And others are too thick to realize how thick they are.
This is kind of a personal rant. You might want to skip it.
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Person in question? Commenter, king of fallacies, and guy who thinks Noah's flood was caused by an asteroid and is actually validated by science, Chuck (see the comments).
How someone can miss the point that Tom and I were making, that it is wrong to use the history of the Holocaust with such callous disregard as our pal Mark Shea, is beyond us. After careful consideration, it can only be (a) a complete lack of the ability to think rationally, (b) refusal to side with an atheist in a debate against a God-fearing Catholic (even if Pope Pius XII didn't do shit to save the Jews until it was pragmatic for him to do so), or (c) being a giant bonehead.
One or more of the above who makes threats, no less:
Just remember this when we cross paths on the web again. I'll be mentioning your 'jokes' about killing Jews. I've got screen shots to back up my statements. Looking forward to your tap-dancing...Ooh, scary. I hope (and I'd even pray, were I not atheist) that the people who see your pretty screenshots have the two brain cells necessary to see our point, that we didn't find the "jokes" funny, and...
...hello, McFly, hello?... THAT WAS THE GODDAMNED POINT, YOU TWIT!
I'm so evil for saying that Mark Shea insults the memory of millions of dead Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, and handicapped people with his idiotic, hyperbolic name-calling. Truly, Chuck, there are none so blind as those who will not see - and you're standing at the corner of Reason and Thinking with a cup of pencils for sale.
Good riddance. Your irrational ranting and continual insistence on telling us repeatedly about Colonel "No Stack" Slack will not be missed.
You are the anti-Mykeru. Same rabid irrationality, different side of the aisle.
See ya, bub.
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The Warsaw Ghetto maybe.
The Holocaust humor from the crusading Catholic just never stops.
Uh, yeah, if you're an asshole.
Update: Paraphrasing from the comment I just left over at Mark's site - a while ago, Mark, in explaining to me why his humor was far superior to mine, told me that he was only flippant toward things that deserved flippancy. I apparently missed the day in "Flippancy 101" when the brutal legacy of the brownshirts was something to use for a hearty laugh (sadly, I also missed "Anti-Semitism for Idiots", although in Easter Mass I did learn about how those Jews nailed poor Jesus to the cross).
Anyway, in the spirit of high-brow humor that so succinctly defines "Catholic and Enjoying It!" I thought I'd help Mark out by proposing a new, hilarious meme that he could use to further demonstrate his sensitivity and tact. So, without further ado...
Top 10 Reasons the Gas Chamber Didn't Work TodayI leave it to you (or Mark's supporters in this case, who apparently have a gift for such nonsense) to complete the list if you so desire. Chances are, though, that you've got more decency than that. Although, if you're possessed by the spirit of goodwill and want to help Mark out, feel free. We'd hate for him to have to think up inept and insensitive comparisons on his own in the future.
10. Accidentally used helium instead of Zyklon B- made Jews talk like chipmunks!
9. Forgot to ask Pope Pius XII to bless its murderous machinations.
Next week, we'll be comparing Gay Pride parades to Klan lynchings. Fun!
First up, today is the birthday of our very own Tom. You might remember Tom from when he used to post on a regular basis, or perhaps from when he used to post at all. Either way, happy birthday to him!
Second - A Small Victory just turned three. That's 392 in blog years. Congratulations! You don't look a day over 391!
If you read a story, say, about a group of homosexuals that defaced a church sign with shiny, happy stickers saying "Honor Diversity," and you were searching for the perfect metaphor for their actions, what would you choose?
Why, of course, you'd do just what Mark Shea does and call them "brownshirts."
You remember the brownshirts right? Those friendly folks from Nazi Germany, known far and wide for putting up stickers urging acceptance of others, right? Man, I wonder what those Jews were complaining about when Kristallnacht was really just a bunch of militant National Socialists putting up pretty stickers! They sure do whine, those Jews!
Of course, I'm kidding. The brownshirts were violent thugs who went about murdering Hitler's opponents and causing the Jews to live in fear (one which was, sadly, well-founded). Yet, Mark continues in his avowed tradition of insulting the memory of those who truly suffered at the hands of the brownshirts with such absurd comparisons.
As I said in the comments at Mark's site, does this have something to do with the Jews nailing Jesus up? I'm not sure what else can explain such callous disregard for history.
Maybe I can write an offensive post comparing the Church's cover-up of priests playing "touch the weenie" with the German effort to hide the fact of the extermination camps from the world!
(Equally amusing is Fr. Stanely's assertion that I want to control Mark and his writing; apparently he's unaware that freedom of speech includes the freedom to criticize the speech of others - or maybe he thinks I have Evil Atheist Telekinetic Keyboard Control and can make Mark write what I like!)
Update: Janus Online expands upon what I've written.
So maybe it's really a voice from someone who claims to be related to someone who is in the grave. From this post, on the passing of the "founder" of the Prattville, Alabama cross garden comes this bit of enlightened prose (please set KrazyCapsViewingSoftware to level -10):
TOO BAD YOU DIDN'T SPEND MORE TIME REALIZING THE FACT THAT WHATEVER THE VOICE HE HEARD WAS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO CHANGE HIS LIFE.Yep, and the voices Son of Sam heard told him to go out and kill. Your grandfather had no corner on the market of "I hear voices and they tell me to do crazy shit."
I PRAY YOU HEAR GOD'S WORD AT TIME WHEN YOU STILL HAVE TIME LEFT TO LIVE.So long as that voice doesn't instruct me to build a bunch of crosses and signs, whose only purpose is to freak people out, rather than actually work to help people, I might not mind hearing it.
I FIND THIS SITE VERY DISRESPECTFUL AND IGNORNANT.That's ok. This site finds you pea-brained and nothing but a source for amusement.
IT IS QUITE APPARENT THAT YOU NEVER STOPPED AND TALKED TO MY GRANDFATHER.You're right. Crazy, old people hearing the voice of their own special God in the middle of nowhere don't often pass my "stop and hope you live to tell the tale" test.
IF YOU HAD, YOU WOULD KNOW HE WAS NOT IN THE LEAST BIT INSANE OR IGNORANT. HE WAS VERY COURAGEOUS AND BRAVE.Buy a thesaurus, my friend. Insane is not the opposite of courageous, and ignorant is not the opposite of brave. You can be brave and courageous for all the wrong, goddamn crazy reasons.
THERE ARE MANY LIKE YOU.Not nearly enough, but we're working on it!
HE IS NO LONGER HAVING TO DEFEND GOD'S WORK HEAR ON EARTH ANYMORE. I AM THANKFUL THAT HE IS IN HEAVEN, LOOKING DOWN ON THOSE OF US WHO SUPPORTED HIM.Actually, he's in the ground, decomposing as we all tend to do once we die, but you go on and believe what makes you feel good. Say, shouldn't you be out making some more crosses rather than, oh, helping others?
OH, BY THE WAY, THE ROADSIDE JUNK AS YOU CALL IT, IS GOING FOR A PRETTY GOOD RATE ON THE INTERNET.So it's not about God but about money? Hmmm, I bet that pisses Jesus off. I have always found odd how Christians look for ways to profit from their god rather than spread his word and grace freely. Were Jesus alive today, I bet he'd kick the holy living shit out of you and the rest of the moneychangers in the temple.
THANKS TO A LARGE FAMILY CONSISTING OF SEVERAL YOUNGER GRAND CHILDREN, I EXPECT HIS WORK TO CONTINUE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.Good, I can use the material.
No, really, it's not what you think:
A dead sperm whale has exploded while being delivered to a research centre near the southwestern city of Tainan.Don't you hate it when it explodes before you're ready?
Passers-by and cars were soaked in blood and body parts were sprayed over a road after the bursting of the whale, which was being carried on a trailer.
Not that I would know anything about that. Nope. Why are you looking at me?
Not that can I make you read anything, of course. At least not until such time as I usurp the authority of governments around the world and bend all of you to my will. Oh yes, someday, my sweet, someday indeed.
Uh, in the meantime, you can check out the Raving Atheist's post on the afterlife, or the lack thereof.
Madonna and her finally-broke-out-of-the-MTV-like-directing-mode husband Guy Ritchie are being sued:
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie are to be taken to court by an actor who claims the couple stole the idea for their 2002 film Swept Away.This worried me at first, but the article goes on to say that the actor in question is not the relatively well-known Vincent D'Onofrio. No matter who the guy is, why the hell would he want to take any sort of credit for Swept Away, the globally-panned Madonna and her Guy vehicle?
Vincent D'Onofrio says he pitched the idea to the pair in 1997 - but they cut him out of the credits. The couple say he has no proof of a contract.
To his credit though, it is interesting that the couple is only saying "he has no proof of a contract." That's not exactly a denial of theft. That's kind of confusing too, because if I was Madonna or Guy, I'd probably look for any opportunity to distance myself from my very own cinematic abortion.
Yes, the World Wide Rant continues on with its massive influence in the blogosphere:
The layout of my site is completely original in relation to Nick's site. I will admit though, to borrowing heavily from sites that use movable type. The site that has actually influenced my layout and content the most is The World Wide Rant .Notably, monkeys are sadly absent from his site. He'll learn, in time. We hope.
No, crazy liberals, I'm not talking about George Bush. Just needed some way to segue into the maps below (if they load, which they probably won't due to excessive traffic at the sites in question). Anyway, you can see which countries I've been to in the first map, and in the second, the states I've visited and/or lived in.
How very, very exciting!
Yes, yes, they keep on coming - this time it's the "MyDoom" worm.
The worm is contained in e-mails with random senders' addresses and subject lines. While the body of the e-mail varies, it usually includes what appears to be an error message, such as: "The message cannot be represented in 7-bit ASCII encoding and has been sent as a binary attachment."I've received
The lesson is clear: people who double click attachments should be shot at sundown...
Update: Oh, and if you receive an e-mail from someone, anyone, at the World Wide Rant with that virus attached, it's not us doing the sending. It's the worm randomly slapping together e-mail addresses (for instance, there is no robert, kim, laura, or steve with an e-mail account on our mail server).
Simultaneously, the television executives responsible for the horrendous, let's-remake-it-rather-than-import-it "Coupling" (not to be confused with the actual "Coupling") on NBC were tarred, feathered, drawn, quartered, and spit upon by small children lining the road. Or, they should have been.
Hmmm, what could possibly explain the state of education of America's youth? Oh, I don't know, maybe something like this.
Marquis Harris, a 22-year old black man, wanted to give something back. Marquis Harris wanted to teach high school in Atlanta. Some facts about Marquis Harris:
Recently, I interviewed with a school in one of the metro Atlanta counties, only to receive an e-mail from the principal stating, "Though your qualifications are quite impressive, I regret to inform you that we have selected another candidate. It was felt that your demeanor and therefore presence in the classroom would serve as an unrealistic expectation as to what high school students could strive to achieve or become. However, it is highly recommended that you seek employment at the collegiate level; there your intellectual comportment would be greatly appreciated. Good luck."That's right. His intelligence and accomplishments would intimidate the students. I guess we should tell kids not to aim high, to settle for what life hands them, and that hard work is all an exercise in futility. I suppose we can't risk hurting their self-esteem.*
(hat tip to D.C. Thornton)
* Or maybe it's because, at least from his photo, he looks rather - well - flamboyant. We wouldn't want him to use his evil, homersexural mind-beam powers to corrupt the youth! Oh no! Zap! Zap! All the kids like show tunes now!
One of the formerly favorite shows in the World Wide Rant Global Domination HQ Household, "Keen Eddie," is now showing on Bravo. There was much sadness and gnashing of teeth when Fox canned the show after the all-too-familiar "let's give it three weeks to find an audience while we move it to a new night every week" treatment. So, we'll get to see the original airings plus some unseen episodes - maybe they'll make some more...
OK, back to whatever you were doing.
Courtesy of Walter, comes a link to the Drug War Clock:
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
- "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman
Stop beaming like that, Laurence.
You've heard of the tragedy of the commons? Well, consider this the tragedies of common sense. John Stossel reports on ten all-too-common beliefs and how wrong they are. A summary follows below.
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The cold is caused by a virus, not by temperature. And people get more colds in the winter, only because then we spend more time indoors passing the virus back and forth because we're closer to each other. Being cold has nothing to do with it.
We have more free time now, say the experts, because we're working less, marrying later, having fewer children, and retiring earlier.
If we're so stressed for free time, it's hard to explain how 36 million people can find time to golf, and 65 million go camping, and hundreds of millions go to the beach, the movies, and sports events.
Fifty years ago, the average family in the United States had one car. Today the norm is two or three. Houses have more than doubled in square footage, and shoppers just seem to spend as much as they want.
"Most families don't have to have both parents working. They do this by choice. People have decided they want to maintain a very high income lifestyle on two incomes to have all the things to keep up with the Joneses," Moore said.
Money magazine columnist Jean Chatsky polled 1,500 people for her book You Don't Have to Be Rich and found that more money makes people significantly happier only if their family income's below $30,000, but by $50,000, money makes no difference.
But for more than 75 years, no Republican administration has cut the size of government. Since George W. Bush became president, government spending has risen nearly 25 percent...
And the pork keeps pouring out. Even the Peanut Festival in Dothan, Ala., got $200,000. Republican congressman Terry Everett got them the money. He wouldn't talk to us about it. But the locals said they like getting your money. "I think it's a waste of money, but if they're going to waste money, I guess it's better to waste it here than anywhere else," one man told me.
But let's remember the facts: the top 1 percent of Americans — those who earn more than $300,000 a year — pay 34 percent, more than a third of all income taxes, and the top 5 percent, those making over $125,000, pay more than half.
The U.S. Agency for International Development defends its approach saying its programs are as effective as DDT. Yet, it fights malaria with drugs that the government's own Web site admits fail up to 80 percent of the time. USAID acknowledges DDT is safe as currently used, but won't pay for it.
Many people are horrified at the idea of concealed carry laws, and predict mayhem if all states adopt these laws.
But surprise, 36 states already have concealed carry laws, and not one reported an upsurge in gun crime.
Jeremy O'Brien of the Solid Waste Association of North America said some of his group's members are actually looking for waste.
Some communities put parks and golf courses on top of trash sites.
O'Brien said, "In the United States, there's plenty of land to properly dispose of our solid waste for hundreds and even thousands of years."
Sorry, but ABC staffers apparently have great difficulty counting backwards from ten. Myth number two was the last one the article provided. Whoops.
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Kristi from Incoherent Babbling (were it a religious blog, that would translate as Evangelical Speaking in Tongues) was kind enough to contribute to meme-blog-land by sending me five questions to answer. So, here are the answers - it's my way of letting you get to know me, because I know you're dying to do just that. Although not Biblically, probably. Well, maybe a handful of you, but I'll have to run it by the wife first.
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So, um, anyway...
In general? I could probably use a little more patience. OK, a lot more. Maybe it's the temperment of the what's-left-of-it redhead, the Scorpio, the Irish, or some other equally irrelevant factor that we use to justify our behaviors, but I've been known to not just fly off the handle, but to use it as a diving board, launch myself several feet in the air, and come crashing down on others like a ton of bricks. Verbally, that is. I'd not lay a hand on anyone unless they went about the laying of hands first.
So, patience. I'm sort of the grasshopper in that regard.
The day that winter arrived and Mrs. Mullins quit wearing her sun dresses. Seriously, that would be the time when my best friend of five years decided - for no apparent reason - to turn against me, and also worked diligently to turn our "shared" friends against me as well. It worked for a while - eventually, some of the others apologized for being assholes and we patched things up. However, I still make a point of passively hating my former best friend out of principle. On the bright side, that whole episode resulted in me finding some great, new friends too.
Periodically driving up into the foothills of the Rockies to sight-see, walk a bit, stop at the Tommyknocker for beer and cheese fries. Sitting out back with my guitar and a beer. My activities really don't change much from season to season - music, reading, writing, etc. Of course, the newest one is prepping the World Wide Runt, the most adorable Fiona, for her role as Benevolent Ruler of the Universe.
I honestly don't know. My life alone has enough drama to keep me occupied, although there are plenty of people whose brains I'd like to pick just to tap into their experience and knowledge.
Just one? I don't really have any standout events it seems, but I have good memories of sitting in my grandmother's kitchen drinking Sanka Instant Coffee laden with sugar, of getting this huge plastic aircraft carrier toy with rubber-band powered catapults and airplanes that flew across the room, of picking out my first dog, of using water to "paint" the wooden patio furniture with my friend Leigh Ann (~age 6), of summers spent at Six Flags Over Georgia, and on and on.
So, there you go. I trust this has given you keen insight into the working of my mind, into the history of my life, unless I've just been making up all these answers as a defense mechanism to make myself seem less interesting so the hordes of fans will quit knocking on my door at all hours.
Anyway, if you want to be interviewed similarly by yours truly, here are the rules:
Of course, if you don't want to be interviewed, that makes my life considerably easier. It's up to you.
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This time, it's our pals the French who are learning that there's no such thing as a free lunch, let alone a free transplant.
Thousands of French health workers have held a one-day strike to protest against government plans to cut costs in the country's health system...Let's see, the national healthcare budget is already 10 billion Euros in the hole, and the unions want more staff and better conditions. Sounds like that might cost money. I wonder where they'll get it? I also wonder if "taxes" will be the first word French children learn in the near future.
But the government insists reforms are necessary to reduce an annual health budget deficit of 10 billion euros.
Unions had called for a day of stoppages and demonstrations, to demand more staff and better working conditions.
"Fixing it will be very, very difficult," said Pierre Lellouche, of the governing UMP party.It's not generosity. The government is not looking into its bureaucratic heart and saying "Awwww, here ya go, le sport." Rather it is redistributing wealth - the generosity, if it exists, lies with those who pay the most taxes.
"People are used to this incredible generosity. If you need an operation, you need a free operation immediately."
It is expected that the proposals suggested by experts on Friday will include an unpopular increase in income-related taxes.Told you so.
This should be a warning to Americans that proposals such as Ted Kennedy's new push for national healthcare are doomed to failure. At least once the electorate tires of being taxed out the ass for it.
Surely most of you have seen the charming and touching 1995 movie "Babe," the tale of the little piglet that could. Now, from Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat comes this web-based, Flash masterpiece:
Life of OnniThat's right, kids, a Flash animation of a pig's life, from insemination to slaughter.
Each Christmas 300 000 pigs end up as hams on the Christmas table in Finland. Onni was one of the pigs that were eaten last year. Helsingin Sanomat Online followed Onni’s life all the way from insemination to the slaughterhouse.
I think I'll stick with "Babe."
Yes, I have to work to find these things for you. Your gratitude is more than enough reward.
Two heads, that is.
An international team of doctors hopes to operate in the Dominican Republic next month to remove an undeveloped second head from a baby girl born with one of the world's rarest birth defects, caused when a conjoined twin fails to develop in the womb.Just remember folks, we're obviously the product of an Intelligent Designer. Hey, even deities screw it up every now and then (apparently).
The baby, Rebeca Martinez, was born in mid-December at a hospital in Santo Domingo with the head of an undeveloped twin attached to the top of her skull, facing upward.
Here's hoping the doctors are more capable than the Big Guy.
(and if you're interested in donating to the good people trying to give this little girl a normal life, you can do that here)
Just got back in, watching the PBS show "The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's." Depressing. I'm not sure what more proof we need that there is no ghost in the machine, that we are our brains, and when our brains go - we go. Thoughts later, if I remember them (hey, I've seen the impact of the disease in my own family line - I'm allowed to joke about it - I almost have to).
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Update: OK, so that was a depressing show - although, the coming advances bring some hope, not so much for those who suffer now, but for those who might develop it. I know it runs in my family; I watched my grandmother deteriorate over several years, until she was a vegetative shell of her former self, and her children decided it was time to let her go.
I'm sorry, but those who are against assisted suicide, in cases such as this, have my eternal contempt. I want the ability to choose the end of my life, such that I can go with full awareness of the end, proper time to prepare for it, and a chance to say goodbye to those I love. I don't want to waste away into nothing, dependent on everyone around me, unable to change anything about my own situation even if that was my wish.
Like I said, this cruel disease took my grandmother. I worry that now it might be slipping its unforgiving fingers around my own mother. She forgets many things, says things out of the blue - nothing that you'd ever notice by just speaking with her briefly, but taken as a whole, I have to admit, it worries me. Watching this, I wonder about my own future. My success and my happiness have all been due to this lump of grey matter in my head; reason and logic, and emotion and feeling, are my closest and most conflicted friends, making for a life I find very fulfilling - and yet, with this disease, all of that is at risk. I am at risk. My entire being is at risk.
That, quite frankly, scares the shit out of me.
Granted, I've probably got years to worry about it. By the time I find myself unable to remember a thought I had seven seconds ago, maybe it'll just be a pill to pop and all is well.
Or maybe not.
But I figure, forewarned is forearmed, so this is a topic about which I am learning what I can. Should it come for me, and there is no hope on the horizon, look for a "Memento" style series of reminders to prompt me into strapping on the hi-tops, pulling up the purple blanket, and overdosing on booze and prescription meds.
I will not be a burden to my family. I will not go quietly into that good night, particularly when I don't even know what night it is. Instead, I'll make it an early afternoon.
Until then, though, I'll still do my best to intrigue, amuse, or generally piss you folks off. Stick around, eh?
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I paused brielfly before writing this and posting it, but someone said "Why not? You thrive on that stuff."
So, uh, ok. I can already anticipate who this will offend.
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There is much hoopla about the Pope's opinion of Mel Gibson's ancient-gibberish-laden epic, The Passion. I've no doubt it will probably be a good movie, if only because (a) the story of Jesus is a very traditional myth following the quest of the Hero and (b) it has Monica Bellucci. Anyway, the Vatican is now making a point of saying that His Pointy-Hattedness, Pope John Paul II, has no official position on the film:
Pope John Paul II's longtime secretary denied Tuesday that the pontiff ever offered his endorsement of Mel Gibson's controversial biblical epic "The Passion of the Christ," disputing reports attributed to the producers.Anyway, the Pope may not be willing to give Gibson's work the big nod of the Holy See, but someone else is giving it two thumbs up.
I know, I am so going to Hell for that one. I hope they have beer. For my counter-balancing good deed, I shall endeavor to smile at everyone I meet tomorrow and wish them a good day - and mean it. Except on the highway.
(honestly, I would have expected The Raving Atheist to do something like this first; I'm sure someone beat me to it - it's so sad not being as outright and efficiently insensitive as possible, isn't it?)
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W.C. Rice, creator / maintainer / resident kook, of the Prattville, Alabama cross garden has died.
Rice was known around Prattville as the proprietor of the cross garden, an enormous collection of handmade crosses dotting the landscape around the Rices' small home. Sprinkled among the crosses are other signs, painted on boards, refrigerators, washing machines -- whatever was available when inspiration struck.They also do it with a creepily appropriate lack of proper grammar, suggesting an environment that - under the light of the moon - provokes thoughts more of the violent slaughter of promiscuous teenagers on a joyride than of the loving grace of anyone's deity. Think "The Blair Witch Project" meets "Davey and Goliath."
The signs do not sugarcoat the message Rice felt he was being led to spread. Instead, they proclaim damnation and hellfire for those who don't obey God's word.
Apparently it all started back in 1976 when God told him to erect three crosses in memory of his deceased mother. His garden of crosses (and assorted platitudes and warnings and ramblings) now covers some 11 acres. While obviously a bit of a nutter, I suppose it's better than thinking a dog is ordering you to kill.
From all accounts, a harmless old man, a bit touched in the head - it's actually kind of sad that he's gone. During my college years, when I would traverse Highway 82 between Tuscaloosa (where I got my edumacation) and Montgomery (where my folks lived and my laundry got done), I would make a point of stopping off to show whomever might be with me the cross garden. After a brief period of shaking heads in disbelief, and wondering when the man with the metal claw for a hand would shatter the rear window, we'd be on our way, happy that - at least with this as our measuring stick - we were sane.
My wife (full disclosure: big Limey) just said that she doesn't like Tom Daschle because he seems like someone right out of Pleasantville. She's right - his entire Democratic response to the SOTU address sounded like Ward telling Beaver about how babies are made.
A one-ton granite monument to the Ten Commandments placed in front of Winston-Salem's City Hall by a lone council member was swiftly removed Tuesday.And it also gave them a cleverly ironic way to prevent the ACLU from suing the pants off of them.
The monument violated a policy that councilman Vernon Robinson -- who installed the monument Monday -- had voted for in September, said city spokeswoman Carrie Collins. The policy bans public displays or plaques on city-owned facilities without permission of the city council or manager.
"It had nothing to do with what was on the plaque," Collins said. "It was just that it was in violation of city policy."
What a maroon.
My synopsis, as I feel compelled to complete it:
Ted Kennedy - you smug, fast bastard. What, was the bar cash only tonight?
USA Patriot Act - that's right, you know it, the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" - those tools that have since been used for more than just fighting terror. Don't think Dubya was ready for the applause on the upcoming sunset provisions - good to hear them though. Maybe we can revoke that ill-conceived piece of legal dooka dooka.
...ok, I'd rather sit back with a beer and watch the speech, all the while trying to beam the proper pronunciation of "nuclear" into George's head. I'm sure Steve or someone will have the play-by-play for your edification.
Update: OK, gotta admit, that rattling off of the names of our allies in Iraq was good. Apparently in la-la-looney-lefty land, "unilateral" means by ourselves and with all those other people.
City government after easy money gets the smackdown!
South Euclid city officials were stunned to learn that they can't collect $1.4 million in income taxes from the winning Mega Millions ticket since the city charter wasn't updated to include lottery winnings as taxable income.Yes, it's always a shame when you find out that someone else's money is not your own.
"It's not a good day for the city," Mayor Georgine Welo said Monday. "We were all excited until we went to go for the money and learned that we are not entitled to it. We are very saddened by the news."
Too bad, so sad.
I'm thinking that third place showing doesn't sit too well with lil' Howie Bonaparte.
Happy bouncing bunny kudos to Michele for pointing me to the soundtrack of lunacy.
You know how sometimes you get congested? Or how sometimes you can't sleep? Or how maybe your mind is racing? And how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head?
Imagine all of that at 3:45am, and you'll know my own personal hell.
It's going to be a long day.
Wow, the rebel boy from Vermont just got his Iowa-ass handed to him:
Iowa Democrats upended the Democratic presidential race Monday night, giving Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts a strong victory and dealing an apparently fatal blow to Rep. Dick Gephardt's run for the White House.I think I have two questions to come out of this finish:
"Iowa, I love you," a beaming Kerry told supporters, dubbing himself the "comeback Kerry."
Howard Dean, widely viewed as the national front-runner going into the caucuses, was in third place, a finish that drains him of momentum going into next week's New Hampshire primary.
1) How will Dean's third place finish affect the nomination and, thus, the Presidential election of 2004? On that topic, why didn't Dean do better? Is this a case of the internet-generation being all about activism so long as they don't actually have to do anything other than point and click their opinion?
2) How the hell did Edwards do so well? Did someone sell their soul to Satan? At least Kucinich, promised a win by his magical fairy godmother, trailed badly.
"Life will go on because this campaign was never about me," a somber Gephardt told supporters Monday night, and he promised to support the party nominee.Um, yeah, Dick, that 11% kind of indicates it wasn't about you. Thanks for noticing the obvious. Moving right along...
...next stop, New Hampshire. This is going to be
Is anybody else receiving obvious virus/worm e-mails that say:
Test =)Just asking - so far I've gotten it from email@example.com and another address, which I've since deleted and so no longer have it available. The e-mail has an attached executable which apparently is randomly named (although it still carries the .exe which gives it away).
I'm not quite sure how that message is supposed to entice me to run the executable though. At least offer me porn.
Update: Here's the latest:
Computer users are being warned about a new virus which has spread at "an alarming rate".Yay.
Internet security firm MessageLabs says it has detected more than 70,000 copies of the W32/Bagle-mm virus in the past 24 hours.
People, please, for the love all that is holy, unholy, or simply just kind of sitting there deciding which it should be, use some common sense when running attachments you receive. Better yet, simply don't run them!
Breaking libation news from China:
Civet dung coffee still selling - despite Sars...and despite being called "civet dung coffee."
"Kopi Luwak" or " Civet Coffee" is made with beans that have been partially digested and then excreted by civets.Oh, no doubt, but that's not all.
These are gathered by plantation workers who then wash off the dung and roast the beans to produce a coffee which experts say has a unique flavour.
"Our coffee has a strong taste and an even stronger aroma," Agus Susanto, a Jakarta cafe owner told the Associated Press news agency.I guess that explains why Mrs. World Wide Rant never asks for a second cup of MY civet dung coffee. I must find a new supplier.
Apologies for the lack of posting, but having spent the bulk of the weekend asleep (courtesy of a somewhat nasty cold that refuses to let go), I'm still coming to grips with it being Monday and that I'm back in the office. I'll hopefully be up to full speed by the afternoon. Yes, you may rejoice in the news.
In the meantime, why not go tell Tim Berglund what a pretty new site he has?
As Steve Green is now the No-Vodkapundit until such time as his little swimmies manage to find sweet purchase in the fertile fields of his lovely bride, we're happy to present the following tips to ensure he's back in "liver be damned!" mode as soon as possible.
Good luck, kids!
Not the problem, during Super Bowl XXXVI:
White House Office of Drug Control Policy: The federal government will spend somewhere in the range of $3 million to air two spots with a very pointed message. Directed by Tony Kaye (American History X), they make the case that using drugs helps to fund international terrorism.Why does it help fund terrorism? Because of the black market. And why is it sold on the black market? Because of the government's war on drugs. So why is the government spending millions of dollars to convince us of a problem that their own actions have created?
Ever wonder how much anti-terrorism security $3 million could buy? It's on the order of deploying 39 additional bomb-sniffing dog teams.
Whoops: The lovely Michele points out that the story above was from 2002. Well, that doesn't make it any less wasteful, so there. :)
See, told you I was a bit out of it with this cold.
Sorry for the slower-than-usual rate of posting the last few days. In an alternate universe, perhaps my employer wouldn't expect me to actually work for my wages, but in this one, indeed they do (although hitting the ol' Paypal button to your left might inspire me - or not - you never know your luck, and isn't gambling fun?).
On top of that, I've got a rather unpleasant cold, the wife has it as well, and the World Wide Runt has a case of "contact dermatitis" - also known as hives, probably from something she ate ('twas the mango, we think - I trust this announcement will not bring down the mango futures market). Don't worry though, Fiona is still the cutest baby ever to grace a blog - unless you've put your own baby on your own blog, in which case, "Awwwww, precious!"
However, I've used the downtime to venture into various media, and have returned with a boon for all mankind.
I'm almost done with Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air," his first-person account of life and death on Mt. Everest, when everything that can go wrong does. It's a tale both exciting and moving, and one that has convinced me that if I ever want to see the world from 29,000 feet, there are easier ways.
As that book winds down, I'm also well into "Daily Life During the Holocaust." An easy-to-read, harder-to-imagine timeline of the rise of Hitler through the persecution of Jews, homosexuals, the handicapped, and others. Too many atrocities to cite here, and you're probably familiar with many of them - but reading first-hand accounts makes them even more disturbing. People really do have an apparently infinite ability to suck.
On a happier note (or at least a less distressing one), last night, we watched "Storytelling," another Todd Solondz film (you might remember my mentioning "Happiness" previously). Two unrelated, pointless, yet poignant, stories form the film's backdrop , focusing on the dysfunctional lives of messed-up people. I think Happiness was a better film, if only for its sense of structure and closure; also, the first story felt cut short, running only 20 minutes (but they're a painful, in a good way, 20 minutes). There was more to be said about the emotional and sexual turmoil wracking the lives of the aspiring writer, her handicapped lover, and the exploitative English professor. Still worth the rental though - go forth, rent, watch.
Oh, as with Happiness, if you're easily offended (which I imagine a number of my latest visitors probably are, considering they come from the land where masturbation is akin to spiritual death), you should probably avoid this one. Throw in the homoerotic undertones, the fairly graphic sex, and the disrespect of parental authority and you folks should probably stay a good 100 feet from the very DVD.
We also watched "SWAT." Mindless entertainment where things blow up, people get blown up, and other such activities the people above who are scared of sex have no problem watching. A strange culture that prefers to watch death over sex, no? I'll never understand it.
Via uberCatholic Mark Shea:
In short, it is undeniably logical (given the premises cited by the author) that cannibalism between mutually consenting individuals is where our culture is headed. Many loony libertarian think this is a mark of the superiority of our culture. Many more vaguely feel this is wrong, but cannot, for the life of them, articulate a reason why.Jesus willingly died so that His flesh might be eaten, and Catholics line up in droves every Sunday (or Saturday afternoon, depending on whether you like to wake up early or not) to partake of Him.
Sane people know it is the mark that our culture is deeply deranged. Not that some nutso libertarians think mutually consenting cannibalism is Just Great, but that many if not most in our culture cannot articulate a reason why it isn't. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
Like the mythological and real-world examples of cannibalism, the point is to obtain some part of the "power" (whatever that may be) of the consumed individual for oneself.
What is the Eucharist if not consensual cannibalism?
(I mean, for those of us who don't realize it's just a piece of unleavened bread.)
Who knows - maybe Armin Meiwes and his friend took their WWJD bracelets a little too seriously.
Update: Mark points out that he has already provided an answer. It begins:
There are a number of paradoxes which the gospel teaches.In other words, it's ok because God says it is ok. Well, there you go - the divine equivalent of "because I said so."
Update 2: Choice quote from Mark in his own comments:
I'm flippant about things that deserve flippancy, not about things that do not deserve flippancy.Apparently any religion except Catholicism and similar mainline Protestant religions are so deserving in Markworld. Cracking jokes on Islam, and referring to Wicca as "childish" is apparently a-ok, but woe unto he that dare speak ill of the old man with the funny hat in Rome.
Sorry, but your sacred cow makes just as tasty a hamburger.
Note: I know, an old topic, but it just struck me again as rather ironic. Do as I say, not as I do, yada yada yada Pope John Paul. Protestants who don't believe in transubstantiation are, of course, off the hook, aside from their still believing in a clearly mythologically symbolic act as having some special magical powers.
or... Today Would Be a Good Day to Die-t
Twenty two years ago today, during the worst blizzard (1) in the recorded history of Alabama, my father, S.G.A. Darby, Jr., late of Locksley Hall (2), Weokahatchee, AL, died prematurely(3) of a heart attack.. Twenty-five years to the week, though not to the day, before my father’s death his own father, S.G.A. Darby, Sr., also late of Weokahatchee, AL (though not of Locksley Hall) died prematurely of a heart attack. Forty years before that, S.G.A. Darby, Sr.’s father, J.W. Darby, died prematurely of a heart attack (though at 64 he was older than the other men on this list and the prematurity wasn’t that much in 1917). Fifty-four years before that J.W.’s father (also J.W., but different names, so we'll go with J.W.1(4) died at 30 during the Siege of Vicksburg (5). J.W.1’s father drowned in a riverboat accident in 1842, aged 35.
So why am I mentioning this?
Gimme gimme more more more »
Well, suh, unlike my siblings I never received any significant monies or property from my father (Insert Miss Coco Peru's quote here: "But am I bitter? Absolutely...") but I do seem to have inherited the family heart issues (though I make sure to avoid Vicksburg and riverboats, which should add a few years to my demise).
I just received the results from a cardiological exam and its time to break some family traditions. The “not-good” news from the exam is that some of the news is not-good, but the better news is that much of the irregularity with/damage to my heart is probably, at least to a large degree, reversible through diet, exercise, and a final and permanent farewell to my beloved little cylinders of unquestioning acceptance and security, more loyal than any spouse could ever be...
And today, based on its significance in family history, would seem the perfect day to start.
So, I’m gonna smoke the remainders of my pack (to be more specific, I’m gonna smoke the e’erlovin’ hell out of ‘em right down to the last molecule of smoke- I'll be sucking in light and gravity by the time I get to the last one) before midnight like I was blowing up ammo before the Yankees get to town) and give them up again. (I’ve quit for periods lasting from 2 weeks to over 3 years before; my problem is convincing myself that I can’t handle “just one”.)
And I’m making a few dietary changes. Though I eat most anything (save for most types of steak, collard greens, boiled eggs and kim chee, all of which were spawned in the crevices of the slave kitchens of greater metropolitan Hell), having been raised in a house where “vegetable” is defined as “an edible substance that is less than 40% pork by weight- usually fried” and where any plant or non-human flesh that stood still long enough ultimately got dipped in batter and thrown in a skillet, Whitetrash Cuisine is my comfort zone food of choice, but, alas, its ride is here. (Unlike cigarettes, I hopefully can have "just one" helping of buttermilk battered chops with a side of black-eyed peas and pig-tails and a few fried pickles with ranch dressing" from time to time, I'm sure.)
And I'm returning to the gym (the deepest cut of all). I honestly don't think that a lecture on Byzantine history accompanied by free oral sex from the REAL WORLD/ROAD RULES star of your choice could make a tread-mill interesting, but what can ya do?
I’ve also sworn to my sister the ex-pharmacist (who begins every sentence these days with "You know my husband had a stroke last year... " regardless of whether she's discussing strokes and the husbands who have them or asking somebody to pass the black-eyed peas and pigtails) that I'll actually start using the machines that draw blood and go “Ding!” which she gave me for Christmas and I’m actually going to start taking the pills I’ve had prescriptions for forever.
But then there are a few non-dietary changes more relevant to the blogosphere:
A. I will engage in no more Internet based religious debates on this or any other web-sites. They’re time consuming, they raise blood pressure, and they accomplish absolutely nothing (imho); unfortunately it's a bit difficult to avoid them when some people (I'm not calling any initials) can make ANYTHING into a religious debate. I’ve yet to see a mind swayed by even a nanometer on either side and there are quotes saying the same thing thousands of years old. Ultimately it’s a masturbatory venture and when it comes to those I know a much more enjoyable method.
B. For the next “while”, I’m going to restrict my writing to the 48,321 unfinished projects I have on file (or to that required for tenure, and even that will be on subjects in which I’m interested) as I am determined to have something publishable by year’s end, so while I still may leave comments I don’t intend to blog for a good long while. (Please, please, please... no tears or pleading or sending your children to beg me to return... it's ultimately just awkward and can get you in trouble with Child Protective Services). I do plan on launching my own site in the near future, but it will be less a blog than a repository for autobiographical musings and personal interests.
C. When I do post here again, it will be photos of my new hard earned and head turning V shaped torso. Or my dog. I haven’t decided which.
So meanwhile if anybody would like to leave some tips on quitting smoking and getting healthy that worked for them, please do. So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen for a while and do drop in if you’re ever in my neck of the woods (unless you’re one of the people I can’t stand; if you have to ask, you probably are).
BY THE WAY AND JUST TO AVOID CONFUSION:
The above has been from Jon, who is the least frequent poster here; ANDY IS NOT FOLDING THE BLOG.
(1)Very strange morning, January 13, 1982. We lived in an all-electric house 20 miles from the nearest town and got our water from a pump, so when the power lines snapped from the snow we had no electricity and no water. The only heat was from a rarely used fireplace and the logs piled outside were frozen solid under a glass like blanket of ice, so to warm myself and my mother and the Pekingese while waiting for the body’s removal (the ambulance took well over an hour to arrive due to the roads) I burned the posts from my sister’s (non-antique) canopy bed. (Later casualties in the day included some retired kitchen chairs and the antebellum slats from an antique bed.) When my sister arrived later she was in her usual low-scale hysterical mania (much like any other day) and I remember her saying “I just cain’t b’lieve Daddy’s daid, he’s daid, he’s da…Where the f*ck are my bedposts!?”. Very strange- most of my memories of that day are funny (including “Crazy Aunt Ida” and how she decided to “help with the remains”).
Odd coincidence: my father died at approximately 4:40 a.m. in the morning. (I think it was the only time we ever shared a bed; I’m positive it was the last.) Seven years to the day later, at 4:40 a.m., my niece, his first (legitimate) grandchild, was born. My mother was terrified that it was a case of reincarnation and would actually say to the baby while holding her “Remember darlin’, just in case you are Steve in there, the contract clearly read ‘til death us do part’ and I don’t owe you a damned thing anymore…”
(2)So far as I know, the only beef cattle farm in Central Alabama named in honor of a Tennyson poem.
(3) In all of the above, the phrase “died prematurely” may be read as “his age at death was far less than the average life expectancy of a healthy teenager at the time when said decedent was a healthy teenager” (though the age at death of my father was under the life expectancy of a newborn born the same year). It was always a pet-peeve of mine when “educators” in the high schools and colleges I attended made such comments as “If you were born in 1870, your life expectancy was only 38 years- if you made it to 50 you were considered really old!”, which is absolutely false. A cursory examination of any old cemetery will demonstrate that there was no shortage of octogenarians and even the odd centenarian walking the earth at any given time in our history; the absurdly low ages was due to high infant mortality and death from childhood illness/injury and not because most people dropped dead before 40 like Neanderthals.
In point of fact, 50 was in many ways not viewed as geriatrically at the turn of the century as it is today and in fact, due perhaps to the fact that the absence of reliable birth control and the larger norm of families meant that a man of that 50 was more likely to have young or even infant children in 1900 than a man of 50 is today (the post-Viagra Baby Boom as evidenced by Tony Randall, Scotty and Saul Bellow notwithstanding). There are many instances of politicians being referred to as “a virile young man of 48” or similar comments and Teddy Roosevelt was on many occasions during his presidency ridiculed for his youth. For a more accurate view of what people could reasonably expect to live, go with the “life expectancy for 15 year olds” charts that are available in some publications.
(4)The reason I don't post the actual names of my ancestors: genealogists (from the Latin for "legion of the walking dead"). These people learn about Google at the "Revenge-on-the-Young-Elderhostel", find the name of my great-great grandfather (J*o*h*n W*e*s*t D*a*r*b*y)- a cotton farmer in Muscogee County, Georgia about whom I know nothing other than his wife claimed he was fertile, and the next thing you know I'm besieged by requests from the 89 year old step great-great-granddaughter-in-law of J.W.'s father's sister's husband's brother's third wife's first husband wanting all the info and pictures and medical records and receipts for sausage biscuits and hand-me-down T-shirts I have of or from him and they won't take no for an answer. This sounds paranoid, but it happens; once I posted some stories to SDMB (in a post about "Civil War oral history in your family") about my one of my mother's ancestresses (who as a very old woman in the 1950s recorded a tape about attending one of the last slave auctions in Alabama as a small child) and I made the mistake of using her real name; she was from a large family and had about 13 children of her own and I swear I heard from all of her descendants as well as the descendants of every brother, sister and third cousin, literally getting DOZENS & DOZENS & DOZENS of e-mails over the next two years from people who conjured up her name through Google. Another time one of the thousands of descendants of another ancestor whose name I'd mentioned on the Internet began a correspondence and actually told me he wanted this ancestor's farm journal (which my mother owns) to help him in his battle against colon cancer so would I please drive it up to Nashville and drop it off! (Aw'ight, you tell me Dr. Koop, how a buncha records bout hosses that done died 120 year ago gonna hep heal yo ass?) I e-mailed him a scan of it, but he still wanted the real thing (request denied).
(5) Either from being vivisected by a cannon ball, if you go with the family’s oral tradition,or from “disinterry (sic)” if you go with the Confederate records. The exhumation of his (probably intact) remains would solve the question once and for all but isn’t really worth it to me. I’m content that had it not been for the Civil War he would have lived for about twenty more years and then, while telling his children “You wouldn’t believe how close that cannon ball come to me over in Mississip’… man, I thought I was gonna shit myself to death!” he’d have groped his chest and fallen dead into a bowl of black-eyed peas and pig-tails.
PS- BTW, somebody e-mailed me a few days ago asking for my pics of Flannery O'Connor's home, Andalusia, for use in an assignment; I accidentally deleted the message. If you're reading this, here they are. I have lots more that aren't on the web (though at the request of the family none are of the interior of the house), so if you're interested- just e-mail me and I'll send them to you f.o.c.. Otherwise please feel free to reproduce them anyway you see fit in your project.
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See? A circle. The circle of blog.
The latest installment of the Rocky Mountain Blogger Round-Up is now suitable for human consumption. I didn't contribute anything this time out, primarily because of beer and sleep. Maybe next time.
Start your praying now.
People of the United States - please, remain calm. Do not panic. There is no need for fear. Those thundering rumbles you hear are simply the heads of Freepers, Democratic Underground yahoos, and Bill O'Reilly exploding.
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh (search) probably never expected the American Civil Liberties Union (search) to become one of his staunch supporters.Of course, I'm not surprised by this because, more often than not, the state-based chapters of the ACLU do the right thing (in my opinion) when it comes to the Bill of Rights. And, of course, too many right-wing Christians love the Bill of Rights except when non-Christians try to live by it. But that's another topic.
But the privacy rights group was on his side Monday when its Florida branch filed a "friend-of-court" motion on behalf of Limbaugh arguing state officials were wrong in seizing his medical records for their drug probe.
I hope - trust, even - that only the thickest members on each end of our political spectrum are surprised by this story. There's hope for America yet.
Update: Those fascists are at it again!
Responding to news reports this morning that, despite broad opposition from across the political spectrum, the Homeland Security Department intends to go forward with two highly controversial airline screening programs, the American Civil Liberties Union today strongly criticized the move. It called the two programs - called CAPPS II and Trusted Traveler -- wrong-headed both for national security and for civil liberties.So sorry, but the programs they are protesting sound more like the tools of a fascist state than the land of the free. Bill O'Reilly wouldn't know fascism if it bit him on the ass - of course, he'd have to pull his head out of it first to give it a good shot.
One of the few advantages of living in a teensy little North Alabama town like Scottsboro, aside from the previously mentioned fun to be had late at night at the local Super Wal-Mart, is that it is home to a unique little business venture called the Unclaimed Baggage Center. Essentially, what the airlines saw as an enormous problem, a local businessman saw as a giant opportunity. After the airlines have exhausted what effort they can in reconnecting baggage to its owner, they sell whatever's left over to the Unclaimed Baggage Center at a flat rate...a few bucks per pound, regardless of the content.
Unclaimed Baggage then sells whatever they get at fairly ridiculously low prices. Essentially, imagine an enormously overgrown pawn shop, and you pretty much have it. Clothes, electronics, jewelry, musical equipment, CD's, and every possible thing in between (including, of course, mounds of luggage) find its way onto the warehouse floor.
I stop there several times a week, as the possibility of finding genuinely great stuff is quite high. I recently bought a cedar-topped classical guitar in perfect condition, with a hardshell case for just over $100, and their luggage, notoriously expensive anywhere else, is almost a liability there, so they get rid of it for a few dollars a bag.
The other fun thing is seeing what bizarre items show up from one day to the next. Trying to imagine just how a fist-sized uncut emerald showed up there without its owner recouping it from the airline first is a lot of fun. Was it smuggled? Illegal? Or did the airline just bungle unforgiveably?
The latest thing I saw there, which I actually bought in anticipation of a fascinating look at Cold War psychology at its very most paranoid, is a set of 8 LP's, tucked away on a shelf among 9000 scratched copies of Christina Aguilera's first CD. They were produced between approximately 1963 and 1970, and constitute rabid anti-Communist propaganda from an ultra-right-wing, libertarian and republican perspective. One is even built around a rabid ultra-right-wing, anti-Communist MORMON point of view. They were a dollar apiece, and while a couple of them came in plain, white covers, several others are quite descriptive.
I am no fan of hipster pop culture ironic humor. It's very easy to look back on the culture of the past and see it as naive or humorous, while simultaneously feeling oh-so-worldly and urbane here in the present. Whenever I feel that way, I remember what Lileks once said (paraphrased,) "If you think past pop culture was funny, imagine what kids a few decades from now are going to make of the phrase, 'May Cause Anal Leakage.'" So, while it may be tempting to listen to these records with an ironic ear, I think I'd rather try to get something out of them...a historical perspective if nothing else.
I would love to post some of the album graphics on the site, since they're absolutely classic, but my scannerless state (and the incompatibility of LP's on modern flat-bed scanners) makes that presently problematic. Unfortunately, I don't presently have a working turntable either, but until I do, some of the copy on the album sleeves should be revealing enough:
Gimme gimme more more more »
All in the Name of Poverty, 1966. Plain, unmarked cover.
Who Controls Our Foreign Relations?, 1970. Plain, unmarked cover.
The following three albums come from a Libertarian (the still-extant Foundation for Economic Education) series of at least 9 records, and I wish I had all of them:
Album 5, The Tariff Idea, no date, but the book The Tariff Idea was published by FEE in 1952. By Dr. W.M. Curtiss. THe copy on the front reads, "This idea - that one function of the political agency is to confer an economic advantage on some men at the expense of their neighbors - underlies every socialistic practice." Note that the record appears to be a Libertarian primer on trade tariffs, but that the author couches his arguments in terms of anti-Communism. This theme is repeated in the other records as well.
Album 7, Mainspring and I, Pencil, no date. By Leonard E. Read (the founder of FEE.) "Excerpts from The Mainspring of Human Progress. This fascinating book is dedicated to the principle that only free men can make effective use of their imaginations and creative abilities. The second side of this record is an ordinary lead pencil's story of the miracle of its being." If you wonder, as I did, just how what a lead pencil has to do with the fictional autobiography "I, Claudius" (except perhaps that "I, Pencil" apparently came first,) I'm still working under the assumption that the answer is, "eh, not much." I'll let you know if it turns out otherwise. Anyway, the "about the author" blurb on the back contains the following expansion of the "I, Pencil" theme: "On the other side (of the record,) [Mr. Read] is narrator for a lead pencil, as it unfolds the miracle of the market coordination of human efforts behind its creation."
Album 9, Is Economic Freedom Possible?, no date. By Dr. Benjamin A. Rogge. "A careful examination of the charge that a free society would be controlled by a private monopoly." You can bet your booty that somewhere in his examination of the "private monopoly," Communist governments show up.
Even more interesting than the copy on the fronts of these albums, from a propaganda perspective, is the "recommended reading" list on the back. It includes things like "Cliches of Socialism," ("Socialistic bromides or plausibilities, like 'The more complex the society, the more government control we must have,' constantly confront the believer in freedom.") Libertarianism from before the rise of Hippie-era American Liberalism. Fascinating stuff.
The next two records are undated, but they are so rabidly anti-Communist that they fairly scream "early 60's." They were released on Key Records, which still distributes "Christian indie music."
Here We Go Again, With Tom Anderson The cover art on this one consists of a bullseye with a Soviet hammer and sickle in the center, with an arrow, presumably representing the scathing wit of Mr. Anderson, standing out from it. "Anyone who entertained a single doubt concerning Tom Anderson's rating as the outstanding political satirist of our time certainly saw that doubt dispelled as Tom's first record album "BI-PARTISAN TREASON" rocketed to fame. ...You'll quake with laughter in response to its pungent, pertinent humor, its verbal darts, puncturing the trial balloons of burgeoning dictatorship. And - if you believe that the blossoms on a peach tree, the gentle warmth of the sun and the marvel of a new-born baby emanate from a source more lofty than the test tubes of welfare-state chemists, you'll never lose the memory of
Tom's description of his visit to a Moscow church."
Incidentally, Tom Anderson is still apparently a popular mega-right-wing columnist and lecturer, affiliated with the so-right-it's-left American Party.
"Not Hate, But Love", by Ezra Taft Benson. Mr. Benson, Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture, and latter-day President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, recorded this screed to counteract the Communist technique of "twisting the meaning of words so as to make that which is sinister appear to be attractive." The back copy, written by "ex-FBI counterspy" Karl Prussion (and God, I would love to hear that album. Note that it is also published by Key Records) is positively vicious. I'd love to copy the whole thing for you, but I'm too lazy. Here are some highlights:
...[T]he Red Fascists know that a typical patriotic American would never fall for the word "surrender." So, in its place, the Communist Conspiracy substituted the words "Peaceful Coexistence." Knowing that most Americans desire peace, the Kremlin strategists apply the label of peace to a bottle containing the poison of slavery.Wow.
Recently, we have witnessed a classic example of Soviet thought-control in our own nation. So effective has been the Moscow-directed anti-anti-Communist campaign in the United States that these "Masters of Deceit" have actually convinced a large cross-section of our people that the word "love" means "hate."
The order of the day for all Communists, and, lamentably, for the vanguard of so-called American "Liberals," is to neutralize American patriotism. In short, they can't Sovietize you until they de-Americanize you.
Ezra Taft Benson is not about to stand by meekly and submit to the surrender of our heritage, our liberty, our destiny. For the love of our nation, our God and our freedom, listen to what he says and let it inspire you to do what you know you must do. The hour is late.
Let Your Voice Be Heard, 1966. This is a record of an address by none other than the notorious Phyllis Schlafly. The record even comes with a letter of endorsement from Mrs. Ann Bowler, the National Committeewoman for California and Program Chairman, California Federation for Republican Women, written on Republican National Committee letterhead. The copy on the record sleeve is not particularly revealing, but the entire thing positively reeks of "Here's something for the gals. Play it during te next Garden Club party."
Echoes from the Cathedral, no date. This is "the first souvenir album released of the sounds of the Cathedral of the Christian Crusade, the hub of Christian Conservative activity in America." The Cathedral, in case the name doesn't ring a bell, was (and still is) the work of one Billy James Hargis staunch anti-Communist and anti-Liberal pedagogue, and fundamentalist wacko super-extraordinaire. The program includes a service complete with music (God Bless America, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, I Will Pilot Thee, and another rendition of "God Bless America" as sung by Hargis's (very young) son, Billy James Hargis II,) a short devotional message, and a full sermon (entitled "Ambassadors for Christ") by the Right Reverend Billy James hisseff.
The rest of the copy is amazing in itself, but the blurb below the title on the back cover sums it up nicely - "Echoes From the Cathedral puts you THERE - at Billy James Hargis' International Headquarters! Hear the heartbeat of Christian Crusade - 'For Christ-Against Communism.'"
Also note the sentence at the bottom of the linked web page, where it says "He is credited, along with his friend for over 30 years, Dr. Carl McIntyre, as having given birth to the 'Christian Right' and bringing back 'Christian Fundamentalism' to America at the close of World War II."
Thanks Billy James, you enormous tool.
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Cool archive here of really really bad baby names. Unlike the ubiquitous accounts of Shi'thead (pn. Shee-thade), Female (pn. fee-molly) and twins Lemonjello and Orangejello, these are all confirmed. (I think all central Alabamians remember where they were when they first heard that Rondonaldrick J___ was wanted for manslaughter and that "his friends call him Drick".)
C'mon, this is pretty amusing:
US police are hunting hackers who tapped into the radio at a fast food drive-through and insulted customers...The only downside is that if those two are their most memorable lines, these folks aren't very funny.
