Interstellar mongrel nymphs

Interstellar mongrel nymphs August 25, 2012

“‘Actually, you know what you can do?’ said Jesus. ‘You can reimburse me for my roof. Or I’ll sue.'”

“This may seem like an odd question, but the other day I found myself wondering what had become of George W. Bush.”

Junket Drunk Dunks His Junk

“Israel goes out of its way to encourage this sort of junket on the part of conservative Christian lawmakers, many of whom believe that support for Israel will hasten the day when Jesus comes back and, prior to disembowelling the unfaithful, likely will ask them all what in the hell they were thinking when they got nekkid and jumped into his private ocean.”

“Compassion has always been conservative.” — Timothy Dalrymple

“To be clear, Marvin Olasky is admitting that he summarily dismissed legitimate criticisms of David Barton’s work for ideological reasons.”

“What we do know is that Romney invested in private prisons.”

“This is what the Republican Party has sunk down to, touting the virtues of sons over daughters.”

If he blows that dog-whistle any louder, Seamus may return from that great roof-rack in the sky.”

“Ultimately, the fears of the New Right, the Tea Party GOP, and the aggrieved, imperiled white masculinity that Mitt Romney and other Republican elites pander to, are responses to a collective nightmare, what is a waking dream where they are being metaphorically raped and dominated by Barack Obama and people of color.”

“Conservatives have been compassionate all along.” — T.D.

“Nothing is more substantial than character. By pandering to the ignorance and bigotry of  the most fearful segment of the electorate, Gov. Romney has raised the character issue.”

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”

Better that their stomachs are empty than they become overly dependent on someone in authority to provide loaves and fishes for them.”

“Clean energy, he said, ‘would slow the winds down‘ and thus could make it hotter.”

The mailers were often paid in envelopes stuffed with crisp hundred-dollar bills.”

“Plus you hate the thought of killing an entire Saturday morning, when you normally relax on the edge of your bed staring at some souvenirs on your dresser and wondering when you last felt anything, even pain.”

“Naming a law after Tim Tebow is a clear attempt to overthrow the constitutional order, since Tebow’s overthrown everything else since he left Florida.”

“If you ask me, there’s a sermon here just waiting to be preached.”

Church Sex Scandal Bingo

“One thing you lack: A bigger house in a gated community in Tiberias. Buy that and you’ll be all set.”

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  • Tybult

    I showed up for interstellar mongrel nymphs, and all I got was Kevin Drum respectfully informing me that sadly, absolutely no hideous tragedies have occurred to the Bush family.

  • Matri

    “Clean energy, he said, ‘would slow the winds down‘ and thus could make it hotter.”


    *opens door*

    *looks about for the tap-dancing stegosaurus and 800-foot-tall pink smurf*

  • “The mailers were often paid in envelopes stuffed with crisp hundred-dollar bills.”

    Why am I not surprised that Republicans have stooped to interfering in  the way the Democrats conduct their own intraparty affairs?

  • vsm

    I’m afraid I don’t get the  Sea of Galilee thing. Is swimming in it naked a cultural taboo or something?

  • Termudgeon

    Am I alone in wishing desperately that links on this blog opened in new windows? By the time I’ve pursued a fascinating link a couple of steps further, I’ve forgotten and closed it.

  • Tonio

    That takedown of the Nationala Review’s sexism should be on every news site in the country.

  • staring at some souvenirs on your dresser and wondering when you last felt anything, even pain.


  • Matri

    If you have a 3 button mouse or a mousewheel, click the middle button/wheel. Should cause your browser to open the link in a new tab. That’s the default action, anyway.

  • Kirala

     I’m in the habit of right-clicking the link so I can choose to open it in a new tab or window. Well, I say “right-click” – with the settings I have on my Mac, it’s more like “two-finger tap”. I appreciate that Fred lets me control it and decide whether I prefer a new tab or new window. Although if I’m in a minority, it’d be no skin off my nose if Fred chose to code them to open in new windows. This site seems to explain how to do it; we’ll see whether my attempt to link demonstrates that it works, demonstrates that it doesn’t work, or demonstrates that Disqus is stupid.

  • banancat

     In addition to the tips others have given, if you are reading from a smartphone (Android, at least) you can long-click on a link and it will give you the option to open in a new window.

  • Some of the comments on the first link just prove that some people don’t get satire. y.y

    Yes we know that’s not what Jesus said – that’s kind of the point.

  •  I think the drunken shenanigans would be a problem anywhere, especially when this type of junket  is usually labeled a “fact-finding” trip in a “wink-wink” kind of way. You know, learning about our allies, their culture,  and how their interests line up with ours. When the public finds out that grown legislators are acting like this, the label becomes much harder to use with a straight face.

    And, you know, there’s a miniscule chance that the voters will get pissed enough to push for ethics reforms and limits on lobbying and then they can’t get free vacations any more.

  • Lori

    I don’t know about Christians in other parts of the world and I have no idea what Israelis or other Jews think about it (although I could ask a couple if anyone cares*), but US fundgelicals tend to consider the Sea of Galilee sacred. For many of them it’s a Big Deal to be baptized (or rebatized, as the case may be) there.  As such, sinning there would be considered a fairly big no-no. Drunkenness and public nudity in mixed company are definitely sins for fundies, so the whole thing is more than a bit of a problem coming from people who claim to be that sort of Christian.

    The while incident is just another in the long, long line of acts of glaring hypocrisy committed by people who use their religion to troll for votes and campaign contributions and as a cudgel to beat those supposedly less holy than themselves. Cue the usual excuses. Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. God has forgiven them and we must do the same. It was a lapse in judgement. Blah, blah, insert more lies here, blah.

    *BF is Jewish. Her BIL is originally from Israel (has lived in the US for years & years, but he grew up there). If the Sea of Galilee is a big deal to them in some cultural way he’d know.

  • Mira

    I don’t think the NR piece is actually saying sons are better than daughters, inherently. It’s saying they are an evolutionary marker of status, which is actually a trend scientists have noted in humans and other animals….sort of*.

    It’s still completely nonsensical, though. In responsible social science there is some trepidation about declaring a universal meaning of “status” for humans, as it’s culturally variable, and not always equivalent to wealth. If the entire point of the article is to say that the Romney family’s overwhelming maleness is proof of their overwhelming richness, well, we didn’t need sex ratios to tell us that. If “status” means something other than mere wealth, though, there’s the sticky little problem that Obama is ALREADY POTUS. And, obviously, that large scale trends are not predictive or explanatory on an individual level, since obviously  chance still has a part in conceiving sons or daughters in every individual instance.  

    But the NR also goes horribly wrong in a bunch of more offensive ways! First, by declaring that a) women should be overwhelmingly attracted to men with lots of sons – this makes no sense, unless it assumes that women should be overwhelmingly attracted to high status men; that b) women’s democratic voting decisions should be ruled by vague and unconscious reproductive drives, rather than thought and reason; and that c) a man being of high status almost tautologically means he deserves leadership, so men should vote for him too. There’s also the nice little send-off that d) having daughters is clear evidence of feminization – because there’s nothing that says “low status” like “being a woman.”

    So yeah, it’s pretty messed up. But the misogyny isn’t in the initial premise – it’s more interwoven throughout.

    *E.G. this article and many others talk not just about birth ratios, but about parental investment – Rather than it being just an issue of sons being “better,” families invest differently in sons and daughters for strategic reasons on different parts of the social scale. For a “low status” family, sometimes daughters might be “better.” Of course, there is probably all kinds of latent sexism here, but it’s more complicated than just “which is better.”

  • The link still opens in the same window, so the problem may be disqus. I tried using that html code before, and the link still opened in the same window. (On my Mac using Safari, anyway.)

  • Carstonio

    I agree that misogyny is not in the initial premise, but I also see that as irrelevant. It’s classic evolutionary psychology. The field’s premises aren’t scientific in the sense of having testable hypotheses, and the premises aren’t misogynistic in and of themselves. But they’re almost always used as rationales for misogyny, at least in the popular realm, because it never asks if allegedly natural behavior is morally acceptable.

  • Lori

    In addition to what others have said about Kevin Williamson’s BS in NR, I find myself wondering what he would have said if the D and the R behind the names were flipped.

    IME the kind of people who go on about how “boss” it is to have sons also tend to be stupid and unkind when it comes to infertility. If Mitt was a Democrat I strongly suspect that the Williamson would be talking about how unmanly it is that more than one generation of the Romney family has needed IVF. Not like Obama, who didn’t need no fertility treatment to pass on his superior, manly man genes.

    They’re using their misogyny in support of their tribalism, but if the situation was different they’d use something else. Notice that Williamson didn’t pull this ish out when W, father of 2 daughters and no sons, was in the White House.  

  • Termudgeon

    The “long click” seems to work on my iPad. Excellent! Thanks for the tips; now to try to train my brain.

  •  I’m sinking “Interstellar Mongrel Nymphs” to the tune of “Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop.”

    Also, while checking the spelling of “Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop,” I seem to have discovered that we were singing it wrong or something.  The lyrics all of the sites have are something about a grandma and a doctor.  We always did the “Down, Down Baby” part, then the “Shimmy shimmy” part, and then ended with “I’ve been chasing boys all day and don’t know when to stop.”  I cannot find any evidence that anyone except the two or three of us in my neighborhood did it that way.

  • Israel gets everyone they can to go over there, not just fundies.

    “MSNBC declines comment on Chris Matthews’ confession he has gone to Israel ‘a number of times’ sponsored by Israel lobby”

    btw The company that does them is not only tax exempt but tax deductable.

  • Shift-click should also work to get URLs to open in a new window.

  • It’s sad that Kevin D. Williamson’s wiki is so bare that I only know he wrote a really dumb book.

    I need to know how many sons he has, in order to determine how much I respect him.

  • EllieMurasaki

    it’d be no skin off my nose if Fred chose to code them to open in new windows.

    Not yours, but yesterday I was reading a ‘how to make your website accessible’ website. Open-in-new-window links are nasty and confusing to users who can’t look at the taskbar and see that now there’s one more window than there was, and/or who don’t realize that it’s a new window rather than the same window with all but one tab vanished and the history erased from the remaining tab. There’s several ways for users to order a link to open in a new tab should they so choose, but that shouldn’t be the default behavior.

  • Tricksterson

    You can’t have them!  They’re MINE!

  • Tricksterson

    The Bush article only confirms what I’ve long believed.  He wasn’t Darth Vader.  He was Jar Jar Binks.  And of course Cheney was Palpatine.

  • Shift-click should also work to get URLs to open in a new window.

    I know, but my point was that the html code to make links that open automatically in a new window did not work when I tried to use it. I usually use control-click to bring up a contextual menu, but I do have a right click button on my mouse, too.

  • vsm

    although I could ask a couple if anyone cares
    That’s all right, I was just confused whether the worst part was the venue, public drunkenness or nakedness in mixed company. I understand it was the hypocrisy now.

  • Matri

    You can’t have them!  They’re MINE!

    Well you better come get them, ’cause it looked like they escaped their cages again.

    The Bush article only confirms what I’ve long believed.  He wasn’t Darth
    Vader.  He was Jar Jar Binks.  And of course Cheney was Palpatine.

    Hey now, that was uncalled for! Jar Jar and Palpatine never done anything to deserve being called those!

