“Beaverton, cut to the chase”

So he did:

The caller lost his cool, but hang on after the hangup for the smirking. 4dbirds, you’ll love this.

I try not to make this blog too political. Probably should have saved it for the bloggage. But there isn’t going to be much of that today, because I’m empty as a cup and need to get a lot of work done by this afternoon, when Alex arrives for his stay at NN.C Central. It’s Stay With a Blogger Weekend, didn’t you know that? Photos when we get them.

I was talking about local driving habits with someone who grew up here, and he made the argument that yes, sure, Detroiters all drive like car thieves and favor moves like the Six-Lane High-Speed Cutover Without Signaling, but by and large, people drive with a decent baseline level of skill. I disagreed, but it was a boring argument and we don’t need to recount it here. However, I offer some proof of my position today. There was a huge water main break on a major freeway yesterday. I mean huge — a 48-incher — that erupted in a geyser and then abated to a mere waterfall, swiftly flooding the freeway. And I mean swiftly — a couple of cars were left on the road, water to their rear-view mirrors, drivers sitting on the roof waiting for rescue. That must have been some flood, I thought, stupidly, until I saw the victims on the late news and learned: Yes, they saw the water ahead of them and thought they could drive through it.

I mean, speaking of stupid.

I’m hoping nothing this exciting happens to Alex on his way here today.

L.A. Mary e-mailed to say the Comics Curmudgeon has opened her eyes to the thrills of “Gil Thorpe,” the strip so stupid it’s not even on the comics page in many papers. Editors save it, and “Tank McNamara,” for that problematic ocean of gray, the sports agate page. I never paid much attention to it, either, but the CC knows what he’s talking about:

Ha ha! Oh, man, the Gil Thorp summer hijinks are getting started even more quickly than I could have hoped! I’m totally in love with Gail Martin, the “rock and roll Carole King,” as she was called yesterday; truly, nothing shouts “rock and roll” like a collared shirt and a long braid that you clutch dramatically to your chest while you belt out your non-hits and your banjo player grooves behind you.

The art in this strip is almost comically bad. Fitting, I guess.

After five eps of “John From Cincinnati,” I think James Wolcott has it right: If this guy can heal the sick, the first thing he needs to lay hands on is this show. Although “I got my eye on you” is a new catchphrase here at NN.C Central.

OK, Alex just e-mailed and said he’s “leaving soon.” Which means I have to go banish dog hair, and pronto.

Posted at 9:06 am in Current events, Media, Television |

48 responses to ““Beaverton, cut to the chase””

  1. Kim said on July 13, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Wolcott’s take is pretty much exactly why I like this show. Everyone is a mess, stuck in their particular behaviors (bug-eyed and unravelled shouting, staccato swearing, talking to a pet bird about a career that went south and so forth). It’s the not-real quality about it that works for me — although I have met people whose behaviors/homes would be perfectly at home in this show. And you know what? My first thought when I met those people was, “Unreal. Yet here you are.”

    I also like Big Love, but come on! Does anyone really believe that three houses (with three moms, one dad whose mug is on billboards and a passel of kiddies) that converge on a small backyard in UTAH would be anything other than a mini-compound of polygamists?

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  2. nancy said on July 13, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I’m still watching JFC, but I agree with Wolcott: I’m tired of the endless interior sets. I want some California sunshine and a few bitchin’ waves. And less hysteria from Rebecca DeM.

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  3. Stephanie said on July 13, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Yes, Detroiters do drive like maniacs, and the degree of our maniacness continues to shock me. I don’t drive crazily anymore, being that I am one traffic violation away from stay in a cozy cell in the Oakland County Jail, but last night my boyfriend told me a story about the time he drove from Kalamazoo to East Lansing at 160 mph the whole way. He said it was easy, that the other cars on the freeway just made room for him, parted like the red sea. I told him he was an idiot, but he said it was fun. Fun. Oy.

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  4. LA mary said on July 13, 2007 at 11:01 am

    I’m teaching my oldest to drive right now, and I’ve warned him about people like your boyfriend, Stephanie. So far he’s still toddling along tentatively, but it’s only a matter of time before he decides he needs to see how fast my beetle will go.

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  5. brian stouder said on July 13, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Well, I’m a weenie behind the wheel, but back in the day I went through my idiot-phase.

