Blog or Not?
A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004You Mean It's Traditional?
Or, Why Calzones Contain Eggs.
Easter pizza. When I saw the NYTimes food section headline, I immediately pictured a pizza topped with a bunny made out of carrots. I clicked, realizing that the Times wouldn't feature a piece on cutesy children's table recipes--and discovered the Italian tradition of pizza rustica:
The meatiest and cheesiest of southern Italy's Easter pies, pizza rustica is a Neapolitan antipasto designed for breaking Lent. But the recipe is hardly sacred: it may be as dainty as quiche Lorraine, with flecks of boiled ham suspended in eggy custard, or ridiculously weighty, served in strapping slices that may or may not include prosciutto, capicolla, pancetta, cooked sausage, soppressata, pepperoni, salami, ricotta, mozzarella, pecorino and hard-boiled eggs (the token symbol of the holiday).
Or, to be more accurate, I discovered the why for a food that's on my Irish-Hungarian German grandmother's Easter table.
Every Easter my Uncle Tom, master butcher and meat expert for the (Italian-founded) grocery chain Dominick's, makes his calzone for the big family dinner. Since for most of my life I lived 500 miles away from most of the extended family, I was only able to experience this delectable creation for the past two Easters: flaky dough surrounding a melange of ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, ham, and a little hard-boiled egg. I always found the hard-boiled egg to be a curious addition to the mix, but now it all made sense--an Irish-American with a Puerto Rican wife adopted an Italian culinary tradition.
An additional note: We do not serve our Easter calzone with marinara.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004Another headline from Bizarro World Hyde Park...
UNIVERSITY COLLOQUIUM ASKS: "WHAT IS SEXY?"
Prompted by the Victoria's Secret commercials asking the aforementioned question, scholars from a multitude of disciplines will be convening on the University of Chicago Center for Gender Studies to showcase different approaches to the question and explore the meaning of "sexiness" in a post-gender world.
The conference will begin with a roundtable discussion featuring George Chauncey, Professor of History and the College and author of Gay New York, Martha Nussbaum, Professor of Law, Philosophy, Social Thought, and the College, David Perrett, of the University of St Andrews and a foremost researcher on the biological basis for beauty, and Martha McCormick, Professor of Biology whose work established the existence of pheremones. The discussion shall focus on biology's role in sexual attraction and philosophical/historical responses to non-heterosexual sexualities.
Later in the weekend will be a discussion on how the relative sexiness of a professor affects pedagogy, featuring Daniel Drezner, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Danielle Allen, Dean of the Division of the Humanities, and Paul Sally Jr, Professor of Mathematics and head of the undergraduate program in mathematics. Additionally, Maria Spiropulu of the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, Lynn Margulis of the University of Massachusetts, and Brian Greene of Cornell University will hold a seminar on the media's interest in physically attractive physicists.
The conference is scheduled for the weekend of April 16-18. Registration is free; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Inspired by a comment to this post. Scroll down for "Tim" and a regurgitation of gender studies buzzwords.)
Thursday, March 25, 2004Matt Yglesias agrees...
that transgender rights will become the Next Big Issue, although he classifies it as the next battle of The Culture Wars whereas I've argued it's the next civil rights issue:
Lesbians rejecting trans women oddly parallels early 70's feminists disassociating themselves from lesbians, male chauvinism in the Civil Rights Movement and anti-Vietnam movement, latent appeals to anti-immigrant and racist sentiment during the Women's Suffrage movement, sexism and racism (yes, racism) in the abolition of slavery movement... have I missed anything here?
So we have a consistent pattern of group A's movement being the Big Civil Rights Movement. In group A, there exists subgroup B which is marginalized in the movement. After group A wins major victories, subgroup B splinters off, attracts new members, becomes group B and the Big Civil Rights Movement... lather, rinse, repeat.
Monday, March 22, 2004George Bush: Soft on Terror
Sunday, March 21, 2004Radio Silence...
for the next few days, followed by a few days of intermittent blogging.
Regular blogging will resume 28 March 2004.
