Things to Read/Variousness

  • My favorite blog, and source for info is back up and running.  You should read it too: Petulant Rumblings
  • Man bites other man:
    Ruutu gets suspended two games. Lindy Ruff  (Sabres coach, guy in suit at the end) still funny.

…The idea that social harmony is dependent on strict systems to prevent and punish cheating individuals seems to apply to most successful societies…

  • The Yiddish Policemens Union will be adapted for the screen by the Coens.  The perfect fit.  As I was reading it I kept thinking to myself how the book would make a great Coen Brothers film…for now here’s Michael Chabon talking about the novel:

What an asshole.

The Bully in Fiji
My Holiday with McCain


It was just before John McCain’s last run at the presidential nomination in
2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island in Fiji with John
McCain, Cindy, and their children, including Bridget (their adopted
Bangladeshi child).

It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune to be in close quarters
with John McCain for almost a week since Turtle Island has a small number
of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all vacationers who
are there at the same time to get to know each other intimately.

He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a pile of
William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out of them. As an
English Literature major myself, my first thought was “if he likes this so
much, why hasn’t he memorized any of this yet?” I soon realized that
McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to be a volunteer
audience for his “readings” which then became a regular part of each meal.
Out of politeness, none of the vacationers initially protested at this intrusion
into their blissful holiday, but people’s buttons definitely got pushed as the
readings continued day after day.

Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our mealtime
entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-Chinese
women had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just
couldn’t meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us
should stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high and
made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning
couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she needed to lose

McCain’s appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that
David the American economist had to move his Thai wife to the other side
of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively flirting with and
touching her.

Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego, and his rude behavior
towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have some
redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from
Bangladesh. I asked him about this one day and his response was shocking
-“Oh, that was Cindy’s idea – I didn’t have anything to do with it. She just
went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can’t imagine how
people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a shopping cart in
Arizona. No, it wasn’t my idea at all.”

I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day he engaged
me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of the active US
bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked when he said “if I was in
charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson”. Given McCain’s personal
experience with the horrors of war I had expected a more balanced point of
view. I commented on the tragic consequences of the nuclear attacks on
Japan during WWII – but no, he was not to be dissuaded. He went on to
say that if it was up to him he would have dropped many more nuclear
bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from this conversation as I
could tell that his experience being tortured as a POW didn’t seem to have
mellowed out his perspective but rather had made him more aggressive,
and vengeful towards the world.

My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he was leaving
Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when McCain
arrived and told Amy that she shouldn’t be having pancakes because she
needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive comment. I felt
fiercely protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and told him
to leave her alone. He became very angry and abusive towards me, and
said “don’t you know who I am” and I looked him in the face and said “yes,
you are the biggest asshole I have ever met” and headed back to my cabin.
I am happy to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch I was given a
standing ovation by all the guests for having stood up to McCain’s bullying.

Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this is the
first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000, when McCain first
announced his bid for the Republican nomination but it soon became
apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and so I did not act
then. However, now that there is a very real possibility that McCain could
be elected as our next president, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen
to share this story. I can’t imagine a more scary outcome for America than
that this abusive, aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed
him in intimate surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him
to be. If his attitudes toward women, and his treatment of his own family are
even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to think what
will happen to America were he to be elected as our President.

Anasuya Dubey is a clinical psychologist in California.

Thanks to Stephen for bring this to our attention

Douche-Bags (episode one)

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you feel your name is on this list erroneously then file your complaint here. If you feel that you would like to add a name to the list please feel free to contact us for a consideration of your proposed addition.

  • Thomas L. Friedman: He just is, and his books are folderol, and if you disagree you are probably a total douche yourself.
  • Carl Rove: For the sake of space I am including him as the token “Conservative Douche-bag”, but in truth I don’t see Carl as a real Conservative but as more of a nihilist with a shit-eating grin and a complete lack of morality.
  • Bill Maher: Smug douche-baggery is something a comedian can get away with, except that it requires said comedian to actually be funny.
  • Jimmy Buffett: He may or may not be a douche-bag, but this is a case of guilt by association. If you have ever encountered a”Parrot-head” you will surely agree.
  • Chris Matthews: No explanation needed.
  • Paddington Bear: You’re just going to have to trust me on this one. Total douche.
  • James Cameron: No talent hack, who has no idea that he is a no talent hack.