    So anyway – if newspapers are on their way out, local television news competition seems to be in high feather, at least in Chicago.

    Just how much fun would Madame Telling Tales have, if she turns her wry gaze upon the spectacle of the up-market de rigueur bikini-clad beach blonde/reporter-babe of the local NBC affilliate frolicking with a guy who probably murdered his wife; and the spectacle is provided to us by the prying eyes of hidden cameras from the local CBS affilliate!!

    And then the resultant firing of the bikini-clad beach blonde/reporter-babe, and then her own de rigueur defense of her actions (the bikini was part of her investigative reporting tactics, doncha see), and of course her charge of sexism against her former employers (particularly funny, given that her best-case defense is precisely that she was using herself as a sex object to gain information from the ‘person of interest’)

    Actually, I kind of side with the bikini-clad beach blonde/reporter-babe…but then I’m a sucker for bikinis! (and if she was a brunette, fuhgettaboutit!!)

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  6. MichaelG said on July 13, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Ahhh, yes. I can remember getting my old man’s ’55 Desoto sideways. I can remember the fan belt coming off as I struggled to reach 100 MPH on a back road. I can remember revving the engine in neutral and dropping the little dashboard stick into drive so as to induce wheel spin in the old behemoth. I still don’t understand how it is that I never crashed. I’m glad my kid was a girl. A kid who, by the way, is pregnant with a granddaughter. Due in Nov. My five year old grandson is all excited. He wants to buy her presents. He’s gonna be a terrific big brother.

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  7. Dorothy said on July 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Brian she wasn’t frolicking with the possible murderer – she was invited there by the missing woman’s sisters. They, too, were caught on camera, or filmed maybe – not necessarily “caught.” The reporter admitted she screwed up, but was pursuing the story. AND has details she’ll share with her next employer. I don’t know what to think about all this, but it sounds pretty underhanded to me – the invitation over to the house, etc. Why didn’t they just meet at the mall over coffee?

    I’m LOVING the Comics Curmudgeon too! Can’t get enough of his Gil Thorpe comments. Thanks for introducing me to that terrific time waster.

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  8. MarkH said on July 13, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Kim, who intimated anything other than those Big Love people were polygamists? I lived and worked in Utah; I KNOW those people; they’re my wife’s EX-IN-LAWS, fer cryin’ out loud!! Long story…

    Stephanie, 160? Really? Easy?? Hmmm….

    Best of luck to you and your son, mary, having him learn to drive in the LA area. I don’t necessarily envy you, but if he survives THAT, he’ll be good to go.

    And, yes, I, too, am amazed I’m here to tell of my early (high school) driving years. Most memorable: just before PM rush-hour, my buddy Sam and I heading into Cincinnati in my VW Karmann Ghia on Columbia Parkway, death road from the eastern suburbs. It starts to rain. A (too quick?) lane-change induces loss of traction, leading to a 360…IN THE MIDDLE OF COLUMBIA F*****’ PARKWAY!!! Everything’s a blur, one of those classic instant moment thoughts; “We’re dead.” Then…we stop. No crash, facing the right direction, in the right lane next to the retaining wall. Sam and I exchange a look, I re-start the car and we continue on into town, not saying a word. There is a God.

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  9. Kim said on July 13, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Brian and Dorothy: That (former) news reporter has a screw loose. I think journalism ethics (yeah, yeah, oxymoron) would be clear that she was wrong to “socialize” with a family she wanted to scoop. She’s probably the biggest celebrity ever to show an interest in their sad family, which they are likely overlooking as the selfish act it is because she’s selling them the line that she can help find their sister. Please don’t get me started on TV “journalists.”

    What crossed the line for me was that she brought her kids to this “social” event. You don’t bring your kids to work a source. You especially don’t bring your kids to the home of a guy under suspicion in his wife’s disappearance. The bikini was just more bad judgment. And then to hear her justification that they were “friends” and in the next breath she was sharing her conversations with the family with the cops — jeez, will she be my friend, too?

    Believe me, I get how hard it is to leave work at work, esp. in this field. But kids have no place here, as would be true if the mom in question had been a lawyer deposing a client or a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn cleaning a particularly nasty room or a sous chef at Denny’s slammed on a Saturday a.m. or a dancer at the Bing anytime.

