Inglourious Directurds

9 August 2009

The Guardian today has this pretty brutal write-up both of Tarantino’s latest film, Inglourious Basterds, and his notoriously-fragile state of mind.  I’m not a big fan of his but even I can’t help wincing for the poor guy.

It’s definitely worth a read whatever your sentiments, so check it out.

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(Census) Taken

29 June 2009

One of the senior crazies in Congress, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), gave an interview a few days ago.  The Minnesota Star Tribune reported on it a few days ago. Commenting about the US Census,  which she is partly responsible for managing as a representative of the people, she had this to say:

“I’m saying, for myself and my family, our comfort level is we will comply with the Constitution Article I Section II… We will give the number of people in our home, and that’s where we’re going to draw the line.”

She continued, channelling the Founders:

“I’m saying, for myself and my family, our comfort level is we will comply with the Constitution Article I Section II,” Bachmann told a Fox News interviewer. “We will give the number of people in our home, and that’s where we’re going to draw the line.”

Incidentally, Article I, Section ii deals with the method of electing the President.  There’s not really anything there about the census, or even about the number of senators and representatives to which a state is entitled (which is what determines electors).  But as it turns out it doesn’t matter anyway:

In her interview, Bachmann said that “Americans are being compelled to give this information” in violation of the Constitution. She added: “I’m not encouraging Americans not to fill out the census.”

She goes on to suggest that the Census was (indirectly) the cause of Japanese internment.  I’ll let you plumb those depths if you like, but my stomach was insufficiently strong for the shit she was serving.  I would like only to make a couple of comments, as doubtless the congressman is desperately concerned with what I have to say and will be coming by just as soon as I post it:

  1. You’re in Congress.  If you don’t like how the Census is managed, fix it.  Or at least make it so it’s not a federal crime to fail to complete the survey.  The least you can do if you don’t think the law is right is to change it.
  2. You’re in Congress.  If you choose not to fill out the Census, which is a public activity and a public service, and you go on TV saying all of these things about why, you are encouraging people to follow suit.  You can’t give a “j/k” at the end and create a bubble around yourself.  I don’t mean to be Sartrean, because philosophy makes political types a bit sweaty, but there’s not much you can do in public life without asserting that it’s the right thing to do.  The fact that you do it, or don’t, is a statement to other people.  If you think there should be a census, but not that it should be filled out (or that you shouldn’t have to), then either it makes you very special… or it makes you very special.
  3. You should stop buying groceries.  They carry the mark of the beast.