Closed systems.

People these days are always accusing one another of living in an echo chamber. To be sure, it’s a hazard of modern life. You may find yourself writing things like this:

So, are we supposed to use the Spanish pronunciation, so-toe-my-OR, or the natural English pronunciation, SO-tuh-my-er, like Niedermeyer?

That’s Mark Krikorian, writing at National Review’s brainless group blog, The Corner. And OK, so he wrote it, big deal, these things tend to be self-correcting. Not in echo chambers:

Most e-mailers were with me on the post on the pronunciation of Judge Sotomayor’s name…

Well, of course they were. Perhaps they prefer the Ellis Island option, in which the Supreme Court nominee would have been renamed Sally Sutton in exchange for her parents getting that cushy public-housing apartment. But Krikorian goes on:

But a couple said we should just pronounce it the way the bearer of the name prefers, including one who pronounces her name “freed” even though it’s spelled “fried,” like fried rice. …Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English…

Then there’s a bunch of nonsense about how his name has been anglicized from the original Armenian — one whole syllable got added, oh my — and you just think stop stop stop you’re going to choke on your shoe, man, but nooo:

Part of our success in assimilation has been to leave whole areas of culture up to the individual, so that newcomers have whatever cuisine or religion or so on they want, limiting the demand for conformity to a smaller field than most other places would. But one of the areas where conformity is appropriate is how your new countrymen say your name, since that’s not something the rest of us can just ignore, unlike what church you go to or what you eat for lunch.

You hear that? There ought to be limits. Conformity is appropriate. A man can only bend so far. You let people pronounce their names however they want, and the next thing you know, we’ll have a man in the Oval Office named Barack Hussein Obama.

Someone tell Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito — I mean, Andy Scalls and Sam Allen — there’s a lady coming who’s going to give ’em all fits.

One of my Twitter follows said it best: It’s spelled Krikorian, but it’s pronounced “Kracker.” HT: Virgotex.

Yeesh, what a week so far. Gathering the police news this week, I found a report of two coyotes attacking a cat. The witnesses called police to see if the cat had survived. In classic copspeak, the report revealed: “The officers found that it had not,” and disposed of the body. This seems sad all around. Sad that some family lost its kitty. Sad that two coyotes lost their meal, although the report wasn’t that specific, so it’s possible they got away with enough to make a decent lunch. Sadder still that this particular suburb spent quite a bit of effort in the last two years trying to eradicate their coyote population, with little success. They caught a female with pups, but anyone who knows coyotes knows this is like killing six rats and pronouncing the problem solved. Not that coyotes are rats. Just…it’s sad.

I’ve bored you before at length about one of my favorite things about Detroit — the wild animal life that thrums below the surface of human activity. If it can survive at this latitude, we have it, the coyotes, the ghetto dogs, pheasants, exotics. It’s not exactly Miami, but it’s getting there. Speaking of which, did anyone read the New Yorker piece last month on the spread of the Burmese python throughout Florida? Worth your time, and then some.

It seems the right time to kick off the bloggage, then. Another from my Twitter clan:

Feral children — they have their own website. With some killer prose: Certainly, it’s true that some animals wouldn’t make good parents. It’s difficult to imagine a crocodile doing anything other than eat a human baby. Noted.

You’ve watched “Mad Men.” So you shouldn’t be surprised by some of the ad campaigns they dreamed up. Check out the one for the Lysol douche. Yikes.

Nate Silver deconstructs the “Obama is targeting Republican car dealers” meme by pointing out the obvious: Most car dealers are Republican. There you are.

And here I go. Have a great Thursday, all.

Posted at 6:38 am in Current events |
 

81 responses to “Closed systems.”

  1. alex said on May 28, 2009 at 7:00 am

    And another great link today. A little armchair psychology that might explain the authoritarian impulse to Anglicize Sotomayor and anthropomorphize your shit-eating dog:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/opinion/28kristof.html

  2. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 7:09 am

    New arrivals ought to go ahead and get their Southern nickname while they’re at it. If everyone’s called Hoss, Mama, Bull, or Stinky, it makes things easier on everybody.
    A lot of Asian immigrants have adopted a second name, because it’s too hard for Americans to master the phonetic game of three dimensional chess that is “Lay” or “Fung”, “Ying” or “Win”. In the meantime, Americans are saddling kids with names I’d be reluctant to give a chicken.
    It seems to me it wasn’t too long ago that Republicans were distributing copies of “Who moved my Cheese?” and explaining that in a World Economy, Pooger might just have to hone his God-given aptitude for shoveling shit off of a flatbed, instead of managing the Safeway. It’s good to see we’re back to pointing and squealing at folks like an isolated group of chimpanzees, and harking up plug tobacco in the parking lot. It just seems more natural.

  3. beb said on May 28, 2009 at 7:52 am

    It’s the crack of Dawn, Nancy! Go to bed! — Oh, you’re just getting up. Never mind.