Thursday, March 18, 2004Rhea County's Grownups Back in Charge
Rhea County, Tennessee is backing off the attempt to ban gays in the county after a flurry of negative responses (we did it!) and being informed by county attorney Gary Fritts that the measure would be unconstitutional. Fritts tries to cover up for his comrades:
"They wanted to send a message to our (state) representative and senator that Rhea County supports the ban on same-sex marriage," he said. "Same-sex marriage is what it was all about. It was to stop people from coming here and getting married and living in Rhea County."
Not that the issue of banning homosexuals didn't arise.
"I'm not saying it wasn't discussed," Fritts said. "Sometimes you had five or six people talking."
Why the hell would anyone want to move to Rhea County after this debacle?
The real clincher comes, however, when the CNN reporter gets a soundbite from a supporter of the proposed ban:
But 12-year-old Caitlin Kinney, attending the meeting with her mother, said she supported the commissioners' initial vote.
"I think they should go further, try to see if they can ban them," she said. "It's not a Christian thing."
Rhea County: Displaying the Legal Acumen of a Twelve Year Old!
Somehow I don't think that'll appear in the Chamber of Commerce booster brochures.
Wednesday, March 17, 2004Name Game
As part of the first generation to have a large number of persons with hyphenated last names to reach marrying and child-bearing age, I, as have many of my contemporaries (for a recap: Yglesias, A. Butler, Baude, S. Butler, L. Butler, Plocharczyk, Bond) have occasionally pondered what would happen if two people with hyphenated last names had kids. Since "four [last names] is right out", what would they name the kids?
Propositions have included:
--The old-school paternalistic naming scheme--Safe, but boring and slightly unfair
--The "Savant" scheme, most notably espoused by Marilyn von Savant, wherein the child gets the last name of the parent of the same sex. This is sensible to a degree, and fair. But it overlooks the other parent's influence on the child, and what happens when two gay men adopt a baby girl?
--The Spanish surname/mother's maiden name scheme, wherein one gets the last name of your mother's father as a middle name and the last name of your father's father as a last name, or the (mother's father) y (father's father). Carries the mother's name for a generation, then drops it off. But fairer than the current system, I guess.
Finally, we come to the new system. I'm thinking of calling it "interwoven names", but that sounds a bit like those "remixed" last names where they smush the two names together. Screw it. Let me describe it:
Amy Snell and Jeff Hitchcock (we're starting off from one-word names here) have a little girl they name Barbara Snell Hitchcock. Lea Burton and David Judson name their son Richard Burton Judson. Snell Hitchcock and Burton Judson are all "last names", even though I haven't put hyphens in--you know, like Native American last names like "Little Wing". Ms. Snell and Mr. Judson (for formal address, pick one or both of the last names and put an honorific in front) marry and have a son, Daniel Snell Judson. The family will be addressed as "The Snell Judson family"; everyone gets their own listing in the phone book. All cool and fine.
Daniel falls in love with Anthony Dodd Blake (the son of Katherine Dodd Mead and George Gates Blake), and they decide to adopt a child--a baby girl. What do they name her? Jessica Judson Blake (both father's paterlineal surnames)--or Jessica Blake Judson. Either way. Now the only question is, when she marries Matthew Eckhart Ryerson, if their son will be named John Judson Ryerson or John Blake Ryerson.
Of course, there will be variations on this theme. If you feel closer to the parent of the opposite sex, you can choose that parent's last name to go onto your child's last name. If your parents were both assholes, dig through your ancestors and find a person you like and wouldn't mind being named after. And variations on the scheme on aesthetic grounds (Joanna Eggers Bourdieu? No) are entirely welcome.
I don't know. I'm just offering this as an option. I've grown to like the rhythm of my name--two drawn-out syllables followed by a crisp, consonant-rich one-- and I don't particularly feel like changing it. But that's just me.
You'd think evolution would have gotten rid--oh, wait.
Rhea County, TN, most famous for the "Scopes Monkey Trial", is trying to ban gays and lesbians from living within the county limits.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that there are some people around who just dropped in from an alternate universe where the United States is a theocracy or something. Either that or someone's trying to run for higher office and wants the free publicity, plus all of the dimbulb votes.
(Link via The Klute)
UPDATE: Notice to everyone in Blogaria: Will you quit it with the Tennessee bashing already? Our state Supreme Court knocked down our anti-sodomy laws before Lawrence v. Texas, okay?
Rhea County bashing is of course fair game. In fact, maybe they should set up their own little country. Wait, then someone's kid will turn out gay and be stoned to death. That's not good.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004Beautiful
From the Sun-Times:
U.S. Senate - Dem
Updated: 8:20 p.m.
43% of precincts reporting
Blog or Not? is projecting that Grace Lin, president of the U of C College Republicans, will be elected Republican Ward Committeeman for the 20th Ward. (Via ChicagoElections.com)
And we have a prediction...
CBS 2 Chicago says that Obama has it. He's got a plurality of white voters, a majority of black voters--it's in.
Monday, March 15, 2004It Gets Worse
Now the campaigning virus has spread to official U.S. House of Representitives websites:
"U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is quoted in today’s edition of Greenwire as saying, “that black stuff is hurting us,” with regard to oil. Members of the House Committee on Resources found the Senator’s comment absurd.
“John Kerry is dead wrong,” Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) said. “Oil doesn’t hurt Americans; John Kerry’s anti-energy policies hurt Americans. In fact, this is exactly the kind of rhetoric and bad policy that has led to the outsourcing of good American energy jobs. Last year alone, the United States outsourced more than $100 billion worth of American jobs, economic growth, and national security to foreign countries for our energy needs. Americans are left with a supply and demand imbalance that creates higher prices at the pump and longer waits on the unemployment line.”"
I'd like to take this opportunity to address the Congress, if I may:
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the United States House of Representitives, creating your own personal political rants site is not difficult. I've done it for free thanks to the fine people at Blogger (TM), but I'm sure that you can buy an easy-to-remember domain name with your re-election funds. Just have some of your interns set it up for you and maintain it. That way, when the Democrats take back the House, the Ethics Committee isn't going to get medieval on your ass.
I thank you for your time.
(Link courtesy of Fables of the Reconstruction)
The National (Security) Is Political
(Via Pandagon) I knew that the Bush administration was politicizing the War on Terror--but I didn't realize to this extent:
"Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration's efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month."
So the entire staff of the Department of Homeland Security has now been pulled into George W. Bush's
Two months from now:
"Unidentified sources at the Department of Homeland Security tell ABCNews that they were interrupted during their analysis of the now-known Al-Qaeda member Jamal Turner's bank statements in order for President Bush to sit at the analysis desks for a photo-op. Two weeks later, Turner attempted to blow up a bank in Houston but was stopped by a suspicious security guard."
Sunday, March 14, 2004Public Service Announcement
So you're all pumped up to vote, right? Yeah, give me the ballot, check "Obama", give Dean a condolence vote... wait, where do I vote?
Chicagoelections.com You can check your registration info there, where your polling place is, and a sample ballot.
Plus, if you're a U of C student, and you vote in the primaries, save your stub for a chance to win great door prizes at the ACLU's Primary Party, 10 PM in the Bartlett lounge. There will be food and "The Simpsons".
(By the way, if you live at Breckinridge Hall, your polling place is Bret Harte Elementary School, 1556 E. 56th, near Piccolo Mondo.)
UPDATE: If you registered to vote "in person" (e.g., there was a voter registrar of some sort helping you fill stuff out) you need to bring one piece of ID with your signature on it (like a library card or a credit card) or your voter registration card. If you registered to vote through the mail, through "moter voter", or through the Internet, you need to bring one photo ID and one of the following: utility bill, credit card, library card, social security card. (Thanks to Emily Alpert.)
Saturday, March 13, 2004Well, there's some market...
I've been hard on gender studies majors in the past--everyone has, I think. It seems like an impractical, ultra-theoretical discipline, and you can't even get a job at a museum or a high school with it (the de facto options for art history and classics majors). But our society's greater acceptance of transgendered, intersexed, and genderqueer persons, to say nothing of gays and bisexuals, now means that institutions (government, universities, and businesses) are now going to have to grapple with what makes a man a man, what makes a woman a woman, and how we're going to explain all of that to our
Here come... gender consulting firms? On-call gender consultants for insurance companies, single-sex colleges, and state governments? Not to mention the grammer geeks--we really need to figure out what set of neutral-gender pronouns and honorifics to use for those who prefer not to assume a gender.
