23 2 / 2014

Of course everything is on the table. For women, everything is always on the table, including the table itself, and whatever food the woman in question failed to put on it last night….or some night several decades ago.

Essential article on the nonsense coverage of Hillary Clinton and Wendy Davis in the NYTimes.

02 6 / 2013

This is really cool. A map of what Pangaea looks like with modern political borders.
Original article: http://io9.com/heres-what-pangea-looks-like-mapped-with-modern-politi-509812695

This is really cool. A map of what Pangaea looks like with modern political borders.

Original article: http://io9.com/heres-what-pangea-looks-like-mapped-with-modern-politi-509812695

26 11 / 2012

A maddening (and fascinating) detail from Jon Meacham’s new biography of Thomas Jefferson:

“She [Sally Hemings] was just beginning to understand the French language well, and in France she was free, while if she returned to Virginia she would be re-enslaved,” said Madison Hemings.  “So she refused to return with him.”

It was an extraordinary moment.  Fresh from arranging terms with the bankers of Europe over a debt that was threatening the foundation of the French nation, Thomas Jefferson found himself in negotiations with a pregnant enslaved teenager who, in a reversal of fortune hardly likely to be repeated, had the means at hand to free herself.

…So he began making concessions to convince Sally Hemings to come home to Virginia.  “To induce her to do so he promised her extraordinary privileges, and made a solemn pledge that her children should be freed at the age of twenty-one years,” Madison Hemings said.

Sally Hemings agreed…

Their father kept the promise he had made to Sally in Paris. “We all became free agreeably to the treaty entered into by our parents before we were born,” Madison Hemings said.  It was one of the most important pacts of Jefferson’s life.

06 11 / 2012

Pat Bagley gives us the God of legitimate rape.

Pat Bagley gives us the God of legitimate rape.

16 10 / 2012

Gap (and McNairy) probably aren’t trying to start a race war; they probably think that “ooh! this is a phrase that someone cool once said, maybe even the sort of hipster who wears black t-shirts with white lettering!” Or even more charitably, “let’s reclaim the phrase for capitalism! We’re promoting the destiny of lawbooks!”
Gap’s Totally Not Racist “Manifest Destiny” t-shirts: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2012/10/gap-totally-not-racist-destiny-t-shirt.html#ixzz29Tub33Wr

Gap (and McNairy) probably aren’t trying to start a race war; they probably think that “ooh! this is a phrase that someone cool once said, maybe even the sort of hipster who wears black t-shirts with white lettering!” Or even more charitably, “let’s reclaim the phrase for capitalism! We’re promoting the destiny of lawbooks!”

14 10 / 2012


There’s more than an element of Jonathan Swift here: “Desiccate the poor workingman; stuff him into sausages!,” he prescribes, as tasty a recipe for canned workingmen as can be found anywhere.

Mark Twain’s Presidential Campaign Speech: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2012/10/mark-twain-presidential-stump-speech.html#ixzz29Hh8W6BM

There’s more than an element of Jonathan Swift here: “Desiccate the poor workingman; stuff him into sausages!,” he prescribes, as tasty a recipe for canned workingmen as can be found anywhere.

Mark Twain’s Presidential Campaign Speech: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2012/10/mark-twain-presidential-stump-speech.html#ixzz29Hh8W6BM

25 9 / 2012

"Relative Sizes of the United States and the European Powers", published by the People’s Handy Atlas of the World in 1910.
Read more about it.

"Relative Sizes of the United States and the European Powers", published by the People’s Handy Atlas of the World in 1910.

Read more about it.

24 7 / 2012

"

We think we know what authoritarianism is and why it survives, but our notions about it have not changed much since the 18th century, when Montesquieu contrasted the capricious rule of a despot, who holds power through fear, with the bounded governance of a monarch, held in check by law. In our political language, monarchy has evolved into democracy, but despotism remains despotism (or authoritarianism). In comparison to monarchies and democracies, each in their own time, despotism has always seemed archaic. The gleaming military uniforms, Tolkienesque titles, and Orientalized imperial paraphernalia of modern dictators like Idi Amin, Pinochet, and Qaddafi evoke the 19th century; leaders who are truly modern are supposed to wear self-effacing suits.

If authoritarianism is a relic of a pre-democratic age, Putinism, like the late regime of Putin’s friend Silvio Berlusconi, is not authoritarian. Regimes that see themselves as successors to democracy are not rare—fascists and communists were equally convinced that liberal democracy belonged in the dustbin of history. The difference is that Putinism is partly right in seeing itself as post-democratic, which is why the problems it poses are so vexing. It represents one answer to a set of contradictions that exist not just in Russian democracy but also in contemporary democracy in general.

"

16 7 / 2012

"Politics and political office are not and never have been the method and means by which we can govern ourselves in peace and dignity and honor and security, but instead our national refuge for our incompetents who have failed at every other occupation by means of which they might make a living for themselves and their families; and whom as a result we would have to feed and clothe and shelter out of our own private purses and means. The surest way to be elected to office in America is to have fathered seven or eight children and then lost your arm or leg in a sawmill accident: both of which - the reckless optimism which begot seven or eight children with nothing to feed them but a sawmill, and the incredible ineptitude which would put an arm or a leg in range of a moving saw – should already have damned you from any form of public trust."

William Faulkner on political office in The Mansion, 1959 (via explore-blog)

(Source: explore-blog)

05 7 / 2012


"The climactic scene in Thor takes place upon the cinematic equivalent of Mario Kart’s “Rainbow Road.” This is an unfortunate allusion for the filmmaker to make, given that the characters in Thor are drawn with even less depth than Mario and Luigi.”

Read my full review of “Thor” here: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2012/07/thor-or-george-w-bush-picks-up-hammer.html#ixzz1zlL9g01x

"The climactic scene in Thor takes place upon the cinematic equivalent of Mario Kart’s “Rainbow Road.” This is an unfortunate allusion for the filmmaker to make, given that the characters in Thor are drawn with even less depth than Mario and Luigi.”

Read my full review of “Thor” here: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2012/07/thor-or-george-w-bush-picks-up-hammer.html#ixzz1zlL9g01x