Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Random Note from College Football

Beavers beat Trojans.

Think about it.
Bush likes 'The Google'

As CNN reported this morning, "Bush is a 21st-century President with a 20th-century vocabulary."

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Republican Divide over Religion

A split in the Republican party will occur over the intrusion of religion into politics.

It seems that the US is not actually a Christian Nation after all. Well, half the country knew that; the other half decided there was no need to believe that, displaced the facts, swept them under the rug, or places them next to the WMD is Iraq. Read George Will and Garry Wills on the role of religion in the Early Republic.

I have been teaching a Church/ State class this semester and find it interesting that (1) students do not possess a historical awareness of religious liberty and (2) certain religions,who were oppossed to the combinaiton of Church and State changed their position.

In 1960, JFK delivered "Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association" about the relationship between Church and State. He delivered this speech because Baptists were worried that "Big John" would control "Little John." It is one of the most important modern speeches about the meaning of the First Amendment and Religious Liberty.

This is a speech that many should read. But, let's be honest: those who do read it most likely do not need to read it.

A Paradox, Maybe....

From The Volokh Conspiracy. Here is a scenario, a paradox is you will. Read the excerpt and then answer the questions:

In the Hanged-Man Paradox, a man, K, is sentenced on Sunday to be hanged, but the judge, who is evidently French or enamored of the French wit for surprising those sentenced to the guillotine in their last moments, orders that the hanging take place on one of the next five days at noon. Smiling wistfully, he says to K, "You will not know which day until they come to take you to the gallows."

K, who has evidently been condemned for logical perversions, cannot prevent his mind from nevertheless trying to figure out in advance which day will be his last. He quickly realizes it cannot be Friday, because if he has not been hanged by Thursday noon, he will know nearly a full day before they come to get him that he will be hanged on Friday. He is simultaneously pleased at his cleverness and depressed that he has pushed his date with the gallows closer to Sunday.

Soon enough, he realizes that if Friday is logically excluded, then so is Thursday, because if he has not been hanged by noon Wednesday, he will know that, Friday being excluded, his date must be Thursday. In like manner, he can exclude Wednesday, Tuesday, and Monday. As a logician, he smugly concludes that the judge's decree is false.

The questions: Will this man be executed? When?

Double Entendres of Hockey

From The Hockey News . A lyrical gem that suggests the top twelve hockey terms that sound dirty but aren't:

12. Two-on-one
11. Split the defense
10. Five hole
9. Give-and-go
8. Waived off
7. Body checking
6. Poke check
5. Coincidental minors
4. Third man in
3. Butt ending
2. In the slot
1. Pulling the goalie

And why do people watch baseball?

Warm Up For Midterms--Let Your Vote Impact WWE's Cyber Sunday

Harrogate implores readers to do the right thing and be engaged citizens who participate, through voting, in the shaping of important cultural phenomena.

Do not be complacent: maybe you're personally rolling in good fortune, but these elections have consequences that extend beyond your little bubble and into the lives of millions of less fortunate. And ideaologues: This election season, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good! A vote for Jonathan Coachman as guest referee for DX vs. Randy Orton/Edge still effects better policy than voting for Mr. McMahon, for example.

Go here to exercise your voting rights as November rolls in. Not to unduly abuse his influence a la his counterparts on Clearchannel and ABC, Harrogate nevertheless humbly offers the following suggestions as excellent choices:

1)Vote for "K-Fed's" Champion of Choice--King Booker (the one with the crown; duh)--as the one whose title must go on the line in the threeway with Big Show and Cena. It is Harrogate's belief that this move may ultimately domino effect into the Queen of Class, Britney Spears, arriving on the WWE scene in the near future. And besides, if you don't vote and Cena winds up getting screwed outta his title at the Pay-Per-View, the blood is on your hands.

2)Vote for Dusty Rhodes as Ric Flair's partner to challenge The Spirit Squad for the Tag team Championship. Remember, a vote for Dusty Rhodes is a vote for The American Dream.

3)Harrogate has already held forth his views regarding Coachman. Bischoff and Mr. McMahon are greater evils, they deserve to get Nadered here.

4)Vote for Carlito to get the Intercontinental Title Shot against Jeff Hardy. A vote against Carlito would be decidedly "uncool."

And remember fans, in the spirit of Diebold, you can vote as many times as you want for any given candidate!!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"K-Fed's" Slap Heard Round the World and Miscellany

Finally, Vince McMahon is beginning to reinvigorate the Rhetorical Situation known as Monday Night Raw! First of all combining Raw with Smackdown and ECW by instigating a threeway rivalry of champions has been a brilliant move; it unseats wrestling fans' comfort zone, leaving them anxiously wondering what's going to happen with the belts come Cyber Sunday. It has a conspiratorial narrative flavor that can really get people sucked in. King Booker has done a wonderful job spreading his creds as a heel, and Big Show is rendering an even better performance, toeing the middle ground between heel and face--compared to Cena he's a no-account cheater, but compared to Booker he's a bastion of integrity.

Speaking of this troicha, Harrogate audibly gasped when Cena interrupted "K-Fed's" lovefest with King Booker, telling the Heavyweight Champion that by endorsing Playing With Fire , he had "Lost his credentials as a Black Man"!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shaky ground here, O vaunted followers of The Rhetorical Situation! The WWE for several weeks has been doing all kinds of strange things with race. The stereotyped tagteam Cryme Tyme "ganking" Booker's wallet a couple of weeks ago added kerosene to the rhetorical fire, and all along wrestlers have been openly referring to Jonathan Coachman as an Uncle Tom. Academes interested in representations of race really ought to be watching their Raw, as all kinds of weird rhetoric is going down in that department.

But, to the money part: Vince has found a veritable goldmine with "K-Fed," whose ersatz ethos, as Harrogate has said before, has finally found a rhetorically proper fit. The guy is really razzing it up, and Cena is doing wonderfully as populist good guy who sees through "K-Fed's" chicanery. Federline's tee shirt proclaimed "America's Most Hated": Harrogate means really, what more can fans ask for, unless they want to see Britney herself interjected into this story? Actually, Harrogate predicts that the pinnacle of class known as Britney Spears will be making an appearance on Raw within the next four episodes--but that her appearance will be totally unannounced, to rhetorically augment the surprise.

Anyway, that slap across the face (depicted above) must have sounded to Vince just like Daisy in The Great Gatsby: her voice is "full of money," and so was that sound of rhetorically corrupt skin striking the face of a Marine.

Finally, Harrogate's eyes welled up when Dusty Rhodes (inset) entered on behalf of Ric Flair in his match with Kenny. Yes, it was nice to see Sgt. Slaughter and Roddy ("I'm all out of bubble gum") Piper as well, but Harrogate has seen these cultural icons several times over the years: Dusty The American Dream Rhodes on the other hand was like an incarnation of Harrogate's childhood, live and in full color. Now, Vince must find a way to get Dusty into the narrative proper, keep him around a lot, perhaps even set things up to where he and Flair win the Tag Team Championship from the rhetorically hapless Spirit Squad, thus cashing in on a Rhetoric of Nostalgia for all us thirty-somethings in the audience.

Political Poster 'Bama Style

Loretta Nall is the Libertarian Candidate for Governor in Alabama. Now typically, Harrogate has about as much use for Libertarians as he does for skunk corpses; but instead of the common Libertarian schtick of defending the sovereignty of gun compounds run by nutcases (read: Waco), or calling for the abolishment of the Department of Education, or crying about taxes in a corporatist materialist nation whose tax rate is incredibly low by any reasonable standard whatever--yea, verily Harrogate sayeth unto his readers, instead of all such Neal Boortz Libertarian inanity, Nall has refreshingly built her campaign around things like beating down the Patriot Act, legalizing marijuana, getting out of Iraq, and not hating Mexicans. How nice. A Libertarian who's not a hypocrite, who actually values civil liberties. She'll go down in flames among them there Alabamans of course, but then here's to trying.

