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Thursday, June 30, 2005

News from the Islamic jihad

Warning: avert eyes if you have one ounce of sympathy for the savages that make up the Islamic jihadists.

A Precision Guided humor Assignment from The Alliance


News Update from Al-Jizeera
معزة عاشقات كهوف ، العراق

"Muhammed "Splodydope" Muhammed Muhammed prematurely detonated Thursday morning during his morning prayers when he failed to execute his exit strategy from his favorite goat."

Poor Muhammed. Now he won't get his 72 murdering, suicidal prostitutes.

And for those illiterate splodydope buddies of Muhammed, here is something the 2 out of 10 semi-literates among your buddies in Goat-lovers' Cave, Iraq might be able to read to you:

أخبار يحدّ من [أل-جيزيرا]

"فجّر [موهمّد] "[سبلوددوب]" [موهمّد] [موهمّد] مبتسرا يوم الخميس صباح أثناء ه صباح صلوات عندما هو [فيلد] أن ينفّذ ه مخرجة إستراتيجية من معزته مفضّلة."


[موهمّد] فقيرة. الآن لن يحصل هو ه 72 يقتل ، عاهرة انتحاريّة.

OK, so what's so bad about the ACLU?

Check out Stop the ACLU for lotsa links.

The Stop the ACLU Blogburst usually has a suggested topic (thanks, Gribbit) but this week, it's a free fire zone, as it were, so I thought I'd take a step back and look at the ACLU from a slightly different angle.

First, I'd like to differentiate between organizations that have fallen from their origins and those like the ACLU that have stayed true to their purpose. Bodies like Congress, the YMCA and the UN (YMCA lumped in with Congress and the UN?!?!? :-) have quite obviously degenerated from their original purposes. The ACLU, however has remained true to its founders' goals. While I applaud the ACLU for steadfastly standing firm in its purposes, let me note that the founders of the ACLU firmly believed that their communist philosophy would eventually overcome American capitalism and democracy, and the organization has remained true to both the goals and the methods of the founders.

ACLU founder Roger Baldwin stated in 1935, "Communism is the goal." A year before, he had said: "When the power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means necessary." Then in 1978, Baldwin said, "We've depended on the courts as the vehicle by which we assert our interpretation of the Constitution." _1_
And the goals and methods have remained: to destroy the American experiment via corruption of the Constitution via the courts. The gains that the ACLU made in its plans through the corruption of the First Amendment, with the aid of the activist Warren SCOTUS, in suppression of Christian speech in the public arena and corruption of "free speech" into the contradictory (well, contradictory of the First Amendment itself) "free expression" has aided it well in its goal of using cultural jiu jitsu on a free and open society. By using our own values against us, via warping their meanings and winning the media war to make their interpretation popular, the ACLU has been instrumental in creating a culture that welcomes the barbarians who seek to tear it down. All in the name of tolerance and "free expression."

Indeed, one can see how well the ACLU, which was at the forefront of the fight to redefine "free speech" as "free expression," has won in its primary goal of changing the battleground in its favor by simply reading last week's ACLU blogburst on the topic of the ACLU's opposition to the Anti-Flag-Desecration Amendment being pushed in Congress, now. Many of the bloggers who posted on the topic essentially supported the ACLU's position, because they have been brainwashed into believing that the Warren court's invention of a right of "free expression" out of thin air is actually what the First Amendment says.
It does not. And in fact, until the Warren court, "freedom of expression" had been consistently rejected, first by Madison himself and all the way up until the early 1960s activist court made new Constitutional law ex nihilo, as this representative quote from Justice Felix Frankfruter in 1951 illustrates:

"The historic antecedents of the First Amendment preclude the notion that its purpose was to give unqualified immunity to every expression that touched on matters within the range of political interest. . . ." _2_
Madison himself noted that "free expression" was not a substitute fro "free speech." If it were, then a separate "freedom of the press" would be redundant.

No, under any reasonable person's reading of the Constitution, desecration of the nation's flag is not a First Amendment issue at all. Ask Madison, who believed such a thing was criminal.

But, using just this one example, it's easy to see how the ACLU has won at least a major battle when folks who know the ACLU is a highly destructive element in our society get steamed about flag burning as "wrong" but somehow "protected" by... the ACLU's redefinition of the First Amendment.

See? Cultural jiu jitsu. Using our tolerance and belief (largely created with the input and direct aid of the ACLU) in protection of "free expression" as equivalent of "free speech."

Try this: teach your dog to "speak." Can your dog then "speak" intelligibly on matters of public policy and thus be protected in its "speech" by the First Amendment? No. Because it's not speaking, it's just "expressing" itself.

And that's just about as equivalent a description as one can make of "free expression" absent words, intelligible speech. Speech, specifically political (and referencing an earlier portion of the First Amendment, religious) speech is protected by the First Amendment.

Is it protected speech if it is intelligible, political (or religious) and inflammatory?

The courts have held that it is not always so.

Is it preotected speech if it is intelligible and inflammatory and neither religious nor political?

The courts have held that it is not so far more often in these sorts of cases.

Is it even speech if it's not... SPEECH?

Duh. Of course not, unless one is a judge or justice brought up under the propaganda of the ACLU and its ilk.

And that is the most serious threat the ACLU poses: dumbing down, watering down, diluting and polluting the Constitution with the ACLU's "interperetation" on the way to its genuine ultimate goal of supplanting our republican government with a socialist-communist state.



Personal request

This is a rare personal request for help

Oh, it's not for me, though God knows how much help I need. :-) Here's the story:

Daughter completes grad school. Gets job. Moves to new town. Goes to work. Discovers that the HR person who extended the job to her had, uhm, not been in communication with the person my daughter was to work for.

The job does not exist. HR guy seems to be dodging her.

Bummer.

Running out of $$, spinning wheels, running as fast as she can toward another job.

Anyone know of work for someone with a psych undergrad and sociology grad degree in the OKC area? (Actually, "A day job is one you take to pay the bills so you can do what you really want, like play in a band, or invent relativity" would seem to apply at this point...

Leave a comment or e- me.


Ta-DA!

Personal note: CLICK HERE for a personal request for help ... for someone else

(OK, Imagine a "Herve' Villachez" voice... ) I AM...


Batman
Congratulations! You scored a super 71%!
Cool, calm and powerful. Whilst your actual super abilities may not be anything too dazzling, you have earnt the respect of both friends and enemies in response to your amazing fighting skills, strategic combat and experience.

Luckily you have access to the greens which can fund all your majorly cool gadgets, vehicles and weapons! Also, you're reluctant but still accepting to the idea of having a teammate/side-kick, which just makes everything a whole lotta fun, doesn't it now!

On the down side, you've probably suffered some sort of trauma at a young age (that's why we don't talk to the old man near the swings, kids).

Similar to the Wolverine, your past is a base for your current motivation, undertaking some kind of personal vow in search of justice
.

All in all though, you're one tough nut. There're not a lot of people who have the minerals to go up against you, and you're experienced enough not to get cocky and let the little things like never finding happiness get you down!



My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 81% on Heropoints
Link: The Which SUPER HERO are you Test written by crayzee69

Hat tip: Richard of Random Rambling

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

GET THEM NOW!

UPDATE: I just downloaded the ~62MB mp3 file of the Ninth. One-a my very favs. What a treat (even though the direction of the choral *an freude* section—naturally my fav—was a bit choppy)!

Beethoven's symphonies 6, 7 and 8 are ready for download NOW!

Number Nine available sometime Thursday (perhaps late tonight for USA downloaders... :-)

*sigh* Once again I have been too eager. Number 9 will be available starting either late tonight (for U.S. and further west--up to a point :-) or Friday, July 1, as per:

"Symphony 9 will be broadcast on Thursday 30th June, and available to download from Friday 1st July to Thursday 7th July."

I have downloaded and appreciated the very credible performances of numbers 1-5, as offered by the BBC. I fully expect these to be of the same caliber. I've also listened to the download of #6 last night. Worth burning off and saving, listening to some more. And more...




Delendum Esse Saudi Arabia!

(Saudi Arabia must be destroyed.)


I've voiced before that I've been bothered for some time about the priorities in the GWOT. The President's recent speech at Fort Bragg highlights my misgivings.


Yes, I am hopeful that eventually the price paid in blood and treasure in Iraq will be worthwhile to America in ways more substantive than simply “fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here,” but the way Bremmer botched his job made that difficult for some time.


I have no doubt whatsoever that our efforts there have already reaped an untold wealth of benefits for the Iraqi people themselves, but I still can help but wonder if the price paid in blood and treasure might have been better spent destroying the primary base of funding for Islamic jihadist terrorism.


Note (my emphasis added):


"Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and others."–President George W. Bush, 06/28/2005


I think it was a bit disingenuous of President Bush to have merely included Saudi Arabia in a long laundry list of those contributing to the terrorist base since, in addition to providing a substantial recruitment base of Wahabbists, Saudi Arabia is a HUGE source of funding for terrorism in the world. It seems that SA would long since have fallen under the Bush Doctrine stated in September of 2001:


"We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."–President George W. Bush, 09/20/2001


So, the question remains: Why is Saudi Arabia still being run by the Wahabbists who preach jihad and fund these Islamic jihadist terrorists?



Show Your Support

CLICK on over to AmericaSupportsYou.mil Check out the (real) news from Iraq, and let the folks in our military know you support them.



CLICK here

Thanks to TMH's Bacon Bits for the link

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Real Abuse at Gitmo

Yes, there is real abuse at Gitmo. And it's detainees abusing their priviledges and their guards

I'm not even going to quote from this article. Just go read it.

Hie thee hence!

Scram. Beat it. Get gone from this place.

Out to Sea
Originally uploaded by mnmus.

Oh, and while you're going, go here and listen to Stephen Fearing sing/play “Beguiling Eyes.”

Loop it. Listen to it again and again. A real male voice. Real guitar. Really GOOD guitar. A real tune. Lyrics to listen to.


Go on. Get outa here.

(Thanks, Kat, for introducing me to Stephen Fearing's artistry.)

Can you grok this?

Concerning the recent Grokster decision, this comment from Robert A. Heinlein (ironically, the coiner of the work "grok"—Stranger in a Strange Land), written in 1939 in the short story, "Lifeline," seems appropriate:


"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
Interesting observation, that: "Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

Well, it seems they have that right now...


See: SCOTUSblog
"We'll see a careful campaign of litigation against peer-to-peer services, trying to gradually stretch the noose of inducement liability until it fits around BitTorrent's neck. Failing that, we'll see a push to get Congress to codify (the industries' interepretation of) the Grokster rule..."
Grokster is really old hat in terms of file sharing technology. BitTorrent is where the action is nowadays. Don't think that Hollyweird and the moguls of manufactured music don't have their guns zeroed on on BitTorrent. They do. And the Grokster decision has just enough wiggle room to allow them to fire at will.



FREE JOHN KERRY'S "180"

OK, we've seen what purports to be the three pages of Jean Fraud sKerry's SF-180, but...

...where're the records? Oh. I see. He authorized on the SF-180 only release of his records to some friendly Mass Media podpeople, and being buddies of his, they have published only a few lil low-damage tidbits. In addition, he apparently authorized only the release of his active-duty records, so there still no information about his time still in service when he met with representatives of a foreign power in armed conflict with the U.S., nor is there any word reconciling his official discharge date with his times of service.

In other words, Jean Fraud sKerry: Let your records go!



Be sure to check Cao's blog for more.

"Again, still and forever we’re going to be hammering on this simple request: Release your full military and medical files -and don’t release them to your biographer or the Boston Globe, ok? Release them to the American people who deserve to see them in their entirety. Or release them to ME and I’ll make sure everyone knows what’s there. After all, you have nothing to hide, right?"

And see these other fine blogs where the pressure continues.


Crossposted at Cathouse Chat

Et maintenant, en français (afin d'essayer atteignant Jean Fraude dans sa langue maternelle—comme suggéré par le MaryHunter à TMH's Bacon Bits ):

OK, nous avons vu ce qui prétend être les trois pages du SF-180 du Jean Fraude sKerry (John F. Kerry), mais...

...où sont les disques ? Oh. Je vois. Vous avez autorisé sur seulement le dégagement SF-180 de ses papiers à un certain Podpeople amical de Mass Media, et étant des copains à vous, ils ont édité seulement des quelques des bas-dommages petits tid bits. En outre, vous avez apparemment autorisé seulement le dégagement de vos papiers d'actif-devoir, tellement il ne reste toujours aucune information sur votre temps en service quand vous avez rencontré des représentants d'une puissance étrangère en conflit armé avec les États-Unis, ni y a il n'importe quel mot réconciliant votre date officielle de décharge avec des vos périodes du service.

En d'autres termes, Jean du Fraude sKerry: Laissez vos papiers aller!


(And thanks to The MaryHunter for pointing me toward Babelfish. Thirty-five years after my last college French class, I think I'm a wee tad rusty... And yeh, both Babelfish and I had trouble with "Jean Fraud sKerry" :-)

Note: since the above is specifically directed to the disingenuously named John F. Kerry (properly known as Jean Fraud[e] sKerry), the personal pronouns have been modified from the English version.

Abolish the IRS!

Don't just sit on your heinie griping, moaning and complaining about tax forms next year. Get off your duff and write your congresscritters.

Oh, and read Neal Boortz' The Fair Tax Book so you can have something to write your congresscritter beside "Get the IRS off my back!"

For an introduction to the ideas in The Fair Tax Book see "Imagine receiving 100% of your paycheck!"

A sample:

"Simply put, HR25 would provide for the repeal of the 16th Amendment (the income tax amendment) and the dismantling of the IRS. All personal and corporate income taxes would end, as would all payroll taxes. There would not be one cent of federal taxes of any nature taken out of your paychecks. No more Social Security taxes. No more Medicare taxes. You earn $2,000 a payday; you get $2,000 a payday. The federal government would be funded through a national sales tax on goods and services sold at the retail level. No taxes on investments. No taxes on savings. You only get taxed on what you spend at the retail level. Store your earnings in a shoebox if you wish. They won’t be taxed."

There's obviously a lot more, including an economic impact study and just how this would affect your bottom line, but it's at least worth a public debate by our congresscritters. See the article for a longer introduction to the concept and then sit back a little and contemplate the though, "No more IRS... "

See, I knew that'd make you smile.

Scrappleface Puts a Max Boot to the SCOTUS

Scrapplecace's Scott Ott gives the Supreme Communists a well-deserved kick in the pants

But sometimes it still hurts to laugh:
Court Allows 10 Commandments on Seized Land
by Scott Ott

(2005-06-27) -- In a pair of rulings on the constitutionality of the 10 Commandments on government property, the Supreme Court today said the commandments may be displayed on public land if that property has been seized from private owners for 'public purposes' under eminent domain.
The 5-4 decision comes on the heels of last week's court declaration that so-called "private" property is actually government land temporarily under private management until its eventual seizure...
Read the rest here.

Eisegesis: Kipling Tuesday

Natural Theology

Rudyard Kipling


Primitive



I ate my fill of a whale that died

And stranded after a month at sea...

There is a pain in my inside.

Why have the Gods afflicted me?

Ow! I am purged till I am a wraith!

Wow! I am sick till I cannot see!

What is the sense of Religion and Faith :

Look how the Gods have afflicted me!



Pagan


How can the skin of rat or mouse hold

Anything more than a harmless flea?...

The burning plague has taken my household.

Why have my Gods afflicted me?

All my kith and kin are deceased,

Though they were as good as good could be,

I will out and batter the family priest,

Because my Gods have afflicted me!



Medi/Eval


My privy and well drain into each other

After the custom of Christendie...

Fevers and fluxes are wasting my mother.

Why has the Lord afflicted me?

The Saints are helpless for all I offer--

So are the clergy I used to fee.

Henceforward I keep my cash in my coffer,

Because the Lord has afflicted me.



Material


I run eight hundred hens to the acre

They die by dozens mysteriously...

I am more than doubtful concerning my Maker,

Why has the Lord afflicted me?

What a return for all my endeavour--

Not to mention the L. S. D!

I am an atheist now and for ever,

Because this God has afflicted me!



Progressive


Money spent on an Army or Fleet

Is homicidal lunacy...

My son has been killed in the Mons retreat,

Why is the Lord afflicting me?

Why are murder, pillage and arson

And rape allowed by the Deity?

I will write to the Times, deriding our parson

Because my God has afflicted me.



Chorus


We had a kettle: we let it leak:

Our not repairing it made it worse.

We haven't had any tea for a week. . .

The bottom is out of the Universe!



Conclusion


This was none of the good Lord's pleasure,

For the Spirit He breathed in Man is free;

But what comes after is measure for measure,

And not a God that afflicteth thee.

As was the sowing so the reaping

Is now and evermore shall be.

Thou art delivered to thine own keeping.

Only Thyself hath afflicted thee!


Monday, June 27, 2005

Preparing for '06

Recommended Reading between now and the 2006 elections

People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

I've actually met some of the people that fit M. Scott Peck's criteria for a diagnosis of "human evil," so I'm not as hopeful as he is that they can be healed... Still, perhaps his book could be useful in helping people avoid electing people to office who have the personality disorder he describes.

A very shorthand (and admittedly misleading and hugely inadequate) description of a part of the problem of human evil is that people who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. You know, kinda like politicians who insist that solutions to problems (real or imagined) involves simply throwing more money at programs (which means taking more from the taxpayers to do it) that have alrady proven harmful, are themselves a major cause of problems pols want to solve by blaming others for their failures.

Yes, it's more complex than that. But I've become convinced that it's not just liars, thieves, buffoons, poltroons and mountbanks who run for office. Along with the (supposed but not yet proven) sprinkling of honest and capable politicians—I assume there are at least two, somewhere—I believe one can likely find a relatively high concentration of people with the egocentric personality disorder Peck describes as human evil.

Let's see if we can't avoid sending them to our State capitols and to Washington, OK?



Depraved Malice

James Taranto comments on the obscenity and depravity of the Islamic jihadists

Fundamentalist Muslim mythology has it that terrorist "martyrs" are greeted in heaven by 72 virgins. With Palestinian Arabs increasingly making use of female suicide bombers, we've often wondered what they get in heaven. Now we have the answer, thanks to a report in London's Sunday Telegraph from an Israeli prison:

*** QUOTE ***


One of the inmates, Ayat Allah Kamil, 20, from Kabatya, told me why she had wanted to become a martyr: "Because of my religion. I'm very religious. For the holy war [jihad] there's no difference between men and women shaid [martyrs]."

According to the Koran, male martyrs are welcomed to Paradise by 72 beautiful virgins. Ayat, as with many of the women she is incarcerated with, believes that a woman martyr "will be the chief of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair."


*** END QUOTE ***

That is to say, the highest aspiration for a fundamentalist Palestinian girl is murder, suicide and prostitution. Has there ever been a more depraved culture?

Answer: maybe. Just not in the last several hundred years. The Fantasists (cultural relativists, multiculturalists, etc.) on the so-called Left would very much like us to emulate the Islamists, though...

crossposted at Cathouse Chat

Notes from The Sceptred Isle

Jerry Pournelle's sojourn in England bids well to provide a wealth of interesting observations

Here's one such:

"Now that fox hunting is outlawed they poison the foxes as vermin. This is known as humanitarianism."

Yep. The so-called "Liberals" who got fox hunting outlawed did it for the poor dear foxes, all right. "Liberal" sounds more and more like Nathaniel Hawthorne's slanderous definition of Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time.

More blogging from Pournelle's trip to England at Chaos Manor: Current View.


Just right for Carnival: Bicuits and Sausage Gravy

Welcome, Carnival Readers! Personal note: CLICK HERE for a personal request for help ...for someone else


Bicuits and Sausage Gravy


When I was in college and working three part time jobs to fit my schedule, sometimes my last meal of the day would be at a 24-hour truckers joint that featured an unending plate of biscuits and sausage gravy and a bottomless cuppa coffee. Often, a drive out to a plate of biscuits and gravy would net a table of like-minded college students and together we'd spend the wee hours of the morning gorging on biscuits and gravy, tanking up on coffee and B.S.-ing the night away.


Ah, well.


Biscuits


Mixing bowl and fork to mix; measuring cups, spoons; glass baking dish(es)--I use a couple of Pyrex "pie pans".


Ingredients:

  • 2 C Flour OOPS! This isn't how I made my biscuits this morning! Don't know how I did this: it's 4C Flour!

  • 4 ts Baking powder (Check)

  • 1 ts Salt

  • 2 Tb Olive Oil (Used 4 this a.m.)

  • 1 C Milk (for "buttermilk" biscuits--lighter and flakier--add one Tbs vinegar to measuring cup before measuring the milk.)


*sigh* Shoulda proofread the thing before posting... :-)

Separate: margarine or butter


Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, place your baking dishes in the oven with a tablespoon or so of butter or margarine in each.


Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients—milk and oil (and vinegar if used)— in 2 C measuring cup. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together quickly.


Turn out onto a floured surface, dust with flour and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Butter the top. Cut with cookie cutter and then stack them so that each final biscuit is two 1/2 inch pieces. Remove baking dishes from the oven and slide each biscuit around in the melted butter/margarine a little as you place it in the backing dish. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the tops are nice and golden.


Sausage Gravy


  • 1C flour

  • 2C milk

  • 1Lb ground sausage—whatever your fav. I prefer a "hot" sausage of a brand I can usually find around here, but whatever suits you is the right sausage.


Crumble the sausage and cook until well done. Remove the saisage and leave the grease. Keeping the heat on the pan at a little above medium heat, add the flour a bit at a time to make a good brown roux. Back the heat off. Now, add the milk slowly and bring almost to a boil, and add the sausage back in. Simmer at a very, very low heat until the biscuits are done. If the gravy thickens too much before serving, bring the heat back up and add a lil milk at a time until the right consistency is reached (i.e., one you like).


Serve the sausage gravy over separated biscuit top n bottom halves. Scrambled eggs make a good addition. Scrambled eggs with Rotel™ or Tabasco™ make a better addition.


Oh, and coffee. Lots n lots of coffee. :-)



Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ka-BOOM!

I'm just glad I wasn't there...

So I opened the rear hatch on the station wagon to load the groceries. *huh!?!* Spare tire cover's on the other side of the car, torn up. Look at donut spare. Yup. Glad I wasn't in the car when it decided to spontaneously KaBOOM!

Totally wasted. I guess it was hot in there, huh?

Funny thing: it had to have really shaken the car, cos the safety cutoff switch for the fuel pump had kicked in. Found that out when I tried to start the thing and... nothing. Noticed I couldn't hear the fuel pump (usually quite loud on this car), so went back and tripped the switch.


But really: yeh, I've been saying bad things about donut tires, but did it have to go all "Katie Kaboom" (Animaniacs) on me?







Saturday, June 25, 2005

Does this sort of thing irritate anyone else?

Sometimes I just want to say, "Idiots! Think it through!" And then I realize the writers are probably products of public schooling...

Is not one else issitated by people who claim special status as "journalists" writing and speaking subliterate prose in a language they have (usually) spoken all their lives? A few small examples I've seen/heard recently will suffice to illustrate my frustration.

  • they are one in [sic] the same vs. they are one and the same

  • tow the line vs. toe the line

  • in mass when the writer means en masse

  • begs the question does NOT mean “asks for the question” (arrrgghhh!) it refers to the logical fallacy of petitio principii.

  • chomp at the bit vs. champ at the bit

  • confusing enervate (rob of energy) with innervate (infuse with energy, stimulate)

  • using “the exception proves the rule” as an argument that where a rule fails it validates the rule (silly). “Prove” in this context means “test”.

  • [spoken] forte pronounced as “for-tay”. The “e” is silent in “forte” when used to mean “strength” as in “Logical argument is his forte.” I'll let native English speakers say "for-tay" when they're talking about "loudness" in a musical phrase, if they wish, because there it's from Italian, not French, as above.

  • hale and farewell vs. hail and farewell (“hale” means “healthy” for those who insist it's the correct word in the phrase. “Hail” means “Hello.” So there. Military folks do NOT write this wrongly more than one time...)

  • if I was”—has no one even heard of subjunctive construction? “If I were” please.

  • upmost vs. utmost

  • wet” when “whet” is meant

  • confusing affect (usually a verb meaning to influence; when a noun, overt signs of an emotional state) and effect (usually a noun meaning a result; when a verb, cause to happen NOT influence).

  • than (comparison) vs then (when)

  • there (place), their (possessive pronoun), they're (contraction meaning “they are”)

  • it's and your's used as possessives, when its and yours are correct (“your's” is nonsense).

  • Heck, there are tons of misused apostrophes—a punctuation mark frequently misused in creating plurals, for heaven's sake. *sigh*

  • to, too, two: these should be obvious

  • your vs you're—oh, heavens. *sigh* “Your” is a possessive pronoun. “You're” is the equivalent of “you are.”

  • All woks of life”—nah. Too easy.

  • write to choose—really? (Writer meant "right to choose".)

  • copywrite used when copyright is meant.

  • A biggie: imply vs. infer. A speaker may imply. A hearer may infer. They are two very different processes. Most errors of argument seem to occur when a hearer infers (or pretends to) something not said and then erromeously (or disingenuously) implies (or outright states) that what they inferred is what was said... BTW, that's also known as a non causa pro causa fallacy of argument. A common use is in straw man arguments: arguing against something not proposed or said.

Well, these are a start: irritating, one and all. (Not, as I have seen and heard, “One in all.”)


Note: yes, I make mistakes. I claim no special training in writing; I have no editors; I am not a professional wordsmith. The examples noted above all come from websites of people who do claim special status as wordsmiths/journalists or from news broadcasts or newspapers where the writer or speaker made more than one such error—or continually repeated the same error—in the same article/newsreading. Irritating to see/hear supposed wordsmiths, especially in “Smartland,” screw up English. And it's one of the reasons I generally avoid Mass Media Podpeople's mangling of the “news”—such as it is.

Once again, Lileks is a MUST READ

I'll accept no excuses, lame or otherwise appealing: Lileks Screedblog for yesterday is a MUST READ. There will be a test (you just won't see it coming... :-)

A sample, please? OK. But understand, you need the context, and you'll simply have to read the whole thing to get that.

“Why PBS threatens their intellect.” Whoa! You nailed me there; I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve switched the channel ‘cause I cain’t tell what that dang Miss Marple’s saying. (And why’s she a miss, huh? She wunna dem lesbeens?) It’s possible that one could oppose public funding of PBS because it could survive on its own by appealing to the rich yeasty demographic slice that likes it; it’s possible one could argue that the very idea of state-funded TV is more like, oh, the Soviet Union, the Nazis and Pol Pot’s regime, but I wouldn’t do that. It’s possible that one might wonder if PBS would be beloved by Mr. Schram if it pumped out the O’Reilly Factor 24/7, with occasional station breaks for Marine Band concerts. In that case, one suspects that state-funded TV with mandatory citizen contributions would be a sign of creeping fascism. And one might also note that cable TV has offerings that delight the PBS-inclined viewer, 24/7, and rather than fight for dimes and pennies for PBS, Congress might well use its regulatory power to break up the tier system that keeps people from subscribing only to the smarter channels on cable. These things are possible.
As I said, a must read.

Is it a Federal matter? More rightly, should it be?—Updated

In which I am properly chastened by words from one who is wiser than I...
Would I campaign against changes to California law restricting the right of cities to take property and hand it to private developers? Tooth and nail, war to the knife; but I still do not understand why this is a Federal matter.

"Incorporation of the Bill of Rights" is the justification given. It is clear that the Civil War Ammendments did not intend to incorporate the Bill of Rights into rights to be enforced against the states by the federal courts; they specifically empower Congress to enforce them by appropriate legislation. But Congress doesn't always act. So when Congress doesn't act why may the courts do it for them absent an Act of Congress?

And the answer, "Because it is so important, and this needs to be fought by any means necessary" is not a conservative answer. Where in the Constitution does it become a Federal matter? I am prepared to be enlightened on that because I would not at all mind seeing the Feds protecting private property rights (although I doubt they will). So what is the Constitutional issue here? What gives Federal Courts -- not Congress, but the Courts -- jurisdiction in this case at all? The Incorporation Doctrine has been responsible for a great deal of mischief and in my day Conservatives hated the whole idea. Wouldn't we be better off if that incorporation were overturned, ended, rescinded, rather than being used by courts to thwart the will of the legislature of Connecticut? If you want protection for private property enforceable by US Marshals, pass an Act of Congress; don't hand more power to the Courts. They'll misuse it every time.


Jerry Pournelle nails it pretty well. I have railed often enough about courts creating law ex nihilo and the encroachment of Federal power, often through "incorporation" of Federal Constitutional restrictions and empowerments into State and local government (following after some very bad law issuing out of the so-called "Civil War Amendments"). Why then my outrage at the Supreme Communists of the United States for (irrationally, given their intrusion in other areas) upholding State and local powers in Kelo et al. v. City of New London?

Well, I guess I feel we're in a Catch-22 situation: as a matter of fact (irrespective of Constitutional justification) the Feds, including the SCOTUS, can and do intrude into State law situations on a daily basis—whenever they wish.

  • a puddle on an Iowa farm can be declared "navigable waters" and so a farmer can be jailed by feds for filling it in

  • Federal courts can order local schools to do all manner of things abhorrant to the local residents, expensive things that do more harm than good (if any)

  • people nationwide can be forced to flush twice (wasting water and still often not getting the "job" done) because some Feeb thinks it important to "save" water with low-flush toilets that don't work

The list can go on as long as one wants to keep typing. The feebs already exercise, via phony expansion of the commerce clause, the "general welfare" clause and "incorporation of rights" rules far more power than the Founders and framers, in their wisdom, thought healthy for government to exercise.

But when it comes to protecting the bedrock of a democratic republic, provate property owned by citizens, the feebs refuse to meddle as they are happy to do in everything else.

Yes, I agree with Pournelle that this sort of land grabbing is best handled at the State and local level. And I'm pretty sure that such land grab attempts would go fly about as well as a lead balloon in my small town. Still... we live in the world we have. And the world we have is one where our Federal Gummint is far, far too intrusive and unresponsive to Constitutional restraints; where judges legislate from the bench (and legislatures and executives let them, instead of removing them for exceeding their authority); where local and state governments emulate the excessive power of the Federal Gummint.

What, short of Revolution, is the remedy?

Pournelle seems to suggest that more involvement in local politics is an answer—and I'd certainly agree it's a good place to start. But what to do about the problem of both too much interference by the feebs in what often seems like most local issues and their inconsistent insistence on keeping their hands off in others?

Update (And I, like Randy Barnett said of his book, Restoring the Lost Constitution, would have led with this, had I seen it sooner :-): Justice Thomas, in his dissent on Kelo, said,

"Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's interpretation of the Constitution."

Oh? You think? *sigh*

Even a blind pig...

I've been largely dissatisfied with Sandra O'Connor's unpredictable performance in that Conspiracy of Dunces I now call the Supreme Communists of the United States but...

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing in dissent on the 5-4 decision in Kelo et al. v. City of New London, 04-108 emits a a rare—for her—bit of lucid prose:
"The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."
Well, duh. And that's exactly the point the purer commuists on the court were attempting to make: "Your land ain't YOUR land; your land is OUR land... " is now the song of any political hack who can find a semi- halfway almost plausible enough excuse for the Supreme Communists to grab YOUR land.
A strange manifestation of Woody Guthrie's view of property rights in the fourth verse of that old Wobblies—International Workers of the World—protest song, "This Land is Your Land" (usually unsung nowadays, except by politicians who want to steal YOUR land and Supreme Communists handing down edicts):
Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property,
But on the back side it didn't say nothing --
That side was made for you and me!
Yep. Private property is now a thing of the past and Woody Guthrie's 1930s commuist view is now come to pass in a way he could not have envisioned: the priviledged are revoking private property rights of the underclasses, not the underclasses appropriating the private property of the priviledged, as Woody dreamed.
(My very insincere apologies to those whose bubble I've burst by revealing that Woody Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land" as a communist protest and rally song of the 30s.)
NOTE: Woody sang the song with various words over the years including this (and other) variations of the verse cited above:
As I went walking, I saw a sign there;
On the sign it said NO TRESPASSING,
But on the other side it didn't say nothing--
That side was made for you and me!
According to some reports (which I read years ago and can't locate right now), in later years, Woody almost entirely stopped singing most of the verses, including the ones cited above.
Familiarity with the song's mostly-unsung verses has resulted in my enjoyment of it on an entirely different level than before. Yeh. Now, I can just barely listen to instrumental-only arrangements. A Blowdlerized version of Guthrie's authorship of the song is here. How sweet. Full lyrics here.
It's always amazing to me to see how the dreams of statist utopians come true fail to convince them of the evil of their statist views. Guthrie could have seen how things were turning out with his communist fellow-travelers in Russia (millions killed; poor made poorer, etc.), but chose to hold onto the dream of the State being run by the little guys, tearing down the walls of private property, giving the fat cats' land to "the people" etc.
And now, of course, he's simply painted as a simple soul with his finger on the pulse of the working class. A working class now, thanks to the Supremes' endorsement of statist land grabs (an idea endorsed by Woddy's anarcho-communist views and his Wobblie associations), more than ever firmly under the thumbs of the fat cats.
And how ironic is it that Sandra Day O'Connor, a scion of the wealthy Day family of El Paso, Texas and Arizona (huge 155,000 acre ranch, etc.), should be speaking in defense of that one truly important "little people" right— private property—while folks unwittingly continue to sing a communist protest song denigrating private property rights at patriotic rallies...

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys


My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
Originally uploaded by mnmus.
You may need a "fat pipe" to view this one... but it's a good one. I had to wait almost a week before the server on their end wasn't swamped with requests so I could view this.Turn your speakers on and watch "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes!

Dana, of Note-It Posts, has done a bang-up job with this week's Carnival of the Recipes! Lotsa good stuff. Toodle on over there and just dig in if you haven't already. If you've just dropped in from the Carnival post, stick around. Poke your nose in the fridge (there's some leftover Cheeseburger Macaroni), re-arrange the furniture. Make yourself at home.

Supreme Communists: "This land's not your land... "

The Supreme Communists of the United States say private property... ain't

"Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Despite years of intrusion into state issues, extending Constitutional guarantees to all levels of government and insisting on conformity in state laws to rights ennumerated at the federal level in all state and local—and even extra-governmental—venues; despite even the penchant of courts, and especially SCOTUS, for creating "rights" not ennumerated and imposing these on state and local governments; and despite the fact that Amendment V clearly and unequivocally states that private property cannot be taken for public use without "just compensation" the Supreme Communists have decided that YOUR land, YOUR home is up for grabs any time a local government wants to take it from YOU and sell (or give) it to another NON-public entity or person for PRIVATE PROPERTY usage, then that's just fine and dandy (by a 5-4 margin) by the Supreme Communists of the United States.

Those are the plain unvarnished facts of the case the Supreme Communists decided the other day.

"High court approves seizure of property for private use
By MICHAEL DOYLE
June 22, 2005

Local governments can condemn private property and convert it to more profitable private use, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In one of the most closely watched cases of the year, the court, by a 5-4 margin, extended the eminent domain powers that frequently incite controversy. It's a marked victory for city planners and local officials over private property advocates...."
I am just *this close* (see the tiny gap between my thumb and forefinger?) to agreeing with Kim du Toit's take on this:
Yesterday, with their disgusting, un-Constitutional ruling, the Supreme Court took the country further down that road to where the bullets will eventually, and with absolute certainty, begin to fly. So when some poor schmuck shoots a state employee driving a bulldozer, and people ask: “How did this tragedy happen?” you can just point towards the Supreme Court.
Say bye-bye to private property. And while you're at it, kiss all your "unalienable rights" goodbye. When the government (or any of its agents) can take an ennumerated Constitutional right and define it out of existence (public use does NOT mean grab by politicians for use by another private entity, no matter how one twists one's words), you no longer have rights; you have licenses that the government can remove from you.

Welcome to Zimbabwe.

Crossposted at Cathouse Chat.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Whines on the left about plain speech from Karl Rove

Naturally, the Dems think the plain truth is "divisive"...


"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Citing calls by progressive groups to respond carefully to the attacks, Mr. Rove said to the applause of several hundred audience members, "I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble."
Of course, the article from the New York Slimes doesn't present Rove's remarks as truth plainly spoken. And of course Billary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Frank Lautenberg, and other Dems are all crying foul.

Here's what I said back in November 2004 on the topic of the Democrats and their relation to plainly-spoken truth:

Defining the terms

"Mean, vicious, devisive" are terms the loony left moonbats throw around when talking about political campaigns or behaviors that they don't like. Here's a look at what those terms mean when coming from the Loony Left Moonbat Briagde and their allies in the Mass Media Podpeoples' Army.

"Mean" and "vicious" are terms applies by the LLMB and MMPA to any political speech that truthfully refers to actual facts of LLMB and MMPA past (or present) behaviors, their candidates' actual words or actions, actual, verifiable facts that directly and overwhelmingly refute false claims made by LLMB, the MMPA and their candiadtes [sic]. In their eyes, facts (past comments on the record, voting record, etc.) that accurately reflect the views of their candidates are "personal attacks" and verifiable facts (actual real numbers about economy, budgets, etc) that contradict their candidates' talking points are "divisive."

So, now you know. It's pretty safe, given the record of actual distortion and outright baldfaced lies about "vicious attacks" and "divisiveness" that any time you hear those terms coming from the LLMB and the MMPA you can pr[e]tty much automatically assume the opposite is true.

Yep. H'em where it hurts. Right where the hard truths they're hiding from are.

Crossposted at Cathouse Chat

Cheeseburger Mac

Daughter home last weekend, initially just passing through on the way to first job after grad school, turned out to be more involved than that. Wanted some childhood memories, comfort food...


Cheeseburger Macaroni


This is another “process, notarecipe” recipe. Ingredients (more or less) and some prep. Get creative with this.


Ingredients

  • 1.5-2C uncooked macaroni

  • 1Lb hamburger or ground chuck

  • ¼ Lb Velveeta (yep: it's just for this, or maybe nachos in a pinch :-)

  • 1 can tomato soup concentrate


Preparation

  • Cook the macaroni; you oughta know how to boil water by now.

  • While the mac is cooking, crumble and fry the meat. Season with Salt n pepper.

  • When the meat and mac are done, combine them in the frying pan with the tomato soup concentrate. Top with the Velveeta, sliced.

  • Simmer it a while, then stir in the Velveeta and serve it up.


UPDATE: Yeh, Dana, of Note-It Posts, has done a bang-up job with this week's Carnival of the Recipes! Lotsa good stuff. Toodle on over there if you haven't already. If you've just dropped in from the Carnival post, stick around. Poke your nose in the fridge, re-arrange the furniture. Make yourself at home.