Our monthly friend

It’s that time of the month again (already?) when we at Mock, Paper, Scissors salutes the fine contributors to our Blogroll.

“Why do you do that ‘Grain?,” you ask.

Because we like you! We really like you! Everyone likes to get a little link-luv now and then, and it helps to improve your Google authority rating, and allegedly it works to increase your Technorati score.

Our blogroll policy is stolen from the late, great Jon Swift: we will link to you if you link to MPS. But remember: I always liked YOU best!

What Charlie Said X10

carebear empty suit and words blingee

Brother Pierce nails it:

In merciful brief, the president attempted to explain to the world why the self-destructive and mendacious decision of the United States to engage in aggressive war in Iraq in contravention of god alone knows how many provisions of international law was manifestly different — politically, legally, and morally — from Vladimir Putin’s land grabbing in and around Ukraine. Before anyone gave him a chance to be president, and throughout his unlikely rise to the White House, the president famously called the war in Iraq “the wrong war in the wrong place.” It was the first stark difference between the president and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign and the clearest difference between the president and Senator John McCain in that year’s general election. It represented the cleanest break available to the country from the bloody stupdity of the previous administration. It was the seedbed for all the hope and all the change. The problem arose when the architects of the American fiasco were allowed to escape any real accounting for what they’d done in Iraq and to the United States. There was no public punishment, no public shaming, no indication from the new administration that it was ready to demand penance from the old. And yesterday, the president illustrated quite clearly the size of the corner in which his basic philosophy had painted him.

Go read the whole thing at Esquire.

If you have not read Charlie Pierce’s piece on Bill Kristol…

…you should. It’s muscular writing, heartfelt, and good. It’s the kind of thing a I wish I could write here, but I know I won’t.

Anyway, here’s a sample of Brother Pierce laying into Bloody Bill (Always Wrong) Kristol:

Blow me, you monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud, you silly, stupid chickenhawk motherfker who plays army man with the children of people who are so much better than you are, and who would feed innocent civilians in lands you will never visit into your own personal meatgrinder to service your semi-annual martial erection…


When the Wolf is at the Door

I’ve been re-reading MFK Fisher’s excellent How To Cook A Wolf. For those of you not familiar with this book, it is a series of essays about how to live and eat well when you have no money (and maybe no food); she wrote the essays during the Great Depression and then the food rationing of World War Two. Spoiler: she made it through the Depression, WWII, and lived a long, full life in Northern California. Part of what she tells us in this book is to not give up.

I mention this only as a reminder that we are living in a second Great Depression. This is a hard time for many of us, our democracy has failed us (and so richly rewarded the, well, rich), and we subsist on a small piece of an ever-shrinking pie, if we subsist at all.

Many of us have been told (usually by a perky 20-something contracted by the company to deliver the bad news and offer resume writing tips) that we will never work in corporate America again. Not that there is age discrimination (that’s when the perky 20-something produces reams of paper that shows the age range of the 5,000 other people let go that day. Message: don’t sue us, we’ll kill you with data.), and sometimes the perky 20-something offers you the chance of a lifetime, to stay with the company by moving to where your job went (usually a country ending in -stan) and accepting the local wages. Oh, and you get to pay for your move there (“and back,” says Perky, “if you change your mind.”).

Sometimes Perky tells you about creating your own Brand You, which at that moment sounds more like a fuck you. And then Perky concludes with a small confessional, “I’ll never have a full-time job. Doing these contract jobs is the best I will probably ever have.” You find yourself, strangely enough, trying to comfort Perky, whom you have come to realize is just as screwed as you are.

Our old pal, Jurassic Pork at the excellent Welcome Back to Pottersville is at the end of his considerably long rope and thinking about using it as a noose. If you have some extra money, I can think of few, kinder ways to use it than to send it to him. There is a PayPal button at his place.

It’s that time of the month again!


It’s been a while since we’ve had one…

Anyway, we know that we like being linked all over the web, and we want to give everyone in the blogroll some linky-luv. This helps improve your Technorati score (if anyone still believes in that), and allegedly it gives everyone a bump up in SEO authority. But mostly we like to do it because we don’t always get a chance to visit every blog on the blogroll every month, and we want our bloggers to know that we love them.

And as always, if you want to be added to the blogroll, drop me a comment with a link to your blog. The general rule is that if you link to MPS, we will link to you (unless your website is a commercial site selling products).

Lester and Charlie have a book out!

Long-time friends of MPS our pals at The Lester and Charlie Review have a book for sale: Please Stand By: Lester and Charlie’s 50 Favorite TV Test Patterns. I didn’t even know that they were literate!

Here’s some sample reviews from satisfied Amazon customers:

If you remember test patterns, chances are you were staying up way past your bed time!

I saw an advance copy and some of the images brought back memories of childhood that I had tried to forget

Though the acid trip without the acid is probably best without company.

It sounds like a hit to me! And I’m proud to say that I’m offering this link to Amazon absolutely free! So order yours today! (Amazon)

(Full Disclaimer: Lester and Charlie asked me if I could give it a push, no money exchanged hands, I just like those guys tons and would love to see them succeed. I may even buy it myself if it is at my local bookstore.)

The Jon Swift Memorial Round-up is Posted…


…at Batocchio’s place, The Vagabond Scholar.

Here’s a quote from Lance Manion, explaining the tradition:

Our late and much missed comrade in blogging, journalist and writer Al Weisel, revered and admired across the bandwidth as the “reasonable conservative” blogger Modest Jon Swift, was a champion of the lesser known and little known bloggers working tirelessly in the shadows…

One of his projects was a year-end Blogger Round Up. Al/Jon asked bloggers far and wide, famous and in- and not at all, to submit a link to their favorite post of the past twelve months and then he sorted, compiled, blurbed, hyperlinked and posted them on his popular blog. His round-ups presented readers with a huge banquet table of links to work many of has had missed the first time around and brought those bloggers traffic and, more important, new readers they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

It may not have been the most heroic endeavor, but it was kind and generous and a lot of us owe our continued presence in the blogging biz to Al.

Batocchio works like a demon on this round-up, but I have to think that it must be a world of fun, too. Blogs large and small submit what they feel is their best work and he compiles a list. But if I know Batocchio, he is also reading each entry as it comes in. That must be a labor of love, reading all the excellent posts.

There’s a lot of good writing there, including some from the various and sundry Scissorheads. (Clue: there’s one from MPS, too!) You should mosdef check it out.

Day 4 of the Shut Down

rat fucking

Charlie Pierce has a write-up on the long and storied history of rat-fucking, which is quite literally where we are today.

There are two basic philosophical foundation stones to ratfucking. The first is that political sabotage for its own sake is a worthy enough goal. There doesn’t necessarily have to be an obvious purpose or obvious logic behind it. Everything is simply tactics. Those tactics either work or they don’t. To believe this, of course, one must first believe that all politics is a essentially a zero-sum game of power; you win and the other guy loses. Who rules? Period. One cannot for a moment contemplate the notion that politics — and therefore, government — has anything to do with the public good. I trust I don’t have to spell out the parallels between this elemental basis of ratfucking and what the Republicans are about in their current campaign of vandalism. This has now entered a time in which we are seeing sabotage for sabotage’s own sake. Remember, the conservative rump faction has brought this shutdown upon the country because its members refuse to agree to a federal budget that contains lower discretionary spending than even Paul Ryan contemplated. That’s because now — as Congressman Marlin Stutzman pointed out clearly yesterday — this isn’t about the budget, or even about economics, it’s about who wins and who loses. It’s about whether or not John Boehner, the castrato Speaker Of The House, can keep his job. The public, as was said during our previous Gilded Age, be damned.

There’s so much good writing in that quote, and the rest of the article carries on in that vein. I had been working on a long piece along those lines, but this is the Ur Text. Go read it.