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Matty Woodchuck takes aim

By Michael J. Smith on Monday March 14, 2011 12:21 PM

Dr IOZ usually does a thorough job of anatomizing Matthew Yglesias into chopmeat suitable for a cannibal's Bolognese -- a very hungry cannibal, of course; a hungry cannibal who was pretty undiscriminating to start with. Use lots of nutmeg and tomato for this one, Chef.

The good doctor's latest on the subject is no exception, but for once I feel moved by the Spirit to add a footnote. Here's the 'Chuck, gnawing with his big sharp rodentine incisors on the Japan earthquake and its consequences:

Cars, trucks, and other pieces of useful equipment have been ruined. Roads, docks, and other pieces of transportation infrastructure have been blocked by debris.
What strikes me here is Matty's need to promote concreta to abstracta -- as if cars and trucks, roads and docks had to be dissolved into categories like "useful equipment" and "transportation infrastructure" before the mighty reasoning engine in Yggy's cranium could process them.

Chuckie isn't entirely consistent, though:

Tens of thousands of human beings are dead or injured.
If he'd been running true to form here, he'd've said "Tens of thousands of human beings and other economic feedstocks" vel sim.

Does he have deep inside some wizened, desiccated atrophion of a human soul that feebly waved him off with its spindly little arms? Or was it sufficient for him to invoke the quasi-taxonomic category of "human beings" instead of merely saying "people"?

Comments (34)


Little did we "human beings" know, we rate below "other pieces of transportation infrastructure." Of course, in the case of some "human beings" (generously described), that may be just about right....


Without useful equipment, how will Japan marshal its human resources and get the Japanese people that aren't dead back to work? If they don't get that mess cleaned up within the next two weeks, production is definitely going to go down. Does America have any useful equipment to spare? Obama just sent an aircraft carrier there. That ought to be useful. Thank God we have Obama at a time like this.

Talking about the difficulties of humanitarian interventions, in Iraq, thousands of men and women in uniform have been killed, not to mention at least 100,000 Iraqis, give or take 1.4 million. End the war now by sending your check to MoveOn.org. This is a useful organization. Just look at what they are doing to end the Clash of Civilizations:



See, this is why I don't bother defending "Economics".

"Cars, trucks, and other pieces of useful equipment have been ruined. Roads, docks, and other pieces of transportation infrastructure have been blocked by debris."

Such a tragedy.

Everything this clown writes, and probably everything else he does, is an obvious rehearsal for becoming some future Democrat's press secretary or chief-of-staff. (Formula: Egomania + Salesmanship + A Little Knowledge)

His concern for real people, like his glorious Party's and President's, is non-existent.


....Obama just sent an aircraft carrier there....

The USS Ronald Reagan entered a radioactive plume while 100 miles from Fukushima I and promptly scooted off. Several helicopters and their crews returned to the ship contaminated with radioactivity and will be flying rescue missions towards the wrecked Japanese coast no more.

The commitment to assist in anyway possible remains firm, however..... ???



the name dear sir
is woody mattchuck
the seriously less pungent
matty woodchuck


Re, the 'Clash of Civilizations', some more insight into workings of the Arab Mind from the Orientalist who coined that phrase:

Another thing is the sexual aspect of it. One has to remember that in the Muslim world, casual sex, Western-style, doesn’t exist. If a young man wants sex, there are only two possibilities — marriage and the brothel. You have these vast numbers of young men growing up without the money, either for the brothel or the brideprice, with raging sexual desire. On the one hand, it can lead to the suicide bomber, who is attracted by the virgins of paradise — the only ones available to him. On the other hand, sheer frustration.

This 'vulgar propagandist' as Chomsky calls him has been selling his idée fixe on civilizational envy since 1958. Time to tip his thesis into the dustbin of ideas.


If we leave Iraq now, Osama will win, and Britney will lose. You don't want Britney to lose, do you?

Come onnnnnnn!

How could Britney lose?

She's conquered a lot more countries than Bin Ladin.



ugh.. so Krugman has checked in on this:


Unlike Yglesias' post, the economics isn't complete bunk, but I still find it unseemly given that the purpose of the article is mainly to score points in a long-running debate that doesn't really have much to do with the earthquake.


this line is sure to give IOZ a conniption:

"And yes, this does mean that the nuclear catastrophe could end up being expansionary, if not for Japan then at least for the world as a whole. If this sounds crazy, well, liquidity-trap economics is like that — remember, World War II ended the Great Depression."



"I’m terrified about the possible loss of life"

yes terrified !!!

i hate stage agonizing

and when its this bloated and perfunctory...

as for

""And yes, this does mean that the nuclear catastrophe could end up being expansionary, if not for Japan then at least for the world as a whole. If this sounds crazy, well, liquidity-trap economics is like that — remember, World War II ended the Great Depression."

as to his macro 101

perfectly fine

this is spock science talk

not so bad if pk hadn't thrown in


This might be an instance where sociopaths like Kramer or Kudlow do better, because they wouldn't do the bullshit handwringing. "Japan devastated by quake and tsunami, nuclear catastrophe: LET'S MAKE SOME MONEY ON THIS GODDAMN THING!"