    Nance: I’m really thinking this JFC is life of the mind stuff. Maybe I just need more alcohol.

    MarkH: Isn’t the whole point of the show how they’re trying to live as polygamists under the radar but out in the open — having it both ways? Apologies if I misunderstood. Sounds like your long story is one worth hearing.

    LA Mary: Good luck. My eldest, a total MacGyver, recently built a motorbike from an old motorcycle frame and a power washer engine. He’s now working on a 65 Ford Falcon, and I’m working on my Lamaze breathing exercises to be ready when he gets his provisional license in just under 2 years. Maybe Stephanie can do us all the favor of posting her beau’s road trip plans.

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  10. 4dbirds said on July 13, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    I was driving in an unfamiliar area of Annapolis yesterday and had to quickly cross two lanes to make a left turn. There were no cars around but a pickup truck speeding well behind me must have got bent out of shape because he thought he ‘might’ have to tap on his brakes flipped me the bird as he sailed past. I had to laugh when I notice his rear window. A huge Jesus on the cross was stenciled on it.

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  11. John said on July 13, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Was Jesus giving you the bird too? Or was he pissing on #24? Either one would have been a nice touch.

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  12. Danny said on July 13, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Speaking of bumper stickers, that reminds me. Last weekend we went to an all vegetarian restaurant to check it out. Out here in Socal, you go to places like this or Whole Foods (PayCheck) Market or organic produce co-ops and you are bound to meet a whole lot of earthy-crunchy types with plenty of body ink and javelins through their eyeborws and tongues. Anyways, we are getting ready to walk into the restaurant and there is this car parked there with about a million bumper stickers in support of all kinds lof liberal causes.

    I didn’t look at most of them, but my wife and our friends lingered and read through them. I waited by the door and when they were finished, we all walked inn togther and were pased by a vouple of teenage girls and their mother who were on the way out. Well my wife was smiling at them because they were a strikingly good looking family despite the tattoos. I’m holding the door and one of them mutters, “What is she staring at now?!?” I saw them get into the car and thought, if you are going to tell everyone your opinion and life story in bumper stickers, you shouldn’t be surprised if someone stops to read them.

    Udoubtedly they were some of those famous tolerant liberals that everyone hears about.

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  13. Danny said on July 13, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Please, excuse the typos. I was in a hurry to get to a meeting.

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  14. deb said on July 13, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    markh, your columbia parkway story made me shudder. we had to cruise columbia parkway for driver’s ed. and we were all kids from the sticks! insane. our instructor told us about one memorable outing where the driver suddenly — at 60 mph, on the columbia freaking parkway — threw both hands in the air and screamed, “SPEED SCARES ME!”
    hard to believe he even came back as the driver’s ed instructor after that one.

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  15. ashley said on July 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    I have officially given up on “John from Cincinnati”.

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  16. LA mary said on July 13, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    I recall spinning on black ice on University Boulevard in Denver, making at least three full spins, and seeing another car doing the same thing very close to me. Amazingly we didn’t hit each other, and I came to a stop against a curb. The other car did the same against the curb on the opposite side of the street.
    I drove home very slowly after that.

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  17. Dorothy said on July 13, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Kim thanks for giving me more details on that reporter thing. I saw the story on the TODAY show this morning and I don’t think they mentioned she had her kids with her. What a jerk! If they did say that, I must have missed it.

    I am so glad I never started watching “John from Cincinnati.” The previews looked intriguing, but I just didn’t have the energy to commit to another show. In the meantime I’m loving “Rescue Me” in it’s 4th season, and I really like “The Closer” too. Great chemistry between the actors on both shows.

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  18. ashley said on July 14, 2007 at 8:48 am

    I’ve heard good things about “Rescue Me”, but I can’t bear to watch anything with Dennis Leary. And I’m also wif ya on the “commit to another show” thingy, especially since I’m going to have to watch K-Ville in the fall.

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  19. Jolene said on July 14, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Sheeesh! Is Matthew Continetti an asshole or what? This guy appears to be in training to take over as Chief of Smirking when Bill Kristol retires from The Weekly Standard. Can you imagine sitting at the same table as the two of them? Ick.