  4. jeff borden said on May 28, 2009 at 9:19 am

    The National Review has a troubling, well-documented history of being a lagging indicator of American social progress, most notably in its strident defense of “state’s rights” back in the late `50s and early `60s. William F. Buckley himself wrote many of the articles defending Jim Crow and the so-called “separate but equal” segregation.

    But, he evolved. And while NR might’ve stood in a different place than me, it was nonetheless an interesting read for a period of time. No more.

    The collection of fuzzy heads at NR these days are not only grindingly doctrinaire, but worse, they are dull, boring, lazy thinkers and writers. Mitch Albom and Bob Greene could learn at their elbows.

    So, Mark Krikorian vomits out a bunch of poorly reasoned and poorly written sentences on pronounciations that irritate him. And this passes for commentary? Once, a columnist/commentary at NR might’ve read through a body of Judge Sotomayor’s work and weighed in with a well-argued critique. But this is sooooooo much easier.

    Scan the site and try to decide who is the worst writer. Kathryn Jean Lopez? Mark Hemingway? Andy McCarthy? Jonah Goldberg? Krikorian? There’s a reason my man tbogg calls it “America’s shittiest website.”

    I wouldn’t trust any of these knobs to cover a two-car fatal or a bowling league dinner, but they sit in Manhattan, heavily subsidized because NR cannot support itself without fund-raising, and riff on everything from Sotomayor’s name to her fondness for pork, rice and beans.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  5. MichaelG said on May 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Maybe if the esteemed nominee had a preppy nickname like “Muffy” or something. . . Yeah, that’s it. Muffy Sotomayor.

    A lot of Asian immigrants’ names were homogenized at Angel Island.

    Lysol? Just the thing. A woman who smells like a gas station restroom.

  6. brian stouder said on May 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

    The NR/Hannity/Human Events (et al) game is – providing a petina for people’s base prejudices.

    Leaving aside know-nothing/xenophobic impulses, we were gabbing about the number of hyphenated surnames amongts our young folks’ classmates, and the question arose – what happens when Dick Smith-Jones marries Jane Doe-Black?

    Will their fine young daughter be named Camilla Doe-Black-Smith-Jones? (she’d sound like a walking legal firm). I think a round of name-pruning is coming for some of these (very white bread!) folks, when I’m an old retired guy

  7. jeff borden said on May 28, 2009 at 9:57 am

    This puts me in mind of the gags on pronunciations in “Young Frankenstein,” where the good doctor insists on being called “Franken-shteeen” instead of “Franken-stine,” leading his hunchbacked assist to insist on being called “Eye-gore.”

    It’s kind of silly in and of itself that a guy with a difficult-to-pronounce monicker like Krikorian is snarking on the pronunciation of someone else’s name.

    Michael G., shouldn’t the judge be “Sissy” Sotomayor for the alliteration?

  8. MichaelG said on May 28, 2009 at 10:18 am

    OK, “Sissy” it is.

    Brian, wait a couple of generations. Instead of walking law firms, they’ll be walking rosters.

    Joking aside, there’s a guy here at the office who is going through a prolonged, hellacious and brutal divorce. One of the big bones of contention is the kids’ names. The guy will sign them up for swimming with one name, the wife will sign them up for soccer under another. I’ve heard him on the phone arguing with her about it. As is so often the case, both parents are prime assholes and the poor kids suffer.

  9. Crabby said on May 28, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I’m not sure where the line ought to be drawn on names, maybe near the symbol that represented “the artist formerly known as Prince”

  10. John said on May 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Brian, you are being very kind to call this two-inch treating of manure simply a patina.

  11. whitebeard said on May 28, 2009 at 10:26 am

    My given names are Duncan from my Scottish grandfather and Alois from my German father, frequently misspelled, and with Alois, always mispronounced, although I bet that Governor Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger never allowed Alois to be mispronounced a second time.

  12. Julie Robinson said on May 28, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Just like gay marriage, in another generation or two no one will care. Everyone will be S’haquikkquah or the like, because everyone will want a unique name for their kid. Get out of the way for the future, all you over 35. Your time has passed.

  13. Conan the Libertarian said on May 28, 2009 at 10:39 am

    What you are seeing with the name thing is an end to the patience of the dominant culture to do backbends to accommodate individual whims.

    This didn’t really start at Ellis Island. That’s a rhetorical diversion. This started in the mid eighties with the head slapping, eye rolling lack of patience for manufactured names coming from urban communities (black and white).

    You fail to mention 40 years of Japanese buisnesspeoople, students, and visitors who took “American” names because their given names were difficult for the natives to pronounce. And because it is simple courtesy to assimilate to your host culture.

    Western businesspeople who do extensive work in Japan return the favor by taking a Japanese name.

    The expectation that immigrants make an effort to assimilate to the dominant culture hasn’t been an issue for the first 200 years of this country. It’s still expected of American visitors and expatriots who immigrate to other countries.

    Not sure why “meet us half-way” is suddenly an insane expectation.

    Take a look at Modern Germany. There’s your blueprint for what happens to a culture that does backbends to guiltily accommodate every ethnicity in lieu of asserting a dominant culture. They are a mess. They have no national identity at all.

