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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Christmas isn't over yet!

Waiting for Epiphany For everyone still caught up in the (secular manufactured, commercial) "holiday spirit" here's A Wonderful Life—in 30 seconds, with bunnies. (HT: Sean Gleeson) For the rest of us, who might be quite willing to celebrate Christmas all the way through to Epiphany (or with the Orthodox church, on January 7 :-), why not watch a video of The Passion of the Christ? After all, that's what Christmas is really all about. On second thought, it'd be best if both classes of folk watched both productions. The contrast would do us all some good.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Typical LLM Mass Media Podperson

The Strib's Nick Coleman needs his meds moderated I read this Nick Coleman article (referred by Instapundit) attacking the Powerline bloggers. Then I read Hindrocket's response at Powerline. Strange... although I can't say the first portion of the following (I'm not a lawyer), I had almost exactly the same thought: "It's been a long time since I went to law school, but I think there is a technical term for journalists who make charges that they know to be untrue." Of course, the technical term is "bankrupt and jobless."

Monday, December 27, 2004

Happy Friday 13!

April 13, 2029 might be a BIG day, indeed While this isn't news to anyone who's been connected over the last week or so, there's a moderately large (1,300 meters across) asteroid that's scheduled for NEA (Near Earth Approach) for 04/13/2029. In fact, latest calculations give it about a 1/37 chance of actually hitting Earth. That's upgraded from an early 1/245 chance. Hey, not to sweat it. It's certainly no planet-buster (though regional devastation if it should hit—wherever it hits, IF it hits—should be pretty total... No problem. After all, Social Security will be belly up by then and all the elderly living in cardboard boxes under bridges willl welcome a Krakatoa-level catastrophe! Happy Friday 13th!

Is this it?

Can this be a candidate for "Worst Christmas Song Ever"?
Yeh, I'm reproducing all the lyrics to the song, "SantaClaus Got Stuck in my Chimney" below. Who cares about copyright on something this horrible, anyway? Thankfully forgotten... until its mention at Powerline [curse you, Big Trunk!]. [heh]
SANTA CLAUS GOT STUCK IN MY CHIMNEY (William D. Hardy / Billy Moore Jr.) Ella Fitzgerald - 1960 Lisa Nicole Carson - 2000 Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney, Stuck in my chimney, stuck in the chimney Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney When he came last year There he was in middle of the chimney Roly-poly, fat and round There he was in middle of the chimney Not quite up and not quite down Santa please come back to my chimney Back to my chimney, back Santa please come back to my chimney You can come back here. Cause baby, made a brand new chimney Just for you this year! Santa, come on back!
Yeh, I'd like to be able to say that they just don't write lyrics that bad any more, but then I have a radio, so I know better...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

"What will we do tonight, Pinky?"

What do these have in common: eugenics, pebble bed reactors and 40 million surplus males... China in the 2020 "taking over the world"? See this article about China's eugenics program and its implcations for the future. The goal? Eliminate as many genetic defects as possible from the population via draconian measures that include sterilzation, abortion and infanticide. A side effect? By the year 2020, China may have as many as 40 million "surplus" young men available for use in military adventures... Oh, and pebble bed reactors? By that same year, China (with the aid of U.S. companies!) intends to have as many as 200 pebble bed reactors. The result? A projected power production sufficient for its own use and power for sale in amounts perhaps nearly equal to the current total world electrical power production. With these in place, what then of the vaunted productivity, economic and military power of the U.S.? Sleep well. Of course your children have nothing to be concerned about... (link to China/eugenics article via Chaos Manor.)

The Incomprehensible Weirdness of the Universe

Where do lost socks go? It's one of those paradoxes of the universe. One of God's best jokes on humankind... I've spent the last few months, in between bouts of plastering, painting, building, etc., throwing out boxes and bags and more boxes and bags of accumulated stuff. The heck with garage sales and taking to some collection center or whatnot, I've just been savagely purging stuff. Now, here's the paradox: we have less room for stuff tha n before I began "savagely purging" stuff. Now, where once two of the rooms downstairs were relatively free of stuff and could be used for, well, living in, there is almost no room to walk because boxes and boxes of other stuff have drifted out into the open and are now crowding out any human use of those rooms. Upstairs is just as bad. As soon as an empty space is created, twice as much stuff creeps in under cover of darkness to crowd out human use of space. What's going on here? You know, the really weird thing is that even as stuff creeps out of hiding places in some alternate universe to doubly crowd any space cleared of formerly-occupying stuff, not one lost sock has returned! Go figure that one...

Ambivalence #2

"Torn between two lovers... " It's a big deal this year, apparently. Saying "Merry Christmas" has become a sort of battle cry for some who are simply fed up with Christian-bashing associated with tearing down crêches, deleting Christmas carols from kids' school programs, and the bland "Happy Holidays" now being taken up as an "in your face" insult of the LLMB toward all things Christian about Christmas. OTOH, whenever I hear "Merry Christmas" (or "have a nice day" for that matter), a small part of me wants to say, "Says who? You're not the boss of me!" [heh] For the gripping hand, see today's post on Whisling in the Light

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

10 More Reasons...

...why Rummy is, uh, rummy Sean Gleason has the list. My fav of Gleeson's "...Reasons to Hate Rumsfeld"?
He has had most of his clothing outfitted with "buttons" and "zippers" to make dressing and undressing almost effortless.
Gleeson: very funny guy. But do not take my word on it. Check it out yourself.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Kiss an Engineer

Engineering a Christmas Miracle Linked from Instapundit (I wonder why? :-), this article by Glenn Reynolds at Tech Central Station extols the renewal of Christmas civility brought to us, well, let him say it:
...with online shopping picking up some of the slack, and in the process relieving the crowds, congestion, and frustration associated with traditional retail Christmases, old-fashioned Christmas shopping might actually become pleasant again, in a way it hasn't been in decades -- all thanks to the Internet. Now there's a Christmas miracle. Brought to you not by elves, but by the people responsible for most of the miracles in our lives: Engineers!
(Glenn, for those who are still unaware of it, is a blogophere giant. His Instapundit blog is a daily must-read. Oh, no wonder his article is linked from Instapundit... [heh, heh] Yeh, I'm not exactly giving him a hat tip for linking his own article. :-)

Artificial Life?

Yeh? Well, get your own dirt Instapundit links a story about researchers who are making "progress toward artificial life"—what was once called "creating life in a test tube." However, key info from the article reveals that they are close to building an "erector set" version of life, not even approaching creation at all:
The soft cell walls are made of fat molecules taken from egg white. The cell contents are an extract of the common gut bug E. coli, stripped of all its genetic material. This essence of life contains ready-made much of the biological machinery needed to make proteins; the researchers also added an enzyme from a virus to allow the vesicle to translate DNA code. When they added genes, the cell fluid started to make proteins, just like a normal cell would.
Yeh, well, if they want to create a lil life on their own, they ought to get their own dirt first. This is more akin to someone being proud of baking cookies they bought at WallyWorld. Sure, they opened the package and put 'em in the cookie jar. Big whoopie.