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  20. Dorothy said on July 14, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Ashley I admit Denis Leary is an acquired taste. I caught the last half of an interview with him on a CNN talk show. It was on last week, but it was a repeat of a show that was on in early June just before this season started. I could not get over how different he was from the characters he’s played. I mean, how down to earth he was. Loved how he talked about what great people his kids are.

    What bugs me on the show is how he’s always writing for his character as if he is an irresistable man, appealing to just about every woman who crosses his path. I don’t find him attractive at all. The one true thing I like about him is how he makes me laugh.

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  21. Ricardo said on July 14, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Continetti can’t join the army and go to Iraq. He would be fragged in the first week there. He could be the ROTC guy in the remake of “Animal House”.

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  22. MichaelG said on July 14, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    The “Beaverton” post points up one of the unique facets of the Iraq/A’stan war. The war is being fought and the consequences borne by a very small portion of the American public. The lack of a draft, the unit rather than individual replacement policy, the extension of enlistments and zone time along with the reduction of home time have all conspired to limit the number of individuals and families actually participating in the sacrificing. This has all been compounded by the administration’s complete failure to do anything to try and spread the sacrifice, to do anything to try and attract to the military the progeny of the prosperous. It’s also instructive to observe how few administration members and their offspring possess genuine military experience. No other war has had such limited participation. None. Middle, upper class and Republican youth are well represented by such creepy little chicken hawk twits as Continetti and NRO’s Jonah Goldberg. This is an old controversy that has been argued back and forth in blogdom for several years. The chicken hawks’ contention is that since they are the elite intelligentsia, their efforts are better expended toward selling and justifying the war rather than actually, physically participating. In fact, they have argued, they are just as much warriors in their own right and their contribution to the nation’s welfare is as great as or greater than that of the marines and soldiers who are bleeding and dying overseas. I kid you not.

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  23. Jolene said on July 15, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I haven’t often heard the idea that the efforts of neocon offspring are better expended in support of their ideological goals here at home; what I have heard is the idea that, this being America, individuals have the right to choose how they will live, including how they will serve their nation, and there are other, if not better, ways to do that.

    It’s just coincidental, I guess, that Continetti and his ilk all seem to choose “ways to serve” that involve little risk to life and limb.

    Some elite families do, though, have a tradition of military service. For instance, George P. Bush, Jeb’s son, has followed his uncle’s heroic approach to military service by /joining the Navy Reserve, a commitment that will enable him to check the “served my country” box on his political resume without enduring the hazards many of his fellow citizens currently face.

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  24. brian stouder said on July 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Middle, upper class and Republican youth are well represented by such creepy little chicken hawk twits as Continetti and NRO’s Jonah Goldberg.

    I don’t subscribe to this point of view.

    I’ve never seen or heard of this fellow before seeing the video clip; a clip from a show which was probably watched by fewer people than visit this blog. Has anyone here read anything this fellow has written?

    Moreover – I think some people may come to regret agreeing with this general idea that one cannot possibly express an opinion on a war, unless one is either a combat veteran or else flatly anti-war. The point that this fellow was (clumsily) making is worth pondering.

    The general public should indeed pay heed to stakeholders (in the case of war, soldiers, veterans and their families). …but the public still has every right to reach their own conclusions. As it happens, The Weekly Standard guy is (weakly) in disagreement with the vast majority of the American public – that is, we (the public) are pretty heavily against continued American involvement in the war that he favors – even though most of us don’t have a direct risk of participating in it…and yet the Beaverton caller apparently finds any disagreement with his view improper, out of order, immoral, and basically unacceptable.

    Both guys are idiots – which is why (I suppose) this blog isn’t more heavily political. Discussion is interesting; informed disgreement is refreshing; shouting matches and pre-emptive dismissal is all-too-common

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  25. MichaelG said on July 15, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Do I sense a dismissal here, Brian? The fact that you are unfamiliar with Continetti and Goldberg doesn’t mean they don’t exist or that their audiences are inconsequential. They do, of course, have every right to express their opinions and to express them in public fora. Equally, I have every right to express my criticism of their opinions. As I alluded earlier, this whole chicken hawk issue was the subject of much debate in the blogosphere a year or so ago. Several young chicken hawks including Goldberg explicitly espoused the position that I repeated in my post. I never stated that “one cannot possibly express an opinion on a war, unless one is either a combat veteran or else flatly anti-war” and I’ll thank you to not put words in my mouth. What I did say was that the extraordinarily low level of participation in the military by educated, middle class and upper class youngsters is remarkable and without precedent in U.S. history. Just read Phil Carter. And what I did allow to seep through was my disdain for people such as the aforenamed who, as a group, express lots of enthusiasm for a war that none of them will touch with a ten foot pole. We’re all stakeholders in this war, Brian. Some just have more invested than others. As you say, they absolutely are entitled to their point of view — and I am entitled to mine. Lordy, I try not to get political but I get sucked in now and again. Sorry.

