Good Morning!

The Soonerdaughter is off her liquid diet as of yesterday!  She’s so pleased.  And today, we are…fitting her for braces.

Now that the Satanist temple in New York is pushing hard–they raised $20,000 in five days–to put their monument on the state Capitol grounds near the ten commandments monument, other groups, some of them actual religions, like a Hindu group, have submitted designs to the state for their proposed monuments.  I’m designing a monument to Bill-and-Tedism, myself.  It will be a phone booth with the inscriptions “Be excellent to each other” and “party on, dudes” on the base.  Demands to remove the ten commandments are coming from some interesting quarters, as well.  A VERY devout friend of mine has been calling the offices of his state Senator and Assemblyman and the Governor to register his displeasure.  Since it’s been pointed out that the state is going to spend a lot of money to lose in court and have to remove it anyway, a lot of people are asking that it be removed.  Of course, this being Oklahoma, more people are demanding that the state fight this thing.  I’m buying extra popcorn.

Open Thread.

71 replies
  1. 1
    p.a. says:

    Does no one remember this?

  2. 2
    Belafon says:

    @p.a.: I have the book, and I make sure my kids see it.

    @Soonergrunt: We went with Invisalign with my oldest. It worked great.

  3. 3
    rea says:

    Which version of the commanements is on the NY monument, I wonder? Better be the Catholic one–the Protestant version prohibits graven images.

    I’d like to see a nice Golden calf, myself.

  4. 4
    the Conster says:

    So glad I live in Massachusetts where the only arguments are about the statues of our local gods of sports.

  5. 5
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I guess I’ll move this up since I posted in the dead thread, now that this one appeared:

    Still nobody quite like Jon Stewart when he’s on. Or you know, when he’s not being a centrist blue dog comedian. This is so down his alley it was destined to be good.

  6. 6
    mai naem says:

    I remember seeing a blurb about when Louisiana was doing its vouchers for religious schools, a bunch of muslims got together and were proposing a muslim school where they could use the vouchers and, ofcourse, the RW’s went crazy because of Sharia!!! Don’t know what happened at the end though.

  7. 7
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Haven’t seen Stewart as yet but looking forward to Colbert’s take on the scandal. He’s always on.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    Congratulations to Soonerdaughter on getting off the liquid diet! Hope the braces aren’t quite as traumatic as the liquid diet. Poor thing has had a lot of big changes in her life recently. Best to you all.

    Have the Pastafarians submitted a design?

  9. 9
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Violet: I understand that somebody has submitted a design for a 7-foot diameter colander.

  10. 10
    mai naem says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I’m just wondering when the local NJ journos will start looking up other massive traffic clusterfucks and see if they lead back to the Governor’s office. And Sandy rebuilding stuff, other infrastructure stuff, and basically any mini-disasters. I’m sure it’s not going to be that hard to look up mayors and assemblymen who endorsed Buono and connect stuff happening in those areas.
    BTW, if I was family of that 91 yr old woman who died, I would be hiring a lawyer and suing the sheet out of Christie’s aides. Forget the criminal stuff. Making a GOOPer poor is just as bad for them.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    Calling all lawyers out there…..really, are the gay Utah marriages DOA? Does the guv have real legal standing to declare this, or is this pure pander?

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    @Soonergrunt: Excellent.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    I see the Bridghazi story is the top story on the Today Show. Also Google News, which informs me that Christie will hold a press conference on the issue.

  14. 14
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Patricia Kayden:It’s right there at the link. Really funny.

    I never find Colbert funny. Clever, in some ways, but not funny. It may just be me.

  15. 15
    Shortstop says:

    @mai naem: I suspect we’re now going to hear about a whole lot of “invisible” (to the public, unlike the GWB situation) mob-style muscling from Christie’s goons. This is probably going to embolden others to come forward.

  16. 16
    Valdivia says:

    wonderful news @Soonergrunt.

  17. 17
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    We Pastafarians are submitting a design for a giant iron colander, balanced sideways and containing large slabs of premium slate, each bearing inscriptions of universal mathematical theorems. The colander will drain into a reflecting pool around which one can sit and reflect on the wisdom of the flying spaghetti monster.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    Remember Frank Rich? He’s still smart and worth reading:

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Solid Food! Food that resists! That practically calls for a food thread.
    Enjoy. Chew.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    NYC media/Villager update:

    Matt Lauer says, “One major question surrounding this situation has now been answered in my opinion, this was in fact political retribution. Two of those emails prove that.” Then says the questions remaining are did Christie know about it and did he order it

    Chuck Todd weighing in on the Christie story: It’s one of two things, either Christie lied in his statement or “he doesn’t have control of his own chief deputies and there’s a culture in his office where doing something like this, political retribution, is acceptable behavior.” Calls it “the worst of the worst of petty politics.”

