Monday, May 31, 2010

Grandma Goes Recycling

Yee haw, environment.

Obama and Arlington Cemetery

Much snark has been directed toward President Obama for his decision to spend this Memorial Day weekend in Chicago rather than in Washington. Right-wing hysteria generally attributes this to Obama's rocky relationship with the military and overall disdain for the troops. After all, every president honors the fallen in-person at Arlington National Cemetery, right?

Via firedoglake, not so much:

The critics were either ignorant of the facts or they failed to mention the 2007 Veterans Day ceremony when Vice President Dick Cheney spoke while President George W. Bush observed the holiday in Texas.
Vice President Dan Quayle laid the wreath at Arlington on Memorial Day, 1992. I recall covering President George H.W. Bush, a distinguished World War II vet, as he marked the holiday that year at his favorite vacation spot, Kennebunkport, Maine, where he spoke to a veterans group.
Back in 1983, a Defense Department official laid the Memorial Day wreath at Arlington when Ronald Reagan was at a G-7 Summit meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Republicans never let the facts stand between them and a good faux outrage.

The Smithereens - A Lonely Place

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Funny But Fake BP Tweets

While we wait for BP to cap their wellhead, let's focus on the ongoing gusher of available snark.

Roger Ebert's Quest for Frisson

Finally, I have a label for it. Frisson.

Roger Ebert pens an elaborate essay that incorporates Twitter, classic works of literature, and neurophysiology into an enlightening companion piece to a Wired article on how the Internet is helping to change our neural pathways.

The French word frisson describes something English has no better word for: a brief intense reaction, usually a feeling of excitement, recognition, or terror. It's often accompanied by a physical shudder, but not so much when you're web surfing.
You know how it happens. You're clicking here or clicking there, and suddenly you have the OMG moment. In recent days, for example, I felt frissons when learning that Gary Coleman had died, that most of the spilled oil was underwater, that Joe McGinness had moved in next to the Palins, that a group of priests' mistresses had started their own Facebook group, and that Bill Nye the Science Guy says "to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome, every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking 20 feet away."

Like it or not, I'm exhibiting the exact behavior that Ebert describes. Long a voracious reader, it's unusual for me to pick up a novel or lengthy printed essay, and even more unlikely that I would spend significant time perusing it if I did.

Instead, I take my information in short bursts before moving on to the next thing I find interesting. Frisson.

I wonder about something. With the invention of channel surfing, and then web surfing, have we all become rewired? Has the national attention span dropped? Is that why kids like shallow action pictures and why episodic television is losing to reality shows? And why sports, which offer a frisson every few seconds, are more popular than ever? Is that why slogans are replacing reasoning in our political arena? Is an addiction to video games the ultimate expression of this erosion of our attention span?

Is that a bad thing, or simply an evolution of thought patterns in keeping with how the world operates these days? Unless you are in a position involving research, the ability to be adaptive and flexible is a required skillset. Agility is the key. The companies (and nations) that are agile are the ones that are kicking ass. Agility has becoming a mandatory trait for success, but not one that you'll normally see listed in many online job postings.

Try to be successful in the business world by leveraging your ability to spend a lot of time on one thing. A yearly performance review lauding you for singularity of focus? Good luck with that.

There's such a skitterish impatience in our society right now. The national debate is all over the place. Talking points take the place of arguments. Think up a snarky name for someone, and you don't have to explain any further. The oil spill is in Day 40 and enough, already. We've been there, done that. In some circles it has become Obama's fault, not for any good reason but perhaps because that breaks the monotony.
Something has happened. Do we even know it has happened? We look out from inside our brains. We notice differences in things. But how can we notice a difference in the brains that are noticing them? One reason meaningless celebrities dominate all of our national media is that they are meaningless. They require no study, no reading, no thought. OMG! Heidi is leaving Spencer! OMG! Russell Brand is a sex addict! OMG! Matt Lauer never dated or slept with Alexis Houston, and all that time he didn't know Alexis was a man! OMG! Top Kill has failed! WTF. ROFL.

When a culture moves from a one room schoolhouse to Wikipedia, it's understandable that how we seek and process information changes. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Who knows? And frankly, who cares? The world is constantly changing, and as organisms of the planet, we're changing with it, seeking homeostasis.

How we incorporate technological ease in obtaining information with practical application of vast knowledge stores is the outstanding question. Embrace the future. I hear it's where we'll all end up someday.

Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)

Friday, May 28, 2010

It must be summer - I want a banana split

Sitting out on the back deck tonight, watching Mrs. Skeptimist bury some tomato plants in one of those newfangled upside down hanging planters, a sudden craving surfaces.

I want a banana split.

Huh? What brought that on?

Perhaps I've been bitten by the bug of summer. At lunchtime, I motored over to the pharmacy with the windows down and sunroof open, my Fidel Castro hat perched on top of my baldness to ward off many-nomas. Having some time to waste, I popped into the local Kohl's and picked up two pairs of shorts, two sleeveless shirts, and a canvas belt for $50. Thanks, El Salvador!

For dinner, I grilled some Caesar-marinated chicken breasts, served with a side of roasted Yukon gold potatoes mixed with red/orange/yellow peppers and red onion. Lump charcoal is 1000x better than glue-infused charcoal dust briquettes. If you haven't yet switched to natural grilling, you should.

Shorts. Grilling. Planting. The rituals of warm weather.

So yeah. Banana split. Gonna have to get one this holiday weekend. It's more calories than I should have in an entire day, but summer only comes once a year. I'll have three months to sweat it out.

Good to see you, summer. I've been waiting a long time for you to reappear. Hug me like an old friend, one that I've known since childhood.

I only wish I could have the rush of excitement that comes from anticipating the last day of school. How perfect would that be?

McDonald's Ogre Load McFlurry Is No Money Shot

Never underestimate the power of stupid people when they form groups. The execs that brainstormed the Ogre Load McFlurry into existence would be in that aforementioned confederacy of dunces.

McLovin, why do you always smell like bleach? I thought it was supposed to be a hint of mint.


Memorial Day - A Country Distracted

Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, details how Memorial Day is often viewed by veterans and their families. Not surprisingly, Rieckhoff believes there are two Americas on this day:

For most Americans, Memorial Day weekend marks the triumphant return of summer: a trip to the beach and a day off of work - barbecues, beers and bargains. Yet, as most Americans head to the beach or the mall, many veterans and military families will travel to a cemetery. For veterans, there is no day of the year when the civilian-military divide feels greater. On Memorial Day, it feels like we are citizens of two different countries.
This holiday should be a solemn day of remembrance for the more than one million American service members of all generations who have given their lives in defense of our country, including the 5,454 men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a humbling occasion to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. But unfortunately, the significance of the day is often lost under the coolers and beach blankets in the trunk of the car.

It's been over thirty years since I took off the BDUs, and with each passing Memorial Day, I wonder if we will ever again witness the entire nation pay tribute to those who have served and those who have fallen.

With the elimination of compulsory military service, the concept of shared sacrifice in the defense of our country has beaten a hasty retreat from our consciousness. This laissez-faire attitude has been created surreptitiously, as the all volunteer military has shifted the burden to only those who choose to serve (and their loved ones) while everyone else is insulated from what it is the armed forces does in our name on a daily basis that obliges us to spend this one day - one day - honoring and remembering.

President Obama is spending the long weekend in Chicago, rather than in Washington, and I hope that he finds time to publicly pay tribute to our veterans, specifically the brave souls who have lost their lives in the service of their nation.

Paul Rieckhoff implores you:
Take a moment this Monday to pause and pay respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. Every American can pledge to help make Memorial Day the day of remembrance, not the day of mattress sales. Even if you're at the beach, you can take a moment to pause with your family and teach your kids what Memorial Day signifies. You can teach yourself and your family about what it means to serve your family, your community, and your country.

Obama The Do-Nothing Socialist

So one moment, President Obama is condemned by the right for allegedly having a socialist plan to take over the world, and the next moment, these same doinks complain that he's been slow to take over oil spill containment activities?

It's like a two-headed coin, where both sides are stupid.

Boys, I'm tellin' ya. You're gonna want more cowbell.

Conservatives - Greece is the Word

Another episode of "That's Bullshit" with Sam Seder.

Juliana Hatfield - My Sister

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hospital Flack Gets Touchy Feely With Reporter

Wow. I'm usually not that sympathetic toward television reporters, but this San Francisco area hospital community relations dude must be auditioning for a role on NBC's The Office.


Kevin Drum on 'Oil Spill Kabuki'

Kevin Drum seems a little frustrated by the current oil spill machinations, and understandably so:

I feel like I should say something about the big press conference Obama just held. It's not like he does a whole lot of them. But it seemed pretty soporific to me. On the one hand, it's true that when he said he was "angry and frustrated" about the BP oil spill, he sure didn't seem very angry or frustrated. On the other hand, watching the CNN dimwits after the conference solemnly advising us one after one that Obama really needed to be more emotional because that's what the American people want — well, screw that. I have no idea what the American people want, and neither do they.

In times like this, I'm not looking for a leader to give folks a warm fuzzy. I'm seeking a cold, methodical manager who believes that execution is more important than elocution.

There will be plenty of time to sit around the fire and talk about how we felt when we heard the news that a major oil company had killed a huge section of our environment while MMS personnel frolicked in piles of hookers and blow. 

For now, just plug the damn hole.

Republicans Are Worried About Gays Violating Their Foxholes (if you know what I mean)

Republicans have a point. When I was in a foxhole, bullets whizzing overhead, in moments when I wasn't contemplating certain death, I had an overwhelming urge to hump the dogface ass-deep in the mud next to me. And I'm not even gay.

Imagine how difficult it would be for a homo who couldn't control his craven desires.


The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

I never really thought about it. But now that I'm thinking about it, it's just another example of how shitty it is that Hollywood is dominated by men.

Via The Daily Dish

Shirtless Kirk - To Boldly Go Where No Scent Has Gone Before

Want to know something about chicks? Sure you do. Look at me. Look. At. Me.

Chicks dig dudes with a hairless, commanding scent. Who

Muscular, sinewy officers who battle Gorn until the man-lizard is overcome by the power of Kirk-sweat and righteousness. That's the essence of manliness, the fragrance of fortitude.

You don't want to smell of Spock. That's illogical.

Bones Balm? Dammit, it's a cologne, not an ointment, Jim!

You want Shirtless Kirk. It combs your hair between takes of a fight scene. Your scent arrives at Alpha Centauri before you do. And it helps you score alien babes.

Damn straight.


Dead Cat Doctor

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Suzi Quatro - Rock Hard

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Demon Robot Breaks Leg, Fearful Masses Rejoice

Two points to make here.
  1. This is one scary-ass robot. I'm going to have robot domination nightmares all night. I can tell.
  2. I'm glad it broke its leg off. There, I said it.

Sex and the City 2 - Zowie!

Interesting review of Sex and the City 2:
SATC2 takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human—working hard, contributing to society, not being an entitled cunt like it's my job—and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car."
Burkas and Birkins

Mavis Staples - I'll Take You There

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Geek Pride Day

Today is Geek Pride Day. Why? Because we geeks have the technical expertise to make it so, that's why.

Via Wikipedia:

 Geek Pride Day is an initiative which claims the right of every person to be a nerd or a geek. It has been celebrated on May 25 since 2006, celebrating the premiere of the first Star Wars movie in 1977.


1. The right to be even geekier.
2. The right to not leave your house.
3. The right to not like football or any other sport.
4. The right to associate with other nerds.
5. The right to have few friends (or none at all).
6. The right to have as many geeky friends as you want.
7. The right to be out of style.
8. The right to be overweight and near-sighted.
9. The right to show off your geekiness.
10. The right to take over the world.


1. Be a geek, no matter what.
2. Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
3. If there is a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.
4. To save and protect all geeky material.
5. Do everything you can to show off geeky stuff as a "museum of geekiness."
6. Don't be a generalized geek. You must specialize in something.
7. Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.
8. Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.
9. Never throw away anything related to geekdom.
10. Try to take over the world!

What the BP Spill Looks Like Under Water

This is horrific.

More Fantastic Journalism

From our friends in Brevard County:

The Brevard County doctor who was arrested for groping a woman while dressed as Captain America with a burrito in his pants will not go to jail.

Will empanada-stuffed super-heroes be the next Internet meme? I can see the Tumblr now.


Bobblespeak Translation of This Week with Jake Tapper

The Bobblespeak Translations version of This Week with Jake Tapper, with guests Tim Kaine of the DNC and Michael Steele of the RNC:

Tapper: Mike Steele your Senate nominee Rand Paul says the Civil Rights Act was great except for the desegregation

Steele: sure that was stupid - but he’s clarified it to say he doesn’t hate black people he just doesn’t want have to be around them if doesn’t want to

Tapper: Tim how can you lose now?

Kaine: well we’re Democrats so you never know

Tapper: good point

Kaine: forget the racism - Rand Paul says going after BP is un-American

Steele: well he’s right - it’s terrible to call BP nasty names

Tapper: that’s the new GOP motto - “Accidents Happen”?

Epic Dysfunction at Minerals Management Service

From the New York Times:

Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week.

Words fail me. Outrage does not.

Frazil Ice - The Yosemite Slurpee

Via BoingBoing

Geithner Sure Plays A Mean Round Ball

If Timmy was half as good when it comes to monetary policy, maybe we'd have financial reform and unemployment below 7%. He might be good shooting from the outside, but the team wins or loses based on the bruising inside game.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Sugarfoot

Monday, May 24, 2010

Worst. Motivational. Speaker. Ever.

It's all mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

"The point is that I did it."

No, the point is that you looked ridiculous repeatedly slamming a sheet of wood laminate onto your head in a vain attempt to motivate others. To your credit - I'll bet reported incidents of plywood head slamming drop precipitously.

Still Not Serious About Identity Theft

Lifelock CEO Todd Davis has plastered his social security number everywhere to demonstrate how well his company's identity theft services perform to keep client information secure.

Davis has had his identity stolen at least 13 times. So how's that working out for you, Todd?

It's working out so well for Lifelock's customers that the US Federal Trade Commission has fined Lifelock $12 million for deceptive advertising practices. But this isn't a rant about Lifelock, or aggressive marketing, or the FTC.

Why is identity theft such a problem that an entire industry has spun up to offer expensive, and mostly ineffective, protection from those seeking to impersonate you to obtain credit for fraudulent purposes? Because few in the consumer credit food chain care as long as it's you footing the bill to recover from identity theft.

Kevin Drum makes a pretty strong argument in his Mother Jones blog, comparing credit card fraud to actual credit fraud as a result of weak identity theft prevention measures:

Here's a data point to ponder. In 1968 Congress passed the Truth in Lending Act. Among other things, it capped consumer liability for lost credit cards at $50. Guess what happened? Since credit card companies were responsible for all the losses above that amount, they got very aggressive and very creative at figuring out ways to minimize fraud. They made it as convenient as possible to report a lost card. They provided merchants with loads of tools to identify lost cards. They developed computer algorithms to detect usage patterns so they could proactively shut down fraudulent use. They worked really, really hard on this stuff.
In a nutshell, we made banks responsible for the losses, and banks figured out ways to prevent losses. It was the wonder of free market capitalism at work.

It's a pretty basic risk model. Once the cost of the loss outpaces the cost of the controls, it makes good business sense to expend capital on countermeasures. Until then, it's simple math - the consumer pays the resultant credit fraud bill, while the entity erroneously granting credit to the fraudster acts as a disinterested spectator.

Drum's suggestion?

Now then, suppose credit issuers were responsible for the costs of identity theft? That is, if you're responsible for issuing a card or extending credit of any kind under false pretenses, you're responsible for the losses and you're responsible for cleaning up the mess. Period. No excuses, no safe harbors, no nothing. If you extend credit to someone named Kevin Drum with my Social Security number, and it turns out that it wasn't actually me you extended credit to, then it's your problem. You pay the charges, you cancel the cards, you clean up my credit report, you contact my bank, you do everything. The basic premise should be: it's your responsibility to make sure you're extending credit to the person you think you are. If you don't, it's your responsibility to fix the mess. And if you don't fix the mess, you'll be liable in court for substantial damages.