Friday, March 12, 2004What makes you a woman in the eyes of Smith College?
Matt Yglesias thinks that women's-only schools are pretty much obsolete. This prompted a commentor to note that some students at most of the Seven Sisters, particularly Smith, don't identify as women. Then I started commenting... and realized that this really deserved its own post. (Part of this post was previously published in the MY.com comments section)
The front page in last Sunday's NYTimes SundayStyles was all about transgendered students at college, and how colleges are adapting. Apparently the students at Smith have voted to abolish the pronouns "she" and "her" from their student constitution, to be replaced with "the student". I'll paste it here because it's only three days until it's gone:
At Smith, the women's college in Northampton, Mass., students voted last year to eliminate female pronouns from the student constitution at the request of transgender students. "She" and "her" were replaced with the phrase "the student."
Laurie Fenlason, a college spokeswoman, said that "the vote was undertaken by the students as a gesture of good will toward a handful of fellow students."
But the change was not without controversy. "It contradicts the whole point of having a women's college," said Esi Cleland, a Smith sophomore. "I am opposed to it, because there's something to be said for a women's college, and a lot of us come here because we choose to be in an environment where women are the primary focus."
Since Smith is a women's school, I felt that if one went to Smith one was implicitly identifying oneself as a woman. I wasn't sure whether the transgendered students at Smith were female-to-male, male-to-female, or "genderqueer" (unwilling to acknowledge a binary-style gender identity)--a male-to-female student would probably wish to be addressed as "she", and a "genderqueer" student, if they* were attending Smith, they were probably biologically/legally female, and thus when averaging sex and gender would be included under the pronoun "she".
Completely confused, I went to Smith.edu and searched for their policy on transgendered students--I couldn't find an official policy, but I did come across the Smith transgendered association, which defends their choice to be non-female-identifying at Smith:
Many, perhaps most, of us came here identifying as women, and found that Smith has provided the environment we've needed to explore, acknowledge, and come to terms with being transgendered.
Smith is a "women's college," but this requirement is placed only upon biological sex, not gender identity or expression. If we are biologically or legally female--regardless of whether or not we identify as women--then we have the same rights to be at Smith as do female students who begin and continue identifying as women.
This brings up more questions:
1. If you attend Smith, which wears its "women's college" identity pretty firmly on its sleeve, are you identifying yourself as a woman? If you're a female joining an all-male group (the pre-20th century military?) disguised as a man, you're externally identifying yourself as a man but the internal self-definition is often female. But that whole bit gets into power struggles, and a man going to Smith College doesn't seem like a challenge to power-laden gender barriers.
2. Is Smith a college for biological/legal females, or a college for women?
3. If Smith is a college for women, as opposed to a college for biological/legal females, what is Smith's policy on male-to-female transgendered students? Another commenter claimed that the elite women's colleges weren't very welcoming to male-to-female students, but I cannot confirm nor deny this.
*If a king can call himself "we" and if the plural "you" in French is the same as the formal "you", I feel that "they" is being perfectly consistant. After all, if you don't know what sex (pardon: gender) a person is, either that person is not very ordinary or you don't know that person very well, in which case 'formal' address is rather appropriate. Now all we need is an honorific to use when you don't know a person's gender.
Thursday, March 11, 20043/11
We're all in this together. Our hearts, our prayers are with the Spanish people. If you want to give more tangible support, click here, or if you can read Spanish, here.
Normal blogging will resume tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004Republicans Heart Affirmative Action... for the historically privileged
I'm rather suspicious of the conservatives' championing of single-sex education. For one thing, I've never really thought that girls and boys learned that much differently. I know that the statistics say that women are better at verbal reasoning and men are better at spatial, but one must remember that these statistics are averages. There is no logical validity to the practice of prejudging one's learning style by one's gender.
