No, no, not me. You looney lefties and right-wing religious wackos aren't that lucky (all your prayers to Marx and Yahweh, respectively, have been for naught).
Go forth and mock them incessantly for being such slackers. Or say goodbye. Whatever, really.
Long story short. Pancake Day. Happy birthday, blog! Had a lovely daughter. Independence Day. Lost a job. Found a friend. Got a job. Wife turned 31. I turned 32. Turkey Day. Family visit. Christmas. Family leaves. Year comes to a close, so far with a whimper, hopefully not with a bang (or a boom, or a crash, or whatever sound a mushroom cloud makes).
Now it's time to look forward to the 366 days ahead.
In the months and years prior to the liberation of Iraq, a common chorus was heard from many on the extreme left. The song was something along the lines of "sanctions are killing the Iraqi people!" Somewhere in the muddled minds that hummed along with this tune, Saddam was apparently just a misunderstood man who loved his people and wanted to provide for them, if only the nasty, bad men in the West would let him. Most of us toward the center and on the right thought they were idiots.
Allawi said Saddam admitted he invested stolen Iraqi money -- which the Iraq Governing Council estimates at US$40 billion -- in Switzerland, Japan and Germany, among others, under fictitious company names.There's blood on someone's hands, but not ours.
And this is interesting:
U.S. forces operating in the so-called Sunni Triangle -- the region of Iraq most loyal to captured former dictator Saddam Hussein -- found a significant weapons cache that included al Qaeda literature and videotapes, the U.S. military said Tuesday.Iraq. Al Qaeda. No connection.
Gary Farber of Amygdala needs a helping hand in tough times. I was surprised and moved by people coming forward to help me out when I lost my job last July - why not join me in helping Gary out?
No lip about cyber-begging please; sometimes life craps on you and asking for help (in exchange for a service, no less) is nothing shameful. Now, making a career of begging others to help you out of your enormous, self-inflicted credit card debt might be. I don't think that's quite the case here.
C'mon, be a good libertarian sort and help a blog-neighbor.
Andrew Olmsted is hosting the second edition of the Rocky Mountaing Blogger Roundup, a veritable e-smorgasbord of Colorado goodness. This, of course, should not be confused with the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash, a veritable smorgasbord of Colorado debauchery.
OK, class, today's question:
If a stolen car packed with seven young people, none of whom is wearing a seatbelt or in possession of a driver's license, is driving erratically, catches the attention of the police, seeks to evade the police, and ends up crashing violently, killing all inside, who is to blame?If you said "stupid kids," you'd be right. However, some people think (being generous with that word) differently:
Howard Hurtt said his son and his friends had recently been borrowing cars from people they knew. He said he tried to get his son to stop the joyriding, but questioned why the group was pursued.Just out joyriding?
"I've always been told that the patrolmen should follow them, but don't push them,'' Hurtt said. "They were just out joyriding and a cop pulls them over and here we have seven deaths. I lost my only son.''
If driving recklessly, unrestrained and without a license, in a stolen car is something of which you approve, Mr. Hurtt, might I suggest that you're a completely unfit parent?
Maybe we should have parenting licenses in addition to driver's licenses. Although I doubt Mr. Hurtt would care much about either one.
Rumor has it that Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown might be living in splitsville:
Is it possible Whitney Houston has finally awakened? I am told that she and husband Bobby Brown spent Christmas apart, and that they are if not officially detached, certainly separated geographically.Perhaps, but then again, even if she can't spend the holidays with her hubby, she'll always have the memories.
Fistmark: when you care enough to punch Whitney in the face.
Yeah, yeah, so it's not news. These two are just the Mike Tyson - Robin Givens of the year.
The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.Next week's memo will probably encourage law enforcement to look for anyone who might have access to the internet, or perhaps a set of encyclopedias that aren't covered in an inch of dust. Also, be on the lookout for tourists with local guide books. Might as well arrest local guidepeople while we're at it. Heck, anybody taking pictures of a landmark is probably guilty of something (beyond wearing shorts with knee-high, black socks and tennis shoes).
If this is what passes for Homeland Security, we're screwed.
Update: Al Qaeda, having apparently scanned the shelves of their local Al-Blockbuster for crappy infidel movies, are now targeting ocean liners. Thankfully, Tom Ridge is calling Jason Patric and Sandra Bullock back to active duty.
Should they fail in their mission to stop the Islamofascists, be prepared to watch the most boring terrorist attack in history unfold repeatedly on network television.
Every once in a while, among his lies and distortions, Ted Rall provides us a keen insight.
Bush says he wants Americans to adopt a "responsibility culture." But his Ownership Society concept requires more responsibility than most folks should be asked to bear. The health insurance tax credit, for example, would come in the form of a big refund check after taxpayers file their 1040s. Many workers, hit hard by stagnating wages and unexpected expenses, will spend the government windfall on other bills. The same thing goes for reemployment accounts. If a guy blows his lump-sum unemployment payment on a casino riverboat or Internet gaming-site bender, he and his family could end up out on the street. You and me, we might spend the money on computer classes. But for too many people, it's too big a temptation.That's right, the government is there to protect you from yourself, to bear burdens you are unwilling to bear.
I'm all in favor of communities and individuals coming together to help those who want to help themselves. Rall and the looney left (currently helming the Democratic party based upon the rise of Dean) would demand we help those who simply won't help themselves.
Get your hand out of my wallet, Ted - it's not welcome.
I don't imagine that it was the intention of the director or the producers of the Lord of the Rings films to paint a racist stereotypical tapestry over what could be described as a basic set of principles of humanity's behavior in the natural environment and with each other. However, the fact is that the only people of skin color in the entire three part series of films are all associated with the Dark Lord Sauron, the destruction of the earth and all of its occupants.I see. However, when Indymedia and other moonbats paint white conservatives as the destroyers of planet Earth and all of mankind, it's not racism, it's called "being progressive."
Speaking of race in America, here's an interesting story:
After a lifetime as a black man, Wayne Joseph discovered he probably isn't black at all.Whoops.
I wonder, if September 11 was a result of the Christian God dropping his magical protective shield over America because of atheists, gays, abortion, and general disobedience, does this mean that Allah is REALLY pissed?
The death toll from a massive 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Iran has hit 20,000 and will likely go higher, according to the Interior Ministry.Bam? Wait, is Allah really this guy?
More than 30,000 were also injured in the quake that devastated the historic city of Bam.
Naturally, the Great Satan is offering assistance. Of course, this will go duly unrecognized in the Arab world.
So, I was going to post a link to my favorite David Sedaris Christmas essay, Six to Eight Black Men, a great tale of Santa and his slaves and why bad Dutch children pack a bag on Xmas Eve, but alas as digital stuff will do, it has been moved.* So since I had to scratch Sedaris I'll leave you with my next best gift for Christmas+1- a picture of me, finally over the flu, standing in my mama's back yard with the wee laddies who've made this a truly memorable holiday.
Gimme gimme more more more »
*Though I'll be glad to e-mail a full-text copy free of charge to anybody who requests a copy of it as my post holiday lagniappe, so if you'd like to read it drop me a line with the subject heading SEDARIS and I'll send it on out (and it's a good 'un). It will come to you as a totally safe to click on attachment from EBSCOhost.
« That's plenty, thanks!
For those keeping score at home, Tom has written four posts in the last five months. I'm being generous, because his last post was actually two months ago today.
Hey, I'm a new parent. I'm allowed to do cutesy stuff on the blog.
More evidence that a woman can really muck up a man's brain:
A man in Sicily asked a friend to shoot him in the groin in the hope of making his ex-girlfriend feel sorry for him, police said on Friday.In order to get his girlfriend back, he very nearly made sure he'd never be able to please her in bed (or on the couch, or wherever else people tend to do such things).
While apparently able to conduct unvalidated miracles across the globe, when it comes to something quite well-understood like the flu, the Lord Jesus finds himself powerless (or at least assumed as such by some parts of the Church):
The Boston Archdiocese is asking parishioners with cold or flu symptoms to forgo long-standing traditions of Mass — including communion and shaking hands as a symbol of peace — to avoid spreading the illnesses...If only they were like the Pentecostal snake-handlers...oh ye of little faith!
Earlier this month, Catholic church officials in parts of the San Francisco area abandoned communion procedures including sharing a chalice of wine and placing wafers on parishioners' tongues to avoid spreading the flu.
