I know that she acts as a kind of desperation laden link aggregator, but most of her analysis is soap-opera desperate, and her focus is the grossest sort of "look at me, ME, ME" ! Any woman who would promote herself as the "Black Dr. Laura" has serious issues of self-esteem and racial identity. No problem. But that shouldn't be foisted on the rest of us as if we are obligated to care.
And yet, that is precisely what LaShawn does. It's obvious that she has detractors. It's obvious that no one who encounters her spew can agree as to its value. Most sane people would take this as sign that she's trying too hard. But not our dear LaShawn. No, this pinhead and linkwhore uses it as an excuse to blatantly violate the rules of a website that she payed to enter, presumably for the sole purpose of self promotion. Uhhmmm, that's the one no-no on MetaFilter that will earn you banning right off the bat. It says, on the link posting page:
You read the guidelines, right? Because linking to your own site in
this space will result in a deletion and your account will be banned.
Let's be clear. I'm not the strongest defender of MetaFilter right now, but I hate stupidity. And LaShawn incured my wrath by being stupid. Out of three comments posted to MeFi, two were direct links to her own website. After the second, I had this to say:
Even then, I knew that it was only a matter of time before Barber self-linked on the front page of MetaFilter. I didn't have long to wait. Behold today's offering, pointing directly to here. Please understand, I don't give one salient crap about the issue involved, per se. What I do give a damn about is that a supposedly intelligent "up and coming" blogger would so blatantly violate another's website rules, just to suck for more hits. Don't feel bad about hitting any of the links here at Not Pillage, because I hope it will lead her back to this spot where she will know I think her a pinhead and linkwhore. And a popularity slut, and an inconsiderate idiot. What she did on Mefi today was just wrong. Stupid, pinheaded and wrong.
Truth is, I wouldn't be writing this here if she actually allowed polite disagreement or censure on her website. But she doesn't. Everyone from Mefi who posted a comment at her site indicating that she was in the wrong for not reading the rules, was censored out and banned. This is not an up and coming star of the right wing internet, she's a fucking coward, terrified that any might disagree or notice when she has done the obviously stupid. I really do feel a sadness for those as weak as LaShawn Barber, and maintain a consistent confusion as to why those like her are given any credence. She will not argue (in the pure sense), she will not brook any criticism. To that degree, she's a pinhead and a linkwhore. This is the ethos of the "Black Dr. Laura":
For any reason, at any time and depending on my mood, your
comment may be deleted or edited with or without an explanation or
warning. Comment on this blog at your own risk. If you insist on an
explanation, read this. If you don’t still like it, tell your story walking. The Queen of this domain has spoken.
Never assume I've taken such a dislike to LaShawn because of partisanship. It's a matter of cowardice, it's a matter of stupidity. It's a simple matter of her behaving as a pinhead and a linkwhore.
Craig says, "This Will Be Interesting". I don't think that interesting covers it. I think it's gonna' be a hoot! It seems that Kevin McGuire, our local outspoken white supremacist, is going to run for the Bozeman schoolboard. The article refers to Kevin as a "white separatist", but I personally reject that terminology. A Giraffe is not a horse, private sector accounts controlled by government mandates are not personal accounts, and someone who believes that the white race is superior to others is not a "separatist". Yes, I would dearly love to argue that out with Kevin some time ... and blog about it afterwards. But, I digress.
You can read more about Kevin McGuire here, here and here. It seems that Kevin, emboldened by his recent celebrity, has decided to take firm political action against the mudification of our fine white minds, by making sure that Bozeman school children will receive a proper white education.
"Our children are taught about the histories and
cultures of Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Jews and Native Americans but any
sense of White racial solidarity or White racial pride is condemned as
White racism; and that is not right," McGuire wrote.
Personally, I don't think this is going to play that well with Mr. and Mrs. Bozeman Parent, but you never know. The National Analliance is on the move, you know.
In related news, the town council of Bozeman, Montana has officially condemned National Alliance activism in the area, despite the solid arguments delivered to them personally by local Alliance member Kevin McGuire. Mr. McGuire appeared before the city commission in Bozeman to clarify the purpose and goals of the National Alliance. His truthful statements may have had some effect, as the Alliance was not specifically named in the city commissions resolution "to end silence
and stop the spread of hate."
Montana has been a hotbed of National Alliance activism throughout
2004. Towns that have been visited recently by Alliance members include
Helena, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Anaconda. If the level of activity
on the part of the Montana Alliance members during 2004 is any
indication of future events, the National Alliance will build a firm
foundation there in 2005.