Son of Uncle Sam:


they're narcissists more than socio- an ingrown hair- annoying and ugly.

But....opportunity is knocking loud on this one- if you own Altria Group, you're gonna love this tsunami!!!

Whos T T T Terrified - of what- another earthquake?



PAUL KROOOOHGMAN is terrified by all the death and suffering in nippon land these days

terrified ..why who knows who really knows how mother planet might move
why why who can say
it couldn't happen here ....
to to princeton even
and trenton too


btw ranger
don't you get it ??

warren buffet's dark op wing
SUPER CAT bridgeport llc
caused that temblor



imagine a combo of warren and cheney
that's brando in la formule

Son of Uncle Sam:

Right - the earthquake already happened why be terrified now- oh I see this is his hindenberg, will someone just bring Dan Rather back already!


hindenberg disaster ??

strictly a north jersey gig

nassau hall needs
a second undead hessian atrocity wave
triggered by an earthquake that unleashes
a return of the undead troopers
from the unmarked graves around trenton



Krug is worried an earthquake would rattle his cherished Acela, scattering papers and crackberry all over the aisles, causing blog delay.


what mother E oughyta give his genteel
beareded mass transit fetish types
a hyper speed derailment


I don't believe the Acela stops at Princeton Junction. I've never seen it, anyway. Too lazy to check a timetable. If I'm right, ole Paul has to take NJ Transit like the rest of us -- a railroad whose service is so bad and so slow that an earthquake could hardly make it worse.


pk was looking for a new wpa spur
to and from princeton
for a local varient of the wash nueva run

all at hyper speeds
i know your fondness for fixed rail
but pk's even too dedicated for you .. i hope


MJS, you're correct, no Princeton Junction stop. But Kruggeleh has made many loving references to the Acela (it's got wi-fi now!), and I think he picks it up either in Boston, DC, or Newark, though I am no expert on his itinerary.

OP, my comic-book version of this is: runaway Amtrak somehow smashes into nuke plant, thus derailing, and melting down, the Krug-Sachs Green-Infrastucture Express in one, fiery, toxic, Irwin Allen disaster.


MJS, "a railroad whose service is so bad and so slow"

Many olfactory "issues" too.


getting to like your comments cz

but that usually doesn't last

ogres like me are giddy creatures

but pk's even too dedicated for you .. i hope
Not when it comes to trains; that's impossible. I'm a complete fanatic. I love it when the Acela comes whomping through the Northeast Corridor stations at a million miles an hour, so fast the wheels are singing a Zauberfloetian F-in-alt against the rails and the pantograph is sizzling against the catenary. Your ears pop with the pressure as it approaches and again with the vacuum after it passes, and it leaves a pungent perfume of electricity and warm steel in the air.

It's especially wonderful when snow is falling -- there's a permanent vortex of churning opaque milky air following the train down the track. Makes me think, for some reason, of a girl with long hair on a galloping horse -- without one of those stupid ugly helmets. And it leaves a dozen little swirling mini-tornadoes in its wake; they spread out to either side and sweep across the platforms and vanish into the vespertine or pre-matutinal darkness.

I get a woody every time.

As for cars -- I hate 'em like you hate Trotskyites, Owen.


yeah, stuff it op. Rail is badass. I once outran a police cruiser on a pump trolley. Rail efficiency ftw


despite mjs putting on
a futurist strapless evening gown
--and i must say to noticably poetic effect
..bravo oh musty one --

at any rate once he's back in clark kent "kit"
he's nothing but a lobster like neo-victorian hand crank

fixed rail indeed !!!!!

fixed rail
as in rigid rail
as in hard ferris shell
oxidizing like
an attic nail

obviously a hopeles statist's fantasy

if he'd sing of the wires electric
i might give him a pass
or leaping back
--which btw his higher half does enjoy --

but the rail system ??

intricacy as banality

strictly for the boy's boarding school basement

and take it to the bank

boy's boarding school basements


if the truth must come out

i'm a bus guy

ride the dog baby !!!


FB -- I definitely want to hear the pump trolley story. And so do we all, I bet.


ok.. so there was a railway museum in my hometown. They had a couple miles of decommissioned track that they would run the old steam locomotives on, and they would leave a 4 man pump trolley out there that visitors could use.

Normally they locked it up at night, but one night we were out there drinking underage and found that they hadn't locked it up. Naturally, we put our 24s on it and started screwing around. In the midst of this we saw headlights turn on to the end of the track, here:


So this car starts heading towards us on the shoulder of the track, and at first we thought it was just a buddy of ours just messing with us. Then they turned the lights on, so we were like "Shit!!! Let's go lads! GIVE'R!!!!" Luckily we were already moving in the right direction and the cops were trying to drive over some really rough terrain, so we were able to get back to the museum without losing any ground.

We abandoned the trolley there and ran to the left like we were heading into town. Once we were out of view, we doubled back behind the museum to the right and escaped into this big swamp called The Swale. We lost all of our beer, which isn't easy to come by when you're a teenager, and one of our friends basically impaled/sodomized himself on a jagged stump, but it was still a lot of fun -- for the rest of us, anyway.

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