    Then take a look at Japan. They accept statistically zero Westerners for immigration. They don’t want to bend their culture to suit the individual, and they know Westerners will get their elbows through the door and start making demands for higher toilets and manga pages printed in the wrong order.

    Besides Germany, where else in the world can I go and demand that the locals change their culture to suit me?

    And America should be the one country to do this because?

    Respect your ethnic heritage, and I will too. Just meet me (and the dominant culture) half way. That’s all I ask.

  14. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Uh oh.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5395830/Abu-Ghraib-abuse-photos-show-rape.html
    via Whiskey Fire

  15. Jolene said on May 28, 2009 at 11:00 am

    So how do you pronounce Alois, whitebeard? That’s a new one to me.

    Jeff, “lagging indicator of American social progress” is a fabulous phrase. Can be applied to so many things. I plan to steal it and use it whenever possible.

  16. Danny said on May 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Yeah, I see your point, Nance. Because everyone should agree that it’s much more important to concentrate on the mildly racist pronounciation-mewlings of a relatively obscure, conservative columnist than the arguably overt, racist ejaculations of the prominent liberal Supreme Court appointee.

    I’m busy. You all have lots of fun, today.

  17. alex said on May 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    ProNUNciations, Danny. Proofread before you ejaculate.

  18. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 11:13 am

    As a white guy, let me just say I’m tired of taking shit from the man. Er, Hispanic Woman. The Republicans are running with a quote from a diversity conference that has been removed from context and deliberately pruned mid sentence. It’s all they have.
    Poor old Jesse. They just won’t let the motherfucker die.

  19. LA Mary said on May 28, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I work in a place full of Ashtgiks and Xochitls. Sotomayor is a piece of cake.

  20. nancy said on May 28, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I just got back and had to rescue Conan’s comment from moderation, so y’all go back a bit, find it, read it and I’ll wait.

    …You’re back? OK. Conan? Since when is asking that one’s name be pronounced correctly — and to be sure, i don’t believe Judge Sotomayor has done so — “asking the culture to do backbends?”

    Her name isn’t Japanese or Russian or Hindi. It isn’t transliterated from a different alphabet into English. It’s just your basic European Spanish surname that simply isn’t difficult for anyone with a working tongue to say. So-toe-my-OR. You don’t have to roll the R or anything. Just say it: So-toe-my-OR. What. Is the big. Fucking. DEAL?

    Because if you’re going down that road, Krikorian’s road, then ask him when he last called on his pal, Justice SCAL-ya. Scalia even has an Italian nickname!

    And all that wanking about how his Armenian name was Anglicized. In the native tongue, it’s Kri-KOR-yen, in English, Kri-KOR-ee-en, and that’s if the speaker is speaking slowly. The Armenian-Americans I know would laugh in his face over that one.

  21. Lex said on May 28, 2009 at 11:26 am

    coozledad: Hell, Jesse voted FOR Sotomayor when Bush 41 nominated her to the federal bench.

    C the L: The not-so-remote possibility that you’re being ironic and it’s going over my head aside, Sotomayor’s parents are from Puerto Rico, which, last I checked, was a U.S. possession. So what the eff does Japan have to do with anything?

  22. LA Mary said on May 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I just got an email from a coworker named Bazavilvazo. The person who handles background checks here is named Kbdjian.

  23. brian stouder said on May 28, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Poor old Jesse. They just won’t let the mother***er die.

    Well, and note that even Jesse voted to confirm Judge Sotomayor, when she was nominated for the 2nd Circuit Court…

  24. moe99 said on May 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Not only is Puerto Rico a US possession, all those born there are American citizens. Look it up–coutesy of the Spanish American War.

    And Danny, do yourself a favor and go read some of Sotomayor’s decisions rather than 3 paragraphs taken entirely out of context. This woman has had what, 20 years on the bench, and this is the best you can come up with? Go back and eat some more Cheetohs, guy.

    ps: give me one example of an American who took a Japanese name to blend in while working in Japan. James Fallows wrote for the Atlantic for years from Japan and he didn’t take a Japanese name. He DID write about how it was difficult for a gaijin to find housing in Japan and how most foreigners, as a result were ghettoized. I don’t think you want to be taking Japan as a country the US should emulate, guy. Back to the crunch!

  25. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Lex, Brian: An education is a powerful thing. So they’ve finally moved to the right of Pinochet?
    Dang!

  26. jeff borden said on May 28, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Isn’t this about simple courtesy rather than some dark Hispanic plot to poison our American-sounding names? Sheeesh. This is right up there with the macho manly men of the right who wail about having to press “1” for English, as if it takes excessive strength and fortitude to exercise that digit.

    And I’d be extremely careful suggesting Japan is any kind of society to emulate when it comes to social integration. Japanese of Korean or Chinese descent, whose families have lived there for generations, are still subject to blatant prejudice and discrimination. One of my friends here is the daughter of an American male and a Japanese war bride. When she visited her cousins in Japan a few years ago, she was pointed at and giggled about in public because she was not pure Japanese. They also found her wide smile and hearty laugh too tough to take.

