction

(#275670)

AND a gratuitous insult.

Breitbart would probably have approved your eulogizing him in that way.

Neve forget the real enemy, right?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Well,

(#275673)
Bird Dog's picture

if you want to take it as a gratuitous insult, then that would be your opinion.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

#275658

(#275685)

.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Why Shouldn't we Dance on a Dead Man's Grave? An Evil Man

(#275666)

 

...thanks for the link to the Matt Taibbi's Obit....I would not have seen it otherwise.

 

The comment section was revelatory however...strange how many people loved Breitbart's hateful ways now.

 

Why should I be sad at Breitbart's death?

 

Jordan feels badly and I respect him...he thinks politics should stop at Death's Door. That is an honorable position.

 

I respectfully disagree.

 

God smites Breitbart in the full bloom of his life because he was a thoroughly detestable human being.

 

God did good.

 

Why should God doing good works be surprising?

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

 

People sometimes reap what they sow

(#275674)
brutusettu's picture

He tried to burn other people's reputations in a lake of fire, now his reputation and works can be thrown in a trash heap on the edge town. Maybe Dana Loesch knows how to properly [i]mark[/i] Breitbart's place in history.
Live by the sword, [s]die[/s] get remembered for your sword.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Insult?

(#275647)
M Scott Eiland's picture

More like "a prediction with a 100% chance of being accurate," as a review of Balloon Juice and other left of center sites will now confirm.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You know what else is easy to predict?

(#275659)
HankP's picture

100% crazy.

I blame it all on the Internet

There is no peak wingnut

(#275668)
HankP's picture

because wingnuts are bosons, therefore there is no theoretical limit to how many can occupy a particular space at any time. I supose there is some theoretical limit where they concentrate so much wingnut energy in one place that they create a micro black hole, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

I blame it all on the Internet

Gratuitous

(#275658)

tending to indicate misplaced priorities.


 


Just like this [url=http://patterico.com/2012/03/01/andrew-breitbart-dead/]sad sack[/url]

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

People are sh&tting over him all over the place

(#275650)

I've seen a bunch on the left, but I also saw David Frum say some unkind things.

 

It's probably b/c Breitbart did it his way.

My condolences to his family.

(#275635)

<nt>

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

I'm not going to exult

(#275634)
HankP's picture

but I'm not going to engage in fake mourning, either. I will say that the guy seemed to have severe anger issues, and raging to the point that your veins are popping out on your forehead probably isn't very healthy.

I blame it all on the Internet

You have to wonder about other drug abuse

(#275649)

Dropping dead at 43 is often correlated with heavy use of alcohol or other drugs.

Brain Tumor?

(#275667)
brutusettu's picture

It's not a good time for his family, but for Andrew himself, bless his little heart.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Who knows

(#275657)
HankP's picture

I don't know the exact stats, but anyone dropping dead in their 40s usually has some kind of congenital condition.

I blame it all on the Internet

Ever see this one?

(#275651)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4od4QQVK1o

 

I'm not surprised he died young. I get exhausted watching 30 seconds of that. He had issues, chemical or otherwise.

In honor of Andrew Breitbart

(#275652)

I'm gonna be mindful of my own blood pressure and avoid clicking your link.

RIP

(#275631)
M Scott Eiland's picture

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Wiki

(#275640)

In the hours immediately following Senator Ted Kennedy's death, Breitbart called Kennedy a "villain", a "duplicitous bastard", a "prick"[16] and "a special pile of human excrement."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Breitbart

Let's have none of that, condolences to the family.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

That really sucks.

(#275623)

Not what I would call a force for good in public life, but he was certainly a force, and a strong, influential, obviously deeply committed personality. My sincere condolences to the family and friends he leaves behind. A very good, very close childhood friend of my wife recently passed away in similar circumstances...he was 40 years old, and suffered a sudden heart attack while driving his delivery truck (he ran his father's family business). I hate to see other people have to go through the same shock, and the sudden realization that a person you expected to have in your life for decades is suddenly and without warning gone for good. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

RIP

(#275639)

Thoughts and prayers for his family. And I hope everyone treats his death better than he treated Ted Kennedy's.