On a historical basis, women have (until very recently) gotten the shaft whenever educational systems were divided by sex. My high school physics teacher, a Chemistry Ph.D and computer programmer (she programmed the original MacFlow), didn't take calculus in high school. She went to a girls' public high school in New Orleans in the seventies, and they didn't offer the class--instead, the senior girls took topical courses including "nurses' math". Calculus classes were offered at the boys' high school. This made things interesting in college physics courses, when in order to figure out the area underneath a simple curve before she learned integrals she'd weigh a piece of paper, draw and cut out the curve, weigh the curve, and then figure out the area.
The whole single-sex scheme looks suspiciously like affirmative action--affirmative action for males, that is. I've never heard the right worry about increasing rates of failure among African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or female students--but as soon as the position of white males is threatened, the defense forces come out in full battle mode. What, are they scared of the status quo changing? Does the prospect of having to work for their position in society frighten them?
Tuesday, March 09, 2004Well, it is constitutional amendment season...
A sixteen-year-old may lawfully:
Operate heavy machinery (in most states)
Drop out of school (in most states)
Manipulate a four-ton hunk of metal down a crowded highway at 70 miles per hour
Have sex with a seventy-year-old (in 28 states*)
Be charged as an adult for capital crimes
A sixteen-year-old may not lawfully:
Run for public office
Serve on a jury
There's a real imbalance here. A sixteen-year-old who is tried as an adult is not tried by a jury of peers. He or she has not, by either voting or refusing to vote, implicitly signed the social contract stating that he or she will obey the laws.
"But," you might say, "a sixteen-year-old doesn't have any chance of being drafted, either." Well, for that matter, neither do I under current law. But let me tell you a little story.
Johnny is born on July 4, 1984. Imagine, after September 11, that Congress had reinstated the draft. Now suppose that Johnny's drafted on his 18th birthday. He's never had the chance to vote, and since his birthday's in July, he won't have the chance to vote until he's already in combat (basic training takes nine weeks). But Johnny's not going to be part of the hunt for Bin Laden as he had wished--nope, our Commander-in-Chief decided to go after Iraq after doing a half-assed job in Afghanistan. So Johnny gets to Basra on September 23rd. On October 10th, his unit is ambushed by the Iraqi Republican Guard and Johnny's hit in the chest with a round from a .45. Now, body armor could have stopped this bullet from penetrating the body, but for some reason the DoD didn't think it was a neccessary expenditure. So after the skirmish is over the unit's medic tries to find a pulse--and there is none. Johnny's dead--dead before he ever got the chance to vote.
Congressional elections are held every two years--hence, if the voting age were moved to 16, everyone would have the chance to vote in a congressional election, if not a presidential one, before they turned 18. Thus, if they were drafted, they would at least have had the chance to change the government before marching off to face the darkness.
UPDATE: And California leads the nation again... (Via The General)
*Thank you, ageofconsent.com, which incidentially needs to update after Lawrence v. Texas invalidated all anti-sodomy laws.
All the cool kids are doing it
I got a 21 on the Libertarian Purity Test, indicating that I really don't care much about property rights as long as poor kids don't get screwed over*. Which I suppose is one of the problems with my restaurant-regulation scheme below: I'm okay on some level with an adult freely choosing to eat at Gary's Salmonella-Infested Rat Shack, but what if they bring their kids along? In sum, I think libertarianism is aesthetically pleasing (Heinlein makes it look so logical and pretty!), but when it comes to the kids, I'm an economic nanny-stater.
*I must confess to having answered yes to one of the five-point questions, the one regarding vigilante justice--but isn't that just a code word for revolution? That being said, whoever answers yes to privatizing the law... [slowly backing away, moving for the door]
Monday, March 08, 2004Ah, The Things We Must Say to Effect Change!
Atrios and Jesse--or rather, Atrios's comment section and Jesse--are all over Hamid Karzai's plea to the men of Afghanistan on International Women's Day:
"Please, my dear brothers, let your wives and sisters go to the voter registration process," Karzai told a gathering to mark International Women's Day. "Later, you can control who she votes for, but please, let her go."
Depressing? Sure. But what is Karzai actually saying? A quick leaf-through through the Afghan Constitution (which it seems no one has bothered to do) reveals that:
"The President is elected by receiving more than 50% of the votes cast through free, general, secret, and direct voting. "
"Members of the Wolesi Jirga (the House of People) are elected by the people through free, general, secret, and direct elections."