One customer who placed an order was told: "You don't need a couple of Whoppers. You are too fat. Pull ahead..."
Troy policeman Gerry Scherlink said the hackers told another customer who had placed an order for Coca-Cola: "We don't have Coke."
When the customer asked what they had, the hacker said: "We don't have anything. Pull ahead."
OR, Francois Viete: a Frenchman worth knowing about
The Gay Librarian and the Case of the Missing Decimal Point
Why I was late to work this morning
Gimme gimme more more more »
Prologue: Last night I drove home, the gas needle was low and I stopped to get gas. I put my debit card into the pump, removed it quickly as a good citizen does, and was given the message “Unable to accept”. I’ve had this happen before when I knew there was plenty of money in the account (usually it’s an inability for computers to communicate or whatever as explained in the book “Gas Pumps Are From Venus, Bank Computers are Really Big Databases that Aren’t From Venus”) so I used the $5.00 in cash that I had on me and thought no more of it.
Little did I know that had Marley’s Ghost and Hamlet’s Father been dancing a tango on my Saturn it could not have been more an ominous portend of a journey that would end in the darkest fissures of the valley of Gehenna (or at least in the manager’s office of MidSouth Federal Credit Union).
The Story Proper:
Since I used my only cash to buy gas last night I needed some more, so, thunk I, I’ll use my ATM card to get some from the ATM, for that is why they are there, the dispensation of cash being their entelechy and raison d’etre all rolled into one fiscal disco ball. At 8:20 a.m., my hair attended and my terrier pre-peed, I alighted and to the ATM did make pilgrimage, secure, as I was young in those days and filled with optimism, that the ATM and the gods in some order loved me. How I long to return to those days, the revelations of the bluebirds sung into my ear and the hope of youth still abundant as the happy workers singing low pitched Norwegian folk songs in the fields and the
Anyway, I’m foreshadowing. I get to the ATM, request $20.00, and receive the message “Funds not available”. The sheol? I thought. I performed the necessary sacrifices for a balance check and received a digital readout of
That’s “minus” 12.06, as in “not $12.06” but “less than $12.06” and in fact “less than 0” by approximately $12.06 (a concept not even considered possible until Brahmagupta proposed it in the 6th century BCE, until when I’d still have had an ATM balance).
I remained perfectly calm other than a mild major coronary incident, temporary loss of sight and bladder control, and being privy to visions and voices of my dead relatives debating whether I should step into the light. (My father wanted me to come but only because he wanted a box of King Edward “see-gars- you can’t get the damned things up here… down here… over here… wherever the hell we are” while my grandmother as usual confused me with my brother.)
I’m bad about not balancing my account often enough and usually not being exactly with the bank on my balance, but I always have at least a rough estimate of how much I have and I haven’t bounced a check since I was an underemployed wage-slave the last time we were at war with Iraq. (Aldous Huxley drove his wife and accountants nuts by never keeping records of checks with the argument “The bank is always quite nice about letting me know when I don’t have enough money- they send me letters”; he is one-third of the triumvirate that died on November 22, 1963, the other two being JFK and C.S. Lewis; there’s a play by Peter Kreeft about them in the anteroom to the afterlife entitled “Between Heaven and Hell”- great premise but unfortunately it sucks.)
I waited until the bank opened and asked for a printout of my transactions. “We charge two dollars for those” said the officious teller. “I don’t have any cash and I don’t think you want me to write you a check” say I. She lets me look at the screen. One entry terrifies me.
FLASHBACK- December 30, 2003
I had the last in a series of dental appointments with a Macon office that I’ll identify only by the codename of Virgil Earp. (His real name is in fact that of another famous Western figure who was born in Georgia to whom he himself is not related though strangely enough his wife is.)
This was a simple follow-up to install a crown. As I was leaving I asked if I had a total. The receptionist told me
”Your insurance handles most of today. Your only total is nine ninety-two.”
I gave her my debit card. She makes a voucher on which she writes
“Do you mean nine dollars and ninety-two cents or nine hundred and ninety two dollars?”
“No, just nine-dollars and ninety-two cents. Installing the crown is simple and insurance pays most and you’re paid up to date.”
So I made a decimal between the nines that Helen Keller could read and signed the slip. (Did you know that Helen Keller was so vain she had her real eyes removed and replaced with handpainted glass ones? True. She knew that her real eyes were visibly blind to others and she wanted to look "normal". She was also a plagiarist, though not intentionally- she had a very hard time separating her own thoughts from "intake", and her senility has many fascinating stories that aren't relative here but I'll mention in passing. One of the non-human tragedies of 9-11 is that most of her papers were destroyed, incidentally.)
Guess what she (the receptionist, not Helen Keller- the latter might have been understandable) entered it as?
You guessed it: nine hundred and ninety-two dollars.
RETURN TO PRESENT
I explained to the lady at the bank what had happened. She didn’t really understand the reference to Aldous Huxley and of course I had to spell Brahmagupta and provide a cite for the bit about Helen's eyeballs, but she was cooperative. She asked me to call the dental clinic (using my calling card as they were too cheap to pay the LD) and I did. It’s closed today so I received their answering service.
“Is this an emergency?”
A few minutes later Dr. Earp (who looks amazingly like Donald Sutherland and sounds like a stoned-out-of-his-make-believin'-mind Mr. Rogers), calls. I explain what’s happening.
“Oh dear… well that’s bad. Unfortunately that’s something that ‘Carol’” (not her real name) “will have to handle… I’ll have her call you.”
A few minutes later “Carol” called. I explained the situation. Her response, in a high pitched voice that would make a Shih-Tzu bleed from the ears:
“Hee hee hee… oops! Well, we’ll just reverse that. Unfortunately I’m not at the office, but I can do it later today probably.”
Oh no rush bouboulina, it’s not like I’m TWELVE DOLLARS AND SIX CENTS (OR TWELVE HUNDRED AND SIX DOLLARS DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU INSERT OR DON’T THE *@*$(&ING DECIMAL POINT!) BELOW BROKE!!! YOU JUST GO OUT AND BUY YERSEF SUMPIN PERTY WHILE I STAY HERE ON THE CURB AND SAY "Hey dude... you like wanna party?" to old fat businessmen in their towncars in order to buy food for me and my dog!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, the bank was very understanding and, after getting the approval of the manager, board of directors, 2/3 of the Arkansas Congress of Day Laborers and a Candomble shaman from Quebec (how they found a Candomble shaman in Quebec is another story that involves string theory and the Argentine beef industry) they gave a temporary credit of $992 to my account (we're talking two holes in the ozone from the trees killed for the paperwork) contingent upon Nurse Goodbody’s reversal in the days that are to come, so at least I can eat and run and jump and play like the other children this weekend.
Anyway, that’s why I was late. How was your morning?
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The Australian government is seeking to squelch the capitalist instincts of its young women!
Australian police have warned 'beer wenches' -- scantily-clad women hired by cricket fans to queue at the bar for alcohol -- that they would not be welcome at the one-day international series with India.And surely I'm not only linking to this story because of this*:
* Picture subject to change at the whims of Yahoo. So if you end up staring at a shaved monkey butt or something, don't blame me.
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy says he can't say no to autograph seekers...Hard to say no to the non-existent, eh Jeff?
You might be a former inexplicably popular redneck comedian if...
There's something oddly appropriate about Ann Coulter's blog tagline being "Ann Coulter speaks her mind..." - and then having a blank page beneath it.
To quote the esteemed Dan Quayle:
What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.How true indeed.
Your geekdom knows no bounds.
Online games now have their own foreign exchange that lets players buy and sell different virtual currencies just like in the real world.And the 35-year old virgins living in their mothers' homes saw it, and it was good.
The Gaming Open Market allows players who control characters in games such as Star Wars Galaxies, The Sims Online and Ultima, to buy and sell the currencies used in the different game worlds.
Mars rocks, baby, Mars rocks!
OK, I'll shut up.
The British Airline Pilots' Association is debating whether or not to formally accept the deployment of air marshals on US-bound flights:
British pilots -- unhappy with air marshals but starting to see them as inevitable -- were due to meet Darling later on Tuesday to press for an industry-wide agreement on their deployment.What does the thought of five Islamic extremists with murderous intentions behind you cause? Warm fuzzies?
"The fact that you have got people behind you in a pressurized cabin with guns and bullets is not a happy thought," said a spokesman for the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA), which groups most of Britain's 9,200 airline pilots.
This is of concern to me as British Airways is the only airline to offer non-stop flights from Denver to London, and the World Wide Wife and Runt* are heading there next month to visit family. So it's not just a matter of them being unwilling to defend their own lives; they're unwilling to have the lives of my wife and child defended. Maybe I should cancel that trip until those pilots sprout some nads.
Update: Hooray, something else to worry about.
Police in England and Europe are seeking Al Qaeda terrorists planning to bomb trans-Atlantic jets departing Paris and London, security sources said yesterday.Such stories wouldn't really have concerned me before I became a father. Odd that.
* Isn't she adorable? And, yet, our enemy would think nothing of killing her. No remorse. No regret. She's an infidel and must be slaughtered. Try it, assholes.