 


http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/08/26/57997/breitbart-kennedy-twitter/?mobile=nc


 


"Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,” wrote Breitbart in one tweet."

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

Yup

(#275642)
HankP's picture

if you don't want to be remembered for saying stuff like that, don't say stuff like that.

I blame it all on the Internet

OTOH, I see my mother in law's friends die one by one

(#275625)
mmghosh's picture

Hamas says no to Assad

(#275610)
Bird Dog's picture

Good but not surprising news. Hamas is a group of Sunni Islamists and they're siding with Sunnis and Sunni Islamists. It would be bigger story if Hezbollah broke away from Assad.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

It's time to sell it

(#275609)
Bird Dog's picture

Much as the socialist in the Senate wants to keep it going, we should sell it now while it still has some value. 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Horrible idea

(#275633)
HankP's picture

and Republicans will never agree to it if they know what's good for them. It will drive up costs significantly for rural dwellers.

I blame it all on the Internet

I dunno Hank...

(#275636)

I believe it was the GOP that came up with the bill requiring the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care costs at a level that is not required anywhere else in the provate or public sector, and which would bankrupt a huge number of municipalities or companies if applied elsewhere.

 

As for rural Americans, the GOP doesn't give anymore of a damn about them than they do anyone else not in the uppermost echelons of the American economy.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Yes, they like creating problems

(#275637)
HankP's picture

where none existed before. And of course a lot of USPS workers are unionized. But for anyone who lives 50+ miles outside a major city, the USPS is essential. Remember they don't just deliver mail, they also do lots of "last mile" delivery for UPS, FedEx, etc. A lot of people in rural areas will get very upset when they learn exactly how this will affect them.

I blame it all on the Internet

It will be a disaster for the rural US:

(#275641)

Not only are there few (if any) other delivery options, in too many places broadband internet is unavailable. You can use the internet to pay bills, etc, but not on a dial-up connection.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

isn't there a Constitutional Mandate to Deliver Mail? I Love the

(#275613)

...Post Office.

 

It also has legal ramifications...I suspect numerous State Statues would have to be changed, (eg. Contract acceptance becomes binding on droping in mail box & Post Maked Date...there are many, many instances Like this throughout the Codes)

 

Traveller

The postal clause

(#275614)
Bird Dog's picture

Congress is empowered to have the federal govt open and operate post offices, which also means they're empowered to close them and to not have a U.S. Postal Service.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The Postal Clause gives the gov't the right

(#275626)

to establish delivery of mail via the internet. "Post roads" being primary internet hubs, the vast majority of postal communications now being carried electronically.

 

Don't know whether this is a good thing or not, don't know whether it would pass a strict Constitutional test, but certainly the intent of the postal clause was to centralize regulation & maintenance of private communication via postal delivery.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Totten on Tunisia

(#275608)
Bird Dog's picture

The interesting part:

Tunisia is different, however. I don’t know if it’s different enough, but it’s different. Unlike in Egypt, the majority of its citizens voted against the Islamist party. Unlike Libya, it is not fractured tribally except in the Saharan south where hardly anyone lives. Unlike in Syria, the overwhelming majority belong to a single sect and ethnicity. Roughly one percent are Christian and another one percent or so are Jewish, but almost everyone is an Arab Sunni, at least nominally. Unlike Lebanon, Tunisia is not under the thumb of a hostile foreign dictatorship like Syria or Iran. It is free to seek its own destiny without sect, tribe, military junta, or foreign master as an obstruction.

This is the one sovereign country in the Arab world where Islamists and secularists are evenly matched. The army is small. Private citizens do not have guns. There are no miltitias, Islamist or otherwise. The two sides are going to have to battle it out the way we do in the West—through debate in newspapers and coffeeshops and town halls and at the ballot box.

It’s possible that one side will arm itself and conquer the other as Khomeini’s Islamists did in Iran, but that isn’t happening, at least not yet. If the Islamists do try to take over, electorally or by force of arms, they’ll face far stiffer resistance here than they will anywhere else. Tunisia’s secular population is enormous, especially in the coastal cities, and it will not go quietly in the good night of theocracy.

While hardly anyone in the West is paying the least bit of attention, Tunisia is shaping up to be the great ideological battleground in the Arab world. It’s a swing state and also a bellwether. If the Islamists win decisively there in the end, they’ll almost certainly win everywhere else in the Middle East and North Africa. But if Tunisians can work out a formula for tolerant co-existence between the secular and the devout, less politically advanced Arab countries like Egypt and Libya might one day—eventually, even if it takes 50 more years—figure out a way to drag themselves into the 21st century with another Arab country as a model for how it can work.

Link.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The oldest profession crosses to another species

(#275607)
Bird Dog's picture

The story about capuchin monkeys.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Very interesting, thanks for the link

(#275669)

.

Squid in the Kitchen?

(#275595)
brutusettu's picture

[url=http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/bill-oreilly-says-romney-cant-promote-h]link[/url]

[quote] Hume: (Romney) ...as far as we know hews very much to his own fate. He ties a huge amount of money to his church, there's been no indication that he's not a man who lives his faith. And yet, he's not discussing that all the time.

O'Reilly: Well, he can't. Mormonism is so controversial that he just couldn't, but Santorum...

Hume: I understand that, I understand that but remember there used to be...

O'Reilly: Let's look at Santorum from another light. Santorum's big challenge to Romney is now on the backs of the evangelical.. [/quote]

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CW_fc7A06E]squid reference[/url]

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Three Cheers For The Barred Owl!

(#275591)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Maybe if nature is allowed to take its course, we might get use of some of that forest back. While we're at it, any natural predators of the Delta smelt are cordially invited to start kicking some useless fish @$$.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Stupid and nearsighted

(#275593)
HankP's picture

different species don't exist, and shouldn't be evaluated, based only on the monetary value to humans. Once it's gone it's gone forever. And we don't know enough about ecology to know whether the loss of a species, no matter how insignificant we think it is, could lead to large and damaging effects. People should learn from history.

I blame it all on the Internet

When We're Down To. . .

(#275594)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .killing off other animals to let the special needs critters survive, we've moved into the Onion Zone of ecological policy. As for the Delta smelt, if Obama thinks that decimating the California agricultural economy in the name of some random loser fish is the way to go, I wish him all the luck he deserves.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You don't know that

(#275596)
HankP's picture

because no one does. Scientists have tried to build self contained ecosystems before, and they've all failed, and they don't know why they failed.

 

And once again, sacrificing species to preserve an industry that only exists by huge inputs of energy and water is not a sustainable solution. It's shortsighted and ignorant.

 

And BTW, we kill off invasive species all the time before they decimate existing ecosystems.

I blame it all on the Internet

The delta smelt lives in a fascinating ecosystem

(#275601)
mmghosh's picture

the point at which fresh and seawater mix (almost excatly where I live, incidentally), and is a sensitive marker to ecological change.  I think that is the important message, not the fish, [i]per se[/i].  But you know that.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_smelt

 

http://www.water.ca.gov/iep/docs/SAG_Report-IEP_Delta_Smelt_Review.pdf

 

The knowledge gained from this can help the management of other estuarine areas in the world - the US generally leads in the theoretical basis of this sort of work.  Research and education also creates jobs, and hi quality ones, too.

 

The problem with California water seems to be with the ongoing drought.  We'll be visiting there in a couple of months, so I hope its not too bad.

Visiting California?

(#275604)

The drought will be mostly unnoticeable, especially if you visit in late spring.

 

You probably have your itinerary lined up, but if you can, do try to get to the Eastern Sierra.

Wished we could

(#275615)
mmghosh's picture

but our hosts will stay coastside.

 

We'll be driving round South Utah for a week though (as recommended here).

You are in for a treat.

(#275644)

What I've seen of Utah is amazing and awesome, in the real sense of the words. Stuff is just so BIG out there that I get a little dizzy even thinking back on it. Bring some extra drinking water in you car, just in case. Have fun.

