Recently in politics Category

the _____ right

I've been trying to come up with the right-wing equivalent of the term ditzy left. The faction I want to target are these vacuous, petulant trolls whose beliefs are completely unmoored from any sort of coherent unifying philosophy and which often, in fact, conflict with actual conservative principles. For example, let's consider the scientific method. There's nothing more conservative than cautiously forming hypotheses, testing them, and incrementally revising them based on the results of the tests. Yet these shrill airheads proclaiming themselves "conservative" are often hostile to the scientific method, because they already know what's true.

Yeah. Real "conservative." I think the word they're actually looking for is "fuckheaded."

Example two: self-proclaimed "conservatives" rammed the health care bill through the House before the nonpartisan OMB could perform its budget/risk analysis.

You can just feel the conservatism emanating from them, can't you?

And so I'm left with coining the disparaging identifier for them. Faux conservative comes to mind, but it's so nonspecific in a way "ditzy" isn't.

Petulant, gun-fetishizing, bigot-fellating intellectual and emotional 12-year olds who couldn't pass a high school civics test borders on being, perhaps, too specific. I need something in between.


I haven't written about the anthem protests because, well, they don't much matter to me. Prior to Colin Kaepernick sitting down, all I really knew about the guy was that he sucked at his job. But hey, if he wants to use his platform to protest police shooting unarmed black men, more power to him. I'm not sure what the exit strategy is—you're going to protest until racial inequities go away?—but that's his problem to hash out, not mine. Whether or not I agree with his chosen medium, he's just exercising his rights. Peaceful protest is as American an ideal as apple pie and cops shooting unarmed black men.

I find the backlash much more concerning than the protests. People shriek about disrespect to the flag, military and war dead, projecting hyperbolic nonsense upon the protesters' clearly explained, very narrow agenda. As soon as I see one person attempt to recast the motives of another, I reflexively ally with the other.

The backlashers make me uncomfortable for several reasons.

  1. They make me defend a simpleton who kisses his own bicep.
  2. They seem to think that acts of patriotism should be compulsory, as if that's not the pathetic opposite of patriotism.
  3. They are stunningly more shrill about this wholly invented controversy than they are about cops shooting very real unarmed men.

there's yer problem

I'm the administrator of a Facebook group for a dog park that I helped create. In five years, this has meant that I've given the group no thought whatsoever. Until last week, that is. I received mail that one user was reporting another's comment.

A man had worn a sidearm to the dog park, and there was a discussion about the legality of this. As is the norm in any discussion about gun laws, people were batshit crazed. Facebook was an explosion of unpleasant pathologies.

Donna, ever reasonable, said that there was no reason to bring a gun to the dog park, for which Amy called her stupid. Donna said that dogs at a dog park jump on people, and that the possibility of the gun going off concerned her. Amy declared that it's anatomically impossible for a dog to cause a gun to go off, and as evidence, she cited the dogs and many guns in her possession. Donna responded with a link to an article about dogs settings guns off. And then in her rebuttal, Amy summed up the entire gun-fetishists movement.

"Oh Donna, just stop reading."

• • •

Yes, I dearly wish I'd taken a screenshot of this glistening golden nugget before deleting the thread.

morons and me

Last weekend I ventured to Minnesota and from there, Green Bay. It's been a rough couple of months, and dammit, I was gonna buy myself some happiness. Wisconsin and LSU, the two tailgatingest schools I've ever visited, were playing one another at Lambeau Field, and that was just the prescription for what ailed me. I bought tickets and a parking pass and told Dirt Glazowski that if he brought the brats, I’d cover everything else. I was going to have fun, if I remembered how.

On the drive to Green Bay, Dirt was in rare form. Never exactly bright, he was now energetically stupid, railing about blacks, immigrants, Hillary Clinton, and blacks again. He sprayed venom. When Colin Kaepernick was mentioned on the radio, that really set Dirt off. Turns out Kaepernick has a Muslim wife and he’s converted to Islam and pledged his loyalty to ISIS.

“Uh, I don’t know anything about anything, but I know bullshit when I smell it,” I said, reaching for my phone. It took two seconds to verify that, well, everything Dirt had declared with such confidence was utter rubbish, fabricated at the ugly fringes of the Internet. That’s when Dirt informed me that Google was biased. “They’re not going to show you the truth!”

It was at this point that I started tabulating how much money I had spent to be there. I got a little misty. Goodbye, money. I loved you very much.

Dirt’s always been a lunk, but all this vitriol was new and decidedly unpleasant. When we returned home, he and his wife, Kiki, held forth for hours about how racist and murderous Black Lives Matter is. There was one moronic assertion after the next, and it made my brain hurt. No one cares about cops’ lives. Or whites’ lives. If a Polish cop is shot, do I get to wear a Polish Lives Matter shirt? Hell no! At this point, I had long since stopped engaging. There is absolutely no point. They are uneducated. They do not read. They zealously embrace, nay, hate-fuck any convenient falsehood that validates whatever their claim was supposed to be. They are demonstrable losers who, having wrecked their lives in utterly preventable ways, are assigning blame to literally anyone else. It is repugnant.

Kiki sneered about Colin Kaepernick’s ISIS wife.

“Oh, that’s made up,” I offered. “He’s not even married. He’s dating a DJ. You can look it up.”

Kiki exploded. In keeping with furious white trash tradition, she went straight to personal attacks. And you know what? Everything she said about me was absolutely accurate. I do think my sources are any better than hers. I do think I’m smarter than her. I do think I’m better than her. The evidence abounds, really, and it has nothing to do with me.

“YOU PROBABLY WANT TO TAKE GOD OUT OF THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TOO,” she snarled, apropos of absolutely nothing. She went straight from Kaepernick to "under God" without even using the clutch.


stupid is as stupid writes

After a few thousand reps of reading college students' writing, I developed muscles I didn't know I had. One skill, long since lost, was the ability to guess students' native tongue through the types of errors they made in English. I surely wish I still had this skill in the Internet age. It would make crafting insults on reddit much easier.

An easier-to-acquire skill was the ability to spot readers. Their syntax and vocabulary are more sophisticated, and they are far better able to articulate a thought without relying on lingual flotsam. The reverse is also true. Non-readers do not have a similar mental database of phrasing upon which they can call. They rely on flotsam. The exact same flotsam. Every one of them.

"I'm sorry, but [declarative statement]," they will write.

This is, of course, not an argument. It's an assertion buttressed with condescension. But Todds do not accept this. They think they just slammed the door on any conceivable opposition. Didn't you see the "I'm sorry?!" Game over! For good measure, they sprinkle insults and glitter like very, just, and worst throughout their assertions. Then they wrap it all up with an exclamation mark or a question tag.

I'm sorry, but the illiterates who do this are retarded! They're just very, very stupid, all right?

These students, sadly, were the crux of my job. I was supposed to teach them to think critically, to argue from evidence, to tailor their rhetoric to their audience. Honestly, I don't know that I succeeded even once. It's like trying to bail out the ocean with a colander. A few kids learned to appease me, but I could feel their eyes rolling. They thought I just didn't get it, and, well, the feeling was more than mutual.

Which brings us to Trump. He is the most spectacular example of this that I have ever seen. Using my lens, look at his tweets, especially six months or more ago, when he wasn't as vetted. His brutally unsophisticated syntax and vocabulary are decidedly those of a non-reader. He famously asserts without attempting to marshal evidence. Any reference to opposition contains an insult ("low ratings CNN," "lightweight Don Lemon," etc.) And oh, those verys, exclamation marks, and tag questions. Their sheer density depresses me.

At 70, he is the most unteachable freshman English student I have ever seen.

There's big goings on in these parts, and I'll write more about them when they're done. Internet weirdos, and all. You can expect the next week to be pretty dull. For your fun, go read some news.

Yeah...maybe not. I've steered clear of writing about Trump and Orlando because, well, I find their unrelenting depressingness to be depressing. But since you asked, I'm solidly against both calamities.

