Friday, April 06, 2007

DL suck on my C

Harold Ford Jr., intra-and-inter-party-election-loser and head of the Democratic Leadership Council, guest-blogging at TPM this week, offers this as part of his Joe-Lieberman's-a-Democrat-too campaign in which he plaintively longs for reconciliation between netroots and Emanuelites:
Also, I would remind the DLC critics who believe that we never criticize the Bush administration and support its major domestic and foreign policies that the DLC and its think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, has published millions of words admonishing the administration on just about every issue.
Setting aside the quality of the writing (Mr. Ford has never claimed to be an academic, having failed the bar exam after graduating from UVA Law); and tabling the eerie similarities between Ford's approach to "fellow Democrats" (i.e. actual Democrats, rather than Democrats who look talk walk speak and shit like Republicans) and his approach to his ostensible foes, Republicans; we'll simply examine the words Ford used. Look closely - Ford reminds those who believe the DLC fails to criticize the Bush administration that the DLC and its think tank have admonished them, like, a lot! Excuse the pedantry, but let's take a look at the definition of admonish:
ad·mon·ish [ad-mon-ish] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –verb (used with object) caution, advise, or counsel against something. reprove or scold, esp. in a mild and good-willed manner: The teacher admonished him about excessive noise. urge to a duty; remind: to admonish them about their obligations.
Tepid, isn't it? Congratulations, DLC, you've managed to chide this administration. Gosh, I bet Dick Cheney was quaking inside under your relentless...counseling. Maybe with just a teensy wee-bit more mild and good-willed reproving we'll be out of Iraq!

So what say I to Harold Ford, Jr.? Well, taking a cue from John McClane...

Asshole? Asshole? I'm not the one who just got butt-fucked in a Senatorial election, Harold. Now you're not being part of the solution, you're part of the fucking problem. Quit being part of the fucking problem. And put the other guy back on.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Perhaps the time has come

to break my habit of providing Andrew "anal-object-oriented" Sullivan snide and generally homophobic nicknames whenever I reference the old salad-tosser. But honestly, when Andrew "my asshole is a bear trap - pun intended!" Sullivan is tossing off doozies like this post...I mean, I have certain limits. Generally 10 mph over on surface streets, 15 - 20 on the freeway; 4 joints and I pass out on the couch; 4 minutes and I ejaculate or just stop out of boredom. Sullivan's obsession du jour is the hijacking of conservatism (one of about a million posts to choose from) he claims to have watched take place; he got so worked up about the whole thing that he fucked a bunch of different men. By fucked a bunch of different men, of course, I mean fucked a whole slew of different men, and, between sessions, wrote a mediocre book on conservatism. Here's Sullivan hawking it; here's Sullivan offering to read any number of reviews of the book and respond; here's the best review out there; I would say here's Sullivan's response, but he never came up with one. Here's something else entirely.

In any case, back to the post at hand. Sully approvingly quotes H. L. Menken:
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on 'I am not too sure.'
Sully then quotes himself, in rather congratulatory fashion - "here is my version":
"The defining characteristic of the conservative is that he knows what he doesn't know... The first thing to say is that this philosophy is not warmed-over relativism or nihilism. While the fundamentalist knows the truth, the nihilist believes it is an illusion, that nothing is true, and everything is valid. The conservative differs from both. While not denying that the truth exists, the conservative is content to say merely that his grasp on it is always provisional. He may be wrong. He begins with the assumption that the human mind is fallible, that it can delude itself, make mistakes, or see only so far ahead. And this, the conservative avers, is what it means to be human."
Of course, Sullivan has just equated "the truly civilized man" with "the conservative...[the] human," who is neatly opposed to "the fundamentalist." One wonders whether the liberal exists in this formulation, or is simply lumped in with Osama and Hitler. Orwell, whom Sullivan quotes/references with sycophantic regularity, at least cloaked his clumsy political stereotypes in animal hides, providing himself a cute excuse for vague, implicit, and simplistic/fascist prescriptions.

This tendency toward questionable abstraction - which then allows for reinterpretation to no end as the author draws "lessons" from the model he created - fits into Sullivan's general pattern of identifying a particular policy he favors and then arguing for its conservativeness based on a rather inchoate set of arbitrary moralisms and selective- distillations/modernizations/convenient-misreadings of philosophical and religious texts. The result is a mishmash of vague, nearly conflicting policy ideals uneasily rubbing shoulders, constantly agitated by shifts in public opinion, spilled out like so much semen from the anus of an overwrought Brit onto the helpless (if plentiful) tissues of the internet.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

First Yale '06 Grad Laid-Off?

