There Can Be Only One

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on December 25, 2007 @ 10:49 am

George C. Scott.

Merry Christmas

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 12:46 am

To all.

Can This Story Die Now? (Update: Or Not)

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Politics — posted by Anwyn on December 23, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

I saw my father fly tankers every day for the air force, too.

Because I lived in the same house with him and saw him get up early, put on his flight suit, drink his Coke, and go to work. Did I ever actually lay eyeballs on him manipulating the controls of a KC-135? No I did not. But I saw him fly for our military nevertheless.

So now that we’ve established Romney’s dad was literally with MLK, can we all also accept “saw” as a figure of speech that means “I knew my dad was doing this”?

And even if Romney’s father hadn’t actually marched physically with MLK, marching at the same time and for the same cause is good enough to fall under the same figure of speech. He would have “marched with MLK” kind of like the British armed forces “stand with us” in Iraq even if most of our guys never inhabit a tank with them.

For pete’s sake.

Update: Or not.

Then-governor George Romney did indeed march in Grosse Pointe, on Saturday, June 29, 1963, but Martin Luther King Jr. was not there; he was in New Brunswick, New Jersey, addressing the closing session of the annual New Jersey AFL-CIO labor institute at Rutgers University.

Those facts are indisputable, and quite frankly, the campaign must have known the women’s story would eventually be debunked — few people’s every daily movement has been as closely tracked and documented as King’s. As I write this, I am looking at an article from page E8 of the June 30, 1963 Chicago Tribune, which discusses both events (among other civil-rights actions of the previous day), clearly placing the two men hundreds of miles apart. I also have here the June 30, 1963 San Antonio News, which carries a photo and article about Romney at the Grosse Pointe march; and an AP story about King’s speech in New Jersey.

A King researcher editing his letters from that time has stated definitively that the two men never marched together; Michigan and Grosse Pointe historians have stated definitively that King was not at the 1963 Grosse Pointe march; Michigan civil-rights participants of the time have concurred; so have those who worked for George Romney at the time.

So the campaign gave the two “eyewitnesses” the contact information to tell their story to Politico after Romney already said he was saying “saw” in the figurative sense, as I described above. Both statements were figurative–that George Romney “marched with” MLK (because he marched at the same time for the same cause) and that Mitt Romney “saw it” (in the same sense that I saw my dad fly for the air force). Both of those figurative uses are perfectly acceptable, grammatically speaking. But the campaign directing the two “eyewitnesses” to Politico after Mitt had already gone all-out with the “figurative” explanation, again perfectly acceptable, is at the very least a huge political screwup and at the very most the promotion of a blatant lie.

Message to the Phoenix, though:

It is offensive because of people like Russell Peebles.

Peebles is an 88-year-old man, a former resident of Grosse Pointe for 48 years, who was present at both the Grosse Pointe march in 1963, and the MLK speech in Grosse point in 1968 — the event at which the Romney campaign initially insisted Romney and King marched together.

I tried to contact Peebles earlier this week, prior to writing the original article, but we missed each other back-and-forth. Peebles sent me an email today, attesting to the fact that George Romney was at the 1963 march, but not the 1968 speech; and that King was at the 1968 speech, but not the 1963 march.

Peebles, and many others like him, deserve to have the history of what they did told honestly. Changing that history by mistake — which is quite possibly how this began — is unfortunate. Changing that history intentionally — which is what the campaign is doing now — is offensive.

A lot of people have tried to make “offensive” the last word (heh) in damning adjectives. But it’s not. Untrue is still quite a bit worse. And for the Romney campaign to promote the story of the eyewitnesses if they already know it’s untrue, after Romney himself indicated that it’s untrue by his explanation of his use of figurative language, is dumb on the face of it and promulgating a lie on people they think are stupid at worst.

(H/t: Hot Air.)

Take That, Huck

Filed under:Children's Books,Cool,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on December 22, 2007 @ 11:09 am

“My favorite author is C.S. Lewis.” –Seven-year-old reacting to Huck’s pronouncement of Dr. Seuss as his favorite.

Conversation of the Day

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on December 19, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

Me to son: “Did you know you used to live inside Mommy’s tummy?” (Discussion of more anatomically exacting specification followed, for the curious.)

Son: “Yes. I took a slide in your tummy, and I came out in your right foot.”

“The Illegal Immigrants, As You Call Them”

Filed under:Cool,Politics,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn @ 8:23 am

…will soon find it more difficult to get Oregon driver’s licenses without proving they are in the country legally, if an executive order of Democratic Governer Ted Kulongoski goes through.

Naturally there are people who don’t want to see it implemented. After all, without valid licenses, how can these people who “carry the country on their shoulders” keep carrying it?

The people who indulge in this kind of rhetoric have, as somebody said, more nerve than a bum tooth. Go ahead, Gov. Kulongoski.

Link It or It Never Happened: Lee Harris on Huckabee and “Attacking” Christian Fundamentalism

Filed under:Need a Good Editor?,Not Cool,Politics,Priorities,Religion — posted by Anwyn on December 18, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

First red flag: “…truths that need badly to be aired.” I think he meant to say “spleen that needs to be vented.”

Lee Harris tells a heart-tugging story about how what one’s raised with never quite leaves one, no matter how superstitious or ridiculous it is, and then, dissonantly, tries without links or examples to assert that attacks on Huckabee are just attacks on the intelligence and loyalty of the evangelicals supporting him.

Hey, Mr. Harris, I too was raised not to set anything down on top of a Bible and I too generally still avoid doing so. Recognizing that God will not poke me into the hottest part of the coalbed for it if it happens is good, but there’s no harm in remaining faithful to that respectful tradition. If one takes your example to its fullest extent, then you yourself are making the attack on evangelicals by suggesting that their support of Huckabee is a knee-jerk response to somebody who talks the talk. And are we seriously expected to believe Huckabee didn’t plan it that way?

