Archive for November, 2008

“Lizard People”, again

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I was wondering if the “Lizard People” ballot had been referenced on wikipedia yet.  Of course it has.  But really, the other impact the “Lizard People” have made on the world of electoral polics is much more interesting.

During a provincial election in Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2003, the Progressive Conservative Party disseminated a press release describing Liberal Party opposition leader Dalton McGuinty as an “Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet“.

Now THAT’s a Zinger!  The greatest political punch in the modern era.  I know Ralph Nader was campaigning against a sound-byte culture, hence the “performance art” display of one word press conference, but I think Nader would have done well to shelve those misgivings and — in order to cut through the media block-out of his and other third party candidacies — come out against Obama and McCain as part of the “Two Party Evil Reptilian Kitten-Eater From Another Planet Duopoly.”

The Lizard People

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The “Intent of this voter” was, I guess, to vote for “The Lizard People“.  Or maybe it wasn’t.  And apparently he has never heard of David Icke, the chief proponent of the theory that the world is run by Lizard People, and the easy theory of reference.  (Also a man who got right the color of the universe, unless the calculators of such a thing a few years back changed the color scheme after that announcment — which they might have — my memory on that whole fracus is a little hazy.)

So, Al Franken does not get the vote.  Even though he filled out the ballot for Franken.  The man was having dualing thoughts here — is Al Franken good enough and smart enough or should I voice my dissent by casting my lot with Lizard People?  If he hadn’t I would hope that the vote would be counted for the “Lizard People”, but alas, he flubbed the whole exercise.

Imagine if it were to all come down to this one ballot…

This post is going to bring the spam-machine flinging

Monday, November 24th, 2008

This may just be the most awkward church sermon I would ever have the displeasure of having to hear.  He’s pacing in front of a bed, and uses the word “sexperiment”?  Isn’t this the type of thing we successfully cordioned off to the 1970s?  Then again, the economic woes throw us right back into the 1970s, so everything old is new again.  Ugh.  Have the children been sequestered away, at least?  Was there fore-warning for the congregants to stay away?  Or is this a stunt they have come to expect, and thus it’s all sorted itself out already?

I overheard details of a stranger’s sex life the other day, a girl talking with a boy (I guess the “trusted friend” type, and you can take that however far you want) about relationships.  I will refrain from using names here, the great thing being I don’t know any names here.  The girl had a serious relationship, and thought there was an understanding that this was not necessarily monogamous.  So she did some guy on the side, and when she told her boyfriend about it, and asked “okay”, there was friction between the two.  And this is a lingering curfufel.  Now, of course, what was interesting was her explanation of the difference between the two acts of sex.  The non-serious mate was “so much fun”, with a lot of tango-ing, a lot of charging from every which direction.  The serious relationship was dull as Hell, with a (imagine a tedium here) “Bang.  Bang.  Bang.”  And  “Oh, just stop it already!”  But it is great to have him around.

Hearing further, I figured out what the real situation here was.  The awesome sex took place in a laundry room.  Of course the other sex was boring by comparison.  If she really wants to charge that part of the relationship up, she needs to start doing it with him in the Laundry Room — a room of real erotic possibilities.  That’s where all great sex takes place, I hear.  I almost wanted to interject this point into her discussion of her sex life problems, but that was unwise — I was having a difficult enough problem pretending that I wasn’t hearing them (and by them I mean her).

I wonder, though, if there’s a healthy number of porn films which take place in a Laundry Room — if it’s a profitable sub-genre?  I don’t think so.  I haven’t seen too many girly poses done atop a washing machine — dryer set.

Come to think of it, that pastor (I see that Dan Savage discusses that matter here) should bring a washing machine and dryer, instead of cavorting on a bed, to the front of his church congregation to drive home that point.

Oregonian trying to tell us something?

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Not interested in looking at the cause ane effect relationship with this study, but I want to note something from this.

Happy people spend a lot of time socializing, going to church and reading newspapers — but they don’t spend a lot of time watching television, a new study finds.

The Oregonian had this on the side of the front page, and they highlighted the “reading newspapers” in a noticably darker gray hue.  I had to check an additional copy to make sure this wasn’t the product of some bizarrely tightly limited and angular grubby fingers.  It strikes me as kind of unprofessional on the part of the Oregonian.

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

The relatively unremarkable, but moderately interesting map of the “Cotton Belt” transposed with the 2008 county-by-county election results (hint: it looks the same for 2000, 2004, and probably any Democratic losing state-wide races) was posted at Reason’s blog.  And it received this response.:

Err, there are a lot of dot clusters in red counties. Where they happen to coincide are in more densely populated areas, which tend to vote D for unrelated reasons.In other words, if you hadn’t told me what this map was supposed to show, I would have no idea what it was supposed to show.Part of this is smacked down with the comment.:cunnivore – the coincidence of high cotton production and Obama voting (read: majority black citizenry) is not at all limited to high density areas. The delta and the swath of black belt through central Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are, for the most part, sparsely populated and very rural.

And part of it is a narrowness of vision.  From the vantage point of the nation as a whole, the belt is obvious, even as it has a lot of noise with interceding red areas and even heavy clusters of plantations belted up in red.

But, in the “Martian Observer” insight:  If you were a space alien you might think that the soil content made people black.