The dioceses of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Reno, Nevada, sent letters suggesting other ways to offer Communion, such as dipping the wafer in the consecrated wine or handing it to the parishioner.
Nevermind that their faith doesn't seem to help much once they get bitten either.
Anyway, everyone have a good Christmas or whatever holiday you might celebrate around this time of year?
Given that our marriage is half Ass-Kicking-Yankee and half Funny-Accent-Limey, we felt it was only fitting that the holiday season find us mixing and matching holiday traditions, our very own Festivus if you will.
I grew up leaving out milk and cookies for Santa Claus* (one of the many myths in which I believed and then grew out of, perhaps many of you should try to keep up), whereas Mrs. World Wide Rant had a slightly more adult variation: whiskey and mince pie. Sometimes I wish I had grown up English. Then I think about the wonders of general dentistry and decide better of it.
Anyway, as this is the night during which Santa will climb down the chimney we don't have, we're leaving out a fine combination of Glenturret and Chips Ahoy! cookies (see photo). Well, not so much leaving out as left out, and then drank and devoured. I think Santa might need seconds.
* Yes, the classic atheist dilemma of "do I teach my kids about Santa"...I figure the answer is yes, and I'll do it in such a way that it will sharpen their critical thinking skills. Some might say it's the magic of Christmas, but it strikes me as more like outright lying. So, I'll modify yet another tradition to fit in with what I see as my parental duty. Anyway, enough about that. Merry Xmas, Happy New Year, whatever and whatnot. Amen.
Over the last 18 months, I've been called any number of derogatory names by those who, in their obviously misguided and very special ways, have chosen to disagree with me. Granted, I've not particularly helped matters with my smug, abrasive, self-righteous style of posting; fear not, I have no plans on changing that and I wear the insults as a badge of honor, or at least as confirmation that I'm making somebody think. Even if doing so pisses them off. It usually does.
However, as it's the season of the birth of Binky Magic the Space Clown - He who encourages us to honk the big red nose of love in unity, to wear the giant floppy shoes of prosperity and peace, and to celebrate His coming into the world via nooky in the backseat of a little circus clown car - I thought I might take a few moments to send out Season's Greetings to people near, far, close to my heart, and those who would rather have it served to them on a silver platter. And here we go:
Ah hell, the list could go on and on, and probably should because I don't say thank you enough to people. However, that'll have to wait until January 1, 2004 as part of a New Year's resolution. If you weren't mentioned above, but should be, consider yourself thanked, hugged, and otherwise non-monetarily compensated.
In particular, I would like to thank everyone who sent some funds my way when I was laid off in July. I do this for the fun of it (although that doesn't mean you shouldn't feel compelled to hit the Paypal button frequently and with great zest), and was touched that people actually wanted to help me and my family. Times are much better now at WWR Global HQ, and I hope to pay it forward, if only to spend time with Helen Hunt.
Here's hoping your holidays go well, that you get to spend quality time with friends and family, and that the hangovers in the coming days are bearable (but if they're not, just drink more - nothing like a little hair of the dog). I'll be here off and on continuing to entertain or befuddle as time permits - do check in.
May the Magic Space Clown bless you with the holy water of His squirting flower and hold you in the palm of His ridiculously over-sized white-gloved hands. -- Ancient proverb
* Note: A figure of speech. I do not have a soul. Not even one that is black and like a lump of coal.
Intrigue and escapades within the British Royal family:
Queen Elizabeth II was said by British media reports to be "absolutely devastated" over the death of one of her beloved corgi dogs, killed by an English bull terrier owned by her daughter Princess Anne.Clearly a plot by William to drive the Queen into a premature, grief-stricken death, shortly followed by Charles' abdication to be with Ms. Parker-Bowles, and then William's ascension to the largely decorative throne - but, man, think of the chicks!
Pharos the corgi was savaged at Sandringham by Dotty, the same dog which attacked two children in Windsor Great Park, according to newspaper reports.I see irresponsible pet ownership is a global thing. When a dog attacks a child, it's time for that dog to be destroyed. Idiots.
The Portuguese holiday marketplace is all abuzz:
LISBON (AFP) - A spoof of the deck of cards of wanted Iraqi leaders put out by Washington, which instead depicts "the 52 most dangerous American officials," has proven to be a big hit with holiday shoppers in Portugal.Additional big sellers are reported to be Torture Me Al-Elmo and Plastic Shredder Barbie.
I'm being repressed!
Be sure to vote in AFA's "gay marriage" poll. You know the AFA - the American Family Association, representing all American families, or at least those that happen to fit their Wonder-bread, praise-Jeebus definition. They're promising to provide the results of the poll to Congress.
No, I don't know what the value of presenting a web-based poll to Congress is. It's obvious they were hoping that their sheep would come out in flocks and boldly proclaim that we must "stop the gay people from marrying while conveniently ignoring all the problems in heterosexual marriage because homos are icky and to prove it just look at our marriage activism page which mentions nothing about problems in heterosexual marriages!" However, it seems that word got out - as it tends to do on the internet (it's going to be big someday - buy dot com stocks now!). So, as of right now, the combined value for "civil unions" and "hey, hey, hey, gay marriage is a-ok!" is 63.6%.
I wonder if they'll present that to Congress. I have my doubts.
For those interested, AFA is also working hard to make sure that we never hear the "F-word" on television ever again. Talk about fucked up priorities. Oops, I said the F-word. I hope they don't take action against me.
Fox News Channel is joining the fray of the "help! help! i'm being repressed!" Christian persecution complex that is so common from the right today:
Burning the flag is considered free speech; erecting crosses as roadside memorials is not.Someone burning their own flag is a private property issue. Someone placing a memorial of any sort on public highway property is, oddly enough, not a private property issue. Duh.
The FCC allows the "F-word" on television, but thanking God at a high school graduation is a no-no.The FCC decision still prevents the use of the "F-word" in an obscene connotation; hey, they're just enforcing those obscenity laws that you conservatives cherish. As always, turn the channel, vote with your remote. How this ties into the Establishment clause issues with offering thanks to the divine in a public education situation is beyond me. I suppose the Freepers are easily confused by internetidigiation.
And some schools freely dispense condoms to kids, but pencils that read "Jesus loves little children" were confiscated from a first-grade class in Virginia.See the previous comment, if you're not too confused.
Some, like "War on Christianity" author David Limbaugh, say the list of examples is long and is evidence of an undeclared cultural war on the religion.Limbaugh then proceeded to note the complete freedom of people to worship privately as much as they want; to observe that churches are not being shut down, burned, or otherwise destroyed by the government; that every kook from Fred Phelps to Pat Robertson to the Raelians can babble on and on about their favorite monkey in the sky with the only threat being public ridicule.
Come down off your cross, oh poor "persecuted" Christians of the right.
* I think that should win the "clever title of the day" award.
Update: Damnit, someone beat me to it. Ah well give me my prize anyway.
Breaking news on the Native American front:
OKLAHOMA CITY - Ten women belonging to the Kickapoo tribe have barricaded themselves inside tribal headquarters, saying they won't leave until their tribe is investigated for misuse of funds.Let's only hope it doesn't turn out like the case of the Drinkapee tribe.
Normally, when I argue with my wife I find that simply leaving the room is a fine way to end it. However, perhaps I should try this tactic:
A Kenyan man chopped off one of his testicles in a row with his wife and then walked naked to a police station to report the incident, police said on Monday.Or perhaps not. Ouch.
No, that's not what I am. Not yet anyway.
It's the title of a book I recently read as part of my decision to digest as much as possible about investing in a very short time. Bottom line: not much new there. Get out of debt. Pay yourself first. Invest in index funds. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Probably a decent introduction for anyone who is completely new, otherwise it ends up being basically a plug for The Armchair Millionaire website (which, in turn, is a plug for the book and other similar products).
On the fiction side of the reading room, there was Neil Gaiman's "Stardust," the tale of a number of adventurers pursuing a fallen star in the land of Faerie. An easy read, enjoyably light-hearted, with a wee bit of the naughty to keep it interesting. I never know how much to write when I mention a book, as I'd hate to ruin it for someone interested in picking it up. So, pick it up anyway.
This makes me quake in my boots:
Michael Jackson is "fighting mad" about the allegations surrounding the multiple charges of child molestation he is facing, his spokesman told reporters Saturday.Just a guess, but I bet that Michael is actually "girly slap fighting mad" about it. Just a guess.
(Seriously though, I think he's both innocent and a complete freak - I suppose we'll see)
Sorry for the blogging absence, but the parents have arrived in town for the holidays, so they're the priority at the moment (which isn't to say that I don't love each and every one of you, some more than others naturally, but then life is sometimes so cruel that way). I'll be back in full blogging swing on Monday, with a 50% chance of intermittent opinions before then.
In the meantime, hope your holidays are going well. See ya!
Found this blog the other day and have been enjoying reading it: Personal Finance Blog. It's written, according to the tagline, by someone seeking to retire at 40 as a millionaire. Of course, it could also be the latest incarnation of internet pump and dump, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt (particularly because it is only receiving 30-40 hits per day). If personal finance interests you, check it out.
I stumbled across it while doing some research on investment clubs. I've recently gotten inspired to launch one and possibly incorporate it. I'm asking friends and coworkers if they have any interest - and, if so, maybe it will work out and we'll all be rich someday down the line. Or broke. But at least we'll have fun getting there.
Aside from work demands, reading everything I can about investing and forming a club is taking up a lot of time. Recommendations on what to read would be welcome - so far it's been some Motley Fool stuff, Armchair Millionaire, and now a guide from the NAIC. Awaiting me are books from Peter Lynch and Warren Buffet. A holiday period of light reading, you see.
I figure I need to amass great wealth so that the World Wide Runt can glide gracefully into her position as rightful benevolent ruler in the decades ahead.
...except anything remotely resembling a refined sense of humor or taste?
Courtesy of Mark Shea, taking a break from making bitter and offensive jokes about homosexuals (odd, considering how much he whines about anything portraying his view of Catholicism in any but the purest light), we have this great gift idea:
Question: What do you get when you cross authentic Catholic teaching with "Weird Al" Yankovic?I don't know, maybe some terribly unfunny gay bashing or the like? Careful, you wouldn't want to tread into Mark's territory!
NOW, there are two answers: Nick Alexander's A Time To LAUGH and his latest, ETERNAL LIFE, the Party Album!!Oh. Sweet. Jesus.
This is newsworthy?
Saddam's Daughter Cried at Dad's CaptureAw, how do you find the strength to go on? And how many times did you break down and cry when Saddam was slaughtering his own people?
Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter said she broke down and cried when she heard news of her father's capture....
Drop dead, bitch.
"It is as it was."Of course, this depends on what the definition of "was" is - because I'm pretty sure that John Paul, even though he's well into the "adult diapers" stage of life, wasn't present for the Passion of the Christ.
His statement is pretty much akin to a nerdy Lord of the Rings uber-fan standing athwart the box office and proclaiming "Verily, I say unto you, Peter Jackson, thou hast made a fine recreation of the words writ holy and verbose by Tolkein!"
The obvious difference being that most of us (nerdy uber-fans excepted) realize that Tolkein is, at best, naught but an inspirational mythology, and at worst, hundreds of pages of drudgery. If only we could achieve the same realization about religion on a widespread basis.
In the meantime, let's amend John Paul's statement to read: "It is as it was - in the book I read."
Update: In the comments, Phil Dennison asks:
What are people supposed to get from this movie - besides hearing dead languages spoken aloud for two hours - that they cannot get from King of Kings or The Greatest Story Ever Told?That's easy, Phil. The answer is: Monica Bellucci.
One of my personal business ethics has always been that I wouldn't work for a company that sold a product I wouldn't be willing to use or recommend myself (hence, you'll never see me working for Big Tobacco or The Christian Broadcasting Network). I'm glad to see that the same principle is alive and well (even if it's proponents aren't) in Nigerian witchcraft.
A traditional doctor in central Nigeria has been shot dead by a patient who was testing the potency of an anti-bullet charm the herbalist had prepared for him, police told AFP.My official consulting recommendation is that a product redesign is probably in order. Or maybe dropping ignorant belief in black magic and spooky monsters that go bump in the night.
"To confirm its efficacy, the herbalist tied the charm around his neck and insisted that Akor should fire a gun at him. The experiment proved fatal for the herbalist and his skull was shattered," he added. "He died immediately".
Belief in Binky the Magic Space Clown, however, is always encouraged - particularly because his birthday is coming up next Thursday. Honk! Honk!
Something about a fool. And money. And their parting of ways.
The Washington congressman who criticized President Bush while visiting Baghdad last year has questioned the timing of the capture of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.Upon reading the headline "Dem Rep. Suspicious of Timing of Saddam Capture," my first thought was - honestly - "Wait, I thought Cynthia McKinney got the boot back in 2002?"
Rep. Jim McDermott (search), D-Wash., told a Seattle radio station Monday the U.S. military could have found Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted." Asked if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott chuckled and said: "Yeah. Oh, yeah."
I was right; it just so happens that the Democrats have found another wonder-loon to take her place. I expect this sort of conspiratorial nonsense from the likes of the Democratic Underground (so called because they have their heads buried). I, perhaps foolishly, expect better from most others, particularly those in the Congress who, one could argue, are likely to have in excess of three functioning brain cells (ok, ok, it's a reach, but bear with me).*
Rep. McDermott, isn't there some second gunman on a grassy knoll you should be chasing? Maybe aliens and crop circles?
* Meanwhile, I politely ask that Monica Belluci bare with me. Yeah, yeah, so I'm intrigued by her at the moment.
After considerable pondering, thought, reflection, and - yes - beer, I've decided we need to add a new term to the scientific literature of evolution. That term is:
Blog DarwinismNo, it's not the survival of the fittest. It's the amazing way in which an Instalanche can force a blog to evolve in the Blogosphere Ecosystem, only to see the forces of blognature drive it back into the organic soup from which it sprung. You know, kind of like what is happening here, now.
Science, ain't it grand?
Or HISTORY OF VATICAN CORRUPTION: FROM FUGGER TO FUGEES
Volume 321: FUGEES
The Vatican was dissed at its Xmas party by a Diva of Soul.
Still to come at Vatican Xmas Party MMIII: Sinead O'Connor sings "What Child is This?", Rosie O'Donnell and Ricky Martin sing "Do You Hear What I Hear" and special guest star Joey Lawrence arrives to hand out gifts.
Oh boy. Sometimes the Church ought to just shut up.
A top Vatican official said Tuesday he felt pity and compassion for Saddam Hussein and criticized the U.S. military for showing video footage of him being treated "like a cow."Yeah, I kind of felt the same way at first, and then that logical part of my brain screamed: "He's a mass murdering tyrant!" Jesus, it makes you wonder if this Cardinal would have offered Hitler tea and cookies had he not plugged himself in the head before his capture.
"I felt pity to see this man destroyed, (the military) looking at his teeth as if he were a cow. They could have spared us these pictures," he said.
Come in, Johnny Cochran:
Saddam Hussein's oldest daughter told Al-Arabiya television network Tuesday the family of the former dictator will hire the best attorneys it can find to fight for her father.If the mass grave doesn't fit, you must acquit!
Hey, maybe Jesse Jackson will get involved as well, defending his dark-skinned brother from oppression of The Man.
Today's installment of the much loved DVD review section is: "Brotherhood of the Wolf," a 2001 period piece mixing a bit of the supernatural with the hair of the werewolf, some Matrix-esque fighting sequences, and Monica Belluci in varying state of undress.
What more do you need to know?
Somewhere, someone could make money running a school for clear headline writing. If they did, we might avoid getting headlines like this:
Prostate Cancer Most Common Among MenApparently, women with prostates are the next most likely to get it? Errr....
Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.Stories like this come about here and there, and - granted - they are just small pieces. But eventually enough pieces kind of give you a picture of the whole puzzle, even if you don't have the front of the box at hand.
Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
The puzzle I see forming is of the "my enemy's enemy" variety (hell, the US has played that game plenty in the face of political realities; it's a fact of life for those of us who live in the real world - so I imagine it was the same for our pal Saddam).
Or, more accurately, while I wait for the repairs on my car to be completed (no idea what is wrong or how much it will cost, but chances are that loud shriek of terror you hear in about an hour is from me), why not go check out Walter's round-up of the best of the Rocky Mountain bloggers from the last week.
Yes, Walter too has learned that the secret to traffic is a good meme.
It is definitely Monday.
How do I know? Well, it started with the fact that the weather sucks. Overcast, winds gusting to ridiculous speeds, and the possibility of snow is looming. This, however, was merely the beginning of my woes.
I shower, dress, and go to the car. Close the door. Insert the key. Turn the key. The engine won't turn over, try as it might. Maybe it's the battery? Hmm, all the lights work - radio seems ok. Lets turn on the lights and then crank it. Click. Battery is dead now. OK, fine, let's wrangle the car out of the garage and into the driveway, then turn the wife's car so that I can try to jumpstart mine.
Did I mention it was cold and windy? Really cold and windy?
So, on the slow road to a frozen death, there I am, working in the pre-sunrise darkness. Finally, we're all hooked up and ready to jump it - so I do - and, same problem. It just won't catch.
I assume it's the starter. The battery is quite new and should be ok, and it's not -30 or anything outside. Looks like I'll be missing work today, which sucks because I generally like to use my vacation time for - oh - vacation.
And spending the afternoon at the car shop is anything but. So now I am waiting for the tow truck to arrive, and then my fun day can begin.
Yay for Monday.
Denver is going to have some unique visitors this week:
Four members of the Baghdad City Council arrived at Denver International Airport late Saturday, looking more like refined American businessmen than fledgling leaders wrangling with how to build a democracy in politically unstable Iraq.It's a good thing they didn't come for lessons while former Mayor Wellington Webb was in office. The answer to all their problems would have been hiking the parking meter rates.
They hope to find answers during their week-long stay in Colorado, where they will visit with elected officials in Lakewood, Aurora, Denver, Douglas County and Littleton.
AD-DAWR, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. troops captured Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit in a major coup for Washington's beleaguered occupying force in Iraq.Someone notify the Democrats to mark this issue off their talking points.
Let's hope that removing the fear of Saddam's return from the minds of the Iraqi people will prove a turning point in the occupation and rehabilitation of the country.
And to our troops both here and abroad, you folks kick ass!
(Yes, I know I'm a little slow on getting to this story, but it's Sunday and I do like my sleep!)
This site would kill 18 diabetics per minute with ease, but I'm in awe of the coding. (Totally safe to open from any computer with sound.)
PS- If you wanna know why I'm p.o.d with Mel Gibson, just ax. Go ahead and ax. Or are ya chikkin?
You know it's a Friday and I'm anxious to be elsewhere when I resort to things like this:
Found via The Accidental Jedi.
Iran's President, Mohammad Khatami, had this to say regarding the political philosophy in his country:
[Khatami] exemplified Iran as the best for democracy in the region, reasoning the theme with poising (sic) a question: "Where would you find a couontry (sic) the same as Iran, in which authority and centralisation are reduced in favour of the public."Saying that Iran is the best model for democracy in the region is akin to saying that KFC fried chicken is the best model for healthy fast food. It sure sounds pretty, but it rings hollow.
I want to live in the world that Ted Rall calls home:
Straight up. It's time for the increasingly irrelevant influence of centrist-right Al From's Democratic Leadership Council to decide which is more important: keeping control of the Democrats or electing one to the presidency. Dean is the only contender with the cash, charisma and cajones to expel Generalissimo El Busho from the White House--but he needs a unified party to pull it off.I'm not so sure a unified party is really going to make much of a difference in a situation like this:
A stunning new poll shows President Bush would clobber Democratic front-runner Howard Dean by nearly 2-1 in politically potent New Hampshire - even though Dean has a giant lead over Democratic rivals in the state.It's sounding more and more like the Republicans that are hoping (and for the religious among them, praying) that Dean gets the Democratic nod, might be on to something.
Bush gets 57 percent to Dean's 30 percent among registered voters in the American Research Group poll. In fact, Dean, from neighboring Vermont, does worse in the Granite State than a generic "Democratic Party nominee" who loses to Bush by 51 to 34 percent. Another ARG poll this month showed Dean with a 30-point lead over Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) for the Jan. 27 New Hampshire primary, the second test after the Jan. 19 Iowa caucuses.
One seems to affect the other:
McMaster University researchers proved men can't think straight after just looking at photos of attractive women. Psychology professors Margo Wilson and Martin Daly showed male students pictures of both attractive and non-attractive women. Then they had the men roll dice.Clearly, such science has the vast potential to be abused. How long will it be before employment offer letters and even federal tax forms come complete with centerfolds?
When they threw double digits, the men would get a choice: take between $15 and $35 the next day, or take $50 to $75 after a wait of one week to eight months. The men who had just viewed pictures of "hot" women were far more likely to take the lesser sum right away, says the study, printed recently in Biology Letters.
Keeps the RIAA lawsuits away.
So, I did it - I sprung the $35 for a year of high-quality streaming audio from Launch. I listen to it a fair bit on headphones at work, and recently bought some 1/4" to RCA plug cables so I can hook my laptop to either of our stereos. Now, I've got the music streaming over the wireless network to one of the stereos, and can enjoy a wide selection of music at very respectable quality, with selections based upon the music I rate.
You can hear my station here. Enjoy.
Oh, wait, no I don't.
Federal sources confirmed that on the morning of Aug. 16 a foreign national from China presented expired documents and attempted to board a plane at DIA with a one-way ticket to Boston...That's right, the INS has no one on hand at DIA until 8am. Sure, they provide 24-hour protection of our borders, but much like the Steven Wright 7-11 joke, "yes, but not in a row."
The witness said that the woman's documents raised several red flags so an airline employee contacted two law enforcement agencies -- a Denver police officer and the federal agency responsible for immigration issues.
"The police said, 'This isn't our problem. This is an INS' problem.' And INS wasn't even there at that hour," said the employee at DIA.
The passenger walked away and abandoned her unchecked luggage and apparently, nearly four months later, no law enforcement agency has located her, questioned her motive or held her accountable in any way.I'm becoming more convinced that the only reliable, partial protection we have against terrorists is the willingness of passengers to kick the ass of anyone who threatens their plane. Clearly the government isn't up to the task.
"It says we are just as vulnerable as we were prior to 9-11," security expert Boyd said.
Not being a huge Tolkien fan I'm probably the last to mention this, but Jackson has confirmed he is going to film The Hobbit next. Apparently Chris Tolkien has finally given his blessing to the project.
Tim Berglund says "Andy is, true to his claim, actually much nicer in person."
I can't possibly imagine why he would have thought anything else.
Here's an opinion that will positively shock some readers. I think this is a silly judgment:
Muslim girls in France could be barred from wearing headscarves in schools after an expert commission recommended a ban on "conspicuous" religious signs...So long as the attire in question, or the item in question, doesn't impede the learning of others, distract others with flashing lights and bells and whistles, and doesn't prevent free movement around the school, I don't really see a problem with "conspicuous" religious signs. If you want to wear your "I've Got a Hard On For Allah" or "Jesus Isn't Just a Mexican Gardener" t-shirt, knock yourself out. If you want to drag a giant cross on wheels (on wheels? did Jesus' cross have wheels?) through the hallway like the loonies in Campus Crusade for Christ, then we might have to talk.
The ban would outlaw the Jewish kippa, large Christian crosses and the Islamic headscarf, which would be considered overt religious symbols.
"Discreet" medallions and pendants which merely confirm the person's religious faith would be allowed.
[Bernard Stasi] added that the commission's proposed law was intended so people of all religions could "live together in public places".Because clearly that can only happen if we know as little about each other's personal beliefs as possible. As an atheist, it's a given to me that the majority of those with whom I associate believe in some kind of magical sky pixie - it doesn't stop me from living in peace with them.
Now, their knocking on my door at 9am on a Sunday to save my soul might. Especially if they're French. But that's another story.
I had a uniquely unpleasant interview with Auburn University last week in which I saw continual glum faces and body language that registered (if only to me) somewhere between "I really wish I was somewhere else" and "I really wish I was dead". It was a depressing enough place that even though it pays significantly better than I'm currently making and is a lot closer to my friends/family I withdrew from candidacy for the position.
Well, I think I can understand the AttitUde a little better now.
Gimme gimme more more more »
The university has just been placed on probation by SACS. For those not in academia, that's sort of like getting a write-up from your boss that says "This is a written warning that your ass is grass and the lawn mower is being cranked"; the only thing more severe that SACS can do is to dis-accredit you and if that happens you might as well sell cupcakes and waffles because you're not getting any federal funding and your graduates are screwed when they leave the workforce (think "medeival pope" and "interdict").
Most of the problems are associated with Bobby Lowder, a man unknown to the editors of Salon.com but quite well known in Alabama as their own local J.R. Ewing. (CNN once referred to him as a "prominent realtor", rather like referring to Jimmy Carter as a "former Georgia politician"; Lowder's companies are conservatively worth in the high ten figures.) Appointed one of the trustees of the school some while ago, he's essentially attempted to convert it into a fiefdom while crushing all dissent. (One particularly nasty incident occurred recently when he was attacked by the school paper (for standing up a meeting with the SGA) he attempted to have it brought under his direct "editorial" control and crush the journalism department.) Then I think there's something about Auburn having a football team that he's interested in, and I seem to recall something about people being unhappy with their coach or something.
Anyway, this is a really juicy story that would make one helluva Barbarians at the Gate style book for somebody interested in academia, athletics, politics, really big business and the overlap thereof. Go for it.
« That's plenty, thanks!
And here it is.
You know I love you. You know you are the sunshine of my life and that's why I'll always stay around. You know everything I do, oh oh, I do it for you.
However, I'm happy to report that it is Michele that has instead agreed to offer up sexual favors in exchange for your voting for the World Wide Rant.
...and while you're over there, Vicky could use your vote too! I'm not sure what kind of rewards she'll be offering; you'll have to talk directly with her about that. I can tell you, however, that she is a suitable companion for all things wombat, playing trivia, or whatever.
You can ignore this paragraph, as I am only putting it here to take up enough space so that the page formats properly. The real meat of my message was up above; this is merely filler. Which fails to explain why you are still reading it. Don't you have something you should be doing? Surely you do. Go on.
CNN/Money reports on six unusual jobs that can pay six figures.
Shockingly, "blogger" did not make the cut.
or "I declare Buddy, it's Fruitcake Weather again..."
Tis the season of really odd memories. In my own family the Ghost of Christmas Pasts has bullet holes in his clothing and once tried to get a restraining order against us, but he still comes around once and a while albeit with 911 on speed dial.
There are some memories that I'll never share because they're too involved, but some of the weirder and more bite-sized are below. And because Christmas is the time of sharing and I'm certainly not the only person to grow up in a "Tennessee Williams Presents a Very Special Episode of MAMA'S FAMILY" household, please feel free to share some of your own.
Gimme gimme more more more »
This one isn't my memory, but it was my father's. He was reared by his grandmother and aunts, all of them very devout Jehovah's Witnesses who didn’t celebrate Christmas because it interfered with erroneously scheduling the end of the World. He never had a tree or attended a Xmas party while growing up.
He joined the navy as soon as he turned 18 (June 1945- he’d wanted to join for 2 years but his family wouldn't let him). The war was over before he was out of basic training so he was primarily a clerical aid and replacement.
That Christmas he received shore leave in Japan. There he attended his first Christmas party and received from a friend his first Christmas gift. This was in Nagasaki, so his first Christmas was surrounded with the blasts from the atomic bomb. He never really got into the holiday at all.
My Aunt Pearl (my grandmother's sister) loved her cats a little bit too much. Her husband (who was possibly a midget- I'm not sure of his exact height or what the cut-off is, but he wasn't over 4 1/2 feet tall) and his son (by a previous marriage) were taxidermists and by her request, they stuffed her favorite cats when they died. They also kept quite a few stuffed squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and other animals laying around as decoration.
Pearl was also a self styled seamstress and sometimes made little outfits for said dead cats and rodents. In the 1970s, when she was old and widowed and a bit odder than previously (which was saying something) she hit "batshit crazy Southern Aunt paydirt" when she started sewing "special" robes and outfits for her favorite pieces and arranged them into a Nativity Set.
Until you've seen the Virgin Mary portrayed by a long dead tabby in a TG&Y fabric bin blue robe and overlooked by a squirrel angel, you ain't lived. (Diversity appreciative, one of the wise men was her favorite dead black cat, Spooky, because in other Nativity sets she'd seen one of the wise men was always black; the wise men had their gifts strapped to their collars.)
In case you're wondering, the baby Jesus was played by a plastic store-bought crèche (a bit out of proportion) rather than a dead kitten.
I have several fond memories of Christmas that involve the retarded. For a while I managed a group home for retarded men and I'll never forget is the pride the guys took in decorating their house and the fact that they couldn't care less how gaudy or threadbare things were, it was Christmas and it was going to glitter.
Most of the decorations had been donated including a Nativity set with several missing pieces. One missing piece was a Wiseman. One year one of the gentlemen, a 40-ish fellow with a wildly split mental age (in some ways he was almost a savant and in others he was doing good to function at the level of a 3 year old), was studying it and asked "weren't there three wise men?” I told him there were and he disappeared into his room. When I looked at the Nativity Set later that night he had replaced the missing wise man with a (donated) Obi Wan Kenobi action figure he kept in his room.
I grew up way the hell and gone in the woods of Alabama, 15 miles from the nearest town. One of the problems of living that far out, which you find out constantly in hunting season, is people seem to have a notion that the land out there is unowned public property and therefore it's fine for hunting without permission or for helping yourself to stones/logs from abandoned old houses and cutting down Christmas trees. For two years the trees we'd groomed all year to use in our house were stolen before we could cut them down.
My mother, never known for a hyper-developed sense of ration or forgiveness, decided to fix this problem the next year. Beginning in late November (we didn't put up a tree until Mid-December) we'd go into the woods and surround the tree we wanted (which was in our woods and far away from anybody else's property) with broken bottles of glass, bobcat traps, rat traps under leaves, and a few holes just big enough to break the ankles of any tree poachers in order to keep it safe for Christmas. My brothers helped her do the booby trapping while my sister and I had the equally important job of recording what all was put down and where it was placed for when we went back to get it. We never hurt ourselves and we never found trails of blood around the tree leading to an out-of-county car, so apparently nobody was ever hurt by this, but every year I still think about various forms of sabotage we could have pulled or of people with bloody stubs for feet who had learned a little bit about the true meaning of Christmas and private property.
Christmas in Mongolia
Our nearest neighbors in Weokahatchee who were not of our genetic stock were an older couple I'll call "the Turners". They lived about a mile from us and were actually landlocked by Darby land (they'd bought their 4 acres from the county company which had once claimed it as an easement). They really were "Good Country People"; they had a 20-something son with Down's Syndrome and we had a 90-something aunt with no bladder control and since we both had hard times getting sitters we often made tradeoffs. Well, we became quite close to the family and their son, "Ronny", was overjoyed when he was chosen to be a shepherd in the "Our Lady of the Copperhead Backwoods Baptist Church" (not it's real name- they used another name of snake) Christmas pageant ca. 1984 and bade us come.
Well suh, I grew up attending services at the Our Lady of the Two Drink Minimum Presbyterian Church, an antebellum establishment (complete with surviving slave balcony [though no surviving slaves]) in a small river city 20 miles away, where it was generally agreed Jesus was a nice fellow and a good Republican and most of God's messages were roughly analagous to the outcome of the previous day's Auburn football score. It was known as the "rich man's church" of the city and probably for some reason, and my family was still fairly well to do then (though when we dropped off the socioeconomic radar, we DROPPED). Point is, services were staid, all came in country club attire, the choir was slightly less enthusiastic than the average grand jury and the sound of the organ was accompanied by the sound of the hardening of the arteries of the parishioners. And I had never been to a backwoods Baptist church.
The first thing that was odd was the Copperhead's parishioners and their preacher standing around outside smoking outside the congregation. Then the minister, a nice looking middle aged ex-con (though he had never done anything more serious than the multiple stabbing of his ex-wife, and it's not like she died or anything), spit out some Skoal and opened the sanctuary.
There were men dressed in hunting camouflage, which I was relatively positive was a sin from one of the bible books (Lamentations? Lactations? Laotians? one of them). Then the pageant started.
Up first was an elderly woman whose voice could be used to crack walnuts. She was slightly retarded herself and her family proudly announced "she has never had lessons!"; her soprano disturbed air traffic as she sang the first two verses of What Child is This about four times then quit in mid-sentence.
Then there was a joint hymn, which was the first time I'd ever heard parishioners voluntarily exile themselves to singing harmony and the first time I'd ever heard the word heard sung as "heared" (rhymes with weird). Then in came the shepherds, including Ronny, wearing bathrobes and towels tied with neckties. Alright, cheesy, but... we'll make it.
Then entered the Virgin Mary and Joseph. Alright, Joseph was about 12 and Mary about 14 and an obnoxious booger-flicking girl with three first names I went to school with- my belief was not suspended and she was heavily laden with what was obviously a basketball. Joseph was wearing a thin bathrobe under which was very obviously camouflage coveralls, while the Virgin's bathrobe was a threadbare pink number AND SHE HAD ON PLASTIC FLIP FLOPS. Joseph's head was covered by a blue and white checked DISHTOWEL and a piece of red scrap cloth. This was when I had to be physically restrained from jumping up and shouting
"CUT! CUT! Alright--- Kenny and the eldertard with the voice that fractures poodle-skulls are retarded, but what the hell is the rest of you's problem! For starters, THAT is a dishtowel, does it even vaguely look like a kaffiyeh to anybody here? It came in a box of Duv detergent! And Mary ever virgin---- in a pink robe, excuse me? Her traditional color is BLUE! Hell, even my aunt got that right and she was working with dead cats! And with the 13 year old in flip flops and the bathrobe and the basketball- never mind keeping her hair covered, not like that was UNHOLY or anything- she just looks like a knocked up piece of trailer trash! And as for the manger- that damned thing is a cardboard box! You can still read where it said "19" TV" and "TG&Y" under the halfhearted brown paint! And while Ronny is believable as a shepherd- some had Asiatic blood and even the retarded could keep watch over flocks to some extent- what's the deal with the two year old twins? Sure, I suppose on some level they're adorable if you're into reproduction and stuff, but no shepherd family would have had them in a field unless they were trying to use them for wolfbait."
But my mother held me down and just remarked "Baptists are less formal. Just bare with it and when we're out of here I'll let you put some barbed wire around our tree."
Anyway, totally pointless tale, but twas my first dealing with the Baptists and I still don't think Mary would be a boogerflicking bathrobe wearer.
Mass Murdering Slaves: the Gift that Keeps on Giving
My all-time favorite workplace Christmas gift: from a Secret Santa at a Department of Education account where I worked that was staffed 80% by black personnel: a little resin figurine of Nat Turner from the "Heroes of Black History" series of a since discontinued line. He didn't come with "white baby hacking" action, but it was the thought that counted. She got it because "You like that history stuff" (and the fact it still had the $.75 clearance tag on it played no part at all).
What are some of your weirder holiday memories?
« That's plenty, thanks!
Let's be absolutely clear about this: the administration tells us that it is dedicated to the spread of "democracy" and freedom, and that it will wage war and spend billions of dollars -- money belonging to American citizens -- to "nation-build" in the Middle East.While I was disappointed in the announcement, at the same time, I don't think comparing it to actions in the Middle East is necessarily accurate. Taiwan already has a considerable level of freedom and democratic rule, whereas Iraq did not. Taiwan's population is not living under duress and fear that at any given moment, they or a family member might vanish - the Iraqis did.
But when it comes to speaking up for a long-time ally and friend -- and for a country which embodies freedom and liberty despite truly formidable odds -- the same administration will cower in fear before a despotic, dictatorial regime, a regime known far and wide for its human right abuses and its despicable record of crushing freedom. And not only will the administration cower like a miserable little rat, it will actively seek to placate and curry favor with tyrants, while putting the freedom, and the lives, of the Taiwanese at great and terrible risk.
Bear with me, I am thinking through this aloud now. The status quo is such that Taiwan is, for most purposes, free, while China hobbles along toward Westernization, impeded by a bunch of old men clinging to power. Changing that in the short-term by endorsing Taiwanese independence runs the risk of (a) dramatically increasing barriers to the flow of Western principles into China via the influence of Taiwan or (b) ending freedom and democracy in China by forcing Chinese military action against the island.
I don't see us going to war against a nuclear power to protect Taiwan (principled suicide is suicide nonetheless). And, as Vodkapundit pointed out, China need not invade Taiwan - lobbing missiles will do the job just as well when the point is to teach a lesson and demand obedience. However, I have the hope that a variant on MAD policy will prevent China from following a course like that as well, given that we theoretically will defend Taiwan. So, the status quo seems a likely way to achieve the goal of Pax Americana (ooh, there's the neo-con in me) over time.
Unless, of course, Bush's latest words have given the Chinese the impression that we might not follow through on our commitment.
OK, so maybe it could get ugly in a hurry.
Kristi, in the comments to this post, mentioned another character from "A Christmas Story" deserving of remembrance. That's right: Flick, as portrayed by the talented Scott Schwartz. You might remember him from the Richard Pryor / Jackie Gleason vehicle, "The Toy," prior to his work in the Christmas classic we all adore.
However, if you're in the spirit to appreciate a career that has spanned some 20 years, be sure to check out his other turns in the art of the thespian: Comeback, Silver Screen Confidential, The Show, The Wrong Snatch, Scotty's X-Rated Adventure, New Wave Hookers 5, Dirty Bob's Xcellent Adventures 35 and 36, Flashpoint, Still Insatiable, and Torn.
You'll find them in that tiny back room at your local video store, or perhaps available via postal delivery in a plain-brown wrapper.
Feel free to go home:
In a policy document released on Tuesday, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said he was limiting competition for 26 reconstruction contracts worth up to $18.6 billion that will be advertised in coming days.Actions have consequences, Herr Schroeder. Allow me to play the world's tiniest violin for you.
He cited national security reasons for the exclusion of firms from countries that opposed the war including France and Germany. They may bid for sub-contracts.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief spokesman Bela Anda said on Wednesday that if the reports of such an exclusion were true:
"That would not be acceptable for the German government. And it wouldn't be in line with the spirit of looking to the future together and not into the past."
Pianist and Buena Vista Social Club member Ruben Gonzalez has died.
Ruben Gonzalez, whose unique way with the piano fused an angular jazzy approach with an open invite to the dance floor, died yesterday in Havana; he was eighty-four.And thanks to Ry Cooder for recording these talented and forgotten Cuban musicians before their art was lost to time.
That duality -- making music both sophisticated and sexual -- prompted Ry Cooder to claim that Gonzalez was a "cross between Thelonious Monk and Felix the Cat." There was also an element of Jimmy Hoffa, as Gonzalez seemed to drop off the face of the earth for years and thought dead before he was re-discovered and ushered towards unlikely fame as part of the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon.
...but that won't stop me from pointing you to Recipe Buddie for your AOL Instant Messenger (or other program that uses the AOL network for IMs).
Now I just need to find Interior Decorating Buddie.
Everyone - ok, everyone with a lick of sense, culture, and appreciation of fine comedy - remembers the 1983 holiday classic "A Christmas Story." If you're American and have yet to see it, I can only assume that you live in a cave without any sort of long-distance-viewing technological picture boxes at your disposal (the flickering light, it scares me!).
While watching it, again, the other weekend with the wife, we pondered the fate of Peter Billingsley. I wish we hadn't, because he's all grown up (see the photo). In fact, he's my age.
I'm getting old. This sucks.
Winter has reared its head once again in the Denver metro area. TBOTCOTW has a picture of the festivities early on in the afternoon. World Wide Rant Global Domination HQ is only a few miles from TBOTCOTW Amalgamated Industries, so it was my early warning system yesterday for what I could expect on the drive home. In the end, we probably got 4-5 inches at my house; no big whoop.
Matt's tale of chicken gone wrong has also inspired me to share last night's halfway-winging-it recipe, if only to take up space on the blog. I made a pizza crust out of brown rice, grated sweet potato, oat bran, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, and egg whites, seasoned with black pepper, thyme, and basil. Baked that and then topped it with tomato sauce, tuna, nonfat cheese, onion, peas, and corn. Baked it again to melt the cheese, and voila, a rather healthy pizza that was surprisingly edible. Wonders never cease, etc.
I'm in the office bright and early, having fought the evil commuting twin forces of "Eek-a-snowflake-I-better-drive-5-miles-per-hour" and "I-have-an-SUV-so-I-know-snow-buddy." Reminded me of the saying, whoever said it, that everyone driving slower than you is an idiot and everyone driving faster is an asshole. Or something like that.
Anyway, let the blogging begin. And go vote - what do I have to do? Offer sexual favors?
check out this inspired Chick pamphlet parody. Cthulu be praised.
Remember that scene in Cleopatra where Julius Cæsar (Rex Harrison) is waiting on the birth of Cleo's baby and it's brought to him and laid at his feet paterfamilias style and all of his advisors tell him "careful Cæsar, don't touch it... remember that if you pick it up it could be construed that you are accepting it as a Roman and even a member of your family" and Sexy Rexy Cæsar completely ignores them all and picks up the babe and says loudly "I have a son!" to which the same sycophants all scream "Hail Cæsar!"?
Gimme gimme more more more »
Well, getting this little boy wasn't really quite like that but I still love me some Rex Harrison in Roman duds.
This little fellow is "Ollie" (full name "Oliver Norvell Hardy Darby" after the boy who grew up on the street where he was born a century ago and later became half [or 2/3 if you go by weight] of the world's greatest Classic Comedy duo) and he's a rather impulsive Xmas present to myself. He's half-Jack Russell and half- "Other (not Caucasian or Hispanic)" and all adorable. He's 8 weeks old but he's already been through a lot (you may be able to see the scars on his widdle eye and iddy biddy head) but that's over now and the vet says he'll be totally fine. He's the first baby-dawg I've had in many many years and the first one I've ever crated (which always seemed to me to be cruel but vets and breeders swear it's not and it's undeniably convenient for house-training and less worry of the "ooh, isn't that cute, he found my autographed Tom & Lavinia Thumb autographed wedding postcard and tore into thousands of iddy biddy shweds!" kind. Have I mentioned he's adorable (especially as he tries to find his bark)?
Two things in passing:
1- Ever noticed that the bigger the gay guy, the smaller his dog? A few more "Black'n'Bleu burgers with fried pickles" lunches and missed gym-time and Ollie will have a teacup-Chihuahua brother.
2- If you don't vote for WorldwideRant, you support cruelty to adorable puppies!
« That's plenty, thanks!
The proceeds will pay for products and services for our troops returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and their families.Given the stories I've read of our men and women in uniform coming back to financial nightmares, this seems like a worthy project. If you're local, try to help out. If not, see who in your area might be partnering as well.
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German vicar inadvertently supplied his parish with dozens of hard core porn films in an unsuccessful bid to teach people about the life of Christ.I don't know - I think the story of the Passion with a "boom chicka bow wow" soundtrack might at least keep my interest.
When visiting St. Bloggersburg, be sure to book your stay at the Worldwide Hotel, with its lovely views of the Swanki Neva.
Oh, and don't forget to vote!
A dork* and his money are soon parted.
* No, that's not me. Shut up.
Why, just one look at that cute baby and you know you just have to go vote for her daddy right away. For those interested, she's now seven months old.
Sorry, folks, this might be about as entertaining as I get today; a metric hineyload of work awaits. All part of workin' for The Man.
Technically, you're not obligated to go vote for the World Wide Rant as the Best Ecosystem Marauding Marsupial Blog at Wizbang, but it would be nice - and the Baby Jesus would approve (and bestow special magical blessings on you too).
Swanky vote-for-me logo courtesy of Michele.
Update: Beloved people, your efforts have been valiant so far, but we're trailing The Bitch Girls by a rather significant margin at the moment. Baby Jesus has upped his offer of salvation to a 2-for-1 for everyone who votes for WWR. Got a friend on the highway to Hell? Well, not anymore! Baby Jesus can work wonders!
He also walked on the water and swam on the land. But that's neither here nor there.
Now, vote until it hurts! Well, without cheating.
12:48pm - Hmmm, that's not such a bad time to have just gotten up, showered, and dressed considering last night was a bit rough courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash 2.75. It was good to see the usual cast of characters and plenty of new faces - I'd list them all, but I must run and get some grease into my arteries. You know how it is.
Zombyboy has the scoop.
As tonight is the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash (version 2.75 for those keeping score at home), this will probably be the last blog entry between now and whenever I wake up cursing the gods for the painful feeling that my brain no longer fits in my skull tomorrow sometime. Man, that was a bad sentence. My apologies.
Anyway, for your entertainment pleasure, a couple of MP3s that I'll make available until the aforementioned rising from the dead sometime Saturday. Chances are you'll hate them - or like them - either way is fine by me. Certainly, the world should believe exactly as I do, but I don't kid myself that such a day will ever come (not without violent overthrow of world governments and the development of a drug to lull you all into a sense of complacency with regard to my more-often-than-not benevolent rule).
Where was I? Ah, yes, music. Here you go.
Enjoy - or don't - whatever. Have a great Friday!
Update: OK, song files have been deleted. Since the response was so overwhelming, or not, I doubt I'll post more. Or maybe I will if I get bored. You never know your luck. Always somethin' cookin' at the WWR.
Friday, December 5You might recall that 823 days ago Sylvia agreed to the protocol for James Randi's Million Dollar Challenge, after agreeing to the challenge itself. In those 823 days, nary a peep has been heard from her about proving once and for all that she and other
Best-selling author and psychic Sylvia Browne says she can talk to departed loved ones in the afterlife. Whom would you like to reach? She joins Larry for the hour and takes your calls.
...or maybe she'll retort with something like that "thou shalt not test the dead, your relatives." Speaking of which, isn't the name of the show "Larry King Live?" What's with the telenecrophilia?
Wasting money to convince us that french fries were truly "Freedom Fries" apparently wasn't enough for conservatives in the nation's capital. Now they're pushing to get Franklin D. Roosevelt off the face of the dime, replacing him with Ronald Reagan.
In the time of the war on terror, threats to civil liberties, the beginnings of an economic turnaround in need of being sustained, this is what they're working on? I suppose given the way that they have swollen spending since Bush took office (more than enough to give any New Deal Democrat multiple orgasms), this looks like chump change to them.
I don't have a problem with the issue of Reagan on our currency, but he did already get his name on an airport with a fancy new terminal. Also, while he he does have Alzheimer's disease, he isn't dead yet - although this kind of talk certainly makes it sound like some folks think he is (and, granted, given the vicious nature of the disease, for all intents he might as well be). However, it's not as if Reagan is going to appreciate the honor - at this stage, it's more likely he doesn't even appreciate limited bowel control.
I'm certainly not making light of his condition. I've seen what it can do firsthand. It isn't pretty. For anyone invovled.
No, my largest concern about the proposal is the thinking behind it:
Triggering the dispute is a TV movie that depicts a doddering Reagan dominated by his wife, Nancy. The movie is being aired by Showtime after CBS canceled its plans to show it last month in response to pressure by Reagan supporters.That's right - the consumption of Congressional time and money is being driven by Leslie Moonvies and CBS. Folks, Reagan is a man who has his place in history, not a god in need of righteous defense by hordes of Freepers and followers, and some barely watched, piece-of-crap Showtime special isn't going to change that.
“It’s what precipitated me introducing the bill at that time and why it was a lot easier to get a lot of support,” said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind.
How about getting back to the business of serving and protecting America? Do it for the Gipper.
The rest of today will be spent doing my real work, the work that pays me, the work that puts food on my table and beer in my belly. You know, if I only had a dime for every Instapundit reader that visited and gave me a dime, I'd still have no dimes aside from the ones earned by the aforementioned work. No, I'm not shamelessly begging. Tithing is always welcome however.
Anyway, in my absence, why not check this out:Moonbats Unite! - the looney left across the pond is working to build a progressive party that will build upon the successes of the past. Those successes being communism and tyrannical rule.
Does it strike anyone else as odd that so-called progressive political movements are anything but?
One of the concepts one tends to encounter when reading the work of apologists is that humans are somehow completely different from the animal kingdom (you know, aside from all the obvious consistencies we share with much of it, such as bilateral symmetry, organ structure, similarity in genes, and the like - all those things that tend to hint at common descent or an all-powerful, and rather lazy, designer).
Just recently, Catholic-extraordinaire Mark Shea said:
That something is the human person, and every attempt to reduce humans to equality with mere nature is doomed to failure. Some who try to do so note, for instance, that humans share many common physical traits with the beasts--as though this made humans equal to beasts. The problem with this argument is that humans alone in all the cosmos are aware of and interested in the fact of our similarity with our fellow creatures. Not one other critter in the world recognizes it because not one other critter in the world is capable of reason as human beings are.He goes on to say that only humans are endowed with reason. Unfortunately, that is demonstrably false - it's more of a sliding scale of reasoning ability, with humans at the rather talented end of things. Many complex animals do engage in reasoning and thinking things through, even if not at the level of pondering their own navel. I said it was demonstrably false, but I suppose the animals in question might just "appear" to be thinking, albeit consistently so; unfortunately, one could make the same case about humans. We really don't know what goes on in the minds of those around us. Rigid experimentation, rather than the old lady next door who thinks her dog smiles when she comes home, is the best we can do.
Along those lines, the spark for this little post of mine was this article:
It has been thought for a long time that confusion is a peculiarly human trait that we share with no other animals, except possibly apes. That's an important issue among scientists because confusion reflects the ability to search the brain for the right answer, a form of cognitive self awareness.Just another indication that our unique traits as humans probably aren't all that unique. Evolution has just developed our faculties more, and we have the added bonus of being able to talk about it. It'd be nice if we all used such gifts of nature to actually understand the world around us, rather than proclaiming ourselves superior to it and looking no further.
But researchers at three universities have found that humans probably don't own the patent to that ability. At least two other species, Rhesus monkeys and the bottlenose dolphin, also turn out to be a bit confused during particularly difficult trials, and their behavior is remarkably similar to the performance of humans who were taking the same trials....
Perhaps I'll tackle Shea's entire apologist selection in the days ahead; we'll see. I've been less inclined to be a tiny thorn in his side as he's actually posted a few things with which I agree (such as Andrew Sullivan's confusion of eros with phileo). Added to that, work is getting busy and then there's the RMBB 2.75 and requisite hangover this weekend. So much to do, so much to do.
Anyway, I took a few spare moments to peruse some of the more popular left-leaning* blogs (Atrios, Counterspin, Oliver Willis, so far) and noticed that none of them appear to link to, mention, or otherwise endorse this program (based upon using their Search feature and Google).
Why do they hate the little brown babies so?**
* Nothing against left-leaning blogs; they're often as wacky and irrational as righty-blogs. Now, libertarian blogs, those you can trust. Well, some of the time.
** Yes, I said that just to annoy them. I'm rather tired of such silly allegations being thrown at the right for supporting the war in Iraq, so let's turn it around.
Surely by now you have seen the news that Donald Rumsfeld won the "Foot in Mouth" Award from Britain's Plain English Campaign. I'm not sure why, as this quote:
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns, there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."...while a mouthful, certainly isn't very hard to decipher - at least for me, and I didn't even major in English. The concept of "known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns" are used in multiple disciplines, even in my area of process improvement. That the citizens of a country that gave us such delightfully named dishes as "spotted dick" and "toad in the hole" would mock another's word choice is rather ironic in itself.
All of that aside, I find it more interesting that the media - at least the US media (the Washington Times excluded) - hasn't made mention that Rumsfeld just got another award:
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday won the prestigious "non-EU citizen of the year" award at a black-tie gala event in Brussels.I guess reporting on that award wouldn't be amusing or insulting to the Bush administration, so why bother, eh?
Update: A feeble-minded twit left an anonymous comment to the effect that it was some anonymous award from a right-wing neo-nazi group. From what I can see, European Voice magazine, part of the Economist Group (publishers of the cleverly named "The Economist") have never struck me as anonymous neo-nazis. But then I'm not as smart as the twit apparently. Oh well.
P.S. They also nominated Kofi Annan for the award - oh yeah, lots of right-wing thinking going on there. Some people.
And Full Disclosure: My beloved wife is a toad-in-the-hole-eatin' limey, so that part was tongue in cheek. Any offended Brits should lighten up - and probably see an orthodontist for god's sake. OK, British humor, ceasing now.
It probably isn't what the armed forces want to see, but a handful of service members have formed GLSME: Gay & Lesbian Service Members for Equality.
The GLSME (Gay and Lesbian Service Members for Equality) is the voice of gay and lesbian service members around the world who are seeking a change. We are a unique group of about 15 actively serving members of the United States armed forces, with a basic goal: to lift the ban on gays in the military and allow them to serve without fear or prejudice in the armed services.Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a ridiculous policy, formed around the idiotic concept that a straight man can't sleep comfortably in the same barracks or tent as a gay man.
The GLSME was formed in August of 2002, in response not only to the persecutions of the last decade, but more importantly because skilled, quality soldiers are being discharged for being gay, a facet that makes them no less mission capable. Service members vital to the welfare of our nation are being released when America needs them the most.
Hey, uptight straight guy, the vast majority of women are not wanting to bed you - chances are that the vast majority of gay men don't want to play hide and seek in ye olde hiney hole with you either. Get over yourself and focus on the mission.
These homosexuals aren't asking for the right to tug on your ding-a-ling in the shower, to drop the soap and hope you pay attention, to share your bunk, or to cuddle up next to you in a foxhole pleading "Please, Dan, I don't want to die a virgin!"
It's sad that we think homosexuals are fine enough soldiers to contribute, bleed, and die for their country, but only so long as we don't know that Adam likes Steve rather than Eve. "But other soldiers might have a problem serving with them," they'll say - well, folks, tough shit. I'm sure some mighty white soldiers had a problem serving with "Nigger Jim" once upon a way back when; check the blood gushing from the sucking, battlefield wound of a white man, a black man, a straight man, a gay man, and let me know if you can tell the difference.
GLSME found via local, out-and-proud blogger Dave Cullen.
In my continuing efforts to de-clutter the WWR-household, I am currently converting a number of our old cassettes* to CDs burned on the PC. I've got our tape deck** hooked into the line-in on the PC, and am using Sonar to record, clean, and export the WAV files for burning. It's tedious, but we'll soon be able to enjoy the clean, crisp digital sound of CD music with all the analog hiss and whine of tapes!
The first two ages-old groups to fall victim are We Are Going to Eat You and Three O'Clock. If anyone remembers and/or likes them, perhaps I can post some MP3s as the albums are out of circulation. Of course, the RIAA would then probably come after me since they sleep well at night even when suing little girls.
Ah well. They suck.
* For the youth, cassettes are ancient recording media that use a magnetic tape or somesuch magical technology of the Lost Years of the Pre-90s Era.
** A "tape deck," also known as a "cassette deck" or "tape player" or "cassette player" or some other variation is a mystical device capable of reading the music magically stored on the "cassettes" and sending them to speakers or other listening devices.
Two words: Mishal Husain.
Probably an old story to some of you, but it's news to me. Heh, a pun. I'm a riot. Shut up.
* This, of course, assumes you're not some snarky Euroweenie who readily cheers the anti-Yank sneer that the BBC all too often seems to have.
When trying to convince others of the validity of your position, do not do as Ms. Dani Newsum and bury it underneath a rambling diatribe about how men are evil oppressors of the fairer sex.
Position: Rape victims should be told about emergency contraception.
Argument: See for yourself -
The U.S. military is a rigid, top-down institution physically, numerically and culturally dominated by men. Do the math....and...
But state senators Doug Lamborn, Ron May, Bruce Cairns and John Andrews – yes, they’re all men and all anti-abortion – don’t want women to even hear how to prevent a rape-induced pregnancy, much less get their hands on the actual medication....or maybe...
For god’s sake, they’d rather women and girls – the victims of male depravity – bear the horrific insult of that crime: pregnancy....and...
I think about that infamous photo-op of George W. Bush, surrounded by men – not a woman in sight – signing the bill outlawing the abortion procedure FACTUALLY known as intact dilation and extraction....and finally...
The politics of power, sex and gender. It’s a man thing.In what could have been a concise argument for the necessity of assisting rape victims with contraception, Ms. Newsum instead chooses to attack men, Christianity, and Christian men with broad generalizations. Apparently she is sadly unaware that many women, Christian or otherwise, support the pro-life movement and that the crux of the issue is ideology, not what hangs between one's legs.
As I said in a comment at the Denver Post site, I imagine Ms. Newsum would consider those women to not be "real women." Unfortunately, that would be as large a logical fallacy as the strawman she just knocked over.
Yes, some of you will be offended. Free speech and all that.
Going to be a bit of a slow day here at World Wide Rant Global Hegemony Headquarters for the Advancement of Reason, Women, and Beer - so, my apologies for that. After a four-day weekend, chock full of good food, good beer, and painting our basement, it's a bit of a chore to get geared up again for the daily grind, so my efforts are focused there. Five in the morning came much too early today. Yawn.
Congratulations to everyone who got their 50,000 words written for National Novel Writing Month. Alas, I didn't - but the story is still bubbling about in the brain and may yet find its way to the keyboard in the days and weeks ahead. You can follow-up on the progress of other novel-writing-bloggers over here. I'll leave the Blovel site up for a few days so that people can post their results, link to their work, berate me for not getting 50 grand, etc. Enjoy.