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    other near-Oklahoma-city news, some guy killed his father in law with an ‘atomic wedgie’.

    Interesting state.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Chuck Todd has this tone in his voice like, “WTF? Christie? How the hell can you be such an idiot? We LIKED you.” It’s like he’s personally affronted.

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    @scav: New braces and solid food, yum. I question the timing of the brace fittings.

  24. 24
    PurpleGirl says:

    Good news about Soonerdaughter. Hope the braces won’t be a major problem for her.

    I didn’t know there was a 10 Commandments monument in Albany… Argh!

    It would be cool if Hindu groups put up a giant gold and jeweled Ganesha.

  25. 25
    MomSense says:

    Congratulations to Soonerdaughter!!

    If I wanted to be a trouble maker, I would try and get the other 10 commandments (the ones that are in effect because Moses smashed the first ones) put on a monument. The 10 commandments that we typically think of were smashed and so Moses had to start again. We tend to ignore the second group of 10 because they are soooo strange.

    Take “thou shalt not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”. I think this is #7 but it could be #8. I can never remember so having the real commandments prominently displayed would be a big help. This could be the basis for not mixing meat and dairy if you accept this translation. Or it could be that the text originally said not to cook a kid while it was still suckling–meaning eating baby animals is just cruel.

  26. 26
    Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler) says:

    The Soonerdaughter is off her liquid diet as of yesterday! She’s so pleased.

    That is terrific!
    She must be so very happy!

    And today, we are…fitting her for braces.


    You certainly know how to put together a dynamic paragraph SoonerG.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    The new GOP anti-poverty agenda examined
    By Ryan Cooper
    January 8 at 6:24 pm

    Today, top Republicans like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan are looking to soften their image on poverty, uneasy at the prospect of a Democratic Party preparing to pummel them mercilessly over their eagerness to cut food stamps and unemployment benefits. It’s particularly opportune given that today is the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

    But their proposals fall short. Instead of addressing the definitional problem of poverty — namely, that the poor don’t have enough money — they retreat into vague rhetoric and window dressing.

    This is a bit disappointing. Last week, conservative reformist Michael Strain published an article outlining a conservative jobs agenda. It was actually quite a bold piece; if you look past the Obama-bashing there was some real policy meat there that could make a serious dent in unemployment. Aside from the details of the plan, the key point is that Strain acknowledged that any jobs plan will necessarily involve allocating some resources — practically speaking, by spending some money. Strain suggests some infrastructure spending, for example.

    Unfortunately, that boldness is precisely what is missing from today’s new Republican anti-poverty agenda. Consider Marco Rubio’s address he gave today: there are two policy changes in it. First, turn welfare programs over to the states; second, replace the earned income tax credit with a “wage enhancement” for “qualifying low-wage jobs.” Rand Paul has suggested “economic freedom zones,” in which small areas get the usual dose of tax cuts and deregulation. Or here’s the agenda of other Republicans, including Mike Lee, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor, as summarized by Annie Lowry and Ashley Parker:

  28. 28
    scav says:

    @JPL: Gods are often like that. We need to determine the one involved and get him a large lawn ornament, pronto.

  29. 29
    Dead Ernest (Thought Wrangler) says:

    Monuments… Hmm.

    Maybe some sort of combination mop sink and foot washing bath device?

    Ooh, Ooh! Yeah, with sculptures including a minimum wage white person with a mop, a darker person holding a prayer rug* and the Pope washing the feet of one or the other of them. Very inclusive!

    *gun rolled up in rug optional.

  30. 30
    WereBear says:

    @Soonergrunt: I knew the Pastafarians would be on it.

    They are the fastest growing non-religion in the world.

  31. 31
    scav says:

    @MomSense: I’m getting hints of a prohibition of breatfeeding toddlers in summer months. Or maybe just a culinary mandate of boiling kids in milk that is no closer than second cousin, to balence the flavors better. An annotated monument might be called for.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @MomSense: Or it could be that the text originally said not to cook a kid while it was still suckling–meaning eating baby animals is just cruel.

    That’s my take and also part of my personal approach to humane animal eating.

    I understand part of Jewish scholarship is tracing moves away from “sacrifice” and what it all meant. Fits right in.

  33. 33
    c u n d gulag says:

    Your daughter’s off her liquid diet!

    What was, or will be, her “breakout” meal?

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:


    They are the fastest growing non-religion in the world.

    If you check census returns, Jedi are around 1% of the population in many countries.

  35. 35
    WereBear says:

    @MikeJ: ‘Tis a competitive field :)

  36. 36
    The Red Pen -- PEN DAMMIT! says:

    BTW, Satanism is a real religion. It seems to mainly be the “Church of Fuck You Christian Dickbags,” which explains its (relative) popularity in the West’s last great bastion of Puritanism.

  37. 37
    MomSense says:


    And we will probably need to put a sacred place near the Real Commandments Monument for the offerings of the first born of herd and flock and for the redemptions of all the firstborn sons.

    You bring up a good point about breastfeeding. Fortunately mine are long weaned! The other thing is that I’m a little rusty on my Egyptian calendar knowledge.

  38. 38
    Jay C says:

    Well, for me, the pic of the proposed Satanist monument for OK brings to mind the old song from “Bye, Bye Birdie”:

    We love Baphomet, oh yes we do…
    We don’t fear any god as much as you…
    You are the Evil One, it’s true…
    Ba-pho-met we love you…!

    On a slightly more serious note, didn’t any of the godbotherers in the OK Lege have a clue that this would happen. AFAICT, an attempt at erecting a public monument to piety has turned into a public joke. I’m sure the Statehouse folks were bent on installing a public expression of their faith (and probably exclusively), but did they really think that it would go through? And unmocked??

  39. 39
    geg6 says:

    FYI, for anyone interested in applying for a good job in post-secondary academic administration. I was just at the spring campus town meeting and the search for our new campus DAA (Director of Academic Affairs) has been extended due a low number of applications. If you’re interested in being in charge of faculty, both tenured/tenure track and adjunct, and academic programs, if you think you might like living in the Pittsburgh area and would like to work at a small campus of a major research university that has a wonderful campus climate and excellent campus leadership, I highly recommend applying. From what I can see, the posting has not yet been re-posted, but if you keep watching this link ( and then put in “Beaver” for the campus job listings.

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    @Jay C: I suppose they assumed that voters would recognize the depth and seriousness of their wise and pious legislators and behave accordingly. And, one may argue, the voters did exactly that.

  41. 41
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Whatever happened to good old-fashioned Baal-worship?

    I tell ya, there’s no respect for tradition anymore. :)

  42. 42
    Jay C says:


    Actually, Mel Brooks has already explained to us why there are only TEN Commandments…

  43. 43
    Original Lee says:

    @rikyrah: Maybe they are aware of these statistics and are just treading water until all those “paid for by the government” babies are old enough to vote.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Carnacki says:

    It’s a win-win for the right. The more the state spends defending the Christian God display (let’s be honest about what it is) the less money they have to spend on other government services so the less they have to help the poors and the blahs and the less people will see government as being effective at helping people.

  46. 46
    Carnacki says:

    @Jay C:

    We don’t fear any god as much as you…

    We don’t fear any god except Cthulhu as much as you…


  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    Bad timing on those braces. My kid’s braces finally come off this summer, at which time she plans to eat enough Doritos to fill a bathtub and gorge on Skittles until she vomits. Me? I’m looking forward to no longer financing a quarter of the orthodontist’s monthly Mercedes payment.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:


    This could be the basis for not mixing meat and dairy if you accept this translation. Or it could be that the text originally said not to cook a kid while it was still suckling–meaning eating baby animals is just cruel.

    It’s absolutely the basis for not mixing meat and dairy. Of course that’s among Orthodox Jews. Some of the Reformed people make other claims, like the one about not eating animals while they’re still suckling, or claiming that it was a prohibition on a specific Canaanite religious ceremony that involved that dish.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:


    The other thing is that I’m a little rusty on my Egyptian calendar knowledge.

    You shouldn’t be; we’re using a very lightly modified version of it to this day. The Romans’ ancient calendar was completely screwed up. so Julius Caesar decided to copy the Egyptian calendar but give the months Roman names. Augustus Caesar moved two days from February to July and August so the months named for his (adoptive) father and him could have 31 days, and Pope Gregory fiddled around with leap days in years ending in 100, but apart from those quite modest changes, we’re still using the Egyptian calendar.

  50. 50
    The Red Pen -- PEN DAMMIT! says:


    If I wanted to be a trouble maker, I would try and get the other 10 commandments (the ones that are in effect because Moses smashed the first ones) put on a monument.

    I’m not familiar with those…

    …but the “10 commandments” are really just section headers for over 600 edicts including the dietary rules and rules about how to execute unruly children (actually in there) and how people with disabilities are not qualified to sacrifice burnt offerings. Very few “Christians” have any clue what they are talking about with the 10 Commandments.

    Anyway, gentiles need only follow the 7 Noahide laws. Those never get a monument.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    I think we need to recognize Bastet properly by ensuring that there are cats living in the Oklahoma statehouse.