Mr. Harris, you’re whining. If the attacks on Huckabee are “more and more” becoming an attack on “Christian fundamentalism,” link these attacks. And then explain to us how Huckabee inserting his faith into every issue is not a cynical use of it for political gain. And then tell us how attacking the candidate who namecalls on immigration, who lets criminals out of prison, who’s totally easygoing about raising taxes whenever the legislature wants, don’t ya know, is an attack on Christian fundamentalism. Also, explain how people inflating to presidential proportions the kind of “current of raising” you describe with so much seriousness and agitation is not open to the same charge of superstition that you labeled your own Bible-stacking reluctance as. If this guy uses the Bible to justify letting criminals free, it must be right. I must be able to trust him, right? That is taking a look at somebody who seems to be like oneself, using that likeness to cover a multitude of stupid decisions, and justifying it all behind a shield of faith while the candidate cackles and rolls around in a stack of poll numbers.

I’ve said it before: If you honestly believe that Huckabee’s policies and beliefs on illegal immigration (flipflop notwithstanding), convicted criminal clemency, and tax-and-spend are the right direction for the country, you are in the wrong party. Republican values historically, traditionally, and modernly speaking have no place in those policies. Go on and switch parties (win-win: GOP’s primary doesn’t get screwed up and Democrats suddenly find a multitude of pro-lifers in their midst), but don’t threaten to switch, like a little petty bully, by pretending that outrage over the fact that Huckabee dresses his ridiculous positions in the clothing of the GOP because his faith lends him to two of the most unstable planks in the platform is outrage at Christians, fundamental or otherwise. It is outrage at people who, whatever their reasons, including religious, see fit to attempt to saddle us with a nominee who will do many of the horrible things Democrats typically do to make America somewhat weaker, somewhat poorer, and somewhat less livable. And if those people insist on clothing their reasons in their faith, their faith will take some of the flak. It is inevitable. It is reality. Stop whining about it.

Via Hot Air.

New Line and Jackson Settle Differences for Hobbit Films

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn @ 9:34 am

And Jackson and Fran Walsh will executive-produce the two films The Hobbit and a sequel.

But who will direct? Why isn’t Jackson slated to do that himself?

Conversation of the Day

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on December 14, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

Son: “Do you have a cold?”

Me: “No, but since you have one I might get one soon. It’s contagious. That means the germs will jump off you and onto Mommy, and then I’ll have a cold.”

Son (reassuring): “I’ll help you let them jump off you and onto Daddy.”

“Contrarian” Speaks Truth to Managed Economy

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn @ 11:01 am

Story outline, Randal O’Toole (heh-heh, Toole) story, Oregonian, by Anna Griffin

I. Describe the guy. Lucky here; he looks as though he shops at Old West Undertakers. Hook him up with preachers, that turns people off–

Slap a Bible in his hand and O’Toole could easily pass for a frontier preacher. He has the look, if not the Good Book: a stern, tight-lipped expression, an impressive display of graying facial hair, a wardrobe that tends toward simple black suits and looping Western-style bow ties.

II. Contrast conservative opinion with that of the New York Times

Click. Here’s a slide showing a big house on a lush, green yard. This is in Houston, a plump 2,300 square feet for $170,000.

Click. Here’s a skinny house in Portland, maybe 1,200 scrunched square feet on a sliver of a yard. Asking price: $260,000.

It’s like looking at a diet company’s before and after photos. The crowd — a room of like-minded libertarians and conservatives — quakes with laughter.

“You’d better hurry. They just dropped the price,” O’Toole says. “It’s got granite countertops and hardwood floors. Who cares if you barely have enough room to turn around in it?”

Times are flush in Portland. Planners and civic leaders from around the world come to see how we do it. The New York Times can’t stop writing about how great we have it, whether we’re sipping tea, buying big vacation homes or biking to work. Although the housing market has cooled, Portland hasn’t suffered the same steep decline as the rest of the country.

III. Make the point that it could be worse,

Still, O’Toole sees hope. Even after Oregon voters approved the property rights limits of Measure 49, Portland isn’t a lost cause. No, we’re not Houston. But we’re also not San Francisco. At least, not yet.

Snap. Article writes itself.


Portland Metro’s current policies will lead to us being as bad off, in terms of what a housing dollar will buy, as San Francisco, as the reporter herself mentions, though she doesn’t make perfectly clear whether this is only one of O’Toole’s crazy positions or if she understands that fact herself. Nevertheless, the point is well made. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday, we will be just as crowded and just as house-poor as the Bay Area. And with any luck I will be out of here long before that happens. For a city that claims to care so much about the poor and working-class, it is nigh on impossible to get a decent house around here for working-class money–especially one that does not share walls with other families–and strict land-use policies are a big driving factor in that. But hey, win-win, right? You get to keep your farmers in perpetual farmity while keeping out lower income strata that might affect our safety rating. Win-win.

H/t: Daddyman.


Filed under:Not Cool,Sports — posted by Anwyn @ 10:46 am


H/t: Daddyman.

I Spent Today Coming of Age

Filed under:It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on December 13, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

So look out.

Bilbo was going to be eleventy-one, 111, a rather curious number and a very respectable age for a hobbit (the Old Took himself had only reached 130); and Frodo was going to be thirty-three, 33, an important number: the date of his ‘coming of age’.

Conversation of the Day

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn @ 12:53 pm

Son, perusing a 1964 book called If You Lived in Colonial Times: “Mama, are you a woman?”

Me: “Yep.”

Son, consulting book: “You may never vote.”

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace