The London Telegraph reports on the Strange Life of the Housewife Who
Grew Up with Monkeys Was Raised by Monkeys! Spoiler: the video is a let down
(Monkeystein could not be reached to confirm a complete denial.)
Actual Christian Science Monitor Headline: "Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts"
Joel's computer has been a bit balky today — lots of mysterious viruses, strange things showing up on his screen, and whatnot — but he urged me to relate this big news to the Monkey Community. In fact, it's big news for the both of us. Joel was hesitant to post this himself, but I think it's too important to keep secret anymore.
I repeat Joel's proposed announcement verbatim — that he emailed to me earlier today — whether he likes it, or not:
As many of us have heard, Dr. Zaius will soon be leaving the sunny hills of Southern California to be Communications Director of The Heartland Institute in Chicago. And, out of the goodness of his heart, Jim has agreed that this jobless bloke could use a "hand up." So, beginning in July, I will take my place at the Good Doc's right hand, as Assistant Communications Director of the free-market, libertarian think tank.
The job requires that I leave behind the political viewpoints I have long defended around here, but desperate times require desperate measures. And since Jim had long assured me that many libertarian Heartlanders were against the War in Iraq and Bush's power-grab in the War on Terror, I should be a pretty decent fit.
So, goodbye liberalism! Nice knowin' ya. But duty to family, my career — and a nice paycheck — calls.
P.S. That means you're on your own, Khabalox. Sorry.
I'm sure we all would like to congratulate Joel. But let me be the first to do it here at Infinite Monkeys.
(The official announcement, is here.)
I'm movin' on up!
To the East Side (of LA ... where I already live.)
To a deluxe apartment in the sky. (A modest rental home actually.)
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie. (Or a little piece of Breitbart's Empire.)
Your humble super-genius orangutan is now a contributor to the New Media Giant Andrew Bretibart's Big Government. Have a username and password and everything. How did I score this gig? I shared my reporting at the Energy & Environment Conference (EUEC) in Phoenix Feb. 1-3.
I was the only dude with a video camera recording the presentation of climatologist William A. Sprigg — who gave his fellow global warmists a stern lecture on the folly of ignoring the damage inflicted by ClimateGate. Sprigg received polite applause for his 24-minute presentation, but I heard a lot of murmurs among the silence from a shocked audience that was expecting to hear a denunciation of the scandal when they saw it on the agenda.
In short, Sprigg — who led the technical review of the first United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990 — said it's a huge mistake for his colleagues to defend the likes of "Hide the Decline" emailers Phil Jones and Michael Mann, keep raw climate data a secret, and blackball contrarian scientists out of "peer-reviewed" journals. A remarkable speech that was unexpected considering the venue.
Ben and I used to be editorial writers at the same conservative-leaning newspaper in Southern California. And, in a strange and ironic twist, Deregulator also worked at that paper. Though we're all out of the official "voice of the newspaper business" these days, I'm guessing our combined experience as editorial writers approaches 25 years.
So surely Ben and Rick would be as surprised as I was to read how The Washington Post has done a public about-face on its editorial page on the question of treating Christmas Day Knickerbomber Umar Abdulmuttalab as a civilian criminal rather than an enemy combatant. An editorial board does not make such a decision lightly because it reveals a lack of serious pre-writing thought.
Granted, for a left-leaning American paper, you won't find one more supportive of America's war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and battle against terrorists, in general. In fact, you won't find one that comes even close. So I was actually a little surprised that The Washington Post at first agreed with the way the Obama administration let Abdulmuttalab quickly lawyer up after his capture in Detroit. But, Scott at Powerline notes, The Post has reconsidered:
The Post writes that it "originally supported the administration's decision in the Abdulmutallab case, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to try Mr. Abdulmutallab turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a crime-and-punishment model."
This is a remarkable admission. The Post is basically saying that it initially agreed with the decision because the Obama administration is so packed with experienced, wise, intelligent folks ... that it just had to have come to a proper (and not lefty ideological) policy position. What White House is The Post watching?
The same White House that blew the biggest political opportunity for Democrats in a generation by employing crude, brute political force in Congress, insulting voters and wholly misreading the mood of the public?
The same White House that decided to close Gitmo with all the "due consideration" one can employ by the time the second day of one's term rolls around? How's that decision working out so far?
The same White House that pretended the decision to try Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in a civilian court in New York City was solely the call of Attorney General Eric Holder — who himself bungled his dubious explanations that he gave the matter "due consideration" before announcing it while Obama was flying out of the country on Air Force One?
We could go on all day with this. And I love that excuse by The Post, because it an apply to almost anything.
"I originally supported Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's decision to shack up and adopt 458 kids from around the world, assuming it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to shack up and adopt all those kids turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process, but a knee-jerk default to a celebrities-can-do-whatever-they-want model."
"I originally supported the Packers' decision to release Brett Favre, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision cut Favre turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a we-want-to-lose model."
"I originally supported the administration's decision to mock angry American voters as 'teabaggers' and 'Astroturf' dupes for corporate front groups, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to mock the voters turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to an arrogant model."
"I originally supported Saturday Night Live's decision to book Ashley Simpson as a musical guest, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to book Ashley Simpson turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a they'll-never-know-she-lip-synchs model."
Scott at Powerline takes some other, more substantive shots at The Washington Post's turn-around that are worth reading.
Hard to believe, but our Monkey Comrade and my friend and collaborator Joel Mathis has been plugging away at the Philadelphia Weekly version of his blog, Cup o' Joel, for about a year now. He reached a milestone today with his 1000th post, which deals with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed Christmas Day crotch bombing.
Hmmmm... I believe there may be a column in there somewhere...
Congratulations, Joel, and keep 'em coming.
Those mobster-themed videos are good fun, Ben. But nothing that can compare to The Star Wars Holiday Special, where the unintentional comedy scale redlined ... then exploded. This was the first sign that trouble was ahead for Lucas' franchise, decades before his abominable prequels.
I LOVE the intro, as we learn which "stars" will be sullying their careers by being connected to this debacle. Oh, and the interminably long minutes that tick by with nothing but Wookie language and maudlin music to keep us interested.
This is awesome! Because as soon as I saw Star Wars, I was insatiably curious about what life was like for Wookies on whatever planet they live on. Apparently, it's just like our lives — if we lived in trees, spoke in wails and grunts, and had a cheesy soundtrack running in the background. Oh, and if we were a lot hairier.
A very touching scene with Han, "Lumpy" and Chewy's family.
Oh, and let's not forget the big finish, with a song by Carrie Fisher!
Today is December 23rd which, as everyone certainly knows, is Festivus.
I will start with the Airing of Grievances. Despite tremendous patience on the part of Monkey Management, and a thoughtful post by Ben on The Atrios Rule, there appears to be one among our frequent commenters who is incapable of any measure of self-control, civility, and maturity.
Which brings me to the second Festivus tradition, the Feats of Strength. As a Festivus gift to "the rest of us," I am exercising my power as an Administrator to disable this person's account until they're ready to stop acting like a child.
Its students are disloyal and subhuman.
(Click "read more" below for shocking photographic evidence.)
My brilliant nephew gave me a bottle for Christmas last year. We had made a sojourn to Bonny Doon's new tasting room and cafe in Santa Cruz just after Thanksgiving. They couldn't let us taste the stuff, but we did sample their excellent pommeau. Anyway, I meant to review the Calvadoon for the Winter of Apple, but unfortunately I drank it all and promptly forgot what it tasted like.
If somebody would buy me another bottle -- in the interest of good journalism, of course -- I would be much obliged. Merry Christmas!
I had no idea. Sure enough, December 14 is Monkey Day. Why Monkey Day? According to the Monkey Day people, "Monkey Day is an annual celebration of all things simian, a festival of primates, a chance to scream like a monkey and throw feces at whomever you choose. Or perhaps just a reason to hang out with your friends while grunting and picking fleas off each other."
I will celebrate as I always do:
(Although, if you stop and think about it, isn't every day Monkey Day? It isn't? Oh... Okay, then.)
Philly Weekly's Michael Alan Goldberg celebrates the occasion by posting his favorite monkey music videos.
Monkey Day isn't an official holiday... yet. But you can sign a petition to help make it so. I should warn that there appear to be some irreligious and other suspect political elements to the whole thing. If that doesn't bug you, then proceed. But watch out, those monkeys bite, I tell you!
My favorite Thanksgiving story involves a drunken man, his son, a plate glass window, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. This year, the Los Angeles Times recounts tales of Thanksgiving excess from local emergency rooms.
“If you thaw a turkey wrong or cook a turkey wrong ... it’s an opportunity for turkeys to get even with the human population.”
That bit of creative animation is a bit gruesome, meant to represent the 400 kg of greenhouse gasses for each passenger in a commercial flight — the weight of an adult polar bear. (By that count, private-jet-fan Al Gore has quite the pile of polar bears on his conscience, eh?). But the video below is even better.
From Portugal comes a video portraying a chimp, a polar bear and a kangaroo who commit suicide rather than try to eke out a life on a world despoiled by humans. Call me cold, but I found it hilarious.
The worst part about this video? It presumes chimps — chimps! — are stupid enough to not only buy into the global warming scam, but take their lives over it. Maybe so. But we orangutans come from smarter stock.
In response to some provocation by the Phlegms, The Telegraph of London offers "10 reasons to dislike the Belgians." But, really, all they had to do was post this...
Duncan Black, who writes under the nom-de-plume "Atrios," once remarked on a subject he didn't understand: "Our discourse is so stupid."
That quip has made me smile for almost two years, and I enjoy linking to it -- not least because he was commenting on a project near and dear to Joel Mathis and me. Black was wrong about the particulars, but the line nicely encapsulated just about every cliché you've read about blogging and bloggers. Hence, "Atrios was right," even though he wasn't.
Lately though, it occurs to me that Black's observation accurately describes some of the comments here on Infinite Monkeys.
We never set out to have this blog be anything other than a place for this eclectic and changing group of people to spout off on any subject they like, whenever they like. I've always blanched at the idea that Infinite Monkeys is just another "libertarian/conservative" blog. The description is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. Our political outlook is broader and our interests are more varied.
When it comes to comments, we've always encouraged discussion and we never wanted to establish any onerous rules. I've been a moderator before -- I was paid to do it. I'm not paid to moderate this site. I don't want to moderate it. In general, we prefer to give people plenty of rope with which to hang themselves and we're not inclined to ban commenters. We're not Little Green Footballs here. (Would that we had the traffic!)
Yet I've closed two comment threads and deleted one comment within the past hour today. I may be wrong, but I don't think I've ever deleted a comment that wasn't spam. Maybe once before, but it's not like I keep track.
So, here's the deal: We're not going to countenance loose charges of treason in the comments. If I see stuff like that again, it's getting deleted. If a commenter insists on leveling that charge, that commenter is going to be banned.
I'm also getting bored with the lazy ad hominem arguments and personal attacks in the comments. If you don't know the difference, read this. And if you have any doubts about whether your comment includes an ad hominem or personal attack, do us all a favor: Don't post it.
Finally, I'm going to be a lot more... well, liberal about invoking what will be known henceforth as The Atrios Rule. If the discourse becomes too stupid, I'm going to close down the comments on the post.
Don't worry, you'll still have ample opportunity to make monkeys of yourselves. Lord knows, we do it every day. But we're going to keep the poo-flinging to a minimum.
Thanks for reading.
The guy who lives across the street from me is a world-class jerk. You think you have mean, angry, jerkish neighbors? I'll put that clown across the street from me up against any of them. He YELLS at the top of his lungs at anyone who dares approach his house, and puts the sprinkler on so whoever parks in front of his house gets a wet car with lots of water spots. Oh, and he also continues to yell at you.
Here's a photo my wife took of the extreme measures Mr. Jerk took to keep trick-or-treaters away tonight.
(Click on image to see it bigger in all its jerkish glory.)
Update: Bob Dylan's playlist, which XM Radio aired as an episode of his late, great Theme Time Radio Hour three years ago, is pretty good, too.
Halloween falls on a Saturday and Sunday is the official return of Standard Time ("fall back"), so what could be a better time for a horror film marathon? A couple of weeks ago, Joel and I talked scary movies with Christian Toto, Matt Prigge and Jason Snell. (If you didn't hear the podcast, go listen to it now. It's just under an hour, but it really flies by. Go ahead. Don't worry, we'll still be here when you get back.)
Anyway, among the five of us, we came up with 15 horror movies, plus a handful of bonus films, that are guaranteed to thrill and chill this Halloween. All told, they add up to just under 40 hours of filmmaking. So if you get started around dusk on Friday, the final credits should roll near dawn on All Saints Day.
