Saturday, July 31, 2004

What people with lower standards might post

Or in this case, forward through email. Yes, the picture to the left is unacceptable for a respectable blog, and is posted only so you might know how this blog's careful and discriminating editing process protects you from lower forms of political discourse while edifying you on countless other subjects.

If you checked out this blog on Sunday before noon, you no doubt noticed that the gods of irony deliberately fouled up this post - I've corrected it since then.

Incidentally, I am told that the sign in question is to be found somewhere near Green Bay, Wisconsin. And notice the lower right hand corner - apparently the guy even sprung for a spotlight so you could see it at night. Not bad for a state whose best known citizens are Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer...

Explain this one to me

I grew up with the legend of JFK and PT 109. Or the movie, anyway. It was long, but I liked it when I was little.

I don't recall seeing it playing on TV for a while now, so I suppose it's possible that twenty- and possibly thirty-somethings don't know the story. It seems that JFK's craft was rammed broadside by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri, which cut it in two.

What happened later was tough on JFK and the crew, but all but two of them survived. But how did they wind up in that situation in the first place?

In particular, how did a small craft that could go at 45 knots get hit broadside by a comparatively monstrous destroyer? They were operating in Blackett Strait, which is narrow by ocean standards but still left plenty of room to maneuver. It's as if a human being were hit by a semi traveling at walking pace - it wouldn't be too hard to stay out of the way. It's hard to see how PT 109 could have suffered such a fate without gross failure by the commanding officer - IMO they would have done better with Joseph Hazelwood.

But I know jack squat about issues nautical and thought maybe some of you naval types might have comments.

Happy Birthday Milton Friedman!

He's 92 today. And he's one of the best arguments for cloning I can think of.

Not that I care

Glenn Reynolds is having some fun with the Alabama dildo sales ban again today. Of course no such blog item would be complete without references to junior-high taunts at judges and legislators who support such bills, suggesting that their position resulted from their personal inadequacies.

Oh, so it's acceptable to argue that way now? OK, no more unemployment insurance - whatsamatter, you're not man enough to earn a living? No more health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, ya wimps, or if we do keep them we certainly won't be covering Viagra. Yeah yeah, it was tongue in cheek, but still...

And there's a flip side to the argument. Maybe the men of AL have enough ideas and energy already and it's their partners who are lobbying for relief. Maybe they simply doesn't need these things, while those from other states need all the help they can get.

Personally I couldn't care less about it. I'd insist on a fairly compelling reason for banning the sale of a product, and I can't think of one for banning dildos and vibrators. Maybe I'd see things differently if I raised cucumbers, or manufactured candles or arthritis products.

How did this ban come about? I don't know, but AL politics can be bizarre. I lived there for a while in a dry county, which also happened to have one of the highest alcoholism rates in the state. The largest town in the county had long sought to become wet, but the county always outvoted it to keep it dry thanks to an unholy alliance of bootleggers and Baptists.

Then by some miracle, a bill passed to permit towns above a certain size to become wet independently of their counties, and IIRC this bill somehow passed without any votes from legislators in the dry counties. How the dry county delegation managed to pull that one off without leaving any fingerprints has to be a terrific story, but I've never heard the details. Anyway, my town was eligible and the locals were excited at the prospect.

Well, others were less thrilled - you should have heard the outcry. For instance, the town had one of those picturesque town squares where they still held markets every First Monday of the month (your lost baggage may be there too). But the drys circulated an illustration of the square after legalizing liquor sales, complete with strip joints and gay bars, and...well, you can't fully appreciate just how absurd that was unless you'd lived in the area at the time. Anyway, the town went wet, and although I left no more than a year later I don't recall any particular ill effects.

But I'm not living in AL nowadays, so (assuming that they don't vote for gay marriage...) their laws are none of my business. As for Glenn Reynolds, who lives in neighboring TN, I'd think he'd be for the ban. Now Tennesseeans can build a bunch of sex toy stores on the TN/AL border alongside all the fireworks places (and liquor stores, in case there are still some dry counties nearby). Border towns like South Pittsburg will make out like bandits, and the state will suck down tax dollars from Alabamians.

And let's not forget the service industries - haven't we all heard that old song "Tennessee Stud"? Isn't Tennessee the Volunteer State? (Even Alabamians will vouch for them - they told me nothing sucks like a Big Orange. To which the Tennesseeans would respond by telling you what AL women put behind their ears to attract men - their ankles.)

So if I were GR I'd encourage such bans in AL and in all the other bordering states too.

I'll close by noting that IMO this excessive interest in the sexual options of Alabamians is at least as weird as the sex toy ban. Sheesh, don't these people have anything better to worry about?

Friday, July 30, 2004

Psst - Susanna's birthday is coming

Yep, another couple of days (8/2) and she'll be, uh, well, I don't exactly know. I'm too much of a gentleman to say anyway even if I knew. But it's for sure that if she were a horse they'd have shot her by now.

Keep going down the lower right side of her page and you'll see the Amazon wish list and tip jars. Give till it hurts so she can continue to spread enlightenment in rural Alabama, post gratuitous niece photos and finish up that Ph. D.

Incidentally, I have no financial ties to our Ms. Susanna and she lives several hundred miles away. But if she wants to pass on some of the spoils that's OK with me.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Osama Bin Laden was my brother-in-law

Read Carmen Bn Ladn's story here.

Should be seen and not heard

Did you know that abortions never happened before Roe v. Wade? Why all, they were illegal!Sure, honey. Women never had abortions before then - those guys on the Supreme Court invented it just as sure as some Italian guy discovered the clitoris in the 1600's. Actually women went for visits with relatives, or to attend to a sick aunt, or something else, and when they came back that little problem had gone away.

Ashley sweetie, you are one fine specimen. Don't ruin it with stupid lines like this. If you want to talk about women's rights, learn some of the history first.

And support the man who's freed women by the millions in Afghanistan and Iraq - certainly more than the likes of Gloria Steinem and Betty Fredan have ever done. In case you don't know, I'm talking about George Bush.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

By popular demand

The Daily Dirt Chess Blog.


Being a Cub fan by the grace of God, I have some natural sympathy for the Red Sox. And I'm with those who say that rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for General Motors.

But I'm not at all impressed with the Red Sox after the skirmish with the Yankees last night. First we have Jason Varitek in full catcher's gear taking on an unprotected A-Rod after he's just been hit by a pitch. Varitek didn't even take his mask off. Was that enough protection, Varitek? Or should we have given you a gun just to make it fair?

Then we have three Red Sox taking one Yankee off to the side without doing enough damage to him to get him out of the game. I would have expected three Boston sports writers to do better than that. In my old neighborhood we'd have made those three wear skirts, except the girls were tougher than that.

Well, maybe that last part was exaggerated a little. But the Red Sox sure don't have anything to be proud of.

Curtain call

In case you haven't seen JibJab, here's another link.

Thanks to Punch the Bag from the great state of Indiana for reminding me.