Democrat(ic) brother who lives in San Francisco, your Christmas present is on its way.
Would it help if Maureen Dowd (almost) said it?
If we can't catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn't check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch? ... Heck of a job, Barry.
But we can catch a Guantanamo Base full of terrorists whom The Current Occupant now wants to repatriate to Illinois. (You think Door County is crowded in the summer now!) Or try in New York superior court. (Only if Jack McCoy is prosecuting.) Or return to Yemen. (One in seven "graduates" of Gitmo have returned to jihadism.)
How about: "Don't get your undies in a bundle"? Democrats' worst nightmare: Terrorism on their watch, from Politico.
Abdul-mutilated Bob's underwear. The system worked! Yeah. Sing along with me now:
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose.
Playing the Beatles backwards
There are said to be two kinds of people: dog lovers or cat lovers, Beatles fans or Rolling Stones fans. I'm with the Fab Four.
O.K., this piece has been posted for a year now but I found Playing The Beatles Backwards: The Ultimate Countdown to be endlessly fascinating. The author, one JBev, ranks 183 Beatle songs in reverse order from his least-liked to his Number one fan fave.
Along the way, he does some good Beatles journalism and some thought-provoking music criticism.
About In My Life,
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I'll love you more.
which I have seen ranked as the No. 1 Beatles song, JBev writes:
When you get right down to it, that's a heckuva statement to make. Think about it now. More than a mother or father. More than a brother or sister. More than any cherished friend, living or dead. More. .... when I hear the song now, I hear it as Lennon explaining that a part of you has to let go of those old attachments and give a large piece of yourself to that person you love.
Anyway, here are his top 10:
10. "Eleanor Rigby"
8. "Strawberry Fields Forever"
7. "In My Life"
6. "All You Need Is Love"
5. "Hey Jude"
4. "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End"
3. "She's Leaving Home"
2. "I Am The Walrus"
1. "A Day in the Life"
These are his least favorite:
185. "Revolution 9"
184. "Honey Pie"
183. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
182. "Yer Blues"
181."Good Day Sunshine"
Personally, I like Revolution #9 but it's not the kind of thing that gets played at weddings. I would have moved these up to the top 10 or so (shown with JBev's rankings)
17. "Lady Madonna"
27. "Within You Without You"
57. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Do you detect a George Harrison predilection?
I would have moved these lower:
8. Strawberry Fields -- too precious.
15. Nowhere Man (arrogant)
36. "Octopus's Garden" -- HATE IT!
63. Let it Be (saccharin)
I dislike almost everything from the Magical Mystery Tour album, except the justly regarded 2. I am the Walrus. "Famously indecipherable."
Lennon had heard about the fact that certain schools were studying Beatles' lyrics as if they were poetry. John decided to pick up that gauntlet and construct a narrative that makes Ulysses look like a nursery rhyme.
... It's an absolutely exhilarating piece of work, both frenzied and light-hearted but still indescribably compelling.
I have seen elsewhere that Walrus is really two songs melded into one from two of Lennon's LSD trips. Everyone loves a list. (Word of warning; very few of the "Listen" hyperlinks on the Beatles Backwards site work.)
This fellow is a "Dumbo" octopus. From the Smithsonian.
In an octopus' garden
Apropos of nothing: I am gobsmacked by the octopus. What a strange creature! These sea beings are considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They can figure out how to screw open a Mason jar if it is worth their while; i.e., there is a shrimp inside it. Think about that. They have also been observed using tools -- mainly sunken cocoanut shells that they use to construction a turtle-like protective armament. Sometimes they board fishing ships to get at the catch they know is on board. These cephalopods would be even more intelligent if they weren't genetically programmed to die at about the age of 5 years, after a single reproduction. And because little octopuses (not "octopi") spend little time with their mothers.
The female hangs her fertilized eggs from little strings on the ceiling of her lair and gently fans them to make sure they get enough oxygen. During this time, the mother does not hunt and therefore starves to death -- sometimes not until after eating some of its own tentacles.
Their eight legs or tentacles are covered with suction cups that can taste as well as grasp. Their mouths lie in the middle of those legs so they squat on their food to eat it. The only thing hard in an octopus is a small beak. That means a creature the size of a volleyball could squeeze itself into a Coke can. They are shape-shifters. One species imitates other deep sea creatures to elude danger. They have brains but so do their tentacles, meaning that one set of instructions must be translated by the legs. They have three hearts. Some of them can change color. They can squirt a cloud of ink to mask their escape.
These guys are wackier than anything Gene Roddenberry could think up. I get from Wikipedia that ancient Hawaiians thought the octopus was the lone survivor of the previous, alien universe.
That seems about right.