“Neither sleet, nor snow…”

Katrina, however, is in a class all by itself:

Effective immediately, the Postal Service is not accepting any Standard Mail or Periodicals Mail — from any source — addressed for delivery within the following three-digit ZIP Code ranges: 369, 393, 394, 395, 396, 700, 701 and 704.

The first two are Meridian, MS. 394 is Heathen Homeland, Hattiesburg, MS. 395 is Gulfport; 396 is McComb. 700 and 701 are NOLA; 704 is Mandeville, LA.

Via BoingBoing.

More Questions about New Orleans

From the SisterMachineGun Blog, via JWZ:

So, I’m trying hard to be non-partisan about this. I really am. I wouldn’t normally use an opportunity like this to score points on the administration. But I don’t understand a couple things here. (And I’d like to point out that I’m not being sarcastic at all.) Point: The first thing I don’t understand is why there isn’t a line of Chinooks and Sea Kings bringing food to that god-damned dome, and taking people away. The sky should be black with them. There should be a line of helicopters from Atlanta to New Orleans. Point: Why is FEMA, the one Federal agency that was once beholden to no one, and able to tell everyone from the Army on down what to do, now under control of the Dept. Of Homeland Security? Now, instead of being able to order goverment agencies to comply under their logistical control, they have to ask. As a result, the Coast Guard and National Guard, which used to have to drop everything at their behest, are now kind of operating on their own with no logistical advice. Point: Why are the national guards of, say, North Dakota and Utah still sitting in their houses watching CNN?

There’s more.

Yet More Reason To Be Angry

New Orleans has become a casualty of the war in Iraq.:”

When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA. Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside. Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. […] At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness. On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told the Times-Picayune: “It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.”

Why, in a nutshell, we Heathen are so Goddamn pissed off

Read This, which we found Tom Tomorrow’s site:

The unbridgeable divide between the left and right’s approach to Iraq and the WoT is, among other things, a disagreement over the value of moral and material strength, with the left placing a premium on the former and the right on the latter. The right (broadly speaking) can’t fathom why the left is driven into fits of rage over every Abu Ghraib, every Gitmo, every secret rendition, every breach of civil liberties, every shifting rationale for war, every soldier and civilian killed in that war, every Bush platitude in support of it, every attempt to squelch dissent. They see the left’s protestations as appeasement of a ruthless enemy. For the left (broadly speaking), America’s moral strength is of paramount importance; without it, all the brute force in the world won’t keep us safe, defeat our enemies, and preserve our role as the world’s moral leader….. War hawks squeal about America-haters and traitors, heaping scorn on the so-called “blame America first” crowd, but they fail to comprehend that the left reserves the deepest disdain for those who squander our moral authority. The scars of a terrorist attack heal and we are sadder but stronger for having lived through it. When our moral leadership is compromised by people draped in the American flag, America is weakened. The loss of our moral compass leaves us rudderless, open to attacks on our character and our basic decency. And nothing makes our enemies prouder. They can’t kill us all, but if they permanently stain our dignity, they’ve done irreparable harm to America. The antiwar critique of Iraq is that it is an immoral war and every resulting death is a wrongful one. Opponents of the war view the invasion and occupation as a dangerous and shameful violation of international law. Iraq saps our moral strength and the sooner we leave the better. Opposing the invasion on the grounds that the administration lied its way into it, they see every subsequent death, American or foreign, as an ethical travesty and a stain on America’s good name. They have held this view consistently since 2002. Millions marched down the streets of our cities before the invasion, believing that the administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein constituted a dire and imminent threat to the US was absurd on its face (whether or not the exact word Ôimminent’ was used is a semantic exercise, the implication was clear). Where the hawks screamed that Saddam gassed his own people, the war’s opponents countered that there is no shortage of murderous tyrants. Where the hawks said that Saddam wouldn’t hesitate to arm terrorists, the war’s opponents argued that there’s no lack of regimes that will help terrorists obtain lethal weapons. For the less gullible among us, the administration’s alarmist rhetoric in 2002 was a grim farce, and the unfolding of the nightmare we see today was a foregone conclusion. Saddam was no greater or immediate a threat — and arguably a lesser one — than North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia. Hindsight has proven these war critics correct. Few dispute that the threat from Saddam was over-stated – to put it mildly. And evidence continues to mount that the invasion was a fait accompli by 2002 if not 2001. Calling for an immediate pullout from Iraq has nothing to do with capitulation and everything to do with righting a moral wrong and undoing the damage done to America’s moral standing.

