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Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Martha Rule

Tatoo this one to the insides of your eyelids Yes, it's come to this. Remember Martha Stewart. Then, read this: What NOT to do - When Federal Agents Come Knocking:
"... Don't talk to a federal investigator of any kind, for any reason, ever, on or off the record. It's always on the record. Worden's Rule 1: Stick your tongue between your teeth and bite down until the blood flows. Do not admit to anything. Especially, do not deny anything. Remain mute, no matter how long they try to drag the interview out. Even if an attorney representing you is present, say nothing unless in the privacy of his/her office."
I was brought up to cooperate with the authorities, but that's a thing of the past. More and more the petty tyrants of bureaucracies, law enforcement, all the big and little nosy parkers of government, are becoming less and less 'servants of the people" and more and more enemies of those they purportedly serve. When asked by any such for "help," just shut up. Not. One. Word.

Too Easy

Dan (Riehl World View) "NYTs" Krugman: all the news that's fit to fake "Krugman Leaves Times for NRO/Invasion of the Headline Snatchers" "Fairy tales can come true/It can happen to you... "_*_ :-)

"It's Seven O'Clock in San Francisco... "

(Apologies to George Carlin) "... it's Nine O'Clock in Chicago... In America's Third World County™, it's 7:42; time for the Eleven O'Clock Report." Yeh, I only recall the 7:42 part with anything approaching accuracy. And it was Baltimore. Anyway, a couple of interesting convergent posts in divergent places over the last two days. Both asking (and partially answering) the eternal question: It's past curfew; do you know where your credit cards are? This one at The Bleat has James Lileks relating a cautionary tale about a call from his credit card company. Here's a taste:
"And just the other day I was blithely dismissing worries about shopping on the web. Then again, for all I know someone made an impression of the card at a restaurant; that’s still the easiest way to get someone’s credit card number. Anyway, it’s all a mystery. It can’t be connected to those troubles PayPal is having with their database – I answered that email right away and entered my information into their new supersecret computers. I didn’t know they were co-located in Bulgaria, but you learn something every day. (Just. Kidding.)"
This post tells of an identity theft victim turning the tables on the perpetrators (h/t Joe Zeff commenting at Pournelle's Current Mail) Ovid goes Sam Spade all over some identity thieves:
"I'm so mad about this that the obvious doesn't sink in for a bit. I have interesting information. You don't have breakfast mail-ordered. These thieves were at that restaurant and that's a local zip code...."
Cracks the case and even gets the cops to respond (!!!!). Good on him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

News Flash: Pope will NOT move to Florida

From a discussion on Jerry Pournelle's Current Mail page:
I see they're now discussing putting the Pope on a feeding tube. And in a surprise announcement, Michael Shiavo says the Pope once told him that he wouldn't want to live that way.
As long as the Pope avoids Judge Greer, et al... More at the link about strange bedfellows.

If this is Wednesday...

...then it must be time for me to start planning weekend meals So, here's a big part of a Saturday meal. heck, with just two of us, now, it'll last through Sunday (and with WonderWoman going off to a conference Sunday afternoon, it looks like I'll even have some on Monday). So, I'd better have something good. And easy, naturally. Sooo...
Chilis n Cheese Grits Note: getting my family to eat something called "grits" is a challenge. I still can't get 'em to eat plain ole grits as a breakfast dish. Not even with crumbled bacon and lotsa butter. Go figure. Must be the Nordic genes craving *lutefisk* instead... *yech!* This is my modification (naturally) of my mom's recipe. Since she's now in her 80s and has been making this for at least 40 years or so, even though I've enjoyed it like this, I called to check a couple of things before I wrote this one down. Check's OK with the REAL cook in the family (with one warning below), so it's a go. The only amounts below that are pretty well set in stone are the liquid measures and the grits. Everything else, the garlic, onion, bacon and green chiles, can all be vaied in lotsa ways for differing tastes and still end up with delicious Chile Cheese Grits. 8 slices of cooked bacon, fat trimmed, crumbled (or 1/2 C or more packaged bacon bits) 1 C milk (low fat or skim's ok--see "cheese" below :-) 2 C water 1 C quick grits--really, don't take the time with the regular grits. (Less time=lower chance of grits sticking to the pan. :-) 1 C grated Cheddar/Jack cheese mixed. Any cheese that melts well, apart from mozarella, will do. 1/4 C (or maybe a lil more) sour cream 2 Tbs butter/margarine/olive oil--whatever (actually, I prefer bacon grease) 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 1 can chopped green chiles 2 eggs (beaten) Oven at 350° F; greased baking dish; coupla pans for prep (sauce pan, frying pan). Combine the milk and water in a saucepan and bring to just under a boil, then add the quick grits. Reduce the heat and let 'em cook for about 5 minutes. Stir every now and then. While the grits are cooking, between stirs chop/mince the onion garlic and get them ready for the dish. If you fried the bacon up instead of using packaged bacon bits, sauté the onion and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat until just clear. Otherwise, use the butter/margarine/olive oil to sauté the onion/garlic. OK, now the grits and everything else is ready, dump the onion, garlic, bacon bits, green chiles, (beaten) eggs and cheese together in the grits saucepan and stir well, then dump the mixture in the baking dish. Give it about 30-40 minutes at 350°. My mom says, "Watch it to make sure it doesn't get too browned." Remove, let it sit a bit and then serve. It's great with pinto or red beans, ham, or even as a breakfast side with eggs and salsa. NOTE: for a "creamier" grits base, add more milk... I've been successful with UP TO one additional cup, but it does tend to be a LOT looser the more milk you add, so be careful. Adjust after a few tries to get the end consistency you want. Note #2: I've wanted to try this with chorizo instead of bacon, but I never seem to have chorizo and grits handy at the same time, and chorizo hasn't been all that easy to come by in America's Third World County™ until quite recently, anyway... If you try it with a sub for the bacon,let me know how it goes for you, eh? Mincing garlic: a mini-tutorial Clove of garlic on cutting board. Lightly crush the clove flat with the side of your chef's knife. Remove skin. Do NOT clip off the root end! Use the root end as a handle and quickly slice lengthwise from shoot end toward stem. Hey! Keep your fingers outa the way! Now, chop across the garlic. Now whale away at it. Voilà! Neat lil minced pieces. Want a bolder garlic flavor in the dish? Use a garlic press. It'll release more of the oils and "mince" the garlic even finer. UPDATE: DO NOTE that I never make this dish exactly as noted above. Tonight was no exception. Happily, it turned out better than usual. Here's the variation for tonight. I was running a lil late, so I "compacted" some of the steps. I "microwave-sautéed" the onion/garlic. Saved some prep and cleanup time. I also tried something I'd been thinking of (not the chorizo—that'll have to be another time) for a while. I added the "microwave-sautéed" onion/garlic and the green chiles (about 8oz this time) to the water/milk mixture as it was heating knowing full well that it would "clabber" the milk. Nice lil quasi-cheese addition to the dish. It really added something nice, I think. Mixed EVERYTHING except the eggs and let it sit in the saucepan for a bit while I whisked the eggs. Eggs in, mixed quickly and immediately into the oiled casserole dish, then oven. Saved using a pan for sauté-ing, cut a few minutes prep and had a slightly different taste/texture. Still recognizable as same dish, just a lil different, easier cleanup (by a tad) and a lil faster. Let me know what changes you make that are successful, would you? [UPDATE] The tag end of leftovers from this went in a pot of bean/beef soup/stew as thickener. Worked well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Another voice heard from on the Schiavo case

Killing Grandma for Fun and Profit Folks who've read this blog (and my e-logging previously) may well be familiar with holly Lisle. Every now and then I recommend reading her essay, "How to Write Suckitudinous Fiction." In her previous "life" (before her success as a science fiction author), Holly was—still is, for that matter—an RN. She's seen folks like Terri Sciavo. Holly has a well-thought-out piece up about the implications of the Schiavo case that I highly recommend. Just CLICK on the linked title, "Killing Grandma for Fun and Profit" h/t: Jerry Pournelle's Current Mail

Monday, March 28, 2005

"Kipling Tuesday"—a cautionary note to the MMPA and LLMB

"We hear that there are tumults and riots in Rome, and that voices are raised concerning the army and the quality of our soldiers. Make haste to reassure us that you love and support us as we love and support you, for if we find that we have left our bones to bleach in these sands in vain, then beware the fury of the legions." The Loony Left Moonbat Brigade and their co-conspirators in the Mass Media Podpeople's Army do all they can to bring about an attitude like the one shown "Tommy" below. They succeeded with the Vietnam War. This time around, they have failed—so far.
TOMMY I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer, The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here." The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die, I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I: O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away"; But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play, The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play. I went into a theatre as sober as could be, They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me; They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls, But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls! For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside"; But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide, The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide, O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide. Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap; An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit. Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?" But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll, The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll, O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll. We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too, But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you; An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints, Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints; While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind", But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind, There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind, O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind. You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all: We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace. For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!" But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot; An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool--you bet that Tommy sees!
Yeh, the LLMB and the MMPA want us to fall for their lies that they support the troops but oppose the war. And how do they show that? By lying about what our troops do and the effect they are having. These folk present our military as having killed an enormous number of Iraqi civilians—often lumping in with genuine casualties both numbers of Iraqis slain by terrorists and the dead scum (the terrorists), then disingenuously inflating the number of both. Bah. Wait until "the legions" have their turn to express their thoughts on the matter to the MMPA and LLMB... And don't for a minute fall for the idea that the reception Tommy got (and that the LLMB and MMPA really want for our military at home) has a good chance of taking hold. Fortunately, even with attempts to manufacure a generation of idiots via prisons for kids masquerading as so-called "public schools," there are more than enough people in this country who know better than to show such disrespect toward the men and women who are fighting terorists there so that we do not have to do so here. More than enough to serve as a bulwark against the lies damned lies and "news" reporting (with apologies to Mark Twain) that the LLMB and MMPA attempt to feed the public daily.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Fun with stats

Another undeserved ranking For the life of me, I do not believe I'll ever figure google out... The other day, I quoted Jerry Pournelle writing about the Schiavo case,
"... As it is, she has no one to defend her but some people who actually believe in law and justice and are not raising a rebellion in her aid. Esmerelda had her beggars as defenders. But she was hanged quickly even so. Along with her goat."
Checking my stats, I saw that someone had googled "Esmerelda goat hanged" and my post quoting Dr. Pournelle was listed fourth... pages before the post at Chaos Manor Musings I gleaned the quote from. Thanks for the (one) hit, google, but really, now: wouldn't Pournelle's original comment have been a better reference than my quote of him? Yeh, I know it probably has to do with me linking back to his comment and others linking to my comment, etc., but still. Thanks for all the fish. (My hold on both the #1 and #2 google spots for both "I hate Intuit" and "hate Intuit" makes sense though. *heh*)

That's America's Third World County™ for ya...

... quasi-lbertarian (small "l") and completely "Your business ends where my nose begins, bubba" Found on the local grocery's bulletin board: You read the card right. it says, "We clean meth houses... " Posted by Hello A business that's apparently been bringing clean meth houses to America's Third World County™ since, oh, about 2004 or so, if it's any of your business, which it isn't...

Making omlets

what to do with broken eggs? If the Terri Schiavo case establishes principle (that it is humane to starve someone to death), then it only seem right, as a commenter to IMAO has suggested (scroll down the comments), that this would be the answer to those who believe the death penalty for monsters is inhumane: simply treat them as Loony Left Moonbats and mass Media Podpeople (as well as monstrous judges, all) say is humane to treat those who have broken no law but are inconvenient because of their profound disability(ies). That's right: starve the bastards to death. After all, if it's humane when applied to someone who's not committed a crime, would it not also be humane when applied to monsters?

Making the hard choices...

Frank J of IMAO follows in Jonathan Swift's footsteps Evoking the reasoning of the great and courageous jurist, Judge Greer of Schiavo case fame, Frank J. proposes that The Humane Thing to Do Is Let Africa Starve Frank makes a compelling case... if you happen to be a Loony Left Moonbat or a Mass Media Podperson, you'll no doubt jump right on board this train. It follows Greer's (and LLMB/MMP) reasoning in the Schiavo case to a "t".

"Cruci-fix" @ "Whistling in the Light"

rest of Cruci-fix added and post bumped to Easter Sunday Read the rest at Whistling in the Light

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Snarking the Poet

Topic Drift Knows How to Do it Right Just read and learn as Topic Drift opens a can of snark and dumps it all over Carolyn Forché (whoever that is. Some obscure person calling herself a poet, apparently):
She calls herself a "poet of witness." Bah. No such thing. One might just as well call oneself a "nursemaid of trout" or "lieutenant of puddings" or "Human Resources Director" or "lumberjack of peri-menopause" or "emperor of ice cream". All nonsense. That last one's taken, I think.
You want more? There's much more.

Looks like I'll not be takin' Ben Stein's money, after all...

Proving once again that he's smarter than I am... Ben Stein chimes in on Terri Schiavo and other judicial abortions.

*rara avis*

Have you ever known one of these? I've never had the pleasure/priviledge of working for or with a supervisor/manager/boss like this:
"He's loyal to his employees; he knows them and cares about them and treats them well. He goads them to make sure he hears all points of view. He does not encourage rivalry and competition among them. He surrounds himself with people who are widely regarded as being smarter than he is, and values the ideas of those who are better-informed..." —Orson Scott Card
Who was Orson Scott Card talking about, this rare person who embodies the commonsense approach we all wish our boss/manager/supervisor in some (probably past) job had embodied? Is it some character in one of his well-written novels? Possibly a protagonist who overcomes great obstacles and triumphs because of the heroic character that truly values those he leads? No. Orson was synopsizing Ari Fleischer's description iof President Bush in Fleischer's new book, Taking the Heat..

Razorblogging at Glenn's place

Breaking news: Yeh, the Instapundit himself is discussing the advantages.disadvantages of different razors. *heh*... indeed The link above and this one for Glenn—and his readers— on... shaving. Well, each to their own. I decided some years ago that since a.) my wife frequently commented on the beard I had when we met and married (and how much she liked it) and b.) I dislike the process of scraping my face anyway that I'd just grow it and trim it with the same clippers/scissors/razor combo I use to cut my own hair. (Yeh, I also decided some years ago that griping about the loon that butchered my hair would be better directed at the loon in the mirror.) Noticeably warmer in winter. Extra care keeping clean in summer (sweat & dirt from yard work--more care than bare face). Added benefit? I get to shave it once a year for my April 15 "National Day of Mourning" ritual. (I keep hoping that holiday will catch on... ) Added benefit #2? I buy about 4 disposable razors a year. Problem? My beard is MUCH grayer than anything else I have for hair. On second thought, not so much of a problem... any more, that is... *heh*... indeed. :-)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Well, I'd settled on Mac n Cheese for tonight...

...but some of these dishes at Carnival of the Recpies #32 are looking awefully good... (Parenthetically, after THREE attempts to post this, I am beginning to hate blogger) I had all kindsa nice stuff to say bout this week's Carnival of the Recipes, but Blogger seems to want to lose it all. Again and again... Just go here and see all the goodies. Still gonna have Mac n Cheese tonight, but I can see a couple of the recipes from this week's carnival making the list for this weekend's meals.

New Gig

Well, an old gig in new clothing, perhaps... Back to curmudgeon mode. I'm thinking of beginning a new consulting firm. People can call me up and ask if their boss/co-worker/spouse/neighbor is a jerk. I'll be happy to listen to the circumstances, pronounce my diagnosis (naturally, they're all jerks—at least there's a vanishingly small chance they are not) and charge my fee. ($75/15 minute call? Sounds about right.) Sounds like a winner: "Wah-Wahs for Whiners" I think I'll call it. Whadda ya think? Addendum: I just placed a call to myself to test this out. Griped a while about some jerk in a WallyWorld parking lot who decided to drive the wrong way up an aisle in the parking lot. What? The "U.S. Mail" sign on his pickup gave him the right to do so? Not in my book. I laid on my horn until he backed on out. Jerk. Next step? A call/letter/fax to the postmaster in that town complaining about the unsafe driving and rude behavior of this jerk. Then, a lil phone call to my congrsscritter asking what can be done to get this jerk hung by the short and curlies. Hey! And if he can't tell which way to drive in a WallyWorld parking lot, maybe he's impersonating a typical oh-so-bright and "professional" USPS part-time rural mail carrier. After all, don't they have to take some kinda civil service exam (like that's harder than reading a comic book)? Maybe this guy's a terrorist or something. Yeh, the feebs ougghta investigate his sorry... a-hem... Yeh, that's the ticket.... So, after griping to myself on my $75/15-minute phone call (nice to have 2 lines so I can do that), I told myself that this part-time rural mail carrier was indeed a jerk. Money well spent. *heh*

See "Cruci-fix" at Whistling in the Light

It's Good Friday. Have a nice trip. (Do you know your destination?) See the first (Good Friday) half of "Cruci-fix".

The Man Who Invented the Future

Joe Schembrie marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Jules Verne I missed it yesterday, but March 24 was the 100th anniversary of the death of Jules Verne. If you're thinking "Huh?!?" right now, just go read Joe Schembrie's essay, "Jules Who?" An excerpt:
"...Verne's two novels of space travel, From Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon... foretold of NASA's actual lunar voyage a century later with surreal accuracy. For example, Verne's space-shell resembles the Apollo 8 Command Module and even weighs the same. Both real and fictional vehicles carried a crew of three. Verne's space-shell was launched from a location in Florida just one hundred and fifty miles from where Apollo 8 was launched, and the actual mission splashed down in the South Pacific just two and a half miles from where Verne's fictional mission returned. "
Heck, don't just read Schembrie's essay, go read (or re-read) some of Verne's prescient 19th Century novels.

You DO have a dog in this fight

Jerry Pournelle on Terri Schiavo, again In Chaos Manor Musing's Current View, Thursday, this comment from Jerry Pournelle:
She is unfortunate. She is a white female Catholic innocent of any crime. Were she Black, or Hispanic, then she would have her defenders and the more her brain damage the more insistent the ACLU would be on defending her rights. As it is, she has no one to defend her but some people who actually believe in law and justice and are not raising a rebellion in her aid. Esmerelda had her beggars as defenders. But she was hanged quickly even so. Along with her goat.
One is tempted to add, "Of course." But then, one always attempts to resist such temptations. Not. Further, were she a confessed monster, convicted of horrible acts of brutality and justifiably sentenced to death after all due process of law, she would be the poster child of the Left as they sought every means to prevent her death. This isn't irony. It's the "logic" of monsters, Satan-spawn. Once can almost hear the dialog between Wormtwood and Screwtape... You DO have a dog in this fight.
First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me. –Martin Niemöller

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ann Coulter channels... me.

Enough with this shilly-shallying around, Ann; tell them what I really think... Now here's a scary thought: either Ann Coulter's been reading my mind or she thinks a lot like I do. You doubt that? Here's me a couple of days ago:
"But the legislature and administration of Florida (are you listening, Jeb?) were also wrong in the way they have allowed judges to become little emperors in their State in the last few years. Florida law allows for the prosecution of those who torture people who are in their care. Jeb ought to order the arrest of the judge in the Schiavo case and vacate his order by the simple expedient of taking her into protective custody."
And here's Ann Coulter, today:
"Just once, we need an elected official to stand up to a clearly incorrect ruling by a court. Any incorrect ruling will do, but my vote is for a state court that has ordered a disabled woman to be starved to death at the request of her adulterous husband."
Of course, since I posted my remark noted above, I've read quite a few others who think essentially the same thing. I have noted several times in the past that legislatures and executives (both stte AND federal) need to exercise their responsibility to reign in judges/justices who violate both the letter and the intent of laws duly passed, as well as their respective constitutional documents' letter and intent. Gutless legislators and executives are the proximal cause of much of the woe being caused by inperial courts.

Willisms considers the dynamics of political change

More On The Babe Theory of Political Movements View the evidence and the development of his thesis. It is compelling. (And not bad on the eye candy chart, either. ) Posted by Hello Money quote:
Where and when there are hot babes, an exponential number of men will show up. If 100 cute girls with voluptuous bodies are protesting for freedom, you can count on a thousand men being there as well. If sexy babes are involved in a peaceful political movement, it has a far greater chance of succeeding. If there are no good-looking women involved, the odds of a successful (and peaceful) movement fall dramatically.
Well, duh. :-)

Froomb!

A little help, here... Yeh, yeh, I know about (and have read, though 40 years ago) the John Lymington book, "Froomb!" (1964). What I'm looking for, with no joy so far, is the cartoon I vividly recall of about the same vintage—but with an interesting variation on the cartoon's theme—also titled, IIRC, "Froomb!" (for "Fluid's running out of my brakes!" as with the title of the Lymington book). The cartoon features a personified world/globe (wears a hat, has eyes, mouth, hands, etc.) driving a car that's headed off a cliff with—surprise!—the caption, "Fluid's running out of my brakes!" IIRC, it (the cartoon, not the Lymington book) was meant as a commentary/cautionary on the dangers of the nuclear standoff policy, MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction. Anyone, among my legion (where legion=2) of readers have any clue 1.) who the cartoonist was 2.) where I can find a copy 3.) whether this exists or I have imagined all this Awaiting your responses with baited breath. (Baited with cheese, garlic and smoked turkey, if you really wanna know. Or even if you don't.)

"The Death of Conservatism"?

I've got news for John Cole: it's years and years too late. What? Exhume the corpse of conservatism and proclaim it dead? John Cole breathless ly asks in the aftermath of our congresscritters' involvement in the Terri Schiavo situation, "How far will they go to kill conservatism?" Newsflash, John: they're just beating a dead horse. I've watched so-called conservatives (and even more sneaky, disingenuous, fake "Liberals" and damned lying bastard "Moderates") for years and can say unequivocally that the remaining members of ANY species of genuinely conservative, liberal or moderate politicians amounts to just about enough to fill a one-stall public toilet. Almost. The substantive difference between Republicans and Democrats? The Democrats are determined to run the country off a precipice at 90mph. The republicans are aimed at the same cliff, just poking along at a relatively sedate 70mph (used to be about 45-50mph, but they're picking up steam). Or, as a 19th Century Reformed theologian said, in speaking of social conservatives and liberals,
"American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition...It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle." –R. L. Dabney

*YAWN* (Dog bites man)

Sometimes no news is NOT good news... It's not news to anyone who generally registers 98.6 (leaving out HUGE swaths of Democratic "voters"), but a report issued March 21, 2005 by The American Center for Voting Rights about vote fraud in Ohio points the finger at... Democratic party-aligned third party groups. Duh.
“Third party organizations, especially ACT, ACORN and NAACP engaged in a coordinated “Get Out the Vote” effort. A significant component of this effort appears to be registering individuals who would cast ballots for the candidate supported by these organizations. This voter registration effort was not limited to the registration of legal voters but, criminal investigations and news reports suggest, that this voter registration effort also involved the registration of thousands of fictional voters such as the now infamous Jive F. Turkey, Sr., Dick Tracy and Mary Poppins. Those individuals registering these fictional voters were reportedly paid not just money to do so but were, in at least one instance, paid in crack cocaine." “Third party organizations, especially ACT, ACORN and NAACP engaged in a coordinated “Get Out the Vote” effort. A significant component of this effort appears to be registering individuals who would cast ballots for the candidate supported by these organizations. This voter registration effort was not limited to the registration of legal voters but, criminal investigations and news reports suggest, that this voter registration effort also involved the registration of thousands of fictional voters such as the now infamous Jive F. Turkey, Sr., Dick Tracy and Mary Poppins. Those individuals registering these fictional voters were reportedly paid not just money to do so but were, in at least one instance, paid in crack cocaine.
Move along folks. Nothing to see here... h.t. Ankle Biting Pundits.

I'm flattered *blush*

But do I deserve so high a ranking? OK, it's just a number one ranking (for now) in a google search some visitor to my site made on the phrase, "Boudicca battle cry truth against the world." That google search turned up this post: "Public (and other) Servants: Words that lie" Ought google to have returned my post in the number 1 spot? Well, since you've yet to read that post (taps foot impatiently), you're not yet qualified to answer that question, now are you? :-) But seriously. I didn't mention "Boudicca" in that post at all... *heh*

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

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

"...he always claims it is his duty." "TSA stops troops from invading SFO Airport" See: "Sigh" and This Article Does anyone with more than two working brain cells think that the purpose of the Thousands Standing Around (otherwise known as TSA) is anything other than a full employment effort for idiots, goons, poltroons, bullies and other recent typical products of our government schools? Surely no thinking person believes the TSA has anything serious to do with making air travel safer? (Unless—now here's a thought!—the Thousands Standing Around are merely a huge distraction camoflaging some other real security effort. Nah. Fails the feeb government stupidity and mandatory mismanagement tests. But it was an intriguing thought... ) Oh, h.t. to Robbie Walker, posting at Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor mail page.

"Holy Silflay Hraka, Batman!"

Something to put on the bumper of your Ford Escape: From "Bigwig" at Silflay Hraka* this lil gem: Makes me wanna buy an SUV just to chap the gizzards of some baby enviro-nazis. Posted by Hello *From Silflay Hraka
"Silflay Hraka is an rabbit epithet from the Richard Adam's novel, Watership Down. You can look up the meaning here (link via Daily Pundit). It was the first naughty phrase I ever learned in a different language, as Tolkien hadn't seen fit to have Gimli spew out a few dwarvish "elven goatlovers" in Lothlorien."

2nd Amendment Activists... in Iraq

Contemporary demonstration of the Framers' intent Kim du Toit comments on (and links to) the recent story about a neighborhood in Iraq that defended itself against a terrorist attack in "Militia-Style Defense."
"This is precisely why we need to go back to being a Nation of Riflemen. The police cannot be everywhere all the time; the bad guys know it; and ultimately, if you can’t protect yourself, you hand over the decision of life and death to another."
I kinda liked Robert Heinlein's future America where every adult was required to wear a loaded sidearm... (minor restrictions and exclusions allowed--with difficulty approaching those of getting a CCW permit in New york or the Duchy of Chicago today) Can you say, "polite society"? My only quibble with Kim's site is that he focuses too much on being a "Nation of Riflemen" when handguns would be so much... handier for most city folk... And even though I live in America's Third World County™ I realize that many do not live in rural settings where carrying a rifle around is handy.

Terri Schiavo, again

in the case of the (attempted?) murder of Terri Schiavo... Although Dale Franks at QandO Blog doesn't frame his comments as regarding (attempted) murder of Terri Schiavo (that's my frame of reference), Dale's comments are nevertheless piercing:
"Unfortunately, Ms. Schiavo didn't butcher a carload of tourists with a hatchet, so we can apparently just let her die, and make her whole case moot. I mean, irrespective of whether or not you believe Congress exercised its authority inappropriately in this case by ordering the de novo review, the clear intent of Congress was to spare Ms. Schiavo's life through mandating another round of review. Too bad they couldn't find a way to make that explicit in the text of the act. Apparently, the judiciary is coming over all originalist now, and deciding that, if it's not in the text of the act, it isn't required. "
Of course. Typical of an increasingly activist, imperial and capricious judiciary. Anything that honored the intent of Congress in this matter would decrease the power of the imperial court system. And those who support the imperial courts are generally also those who protest the death penalty and are only opposed to the death penalty for monsters. They approve the death penalty for helpless, but inconvenient, humans who've committed no crime. This is all too convoluted and inbred for me. I'm almost ready to start shouting "Power to the people! Shackle (or hang?) the judges!" Yes, Congress was wrong to butcher federal principles yet again on the block of expediancy. But the legislature and administration of Florida (are you listening, Jeb?) were also wrong in the way they have allowed judges to become little emperors in their State in the last few years. Florida law allows for the prosecution of those who torture people who are in their care. Jeb ought to order the arrest of the judge in the Schiavo case and vacate his order by the simple expedient of taking her into protective custody. Force a (state) constitutional crisis in Florida. he'd likely win against an imperial judiciary if the legislature had the balls to take down a few judges who've gotten too big for their britches. Then, GW could follow that tack in D.C... maybe. If he had the balls for it. There are at least five Supreme Idiots who ought to be impeached and removed, right now, for failure to uphold the Constitution.

Someone's in the kitchen...

Dinah ain't here, man... Another mess of Whatever Stew is in the crock pot for tonight and tomorrow, but I'm already wondering whether to make pizza this weekend or... Mac n Cheese Here's a recipe I've had sitting around for a while. I have, as always, modified it to suit me. (My mom and siblings stopped asking if I recall how to make old family favs—"comfort food"—cos all of them are different in my kitchen... and different nearly every time I make them. *heh*. They eat 'em and ask for the "recipe" but never ask for the originals) In fact, I don't think I ever made it according to the recipe I was handed originally. Close but no cigar. And, yeh, lots of times I have made mac n cheese that's not... up to this standard, just because I was pressed for time. but this is what I prefer. This is a general guideline. PLEASE change any element to suit your taste as you go along. Between 1/2 and a whole package of bacon (1/2 to 1 pound?) uncooked OR 6 oz (or more!) cooked, dry bacon bits (2/3 to one cup) 1/4 cup butter, margarine or even olive oil. But ONLY olive oil, extra virgin. The tasty stuff. 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs--Make 'em or buy 'em. Whatever is easiest.* 1 lb uncooked elbow macaroni (Hey, the packagges are conveniently labeled, so "pound" is easy to measure, here.) 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion 1 1/2 lb of your fav easily-melted cheese. Swiss cheese, jack cheese, cheddar. Hey! That's a nice mixture! Just no mozarella. Not for macaroni n cheese, please. I like a tad of Parmesan or Romano tossed in as an extra kicker. If you're not using bacon bits that you've either pre-made or bought, save yourself some draining time and broil the bacon. Cook it until it's fairly crisp. Most of the grease will roll right off into the broiling pan. Save the grease (covered jar in fridge) for use in other recipes. Drain and dry with paper towels Trim ALL the fat off (the dogs will thank you for the treat), then crumble the bacon. Best "crumble"? If it's not too crisp, chop it with your chef's knife. Otherwise, pace it between paper towels and use your rolling pin to crumble it. If you're using butter, melt in in a small pan over low heat. When melted, add the bread crumbs and sauté until the bread crumbs are browned. No, don't just let them sit there in a hot pan. You DO know how to sauté, don't you? If you use oilve oil, heat the pan first, then add the oil, then the bread cruumbs, of course. Boil the macaroni in salted water for, oh, 7-10 minutes. A little olive oil added to the pot will help prevent the macaroni from sticking together. Sometimes, I'll add a crushed clove of garlic or some fresh parsley or some other herb, depending on what I have on hand and whether I feel like adding a lil kick. Most of such addenda will pour off, but a bit of flavor will linger. And the added aromas while it's cooking are nice in the kitchen. :-) While the macaroni is cooking, grate the cheese and chop the onions. (Time-savers: buy pre-grated cheese. Always chop whole onions at once and save the leftovers in a plastic bag for use THE NEXT DAY. If left in the bag in the fridge for just a day, the chopped onions will "sweeten" and in just a day won't spoil.) When the macaroni is done, drain and rinse it (lightly!) in a colander. Layer the ingredients into a glass baking dish of whatever size and shape you have to hold 'em. Macaroni/cheese/bacon bits/onion. Does an herb pop into your mind at this point? Sprinkle a little in and see how it goes. Top with the bread crumbs and bake at about 350-375 F (oven temps vary) for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Now, this part's the hard part, cos folks just want to dig in and have at it NOW. Remove it from the oven and let it sit a couple of minutes before serving. Serve with (and this is important! *s*) fresh or frozen (cooked, of course) peas. I'll not be having any of your green beans with this dish, thank you very much. And nothing weird for veggies, either. Just fresh or frozen green peas, juuuust cooked--just steamed, even. That POP of bright green against the cheesy/bacon-y macaroni looks good on a plate, and they're the perfect flavor complement. What? You need something else to complete this meal? Go away, cos you're not gonna get it at my house. OK, OK, if you insist, add some tomato succotash**. Another splash of color and taste. But try it with just grean peas first. You can feed an average family with this. Leftovers are even better than freshly made, believe it or not. Pack some for lunch and nuke it. Your co-workers will envy you. * From Ochef (http://www.ochef.com/1015.htm ) here's an easy way to make your own bread crumbs: "To make unseasoned bread crumbs, take very stale bread and grind it into crumbs in a food processor or crush it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. If your bread is not completely dry, slice it and put it in the oven at 250°F (120°C) until dry. You can also grate dried bread on a grater, which produces flaky crumbs." **Tomato succotash: a simple dish of corn, peas, Lima beans and stewed tomatoes. In any darned ratio you like.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Lady Justice's new first name...

Caprice I've noted before the observation by Jerry Pournelle and many others that we no longer live in a nation governed by the rule of law but a nation of selective inforcement of law, governed by the carpricious whim of bureaucrats and vindictive or fief-building carrerists in law enforcement; and that instead of a republic, we now are ruled by political elites and a (no longer truly) federal bureaucracy that creates "a multitude of New Offices" and sends "swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out [our] substance." (ref: Declaration of Independence). All this is a large part of why citizens seem to have little respect for laws (citizens? say rather, subjects... *sigh*). There are many more reasons, of course. Felony inflation—fill in a pothole (that some enviro wacko claims is a "wetlands) and commit a felony. *sheesh!* Land-grabbing by municipalities for business interests—take from the "poor" and give to the rich: the motto of modern "liberal" government. Rule by judicial fiat. But I'd like to deal with criminal justice from a differnt angle, very briefly. Punishment of crime. Dan, over at Riehl World View (and in the article from there published in the Blogger News Network) spurred some thought about this issue. PLEASE NOTE: Dan didn't say anything like what I say below. What I propose below is simply a kinda riff on a very minor sub-point of a peripheral comment. his article is serious in a way this is not (although I am serious, just differently so). If a crime is truly a crime, lets make some distinctions and use some common sense in applying justice, shall we? People who commit violent crimes—aggravated assault/battery, robbery, rape, murder, for example—get put in prison and what? They are essentially in grad school for criminals, because they'll "serve" some time while getting advanced coursework in mayhem and then be released to commit more murder and mayhem--"better" murder and mayhem!. Not smart. And not fair to their victims past and future. Isn't the primary purpose of government to protect good citizens from such as these? What could be better? Gee, I don't know... I'd opt for "an eye for an eye" in cases of violent crime. Beat someone up, get beaten... until you learn that you're going to get beaten worse than you dish out. Kill someone? Obvious. Be killed. Robbery might be a lil iffy. Two crimes in one, as it were. Threaten with bodily harm and take a piece of someone's life (that's what your property is, you know: you paid in time and effort off the time alloted you to live for what someone steals from you), get caused bodily harm and be required to pay back more--say seven times as much, as in biblical times?--than you forcefully stole. Drunk drivers? An easy one. Catch 'em drunk? Hand 'em a bottle of their fav poison. Disable their brakes. Clear all traffic from a very steep and dangerous mountain road. Send 'em home via that route. The liklihood of them driving while drunk and needlessly endangering others' lives again will be moot in short order. Buh-bye! (Yeh, I have no compassion for drunk drivers. None. At. All.) Theft by non-violent means could be more justly punished by forcing the thief to repay double what they stole. Plus interest, at 7 points above prime. At least. Bring harm to another—physical or monetary—be required to "pay back" more than the harm you caused. That's not just punishment but justice. (My position on how to deal with monsters such as child abusers and many activist judges stands: state-sanctioned very public deaths by very monstrous means would seem best. This is too wimpy by far for child molesters/murderers, but at least Iran is on the right track.) That would cover the bulk of crime. It could also provide some serious relief from having to house, clothe, feed and guard so many in prisons. Indeed, we could just limit the number in prisons to anyone who wants to be a congresscritter and be much better off, more than likely... *heh*

Tuesday Kipling

I dunno... maybe it was the use of "conundrum" in the previous post that spurred this, although I suspect it's the other way around, since I've quoted from this particular bit of Kipling more than once, recently. Give a listen and then pause for a moment's thought... ********************************************************* THE CONUNDRUM OF THE WORKSHOPS When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden's green and gold, Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould; And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, "It's pretty, but is it Art?" Wherefore he called to his wife, and fled to fashion his work anew -- The first of his race who cared a fig for the first, most dread review; And he left his lore to the use of his sons -- and that was a glorious gain When the Devil chuckled "Is it Art?" in the ear of the branded Cain. They fought and they talked in the North and the South, they talked and they fought in the West, Till the waters rose on the pitiful land, and the poor Red Clay had rest -- Had rest till that dank blank-canvas dawn when the dove was preened to start, And the Devil bubbled below the keel: "It's human, but is it Art?" They builded a tower to shiver the sky and wrench the stars apart, Till the Devil grunted behind the bricks: "It's striking, but is it Art?" The stone was dropped at the quarry-side and the idle derrick swung, While each man talked of the aims of Art, and each in an alien tongue. The tale is as old as the Eden Tree -- and new as the new-cut tooth -- For each man knows ere his lip-thatch grows he is master of Art and Truth; And each man hears as the twilight nears, to the beat of his dying heart, The Devil drum on the darkened pane: "You did it, but was it Art?" We have learned to whittle the Eden Tree to the shape of a surplice-peg, We have learned to bottle our parents twain in the yelk of an addled egg, We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart; But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: "It's clever, but is it Art?" When the flicker of London sun falls faint on the Club-room's green and gold, The sons of Adam sit them down and scratch with their pens in the mould -- They scratch with their pens in the mould of their graves, and the ink and the anguish start, For the Devil mutters behind the leaves: "It's pretty, but is it Art?" Now, if we could win to the Eden Tree where the Four Great Rivers flow, And the Wreath of Eve is red on the turf as she left it long ago, And if we could come when the sentry slept and softly scurry through, By the favour of God we might know as much -- as our father Adam knew! ********************************************************* Oh, what the heck... just go here once a day and read a bit of Kipling.

Conundrum... or oxymorn?

Thomas Sowell weighs in on the illegitimacy of so-called "Liberal" agitation in the Terri Schiavo case Thomas Sowell rightly pegs the disconnect between recent so-called "Liberals'" arguments for the murder of terri Schiavo:
The fervor of those who want to save Terri Schiavo's life is understandable and should be respected, even by those who disagree. What is harder to understand is the fervor and even venom of those liberals who have gone ballistic -- ostensibly over state's rights, over the Constitutional separation of powers, and even over the sanctity of family decisions. These are not things that liberals have any track record of caring about. Is what really bothers them the idea of the sanctity of life and what that implies for their abortion issue? Or do they hate any challenge to the supremacy of judges -- on which the whole liberal agenda depends -- a supremacy that the Constitution never gave the judiciary?
I suspect the reasons Sowell pegs are but two of (too) many. The disconnect of so-called "Liberals" (who apparently have not once ounce of liberal blood in their cold dead hearts) who agitate on the one hand to spare the lives of cold-blooded killers yet rail that a man who has deserted his wife must be allowed to torture her to death simply because she is profoundly disabled is simply beyond reason. If ever there was a clearly definable characteristic of children of Satan is must be this: the blood thirst for innocent life and the protection of monsters who cold-bloodedly take innocent (to the degree that anyone is innocent *heh*) life. "Liberals"? Children of Moloch, rather. ("Moloch [the sun god of the Caananites] was represented as a huge bronze statue with the head of a bull. The statue was hollow, and inside there burned a fire which colored the Moloch a glowing red. Children were placed on the hands of the statue. Through an ingenious system the hands were raised to the mouth (as if Moloch were eating) and the children fell into the fire where they were consumed by the flames. The people gathered before the Moloch were dancing on the sounds of flutes and tambourines to drown out the screams of the victims." * The victims were typically children. That's right: the helpless, the powerless, those dependant upon the protection of their parents were sacrificed... by their parents. Burned alive. At least it was faster than starvation and dehydration. Sounds kinda like a "husband" and judge now in the news... )

Monday, March 21, 2005

For Terri Schiavo

Prosecute the torturers Andrew McCarthy's article in The National Review yesterday details an answer to the Terri Schiavo case that does NOT involve federal intrusion and does seem to answer the pressing need. He cites a Florida law that forbids (and prescribes punushment for) abuse of disabled persons, including torture of those who, like Terri evidences in contemporaneous videos, are NOT vegetative but simply profoundly incapacitated. He then goes on to ask,
Where does it say, under Florida law, that a judge has the power to authorize the commission of felony violations of the law? A judge manifestly had no power to tell Michael Schiavo and the hospice that they could feel free to shoot or hang or over-medicate Terri to death. Why in the world do we think he had the cognate power to permit a torture?
OK. So lynching is out. *sigh* But jailing the judge who ordered Terri Schiavo to be tortured tio death ought to happen. Now. Where are the handcuffs. No bread and water. And why not remove the judge's "feeding tube"? An "eye for an eye" seems fair. No food or water foras long as Terri's been (or is) without—for the judge and every single person who weighed in on the side of killing Terri Schiavo by torture. What would be wrong with that?

On a lighter note, take a bite of this Apple

Free Fiona Apple! Disclaimer: I do not find Fiona Apple's voice or vocal style at all appealing. That said, I do still very much like her music, especially what I've listened to so far of "Extraordinary Machine," the album Sony has shelved—refused to relase—because it's "not commercial" enough, but which neverhteless has found a huge audience among radio listeners and internet downloaders. Huh? Yep. Seems a DJ got hold of a copy of the songs and has been playing them regularly and a whole movement to "Free Fiona Apple" has sprung up, attempting to get Sony to press the album and allow folks to buy it. Here's a site where you can download very high quality mp3s of all the songs on the album, if you wish (I did). And here's Other observations? Glad you asked. (You did ask, didn't you? :-) OK, in one sense Sony is right. The music on "Extraordinary Machine" is definitely not the sort of manufactured commercial crap Sony has been majoring in recently. It's rather complex and involving music, instead. Not the sort of thing that Sony's market is aimed at—tone-deaf, subliterate, "prison for kids"-manufactured doofs. OK, I can see where Sony would say, "We don't know anyone who would buy this stuff," because Sony execs apparently are tone-deaf, subliterate doofs ,themselves. This stuff is good, in spite of all apple does to ruin it with her annoying voice. Just plain good stuff! Now, I'm conflicted. If Sony succombs to pressure to release it, against all their "over-manufactured commercial crap for idiots sells" instincts and Fiona fans buy the albu in large numbers, who benefits? Sony. *sigh* Would this encourage Sony execs to look more carefully at the quality of the music they publish (and who would care, since they obviously can't tell good music from bad, anyway)? Or would it just reward their three-year shelving of this album? Wouldn't a better solution be to download the songs anywhere one can get them for free and send Fiona Apple a buck or so a song (far more than the buck or so an album she'd get from Sony--if she's lucky)? I'd much rather send her some money directly than give Sony a dime. But that's me. I'll always prefer that the artist (and in this case, again in spite of her annoying voice, Fiona is that rare thing: and artist) get the lion's share, rather than some philistine in a suit. Thx to Glenn Reynolds for tipping me off to the fact that the songs were available—somewhere *heh*—on the web.) Update: Epic (a subsidiary of Sony) now says " ...Fiona has not yet delivered her next album to Epic, but we join music lovers everywhere in eagerly anticipating her next release." So, what is it? Apple fans have supposedly been besieging Sony for more than a year asking for the album's release, and now Epic says she hasn't delivered? I suspect the truth is that she has but Epic demanded changes to make it more "marketable"—changes Apple is probably right to resist, given the other offerings coming from the Sony Borg. Addendum: Janis Ian has some trenchant observations about artistic expression, music, the music industry, and the internet at her web site. Good reading. (Oh, and she has some of her music for download there. Remember "At Seventeen"?) And this whole idea of artists marketing directly to those who appreciate their work, bypassing much of the cumbersome and overly expensive vampires (well many of them are) has other thinking advocates. Jim Baen, a book publisher with a genuinely forward-looking viewpoint, has given server space and publicity to those authors who want to give away some of their books... and both baen Books and the individual authors have noticed significant gains in their bottom line as a result. I know that after Holly Lisle pointed me to the Baen Free Library I bought a number of her books... since the library offered me an opportunity to download and read one of her books and I discovered I liked her writing. (Our local lil library here in America's Third World County™ does the best it can, but its fiction selection is scarcely larger than my pre-purge collection was. And much of that selection is... not worth reading, anyway—a matter of catering to the clientele, as much as anything else. *heh*) Other authors—Eric Flint (the prime mover behind the Baen Free Library ), John Ringo and several others' books have been purchases I would probably not otherwise have made, had not the library introduced them to me. And Baen Books also sells e-books of all their titles very inexpensively, with a larger share of the ebook price going to the author than does from print books (economy of production passed on to the artist--Baen's a White Hat, I think.).

Hard cases making bad law

Federalsim? We don't need no steenking federalsim. But we do need prayer in (and for) our courts... First: the Terry Schiavo case reveals the moral bankruptcy of our society. That government is no longer FIRST tasked to prevent the taking of innocent (of crime) life but is instead simply determining when it's permissbile to take the life of a person who has been conviceted of no crime is indicative of a deep, deep failure of our society. That the perpetrators of this abortion of justice have not been taken out and strung up by angry mobs of locals rebelling against immoral government/courts is an even sadder commentary on the moral fiber of what was once a republic. That said, it's none of the feds business to what depths of moral depravity Florida's so-called judicial system falls in becoming a witting participant in the murder of a woman whose only "crime" is that she is severely disabled. It turns on its head completely the idea that we have a republic of States, as devised by the Founders (but then, that concept was already terminally poisoned by the Great Unitarian-Baptist Shootout**, when the Baptists lost to the ungodly Unitarians... *sigh*). Piggybacking on the illegitimate expansion of so-called federal power in other areas in order to do good in this one is just one more case of republicans (small "r") surrendering to the mob tearing at the tatters of the Constitution. But then, a large part of the problem is acceptance of government involvement in too much of our personal lives--involvement by all levels of government in all too many parts of our personal lives. That Schiavo's putative "husband" (who now lives with another woman with whom he has fathered children) is allowed by a court to have any say whatever concerning the life of the woman whom he has deserted, to whom he has denied care settlement monies were earmarked for, is appalling--especially since there are people ready, willing and able to take care of her themselves. No, the Florida judge says, kill her. But not only "kill her" but do so in a way that would have any one of us jailed for doing it to our dogs. (If you have the stomach for it and are morally depraved enough, try starving your dog to death, denying it water. The worst of dog-hating neighbors would report you and you'd be jailed. Would that some hater of the disabled would have the moral fiber to have the judge who condemned Terry Schiavo to a tortured death jailed... at least.) That's too much, and I can certainly understand the moral outrage that would lead congresscritters to intervene with an attempt to make a federal case out of it. But they, too, are wrong. (Whereas the proper response by our congresscritters ought probably to be... see above re: lynching.) *sigh* There seems to be no right solution except... perhaps as I have heard suggested, praying that God would intervene and grant terry Schiavo the ability to swallow again. So, pray. (**"Great Unitarian-Baptist Shootout: also known by disingenuous historical propogandists as the American Civil War. Another example of good intentions—the abolition of chattel slavery—hitching a ride with bad—imperialists, robber baron industrialists and economic slaveholders.)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Now, *here's* a happy thought...

Social Security may not be in as much trouble as most think... oh, my...
Scientists Say Life Expectancy To Drop Obesity could help keep Social Security solvent because people will die younger. "One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think," said study author S. Jay Olshansky.
Now, that's certainly mixed news. (h.t. Rod Schaffter, posting at Chaos Manor Mail)

Quote of the week

Think happy thoughts... think happy thoughts... think... arrrggggghhhhh! Quote of the week? Maybe quote of the decade, for all I know.
"As I have said repeatedly the purpose of government is to hire and pay government workers; and the purpose of TSA is to remind us all that we are subjects, not citizens." –Jerry E. Pournelle (page down a ways)
Think happy thoughts, now. C'mon, I know you can do it... (And from the same source as above, a related—and perhaps just as disturbing—thought: " It is interesting that opponents of the death penalty want Terri [Schiavo] to die." Yes. It is related... )

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Courage or Idiocy?

You be the judge Riehl World View is helping publicize some folks campaigning to raise awareness (and money, of course) of the dread scpourge, IDD—Intellect Deficit Disorder. Indeed, some well-known people are courageously (???) putting their names, faces and personal battles with this disorder in the public eye in aid of
... a grass roots organization funded in part by the DNC to reach out to dumb people everywhere. "It is no fun being stupid," said Boxer at a recent IDD kick-off event. "I've kept quiet long enough and it's time I began to share my own struggle with this terrible disorder in hopes of helping others to cope with its debilitating effects."
May I humbly suggest you do everything you can to aid those with IDD, starting with a visit to Riehl World View to read the World Exclusive Story™, "Please Help Fight IDD: America's New Epidemic" there.

Flying Spacemonkey Knows Good Food

Yeh, but does he eat it or throw it? (I just recalled watching a very, very bored gorilla eating his very, very unappetizing and boring-looking meal in a not-so-good ape house at a not-to-be-named zoo, sometime in the mid-70s. Not a pretty picture...) Oh, the subject? Thanks for reminding me. This week's Carnival of the Recipes—#31— is up at Flying Space Monkey. I've only just now seen the list, but looks like good eats. (And I KNOW I'll be trying out Escalade Soup... just not measuring and all that stuff... It'll be close, really!)

"Reality-Based" Thinking

" ...'tain't necessarily so... " (Where's a good performance of Porgy and Bess when you need it?) Alan Woody has a good take on the soi-disant "reality-based" community, as the Loony Left Moonbat Brigade is starting to call itself. Read "'Reality-Based' WTF?" and come on back. I'll wait. ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... OK, back now? It's ironic to see/hear LLMs refer to being "reality-based" since so much of what they stand, er, lay about (or rant, scream and throw hissy fits) for is decideddly unreal. Reality-based? Like theLLM "pacifist" who was arrested recently for threatening to blow up the White House as an anti-war protest? Now, talk about a walking, talking contradiction. Or how about the female "scientist" at Harvard who says she was made physically ill from hearing Lawrence Summers suggest discussing someof the scientific evidence that fewer women in maths and the sciences might just be based in biological differences? No contradiction in her behavior, now, was there? Or how about the central thesis of Loony Left Moonbattery, that your "reality" can be different to my "reality"—that reality is essentially nothing but a set of opinions? Now that's unreal. But then, you can probably recite a longer litany of unreal opinions LLMs cite as "reality" yourself. *heh* But all this begs the question What is real? LLMs make the faith assertion that reality is opinion-based and their opinions are the only "true reality." OK, it's easy to make an assertion. I could assert that I am the King of America. Will that exempt me from paying caesar on April 15?

Friday, March 18, 2005

"Death to the First Amendment!"

McCain-Feingold grows legs. Big, hairy spider legs Chris Muir at "Day by Day" does it again. Here he speaks out about the elimination of the First Amendment. It's a Must See.

Small town gossips

It's not exactly "A Tale of Two Cities" More like, Daze of Our Lives" *sigh* Ya know, I sometimes have to "make the rounds" here in town to find out just what I'm "up to" now, It's soooo good to know that the town gossips have a much better idea of what I do than I do. Just one of the "advantages" of living in America's Third World County™. (No, I'm not going to tell you what the lastest rumor[s] about me is[are]. Put your ear to the ground and it'll jump right in if you're anywhere near America's Third World County™.) Of course, it'd be an exercise in redundant futility to track down the source(s) of such rumors. They are abviously too senseless to be beaten any more senseless, so there'd be no joy gained. *heh*

Corner Shot

Finding cool things Checked my stats this a.m. Found a visitor who'd checked out my post "Shooting Aroind a Blind Corner" by googling "shooting around corner." Just under my post was a listing for this. "Army Technology - CORNER SHOT™ - 'Makes Tight Corners an Advantage™'" Yep. A frame for a handgun that includes a color camera yielding the ability to... shoot around a corner. Fun thing about the internet. Can find the coolest things... My thanks to the visitor from the Netherlands for indirectly steering me to this cool thing.

A Hearing on Steroids

OK, Stop me if you've heard this one... Passing through the room. Noise on TV. Yeh, it's the congressional hearing on steroid use in major league baseball. (Aside: this is what Congress has descended to? Hearings on baseball? Trivializing themselves--as if it were possible to make Congress any more of a joke... ) What caught my eye/ear was some guy harranguing baseball players for being bad examples, cos his son died of steroid use. Come again? The baseball players' purported steroid use was the cause of his son's death? Where was dad when the son was using steroids? I'd say a closer cause of his son's death from steroid use was bad parenting. Misplacing his own guilt now is just a follow-through from misplacing responsibility for raising his own son. Now, I could be wrong; I stopped listening after a RCOB descended over my eyes... All I heard (and saw captioned below his image as "son died from steroid use") was this guy blaming someone else for his son's use of steroids, for his son's death. What a whiny baby. Dads like this who don't give a damn about their kids (well, not enough of a "damn" to actually be a dad) while they are alive have no right to point the finger at others for their own failure as a parent. Of course, if I have it wrong, if this "father" was actively involved and being a proactive parent, and major league baseball players slipped into his home in the dead of night and secretly injected his son with steroids without the "father's" knowledge, then I'd certainly apologize to him for my remarks.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

If you need another reason...

...besides the (CODE WORDS! *heh*) Thousands Standing Around then this lil post at Victory Soap just might be the thing to help you Just Say No to flying. *heh*

I take a bow

Thank you, thank you. Please, no applause. Well this is a first. Really. No kidding. I checked my stats (aren't stats addictive? Maybe it'll wear off) and found several visits resulting from google searches for I hate Intuit—so naturally I had to investigate. Yep. I'm number 1. What an honor. (Please notice the irony.) My first (known) number one page ranking in google. For my lil post, "I Hate Intuit." Still, it's an appropriate ranking because I do hate Intuit. nasty buggers. See the post if you haven't already to know why. Apparently, there are a lot of people on the web who've remarked similarly... Probably a drop in the bucket. Most who'd like to say so are probably still mired in Intuit's lousy so-called "tech support" trying to get help with Turbotax bugs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Funny thing, that

Underground SA I've been getting a goodly number of hits from Saudi Arabia resulting from folks (guys, I would assume) searching for a phrase in Arabic (found in "No shoot, Sherlock") that translates "filthy whore." (I used the term in a fictitious quote of one of the Iraqi "room mates" of the supposedly kidnapped Italian commie "journalist.") Hmmmm... A yahoo search for a term that indicates some guys in Saudi are looking for porn (something that's supposedly a SEVERE no-no in S.A.). Searches for the same Arabic term are also showing up from Egypt, Sudan, Kuwait, the UAE, Israel (?!?), Holland, Sweden and... Illinois. *sigh* Well, at least they're not finding what they're looking for here. And... the searches from the Arabic countries indicate a possible ripe field for, um, missions. (Not being good little Muslim boys, now are we? Eh? *heh*) And so it goes...

*Ordung!*

"Sign zee papers, old man!"** Glenn Reynolds notes, in his latest Tech Central column, that
"... if you haven't been convicted of some felony or other, it's probably because no prosecutor has tried to put you away, not because you haven't committed one, whether you realized it at the time or not."
Indeed. We have reached the point where the only thing standing [between] a citizen (like maybe a pushy, perhaps even obnoxious, broad, say, Martha Stewart?) with rights and a convicted felon whose rights have been stripped, modified or severely curtailed is the time, personal taste and/or whim of a prosecutor. That means that, in essence, what we think of as rights are really only priviledges temporarily granted by a government that can strip us of those rights any time it truly wishes to do so. And nearly as bad as "felony inflation" as laws seem to grow like vicious and rabid tribbles, is the actions of judges who issue new law (usually, it seems, after reading tea leaves and goat entrails) by fiat, as Thomas Sowell notes in the first of three recent articles dealing with trouble on the bench:
"While people in various countries in the Middle East are beginning to stir as they see democracy start to take root in Iraq, our own political system is moving steadily in the opposite direction, toward rule by unelected judicial ayatollahs, acting like the ayatollahs in Iran."
Welcome to the Imperium. **(My thx to Cheech n Chong for the perfect image of the new order: "Sign zee papers old man!"... "But I cannot sign the papers"...much intervening dialog... "Why not?" "Because you have cut off all my fingers!")

That Awkward Age

I've reached that awkward age... ...where I can no longer read a book, watch TV, listen to the stereo and carry on a conversation simultaneously. And I don't have anyone to play chess with at the same time, now, either. Ah, well. I suppose it has something to do with leaving adolescence behind me, now that I'm in my 50s.

"CSI" Stands for

Completely Stupid Idea One of the many reasons I strongly dislike CSI and its cousin TV shows can be found, illustrated and explained in moderate depth for a layman's understanding, here .
"Chris Enzler from Cognitech says, 'you won't get a perfect picture, that's Hollywood. You will get a good picture, but you can only reconstruct so much. You almost never get a nice tape - some videotapes have been recorded over 100 times. Banks and other stores try to be cheap, and too many people expect stuff from the movies or CSI.' Chris gave several examples of Hollywood magic that doesn't work in real life. One example is from a recent CSI episode, where the video investigator rotated a car in 3D to read the license plate, from a 2D video. In other shows you see the investigators enhance a single pixel to a full screen, with perfect clarity, which is obviously impossible."
Of course, all the other reasons I avoided the show(s) after the first couple of episodes I watched in order to give it a fair viewing are moot since Rathergate. Since Rathergate, I've sworn off ALL CBS programming, including local programming from our CBS affiliate. Haven't missed a thing. Of course, CSI is now in syndication on other channels, but that just makes narrowing down my viewing options (which sometimes narrow down to nothing, which is itself no loss) easier. Now, if only someone could get through to NBC that cloning ever dumber versions of Law & Order is a waste of otherwise valuable programming time... "SVU" was bad enough, but "Criminal Intent" with weird boy Onofrio gave me a rash. I dread discovering what the new version-that-should-not-be-named might turn out to be like... Nah. No dread. More TLC and History Channel. That'll do the trick.