Category Archives: link to something more interesting

A story about me comma Evan

Kyle wrote a story about me. Yay Kyle!

Since he asked for it…

“We should have arrived at the clearing an hour ago,” President Bartlet admitted with uncharacteristic hesitation in his voice. He pulled the reigns on his mount and the raptor let out a shrill cry before coming to an uneasy stop. “I don’t know, Evan, what do you think?”

“Well I think we should have brought more snacks,” Evan replied as his own mount stopped next to Bartlet’s. “Especially since you keep getting us lost.”

“I’m sorry, Evan. You were always better at planning these safaris.”

“I know. And I’m funnier, too.”

“So what do we do now?” Bartlet asked.

Evan lifted his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. The sun was setting over the forest canopy. He knew they would have to find a way out from the thick of the jungle soon, or face the dangerous creatures that lurked around at night.

“We need to get out of here.”

“I can call in the Marines. We’ll be out of here in an hour.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Evan said as he dismounted the raptor. He gave the creature a rub on the snout, because Evan was a friend to all the animals, then turned back to Bartlet. “Let’s try out the jetpacks.”

“They haven’t even been tested!”

“Look, Jed. I know the guy who build these, and he was the best Ops cartoonist to ever grace page two of the Thresher.”

“How does that make him qualified to build jetpacks?”

“Do you even know how important I am?” Evan snapped back. “I invented jokes about Ping!” He tossed a pack at Bartlet. “Now shut up and put this on!”

“I don’t even know why I go on adventures with you.”

“Because I wouldn’t let you use the Executive Washroom if you didn’t. Now come on.”

Bartlet donned the jetpack over his stylish yet sensible suit and wished his raptor goodbye. The animals would be fine for the next few nights. They were pack hunters, after all.

“Evan, I don’t even know how to drive this thing.”

“Roads?” Evan asked, ignoring whatever Barlet had been talking about. “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

He flipped a switch on the jetpack’s handle and went shooting toward the sky.

I already wrote about crazy racist things that Ron Paul allowed to be published under his name

The other day, Tim Faust posted to facebook an article from Vice Magazine about some new, old news. Did you know that Ron Paul used to have lots of various publications printed under his name? And did you know that these publications used to be filled with awful, racist screeds attacking Martin Luther King Jr and black people in general?

Well, you would totally know that if you had read the Rice Thresher Backpage in January 2008. Because I totally wrote about it then. (pdf: thresher backpage ron paul racist)

So many great quotes were published under Ron Paul’s name. One of my favorites was about how Dr. King was “not only a world-class adulterer” but “also seduced underage girls and boys.”

The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him many years before.

And we are supposed to honor this “Christian minister” and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?”

George Washington owned slaves.

But anyways, letting such (assumedly non-satirical) language be published in one’s own newsletter should probably disqualify someone from running for president for one of three reasons. As Mobutu Sese Seko states in “RON PAUL: REACTIONARY RACIST LEPRECHAUN

There’s no way Paul could have been ignorant of the content in an 8-12 page newsletters published under his name for over ten years. Paul supporters face three losing propositions:

-He lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.

-He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.

-He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.

These are some pretty hard hits against Ron Paul, but Ron Paul supporters don’t fall easily.

For example, when I wrote about Ron Paul’s racist newsletters, I did so on the satirical Backpage. But that didn’t stop Ron Paul supporters from writing letters expressing their indignation about such awful reporting in the not-news section.

To the editor:

I was surprised when I found an entire page in the latest Thresher devoted to attacking my favorite presidential candidate (“Backpage,” Jan. 18). Published were some grainy photos intended to attack the character of Dr. Ron Paul, a ten-term congressman.

If the author spent more than two minutes researching the subject, he would know that someone else had written the texts in question, yet Paul still took moral responsibility for not keeping tabs over the content. This issue was discussed and buried as irrelevant over a decade ago, but is now being dug up as the only way to attack a man who has gained the grass-roots support of millions across the country.

I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago, who has the largest number of contributions from blacks among all the Republicans, who consistently has spoken against all forms of institutionalized discrimination.

The larger problem is the journalistic dishonesty on the part of the editors. Yellow journalism labeled as satire still serves to exploit and sensationalize. Knowingly publishing false statements using the name of Rice University is a violation of the trust placed in the editors by the student body. In addition, attacking the many students who support Paul, implicitly accusing them of “racism by proxy,” should not be allowed to stand.

If our newspaper editors want to print personal attacks, let them do it under their own names, not under the banner of the university.

Of course, it was irrelevant a decade ago because Ron Paul wasn’t running for president a decade ago. And, despite magically turning pointing out racism into a crime worse than actual racism… well… as Tim Faust responded to Alice Townes: “Gurrrrrl, you don’t *need* to be clever when the source material is so rich.”

If you want to see the real racist, look in the mirror!

One can at least try to respect the intellectual consistency if the articles were about Gerrymandering problems that arise out of the Voting Rights Act, or unintended consequences of legislating racial integration, or funny third thing. But when there is a pattern of ad hominem attacks on civil rights leaders, and black people in general, well, I don’t need to think of a way to end this sentence.

