Open Thread and Link Farm: Secret Gender Pole Dancer Edition

Post it! Whatever it is! If you like it, post it! Self-link! Self-love! Self-self!

  1. Parents keep child’s gender secret.
  2. Arizona Cops Shoot Former Marine In Botched Pot Raid. There’s a collective irrationality in our country that I don’t understand. This is what the end of freedom looks like: SWAT teams routinely act this way, and seemingly nobody objects or cares.
  3. A by no means exhaustive list of the most repetitive and inane stereotypes that we’ve encountered of Third World Women.
  4. A NY Jury let off two cops for rape on the grounds that the victim was drunk. (More or less). Amanda has an excellent post about it. There’s also some good footage of protestors(nearly all female). And at least the two cops were fired.
  5. Lauren Potter, who plays a cheerleader with Down syndrome on “Glee” (and who has Down syndrome herself), stars in a commercial saying that just as “nigger,” “kike,” and similar words aren’t acceptable, “retarded” is not acceptable.
  6. The Republican Party: Budget Arsonists Wearing Fire Chief Hats
  7. Rosanne Barr on her struggle to get control of “Roseanne” in the first season.
  8. Senator Rand Paul explains how Senators use procedure to avoid ever having real discussions or getting much of anything done.
  9. Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School
  10. A Jewish protester describes the protest at Ras al-Amud
  11. Roger Ebert’s New Yorker cartoon captions. I admit, the last one made me giggle.
  12. In philosophy, the drug war debate is between those who want the “war on drugs” radically scaled back, and those who want it eliminated altogether. Because the position held by 99% of our respectable politicians is simply too asinine for any philosopher to hold. I find this situation very depressing.
  13. The Wonderful World of Disney Visas
  14. “All his feats are based in science! Either our science, or the secret science of the demons.” –The Doctor debunking magic in a 1971 episode of Doctor Who.
  15. Ben Stein is probably the least competent rape apologist in the world.
  16. Superhero cartoonist Barry Kitson couldn’t decide between drawing Black Widow’s boobs or her ass, so he decided on an unbelievably awkward pose so that both would be facing the viewer. Oy.
  17. GOP Salivates at Prospect of Cutting Funds for World’s Poorest Women. This is why, despite it all, I still say there’s a difference between the two parties.
  18. The next time you see a politician bowing out of a race in Oregon’s fifth district for “family reasons”, give it a little more credence than normal.
  19. Destress by owning less stuff and living in smaller spaces with more people.
  20. Best. Age. Verification. Ever. Well, best one I’ve seen this week, anyhow.
  21. How What We “Know” About Men Can Silence Their Reports of Sexual Abuse
  22. But ‘freedom of religion’ means that you have to give me taxpayer money!!
  23. Prostitution, Hotel Housekeeping Staff, and the Arrogant Entitlement That Arises When Prostitution is Illegal
  24. Cool things that post offices in other countries are doing with new tech
  25. Why It’s Good News That Miley Cyrus Tweets For LGBT Equality. To be fair, Santorum said “dog,” not “goldfish.” AFAIK.
  26. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” House for Sale
  27. Why does Washington care so much about deficits? Answer: Because you can use “deficits” as an excuse for whatever pet issue you want to push.
  28. A defense of the right to sell your kidneys, and also of raising gender-neutral kids.
  29. Obama’s Appeals Judges Average Four Years Older Than Bush’s
  30. I never thought I’d post a pole-dancing video on Alas. But this film of national champion pole dancer Natasha Wang is astounding! (Via).

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82 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm: Secret Gender Pole Dancer Edition

  1. 1
    denelian says:

    i’d like to comment on everything [it's freaking 7:23 and i just finished reading 29! so it's *your* fault i wasn't asleep at 6am like i meant to be. :D ]

    but i’ll restrain myself to 2 things:
    Miley is a lot cooler than i’d EVER hoped she’d be. i first ran into her the first year of her Disney show, my niece ADORED her – and i said to myself “if that child is ever allowed to actually USE her talents, she’ll go far. but she’s a Disney kid – chances are, it’ll be another Britney, with a bit of Country thrown in”
    i take those thoughts BACK – sure, she’s still not REALLY allowed to use her talent [the music she's given *shudders* - but when SHE picks it, or writes it, it's a bit better] but aside from her music, that kid’s a class act.
    color me IMPRESSED.

    re: pole dancing. i used to work as a “house mom” [read: babysitter for strippers/exotic dancers] and some of those women were so very talented, i wanted to shove them back into ballet/jazz/modern/whatever they used to dance. add in the 3D element of a “pole”, and it becomes THAT breathtaking.
    the only thing that bothers me about the idea of “competitive poledancing” is that it’s still considered “the stripper’s ‘sport’” – those women [and some men have taken it up] could compete in the Olympics on the gymnastics team, could dance with a Ballet Met, or something equally beautiful. that they make poledancing an art as georgous as ballet is … is… dude, i don’t even have a word COOL enough to describe that.

    thank you for the video – and all the rest :)

  2. 2
    James Bevan says:

    Obama just extended the Patriot Act. I don’t want to say “I told you so”, when I said he was no different than Bush, but I’d say this proves it. He, and EVERY member of Congress who approved of extending this unconstitutional act, must be voted out of office next November.

    Oh, and you say nothing about it when you would have raked Bush over the coals. Hypocrite.

  3. 3
    Schala says:

    It’s amazing the backlash against people who want to allow their kid freedom of gender expression, from the first link.

    Even my boyfriend thinks they’re loonies for doing this. But I think they’re right, and fully support what they’re doing. It might have been harder for me to realize I identified as female (given the totally bad fit of the male gender role was a factor in accelerating my recognition of an existing problem), but it also probably would have given me a LOT more self-esteem.

  4. 5
    Myca says:

    Dear James,

    More than once now (actually more then five times, but who’s counting), you’ve dropped in here, posted a hit-and-run comment, and refused to participate in further discussion.

    I warned you about this already here.

    What you’re doing now is functionally equivalent to dashing up to someone in the street, shouting epithets, and running away when they try to talk to you. You are useless here, because, though we often fail at it, I think we do try to have a discussion, in the sense Robert linked. None of us deserve to waste our time on your shouting.

    Nonetheless, because I am interested in seeing if you’ll ever read this, or if you do, if you’re even able to have a discussion, or if your facilities run exclusively towards insults and unsupported, facile slogans, I’m going to give you one more chance.

    —–
    I’d agree that Obama’s support for the Patriot Act is not good. I’d even go so far as to call it ‘bad,’ or ‘evil.’ Nonetheless, I don’t think that this is remotely the same as him being “the same’ as former president Bush. This is a bad thing they’ve both done that I disagree with, and they’re similar in that way, yes, but a similarity on one axis (or even on several) is not the same as being functionally equivalent.

    Given the choice between Obama and Bush (or more realistically, Obama and McCain, Palin, Santorum, Huckabee, etc.), I think that Obama is the better, more functional choice, but that’s a world away from him being my optimal choice. For that we’d have to look at Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

    Furthermore, when, in a two-party system, both parties agree on a particular piece of bad legislation, there aren’t a lot of options, other than 1) in-party activism or 2) trying to alter the electoral system so as to make third parties viable. I certainly support both, and so does Ampersand.

