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Monday, January 31, 2005

"Condi's First Day"

Life According to Frank J Frank J, proprietor of IMAO, has another one of his, ummm, pieces of fiction up on life in the Bush administration. A sample:
The phone rang at her desk. "What?" Condi demanded. "It's your auto mechanic, Dr. Rice. It's going to take longer to get out those dents than I thought. What exactly did you hit?" "A California Senator. What of it?" "Well, there's dents in the front and back..." "And there is a little thing called the reverse gear. Now get it done!"
[heh] More at the link. Go thou and read.

Iraq: the Election

an audiovisual montage Adam Keiper has set images of the Iraq election to Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" in two resolutions, one for dialup and one for broadband, here. Just go download it. Watch it. Again. If you aren't moved, you have no heart at all. Just check right on in to your local mortuary. Now, the next time some LLM or MMP starts whining about "disinfranchisement" in an American election because some cheat had their ID checked to eliminate fraud, think on this and try to refrain from bloodying their nose. Just give them the Iraqi election finger.

The LLMB and MMPA's psychotic break with reality

A Charitable Explanation for the Words/Deeds of the Loony Left Moonbat Brigade and the Mass Media Podpeople's Army OK, here's the deal. Understanding the LLMB and the MMPA entails twisting your mind around one singloe solitary fact: nothing, absolutely nothing, is true, factual or in any way connected with reality in their minds or words or deeds if it contradicts their preconcieved, deliberately chosen delusions. It's why they could field Joh nKerry as a "serious" presidential candidate. Since nothing he said was connected to facts, truth or committment to any course of action save for personal "validation," his changing positions from one day to the next, from one minute to the next, from one portion of a sentence to the next convoluted portion of the same sentence, he was entirely consistent as viewed through the warped lenses of the LLMB and the MMPA. Listing other disconnects from reality such as Barbara Boxer's delusions, Ted Kennedy's well, existence, would serve little to expand the case for my assertion. Little could expand beyond the example of Jean Fraud sKerry. But one example from current events might serve to illustrate the model. The LLMB and MMPA statements leading up to and even continuing beyond the Iraq elections are a perfect illustration of this complete disconnect from fact, honesty, or, indeed, any semblance of actual events. (This is the charitable construction. Any other explanation for the LLMB and MMPA involves a discussion of Scott Peck's book, People of the Lie, an interesting exploration of the phenomenon of human evil.) Witness this fair paraphrase of the progression of positions taken by the LLMB and MMPA leading up to and continuing through and beyond the election: 1.) The U.S. is embarking on empire and will not allow self-government by the Iraqis. (Demonstrably false) 2.) The promised elections are not/will not be possible. (Demonstrably false) 3.) The promised election will not take place on time.(Demonstrably false) 4.) The elections will be a failure, a bloodbath. (Demonstrably false) 5.) The election will be illegitimate (because of non-participation). (Demonstrably false) Now, the LLMB and MMPA voices still clinging to the hope that the adventure to build a free and democratic Iraq will fail and the Iraqi people will be worse off than ever are arguing that the election (which they have formerly insiste would not happen, could not happen, woulf be an utter failure, etc.) was the easy part, that the dangers still posed by the reactionary mass murderers the LLMB and MMPA still insist are "insurgents" will topple this fragile nascent democracy. To which the Iraqi people say: Posted by Hello

Dissing the Mockumentarian Moore-on

Michael Moore who? In a move that by now is a big yawn, the Directors Guild averted their eyes from Michael Moore yesterday when handing out pre-Oscar awards. Clint Eastwood garnered a Best Director for "Million Dollar Baby" but Moore was, well, let's let the irony of *Reuters* reporting the event sweeten the pot:
In the DGA's other major film award for the evening, the prize for best documentary went to Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni for their tale of nomadic life in Gobi desert, "The Story of the Weeping Camel." Among the documentaries it beat for the award was Michael Moore's controversial anti-Iraq (news - web sites) war film "Fahrenheit 9/11," which has fared poorly this awards season. It received no Oscar nominations.
What was that? Moore-on's Fake-umentary was spurned in favor of
"The Story of the Weeping Camel"? How sweet. Sweeter still that *Reuters*—al-Jazeera west—swallowed the bitter pill of reporting this slap in the face to its partner-in-lies.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

LLMB and MMPA get their knickers in a twist From AP reports– The Good: The polls closed on a surprisingly peaceful election in Iraq, today. Esimates of participation of eligible voters range upwards of 70%. This compares favorably with our own most recent election, of course. In November, 2004, a turnout in the low 60% range was cause for celebration among those who tout democracy as a Good Thing (of course, that excludes most elites among the Democratic Party). Here, charges of "voter intimidation" were leveled by "Democrats" against people who had an eagle eye out to defend against vote fraud. In Iraq, women carried children to vote. Men carried the elderly to vote. Despite threats (and actual attacks), people stood in line for hours to exercise their franchise. The polls closed at 5:00 Iraq time, but anyone still in line was allowed to vote. Even Reuters (Also known as "Al-Jazeera West") had to admit the good news, as these comments from Reuters' Luke Baker demonstrate:
Even in Falluja, the Sunni city west of Baghdad that was a militant stronghold until a U.S. assault in November, a steady stream of people turned out, confounding expectations. Lines of veiled women clutching their papers waited to vote. "We want to be like other Iraqis, we don't want to always be in opposition," said Ahmed Jassim, smiling after he voted. In Baquba, a rebellious city northeast of Baghdad, spirited crowds clapped and cheered at one voting station. In Mosul, scene of some of the worst insurgent attacks in recent months, U.S. and local officials said turnout was surprisingly high.
The Bad: 36 people were killed by mass murderers who feared the elections. That's a bad day in "the hood" in the U.S. It's also (proportionally) about three times the number of deaths from auto accidents in one day that we would expect in a similar population number here in the U.S. (Roughly 125 die on our roads from auto accidents, daily. Since U.S. population is roughly 10 times that of Iraq, you do the math.) The Ugly: All-in-all, though there were some vicous attacks by thugs who fear the People, Iraq has taken a major step toward a level freedom unknown—ever!—in that country before now. The courage and determination of the Iraqi people really put the whining by our own Democrats about "vote suppression" into perspective. The comparison is hardly flattering to the Loony Left Moonbat Brigade and their co-conspirators in the Mass Media Podpeople's Army who are apparently running the Democratic Party. Both wings of the Stupid Envious and Evil Party (SEEP) have spent a lot of time denegrating the Iraqi election, today. No surprise. Over and over again they trumpeted that it would be a failure, illegitimate, yadayada, in the lead-up to the election. Now, with the obvious success of this election, they have to exaggerate the negatives, eliminate the possitive, hold on to the injurous and not mess with Mr. in between... (With apologies to Johnny Mercer .) Yeh, the LLMB and the MMPA are the Ugly, all right.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Testing... testing...

This is only a test (but if you get your info from the Mass Media Podpeople's Army, you'll likely fail it). Enviro-weenies blame US for global warming, but I'd bet they'd all (well, 99%) fail this test found on Jerry Pournelle's "Current Mail".
1. What gas is responsible for approximately 95% of the "greenhouse effect" on planet Earth? 2. Are the United States a net A) Emitter, or B) Absorber of carbon dioxide? 3. Is the global climate now A) Warmer, or B) Cooler than it was approximately 1,000 to 1,100 years ago? Answers: ... ... ... 1. Water vapor is responsible for about 95% of the Earth's greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is less than 2% of the total effect, with methane taking up most of the balance, and other gasses responsible for the remainder. But all we EVER hear about is CO2. 2. The U.S., with it's vast forests (more now than in pre-Columbian times) and farmlands is a net ABSORBER of CO2...as opposed to Europe and Japan, which are net emitters. 3. Let's see...they were raising crops of oats in Greenland, and the Icelandic/Viking explorers were calling what is now the chilly area of Newfoundland "Vinland" because of the grapes which grew there. It's an era referred to as the "Medieval Climate Optimum" in old climate textbooks, and was followed by the spread of Black Plague (the fleas of the rats taking advantage of the warmer climate to spread to northern Europe). That period was followed by what used to be referred to as the "Little Ice Age", in which England saw snow in areas never before seen, and the River Thames froze quite solidly on a regular basis. That period ended in the early/middle 1700's, and we've been in a warming trend ever since.
There's much more at the link.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Feds give me a rash

It wouldn't be so bad, I guess, if they did their legitimate work competently The problem is, apart from armed forces personnel on the ground, most arms of the federal government are a waste of good, otherwise breathable (until it passes through the various orifices of the fedgov) air. Case in point: Michelle Malkin's blogpost yesterday.
EXCLUSIVE: DHS AWARDS GREEN CARD TO DEAD SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIM By Michelle Malkin · January 26, 2005 07:16 AM [her latest column] exposes how our behemoth, $34 billion Department of Homeland Security sent a green card approval notice on Jan. 15, 2005 to Mr. Eugueni Kniazev (pronounced Yev-GEN-nee Kuh-NEH-zev), who was murdered at the World Trade Center on that unforgettable day the towers collapsed.
Oh, those wacky guys n gals at DHS! What a jape! Not only do they send out an approval for a Green Card to a family who lost a loved on at the WTC on 9/11, but they are apparently doing absolutely nothing to correct the procedures that led to this gaff:
A Department of Homeland Security spokesman told me [Malkin] it's up to family members to notify the government when an applicant dies. "It's unfortunate," he said, but there is no mechanism in place to prevent this from happening again.
What's that? Just don't give a flip that they're sending out approvals for green cards to dead people? So what if someone gets one of these approval letters and usues it to become "legal". Surely that's not a security hole the Department of Homeland Security (Department of hack Socialists? Department of Ham-handed Sucker-bait? What?) ought to plug. Of course not! Your tax dollars at work? DHS doesn't seem to be working, if this is any example. And it is.

Slow off the starting blocks—again

Carnival of the Recipes—LAST week! The latest Carnival of the Recipes was up in fine (Alphabetical!) order last Friday... Caltechgirl did a great job organizing all the recipes. I'm gonna need another trip to the grovery store, I see. I mean, "Wake the Dead Applesauce"?!?!? Much more at the Carnival #23 link. This week, the Carnival of the Recipes will be at Kin's Kouch. Check your waistline at the door. Send your own recipes to recipe.carnival at gmail dot com

"Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings..."

A few of my favorite recipes—all easy, all the time All easy recipes, all the time... Quick Salsa Chopped RIPE tomatoes (not the flavorless rocks you normally buy in the produce section) Finely minced onion Finely minced garlic Chopped peppers: serano, jalapeño, habañero. Whatever suits your taste. If you can stand the soapy taste, chop a little cilantro and add it. Mix all that, set it aside for a few hours in the fridge and you have a decent tomato salsa. A little quicker/easier: substitute a can of Rotel tomatoes and chilis for the tomatoes ONLY. You'll still need some real peppers to add a little flavor, unless you're a total wuss. Basic Beans Wash and sort 2-3 cups of pinto beans (more or less, depending on folks to be fed, how much you want left over for chili, etc. NOTE: I don't guarantee the method below for red beans) In a heavy stock pot, cover the beans with water-about 2"-3" more water than beans. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit for an hour or so. After an hour or so off heat, you have a decision tree branch: 1.) Do beans often give you gas? If so, and if it bothers you or others around you, toss the water and cover the beans with fresh water before proceding. 2.) If beans don't seem to give you gas or passing gas doesn't bother you or those around you (in my family, we call passing bean gas "love farts"—well, at least I do), then go ahead and cook the beans in the water they're in. Add a ham hock. No, don't get fancy or make some sort of substitution. Add a ham hock. Bring the mess to boil again, then cover, back the heat off to a simmer and leave it. After about an hour cooking time, you can add salt or other seasonings to your taste. With the ham hock in, all I usually add is a little salt. When are the beans done? Take a bean or two out and blow on 'em. If the skin curls away from your breathe either the beans are done or you have some knarly breath, dude. What to eat with such ambrosia? Cornbread, of course. My Fav Cornbread (One of a very few "measured" recipes in my repertoire) Make it in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit (Yeh, I know I could just type "F" but "fahrenheit" is a fun word... even after its recent Moore-onic usage.) 2 cups corn meal (white or yellow) 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (wheat or white) 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar (I know, it's not "Southren"—so sue me) 1 egg, lightly beaten (or not. sometimes I just dump it in and let nature take its course as I mix other things in later. Seems to work as well) 2 cups buttermilk (NOTE: no buttermilk handy? put UP TO—no more!—1/4 cup of vinegar in your measuring cup before adding milk to the 2C amount) 2 tablespoon melted shortening or vegetable oil. (But bacon grease, just melted, is MUCH better-tasting. Combine with olive oil if you're concerned about the trans fat stuff) Dry ingredients mixed together. Combine wet ingredients, then add them to dry & stir until it's all just wetted. Pour the mess into the skillet and pop it into the 400 degrees fahrenheit oven for about 25 minutes—more or less depending on your oven, etc. When you think it's done, stick a toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean, it's done. Beans, cornbread, freshly-sliced onion—heaven. Milk or buttermilk with this ambrosia. Kickin' grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. Kickin' Tomato Soup Easy. Just take any old condensed tomato soup. Add your fav salsa. heat. Done. Kickin' Grilled Cheese Sandwich Chop your fav HOT pepper Mince a slice or two of onion Combine in small microwavable container with Easy Enchilada Sauce and some olive oil. Nuke the mess for about a minute, more or less (depending mostly on your microwave oven) Spread on bread Add fav grated cheses Grill. I like butter & olive oil in a cast iron pan, but one of those electric sandwich makers is OK, too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Starting a New Chapter of "Luddites я Us"

Pining for rural life Yeh, I made a big deal when I started this blog about explaining the "Third World County" title. When we moved here 9.5 years ago, there wasn't a single solitary traffic light in the county. Nowhere was there a four-laned road, let alone a divided highway. And chain stores were unheard of. Sure, people knew there were such things as computers, even computers networked and connected to the internet, even. But the only ISPs were not only out of town, they were out of the county. My first ISP when we moved here was back in OK via an 800 number. Later, local number dialups were made available... by a company two counties away. Today, even though the infrastructure is primitive by most city folks' reckoning, we have, IIRC, eleven traffic lights in the county. Eleven! And three of those traffic lights are in lil old Jane, MO, population of just a couple of hundred souls, if that (Jane hasn't even had a post office for more than 30 years). Chain stores? Dogone it of Dollar General didn't make a move on the county four years ago. And today, Walmart opened a brand new supercenter... in Jane, Missouri (now you know why there are three traffic lights in Jane, eh?) And computers and related technologies? Well, we have a lot of shade tree "computer techs" who put together $300 trash boxes and sell them for $1,000. And a few years ago (along about the year before the millennium turned, you know, the year before 2001) the local telephone company decided to get into "that interned net thingy" in a bigish sort of way offering a local dialup service. Of course, since it was over their phone lines and their servers seemed at times to have been put together with chewing gum and baling wire, that was a lot of fun. So, when they offered "broadband" ASDL, I ran as fast as I could for the cable company's nearly simultaneous offer of cable internet service. So here I sit at my computer, connected (in America's Third World County, no less) at about 2 megabits upload speeds and considerably faster download speeds than the local telco's fastest "broadband" download speeds, griping about how the county's going to hell in a handbasket, because... well, because Walmart has opened a superstore in America's Third World County. (I laugh at irony!) If ever there were a "last straw" that would be it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'd RaTHer Blame it on Microsoft

A Viking we will go, A Viking we will go, Heigh-ho the merry-o, A Viking we will go!" From "Language Log" Posted by Hello Gee. If Microsoft has it right, this may finally explain the Vikings. If, in order to get from Haugesund, Norway to Trondheim, Norway, one still has to follow the traditional pathway the Vikings took on their Northern European raids, then maybe it was the only way then, as well...

This is NOT a rant

No, really. But don't you sometimes want to tell stupid people to stand up so you can give their brains a kick start? Me too. Anyone who knows me knows I rail every now and then against the rampant subliteracy evident in society today. What do I mean by "sub-literacy"? I recently had a conversation with a "special education" teacher in which the teacher—not once, but twice!—used the construction "ain't nothing" to mean "isn't anything." And, of course, this was not the only nonsensical English this person spoke (in fact, much of the conversation itself often reflected a disjunction from reason ). I wondered briefly if this person's "special education" work was the result of type-casting. (Maybe I ought to voice that in the subjunctive mood... ) Oh. Well. So-called journalists. Teachers. Businessmen. Politicians. Copy writers for entertainment shows and advertisements. All of them seem to show a growing lack of understanding that much of what they say or write is nonsense full of logic-contradicting grammar, misused words and nonsensical neologisms. It's enough to bring tears (sometimes of rage) to any semi-literate person's eyes. And do not mistake me. I do not make claim to any sort of competent literacy but only a sort of functional semi-literacy. No, the truly literate people I have known are those whose grasp of language, literature, history, etc., are far, far broader and deeper than mine. But at least I know the bounds of my semi-literacy, to some extent. The doofuses who (all too often) are the teachers of our children, our political leaders, our employers, or provide us with art or entertainment are often sub-literate and don't even know it. Too many sub-literates rest assured of their "literacy" in their (stubborn?) ignorance of the low level of their so-called education. Time to crack open an old anecdote (arrgggghhh! I just heard echoes of all the sub-literates I have heard say "antidote" when they meant "anecdote"). Eleven or twelve years ago, I was involved in an email discussion group that was primarily a theologically oriented group. Not all of the discussion was theological, but that was the thrust of most conversations. I responded to one non causa pro causa* argument, in colsing, with the statement that the person's contribution was all "sound and fury, signifying nothing." I got a private response from the head of a rhetoric department in a major university, a gentleman with a Ph.D. in English literature. He wanted to know if the source of that comment was Faulkner. He asked since I had placed it in quotes, but not given an attribution, thinking that none was required, since everyone on that list was surely literate enough to know the source! Catch the relevant facts here: Ph.D. in Engliish literature. Head of a "rhetoric department" (sub-specialty of english studies) in a major university. And he did not know one of the most famous Shakespearean soliloquies—not even that it was Shakespearean! In subsequent private emails, he revealed that on the road to "earning" a doctorate in English literature, he had simply not read the author who is arguably the single most influential individual author in the English language, let alone one of the two most-cited works by that author. He was the very definition of sub-literate. (And no, I'm not going to identify the play the phrase comes from. If you do not know it, look it up. Read the play and then come on back.) [Insert Madeline Kahn singing "I'm Tired" here.] Sometimes I just want to pinch their noses. Hard. We live in a society where access to the wisdom (and flooies) of the ages is ridiculously easy. A truly literate man of the 19th century could be truly literate and still own or have ready access to only a very few books. Today, millions of Americans could have access—without even getting up off their fat, lazy behinds—to literally thousands of the best books ever written, hour after hour of brilliant and enobling music and graphic art. Instead, we have an ever more sub-literate population. Petitio principii? Not really... And I have a nebulous hypothesis about that. I haven't designed a model to test a clear hypothesis, but the idea is intriguing: Civilization—at some point—begins to select for stupidity. Think about it. If there is anything sensible about the idea of natural selection (and I think it's fairly obvious that more competent individuals are likely to survive when the environment is hostile—at any rate, let's go with that assumption for now, OK?), then the ease of survival in a liberal society will select for stupidity and incompetence. (I use the word "liberal" here in its classic sense.) If it is easier to obtain food, clothing, shelter and reproductive partners, then it's obvious that there are lower barriers to stupid people surviving and reproducing. And maybe that's part of the problem with modern education: too many stupid people have survived to produce offspring to feed into the system, and too few stupid people have survuved the completely NON-rigorous "education" required to become teachers of that increasingly stupid pool of students. Those students then go on to become yet more teachers, politicians, businessmen, etc., in a population whose proportions of stupid people to competent people are becoming increasingly skewed toward stupidity. And that is one of two possible reasons why stupid people seem to be ever more and more with us. The other possible reason that occurs to me—that they simply stand out because they offend the order of the universe—has its own appeal. But that's for another time. Another brief clarification or two: sub-literacy is probably the result of two things that may operate independently but, in my observations, usually operate together. One is stupidity. The other is laziness. Indeed, most of the sub-literates I know are self-made idiots. Self-made out of their own intellectual laziness. ============ *non causa pro causa—I expect you to know these things. If you don't, consider this a wake up call. A semi-literate person, such as I, would probably look it up. Ditto for petitio principii. :-) N.B. Yes, I know that my "me too" in the subtitle above is ungrammatical. The verb "want"" is understood, and so proper grammar would insist on "I, too.. [want to kick start...]" The difference is that you and I know that it flies in the face of agreement with proper English forms and can speak and write more grammatically. Self-made sub-literates can't.

Mass Media Podpeople's Army Lies Part X

MMPA Lies, News Dies Machias Privateer has an interesting essay up noting just one of the deceptions being perpetrated on sub-literate Americans (mostly inhabiting Democratic Fiefdoms):
Here in Chicago, they are celebrating a reduction of the murder rate to 450 murders in 2004 for a population of 2.8 million! Since Iraq has about 25 million people, at the same per capita rate, they would have 11 murders per day. It seems nearly every murder in Iraq makes the news!
You'll note that were the murder rate in Iraq similar to Chicago, the Iraq murder toll would stand around 4,015 for 2004, instead of being about the same raw number as Chicago. Just read the whole post, including his comments about the difference to MMPA "reportage." It's getting to the place where one can almost listen to an MMPA member pass gas via his oral cavity and know what's going on by reversing everything that the MMP concludes. Almost. The sly devils. (N.B. "devil" is a word transliterated from the Greek "diabolos" which means "traducer, false accuser, liar") h.t. The Diplomad

Driving for Mongolia

"State of Fear"—Michael Crighton's not the only one who knows global warming Chicken Littles have been snorting exhaust fumes
"...from the Chief Diplomad: Not long ago I read about the freezing winters that Mongolia has suffered. Being a charitable person, I now drive my SUV in honor of the Mongolians. Bumper sticker: Driving for Mongolia!)"
Read the whole post linked above. It includes the Diplomad take on Ten Lies that are favs of the Loony Left Moonbat Brigade and their co-conspirators in the Mass Media Podpeople's Army. Oh, and the Michael Crighton reference? It is, of course, to his latest book debunking much of the pseudoscience that seems to dominate the public square, including wacko nutcase environweenie bloviation based on hot air (not "greenhouse gases").

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The very definition of ambivalence

What? Is it wrong for me to experience a frisson of satisfaction? This spoof video is apparently making the rounds in email. Unfortunately, the email it's making the rounds attached to falsely "accuses" Volkswagon of making the "ad." VW did not make or authorize the "ad." OTOH, I might even be more kindly disposed toward VW if the "ad" had originated from them. it depicts a splodydope (read: "suicide bomber") doing his thing in a VW Polo he's parked outside a sidewalk cafe. There's a flash of light inside the car--an apparent explosion--that is completely contained by the VW Polo, then the Polo tagline: "Polo. Small but tough." OK, here's my ambivalence. Sure, it's "tasteless." It trivializes the acts of splodydopes who have wreaked havoc with so many lives. OTOH, it trivializes and ridicules splodydopes as... doofuses, first-class dummies,. And it does introduce the idea of splodydopes removing their defective genetic material from the gene pool without collateral damage to others. Ambivalence... On balance, maybe (but just maybe) the spoof ad is not fit for general consumption. But oh! if only the VW Polo were 1.) really that tough and 2.) the best-selling car among splodydopes... (Thx, Whizbang, for the info.)

45 Million Victims of Violence

Where's the outrage on the left? I made an altogether too-obtuse reference yesterday to the 32nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade-induced murders of 45 million innocent lives and the indifference of the LLMB, and indeed nearly all who claim they are liberal (but who are, instead, the most illiberal sort of all) to the murder of innocents, all the while whining about the cleansing of society by the removal of convicted murderers. Let me just point out the absolute logic of such a stance. Were such vile persons to NOT protest capital punishment, I would be surprised. After all, as aiders and abbetors in the murder of 45 million innocent lives (and in many cases, active participants in those murders), they protest the death penalty for murder in their own self-interest. Were human life truly valued to the extent that extreme sanction were applied to willful murder universally in our society, then their position that the willful murder of innicent babies might come under sharper scrutiny. And that's where the outrage over 45 million victims of violence went for the left... It disappeared into the voracious maw of their selfish worship... of themselves..

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Question of Balance

You'll never know the answers unless you ask the questions Michael Levin comments here in answer to the question, "Is it ever right to torture someone?" Here is just one of the provocative answers he got:
"Here are the results of an informal poll about a third, hypothetical, case. Suppose a terrorist group kidnapped a newborn baby from a hospital. I asked four mothers if they would approve of torturing kidnappers if that were necessary to get their own newborns back. All said yes, the most "liberal" adding that she would like to administer it herself."
You'd have to wonder what kind of mother would come up with a different answer... Of course, in a society where "mothers–in–waiting" kill their unborn babies, and their co-belligerants in the war against civilization rail against the execution of convicted murderers, there might be some "mothers" who would answer differently. Just read Levin's whole argument in "The Case for Torture". (ht Instapundit for the link to Stalking the Wild Taboo, whence came the link to Levin's article.)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Quick Quip

Those Linux Guys're a Hoot Had a notice this a.m. of a response to a post I made on a Gmail/Opera discussion thread. " Free software to fix windows SP2 problems" Har. Har. (Just CLICK it for the laugh.) (Yeh, and I have a Mandrake box semi-running downstairs. That's gonna change. I'll put one—a different one—upstairs, soon. Maybe.)

CNN et al: the "American" arm of al Jazeera

CNN Lies, Thousands Die It's not just CNN, of course. LTC Tim Ryan, CO, 2/12 Cav, 1st Cav Div, tells it like it is in "Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: the Media in Iraq" (ht: Chrenkoff, who crunches the numbers a lil on media bias re: Iraq.)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hitting on Lileks

Hear him Bleat, "My bandwidth, my bandwidth!" James Lileks does it* daily, Monday through Friday, as well as maintaining his columns, writing such wondrous works as "Interior Desecrations" (a look at '70s interior "design") and caring for his daughter, Gnat. A sample from The Bleat:
"Hewitt has been asking for suggestions to revitalize CBS news and bring in the younger demographic. I have a simple solution: animate it. Give it over to Kent Brockman, the Simpsons anchor. Have Alf Clausen score a new parody network news them [sic]. Upside: since it takes six months to animate an episode, any attempts by the news division to push a particular agenda will be someone [somewhat?] blunted. Or give it over to Space Ghost: three shots, endlessly repeated, with deadpan Zorak reaction shots..."
I'd be inclined to watch the Space Ghost remake of CBS "News," otherwise, I'll just continue to boycott everything CBS: news, local, everything. *Yeh, yeh, so what is "it"? "It" is insightful snark, amusing commentary, griping about his popularity ("I have to increase my bandwidth!" or some such), post touching and amusing vignettes about daily life, etc. Just bang away at his bandwidth for a while and you'll agree: Lileks is a daily "must check."

Opera fanblog

Simply the best browsing experience... http://my.opera.com/mnmus/journal Yeh, I do use Firefox to post here, but that's darned near the only thing I use Firefox for. Opera is really that much better for most web browsing. Firefox is still too clunky and uncustomizable for me. (Now, if customizing Firefox disn't DEMAND a new plugin for every damned [BTW, not "profane" just a comment upon the curséd lameness of Mozilla software developers --heh] itty bitty thing I wanted to change/add and if I could move the curséd tabs to the bottom of my screen and if I could open a new tab as easily as in Opera, and... etc. ) But even Opera needs help, sometimes. And that's another thing I like about it. Microsoft is useless in supporting Internet Exploder. Mozilla "support" is a mess. The Opera support site is rich with discussion groups, techies, external links, etc. Nice place. And then they offered me another (free) place to bloviate. What great folks! :-)

"Cogito ergo sum"

Speaking of which, what's taking them so long to organize the State Funeral for WJC? Can't locate enough blue dresses for the pallbearers? For some reason I was reminded today of the fiasco surrounding Rene Descartes' funeral. First, there was the manner of his death. He should have known better. Sitting in a Parisian coffee house. The waiter came by and asked him if Descartes wanted a fresh cup. Descartes replied, "I think not" and immediately... was not. But the funeral procession for this famous mathematician/philosopher... Oh. My. Heavens. What a fiasco. As the horse-drawn hearse proceeded down the narrow streets of Paris, some juvenile merrymakers thought it fun to spook the horse by throwing stones at it. The horse took off, running wildly, the hearse careening through the narrow streets until finally, on a sharp turn, it jacknifed and the horse went down in front of the hearse, the coffin went flying off, skidding and bumping on down the cobblestone streets... and Descartes' body came tumbling out to roll, finally to a stop some yards beyond the knackered horse, the broken hearse and the smashed coffin. Yes, the worst case of getting Descartes before the hearse known to this day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Just regular ole chili


Disclaimer: I never make chili the same way twice. I never measure ingredients or use exactly the same ingredients, either. The following is a general guideline to the chili my family eats on a regular basis. Keep ion mind also that I'm a lazy cook, willing to take all kindsa shortcuts, as long as the end product tastes good, is filling and nutritious, in pretty much that order. Presentation counts in tenths of a point on a hundred point scale. It's all about the substance with just a tad of “sizzle.”


Beef. Best: leftover roast or any easily “shreddable” beef, already cooked. Second best: a “chili-grind” of beef.

Beans. Yeh, I know some so-called “purists” insist chili ought not have any beans, but they're just blowing smoke. Pinto beans preferreed. Best: leftovers from a night of conrbread and beans, that is, pinto beans and hamhock. Second best: soak and cook some beans for this chili. Make do: open a can (or two or three, depending on your taste and amount of chili you're making) of pinto beans. Black beans are good, too, but I'd never make black beans up for beans and cornbread, so...

Onion, garlic. In amounts you find work for you.

Some kind of tomato—not canned paste. Whatever tomato you have on hand. Fresh & chopped, canned salsa, Rotel tomatoes and green peppers, and even leftover spaghetti sauce all work. To taste, naturally. :-)


Chili sauce: Best chili sauce “base” is the enchilada sauce found here. Use it in an amount that works for you (this might oughta be called "experimental chili." Ask your subjects how it works. :-) Next best: however many handsful of packaged chili powder work for you.

Whatever you use for a chili sauce base, you need to add cumin. Best: take cumin seed and powder a bunch up in your coffee grinder. Next best: a few handsful of pre-ground cumin powder.

Assemble your chili and let it cook a while (how long? As long as it takes to taste right to you. Leftover chili is best, so make lots.)

Olive oil at medium heat in cast iron skillet or pot. (Heat the skillet first, then add the oil.) Dump in the chopped onion (yeh, I didn't say to chop it, but do I really need to hold your hand?) and just clarify the onion before adding the minced garlic—as much as you like. Feel free. Imagine it's “Italian chili” if you want.

Add the beef (pre-brown any that's not already cooked before starting this, but remember: leftovers make the best chili). Add the chili sauce ingredients. Finally, add whatever tomatoes and beans you have.

I sometimes add just a dash of “chinese five-spice” or whatever else strikes my fancy, but I don't tell folks until after they've stuffed their faces with chili for a while.

Serve it any way you want. Here are a couple of options:

  • In a bowl, plain. (Nah.)

  • Weird: in a bowl with a splash of vinegar (your choice, but I like Balsamic when I go this weird) and soda crackers.

  • On corn chips, add freshly chopped onion, tomatoes and lettuce, top with some kinda cheese and sour cream, sliced olives, and maybe even the kitchen sink. (BTW, make your own corn chips. They just taste better. See below.) If you like to add peppers, feel free. Jalapeños are the classic choice, but feel free to try seranos, habañeros or whatever suits you. I like 'em all. (Well, maybe not all at one time. Then again, mabeso... )

  • Leftover chili wrapped in a soft taco, add some cheese & Whatever® makes a decent Quick Eats. Zap it, of course. (Liberally add habañero sauce? Of course!)

The possibilities are virtually endless (although I doubt chili ice cream will fly with my family).

Just off the top of my head, that's about it. Again, you need ingredient amounts, fugettaboutit.

Oh, corn chips. Take some regular soft corn tortillas. Tear 'em in half. Broil/bak 'em til crisp. I use a lil convection oven on broil for about 20 minutes to make a small batch. They taste much more like corn and much less like oil. Perfectly fine for most dips. Better-tasting than the greasy junk in sky-high-priced bags.

Tug on Superman's cape?

Talk about stupid... Nepal, January 15, 2005 (via Jerry Pournelle's "Current Mail" )
"Maoists kidnapped 14 Gurkha soldiers, who were home on leave from their service in the Indian army."
Ohhh, bad move. Nepal has about 100,000 retired
Gurkha soldiers. Soldiers that slite forces worldwide hold in either the highest respect or downright fear (depending upon whose side they are on). The exploits of the professionals produced by the Gurkhas over the past couple of centuries for (mostly) British conflicts are the stuff of legend. I would not want to get on their bad side... Indeed, it ocurred to me some time ago that the U.S. ought to hire Gurkha troops for Afganistan and Iraq... It wouldn't take many confrontations to a.) send one huge buncha terrorist goatlovers to their afterlife reward b.) convince a whole bunch more that shutting up and moving on would be a very good thing. And here the Maoists thought it was a good idea to kidnap some Gurkha soldiers on leave from the Indian army. Oh, very smart move, idiots. Result?
January 16, 2005 "The Maoists said they would free the Gurkha soldiers they kidnapped yesterday, as they mistakenly thought the men belonged to the Nepalese army... "
[heh] Smoothe move, Exlax... (Hey, I wonder if we could get the DNC to kidnap a coupla Gurkhas? It seems to me that all it'd take would be some "survey" that told 'em it was a good idea. :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Always worth posting again...

On my second cup now and cruisin' toward number three... A little something for those who love the Holy Bean Same gif with a midi file here. Posted by Hello This post is also available with "licensing guidelines" at "O Blessed Holy Caffeine Tree"

First Amendment right or wrong?

What the heck is "freedom of expression" anyway?
Bill of Rights Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Can someone tell me whence some loony judge derived "freedom of expression" from freedom of speech, press and assembly? Grunts, squeals, dropping one's pants and excreting waste can all be means of expression. Is this what the Framers had in mind? They specified speech and press, as well as assembly and petition of the government. (Well, also freedom of establishing a religion and exercising religious faith, but that's mostly outside this issue. Mostly.) The Framers were familiar with other forms of "expression" apart from speech and press. Recall a certain "Tea Party" or other more forceful expressions with well-aimed riflery? (See Second Amendment: freedom from government oppression via a well-armed populace.) Yeh, the Framers could well have guaranteed "freedom of expression" other than just speech and press. But they did not. And likely for a very good reason: the written and spoken word at least have some liklihood of being able to sensibly convey political speech. Public crapping in the name of "free expression" is simply bad hygiene. Burning the flag a "free speech" issue? Only if accompanied by speech, bubba. Otherwise it's likely a case of just being a jerk. (Well, burning with the political speech is still being a jerk.) And what's this stupid idea that "free speech" (or worse, "expression") is everyone's right anywhere, anytime? Hey, dummies! The amendment refers to political speech. (Yeh, again: references to freedom to practice one's religion--more on that another time.) Freedom of peaceful assembly and speech—oral and written. Moreover, the amendment only prohibits Congress from passing any federal statute that abridges these freedoms. You have multitudes of local and state laws that regulate speech, and rightly so. In addition, your employer can tell you what you can and cannot say on his dime. But what about "free expression" on campuses and in classrooms? Yeh, well, kick the slats out from under any "free expression" goon you meet and demand they speak up clearly and make some sense. If they start waving a burning flag dipped in excrement in your face, pound 'em real good, OK? That's assault they've committed and you have a right to defend yourself. But as to free speech on campuses, well, that's another story. First, is it a school that is supported by federal dollars (another issue--another one we'll leave for later)? If so, and anyone tries to tell you what you can and cannot say as pertains to your political views, well, they can do as Dick Cheney told Patrick Lehey to do. (BTW, that was, in that context, free "political" speech, and IMO appropriate speech, at that.) If it's an employee of a federal funds supported school and they try to shut you up or censure you, sue 'em. Really. (It's too much to hope for to try and have them arrested... yet. But one can hope for the best.) But if you're just bloviating about something non-political and anyone objects or seeks to have persons in authority shut you up, who flipping cares? You have a perfect right to make an ass of yourself, but you really ought to be smarter and more responsible than that. Political speech? I'd back you to the hilt. A theological or aesthetics or philosophical or sports argument? You're on your own, bubba/bubbita. The First Amendment simply wasn't talking about those things (unless the theological argument regards your personal beliefs and active practice of your faith) and I, for one, don't care what you bring down on your own head. Yeh, I know some wacko, idiotic, lame-brain judges have disagreed with me. That's all right by me. Even wacko, idiotic, lame-brain judges have a right to make perfect asses of themselves by demonstrating they a.) cannot read or understand plain English b.) are simply too stupid to beat their way out of a wet paper bag with a gavel. Damn, but democracy is stupid. And that's one of the reasons the Framers specifically designed our federal system as NON-democratic. So stupid, venal and corrupt people would have less chance of corrupting the government. Loosely paraphrasing Ben Franklin, we had a republic, but we didn't keep it, and stupid thinking and behavior stemming from stupid readings of the First Amendment have had a hand in that.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I Hope This is a Passing Stage of Life...`

Sturm und Drang is Out: "Whadda you say, sonny?" is in... I've reached the place in life where I can't find my glasses unless I'm wearing them (doh—can't see 'em without 'em). But that's not the hard part. Not only can't I find my glasses unless I'm wearing them, I can't remember where I've set my cuppa coffee unless I've drunk it... (Each cup adds 3 IQ points in the morning.)

Good eats, hot treats

Slow off the starting block This is a late, late post linking to this week's Carnival of the Recipes. Some mouth-watering recipes posted. "Macho Sauce," "Kate's Garlicky Chicken with Spinach," "Enchiladas Suisse" and a few more are going to make it into my repertoire of quick and easy recipes (probably with my typical lazyman's adaptations :-). Go. Gain some weight just reading through the recipes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Classic Red Enchilladas Redux

You didn't think these were going away, did you? [First posted in the middle of December. Back again... ] 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 a little 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. Keep the corn flour 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! :-) You can cut the heat and really thicken the sauce with just a couple of tablespoonsful. OK, that is all there is to real Red Enchilada Sauce. It's really just chiles and water. Here's the rest of the dish: Preparation In a 9x12 baking dish, LAYER (in the following order—sauce, tortillas, sauce, cheese, onions, tortillas... 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 even 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.


"The Little Moonvies Take the Sacking"—MQ from Pruden Wes Pruden's article about the whitewash of the CBS/Dan Blather Rathergate story pegs the newly released report to the wall. An excerpt:
Mary Mapes, his producer who tipped the Kerry campaign in advance of the scandalous program and tried to get the candidate's men fired up about it, inevitably becomes the head scapegoat. To believe that she is guilty and Dan isn't requires us to believe that Dan Rather, of all people, is the virgin in the bordello.
Well, at least now we know where to find Dan and Les and all of Les' lil Moonvies. Note to news: Take a number and wait to be "serviced"...

Who guards the henhouse?

Sure, we're foxes, but we're objective foxes... One (of many) problems with the "Whitewash Report" about Rathergate is its reluctance to note the effect of political motivations on CBS "News" reporting of the events surrounding Rathergate. John Hinderaker takes note of that here. And excerpt:
For some years now, the party line of the mainstream media has been: of course we're pretty much all Democrats, but that doesn't influence our news coverage. If nothing else, Rathergate should put that defense to rest once and for all.
"...should put that defense to rest," sure. But denial ain't just a river in Egypt...

Democratic Voter, Washinton State. 'Nuff said. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A little off my feed

Blatherized... again Posting is going to be light. I'm in low-grade mourning... for our society. The CBS report on Rathergate's been issued, and Dan Blather's not yet been tarred, feathered, drawn and quartered, the pieces "processed" (and the "processed Dan" cleaned up by the EPA) through the intestines of swine (Les Moonves and News Director Andrew Heywood spring to mind for this role), the pigs slaughtered and their now-contaminated parts incinerated... There is no justice. Oh. Well. At least he's "...read the report..." and "...take[s] it seriously..." Sure he has. And sure he does. And his pants are still on fire from his lies.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

On Abortion Advocacy

Give 'em Choice II Let's see if advocates of so-called "choice" (referring to a woman's so-called right to choose to kill her baby or not) are serious about a person being free to choose. Offer this alternative: have every woman who wants to kill her unborn child sign a statement to that effect, and then give the child a choice, say eighteen or nineteen years later, whether he wants to "abort" mom. Fair enough? Of course, that would mean letting the child survive the "mother's" plot to murder it... Yeh, this idea has a few kinks, but just let it be your lil thought experiment for a day...

For the Children...

Choice? Yeh, give 'em "choice" Moxie reveals her "1 in 10" and "10 i n 10" outcomes of "Libzilla Parenting." (N.B. "Libzilla"=monstrous liberal. Obviously.) She ends with this point to ponder:
"Maybe I really am pro-choice. Isn't it better these kids be aborted than subjected to the lifestyle of the Libzilla parent?"
My only quibble with her observations is that she adopts the corruption of "choice" fostered by baby-murderers who deny the unborn child any choice.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Where is a Henry II when you need one?

"Will no-one rid me of th[ese] troublesome [High Priest Vulture Elite] priest[s]?* An American diplomat, posting anonymously as "Diplomad" from the part of the world most affected by the recent tsunami, rants about the UNhelpful, UNtruthful, UNethical, UNscrupulous UN "presence". WARNING: he speaks his mind clearly, forthrightly and with considerable venom. (And for this reason, he posts anonymously, for did he not, he'd be out on his ear before his post hit the fan, as it were... ) http://diplomadic.blogspot.com/2005/01/turd-world-and-high-priest-vulture.html About time the UN was served an eviction notice and told to leave our shores, cos we need the space (and our tax dollars) for better things. *a deliberate corruption of Henry II's outburst that led to four knights interpreting the king's will as "Kill Becket." Hmmm... seems like we not only need a Henry II but a few doughty knights, as well if we are to deal with the High Priest Vulture Elite of the UN.

An UNreview of M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"

Waiting on Godot? "Godot ain't here, man." M. Night Shyamalan's movies... what can I say? Here are the movies I've seen by M. Night Shyamalan: Signs (2002) Read much sci-fi? If you've read as much sci-fi/speculative fiction as I have, then this was likely as boring and predictable for you as it was for me. Not to mention the fact that it was full of really lame schticks, a severely flawed premise, etc. One of the absolutely dumbest movies I have ever seen. It even failed to be a camp "B" movie, because of its technical production values and attempt to be "serious". Just a plain, flat stupid movie. Completely wasted $$ seeing it in a theater. But I should have known better, because... Unbreakable (2000) was almost as bad. [sigh]. Fortunately, I saw (a blessedly short part of) this on TV and was able to simply CLICK to something less mind-numbingly dumb. Heck, Chris Matthews would have qualified on that score! Stuart Little (1999) OK, what can you do with a children's book based on a wildly stupid premise? This was cute ["cute"—shudder!]. OK, I'm cheating to include this one, too. I just couldn't stand to watch the whole thing, no matter what the rest of the family wanted to do. Bo-ring. The Sixth Sense (1999) Was anyone shocked to discover that the Bruce Willis character was one of the "dead people" the kid saw? You were?!?!? Rode the short bus to school, eh? I think there were a couple more I "missed" (but only because I couldn't hit them). Now, can anyone give me one reason why I should spend $3.21 (counting taxes) at the local video store to rent The Village? Or even watch it on TV? It'll have another totally lame "surprise" that fits the M. Night Shyamalan movie formula. A cretin will be able to figure the premise and the surprise out before the first 10 minutes of the film have passed, and any person of average inteligence will be bored to tears within 30 minutes. The characters will be caricatures of stick-figure cartoons drawn by mentally-deficient troglodytes. The film itself will have the typical M. Night Shyamalan bleakness and be devoid of anything enlightening or uplifting. If I want to experience something comparable, I guess I could stick my head in a dirty truckstop toilet for about 90 minutes. Or watch Chris Matthews for 15 minutes (or Dan Blather for 5). Thanks, but I'll pass.

Stolen Resolve

I had to steal someone else's resolution this year, cos I'm already perfect, ya know. Well, apart from that "theft" thing... [heh] Someone came up with a New Year's resolution I think I can keep. Can't credit it, cos I recieved it in email from someone who doesn't know where it came from... ================================================================ The Doctor told me I should start an exercise program. Not wanting to harm this old body, I've "resolved" to do the following: Monday Beat around the bush Jump to conclusions Climb the walls Wade through the morning mail Tuesday Drag my heels Push my luck Make mountains out of mole hills Hit the nail on the head Wednesday Bend over backwards Jump on the Band Wagon Run around in circles Thursday Advise the President on how to run the country Toot my own horn Pull out all the stops Add fuel to the fire Friday Open a can of worms Put my foot in my mouth Start the ball rolling Go over the edge Saturday Pick up the pieces!! Sunday Kneel in prayer Bow my head in thanksgiving Uplift my hands in praise Hug someone and encourage them.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Learned Child Saves Adults

(Stupid reporter skipped school) This is one of those good news-bad news kinds of things. Wonderful news: 10-year-old Tilly Smith was paying attention in class when a teacher who apparently knew his subject matter was going over a geography lesson.
PHUKET, Thailand - Quick-thinking 10-year-old Tilly Smith is being hailed as a hero after saving her parents and dozens of fellow vacationers from the deadly tsunami - thanks to a school geography lesson. Tilly warned the doubting adults at a resort that a massive tidal wave was about to strike - just minutes before the deadly tide rushed in and turned the resort into rubble. Tilly's family, from Surrey, England, was enjoying a day at Maikhao Beach last Sunday when the sea rushed out and began to bubble. The adults were curious, but Tilly froze in horror. "Mummy, we must get off the beach now!" she told her mother. "I think there's going to be a tsunami." The adults didn't understand until Tilly added the magic words: "A tidal wave."
Saved the lives of dozens of people. Good on you, Tilly. Now, two strikes against modern education. 1.) The adults had no idea what she was talking about until she told them in simpler terms. Dummies. 2.) Later in the story, the sub-literate reporter (Duncan Larcombe) slipped this past a sub-literate editor at the New York Post:
"Her warning spread like wildfire. Within seconds, the beach was deserted — and it turned out to be one of the only places along the shores of Phuket where no one was killed or seriously injured."
"...one of the only..."???? [emphasis added] The cretins at the New York Post apparently don't know the meaning of the word "only": without others or anything further; alone; solely; exclusively. If this place were (notice the subjunctive mood) exclusively the place "along the shores of Phuket where no one was killed or seriously injured" it could not have been "one of the... places." Only means the single one. No other. So, a little child who pays attention in class and learns a life-saving lesson—one that saves the lives of many who apprently were too stupid to learn the same lesson when they were snozzing through geography lessons. Maybe they'll pay attention in the future. Nah. They'll rely on having Tilly (and the few like her) to do their thinking for them. Sad, though, that a reporter (and his editors), whose business is wordsmithing, are too stupid or lazy to learn their craft. (Oh, ht to On the Third Hand)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Photoblog the Dog

Missed again! My fav from this post at Caption This! is the one that reads:
"Leo would later regret teaching his dog the deadly art of Precision Dive-Crapping."
The picture says it all...

Hitting the nail on the head

"...gripped by an unprecedented degree of irrationality, prejudice and hysteria over the issues of Iraq, the terrorist jihad and Israel... " Via Powerline, this link to an article (actually a talk at a conference) by Melanie Phillips, "The Reporting of Iraq and Israel: An Abuse of Media Power". An excerpt:
"A friend went into Blackwells university bookshop in Oxford and asked the counter clerk: 'Do you have a copy of Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel?' 'There is no case for Israel', the counter clerk replied."
Read ye all of it.

Predictions for 2005

No, not mine. Frank J's. A sample:
* Dan Rather does an expose on how Jesus never did raise Lazarus from the dead based on memos allegedly typed at the beginning of the first millenium A.D. It recevies little scrutiny from his audience at the nursing home.
More at the link.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Soylent green

No thanks. I'll pass on the grey poupon... Guest blogger RightWingDuck, posting for Frank J at IMAO, has a list of New Years Resolutions he'd make for other people, such as, "Michael Moore He should eat more... " Hmmm. how about Hollyweird? I imagine he'd like it with a little Heinz catsup, and it isn't as though Hollyweird would be any great loss. After being processed by Moore, it'd be back as good as new... in the end.

"When you wish upon a star... "

James Wolcott's dreams come true in tsunami (HT: Right Wing News ) Vanity Fair Contributing Editor, James Wolcott speaking about the last hurricane to sweep Florida and the Gulf coast:
"I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own."
Well, James, how's it going with the rooting for natural disaster, now? What nasty buggers such as Wolcott and other pseudo-intellectual enviro-nazis are.

Ironic, eh?

There are none so blind... While I appreciate—no! strongly approve!—of the actions and sentiment of these New Nampshire residents who protested against the UN by burning some UN flags, I cannot but wonder at the irony: "What I object to about the U.N. is that they try to tell America what to do, and take our tax dollars to do it."—Russell Kanning Yeh? And how, really, is that different to fedgov agencies telling people thay can't build on their own land because there's a puddle some obscure species of mosquito breeds in? Or (take your pick) any number of the other multitude of meddling measures enacted by congresscritters and expanded on by bureaucrats that are entirely ourside any Constitutional authority? Do they not take our tax dollars and try to tell us what to do with our own lives in ways objectionable to any person who was born free? After all, it's the fedgov that takes your tax dollars and gives them to Kofi, et al, to use as a bludgeon against us. Protest the U.N. Sure, that's fine. Better to protest a government that is willfully exceeding its own legitimate authority, not the least by its support of the U.N.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hollywood=Terminal Stupidity

Hollyweird Computer Illiteracy Equalled Only by Hollyweird Stupidity Yeh, it's just one minor example, but multiply it by a daily deluge of Hollyweird malapropisms, sub-literate language, lack of plot contimuity and absence of character development in, um, characters (assuming there are any characters that are more than cardboard cutouts), and it's a constant source of reason to avoid Hollyweird "entertainment". Latest example? Really minor, but irritating nonetheless. I was walking through the TV room and caught for a second by what could have been a moderately interesting plotline: automated service systems (water, traffic control, etc.) corrupted by a virus. Chaos, loss of life ensues. OK, here's where things fly off the wall. It's all apparently the fault of a kid who, during a visit to the office of a bigshot in "the" company responsible for the control hardware/software at question, UPLOADS (from media he carries in with him) a piece of music with a virus embedded. So? So the guy who's the bigshot genius head of the company (and, BTW, has difficulty using a mouse and faking keyboard use) confronts the kid and accuses him of DOWNLOADING "something" into his computer (which of course is connected to all the public works platforms throughout the city and the world that use the company's hardware/software). Download and upload are different. Seems like the bigshot genius head of the company would know that—except, well, he's a Hollyweird bigshot genius head of the company, so he's an idiot. Oh, yeh, and all the other completely implausible minutiae plopped into the thing so that within 2 mins, I was singing to myself "Bored now, bored now, nored now... " and up and gone. [yawn!] If tghe writers, producers and director (not to mention the actors and all the crew) had two brain cells to rub together among them all, it could have been an interesting plot. But then it would not have been typical Hollyweird.

No, that is NOT me on the escalator. I don't work out that much... Posted by Hello


All Hat, No Cattle The story of UN arrogance, incompetence and irrelevance continues beyond Jan Egeland's disingenuous (and wholly spurious) denunciation of the U.S. as "stingy" in tsunami relief efforts. "Diplomdic" posts on U.N. bloviation about its relief efforts here. Cheap shots, one and all, but then, criticizing the U.N. is only so easy because it's a worse-than-useless organization.