Journalistic Excellence at The Atlantic

Joshua Green, a senior editor for The Atlantic since 2003 and named one of ten young writers on the rise by the Columbia Journalism Review, last Friday, ignoring that the Louisville Courier-Journal originally broke the Rand Paul civil-rights story he’s writing about:

The second point, which gets directly to why Rand Paul is suddenly flailing, is that the local Kentucky media — in particular the newspapers, and especially the flagship Louisville Courier-Journal — has been decimated by job cuts, as has happened across the country. This came up several times in discussions with Kentucky politicos and local journalists. The reason it matters is that because there is no longer a healthy, aggressive press corps — and no David Yepsen-type dean of political journalists — candidates don’t run the same kind of gauntlet they once did. They’re not challenged by journalists.

Daniel Indiviglio, a blogger and staff editor who, prior to joining The Atlantic, wrote for Forbes and has also worked as an investment banker and a consultant, Thursday:

Somewhere, Bill Clinton is smiling. One-time special prosecutor who uncovered the dirty details of the former President’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky has been engaged in some bad behavior of his own, according to the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Correction (~3:18pm): Apparently there are two famous Kenneth Starrs. The one charged is an investment advisor to the stars, but not the former special prosecutor. Apologies to Bill Clinton if we got his hopes up — and to the other Kenneth Starr.

Hey, you get what you pay for.

Oh, and the faux “Iron Baby” trailer? Nothing intended. We just thought it was cute.



It’s not the profession dying. It’s just that it’s currently done by self important incompetents. I could have said the same thing about my now former employer.

Psst, Nojo. (I’m feeling a little more charitable than before and am now willing to give Green the benefit of the doubt that he meant “Louisville’s flagship Courier-Journal” or some such, but his usage is being parroted everywhere as though it were the actual name of the paper.)

Here you have the “Arts” section of the NY Times in a nutshell.

ok this is good
the guy who dumped the lab, and then wouldnt even return the phone calls of the guy who gave her to me when he realized he could not keep her because she blew through his electric fence without even noticing, just called to set up a “visiting schedule” for his kids.

um, no. sorry. you want the dog. keep the dog. you want me to keep the dog you keep your kids. if they want to visit once to say goodbye fine but my life does not allow for a “visiting schedule”.

does this make me a bad person?

@Capt Howdy: No. It makes him an unreasonable, self-absorbed, entitled, irresponsible douche. You may quote me.

@Mistress Cynica:

thank you
I feel much better. I dont like keeping kids away from dogs but really.

@Capt Howdy:
“are you out of your fucking mind?”
you may also quote me.

your dogs are beautiful howdy. the pup i’m hoping to bring home today–not so much. but the breed (italian mastif or cane corsi) has wonderful traits. (don’t they all?) this 6 week old has already been exposed to chihuahuas, cats and babies. he’s a big sloppy lovebug. fascinating history from ancient rome.
if i don’t have a puppy in an hour and a half, i’ll be even more depressed. and i don’t have much further to fall. i still cry every day missing Sergio.
please send the power of the stinque, i need this so soo bad.

don’t worry cyn, he goes with us to israel. the cats will be so relieved to see you! my friend, the breeder, is a Scott. don’t tell benedick.


I have a feeling little droopy will be yours before the end of the day.

keep us informed.

@mellbell: Ah. Overruled.

I cite as my authority the relevant passage in The Nojo Stylebook:

Never use a fucking definite article in the name of a newspaper unless it can’t possibly be avoided. Newspapers shall be referred to as City Name. Newspapers that prefer to put on airs (The New York Times, The Courier-Journal, The Oregonian, The Register-Guard) shall be bitch-slapped for their presumptuousness, especially newspapers that changed their name from Eugene Register-Guard to The Register-Guard. The only known permissible exception to the rule is The Times of London, since London Times just sounds weird, even if Murdoch owns it.

Yrs. in copy-desk cage matches…

@Capt Howdy:
thank you for the positive energy. i’m running around preparing for baby. they say they are very easy to train. it’s been 10 years since i house-trained a furchild. will keep you informed!


it will be fun. my new one is picking up the house rules very quickly.

poor thing, its clear that in her last house she could not get on the furniture but could get on the bed. in my house she can get on the furniture and not on the bed. oddly the same as Daisy the last new one.

the bed is where I draw the line. there has to be one place in my house relatively free of dog hair.

@nojo: Feh. It’s just not part of the name. I know it’s not apples to apples, but imagine someone calling it the New York City New York Times. That’s what Louisville Courier-Journal sounds like to me.

@Capt Howdy: I’d suggest you tell this guy that visitation is by appointment only and the fee is $100 per hour per person. If he expects you to run a private zoo then he needs to pay for access. See how great The Market is at solving problems.

@Capt Howdy:

More odd science: xkcd Color Survey Results

Figured there’d be some interest between the techie and linguistics crowds around here. :)

@Capt Howdy: It definitely makes him an asshole, but I’d advise that you wait and see on the kids, especially depending upon their ages. After all, they have this asshole dog-dumper as their father. If they were really attached to their dog and asshole dad dumped her and they are upset about it, then you might consider letting the kids come by for their own psychic peace of mind. If they are little shits like their father and don’t seem to care about the pupster, or view her as disposable as their father did, then fuck them. I’m sure that as a dog person you have that same sixth sense I do about people and kids and how they treat animals which you can pick up in about five seconds.

A dear friend of mine’s psycho mother had the family dog put to sleep when she (my friend) was sent off to boarding school as a teen because the dog was “too much work” once my friend was gone. My friend – who is a huge dog person – found out when she came home for Christmas – needless to say, 30 years later and much therapy later, she’s still not over it.

I told him they could visit to “say goodbye” thinking I could do exactly what you say.

he was non committal.
we will see. but the fact is I work a lot. when I get home I dont want world intruding. or feeding the dogs things that will give them diarrhea in the middle of the night which is what happened the last time there was anything like this.

perhaps I am a bitch but I adopted a dog and not kids for a reason.
something I share with captain Picard. not really a kid person.

that was pretty interesting. posted in internally. we do a lot with color theory.


“A couple dozen people embedded SQL ‘drop table’ statements in the color names. Nice try, kids.”

Good geeks always practice safe web-form hygiene.

@al2o3cr: Cool link, but I admit I loved the Miscellaneous section best.

@al2o3cr: I haven’t a clue what that’s about. I was interested but dumb. Is it too gay to note that it made me think of the scene in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House in which Myrna Loy picks the colors? Prolly.

@Capt Howdy: If you allow the children – I wouldn’t because it will quite likely distress your new baby just as she’s getting used to her new home and they are not, after all, your children – you might make it conditional that they pick up all the dog shit. I hurl mine into the woods because we have no neighbors. And BTW, it’s not at all unusual for a dog to run through an electric fence now and again. You just have to remind them.

And yeah, if you have well-mannered dogs they will teach the baby all kinds of cool behaviors. Unfortunately our cur has an addiction to eating dirt (it could be worse) which he taught all the dachshunds to enjoy. So the grass outside the house is pocked with holes.

Oh and, dude, you don’t sleep with your dogs? WTF?

@baked: I have two words for you: crate training. We want news. And pics.

@Benedick: Truth be told, my first thought was Wittgenstein’s remarks on family resemblances. Melville set me off.

@Benedick: I thought of Mr.–or rather Mrs.–Blandings immediately! So yeah, pretty gay.
@al2o3cr: As someone who spends hours looking at color charts to determine if a book binding is crimson or cerise, I really appreciated that.

I don’t think “Cerise and Clover” would cut it as a rock and roll song.


I can’t tell whether the people trying SQL injection were just assholes, or paying homage to Little Bobby Tables. Hopefully the latter.

@Mistress Cynica:
But I bet your color charts don’t include the XY-populace’s apparent favorites:

Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among men:

1. Penis
2. Gay
3. WTF
4. Dunno
5. Baige

The fact that a statistically significant number of people can’t spell “beige” is pretty funny. Although I have to admit my only comment in some of the color discussions with designers at work typically falls into #3 and #4. Thankfully, colors have hex representations… :)

@al2o3cr: And what mom hasn’t considered naming her son Robert’); DROP TABLE Students;?

Although DROP USER Principal might be more fun. Especially if you’re into enjoying veins popping down the hall.

@nojo: And to our wonderful civilians: You don’t know paranoid until you’ve programmed a simple web form.

@Capt Howdy: Call the kids and tell them you had to kill the dog because their father is a fucking asshole. That should put things in order.

@Capt Howdy: So whats obvious here, from these memory studies, is that negative operant conditioning should be the best way to cure addiction. Get someone good and high on their drug of choice, then waterboard them.

This is to do with the meth-head snails, nothing I say will be comprehensible unless you have followed Howdy’s link and read the article.

I am not kidding at all. The theory that memories of things you feel and experience under the influence of addictive drugs are particularly strong, and therefore, memories of the positive effects of the drug are very strong and always seductive, this rings true from experience. I read something about cocaine many years ago that hit me, it said that people who had a severe habit, and were quitting, could have their resolve completely destroyed by seeing some sugar spilled on a countertop. Yup, I was never into coke, never even bought any myself, ever, but, it was around enough in the 80s, and so often freely offered to me, that I had just a handful of experiences of an evening, and these evenings always lasted until sunrise, totally coked up.

I learned very very quickly 2 things: first, even a one-night coke bash gets extremely spendy. The most amazing effect of cocaine, I found, was that when you did some, you wanted to do more, and when it was gone, get more. Towards 5 AM, just a little “bump” to maintain you turns into 4 lines. Second, 3 day hangovers are a fucking bitch.

Fortunately, I was poor, and law-abiding, didn’t want to go into robbing banks, so getting into any kind of habit was simply an impossibility.

So I never ever developed even an occasional use pattern, these occasions I speak of, maybe 4 or 5 of them, took place years apart, in rare circunstances when someone was usually celebrating something, and laying out lines, and I am usually the last to leave a party, so I would be there at the end, at 8 AM, throat torn up by talking nonstop for 8 hours, and smoking 2 packs of marlboro lights, and drunk, but the coke keeps you from feeling that, there I would be, twitching, stone tired and razor wired, knowing that the next 2 days were shot. But then, I never touched the stuff, even thought about it, for a year, 2, 3 years. But still, if a movie showed someone snorting, if I saw powder on a mirror, there would be this sudden shockingly strong “hey, coke, lets snort some” message coming from my brain. Transient, but for just a moment, powerful cravings.

So I am just saying, this research jibes with my life. The strong positive experience of the high ties itself to your sensory inputs when you were feeling that, and if something triggers the same sensory input again, it triggers that memory of the drug euphoria. Its the same as the way the song that was playing the first time I got laid, the song that was playing at that very moment of “entry” as it were, into the world of sex, hearing that song, brings that flooding back. Likewise, picking up a razor blade to scrape paint off glass, makes the memory of cutting a line come flooding back, and I haven’t touched coke in 20 years, but right now, I am remembering that ritual, cutting up lines.

So, back to that research, with the snails, and what it suggests to me.

Rehab methods all seem to be focused on breaking behavior patterns, building willpower and resistance, and encouraging new, healthy activities to replace the time that was spent with the drug.

But if the craving for the drug is just pure skinnerian conditioning, then, isn’t it obvious, the best cure would be pure skinnerian conditioning?

I have read in serious psychology literature, that just about the most negative experience one can have, is puking, vomiting is a horror, and it has a powerful negative conditioning effect, what I read said it was the most powerful, people dread vomiting more than pain.

I once heard a comedian joke that the best way ever to give up drinking any particular beverage, was to drink it, so much of it, that you throw up, and then you will never want to taste it again, it will repulse you. He went on to say that he was quitting drinking, using the method of drinking every single variety of alcoholic beverage, to the point he got sick, and would never drink that one again. Once he had worked through everything, he would be a teetotaler.

There’s truth there.

I bet you could cure someone of, say, cocaine addiction, by locking them up, and giving them all they want, but, combining it, with something awful. Clockwork Orange.


I have it on good authority that cocaine is a helluva drug.

@Promnight: I’ve never been much of a puker. But the kids over at TFLN are all pretty enthused about it. They celebrate the many place and times and ways they have hurled and look forward to the next with relish. So not sure that conditioning would work.

I associate coke with a particular circumstance and when that circumstance was done so was the coke.

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