    It’s been six years since I last visited Germany, but aside from the delicious “doner” stands operated by ethnic Turks, I saw no evidence of a nation bending over backwards to please immigrant minorities.

    We’d all better get used to the idea of a global marketplace and workforce, where we’re going to be dealing with people whose names, beliefs and customs are considerably different. I suspect Mark Krikorian is one of those who will be unable to adapt if the poor fellow gets miffed over the pronunciation of a name.

  27. nancy said on May 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Paul Campos: Yes.

  28. 4dbirds said on May 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Some of my coworker’s names: Submanijan, Manjov, Hong, Rabinovitch, Chowdery, Lee, Chiriati, Wilberforce, Moore, Magino, Neuburg.

  29. 4dbirds said on May 28, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I lived in Germany for a total of 17 years. Absolutely loved it. Don’t get me started on the ‘doners’. I miss them so much and my waistline is probably the better for it.

  30. Sue said on May 28, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I think we should forget about Modern Germany, which is still trying to figure out what to do with all those communists who used to be relatives, and also forget Japan, which thinks Hello Kitty is a high art form, and take our cues from France, which is so picky about language that you can be executed for throwing an English word into a sentence. With a language that’s not allowed to change, we can demand conformity from everyone who doesn’t fit our expectations AND continue to use “ejaculate” instead of “said” without getting into trouble.

  31. mark said on May 28, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Well, I certainly didn’t think today would be the day that I would (partially) agree with coozledad.

    The two most discussed comments by Sotomayor really are being taken out of context, and given an importance that is undeserved. The “making law” comment was in the context of the difference between clerking for a federal appeals court rather than a federal trial court, and it captured one of the essential differences. The comment was insightful, not alarming.

    The “latina woman” comment, as cooz notes, was made during a diversity conference. Even conservatives accept that experience informs decisions, which is why we can applaud the rags to riches story, the up by your bootstraps experience, and the military hero/sacrifice background. Sotomayor has a compelling story that ought to impart an element of wisdom to her decision-making.

    But the press loves a controversy and the pundit class especially so. Attributing that nattering to republicans or consevatives generally fits the preferred bias here, but it ignores reality. Ginsburg was affirmed 96-3. For Breyer, it was 87-9. Sotomayer will be similar, after similar questioning.

    And it was conservatives who led the opposition to the unqualified hack, Harriet Meiers, sacrificing what might have been a reliable vote in preference for a qualified jurist.

    Democrats set the standard for opposing qualified candidates, offered by a president that has won the right to make the choice, because the candidate dares to think differently.

    Hannity and the others are entertainers required to fill a few hours of time every day. Their every utterance does not represent what anybody is “running with.”

    My prediction is that the loudest criticism of Sotomayor will come from the abortion rights crowd, given the judge’s lack of a prior public pledge of loyalty to Roe vs. Wade.

  32. nancy said on May 28, 2009 at 11:51 am

    And they really make some nice Freedom Fries there, too. Win-win.

  33. jeff borden said on May 28, 2009 at 11:55 am

    4birds!

    Amen! My wife and I were staying near the Friedrichstrasse station in what had been East Berlin, and we became absolutely addicted to those delicious treats. We were in Germany for 14 days and I’d wager we had a doner at least 10 of them. She continues to lament their absence in the culinary stew that is Chicago, though there must be a few Turkish joints offering them. We just haven’t found them yet.

    The Turkish Festival is this weekend at Daley Plaza, so we may have to grab the L and check it out just for the doners. Conversely, my neighborhood, which originally was populated almost exclusively by German immigrants, is hosting Maifest this weekend. So, it’s theringer sausage on one end of town and (hopefully) doners on the other.

    I don’t know. Maybe I’m odd, but I think it’s cool that I’m likely to hear a half-dozen languages or more whenever I take the L downtown. Spanish, of course, but also Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Ukranian, whatever.

  34. moe99 said on May 28, 2009 at 11:59 am

    They’ve attacked her gender and her nationality. Why not her religion? If she’s appointed, she will be the 6th Justice of the Catholic faith on the Supreme Court.l

  35. LA Mary said on May 28, 2009 at 11:59 am

    There are doner places in LA. If you head this direction let me know and I’ll steer you in the right direction for a doner hook up.

  36. jeff borden said on May 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Mark,

    You are quite correct about conservatives howling about Harriet Myers, which was a great thing to see. My God! Imagine her on the Supreme Court.

    I also agree that, so far, it’s the professional rightwing windbags –Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter and the nerds at NR– who are trashing Judge Sotomayor. (Gingrich is a notable exception, but he’s playing to his base.) Elected GOPers have been very circumspect and respectful in their comments about her and her prospects. And for that I tip my liberal cap.

  37. 4dbirds said on May 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Oh Nancy, the pommes frites from the schnell imbus served up in paper cones were wonderful. I’m thinking they might have been fried in beef tallow cause there’s nothing quite so good here in the States.

  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Jeff, glad you noticed. I tip le chapeau back atcha.

    Sotomayor will do just fine, and settle in by the first Monday in October. But in other elected official retrospection, try this quote on for size.

    “I speak bluntly. Sometimes I can be impulsive. I believe something to be right and do it. And then I don’t worry about it.”

    George W. Bush, right?

    Nope, that’s Harry Reid.

    When phase II of the economic readjustment gets rolling downhill and picks up momentum (because i think we’ve got a ways to go before we hit bottom, from which we are most likely to recover, but when, i dunno), there’s going to be some major pitching to do on Capitol Hill, and the bench there looks weak.

    The federal bench is doing just fine, i’d say, and that’s with the inevitability of a Justice Sotomayor already a done deal. The rumbling ahead, which we may not have leisure for after the failed auctions for T-bills that are just around the next corner like a mugger with the shakes, is the collapse of Roe v. Wade. And Sotomayor is likely to help collapse it, hence the odd wafflings on the left. EMILY’s List doesn’t want Roe to end because they can’t make sense of what the future looks like without it.

    Nor can i, for that matter, but it’s coming, the post-Roe political landscape. At any rate, Dr. Dobson will be eased further to the sidelines, to join Dr. Robertson for an energy drink. (Minerals from the Dead Sea!)

  39. beb said on May 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I haven’t had Freedom Toast in years. I keep thinking about making them for breakfast some morning but I’m always running late.

    I’m always amazed by the number of foriegn voices I hear at Metro Beach, one of a number of regionally run parks in the Detroit area. It’s a really nice beach but it seems like only immigrants still think that a day at the beach is how you spend a holiday.

  40. Rana said on May 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Jeff (TMMO), I don’t see Roe being collapsed so much as being gutted from the inside until it is little more than a shell. The process is already well under way, as a number of states have tightened the regulations to the point that for a majority of women abortion may be available de jure but not de facto. When there’s only one poorly funded provider in the state, and there’s restrictions in the form of waiting periods and permissions and court approvals, abortion might as well be illegal for the general population of people who need one.

    Overturning Roe in the courts would ignite a fire under the activists; this slow gutting is harder to see and has been going on for a while now.

    The right to privacy is a somewhat frail reed here; the real issue is whether the government has the right to control the bodies of its citizens against their wishes, and, if so, under what circumstances. Abortion is therefore one piece of a larger issue that includes the military draft, torture, capital punishment, disposal of corpses, organ donation, medical experimentation, eugenics, and so on. It’s an issue that’s never been adequately addressed.

  41. moe99 said on May 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Jeff tmmo, We agree that Harry Reid is a back bencher in terms of ability, but I am sure we part ways as to what a good Senate Majority leader should be doing.

  42. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Ah. The good old days.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/health/views/03essa.html

  43. Scout said on May 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    So, “Boner” it is, then.

  44. Duffy said on May 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Off topic spelling humor from this weekend’s national spelling bee:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjzrNWPul9E

  45. Sue said on May 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Breaking news from CNN: Archie has asked Veronica to marry him. Reportedly Jughead will be the best man and Betty is devastated.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/05/28/comic.book.archie.marrying/index.html

  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Well, Archie is an idiot. That would be like marrying Ginger and not Mary Ann. (OK, and i’ve always had a thing for Velma, and the movie of Scooby Doo was awful, except for . . . Velma! I think they captured her essence perfectly.)

    If Jughead has half a brain, he’ll propose to Betty immediately.

  47. nancy said on May 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    On Facebook today, Hank Stuever said: “I plan to get a little drunk during the toasts at Archie and Veronica’s wedding and tell the story of the time he had group sex with Josie and the Pussycats.”

  48. Catherine said on May 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Conan, just what do you mean by “the dominant culture?” I just came from International Day at my daughter’s nicely diverse school, which was an eatapalooza if I’ve ever been to one. There were 7 dishes from Mexico. The other 13 dishes were from Nigeria, Wales, Scotland, Korea, Turkey, Iran, China, and I’m forgetting the rest. Seems to me the dominant culture is… Mexican, yes?

  49. Deborah said on May 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Jeff,

    This morning I took a few minutes off from work and went through the market at Daley Plaza where the Turkish Festival is being held. No Doners were seen. Maybe they will have some this weekend?

  50. John said on May 28, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Jeff, we all loved Velma (more so than Daphne who seemed a bit slow), but the prevailing feeling was that Velma was playing for the other team (not that there is anything wrong with that!). For that matter, Fred may have been dabbling a bit too. Did you ever see Capt. America in an ascot?

    Shaggy was the most popular character amongst my friends but he clearly had been hitting the bong way too often.

  51. Danny said on May 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Moe, given that I used the term “arguably” as a modifier, with a little reading comprehension, one could reasonably assume that I am not trying to make a “federal case” of her comment as I am sure that she will be confirmed. But as to your argument that “3 paragraphs” are out of context, that’s pretty laughable on two fronts. First, three paragraphs is a pretty big snippet for context and second, you know full well that if a conservative jurist had made similar comments, you’d be falling all over yourself to discredit them.

    So other than your main point being wrong, you’re mostly right.

    And I eschew Cheetoes and junk food in general so’s I can keep my waterboard abs.