    It’s unfortunate that third parties aren’t more viable in the US. Some of this is structural, and some is because parties like the Libertarians support obviously bad, childish, economically illiterate ideas. I suspect that the latter actually flows from the former, and that if we managed to solve some of the structural obstacles to third parties, they’d start proposing ideas that were useful, rather than just standing outside the two-party system yowling like wet cats.

    —–

    So, James, now is your chance to become a useful conversational participant! What you do is look at my post, think about my points, and respond to them. If you get stymied, read Robert’s, “are we having a discussion,” post, and think a bit.

    —Myca

  5. 6
    Ampersand says:

    [Cross-posted with Myca's response. I agree with everything Myca said, and really, I think his response to James was better than mine.]

    Obama just extended the Patriot Act. I don’t want to say “I told you so”, when I said he was no different than Bush, but I’d say this proves it. He, and EVERY member of Congress who approved of extending this unconstitutional act, must be voted out of office next November.

    Oh, and you say nothing about it when you would have raked Bush over the coals. Hypocrite.

    1) Obama is different from Bush — see, for instance, item #17 in the post. Having a Democrat in the white house means that the UN Population fund isn’t defunded, which in turn saves tens of thousands of lives in the third world. Unless you think that makes no difference, then obviously there is some difference between Obama and Bush.

    2) I’ve criticized Obama in the past, and doubtless will continue to do so. The implication that I don’t criticize Obama makes me suspect you haven’t been reading this blog for long.

    3) I don’t think I’ve ever given a lot of attention to the Patriot Act, under Bush or Obama. Not that I don’t think it’s important, it’s just not one of the issues I feel driven to write about.

    4) I definitely agree with you that signing the Patriot Act, and voting for it in the Senate, was shameful. And that on this issue — and national security state/civil rights in general — Obama has generally been as bad as Obama.

    5) I like the idea of voting out the right-wingers (in both parties) and replacing them with left-wingers, but I don’t believe it’s going to happen anytime soon, alas.

  6. 7
    maggie says:

    I truly think pole dancing should be an Olympic sport. I don’t think it’s sexy (though the routine above is naturally sexier than the trying-too-hard type), but a good dancer is just amazing to watch. Such incredible strength!

  7. 8
    mythago says:

    Meh. I am pretty ambivalent about pole-dancing. On the one hand, “dancing with poles” is and can be pretty neat to watch; on the other hand there’s very much an air of “isn’t this naughty and you should look at it because woo stripping”. And of course I don’t have a lot of patience with the bourgeois attempt to classify certain kinds of explicit sexual expression as Okay Because It’s Art vs. It’s Just There To Titillate.

  8. 9
    Ampersand says:

    I don’t know about pole dancing in general, but the particular video I posted I like for pretty much the same reason I like Olympic gymnastics and Jackie Chan movies: I really like watching acrobatic people do neat things.

  9. 10
    maggie says:

    Did you watch the video, mythago? It’s really not “ooo look at me I’m sexy”. Like Ampersand says, it’s more like gymnastics than anything else. Except prettier, I think.

    I’ve seen both kinds of pole dancing, and the packaged sexuality kind is not at all fun to watch.

  10. 11
    mythago says:

    Yes, maggie, I did. You seem to think I’m objecting to pole dancing; I’m not. What I’m objecting to is the attitude that if an athletic young woman puts on a bikini and does a dance routine climbing on brass poles to music, that’s beautiful, gymnastic and praiseworthy – unless she’s doing it in a strip bar for her rent money, and then it’s “packaged sexuality”, ew.

    ETA: Amp, I have seen a lot of the kind of “pole dancing” that doesn’t get posted to liberal blogs much. It *is* very athletic and graceful and “holy shit, that is impressive”. I doubt that watching a woman perform an artful striptease WHILE hanging by her legs from a brass pole is going to impress the chattering classes, but it sure impressed me, packaged sexuality or no.

  11. 12
    Ampersand says:

    For me, I sometimes to enjoy athleticism more when it’s separate from overt attempts at sex appeal. It’s not that I have anything against sex appeal, but it’s not something I always want, and too often our culture seems to be trying to shove it down my throat when I’d rather not have it. And very often, “sexy” entertainment has a lot of implicit opinions about the kinds of thing I as a male must want to see, and if I become too aware of that then it becomes hard for me to enjoy either the sexiness or the athleticism.

    None of which is meant as a criticism of other people’s preferences! But for me, I think I may enjoy the athleticism more without the striptease.

  12. 13
    RonF says:

    Myca, Amp:

    Another alternative to the 3rd party route is to organize a group of people that pushes one of the existing major parties in the direction you want it to go. This happened to the Democratic party starting in the late 60′s – early 70′s, and is happening now in the Republican Party through the efforts of the Tea Party movement.

  13. 14
    RonF says:

    And as long as this is an open thread:

    Have a thought and even a prayer today for those who died on the fields of battle to defend your right to do … a whole lot of things.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    - Laurence Binyon

  14. 15
    RonF says:

    @5: First, we shouldn’t be having pot raids, unless someone’s selling an adulterated product. At least, in – let’s not say perfect, but a better world. Second, when you read the milblogs they always tear into these things by stating that these SWAT teams aren’t nearly as well trained in such things as they should be. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get retired Marines or anyone else shot up for no reason. Maybe people conducting military-style activities ought to get trained by the military.

    @8, Sen. Paul said I have a resolution saying we’re in violation of the War Powers Act.

    Remember when Candidate Obama criticized President Bush and said that he’d make sure he abided by the War Powers act if he was elected? Have you seen any reminders of that on, oh, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc.? No, me neither. You know, I don’t think these guys are in the tank for Obama anymore. I think they were in there so long that they all drowned and the bodies have had to have been hauled out of the tank and disposed of.

    @16 – this reminds me of a porn shot. One of the reasons why I find porn so unappealing is that the women are twisted around like contortionists in ridiculous positions. No one looks like they’re actually enjoying what they’re doing most of the time. At least, the women don’t.

    @17 – I have little use for the U.N. Funding an organization where some of the worst human rights violators on the planet sit on the Human Rights commission makes little sense to me. But some of their humanitarian missions are worthwhile. So what the GOP is doing on here doesn’t sound right.

  15. 16
    Stefan says:

    This is my blog http://secular-ro.blogspot.com, you can use Google Translate to understand what I write about (not what I write ; unfortunately Google Translate is very far from a satisfactory translating tool; for example, it translated “I didn’t manage to convince” with “I managed to convince”).The tool is incorporated in the Chrome browser, I don’t know how other browsers translate pages.

