Maggie’s Links and Corrections

Thursday, July 12th, 2012


I’m very glad to hear that yesterday’s “destroy the pyramids” story turned out to be a hoax; however, I’m sad that similar recent actions by radical Islamists in Timbuktu and Afghanistan actually made it believable.  Also, thanks to those who pointed out (in respect to yesterday’s clam video) that what I (and obviously, the person who labeled it) took as a nonhuman creature tasting a substance was actually something entirely different.  It just goes to show how we all unconsciously project our own experiences and mental constructs onto phenomena with which we’re unfamiliar; sex workers have to deal with the same thing, as I explained in this early column about how outsiders perceive just about every non-customer male in a hooker’s life as a “pimp” (with all that entails).  You might also appreciate this column in which I answer the burning question “How are pimps like chupacabras?”, and this entirely clam-free video of “What a Wonderful World” performed in 16 different Western musical genres:

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36 Responses to “Maggie’s Links and Corrections”

  1. #1 |  Irving Washington | 

    That 10 things bit is the most fallacious thing I’ve read in a week, and I even looked at Fox News’ site. That guy’s the definition of sophomoric.

  2. #2 |  Vertov | 

    What tipped me off about the “destroy the pyramids” issue was that the extremists who destroy priceless antiquities tend to be overt al-Qaida types who think they’re setting up heaven-on-earth communities (as they imagine Muhammad’s community in Medina to have been) through violence. Having some Saudi cleric talk like that sounded almost like a mockery of Saudi policy, a commentary on how similar the Saudis and al-Qaida can often sound like.

    So it turns out to be a mockery indeed.

    People want to believe the worst about all Muslims, and conflate the whole region with its worst elements.

  3. #3 |  Andrew S. | 

    Nancy Grace is a horrible human being. As in she comes seriously close to testing my devotion to the First Amendment.

    (not to say I think the government should punish her for what she says. But I wouldn’t mind seeing her sued into bankruptcy (as well as CNN for allowing her airtime))

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    The 10 things didn’t impress me much either. The author makes a lot of assumptions about what the rest of his fellow Americans think and believe.

  5. #5 |  a leap at the wheel | 

    More like 10 things those douche nozzles in flyover country don’t know about themselves, amiright?

  6. #6 |  noseeum | 

    I don’t see any correction to the quota limit on male students in science and engineering accusation, but I’m sure the world was waiting with baited breath to hear your clam correction.

  7. #7 |  Jay | 

    The ’10 Things’ link doesn’t work for me.

  8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

    It’s impossible to quantify the assholedness of Nancy Grace.

  9. #9 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    When’s Nancy Grace going to let scientists study those fire bugs
    up her ass? They’ve survived a long time there under really shitty

  10. #10 |  el coronado | 

    “10 things that’s wrong with you backwards, uneducated boobs who are *nothing* like the chic sophisticates in MY circle.”

  11. #11 |  Nick T. | 

    Sadly, I’m pretty sure Ravi was charged with crimes that technically were not related to the suicide that came later (ie he was not charged with homocide). I’m not sure what crimes Grace could be charged with here independent of the facvt that this woman went on to kill herself.

  12. #12 |  EH | 

    Don’t worry, God will give Nancy Grace the Paula Deen treatment one of these days.

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    As an addendum to my previous statement, I would like to state, for the record, that I don’t believe assholedness should be criminalized.

  14. #14 |  Charlie Potts | 

    Nancy Grace is on CNN? Sheesh. I now apologize, a little, for whining about Fox. What’s weird about TV, and I’ve worked some in the business, is that the writers, producers, and executive producers tend to be very bright. They go to great lengths to produce TV for idiots.

  15. #15 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Nancy Grace is disgusting and dangerous. In this case, despite being an attorney she shows no understanding of mens rea or how it applies to establishing intent to prove murder. A detective assigned to the case publicly told a newspaper that he believed the suspect had no intent to kill her child, and yet Nancy Grace insisted, contrary to statute, that the suspect must be charged with murder on account of her gross negligence.

    Normally, if I heard an attorney misrepresenting the law in that fashion I would assume that she was an unethical, cutthroat prosecutor or a calculating demagogue trying to rile up the rubes. Nancy Grace, however, strikes me as fairly sincere. She appears to believe her own slanders. She also appears to be truly unstable. It’s hard to fake that kind of crazy day after day, and especially in light of her personal background, I think she’s playing herself.

    It seems that a reasonable course of action for Grace’s victims is to retain counsel to shake CNN down for a settlement, then use a portion of the proceeds to pay the legal fees needed to obtain injunctions against Grace and CNN for equitable relief against slander. Maybe that’s a long shot, but it would be worth a try. CNN is certainly asking for it, since its motives for broadcasting Nancy Grace are the crassest and most amoral imaginable, and if Grace’s language doesn’t meet the legal standard for slander or harassment, it certainly comes very close. CNN must have lawyers keeping an eye on her broadcasts for slander, but they’ve probably done a cost-benefit analysis and determined that she brings in more advertising revenue than she costs CNN in legal or insurance payouts.