  52. Dorothy said on May 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    We demand proof of those abs, Danny…! Post a picture immediately!

  53. LA Mary said on May 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    No Filipino food Catherine?

  54. Catherine said on May 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Yes! I forgot to mention the lumpia.

  55. Peter said on May 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I think it would have been cool if Archie proposed to Jughead and got married in Iowa.

    I didn’t see it in the comments, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating, but you can pronounce it Al LOY or Al LOYZ. Which, BTW, is Hitler’s given name (Alois Schikelgruber)

  56. moe99 said on May 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Danny, Three paragraphs taken out of context from three separate incidents over a multi year period, when during the same time period the judge has written numerous legal decisions.

    What are those 3 paragraphs? I am assuming they are the following:

    1. Sotomayor also claimed: “For me, a very special part of my being Latina is the mucho platos de arroz, gandoles y pernir — rice, beans and pork — that I have eaten at countless family holidays and special events.”

    2. Sotomayor made an offhand remark at a conference that appellate courts are where “policy” is made.

    3. At a 2002 lecture in Berkeley, she said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

    Now Danny, none of these quotes indicate that Judge Sotomayor is unfit for the Supreme Court. Particularly when George HW Bush (who nominated Sotomayor to the federal district court during his watch) said this of his own Supreme Court nominee in July, 1991: “I have followed this man’s career for some time. He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor.”

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Hola — when did Danny say she was unfit? for the appellate or Supreme Court? He just reserved the right to say there’s a double standard in how certain statements are being heard and interpreted, with some added snark.

    I suspect he and i both think we could have had (and might yet have) a truly worrisome candidate, and Sotomayor is not that.

  58. alex said on May 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Hola yourself, jtmmo. Go ahead and defend that preening narcissist and his cheetoh-stained abs, but please don’t tell me you concur with the language arguably overt, racist ejaculations of the prominent liberal Supreme Court appointee.

  59. caliban said on May 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Isn’t the WorldWideNet the biggest echo chamber there is if you don’t count standing down at Phantom Ranch and screaming “Why me, Good?” at the infinite universe?

    Apparently, one-third of Americans will watch a deliberately meretricious truncated video clip and insist that Ms. Sotomayor is a racist, when an anechoic chamber of context would prove that A’lito (emphasis on the first sylla’ble told his confirmation inquisitors:

    Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position. […]

    The echo chamber causes people you’d expect to know better to disregard the utterly different meanings of “empathy” and “sympathy”. It leads to the disheartening instance of journalists granting legitimacy to questioning the intellect of a salutatorian in her Princeton graduating class who edited a prestigious legal journal at Yale.

    Objective journalism should shout back “you’re so full of crap” when a completely legitimate judicial decision on a Title VII case is misrepresented as an assault on brave 9/11 firefighters, especially when obstructionist jackasses that mock “empathy” also want to make it all about the heroic dyslexic firefighter. Sympathetically, I appreciate the guy’s effort, and his frustration. Empathy means looking at both sides, and deciding the defendant has the law on it’s side. That’s what judges are supposed to do, right? The opposite of activism.

    The net enables dissemination of information and deliberate disinformation and malignant slander and paranoid ramblings without informed edidting, and the information prospectors use the personal sieves of their own biases, preconceived notions, neuroses, axes to grind and oxen to be gored. Gold slips downstream and pyrites and sewage are treasured.

    How is a guy that promoted himself to de facto President and Bones to Shrub’s Mr. Interlocutor (with the complicity of SC justices that clearly ignored the Constitution and disenfranchised Florida), who’s considered by a large portion of the human race to be both a war criminal and a profiteer, getting the jump on prosecution by spouting easily disproved bullshit? And decided that separation of powers and three equal branches of American government were as anachronistic as the Geneva Conventions. Well, the echo chamber said he could.

    Everybody knows what T. Jefferson thought about the Republic without newspapers. It’s painful to watch newspapers go fetal against the onslaught and resort to the unfiltered pandering of blogworld. I wrote after spending time with a cantankerous and wonderful small-town south Georgia publisher and editor (owned his own presses). Man had bidness sense and journalistic integrity (a Georgia tradition to be proud of, like Ralph McGill). Now the business foundations are eroded to the point of accelerating collapse, and Americans are so echo-chamber-intoxicated they don’t even see that inexorable assault on newspapers is just part of breaking down the Constitution.

    I think papers need to go small, weekly guerilla warfare. The echo chamber is essentially fear-based, conformist and totalitarian. And it’s not just alive and well, it’s virulent.

    The flaws of the echo chamber are perfectly crystallized in the cosmic joke from Kommissar Karl Rove’s liver lips. Asked to defend his contention that’s become meme about SoSotomayor’s intellectual capabilities and her promotion via affirmative action rather than personal ability and intelligence, wedge issue Turd Blossom said “I know lots of stupid people who went to Ivy League schools.” That’s got to be the Death of Comedy piled on top of the Death of Irony. No shit Karl.Your meal ticket’s a boneheaded fratboy legacy.

  60. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    That’s money, Caliban.