  16. 17
    denelian says:

    mythago – i *think* you’re saying “i have a problem with people saying that pole-dance as a “sport” is ok, but pole-dancing for money, as a stripper/exotic dancer, is somehow “wrong” – if one is good, the other should be”

    *IF* that’s what you’re saying – i agree completely, while pointing out that many of the strippers/dancer i knew agree with the faceless masses.
    oh, they don’t think it’s *evil*; they do perceive themselves as, on some level, “taking advantage of” men who are there to take advantage of them. is it better that it’s a situation where BOTH sides feel they’re taking advantage of the other?
    why is anyone perceived as taking advantage of anyone? this i don’t understand, at all.

    what are strippers selling? they are NOT selling *sex* [oh, some do, but as an extra - extra-legal, but also not really part of the original idea. the place where i was a house-mom would FIRE any of the dancers if they had sex with a "client" - whether or not money changed hands]
    are they are selling, then, the same thing any *other* type of dancer sells? [careful with this one - it hasn't been THAT long since ballet dancers were considered in the same light society views strippers with...]
    or is it just the “performance of sexiness”? because it *isn’t* the “performance of sex”, and some of those so-called dancers have THREE left feet.

    honestly, to some degree i think they’re selling that “ew” factor – that dash of “not socially acceptable”. there is absolutely nothing [aside from stunts on the pole] that a “stripper” has done for money that *I* haven’t done just for fun – and for most of the dancers i knew, the pole was just sort of there; they used it the absolute minimum they could and avoided it.

    i like to hope that pole-dancing being a competive art [sorry - anything where the score is interpretive *IS* an art, at least to me, a former dance and musician. dancing, ice skating, gymnastics... score are interpretive. HAVE to be] is dragging this festering bit of sociatal bigorty and stupidity into the fresh air, where it can heal and stop *festering*, you know? every time someone watches the above routine [which, by the way, more than once it looked like she stayed up in the air out of sheer willpower! utterly amazing] a little bit of “stupid” is destroyed, as their jaw drops and they try to figure out how the dancer stays in the air. or did that walkover.

    this turned into a bit of a lecture – sorry – i worked with lots of local workers to fight various stupid ordanances created to try and destroy every “club” in Columbus. i can’t do that anymore, i’m not physically able, so it comes out in odd places :) most of this was just me generally “thinking into the keyboard”
    then a 4-inch long wolf-spider showed up on my pillow, and when i came back i re-read and realised i’d lectured – but i’m not sure if changing it would get rid of the meaning in it, so… stupid wolf-spiders!

    so, as a general aside, anyone have any ideas how to keep wolf spiders and the things that i used to call “silverfish” but have been told are NOT “silverfish” but are some sort of centipede – some over a FOOT LONG – out of my basement apartment? scratch the basement part of that; i found at least the not-silverfish things in the townhouse above us when we lived in it… seriously, i don’t MIND spiders, but i don’t want them on my bed – and i don’t mind spiders because i *AM* utterly bugaphobic. i run away from moths. any useful ideas would be HIGHLY appreciated! that was the second wolf-spider THIS WEEK!

  17. 18
    Robert says:

    Get a cat.

  18. 19
    denelian says:

    boyfriend is allergic – otherwise i WOULD have, by now.

    thanks, though!

  19. 20
    Robert says:

    Train boyfriend to hunt vermin.

  20. 21
    denelian says:

    *falls down laughing*
    who do you think took the poor wolf spider outside?

    but he has a real job, one which pays him money with which he pays his half of the rent – we can’t afford for him to be a full-time watch-cat. but i’m gonna tell him you said that, just to see the look on his face… :D

  21. 22
    Robert says:

    I try to help, and you just make up excuses. One final attempt before I decide you’re one of those people who lives to be unhappy:

    Replace boyfriend with independently wealthy, non-ailurophobic boyfriend. Get cat.

  22. 23
    Robert says:

    I haven’t had a chance to dig into this, but it looks interesting: six policy foundations ranging from progressive to paleocon were asked to come up with plans to get the public fisc back on track.

    http://pgpf.org/Issues/Fiscal-Outlook/2011/01/20/~/media/88A2881EBE18412EB569ECFC626DA220

  23. 24
    Dianne says:

    How about other non-cat small predators? Ferret, dachshund, mongoose…

    Altnerately, train boyfriend to take antihistamines and wash hands after handling cat. Get cat.

    If none of that works, have you considered a pest removal service and/or basement sealing service?

  24. 25
    denelian says:

    *giggle*

    really, though – as much as i’d like advice, i’d like advice i can TAKE. getting a rich boyfriend when you’re 34, a bit overweight, and confined to a wheelchair [and can barely, rarely have sex] is an almost certain failure.

    although your plan has another feature, that you may have missed or glossed over – if i had a rich boyfriend, i wouldn’t be living in a basement apartment in a building built in 1903 and last renovated in 68! and so there wouldn’t BE bugs and spiders! [i hope?]

    but it’s amusing thought. although i do rather like my boyfriend, quite a bit – and after 7 years i’m used to his snores :D

  25. 26
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    OMG.
    Four inch spiders? Foot long centipedes?

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Nice though you sound, I am never moving to your area. Never, ever.

    Speaking as someone who shares your dislike: Seems to me that the problem is that you are trying to SAVE the bug when you should be trying to KILL the bug. Bugs belong outside (in which case *I* leave the area) but those who venture inside should meet an untimely death.

    Long flyswatters work but leave a squished bug. Not so bad for a small one, but a four incher would be a bit much.

    You might try a vacuum with a long extension. I’ve had pretty good bug-killing luck with Shop-Vacs, even the cheaper ones that are small (and capable of being held on your lap as you vacuum up the critters.) I think they’re about $20 at Home Depot and you might also be able to use a normal vacuum if you have it. They accept cheap plastic rigid pipe which can reach down to the floor and also up to the ceiling. Suck up the bugs into the vacuum, stick a cork in the end of the hose so they don’t decide to leave on their own, and let your boyfriend deal with it at his leisure.

    Also, in my experience most common household cleaners are toxic to bugs if you spray them with it, but are not a problem to use. Lysol is a good example. I think Windex works too. You can get a pump sprayer (a handheld bottle for short range, or one of the garden type for serious range) and squirt the big ones from a distance. You’ll have to deal with the dead bugs but it’s a lot less problematic than dealing with live bugs.

  26. 27
    mythago says:

    Amp @12: So, the pole-dancing competition would be better if the women were wearing something other than bikinis?

    denelian @17: Having been a stripper, I agree with pretty much everything you’re saying (including about the wolf spiders), but I’m not sharing the optimism. I don’t think it’s dragging anything into the light. On the contrary, I think that it’s a way for people to reassure themselves that they’re not just looking at a sexy young woman slithering around a pole for their own gratification (good gravy, no, this is Dance, and therefore Art), while still retaining enough of the salacious origins to be exciting.

    Most of the dancers I knew used the pole a lot. But doing the acrobatic stuff requires pretty good upper-body strength.

  27. 28
    Ledasmom says:

    Foot-long centipedes?
    I think our cat would run away from that.
    What about a large, carnivorous lizard? What the hell eats foot-long centipedes, anyway?
    Also, consider suspending all your beds and chairs from the ceiling.

  28. 29
    RonF says:

    Note that both the arachnids you describe (as the risk of being pedantic, neither is an insect) are both predators. Wolf spiders and centipedes are carnivores, eating other little creepy-crawlies for their dinner. A lot of them, in fact. So consider that by getting rid of the predators, you leave the field open for their prey.

