The Filibuster

I'm confused about the way the potential filibuster of the Alito nomination is being discussed, as in this article about Barack Obama's lack of enthusiasm for it. What I don't understand is why supporters of a filibuster need forty votes. Isn't it, rather, the case that opponents of the filibuster need sixty votes? The difference is non-negligible: you don't have to participate in a filibuster to not vote against it. Shouldn't we be asking those Democrats who are voting against Alito, but say they don't support a filibuster, just to sit out the vote to stop it?



Perils of authorship

Unsatisfying: Checking my sales rank on Amazon.
More satisfying: Checking (on worldcat) the number of libraries that own my book. I know it will max out in the 200s, but for now it goes up by several every day!



Sweet dreams

I had a weird dream last night, possibly inspired by episodes from Season 3 of Buffy, in which I was investigating a massive conspiracy in the oil industry and came upon a plot in which operatives in Iran working for the Bush administration, posing as terrorists, would take hostages and kill them -- as a way to justify going to war. In the dream, I met Bush in person, and I got to physically pummel him, yelling "YOU ARE EVIL! YOU ARE THE KING OF ALL EVIL!"

That was sort of satisfying. Only sort of, because then I had to wake up in this political universe.



Note to the twenty-something white chick from Florida who almost killed me today

I know respecting a cross walk is a little too much to ask, but a stop sign?

That little "oops! gosh, thanks for letting me go" wave was just too much after you blatantly did not stop or look before turning.

Further confirmation that All Bad Things Come From The Sunshine State.



Annals of neologization

So, Goatdog gave me a very special holiday present (it was not a Christmas present, you understand, because we subscribe to the War On Christmas) of a spa treatment. I called to schedule the appointment (for Monday, just in time for my talk on Tuesday to the Francophiles) and while waiting to talk to a human, listened to the recorded message, which informed me that a personalized recommendation would be made after an "analyzation" of my skin.

Or is that "analysation"?



Quote of the day

"I like art talk as much as the next very dull person, but we have work to do..." -- Buffy


New form of spam

Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 19:27:14 -0800 (PST)
From: preeti singh Add To Address Book
Subject: please read AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
To: [deleted]

To Whom It May Concern:
I am working on a History Day Project and I need primary information. I was wondering if I could ask you some question about Lewis W Hine and the issue of Child Labor. I do not think all of the professors that I have emailed know anything about what I am looking for, but I did just in case you did. I am sorry for wasting your time if you do not know anything about what I am looking for. Instead of making you read two different emails, the question will be posted at the bottom of this email. If yo! u can answer any question, please do so. But if you can not answer of the following question, please email me back saying that you can not so I don’t have to keep on bugging you. It will help me with my project a great deal. Please write back as soon as possible.

Interview Questions…

1. What is the significance of Lewis W Hine taking a stand for the issue on Child Labor? Explain your answer?

2. How & why did Lewis W Hine take a stand for the issue on Child Labor?

3. What were the actions of Lewis W Hine after he took a stand for Child Labor?

4. Would the world be a different place if Lewis W Hine did not stand up for the issue of Child Labor?

5. Where there people that did not like Lewis W Hine taking a stand? Specific names?

6. Was Lewis W Hine successful when he took a stand?

7. How long did the process of taking a stand take Lewis W Hine?

8. What made Lewis W Hine take the stand that he did?



My initial reaction was "how stupid can this student be?" But I think it's actually a clever phishing scam. Even if you're bored and procrastinating, I say, don't respond to this person, even to lecture them about academic etiquette.



Yeah, but

So, I was going to write about the War on Christmas and how it pretty much didn't seem to make an appearance in western Michigan over the, um, holidays--western Michigan, where Nativity Scenes, in order to make them non-religious, are flanked by Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman--but now David Letterman has pretty well covered this, so, OK, next topic.

Then I was going to write with righteous anger about the crazy people in our building and how mean they are being about laundry and how obnoxious they are being about parking, and, well, the condo meeting, aside from giving certain people an audience for the airing of certain marital dirty laundry, basically cleared all that up.

Then I was going to write about all the insanity in my department, how totally dysfunctional it is, how we can't get anything done, and on and on, but that got boring.

And then (Slim adds--she's gotten quite good at typing) I was going to race madly in a circle in the bathtub, tail puffed up, ears back, pupils dilated, claws extended, snorting and squealing and tumbling after a little piece of wadded up tissue paper, but...I decided to lick myself instead.

Actually, cats and people are not all that different. At least I hope not. I hope not because the fact that Slim and Birdie have finally settled into an uneasy truce -- Birdie can walk around the apartment! she can sit on the couch! she's not hidden away under the bed all day! -- gives me some hope for the year ahead.

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