And that poster on her webstie is (These Boobs, not Those Boobs) pretty good from a Rhetorical Standpoint. Compare it to the Corker ads in Harrogate's previous post to see the difference between good-natured campaigning versus ad-hominem smearing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Credit to the Nation

Tennessee Rethugs Doing What They Do Best

Too Hot For Corker

One of the more interesting Senate races coming down the homestretch is in the middle of the Confederacy, Tennessee, where Rethugs can eat live kittens on television and still get elected so long as they say something nasty about gays, Mexicans, and them there uppity womenfolk.

Check out these two controversial ads, the first run by Rethug Corker himself, the second, overtly racist, "Playboy Party" ad (recently pulled, damage done) by the good ole RNC. Note especially the skanky blonde at the end telling Ford to "call her."

Anyway, that ads like this represent how to influence voters in this country tells you all you need to know. Harrogate knows it's fashionable among liberals to always spin stuff like this to where it's the Rethug Machine that is bad, and the voters innocent. But all b.s. aside, if this stuff didn't work it wouldn't run. We Uhmerrikahns are getting what we deserve.
Exploiting the Truth

To my mind, it's immaterial whether Fox took his meds before recording this political advertisement. Some people who have Parkinson's cannot afford the medications. How can exposing the truth about a disease be unbecoming or exploitative. At least Fox and McCaskill are telling the truth, which is more than we can say about most Republicans lately.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Gift for the Masses

Since there is no longer any need to pimp my latest romance novel thanks to Harrogate. I come instead with a gift for the masses -- Pandora. Pandora is part of the Music Genome Project. This project is basically breaking down music into "genes." Lifting directly from their website: Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.

Pandora is the free (at least so far) internet radio arm of the project. You select a song or artist that you like and it creates a "station" based on the "genes" of that song. It also allows you to give thumbs up or down to songs, ban songs from the station for a month, play a song more, add more types of music to the station, or create multiple stations. It does eventually require registration with an email but it is free (again so far). You can also check why it picked a certain song and it will give you a short explanation based on the genes. Its worth trying out just to peruse their descriptions.

I've only recently tried it out and have had varying results. I created a station for Alabama 3 (known to the masses as "those guys who did the Sopranos theme song) and thought the "genes" worked really well. In the space of a half hour, I had found a number of bands who didn't necessarily sound like Alabama 3 but were bands I a) enjoyed and b) more importantly, never heard of.

I was impressed both by the range of music available (not once did I find myself listening to some Billboard hack) and the technology that puts the songs together.

I encourage everyone to try it out but be warned, mileage may vary.
Straying the Course

Bush goes on to tell Stephanopoulos that his strategy in Iraq has always been one of adaptation.

It seems the Bush administration has recently made a decision to abandon their "stay the course" rhetoric, in favor of something like "adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground." The reason: "stay the course" is only a quarter right, according to Bush.

The more likely reason for changing the strategic motto, however, is not that "stay the course" doesn't fully encapsulate Bush's master plan for the war but that the new rhetoric will more effectively persuade Americans that change is underway in Iraq.

While I hate to be pessimistic, I'm confident that nothing about the war, save its rhetoric, will actually change. For if Bush truly intended to abandon the "stay the course" strategy, then he would not have said in the same Stephanopoulos interview that, so long as he remains in office, nothing could trigger the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Oh, the power of rhetoric to change perception. But will it work?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Odd Email Subjects

Here is a list of the subject lines from a few junk emails. My favorite is the last. It sounds like a New Wave Band

Dumb Balm



Trunks Opportunity

Regimental Inaugurate

Cutting Edge Positively


Pensive Sherbert

The email to "Regimental Inaugurate" Reads (It is poetic in a random, M. Doughty Sense):