That sounds like quite the appealing consumer protection scenario. Why should I have any responsibility to ensure that credit I did not request or approve is granted, especially when there's no proof it was me to begin with?

It's become a lucrative business for the credit reporting agencies that they don't want to give it up. The buying and selling of my personal financial history for fun and profit essentially guarantees that people will end up with my information without having a legitimate reason to have it, and a percentage of that group will use it for nefarious purposes.

I don't have an issue with waiting a few days for a new car purchase, or to spin up a new charge card, if that gives prospective credit issuers amply opportunity to validate the key components that have been presented to obtain credit prior to actually issuing the credit. In fact, that's how it used to be, and that's how it should be again.

Until then, I'll continue to review my credit reports regularly and practice threatening those who seek to play loose with my identity. It might not be entirely effective, but at least it makes me feel good.

No Wonder Journalism Is Circling The Drain

This is the sort of prose I would have expected to find in one of my college writing classes. For freshmen. In 1983.

It wasn't quite man-bites-dog, but there were men and there were dogs and there was biting.

Can we rule out involvement by the South Carolina Republic party?

WTOP radio was a 2009 Edward R. Murrow award winner. Fabulous.

Sarah Palin, Dinosaur Queen

Sarah Palin is to facts as the Triassic era is to Dino-human sock hops.

Fat, Drunk, and Stupid On Oil

If the BP oil gusher wasn't so tragic, the political response would be highly entertaining.

Even though it's killing our environment and might wipe out thousands of jobs for years to come, we can't stop the risky drilling practices because our insatiable thirst for oil has made us drunk on petroleum products, with a corresponding degradation in our decision-making abilities.

At the same time, pols who squawk loudly about bailouts, government interference, and free markets are apoplectic about BP's lethargic response and are demanding the Obama administration intervene and miraculously solve the ecological disaster currently unfolding while Big Oil rakes in large profits for themselves as the masses suffer the consequences of an impotent free market playing out before their weary, powerless eyes.

Hey America. Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.

Just ask Dean Wormer.

What A Drag It Is Getting Old

Activity Tip of the Day - moving an entire floor of furniture when you're 49 years oldmeans you get to enjoy a next day breakfast of paroxysm and Advil

Eat up!

Joe Cocker - You Are So Beautiful

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

XKCD: Infrastructures


The RandPaulinator

It's funny because it's true. Yfrog

Pilot Flies for 13 Years With Fake License

From the "this doesn't make me feel any more comfortable about flying" department comes word of a maintenance engineer who printed a fake pilot license on his home printer and used it to drive around 737s for thirteen years.

Thomas Salme flew back and forth between Sweden and the rest of Europe, and no one was any the wiser. It's rumored that he liked gladiator movies.

Fake license. Home printer. 737s.

Maybe things are a lot more loose in Europe than they are in the US. Heck, I need to take off my shoes and endure endless searches just to ride in the back of the plane here. This dude gets to fly it with no more than a homemade certificate and an official-looking hat.

There are certain positions that benefit from actual training in order to be considered qualified. Heart surgeon, dentist, nuclear power plant operator - all require a modicum of formal schooling. Apparently tooling around the friendly skies does not.

All you need is a couple of hours in a flight simulator and balls of steel.

Via Gizmodo

Rachel Maddow Provides Rope For Rand Paul To Hang Himself

Sometimes all it takes is a television journalist who comes prepared and refuses to have the discussion diverted away from the topic at hand.

Lisa Stansfield & Barry White - All Around The World

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BP Blows

Can someone please explain to me why we're allowing BP to be in charge of this whole fiasco?

It appears they've been negligent and duplicitous at every opportunity. Why not just take over and send them the bill?

I feel like a real blogger, but with wood

After a week where the only place I could blog was in the basement, I'm beginning to feel like the real deal.

If only it was my parent's house.