  52. 52

    I’m designing a monument to Bill-and-Tedism, myself.  It will be a phone booth with the inscriptions “Be excellent to each other” and “party on, dudes” on the base.

    Well, okay, but don’t be surprised if people keep looking around for the Doctor.

  53. 53
    Soonergrunt says:

    @c u n d gulag: Lots of home made bread rolls. She has to start small. Next week if she can handle it, chicken!

  54. 54
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): We can call it a dual purpose structure. Or we could also put up a TARDIS.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Punchy: Pure pander.

  56. 56
    Violet says:

    @Soonergrunt: Interesting. Is that a personal choice or a doctor-recommended way to start introducing foods?

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    Is it wrong to be deeply suspicious of Eric Cantor’s sudden outburst of concern for the welfare of NYC schoolchildren?

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Jesus wept.

  59. 59
    catclub says:

    @mai naem: “Don’t know what happened at the end though.”
    Somewhat related: A LA state judge rules that the latest thing Jindal has done to teachers and funding in unconstitutional. Suddenly the State Supreme Court does not exactly overrule him, but tells him to go look again. THE SAME DAY, he comes back and says. NOPE, it is STILL unconstitutional!

    And that is the latest. Who knows what happens next.

  60. 60
    JustRuss says:

    @Violet: Nice to see Chuck Todd finally get something right. The fact that it gives him a sad is some sweet, sweet, icing on that cake.

  61. 61
    The Red Pen -- PEN DAMMIT! says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Well, okay, but don’t be surprised if people keep looking around for the Doctor.

    Phone booth, not police booth.

    Inspector Spacetime travels in something that looks like a phone booth.

  62. 62
    catclub says:

    @The Red Pen — PEN DAMMIT!: “the 7 Noahide laws”

    Never sniff a gift fish?
    No swimming for 30 minutes after eating?

  63. 63
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Violet: That was the doctor’s recommendation.

  64. 64
    J R in WV says:


    Glad to hear that your Sprout is back onto solid foods! I suspect not half so glad as she is!!

    My wife got braces for the first time at about 60, our regular dentist noticed some movement of teeth from ideal to not-ideal positions, and so arranged for braces to put them where they belonged. She’s now mostly off braces but for a small wire fastened to her bottom front teeth, and a retainer for bedtime.

    Your mouth hurts some after installation, and each adjustment restores that discomfort, but being able to eat (some) solid foods may make up for that. Hope so.

    Glad the varied non-xian religions are all jumping with both feet on the poor Okie leg… they’re holding up our end of the religious practices quite well, more power to em.

    And thanks to you for keeping us updated on the news from Lake Woe, er, Oklahoma. We’ll be passing through OK on our way to AZ next week, it’s always – well, flat.

    Hang in there!


  65. 65
    Violet says:

    @Soonergrunt: Interesting. Best of luck to your daughter. I hope she does really well on the bread rolls and gets to enjoy chicken soon.

  66. 66
    PopeRatzy says:

    Chris Christie’s “Fat & Furious” scandal and cover-up in Noun, Noun Verb prose

    Last week: Sword, Aides, Falling
    Yesterday: Bus, Aides, Throwing
    Today: Scapegoat, Aide, Firing

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    The Supreme Court has scheduled the oral argument in Hobby Lobby And Conestoga Wood Specialties, the contraceptive-mandate cases, for 3/25.

  68. 68
    Anoniminous says:

    In my religion we have only one dietary commandment but it is strict and unforgivable:

    Thou shalt not eat boiled cucumbers

  69. 69
    pacem appellant says:

    Yeay no liquid diet! (Why was she on a liquid diet again?) I have an acquaintance who works at Invisalign and their product seems good. If Soonerdaughter is in her tweens/teens, I would see if it’s covered as I recall my own sister at enduring braces at the tender age of 12 and she was not a pleasant housemate to say the least.

  70. 70
    Jay C says:


    Yeah, Big Chris’s presser today was a masterpiece of blame-shifting and weasel-wiggling: Despite making all the “apologies”, the bulk of his position was that HE is the victim here – he knew absolutely nothing about the bridge closures, his aides “misled” him, he isn’t any sort of “micromanager”; everyone was “lying” to him, etc. etc. Oh, and Bridget Kelley has gotten the sack.

    Sergeant Schultz would be proud indeed: “Nein! I know nossing! Abzolutely NOSSING!

  71. 71
    Soonergrunt says:

    @pacem appellant: Post diagnosis of Chrohn’s disease, the doctor felt that this was appropriate in addition to the new medication to bring her Chrohn’s under control and hopefully into remission.

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