Then again, as the letter asserted, “I suppose I should be proud to support a candidate whose biggest flaw is what someone else wrote decades ago.” But as Seko asserts, this is the least of Paul’s issues. Paul may express some positions appealing to many voters, beyond the insanity of deflationary gold standard policies or entirely eliminating the Federal Reserve. But his justification for these positions  isn’t exactly the same as voters’.

Liberals cheer his opposition to America’s wars, but his isn’t a moral choice so much as it is an echo of George Washington’s injunction against “foreign entanglements.” Further, while Ronald isn’t down with wars that cost money and expand federal power, he’s totally fine with the government making a buck from other people’s wars: He was the only member of congress to vote against the Darfur Divestment Act, which proposed the radical idea of prohibiting the American government from investing in businesses fueling a fucking genocide.

Of course, this justification leads to crazy votes and policies about which casual Paul supporters don’t really know and serious supporters don’t really advertise.

Independents sick of the government’s invasions of privacy celebrate Paul’s veneration of the Constitution, but that veneration is as convenient as Bush and Obama’s. Paul has repeatedly submitted the “We the People Act” to Congress, whose provisions remove Supreme Court review of First Amendment cases. If a state chose to criminalize being Muslim, citizens would have no federal redress. If a state chose to criminalize birth control, the penumbras of individual protections of privacy as explicated by William O. Douglas would disappear.

But nobody wants to hear that stuff. Government non-interference is sexy when it’s sold to you as, “Ron Paul opposes the War on Drugs.” What isn’t mentioned is that he has no problem with the concept of 50 individual state wars on drugs, and deregulating evidently stops when it comes to uterine production—he’s OK withvoting for federal partial birth abortion bans, for instance.

The way to fix the 21st century is to return to the values and socioeconomic order of the 14th. After you gut the FDA, you can even literally bring back the plague, which shouldn’t affect the rich people in Congress. They’ll be able to afford all the colloidal silver they can drink.

 Now, the super Paul supporters will just claim that this is out of some severe adherence to the plain language of the Constitution, as if that justifies the effects. But Paul doesn’t even like the Constitution. He likes his own crazy imaginary version of the Constitution:

His Constitution would also be a lot slimmer. He subscribes to the notion that the FourteenthSixteenth, andSeventeenth amendments are invalid or must be repealed. So long, income tax, but also so long to voting for senators yourselves. And if you don’t like foreign brown people, Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act means you won’t have to share a dinner table with them for their last meal before they join 10 million other human beings in railcars, calling at all points south.

And in my view, the Constitution should have an extra amendment that forces the states to enforce the calling of “shotgun” when sitting in a car.

Of course, none of this is news. Ron Paul has had these political positions for a while. But opposing the drug war or supporting legalization of marijuana fit better into headlines than the underlying policies that lead to them.

But as the Republican primary continues, with primary voters more fickle than a gaggle of high school girls over the latest school hottie, Ron Paul has been the Justin Beiber with nearly religious support from a tight group of dedicated fans.

So these proclaimed buried issues are going to be readdressed on the national stage. And the world needs to know that I already did that in 2008 in the made-up joke section of a small college newspaper.

Embracing the Coming David Brooks Internet Meme

While I have not had time to analyze and critique David Brooks’ commencement speech at Rice University, I have had time to read The Atlantic’s twitter feed, which delivered this wonderful new Internet meme to my metaphorical doorstep.

Given the plethora of Facebook pictures from Rice University’s graduation, I expected to see some featuring Brooks. But so far, nada. Friedman says I should wait six more months, but why wait when I can merely add Brooks in.

Brooks at Graduation

Come on, David Brooks. Get off the phone! There is honor being conferred.

David photobombing Davers? Oh you!

This photo will be placed on a 1.44″ floppy disk, which will then be rubbed with magnets from 4rd grade science class. The file from the disk will then be uploaded as a YouTube video, then recorded, then uploaded onto YouTube again. A screen grab from the video will be displayed on a 10 foot screen via digital projector. The screen is covered with a three-inch grid, and viewers are encouraged to trace a square of the grid with crayon. Once completed, each section of the grid will be sold as designer toilet paper.

But of course, part of Brooks’ style is to visit various locales of American culture and then write about them with the greatest expertise. And what better place to fetishize the trials and tribulations of the social lives for yuppies-to-be than a college party like NOD.

Brooks' new book will be about NaCos, or Naked Co-Eds

Friedman was giving out mustache rides at NOD for 50 cents, but some guy from the South Asian Society was doing it for 25 cents and put him out of a job.

Thus is my partaking in what will hopefully become a grand internet meme. Perhaps I should have written on the pictures in Impact? Let’s try that:

He earns that place in the New York Times.

This was my first official assignment for The Atlantic.