Keith Urbahn, (former?) Speechwriter for the former Secretary of Defense, friend of the 'spawn.
Just a guess.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Meant to post on this awhile back...

So a while ago (10/22) Kevin Drum linked to a piece about Barak Obama written by Ben Wallace-Wells back in 2004. The piece is about young, black, potential-superstar politicians, what they have in common, where they've misstepped, and how this all relates to Barak. It's generally well-written and relatively informative, but there's one HUGELY idiotic bit. When discussing Cory Booker, a black superstar-until-he-lost-a-mayoral-bid-politician with Stanford, Oxford and Yale Law on his resume, as well as a couple of terms on the Newark NJ city council, Wallace-Wells drops this tidbit:
After Oxford, Booker went to Yale Law, but rather than live in New Haven, chose to commute each day from a run-down housing project in Newark, a mostly-black, heap-of-junk port city in which Booker had never lived. “It's hard to not feel some responsibility towards the community,” Booker told me, “like my generation should move things forward.”
Um, a mostly-black, heap-of-junk port city in which Booker had never lived. Gosh, that sounds absolutely nothing like...fucking NEW HAVEN, you know, the city where Yale Law is.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Len Pasquarelli

you moron. He's not just a bad writer. He's also an ugly man. In any case, he (sort of) takes the Jags to task for not trusting Byron Leftwich enough, for reining him in and making him handoff all the time. He then uses the standard retard technique of comparing the Jaguars' use of Leftwich to the Colts' use of Manning. Well the best team in the league uses their quarterback, who happens to be the best quarterback in the league, and who has different strengths and weaknesses, and runs a totally different offense, this way. Why don't you use your quarterback in similar fashion? For one, a lot of reasons.
But, let's stick to Pasquarelli's article here. His main problem with the game was that the Jags didn't pass enough on third down, unlike the Colts.
When [the Jaguars] run the ball on every down," noted Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, "on third-and-20, on third-and-10, whatever, it is easy to adjust and know what they're doing."
Pasquarelli then hammers his point home in the next paragraph. It's simply beautiful to watch a wordsmith like Pasquarelli work:
On third-and-long, the Colts count on Manning and coordinator Tom Moore to dial up a miracle. There were seven occasions on which the Indianapolis offense faced third-down plays Sunday needing 7 or more yards to convert. Not surprisingly, the Colts threw all seven times, remarkably converting on five of them, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. Every time the Jaguars faced a third down, it seemed, Leftwich handed off to Fred Taylor or mercurial rookie Maurice Jones-Drew.
First, we have a stat about the Colts compared with what "it seemed" like the Jags did, along with the half-assed recollections of an NFL defensive end. This is good writing "style." It's the sort of objective, cold-eyed look at the "facts" that all journalists attempt to achieve. What did the Jags actually do?

In the first quarter, the Jags faced four 3rd downs. The first (3rd & 5) they handed off to Drew, who got a 1st down. Next was 3rd and 3, and Leftwich scrambled for the 1st, although the play was probably a pass. Next was a 3rd & 1, QB sneak by Leftwich = 1st down. The last was a 3rd & 7, where again they handed off to Drew, and again got a 1st down.

In the second quarter, the Jags faced five 3rd downs. They ran twice, once on 3rd and 2 (when they handed off to Drew) and once on 3rd and 1, when Leftwich again snuck for the 1st down. All the other 3rd downs they attempted a pass or Leftwich scrambled on a pass play. Only one was 3rd and 7 or longer.

In the third quarter, the Jags faced four 3rd downs, and elected to attempt a pass each time, including on 3rd and 1.

In the fourth quarter, the Jags faced four 3rd downs, and elected to pass each time.

So, we had a total of 17 third downs, and pass plays on 12/17. On 3rd and 7 or longer, they ran exactly 1/7 times. They never handed off to Taylor on third down. The one time they ran on 3rd and 7, handoff to Drew, they got a first down.

Just as a side note, the Jags converted on 6/7 called running plays, and 4/10 called passing plays, and that includes one where a pass was called and Leftwich scrambled for a TD. Naturally running 3rd downs are generally easier, because runs are called on 3rd and short. It does undercut Freeney's point, though, about how easy it is to defend against the run on 3rd when you know it's coming. First of all, it never came in the second half, and, when it did come, they didn't defend against it very well. Dwight and Len have been the subject of "couple" rumors, though, so it's easy to see how this article came to be written. Although Freeney was also rumored to be less-than-pleased with Len's grooming habits, reportedly repeatedly encouraging Len to "get his fuckin' teeth whitened."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Schiavo me this?


Monday, March 13, 2006

CNN Disappoints

When I clicked on "Watch: Uncle raped, killed 7-month-old niece," all I got to watch was the mother cry while a reporter did a voice-over.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Winter Olympics:

The world's quadrennial reminder that Austria does, in fact, still exist.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Separated at Birth

Chicago Bulls Coach Scott Skiles and Daily Show Correspondent Rob Corddry.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Quote of the Week

" "

--Terri Schiavo, on the war in Iraq.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Killer Blog

Literally. Apparently Joseph Edward Duncan, who has a history of child molestation and murder, kept a blog. A taste:
"To be more specific, I am scared, alone, and confused, and my reaction is to strike out toward the perceived source of my misery, society. My intent is to harm society as much as I can, then die. As for the "Happy Joe" (Jet), well he was just a dream. The bogeyman was alive and happy long before Happy Joe."
I dunno, Joey, seems a little trite to me. I mean, granted, the kidnapping, the rape, the murder--it certainly demonstrates effort, if not originality per se. But the self-analysis really boils down to cliche. The mustache too. Maybe go with a handlebar?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jumping Spin Kick

Monday, April 11, 2005

UPDATE: I just downloaded the requisite software, and as I've linked to this picture on my blog and it's currently my desktop background, I can think of no more fitting photo to welcome hiddenhand into the photoblogosphere. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Here's my previous post on the Colorado-death-penalty-overturned case. jeremy has some comments on it, and I think he's right:
That said, I strongly disagree with King's final sentence, saying that jurors IN GENERAL should be allowed to consult their religious beliefs, as to do otherwise would be an infringement of their first amendment rights. Juries are under all sorts of restrictions which seem to obviate Amendment rights. Gag orders, orders against reading newspapers, all of these are "violations" of Amendment rights. The jury-system relies on jurors to act in a very particular way while they serve which is a very different way than that which is expected of normal citizens.
Perhaps the sentence should be amended to read:
The right of jurors to use religion as a guide for such moral decisions should not be infringed upon, as it would be a textbook violation of the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Regardless, jeremy's second point is the more important of the two, and perhaps the one that I should address. That jurors should not be asked to rely on individual moral compasses is true, as the law is ideally dispassionate. (I suppose I could bring up that relatively trite Aristotle quote that pops up in Legally Blond...) Nonetheless it seems to me that jurors doing just that is an inevitable part of the judicial system, insofar as the ideal of a trial by a jury of one's peers remains valid. Unless the average level of education and discipline among citizens rises drastically, jurors are always going to bring their personal morals into play when deciding a legal matter, despite all the chiding in the world from the presiding judge. That this trend should be minimized however possible is undeniable. That Colorado attempted to do so in codified fashion is not the problem; the problem, as jeremy rightly points out in closing, is with the death penalty itself:
it creates the life-in-prison/death dichotomy which must almost always be mediated by some judgment about a persons' soul, sorrowfulness, regret, etc. Cf. the avenging angels on the S. Peterson jury. Torture them all.
I obviously support his proposed remedy wholeheartedly.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Interestingly Enough

a Colorado court has reduced the sentence of a convicted kidnapper/rapist/murderer from the death penalty, imposed by the jury in the case, to life imprisonment. The court ruled that because they found that jurors consulted the Bible when debating whether to apply the death penalty in this case, their recommendation was suspect enough to be discounted. First of all, one fewer person is getting the death penalty which is good. (Although don't be surprised to find this case in the Supreme Court with Sandra Day O'Conner casting the deciding vote. I can see it now, a well-written, outrageous, strict-constructionalist opinion authored by Reinquist, joined by Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas, a well-written, loose-constructionalist opinion authored by Stevens, joined by Brennen, Souter, and Ginsberg, and a ridiculious, "I wanna toe some sort of middle ground here but, fuck, I've got to vote" milquetoast opinion vomited onto a page by O'Conner. The old bitch.)