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Sheer Brilliance of Loony Left Moonbattery

New York's 31 Electors fail to cast votes for John F. Kerry As amazingly stupid as it reveals the brilliant LLMs of new York to be, it's true: every stinking last one of New York's electors failed to cast their votes for the person they were pledged to vote for. Don't get me wrong: none of them defected to Bush, and all of them, apparently, voted for The Prancing Pony for Veep. But none of them cast their votes for John F. Kerry!! Even I had difficulty believing it. See the official document to which each of these vaccuum-headed loons set their signatures.

Top 20 annoying liberals

A thinking man's "hit list"—counting down the top 20 liberal hits John Hawkins at Right Wing News has his list of the 20 most annoying liberals in the U.S. up. A sample, from #17:
"Listening to [Jimmy] Carter's advice about how to run the country is like listening to Bill Clinton explain how to be faithful to your wife: nobody buys it, nobody wants to hear it, but they nod along because he used to be the President and they have to show some respect no matter how annoyed they are."
A tad snarky? Yeh, but spot on, for all that. Oh, you want another excerpt? Well, who am I to deny you one of this life's wholesome pleasures? Here's a quote at the linked post from #6, Chris "Loudmouth Liberal Lemming" Matthews: "I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel." Sure, you do, Chris. Unfortunately, even Chris Matthews knows that if he challenged someone to a duel , they'd get to pick the weapons. Hmmm, how about "Wit at 50 paces"? It wouldn't be fair, of course. In a duel of wits, Matthews wold be totally unarmed. Now, if it were a screaming match... (h.t. Powerline)

"Over-educated"?

A brief comment, since no one's asked, about my bio claim to being "over-educated". Think of me as a highly trained monkey, treading water as best I can in the ocean of theology, the sea of philosphy, the lake of science, the doggie bowl of popular culture and the cesspool of politics and Mass Media. That's quite a list of accomplishments even for a multiple personality monkey "educated" far beyond his native intelligence.

Watch My Head Spin

A real life tort law question OK, so a guy stopped for a sobriety test is killed by another driver who turns out to be drunk as a skunk. A tangled web of liability, indeed... (h.t. Instapundit)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: banned in Decatur* Today, my wife, my home-from-college son and I went to a movie. A Series of Unfortunate Events. Neither by son nor I were familiar with the books the movie is based on by "Lemony Snicket" (Daniel Handler). My wife's an elementary/jr hi librarian, though, and has read/reviewed the books. I went primarily just to go to the flick with her. Our son? Well, he's a good guy. :-) I have to tell you, though, we all loved the flick. Of the movies I've seen i n the last year—in theaters and on video—I'd rank it easily in the top 5. Surprised me. Imagine, if you would, a kind of Gothic "Boxcar Children" (and if you don't know who the Boxcar Children were, shame on you. Look them up and read. :-) First, the good. The children. As I said, I haven't read the books, but I cannot imagine better casting of the children. (My wife agrees, and you'll recall she has read at least some of the books). Each of them were gems, and the twins who played the youngest child, Sunny, actually had me believing the subtitles that appeared over their baby talk. The staging, direction, sets, costumes: all were wonderful. And the rest of the casting? With one small exception, among the primary and secondary players, unbelievably great. Billy Connolly and Meryl Streep were particularly delicious in their respective roles. The only exception to great casting in the primary and secondary roles was Cedric the Entertainer as the detective. Completely unmemorable. Tertiary actors? Competent. (And a cameo by Dustin Hoffman was slightly fun.) Oh, and casting Jude Law as Lemony Snickett narrating the tale? Not as bad as I had feared. At least he was barely seen (and then not readily recognizable), and his voice was only an occasional distraction. The bad? Well the plot, like the Harry Potter books and movies, was utterly predictable. It just goes with the genre. Kids books, no matter how they attempt to be surprising, are almost never anything but predictable and formulaic. No matter. When you relate to the story within its own genre, the predictability disappears as a problem. An underlyinmg theme is a problem, and I might most succinctly deal with it by contrasting it with an underlying theme found in a situationally similar set of books already referred to. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner featured a destitute family of orphaned children who set up household on their own in an abandoned boxcar. The underlying theme was one of overcoming great difficulty (similarly to "Lemony Snickett's" Baudelaire children), but often with the (usually) anonymous help of adults who admired their "pluck" and self-sufficiency. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, without exception, all the adults are stupid, dense, fearful, incompetent or evil. Some are well-intentioned, but the well-intentioned adults are all stupid, dense, fearful or incompetent—and all of them pay not one bit of attention to the children, who are all brighter and more competent than they. It's this silly Rouseau-ian view of children and adults that, of course,appeals strongly to kids, but which does nothing to aid in encouraging kids (or adults!) to mature. The really bad? On this, the third day of its release, there was only a house of 17 viewing. Counting us. Not good. That aside, great flick. Oh, the ugly? Jim Carrey, of course. Finally a role he seems made for: the evil, though thoroughly incompetent, Count Olaf. Carrey is type cast as a sock puppet of evil incarnate, and he carries the role as only a sock puppet of evil incarnate could. Of course, that his perfect role is as the paper cutout of an evil villain in a series of children's books pretty much says it all about this sock puppet of an "actor". I could wax prolix about the title graphics, the music, etc.(all terrific), but why not just go see it yourself? *OK, it's the Lemony Snicket books that've been banned in Decatur, Georgia.

Ambivalence

Miracle in Maryville [Yeh, strictly speaking, the story isn't in Maryville, but the line scans better than "Miracle in Skidmore".] This story is all over the news. Little Victoria Jo Stinnett was "from [her] mother's womb/Untimely ripp'd"* and will never see her mother, Bobbie Jo, because her mother was strangled to death by a monster. (A monster who, strangely, continues to draw breath... ) Joyous occasion, indeed, that she be reunited with her father. The ambivalence? Noted above: That her kidnapper, the murderer of her mother, hasn't already been converted to a rotting corpse, hanging from a pole and serving as target practice for every passing kid with a .22, her soul now serving a sentence of eternity in hell. But at least Victoria Jo Stinnett lives and has a father. 1/2 of a Happy Dance... (And, of course, would have been an over-the-top Happy dance if Bobbie Jo had also siurvived. Better yet if she had been "armed and dangerous"—dangerous to Lisa M. Montgomery, the monster who ought to have died, instead of Bobbie Jo... ) Little Victoria jo will never know her mother's arms, her mother's voice, her mother's love. But she will live and have her father, and in this marred, sinful world, that must be miracle enough. *Apologies to The Bard for corrupting the famous line from Act 5, Scene 8 of The Scottish Play...

Sunday Sermon

Miss hearing good Advent sermons? Try this Be sure and check Donald Sensing's Sunday Sermon, tomorrow, for today's Advent sermon. Today's the fourth Sunday of Advent. His last three Advent sermons have been worth reading. It's good to find someone who both knows how to preach and has a sense of wonder about the Incarnation. I hope he posts his fifth Advent sermon (for Christmas Eve) a little early. It'd be nice to use it with family.

Offended?

We Red Staters can get offended, too Dave Oliveria, writing in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho's Spokesman-Review is offended by easily-offended blue staters, among other things. Excerpt:
"...I'm offended that Dan Rather wasn't fired as the CBS news anchor after his bald-faced attempt to smear the president with bogus documents. By "I support the troops, but I'm opposed to the war." By hard-lefties, like cartoonist Ted Rall, who use racial terms and stereotypes to attack Condi Rice and get away with it...."
Just read it.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I love these little Christmas tree ornaments

No, I am not blogging in my pajamas I don't wear any. Strange thing. (Did I already post about this? Well, too bad if I did. I'm too lazy to go and check.) After all these years, I may have finally found the solution to the problem, Christmas Tree+ Cats=Disaster Waiting to Happen. I found these neat little Christmas tree decorations at Dollar General. Little mechanical thingies that the cats apparently don't like and, with the addition of a string of habanero peppers, strung like popcorn or cranberries, have served to keep them away from the tree. Try it. I think you'll find that these little Christmas tree decorations (for some strange reason they are called "mouse traps") really are disliked by felines...

Easily Amused

"The Things We Do for Love..." Ya know me, ya know I'm cheap. Yep. Way beyond frugal. Recent remodeling efforts are a good example: a large—no, LARGE—portion of the materials have come from, well, junk piles, dumpsters, etc. Amazing the amount of very good, high-quality materials people toss out just because something does not work as originally designed. Good parts. Every single one of the computers on our network at home are combinations of bits and pieces of cast-off computers (with the rare highly-discounted part bought on closeout, etc.). So, it should come as no surprise that yesterday, thinking of animal crackers and almost simultaneously seeing an off-brand bag really cheap I picked up the off-brand bag and brought it home with me (after reluctantly paying for it. It's not the cost of the product; it's the sales tax that gripes me. :-) Well, in spite of the fact that I have very much liked other offerings from the same off-brand food packager, these turned out to be a little strange. First, taste. Not bad, just not to my taste for animal crackers. So, I'll eat 'em anyway. (Dunk 'em in coffee. That's the trick.) But the appearance... College son, home for the holidays, holding up an animal cracker: "Dad, what's this supposed to be?" "Son, they're not animal crackers; they're animal turd crackers. Just try one."

Friday, December 17, 2004

"When a stupid man does something he knows is wrong... "

"When a stupid man does something he knows is wrong, he always insists that it is his duty."—the Centurion in Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. Ample evidence of this can be found nearly every time a "public school" administrator opens its mouth (yes, I said "its").
"Take the recent case of Chloe Smith, 14, an eighth-grader in Mustang kicked out of school after drugs were found in her locker. Smith wasn’t in possession of marijuana or cocaine, but prescription hormones she takes for a chronic condition, polycystic ovarian disease."
That's the lede in a story in The Enid News about the magisterial idiots (apologies to common idiots everywhere) running amok in the Mustang, OK "public school" (AKA "prison for kids") system. No further information needed. No thinking person (or person capable of thought) need even consider that the school "has a policy" that makes having a prescription medication requisite for a person's ongoing health and well-being punishable by expulsion. Some administrator with lower intelligence than a rock made the stupid rule and another administrator, no doubt with even less intelligence, decided to enforce it. To call such persons idiots is an insult to idiocy. The girls' parents ought to sue the pants off 'em (and each and every scholl board member, no matter what shield laws there may be) for endangering the girl's health. And afterwards, their rotting corpses should be hung from poles outside the school as a reminder to future administrators to either get a clue or a productive job. (Oh, you noticed I left out the part about angry mob, pitchforks, torches, etc? Yeh. Didn't want to offend the sensibilities—such as they might be—of thesupremely idiotic nannies that comprise the population of busybody administrators tasked with making "public education" a complete and abject failure... as education, that is. As indoctrination against learning, it's a remarkable success.) (Thx to James Taranto for the link to the story that spurred this mini-rant.)

Building woes

Or rather, re-habbing woes. A simple lil job turned into an engineering-on-the-fly exercise in frustration, head-whacking and, finally, semi-triumph. Easy job: take the bathroom medicine cabinet that's been attached to the wall since forever and place it in the wall. Simple, really. I really think I ought to turn the use of my electronic studfinder over to my wife, though. It seems to go haywire when I use it (too much stud for it? [heh]) Marked out position between two studs, foolishly based on sudfinder's report, and went to town with my drywall knife. [sigh] Oh. Well. Took the mirrored door off existing medicine chest. Cut up some 1x4 to make framing, shelves, etc. Other scrap lumber, some screws, and one saw-dusty, drywall-dusty bathroom later, a nearly finished (except for a lil trim), a functional, moderately attractive (well, what was there befoere was plain flat ugly) medicine chest (mostly) flush with the wall, ready to paint, etc. But that darned studfinder. All those false positives whenever I let it get too close to me... Now, back to the real finish job. As Granddaddy always said, the job's not done til you clean up the mess. Next, of course, finish re-finishing the walls, etc. Blogging? I ain't got time for no stinking blogging...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A Failing Grade--well, duh.

Walter Williams has an easy job. He's busy dishing dirt on American "education" in his two most recent columns. Here's a sample from the latest:
...Recently released findings of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranked U.S. high school students 24th out of 29 countries. American 15-year-olds demonstrate less math proficiency than their counterparts in Hungary and the Slovak Republic. With those findings, we shouldn't be surprised by a recent U.S. Department of Education study finding that nearly half of all college students must take remedial courses in math and reading. According to National Center for Education Statistics, in 2000 close to 80 percent of colleges offered remedial services...
.Gee. It's almost like stealing pencils from a blind man's tin cup. In the land of the half wit (American "Public Education" or, as I prefer to call it, Prison for Kids), any wit at all is an unfair advantage... Keep in mind that the lowest common denominator in government schools is the administrators, who regularly rank below the teachers they supervise in intellectual achievement (heck, in intelligence) and such measures as GRE test scores. No wonder administrators place roadblock after roadblock in teachers' way: they are just plain flat too stupid (as a class) to be able to do anything else. The only people who have strong influence upon what is taught who are demonstrably more stupid than administrators are politicians and Mass Media Podpeople.

Online Shopping for Gifts

Michelle Malkin issues this warning to rhose considering Amazon.com for their Christmas shopping. Glenn Reynolds comments on another not-so-wonderful gift-giving "opportunity." I'll include the link for the truly sick among my readers (well, "reader," more like :-), but I'll describe the object and comment as well, so you don't absolutely have to click on the link to the "gift".
YEP, as my column yesterday suggests, you can take care of all your holiday, um, needs online. I don't think that the "used or refurbished" model should sell very well, though. . . . Eew.
Yeh, it's a "personal" vibrator... right. That kind. The truly troubling thing about the article wasn't the link
on the Amazon.com page to "two used or refurbished" examples of the article (as Glenn said, Eew!) but the link that reads, "Add to Wedding Registry." No further comment needed. [Update: added the Michelle Malkin link referred to but forgotten when originally posted. 12/20/04]

Opposing Views

OK, it's time I dealt with a serious issue, for once. Alchohol consumption. Preferably beer. On one side we have (the fictional) Dean Woermer saying in "Animal House" (1978), "Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." OTOH, Cliff (a slightly less fictional character [heh] ) outlined the Buffalo Theory of Alchohol Consumption" on a "Cheer's" episode pretty much thusly:
"Well you see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive drinking of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers." (Thx to DNW for the Buffalo Theory.)
Well, there you have it. The arguments for and against alchohol consumption. Diametrically opposed, neither one seems compelling. I fear the controversy is with us forever, given the chasm that gapes between these two intellectual giants' positions and the near inmpossibility that we lesser mortals can reconcile the stances of these two great authorities on the effects of booze, glorious booze, hot sausage and mustard, While we're in the mood... Sorry. That's another story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Christmas Tips #2

This parody is simply a comment on the complete nonsense that any idea of teaching one single solitary thing to the scatterbrained inmates of our government-run Prisons for Kids(TM) at this time of year is folly indeed. Based on a secular Christmas song you know well, It's The Sap-Sappiest Time of the Year is a fair characterization of the "inmates running the prison" situation that mostly prevails in our government-run Prisons for Kids(TM).as Christmas vacation approaches.