  61. moe99 said on May 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Wonder what Krikorian thinks of the name of Father Andrew Cutie (pronounced koo-tee-AY), the priest who just left the Catholic Church to join the Episcopalians over an affair. Just the name, just the name.

  62. Scout said on May 28, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Caliban, your first post of the day is always your finest.

  63. Danny said on May 28, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Yep, Jeff, you pretty much nailed it, as usual.

    Alex. I know it must give you unparalleled joy as a gay man to use my name and the word “ejaculation” in a two posts in the same day, but grow up.

  64. Deggjr said on May 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I’m perplexed … should I pronounce someone’s name the way they pronounce it or should I deliberately mis-pronounce it? What perplexes me is why this question is being asked.

  65. caliban said on May 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Rove’s denigrating SoSotomayor’s academic credentials and intellect kust bugs the piss out of me. Did Rove graduate from college? I don’t mean to say a college degree means much more than dick, but excelling in both undergrad and Law School indicates some sort of intellectual rigor, and if you haven’t displayed same, you should really shut up about anybody else’s achievements.

    Echo chamber records seem to indicate that Rove considered higher education a tool to avoid going to VietNam:

    n December 1969, the Selective Service System held its first lottery drawing. Those born on December 25, like Rove, received number 84. That number placed him in the middle of those (with numbers 1 [first priority] through 195) who would eventually be drafted. On February 17, 1970, Rove was reclassified as 2-S, a deferment from the draft because of his enrollment at the University of Utah in the fall of 1969. He maintained this deferment until December 14, 1971, despite being only a part-time student in the autumn and spring quarters of 1971 (registered for between six and 12 credit hours) and dropping out of the university in June 1971. Rove was a student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall of 1971; as such, he would have been eligible for 2-S status, but registrar’s records show that he withdrew from classes during the first half of the semester. In December 1971 he was reclassified as 1-A. On April 27, 1972, he was reclassified as 1-H, or “not currently subject to processing for induction”.

    I was partying and pontificating in Thoreau and Shakespear seminars at Holy Cross thanks to AP exams while Karl was at Utah, and we shared a 2-S. He was in graver danger than I with the bet your life lottery number of 84. Mine was 85. I let my student deferment lapse to 1-A because a friend of my dad’s on the Royal Oak draft Board said that they’d never reach my number because of a high level of volunteers (Fr. Coughlin apparently lived.) And then, Bush’s brain and I got reclassified.

    Sometimes, you find something out on the net that just knocks you back. But, I transferred to Georgia, graduated from the Grady School, and got a Masters in Public Administration from Suffolk University in Boston. I can’t figure out from Google if Rove ever graduated from anything but high school and hard knocks. Still, finding out about his Selective Service timeline’s coincedence with my own is spooky.

    I wasn’t dodging the draft, and I couldn’t say Rove was either. I was nursing an acceptance to McGill and I thought I was opposing an immoral war. Whatever Rove was thinking at the time, he didn’t pull that cowaedly Dickless Cheney deferment two-step, although I’m sure they both thought black and brown cannon fodder owed it to their benevolent country to serve as cannon fodder.

    Anyway, those two aholes engineered the most despicable slander against John Kerry in 2004. That was the echo chamber in action. In slandering Kerry, these guys that chose not to serve (other priorities) smeared their intellectual superior that chose to serve. That is how the echo chamber works. Men that served with Kerry attested to heroism. In the echo chamber, he was an opportunist and, somehow, despite risking his life when he could have avoided it easily. Meanwhile Cheney and Rove got started doing dirty tricks and junior league cointelpro for the Crook and branded Kerry a Jane Fonda fellow traveller.

    Potency of the echo chamber demands willing suspension of disbelief in anything that contradicts your self-aggrandizing and ideology-bound little world, and facts be damned. It seems that echo chamber politics requires subjugation of free press. Baseless slurs against Kerry and attacks on Sotomayor require only that people do nothing but buy crap from liars.

  66. caliban said on May 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Krik’orian, almost rhymes with diarrhea. And the there’s Scal’ia. And Sososudia is dumb like Harriet Miers, and she’s hysterical, and she likes beans and rice.

    Oh, and the reversal record, she’s got a better batting average than anybody currently serving on the Court. Every charge and objection is exposed as ridiculous. If the critics had brains, wouldn’t they just shut the hell up?

  67. Dexter said on May 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    My last name is Friend. As my brother and I searched through all available records via the internet and the resources the Friend Family Association of Friendsville, Maryland provided us, we came to three family tree possibilities, and no “zinger” of evidence as to which path we came from…but my paternal ancestors came from Sweden, England, or Germany. There are thousands of Friends living in England today, so we could be from that tribe. There are thousands of Freunds in Germany, so we could come from there. There are many Frandes in Sweden, and one path takes us there…the ancestor at the end of that path was Nils Larsson Frande, Swede-enough for me!
    So maybe our name was changed and maybe not; maybe some day we’ll know.
    Some folks don’t care how we pronounce their names. Sports fans will recall the great Tony Perez of the Cincinnati Reds. For years it was puh-REZ, then late in his career he requested the proper PAIR-ess pronounciation.
    I have know two people named Marquis. One was MAR-cuss and one was mar-KEE.
    Really, en espanol, there is very little fluctuation like that…as Nance has told us, it’s so-toe-my-OR. It’s so easy to learn the rules; I had two years of espanol in high school and I haven’t forgotten much of it.