And a warning shot from the other line of demarcation I’ve discussed here, the belt where McCain outperformed Bush, in the comments at the American Prospect blog.:

Look, I know there’s a lot of merriment about this stuff with you Washington-based lefties [Where *are* these people? If they’re in the neighborhood, they’re the dirty guys ranting on the streetcorner], but this could be a lot more serious than you think. Here in TN, not only did Obama get creamed, but the Repbulicans won control of the statehouse for the first time since Reconstruction. And one of the Republican state reps, while trying to deny [of course] that it had anything to do with race, said that it more likely was the result of “the Muslim factor” and “many people’s perception that [Obama] was the Antichrist.”
Look–It’s crazy, but I know enough rural people to easily see how this stuff could be believed by perfectly sane people. First of all, you accept the premillennial dispensationalist gospel, so you take the Antichrist stuff seriously. Secondly, this really exotic candidate comes seemingly out of nowhere and wins the election, even though his values don’t line up with yours or those of anyone you know. You don’t trust any of the MSM and rely heavily on your neighbors, your church, and certain sorts of talk radio for understanding of the outside world. The results can be really toxic. Now, to Obama’s credit, his team seems to have understood something of how this works, and made really strong efforts to counter it among white working-class voters in battleground states. But the Obama campaign was virtually invisible in places like Tennessee; indeed, volunteers in Nashville were put to work calling voters in NC.  Frankly, I think the dismissal of this *Newsweek* piece by the left [or, worse, the assertion that it shouldn’t have been published at all, because it somehow lends credence to the notion that we’re a “center-right” nation–how?] says little for its perception. People you ignore or belittle have ways of  suddenly coming back on you; if you’re not clueless about them, it might help you prepare.

One last mapping entity oddity… maybe this is meaningless, but if you run the counties from 95 percent Catholics on back to zero, the trend-lines never really do stabilize, and while it does eventually get reasonably assured in Obama’s favor — the tipping point at 59 percent after some good swings about,  there are wild swings such as to suggest that this is a meaningless demagraphic category — those Hispanic Catholics in the border region of Texas that make up the two most heavily Catholic counties have apparently nothing in common with the third most populous Catholic county in Louisina, who have probably been hearing sermons about the evils of Abortion every week for the past few months.

You too can be that Palm Beach County vote counter with that magnifying glass

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Take the following exercise of figuring out the “Intent of the voter” for the Minnesota Senate race and you’ll start to understand what this guy here

must have felt like.  Well, except for you don’t have to deal with a these people pounding on your window:

Unless they are.  Those guys aren’t pounding on your window right now, are they?  Okay.  A run down.  Your mileage may vary.

Day 3 #1: Norm Coleman gets the vote
Day 2 #1:  Norm Coleman.   Put this in a mental file, and I’ll explain this as : this voter decided that he really wanted Bachman to be in the running but ended up settling for Coleman.
Day 2 #2:  Al Franken gets the vote.
Day 2 #3:  Ballot rejected.
Day 2 #4:  Norm Coleman gets the vote.
Day 1 #1:  Al Franken gets the vote.
Day 1 #2:  Accept the ballot, Norm Coleman gets the vote.
Day 1 #3:  Reject the ballot.
Day 1 #4:  Al Franken gets the vote.
Day 1 #5:  Al Franken gets the vote.  Just as the Coleman voter really wanted Bachman in the running, this Franken voter really wanted Lizard People to be in the running, but in the end… voted for Franken.  What is odd is that if the voter had filled out the “other box” for the write-in “Lizard People”, I would have been inclined to reject the ballot, but as he didn’t fill that one out, I just have to say he wants Franken.  I do not know who this one throws a bigger light of craziness — Coleman people like Bachman and Franken people like Lizard People.
Day 1 #6:  Ballot rejected.
Day 1 #7:  Norm Coleman gets the vote.
Day 1 #8:  Al Franken gets the vote.
Day 1 #9:  Dean Barkley gets the vote.
Day 1 #10:  Dean Barkley gets the vote.
Day 1 #11:  Reject the ballot.

Mercy me.  What grabs you is the intellectual inconsistency in how the two sides, the Franken side and the Coleman side, argue over the challenged ballots.  But that’s how horse race partisan politics works: blinders on.

Signatures of the Moment

Friday, November 21st, 2008

“It may be that the stock market will reach its bottom due to simple Apathy.”

That was, roughly, a quote I heard on a “at top of the hour” news blip on an am radio last night.  I made sure to be at that spot for the next hour, to get the quote exactly.  It didn’t come on.  Instead we got:

“Just how much wealth has been wiped out?  Here’s how to picture it.  It is as though the last eleven years never happened.”

Which is, strictly speaking, something we all wish were true.

Then there was Arnold Schwarzenager speaking of the Automakers Bail-out (or whatever euphemism might be used), and referring to his practice of positioning himself right where the public currently sits by straddling to a position of mixed skeptism(*), speaking of hoping that any deal made isn’t a prelude to the country going the direction of the Europe he fled forty years ago.  Four years ago, this sort of tripped him up, as an inability to spell his name right tripped me up.

(*) Incidentally, I tend to think this makes him — from my vantage point, a fairly decent governor.  I suppose he’s too useful a scion in the Republican Party machinery, and in the end no more and no less effective than the governor he drove away.