7 things at 11 o’clock (6.21)

1. Jamie Malanowski says the United States of America should not have US Army bases named after people who declared war against the United States of America and took the battlefield against the US Army.

Good point. A while ago someone told me that slavery was “only part” of why the Civil War was fought. Now I’m trying to imagine the job interview where you explain that kidnapping, rape and torture are “only part” of your résumé. When slavery is any part of the agenda, it really doesn’t much matter if it’s the only part, does it?

2. Andrew Hackman on collapsing the transcendent into the immanent. (Hackman doesn’t use that phrase, but Richard Beck does, and says, “I’m very happy with this move.” I am too. So was the author of 1 John, ad nauseum.)

3. Emergency contraception is finally available over the counter. So is soy sauce. The big difference here is that soy sauce carries actual health risks.

4. I am shocked — shocked! — that good Christian people would lie about Planned Parenthood.

5. This is how you request a song at a concert. And here’s a music video from long before anyone talked about music videos. If (far less than) One Million Moms had been around when this came out, they’d have called for a boycott of Scopitone.

6. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska just became the third Republican senator to go on record in support of marriage equality. That’s big news. Or, I suppose actually, it’s not big news — but the fact that this news wasn’t greeted as big news, but with a kind of collective nod and shrug is itself a kind of big news. Her statement, titled “The Pursuit of Happiness — Without Government Interference,” might convince other Red-state Republicans that they can join her without the sky falling on their heads.

7. I have long held that the New Hampshire House of Representatives is too damn big. Tiny New Hampshire has 400 representatives elected from 204 legislative districts, and it turns out you can’t fill that many seats without letting in a bunch of unqualified, embarrassing whackjobs and goofballs. But even by the standards of the Granite State, it seems Rep. Stella Tremblay, R-Auburn, is too far out there. After continually pushing her theory that the Boston Marathon bombing was a government-sponsored false-flag operation, Tremblay was rebuked by a vote of the full House and resigned from the legislature.

“I just connect the dots,” said the unrepentantly dotty Tremblay. “Apparently, it is very dangerous to seek truth, or ask questions.”

Kudos to N.H. Republican Chair Jennifer Horn for responding unambiguously: “Representative Tremblay was unfit for public office and not welcome in our party. We are glad to see her go.” I know that’s partly just damage-control, but if the national party were willing to be that direct with the Gohmerts and Burgesses and Duncans and Franks (Frankses?) now dragging it down, it might be in better shape.

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  • Nonsense. My first comment on this post contains nothing to provoke people or to get attention.

  • Jessica_R

    No. 1 also makes me think of the great line from Jessica Williams on last night’s Daily Show. In talking about the Paula Deen debacle they played a clip of her on some ancestry show being showing a copy of a bill of sale for the 35 slaves her ancestor had and her murmuring “that’s a lot of slaves.” And Williams’ spot on “No, you know what that’s a lot of slaves? One! One is a lot of slaves! Come on!”

  • J_Enigma32

    In order to be broken-hearted”, you need a heart first. Since Gohmert and the other Republicans are absent a heart, a “broken-hearted” Republic is an oxymoron.

  • AnonSam has reached 3000 comments!

  • Evan

    Considering that Rommel was given the choice between kangaroo court and suicide (he chose the latter) after being implicated in a plot against Hitler, if I had to pick one Nazi general to name a fort after, I’d choose him.

    Still, there are many, many, many, many better choices.

  • Evan

    Reminds me how King County, WA was renamed to King County, WA to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. (instead of former Vice-President William Rufus King, a slaveholder from Alabama).

  • Evan

    Oh, yes, that quote. Isn’t it from this letter where Lincoln ends by saying, “I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free”?

  • Evan

    You’re right in saying that the North won because of a lot of factors (such as Northern industrial output) that were only indirectly related to slavery, and very, very vaguely to their trying to abolishing slavery in the South. However, two factors that were related did play a significant role: first, the moral zeal engendered in Northern troops; second, the widespread recruitment of Black soldiers by the North which greatly augmented their numbers.