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  26. brian stouder said on July 15, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I never stated that “one cannot possibly express an opinion on a war, unless one is either a combat veteran or else flatly anti-war” and I’ll thank you to not put words in my mouth.

    Michael – I was referring to the Beaverton caller’s attitude – which I have seen many times before from the left side of the blogosphere.

    I certainly apologize for whatever confusion my imprecise writing ‘skills’ created, with regard to putting words in other people’s mouths!

    I will say that the word “unprecedented” is usually a red flag to me; but leaving aside further discussion on that point – wouldn’t you agree that this “chicken hawk” precisely an attempt (rightly or wrongly) to pre-emptively dismiss people who

    express lots of enthusiasm for a war that none of them will touch with a ten foot pole.?

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  27. MichaelG said on July 15, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by “wouldn’t you agree that this “chicken hawk” precisely an attempt (rightly or wrongly) to pre-emptively dismiss people who
    express lots of enthusiasm for a war that none of them will touch with a ten foot pole.?”
    I take it to mean, Brian, that you think that I am trying to “dismiss” somebody, whatever that means, and that you are trying to maneuver me into agreeing with you. I don’t. Please stop trying to put words in my mouth. There is no hidden agenda, no secret meaning buried in what I wrote. I meant exactly what I said. No more, no less.

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  28. brian stouder said on July 15, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Fine, Michael.

    You said

    Middle, upper class and Republican youth are well represented by such creepy little chicken hawk twits as Continetti and NRO’s Jonah Goldberg.

    which I specifically disagreed with.

    Then you tried to defend that canard with

    The fact that you are unfamiliar with Continetti and Goldberg doesn’t mean they don’t exist or that their audiences are inconsequential.

    So, without putting any words in your mouth, and taking what you said (no more, and no less) as exactly what you meant –

    My reaction is that when commentators that nobody has heard of make comments on teevee shows that nobody is watching, it takes a very large leap (not to mention lots and lots of fruit salad) to state that some large amorphous group (such as “Middle, upper class and Republican youth”) is “well represented”!!

    If someone made ridiculous and demeaning generalizations about some twit’s comments as representative of “Middle, upper class and Democratic youth”, one could state the same objection

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  29. MichaelG said on July 15, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    OK, Brian. I give.

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  30. Danny said on July 15, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Not trying to pile on or anything, but I too had never heard of this guy, Continetti. He does see smarmy though. Not to my liking at all.

    But as far as the argument that one should not have an opinion about the war unless one serves in the military, I too have heard it expressed all over and even by someone here whom I will not name. And it isn’t logical.

    It’s like saying, “Hey, man, if you are for indoor plumbing, you better get your ass down to the water treatment facility and enlist or just deal with raw sewage being backed up in your house and shut your mouth.” Or insert any other task that ignores the fact that modern society depends on division of labor . Soldier baker, candlestick maker. Etc.

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  31. Jolene said on July 15, 2007 at 5:16 pm


    Your comparison to bakers and candlestick makers falls short because there is so little risk associated with those occupations. When one is advocating courses of action that involve the risk of death to those who must carry them out, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask that, if all possible, one take on some of that risk.

    No one is saying that Continetti or Goldberg or anyone else isn’t allowed to have an opinion. Of course, they can have opinions. But, it doesn’t seem out of the way to me to challenge people of military age who advocate war to join the enterprise. It’s hard to think of a way to contribute more directly to what Continetti and some of his colleagues regard as a matter of grave national interest.

    Whether Continetti has a large audience or not is irrelevant. The question isn’t how many other people are listening to him, but whether he is listening to himself and acting on the implications of his words.

