Ursula K. Le Guin Chases Flying Squirrels

Most Recent Flying Squirrel



Women Writers Are so Privileged —
Nobody Has to Fight Past Anything to Read Them

In a book about Ernest Hemingway’s boat called Hemingway’s Boat, Paul Hendricks laments how badly Hemingway’s writing has been neglected and how people who call him macho just don't understand. To appreciate Hemingway, Hendricks says, “You just have to fight past the misconceptions and stereotypes.”



Slumping Texas Governor Veers Hard Right,
Courting Tea Party Vote.

(headline on a story in Slate by Will Oremus, 25 Oct. 11)

It’s the Texas Tetrathlon: slump, veer, court, and fake. Think of the physical and moral flexibility involved in it. Remarkable!



Creeping Socialism in Ohio

Asked about the connotation of the phrase “income inequality,” LaTourette [Rep. Stephen LaTourette, R-Ohio] said,

“It’s a redistribution of wealth — which is socialist, which is communist and all of that — but I do think that when you pit millionaires and billionaires against everyone else, that’s a nice populist message, and we’ve got to get our hands on it.”

(From: “Income gap slides into GOP talk,” by Marin Cogan and Jake Sherman, Politico, Oct 30, 2011.)

A Republican representative agreeing with socialists and communists in defining income inequality as an imbalance so immense and so unjust that it must result in a redistribution of wealth? Goodness. Things must be changing in Ohio.



From The New Republican Dictionary: to respect: to cause embarrassment or humiliation; to grope.

In an interview on Fox news, Nov 13, 2011, Gloria Cain said of her husband: “He totally respects women.”



Mars Probe Launched

“It’s not your father's rover,” Mars program director Doug McCuistion told the Orlando Sentinel. (From Slate, 27 Nov. 2011)

My father’s rover was launched in 1946 from a silo in Topeka and was never seen again, although many persons in southern Kansas mentioned unexplained yelping noises overhead that day.



Wouldn’t it be loverly if everybody who reads this never bought a book from Amazon again?

Terrified that independent booksellers might get some tiny share of the season of gifts, good will, and profits, Amazon has just announced that anybody who goes into a local bookstore, scans an item, goes home, and buys the same item from Amazon will get up to five dollars off the price.

If you are really into destroying your community in order to save a buck, Amazon will provide you a phone app for this specific purpose.



You Go, Snowe!!!

Senator Olympia Snowe (R.-Maine) has called for Amazon to cancel its promotion of a price-check app and its offer to reward customers reporting book prices to Amazon with up to $5 off. Snowe calls the maneuver “an attack on Main Street businesses that employ workers in our communities. Small businesses are fighting every day to compete with giant retailers, such as Amazon, and incentivizing consumers to spy on local shops is a bridge too far.... During the busiest shopping season of the year, we should remember that our local restaurants, bookshops, and hardware stores are the economic engines in our communities.”



In Abraham Lincoln’s Home Town

The State of Illinois has refused contracts to the Catholic diocese of Springfield, because the diocese refuses to recognise same-sex couples as foster parents. The Bishop protests against this injustice: “In the name of tolerance, we’re not being tolerated.”

This sentence is a magnificent flying squirrel, demonstrating a startling flight of sterile circularity: Our human right to deny people their human rights is divine..l You have to encourage diversity and freedom of religion, so if we disapprove of diversity, you have to let us punish it freely… Intolerance of bigotry is bigotry and therefore tolerance of bigotry is righteous -- so long as it’s our bigotry and your tolerance.



Media CEO English

“The grass roots they can generate is, frankly, concerning,” Cary Sherman, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, said of the Internet community.

— Amy Chozick
A Class of Media Worlds (and Generations)
NY Times, 22 Jan 12

Excuse me, Mr Sherman, but you stopped before you explained what the generated grass roots is concerning. So, tell us, what is generated grass roots all about? Frankly?




Good Intentions Meet the Double-Hyphen Dilemma

“A leading child health expert at the National Institutes of Health has lent his support to an effort to end a controversial anti-child obesity campaign...”

Rachael Levy
Slatest, Feb 9 2012

We do not understand what is controversial about our campaign for obesity and against children.




A Piece of Work

The budget developed by Paul Ryan, just approved by the House of Representatives, cuts $3.3 trillion from programs for low-income families.

Mitt Romney’s opinion of this budget: “It’s an excellent piece of work.”




Why Everyone is Moving from New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles to Chico, Cloverdale, and Petaluma

Anne Rice, talking to Maureen Dowd (“She’s Fit to be Tied,” The New York Times, March 31, 2012):

“Very few people act out their fantasies, except in Northern California.”



Reaction Before Action
Boldly Going Forward Ass First

21 April 2012. Mitt Romney has given a speech described by his campaign as a prebuttal.



Alma Mater (insert Brand Name here), Hail to Thee!

“You can potentially do a lot of teaching over the internet, but it's really when the brands come into play that you start to make a difference to the overall structure of the industry.”

— Matthew Yglesias, writing about Harvard
offering credit for open enrollment online classes
May 2, 2012



A New Entry in The Newspeak Dictionary

Bipartisanship, n. Partisanship, a bigoted mind-set.

Example: “I have a mind-set that says bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

R. Mourdock, Republican senatorial candidate, 2012.)



Hunts, Shoots, and Leaves

“As president, Mitt will work to expand and enhance access and opportunities for Americans to hunt, shoot, and protect their families, homes and property.”

Screen Shot

Original Source


Science Fiction Fans Cannot Sneer at Fantasy Fans Ever Again

Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st
(Thank you, Heggia!)


The Wonderful World of Modern Sports: Or, 1.8 to 1

According to historical accounts, the Olympic Games of ancient Greece were a time of truce during which all conflicts among the participating city-states were put aside.

According to Wikipedia, about 10,000 athletes will compete in the London Olympic games of 2012.

According to the Associated Press, about twice the number of British troops now in Afghanistan will be on duty at the Games — over 18,000 members of the British military forces.


The Biblical Definition of the Family Unit: Polygamy

Chuck Cathy, president of the Chick-fil-A company, told the Biblical Recorder last week, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.”


The Party of Legitimate Rape

Did you know your female body can just shut that whole rape-pregnancy thing down by wishful thinking and it’s really rare anyway? Find out about it from The Republican Party —

The Party of Legitimate Rape!

“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” (Missouri Republican Representative Todd) Akin said. “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Types of Rape As Defined by the Tea Party

Legitimate Rape: When she does the acting coy performance and screams and so on, but she really wants it, so it isn't really rape, so it’s OK, it’s legitimate.

Illegitimate Rape: When you rape some foreign chick who hasn’t got papers and came here to take jobs away from white Americans. It doesn’t count.

Friendly Rape: When she knows you and trusts you, like, you’re her date or her boyfriend or uncle or whatever. Obviously, since she trusts you, it doesn’t count.

Statutory Rape: When you have to use the marble Greek goddess in the park to get relief. It doesn’t count.

Real Rape: Something chicken liberals and man-hating feminists yell about. It doesn’t exist.


The Flying Squirrel/Scrooge Award for


Progress Report: Republican Representative Todd Akin of Missouri has taken a clear lead, coming out as a strong advocate of legitimizing rape and keeping kids both ignorant and hungry. Keep it up, Mr Akin! Your family values are great!

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate, said he opposes federal spending for the National School Lunch Program, which provides cash and surplus food for nearly 650,000 school lunches in Missouri each day.

“Is it something the federal government should do?” Akin said. “I answer it no.... I think the federal government should be out of the education business.” (Kansas City Star, August 18, 2012)


Don’t Worry, Karl!
The Birdshot in His Face Already Led Us to the Suspect

During an “exclusive” breakfast at the Tampa Club, Karl Rove “joked,” according to Bloomberg Business Week: “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”



“You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old.”

From a speech denouncing the theory of evolution as lies “straight from the pit of hell,” by Georgia Republican. Rep. Paul Broun, who, like rape theorist Rep. Todd Akin, is a member of the House Science Committee.


Republican Lawmaker Says Evolution Is a Lie “Straight From the Pit of Hell”


When you have to think about beginning to start to question the possibility of beginning to start to think: as defined by the Governor of Connecticut.

Governor Malloy said on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on December 16 that when someone can burst into a building with “clips of up to 30 rounds on a weapon that can almost instantaneously fire those, you have to start to question whether assault weapons should be allowed to be distributed the way they are in the United States.”


Justice: Not Only Blind but Dumb

The [U.S. Supreme Court] transcript confirms that Justice Thomas spoke for the first time since Feb. 22, 2006. It attributes these words to him, after a comment from Justice Scalia concerning a male graduate of Harvard Law School:

“Well—he did not—.”


Those Stupid Principles

“When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.” —Wayne LaPierre, attacking President Obama’s inaugural speech on the same day that a gunfight on a Texas college campus left four people hospitalized


Abandon your principles! Stick to your absolutes! Sprayguns loaded for graffiti? Militia well regulated? Fire when ready!



Claus, Bunny on Run!
Far Left Drives Unchristian Pagan Symbols Out of USA!

“So, if the far left can marginalize Santa and the Easter Bunny, if they can tell the children ‘those symbols are obsolete and unnecessary,’ they then set the stage for a totally secular society in the future. That’s what you have in Scandinavia, and that’s why the Easter Bunny is on the run here in America.” — Bill O’Reilly, Tuesday March 26, on Fox TV.

(via Charles M. Blow, The New York Times)



Maureen Dowd, quoting Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, on Fitzgeralds’s The Great Gatsby:

“But what most people don’t understand is that the adjective ‘Great’ in the title was meant laconically,” he said.


The Flying Squirrel Annual Anti-Reality Award

Flying Squirrel First Annual Anti-Reality Award


The Most Hapless Squirrel:
It’s Not a Game, But He’s Playing It —
We Don’t Want it, He Doesn’t Want it, But He Does It

Republican House Speaker John Boehner, on Oct.4:
“This isn’t some damn game. The American people don’t want their government shut down, and neither do I.”


As Time Runs Out, Trapped Ideas Find Freedom

“The ability to commit 10 or 15 hours to a book is going to be an increasingly fraught decision. So we need ways to liberate the ideas trapped inside them.”
— Peter Meyers, vice president for editorial and content innovation of Citia, quoted in “Out of Print, Maybe, but not Out of Mind” by David Streitfeld, New York Times Business Day, 2 December 2013. Citia is a company that liberates ideas from the prison of books by rephrasing them on digital cards.


The Daily Ho-Hum


(the first three words of a headline in Slatest PM)



Why People are Motivated to Drive while Texting

“If people think they are going to die, it is demotivating.”

— Peter Thiel
co-founder of PayPal,
quoted by Roger Cohen
in his New York Times column



Dances With Rhinos


Intimacy Beyond the Point

“I’m a hunter. I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino. If I go over there and shoot it or not, it's beyond the point.”

— Corey Knowlton, speaking to Dallas TV stations WFAA and KTVT.

Mr Knowlton paid $350,000 for the right to hunt a black rhino (an endangered species). (AP)



As usual, Amazon is staying mum. “We talk when we have something to say,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive, said at the company’s annual meeting this week.

From “As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish”
 by David Streitfeld and Melissa Eddy
The New York Times, May 23 2014

And after all, what are we to say about our blatant policy of total control over who gets to publish books and who gets to buy them? “Hey, you stupid customers out there, we really love lying to you, censoring authors, wrecking publishers, starving libraries, and destroying the literary market! Keep on buying books from us so we can keep on dumbing you down!”


The New Film Code

“Bloodless violence and soft expletives”

(description included in a movie rating in The New York Times)

“Die, you figging bustard!” the hero murmurs, as he neatly removes the villain’s head with a cauterizing raygun.

“Goodness gracious!” the head whispers, falling gently onto a pillow.


A New Regime in the Afterlife

Flying Chinese Religious Bureaucratic Squirrels Will Decide Who is Reborn as What

“Decision-making power over the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and over the end or survival of this lineage, resides in the central government of China,” said Mr. Zhu, formerly a deputy head of the United Front Department of the Communist Party.

[From an article by Chris Buckley in NYT, March 11, 2015: China’s Tensions with Dalai Lama Spill Into the Afterlife]


Oklahoma Governor’s Earthquake Council Is Working Very Well,
Except in Case of Earthquakes

The group meets in secret, and has no mandate to issue recommendations. [. . .] The governor referred an interview request to Michael Teague, her energy and environment secretary. Mr. Teague said the governor’s earthquake council was helping coordinate the response to the shocks [. . .] “It’s not working well enough if your house is shaking, absolutely no doubt,” he said. “But it’s working very well.”

As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry
by Richard A. Oppel Jr and Michael Wines, New York Times, April 3, 2015.



A Flying Squirrel with Rabies

In America, more preschoolers are shot dead each year (82 in 2013) than police officers are in the line of duty (27 in 2013) (From Nicholas Kristof)

If people would only listen to the NRA, they’d know that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. So it’s obvious what to do: arm our preschoolers so they can defend themselves. If three-year-olds have guns, they can be people with guns who kill people with guns who kill three-year-old people without guns. A child could understand it.


A Giant Victorian Literary Flying Squirrel

“ In Wuthering Heights all the faults of Jane Eyre are magnified a thousand fold, and the only consolation which we have in reflecting upon it is that it will never be generally read. ”

—The North British Review, 1849.



Literal Living by the Trump Team:

Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!

[. . .] his aides needed time to sketch out what Mr. Trump should say — and not say. [. . .] As the aides agonized over which words to feed into the teleprompter, they become so engrossed that a hot light set up next to the machine caused Mr. Bannon’s Kuhl hiking pants to begin smoldering.

“I think my pant leg is on fire,” he said after noticing the acrid smell.

The New York Times, by Maggie Haberman, Ashley Parker, Jeremy W. Peters and Michael Barbaro. November 7, 2016]

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Updated Tuesday, 18-Jun-2019 10:14:29 EDT