  • FearlessSon

    I think that in some ways it was an inevitable clash. Heck, some of the founders were predicting that since the union was founded (which was why they changed “Life, liberty, and property” to “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”)

    I am not defending any of the slave owners decisions, they participated in a bad system that should never have existed in the first place, but as usual things are More Complicated Than That. The problem being that, to quote one writer, slavery is not just the forced servitude of one human by another, but the insidious system of codependency that such an arrangement creates.

    Part of why reconstruction was so difficult, and so many legal specters of the slavery era in the South persisted so long (and to an extent continue to persist in watered-down forms) is because disassembling the system of slavery and reassembling it into a more equitable arrangement is not a simple or easy task. How does the land get redistributed? How do you educate and care for a large population which had no previous enfranchisement and no infrastructure to support them? How do you turn around generations of en-cultured justification for blatant racial exploitation which only keeps digging itself deeper?

    It is an ugly issue, with a lot of thorns, and pulling it out is in no way easy. That conflict was more likely than not.

  • Most of the people making these claims don’t use a computer or a cell phone or the internet or a microwave on a daily basis (They have staff for that), so in their minds, they forever remain luxury toys. (Heck, I am a software developer, and there are times when it seems to me that the organization I am contracted to at its upper levels — an organization which does approximately 1% of its work on things other than computers — doesn’t quite get that computers are necessary to doing our jobs, not some kind of perk. We all need to tighten our belts in this economy, so from now on, you’ll be doing your network defense out longhand instead of on a computer.)

  • Incidentally, I love that people still refer to EBT as “food stamps”
    even though they haven’t been stamps in years. Presumably, that’s to
    avoid having to explain how one could spot the difference between an EBT
    card and, say, a debit card from ten feet away.

    In some areas, the card was deliberately made a bright and unusual shade of orange just to make sure it was properly and shamefully visible from a distance.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My PNC debit card was orange a while back. I forget if the current one is, I keep not getting around to closing that account, so that debit card is in the little lockbox with the credit cards I’m trying to pay down and I haven’t seen it in a while.

  • They could rename it after the car from The Dukes of Hazzard.

  • Alix


  • I think it was Dennis Leary who had a whole comedy sketch about how when businesses advertise things as being “family-style” the one thing you can be assured of is that it’s “not fucking family”.

    He proposed that a restaurant could only be properly called “family style” if the food were burnt, Maitre’d was drunk and the chef was crying in the bathroom all evening.

  • Alix

    It was an inevitable clash. If the slavery issue had actually been dealt with at the beginning, one way or another the Civil War wouldn’t have happened. But the Founding Fathers decided to just kick the can down the road, I guess sort of hoping it’d never really blow up.

    Guess what? It did.

  • themunck

    Aye, that sort of thing always surprises me. Same when people have their secretaries print out emails for them to read. (Still surprised just how many people do that. My mom’s former boss did before he retired, but he was too old to be used to working via computer. However, if her secretary is to be believed, the current prime minister has her emails printed out too, and she’s only 46)

  • Alix

    I do know some people – my best friend being one of them – who find it a lot easier to read stuff on paper. No glare.

    Edit: Gah. Meant this as a reply to themunck below, clicked wrong button. Go me.

  • themunck

    I think the difference is “we cater to families”, which tend to mean “we give your kids some crayons so you can get 10 min or so of peace to eat your dinner”, and “we represent families and/or their interests”, which tend to mean “fuck everyone who doesn’t buy into a Madonna/whore complex, among other horrible things”.

  • Alix

    ING cards were too, until they were bought out by Capital One and switched to equally-fake looking red cards.

    I got so many “WTF?” looks from people when I handed them my ING card. It was hilarious.

  • Alix


    You … really have no idea how you come off, do you?

  • EllieMurasaki

    DAMMIT ING. I liked ING. I don’t like CapitalOne 360.

  • Alix

    “It was a culture clash!” Yeah, between a slave culture desperate to not change and a non-slave one.