Christmas Tips, etc. #1

This, via email, from DNW: Holiday Eating tips 1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas! 3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. 8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" A link to a commiseration with folks who work as guards at our nations' Prisons for Kids (government schools, also disingenuously known as "Public Schools") who suffer enormopusly at this time of year will follow, Real. Soon. Now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Mineta and his morons...

Over on Jerry Pournelle's Current Mail page, Greg Cochran comments,
"Norman Mineta is good for something: he serves as an existence proof. If an unquenchable desire for freedom burned in every human breast, he wouldn't exist. We'd already have torn him to pieces."
[heh] "...an existence proof..."

Oh, Puke

Where do they come from, these talking heads, these MMPs? Arrrgh! I have avoided commenting on the Scott Peterson trial. Oh! How I have avoided it! But now, the verdict is in. The jury's penalty decision has been rendered. I can now dispense with passive voice construction. He's a murderer, for heaven's sake! What in the world do these talking heads mean babbling about, "Is he the kind of man who should not be allowed to live?" as they deconstruct the jurors' deliberation and decision? It's not about "what kind of man" Scott Peterson is. It's about what Scott Peterson has done. The only civilized thing to do with murderers is to execute them. Any and all of them. Life in prison is not civilized. Only removing them from the genepool, from any possibility of further "infecting" society with their evil permanently, completely and absolutely is civilized. [sheesh!] He's a murderer. For heaven's sake, get his worthless carcass off this planet! (OK, expect a rant in future about our "criminal" justice system in general sometime Real. Soon, Now.)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Classic Red Enchilladas—with a twist...

I've been threatening the voices in my head with posting a few recipes for lazy cooks who nevertheless like to eat well. OK, time to make good on that threat. here's number one: Classic Red Enchiladas—with a twist Ok, so not-so-classic. The ingredients are authentic, but the preparation is strictly “fast food” utilitarian. The biggest change? No rolled enchiladas in this puppy. Here's how it goes... Red Enchilada Sauce (Makes 16 oz.—give or take) 8-10 dried Anaheim peppers (actually, I tend to use more). Clean the seeds out for merely "sorta-hot". Leave the seeds in for “Yeh, I can feel that” spiciness. Tear the peppers up into pieces and then either a.) Use an electric coffee grinder to powder the chiles to a fine powder and add boiling water to make 2 cups liquid. Blend in blender. Set aside and let it come together for a little bit. (My preferred "quick sauce" method) OR b.) Place the pepper pieces in a sauce pan and cover with boiling water. Place a saucer (or whatever works) on top of the peppers to hold them submerged under the water and then leave them all day soaking. Remove the peppers from the water, place them in a blender with enough water to make 2 cups and blend. If you absolutely NEED a thicker and/or milder sauce, use a little corn flour in the blending stage to thicken/whimp out the sauce. Try to keep the corn meal down to less than 1/4 C for each 2 C water, otherwise it'll really begin to taste "corny". (Only have corn meal? Put a little in your coffe grinder and make corn flour out of it. Don't have a coffee grinder? Get one! :-) OK, that is all there is to real Red Enchilada Sauce. Here's the rest of the dish: Preparation In a 9x12 baking dish, LAYER (in the following order—tortillas, sauce, etc.) 24-30 corn tortillas Red Enchilada Sauce (Yeh, make your own. The stuff in cans stinks.) 2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Jack/Cheddar mix. One YELLOW onion, chopped. (Need milder onion? Chop it the day before and store it in a plastic bag in the fridge to "sweeten") The top layer should be covered in sauce and cheese only—no onion. Bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes. Check it at 30 minutes. Different timing/oven temps result in different textures. Play with that a lil to suit yourself. I generally use 6 tortillas per layer in an overlapping 2X2X2 pattern and fill in the edges with torn tortillas so that I end up with 4 layers. Play with it. Find a layer/sauce/cheese mix that suits you. I like to serve squares cut from the result topped with sour cream and shredded lettuce. Add a few sliced black olives for flavor and color or some salsa for a little more pep. A side of “Spanish” rice and one of refried beans make for a pretty well-rounded meal. If you want meat, hash something together, but DON'T put meat in these enchilladas! Easy “Spanish” rice: Easiest? Just substitute your favorite salsa for part of the water when making a pan of rice. (Another time, I'll post my fav fast salsa recipes.) Easy—and fast— Refried beans: OK, use canned refried beans. Go ahead. But at least add some,—no, not some: a lot!—cumin to them while they are warming up. :-) Better? Here's where you can add some meat to the menu: add some chorizo to the beans. Great cumin flavor and a lil meat all at once.

A Lesson in Natural Selection

James Taranto of "Best of the Web" posts an example of just how natural selection works:
"Longtime wetlands advocate" Jonathan Aurthur, 56, committed suicide last month by jumping off a cliff, a Los Angeles Times obituary reports. The family had a tragic history of mental illness; in 1996 Aurthur's 23-year-old son, Charley, killed himself by jumping off an overpass into freeway traffic. But the Times suggests the motive for the elder Aurthur's suicide was partly political: "Friends said [he] was despondent over mounting debt, his son's suicide and the reelection of President Bush."
 An argument for evolution in action. And a  candidate for the Darwin Awards, I'm sure.

File Photo of a "concientious objector"

Sharp as a Marble has this photo of Pablo Paredes.

Oh, so very wrong...

Posted by Hello

"...let me count the ways..."

"The Madame Tussaud's museum revealed that a controversial waxwork nativity scene starring David and Victoria Beckham, as holy couple Mary and Joseph, has been mauled in an attack.(AFP/Jim Watson)" This is so wrong, on so many levels, that I don't know where to start... OK, I'll just hit the high spots, cos I'm waiting on a call so I can spend some money we didn't expect to (but are glad to spend and glad we are able to spend, even so). It'll make a low-level distraction. First, traveling backwards through the news, the lame brain who beat up the waxworks figures of the Beckhams has good taste but lousy morality. Those figures were/are someone else's property and he (I assume the attacker/defacer was a he) had no right to deface them. Lousy morality? Yes, because theft and destruction of others' property is a moral issue. Next: even on a merely aesthetic level, the nativity featuring the Beckhams as Mary and Joseph, Samuel jackson as a shepherd and Blair, Bush and some guy I don't recognize but am told is a muckey-muck in Britain is just about as tasteless and stupid as I've seen (in about the same category as the guy who protested the "Parade of Lights" in Denver with a "baby Jesus" with a paper tear oozing out of one eye and "It's My party and I'll Cry if I Want to" playing in the background--yech!) I'll post a close-up pic later, but take my word, the costuming alone is just lame-brain stupid.... No, "stoopid". Let's leave aside for now the use of celebrity visages in the portrayal of the scene (although there is some fodder there). Imagine: first century Jews wearing pierced earrings. Just think on that one for a second. Mary and Joseph were chosen, we are told, because of their "righteousness" etc. According to their traditions and law, the wearing of earrings was for slaves, alone, and was forbidden to practicing Jews. OK, a "stoopid" slip by sub-literates, there. But what is David beckham, as Joseph, doing wearing not one, but TWO crosses as jewelry?!? The cross, as an item of jewelry, gained usage only after the death, burial and ressurection of the newly born child the nativity purports to represent... Stoopid sub-literacy, again. I'd continue, but such stupidity is enough to prompt me to observe that although the doof who defaced others' property was wrong, the property defaced was already so flawed as to be defaced in its very creation. [sigh] (OK, I will admit that Kylie Minogue as the annunciatory angel is at least decent eye candy... :-)

Dioxin Not Needed

Sean Gleeson has a pic of Mickey Moore-on looking as though he had been poisoned with dioxin a la Yurichenko. Sadly, such is not the case, and Gleeson avers that the disfiguration seemed to have been bean dip. I demurred with:
Bean dip? I think not. 2 possibilities: 1.) Pic #2 makes me think of what a s**t-eating dog might look like were it to start out as ugly as Mickey Moore-on. 2.) Think: reverse peristalsis. Of the two, I think the most likely is the second, given what Moore-on so frequently spews.
Notice my deference to unknown sensibilities. I have no aversion to writing the word "shit" on my own blog, as I view it as a perfectly good and useful, though perhapos vulgar, word. See my defense of vulgarity, below and elsewhere. But "reverse peristalsis" evokes a far more disgusting image than simply "shit-eating dog." It's in the nature of dogs to be carcophages (indeed, for dogs it is frequently a survival trait), but spewing shit forth from the mouth, as Mickey Moore-on does almost every time he opens his for anything other than stuffing with more fois gras, is about as repulsive an image as I can conjure... And it's simply normative behavior for this despicable example of human devolution. But think: if the foretold (second) coming of the Christ is as Isaiah saw, with lions grazing on grass—literally a transformation of nature!—perhaps there is hope for even such travesties of nature as Mickey Moore-on. Let's all pray for a transformation.

Advent #3

I don't know why it is, but for most of my life, preachers of my aquaintance have been almost universally unimpressive during Advent season. It's as though, for them, the Incarnation is something to mention in passing at a Christmas Eve service once a year. Sure, some may toss a crumb to the crowd by letting folks light an Advent candle and clumsily read some canned Advent "meditation" but seriously deal with the miracle, the purpose, the power of the Incarnation during the Advent season? Nah. Here's a good example of what all those preachers who "lose" me during Advent could be serving up, instead. Just CLICK the link. I'm going to be reading more of Donald Sensing's sermons, if these be any sort of representative sample. (He does not know what he has achieved: I'm perhaps a wee tad on the hyper-critical side when it comes to crappy preaching. Or even simply sloppy sermonizing... ) Here's another by the same guy. And another. What the heck is this guy thinking?!?!? he's actually taking the Incarnation seriously?!?!? And [shock!!!] he's a Methodist!! [heh] I may just have to move to Franklin, TN for Advent/Christmas next year... [Note: this doesn't mean all the preachers I've known have been poor exegetes—although the majority have been—or that all of them suck swamp gas in their preaching gigs—although, again, a surprising number have indeed—but that darned few preachers of my aquaintance have been sensible in their approach to this miracle we observe during this season. And when i say "we observe" I note that even the secular world observes it, no matter how much the American Criminal License Union and their ilk in the LLMB, the soi-dissant "justice system" and MMPA try to erradicate all Christian references from the season. Why then do so many folks in the pulpit seem to pay so little attention to Advent/Christmas? I dunno. I'd hate to make a blanket statement, but I will note that those in so-called liturgical churches at least make half-hearted stabs at connecting their sermons to the season (which may partly explain Sessing's addresses, though not the excellence they manifest). Anyway, at least I've found some sermons to fill that missing niche this Advent. I hope these links prove useful to others as well. Ed: corrected spelling on Donald Sensing's name 12-19-04

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The things people do...

The Commisar comments on one-way "trackbacks"... Perhaps he needs to be reminded—as I so frequently need to be reminded—that one ought not too readily ascribe to maliciousness or greed any behavior that is adequately explained by stupidity. I know I'm not really up to speed on all the blog ettiquette, terminology and technology, though I do not think I have been guilty of this particular faux pas—yet. And after the Commisar's comments, I know I will be particularly scrupulous in observing links back to places I first saw rferences I mention here, even though I have always attempted to give credit every time I mention someone else's comments. Nevertheless, I appreciate the lecture on proper ethics/blogging ettiquette the Commisar offers. Points well heeded. BTW, Thx TacJammer for making the link to the Commisar's comments at The Politburo Dictat available in this post. (And, BTW, folks, TacJammer is a pretty darned good milblog. Check it out.) Enough links, yet? :-) edit: yeh, I misspelled "Commissar"... more than once. Good luck suing me for it. Also, the comments and trackbacks noted at both TacJammer and Politburo Dictat on their posts (1, 2) about this issue (1, 2) are worth reading, as well, even though my comment at TacJammer is not all that useful, since I can't do the cool kinda "trackbacks" the really wonderful, marvelous folks like the Big Dogs (1, 2)do since as far as I know Blogger/Blogspot doesn't seem to do them the same way and I have to just post regular old everyday links. Of course, it might not be Blogger's fault but be a result of my ignorance or stupidity. Someone will be sure to let me know. (Especially if it's simply my stupidity. "Over-educated" is not the same things as "very smart") Edit #2: Hey! Maybe I need to check out the Haloscan thing I just added, as it says it "does" trackbacks"... [duh] :-)

For your convenience...

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. I hope both of you who have posted comments enjoy the improvement. :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Stop. CLICK the link and watch

Tribute (Thx INDCJornal for posting the link) Oh, and while you're watching, remember to pray for the coalition forces and for all Iraqis of good will... )

I reveal all... that I want to.

...but only for Harvey's "Carnival of the Pajamas." But since I don't ever wear pajamas, here's a recent photo. I move so quickly and so often (sometimes it's a matter of life and death, you know) that it was difficult for the photographer who caught me in a candid pose to get a clear pic. That's life... Posted by Hello

Madeline Kahn sings, "I'm Tired"

Work it out. OK, this is one of those offline conversations that I've decided to bring online, in some form. A not-so-petty gripe about the illiterati in the Mass Media Podpeoples' Army who "inform" much of popular culture. I just re-read that, and I misspoke. It's not so much that there seem to be illiterati in the MMPA as that the MMPA seems to be composed primarily of illiterati and their near cousins, the sub-literate. Here's one (of many) small, but typical example. You recall the kerfuffle some short while ago about Dick Cheney's plain-spoken confrontation with Patrick Lehey on the Senate floor. A google search reveals that references recorded online among the MMPA label Cheney's use of a word as "profanity" (often coupled with "cursing") nearly three times more than as "vulgarity". Common persons are easily misled by such sub-literate use of words. Shame on the MMPA! The word (and phrase) Cheney used were plainly not "profane". In no way was Cheney's comment blasphemous or disrespectful toward God or any religious symbol or person, unless MMP were to consider Lehey's person to be holy, an object worthy of worship and religious devotion. (Well, since they are the MMPA and Lehey is a [spit!] damned* loony left liberal moonbat politician, perhaps he is an object of their religious devotion. More on that later... ) No, the (rather small) minority who referred to Cheney's comment as vulgar were more accurate. Sure, one of the words—the operative word that gave offense to some—could even in some usages be considered obscene. In the construction and context in which Cheney used it, it was hardly intended titilate, nor did it do so, therefore, of course, we can say it was not an obscenity, but clearly a vulgarity. (Of course, since it may have given a sexual thrill to some of the MMPA, because of their perverse nature, some post-relativistic deconstructionist idiot academician might be able to assert obscenity, but as everyone knows, they are all too idiotic to even consider.) Still, most of the MMP seem unable to make distinctions between profanity, obscenity and vulgarity, though to anyone who stops for even a moment to think (assuming it is within their abilities to do so) can plainly see there are clear demarcations between these three classes of speech often considered impolite and even offensive. Profanity, defaming or disrespectful speech concerning that which is holy, is—or ought to be, IMO—always offensive. And in many cases, I can agree that both obscenity and vulgarity can indeed be impolite and offensive—even most, if not all, cases of obscenity. But when plain, even vulgar, speech is appropriate—as in Dick Cheney's comment to the offensive, rude, disingenuous and altogether disgusting Lehey—then decent people will not be offended. Lehey, of course, ought to have been offended. That was the (righteous) intent of Dick Cheney's comment. And so ought it ever be that creeps like Lehey be offended, always and in all things, by ordinary people speaking plainly. The MMPA, of course, can't even classify vulgarity as such. To them, plain speech indicating offense with their object of worship—whichever LLM politician or cause or other LLM idiot that might be—is profanity, a verbal attack on something they consider holy. Or else it is just that they are too stupid to be able to differentiate between the vulgar and the profane. (The obscene they hold a patent to, of course.) *Note: my construction "damned loony left liberal moonbat politician" was not a profanity. I believe that an examination of Lehey's positions, actions and words support a theological assessment that he very likely has damned himself. That being the case, I assert that, although my assessment is merely the expression of an opinion and decidedly not a condemnatory judgement (such judgement Lehey will face when he finally does face his Maker), my use of "damned" in that case shows a respect for the Subject who is worthy of true veneration. That is the antithesis of profanity. Nor is my construction vulgar: it is my considered theological opinion, and the word "damned" is an accurate word to use in such a context. Obscenity? If anyone is titilated by the thought of Lehey's damnation, then any such person(s) is/are sick and perverted indeed, and it is their perversion, not my use of words that is obscene. I'm tired. (But I am NOT wearing a black negligee... ) Work it out. If it's too obscure, try google.

Masterful, simply masterful...

...snark, that is. This, of course. "The Zen of Autumn: Seven haiku Poems Based on the Season's Top Hollywood Movies." An example: Alexander Oliver Stone's saga of the young warrior king, with Colin Farrell.
Master of the World! Yet I cannot understand A damn word he says.
The rest are here.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Fun Facts

Over at IMAO, Frank J. is out to lunch and has Harvey guest blogging for him. Harvey has posted "Fun Facts About Christmas" which includes this nugget:
"Christmas specials which show Santa's workshop at the North pole often include penguins. This is factually incorrect, since penguins are native to the SOUTH pole, where, coincidentally, Santa's evil twin brother Satan Claus has HIS workshop. He mostly makes fruitcakes - the most concentrated form of evil known to man."
Getcherself on over these and read the rest. Warning: While I didn't particularly notice any profanity, there was some mild vulgarity. Avoid it or live with it. (NOTE: in snickering condescension for those whose sensibilities are a wee tad too hyper, I have **'ed out a letter in one word, following... As one dear saint told me once concerning that most common of vulgarities, "I never could understand the problem with saying sh*t. I grew up on a farm and was always stepping it it... " Her wisdom has lived with me ever since, and it comforts me whenever I contemplate the tirals and tribulations of our erstwhile neghbors who were named Shatwell, after an ancestor with good bowell movements. )

OUCH! [heh]

Heavens. What would the world be like w/o snippy chicks with "lash 'em, lash 'em til they drop" mean tongues? (Well, nowhere, mon frere.) "The left has it’s own pagan holiday. Halloween. That’s a day wherein it’s okay for liberals to dress up like witches, babies or whores. So the outside matches the inside." Moxie has... uh, moxie.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Don't ask why this bubbled to the surface. Just don't. Whatever you do, don't let word of Johnathan Swift's modest proposal spread to the God damned abortionists.** They have no sense of humor and would probably consider it seriously. And in fact, in the Netherlands, I expect to see it put into effect within my lifetime... **That was NOT swearing or cursing. It was a theological evaluation of a class of persons who consider murder of innocent babies to be a moral good.

What not to wear

"New worry for phones: tight pants" No comment needed. (Photo and link via Gizmodo.) Posted by Hello

Can you tell that it's "sweeps week" in the blogosphere?

Apparently it's sweeps week in the blogosphere, as the "2004 Weblog Awards" event winds on down to December 12, the last day of voting. Best example of sweeps week blogging so far? Over at INDCJournal, we have a "blogochiropterologist" examining the loony left barking-nihilistic-poo-eating moonbats in their natural habitat... Just so you know, INDCJournal is not entered in the humor category. [BTW, you should be able to quickly deduce why I used "chiropterologist" instead of "chiroptologist" from the lead-in to the INDCJournal post linked above. Oh, and here (meaning also, there), as well, of course... ] Oh, have I made it perfectly clear that you are now wasting time here instead of going to INDCJournal and reading the post I link here?

Another disquisition on public education

In his Wednesday "View" this week, Jerry Pournelle comments briefly (for him :-) on the topic of public education. In the middle of this disquisition is this couple of paragraphs:
"The trouble with democracy is that it tends to pull everyone to a common level: great men cannot rise to their proper level. This was known by Cicero and once known to almost every intellectual in Western Civilization. Now we don't have a Western Civilization, and to the extent that we do our intellectuals are mostly ashamed of it; and while the last thing our Enlightened class wants is real equality, the notion of "equal treatment" is now pervasive. Why would it not be? The official view of man as taught in almost every classroom in the nation is Jacobinism, Rousseau, "Man is born free yet he is everywhere in chains," and the rest of it. Why are we then surprised when a great many people act as if they believe that? The Framers knew better. The Founders knew better. The notion that within most human hearts beats a burning desire to take his neighbors goods and possess his wife was prevalent. As Chesterton observed, one needs only to read the newspapers to confirm the doctrine of Original Sin. One need not be religious to come to the view that to secure rights governments must be instituted among men. But when the notion of rights, and I'm as good as you and I got to have my rights same as anyone becomes the pervasive public doctrine, there are bound to be consequences."
Disquieting thoughts. But then, truths are always harder than lies... "No Child Left Behind" has nothing whatever to do with excellence in education and everything to do with mediocrity, and for that dedication to mediocrity, we get less than that somewhat less than lofty goal. We have indeed "sown the wind". Consider the introduction to the 1983 National Commission on Education report:
Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world.... the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and as a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur- others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments. If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.... We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.
And the whole philosphy behind such abortions as "No Child Left Behind" continues that act of "
unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament." Consider, if you will, that the world of Harrison Bergeron is the least worst of the outcomes we (or our children) might face from such a philosphy of equal—lowest common denominator— outcomes. (Just click the link. Read the tale.)

New Job for Jimmy Carter: Food Taster?

Frank J. (at IMAO) demonstrates once again why he got my vote for Best Humor Blog this year (although I am not sure he's kidding here). Commenting on the apparent poisoning of Yuschenko (Ukraine presidential candidate), he comments,
"I suggest that, in the future, we have Jimmy Carter as an election monitor with his job to try the food and drink of each candidate to make sure it isn't poisoned. When Carter finds a legitimate case of a candidate trying to poison another, he can then be replaced by Bill Clinton."
Now that I ponder this a bit more, I think perhaps he's serious. At any rate, it's certainly a good idea. Well worth a try. And Jean Fraud sKerry could step up to support democracy should Clintoon discover a case of one candidate trying to poison another. I think Frank's onto something, here!

Thought for the day

Robert Bruce Thompson, computer guru of the highest order and sometime curmudgeonly commenter on things societal offers this tidbit in an essay asserting that the U.S. ought to tax, well, essentially everyone else [heh]: "I have it on good authority that the IRS hires as auditors only people who were rejected by the Marine Corps for being too aggressive." I just changed my mind about the draft. If the above is true, I'm all for drafting all IRS auditors and sending them to Iraq. Then Iran, No. Korea, France (one, only; wouldn't want to scare Chirac to death, would we? We would? OK.), Germany... the usual suspects. Oh, and while we're at it, send a couple to "audit" Canada.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pretty amazing footage

The narrator's voice could quickly put viewers to sleep, were it not for the amazing footage showing US Marines in combat in Fallujah. Check it out here.

Oh. My. Heavens.

OK, whatever you're doing (and I know that what you're doing is checking this blog), it's not nearly as important as CLICK-ing on THIS link and reading The Greatest Boy Detective in the Universe, Encyclopedia Brown and The Case of the Misbegotten Memos. STOP reading this blog NOW and just GO!

Amazing!! English Department Chairperson Walks Upright!

The "official" caption for the pic is below it, but I thought it more fitting to label it as a typical member of the Loony Left Moonbat academia... Posted by HelloTEL AVIV, Israel -- Natasha, a 5-year-old black macaque walks at the Safari Park near Tel Aviv. The young monkey began recently walking exclusively on her hind legs after a stomach ailment nearly killed her, zookeepers said. (07/20/04 AP photo) Just a wee tad on the curmudgeonly side. And why not? As our society tends ever more toward subliterate, self-made morons—products of Prisons for Kids (known disingenuously as "Public Schools") and American pop "culture"—why not become a wee tad curmudgeonly? It's difficult enough trying to communicate with people who actually speak, read and write English with a moderate degree of understanding. Communication with those who cannot (because of their own laziness and crappy "public education"--so-called) is a burden no reasonable person ought to be expected to bear without protest. Western Civilization is going over a precipice. And it's getting a big shove from all those who ought to be fighting to preserve it: academia, our rulers in the political class, mass media... churches. While I'm not so concerned about my own passing from the scene (what? heaven couldn't be any worse! :-), I think Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.... " ...certainly should be applied to Western Civ. For further reference to the conspiracy to murder literacy—indeed, to murder sense and sensibility—see Holly Lisle's discourse on "How to Write Suckitudinous Fiction". It describes much of the idiocy in academia and "the arts" we have inherited from 20th century dolts, dummies and doofuses in, well, the arts and academia. Of course, their subliterate cousins in the Mass Media Podpeoples' Army also do everything they can to Make and Keep Americans Stupid(TM). Meanwhile, I want you to think of the picture above and marvel at a monkey walking upright, every time you hear/see some Loony Left Moonbat in academia. It's good for your sanity.

Look for the "Made by Slave Labor" label...

It doesn't have quite the ring of the lullaby Algore said his mom used to sing him to sleep by (sad thing: a grown man having to be sung to sleep by his mom—the song was written in 1975). Soon, any IBM PC you buy will likely have been made by slave labor in China. See:
IBM and China-based Lenovo Group announced an agreement
Tuesday night in which Big Blue will sell its PC division
for about $1.75 billion. Read more about this deal.
http://ct.enews.eweek.com/rd/cts?d=186-1396-2-79-246460-154698-0-0-0-1
Rabbit Trail #1: Of course, most of what you buy, apart from food, at WallyWorld is now likely made by slave labor in China. In fact, if WallyWorld were a country, it would be communist China's 4th-largest trading partner. (Hmmm... I have heard the phrase "Wal-Mart country" bandied about... ) Yeh, it's in my own economic interest to buy much of what we need from WallyWorld (and every time I write that I think of the National Lampoons' Griswolds on their family vacation). I have tried to buy "non-WallyWorld" brands made in the USA when possible, though. (Like a recent paint purchase where I had the option of getting some paint for a couple of bucks less with the same tint but in a WallyWorld brand... yeh, it may have been sorta "Made in America" but it was still a WallyWorld brand.) Rabbit trail #2: Interesting thing: we bought a nice dining set from Aldis, recently. (From Aldi's?!?!?! Yes. Was advertised and we checked it out. Nice.) Really well-made. Nice real birch. From Romania. Not slave labor in China. A country that is trying to seriously transition to democracy and capitalism. Good quality workmanship, nice bonuses in the packing materials (?!?). Aldi's is giving WallyWorld such headaches in Europe that I'm seriously considering shopping there more often. [heh] Anyway, look for the Slave Labor label on any future PC purchases of IBM PCs, and, of course, expect the Slave Labor label to be prominently featured ("Made in China") on products bought at WallyWorld.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Christmas Cheer

Stop wasting time here and go to the Physic Geek's Christmas Info Memo What?!?! Still here? Go! [mild warning: in other Christmas humor posts, the Physic Geek's pages become mildly vulgar. If that's an area of weakness for ya, skip those.]

Correct Pronunciation

I've noticed whenever I get trapped listening to some Mass Media Podperson or Loony Left Moonbat that they pronounce the initial-abbreviation of the United Nations in two syllables as something like "You In". And even stranger still, I've noticed that many real people have been negatively influenced by this to pronounce it similarly. Sad. "UN" really ought to be pronounced in one syllable as something like "uhn," as in UNrealistic, UNethical, UNprincipled (as in DIShonorable), etc. It's a pronunciation that's more in line with the UN's apparent mission, and besides, it takes less breath to say than "You In". Why waste any more breath on the UN than one has to? Better: perhaps it's time for US to pronounce UN "You, Out".

Monday, December 06, 2004

Well, at least it's not Detroit

Over at the U.S.S.Neverdock blog, Marc points to this article about Chicago's murder rate (mostly gang murders) by Annie Sweeney at the Chicago Sun-Times and draws an interesting comparison to American casualty figures in Iraq.. It seems Chicago now expects to end 2004 with 418 murders, down from 599 in 2003. Hmmm... to restate Marc's thesis a little, maybe someone should point out to Mayor Daley that with all the violence, Chicago's not ready for Democracy... (But then of course he knows that... and depends upon it.) Then again, maybe it's time for Mayor Daley to pull out of Chicago and let the "insurgents" have their way.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Duh! (Products of government schools)

I can't make up stuff like this.
"Police: Dealers Report Stolen Marijuana To Authorities"
CALLAWAY, Fla. -- Help, police, someone stole my pot!
A Panhandle couple is under arrest after notifying police Thursday that their quarter-pound stash of marijuana was stolen and that they needed the weed back, because they were going to later sell it.
More at the linked story. I bet Dougie and Misty Ann were model "students" in their local Government Institutions of Child Incarceration (AKA Public Schools)...

Xmas

I ran onto this lil story from The Denver Post in Michelle Malkin's blog. Seems the city had banned all religious displays from the "Parade of Lights" (formerly Christmas parade). Some 1,000 folks protested the ban by gathering before the parade to sing hymns, etc.
Steve Schweitzberger carried a basket with a tiny baby Jesus doll inside that had a paper teardrop falling from its eye. The baby came with a sign that read, "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to." Schweitzberger said he thought the display was appropriate considering religious groups were not allowed to participate in the downtown Parade of Lights this weekend. "I thought it was strange that they would exclude the birthday boy from his own party," Schweitzberger said. "Everybody knows that Christmas is not spelled with an X."
Sounds cute, eh? Cute and oh, so wrong. Baby in the basket with a paper "tear"—tacky. "Birthday boy"—his own (unintentional, unconscious?) way of belittling the Incarnation? And what's with the silly,
"Everybody knows that Christmas is not spelled with an X."? Sure, the illiterati may think that the "X" in Xmas is the 24th letter of the English alphabet (if they can count that far). Anyone who's not a subliterate bufoon knows, though, that in Xmas, the X is the Greek letter "chi" and the first letter in Christ, as spelled in Greek. It's how we get the fish symbol for Christian, for heaven's sake! (The first letters in the phrase, Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior were arranged to depict a fish.) So, even First Century Christians were using th X to symbolize Christ. Ya know, it's subliterates like Schweitzberger who uphold the image of Christians as illiterate redneck goofs. "Everybody knows that Christmas is not spelled with an X"? Well, I'm glad I'm not "everybody" then.

Showing Compassion for PESTs

Emperor Darth Misha I, the ruler of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller, has a great disquisition/deconstruction of those LLM sufferers of PEST (Post Election Stress Trauma). Herewith one very small sample: [Quoting a "therapist" then commenting]
“More than anything else, people with PEST tremble physically.” That's called "withdrawal symptoms", you bumbling buffoon. Hand them a reefer and a latte and they'll be right as rain in a second.
There's much more at the post. Warning, some vulgarity. Well-warranted and wholely appropriate vulgarity, IMO, but may be offensive to some. Let's all show our compassion for those PESTs by demonstrating the benefits of laughter therapy, shall we?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Pitying Teachers

This time of year can play havoc with teachers' lesson plans—at least lesson plans of teachers who want their students to continue learning anything of value. And that's the least of it. Several years ago, when I was in an only slightly curmudgeonly mood, I wrote some offhand verses to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" titled, "It's the Sap-Sappiest Season of All" Yep. The title above is linked to the lyrics with a midi file playing in the background. There are other Christmas "things" on that particular website, as well, that are less... curmudgeonly. Such as, A simple lullaby, a short poem (with a midi background rip-off of a Mannheim Steamroller piece—heh—and a nice graphic) and maybe some other things this year, if I get around to it. It all really kind of depends on whether or not I get around to digging out some old compositions and converting them to web-friendly formats or even (don't expect it) am moved to write something fresh this year. Such as these things be, they are simple things, but my own. For the most part. :-)

The Meaning of Christmas

Just did a lunchtime check of some blogs and ran across a comment by someone calling themseves "Vandal" responding to a post by someone fed up with the LLMB's PC approach to eliminating "Christmas" (or anything Christian) from the season. Vandal commented that the best response to such was "Merry Christmas, you filthy animal." Others were quick to chastise Vandal for such an "unchristian" attitude. I beg to differ. "Merry Christmas, you filthy animal," really does touch the very heart of what Christmas is all about. I applaud Vandal's clear Calvinism and want to remind us all that anyone who ascribes to the total depravity of man can't be all bad... heh After all, Christmas is God's gracious response to our "filthy animal" depravity that He demonstrated in the incarnation and sacrifice of His Son... So, "Merry Christmas, you filthy animal" is kinda God's loving response to our total depravity. I like that.
It is just as scripture has said, "There is no just man, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one in search of God. All have taken the wrong course, all alike have become worthless; not one of them acts uprightly, no, not one..." (Romans 3: 10-12)
and
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6: 23)
So, Christmas is about "Good will [from God] to filthy animals," if you will. And that's something we can be very, very grateful for: that God looked upon those who hated Him and chose to reach out to His enemies with love. (Romans 5: 8) "Peace on earth"? Accessible only through Christ. (Romans 5:1). And that addresses why so many who find the Christmas season depressing or—in LLMB PC conformity, offensive. They do not yet know the Good WIll God has already expressed toward them, nor have they welcomed the Peace He offers through His Son. Their choice. So, I wish one and all a Merry Christmas you filthy animals! A very merry, merry Christmas, indeed.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The mark of the Beast

Folks who avidly study biblical eschatology and prophecies of "the endtimes" generally have pretty definite ideas about what "the mark of the Beast" might be, and all of those ideas I've been exposed to orbit around some sort of physical mark imposed upon folks. Maybe there's a more important mark: the stain on souls so corrupt that they choose satanic evil so vile as to be unmistakable as their normative "good". If that be so, the Netherlands is peopled with folk already wearing the Beast's mark. Consider the Groningen Protocol, now in effect in the Netherlands, whereby committees of doctors choose whom to kill. As Hugh Hewitt puts it, "This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of 'independent committees' to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a death penalty committee for innocents." Unmistakably sold out to Satan. Surely that must leave a mark...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ticked off...

Well, Frank J. at IMAO is certainly umm... ticked off.
* The Red Cross is claming that conditions for prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are "tantamount to torture". What! I pay tons of taxes each year, and I want full-fledged torture for my money!
Yeh, well, this is the government that gave us Mineta's Morons and Ridge's Retards in the Thousands Standing Around boondoggle. So? You expect a good work ethic among government torturers? C'mon, now! It's ridiculous to expect anything better than "almost torture" from government workers. The best we can hope for is another four years of tax cuts and dead terrorists. BTW, Frank J. also reminds us that the leading cause of death among Islamic jihadists is American military. A Good Thing. It really is too much to hope for decent torture of terrorists... unless maybe the feds could outsource the torture to Islamic women? Gotta be a lot of rage built up there...

Always Brush Your Teeth! ALWAYS!

This demonstration of the survival benefits of those little features of Western Civilization: Why our soldiers in Iraq are invincible. The images load rather slowly, but it's a worthwhile wait to view all eight images, in order to get the whole story. (h.t. : John of Argghhh!) The lesson of this lil story: Our guys are invincible because they brush their teeth and play poker (see slide #2 for the poker lesson). Two benefits of Western Civ: good dental hygiene and poker. Each standing our guys in good stead in Iraq.