We’re not sure we can morally justify the “oops! Shouldn’t have done this! Have fun fixing the country!” pullout, but other than that: spot on.

Stupider and Stupider

From BoingBoing:

A group representing religious schools in California is suing the University of California system. At issue, the question of whether creationist courses in high school are counted as science credit for college admissions.

How does this even get traction? Maybe it has something to do with “Swift Boating” Science by the GOP; their hostility to fact and actual inquiry only grows.

For more on what horseshit ID is, see Show Me The Science:

…the proponents of intelligent design use a ploy that works something like this. First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist’s work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a “controversy” to teach. Note that the trick is content-free. You can use it on any topic. “Smith’s work in geology supports my argument that the earth is flat,” you say, misrepresenting Smith’s work. When Smith responds with a denunciation of your misuse of her work, you respond, saying something like: “See what a controversy we have here? Professor Smith and I are locked in a titanic scientific debate. We should teach the controversy in the classrooms.” And here is the delicious part: you can often exploit the very technicality of the issues to your own advantage, counting on most of us to miss the point in all the difficult details. William Dembski, one of the most vocal supporters of intelligent design, notes that he provoked Thomas Schneider, a biologist, into a response that Dr. Dembski characterizes as “some hair-splitting that could only look ridiculous to outsider observers.” What looks to scientists — and is — a knockout objection by Dr. Schneider is portrayed to most everyone else as ridiculous hair-splitting. In short, no science. Indeed, no intelligent design hypothesis has even been ventured as a rival explanation of any biological phenomenon. This might seem surprising to people who think that intelligent design competes directly with the hypothesis of non-intelligent design by natural selection. But saying, as intelligent design proponents do, “You haven’t explained everything yet,” is not a competing hypothesis. Evolutionary biology certainly hasn’t explained everything that perplexes biologists. But intelligent design hasn’t yet tried to explain anything.

Things we hear from Mississippi

  • My brother’s father-in-law now has power — and, in fact, said power returned while Frank was leaving me a voice mail, if the spontaneous cheer in the background is any indication — which is good, as it means Frank and Aubrey have someplace cool to be for a while, as their house won’t have any for a couple days, if not longer.
  • Our mother’s house is not so lucky: they likely won’t have power for a month. They’re going to try to get a generator at Sam’s in the morning, as there are rumors of a shipment. My 71-year-old stepfather has already run through one chainsaw blade clearing their own modest driveway. Seven trees will do that, we reckon.

Constitutional Rights, Iraqi-Style

The Rude Pundit has much to say about the wackiness and “freedom” of the new Iraqi constitution. Can you say “theocracy?”

Article 17, Part 1 reads: “Each person has the right to personal privacy as long as it does not violate the rights of others or general morality.” Article 36 says that freedoms of “expressing opinion by all means,” “of press, publishing, media, and distribution,” and “assembly and peaceful protest” are guaranteed “as long as it does not violate public order and morality.” And in that one word, “morality,” the hopes of a free and open and democratic Iraq are as dead as the soldiers falling there as this is written. […] In the end, banning offenses to “morality” means, simply, “we own you.” Quite a democratic document there, even if it only succeeds in starting a civil war, plunging the region into chaos. Yep, it’s worth a few thousand more lives to make sure morality is enforced, right?

If you think about it, it sorta reads like what the right wingnuts here would like OUR Constitution to say. The lack of actual unfettered rights and the supremacy of Islam make it abundantly clear that “freedom” isn’t exactly going to be the order of the day even if Iraq doesn’t collapse into a lawless failed state as soon as our troops come home.