Well, there you go. I'm sure that many of you thought me insane when I posted this angry rant back then. That was then, and now the National Analliance is calling Montana a "hotbed" of activism. So fine, says I. Let's put them through the crucible. Let Mr. McGuire run for the schoolboard, and judge our reactions on how well his campaign fares. Who knows, due to apathy for schoolboard elections, he may win. And like John Sinrud before him, the quotes he proffers will afford many laughs to come.
Anyway, a rather trollish commenter over at Craig's place raises the ugly question of who actually signed the petition for Kevin to get himself on the ballot. I can only answer for myself, but here is what I feel:
Speaking for myself, as a Gallatin Democrat, if Kevin McGuire had
presented his petition to me, I’d have signed it for two reasons. The
first is that I still (God knows why) believe in freedom and the
Democratic process. Signing a petition such that someone may run for an
elected position is supporting those values, regardless of how
loathsome you find the beliefs of the candidate. An overt attempt to
keep someone off a ballot defeats the system and tries to hide from
what shouldn’t be hidden. Expose the loathsome values. Let him run. The
second reason is more simplistic and political. With McGuire on the
ballot it makes it easier for his opponents to win, simply because of
the extremist views that Kevin holds. His credibility is on the line in
an election, and I rather enjoy the thought of its plummeting value
after he loses.
By the way, anyone who knows me would know that I am fascinated by the fact that they have found soft tissues of a Tyrannosaurus from the Hell Creek dig, complete with blood nucleii from which a genome can be extracted. Unlike most people blogging the event, I WANT a T-Rex to be cloned, bad idea though it might be. I'd love to see such an animal.
If ever we're honest with ourselves, we'll realize that we are all prone to flights of fancy. We hope for outcomes, or the avoidance of outcomes, with no regard to the causal inevitability of either. As children, we are more prone to the capricious nature of happenstance because we simply don't understand that if we hope it, that doesn't cause it to be so. I think that as adults we do the same thing, but we rationalize the chain of unlikely events such that one input to an expected outcome becomes a mandate that things will be as we wish. We begin to feel that if we hope for something REALLY hard, then we've earned the expected result, or if we ignore a warning, that the danger will simply go away. Sadly, these flights of fancy are often reinforced, with no actual input from ourselves, just because things work as we want them to. But when they don't, we often turn to the courts to give us our desired due.
With an intro like that, you might think I'm writing about Terri Schiavo again. No. The stakes in that situation are far too high to discuss silly expectations and inevitable pain from unavoidable result. But pointing to adult flights of fancy does lend itself to laughing at Wyoming.
You see, Wyoming has been having a court based temper tantrum. There's a nationally protected resource out there that the institution that is Wyoming arrogantly believes should be completely controlled by that state. (Apologies to Seb, but) Sadly, No! The US Department of the Interior has given guidelines for the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act in the areas of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Montana and Idaho complied. Wyoming went to court, claiming that it would hold its breath until it got it way. STATE'S RIGHTS, by golly. It seems a federal judge had a bit of a clarification for the rectangular state below us.
Here's the simple upshot of this: Wolves are returning to the mountain west, either with human help or not. Nothing that we do, short of hunting them into near extinction again, is going to stop that process. Montana has accepted that fact, as has Utah, Idaho and New Mexico. Colorado, Washington, Nevada and Oregon are preparing for their roles in this play. The holdup is Wyoming. As plainly as this can be put, Wyoming's control plan is shoot wolves on sight, as trophy animals near federal preserves, and as predatory pest species everywhere else. This plan is unacceptable to the federal mandate of controlled reintroduction of a national resource species.
For some time, I felt clearly that Wyoming's objections were sincerely based on state's rights issues. Legally speaking that may be the case. But it is beginning to appear that the motivation for Wyoming's action are more infantile; they want things to be "gooder", they hope for the problem to go away, and they're gonna cry if the don't get the sad little do-over they desperately hope for. Not.going.to.happen! The wolves are here; they're not coming soon, they're here. Wyoming can join the rest of us adults and learn to deal with the problem, or they can continue their tantrum. It seems obvious which they'll choose.
Montana has chosen rational control, and a rancher near Dillon is the first to avail himself of the new control measures. Though I regret the killing of a wolf, I applaud the necessity of the action. If only Wyoming would take a hint, and join the rest of the west in actually facing the problem.
I strongly urge anyone who read through my babble to peruse Jeff Hull's terrific article on the topic at the New West Network.