Does it count that I'm banished downstairs because we're having hickory floors installed on the first floor?

I guess not.

Maybe I should order some pizza.

Blogs and Journalism, Round 42

Via Andrew Sullivan, a Douglas Adams observation from 1999, before the world was filled with blogs and bloggers:

So people complain that there's a lot of rubbish online, or that it's dominated by Americans, or that you can't necessarily trust what you read on the web. Imagine trying to apply any of those criticisms to what you hear on the telephone. Of course you can't 'trust' what people tell you on the web anymore than you can 'trust' what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. For some batty reason we turn off this natural skepticism when we see things in any medium which require a lot of work or resources to work in, or in which we can't easily answer back -- like newspapers, television or granite. Hence 'carved in stone.' What should concern us is not that we can't take what we read on the internet on trust -- of course you can't, it's just people talking -- but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV -- a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make.

That sounds about right to me. There have been many similar thoughts echoed since, including in this recent CJR piece by entertaining Maureen Tkacik:

Journalists, by and large, had so little appreciation for their dependence on the larger engine of artificial demand that they were mostly blindsided when the Internet happened and they lost the benefits of that engine. A lot of them seemed to take it personally. They got insecure. Some started writing “trend” stories and giving over their column inches to celebrity newswires and sincerely talking about bylines (and politicians and everything else) as “brands.” They sold Time Warner to an absurdly overinflated dot-com. It’s not fair, of course, to blame only the journalists; there were mostly avowed capitalists in the corner offices of these places, and it is the fiduciary responsibility of capitalists to be as cowardly and uncreative as possible in times of fear and change.

Bloggers may not save journalism, but they didn't kill it, either. Journalism died of avarice, neglect, and a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Metasploit 3.4.0 Hacking Framework Released

Good news if you're looking to test your security defenses - the Metasploit framework has updated to version 3.4.0.

You wouldn't use Metasploit for evil purposes, boys and girls. Would you?

More than 100 new exploits have been included compared to 3.3.0, and a slew of bug fixes have also gone into the release.

From Darknet:

This is the first version of Metasploit to have strong support for bruteforcing network protocols and gaining access with cracked credentials. A new mixin has been created that standardizes the options available to each of the brute force modules. This release includes support for brute forcing accounts over SSH, Telnet, MySQL, Postgres, SMB, DB2, and more, thanks to Tod Bearsdley and contributions from Thomas Ring.

Metasploit now has support for generating malicious JSP and WAR files along with exploits for Tomcat and JBoss that use these to gain remote access to misconfigured installations. A new mixin was creating compiling and signing Java applets on fly, courtesy of Nathan Keltner. Thanks to some excellent work by bannedit and Joshua Drake, command injection of a cmd.exe shell on Windows can be staged into a full Meterpreter shell using the new “sessions -u” syntax.

You can get all the details in the release notes.

Denmark Loves Mukhtar the Bus Driver

Mukhtar is having a birthday, so his regulars turn into a well-wishing flash mob.

A Daily Dish commenter shares the following:

Thanks for posting that. Six months ago, extremists in Denmark were pitching legislation banning minarets. And of course there was the Muhammed cartoon controversy. Now a bus driver whose name means "chosen" in Arabic is celebrated by the folks who see him every day. It's good to see a sense of goodwill, born of community, triumph over the tyranny of the fearful.


Elvis Costello - Veronica

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rand Paul Election News!

Via The Poor Man Institute:

Well I must say. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Republicans in general, but this is just shocking. Josh Marshall is reporting that Rand Paul, teabagger icon and son of a libertarian conservative so hardcore that he hung on to his high school pledge to name one of his children after Ayn Rand, may be ungracious, perhaps egotistical, and something of an elistist? Mr. Marshall had better knock off this scurrilous rumor-mongering lest the younger Mr. Paul take his secret, genius plan to save America from the socialist one-world-government and go home to his high-tech volcanic lair where he and the other supermen will style their wavy, wavy hair and mock us poor schlubs out here in the salt mines of mere adequacy.

… not just elitist, but messianic! How could I have forgotten messianic? Atlas wept.