    “It was about politics/westward expansion!” Yes, over which new states and territories could be slave or free.

    I mean, come on, folks. Some things really, truly are that simple.

  • Alix

    Basically my reaction, but they’ve been okay so far. :/ Haven’t changed much, at least not for existing accounts.

    ‘Course, it seems every time I find a bank I like, they either get bought out or go off the rails, so. :/ I am, apparently, death to banks.

  • themunck

    *Attempting a Robert Webb impression as a loud ding is heard* And that bell means..absolutely nothing.
    (We all love Sam, but the quantity of posts is in no way relevant to -anything-)
    EDIT: David Mitchell, not Robert Webb. Should’ve remembered correctly considering I went through 3 other people before settling on the one I thought was right.

  • Alix

    I agree with you, but the tricky thing about cultural conflicts is that they are bigger than just what individual people decide; there’s been some serious suggestion that even if most people weren’t in favor of war, too much friction had already built up and it was really inevitable.

    I’m not sure I entirely buy that, but there are certainly ways that cultures/societies behave in aggregate that can’t be completely chalked up to individuals. That in no way absolves individuals from blame, but there seems to be a feedback loop: individuals create culture which influences individuals.

  • Yes, he does. He does it on purpose.

  • Joykins

    “. Presumably, that’s to avoid having to explain how one could spot the difference between an EBT card and, say, a debit card from ten feet away.” The real way they are spotted is when the EBT card barfs on something and then the line gets held up while the cashier resolves it. Which probably doesn’t calm the busybodies any. “Not only was that food stamp recipient buying caviar, filet mignon, and lobster, I had to wait 5 minutes until the line moved again!”

  • arcseconds

    People celebrate meaningless milestones all the time. Why not 3000 comments?

    Do you respond similarly when any blogger reaches 1000 posts, or magazines publish their 1000th issue, or people celebrate their birthdays?

  • Alix

    Second reply, ’cause why not:

    I pissed my dad off royally once by telling him I thought the tag team of Grant and Sherman was some of the best strategic thinking in the Civil War.

    …He is, as I may have mentioned before, a Robert E. Lee fanboy, and considers Sherman a monster. Because god knows no Confederates ever did anything bad…

  • themunck

    I admit, usually not where they can see/hear/read it. But I think it, for what it’s worth. Meaningless milestones are, after all, meaningless. Why is 3000 more important than 3001? Why is 36519 (100 years, assuming 19 leap years in a century) days more important than 36520?

  • Monala

    Not so fond of ING here. I opened an Orange Savings account when my daughter was born, adding about $25 a month to it, because they had really good interest rates. (I was attempting to start a college fund) Those rates decreased each year of her life, until they were the same nearly nonexistent rates of most other banks’ savings accounts.

    Moreover, whenever I needed to reach them, I had a devil of a time trying to get through to them by phone, mail or email. So one day, out of frustration, I left a message saying I wanted to close my account. I got a return call in less than five minutes, with an almost gleeful CSR telling me that the funds in the account would be sent to me within 24 hours.

    I have never closed an account of any kind without the service rep at least asking me why and what they could do to keep my business. So I can only conclude that my couple thousand or so in savings wasn’t worthwhile to them, and they were eager to get rid of me,

  • Yes. It’s just a troll. Long established as one, and yet continually a surprise to people, including those who should know better. Pay it no mind.

  • I is loved! ♥

  • <sarc> By golly! Go claim your million dollars from Randi! </sarc>

  • “It” again. I do not like being dehumanized. Also, I have only been “established” here for less than three quarters of a year half a year. I’ve checked my comment history.

  • In which comment(s)?

  • “Conquest?”

    -What term would you use?

    The immediate cause of the Civil War was the South seceding. Which it was not allowed to do – one doesn’t just get to up and walk off with half the nation because you don’t like who got elected.

    -Why not? Especially when the candidate elected got only less than 40% of the popular vote. Besides, the Southern states did have a legal justification for their secession-

    The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution (“No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”).