To see the Halloween List, click "read more" below.
Ben minus Joel is joined by a finite group of Infinite Monkeys -- David Burkhart, Robb Leatherwood and Jim Lakely -- to discuss the pros and cons of network neutrality and to preview the Autumn of Apple.
We had originally planned to talk about medical marijuana, which might or might not explain Ben's introduction. But the net neutrality discussion turned into a real knockdown, drag-out among Lakely -- who is co-director of the Heartland Institute's Center on the Digital Economy and managing editor of Infotech and Telecom News -- Leatherwood and Burkhart, both of whom have professional backgrounds in information technology.
If you have no idea why net neutrality is controversial or why you should care about the issue, you must listen to this episode.
After listening to the discussion, however, you may find yourself in need of a drink. Ben and David talk about applejack, calvados, pommeau and various apple-infused cocktails in a sequel to the Winter of Apple.
Music heard in this podcast:
• "Capitalism" - Oingo Boingo
• "The Internet is for Porn" - Lea DeLaria (from Avenue Q Swings)
• "I'm Free" - The Rolling Stones
• "Touch of Grey" - Grateful Dead
• "Applejack" - Dolly Parton
• "Applejack" - Dave Appell & The Applejacks
LONDON (Reuters) - Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 meters record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.
Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 meters during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.
Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.
These and other eye-catching claims are detailed in a book by Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister entitled "Manthropology" and provocatively sub-titled "The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male."
McAllister sets out his stall in the opening sentence of the prologue.
"If you're reading this then you -- or the male you have bought it for -- are the worst man in history.
"No ifs, no buts -- the worst man, period...As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet."
Speak for yourself, egghead.
Sure, this makes perfect sense. When prehistoric man has few tools to work with and had to chase prey on foot, the fastest, strongest and most nimble survived, and the slow-footed starved, died out and didn't reproduce.
Yet since we Monkeys place somewhere between the first and second figure above — and have the steel-trap brains of Modern Man ... well, perhaps the comments around here should be a little more polite. You wouldn't want your mild mannered Dr. Z running over to your house and dispatching you like an antelope, now would you?
UPDATE: They want me to start on the show at 3 p.m. Pacific Time (6 p.m. Eastern), and I'm game but awaiting confirmation.
I just received an invitation to be the Hugh Hewitt Show today (Friday, Oct. 23).
Guest host Carol Platt Liebau will be interviewing me about net neutrality at at 3:20 p.m. Pacific Time.
Tune in if you happen to live in one of the 150 markets where Hugh's Show is broadcast.
Got so busy with other work, I forgot to mention that an oped I penned in my duties with The Heartland Institute was published in today's Washington Examiner. I'd like to thank the academy, and the editors of that fine paper's opinion pages, for this honor.
The subject is Net Neutrality, which has finally gotten the attention of Dragon Slayer Glenn Beck. And considering his track record, that's a very good development. Here's a taste, but you can click here to read the whole thing:
Advocates of imposing "network neutrality" say it's necessary to ensure a "free" and "open" Internet and rescue the public from nefarious corporations that "control" technology.
Few proposals in Washington have been sold employing such deceptive language -- and that's saying something. But few public policy ideas can boast the unashamedly socialist pedigree of net neutrality. ...
The concept can be traced to an iconoclastic figure, Richard Stallman, a self-described software freedom activist who introduced the term "copyleft" in the mid-1980s. In his 2002 essay "Free Software, Free Society," Stallman fiercely attacks the idea that intellectual property rights are one of the keystones of individual liberty, so important that patents and copyrights are affirmatively protected in the body of the Constitution. ...
Most bold and radical of the neutralists is Robert W. McChesney, founder of Free Press -- the leading advocacy group in Washington pushing for net neutrality. In an August interview with a Canadian Marxist online publication called the Bullet, McChesney rejoices that net neutrality can finally bring about the Marxist "revolution."
"At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies," McChesney said. "We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control."
This video is all over the place, so why not here? (Consider this a lame offering in lieu of something more substantive on Gore Vidal's and John Perry's madness, or indignation over Alan Grayson's calumny on the House floor, or a long-overdue post on why the stimulus really hasn't worked as advertised, or more Whoopi.)