One of the harshest lessons to learn in life is that of being cruel to be kind. Modern romantic self-indulgence would have us all believe that there is some moral there concerning relationships, but undoubtedly, this lesson has been far more often applied to life and death. I'm sure I'm not the only one of the 5 people who will read this who remembers the tragedy of having to put an animal down, due to age, infirmity, deformity or some other reason that appeared logical at the time.
Now imagine that you have a pet, an elderly animal too infirm, disease ridden and broken to even recognize the call to its feed. It barely hears your voice, and can't stand up out of its own urine and feces to greet you, even in the random time that you think it recognizes who you are. After heartbreak and tears, you decide to have the animal euthanized. But a neighbor offers to care for the animal until it dies, a soon eventuality to be sure. You decline, knowing the inevitable fate can only bring more suffering to the witless beast. The neighbor argues that the animal, in health, would not wish to die. This strikes you as odd, considering that that hypothetical is long since gone from any reason. For the record, I've seen animals get this bad before death, and struggle with the knowledge that the cruelty was in letting the situation continue as long as it did before making the painful choice to ease the absolutely unavoidable outcome.
But let's continue with our imaginings, here. Let's suppose that your neighbor blocks you from having or assisting your pet to pass on, as has been absolutely decreed by the cruel eventuality of the living deal, that what lives must also die. Your neighbor knows that with assistance, your beloved animal companion could linger in its own foul state for months, maybe years, but that is at least living. And your neighbor is willing to enlist the support of all your neighbors to stop you from allowing a creature you love to simply pass with what dignity can be mustered in a situation from which dignity itself seems to have fled with it's tale between its dainty legs. Your neighbors accuse YOU of cruelty, and hating not just the life of your dear animal, but all life. You become the sad puppet of the repugnant joke that is the will of your neighbors. Knowing that none of us are in this situation, I ask the reader: Have you empathy for animal owner, or the neighbors?
As I've indicated, this is nothing profound. Everything reasonable about the Terri Schiavo case has already been said, as has everything stupidly unreasonable (most of that by Tom Daley). Enough has been said about the case on weblogs, and more importantly in courts, that I've no real interest in repeating it all here. Terri Schiavo is dead. The brain case of the thing in the bed of the hospice in Florida which carries the chart that bears her name is full of mush, a mush that at one time was the personality, the spirit, the intelligence and the memories of Terri Schiavo. Now it's just mush.
But it seems that all of us nosy neighbors, as represented by our congresspersons, have decided that we know oh so much more than the man who loved and supported that thing in the bed of the hospice in Florida. And so we club that man with our great weight in numbers, depth of suspicion, and vile application of romanticized miraculous fantasy of recovery. As I write this a Federal court is reviewing why, exactly, we neighbors have the right and duty to butt in on a situation that I suspect NONE of you would want to have such national scrutiny pointed in your direction, should you find yourself in such painful circumstance. Welcome to the future of the real nanny state. I say that as I offer a truly Christian prayer for Terri Schiavo, she who cannot and will not avoid the situation which is not the responsibility of Congress, or Tom Delay, or Bo Gritz, or her parents or even her husband. Terri Schiavo is gone.
Oh God, thy will be done.
Before I sign off on this, I just want to say that I have, for some time, garnered a deep respect for a guy I don't politically agree with. John Cole, of Balloon Juice, has written (probably more than he would have hoped) about the Schiavo saga, and taken deep heat because of it. My respect for John has gone seriously through the roof. I can't link to a single post of his on this topic, because they're all very good.
... answers that is. There is a 5 question interview meme traveling through here, and after Randy's exceptional Navy story, he was kind enough to ask me 5 questions. And since my twin-of-a-different-mother demanded that I provide her something to read, the timing of this couldn't be better. So, without further delay:
1) Where is your "Happy Place?"
That's the easy one. Anywhere in the mountains/woods/wild-lands of Montana, especially if it's near water. I could spend hours just watching water move. Few things are more peaceful than hearing waves lap against the shore of a lake. Even if its just a wooded place in the center of town, I can envision myself in the middle of nowhere (and suffering nobody). I loved Las Vegas, and actually found a surprising amount of peace there, but nothing beats a good relaxing camping trip, especially if there's fishing involved.
2) Do you blog about politics to keep your blood pressure elevated or is it a form of release for you?
I am the poster child for contradiction. Thus, like most questions in my life, the answer to this is "both". I firmly believe, regardless of ideology, that if politics doesn't piss you off, then you're not paying attention. So I write about it, in the style that I do, just to get fired up, and hopefully incite a few fiery thoughts in others. The Rude Pundit is a hero of mine, simply because he enters a realm of nasty ... rudeness ... that I am too polite/scared to enter, but admire a great deal. People should care about what happens around and to them, and if they choose not get fired up about it, then I'm all for offering incentive. The worst turn in the history of politics is whenever it was decided that things had to be dealt with politely, as defined by whomever has the power at the moment. I take decided pleasure in being an affront to that mindset.
Politics is, in so many respects, the playground of the stupid, though. And I have a burning loathing for plain flat stupid. So that's what I go after, as a form of catharsis. There are good persons,well-reasoned and betterresearched, who offer us the logical and reasonably stated opinions. I've no interest in playing the role of their redundant sidekick. Offer a reasonable argument from either side and I'm going to calmly and quietly listen. But I am a logician, and if you support illogical fantasy or just muddy thinking, then my greatest mental release is to get all snarkwise in your face over it.
And yes, I really should concentrate on avoiding the second person voice. ;-)
3) Is your current career your ideal? If not, what would it be?
No. I enjoy my job, and it pays the bills well. I'm very good at retail and I absolutely love problem solving, when given the free reign to accomplish that. I love working in the higher ed environment. But if I had my d'ruthers: I would be a payed thinker. Because of a disastrously self-destroying marriage, (yes, I do take responsibility for that), I did not go on to achieve higher degrees in Philosophy, PoliSci, or Social mechanics. I would have adored being a think-tank talking (and writing) head. That would have been fun. Or a field biologist ... I would have loved that!
Until the age of 15 (almost 16) my great life plan was to enter the Navy and have Uncle Sam's help to become a nuclear physicist. At that age, it was discovered that I have no hearing in my left ear, and never had. Those familiar with the military know full well what that did to the plan. It was scrapped, along with any hope my father had for my future. From that time, I kinda bounced wherever life's bumpers sent me ... bouncing. I did however, have the intelligence and ability to work my way up from whatever position I was in at the time. That is what has left me where I am today. It is not ideal, but it is preferred.
4) When John Elway played did you believe Mike Shanahan was a football
genius and has your opinion of Shanahan changed now that Elway has
Until Payton Manning proves me wrong, I still believe John Elway to be the best quarterback of all time. That took NOTHING away from my respect for Shanahan. I watched Dan Reeves (another brilliant coach) squander just enough of the talent he was dealt that John made the Super Bowl 3 times, and never won it. Shanahan, on the other hand, knew what he could do with the talent he had, and still does. He's turned talented but unschooled running backs into league leaders time and time again. Shanahan is a genius, and will mold Jake Plummer's intense desire to win into, well, winning. He does need some better coordination from the defensive , uh, coordinator. And somewhat better effort from the defensive players. But he has a good mind, and a superior strategy for winning. As long as Mike Shanahan is the coach, the AFC West must fear the Broncos.
5) What is the origin of your blog name and where did Wulfgar! come from?
Ahhhh, the million dollar question. As to "Wulfgar", I honestly cannot answer where I picked it up. I had an affinity for the moniker well before my involvement in the SCA. I carried the name well before I started playing D'n'D. And I thank God, that we have come far enough out of the eighties that no one still assumes I got the name from here. I had it well before that, thank you. To be honest, I think I garnered the name when I was very young, having read Beowulf while as a wee tiny warrior. It stuck in my head; it just stuck with me.
The exclamation point came when I entered the BBS arenas of the internet, and discovered that online anonymity can turn people into raging attack chihuahuas. Wulfgar became more than a name, it became a battle cry. Hence: Wulfgar!
The strange part is the assumption that "Wulfgar" ties me to wolves. I feel a deep empathy and respect for wolves, even though I remain the only person I know who has never seen a wolf in the wild, such as Yellowstone. In point of fact, "Wulfgar" is Anglo-Saxon for Wolf Spear, a device used to kill wolves by those who hunted them, often to prove their worth or manhood. Make of that what you will. To be honest, my gruff demeanor and often not-so-pleasant temper make me more of a bear than a wolf. But I do believe in faith, protection and family, so who knows? I like the pack thing.
And, the name of the Blog (journal) ... A Chicken is Not Pillage. Well, simply put, no, really a chicken isn't.