    It’s true, of course, that any one in our military volunteered knowing he or she might be sent into war. But I doubt many of them volunteered thinking they would be involved in a military adventure that was, to say the least, underjustified, has been badly mismanaged, has damaged our reputation throughout the world, and may, in fact, have made us less safe.

    Am trying to keep my voice down here. I like NN.c a lot and don’t want it to become a venue for shouting matches, but all I can see of the Iraq War is the damage it has done to American families, to millions of Iraqis, and to our country. Alternating between rage and heartbreak, I find it hard to be silent.

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  32. brian stouder said on July 15, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    I agree with the specifics in your post Jolene. One of the more general implications that I have a problem with, though, is that when, say, Senator Clinton gets elected President of the United States, she will face the very same hollow criticism if she is impelled to order any military action for any reason, somewhere in the world.

    Not for nothing, she voted for the Iraq war authorization, and she has forthrightly defended that vote to the current day, as the action she deemed necessary given the information (since undermined) that she had at hand at the time.

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  33. Jolene said on July 15, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I’m not sure I fully understand your point, Brian. Can you elaborate?

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  34. czucky Dimes said on July 15, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    How’s this for right-wing jergoffs who avoid the real fight but cheer from the sidelines: A famous film actor, now deceased, who strenuously avoided the draft in WW2, then went on to get rich making riotously pro-war flag-wavers? In fact, mention of his name damn near brings a salute from lots of old-time veterans. A case of beer to anyone who can tell me his name.

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  35. czucky Dimes said on July 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Wait a minute, I can’t give away that much beer. This is a pretty wise crowd. It was John Wayne. But you all knew that didn’t you?

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  36. brian stouder said on July 15, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    John Wayne?

    Jolene – all I meant was that if the standard we use, when considering someone who

    … is advocating courses of action that involve the risk of death to those who must carry them out, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask that, if all possible, one take on some of that risk.

    that standard will soon (right after the next presidential election, in my opinion) prove unworkable.

    “Chicken-hawk” is a term which means….what? As it is usually used, it only applies to Republicans (affluent or not), and is meaningless except as a political brick-bat, (something like the term “politically correct” from a few years ago) and will soon enough come home to roost when the Democrats re-take the presidency and have to formulate and defend their own agenda, rather than simply oppose the incumbent power.

    My bet – when 2009 brings us President Clinton or President Obama, that term will get thrown back at the empowered D’s, and then you will see the objection to that term

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  37. Jolene said on July 15, 2007 at 7:34 pm


    First, I haven’t and wouldn’t characterize Condinetti or anyone else as a chickenhawk. What I would say is that he appears to lack the courage of his convictions. The two may not seem much different, but I’d rather make the argument than toss out the label. I’d also say that both Democrats and Republicans should have the courage of their convictions.

    I don’t think everyone who sees (or saw) the Iraq war as correct policy has to enlist to show their convictions. But I do think it’s particularly galling when, as I said, people who are young, fit, and intelligent stay at their keyboards and microphones when their abilities could be used so much more directly elsewhere. As I understand it, re-enlistment rates remain high, but recruitment rates are slipping, even with various waivers and bonus programs in place. So there is real need. There are plenty of older, less fit pundits who can carry the neocon gospel to the airwaves, write op-ed columns, and disseminate their ideas into the blogosphere.

    I would say the same thing of anyone–whether Republican or Democrat, whether conservative or liberal. I don’t think the argument embodied in the “chickenhawk” label applies only to this war or only to Republicans. People should be willing to support in active ways the policies they advocate, especially when those policies involve risk to others.

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  38. brian stouder said on July 15, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Jolene, agreed.

    For the record – there’s a link to a statement from a genuinely, deeply (to me) upsetting guy (congressman Souder) talking about the war….and this guy HAS power and IS in the arena, and is a doofus!! (Yes – I will indeed use political brickbats myself, from time to time!)


    And further for the record, I have never ever voted for this fellow

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  39. Jolene said on July 15, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Yup, sounds like a doofus to me too.

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  40. MichaelG said on July 15, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    The other day somebody mentioned sipping a malbec. Friday I stumbled on a very nice one at Costco. Pascual Toso — about eight bucks. Try some.

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  41. Kim said on July 15, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Michael, I did recommend the Pascual Toso, at 8-9 bucks. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  42. alex said on July 15, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Someone raised the question earlier—what is a chicken hawk?