So much for the effacity of "control", at least if the system holds. (Whether it holds is an entirely different story). Now let's look at the etymology of "control". I'm currently trying to find our resident Persian-and-related-tongues language expert, Bilal, but he is apparently unavailable. I shall update this post as soon as I find him.
UPDATE: Bilal says that "control" probably meant something along the lines of "persuasion", because "coercion" or "force" would have required stronger language.
Saturday, March 06, 2004Neo-Feudalism and a Non-Geographic Model of Government
Continuing in the fine Chicago tradition of blogging when you're really supposed to be writing a paper:
At Letters of Marque, Heidi Bond is pondering a modern system of feudalism (through links to fellow UMich law students* Carey (aka Glorfindel) and Mark) On the lighter side of things, I totally agree with Heidi's and Carey's notes that wearing robes to class would be sweet, as would carrying around swords (but on my part, I'd only use my sword to ward off would-be muggers while waiting for the #55 at the Garfield Red Line Stop at 1 AM)
But there's actually a serious political possibility lurking in Mark's description of his new feudal model:
"It sounds far-fetched, but I really think it could work. It's similar to a representative democracy, but instead of electing everybody's leaders, you elect your own leader. You can opt in to whatever system of government a particular individual has created for his subjects. There would have to be some opportunity for termination of an allegiance, which is probably the biggest hole in my thought experiment."
I've pondered a similar system for government regulations. In this country, we've got about five thousand and fifty different positions on the need for government regulations of trade, labor, food safety, the environment... you get the picture. Frankly, I'd rather have a bunch of little separate "regulatory governments" that you could elect to join. I'm thinking that the "governments" would include, but not be excluded to, the following:
--The ultra-libertarian (The market should be free! It's perfectly rational!)
--The neo-socialist (Shared profits only!)
--The eco-conscious, fair-trade, fair labor
--The moderate left regulations
--The moderate right regulations
There would of course be some common regulations--injunctions against child labor and enslavement--but these regulations would be of the type that fundamentally do harm to the freedoms we're guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. In short, I'm thinking of non-geographical federalism. But how would people know which set of regulations a store is operating under? Stickers--little stickers on the doors to restaurants which tell you that the restaurant has been approved by the Environmental-Labor Coalition, the Libertarian Society, and Consumer Reports, but not by the Socialist Front.
Additionally, the feudalism idea has another benefit--if the Neo-Conservatives want to wage war against Iraq, they can go and do so, leaving the rest of us to pay off the federal debt and improve homeland security.
*I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Okay, we admit it: Environment does count for some people.*
The New Republic is reporting that Saudi Arabia is host to an apparently thriving gay subculture. They seem surprised by this--I'm actually not so surprised. If you're denied any contact with the opposite sex and you happen to be the least bit bisexual, you're going to start looking towards your own sex for companionship. The Bush administration should probably think again about promoting same-sex education, if they're that concerned about same-sex marriage.
*This is still not an excuse for your Leviticus-inspired bigotries. Now go put on your wool-linen blend suit and head out to Red Lobster.
Thursday, March 04, 2004Howard Dean's campaign/ May be a moulderin' in the grave/ but the left-wing freak show rolls on
"Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York. And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. To take back the White House. Yeah!"--The Dean Scream
We all know that Howard Dean's "left-wing freak show" that the Club for Growth ad was talking about was civil unions for gay couples. Well, guess what: It did go to California. And New York. And Oregon. And Massachusetts. And New Mexico. And Texas was already hit by Laurence v. Texas. And it's going to hit Washington and Michigan and Illinois soon. And it's going to hit Washington, D.C., and we--we who really don't feel like writing discrimination into the Constitution--we're going to take back the White House.
Makes me want to say "Yeagh!"
Tuesday, March 02, 2004Who is Davin Reed?
The Good; The Bad
The bad: Kerry has sewn up the nomination, making my vote in the upcoming Illinois primary useless.
The good: I ordered a couple of free Kerry bumper stickers a couple of weeks ago, so I guess I can use them now.