Okay, since so many of you have asked, here it is: Imagine a scene. A great raiding party of Vikings has entered a town. You see bold warriors running with gold in their hands, and others with scantily clad females thrown over their shoulders in lust and fury. In the middle stands the Skandahoovian lord, leader of the Viking squad, staring at the man before him. This "warrior" is stock still, straight upright and holding a chicken out to his chieftain. The Viking leader simply responds ... "No, Sven. A Chicken is Not Pillage."
This was a comic that my friend Mike and I encountered when we were very young. He thinks it was in a Playboy, but I have a memory of it being in a National Lampoon. To be honest, he's probably right. Any help, y'all might provide in finding it would be appreciated.
Since we saw it, "A Chicken Is Not Pillage" has been our phrase for the cowardly, the ludicrous, the surreal. It is amazing how many times we have found ourselves in the silliest or direst of situations, looked at each other, and one of us would say: "A Chicken is not Pillage!" Read into it what you will, because we do. The only point of it all is to go for what will get you through, go for the best, go for the nastiest, go for something. Because, A Chicken Is Not Pillage.
I've actually been visited by one of the co-conspirators from IMAO. Believe it or not, I'm flattered. I considered myself well below their radar. But then again, I did insult Michelle Malkin, and they are big fans of hers. I only wish the defense of her views had been more up to snuff. Since it's way down the page in comments, I'll repost (hah, a fencing pun) here.
Where in Michele's article did any of you get the impression she was
advocating physically attacking the soon-to-be mass murderers? I read
it and re-read it and didn't see any violence implied or expressed.
She most likely meant "listening to your gut instinct" and simply
reporting them in order to keep them from getting on the plane.
"[L]istening to your gut instinct" may indeed be taken to mean
attacking someone as you and your peanut gallery have proven. But not
to everyone and certainly not to the more civil among us.
And my response:
Spacemonkey, because you're sidestepping the point, you're contradicting yourself.
I read it and re-read it and didn't see any violence implied or expressed.
"[L]istening to your gut instinct" may indeed be taken to mean attacking someone as you and your peanut gallery have proven.
Hence, Michelle's quote does indeed imply violence, or any other
absurd action like calling the police. "Hi, 911, this person looked at
me wrong. 'Git em." What was engaged in here is called a Reductio ad Absurdum,
showing that the premise can or does lead to absurd consequence. When
beginning with a premise as stupid as "bad looking people should be
acted against", it's not hard to argue this way.
There is also an answer in my comment to a question posed by Rocky but that might deserve its own post later on.
The only times I've ever seen lines cross the store were rush days, until yesterday.
Author Salmon Rushdie came to Bozeman for an appearance, and did a book signing at the store. I felt certain he would be a popular draw, but ... wow! People started lining up 45 minutes before he was scheduled to arrive. I was very impressed with people's eagerness to meet him, and more impressed with his obvious joy at being met. He appears to be a very happy person, smiling all the while during the signing.
Since I don't tend to read novels anymore (hell, I hardly read at all offline) I haven't read any of Rushdie's books. I have, however, read more than a few of his essays. I can't help but be impressed by his openness about the value and the costs of a free society. I've even posted about him at MetaFilter. (If you follow the link, sadly the discussion mostly revolved around how HaWT his wife is, as opposed to his views. Shame, that.)
I did not attend Rushdie's speech yestereve, however. It sold out within a week of being announced. But Ed Kemmick was there and gives us a terrific story in the Billing's Gazette. The Bozeman Chronicle also has twotakes on Rushdie's ideas, both well worth reading.
I'm probably not very well favored by my hosts at Typepad right now. A short while back, I received word from them that I needed to update my CC info, so I did. Then I received another notice to the same, so again I did. I find yesterday that I have no website to post to. The page was still up, but the admin was inaccessable. I was ... not amused. So I fired off an angry email that included the phrase "fricken BS". Certainly not the most politic thing I've ever done. I did receive an email back telling me that I had to manually submit the payment with the updated information, and that:
The language that you used for this ticket is verging on the offensive.
Please use a more professional tone in your communications.
The only reason I'm telling all y'all this is because I do feel bad for harshing on some billing support person's day. I know what its like providing support to people who just expect something to go wrong, and yesterday, I was that guy. Not my finest moment. So, to the support person who offered the helpful tip re: communication Thank you and I'm sorry. To those who couldn't seem to get my billing straight until my email, I'd like to say: That was fucking bullshit.
p.s. For what its worth, Typepad has been pretty good to me. I don't have too many complaints, and I would recommend their service to others. I just didn't appreciate being locked out for an unknown reason.