    TY 4 the Andrews updates! My buddies and I were betting on this earlier this week…I put it all on the nose: Archie just surely would marry Betty and leave the heartache of being hitched to the Lodge family to—who else? Reggie.
    Old man Lodge for a father-in-law? Whoa! My bet is now Betty will end up the town spinster librarian ala alternate-universe Donna Reed in Pottersville.(Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”)

  68. caliban said on May 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    There’s another thing about the idiot wind, and that’s the canard about Sotomayor seeing appeals in cases she adjudicated. She’s exhibited, in her career, the integrity to recuse herself when required. Could Scalia say that? But these bastards are really just saying she’s unqualified, dumb, hysterical because she’s a woman.

    This is all disgraceful, and if you are a Senator that endorsed the “high tech lynching” whine, I know obscenity when I see it. If Rush and Newt and Rove press this, politically, and American voters aren’t idiots, Republicans are the zombie party.

  69. alex said on May 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Dex, that’s a northeast Indiana first and middle name also in the nineteenth century. I’m aware of it in a Yankee family, the Duntens, who came by way of Massachusetts and upstate New York.

    Danny, you are indeed a narcissist. Every time you address me, it’s with allusions to me wanting your body. I’ve known hetero men like that and they were deluded about women wanting them too. (In fact, some were pious Christians and upper middle class social x-rays who think a wife is a formality and the world a playground, but I digress.) Recognizing this certainly made it easier for me to accept that their world views were what they were. Sorry to disappoint but I’m actually committed to my marriage that you think is somehow destroying yours.

  70. coozledad said on May 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Alex: Not only a narcissist, but the guy who wears prescription sunglasses in the shower at the Y. It’s the kind of personality that makes me want to commit exclusively to a diet of fries and coffee cheesecake.

  71. nancy said on May 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas just won the National Spelling Bee. Or, as Mark Krikorian would have it: Kathy Shilts.

  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 28, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    How the heck do you pronounce the name of that town in Kansas?

  73. Jolene said on May 28, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Jeff, I think it’s O-lay-thu.

  74. Little Bird said on May 28, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Jolene is correct. I lived in K.C. for a little over a year. That is how the locals say it.
    (my mother is Deborah, I just popped in to see what was up)

  75. Jolene said on May 28, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Darn! I missed the spelling bee finals. (Spelling was my best sport when I was a kid. Always chosen first for spelling bees, last for softball.) Does anyone know whether there’ll be a rebroadcast? I checked the website, but didn’t see anything.

  76. basset said on May 29, 2009 at 12:35 am

    A Bud Light and a shot of Kessler’s for anyone outside southwestern Indiana who can properly pronounce “Loogootee”…

  77. Dexter said on May 29, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I am an old spelling veteran, too, and I watched it this afternoon and the entire final rounds tonight. So many of the kids are repeat contestants, one girl was there for her fourth bee.
    The bees I went to were the county bees in the Auburn courthouse back in the late fifties. I finished second once and third the other time. When we moved to a larger school I was no longer the best speller in my school, but going in grades 3 and 4 made great memories.
    Tonight, I bet the purse on Tim Ruiter , from Centreville, VA, who missed “maecenas” .This home-schooled kid was like an automaton, asking short questions and then just rattling off the spelling of the damndest words, until he ran into that maecenas…you could tell he had never seen the word…he butchered it badly.
    The winner and the 3rd place finisher had gone to pre-school together…how odd is THAT? Makes me wonder if an alien got to them and implanted a spell-chip into their noggins!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Anyone catch Barcelona / Manchester United yesterday from Rome?
    Barca was really fired up and won, 2-nil, for the most coveted Cup in European football. FC Barcelona has a player named Messi who knocked in a header late in the contest to seal the deal. The pageantry, the magnificent stage, the excitement was incredible. I have generally ignored soccer, but I do watch the huge matches that are sometimes shown here in this country. My nephew’s fiance is a rabid Chicago Fire fan, too. I think I may try to catch a Columbus Crew match sometime.

  78. Dexter said on May 29, 2009 at 12:58 am

    basset: luh -GO-tee

  79. moe99 said on May 29, 2009 at 3:35 am

    With respect to how the nomination of Sotomayor should be handled, here is Exhibit A:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/05/28/sotomayor/index.html

    Again, if you have a problem with her nomination, it should be based upon her written record, which is substantial. Off the cuff remarks are fluff and tell us nothing of substance wrt how she would tend to rule. And if you took the time to review the record, as Glenn Greenwald and others have done, it would show you that she is not a liberal, rather she is a moderate judge. But hey, continue in your ‘knee jerk’ conservative right wing ways, and you drive more and more moderates from your party. Be my guest.