A travesty averted

USA 1, Algeria 0. The refereeing was really shocking, with the disallowal of a SECOND valid US goal. And Altidore was frankly horrendous, losing balls unnecessarily and shooting 10 yards over an empty net from five yards out. But Landon Donovan came through in injury time to permit the USA to claim the group. England will go through as well with a 1-0 win over Slovenia, but they don’t look to be long for the tournament.

We have a German friend coming over tonight and we’ll definitely be cheering for Germany, as the USA should be able to get past Serbia without too much trouble – assuming the referees will swallow their ridiculous whistles – if the Germans can claim their group.

Krugman for OMB

In which I wholeheartedly support Simon Johnson’s call for Obama to nominate Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman to the Office of Management and Budget:

The president should nominate Paul Krugman to replace Peter Orszag as director of the Office of Management and Budget. We have previously reviewed Krugman’s outstanding qualifications for this (or any other top level) job (link to details). The main reason Krugman himself has been reluctant in the past relates to a potentially difficult Senate confirmation hearing – for example, if Krugman had been put forward to replace Ben Bernanke.

But for the OMB position, the dynamic of a hearing would be terrific for the president’s specific agenda and broader messages. Krugman, of course, is the leading advocate for continued (or increased) fiscal stimulus. This is exactly President Obama’s message to the G20 this weekend.

Plus, when Republicans push back against Krugman on this issue, he will let them have it full blast on fiscal policy during the Bush administration. Krugman has, again and again, been an outspoken critic of the Bush era fiscal policy. He has precise chapter and verse on where the Bush team went off the deep fiscal edge.

I think this is a fantastic proposal for three reasons. Consider the benefits: 1) Krugman gets the chance to prove once and for all that Neo-Keynesian economics does not work even when its foremost champion is in a position of power. 2) He will no longer be writing ridiculous opinion columns. 3) Within 18 months, the rest of the world will be forced to acknowledge that Krugman is a maleducated ignoramus who knows virtually nothing about relevant economic theory. 4) Mainstream economics can finally move on from an outdated and destructive economic theory.

And there’s no downside. It’s not as if Obama is going to appoint anyone who understands the first thing about the present contractionary crisis, after all. Krugman can’t possibly make things any worse than whatever clueless hack ends up getting appointed; for all Krugman’s willful theoretical incompetence, he’s actually less cretinous than the average mainstream economist.

The Twilight of the Damned

I am entirely confident that had vampire porn been around in the first century, Twilight bed sheets would have been included along with adultery as legitimate Biblical grounds for divorce.

I am an enthusiastic fan of the Twilight Saga and have recently purchased an Edward Cullen pillowcase and blanket. Here is the problem – I am married and my husband has taken great offense to having these items on our “marital bed”! I have argued that he is a fictional character and that these are just objects…and if he wanted to put Pam Anderson on a pillowcase he could gladly do so. He thinks I am not in touch with reality (which I find offensive) and am not being a considerate wife. I want to make my husband happy but does that mean that I have to compromise my happiness in order to achieve this?

Attention deltas and gammas. Remember this email the next time you find yourself tempted to take anything a woman says seriously or to place her on a pedestal. This is not a joke, it is an actual example of the way that a living, breathing, adult married woman thinks. Now, steel yourself and try to imagine what must be going through the head of the average woman who doesn’t regard herself as being sufficiently grown-up for marriage!

The mind reels.

There is so much wrong here that it might seem hard to know where to start, but in fact it is entirely clear. The bedsheets go and the wife can either decide to grow up or she can go too. Her immature, self-centered lack of respect for her husband is total and it is hilarious how she “finds offensive” his statement of the completely freaking obvious given her equation of happiness with teenybopper bedsheets.

The advice given by the fat little complacent gamma was totally predictable of course. As soon as I saw his picture, I knew his advice would be to ignore the fact that the wife is a complete lunatic and tell the husband to let her have her way. After all, doing exactly what a woman tells you to do is the way that you may occasionally be permitted to have sex with her, right? This is the point at which the observer is forced to note that as many as four of the advice columnist’s seven children might actually be his.

Sure enough: I’ve read those Twilight books, they are pretty romantic. So let your wife enjoy her dreamy fantasy of fangs and foreplay and she may just turn out to be the most considerate wife you could imagine – nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Did I call that one or what? Romance novels and romance TV are nothing more or less than female porn. Most women will furiously deny it, but their very vehemence underlines the reality. Women get the same buzz off romance porn that men get from Victoria’s Nasty Secret Vol. 37 and the fact that the female variant happens to be more acceptable in public in the West is no more meaningful than the fact that tentacle monsters penetrating spread-eagled teen girls in tattered school uniforms is equally acceptable in public elsewhere. I’ll never forget being puzzled by the sight of a middle-aged sarariman openly reading a comic book on the train next to me and glancing over his shoulder to see what sort of childish superhero cartoon it was. Such was my eye-opening introduction to the significant difference between shōnen and seijin manga.

The point is that while a man should tolerate a woman’s moderate porn habit, if it’s gotten to the point that she’s doing the female equivalent of bringing a Jenna Jameson blow-up doll to bed, she’s out of control and requires reining in. But this woman is so far gone that there may be no hope for her. Forget the sexual and sanity implications, I’d leave the poor freakshow solely on the basis of aesthetics.