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March 08, 2013

Overnight Open Thread for Friday 3-8-2013

Hey there, 'Rons & 'Ettes, it's me again. Tonight finds your regular contributor to this space out of pocket due to commitments that apparently bedevil the lives of what society arbitrarily calls "normal, functioning adults". And since I'm clearly not one of those, it seemed only natural that I be the one to fulfill his duties until such time as his commitments will allow his return. [Bong hit]

So, we all sat gaping in rapt attention to Sen. Ron Paul's herculean display of stamina and continence earlier in the week as he held forth on topics ranging from Alice in Wonderland to street corner cafes. It was truly an inspiring moment; the senatorial equivalent of Rhianna's Twitter photos, which Camile Paglia has lauded as having an "artistic atmospheric eroticism" the like of which "has not been seen in decades."

Ms Paglia said Rihanna's self-released shots - many of which were published to millions of fans on her Twitter feed - have a 'genuinely artistic atmospheric eroticism' the like of which has 'not been seen in decades.'

She used a shot of Rihanna completely naked from the waist down lolling in front of a fireplace smoking and drinking, and with a fur blanket slung over her head as an example of her 'impressive visual archive'.

Ms Paglia said some of Rihanna's more candid shots were reminiscent of the work of Kathy Keeton - a South African ballet dancer who once edited Viva and whose fashion editor was Anna Wintour.

She said the fireplace photos evoked European art films which featured enchantresses Jeanne Moreau and Delphine Seyrig.

And don't tell me you weren't thinking the same thing. I mean, let's face it: Rand Paul's filibuster, at least momentarily, called to mind an era in American politics that somehow manages to inspire a sense of nostalgia in people who never lived in such an era. Why, even Sen. Mark Kirk, in an apparent homage to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was compelled to bring a thermos of tea and an apple to his colleague as he held the floor.

We learned a lot about America that night, and the way the founders constructed a system that would ensure that no one branch of government could run rough-shod over the rights and duties of its coequal branches. But, I learned something else.

In one of the more endearingly human moments of the night, as I sat listening to the filibuster on the headphones attached to my PC, I thought I heard him whisper to an aide, "Could you get me a candy bar, too?" Lo and behold! Mere seconds later, the senator was crinkling a wrapper and chowing down. How the hell did he get that candy bar so quickly? Well, it seems that aside from delivering hot beverages and fresh fruit to his fatigued colleagues, Sen. Mark Kirk is also responsible for stocking the Senate candy desk:

In 1965, Senator George Murphy (R-CA) originated the practice of keeping a supply of candy in his desk for his fellow senators. In every Congress since that time, the Candy Desk has been located in the back area of the Republican side, close to the Chamber's most heavily used entrance.

With candy making being a major industry in Illinois, Senator Kirk volunteered to take on the responsibility of stocking the Candy Desk during the 112th Congress to promote candy makers around the state. The Candy Desk will now feature sweets made in Illinois such as Mars, Milky Way and Snickers bars.

Speaking of historic moments in the United States Senate, did you know that the first woman to ever serve in The World's Greatest Deliberative Body was an outspoken feminist and Progressive Democrat from Georgia, who also happened to be oldest freshman senator to serve at the age of 87, as well as the shortest-serving senator having only put in one day on the job?

Also, she was an irredeemable racist.

Rebecca Ann Fatimer Felton (June 10, 1835 January 24, 1930) was an American writer, lecturer, reformer, and politician who became the first woman to serve in the United States Senate. She was the most prominent woman in Georgia in the Progressive Era, and was honored by appointment to the Senate; she was sworn in on November 21, 1922, and served one day, the shortest serving Senator in U.S. history. At 87 years old, 9 months, and 22 days, she was also the oldest freshman senator to enter the Senate. As of 2012, she is also the only woman to have served as a Senator from Georgia. She was a prominent society woman; an advocate of prison reform, women's suffrage and educational modernization; and one of the few prominent women who spoke in favor of lynching.

Certainly, we've come a long way since Rebecca Felton (or is it Becky?) stalked the halls of the Senate. Back then, it was all about achieving something as simple the recognition of the right of women to have their votes counted at the ballot box. And thanks to the dauntless courage of women like Felton, what was once unthinkable is now a reality and women constitute the most influential voting bloc in American politics.

But the struggle rages on as we confront new challenges, such as whether or not a man can choose to have himself turned into a woman and then make a living beating the crap out of other women.

Fallon Fox is bracing herself for controversy, and as the first on-record transgender female fighter in mixed martial arts, she's going to get plenty of it.

On Monday, the 37-year-old Fox (2-0) revealed exclusively to SI.com that she's a transgender fighter -- the first on record, male or female, to compete in the combat sport. Fox won her second professional bout with a 39-second knockout (via knee) last Saturday at Championship Fighting Alliance 10 in Coral Gables, Fla.

Call me a male chauvinist, but I'm not too crazy about the very idea of women engaging in MMA tournaments. That's not to say women can't be skilled competitive fighters. There are some I wouldn't step into the ring with for love nor money. But, in light of recent news reports, women who do engage in such activities really should be subjected to an extra level of scrutiny given the potential to exploit anatomical features to gain an unfair advantage. [H/T: tmi3rd]

An Oklahoma woman arrested Monday on drug charges had a loaded handgun hidden in her vagina, according to police.

The weapon was discovered during a search of Christie Dawn Harris, 28, by a female officer with the Ada Police Department. According to a police report, the cop spotted the handle of the five-shot revolver "sticking out from" inside Harris . . .

Of course, I'm not suggesting women are more apt than men to seek an unfair advantage over their opponents. That's something universal to all of humanity. In fact, it's universal to all forms of life as part of the evolutionary process and something we should all be thankful for as possessors of the greatest capacity to devise such advantages. Otherwise . . .

After all, thousands of years of treachery and brutality are what kept our ancestors alive. Had they not learned to bring guns to the proverbial knife fight that is hunting, they'd have long ago gone the way of the mighty T-Rex. Our ability to use our relatively complex brains in the quest for sustenance is what makes humans the ultimate apex predator. Without that ability to reason and learn new behaviors, we'd be scarcely more than giant, two-legged, hairless house cats.

That's not to say we humans without our foibles, obviously. As Sen. Paul demonstrated as he wound up his historic filibuster, we're all subject to the whims of nature. We just happen to be better at predicting and adapting to nature than other animals. But, while our superior brains give us huge advantages over the rest of earth's inhabitants, we still fall victim to the pathologies that plagued extinct species down through time. Avarice and greed led to the downfall of many a magnificent creature through starvation as they wiped out their own food supplies through voracious feeding and overpopulation.

That same cupidity drives humans to spend money meant for baby formula on scratch-off lottery tickets in the vain hope of generating enough extra revenue for a fifth of Val-U-Rite. And more often than not, nature's randomness is just as unforgiving in such cases as it was to primitive societies who sought to placate the gods of their universe with blood and food sacrifices.

And, in a way, what Sen. Paul did in his filibuster was the kind of thing that made mankind the master of its domain. In past civilizations the ability to reason and think ahead and prepare for future lean times led to societies being able to sustain themselves in periods of plague and drought. What the wise men of the past did in urging moderation and preparation with regard to food supplies was essentially what Rand Paul was urging his fellow citizens to do with regard to their liberties.

It remains to be seen whether his message will take hold and people will begin to guard their freedoms as jealously as the thriving societies of the past guarded their food supplies. Still, no matter how vigilant we become, we are little more than hairless apes fated to fall victim to our covetousness and sloth. Like the once-invincible Roman Empire, we are doomed to fall because we want it all, we want it now, and we want it easy.

Tonight's ONT brought to you by Blackjack.

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posted by Damn Dirty RINO at 10:11 PM

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