So I guess David Brooks is speaking tomorrow

So tomorrow is Rice University commencement, and David Brooks will be speaking. I’ve already commented on Brooks’ past commencement speeches, and how they would be rather inappropriate for Rice. Given his history, I’m curious just how much he is going to change for a unique campus like Rice.

Will he tell a bunch of really bad jokes and say that grades don’t matter?

Will he say that colleges aren’t strict enough, and that is why rape happens?

Will he talk about the KTRU sale?

Will he say that Lindsay Graham is really brave?

I’d love to mock him again, but someone has already done a way better job than I could in this rush of a morning, preparing to hop an Amtrak to Philadelphia to see my sister’s graduation at Bryn Mawr. (Perhaps as a senior gift, her class could give the school some much needed vowels.)

The Final Edition’s David Brooks column is a thorough takedown of Brooks’ habit of ignoring the facts in front of his face to create some overarching theme. Usually it all takes the form of Republican apologetics. Here is a clip, but you should read the whole thing.

I’ve interviewed dozens of political leaders.  Most of them feel some obligation, whether out of sincere belief or simple professionalism, to pay lip service to objective reality.  It’s what sociologists call the “bias toward consensus.”  I’ll validate your world if you validate mine.  And, for most people, it serves a real purpose.  It makes meaningful discourse possible, and provides a basis for mutually-comprehended cultural norms and relationships.

Bachmann sees things differently.  She is perhaps the most visible of the societal type known as the New Solipsists, or Newso’s.  You can tell Newso’s by their various characteristic behaviors and patterns of consumption.

If Newso’s feel like going to Circuit City to buy DuMont televisions and watch the latest broadcasts of Lost and The Shield, they do. They fly business class on Pan American to New York City, where they stay at the Biltmore and eat at La Caravelle.  Every two years they trade in their car for another top-of-the-line Oldsmobile.

“I’m concerned because Obama is the first Communist Martian we’ve ever had a heartbeat away from the White Office,” she says, unprompted.  “If you look at the Founding Fathers, none of them were Martians, except maybe Benjamin Franklin.  But he wasn’t married, so he couldn’t be a father.  Centipedes from South America will destroy us all until Jesus Christ returns.”

Reading this, I knew what Brian Wilson must have felt when he first heard Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is even better than Shakespeare’s Sister’s outline of how to write a David Brooks column.

5. Make the very same fucking point your “liberal friends” were making. (“This doesn’t mean that the Tea Party influence will be positive for Republicans over the long haul. The movement carries viruses that may infect the G.O.P. in the years ahead.”)

6. Claim it’s an entirely different point by virtue of irrelevant caveat. (“But that damage is all in the future.”)

But I will keep going with my Smile, nonetheless.

Anyways, I won’t get to be at the David Brooks’ fest, or Maureen Dowd’s follow-up speech in Valhalla. Instead, I will get to hear the Bryn Mawr commencement speaker, Judith Jamison. I have never heard of her, though Wikipedia says she is some sort of dancer. That’s neat, though I doubt she’ll be able to tap dance around the issues like Brooks does.

Not much time to be snarky, but just one short rant about his column today:

Brooks talks about the debt ceiling, and how Republicans don’t want to raise it despite the massive threat it would do to our economy, and the fact that the Republican leadership knows that they have to. So basically the GOP wants to hold our economy hostage for spending cuts. But hey, maybe if we didn’t have all that spending in Iraq and on the unnecessary upper crust tax cuts, we wouldn’t have to raise the debt ceiling in the first place. Too bad Brooks doesn’t talk about why the deficit is so high in the first place.

Whoops!

Haha, its OK. We’ll just be at war forever. Truly, this has been the Greatest Depression.

Thanksgiving: Frying a turkey and kissing a bulldog

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. My family celebrated in two ways. First, I fried a turkey. Now, usually when people think of frying a turkey, they think of this:

Or this:

Or any of these.

However, our fried turkey looked more like this:

Last Thanksgiving, my mommy ordered an electric turkey frier. This is only the second time we have used it, but so far it has been a wonderful investment. Instead of overflowing oil resulting in redneck fires, we merely have little oil splashes that result in me going “ouchies!” And this year I also injected the turkey with a delicious cajun marinade and then covered it in spices. It ended up looking like this:

Delicious and spicy fried turkey!

But speaking of Butterballs, post-Thanksgiving dinner was filled with Vicktortime with Vicktor de la Panda ben Joseph h’Cohen. Most notably, Nicky tried to give Vicktor mouth-to-mouth by breathing in his nose. Vicktor was not entertained:

But we were very entertained! So Nicky made up for it by kissing Vicktor:

So let us all give thanks for Da’Nicky and Vicktor.

This week in Burn Down Blog

It has been a fun week at Burn Down Blog, and I’ve gotten lots of attention, which I need to survive. How much attention? Well, this clip is not 100% accurate, but does an adequate job expressing my feelings.

Wes Anderson ahead: DO NOT BE ALARMED

In light of this hilarious AVClub article about signs that Michael Bay is filming in your town,

and some inspiration from Julie, I provide this:

Soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh