As Long as I’m ‘Tube-Diving …

Filed under:Cool,Movies,Music,Sad — posted by Anwyn on February 25, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

… check out this surprisingly serious, sad, sweet little Ernest number from Ernest Goes to Camp. Yeah, you read that right. I saw it as a teenager, and even though over-the-top physical comedy isn’t my thing, I’m quite sure the user comment at IMDB is correct that it’s the funniest of the Ernest movies. Battered, pathetic Jim Varney is credible and lovable here as the fallen hero, and the song itself is so catchy that I spent literally years with a fragment floating in and out of my mind from time to time … “Gee, I’m glad it’s rainin’ … now dammit, how does the rest of that song go?” I thought I’d never find out, because I didn’t really want to know badly enough to rent an Ernest movie. Behold the wonders of YouTube for reviving sad songs from the zany-movie genre.

Jim Varney died of lung cancer in 2000. He was a funny guy who did some very good things:

When given the chance to have a lifelong dream fulfilled by such groups as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, several hundred terminally ill children have asked to meet Ernest. He never let them down.

RIP, Slinky Dog.

Gotcha Beat, Ace

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn on February 24, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

The orchestra sounds slick, sure, but try it again without instruments or other sound-effects devices:

Oldie but goody. H/t … an ex-bf. Thanks, babe.

Dance, [Cowboy, Militiaman, Cavalryman]

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Politics,Sad — posted by Anwyn on February 22, 2007 @ 7:16 pm

A few days ago I posted at Electric Venom about the demise of the tradition of Chief Illiniwek, until last night the mascot of the University of Illinois. After a pitched battle between Indian confederations grievance-mongers, university professors, and students and administration, dragging on many years, the NCAA last year set sports sanctions for UI, and the board announced last week that the chief would be discontinued. A comment from a graduate of U of I currently working there was helpful in tracing the scope of the decision–that it wasn’t just the NCAA, but the fact that Illinois’s legislature and governor were against retaining the chief as well, which the News-Gazette’s article does mention.

I got my master’s degree at Illinois, and this was simmering when I was there too, though I have not been as emotionally involved as the majority of undergrads who go to games and get attached to school traditions, and I don’t know that I agree with ProphetJoe’s suggestion that there should have been a public vote. (Or his suggestion that the board was against the Chief because some of them are Michigan grads, although the idea does make me chuckle.) Who would vote? All citizens of Illinois? All students and faculty? All residents of Champaign-Urbana?

Somebody will correct me if I get any of the legalese wrong, but it sounds like the legislature was more than happy to let the NCAA do their dirty work for them. If the legislature had enacted this itself, theoretically the U could’ve sued the state government for abridgement of freedom of speech, but how does that work when the suing institution is funded in part by the government? Doesn’t that make them a state actor themselves? The NCAA, however, has in previous cases, bewilderingly, been ruled both a state actor and NOT a state actor for purposes of Constitutional law, and I don’t know what the precedent currently is. I do not like that it has come to this; while I don’t think tradition should be the sole arbiter of what is retained, I don’t think the Chief was hurting enough people that he should have been steamrolled. Sensibilities, maybe. People, no. (more…)

The Rant: PSA: Flu is Worse than Childbirth

Filed under:It's My Life,Rants — posted by Anwyn @ 12:19 pm

A comparison between childbirth (which I’ve successfully navigated), stomach flu (which I had last spring) and regular flu (which I have now):

Yes, labor contractions are painful. They are also relatively short and separated by periods of blissful relief. Stomach flu, by contrast, keeps you at a medium-level nausea for as much as an hour at a time, and the violent retching required to reach the “relief” stage is dreaded almost as much as the relief is anticipated. After which the long spell of nausea returns. Haha, sucker.

As for regular flu, try nine hours of high fever, chills, bone-rattling aches,* and again with the nausea, far more prolonged because the illness isn’t actually in your stomach but just causes collateral damage in the stomach due to respiratory drainage, resolved at some point by the violent retching aforementioned, but could easily return. Labor is long, but remittent. And unlike violent retching, the actual act of birthing is, compared to labor, hardly painful at all. It’s a relief to start doing the work that leads to the reward. And let’s not forget the three days or so of lassitude that go with both flus, the respiratory congestion that goes with regular flu, that leave you eating nothing and drinking little more, in bed and, when not in discomfort, pretty bored. All hail the bedside laptop. But I digress: the reward.

Oh yeah, the reward. At the end of childbirth, you have someone to show for it. At the end of either flu, all you have are weak muscles, shaky limbs, dirty house, cabin-fever child. If the flu could behave like labor for a couple days and then vanish, I’d hardly complain at all. So cheer up, ladies: If you contemplate having a child but fear what’s involved, trust me: if you’ve had either type of flu, childbirth ought to be a piece of cake.

*No, I didn’t take a fever reducer like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (the latter would almost certainly have come back up anyway). I suspect, possibly erroneously but with some observational justification, that as long as the fever is at a manageable temperature, the overall illness will be shorter if it’s allowed to run its course. I didn’t take painkillers during childbirth, either. Fair comparison.

Gay Divorce Rights

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Politics — posted by Anwyn on February 21, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

New twist: Gay Oregonian sues state over “right” to have his assets divided with former partner upon breakup. Riiight:

The suit by Adams and his former partner, Greg Eddie, is the fourth suit to say that various Oregon laws violate the state constitution because they provide benefits to married couples only. In this case, state law prevents Adams from giving a share of his public pension to Eddie as part of a split of their assets as a divorcing couple would.

In other words, the suit is brought not by a partner who can’t get financial support after a breakup because he’s gay, but by both partners, spearheaded by the partner whose assets are at stake.

Ever watch that South Park episode about Mormons? The refrain of the little narrative song often recurs to my mind about political issues: “Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-duuumb!!”

In other words, their suit contends that what is considered a penalty for married couples, dividing up even singly-earned assets upon divorce, is now to be considered a “right” and sued for accordingly.

Moreover, support between married couples is intended not as a penalty (even though it can become so among childless, dual-career couples) but as what it’s actually called–support, if one partner has less or qualified earning power because of actions taken jointly as a couple, as Kate has pointed out before. So you tell me by what possible standard a male gay couple with no children could make a case for “support” as a “right.”

Cross-posted at Electric Venom.

Here Comes the Judge

Filed under:It's the Jihad — posted by Anwyn on February 20, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

It happened last year but deserves to be known. Guts on the bench: telling CAIR to stay out of it as well as schooling them on Islamic law. Mike Lief has the full text of the judge’s letter to CAIR, which says in part:

Frankly, I cannot understand why you have framed this as a religious rights issue, when both Islamic law and American jurisprudence recognize that witnesses have to be seen, as well as heard, in court. Even those conservative Islamic scholars who hold that women are obliged to cover their faces make exceptions for business and legal dealings, and state that considerations of fairness require a woman to remove her veil when she is giving testimony in court or when others testify against her. In keeping with this principle, other women who have come to my court wearing the niqab have removed it to testify.

Going to CPAC?

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 2:29 pm

Anybody I “know” via blogs and comments going to CPAC and care to meet up? I’m considering going but don’t want to be entirely on my own. Let me know in comments or email me at my psudonym at my site dot com.

Valentine’s Day Quote to Live By

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on February 13, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

Tonight’s episode of House: Foreman reads Cameron a scathing rundown on how her previous, short-lived marriage to a previous, short-lived husband wasn’t really commitment because she knew he was dying going in. Then the money quote:

“Cameron. I wasn’t criticizing you. People who avoid commitment are people who know what a big thing it is.”

Amanda Marcotte Resigns: Edwards Tries to Eat Cake

Filed under:Blogging,Need a Good Editor?,Politics — posted by Anwyn on February 12, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming a certain level of familiarity with the recent flare-up over Amanda Marcotte’s hiring, considered but not accomplished firing, and subsequent resignation as one of two campaign bloggers for John Edwards.

She’s blaming her resignation on the right-wing blogosphere and Catholic activists who wanted her fired. I, for one, never cared whether she was fired or not, except to the extent that it is positively disgusting that any serious contender for President of the United States would give someone like her an official voice. (No, I won’t link to her blog. Read her nasty at the some of the links above.) Her hiring/non-firing/resignation says almost nothing about Amanda Marcotte that she didn’t say for herself many times on her own blog. But it says worlds about John Edwards.

I supposed early on that he didn’t bother to vet her himsef–which makes me wonder who on the campaign did and what they were thinking. If Edwards did read her stuff beforehand, then it was simply a clear-cut case of trying to have your political cake and eat it too: Get the nutroots on board by hiring one of their own, and we won’t lose any credibility because the blogosphere takes up only a very small portion of voters, and they’re very insular–the rest of America won’t know or care who does the–what was it again?–“blogging” on the ol’ intertubes. If that was what he, or his staff, thought, they grossly miscalculated. Gone are the days when AllahP could justifiably moan that nobody reads the blogs and thus they don’t affect anything. Mainstream media outlets picked up the story, albeit dialing down the grotesque nature of her rhetoric, and Edwards’s camp cottoned to the idea that this wasn’t going to stay hidden away on a web page, tucked nicely into a little compartment labled “Internet” that didn’t really spill out onto voters who don’t read the blogs. So he apparently took an old political route out of the hardship: ask for her resignation. No, nobody’s said that he (or they) asked her to, but it’s not difficult to suppose. It’s such a classic dodge: allows both the person leaving and the persons not doing the firing to save face *coughHarrietMierscough*.

But in this case it could be the fatal blow for the campaign, for one simple reason: Though the blogosphere is making headway into less-internet-savvy America, the nutroots simply do not have a big enough majority even in the blogosphere that not firing her will be a face-saving move for Edwards. Any normal person, left or right, blogger or not, would be horrified at Marcotte’s foam-at-the-mouth denunciations, and any normal person with a bit of political sense should see that Edwards allowing her to resign rather than showing her to the door once he’d been enlightened as to her MO paints him as A) tacitly submitting to the idea that her rhetoric is not horrifying to anybody of decency rather than standing up and indicating that it should be; and B) counting so much on the votes of the hard-left loony bin that he can’t see how many potential mainstream votes he just lost by refusing to jettison the garbage before attempting to lightspeed through the primaries. Michelle Malkin and others are talking about how it shows that if Edwards “couldn’t” stand up to this woman, he won’t be able to stand up to America’s enemies. But I think it’s more like he wouldn’t kick her to the curb because he (or, again, staff who hired her) really believed it wouldn’t cost him anything not to. I can’t speak for Democratic primary voters, but I suspect him to be dead wrong on that score.

Marcotte resigned because “[The attack of right-wing ‘shills’] was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign.” No, Amanda, your coughs are a matter of internet record, and no candidate in his right mind would want you coughing all over his presidential hopes. John Edwards came to his senses a bit too late.

Update: I cannot stop laughing.

Update x2: Abortion addles the brains of a group called “Catholics for a Free Choice:”

“I believe that spirited, provocative criticism of powerful people and organizations, including the Catholic church, is part of democracy,” Kissling said. “I don’t always like what people may say but I really think they have a right to do it. Often the sharpest, most provocative critiques are the most on target.”

Of course Marcotte has a right to say it on her personal blog, though her views are far less “spirited critique” and far more “fume, noise, and spittle.” She even has a right to say it on Edwards’s blog, as long as Edwards gives the OK. But normal people, a group that apparently doesn’t include the president of Catholics for a Free Choice, ought to be appalled that Edwards would give the OK and make their judgments about him accordingly.

“I wanted to send a message to the Edwards campaign that they should not cave to that sort of bullying,” Kissling said about her letter [of support to Marcotte].

If you call it “bullying” to have it called to Edwards’s attention that his blogger could give him the name of hating Christians, a group that includes a hell of a lot of women who have their own opinions about abortion, by the way, a fact that seems lost on Marcotte’s lump-sum “patriarchy” game theory, as well as alienating anybody who happens to be anti-abortion without advancing a Christian rationale for the position (yes, they exist), then I really couldn’t say what you’d call “discussion.”

Democratic Governor of Oregon Undermines Democratic Process

Filed under:Politics,Priorities,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on February 6, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

Oregon’s Democractic governor seeks to suspend the operation of a democratically voter-enacted law while he and his party in the legislature figure out how they’re going to abolish it. See, here in Oregon we have a lot of beautiful, scenic land. We also have a lot of garden-variety farmland that may or may not be useful to the landowner as farmland, but THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT, PEON! The point is, it’s scenic, and houses mar the scenery. So no, you may not simply put buildings on your land, willy-nilly. Or sell it to people who will put buildings on it. The government knows what the land needs, and buildings are not in the approved list.

At least, that’s how it was until Measure 37, which basically says that if a land-use restriction enacted after you buy property restricts your ability to do with your property as you wish, the government must compensate you for the loss of “fair market value” caused by the regulation or else exempt you from the regulation.

Not surprisingly, there are many, many claims for compensation and/or permission to enact changes that would otherwise violate the land-use restrictions. Even people who once thought the government should be restricting people’s use of their own property have now suddenly realized that they could lose money as well:

Gary Willis, a third-generation pear grower in Hood River County, says he initially liked land-use rules meant to reserve the country for commercial farming.

That was before he competed against cheap, imported fruit. Before he wondered whether his son could make a profit on the family’s 300-acre orchard.

You mean … you liked the restrictions until they affected you?

Never fear, Kulongoski is on the case. You pear farmers don’t know what’s good for you, and all these Measure 37 claims are bad for the land. We’ll just ease them off to the side of our desks until we can come up with a way to overturn a law enacted by popular ballot, otherwise known as “democratically.”

Welcome to Oregon! State motto: It’s our land, we just let you live on it. Barely.

It’s On

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on February 4, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

Jedi Allah predicts my Peyton chokes. Sith.

Update: Take that, haters! It wasn’t too pretty, but they won and covered the spread. Moral of the story: Never hang your hats on a fluke kickoff return, children. And treat your running backs and your O-line real nice.

They’ve Got a Bridge They’ll Give You

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 9:32 am

It must be “home county” week here at the Notes. My father’s home county, Rockcastle County, Kentucky, has a steel bridge that the state is looking to replace. The kicker: they’ll disassemble it and transport it free to a new location, provided the new owner will commit to reassemble and maintain it for 20 years. They suggest it would make a nice feature in a bike path. Sounds like win-win-win to me.

Chemistry? So 20th Century

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on February 2, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

Here in the 21st century, we do Advanced Environmental Science. Your child was good at Chemistry and wanted to take Chem II? Too bad. We’ve replaced it with a class of combined biology and “earth science” with a little chem on the side and thrown in “Advanced” to make it sound like it’s good enough to replace Chem II.

Maconaquah is one of three high schools in my home county. “Earth Science” is what we made fun of otherwise smart kids for taking at my high school to keep their GPAs from faltering in Chem II or Physics if they were going for valadictorian. (I wasn’t in the running for valedictorian, and I took both Chem II and Physics, thanks.) I always assumed it was mostly geology. Somehow I doubt much geology is on the menu in “Advanced Environmental Science.” Bets are now being accepted on whether or not they view An Inconvenient Truth.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace