I have a cold. I'm going to bed with a book and some NyQuil and my petty jealousy toward those of you who aren't ill.
My mostly-net-but-met-once-in-real-life friend Kris May recently had her first child, a daughter, named Samantha.
When your two and a half year old daughter* is sick with the flu and you've given her cough syrup, Vicks VapoRub**, and enough hugs and "I love you"'s to float a battleship***, there's not much else you can do.
But I'm trying: staying in her room with her, sleeping on her floor wrapped in a comforter, soothing her when she stirs and thinking that I have to be up in three hours so maybe I'll just take Friday off and we can both sleep in and recuperate.
So, anyone else awake out there?
* I suspect this parenting lesson applies to boys as well. Talk to me in about 28 months.
** I'm told that while I was at work, after her mom put her down for a nap, the wee Fiona found her way into the VapoRub to solve her own breathing issues. How rubbing it into her hair and clothes helped, I'm not certain, but there you go.
*** I've no idea of the physics behind floating warships on things other than water (and, admittedly, I know shite all about that), but I have it on good authority that it works. No lie.
Tonight, we gathered around the hearth that is our widescreen HDTV with digital 5:1 surround sound, myself, the wife, the in-laws, and our two children, one sleeping peacefully and one with the flu, to partake of the 2005 Michael Bay movie "The Island."
After the horror of his movie "Pearl Harbor," I had more or less written off Bay as a CGI-loving hack with an eye for talent akin to the wandering one of Sandy Duncan (and, hey, having one bad eye, I can make such jokes). However, I enjoyed "The Island" more than I had expected to, even if my expectations were due to the rather poor showing at the box office and the teaser trailers that made it look exactly like what it wasn't (e.g. absolute crap).
I've been a fan of Ewan McGregor since 1996's "Brassed Off," to the point of naming my son after him (just kidding, all coincidence, I promise), and - well - Scarlett Johansson is just mighty mighty hot, particularly in futuristic clingy garb that seems all the rage in sci-fi nocturnal emissionary fantasies. My wife would argue that Ewan is a visual treat as well, but, honestly, who the hell cares?
So, yeah, anyway - "The Island."
A fun, action-thriller, quasi-morality play movie with lots of things that explode and moments of humanity that you just know will be mucked up by someone or something.
Points of interest to no one other than myself:
You might note that Ewan McGregor also plays Obi Wan Kenobi in the new Star Wars movies. Coincidence? I think not. Or whatever.
I do get outside sometimes. Honest, I do.
John Merrick is better known as the Elephant Man, and - at least in the movies - said "I am not an animal! I am a human being!" Which is odd, considering that in "The Island," Dr. Merrick is the least human character to which we are exposed.
No word if Michael Jackson wants to buy his bones. Or bone him. Probably too old anyway.
It immediately took me back to a discussion I had with a very-right-leaning Christian friend a few years ago on the topic of human cloning, a conversation during which he asserted, without hesitation, that clones would have no souls.
In essence, because they didn't come about by "godly" ways, they would be denied the opportunity to find favor with God. Let's forget, for the moment, that God is a fairy-tale and far too many of you are compartmentally delusional in that regard.
It struck me as odd, because I have little doubt that a fully cloned human would be - well - fully human. Entitled to the rights we ascribe to our fellow man. No matter what mark they bore or what the law might say, they would be human beings, not chattel for abuse nor ripe for the harvest when one more Red Hook IPA does in my liver.
As a secular atheist with humanist leanings, I simply can't see it any other way.
It scares me to think that some of the God-fearing can and - when the day of human cloning surely arrives - will think that way, happily oppressing human beings who aren't privileged enough to be born of natural blood and cottage cheese and Apgar scores.
So, let me wrap up this somewhat aimless ramble:
I'm sorry, but are we bloggers just a bunch of pajama-clad yahoos or the potential downfall of all mankind as we know it?
Kathleen Parker, hack columnist extraordinaire, believes bloggers are the latter.
I remember a few years ago, before blogs took off, Ms. Parker had a forum on her now-defunct personal website. It was a fine, fine place for sycophantic nitwits to come out and praise every word of wisdom that dripped from her pen, probably in the hope she'd post some cheesecake shots in return (hey, could be worse, imagine if Ann Coulter posted topless pics - *urgle!*). So, yes, 'twas a fine forum.
So fine that it didn't take long for her detractors to find it, particularly after she wrote an ignorant anti-atheist piece in the aftermath of 9/11.
One can't help notice the silence of atheists these days. Suddenly ''God'' is everywhere, as ubiquitous as American flags, spreading -- as Dan Rather said in a spasm of simile-rapture to describe rumors following the Sept. 11 attacks -- ''like mildew in a damp basement.''A number of atheists and secularists visited her little piece of the internet landscape, myself included, to correct her. For the most part, the feedback she received was polite, yet obviously stern, as should be expected when one willfully misrepresents a segment of the population.
War has that effect. There are no atheists in foxholes, we've always known. There were none in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, we can guess. And now there are none anywhere to be found. America today is about God and country, but then it always has been. We just lost track.
Her response? Close down the forum because her website was a "family" place. Apparently families revolve around toeing the line of Ms. Parker's particular brand of God-fearing kookery.
I'm hardly shocked that the open nature of the blogosphere would strike fear into her crusty lil' heart. But, hey, maybe this time we'll get some cheesecake.
So, nearly ten years after swearing I'd never buy an American car, I'm thinking of buying an American car. In particular, the 2006 Ford Fusion.
I've been driving a 1996 Mazda MX-6 for the last near decade, and she's held up pretty well considering the 135,000 miles on her, trips up and down and right to left on a US map, and the general beating that a 25-year-old single guy put on her in the first year of ownership (not to mention that the car was an idiot magnet, resulting in a few fender benders, and let's not forget the tap-dancing dog that scratched up the paint something nice).
Built on the Mazda6 platform, the Ford Fusion is a roomy, four-door sedan with plenty of power and features at a price that strikes me as right (read: affordable).
Fully loaded, the MSRP on the Fusion comes in under $26,000, so invoice will be even lower, minus any incentives in the offer (although you then have to add back in title, tax, destination charges, random charges and funny looks from the dealer, forfeiture of first-born son, etc). All in all, the Ford Fusion seems like a good value (you know, assuming I'm wrong about the random charges and first-born forfeiture thing).
I considered the 2006 Hyundai Sonata, having read many good things about it, but the one I test drove continually had battery issues, refusing to start, and while it drove well and with gusto, it just felt ... cheap... inside. I could also share the tale of why my salesman was assigned to the internet division of the dealership, but that would be mean.
See, I'm a nice guy. A teddy bear. Hug me.
Other considerations have been the Honda Accord (reliable but boring), Toyota Camry (reliable but even more boring), Mazda6 (like a Ford Fusion, but tack on a few grand for the Mazda name), and the Mazda RX-8 (quickly shot down when the wife reminded me we have two children with two carseats and, no, we can't just strap them on top).
So, here I am: Ford Fusion. Anyone have one? Like them? Love them? Hate them?
Also, does anyone know if the PhatBox is compatible with the 6-disc in-dash CD player?
I'm planning on contacting my various financial institutions tomorrow and Friday for loan quotes, aiming to make a purchase over the weekend (the Mazda has a new oil leak), so speak now or forever hold your peace.
(Images from the MSN Carpoint website)
LOVELAND - A man who works for a commercial tree trimming company was killed Wednesday when he fell into the chipper.Given that my British in-laws are here, I'm almost inclined to make a macabre joke about falling into the "chippy" and ending up covered in a delightfully greasy deep-fried batter. But I won't.
So, um. Yeah. Ugh.
Welcome Preston Davis Green to the world, won't you?
Blogger bashes just won't be the same now with all of us with our kids in tow. Of course, knowing us Rocky Mountain Bloggers, the kids are probably already naturals at bellying up to the bar, so maybe things won't change too much after all.
Mr. Time-to-make-the-donuts has gone to the big Dunkin' Donuts in the sky, where archangels and other enforcers of God's law sit around drinking coffee that is never burnt, eating doughnuts that are delicious without being fattening, and yet still find a way to be the butt of jokes all across the Heavens.
Michael Vale, the actor best known for his portrayal of a sleepy-eyed Dunkin' Donuts baker who said "Time to make the doughnuts," has died. He was 83.Godspeed, Mr. Vale, and may the powdered sugars that be find you worthy of entrance into the chocolate-glazed goodness of the deep fryer that lies beyond.*
Vale died Saturday in New York City of complications from diabetes, according to son-in law Rick Reil.
Vale's long-running character, "Fred the Baker," for the doughnut maker's ad campaign lasted 15 years until he retired in 1997.
At least we still have Mr. Whipple. Unless, you know, my mentioning that fact has jinxed him.
* Wow, that was pretty lame. So sue me.
CNN is reporting that Chinese food is becoming a popular Christmas dish:
It's not exactly chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But for many people, Moo Goo Gai Pan or maybe even the Pu Pu Platter are traditional dishes for Christmas.I think this would be an obvious and inescapable trend to anyone who has watched, with heartfelt joy, once or more each year, the neo-traditional classic movie "A Christmas Story."
On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and throughout the holidays, Chinese restaurants do some of their briskest business of the year.
"As the years went on, we became busier and busier during the holidays," said Stanley Wong, whose family has owned the Kowloon restaurant in Saugus for more than a half century.
Who can forget when the family ends up having Christmas dinner at the Chop Suey Palace, entertained by waiters singing "Deck the Harrs with Barrs of Horry, Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra, Ra Ra Ra Ra...?" A holiday masterpiece, that movie.
I can't wait to make the kids watch it every year as they grow older.
Of course, I probably won't mention the career path taken by Scott Schwartz, who portrayed Flick, in an oddly foreshadowing scene in which he puts his tongue on a pole. He doesn't much like it the first time, but then I didn't really like beer at first and we all know how that turned out.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, or joyous weekend to all of you.
I'm off to eat too much food, drink too much drink, and then sleep too much sleep (not that there is such a thing as too much sleep).
What the heck are you doing reading a blog today? You should be with friends and family, drinking good drink and eating good food (by the way, I made an outstanding pork loin roast stuffed with spinach and parmesan cheese last night).
So, go on, turn off that PC and be sociable. If you happen to be alone this holiday season, go out and meet new people. If you're alone and agoraphobic, uh, maybe just talk to the people on the magic picture box and pretend.
Whatever you do, happy holidays from Mr. and Mrs. WWR, World Wide Runts #1 and #2, and the World Wide Canines and Kitties.
MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) - A father angry that his eldest daughter married for love slit her throat as she slept, then killed three other daughters in a remote village in eastern Pakistan, police said Saturday.Yes, indeed, some cultures are better than others. Once Western civilization shakes off its myths that, among other things, praise a god that drowns wee babies and endorses the keeping of virgins as spoils of war, we'll be even better.
Nazir Ahmad, a laborer in his 40s, feared the younger girls, aged 4 to 12, would follow in their 25-year-old sister's footsteps, police officer Shahzad Gul said.
Now, before you get your panties in a twist, I'm not saying that Western culture is anything like the Islamic culture in question; however, that's largely because our actions don't match the barbarity of our myths. Or, hell, who knows - maybe Lot was just offering up his daughters as party entertainment.
Ripped from today's science headlines:
Parrots mirror human mental disordersNo mention, though, if Polly has his own belief in intelligent design.
Well, I don't, but the Brits should, as an Orwellian wet dream is on the way in the UK:
Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.See, because it's for your own good. Mmm, yeah, just like that Big Brother, you know how I like it. Whisper sweet "trust us, we're the government" lines in my ear. Oh yeah!
Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.
But wait, there's more!
The new national surveillance network for tracking car journeys, which has taken more than 25 years to develop, is only the beginning of plans to monitor the movements of all British citizens. The Home Office Scientific Development Branch in Hertfordshire is already working on ways of automatically recognising human faces by computer, which many people would see as truly introducing the prospect of Orwellian street surveillance, where our every move is recorded and stored by machines.Yup, I'm thinking the wife and I will keep living Stateside for the foreseeable future. You know, until we grow bored of that whole "privacy" thing.
Update: Not that any of you good Brits out there are doing anything wrong, else you'd not be bothered by all of this, because - really - privacy is terribly overrated, but reader Sean says you might want to invest in one or two of these European PhotoShield plates.
Discussing science with some folks is like asking the Pope for sex advice.
Update: Although, I have my suspicions that the Pope would at least understand the basic mechanics involved. Not so for my foil.
Update 2: Go on, click through, read it all. Apparently when I present evidence, I don't; when I refuse to do all of this person's learning for them, I don't know what I'm talking about; and when I answer their rebuttal line for line, I'm an incoherent fool.
Update 3: LaShawn Barber chimes in with a response that is equal parts ignorance and arrogance, with comments disabled as well, because if she allowed discussion she might actually learn something.
From her dishonest quote mining of Charles Darwin, to her intellectually bankrupt conflation of abiogenesis and evolution, through her idiotic claim that the eye is "irreducibly complex," and across an entire post full of similar lies and distortions all for the good of Baby Jesus, even invoking the tired "atheists just hate authority!" bullshit, LaShawn continues to prove that when her fundy religion turns on, her critical thought turns off, and she becomes a babbling idiot.
Update 4: Arguing with the anti-science crowd is rather like shooting fish in a barrel. Particularly dim fish. Ones that keep coming back for another cap in they asses, yo.
Update 5: I'm a little fishy! Shoot me! Shoot me!
Update 6: Go on, click through that link just above and marvel as the ID camp quote-mines and plagiarizes, demonstrating once again their complete lack of intellectual honesty. I AM SHOCKED!
Lawyers for David Letterman want a judge to quash a restraining order granted to a Santa Fe woman who contends the CBS late-night host used code words to show he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host.Uh huh huh, she said "hammering."
A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to Colleen Nestler, who alleged in a request filed last Thursday that Letterman has forced her to go bankrupt and caused her "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation" since May 1994.
Nestler requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least 3 yards away and not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering."
Wow, Ms. Nestler, you are what we in the mental health industry* call a big-freakin'-wack-job.
I wonder, is there - somewhere out there, somewhere in this crazy, crazy blogosphere - a woman who is utterly convinced that everytime I bash creationism I am secretly saying "C'mon, sweet momma, and do me right, right now."
And, most importantly, is she hot?
Update: Or rich? I'm not picky when it comes to stalker varietals.
* You know, if I were in the mental health industry. Which I'm not. However, I don't think you need a license to diagnose Ms. Nestler as a nutter.
I own several books on the evolution / creationism debate, and have read many more courtesy of the magic of the public library, but I have to rank Judge John Jones' decimation of Intelligent Design in give or take 70 pages as one of my highest joys to read in this area.
Jones clearly and frankly demonstrates that Intelligent Design is not science, that its most vocal advocates are nothing but dishonest hucksters luring the stupid with shiny words and turns of phrase, and that, even if it were true, it has no place in the classroom.
A thing of goddamn beauty, that.
Some of my favorite excerpts below the fold:
Update: Science genius, Paul from Wizbang, has yet to comment.
Gimme gimme more more more »
Although proponents of the IDM occasionally suggest that the designer could be a space alien or a time-traveling cell biologist, no serious alternative to God as the designer has been proposed by members of the IDM, including Defendants’ expert witnesses. (20:102-03 (Behe)). In fact, an explicit concession that the intelligent designer works outside the laws of nature and science and a direct reference to religion is Pandas’ rhetorical statement, “what kind of intelligent agent was it [the designer]” and answer: “On its own science cannot answer this question. It must leave it to religion and philosophy.”And...
Moreover, in turning to Defendants’ lead expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific, as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.And...
It is notable that not one defense expert was able to explain how the supernatural action suggested by ID could be anything other than an inherently religious proposition.And...
In summary, the disclaimer singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource, and instructs students to forego scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere.And...
Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.Beautiful!
After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research.Ouch!
As Dr. Miller explained, once you attribute a cause to an untestable supernatural force, a proposition that cannot be disproven, there is no reason to continue seeking natural explanations as we have our answer.Goddidit!
First, defense expert Professor Fuller agreed that ID aspires to “change the ground rules” of science and lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology.Hmmm, the seventh moon of Aquarius in Scorpio rising says Behe is full of shit.
What is more, defense experts concede that ID is not a theory as that term is defined by the NAS and admit that ID is at best “fringe science” which has achieved no acceptance in the scientific community.You don't say!
ID is at bottom premised upon a false dichotomy, namely, that to the extent evolutionary theory is discredited, ID is confirmed.Sorry, IDiots, it doesn't work that way! You don't tell me about white by describing what isn't black.
It also bears mentioning that as Dr. Miller stated, just because scientists cannot explain every evolutionary detail does not undermine its validity as a scientific theory as no theory in science is fullyunderstood.Elves make gravity!
As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by “irreducible complexity” renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution. (3:40 (Miller)). In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means.Whoops, perhaps we can now call it "irreducible idiocy?"
In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.”Ha!
Professor Behe’s only response to these seemingly insurmountable points of disanalogy was that the inference still works in science fiction movies.Well, if it's good enough for the fiction of the cinema, isn't it good enough for the fiction of religion?
In addition, Dr. Miller refuted Pandas’ claim that evolution cannot account for new genetic information and pointed to more than three dozen peer-reviewed scientific publications showing the origin of new genetic information by evolutionary processes.Whoops, that'll be news to the IDiots with whom I argue...
On cross-examination, Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.”Crikey, there those evolutionists go again, wanting "evidence." The nerve!
Moreover, ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard.You don't fuckin' say.
It is our view that a reasonable, objective observer would, after reviewing both the voluminous record in this case, and our narrative, reach the inescapable conclusion that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.I agree it is not science, but I disagree that it is an "interesting theological argument." Where, exactly, does one take the assertion of "God did it?"
That's about as interesting as saying "It came from my left testicle."
Except that my testicles, both of them, are absolutely fascinating.
« That's plenty, thanks!
No intelligent design nonsense for the school children of Pennsylvania:
"Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.But, wait - it gets better!
Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.
Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said...I'm positively shocked! Why, I can't even begin to imagine these theocrat wanna-bes lying for the Lord!
Said the judge: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."
Jones wrote that he wasn't saying the intelligent design concept shouldn't be studied and discussed, saying its advocates "have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors."Of course, that's the problem and the reason that ID is not science. The creationists decide on the result they want and selectively pick evidence they think supports it (while also lying about that which does not, e.g. transitional forms). They drive their *cough* "scholarly endeavors" on an agenda rather than facts and observation. Their beliefs inform their "research," rather than actual research informing their beliefs. They have it precisely backasswards.
But, he wrote, "our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."Amen.
Update: Small edits to the section on so-called ID research in order to properly characterize it. Thanks for the idea, Ron!
Update 2: More choice words from the judge are quoted over at In the Agora:
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial.Ouch! That's going to leave a mark*!
* Probably the mark of the beast! Oh no!
For the most part. Been a busy several days.
Friday, I made a lovely roast beef with red wine / ruby port sauce. Downside: good beef is really damned expensive. Upside: we had to drink a fair bit of red wine and ruby port before it was all over.
Saturday, I have absolutely no idea what we did. Stayed inside from the cold would be a guess.
