Neil Gaiman responds to Minnesota Republican House Leader who called him a "pencil-necked geek" and a "thief"

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72 Responses to “Neil Gaiman responds to Minnesota Republican House Leader who called him a "pencil-necked geek" and a "thief"”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ok, the part that gets me is where Matt Dean says, “My mom is staying with us right now because my wife’s out of town.” That’s hilarious! He strikes me as one of those guys that can’t take care of his household when his wife is out of town, so he needs his mommy to come help him. You know the type, the house is a mess, the kids are a mess because the wife is out of town and he doesn’t know how to do anything.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Has James Lileks posted anything about this? I always think of him when I see the Star-Tribune (which isn’t often, I’m in GA).

  3. Rich Keller says:

    From Dean’s Wikipedia page, originally from a Minnesota Public Radio interview:

    Dean subsequently apologized for his insulting rhetoric, stating “My mom is staying with us right now because my wife’s out of town. She was very angry this morning and always taught me not to be a name caller. And I shouldn’t have done it, and I apologize.”

    His mom made him say he was sorry.

    • Craig Ranapia says:

      Apparently, Mama Dean didn’t get around to teaching her son that calling someone a thief without just cause is name-calling.

      Also, my Mama insisted that when her son acted like an ass-hat the apology was to at least sound plausibly sincere, not made in the passive-aggressive voice, and followed by a long period of silent contemplation of what a jerk he’d just been.

  4. phaedral says:

    “Meanwhile, Gaiman’s tweeting a link to Dean’s website appears to have crashed it…”

    So Gaiman is not only a pencil-necked thief but now an international cyber-terrorist? ;)

  5. Vnend says:

    Let’s see, how much for that speaker in the window?:

    Sarah Palin $75K+1st class travel+lodging+etc
    http://www.businessinsider.com/sarah-palin-speaking-fees

    George W. Bush $150K+1st class or private jet+etc
    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-02-24/news/17915700_1_longtime-bush-friend-lecture-circuit-single-speech

    Bill Clinton ($200K paid out, no breakdown)
    http://blog.timesunion.com/asp/1818/clintons-speaker-fee-highest-in-speaker-series-history/

    How about some others:

    Gary Kasperov $75K+
    David Allen, Ben Stein $50-75K
    Wayne Gretsky, Magic Johnson $50K+
    Roger Staubach, Dave Barry $25-30K
    http://oreilly.com/social-media/excerpts/9780596802004/why-speakers-earn-30k-an-hour.html

    You can look up more for yourself at http://www.kepplerspeakers.com/

    I tried to look up Stephen King’s fee, but didn’t want to bother requesting one from his agency.

    So Neil charges less than ex-presidents (or even ex-govenors) and athletes, but more than Dave Barry. Given that he also does a fair number of engagements for free, I bet the average is down a good bit from whatever his nominal asking fee is.

    Let’s do some math. Say his fee and expenses work out to be $50K. And let’s say you could rent a small venue (including staff) for, oh, $5K for one evening. Let’s say we are doing this cheap, so we budget another $5K for physical tickets. So that’s $60K in expenses.

    If we have a 1000 seat theater the math is easy, $60 a seat to break even, so figure $120 to turn a profit. Too steep. Let’s take it up to 2500 seats. Now our break even point is $24, so call it $50 to turn a reasonable profit. You might be able to make that work in some areas, but it would be a gamble, even with Neil’s fan base.

    In other words, he has priced himself out of professional speaking, which is what he wanted to do.

  6. TooGoodToCheck says:

    zomg, this article needs to have a special captcha, which asks reading and comprehension questions about the original article before you can comment.

    If you’re going to form & express and opinion about an article, I encourage you in the strongest terms to RTFA!!!

    I’m specifically calling out anyone who thinks Neil Gaiman ripped off the library system, or that he should have declined the money because the libraries need it more. I’d describe what’s wrong with this position, but it has been addressed so many times I’d just be repeating what’s already been well stated (e.g. in these comments by Paul Turnbull @33)

  7. Snig says:

    This is Matt Dean’s nemeses (sp?):
    http://dfl.org/

    They’re also the party of Al Franken and oppose Michelle Bachmann and Norm Coleman.