On the face of it, of course, this is patently absurd, but if you have the right picture in mind, this is the sort of thing you might have guessed.
But not to worry, if you walk across the infinity line again, you get flipped back to normal. To which it was replied that of course time has an existence, as a social convention, a mental framework. Even a definite negative answer is preferable to none at all. Again, both German and English versions of each are reproduced, though the task was made considerably easier than in other cases by the fact that the edition I used was a dual-language edition.
I think that that is neither true nor a good value.
Without the steady march of time, this unity of behavior disappears, and there are simply a million disparate entities.
On the one hand, he makes interesting and insightful observations on all sorts of phenomena; on the other, he never really synthesizes those observations into a single, coherent argument. Baby monitors today can give you the ability to watch baby.
Nor is the notion that rape is bad an example of state coercion.
So it is an element of science, but incomplete.
And, of course, make good pictures. As for quantum, I avow my profound ignorance of it, so let my opinion be taken in that light. Of course Einstein is justly famed for, among many other things, pioneering the idea of space-time. Nor is the notion that rape is bad an example of state coercion.
But the only way to determine whether it is simply a theory to fit the facts or whether it is truly generalizable is to test it against unknown facts via prediction.
On the face of it, it might be surprising that the set of rotations of three space should itself look anything like three space.
The goal is not a description which is true or corresponds to the truth, or at least that is not the immediate goal. As for quantum, I avow my profound ignorance of it, so let my opinion be taken in that light. The dilemma is that when individuals pursue personal gain, the net result for society as a whole may be impoverishment. On the face of it, of course, this is patently absurd, but if you have the right picture in mind, this is the sort of thing you might have guessed.
I've browsed some of the most popular online stores and chosen the top ten Halloween costumes for babies.
But not to worry, if you walk across the infinity line again, you get flipped back to normal. On the face of it, it might be surprising that the set of rotations of three space should itself look anything like three space.
That formulation is, as I believe I have said before, perfectly monstruous. On the face of it, it might be surprising that the set of rotations of three space should itself look anything like three space.
Again, both German and English versions of each are reproduced, though the task was made considerably easier than in other cases by the fact that the edition I used was a dual-language edition.
Bebello's bohemian-inspired Betty reversible dress is a must-have for baby and toddler girl.
This at least is the goal.
When the facts or events are given, anyone can interpret them, and the fact that these events are known can mask the relative merits of the theory which interprets them. She wasn't sure what the reasons were, but she heard it had something to. Baby monitors today can give you the ability to watch baby.

Southpaw's Posts Create Nationwide Firestorm of Controversies

Since joining the editorial board of The Rhetorical Situation, Southpaw (depicted left posing for the back cover of his latest best selling romance novel) has had an incalculable impact on the popularity of this site. The socioplitical controversies swirling around his last spate of discussions prove once and for all that the only bad press is no press.

Keep rilin' em up, Southpaw! Harrogate tips his cap to ye!

Thank God! "K-Fed" to Return to Raw Tonight, 10/23

Word around the Beltway is that "K-Fed" (depicted above stylin' and profilin' with his classy feminist champion wife, the effervescent Britney Spears) will join Melina ringside to support Johnny Nitro as he takes on John Cena tonight on Raw. Harrogate is tickled to death, too, that Vince had decided to cash in on WWE's considerable aesthetic credibility in promoting "K-Fed's" new album, Playing With Fire. From the link provided above, Jonathan Coachman effuses:

I am pleased to announce on behalf of Mr. McMahon that WWE will have the distinct privilege of promoting Kevin Federline’s new album “Playing with Fire.” I have listened to the album, and I can assure you that it is nothing short of a musical masterpiece.

Harrogate believes wholeheartedly that every human being needs to be aware that this Coachman quote is real, it is out there, Federline's album has indeed been referred to in the public square as a "musical masterpiece."

Anyway, though Harrogate will not be live blogging Raw this evening, the thousands of fans who turn to his WWE posts every week can count on his typically probing analysis of everything that goes down in that proverbial squared circle.