  • Mary Kaye

    Carstonio wrote:

    I agree that misogyny is not in the initial premise, but I also see that
    as irrelevant. It’s classic evolutionary psychology. The field’s
    premises aren’t scientific in the sense of having testable hypotheses […]

    I’m not sure this is a question of evolutionary psychology, actually:  just a consideration of sex ratio evolution, pretty common in evolutionary biology, and definitely testable.  I think it’s been pretty well tested in whitetail deer.  You can get an objective measure of a female’s status by feeding order (there’s a good description in _The Secret Life of Deer_) and you can count her male and female offspring.  High-status females have somewhat more male offspring.

    While the reason for this is more difficult to determine, it’s not unlikely that the high-status female, being better fed, can have larger offspring, and that large male offspring are a good investment.  Or conversely that the low-status female, being not as well fed, will have small offspring and does better by having females.

    Large male offspring are only going to be a good investment in species which are (a) sexually dimorphic and (b) have some advantage to being a large male that is not also gained by being a large female.  I’d expect the pattern to go the other way in spiders, for example.

    Does the pattern hold in humans?  It’s testable.  You’d need to be careful to avoid other influences on sex determination (i.e. prenatal testing followed by abortion).  A quick look at sex ratios by country suggests that this practice has a huge effect.

    Does any of this mean anything politically?  Of course not; that’s stupid.  We don’t need to count someone’s offspring to determine their socioeconomic status.  And the argument that someone is higher status and therefore should be voted for is ridiculous.  (And finally, it’s high-status *females* who have male offspring.  I don’t know of a single species where it’s high-status *males*.)  But I don’t think the science here is standard sociobiology bilge. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Oh, that’s nice. So the chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy doesn’t believe in global warming and thinks having a lot of carbon dioxide is a good thing because plants need it. That part I knew. The Joe Barton quoted in the article, however, is another member of the same committee.

    So the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy has at least two members who are actively trying to block any effort to acknowledge the reality of global warming, much less do anything about it.

  • PJ Evans

    If they’re going to be claiming that the ration of sons to daughters somehow determines anything about male status – I’m going to ask them what they’d say to my several-times-great-grandfather’s family: seven sons, a daughter, and three more sons.

  • Carstonio

    Yes, I probably wasn’t using the right term. A better one may be gender essentialism. The NR writer seems to assume that gender roles and statuses among animals are what’s natural for humans, which is different from the research that you describe. The real issue, on which you and I probably agree, is that gender shouldn’t connote status in human society, whether it’s natural or not.

  • And! And and and! Ctrl-click works on PCs, too.

  • Randall M

    Ellie, can you provide a link to that site?  That’s the kind of stuff I’d never think of on my own.

  • EllieMurasaki
  • AngryWarthogBreath

    I’ve seen lots of people saying “Look, the Williamson article is a joke”. (Often with an additional “grow up, libs” somewhere in it.)

    But it’s like the Ann Coulter jokes about “this Supreme Court Justice should be stabbed”, or the Glenn Beck jokes of “I’d like to poison Nancy Pelosi”. Where’s the joke? Humour is complicated, sure, but most of the time you can recognise a bit of absurdity, or – most tellingly – a reversal of expectations that derives a punchline. Whereas here, it just seems to be “I’m going to say a bunch of stuff that, by all accounts, I actually believe, turn it up maybe 6-10%, and then declare that it’s a joke. And then we’ll put it on the cover of our apparently news-laden magazine.”

    I mean, if I said “Vote for Barack Obama, because unlike Mitt Romney, he is not a Skynet-governed android out for no less than the total destruction of the world”, there would be absurdity there, but only in the maximisation of what I already believe: that a Romney presidency would be really bad for the planet and all the people thereof. “Vote for Mitt Romney, because unlike Barack Obama, he’s a real man” is… I can’t even say it’s a maximisation of what they already believe, because they pretty much just say it.

    Summary. If you’re trying to make a joke:
    a) don’t make it a cover story, unless it’s a comedy magazine,
    b) try to put an actual joke in there, and
    c) if you find that most of the people around you are nodding solemnly and saying “‘sright”, consider revising.