Dinosaur national monument

(#275627)

is a must see if you are in Utah.

http://www.utah.com/nationalsites/dinosaur.htm

Much better than the one in Kentucky.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Sierra's Amazing...Southern Utah...More Amazing...nt

(#275616)

...Traveller

No PT Cruiser

(#275643)

Fully agree with Hank.  It's not even retro, it's some kind of pseudoretro.

 

I'd suggest renting a Corolla with a full damage waiver.   The cheapness of the Corolla offsets the cost of damage waiver.  Then you can take it offroad in Utah wherever you want.  It's surprising how much abuse they can take. But make sure they give you the tool kit and the spare.

DON'T rent a PT Cruiser

(#275632)
HankP's picture

I did once, and they're the most gadawful plastic pieces of crap I've ever driven.

I blame it all on the Internet

videos probably NSFW

(#275589)
brutusettu's picture

NSFW

[quote]We feel rather, that the business of language is to conceal, conceal our most personal thoughts[/quote]

top comments with a certain style of puns or single entendres.

top comment: "lust meter is full ... thumbs up if you know what I'm talking about ;)"


top comment: "its so hard to wank to this when a random kids voice keeps poping up ! fml"


top comment: "Music as it should be, many people came for the girl?"

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Just thought I'd pass along

(#275584)
HankP's picture

 

an email I received the other day. I've received similar ones in the past:

 

Howdy Hank,

I hope the weekend is ! I'm just getting in touch to ask if you're in need of any freelance writing at The Forvm - if so, it'd be an honor to help out and I would love to get involved if you have any need for me.

I'm 29 have been working full-time as a professional writer and researcher for five years; in that time there isn't a lot I haven't already covered (there are a few samples below for you to check out). Anything I send over would be written with the site's readership in mind - as long as you're happy with the resulting material, you'd be welcome to publish it as you see fit and the content will be owned by you entirely (in that I won't send it to anyone else, either before or after publication.)

The good news is that I'd be able to offer my services at no charge; the only thing I would ask in return is that I'm able to include a link to a site within the article - nothing shady or unethical, just one of the professional businesses for which I freelance. Otherwise I'd be happy to chat about alternative arrangements if you'd rather not link to a corporate site.

Do let me know if you're interested, and if so I can get something written for you over the course of the next few days. Needless to say, the offer is open to any other sites you might own as well as theforvm.org. I appreciate that this kind of offer is not for everyone however, so if I don't hear from you I won't trouble you again.

Very best,

XXXXX

 

and my reply:

 

 

XXXXX -

You can write for the forvm - for free - anytime you want. But we don't want business related links planted in content.

Hank

 

The internet is a strange place, isn't it?

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Admirable honesty.

(#275590)
mmghosh's picture

Why not let him write? It would be interesting to see where and how the link is placed, or which line he is pushing.

We can expect MA, yourself, hobbesist et al to pull him apart, if the corporate love is excessive. As a more general point, you wouldn't' necessarily know if I was doing the same, would you?

The Internet is a fascinating place - everyone struggling to stay afloat.

It's funny

(#275592)
HankP's picture

I was thinking of making that exact point - whether or not we could tell if someone here was planting links to particular sources. I doubt it, mainly because I don't think we get enough traffic to make any kind of return on time invested work. Although now that you mention it, I do delete a lot of spam links pointing to Indian companies.

I blame it all on the Internet

Hank, why all the kisses?

(#275585)

Good friend of yours?

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You know Darth

(#275587)
HankP's picture

you exist uneasily in the zone between a hard drinking, two fisted tough guy and a ten year old kid. Or maybe easily, I can't tell anymore.

I blame it all on the Internet

C'mon Smoochy, I always say

(#275645)

why let youth be wasted on the young.  And 'tough guy'?  Sure, I guess if your definition of tough guy equates to anyone who hasn't roller-bladed or drank Zima.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

To Both Exchanges....lol.lol.=LOL...nt

(#275588)

Traveller