    My guess is that CNN is self-insured for Nancy Grace’s mouth. It’s a serious liability to put on an insurance plan. It’s the mother of all pre-existing conditions.

    What works in CNN’s favor, as far as I can tell, is that Grace’s targets appear to be too harried to sue her since they’re busy mounting their own criminal defenses and not particularly legally savvy in the first place. The interest of equity would be well served if civil or criminal action turned the Nancy Grace Show into a red ink line item. CNN is in it for the cash flow; if the cash flow reverses, the cry of “uncle” will reverberate across Atlanta.

    CNN’s conduct in retaining Grace is so calculating and corrupt that a criminal investigation under RICO might be appropriate.

  16. #16 |  UvalDuvalCuckoo | 

    Maggie, you’re doing a superb job of holding it down for Radley. I wouldn’t have even noticed the link selections weren’t Radley’s other than your name.

    Speaking of those links – I am almost reflexively against whatever issue the outrage mob forms about. Since Nancy Grace is the queen (I typed Queef initially, probably more fitting) of the Outrage Mob and Hanging Party, it’ll really take a lot to keep from enjoying the delicious irony too much.

  17. #17 |  Andrew Roth | 


    Personally, I prefer to call it assholiness. It’s like holiness, but from the wrong hole.

  18. #18 |  nhrpolitic | 

    Andrew Roth:

    Quote the Supreme Court of Georgia: “the conduct of [Ms. Grace] in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and is inexcusable.”

    She’d been called out before by the Georgia Supreme Court, and the 11th Circuit called her out stating that she “failed to fulfill her responsibilities” another time.

    Sincere she may be — she’s still a disgusting, unethical, cut-throat prosecuting attorney (to use your phrase). Personally, my own belief is that she’s a sociopath — she certainly seems to have no sense compassion, concern, empathy, or humility for *anyone* besides herself.

  19. #19 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #17 Andrew Roth


    Personally, I prefer to call it assholiness. It’s like holiness, but from the wrong hole.

    Thank you, sir. That is much better. With luck, I’ll remember to use that next time I want to convey that descriptor.

  20. #20 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #16 UvalDuvalCuckoo

    Maggie, you’re doing a superb job of holding it down for Radley.

    I second this sentiment.

  21. #21 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #3 & #13 – Nancy Grace utterly horrifies me; I can’t think of a person whose name fits her character less. The first time I saw her, I was astonished at her awfulness; the second time I turned the channel immediately. However, I agree with y’all that assholiness (thanks #17!) should not be criminal.

    #16 & #20 – Thanks, guys! I’m trying to keep up his traditions as best I can, and he is helping via Twitter; I’ve noticed most things he “tweets” usually end up in later link posts, so that’s providing me with some good stuff. Still, I reckon he’s probably glad I had to take the spanking for that clam video rather than him! ;-)

  22. #22 |  Kearby | 

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the pyramids story as entirely false. The subject was briefly touched on in National Geographic a couple of months ago.

  23. #23 |  Dorothy | 

    The 10 things story worked for me the second time I tried…it showed the cached version.

    The writer sounds like the stereotype embodied by the blogger/published author of “What White People Like”…and reading some of the comments made me start rolling my eyes at the childish back and forth of the commenters.

    My favorite are the ones that one up each other on the countries they have visited, claim they aren’t “real tourists,” and do these “working/volunteer-cations” as if these things make their statements more real.

    I disagree with one person’s experiences extrapolating into a quantitative trend. A FEMALE friend of mine traveling alone in Italy was robbed on the subway by gypsy children and had to go to the embassy to get a new passport. Does that mean that all women are going to be robbed in Italy by gypsies if they travel alone? No. It is her experience.

    While going on and on about the great parts of these countries, you can’t leave out the slums if you are going to use the good parts to compare to the entire US. Either compare them all, or don’t compare and just say, “hey, this isn’t what I expected.”

    Tell me why I need wifi in a taxi if I have internet 4G on my phone?

    As for food and diets around the world, the book Hungry Planet provides a much more realistic perspective of the world than this article. I recommend it. And I would imagine the authors of the book are Liberal, so it isn’t like you can paint it as conservative propaganda.

  24. #24 |  Linda | 

    Here is a Puppycide incident for the links. Off duty deputy shoots and kills his own dog. Report says the dog was in his kennel when he was shot.

  25. #25 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Is it very uncultured of me to observe that the majority – the vast majority – of the “10 things Americans don’t know” could just as easily apply to one hell of a lot of populations?

    French, Germans, Japanese, Argentinians, …. or, say, New Yorkers, Parisians, Academics.

  26. #26 |  noseeum | 

    Anyone else notice that that other post was completely deleted? Radley, what the heck is going on in here?

    Isn’t there some blog etiquette about never deleting posts? Update them, apologize if necessary, etc. but just deleting a post that had like 30 comments? Weird stuff today on the Agitator!

  27. #27 |  delurking | 

    Yeah, I was having fun reading that one.

  28. #28 |  John Spragge | 

    I consider Nancy Grace the suitably ugly face of the vengeance movement. As long as a broad right and left consensus unfortunately indulges in an unthinking desire for punishment, a wide market for the comments of someone like Nancy Grace will exist, and TV networks will attempt to fill it.

    Reading the Reason article on Dharun Ravi, I noticed a discrepancy: Reason dealt at length with the issue of invasion of privacy, but did not address what I considered the chief aggravating accusation: Ravi supposedly shared the existence of his tap into the shared room with a wide audience. If someone spied on me, I might get upset. If they posted the information they gained, or even the fact of their spying, that would make me considerably more upset.

  29. #29 |  William Quinn | 

    My theory is that the Lamar Alexander/MACT post was deemed off-topic for the blog by Radley.

  30. #30 |  Goober | 

    I actually sort of enjoyed tHe “10 things” article, but not for the reasons that the author intended. I enjoyed it because HE made the mistake of assuming that most americans believe all that crap, too.

    He’s the one that needs an artcile about making assumptions.

  31. #31 |  Goober | 

    To continue, since I posted befor ey though was done – I agree with him on the friendliness thing. From the 70 year old mexican fisherman that took me back to his house to use his fish cleaning station (it was a 10 mile round trip, and he wouldn’t take any money for his effort) to the park rangers in guatemala who let me shoot their FNAR rifles (in full auto!!!) when I asked them about them. Folks in other countries do often have a level of friendliness that seems foreign and even disingenuous to a lot of Americans because they lived in unfriendly shithole cities and the American tourists are often vacationing in the more rural areas of the countries that they visit.

    TO someone from rural America, however, like myself, this friendliness was just par for the course. I’ve done things like this for people for no benefit of my own throughout my whole life because that’s how us ignorant hillbillies out here in flyover country roll.

    My most favorite story of this was when I saw a father and son fishing ineffectually from a dock on the river where i knew that they wouldn’t catch any fish, so i drive my boat over, told them to hop on board, and took them fishing for the day. Caught the kid his first steelhead. That was ten years ago, but I’ll bet he still talks about it to this day.

    We could all learn a thing or two from the ignorant flyover hillbillies of the world, i guess is my point.

  32. #32 |  Rick H. | 

    I don’t understand all the defensiveness that 10 Things article has generated. Maybe it’s the title that has people bunching their trousers. The author admits from the get-go that he’s only generalizing from his personal experience, that of course there are many, many exceptions to such a sweeping statement of opinion – i.e., it’s subjective. He’s not arguing from authority, he only gives his modest traveling background to put his opinions in context. I don’t agree with every point he makes, but still think it’s nice to see an antidote to some (very popular) assumptions.

    The sneering reactions smack of “my country, right or wrong” which unfortunately is a global sentiment, a first principle of dumb nationalism. What makes the US special is the Constitution and Bill of Rights, not its wealth, weapons or any superior qualities of its citizenry.

  33. #33 |  el coronado | 

    If you don’t understand the well-deserved contempt for that article, #32, it’s because you don’t *want* to understand it.

    Let’s transpose the thesis of that steaming pile of article into other, more…unpopular’ subjects, and see what happens, shall we? What if I, or some other random guy with no particular credentials besides the fact I have access to a keyboard, trots out ‘articles’ like….

    * “10 unflattering things that most people don’t know about black people.”
    * “10 unflattering things most people don’t know about gays.”
    * 10 unflattering things most people don’t know about moslems.”
    * or “Jews”. Or “Feminists”. Or “corrupt African Banana Republics.”
    etc etc etc.

    As for my documentation for this, I’d simply use ‘stories I’d heard from my friends’. ‘Something I saw once while I was out.’. ‘Complaints from one member of the minority/ethnic group I was denigrating’. And then write as if each of those weak-ass, unsupported, unprovable, quite-possibly-fictional “experiences” were magically Universal and True. What you understand that “defensiveness” then? What if *you* were one of the folks I’d written about so snottily? Would you be all whiny and “defensive”, too?

  34. #34 |  Rick H. | 

    Oy vey.

  35. #35 |  Rick H. | 

    Jesus christ. “Unflattering”? Heaven forbid. We’re the USA!

    What if *you* were one of the folks I’d written about so snottily? Would you be all whiny and “defensive”, too?

    I am. And I’m not.

  36. #36 |  unicornpoo | 

    “I’m sad that similar recent actions by radical Islamists …”

    They’re pikers compared to the looting and destruction that Americans and their cohorts have visited on Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    I’m so sick of the “radical Islamist” bullshit that permeates the air when war have our own equally radical and extremist elements in governing positions, right here in the USA, limiting our liberty and pursuit of happiness.