Dumb by the numbers.

Robert Samuelson doesn’t specifically lay the coming death of the “Statistical Abstract of the United States” at the feet of the Tea Party, but given the can’t-afford-it, sorry-we’re-poor attitude sweepin’ the nation, it’s probably a fair charge. For once, I agree with the other mustache I see regularly on the op-ed pages. This isn’t even penny-wise, much less pound foolish:

If you want to know something about America, there are few better places to start than the “Statistical Abstract of the United States.” Published annually by the Census Bureau, the Stat Abstract assembles about 1,400 tables describing our national condition. What share of children are immunized against measles, mumps and rubella? Answer: 92 percent. What state has the highest disposable per capita income? Answer: Connecticut, 33 percent above the national average. How big is the nation’s network of oil pipelines? Answer: 147,000 miles, about triple the length of the Interstate Highway System (46,751 miles).

…In four decades of reporting, I have grabbed it thousands of times to find a fact, tutor myself or answer a pressing question. Its figures are usually the start of a story, not the end. They suggest paths of inquiry, including the meaning and reliability of the statistics themselves (otherwise, they can mislead or tell false tales). The Stat Abstract has been a stalwart journalistic ally. With some interruptions, the government has published it since 1878.

No more. The Stat Abstract is headed for the chopping block. The 2012 edition, scheduled for publication later this year, will be the last, unless someone saves it.

If there’s one thing the 21st century has taught us thus far, it’s that the new coin of the realm is information. Facts. Data. Statistics. What can possibly be gained by this bonehead move? Of course, this isn’t specifically laid out in the Constitution, that divinely inspired document handed down by God Himself to the founding fathers, but criminy, people — do you WANT to live in ignorance? (Don’t answer that, Cooz. No, go ahead and answer it.)

I was living in Indiana during the 2000 census, which featured the long form. Remember that? It was sent to every 10 households or so, and was meant to be a really deep dive into the population, and asked a lot of questions that hadn’t been asked before. The idea was to get a sense of how people really lived — commuting times, square feet per person, how many gay and lesbian households really exist in the country. As a veteran letters-to-the-editor reader and occasional talk-radio listener, I can tell you that there were many who were not at all sanguine about this. Some people look at the sky and see chirping birds and happy trees waving their branches around. Others see black helicopters.

Why are we doing this? What is to be gained by making us dumber? I thought this was telling:

When she learned that the Stat Abstract was threatened, Alesia McManus, library director at Howard Community College in Columbia, started a Facebook page and launched a petition dedicated to reversing the decision. “If the library were on fire, this would be the reference book I would try and save first,” said one response.

Burning the library — that’s a good analogy. Write about that, Bob Greene, you moron.

See what you’ve done, Bob Samuelson? You’ve gotten my dander up. Michael Gerson, you are next:

…the heroes of the Tea Party movement, it turns out, are also closet theocrats. “If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry,” argues Michelle Goldberg in Newsweek/Daily Beast, “understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.” A recent New Yorker profile by Ryan Lizza contends that Bachmann has been influenced by a variety of theocratic thinkers who have preached Christian holy war.

As befits a shadowy religious sect, its followers go under a variety of names: Reconstructionists. Theonomists. The New Apostolic Reformation. Republicans. All apparently share a belief, in Goldberg’s words, that “Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions.”

The Dominionist goal is the imposition of a Christian version of sharia law in which adulterers, homosexuals and perhaps recalcitrant children would be subject to capital punishment. It is enough to spoil the sleep of any New Yorker subscriber. But there is a problem: Dominionism, though possessing cosmic ambitions, is a movement that could fit in a phone booth. The followers of R.J. Rushdoony produce more books than converts.

Oh, very droll. If only I had a Lexis/Nexis account, perhaps I could look up a little Christian alarmism about, say, our current president. Or any of the recent presidents who have called themselves Democrats. Or a few edifying pamphlets about how “outcome-based education” is a secular-humanist plot to brainwash our children, this from the same people who pushed No Child Left Behind and its test mania into the nation’s schools. It so happens I read the Lizza story that Gerson sneers at. I didn’t dwell on the holy war passages, because I was so amazed at this part:

Bachmann’s comment about slavery was not a gaffe. It is, as she would say, a world view. In “Christianity and the Constitution,” the book she worked on with Eidsmoe, her law-school mentor, he argues that John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams “expressed their abhorrence for the institution” and explains that “many Christians opposed slavery even though they owned slaves.” They didn’t free their slaves, he writes, because of their benevolence. “It might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible.”

While looking over Bachmann’s State Senate campaign Web site, I stumbled upon a list of book recommendations. The third book on the list, which appeared just before the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s Farewell Address, is a 1997 biography of Robert E. Lee by J. Steven Wilkins.

Wilkins is the leading proponent of the theory that the South was an orthodox Christian nation unjustly attacked by the godless North. This revisionist take on the Civil War, known as the “theological war” thesis, had little resonance outside a small group of Southern historians until the mid-twentieth century, when Rushdoony and others began to popularize it in evangelical circles. In the book, Wilkins condemns “the radical abolitionists of New England” and writes that “most southerners strove to treat their slaves with respect and provide them with a sufficiency of goods for a comfortable, though—by modern standards—spare existence.”

African slaves brought to America, he argues, were essentially lucky: “Africa, like any other pagan country, was permeated by the cruelty and barbarism typical of unbelieving cultures.” Echoing Eidsmoe, Wilkins also approvingly cites Lee’s insistence that abolition could not come until “the sanctifying effects of Christianity” had time “to work in the black race and fit its people for freedom.”

I’m growing weary of tolerating people with crazy-ass ideas. Why is it so wrong to point them out?

This is what happens when a lawn service arrives to cut your neighbor’s grass at 8 a.m. You wake up cranky. As it’s growing late, let’s just go to bloggage and let me get a little work done:

NYT: Why won’t Michelle Rhee talk to USA Today? Because she’s mad at them, that’s why!

I love this, more from the WashPost: Take two chapters of Epictetus and call me in the morning — a new kind of therapist. I think Jeff would like this lady.

Finally, some liberal propaganda about Apple, and a deft point:

So, who is (Steve Jobs)? He’s the anchor baby of an activist Arab muslim who came to the U.S. on a student visa and had a child out of wedlock. He’s a non-Christian, arugula-eating, drug-using follower of unabashedly old-fashioned liberal teachings from the hippies and folk music stars of the 60s. And he believes in science, in things that science can demonstrate like climate change and Pi having a value more specific than “3”, and in extending responsible benefits to his employees while encouraging his company to lead by being environmentally responsible.

Every single person who’d attack Steve Jobs on any of these grounds is, demonstrably, worse at business than Jobs. They’re unqualified to assert that liberal values are bad for business, when the demonstrable, factual, obvious evidence contradicts those assertions.

Facts? What are those?

Posted at 11:15 am in Current events |
 

72 responses to “Dumb by the numbers.”

  1. Bitter Scribe said on August 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

    What is it with this “the Founding Fathers were against slavery” bullshit?

    Do these teaheads revere the FFs so much that they’re incapable of admitting the FFs were wrong about anything? Or are they so pissed about the Civil War that they want to wipe Lincoln off the historical map by denying him credit for ending slavery?

    Usually, I understand right-wing looniness. Tax and budget cuts cause prosperity, sure, just like I poop rainbows–but at least I understand why they want it to be true. This “FFs as enemies of slavery” trope just baffles me.

  2. Lex said on August 23, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Call me paranoid, but I suspect the death of the Statistical Abstract is a feature, not a bug. These people cannot tolerate empirical facts that contradict their batshit world view.

  3. Linda said on August 23, 2011 at 11:40 am

    And yes, there *is* an online version of SA. Will that be spared? And Lex, you’re right. I work w/an archconservative, and he once told me that nobody needed to get information about Toledo from anything other than the Toledo Free Press, the local conservative weekly.

  4. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Why somebody needs to call bullshit on basically everything Rick Perry says. This opinion relies heavily on the stats and rankings people are not supposed to be exposed to, according to the Gangbaggers. He’s slick, but facile mendacity is not necessarily a qualification to run for President.

    More Perry antics. If ‘bagger voters could read with comprehension, this might sink the fatuous ass. Okay, the claim is that Perry’s mastery of the Texas system facilitates his monstro fundraising. But even in those bastions of corrupt Democratic machine politics, Boston and Chicago, this behavior would be recognized as good ol’ fashioned graft. Seriously, this is DOJ investigation-worthy. How’s this differ from Rep. Jefferson stuffing his freezer with wads of cash?

  5. Sherri said on August 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    In the Tea Party revision of reality and history, the FF’s must have opposed slavery. You see, the FF’s couldn’t have made such a big mistake as to have supported slavery and still have created the US as a Christian nation. The FF’s were divinely inspired and created the inerrant word of God as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

    Either that, or Michelle Bachmann is simply traveling backwards through time: http://hwrnmnbsol.livejournal.com/111913.html.

  6. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    All those Teabangers out for Maxine Waters’ scalp, how do they explain this from their star raver and ranter Eric Cantor? A difference in financial scope? Why, sure and it makes Cantor look way worse. Oh, wait, it’s because, unlike Cantor, Rep. Waters told the ‘baggers to “go to hell”, and they value civility.

  7. coozledad said on August 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Nance: Here’s some dumb for you. When I worked at the bookstore, a guy in a business suit walked in and asked if we had any stoic philosophers. He must have been looking for something to read on the plane. I told him there was a miserable little shelf of some Loeb Classics upstairs, and was pretty sure the was some Epictetus molding up there among them. The store manager’s son interrupted to ask “Epic teats?” Whassat?”
    He thought he’d missed some of the porn stashed in various locations in the store.

    Re the Christian Identity Wal-Mart goblins, my wife came up with the chorus of this, and I thought it was worth adding the verses.

    Oooh my little property, stick with me
    Or I’m gonna stick it to you, Sharia.
    Taking my collection plate, you damn ingrate.
    Separate you from your hand, Sharia.
    Never gonna stop give it up for the Muslim brand
    I can only get it up with the tablets from the Hebrew band
    My, My, My, My, My Whoooo!
    M-m-m-m-my Sharia
    B-b-b-b better than your Sharia.

    Come a little closer to the courthouse door
    Ten commandments shamin’ you ho’s, Sharia.
    Toss out all that precedent. Ain’t worth a cent.
    Pick yourself the first stone and throw, Sharia.

    Alternate first line for extended dance mix…

    Oooh my bronze age legal tracts, bring ‘em back
    Shove ‘em up my postmodern crack, Sharia.

  8. mark said on August 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Nancy, the reporter in you should be digging a little further on the Statistical Abstract story. The planned disappearance is alarming, but I fail to understand how the tea party caused the Obama administration to cut 2.9 million in funding for it. Are they also responsible for the current administration being the least responsive to FOIA requests after the President promised to be the most open?

    In the quest to make the citizenry better, progressive government requires a compliant poulace, not one that is well-informed. Billions to collect the data, but no millions to spare to publish it? Just 2.9 million? That’s less than the tax credit subsidy for 300 purchasers wealthy enough to purchase a 40K Chevy Volt. Of course, I don’t think Chevy has sold 400 yet.

    Can’t disagree with your thinking on Michele Bachman. But for the Abstract, the question should be what is Obama thinking?

  9. moe99 said on August 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    What a great post today, Nancy. I’ve tried to spread the alarm about the pending death of the Statistical Abstract. And the post about Apple and Steve Jobs. Your vacation must’ve agreed with you. Welcome back!

  10. Sue said on August 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I imagine Bachmann’s website book list does not include “A Diary from Dixie”, by Mary Chesnut, she of the famous quote:
    “This is only what I see: like the patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives & their concubines, & the Mulattos one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children-& every lady tells you who is the father of all the Mulatto children in everybody’s household, but those in her own, she seems to think drop from the clouds or pretends so to think”
    Founding Father Thomas Jefferson (or his nephews, whatever) comes to mind, of course. Although maybe that was ok since he was a widow when he took up with his wife’s half-sister. Or didn’t, whatever.
    How does anyone explain that it is not just acceptable but somehow noble to engage in legalized rape? How do you ignore that glaring aspect of a society that allows men not just to impregnate imprisoned women but also if they so chose, sell the children – their children – who result? And then, how do you say, with a straight face, that those who engaged in this were somehow benevolent protectors?

  11. nancy said on August 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Mark, where is the pressure to cut government across the board coming from?

    But you’re right, the current administration has to share some of the blame. Barack Obama, j’accuse! Save the Statistical Abstract!

  12. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    For some reason, the anecdote about Rhee asking the PBS crew if they wanted to see her fire a principal reminded me of the infamous Christie Whitman frisks a black guy photo-op. Which grade did the Chancellor get left behind? Because, what a dumbass. Like W doing his Karla Faye Tucker imitation in front of the little tampon Tucker Carlson.

    And don’t be disingenuous Mark. Cutting the Abstract was part of the original GOPer proposals, along with those major money-savers defunding the NEA and the CPB. But, perhaps you already knew that. Once more, Kneejerk is a modifier of choice for liberal, when it’s far more apt for conservative. You know. Like the whole “activist judges” nonsense. Republicans would like to zero out the entire census operation, and that, I’m absolutely sure, you do know. The Republican party does not want voters represented, they want their voters, particularly the corporate people, represented. And a good waay to doo that is to eviscerate the Census Bureau.

  13. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    In fact, back at the beginning of the screw the American economy campaign from the GOP, their budget cut proposals were piddling. This is clearly indicative of the astro-turfed nature of the Teabanger (bowel) movement. That shit about the census, CPB and the NEW came straight from the bagger money, i.e. the Koch heads, Dickless Armey, and Richard Mellon Scaife.

  14. mark said on August 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry guys, the facts don’t match your rant. The paltry 2.9 million for the abstract was cut by Obama in his 3.73 trillion 2012 budget proposal, released in February. It doesn’t matter what other cuts Congress or Republicans want, Obama gutted the Abstract and the 24 jobs that go with it.

  15. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Wow! Just experienced something it never occurred to me to think about–an earthquake in Alexandria, VA. Just switched on TV, and they’re talking about it. Reassuring that I’m not imagining it.

  16. Jeff Borden said on August 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    The budget ax is going to hurt a lot of things we take for granted, but so long as the plutocrats can fly in their customized Boeing 757’s without worrying, it’s all good. Screw it. Let our bridges decay for want of maintenance and collapse someday. The Koch brothers need their deductions and, besides, the dead will mostly be proles. Let our air and water be poisoned. American business cannot be bothered and the vast majority of those affected will be proles, so who cares? Let our schools and universities be turned into for-profit University of Phoenix outlets. The plutocrats have already fast-tracked their spawn into the best universities. The proles don’t need to be educated, just willing to work long, hard and without benefits.

    Men and women with seven, eight and nine-figure salaries fucked this country royally. They got away with it. In fact, many in the financial sector are making more money than ever before when they ought to be picking up trash along I-95. Point this out, however, and you are engaging in class warfare. It’s the schlubs making five figures who get screwed. As usual.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed an entire political party and its chief propaganda outlet –and how anyone can still describe Fox as a “news channel” beggars the imagination– literally standing up for corporate jets and the swells who ride them. Why Democrats cannot make the case that the GOP is strip-mining this country and the people who live in it is beyond my ability to understand. The assholes were elected on a “jobs” platform, but have proposed zero programs so far. But the Dems simply don’t know how to fight and let the rich-loving bullies push them around.

  17. coozledad said on August 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Damn. We just had an earthquake. Looks like the epicenter was up Jolene’s way.

  18. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    CNN now reporting a 5.8 earthquake centered somewhere near Richmond. Felt as far north as NY, as far west as Ohio. Anybody else notice it?

  19. adrianne said on August 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Whoa! This report in from the Hudson Valley, N.Y., – a whole lotta shaking going on.

  20. alex said on August 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    The whole office is talking about having felt it here in the Fort. I didn’t notice. I was too busy working. :)

  21. Julie Robinson said on August 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    A facebook friend just posted about feeling it in Chapel Hill, but here in the Fort? No earth moved for me.

  22. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Whoa, nobody claimed it didn’t end up part of Obama’s budget, but it was clearly a collaborative effort. And nobody but the involved parties know who put what pressure on whom for what. Cutting the abstract was most certainly in the original Teabag cuts. Should Obama have refused on this? Absolutely. Somebody in the administration was asleep at the switch. But claiming it was Obama’s initiative is bullcrap. The cuts are asinine across the board as a ridiculous reaction to a manufactured crisis, with purely political aims.

    And there is no doubt who was the manufacturer. The necessity of hindering the Constitutional census function has been a Republican shibboleth for a long time. Look at their luddite objections to using proven statistically valid modelling techniques they themselves use every day to gauge the character and interests of the public. I think those beneficent slaveholders were guided by the hand of God to mandate the census, to ensure and enhance the “representative” part of representative democracy. It’s an obvious priority mission of the GOP to prevent this.

  23. Minnie said on August 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Yeah, felt it here in Virginia Beach. Came in three waves, with the second being the strongest.

  24. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    People in NC need to more worried about this:

    http://hurricane.accuweather.com/hurricane/index.asp

  25. nancy said on August 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I never feel those things. My ass absorbs all the shock.

  26. coozledad said on August 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    This would have been a hella time to have a lot of money in camping equipment.

  27. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Earthquake humor from Twitter: Gallup offices turned upside down. Obama approval rating now 62%.

  28. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    More: This wouldn’t be happening if Hillary were president.

    Ron Paul promises more earthquakes if the media keep ignoring him.

    Severity increased to 5.9.

  29. LAMary said on August 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    5.9 will definitely get your attention. I can’t imagine it was felt in Fort Wayne, though. That would be a lot of distance for not that big a shake unless you are on the same fault.

  30. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Apparently, Mary, the quake was shallow, so effect is felt over a wider area. Many reports from NYC and as far north as Toronto.

    Some damage to National Cathedral reported.

  31. Deborah said on August 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    This is so amazing to me that I can come back from lunch, tune in to nnc and find out immediately when an earth quake happened on the east coast and from all over the place you guys described what it was like.

  32. LAMary said on August 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Be ready for aftershocks for a while. They can be nerve wracking. If there’s a cabinet you haven’t opened since the shaking stopped, open it carefully. Sometimes the stuff in the cabinet has been moved by the quake and it’s all up against the door. I’ve had a shower of spice jars fall on me after a smallish quake.

  33. moe99 said on August 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    There was also an earthquake in Colorado this morning. Wonder what’s up.

  34. MarkH said on August 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Called my sister who works near the Pentagon. They are back in their building after evacuating for 45 minutes. The scariest part for her was that it didn’t stop; building sway went on for a good 45 seconds after the initial jolts. Back at work, they’re all OK. Read where JFK and Newark airports shut down, though.

    EDIT — moe, that was yesterday in SE Colorado, near Trinidad. Michele Bachmann is on TV now interpereting this as God’s message to the transgender community.

  35. Jakash said on August 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I have no idea how far the effects can travel, but people on the radio in Chicago are talking about having felt it here.

  36. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    A seismologist on TV is saying that differences in the earth’s crust between east and west account for the widespread tremor, but, the TV person apparently didn’t think of asking him what the difference is. Anybody know?

  37. Dorothy said on August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Just read this is the strongest East coast quake since 1875. My daughter felt it in Norfolk but thought it was traffic making her windows rattle. Then she wondered why her legs felt wobbly. She lay down for about an hour before she left for work at 3:30. She said when she got up at 3 it was like the Internet had exploded – she was inundated with text messages, emails, etc. from friends asking if she was okay and didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.

    I hear other people in Mount Vernon felt it, but I didn’t. Damn, I miss all the exciting stuff.

  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Nope, Mary, we don’t have all those bonus faults y’all have in Cali to spread out the ripple; in northern Columbus OH I was quite sincerely freaked out by how much lateral motion a 1979 era office building went through. Serious back and forth motion on ground floor, and the third floor roofline jiggered by six to eight inches, minimum.

    On the other hand, it ended a meeting that threatened to continue another two hours with no meaningful progress likely, so it was a productive tremor for me.

  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    (In other words, there’s no fault/break in the crust to transmit the energy down or away, so we have a 10x distance felt factor in eastern NA than along the West Coast. Geekery courtesy of my friend Mike Hansen, Ohio’s chief seismologist.)

  40. John G. Wallace said on August 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    @Moe- You ever see “Conspiracy Theory,” with Mel Gibson and Patrick Stewart? It’s the new earthquake weapon being tested. Only problem with that theory is the space shuttle is retired. Gibson’s character figured that major earthquakes coincided with the shuttle being overhead.

    @Jolene – I had to steal the Ron Paul remark for my FB status.

    My dad didn’t feel it in Monmouth County, NJ. Surprised so many people in Ft.Wayne felt it, but that’s what is being reported.

  41. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    If you liked the Ron Paul joke, John, you’ll enjoy this list of earthquake tweets.

  42. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    do you WANT to live in ignorance?

    I have similar thoughts when I hear the anti-scientism and anti-environmentalism of the right. Don’t Republicans have grandchildren too? Don’t they want them to have clean air and water?

  43. LAMary said on August 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Lucy Jones, the seismologist who always appears on TV after any quake, anywhere, lives near me. I interpret this as confirmation my neighborhood is immune to bad quake damage. She’s marrried to a vulcanologist from Iceland, so them make a good team, diaster-wise.
    My personal geologist/seismologist is currently in Peru, so I’m without professional advice on this one. I can only go by my personal experience.

  44. Jeff Borden said on August 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Jolene,

    I’ve posed the same question you raise. The same people who are attacking science, education, empirical evidence, etc. are the very folks who loudly proclaim American exceptionalism. If they get their way, we’ll be exceptional, all right. . .exceptionally bad. While these teabaggers fret about a non-issue such as the implementation of sharia law in the U.S., they completely overlook the burgeoning challenge to American interests of fast-rising global competitors. When we handcuff educators and scientists to religious dogma, we are handcuffing our future, too.

  45. LAMary said on August 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Here’s my little corner of the world.

    http://www.data.scec.org/faults/lafault.html

    I live under the first E in Los Angeles. Note the faults to the north and east. It’s all pretty much day to day here.

    I looked at the map more carefully and I actually live about an eight of an inch north of the L in Angeles.

  46. del said on August 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Reading the post’s reference to “Christian alarmism” I thought I saw a reference down the paragraph to the Left Behind book series, but, on closer inspection it turned out to be a reference to the No Child Left Behind law. Coincidence, the naming of that Act given the theological/political connection?

    On a lighter note, today discovered the searchable database of case law from London’s Old Bailey court from 1674 to 1913 (www.oldbailey.org). Very fun. Interesting to read cases about “assault with sodomitical intent,” whose key evidence is referenced as “tokens of emission.”

    And as to Nancy’s comment, “I’m growing weary of tolerating people with crazy-ass ideas.” THANK YOU.

  47. Dexter said on August 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I always feel our earthquakes, and I lived in California for a year so I have 5 experiences plus aftershocks…today? I had live radio on from New York City so I knew they were having a shaker, but I felt nothing in NW Ohio. I feel cheated.

  48. Deborah said on August 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Holy Cow, LA Mary I had no idea there were that many faults in the LA area.

  49. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I always feel our hurricanes.

    on the east coast they are far mor frightening. Is somebody joking

    /? You can’t just forget about how you might have been comfort in the storm. This s how human beings connect. No shit.

    she was myI’ve no way to figure you doublke.

    this is the best friend I ever had. Secondarily, I’D LIKE TO HEAR WHAT
    CHARLES
    BOCKMAN, THE NOTORIOUS MURDERER, HAD TO SAY. HOW COULD YOU DO ANYTHING SO FUCKING DUMB? I THOUGHT WE USEDTO BE FRIENDS YOU’RE DISGRACEFULROTTING SHIT. SORRY ASSHOE.

  50. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    LWT ME SAY THIS IS RIDUCULOUS.

    WHO SAID WHAT

    /THIS IS BULLSHIT AND IT SURE AS SHIT NOT ON ME.

  51. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I HAVE NOTHING IN A MILLION YEARS TO TRY TO PIN ON OU. Y

  52. LAMary said on August 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    The scary thing is geologists admit there are probably many more faults they don’t know about.

  53. moe99 said on August 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Who is this Indiana Republican Rep. Phillip Hinkle? And why the hell is he not resigning?

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/indiana_goper_self-destruction_of_soliticiting_man.php?ref=fpblg

  54. Connie said on August 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Word is the earthquake was felt in greater Detroit, but not by me. But then I was busy, as we re-arranged a big chunk of my library interior today. My feet hurt.

    Through the nnc comments in the past we have learned that both Jefftmmo and I experienced the 1987 Indianapolis earthquake at Methodist hospital.

  55. deb said on August 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Quake felt in Milwaukee. Hubby works on the fourth floor downtown. Building shook. He informed me that if our kids ever move to California, we will not follow.

  56. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    What I care about about whatever. I lived a high school life based upon John Lee. This is what we thought was cool. We got fedoras and paisley ties from Lois the hatter. If there are some wannabes that are better writers than I am, give it a rip, Nancy, You were not there, I was. And you are welcome to take part, because you seem to understand how awseome this whole deal was. no shit girl. whatever I said and it may have been let those girls escape, I couldn’t say I didn’t mean for all of those girls to escape. This was assholes holding people hostage. No shit, but I let them go. Somebody want to fight me over that shit? Step right up.
    some things are just wrong. You can’t claim women owe dick to assholes. Not close. I understand it’s nonsense, but there is no conceivable way it’s not ok for a woman to just put this shit behind her. I’m on that side.
    Are we kidding? My idea is is there a woman in a quandry? How about a woman with a very sensible road to hoe? How about a woman that has as much sense as the rest of us? How about a woman that understands better? Is there a conceivable excuse for how much she has got the situ
    ation? She knows what shes talking about, you dumbasses. Shes my considerable consideration. Are you kidding? Maybe not. Who knows what I ever think. None of this is fair. I think I know everything you think. But it makes no difference.

    So how is it whatever whatever? Whatever means nobody is going to blow up for our immediate meaning. My heartfelt meaning is that nobody was ever blown up because some asshole meant me. This is just the way I look at this. There is o way I mean anything but to make everything OK for you shorties. This is what all of os mean, and whatever produced the violence, we wish we hadn’t and we love all of you.

    we mean we wish none of this shit ever happened, and we wish you couod put t behind.
    we don’t get it that way?

  57. Deborah said on August 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Judybusy, three of us just ate three quarters of a sweet corn tomato pie from your recipe. Delicious. Burp.

  58. brian stouder said on August 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m growing weary of tolerating people with crazy-ass ideas. Why is it so wrong to point them out?

    Reading about the statistical abstract and the census, and then those incisive sentences from Nancy, made the word “disenthrall” pop into my brain, as in the conclusion of one of President Lincoln’s annual messages to Congress (wherein, by the way, he refers again and again to national statistics and projections)

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29503#axzz1Vu6Mp4Ud

    (with emphasis added)

    We can succeed only by concert. It is not “Can any of us imagine better?” but “Can we all do better?” Object whatsoever is possible, still the question recurs, “Can we do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

    Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just–a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.

    Isn’t it amazing? Modernity offers increasingly schnazzy gadgets and machinery, but the eternal struggle (for us common folks) is the one to disenthrall ourselves…even as the vested interests work ceaselessly to keep us as enthralled as possible!

    edit: I didn’t feel the quake, but Pam says she did.

    edit 2: about 2,500 Chevy Volts have been sold, Mark. And, read your Constitution. Congress spends money; presidents sign or veto Congressional appropriations

  59. Suzanne said on August 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I have a relative who was married for a time to a guy who held Rushdoony in high esteem. The guy was also bat sh*t crazy. When said relative finally had had enough to seek divorce, the first thing she did was to take all the guns out of the house and sell them to a gun store and then headed to a women’s shelter for a couple of weeks. So, wow, yes. I want someone like her ex to be our head of state.

  60. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    When it was already that horseshit super-majority horseshit, what did anybody expect Obama to do? Seriously. What? Should he have killed them all. Well yeah, but he could not have gotten away with that. If people on th progrssive side want results, You have to win more congrssisional seats. You can;t blame this on a stymied President, you gd idiots. He hasn’t got a Praetorian guard that can demand falling on their swords. Exactly what do these morons think Obama could have done different? Maybe Howard Dean might have digured something out. I mean, this is horseshit.
    what do all of these folks that know better, what would they have done so far? Nothing, you died in the wool idiots. There is no way out of the situation.

    This is something to not worry about. But holy shit. I hope we are safe., and I hope everybody in NC is safe too. Well not, maybe. There is only one region of NC that is worth considering, and that is the caves where the yiger is. I drop things and she picks them up. . It’s a brilliant novel,
    are you in?

    come on cooz., you know its a great novel, Let her rip. You will ove it. It’s a no brainer. C’Mon asshole, it is like no way but fess up. It’s a great book and you can be that guy from

    twin Peaks.
    tiger is.

  61. Kim said on August 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I wasn’t too far at all from Mineral, Va. today – dropping off child 1 at college. We must’ve been in the car because none of us felt it. Or maybe each of us was a bit distracted by the momentous occasion of being on the verge of being down a man at the homestead.

    Thanks for last week’s worth, Nance.

    And Mrs. Cooz, you are killing me.

  62. Jolene said on August 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Pics of the damage at the National Cathedral. Also, there’s a crack in the Washington Monument.

  63. Deborah said on August 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Hmmm Jolene, is God telling us something about the church in America? *snark*

  64. april glaspie said on August 23, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Deborah. Maybe but it is sure as shit what Theillard says. All of creation is becoming creation.

    this seems to be the wa to fibure things, We jave no idea. There is no idea. And we have to wonder about who might habe a clue. I couldn’t guess who may know, but we could make this up. What ever anybodt rhinkz mkes sense. Whatever we think makes sense. Whatever.

    Not understanding Teilhard is just moronic. Epictetus? Seriously? Kinda boring and sad. Try Teillhard. Optimistic and much more intelligent. Far more likely to figure things are moving rtoward perfection and some idea of God than the dreary Greeks. Give it a different look. Teillhard believes we are all God becoming god. That’s a good way to imagine things.

  65. Dexter said on August 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Time Warner was updating some boxes last night but when I called because 3/4 of my channels were out at 3:30 A.M they had no explanation. A couple hours later, Colorado experienced their strongest earthquake, south of Denver close to the border. Ever since Sunday my Sprint service has been wacky, the voice mail isn’t picking up half the time, and the service is spotty to say the least.
    Then eight hours ago a 5.8 earthquake in Virgina and 21 other states.
    And last night Geoff the robot on Craig Ferguson broke his robot arm. Heaven help us all.

  66. Rana said on August 24, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Jolene, one of my geologist friends explained that its the nature of the rocks on the eastern side, not so much their arrangement. Apparently they’re of a type that transmits vibrations more readily (she said something about density and temperature which I didn’t quite follow). California is indeed riddled with faults (which I also assumed were acting as seismic firebreaks), but the eastern half of the continent is, according to her, nearly as complex, structurally.

    I’m paraphrasing this from a position of incomplete understanding, so take with a grain or two of salt.

  67. april glaspie said on August 24, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Does anybody truly understand how close the USA came to disaster in the 2010 elections? Does anybody still believe in the myth that Obaama and the democrats had both houses of Congress in 2008? By what stretchtch of Liebermann’s imagination? Does anybody believe that the current Senate rules provide for democracy? It’s my opinion that as long as Don Blankenship’s pocket senator runs the Congress, the USA is in grave danger. The guy bought his own judge and owns a senator, tops mountains in the Appalachians at will. and is a bona fide mass murderer. Ain’t that America.

    And fracking? Well when these assholes set your tapwater on fire, you’ll start to look at water like Ray Bradbury considers books. Not a good thing.

  68. april glaspie said on August 24, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Dexter,

    Has Time Warner ever offered an explanation for the cable being out? Have they ever offered a dime back for fucked up service? They have monopolies which means they never have to apologise. My condo HOA has the opportunity to use another cable provider. Can’t be convinced to negotiate. I’d say somebody is getting a benefit from staying with Time Warner.

  69. april glaspie said on August 24, 2011 at 5:07 am

    What exactly to Obama’s critics think he could have done. Fight? That word is is a joke in modern political parlance. His opposition is adamant about one-term. And it seriously has to do with the idea that he;s some Muslim, anti-colonial, MauMau Kenyan other. Boehner and McConnell are happy to milk that idiocy without actually saying it. Which is racism, no matter how you look at it. What exactly do people on the Progressive side think the President could have done differently? They sat on their hands in ’10 and let these whack-jobs take over the House, when the Senate was never won in the first place. The 60-40 Senate is Republican and always has been, you idiots. Exactly what did anybody expect the President could have done? This is somewhat beyond my comprehension. Could he have sent the secret service to deal with them? Some sort of FBI secret files to shame or intimidate them? Exactly how to the Greenie Babies think Obama could have accomplished more? What needs to happen is that all those obstructionist shitheels that would rather run the USA into the ground than have a black Democrat as President geet sent the fuck home. Overwhelm the assholes that voted for idiots in ’10. Blaming this shit on Obama is moronic. He isn’t Caesar, just the President. He can’t just murder the recalcitrant Senate assholes and the loony-toons in the house. What do people think he is supposed to do?

    Seriously? Name an option, you fools that are gearing up to vote for Darth Nader, that gave this country the Scalia and PNAC candidate Cheney/Bush. That worked out well, right? The problem is fucking up the House and the Senate, dumbasses. When the Senate is a 60-40 affair, the opposition party can just decide they want to make the President one-term and just obstruct, to their anti-American heart;s content. Just ask the jowly asshole with the wire rim glasses. Tell me I’m wrong, but assholes like McConnell just don’t see any way for the country but the good old days of Ollie North and senescent Raygun running Iran=Contra and raising taxes nine fucking years in a row to support Freedom Fighters when the drug trade ran slow. Glory days. These people are deluded.

  70. Dexter said on August 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Time Warner takes a pittance off the bill if service is disrupted for an entire 24 hours. Since very few stay up 24 hours, who can claim their service was off all that time? And you must really raise hell to get them to take a dollar off the bill.
    My dogs had me up so I fried some sausage patties and made a plain waffle with syrup. A lumberjack’s breakfast with no trees to saw down, just some yard trimming to do, trees and bushes need a bit of work. It’s going to be 92 degrees here shortly, max-humidity. I just cranked on the air conditioner.
    I have friend who has his family down on The Outer Banks again.
    The last time he went there he was also run back to the mainland by a hurricane…same plan, expecting different results, oh well.
    Pat Summitt, the coach I have heard described as “the Bob Knight of women’s sports…” has early-onset dementia. Here’s a quote from a former player:
    “I’m definitely shocked to hear the news, but knowing Pat, she will get through this and we will all stand by her side through this,” (Indianapolis) Fever star Tamika Catchings said in a release from the WNBA team. “She’ll face yet another obstacle with determination and willpower to live life to the fullest.”

  71. brian stouder said on August 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Say – here’s a headline that made me gurgle the water I was drinking, down my chin (no kiddin’!):

    Halliburton Exec Takes a Swig of Fracking Fluid

    See, April? Frackin’ has a bad name, which is half the battle.

    Here’s the lead –

    An energy company executive’s sip of fracking fluid at an industry conference this month has been called a demonstration by some and a stunt by others, but it’s bringing attention to new recipes for hydraulic fracturing fluids that in the past have contained chemicals commonly used for antifreeze or bleaching hair.

    and then the payoff (with emphasis added by me):

    He raised a container of Halliburton’s new fracking fluid made from materials sourced from the food industry, then called up a fellow executive to demonstrate how safe it was by drinking it, according to two attendees.

    The executive mocked reluctance, then took a swig.

    What he drank was apparently CleanStim, which when Halliburton announced it in November was undergoing field trials. A Halliburton spokeswoman didn’t respond to a question asking how that executive is doing now, or who he is. Instead, she referred a reporter to a web page on CleanStim. The Houston company, which has operations in about 80 countries, has said the product shouldn’t be considered edible.

    The boss called an underling up, to drink the stuff?!

    You can’t make this stuff up!

  72. coozledad said on August 24, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Brian: This is a common stunt among your MBA types. We can only hope more of them begin to adopt it as an in-house sales technique. A friend of mine worked with a company that was developing a promising end-stage HIV drug. At a conference, where some of the people in management were being shown how a patient might go about injecting themselves(using water or saline solution) some douche from marketing injected himself with the actual drug, thus ensuring he will test positive for HIV the rest of his likely unexamined life.
    The insider trading at this company made Mike Deaver look like a piker.