Whenever something like the Orlando shootings unfolds, I cringe and steel myself for the first responders. I don't mean the heroes in uniform. I don't mean the media or the families of victims. I mean the asshats who rush to co-opt the tragedy in support of whatever their dumbass cause is before some other asshat can. Morbidly, I started refreshing my Facebook page, waiting to see the usual suspects' faces change in a conspicuous show of...I don't know. "Helping," I suppose. And this being an election year, the candidates quickly issued statements about how these murders validated their positions, all before the blood dried. So unfathomably cringe-inducing. Conspicuous in their (relative) silence are the gun-fetishists at the NRA. It's certainly not out of taste, so I conclude they started to type "THIS WOULDN'T HAPPEN IF MORE GAYS CARRIED GU—" and then had second thoughts.

reader mail: presidential contest

Longtime Stank troll Marta asks for my presidential pick. I have none, but I do have this observation: is there any doubt that of the five remaining candidates, only Clinton and Kasich could pass a remedial civics test?

cleaning our own homes

The mooching, cheating spore who has derailed Darcy's life is Muslim. Or at least he's an Arab who was raised Muslim. I don't think he's practicing anymore. Regardless, the morning of the Boston marathon bombing, Darcy and I had the following conversation.

She spoke with Grave Importance. "When Cheating Spore heard about it, his first thought was I hope they weren't Muslim."

"Wait. That was his first thought?"

My first thought had been Fuck. This is horrible. My second thought was of my friends in Boston who I knew were watching the marathon.

Noting my offense, Darcy explained. "You have to understand how rough 9/11 was on him in school. Kids were really rude," she said, actually mustering condescension.

"I'm sure, since it appears to have completely destroyed his sense of empathy."

She sighed, exasperated by my self-centeredness, and tried explaining again how Cheating Spore was the real victim of 9/11 and the Boston bombing. It was then that I realized she had become his brainless Apologist-in-Chief.

I let it go. And then I let her go from my life. I barely talk to her anymore. I can watch the intellectual self-mutilation no longer.

• • •

I've thought about that moment a lot lately. In the wake of an alarming amount of police violence toward minorities, the outrage of the nation's police is channeled at Quentin Tarantino for criticizing them. Sure, his comments overreached, but he's not exactly killin' folk. Looking at zeal with which they're attacking Tarantino, I question where that outrage has heretofore been. One would think it might be directed at, say, the fellow cops who are killing civilians.

When a straight white guy says something bigoted, I'm the first to smack him down. As a straight white guy, is that not my job? To keep my own house clean? Other communities cannot act against my own with the same morality authority I can. And I expect no less from them. I can't repudiate Islamic extremists as effectively as Muslims can. With regards to police shootings, my actions don't carry nearly the weight that would thoughtful cops.' On the flip side of the same issue, I can't really be the one to say that Michael Brown isn't the best martyr for that cause. And I can't denounce the bomb-chucking demagogues in the GOP as effectively as the Republicans can.

Perhaps the desire to bitch about other communities would abate if we all stopped bitching and picked up a broom.

The last occurrence of this counter hasn't even scrolled off the page yet.

The problem, of course, is that the reporter and cameraman weren't armed. If think about it, those pussies were asking to be shot.

days since the last mass shooting in america


What easily attainable, feel-good red herring can we go after this time instead of addressing the actual problem?

Edit: He "has Nazi sympathies!" Praise be. You know what to do, airheads. That Nazi flag has got to go, or the gun violence might continue.

competitive sanctimony, part iii

Obama, speaking about racism on Marc Maron's podcast Sunday:

"We're not cured of it ... and it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'nigger' in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination."
Reasonable enough. And the MSN headline this morning?


let us count the problems that need fixin'

So a 21 year old kid who was

  1. indicted for a felony and with a history of
  2. drug abuse,
  3. mental illness, and
  4. published hate speech gets a
  5. .45 handgun
  6. as a birthday gift from
  7. his father,
and the entirety of our focus is on the stupid Confederate flag flying near the South Carolina capitol building. Taking that thing down will surely solve things. And replacing it with a rainbow flag would be a feel-good twofer!

Yep. That's my country. See "competitively sanctimonious," below.

hillary clinton: public health menace


Let's handicap the GOP response.

10:1 "The data showing that vaccines prevent diseases isn't clear."

7:2 "Greedy doctors are just trying to scare up vaccine money."

3:2 "If God had wanted babies to live, He wouldn't have invented whooping cough."

context is everything

On Tuesday, I read this article—okay, I admit, just the first two paragraphs—written by illustrious whackadoodle José Canseco.

Control the People, Not the Guns

By José Canseco

I truly believe, aggressively, that we have the right to bear arms. We should be able to carry guns to protect ourselves. Period.

The funny thing is I don’t own any guns, but I would love to have a few—an Uzi and a street sweeper and a machine gun, maybe. I’d love to be able to carry a 9mm on me in a holster and just walk around. That’d be great. But you can’t in California, the state in which I live. And that’s bogus.

Imagine my surprise when within 24 hours, I see the headline "Jose Canseco tweets pic of hand after blowing off finger while cleaning gun."

You'll have to imagine my surprise, because there was none.

now i ain't saying she a golddigger

The Atlantic proclaimed a couple months back that the whole "men with money/beautiful women" trope is a myth. I snorted then. I snort louder now.

Back when "I work at Microsoft" meant what "I work at Google" does now, I hired a guy into Microsoft. He was a decent, bright, average-looking guy. And so I initiated The Talk. I imparted some hard-learned wisdom.

"You will soon find yourself attracting really beautiful women," I said. He laughed and scoffed. Surely, I was mistaken. "No, I'm being totally serious. The heavens will rain hotties upon you, and they will make you feel like the manliest man in the history of men. Here's a good rule of thumb: if she wouldn't have dated you in high school, keep your PIN to yourself now."

"Okay, sure," he said, right before he torqued himself himself into love with an imbecilic, perpetually bespandexed trollop 15 years his junior.

All these years later in my Pittsburgh loft, I live with the people he and I were then. They're young tech guys. It's not a coincidence that I live here; I want to network with them. They have jobs exactly where I would like to work someday. But this place is expensive. Really expensive. My furnished 1 bedroom flat costs 184% of the mortgage on my waterfront house in Metamuville. I'm not delighted by that, but that's the cost of networking.

More to the point, by definition, everyone here has money.

People with office jobs leave during the day, of course, leaving behind their partners. It is decidedly not an aesthetic cross-section of humanity. It's a modeling academy. I've never seen anything like it. Even college campuses have their share of not-ridiculously-smoking women. But not here. They're insanely hot.

I wonder what it could be, Atlantic? The water?

equal time

I feel bad. I make fun of gun nuts without allowing them so much as an opportunity to comment. That borders distastefully on self-pleasure. In the interests of fairness, I thought I'd publish a representative counterargument to the call for reasonable gun laws.


Be the first person to like this = hope for mankind

Distinguished Stank troll and all-around muckraker Marta asks what I think of the NRA calling Obama a hypocrite for being skeptical about armed guards in classrooms while his own daughters have Secret Service protection.

And with that, the NRA has finally abandoned all pretense of logic and sanity.

Do I really need to diagram the speciousness of their analogy? I will if I must, but I have to think this assertion made even the most ardent gun fetishist wince.

a well regulated militia

I own a handgun. It's for self-defense.

I own it grudgingly. I do not celebrate my patriotic exercise of my second-amendment rights. I own a handgun for one reason: the gun-fetishists at the NRA go to the mat for the right of every drooling whackjob to buy automatic weapons.
Gun control? Yes, please. I'll gladly give mine up if the whackjobs show me how.

There seems to be more sentiment than usual for a reasonable discussion of gun control. I hope that resolve weathers the ravages of the NRA, who will all but nail themselves to the cross in defense of the indefensible. They will whine about Obama's tyranny, about infringement of their rights, about dangerous slippery slopes. And when they do, I hope that the public has the spine to state the obvious: you are not the victims, here.

gun nuts

The police tape in Aurora hadn't yet cured before I'd seen this argument: if more people in that theatre had been carrying concealed weapons, as Colorado law permits, then perhaps this tragedy wouldn't have happened.

What a lovely mental image that shootout is, no? I have to admit to a bit of a thrill from the thought of society's dregs shooting at one another. It's only when I'm between them that the fantasy unravels.

Let's skip all the obvious arguments and cut to the chase: has this "arm everyone and good things will happen" strategy ever once, in all of human history, worked out?


In one corner, we have our dear friends on the AM radio right, insisting as only privileged white people can that racism never has anything to do with anything.

In another corner, we have the Sharptones, insisting as only mind-reading blacks can that racism has everything to do with everything.

In yet another corner, we have the media bleating about whether George Zimmerman "profiled" Trayvon Martin. (Let me go ahead and answer this one: Cops profile. Zimmerman is a wannabe, not a cop. So no.)

And in the fourth corner, alone as ever, we have me. The facts of this case will probably never be fully known, but I don't need to know more than what everyone already agrees upon. Martin was walking through the community, and Zimmerman followed him. Increasingly nervous, Martin told his girlfriend via his cell phone that some weird guy was following him. Then Zimmerman got out of his car to confront Martin.

Did Trayvon Martin then hit Zimmerman in the head? I certainly hope so. I hope he kicked him in the nuts, too. Zimmerman couldn't have seemed more threatening without, well, brandishing a gun.

If someone follows and confronts me like this, I am assuming the absolute worst about his intentions. I will not ask "Excuse me, are you per chance an overzealous member of the local neighborhood watch?" before I hit the guy. I will, to coin a phrase, stand my ground.

In the best possible light, Zimmerman went looking for trouble, found it, and killed an unarmed guy. In the worst light, he's a murderer. Kinda seems like splitting semantic hairs, doesn't it?

pure awesome

So a Minnesota politician who had supported "defending" marriage from gays has been caught straying from her own marriage. Gays have subsequently apologized to her for destroying the institution.

of teabaggers and mebaggers

The Tea Party and 99%ers certainly would not self-identify as similar, but to me there's barely a difference.

I'm in favor of small, fiscally responsible government. Yet I couldn't be less allied with the Tea Party.

I'm in favor of progressive tax rates and, especially, of punishing those who profited from wrecking our economy. Yet the 99%ers repel me.

Why? Because in the name of acquiring numbers, both movements have provided quarter to society's worst dregs. The Tea Party's appeal is utterly nullified by their silent inclusion of bigots and militant nutjobs. The 99%ers' allure is moot because they offer unlimited shrink-wrapped excuses to spoiled, irresponsible whiners.

What's the difference to me? Mere semantics. If you want me to take up your cause, stop legitimizing—and start repudiating—the scum who would use you.

another reason to oppose gay rights

I'd previously thought there was exactly one reason to oppose gay rights: if gays can adopt children, there go the rest of my friends.

I stand corrected.

How annoying is this sentence, lifted from my car insurance statement?

When used in this policy or in any endorsement attached to this policy, the word "spouse" has been replaced with "spouse or party to a registered domestic partnership considered valid under the laws of the state shown in our policy records as your state of residence."

Me: "You fucking drama queens. Having half-rights wasn't good enough for you? Now you have to go and make me parse that crap?"

Mike: "I'm sorry for existing."

Me (wiping tear): "I've waited so long for someone to say that to me."

kordell hussein stewart

This is not a sports post.

2003 - Kordell Stewart was a Steelers quarterback off and on from 1995-2003. He had his moments, including a Pro Bowl year, but more often he was ineffective. Lots of factors contributed to this. He had three offensive systems in three years, for instance, and a revolving door of receivers and tackles around him. And he was simply not a very good quarterback. There are only 12 very good quarterbacks in the world at any given time, and he was not among them. But he had spurts of success, he could be fun to watch, and there was no one on the roster who was remotely as good. I wanted him gone, but I rooted for him.

You would think that last part would go without saying, wouldn't you? Of course I rooted for him. I'm a Steelers fan, after all, and he was the Steelers' quarterback.

It's kind of like how even if you don't care for the President, you root for his success. You're an American, after all.

Kordell was despised by my fellow fans with a venom I'd not seen before. They proclaimed him the worst quarterback in the history of football—mind you, a qb who twice took them to within a game of the Super Bowl. They vandalized his home. They dumped beer on his head. The belittled his intelligence. They fabricated rumors about his sexual orientation. I heard that Kordell was gay every single day for several years. The abuse and slander was unrelenting. And if I piped up to say something obvious like "Well, he's not the worst quarterback in the history of the planet," I too was vilified. Why, look, everyone—that moron John is proclaiming that moron Kordell a future Hall of Famer! John has a crush on his boyfriend Kordell!

I am not exaggerating.

"What is this?" I wondered. He wasn't my favorite player in the world, but these people were relentlessly trying to 1) inspire his suicide and 2) vivisect anyone who thought #1 was a little harsh. They were hysterical, incapable of reason, brazenly making shit up. They hated him for more reasons than his interception:touchdown ratio. And they hated me for not hating him.

I came to the extremely grudging conclusion that Kordell's great sin wasn't mediocrity, but that he was a black quarterback. I'm just about the last guy to attribute motivations to racism, but his defamers wore me down with their deaf hysteria. It's all they left me to believe. No other explanation fit the facts.

2010 - I've had a familiar feeling lately. It's not welcome.

In retrospect, Kordell had it easy. He was just "gay." Now he'd be the Socialist Nazi Muslim Antichrist with a forged birth certificate who's hellbent on eradicating our freedoms.

trailing the dead candidate by 14%

I've felt like a loser at times, sometimes colossally, but how must John Stammreich be feeling this morning?

ginny tonic

In the week since I read about Clarence Thomas' wife for the first time, she is now in the news again, offering Anita Hill the "olive branch" of demanding an apology from her.

In unrelated news, I'm offering Al Qaeda the olive branch of them chugging cyanide-flavored Kool Aid.

In response to my original post, several of you wrote "they're simply nuts," which, okay, is a viable explanation. But it also occurs to me that a week ago, I'd never known nor cared that Clarence Thomas was married. Now his wife is doing a media tour and picking fights. This isn't mere insanity. This is calculated attention-whoring. But why?

looney tunes

Yesterday I read about Clarence Thomas' wife.

I pause to let you contemplate just how much I didn't want to leave the hot tub if I read an article about Clarence Thomas' wife.

She's a Tea Party enthusiast. Excerpt:

Thomas bantered with Hannity about the "tyranny" President Barack Obama and his party are inflicting on the country. Then Thomas, who had recently launched a nonprofit called Liberty Central, sounded a dire warning. "We are in a fight for our country's life," she said. "We've all got to do whatever we can." Channeling Tea Party rhetoric, she called on conservative voters to give money, sign petitions, and, in November, overthrow those who are turning "citizens" into "subjects."

It was at this point that I set the magazine down and considered what she'd said. I carefully deconstructed her arguments into syllogisms. And there was no escaping it: I have no idea what these people are talking about.

It isn't for lack of trying. When left-wing looney tunes called Bush a "Nazi," I'd figured it was because under his administration, civil liberties were curtailed and countries were invaded. Theirs was a hyperbolic charge fueled by contempt, but at least there was a broken stub of a nail on which I could hang some logic.

Obama a tyrant? Me his subject? Huh? I'm at a loss. I look at his policies, and I look at their charges, and I cannot see a connection, not even if I look through the lens of paranoid schizophrenia. When my schizophrenic sister makes a wild accusation, after all, I can still understand her underlying logic.

But Tea Partiers? Their logic is sliding down the wall and lying in a heap on my floor.

imbecile, imbecile, imbecile

I've avoided the whole Dr. Laura thing. What more really needs to be said? Yet several people have written me, seemingly presuming I'm going to be on her side.

I suppose this is because I've ranted about young blacks correcting me about what white people think? That's my best guess. I fail to connect the dots, however. There's no mistaking what Dr. Laura thinks. She said it on the bloody radio. Have at her.

To the round of condemnations, I have little original to add. I find it incredibly disingenuous that anyone would use the n-word on the radio and claim surprise at the subsequent uproar. This intellectual leap would require that we believe Dr. Laura is not a bigot or shameless race-baiter, but an imbecile. But apparently that's the impression she'd prefer. Okay. I guess I can indulge her this wish.

And this is what now passes for conservative discourse? Offend, provoke, and claim victimhood? Really?

When I set out last week to find dueling images of W. and Obama being cast as Hitler, I knew, of course, that I would find many. This is what humans do. When melodramatic slander (where we are victims, yet) is possible, mere disagreement simply will not suffice.

What I wasn't expecting was to find the exact same Hitler image retouched to slander both presidents. Plagiarized ad hominem—a more pathetic statement about the state of modern conversation, I cannot conjure.

Do you suppose that in Hitler's day, people felt they had to compare him to anyone else in order to make their point?


Longtime readers will recall how amused I am by misspelled insults of others' intelligence. Thank you, Jeebus, for the Tea Party.



A third irony: I actually kinda hate Nancy Pelosi. You know "you're" argument is persuasive indeed when people make fun of you making fun of someone they hate.

Tons more here.

moron taxonomy
stupid church signs
super bowl xl officiating
percy chronicles

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