    (Do you try to phrase things in the most inflammatory way possible, or is that just a happy accident?)

    -Happy accident. Besides, there are much more pejorative ways to phrase “the Northern conquest of the South“.

  • banancat

    The other thing I really hate about this attitude is the myth that people could just sell off most of their stuff for profit. I’ve been unemployed but luckily I was well-prepared for it. However, it’s not like I could’ve just sold my furniture if I needed money. I mean, maybe I could sell my couch for a couple hundred bucks but nobody would pay money for the bookcase that I paid $40 for in the first place, and I’d have a hard time selling my high-quality but 10 year-old mattress. I think it’s actually illegal to sell used mattresses. I have a fair amount of Lego accumulated over the years, but none of it in sets or really worth more than a couple of bucks. I could maybe sell some of my clothes to a second-hand store, but only the relatively new stuff. I could maybe sell a few other items for 50 cents each if my apartment complex had a yard sale. But really, there just isn’t a market for used clothes. Or for slightly used consumer goods in general.

    I have a lot of stuff, but even if I sold as much as I could, it would still probably not cover even a single month of rent. It could maybe get me by in a pinch, but it’s really not a long-term solution to money needs.

    People like to focus on the one-time purchases but those are really negligible in the scheme of things. I remember a few years ago during the health care reform debate, some Republican politician claimed that people should just stop buying iPads and they could magically afford health care. Well, I did the math and if I only just bought 2 fewer iPads each month, I could cover the cost of health insurance. But if I don’t already buy 2 iPads a month, then suddenly this plan doesn’t work out so well.

  • Lee B.

    I do not like being dehumanized.

    Then try behaving like a human.

    Fake it ’till you make it.

  • Alix

    Your initial one, and many others on other posts.

  • banancat

    But but but, those people could just walk 3 miles and take a two-hour bus ride with 2 transfers to use the computers at the public library for free!

  • Then, no, I have no idea how I come off.

  • What do you mean by “behaving like a human”?

  • Alix

    Trying this again, because Disqus apparently ate my last attempt.

    I’m not sure “conquest” really fits for “not letting traitors run off with half the country.” It also places the burden of the war on the North, when the South was the aggressor.

    Southern states did have a legal justification for their secession

    They thought they did. That turned out to very much be an open question, didn’t it? Ultimately, the Union disagreed.

    That also ignores the fact that, again, the South fired first*. They didn’t just take their toys and go home, but initiated a war.

    It almost seems like you’re arguing that no state can ever actually be in rebellion against the federal government, which is a decidedly weird argument.

    *If I had a car and were a braver person, I’d put that on a bumper sticker. It amazes me how few people remember that.

  • Alix

    You seem to choose inflammatory words or turns of phrase and are frequently quite nitpicky. Like with your use of “conquest,” the problems with which I described below, and in your insistence on splitting the causes of the Civil War into the causes for each side, when that’s really splitting hairs in a very odd way. One side was the instigator, and they’re who matter, not the reacting side.

  • Alix

    For twenty minutes! Until they got kicked off! And they have to have a library card, and oh my god, why are they wasting their time in a library instead of looking for real jobs?


  • themunck

    Living somewhat closer to a library, I actually considered that argument and stumbled across another little roadblock I’d never considered. Assuming you’re an employer with two candidates for an open position. They’re both equally qualified, and will work for the same salery and time. Who do you hire? The one with the email-address “John@doe.com”? Or the one named “John080888@hotmail.com”?

  • themunck

    It’s also never completely clear if you’re* arguing your own position, or playing the devil’s advocate.

    * “you” being EH, not Alix, in case I’m unclear.

  • Alix

    No, it’s still a legit sentiment – half the point of computers is to save on things like paper, which doesn’t work if people use the paper anyway. But it does mean computers need to solve some more problems that keep people from using them as intended.

    This is one reason I was really happy with the Kindle’s no-glare screen. It’s a step in the right direction.