Jack Cluth is offering up some thoughts on civil political discourse, directed primarily at his fellow Democrats (although the points would apply equally well to
shrew fellow human being, Ann Coulter, Freepers, etc). I think, however, that when one is so oblivious to reality that one compares President Bush to a tyrant that exterminated six million human beings*, or calls all liberals traitors to the state, then civil discourse and any hope of reason are already casualties of the political battle.
Although, I do have to admit that the Sean Hannity / Planet of the Apes book cover spoof is pretty good.
* Odd that the far left never compares Bush to Stalin, who killed 20 million people. Maybe because he's one of their own? Hmmm. Sorry, that was uncivil of me! :)
I know everyone is probably aware that Ray Davies recently got shot by a mugger in New Orleans. I just wanted to use that pun.
Maybe I'm the first. Probably not.
Just an observation, but Focus on the Family and the Christian Broadcasting Network, valiant promoters of keeping those damnable homos from tying the knot, have yet to post any condemnation of Britney Spears for cheapening heterosexual marriage.
More evidence that it isn't about marriage, but rather "ewww, gay people are icky and Jesus hates them!"
and I really don't trust those who aren't, check out the Cold Mountain soundtrack. It's produced by T-Bone Burnett of O Brother, Where Art Thou Fame and it's the best CD I've bought in months (and will hopefully give me my fiddle fix til the next Nickel Creek release).
Gimme gimme more more more »
Jack White's Wayfaring Stranger doesn't have a lot to add to the several recordings I already own (the best of which would be either Joan Baez or 16 Horsepower, though given the subject of the movie I'd have opted for Rebel Soldier, which I think is probably by the same anonymous author given shared use of phrases), but Allison Krauss is brilliant in two of the only non-traditional numbers on the CD (one of which, You Will be my Ain True Love, is written by Sting but works perfectly with the theme). The final number, Idumea, is a traditional vocal selection recorded by a choir in Sand Mountain, Alabama, snake-handlin' capital of the South, though I'm not sure if there's a connection.
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However, it technically doesn't start until January 22, so that's well over two weeks for everything to collapse and for lives to be ruined.
Update: Another good omen (or not) - this is post #2004 in the MT database. Do dee do do, do dee do do.
If this is true, it's unacceptable:
When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.Last I checked, this was still the United States of America and we still had that pesky-to-the-far-left-and-far-right thing called the Constitution. The right to assemble and protest is essential (but, no, puking on sidewalks as part of such is not).
When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."
The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.
The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign.
And the claim by the Secret Service that they do it to protect the protesters from being hit by the motorcade is laughable, unless they're now hiring 85-year old rent-a-cops.
Given the way Bush is sneaking Patriot Act II into the law books, stories such as this do little to instill me with confidence in the man or his administration.
Link courtesy of Drudge, where you read it first anyway.
NASA's Spirit rover has successfully landed on Mars (or a reasonable facsimile thereof on a soundstage in California for you conspiracy idiots) and is beaming back pictures. This NASA site has the details.
Snow. We finally got some more snow. They had been predicting 1-2 inches in the metro area, but it turned out to be more like 5 inches at my house. Light and fluffy stuff, easy to shovel.
Just finished dinner. Decided to improvise a bit on other recipes (and readers suggest a couple here) - so we ended up with pan-fried steaks, homemade baked fries, and nuked corn. The steaks were peppered, topped with cheese, and smothered in a sauce of butter, salsa, diced onion, garlic, parsley, and brandy, set alight just because I like fire! Fire! Turned out well.
God bless us everyone.
Update: While "Mies vailla menneisyyttä" made me Suomi-sick for Finland (those keeping score in the audience know I lived there in 1994-1995), I'm not sure I see what made this an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, unless foreign films were rather lacking that year. It did have some subtle humor, but the performances seemed lackluster and the ending left me thinking "well, that wasn't much of a climax." I do, however, want to get back to Finland for a visit now.
"Happiness" so far is proving to be enjoyable and funny in its own sad way. Check it out, unless you're easily offended. Which I imagine a lot of you are.
Blog by blog, left right left, we all fall down, like toy soldiers.
No, I don't know why I chose to paraphrase this awful song in this post. It just came to me while enjoying a beer after a lovely Steak Diane dinner (prepared by yours truly).
I have two more steaks to make use of - any good recipes for tomorrow night would be welcomed with open maw.
Just a quick update to some things I said earlier about Mark Shea.
I've said some not very nice things about the man, and based upon the impression of him that I have gotten from dealing with him on his blog, I stand by them as valid assessments of his blog persona. We all have one. We all step up to the e-podium, clear our throats, and speak with a voice that is probably not quite the same as the one we use at a polite dinner party or a board meeting or in one-to-one e-mails.
So, Mark and I have been having an e-mail discussion, a rather civil one, and he comes across as not such a bad guy after all. No, really. Honest.
My opinion of Mark as being a "bitter" and "little" man came from my perception of his blog-espoused opinions and responses to anything that didn't glorify his idea of what the Catholic Church should be. His blog persona is angry, self-righteous, cocksure, and not a little obnoxious from time to time.
I'm not going to call him a buttercup sweetheart when that is what I have to go on.
So, let it be known, from this day forward, that he actually is rather amiable when not preaching from the pulpit. However, on his site, the blog persona reigns supreme.
Note: This has been part of Andy's Kinder / Gentler New You 2004 program. It probably won't last.
It's always been frustrating to me as a theater buff and a taxpayer that the government can waste billions of dollars on new bombers while so many perfectly decent serial killers can't even be immortalized on the musical theater stage without having to find private sponsors. Finally the National Endowment for the Arts is doing its part to remedy that by giving $35,000 of your tax dollars and mine to help produce DISPOSABLE, a riproarin' rollickin' sallllute to everybody's favorite rent-boy turned serial-killin' superdesigner slayer, Andrew Cunanan.
Gimme gimme more more more »
Musical highlights will include the following numbers (my suggestions only):
I'm a Runway Runaway
A Houseboat For Two (Minus One)
There's a CNN in CuNaNan
and the big climax, when Andrew sings:
Versace, I just met a man named Versace
and suddenly I've found
how wonderful a style can be...
Versace, gun him down and Diana's mourning
Shoot him up and Sir Elton is phoning
Versace, I'll never stop saying... Versace!!!
Supposedly Mel Gibson has already expressed interest in the film rights though strangely he wants to film it in Urdu and Tumbala dialects.
Next projects on the agenda for NEA:
DAHMER? I DON'T EVEN KNOW HER!- the show that takes dinner theater to a whole new level
MANSON GALS ON DAYPASS- it's kind of like On The Town, but with more slaughters
TIMOTHY MCVEIGH: A MANIFESTO IN DANCE
TO SADDAM WITH LOVE- A PROTEST MUSICAL with lyrics by Sir Paul McCartney, music by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, and special appearances by the Kroft Puppets, Rosie O'Donnell, Susan Sarandon and the late Burl Ives
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Michael Jackson holds his child over a railing for two seconds, admittedly a rather dumb move, and the whole world is shocked, recoiling in horror, their fear that Jacko is wacko once again confirmed.
But when this happens:
Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin took his month-old son to his first croc feeding on Friday, offering the reptile a chicken with one hand and holding the baby in the other....it's presented as charming entertainment by a charming entertainer. Something is wrong with the world.
Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin may face a police investigation for holding his month-old baby son a few feet away from the mouth of a crocodile at his Queensland zoo.That's more like it.
Way back in December, 2003, gullible and superstitious people were wowed by the story of a ghost caught on film at the Hampton Court Palace in London. These people should be happy to know that they are still gullible and superstitious.
After video enhancement, the investigators conclude: "When enhanced and stabilized the video looks far less like a ghost and more like an attendant of some kind (wearing a period costume). The press and media took the most ghost like image of the low resolution sequence and circulated the low resolution and shaky images from video without any processing to balance contrast and used this to claim it was a ghost, but when you look at the sequence once enhanced and stabilized it looks less convincing.Found via Mark Shea, who isn't gullible and superstitious except for that bit about Jesus rising from the dead and such.
Being a compassionate sort, I tend to believe that working to alleviate the suffering of innocent Iranian earthquake victims is a good and noble thing. However, now I'm not so sure.
A leading Iranian cleric has accused the US of trying to exploit the Bam earthquake for political gain...It's events like this that make me wonder where the charity of the United States makes us better than these people, or just more stupid.
Ayat Allah Ahmad Jannati, head of Iran's powerful supervisory body the Guardian Council, also applauded what he called a "slap in the face" given to Washington by the Islamic Republic...
"Naturally America wanted to take advantage of this situation by offering some help and bringing up the issue of relations," Jannati said.
"But it was given a slap in the face," he told worshippers to chants of "Death to America".
Mark Shea is talking 'bout libertarians. Such a bitter, little man is he.
Feel free to work the phrase "Catholic brownshirt" into your replies, should you choose to participate. Oh, no reason.
Josh Claybourn is talking 'bout atheism. If you choose to play, play nice.
Although, feel free to work Binky the Magic Space ClownTM into your replies.
Hey, hey, hey there, kids - there's new hope for America!
Limp Bizkit, which suffered slow sales of its long-awaited new album, has been named worst band of the year by readers of Guitar World magazine.Congratulations!
Creed, another act that draws sharp reactions, came in at No. 2 even though the Christian combo took the year off. New York rockers the Strokes were No. 3, followed by "all pop-punk bands" at No. 4 and pop-punk band Good Charlotte at No. 5.