All Clear, or Something Like It

We still can’t reach our relatives in Columbia, MS, but every other party is fine, if a bit rattled. Final tree down count at the Hattiesburg location: 7, including at least two on the house. There’s roof damage, but nothing catastrophic (i.e., just expensive). Thank God for small blessings.

Couldn’t Stand the Weather

Hurricane Advice We Find Both Amusing And Terrifying
Bring an axe to the attic:”
Some houses in Chalmette have water past the second floor. The Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries ahs approx. 60 boats ready to go out to rescue people from rooftops where necessary in St. Bernard Parish (and 200 throught SE Louisiana. Some people were reportedly trapped in attics. You’d think everyone would know by now, BRING AN AX TO THE ATTIC. I don’t care if you’re in Nebraska. If you go into the attic, you bring a damn ax.
Where the Heathen Ancestral Home Is, Superimposed Upon Certain Storms
Katrina sat photo
What Our Mother Said Just Now As She Watched a 100-Foot Pine Get Uprooted In Her Front Yard
“The ground is breathing.”
Where Said Tree Fell
On the neighbor’s yard, but not without clipping the neighbor’s house as well.
What’s Weird About Knowing This
The eye is over them, but they still have phone service. No power, but phones work fine.
Why Our Mother Is Not, As She Was During Camille, Under A Mattress
We have no idea.
One Possible Reason
South Mississippi is one place (the only, really) in the US that can look at her and say, quite literally, “We’ve seen worse.” Assuming you’re old enough.
But Still
More trees have come down in her yard since we started writing this — one on the garage, it appears — and they now expect significant structural damage to the house.
At least there’s this
Our mother has decamped to an interior hallway, though there’s no word on mattresses. Yet.
Why We Still Think Mattresses Might Be Wise
Even inland, Katrina is still gusting at 135 with sustained winds at 105 — with hurricane force winds extending 125 miles from the center.
Our Mother’s Safety, Of Course, Is Our First Concern, But This Is Also A Load Off Our Minds
Early reports indicate that the French Quarter did not experience significant or catastrophic flooding.
Ergo, This Is What We’re Doing As Soon As Possible, God Willing
Eating here.

SRV, 1954 – 1990

SRV On this day in 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash outside East Troy, Wisconsin, after sharing the festival stage with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and a host of others.

I was twenty, and still living in a dorm at Alabama. I still remember hearing the rumor that one of the helicopters serving a concert featuring Clapton had gone down. I had tickets to see Clapton a few weeks later, so I payed attention. I wasn’t the only one that skipped class to stay by the television. CNN, not yet impotent and ridiculous, gave regular updates until we knew that we’d lost Vaughan, not Clapton.

Then? Then we drank. And smoked. And whatever. But mostly we played “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” at about volume 11. Which is what we’re doing now, at Heathen central.

Holy Shit! Actual Good News!

Via BoingBoing: Cops have to pay $41K for stopping man from videotaping them.

…The ruling finds violations of the plaintiff’s first and fourth amendment rights. It states “The activities of the police, like those of other public officials, are subject to public scrutiny…Videotaping is a legitimate means of gathering information for public dissemination and can often provide cogent evidence, as it did in this case. In sum, there can be no doubt that the free speech clause of the Constitution protected Robinson as he videotaped the defendants on October 23, 2002….Moreover, to the extent that the troopers were restraining Robinson from making any future videotapes and from publicizing or publishing what he had filmed, the defendants’ conduct clearly amounted to an unlawful prior restraint upon his protected speech….We find that defendants are liable under ¤ 1983 for violating Robinson’s Fourth Amendment right to be protected from an unlawful seizure…”

Stewart 1, Hitchens 0

Wonkette transcribes this excellent dialog between war apologist Hitchens and TDS’ Jon Stewart:

The thing about Christopher Hitchens is that no matter how wrong or drunk he is, he always sounds like he’s making sense. It’s an impenetrable articulateness that makes him a compelling talking head even when he’s talking out of his ass. He doesn’t often fail to get the last word, but Jon Stewart just beat him to it. After a sublimely cordial conversation that began with Stewart asking Hitchens to explain “why I am wrong about Iraq,” Hitchens bristled to Stewart’s suggestion that the war was just “the British and Churchillian method that we’ll just go into the Middle East and we’ll redraw the map.”
Stewart: The people who say we shouldn’t fight in Iraq aren’t saying it’s our fault. . . That is the conflation that is the most disturbing. . .
Hitch: Don’t you hear people saying. . .
Stewart: You hear people saying a lot of stupid [bleep]. . . But there are reasonable disagreements in this country about the way this war has been conducted, that has nothing to do with people believing we should cut and run from the terrorists, or we should show weakness in the face of terrorism, or that we believe that we have in some way brought this upon ourselves. . .
Hitch: [Sputter]
Stewart: They believe that this war is being conducted without transparency, without credibility, and without competence…
Hitch: I’m sorry, sunshine… I just watched you ridicule the president for saying he wouldn’t give. . .
Stewart: No, you misunderstood why. . . . That’s not why I ridiculed the president. He refuses to answer questions from adults as though we were adults and falls back upon platitudes and phrases and talking points that does a disservice to the goals that he himself shares with the very people needs to convince. [Audience erupts in applause] Hitch: You want me to believe you’re really secretly on the side of the Bush administration. . .
Stewart: I secretly need to believe he’s on my side. He’s too important and powerful a man not to be. Hitch: [Sputter, return to talking about his latest book.]

Thank God he wasn’t in New Orleans; Emeril would’ve just made a soup

Cactus, a 40-year-old tortise at the San Francisco Zoo, had surgery recently to remove half a pound of bladder stones; as the turtle normally weighs only eight pounds, this was sort of significant. The veterinarian patched Cactus’ shell with fiberclass, not unlike a surfboard.

As we Heathen are decended from pseudo-country veterinarians, our first response would have probably been unworkable. However, “flush him and give the kid a new one” will work just fine for non-endangered non-zoo non-mammal animals owned by children, just so you know. Or so we’re told.

It might make them talk funny, though

Overheard online, and definitely apropos in re: some “southerners” we know:

Just because your children were born in the South does not make them Southerners. After all, if a cat had kittens in the oven, that wouldn’t make them biscuits.


No, not that kind.

Since last year, we Heathen have joined a cult. Not the Atkins one, or its reform cousin, South Beach — though in truth we experimented with SB for a while — but a wholly different, far more geeky cult: the First Church of the Cerulean Bicuspid.

Like most technology people, we’re heavy cellphone users. (My bills in 1997 alone would have purchased a nice used car, but fortunately they were (a) paid by the company and (b) reduced by an order of magnitude by the adoption of digital service.) Also unsurprising is our preference for the “earbud” hands-free device sold with every decent phone since about the time the average phone became impossible to hold on one’s shoulder. The only real problems with these things were (a) sound quality (they sucked) and (b) how tangled the damned cable got in your briefcase or pocket when you weren’t using it.

Late last year, though, we took the plunge and picked up our first Bluetooth headset, a Logitech. We carefully selected it using a matrix of features, functions, and value. Actually, that’s a damned lie: we bought it because it was the only one they had at Fry’s in an unopened box. It worked okay with the Sony/Ericsson phone we had then, and then worked much better with the Blackberry 7290 we tried before ultimately adopting a Treo 650, where it also worked quite well. Sound quality exceeded the cheapier wired models, and the tangled cord was a thing of the past! Score!

Except, well, the Logitech made us look like Garth Brooks without the hat. Its boom-mic style made for great voice quality, but also served as a critical flaw. See, most of these things are simple, with no moving parts aside from the ear loop. The boom mic, on the other hand, made the Logitech much larger (strike one) and easier to break (strike two) — which is precisely what happened during a trade show in Chicago in April. We reached into our bag for it, and found it in two pieces. Ooops. Lifespan: 6 months, or about $13 a month.

Next up was a Motorola HS820. Everyone had a Motorola, it seems, so we felt pretty good about the choice. It’s compact — it easily rides in a shirt pocket — has no moving parts, and kept us from looking like Garth. On the other hand, the sound quality wasn’t quite as good (mostly, it was too quiet), and it never seemed particularly happy working with the Treo. Periodically, it would fail to answer a call, and we’d have to cycle Bluetooth on and off on the Treo, or power cycle the headset, in order to make it play nice again. Then this started happening a lot, and the battery life started sucking, and last week we only narrowly escaped throwing it out the window of the car on I-45. Lifespan: 4 months, or about $20 a month.

This time, we’re going with the actual Palm-branded Treo headset. It’s roughly the same form factor as the Motorola, so we’re still safe from Brooks-ism. On the plus side, it also uses the same charger as the phone, which will be nice when travelling. On the down side, it’s still charging as we type this, so we won’t know how well it works for about an hour or so. We’re hoping for more than half a year of use, though. This is getting expensive.

Wisdom from our Veterans

How to listen to Bush without feeling dirty From the AP:

Bill Moyer, 73, wears a “Bullshit Protector” flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Via Eschaton, but all over the net now.

Wow. Just Wow.

Atrios points us to this, a demonstration of just exactly how wacked out Deepak Chopra is. Even more offensive is the fact that Larry fucking King actually asked “… if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys?”

And people consider this “debate?” Astounding. There IS no meaningful science behind “ID” at all. There is no “debate” in the scientific community about evolution. ID is not a theory. It’s not even a hypothesis, since it’s by definition untestable. At its root, it throws up its hands and says “God did it! Look! I’m done!” when faced with areas of science it doesn’t understand. It’s anti-intellectual, anti-inquiry, and anti-science at its core.

Which, of course, means that the Bush administration and the GOP embrace it wholly.

What the Religious Right wants

Via Kos and the LA Times. Summary: Robertson, et. al., are no different than Iranian mullahs. There is an American Taliban, but it’s not that misguided kid from Marin County — it’s a well-organized, well-funded group of would-be theocrats who have the ear of the White House and who are openly hostile to such basic things as privacy (their opinion on, say Griswold is well documented). Ignore them at your peril.

“Strictly speaking [we’re] not sure this is ‘Christian'”

Or so says Chief Heathen Evangelism and Chilean Astronomy Correspondent R. N., in re: Pat Robertson’s call for democratically elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to be assassinated. Of course, this is a guy who’s been praying for deaths on the SCOTUS for years, so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. His quote:

You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don’t think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United … This is in our sphere of influence, so we can’t let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with. Eschaton

Atrios’ summary: “He’s got oil, and if he won’t give it to us we’ll just have to kill him.”

In which we explain what happened, and why you saw what you saw

A comment to the last post suggested to us that we explain what happened over the weekend, and why the site went from “fine” to “gone” to “weirdly obsessed with David Brown’s photography” to “fine without comments” to “fine again” since Friday.

The most important point to make, though, is that the “David Brown” phase wasn’t the hack — it was actually part of the recovery.

First, background: The old machine on which this blog ran for much of its life hosted a number of other sites, including our personal site (Nogators.com, which was also the original home of Heathen), the short-lived bachelor-party documentary CarlsGoneWild.com, a wedding site for AubreyandFrank.com, our own wedding site at ErinandChet.com, and a blog for Infernal Bridegroom artistic consultant Charlie Scott at Blog.InfernalBridegroom.com. Two of these sites (ErinandChet.com and Blog.InfernalBridegroom.com) ran a blogging tool called WordPress. This becomes important later.

Now: On our way out of town on Friday afternoon, longtime Heathen Hatch alerted us via email (all hail Treo) that something was askew at Nogators. We don’t look at Nogators very often anymore; most of our efforts are spent on Heathen. Hatch, being Hatch (g,d,r), though, had not updated his bookmarks from the time that Heathen lived at nogators.com/heathen, and so he saw the problem. Basically, some jackasses had replaced the default page of many of the sites on the server with a st00pid “we 0wn yoo” tagger page. (Yeah, these kids are just about the same level of fucktard as the people who spray paint their names on other people’s buildings.) When Hatch saw that, he sent the email.

Once at the airport, I checked the damage, but I didn’t have enough time to do a thorough investigation — I did, however, have time to shut down Apache, the web server through which they most likely gained access. After dinner in Jackson, I was able to put together what happened via some Google searches and sysadmin spelunking. The script kiddies in question used an exploit in WordPress to gain partial control of my server. To brag about their deed, they posted their “tagger” page, but left behind some nastiness for me to clean up. They’d attempted to install a r00tkit (in order to take control of my server later), but their ineptitude made it pretty easy to locate and destroy their trojan. However, since the machine’s OS was outdated and had been compromised, I immediately began the process of migrating all the sites hosted there to another machine. Apache remained down at this point.

Moving takes time. File copying and new server configuration are pretty quick, but DNS changes take about a day. I copied Heathen over first, but made a minor configuration error on the new server that resulted in it responding to requests for MiscHeathen.com with its “default” site instead of this weblog. The default site is DabFoto.com. DABFOTO IS NOT WHO HACKED HEATHEN. DabFoto is the profession site of David Brown, a friend of mine who is providing the new home for Heathen and its companion sites. Far more people, though, saw either no site at all (from Friday though sometime Sunday) or David A. Brown’s photography site (from Sunday until today) than ever saw the tagger page, and since most of you have no idea who David is, it’s reasonable to assume he was the hacker. After all, you punched in Heathen and got him, right? And Chet was saying he’d been hacked, right? Q.E.D., except not.

At this point, Heathen’s up, and ErinandChet.com will start working sometime in the next 12 or so hours, albeit in a new, green, minimalist presentation instead of via WordPress. Blog.InfernalBridegroom.com will not be coming back as a blog per se, but we WILL provide forwarding from /charlie to Dr Scott’s new Blogger site as soon as it’s up.

Clear as mud?


Well, sort of. Heathen is now operating out of an undisclosed location; the remaining sites from the old machine will pop back up in a few days, though certain blogging tools will no longer be welcome, as apparently they provide too much enticement for jackass script kiddies.

Bob Moog, 1934 – 2005

Prodigy Synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog passed away yesterday. He was 71. You may not know it, but you’ve heard music that would have been impossible without his work. As Engadget points out, this is the end of an era. Rememberances will be posted here; the family is encouraging participation.

Yes, we know

Some goatfucker script kiddie hacked some sites here. We’re fixing it now, which is kinda hard on account of being in an airport. More to come.

“Judge” Roberts to ERA: Drop Dead

Apparently, Roberts was staunchly opposed to “homemakers becoming lawyers” based on documents released this week. Of course, this was back in the 1980s, when we weren’t so evolved as we are now. Or something. From the WaPo story:

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. consistently opposed legal and legislative attempts to strengthen women’s rights during his years as a legal adviser in the Reagan White House, disparaging what he called “the purported gender gap” and, at one point, questioning “whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good.” In internal memos, Roberts urged President Ronald Reagan to refrain from embracing any form of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment pending in Congress; he concluded that some state initiatives to curb workplace discrimination against women relied on legal tools that were “highly objectionable”; and he said that a controversial legal theory then in vogue — of directing employers to pay women the same as men for jobs of “comparable worth” — was “staggeringly pernicious” and “anti-capitalist.”

(Thanks Tom!)

Rude, ruder, rudest

We love the Rude Pundit. Today, he turns his guns on those bellicose fuckwits bent on Hating Cindy Sheehan:

So, like, when some crazed white collar redneck plows through a field of flags and crosses bearing the names of soldiers who died in Iraq simply because said crosses were planted by Cindy Sheehan and her fellow Crawford protesters, we can pretty much assume that said crazed white collar redneck, also known as Waco realtor Larry Northern, may have been acting out of a sense of impotence, rage, and fear, the same combination that has driven crazed rednecks since Bocephus Yankeebeater pissed on the first pair of shoes ever to make its way up the Ozarks to Fuckedmysister, Arkansas.