Sunday, we watched "Michael Moore Hates America." Enjoyed it, as it was more focused on exposing the lies of the Twinkie King rather than bolstering the idiots in the fringes of the right-wing (in fact, it really never got into their nonsense) or exploiting the nimrods who make up the kooky left.
In short, most of us, Americans all, want the best for our country, even if we disagree on how to get there. Even if all of you rightwing and leftwing nutters are so off-base it isn't even funny.
Today, work. More of the same until Thursday.
Look for my thoughts on essays in C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity soon.
God bless us everyone.
OK, one last reality television comment:
Randall, you're a glory-hogging shithead.
That is all.
P.S. My wife says "I just lost a whole lot of respect for Randall. I just think he's a selfish bastard now."
P.P.S. Yes, we should probably get hobbies.
On the drive to work this morning, I was listening to the radio news regarding today's elections in Iraq (which, from what I've heard and read, are going well with little eventful news about things going boom). The woman reading the news then mentioned that a number of Iraqis were showing up at the polls wrapped in the flag of their country.
That immediately struck me as a beautiful and powerful image, a symbol of a people that believes in its country despite the threat of violence, that has hope for its future, and that longs for its return to sovereignty. Today's election is one step closer to that vision.
At the same time, I also felt some shame with respect to some of my fellow Americans: those who don't turn out to vote because it's inconvenient, because one vote doesn't matter. We take the gift of our representative democracy for granted too often.
And we turn our flag into boxer shorts and bedsheets.
While the Iraqis learn from us, I think we could learn a thing or two from them.
The wee Fiona said a new word yesterday. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal for a two and a half year old, but my lass is a late talker, so every addition is welcome. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to understand everything being said to you, and then not having the words to communicate your own thoughts properly. So, yes, a new word.
That word was "nose."
Except, it wasn't quite "nose" like I would say it. It was more like "nah-ose," which is as close I can get to approximating the accent with which it was said.
A British accent.
I suppose it had to come to this, what with her mom being a limey and the two of them spending the better part of each day interacting while dear Dad works away at an office where everyone speaks normally (unless they speak Spanish, and had she come out with "nariz" instead of "nah-ose" I'd be having a small chat with the guys who mow our lawn).
Now that the British in-laws have arrived for the holidays, I suspect it's only going to get worse. Argh!
(note: seriously, I think the accent is darn cute)
Attention Weaver family: Jesus. Hates. You.
Granted, my opinions could be the victims of creative editing on the part of the show's producers, but it pleases me to watch sanctimonius, hypocritical Pharisees end up with winning precisely nothing.
Hooray for Jesus!
Another take: From Dummocrats:
Thank you God for abandoning the Weaver family in their hour of need. And thank you, Amazing Race producers, for editing out any footage you may have had of the Weaver family trying to do the final geography puzzle. Since the family thought that Lake Pontchartrain was one of the Great Lakes, I can't imagine how long it actually took them to differentiate between, say, Kansas & Colorado.That's easy: Kansas is the state you suffer though to get to Colorado.
No details. Just saw it as "breaking news" at CNN.com (yes, CNN, because I'm clearly a commie pinko lefty kook).
Busy day here, and I'm feeling a tad under the weather as well, so some links to help you pass the time:
Four years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghans express both vast support for the changes that have shaken their country and remarkable optimism for the future, despite the deep challenges they face in economic opportunity, security and basic services alike.Freedom is funny that way.
Historians say six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust.Right, right, all based on the word of a few historians rather than the evidence of murder camps, mass graves, and several million Jews that mysteriously vanished.
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter cut short a speech at the University of Connecticut amid boos and jeers, and decided to hold a question-and-answer session instead.The original headline (currently available here) read: "Ann Coulter to audience: You're stupider than me."
"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the crowd of 2,600 Wednesday.
I think Coulter's a histrionic shrew, but at least she understands the rules of English.