    “Geek PAC” has a nice ring to it. Neil Gaiman doesn’t need your money, but the world might be a better place if the DFL had more.

  8. Jack says:

    Folks, this is the reference being made by “pencil neck geek”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQnYfcfoNZg

  9. Lobster says:

    I have a lot of respect for Neil Gaiman and I think that if someone’s willing to pay him thousands of dollars to speak then more power to him.

    That said, he’s also a writer. How bulky is he supposed to be?

  10. IronEdithKidd says:

    Matt Dean’s home is located northeast of White Bear Lake (the lake itself), and is part of Michelle Bachmann’s congressional district.

    ‘Splains a lot.

  11. tempbot says:

    This whole thing just points out the idiocy of having a giant slice of the state budget mandated by constitution – as the Legacy Amendment does for arts and outdoors programs. Dean totally muddies that point by turning it into a personal attack against Gaiman.

    At the same time that the State of Minnesota is $5 BILLION in the hole, you have Libraries saying, “I better spend all my Legacy money on the most expensive local speaker I can find, so I don’t ‘lose’ it.” (FYI, it’s not actually “lost”, it just goes back to fund programs in the next cycle. In other words the library would have to re-compete for it next year with everyone else).

    Here in MN, we’re about to face massive cuts to higher education, health and human services, local governments, etc. But at least MPR managed to get their $3M, and that one Library managed to get one really expensive speaker in before they “lost” “their” money.

  12. benher says:

    When I left MN 10 years ago we were a blue state! We had Paul Wellstone and everything!

    Maggie, what happened!?

  13. Flying_Monkey says:

    Neil Gaiman is as effectively saracastic and funny in response as you would expect a good writer to be, and Matt Dean is clearly an idiot, whose political views run completely counter to my own.

    But… he is an idiot who inadvertanly raises some interesting questions, and ones to which I don’t think Gaiman has all the answers. And BTW, what I have to say is not all a ‘critique’ of Gaiman, a lot of it is general and about wider issues.

    First point: whether the amount was $33,600 or $45,000, this is too much for a public organisation to be paying for a single talk. Granted, I am not as famous as Neil Gaiman, but I have given many talks around the world, and rarely would I expect more than expenses. Occasionally, I get offered a token honorarium – the most I have ever been offered is $1000. I would feel profoundly uncomfortable about accepting this much from a cash-strapped public organisation, let along 33 or 45 times as much.

    Now, some have said that apparently the library has a set budget for speakers which is has to spend. I can understand that, many public organisations do. That, however, highlights another problem which is the idiocy of bureaucratic rules. Public organisations should be allowed to move money between budgets and carry over saved money to the next year. That would save stupid incidents like this from occuring.

    If you are going to use $33,600 well, in the context of arts and literature, it could have been used to give vital support to many talented developing writers in the state, for whom $1000 each, for example, would have meant much more than $33,600 does to Gaiman. I understand he’s given some of the money to a charity that supports writers. That’s great, but this shouldn’t be the way it has to happen.

    Finally, if Gaiman really doesn’t want to be inundated with requests, surely he just has to make it clear he doesn’t do talks, or have very specific conditions on talks he does want to give. Just making yourself very expensive is not really a strong moral position from which one can make sarcastic pronouncements about others, and it merely adds to phoney celebrity culture and superficial association of price and value.

  14. Antinous / Moderator says:

    It seems that while people are more than willing to throw down and declare that $11,000 an hour for the CEO of Enron is excessive, the same amount for a science fiction author is just fair game.

    The CEO of Enron gets $11K an hour, EVERY HOUR. Neil Gaiman gets it at the rare speaking engagement. The rest of his time is spent working on spec, sometimes with an advance. Try being an entrepreneur, which is what an author is, and see what a cushy free ride to Funland it is.

  15. JamesMason says:

    Only a fool would engage in a war of words with someone as talented as Neil Gaiman. It’s similar to picking a fight with a boxer half your size – you’ll still lose.

  16. angusm says:

    Matt Dean has apologized to Neil Gaiman … on instructions from his mother!

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/05/05/politicians-mother-makes-him-apologize-for-calling-neil-gaiman-pencil-necked-geek/

    What was that Laurie Anderson said about “When force is gone, there’s always Mom (hi Mom)”?

  17. rastronomicals says:

    A couple things:

    Matt Dean’s yearly salary for representing his district in the Minnestoa House is $31,000, or $14,000 less than what Gaiman made in four hours.

    http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faqtoc.asp?subject=10

    I get that Gaiman donated his fee, and bully for him, but if he’s at the point where he needs to value the time he might otherwise spend writing at $11,250.00 an hour, I’d suggest he just stay with the writing.

    I am very well aware that fees along the speaking circuit are often much in excess of the 45G Gaiman received, but what does that say, that he’s a LESS greedy weasel?

    I know that Gaiman is a great writer, and is both more intelligent and holds more politically palatable views than Matt Dean.

    But so what? I’m gonna draw the line at defending some clown making $11,000 an hour off the freaking cuff. That’s a joke. It takes me 2-1/2 months of honest labor to make that much. For that kind of money he can defend himself.

    • Nadreck says:

      Ah, but the whole thing about being a (dishonest?) writer is that first you have to spend a few decades being a starving comic book writer before your audience builds up (or at least until you make your first sale) and then you get your first bit of profit. In contrast the (self proclaimed) “honest labour” gives you a paycheque at the end of the first week. It’s just interest on the delayed gratification.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Diana Moon Glampers, is that you?

    • maviscruet says:

      It would appear that mr Gaiman does what you think he should – he wants to write – so sets his fees very high.

      “The main reason I got a speaking agency, ten years ago, was because too many requests for me to come and speak were coming in. And the speaking requests were, and are, a distraction from what I ought to be doing, which is writing. So rather than say no, we’ve always priced me high. ”

      http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2010/05/political-football-in-teacup.html

      And it seems he gave the money away to charity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since nobody but maviscruet seems to have read the backstory here, I shall quote from Mr. Gaiman’s own explanation of the issue:

        –So. I was asked if I’d come and talk at Stillwater, and be paid $40,000. I said, “That’s an awful lot of money for a little library.”–

        –“It’s not from the library. It’s from the Legacy Fund, a Minnesota tax allocation that allows the library to pay market rates to bring authors to suburban libraries who otherwise wouldn’t be able to bring them in. They have to use the money now as it won’t roll over to next year and expires next month.”–

        Now, one might argue that reshuffling the money to charities of his choice was a little greedy, but the purpose of the funding was fulfilled: it brought a high-profile author to a suburban library that would not ordinarily have enjoyed his presence. Pretty damn good publicity for that program, one would think?

    • Jake0748 says:

      Gaiman IS defending himself, read his blog post linked above.

      Gaiman has stated that he quotes such high fees to speak for the very reason that he won’t get asked very often. Thus leaving more time to “just stay with the writing”.

      The fee for this particular speech was 33,600 not 45,000. Again – read the blog linked above.

      How is the amount of Matt Dean’s or your salary relevant?

    • wylkyn says:

      He’s not the only person in this country that makes that kind of money, and there are some who make even more. Were it really as outrageous as you seem to think, wouldn’t he never get asked to speak? And yet he somehow still gets offers for speaking engagements. If people are willing to pay that much, why does that make Neil Gaimen a “clown” who needs to defend himself? If someone spent $5000 for a banana, would you ridicule the banana?

      I would also point out that there are many more in this country who put in their 8+ hours a day of “honest labor” who would LOVE to be getting your paycheck, or mine. Should they see us as overpaid clowns? Should we be defending our salaries? Or do we deserve it for some reason?

    • Anonymous says:

      uff, I don’t believe I’m getting pulled into this…

      First, it was not $45K. It was $33.6K, still a lot of money, but not the random number Dean pulled out of his ass.

      Second, that $31K that Dean makes is for 4-5 months of work.

      Third, as mentioned above the price is set high to discourage the flood of requests that come trough, not as a money making gimmick.

      and fourth, complaining about your own wage in comparison sounds like a bit of sour grapes. It would be akin to me getting all huffy because you seem to make about $5K a month, which is twice what I make for my “honest hard work”, but you know I don’t really care what yu make, and as far as Gaiman is concerned we are not really talking about a major CEO that makes millions a year. I’m actually pretty pro pay the artists more.

    • Craig Ranapia says:

      But so what? I’m gonna draw the line at defending some clown making $11,000 an hour off the freaking cuff. That’s a joke. It takes me 2-1/2 months of honest labor to make that much. For that kind of money he can defend himself.

      1) He has, and a damn sight more persuasively than Dean’s half-arsed, passive-agressive “Mommy made me” non-apology.

      2) I suspect Rep. Dean’s bank account (and his conditions and benefits) are much healthier than those of his constituents who are minimum wage “working poor” or unemployed. That doesn’t signify either.

      3) Perhaps the State Government needs to invest in adult literacy classes for state legislators, because where I come from “thief” has a pretty specific meaning. And it’s not “an author I don’t like getting a speaking fee from a fund set up for that purpose, and no other.”

    • Neon Tooth says:

      But so what? I’m gonna draw the line at defending some clown making $11,000 an hour off the freaking cuff. That’s a joke. It takes me 2-1/2 months of honest labor to make that much. For that kind of money he can defend himself.

      It takes me longer than that so I guess I can call you a spoiled clown too?

  18. PJDK says:

    It’s a bit weird people bringing in what other high earners get as some kind of comparison. Neil Gaiman is worth that kind of money, in as much as there are people prepared to pay that much money to hear him speak. If some rich company wants to pay that much to have him do a talk for some corporate event or what ever more power to him, I doubt anyone including the dopey politician in question would object.

    What is wrong is a library paying so much money just to get one speaker. That is a huge sum of money for very little gain. It could have been used to hire several smaller writers, who would genuinely need the money, or it could pay for librarians or books or whatever. Everything I’ve read suggests Gaiman appreciates this, given he gave the money to charity.

    But there is a real issue being brushed aside here in everyone’s eagerness to stand up for a good guy being attacked by someone who seems a bit of a dick. If libraries are going to stay running they can’t go around pouring money down the drain like this.

    Also for whoever says Gaiman has to charge big just to stop people ringing him up. Well he does do things for free and people will ring up, which is why he undoubtedly has a PA to deal with such things and filter through to him the ones he might be interested in.

    • adonai says:

      “What is wrong is a library paying so much money just to get one speaker. That is a huge sum of money for very little gain. It could have been used to hire several smaller writers, who would genuinely need the money, or it could pay for librarians or books or whatever.”

      However, how many people are going to schlep down to their local library to hear an author they’ve never heard of? Not that many. Neil got 500 people for a place capable of holding 500.

      And as many, many others have said – no, they couldn’t get books or librarians. They had to spend this money on a certain thing – it was a grant with very specific string attached. If they didn’t spend it on getting an author in – and they only had a month left to do this in – then it would expire and they probably wouldn’t have gotten it the next financial year.

      • PJDK says:

        $45000 (this now appears to be the accurate figure according to the latest blog Gaiman wrote) is a lot of money to entertain 500 people for an hour or so.

        And I understand that they “had” to spend the money. But that just shows the system allocating the money is ridiculous.

  19. heydemann3 says:

    Gaiman states that he sets his fees that high to weed out all but those most determined to get his appearance. He wants to be spending his time doing other things, like writing, and found a price he felt was worth his time. If someone is willing to pay that price, that’s the way the market works.
    His fee was more than I’ve ever earned in a year, but if there’s an organization that is willing to pay it, good for both of them.
    On the other hand, if the right kind of group asks, Gaiman has been known to do stuff for free.
    That there are folks out there who make way more than I do is inevitable. That doesn’t mean that they should be denigrated by elected officials. I mean, look at the tax breaks sports franchises get. The Bulls make millions in a building built by taxpayer dollars, but I never hear complaints that Michael Jordan made something like 7,000 dollars per minute.

    • JeffF says:

      “I never hear complaints that Michael Jordan made something like 7,000 dollars per minute.”

      I’ve heard lots of people complain about that kind of thing.

    • rastronomicals says:

      “Gaiman states that he sets his fees that high to weed out all but those most determined to get his appearance. He wants to be spending his time doing other things, like writing, and found a price he felt was worth his time. If someone is willing to pay that price, that’s the way the market works.”

      So now we’re all laissez faire capitalists around here?

      If Gaiman said that he set his fees so high so that he could figure the top of the market, would that not be saying the same thing?

      If what he really wants to do is write, why doesn’t he just do that, instead of protesting while taking the dough?

      And yes, I saw that he donated the money the first time.

      I really would have no issue if Gaiman had taken the 45 or the 38, whatever it was, for speaking to a private concern. But I do see a misappropriation involved when he’s speaking to the Public Library . . . . and I don’t truly believe that Gaiman doesn’t see it as well.

      I’m sure this will be taken wrong, and all kinds of conclusions will be jumped to about my own political views, but I’m going to say it anyway: if it were Sarah Palin making the five digits for speaking at a Minnestoa library, and a liberal had been the one to take issue, the condemnation around here for Palin, and the support for the liberal, would be unanimous.

      • Biglig says:

        Apparently Sarah Palin charges twice what Neil Gaiman does…

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sure this will be taken wrong, and all kinds of conclusions will be jumped to about my own political views, but I’m going to say it anyway: if it were Sarah Palin making the five digits for speaking at a Minnestoa library, and a liberal had been the one to take issue, the condemnation around here for Palin, and the support for the liberal, would be unanimous.

        Well, yeah. I’d take issue with a library that gave her five dollars to speak; they shouldn’t be hiring partisan hacks. Neil Gaiman, however, is an author.

      • alowishus says:

        But the liberal probably wouldn’t have called Palin a vacuous hate-mongering harpy.

      • Paul Turnbull says:

        Go back and read Gaiman’s posts on the matter.

        1. He usually speaks at libraries for free.
        2. The library in question had money that legally they could only spend on speakers.
        3. That money was only available for another month.
        4. It was the library’s choice to spend the money the way they did.

        This is not a case of a rich author fleecing a library. This is a case of a library spending money in the manner that the government granting the money directed them to. If Gaiman had turned the engagement down they would have approached another author with the same offer.

      • dculberson says:

        If you have to invent imaginary scenarios to defend your position, then you aren’t defending a very strong position.

        • rastronomicals says:

          “If you have to invent imaginary scenarios to defend your position, then you aren’t defending a very strong position.”

          Actually, I’m pretty sure this is not true. The idea of the thought-experiment as a way to test conclusions and hypotheses goes back a fair way.

          At any rate, I resign my argument. It seems that while people are more than willing to throw down and declare that $11,000 an hour for the CEO of Enron is excessive, the same amount for a science fiction author is just fair game.

          And I guess I’ll just have to be OK with that.

          • Neon Tooth says:

            I think there’s an inherent hypocrisy in Republicans* who care about such trivialities, but are happy spending a trillion+ on wars, and giving away the country’s revenue in the form of corporate welfare, and tax welfare for the wealthy.

            *same can be said about most Democrats too.

  20. JeffF says:

    I do find it an example of something disturbing, the ridiculous inequality in the US. Whether it is tens of thousands of dollars to get a member of the elite to speak at a library for a few hours, or the $700-some thousand dollar a year salary of the new president of the University of Washington.

    The ridiculousness of Matt Dean and his ilk is also disturbing, but really more because the uselessness of such representatives leads to vastly more important problems like the inequality that he is complaining about (though I’m pretty sure he isn’t thinking any deeper than “a librul got gummint money! hur hur”.

  21. PJDK says:

    What I found a bit odd about this whole thing is the donating the money to charity thing.

    Presumably he felt bad for taking so much money from a library and so didn’t want to personally profit from it, but why then give it to another charity, why not just do that gig for free.

    Although there was no need for the congressman to get personal towards any author, I think there is a genuine question over whether it is the best use of limited library funding to spend basically a whole years worth of wages for an ordinary library worker to get one big name appearance.

    • Snig says:

      Because if anyone knew he’d work for free, half of his day would be spent answering the phone saying, “yes, I know you’re a great institution, but I’m really busy this week”. That was the whole point of asking for that much. Putting that price tag on it places appropriate value on his time, and the money does good somewhere else it’s needed.

    • Biglig says:

      Gaiman charged for it because the Library were REQUIRED by state government to spend that money on library speakers that year or else lose it for next year.
      Is that stupid? Yes. But not Gaiman’s fault. Fault of the Library board and of the State govt. for getting themselves in a position where they had to spend 40K ASAP.
      As it is, it seems to me all concerned made the best of a bad job.

  22. Jellodyne says:

    Nobody ever called Jordan a bacon necked jock weasel thief.

  23. alowishus says:

    Pick on Gaiman for making $$? Wow, that’s rich coming from a Republican, who by definition supports wealth by any means. For anyone. Especially defense contractors and weapon manufacturers.

    And I don’t care if Mr. Minnesota apologized. He’s still an imbecilic meathead.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m really not sure the government should be paying anyone $8,000 an hour.

    Additionally, the government shouldn’t be name-calling like a 3rd grade bully.

  25. _Username says:

    Republicans are to any John Ford / Wanye movie… as Liberals are to “Dances with Wolves”

  26. Shart Tsung says:

    I really need to get some of Neil’s prose books, I’ve only read his comics.

  27. Kleinzeit says:

    Spartacus moment:

    I’m a pencil-necked geek.

  28. billstewart says:

    Until governments stop giving their agencies “Use it or Lose it” budget money, they should stop criticizing them for spending the money the way they’re told to*. The people designing budgets that way may not realize that’s how they’re telling them to spend the money, but state budget agencies have never been known for common sense.

    And yes, the library system should probably have gotten a lot more authors for less money each, and had them visiting libraries all year long attracting more patrons, but they still came in under budget for the year and people got to see Neil.

    [*What, your department has never gotten to the end of the year and had $40K left in the capital budget that you spent in a hurry? Or had money that you spent in March because you knew the company would be tightening budgets by September and you wanted to get some stuff before the other departments got it all? You obviously don't work for Corporate America or any government bureaucracy.]

  29. Anonymous says:

    “Here in MN, we’re about to face massive cuts to higher education, health and human services, local governments, etc. But at least MPR managed to get their $3M, and that one Library managed to get one really expensive speaker in before they “lost” “their” money.”

    You should be asking WHY Minnesota is facing those cuts. I’ll tel you why, it’s because that money is being routed upward to rich friends of politicians and corporations.

    Quit telling us that we all have to tighten our belts just like you do. Instead, get out there and start fighting the criminals stealing from all of us, so none of us has to tighten those belts.

  30. Cowicide says:

    Meanwhile the rest of us Europeans are being called Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys by a lone blogger who thinks those of us in Europe are idiots for not celebrating Bin Laden’s death

    Nobody celebrates death better and larger than the USA. We’re number one.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I’m not too shocked to find out that Matt Dean is a Republican. His picture makes him look like a poorly-drawn caricature of a not-very-bright political hack. But that’s just my opinion, just like it’s my opinion that Matt Dean has probably stolen far more than $45,000 from the good citizens of Minnesota. If this sort of blather is what they’re getting for his salary, they’re getting ripped off- I could come up with baseless tripe of a far better quality for less than whatever they’re paying Matt Dean.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Attacks against Gaiman are ridiculous, but I absolutely understand anger with the funding program that created this situation.

    That the library had over 30k and needed to spend it on a speaker in such a short timespan is pretty clearly not ideal, and far from the most efficient use of quite a lot of taxpayer money.

    I’m not against state support of the arts, but in this case, although I’m sure Gaiman is an excellent speaker, I imagine that, even staying within the library system, far more benefit could have been wrung out of that money.

  33. Neon Tooth says:

    Anyway I kind of agree that it’s a little bit obscene that anyone gets that much money for so little time, but that seems to be typical.

  34. DeepNorth says:

    “pencil-necked geek” and a “thief.”

    From what I’ve read, it is “pencil-necked weasel”

  35. Her Honor says:

    This type of juvenile name- calling was best exemplified when, shortly after his election the “Governator” of California called the members of the state legislature “girly men.” Brought back memories of grade school playgrounds and shouting matches among the bullies. Poor example for anyone to call names, especially those who hold the public trust.

  36. VICTOR JIMENEZ says:

    “He thinks I gave the talk wearing a stripy sweater to an audience of people who were there at gunpoint and afterwards took their wallets”

    I love you Neil, make me a baby.

  37. gadgetboy says:

    I find it funny that the House of Representatives in Minnesota uses the Mongolian top-level-domain for it’s email and web site: house.mn.

    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/?chamber=H&id=149919&lvl=L

    .US isn’t good enough?

    • turn_self_off says:

      Do anything US use .US? I thought it was all .COM or .GOV or .MIL, a legacy of the net originating in USA…

  38. ill lich says:

    If Sarah Palin had agreed to speak for an hour (let’s say as an author, as part of the same program), would Dean be upset that she was paid twice what Gaiman was paid? Would that make her twice the thief? In other words, isn’t this all just politics, and nothing to do with robbery at all?

    How is it “thievery” to be paid for your services at fair market value? (And if you don’t think it IS fair market value, then don’t pay it, duh.) Did Dean get upset at what Halliburton charged the US for it’s (often substandard) services in Iraq? (I clearly recall conservatives defending the exorbitant costs as “you get what you pay for”, when often we were getting ripped off.)

  39. mbdrake says:

    Meanwhile the rest of us Europeans are being called Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys by a lone blogger who thinks those of us in Europe are idiots for not celebrating Bin Laden’s death (source: Daily Mail, unfortunately – http://is.gd/sodU3e) – to which I say, “ook”.

    • Jake0748 says:

      Off topic, but – IIRC, the term “Cheese eating surrender monkeys”, was coined by Bart Simpson. And I really don’t believe that most Americans are really concerned about Europeans reactions to the Osama killing.

      On topic – Boy, Dean really picked the wrong guy if he wanted to start a war of words.

      • MooseDesign says:

        ACTUALLY, I believe it was Groundskeeper Willie who delivered les mots juste!

        Glavin!

      • Trevel says:

        You don’t recall correctly — it was Groundkeeper Willie.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rJAw-fuYHk

        The important thing to remember in this story is Step One:

        STEP ONE: A library was given by the government 50K (or some such) to spend on speakers, and now had a single month to spend it in.

        We can argue their choices (Go for a local big name speaker, who has a couple movies based on his books; or perhaps a dozen lesser-known authors that are nevertheless good), but THAT step, that setup is the one that is the source of the problem.

        They could not spend the money on books.
        They could not spend the money on staff.
        If they didn’t spend it, they lost it.

        Would this scenario have been any better if they’d chosen to spend the money on, say, four other authors? For sake of argument, let’s say that two of those four kept the money, one donated it to charity, and one donated it to fund terrorism in the middle east. Ironically, this led to his mother being killed three years later in an attack by the same terrorists. The grief and guilt led him to write a best selling suicide note, before jumping off a building — causing a car accident that made the author who donated the money to charity ten minutes late for a date, causing him to be dumped for the waiter. He gave up on his novel-writing career and started writing emo poetry which inspired a creepy painting on deviant art.

        Would that REALLY have been any better?

      • gizmomathboy says:

        Actually it was Groundskeeper Willy that said it. He was acting as a subsitute teacher for French.

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