    First coined in the gay world, many decades before there was such a thing as a hypocrite neocon, it meant an old pedophile.

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  43. MichaelG said on July 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks, Kim. I’m sorry, we must have misconnected. Anyway, we met over Pascual and that’s what counts. I’ll keep my eyes open and pass on any others I discover. Thanks for the tip.

    You are absolutely right in pinning the original context, Alex. The term has been somewhat sidetracked by events. Time will work it out.

    Another distraction: The Tour Day France, as Bob Roll would have it, is a wonderful TV event. The visuals are spectacular. It’s easy to shine it on my screen for hours as background and suddenly immediate TV. Especially since I live alone. If there are better commentators in any sport, anywhere than Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, Bob Roll and yes, even Al Trautwig, I would like to see them. The whole experience is just delightful. I have no favorites this year, but you certainly have to give credit to Kloden and Vino for sheer guts. C’mon, Levi, show us something before it’s over. The one thing I find curious is that there is no mention of the bikes used by the participants. In any other kind of racing the ride is always a key part of the commentary. You know, Ford vs. Chevy. Full disclosure: My ride is a Specialized Sequoia. Yes, Nance, I confess to riding a bicycle.

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  44. Jolene said on July 15, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Alex, I had never heard chickenhawk used in that way before. I wonder whether this was a case of convergent evolution. The two contexts and meanings seem to have nothing to do w/ each other. The more reasonable connection seems to be to the idea of hawks vs. doves and the use of “chicken” to refer to cowards, i.e., a chickenhawk is a hawk (a war supporter) who dares not fight.

    Are there any linguists present who can tell us how the use of “chickenhawk” evolved in these two contexts?

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  45. alex said on July 16, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Hawk was a military term, Jolene, as you mention. And chicken in the gay world meant somebody underage. Chicken hawk appeared in a book called The Queen’s Vernacular, published in the 1970s, and much of the content of that book referred to language coined during most of the early 20th century in the gay underground.

    There was a lot of commonality between gay slang and black slang, many of the same words being used for the same purpose — to hold a private conversation in public while having a laugh at the expense of da man. It could even be a pig latin, of sorts. -ina, -essa, -etta, -ella were tacked onto the end of words (to feminize them) much the same way blacks are currently mixing things up with -izzle.

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  46. Jolene said on July 16, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I looked around a little to see whether I could find anything that would suggest how a term used to describe predatory sex might have evolved into a term used to describe individuals who support military actions without demonstrating any interest in participating in them.

    I didn’t find a lot, but what I did find convinced me that the two terms have nothing to do w/ each other, even though they are the same word. “Chicken hawk”, as used to refer to older men who prey on younger men (or, at least, seek relationships w/ younger men), connects w/ an actual avian phenomenon, i.e., powerful birds who prey on less powerful birds.

    “Chickenhawk” as used to refer to stay-at-home warriors refers to people afraid to attack, rather than to people that do attack.

    Thus, although the terms used in the two human contexts are the same, the meanings are contradictory. The elderly homosexual does attack; the willing-to-send others warrior does not.

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  47. 4dbirds said on July 16, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Danny sez: “But as far as the argument that one should not have an opinion about the war unless one serves in the military, I too have heard it expressed all over and even by someone here whom I will not name. ”

    Oh that would be me. I apologize, you certainly can have an opinion. I just don’t have to respect it.

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  48. Danny said on July 16, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Michael, I couldn’t agree with you more about the Tour. What a spectacular event. I just wish we had it in HD here stateside. I hear that they do over in Europe. And I hope that Versus or some other station continues with the tour. It would be a real shame for this event to again be relegated to just 10 second updates at the end of local network sports coverage.

    The Alpine stages have been interesting, but I am really looking forward to the Pyrenees.

    What sorta bike do you ride? I have been biking seriously for a little over three years now, but I just got my first serious road bike, a midnight blue Madone 5.2 SL a few months back (love it!). The only knock I have is it only has a double-ring in the front. I’m coping okay because I trained on hills a lot before I got it, but I do sometimes miss the lower gearing.

    A buddy of mine said that with the lightweight materials they have these days, there really is no reason to not have a triple on the front. Especially in hilly regions like San Diego.

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