Machines will perform euthanasia on terminally ill patients in Israel under legislation devised not to offend Jewish law, which forbids people taking human life.Apparently afixing a special timer knowing it will kill the patient is somehow different from, say, giving an overdose knowing it will kill the patient. For some reason. They seem pretty sure of it.
A special timer will be fitted to a patient's respirator which will sound an alarm 12 hours before turning it off.
Normally, carers would override the alarm and keep the respirator turned on but, if various stringent conditions are met, including the giving of consent by the patient or legal guardian, the alarm would not be overridden.
Similar timing devices, known as Sabbath clocks, are used in the homes of orthodox Jews so that light switches and electrical devices can be turned on during the Sabbath without offending religious strictures.You know, I think that's one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read. In a world full of suffering and mayhem, God worries about whether or not you turned on a reading lamp.
People are nuts.
Officials say a 50-year-old Egyptian man was stopped six days ago at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. Sources say he had a suspicious pair of shoes that tested positive five times for the explosive substance TATP on the interior of his shoes between the heel and sole.Hey, at least the various agencies are talking - that's progress!
Federal officials say the man's shoes are remarkably similar to those used by shoe bomber Richard Reid, who attempted to blow up an American Airlines jet over the Atlantic four years ago.
The Egyptian man's destination was Des Moines, Iowa, sources say, and he claimed he was a student at Iowa State University in Ames.
Strangely, after holding him overnight, airport security in New York released him. The FBI was notified after he was released. Now the FBI has put out a nationwide alert.
1 Degree in Windy CityImpressive. It's currently -5 degrees in Denver, and our expected high is 5 degrees, a full 13 degrees lower than the expected high in Chicago.
Where's our screaming, Drudge-ified headline?
Does the Mile High City matter not?
Note to Denver Drivers this Morning: It's kind of ugly out there in spots. Remember, just because you have four-wheel drive doesn't mean you aren't four-wheel stupid.
I'm happy to say that she's just as funny in real life as she is in the pages of the New York Times.
She was also quite reserved and yielding in the interview, nothing like her printed-page persona, which might have been refreshing had she at least been funny.
Update: Another blog (unlinked because it appears to be an ad revenue generating blog that has hijacked the material from a real blog) says:
What we learned: Maureen flips her hair a lot. Stephen doesn't get Top Gun jokes.Well, yeah, but that's only because Maureen doesn't get Rikki-Tikki-Tavi references. Sorry, you probably needed to see the exchange.
The latest ABBA compilation to hit the record stores will be its final record release, a former member of the Swedish group predicted, but fans' dream of seeing the pop quartet get back together would never come true.
We are excited to be launching the opportunity today...between now and Christmas we are asking you to send the ACLU direct "MerryChristmas" cards.This might make sense if the ACLU was out to put a stop to private expressions of religion; however, they're not. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that many people within the ACLU - gasp! eek! oh no! - celebrate Christmas at home.
People are silly.
Update: One minor correction for you. It turns out the ACLU is comprised solely of secular, religion-hating atheists who eat Christian children, especially on holidays. I apologize for leading you to think otherwise.
(Hey, might as well let the religionuts keep their delusions).
South Africa didn't get around to racial equality until the mid-1990s, some forty years after we here in the United States stumbled upon the idea, which makes it all the more depressing that they're so far ahead of us on other matters of equality:
South Africa's highest court ruled Thursday that same-sex marriages enjoyed the same legal status as those between men and women, effectively making the nation one of just five worldwide that have removed legal barriers to gay and lesbian unions.Hey, if institutional bigotry can be defeated there, maybe the same can be done here.
An Enumclaw-area man has pleaded guilty to criminal trespass Tuesday in a case in which a Seattle man died having sex with a horse.Well. OK.
On July 2, James Tait and a 45-year-old Seattle man went onto a neighbor's property to have sex with a horse, charging papers say. The Seattle man sustained a perforated colon and died from his injuries.
Authorities say Tait helped run a nearby farm where people had sex with animals.