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Sunday: January 15, 2012

Bloomberg as ‘loathsome slug’

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:40 PM GMT-0500

Mark Steyn calls Mayor Bloomberg a “loathsome slug of a man” for slandering a tourist who was unaware that New York City routinely defies the Second Amendment, by alleging falsely that the white powder she had in her pocket was cocaine when tests had already shown it was what she said it was, powdered aspirin.

InstaPundit agrees: “Loathsome slug is right.”

At first I thought they were being unfair to slugs, who do, after all, fill a useful niche in the ecosystem. At least, I assume they do, though I’m not sure what precise role they play besides providing food for unfastidious predators. On second thought, I realized that “slug” is a more appropriate epithet than Steyn or Reynolds seem to notice. Is it a coincidence that Mayor Bloomberg is vehemently opposed to salt, and deeply suspicious of other harmless white powders like aspirin? Harmless to others, I should say: perhaps that Englishman who thinks the world is ruled by shape-shifting lizards from outer space is almost, but not quite, right, and they’re actually shape-shifting slugs. (Try saying that three times fast.) The only way to be sure is for some brave person to spill some salt on him. If he’s (technically) human, it wouldn’t hurt him, and if he’s a shape-shifting alien slug it wouldn’t really be murder, would it?

Saturday: January 14, 2012

What Can a Virginian Do?

Filed under: — site admin @ 5:36 PM GMT-0500

Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom and others have blogged about the court decision affirming that the Virginia Republican primary this year will list only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the ballot. Goldstein comments: “Feeling disenfranchised, those of you in VA who wanted to cast your vote for some other candidate? Sorry, them’s the (procedural) breaks.” Commenter geoffb adds that one obvious countermove is foreclosed: “Virginia primaries do not allow write-in votes. Write-in and it’s a spoiled ballot.”

Should Virginians angry about this lack of choice (I am one of them) go to the polls and spoil our ballots? I don’t know whether spoiled-ballot totals are normally reported in election results, but surely they would be if they were a quarter or a third or half of all ballots, and that would make an unambiguous statement of discontent with the choices offered. (Not that the choices are all that much better in other states, but that’s another story.)

Of course, a statewide campaign of ballot-spoiling sounds like the kind of thing you’d see in a dictatorship where no other option is available. I can’t find the passage, but I believe it was the Younger Pliny who recorded an incident in which someone in the Senate under the brutal emperor Domitian defaced his voting-slip with insults and obscenities before putting it in the voting box. As I recall, Pliny was shocked, or professed to be shocked, that any senator would do that.

Coincidence? or Allusion?

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:57 PM GMT-0500

John Edwards’ lawyer claims that he can’t answer the serious charges against him until March because he suffers from a “serious heart condition that will require a medical procedure next month” (þ Cold Fury). That’s an interesting choice of words. “Serious Heart Condition” is the title of a song by the Two Dollar Pistols, a honky-tonk band from Chapel Hill. Edwards’ mansion is just west of Chapel Hill in Orange County.

The lyrics are not on-line, so I’ve transcribed them, with a question mark for the one syllable I can’t quite make out – if you’ve heard the song and can help, put your suggestions in the comments:

Well, I can’t go on livin’,
but if livin’ is this way,
a steady diet of sour grapes
made me the man I am today.

Now I thought it might just be a phase,
but that was only wishin’.
The doctor told me there’s no hope:
I got a serious heart condition.

A serious heart condition:
There ain’t nothin’ they can do.
They gave me three to six months to ease the pain
of walkin’ on [?] to you.

But having you here in my arms
would be the best prescription.
But if you go I’m left alone
with a serious heart condition.

I could feel myself burn
with desire for you, I’m sure,
but the heartache will be returnin’,
when you walk out the door.

Now how am I supposed to cope
when a part of me’s gone missin’?
The doctor told me there’s no hope:
I got a serious heart condition.

(Repeat Stanzas 3-4)

(Instrumental break)

(Repeat Stanzas 3-4)
If you go I’m left alone
with a serious heart condition.

I’m not the only one who doubts whether Edwards has anything wrong with his heart – physically, I mean: there’s plenty else wrong with it -, and these lyrics only reinforce my doubts. (Having his lawyer say that he needs “a procedure” rather than “an operation” adds to my dubiety.) I hope his lawyer’s choice of phrase isn’t a sly joke, using ambiguous language to suggest a medical problem without quite lying, since a messy love-life could also be described as “a serious heart condition”, as in the song. How messy is Edwards’ love-life? He left his wife for a woman with a disturbing resemblance to David Spade (no links: Google them both yourself, if you dare). Of course, if he ever claims to have come down with “Honkytonkitis”, or admits to suffering from “Heartaches and Hangovers”, we’ll know for sure.

Amazingly, Wikipedia has no article on the Two Dollar Pistols. Amazon has all six of their albums for sale, with the usual audio snippets, so you can easily judge whether you like them as much as I do. YouTube also has plenty of Two Dollar Pistols performances, though not (so far as I can tell from a quick glance) this song.