Read the whole thing. And when you’re done, follow the link to Operation Truth to read the open letter sent to the aforementioned waste-of-space jackass Larry Northern by retired First Sergeant Perry Jefferies. It’s much more polite than Northern probably deserves; it begins:

Mr. Northern: I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One. While I was in Iraq, a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall, was killed in an unarmored HMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID. Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended. He left two sons and awonderful wife. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

Dept. of Wholly Unsurprising News

Rush Limbaugh, in addition to being an evil fuck, a drug addict, a hypocrit, and a useless blowhard is now also the worst person in the world:

But the winner — oh, it’s the irrepressible Rush Limbaugh. On the radio, he said, quote, “Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There’s nothing about it that’s real.” I guess she made up that dead-son-in-Iraq business! He also referred to her supporters as “dope-smoking FM types.” I guess the painkillers wipe out your memory along with your ethics. Rush Limbaugh, today’s worst person in the world!

Congrats, Rush!

More on why DRM is stupid and useless

The new Dave Matthews Band CD has that ridiculous Sunncomm non-DRM DRM on it — you know, the one that (a) has no effect on non-Windows machines and (b) can be bypassed by disabling Autoplay even on Windows machines. The idea is that the disk ships with a “data layer” containing special, crippled digital music files that work with Microsoft players (but not, of course, the most popular music player). To access them, you’re supposed to let the CD install special software on your PC, which we’re sure won’t cause any problems at all.

Of course, even if you play by these rules, you still can’t get the digital files into iTunes or onto your iPod, so DMB have actually posted instructionsfundamentally stupid, absurdly complex, around-your-ass-to-get-to-your-elbow instructions — for getting Mp3 files off the disk. Why they don’t just tell their fans what everyone in the tech world already knows — again, that the Sunncomm solution is absurdly broken and trivial to bypass is beyond me.

One more time: We at Heathen will not buy any CD shipped with Sunncomm’s bullshit plan. We expect we’re not the only ones. We further expect that adding DRM like this to CDs — which makes it harder for uninitiated buyers to move legally purchased music from CDs to iPods to whatever for personal use — makes it MORE likely, not less, that said buyers will simply resort to illegal downloading or copying from friends.

Remember, RIAA: your failed business model is not our problem. Give us something we want, and we’ll pay you for it. Keep fucking with us, and you’ll get wholly disintermediated.

(Mostly via MeFi.)

A hero for the ages

Steve Carell: One Funny Motherfucker.

In his years on “The Daily Show” Mr. Carell became known as the guy who was willing to do almost anything for a laugh, a marked contrast to his low-key demeanor when not performing. He once ate an entire tablespoon of Crisco — both in rehearsal and on the show — when ice cream or frosting would have worked just as well, just so he could enjoy Jon Stewart’s horrified on-camera reaction. He also famously did a takeoff on news correspondents who demonstrate the negative effects of alcohol. Instead of just pretending to get drunk, he consumed cocktail after cocktail and ended up screaming, howling and, eventually, throwing up in Mr. Colbert’s car. It’s a tradition he continued in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” in a chest-waxing scene that has audiences alternately wincing and laughing as chunks are ripped from his heavily-forested torso, leaving him red and, inevitably, bleeding.

Who needs Leisure Learning?

Especially when you have The Learning Abscess. Sample:

An Evening With
Mariel Hemmingway Beautiful, talented, intelligent and spiritually evolved, Mariel Hemingway is an amazing, independent woman who has truly succeeded on her own terms. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get lonely, or have needs like any other woman. And let’s face it, the acting offers aren’t exactly pouring in anymore. Taken together, these circumstances have given rise to a unique opportunity for you to enjoy the intimate company of the Academy Award-nominated granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, in your own home, or in a nice hotel, or in a not-so-nice motel, or in a reasonably comfortable van. A serious practitioner of Yoga for 20 years who has studied Ashtanga, Anusara, Iyengar, Kundalini and Kriya, Mariel can not only discuss these various philosophies and methodologies but can perform elaborate contortions to allow serious Cirque de Sole-style fucking that will blow your nuts clean off. Whether you would like to enjoy this amazing opportunity one-on-one or with a few buddies, Mariel is a non-judgmental woman of the world, and is game for anything life throws at her. Course 2293 August 2 or whenever’s good for you 8pm-Late

Don’t miss “An evening throwing things at Sidney Sheldon,” either.