    If you live in a basement apartment, as I once did, I’m going to guess that there are portions of the basement that you do not live in that holds the boiler, hot water heater, storage space, etc. for the building that is adjacent to your apartment. My second guess is that this is where the spiders and centipedes you describe live and they just come over to visit you once in a while. You’ve either got to convince your landlord to deal with the source of the problem, or you have to create barriers so that they can’t enter your space. We’re talking cracks in the wall, cracks in the wall/ceiling and wall/floor junctions, electrical outlets, drains, heat sources (how does the heat get into your apartment?), water pipes, etc., etc. Plaster, caulking and gaskets might help. These guys can squeeze though cracks you just wouldn’t think that they could.

    But that’s a workaround, not a fix. Your problem is that the source of these critters is out of your control. I know an entymologist, I’ll ask him. He usually wants to see the critter in question if you can’t tell him exactly what it is. He’s pretty busy. The bed bug invasion has reached Chicago.

    He tells me that no matter where you work or live you’re never more than a few feet from a spider.

  29. 30
    RonF says:

    Egyptian general admits ‘virginity checks’ conducted on protesters

    A senior Egyptian general admits that “virginity checks” were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.

    “The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” the general said. “These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs).”

    The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn’t later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.

    “We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).”

    So I guess once a woman has had sex in Egypt she can't ever claim to have been raped. According to this guy, anyway.

  30. 31
    mythago says:

    I doubt he really believes that. It was just an excuse to sexually abuse and humiliate the women and later punish them by publicly shaming them.

  31. 32
    Ampersand says:

    Amp @12: So, the pole-dancing competition would be better if the women were wearing something other than bikinis?

    I’m not bothered by the bikini-wearing at all. (Also, as I understand it, pole-dancers need to have skin-to-pole contact because skin is stickier than clothing.) The kind of thing I was talking about has a lot more to do with behavior and attitude than with what people wear.

  32. 33
    mythago says:

    Amp, c’mon. The point of the bikini is looking sexy, not simply skin-to-pole contact for friction.

  33. 34
    mike says:

    about #16
    It’s not that awkward of a pose, it looks a lit like a gymnast as she is turning from one uneven parallel bar to catch the other bar.
    (On the other hand, normally be legs would be together so the spin would be faster, but presumably Black Widow, is trying to slow down her turn, which is the reason for the straddle.)

    Of course, the way that she is turning, Hawkeye is just about to get kicked in the face.

    For pole dancing, I like this one better.

  34. 35
    Ampersand says:

    Well, it’s kind of a personal thing, Mythago. For me, just that they’re wearing bikinis doesn’t make it sexy, even if that is the intent. YMMV.

  35. 36
    Ampersand says:

    For pole dancing, I like this one better.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iht7UBZR7pU

    That one is amazing! And it also completely blows away my theory about skin-to-pole contact requiring minimal clothing.

  36. 37
    mythago says:

    For me, just that they’re wearing bikinis doesn’t make it sexy, even if that is the intent.

    Yes, that is the intent. That’s the point. You’re essentially telling me that the pictures in Playboy are nice but I’m ignoring all those great articles.

    Again, there’s nothing at all wrong with appreciating the athleticism and skill involved; I’m just finding this yet another tedious example of bourgeois “it’s not low-class, we’ve thrown in just enough to make it OK for people of my caliber to cerebrally enjoy it.”

  37. 38
    Ampersand says:

    When you say “I’m just finding this yet another tedious example…” I don’t know what you’re saying, because I don’t know what the pronoun refers to. Is “this” referring to the video itself, or to me including the video in the post?

  38. 39
    mythago says:

    I don’t object to the video at all. I’m just doubtful that you would have posted the exact same video if it had been taken at the hypothetical World Stripper Championships held at Cheetah’s Gentlemen’s Club.

    The “this” I’m objecting to is the recasting of sexualized performance as “art” to make it socially acceptable (to progressives, in this context), without acknowledging the fact that the performance is still firmly rooted in its unliked origins and, in fact, derives its interest from those origins.

    It reminds me of all the chattering-class approval of Vox back in the day. Vox is a porn novel, but because it was dressed up and promoted as ‘literary’, suddenly it was perfectly OK for the NYT to review it as a serious work and for the chattering classes to discuss it like any other ‘serious’ work – in a way that it wouldn’t have been if the exact same book were published by Cleis Press with the title A Hot Conversation.

    In other words, appreciating the work for whatever reason is A-OK by me. What I object to is the hypocritical and self-serving veneer.

  39. 40
    denelian says:

    RonF;

    i know – and honestly, if it wasn’t on my bed i would mind the spider. [the centipede thingies i DO mind *shudder* they're poisonous and creepy and actively triggering, for some reason...]

    boyfriend is allergic to anything with fur. but a reptile COULD be doable.

    i’ve been trying and trying and TRYING to get our damned landlord to seal stuff. but he used to live in this apartment, and *he* didn’t mind anything that happened, so i’m just “being a girl” [and i've tried to explain that A) i'm a WOMAN and B) it's not just those who are female who have phobias, and i could sue him for that shit, and he just doesn't care.] he refuses to let me call in professionals – because, by law, HE has to pay for them, and refuses to pay. because “it’s just a FEW bugs, what do you expect in a basement?”
    i’ve lived in basements where i did NOT have giant effing not-quite-bugs *dancing on my bed*. i’m just saying.

    i dunno… time to take to the housing authority? put the rent in escrow until he deals with it?

    really – i don’t mind the spiders; they EAT BUGS. i just mind them on the bed. hence the “catch and release”. but i’m taking your advice, gin-and-whiskey. i’ve got a vacuum that has those attachments, and should suck up the centipedes [i'll continue to make someone catch-and-release the spiders - not the least of which because they ALWAYS end up on my books. makes me wonder of my spiders have learned my reading addiction; also wonder what *IS* it about Heinlein that even spiders love him?]
    i live in Ohio. so… avoid Ohio, i guess :)

    Ledasmom – as cool as it would be, i don’t think our ceilings can take it. oh, well, it’s a REALLY cool idea.

    mythago; i follow – hell, i know people who go to watch ballet because of the “skimpy costumes”. it’s the same thing with stripping – people go for the reasons i stated PLUS skimpy clothing, so making a portion of “stripping” [the pole dancing] into an “art” just allows people to be hypocrits.
    i guess i just try to be optimistic, even when i have zero reason to be. ballet DID eventually make the jump from “scandel” to “real art” – so it’s not IMPOSSIBLE. :)
    i hope!

  40. 41
    denelian says:

    RonF;

    forgot to mention – bed bug invasion?! i am now canceling my trip to chicago. but if he can tell me more about these centipede thingies and what i can do to KEEP THEM OUT, i’d be ALL OVER IT. i mean, i’ll even do my best to take pictures. NO ONE i know knows what they’re actually called [i thought they were "silverfish". apparantly not.] but, again, EVERYONE i know insists that they’re deadly poisonous. and… as i said above, for some reason, they actively “trigger” my PTSD. i don’t know WHY – they don’t EXIST in CA where i devoloped the PTSD. but they do. so… maybe i’ll train boyfriend to take pictures then vacuum them up [i like that better than lysol or hairspray] but i’d REALLY rather find a way to keep them out.
    ESPECIALLY *off my godsdamned bed*!! seriously – not only can they somehow climb up, but they’ve also gone up the wall to the ceiling and then dropped onto my bed. and they’re REALLY aggressive sometimes… *shudder*

    if a pic will help, i’ll do what i can. and take any advice your etymologist friend has. and owe you and him a BIG favor!

  41. 42
    Robert says:

    There are foot-long centipedes, but they’re in the Amazon. I suppose it’s possible that they migrated, attracted by the prospect of unlimited Heinlein…but it seems unlikely.

    More likely they’re millipedes. Do they curl up when you brush them away? That’s a standard millipede defense mechanism.

    Either way, getting rid of them is both complicated and simple. Complicated, because the best way to control arthropods (to out-pedant Ron’s pedantry, neither centipedes nor millipedes are bugs) is to seal the outside of the building so they can’t get in. Not an option in your case.

    Simple, there are two basic methods:

    1) Poison the little fuckers. There are pesticides at the store which will take care of them. But do get an ID on what exact critter you’re dealing with, as some pesticides will not work on some creatures. You spray, they die, boom. Downside, you’ll be dousing your house in chemicals forever since the underlying invasion will not change.

    2) Dry out the air. These beasties need a rather particular level of humidity to survive and thrive. Most of the time when they come inside they’re not looking for Heinlein or to horrify innocent humans, they’re looking for a more comfortable climate. That means damp – thus, basements. Dehumidify your quarters and they might start avoiding you. Downside, you’ll be scratching at your dry, scaling skin forever.

    Good luck – and do post a pic if you can.

  42. 43
    Decnavda says:

    I haven’t had time to comment & debate for a loooong time due mainly to a new job, but also in part due a personal project I am going to de-lurk here to self-promote. I have been introducing my ten-year-old son Isaac to people with strongly held religious, political and social beliefs and interviewing them with him for a podcast called “Educating Isaac”. Topics so far have been Islam, Communism, Fundamentalist Christianity, Feminism, and Libertarianism. Most of the guests have been personal acquaintances, although the guest for Libertarianism was Matt Welch, the Editor-in-Chief of Reason Magazine. “Educating Isaac” can be downloaded either at iTunes or at http://educatingisaac.libsyn.com/webpage.

  43. 44
    denelian says:

    Robert;

    you seem to think i’d voluntarily TOUCH one of those things!!!!!!! ewewewewew ad infinium…. gods, NO i will NOT touch it.

    i have been assured by EVERYONE that A) they’re centipedes and B) they’re HIGHLY poisonous. extra reason to NOT TOUCH oh dear gods… i’m going to have nightmares now…

    moving on: i can describe them. the smallest i’ve seen is… about 2 inches long, maybe half an inch wide. they are silvery-grey in color. they have TOO MANY legs – and these legs look sort of like spider legs, in that they are segmented, come out of the thorax angled up, then there’s a joint and it goes down. by “up” i mean “much above the thorax” although i have no way to measure HOW FAR.

    i have seem them as long as a foot [maybe longer!] and i’m not the only one – except everyone else looks at it and says “but they don’t GET that big” as they’re looking at a 14 inch THINGS with too many legs that is purported to be more poisonous than a brown recluse [i've been bitten by one. NO THANK YOU]

    but i will do my bested to take pictures before the CthuluHorroresqueness of them makes me make, and fail, a San check :)

  44. 45
    Charles S says:

    Sounds like a house centipede to me. I found one site that claims they grow to 6″ (with most of that being legs rather than body). Wikipedia even says they are often called silverfish. Easily mistaken for a spider, but there are too many legs and the body is too long, so it looks like a spider but wrong. They are really fast. I love arthropods, but the first house centipede I ever saw freaked me out. They do have a sting like a bee, but they aren’t aggressive towards humans, so you’d have to get pretty unlucky to get stung by one.

  45. 46
    Dianne says:

    i could sue him for that shit

    It might be a reasonable alternative, given the situation you’re describing. Document as much as you can re what you’ve said to him and he to you and take some pictures of 14″ centipedes.

  46. 47
    Ampersand says:

    Decnavda, that’s a really neat idea for a podcast! I’ll give it a listen.

  47. 48
    RonF says:

    mythago:

    I doubt he really believes that. It was just an excuse to sexually abuse and humiliate the women and later punish them by publicly shaming them.

    I don’t think so. I think he actually believes that women who will have sex outside of marriage have no morals at all and will have sex with anyone, voluntarily. I could be wrong, but that’s the way I’d bet.

    The “this” I’m objecting to is the recasting of sexualized performance as “art” to make it socially acceptable (to progressives, in this context), without acknowledging the fact that the performance is still firmly rooted in its unliked origins and, in fact, derives its interest from those origins.

    I see where you’re coming from in this particular instance. But if you want to talk about origins of dance it’s pretty arguable that even the waltz has a sexualized origin that was modified to make it socially acceptable. Sex has been part of dance probably from it’s beginnings.

    Denelian – I don’t know what city you live in/near. Is there no tenants’ advocacy group? I’m betting that either the building department or the health department would be interested if you showed up with or mailed them a few photographs of these bad boys.

    Or, if you want, call either the tenants’ group or one of those agencies. Find out what the appropriate code citation is. Send a letter to your landlord, with pictures, registered mail, citing the code and requesting that he take action. And – copy the health or building department and indicate with a “CC:” that you have done so in your letter to the landlord. That way, if he refuses to act or takes half-measures (e.g., has someone unqualified come in and ineffectually spray some chemicals round) there’s history and he can’t claim to the regulatory agency that this is all new to him.

    If you can arrange to be around when whoever he hires comes in, ask to see their license. If they don’t have one, write down who they are and any other information they’ll give you and don’t let them in. Then notify your landlord (again cc’ing the appropriate agency) that it’s a violation to hire unlicensed exterminators and ask when he’s going to take action according to code.

    Yeah, I’m a homeowner. But I rented for 13 years before I could afford to buy a house. I had a landlord who thought he could do his own electrical work and that building and electrical codes were purely advisory. The Cambridge Building Department and I re-educated him (with help from the Cambridge Tenants’ Union). I think he finally figured out I was serious when I organized two meetings of all the tenants in the building in my apartment along with people from the CTU and got the building department to show up and inspect.

  48. 49
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    I’ve been trying to find a link to a long article about the amount of mortgage information that the banks lost– I saw the link a few weeks ago, but the article may have been older. It seems like the sort of thing folks here would track.

  49. 50
    Dianne says:

    getting rid of them is both complicated and simple.

    Nuke em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  50. 51
    Ampersand says:

    Nuke em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    Ripley, there are bigger issues here. The corporation wants to study these creatures.