Two things jump out at me about this case. While I haven't read the actual opinion of the 3 judges who voted to reduce the sentence, it seems to me that their reasoning has to include something about how the jurors used the Bible in making a legal judgement. For example, the requirement for the death penalty in California is Murder 1 plus a special circumstance (murder in the commission of a felony, murder in a particularly violent/sick fashion, murder for hire, cannabilism, etc.) If the jurors used the Bible to determine that, while there was no special circumstance present, this legal nicety was trumped by the Biblical aphorism of "an eye for an eye," and therefore this murderer deserved to die, then the judges are completely correct in their ruling.

On the other hand, generally jurors are allowed an extraordinary amount of leeway in reaching their decisions. A jury is a representative sample of the population selected to render a binding judicial decision to the best of its members' abilities. They are obviously to be guided in this by a judge who is able to explain the law to them, and the evidence presented at trial. Nonetheless, juries have been known to find defendents guilty on evidence and not guilty on principle. Hence, if the jurors decided that legally the defendent qualified for the death penalty, they're still empowered not to sentence death if they feel there are non-legal reasons not to. Enter the realm of morality. Jurors for potential death-penalty cases are disallowed if they feel they would be unable to vote for the death penalty under any circumstances. (This is ridiculious, as this type of juror is inherently more likely to vote for a conviction, and because a person can be disallowed from civic duty for holding a particular political belief, but that's neither here, nor there, nor anywhere.) If the jury decided on legal grounds that the defendent qualified for the death penalty, and then included Scripture in their discussion of the morality of imposing capital punishment, despite my ardent belief in the separation of church and state, and my hatred of religion in general, and religion in government in particular, I would have to conclude that the judges ruled wrongly. Each juror in the case has the right to make a personal decision based on legal factors, yes, but also moral factors should they have their legally constituted place. The right of jurors to use religion as a guide for moral decisions should not be infringed upon, as it would be a textbook violation of the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

When I Worked at Jamba Juice

we were in like "Special Strawberry September," which meant that there were extra strawberry-themed smoothies on the menu. I really hated making the fan-favorite "Strawberry Tsunami" because you had to get lemonade out of a refrigerator for it, rather than just sticking the blender under a juice spout. I used to make comments in the back "employees only" area like, "I hate Tsunamis." Or, "Tsunamis are such a fucking pain in the ass, when's Pineapple month starting?" Oh how little I knew.
I went back into Jamba Juice the other day and tried to order a Strawberry Tsunami, with calcium and lecethin, hold the devestation. The girl behind the counter just kind of looked at me and said, "Our fruit of the month is pineapple. Would you like to try a Pineappalooza?" I replied with, "Do you guys have a carrot carbomb, or maybe a Raspberry RPG?" She said, "You're not funny," leaving her tongue lingering on her upper lip, while her left hand undid the top button of her bright yellow polo shirt, which had Jamba Juice emblazoned above her slowly hardening left nipple.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Championship Review

Trumbull won the IM Volleyball championship for the first time in history, sweeping it's first playoff appearance in 43 years. The team gelled, and felled opponents 2-0(15-10, 15-11), 2-0(16-14, 15-2), 2-0(15-10, 15-4). The team often fell behind early in the first game, only to rally and crush the opponent's spirit for the second. Trumbull gave up a combined 17 points in the second games of the three matches. Trumbull had looked forward to meeting archnemesis Calhoun in the final; Calhoun fell in the semis to an inferior, one-dimensional Pierson team. Said Pierson's single dimension, Juan, "You know, I just went on a streak, my blood ran hot up and down my thighs, and I couldn't miss a spike." Calhoun's star player, Alexy, commented "We shoulda. We coulda. Damn." Trumbull's captian was incredibly elated after the championship match, ass-slapping each member of the team in turn, while repeating "We finally did it, I'm a champion again;" Trumbull's captain won a school-wide pogs tournament in 5th grade. Trumbull's team was also in the running for the sportsmanship award prior to the season, amid rumors that it's fiery sparkplug, Samuel, would not be back this year. Defying the haters, Samuel returned to become the best bumper in the league; Trumbull's pre-game chant was "Win!" The ACTUAL God smiled, and played, angelically.

So, fuck yeah, we beat all y'all . Undefeated next year motherfuckers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


See all the exciting changes here or here. Speaking of quantitative comparisons, word on the street is that Kobe's penis is larger than Shaq's. That still doesn't explain why he raped someone though. There's nothing funny about rape in general, but "Vail is a really nice town," and "Kiss my dick bitch" certainly hint at Kobe's deeper understanding of the irony inherent in the rape trope.


I was debating titling this blog HiddenHandJob, but I decided I might want to appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. Too late.