  51. 52
    denelian says:

    Charles – yes, that’s them, but TRUST ME – they get bigger than 6 inches. we had one on the couch one night [!!!!!!!!!! and screams] and it stretched across one entire cusion and partly onto another. yes, mostly legs – but i’m guessing the body was 13 or 14 inches…

    Dianna [and Ron] Ron has given me the way. i’ve never HAD a bad land-lord before – but i can do all that. i’m GOING to do that – i know there’s a housing authority and i’m contacting them tomorrow. so… hopefully soon it’s all fixed…

  52. 53
    RonF says:

    Glad to help. Make sure that you cite the actual code section that your landlord has to comply with in your first letter. If the regulatory agency is less than cooperative in this I’m sure that in a city of any size there’s a tenant’s advocacy group that will be glad to help. You’re looking to keep from giving your landlord any wiggle room.

  53. 54
    Charles S says:

    You should try to get a good photo (preferably against a background like a couch cushion where you can get a clear size reference) of one of the larger ones. I’m not seeing any descriptions of them being larger than 6 inches (and almost everywhere says “up to 2 inches”), so maybe you could set a record!

    I can’t bring myself to argue that you should cohabitate with foot long house centipedes. If they were the normal 2 inch sort, I’d point out that they really are benign (they eat cockroaches and silverfish), but I don’t think I could handle foot long centipedes in my house either.

    I will just mention that they will eat bedbugs…

  54. 55
    Dianne says:

    Ron has given me the way

    Ron is my hero for giving useful advice on this one! I’ve never owned a house/apartment/etc so I’ve dealt with landlords, but have tended to take the passive-aggressive approach of moving when things like 14 inch bugs become a problem. (Side query: Can anything in life really be said to be “like” 14 inch bugs?)

    A bit ironic, since Ron is the libertarian with the “the free market will solve everything” philosophy and he’s the one that knows how to use “socialist” tenant organizations to get things fixed.

  55. 56
    RonF says:

    I have never had a problem with groups of people freely associating with each other to promote common interests. Like, say, the Boy Scouts of America. Also, I don’t see how a tenants’ association is necessarily “socialist”. A given association may decide to pursue socialist goals, but getting together to hand out information about what the law is and how to use it for your own benefit doesn’t seem inherently socialist to me.

    In a truly free market the consumer of a good or service gets to choose among providers, forcing the providers to either meet the consumers’ standards or lose so much business that they fail and leave the market. This is what differentiates government services from private sector services – if you are displeased with private sector services you have alternatives. You have no free market alternative with a great many government services.

  56. 57
    Robert says:

    Socialism (in its broad definition) is an excellent way of organizing economic activities – when it consists of people affirmatively and voluntarily banding together to jointly (socially) promote their own mutual interests.

    It is coercive, compulsory socialism that libertarians like RonF and myself find objectionable. The Che Guevara Health Cooperative is a great thing in my book (name aside); the You Will Join Socialist Insurance Mandate is tyranny.

  57. 58
    Ampersand says:

    In a truly free market the consumer of a good or service gets to choose among providers, forcing the providers to either meet the consumers’ standards or lose so much business that they fail and leave the market.

    This is unrealistic. In a truly free market, the more the consumer needs something, and the less money the consumer has, the more likely the power relationship is likely to reverse. In a truly free (i.e., unrelgulated) market, people who don’t have a lot of money to pay for housing will be forced to rent from slumlords, and if they choose to leave one landlord it won’t matter, because virtually all the other super-low-rent landlords will also be slumlords.

    Markets are a wonderful thing. But they’re not the cure-all to every problem.

    You have no free market alternative with a great many government services.

    I’m curious — what services does our government provide that you can’t also choose to buy on the private market? The government provides cops, but you can hire private security. The government provides social security, but you can buy disability insurance and save for retirement in the private market. The government builds roads, but if you own a large enough piece of land you can pay contractors to build a road there. Etc, etc.

    Of course, many people are too poor to buy services they get from the government, on the open market. But eliminating the government services won’t help out those people.

  58. 59
    Ampersand says:

    It is coercive, compulsory socialism that libertarians like RonF and myself find objectionable. The Che Guevara Health Cooperative is a great thing in my book (name aside); the You Will Join Socialist Insurance Mandate is tyranny.

    Although you and RonF may be exceptions, conservative legislators often object to non-compulsory socialism as well. For instance, Conservatives were overwhelmingly against the idea of a “public option” health insurance being included as one option in the insurance marketplace.

  59. 60
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    I’m curious — what services does our government provide that you can’t also choose to buy on the private market? The government provides cops, but you can hire private security. The government provides social security, but you can buy disability insurance and save for retirement in the private market. The government builds roads, but if you own a large enough piece of land you can pay contractors to build a road there. Etc, etc.

    Well, the government owns the lands under the roads, so assuming you want to get from point A to point B you cannot generally do so if you don’t cross a government road. Nor can you fly your private plane around (hello, FAA!) or sell your own drugs, or operate your private-agreement-regarding-minimum-training medical practice, or use said private security to actually enforce more than a very minimal number of civil statutes, etc. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Look, i’m all for government intervention. But the argument taht the government hasn’t functionally captured a variety of markets seems more than a bit odd.

  60. 61
    Ampersand says:

    You’re right, I can’t build private roads on land that I don’t own. Do conservatives claim that I should be able to build private roads on land that I don’t own? That would be surprising.

    The large majority of planes flying around are privately owned. It’s true that plane flight is regulated, but that’s not the same as saying you can’t do it.

    Nothing prevents one from running a private medical practice. So that’s not a legitimate example of a service the government provides, that no one is allowed to provide privately. It’s true that the doctors have to have a license, but that’s equally true of privately and publicly employed doctors.

    It’s true that you can’t hire private security to come arrest me and hold me in a private jail; is that something that conservatives want private citizens to be able to do? I hope not.

    Ron’s post, if I understood it correctly, said that if the government provides a service, then you can’t buy that service on the private market. I can think of many examples where that’s not true.

    Most of your responses amounted to “yes, but even if you get the service privately, it’s still subject to government regulations.” That’s certainly true, but that doesn’t seem to me to be the same as what Ron was claiming.

    [Edited to add: G&W, I realize you're not a conservative! I referred to conservatives because we're discussing Ron's views, and Ron is a conservative. I didn't intend to imply that you're a conservative, but on rereading I realized it may have come across that way; sorry about that.]

  61. 62
    Dianne says:

    Nor can you …or sell your own drugs,

    Actually, I can. But only because I got authorized by about 5 different governments to do so. And I’d have to declare a conflict of interest if it really were my drug.

  62. 63
    Robert says:

    What Ron means is that the government service option is hard to put out of business through superior competition. Yes, you can buy private retirement annuities – but no matter how superior the private annuity market is to Social Security, Social Security will remain until there is political will to replace it.

    Whereas, Joe’s Nev-r-Pay Annuity Company will go out of business once people realize it’s a ripoff. Lots of people think Social Security is a ripoff, but it isn’t going anywhere unless those people build a critical megamajority mass of the populace. All that has to happen to put Joe out of business is for people to decline to do business with him.

    This is not necessarily or automatically bad – there may be compelling noneconomic rationales for a government service – but in economic terms it means that resources can be inefficiently allocated for far longer than a market solution would have allowed.

  63. 64
    mythago says:

    RonF @48: Of course sex has been part of dance from the beginning; you know the joke about how Baptists object to sex standing up because it might lead to dancing.

    What I’m objecting to – and I’m sorry to say I see this in a lot of progressives – is a bluntly classist separatation of public sexuality depending on whether or not we can slap enough whitewash on it to make it Appropriate For Our Sort, rather than the sort of low-class stuff that those people look at for undignified titillation. So if we can look at pole dancing as an artistic, athletic endeavor, or at a porn novel as clever literature, why then, it’s perfectly OK to watch it and talk about it openly, as long as we hasten to assure ourselves that it’s different. (“I’m not reading porn; I’m studying erotica!”)

  64. 65
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    mythago, I think what you’re saying is extremely plausible, even though the actual effects don’t make me angry. I just think that completely non-raunchy pole-dancing is kind of odd. Could it count as cultural appropriation?

    Possibly of interest: Let’s Talk about Love, a book about an indie rock critic’s philosophical, moral, and aesthetic journey to being able to listen to Celine Dion with the same initial respect he gives to the sort of music he generally prefers.

  65. 66
    RonF says:

    O.K., folks – first off, I have never identified myself as a Libertarian, and I don’t accept being so labelled. Nor have I ever said that government intervention in markets is never desirable. For example, government regulation of prescription drug production and distribution is highly desirable, in my opinion.

    For instance, Conservatives were overwhelmingly against the idea of a “public option” health insurance being included as one option in the insurance marketplace.

    That’s because including the “public option” means that the insurance marketplace is no longer a free market. The “public option” insurance provider doesn’t have to make a profit. The government can (and no doubt will) use tax money to subsidize it. That means that it can undercut the private insurers and drive them out of business. The Social Security system is another example of the differnce. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. A private pension system has to fund payouts by investing it’s receipts. What you get out of it is a function of what you put into it plus the return on investments the people who run it are able to attain. But my Social Security taxes pay off current retirees. When I reach retirement age (hah!) I’ll get paid (maybe) by the SS taxes of younger people plus general tax revenue. A private pension fund doing that would end up with most of their management convicted of felonies.

    Markets are a wonderful thing. But they’re not the cure-all to every problem.

    True. As Robert points out, not every problem is an economic one. Building roads is an excellent example. National defense is another. That’s why people who say “Government should be run like a business” have no appeal for me. There are things that simply cannot be so run, nor should they be. OTOH, if something can be improved by running it like a business, there’s a clue that perhaps it should be run as a business, and get the government out of it.

  66. 67
    denelian says:

    Charles – getting a pic like that is a good idea. i have no guarantee that it’ll be on the couch – but i have a plastic ruler that i’ve put with the camera.

    i’m staying out of the other convo – i’m about to get SSDI and medicare, and i HAVE medicaid. i mean, i paid for all 3 for YEARS AND YEARS, often 2 or more jobs – but apparantly, that makes me too biased to be reasonable :)

  67. 68
    Ampersand says:

    The “public option” insurance provider doesn’t have to make a profit. The government can (and no doubt will) use tax money to subsidize it.

    Not true. The public option law proposed required the public option to pay for itself, apart from initial start-up costs.

    Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.

    No, it’s really not. Actual Ponzi schemes, among other things, a) are based on lying to clients about where the payouts come from, b) cannot possibly have enough revenues to meet payouts. Social Security is extremely open about where its money comes from, and the US government has enough revenues to continue paying it.

    By the way, conservatives have been predicting the imminent, inevitable collapse of Social Security for longer than I’ve been alive. How many decades of being completely wrong will it take before Conservatives actually adjust their views to match reality? (See also: Climate change.)

  68. 69
    nobody.really says:

    I have never had a problem with groups of people freely associating with each other to promote common interests. Like, say, the Boy Scouts of America.

    An unfortunate example, perhaps. Years ago I set forth a list of the subsidies and exemptions the government grants to the Boy Scouts of America. People are free to join. But I don’t get to opt out of paying the cost of the military facilities that are made available to them.

    It is coercive, compulsory socialism that libertarians like RonF and myself find objectionable. The Che Guevara Health Cooperative is a great thing in my book (name aside); the You Will Join Socialist Insurance Mandate is tyranny.

    You object to being compelled to contribute to the cost of national defense? Police? Courts? FEMA relief for victims of natural disasters? The Center for Disease Control limiting the spread of the plague? Social Security Disability Income?

    You object to public policy requiring emergency rooms to accept patients regardless of ability to pay?

    Don’t know about tyranny, but Hayek warned about government policies that would lead us down the Road to Serfdom — and he famously supported social safety nets. I’ll spare you the lengthy quotes. Unless you really want to see them again.

    Although you and RonF may be exceptions, conservative legislators often object to non-compulsory socialism as well. For instance, Conservatives were overwhelmingly against the idea of a “public option” health insurance being included as one option in the insurance marketplace.

    Yeah, that. I suspect some conservatives are in the pocket of the insurance industry. But I also suspect that some conservatives are concerned about 1) being compelled to pay subsidies for the public option, and 2) how the existence of a subsidized option would undermine the market for private insurance. Yes, the language of the law precluded such subsidies. But the language of the Bush tax cuts also included a 10-year sunset – a sunset the advocates never intended to be honored, and that has in fact not been honored. So I’m sympathetic to these concerns.

    You have no free market alternative with a great many government services.

    I’m curious — what services does our government provide that you can’t also choose to buy on the private market?

    Hm. I would have said that government intervention in the market precludes alternatives as well. But I find myself stumped to name an example.

  69. 70
    nobody.really says:

    What Ron means is that the government service option is hard to put out of business through superior competition. …

    [I]n economic terms it means that resources can be inefficiently allocated for far longer than a market solution would have allowed.

    I detect three sources of frustration here. One, nearly everyone dislikes the idea that government pursues its objectives in an inefficient manner, incurring needlessly high costs for outcomes that could have been achieved more cheaply. Two, some people do not value – or even actively dislike – certain specific things government spends money for. Three, some people are philosophically opposed to government, even if government were to pursue a worthy goal in an efficient fashion.

    I sense that people sometimes conflate these concerns – or dissemble about the nature of their concerns. A person may object that Planned Parenthood is inefficient in the manner in which it provides family planning services – when in reality the person is motivated by concerns about abortion providers, and would be only too happy if Planned Parenthood were to squandering its resources.

  70. 71
    nobody.really says:

    I can’t build private roads on land that I don’t own. Do conservatives claim that I should be able to build private roads on land that I don’t own? That would be surprising.

    The large majority of planes flying around are privately owned. It’s true that plane flight is regulated, but that’s not the same as saying you can’t do it.

    To what extent is the practice of flying planes around different than the practice of driving across another person’s property? (We’ll come back to the raven/writing desk distinction later.) Or, to rephrase, what do you own when you own property?

    May I pump water out of the aquifer that is under your land as well as mine? May I mine the minerals that exist under the surface of the land you occupy? Or build a tunnel there? Or – returning to the point – fly over the land you occupy?

    Conceptually you could imagine that a landowner is entitled to control a specified area marked on the surface of the globe, projected down to the center of the earth and up to infinity. And you could eventually become aware that strangers are flying through and taking water from this space. And you could let this vex you; you could run out in your bathrobe and slippers and shake your cane every time the International Space Station crossed overhead, and then file suit alleging trespass.

    Alternatively, you could recognize that “property rights” are an arbitrarily-defined social construct. A state will recognize a property owner’s claims down to a certain depth and up to a certain height, and within certain limits – but not beyond. The state may have good reasons, or bad reasons, or no reasons for the limits it sets. But your property rights are limited, regardless.

  71. 72
    denelian says:

    two things –

    for property and it’s possible “consequences”, i recommend “The Man Who Sold The Moon”, a short story by Robert Heinlein – the main character set up dummy corporations to by the right’s to the Moon from every country it “crosses”. it COULD have happened that way – because, in theory, yes when you buy a piece of land the right go all the way down to the core, and up into infinity. actually, another [strange!] place it showed up was in “Burlesque”, the movie that came out some months ago with Cher and Christian-whatever her name is.

    Social Security – only ONCE in the past 30 years has SS NOT brought in MORE than it paid out. most years, it has a HUGE surplus – the projected surplus for this year is something like 130 million [it might be more].
    the ONLY reason SS isn’t “solvent” is Congress dips into it’s money. OFTEN. for the first while after it was set up, NO ONE could touch that money except beneficiaries – then a Congress [don't remember which or when] changed the law and started “borrowing” from SS – and NEVER paying back. a significant portion of the US debt is money owed to SS.

  72. 73
    RonF says:

    By the time you all read this I’ll be in a car driving to Canada. Crew 69 (the number is purely coincidental, I didn’t pick it) is going to spend a week in Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, canoeing around the park. We’ll be putting in at Stanton Bay and then canoeing south to wherever the mood strikes us. Just us four and whatever we have in our canoes for a week.

    The Boy Scouts of America has training requirements for leaders of such outings. I had to take a course written by the BSA and the Red Cross called “Wilderness First Aid”. What to do if YOU are the first responder for an injury and you can’t expect to see an EMT for, oh, a day or two.

    I’ll spare you the gruesome details. When the instructor polled us to find out how long we could expect to wait to see a professional everyone else said “2 hours” or “4 hours”. I said “maybe a couple of days”. A couple of times later on the instructor told people what they could expect to happen in certain cases and then told me “You’re going to watch them die.”

    So – I’ve been on a number of these trips and generally the only thing that happens is someone gets a sunburn or a fishhook in their finger. None the less; if you are so inclined, I ask for your prayers that I don’t have to apply the training I took in that course. My expectation, though, is that I’ll come back a week from tomorrow with some stories of travelling though the lakes of Ontario seeing glorious scenery and catching some very tasty fish.

  73. 74
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, by the time you read this (if you ever do) your trip will be over, but I hope you had a swell time! Unlike the poor fish, but I guess that’s a fish’s life for ya.

  74. 75
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Does anyone here know a slowish saddish country song which has multiple repetitions of “when we get to Houston everything will be OK” in it? The chorus is something like “so long, Kansas city, _________,… see you soon(?)”

    I’ve heard it sung by a woman (don’t know who). I’m loking for the chords and lyrics but damn if I can find it without a song title.

  75. 76
    mythago says:

    While I have no desire to experience the Great Outdoors myself, I wish you the best on your trip, RonF!

  76. 77
    Charles S says:

    g&w,

    Although it doesn’t exactly match any of the lines you mention, my guess is that it is “Houston” by Mary Chapin Carpenter,
    The repeated varying lines “Once we get to Houston, [maybe something good will happen]” are close to the first line you mention,
    and the second line you mention is close to the “Goodbye Crescent City” line.

    The sheet music is available here.

    I’d never heard it before, I just googled “when we get to Houston.”

  77. 78
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    That’s it… thanks!!!!

  78. 79
    marmalade says:

    Nothing about pole dancing here . . . very, very cool sumo swan lake animation:

    http://www.ufunk.net/en/animation/sumo-lake-le-lac-des-cygnes-version-sumo/

  79. 80
    DaisyDeadhead says:

    Get your geek on: HeroesCon 2011 photos and links, emphasis on lady comix! (no offense Amp!)

  80. 81
    RonF says:

    Thanks for the good thoughts, folks! We had a pretty wet week in Quetico. The first day we had perfect weather for travelling. We paddled about 13 miles on 4 lakes (with about 1/2 mile of portages) and got to a campsite we’d originally planned to get to in two days. The next day the boys got up late and we only got a few hours of fishing in. That went well, though, and we ended up having a lake trout fish fry. But after that the weather went bad – this was my wettest and coldest week of the 9 trips I’ve made into Quetico. I always bring thermal underwear. I’ve never worn it. But this time I slept in it all but the first night. On a couple of days the winds blew so hard that we couldn’t get out on the lake for more than a couple of hours each. Other days you’d cast your lure and get blown 50 feet from where you started by the time you’d reeled it in – which makes it hard to sit on a walleye hole or cover a bass habitat.

    But the boys we had with us still enjoyed it. My experience has been that it’s the campouts where adversity is met and overcome that Scouts are proudest of, and this is no exception. On one portage trail they decided to take it was not only impossible for one person to carry a canoe, two people couldn’t do it. We had to slide the canoes through parts of it. It was the roughest portage trail I’d ever been on.

    But we saw some absolute wilderness. Quetico was scraped clean about 15,000 years ago in the last ice age. It’s made up of rock (part of the Canadian shield, 3.8 billion years old dating back to the planet’s formation), lakes and lots of lichen, moss, scrub and trees and not much else. We watched a bald eagle watching us as we canoed by. We saw and examined a moose jaw and camped in a site with piles of moose scat next to it. We stayed on one island and explored parts of it that may never have seen a human foot since the glaciers receded. We got a chance to talk about how the landscape evolved, the long process of bare rock to lichen to mosses to grasses and scrub. How trees take root in this, grow stunted and die – but their decay makes enough dirt for the next tree to grow a little taller. We bushwhacked through it and could see how the moss and various types of lichen covered over trees that had fallen years ago and slowly decayed. We compared our campsite (which hadn’t been used for at least a year and not much before that) to our other campsites (which probably only get used a few weeks a year if at all) and to the untouched parts of the island. The boys could see what difference even minimal human presence makes on the land.

    It’s important to get young people out into this kind of environment. No cell phones, no computers, no TV. No looking through the Troop trailer or runs into town or calls to home if they forgot something. No going into a building or going home if there’s a thunderstorm. You have to deal with whatever nature throws at you and you have to do it with whatever you brought and only with that. These boys did that and did it well, so that makes it a great trip.

    Personally, I love being outdoors. My best view of the world is from the stern of a canoe filled with gear and a lot of water and woods in front of me. At the end of the week I could have refilled the food packs and gone right back on out. It’s calming. As long as the tent doesn’t leak and my rain gear holds up I’m good to go.

  81. 82
    mythago says:

    Personally, I love being outdoors.

    *shudder*

    Nonetheless, glad you all had a good (and safe) outing!