Monday, December 31, 2012

No Tea Party Connection = No National MSM Coverage

New York City trustafarian and Occutard boyfriend busted for arsenal in Greenwich Village apartment. “You don’t understand the class structure of American society,” said Smetana, “or you would not ask such a question. In the United States, the working class are Democrats. The middle class are Republicans. The upper class are Communists.” — Whittaker Chambers, Witness, pg. 616

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day ADHD linklets

Bored on Christmas? Sorry to hear it--let me help you, even if it's only to help you be more bored.

Finally, something that LinkedIn is good for.

Social studies textbooks:  feeble but not harmless.

Spirits merry and bright... "Behind blast walls and with police nearby, 200 worshippers attended Christmas mass Monday at Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Church, which officially reopened this month after a massacre in 2010."

Meanwhile... Syria rebels threaten to attack two Christian towns.

It's no surprise, then, that the current wave of Islamic persecution may be the one to finally do Middle Eastern Christianity in.

And what will happen, once the compassionate, civilizing effect of Christianity is removed from Islamic lands? Something very like this, maybe: "Abbas Reneges on Promise to Reform “Honor Killing” Laws" Yes--secular, Westernized Mahmoud Abbas wants to continue letting Arab men get away with murdering the wimminfolk, in order to preserve their honor.

Jingle bells, shotgun shells...

Oldest known Christmas recordings: Story here, recordings here.

Hasidic women to feminists: Buzz off!

Need a smartphone as big as a mini-tablet? Here y'go! This is trend is marketing genius--like whoever it was in the 90s who figured out that people would pay for extra-large minivans. Say that to yourself, slowly...Extra-large...minivans...

Things never to say to white colleagues. I hope I'm not as tender-eared as all that--I want people to be able to relax around me!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all best for a joyous holiday and big things for the New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blame the NRA? Well....

I don't know that I would pin the totality of the blame for what is obviously a pervasive societal sickness solely on the NRA. But definitely something has curdled in our national life, in just the past few decades. Compare & contrast:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday night ADHD linklets

Silent film of 1927 Bolivian execution found, is being restored. And according to the story, the execution was a mistake.

Old photos of previously unknown Russian crown jewels found in rare book, in U.S. Geological Survey library.

"The Orleans Parish School Board "OK'd policies that prohibit the teaching of creationism or so-called 'intelligent design' in its half-dozen direct-run schools, or the purchasing of textbooks that promulgate those perspectives," according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune." Take that, Bobby Jindal!

Our ally Uzbekistan arrests Christians for meeting in "unregistered" place of worship.

Syrian Violence Becoming 'Overly Sectarian', Report Finds. Stop the presses. You only have to be aware of the Sunni-Alawi divide, and listen to the YouTube videos of the rebels Allah Akbaring, to realize that.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Stolen Child

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world`s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.
-- William Butler Yeats, The Stolen Child, 1889

News coverage of mass shootings should change

I'd be happy if the Newtown atrocity gets the news media to rethink the whole marketing model of the 24-hour news cycle. Going out in a sunburst of notoriety, thanks to an ever-on news machine waiting for fodder, must have attractions for some of these shooters. Remember how NBC obliged the Virginia Tech killer by airing his videotaped rant for him? The graph I posted previously tracks with the rise of 24 hours news programming.

How to prevent future mass shootings? I don't know. Simply wishing away guns and mental illness won't do it. But ceasing to make these killers international celebrities seems to be a good, achievable start.

Friday, December 14, 2012

School shooting at Newtown CT elementary school

No, I don't have any news, sorry. At this writing, the reports are coming in fast and conflicting, as is sadly familiar in these sadly familiar atrocities. This is the latest so far. God...

Still here? Then let me share with you this marker of societal necrosis, that I discovered with Google's Ngram Viewer. It tabulates the occurrences of words, in this case "school shooting" in books and magazines over a given period of time, in this case 200 years. (I haven't figured out what "smoothing" means yet).

In brief, in 100 years we've gone from this:

The War Department has taken an interest in a form of training which certain public schools have adopted. Acting Secretary of War Oliver has written to the governor of every Educational state asking that action be taken to put rifle practice in the public schools directly in charge of the National Guards, and urges that every boy over twelve years of age be put under instruction in the handling of firearms. Furthermore, Secretary Oliver announces that the Department will offer a trophy to be awarded to that school which shows the highest degree of efficiency in marksmanship. This trophy is to be competed for by clubs of ten boys from each school.
Shooting is recommended by the Secretary on a variety of grounds. In the first place, it is a form of exercise which gives training in accuracy. In the second place, it teaches the dangers of abuse of firearms as well as the value of their use. Finally, it is a form of training which can be taken up by each individual, rather than a form of training which can be participated in only by the few boys who are members of a limited team.

To this:

What evil spirit is abroad in our land, to impel people to these horrors?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tuesday Afternoon ADHD Linklets

As of today, there are nearly 56,000 results on Google for the phrase "Google-proof trivia".

"As management experts such as Peter Drucker have observed, the goal of a successful business must be to find and serve customers. Do that, and the numbers take care of themselves. The Hostess approach was entirely backward — meeting the numbers became Job One, and figuring out how to grow the business became Job None."

A union-built tablet? Yes...

If I was any good at song parodies, I would write a biting critique of the fiscal cliff negotiations, based on this Beatles song, and I'd call it "You Can't Do Math".

Because of tribalism, Bashir Assad has nowhere to run.

Michael Totten is off into harm's way again.

David Thompson rounds up some pithy quotes on current woes.

The war on Christians in northern Nigeria continues...and the new Syria...and flippin' Bulgaria!...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ha Ha Islamophobia

Another stiff dose of harsh reality from Pat Condell.

Cats secret life

Not nabbing many mice, in this one!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

To those who think the late election means it's time to give up: Don't!

I've been reading some quite pessimistic posts in the aftermath of the Presidential election, especially on conservative Christian blogs. After a few of them, I penned this response:

It may be best to adopt the attitude of Winston Churchill: "I am an optimist. It seems to me not much use to be anything else."

I would be dismayed to see further disengagement by Christians from society. To cite only one means of doing so, in my area private Christian schools proliferate. They cost money, and people dislocate their finances to get their kids into them, even though the actual educations are in some way no better than public schools. These students, along with their heavily involved parents, could have a great leavening effect on the wider society if they weren't cloistered away on their own. Light, bushel, and all that... Secularists are as ignorant of the Christian blessings in public life as fish are ignorant of water, and even the most radical, spotty-bearded coffeehouse subversive would miss them if they were gone. In time, if we are not too thin-skinned, we may persuade them that this is so. Sure, the light of Christ seems to shine more brightly in Kenya and South Korea these days than in the tired old First World. But I don't believe that America has bestowed her final God-given gifts on humanity just quite yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"How Free Speech Died On Campus"

An interview with free speech activist--and lifelong Democrat--Greg Lukianoff.

"The people who believe that colleges and universities are places where we want less freedom of speech have won," Mr. Lukianoff says. "If anything, there should be even greater freedom of speech on college campuses. But now things have been turned around to give campus communities the expectation that if someone's feelings are hurt by something that is said, the university will protect that person. As soon as you allow something as vague as Big Brother protecting your feelings, anything and everything can be punished."

Administrative self-interest is also at work. "There's been this huge expansion in the bureaucratic class at universities," Mr. Lukianoff explains. "They passed the number of people involved in instruction sometime around 2006. So you get this ever-renewing crop of administrators, and their jobs aren't instruction but to police student behavior. In the worst cases, they see it as their duty to intervene on students' deepest beliefs."

The trouble is that students are usually intimidated into submission. "The startling majority of students don't bother. They're too concerned about their careers, too concerned about their grades, to bother fighting back," he says. Parents and alumni dismiss free-speech restrictions as something that only happens to conservatives, or that will never affect their own children.

"I make the point that this is happening, and even if it's happening to people you don't like, it's a fundamental violation of what the university means," says Mr. Lukianoff. "Free speech is about protecting minority rights. Free speech is about admitting you don't know everything. Free speech is about protecting oddballs. It means protecting dissenters."

...bunch'a little stalins, hope I can get my children into colleges without this nonsense.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Zombieland - The Last box of Twinkies

What would you do, or what would you face, for the last twinkie on earth?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IDF Pinpoint Strike on Ahmed Jabari, Head of Hamas Military Wing

Nothing like a big helping of Roast Terrorist Surprise--easy recipe, just grease, sear and toss.

Listening to the BBC World News on my local NPR station just now, I heard the host and a guest chewing over the events. The guest dismissed the 100+ rockets launched this past week as a cause of the strike, instead blaming Israeli election season grandstanding. The proximate cause was dismissed as a mere "drizzle of rockets", which are not accurate and hardly ever kill anyone. I nearly threw up in my mouth a little, as the morality inversion this guy was lost in was like biting into a rotten fruit.

So, with higher taxes looming, will the recovery continue?

Resourceful business people will find ways to adapt and carry on. What's been spooking them thus far has been the uncertainty--will Obamacare go through or not?--because they don't want to lay out long green for much of anything, if they don't know what to plan for. There was plenty of grousing at Bill Clinton's tax hikes at the beginning of his term, but because things didn't drag on for ages the business world pulled up their socks and got used to it, producing the 90s boom. We'll just have to see if that happens in Obama's 2nd term. If formerly viable businesses get torpedoed because of Obamacare, we'll surely hear about it and have this fight again in '14.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A view from Britain

From the Telegraph, via Sense of Events:

So Europe got the American president it wanted – the one who would present no threat to its own delusions. The United States is now officially one of us: an Old World country complete with class hatred, ethnic Balkanisation, bourgeois guilt and a paternalist ruling elite. And it is locked into the same death spiral of high public spending and self-defeating wealth redistribution as we are. Welcome to the future, and the beginning of what may turn out to be the terminal decline of the West.

Sobering to think so...Of course, the British have a running head start down that road, compared to us:

Many of us still fondly imagine that we have more in common with 'our American cousins' than with our continental neighbors. It may have been true once (though I find it hard to say exactly when). But it is certainly not true now. Travel to the United States and then to the other European Union states, and you will see: The typical British family looks much more like the typical German family than the typical
American family. We eat Italian food. We watch Spanish soccer. We drive German cars. We work Belgian hours. And we buy second homes in France. Above all, we bow before central government as only true Europeans can.
-- Niall Ferguson, 2004

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday ADHD linklets

A bronze bust of Indo-British ’spy princess’ Noor Inayat Khan, who worked in France during World War II before being tortured and shot by the Germans, was unveiled in Gordon Square Gardens in London this week, near the house where she lived as a child.
It is said to be the first such memorial in Britain dedicated to a Muslim and the first in honour of an Asian woman.

Trove of World War I pictures found in a chest in France

Freeway construction digs up mammoths

Has Karl Rove shot his bolt? According to this Politico article, he's shaping up to be one of the scapegoats of Romney's loss.

Michael Totten says no shenanigans afoot in Petraeus resignation.

The election must have epochal indeed, since it drew Steven den Beste away from his anime blogging back into political commentary:

...the Democrats seem to want to destroy the US as we know it now. The catastrophe I see coming appears to be a feature, not a bug, from their point of view. That scares me most of all.

They think that Americans buy too much, own too much, use too much. They want prices to rise relative to wages so that we can't afford as much. They want to make energy expensive so that we won't use as much. Anything that they can't make expensive they'll try to ban outright, like coal.

They've already done some of that, and they want to do more. And they're willing to lie and cheat and steal to make it happen.

I think they'll succeed. But I don't think they truly understand the consequences. I don't think they know just how awful it will become.

"Live not by lies..."

At the mostly-dead pundit ranch, Orson Scott Card blames the media for shoving Obama over the finish line. Sorry, that's weak tea. There really are that many more people who believe in the direction Obama is taking the country, than otherwise. The news media is not the gatekeeper in the Information Age, the wall are down. What we saw is who we are. However, he is right on target about how Obama's gotten a pass for FEMA's bungling of Sandy, as opposed to Bush's very humanity being condemned in the wake of Cat 5 Katrina.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The decline of American leadership, viewed in the 1830s

"Many people in Europe are apt to believe without saying it, or to say without believing it, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is, that it entrusts the direction of public affairs to men who are worthy of the public confidence. They admit that the people is unable to govern for itself, but they aver that it is always sincerely disposed to promote the welfare of the State, and that it instinctively designates those persons who are animated by the same good wishes, and who are the most fit to wield the supreme authority. I confess that the observations I made in America by no means coincide with these opinions. On my arrival in the United States I was surprised to find so much distinguished talent among the subjects, and so little among the heads of the Government. It is a well authenticated fact, that at the present day the most able men in the United States are very rarely placed at the head of affairs; and it must be acknowledged that such has been the result in proportion as democracy has out stepped all its former limits. The race of American statesmen has evidently dwindled most remarkably in the course of the last fifty years." -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1838

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A cordial election...238 years ago

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them: 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against; and 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.” —John Wesley, journal entry dated October 3, 1774

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Obama Re-elected

Congratulations to the President for his re-election, and may Providence rightly guide his decisions in his second term. All our futures depend on it! I'm watching the FreeStuffians celebrate in Times Square, and am resenting it. But, there is no safer place to store popular political power than in the people themselves.

Happy election day!

For the special day, I offer you this thrilling re-cut of the greatest political rock anthem ever.  Be sure to click through and let Torghoover know how great it is.  God bless our fair Republic!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday Night ADHD Linklets

If you bought a Hyundai or Kia in the past three years, you may be eligible for a bit of cash back. This is because they overstated the vehicles' MPG, and so they are making restitution. Go to Enter your VIN number and email and you'll be sent instructions on how to apply. and are the places to go for more info.

Angkor Wat: Mystery of how temple was built may have finally been solved.

How to help Hurricane Sandy victims, without gumming up the pros' work.

WWII carrier pigeon finally delivers secret message.

I used to laugh at Konglish, until I realized that their English was streets better than my Korean was ever going to be.

I would have liked to post an appreciation of Jacques Barzun, but modesty forbids. I'm unfit to edit his drycleaning list.

Happy 6th blogoversary to Samizdata, the British libertarian blog! I really enjoy their Quotations category.

There is no bottom of the hill.

Keep On Chooglin...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Are Somalians committing voter fraud in Minnesota?

I doubt it. Or, I should say, Pics, or it didn't happen. I heard this same story in the 2000 election. Only in that case, it was supposed to be Haitian immigrants bused to inner-city Miami precincts, where they were handed multiple ballots and instructed to mark them Democrat. So this is either a Dem dirty trick of long standing, or an urban legend in a new guise. I must admit that I wouldn't be too surprised whichever one it is, given that Democrats committed voter fraud on national TV at their own convention.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Andrew Sullivan "Goes There"

But I doubt it'll stick. Mormonism is more nutty than malevolent. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, it neither slits my throat nor bombs my bus. I’d guess that black Americans have been more abused by Southern Baptists over the years than by Mormons–yet no one could seriously call Jimmy Carter racist.

No, the admittedly small percentage of black Americans who will be voting for Romney will do so because they believe his policies will revive the economy--not because they want to join his church, nor because they fear it. For many it may well be a distasteful compromise, but not so very different than others such that they've been compelled to make, in our nation's history.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend ADHD Linklets

What killed Best Buy? Apple. Although this has been coming for quite some time, for some familiar reasons.

Trove of WW II-era Spitfires could be unearthed in Burma

Some people lived next door to the most totalitarian ideology in Europe and didn't learn a thing.

This is not the Droid they're looking for.

Remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis. Screw the revisionists, who after sheltering for half a century behind American freedom and resolve, claim that there was no difference between Kennedy and Khrushchev, and it didn't matter if nuclear missiles were in Cuba or not. What celestial grandstand do they imagine that they are sitting in anyway, watching events unfold from their Olympian perch?

This planet is a girl's best friend. Oops, was that sexist?

The challenges of translating humor to other languages.

All political commentary from now until the election is going to be weaponized, created for the sake of impact only, so I'm not going to bother writing any, let alone reading much of it. The campaign is like the NBA season: Too long, but only the last four weeks will matter. Still, Roger Kimball notes an interesting curiosity here: Will we have no October Surprise this time?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cuba to end exit visa requirement

Any regime that imprisons and executes librarians is still scum.  However, this is a positive sign:

In a country of limits, it is the restriction that many Cubans hate the most: the exit visa that the government requires for travel abroad, discouraging all but the favored or fortunate from leaving the island.
Now that bureaucratic barrier is on its way out. The Cuban government announced on Tuesday that it would terminate the exit visa requirement by Jan. 14, possibly letting many more Cubans depart for vacations, or forever, with only a passport and a visa from the country where they plan to go.
The new policy — promised by President Raúl Castro last year, and finally announced in the Communist Party newspaper — represents the latest significant step by the Cuban government to answer demands for change from Cubans, without relinquishing control.

Plenty of progressives over the decades have wished for the United States to "soften" its position towards communist Cuba. This is because so many of the doddering old Reds were imprinted by El Jefe during their youth, invested so much hope in Che and Fidel and the communist dictatorship as a slap at the establishment/their parents/the system/etc. Now they can't bear to think that they will die unvindicated by history. Since the 80s, as European communism disappeared, and Chinese communism shifted gears, North Korean and Cuban communism became more merciless, although you'd never have known about Cuba, to read most news outlets. So, if a progg you know starts sighing over when will the U.S. ever "soften" its stance towards Cuba--or "the Cuban people" as he or she will likely put it--just ask in return: When will Cuba soften its position towards Cuba?

Romney Obama Debate Tonight

I've got a feeling that this election campaign is going to be like the NBA season:  only the last four weeks is going to matter.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Biden - Ryan vice-presidential debate

A draw.  I say this after having slept on it overnight, and avoiding any post-debate spin or analysis.  These debates are intended to sway the undecideds, and the people who are only now starting to pay attention to the race.  Those folks will have a hard time choosing between the strong performances offered last night.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Random Rock Bloggage

Another cover of Foreplay/Long Time, by a kid who really has some fun with it.  If you enjoy this song, go ahead and spend the eight minutes on this.

Random Rock Bloggage

A really fun amateur cover of Boston's "Foreplay / Long Time" from 2009, for those who haven't seen it, in case either of you are interested.  Best enjoyed loud, or on headphones, or both.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Yes, This Ad Is Offensive. But Free Speech Rides Public Transit, Too

Yes, This Ad Is Offensive. But Free Speech Rides Public Transit, Too

Meh.  If I have to put up with looking at leftist graffiti, other people can put up with looking at bought-and-paid-for anti-terrorism ads.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Teen Attacked By Teacher For Romney Shirt!

Yeah, likening a girl to the KKK is "just a joke".  Off to the rubber room with this teacher!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

That allegedly racially incendiary Obama speech video from 2007

Drudge, The Daily Caller, and Hannity gave this video clip of a 2007 speech a big buildup.  It will soon be seen if it will have any effect on the undecideds.  Me, I think it gives a whiff of desperation to deploy it.  If this sort of thing was going to stick, it would have stuck in the '08 campaign.  Much better to instead slam O on his record in office.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

"I’m Legally Blind, and I support Mitt Romney"

The Last Tradition: I’m Legally Blind, and I support Mitt Romney:

In response to the Obama campaign using a Down syndrome woman in an ad, this man went on the counter-offensive:

I’ve been a conservative since the days of the Iran Hostage crisis and my first vote for president was for Ronald Reagan.  He inherited a much worse economy from Jimmy Carter and never once blamed him for the mess he had to fix.  But, unlike President Obama, Reagan came into office having been a governor of a state.  He knew how to fix the problem with pro growth policies that helped create 25 million jobs.  Romney can do the same.  
President Obama is a Leftist ideologue who has no clue how the economy runs other than taxing the private sector to increase the size and scope of government.  President Obama measures America’s greatness by how many people get a government check as opposed to a private sector job.  That’s his vision and it’s wrong for America.  He prefers giving out 16 million free cells phones instead creating 16 million jobs. President Obama is not a leader. He’s an aggregator of government power who offers false hopes for the millions he misleads. People are hurting because of him and that’s why he needs to go. I may be legally blind, I see well enough to know he’s wrong for the country.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mark Steyn: Obama a better president of the future

Mark Steyn: Obama a better president of the future | future, belong, obama - Opinion - The Orange County Register

In this article in the OCR, Steyn riffs on the notion of President Obama as being so enraptured of the Golden Future, that present necessity quite escapes his notice.  It's smashingly witty, as all Steyn's stuff is, but it put me in mind of this old Belmont Club post by Richard Fernandez, under his old nom de blogue Wretchard.  It seemed to me amazingly perceptive at the time, and still does, and so I once again offer these extracts:

[The Internationale] set the theme which was to endure for more than a hundred years: that the familiar world is not worth fighting for. Only the unseen tomorrow gives life any meaning. ... From its earliest inception, the Left cried that the world was not good enough. It held that any attempts to find happiness in the present were not only doomed, but immoral. ... What they forgot to add was that the world would never be good enough. That not a single Marxist state ever managed to provide either the food or electricity in adequate quantities remained beside the point. Shortages were always in the present and the present was unimportant anyway. When capitalism provided wealth in quantities that Lenin could only dream of, then food and electricity themselves became hated in turn, the way starvation once was. ... 
Lenin's future was attractive only for so long as it didn't exist and was legitimate only when its promises were not provided by capitalism. John Buchan could tell his son, when he wrote "Memory Hold The Door", which described friends who died in the Great War, that "they held up the world for you". But a true Leftist could only ever dream of boasting to his progeny that 'I tore down the world for you'. ...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fatwa on the permissibility of killing of American ambassadors

At the invaluable Jihadica blog, Joas Wagemakers parses a fatwa by an imam named Abu l-Mundhir al-Shinqiti. He does a fine job of explaining the "reasoning" behind the statement, but it boils down to this:

“Killing all American ambassadors and destroying all American embassies won’t quench our thirst for those who have attacked the sanctity of our Prophet”, al-Shinqiti states. Muslims should therefore not show sympathy for the American ambassador and the other diplomats killed in Libya, as many did, and neither should they call for non-violence, as other Muslim scholars have done. Instead, al-Shinqiti insists, the proper response to the film is “to attack [American] interests, to attack their security, to attack their existence and to attack their economy because this is the language they understand”.

It's only one fatwa by one person, of course. But the justification is out there, for jihadists needing any further goad.

Andy Williams RIP - Moon River 1960's performance

Used to enjoy his show, growing up...RIP...& thanks for the memories...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Night ADHD Linklets

World War II commando finally gets his Bronze Star

Track your very own great white shark from your computer.

Fun with Google, for lovers of serendipity: Go to Google Images search, and type in the year of your birth (or marriage, or graduation). Then type in the county (or province) you were born or raised in. Then see if there are any interesting pictures in the results. This one came up in my results--although I'm not from there, and I'm not that old!

New Evidence of Neolithic Dentistry

Previously undiscovered Edward Hopper painting surfaces

World's first color movie reconstructed. Tykes look like they could have been filmed yesterday.

A recording of William Jennings Bryan denouncing corporate financing of elections--100 years ago.

One of my recent Motifakes.

Nigeria: Catholic cathedral in Bauchi bombed in second attack on Christians in the space of a week. And the U.S. MSM would report it, if only there were Christians fighting back. Then they could avoid judgements and just report a "cycle of violence".

Did dinosaurs swim?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Should we have the right to disobey Islamic law?

Over at Hot Air, Laura Curtis is dismayed to ponder that it has lately become an open question.

Liberals don’t care about protecting the tender feelings of the religious, as evidenced by decades of offenses against Christians and every other faith. They are simply afraid of a group who is willing to kill because they’re offended. And what liberals are really saying, if they were honest, is that we have a moral obligation to obey Islamic law in order to prevent more bloodshed.

They are saying that non-Muslims, living in non-Muslim countries, should voluntarily adhere to Muslim law.

These same people who scream like a goth in the sun at the sight of a nativity scene on public property, are suggesting that non-Muslim governments should use their non-Muslim citizens’ tax dollars to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws.

That’s insane.

I would only object that libs are afraid of more than being killed by RoPers, although that's in the back of everyone's mind. They are also afraid, and possibly more consciously afraid, of having their heads explode figuratively as well as literally. That is, they are loathe to undergo the painful self-examination that might disabuse them of their treasured fixations: To be brown foreign and angry at America is to be right by definition, the straight white male conservative taxpayer is the root of all evil, America deserves every terrorist attack that happens, and so forth. To abandon these notions, and actually take the side of the United States against a foreign enemy--hell, to even acknowledge that in the hippy-dippy happy-clappy multi-culti world of their imagination we even have enemies--would cause too much psychic indigestion for them to bear.

Conservatives are more charitable than liberals

Over at Chicago Boyz, Shannon Love takes another look at the 2007 book Who Really Cares, which marshals facts and figures to show that conservatives give more to charity than liberals do.

It has always been a great puzzle to Leftists why their compassionate programs don’t seem to transform the poor into paragons of virtue. Perhaps it has something to do with welfare subsidizing irresponsible, self-destructive behaviors while at the same Leftists telling the poor that nothing in their lives is their fault and by extension nothing that happens to them is under their control. Leftists’ rationales for welfare create recipients who exhibit a dangerous mix of feeling helpless combined with a profound sense of entitlement. The working poor know better. The school of hard knocks is the best teacher.

Of particular interest to me is that Brooks carefully controls for all variables that might skew the relationship between religion, politics and giving. For example, by reflex Leftists claim that Brooks is counting Religious-Conservatives’ tithes to churches which Leftists argue is more akin to paying country club dues than charity. Nope, he corrected for that. Religious-Conservatives still give a higher percentage of their time and money to purely secular charities.

Brooks also accounts for race, ethnicity, and any other factor you could think of. It all comes out the same. Secular-Leftists fall far short of Religious-Conservatives when it comes to donating their own time and money to help others.

As for the church tithes, many of those, in mainstream denominations at least, go to the churches' well-run disaster relief organizations. Check my link farm to the right and click through to sites like UMCOR and Mennonite Disaster Service, for instance. The next time I see the Bertrand Russell Society out helping tornado victims will be the first time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Libyan crowd was trying to save Ambassador Stevens

I thought so when I saw those photos. But here's confirmation, via Michael Totten.

Video taken by al-Bakoush and posted on YouTube shows Stevens being carried out of a dark room through a window with a raised shutter by a crowd of men. “The man is alive. Move out of the way,” others shout. “Just bring him out, man.”

“Move, move, he is still alive!”

“Alive, Alive! God is great,” the crowd erupts, while someone calls to take Stevens to a car.

This restores my faith in human nature, to a degree visible to the naked eye. It would just curdle my soul, not for the first time these past eleven years, to think of Muslim mobs exulting over the corpses of Americans who came to help them. So, Libya stays in the Good column, for now. They've got a steep slog ahead of them though, trying to stay out of Al Qaeda Maghreb's clutches while trying to build a civic society from scratch. If they succeed, that'll be one good legacy of Ambassador Stevens' work there.

Romney gaffe?

No. It's just that awkward feeling that descends, when a politician inadvertently tells the truth about something, especially about the public. That's what's getting everyone's hackles up.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rick Santorum: "Smart People Will Never Be on Our Side"

Rick Santorum: "Smart People Will Never Be on Our Side"

Over at LGF, Charles Johnson pounces on what he takes to be a self-damning gaffe by Rick Santorum.  But it's obvious to most, and if there had been video included it would be obvious to all--that Santorum was speaking derisively of progressives' image of themselves.  To imagine oneself to be a lone, desperate voice of sanity, crying out in the midst of a world of unthinking knuckle-draggers, is not without its appeal, to certain personalities. Yes, the "values" set-list gets to seem like a distraction, frequently. But without a sub-set of the population with a firm grounding in morals and liberty, smart people may become misled into thinking that this is a good idea:

And we sure wouldn't want that to happen, now would we?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Enforcing Islamic Blasphemy Laws in California.

Go read Reynolds. Now.

When taking office, the President does not swear to create jobs. He does not swear to “grow the economy.” He does not swear to institute “fairness.” The only oath the President takes is this one:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
-- Glenn Reynolds, Why Barack Obama Should Resign

Enforcing sharia anti-blasphemy laws in California? I'm tempted to curse my eyes, for allowing me to see this sight in my own, my own, my own native country.

Mitt Romney Rap

So, have you seen an anti-Mitt Romney rap delivered by a WWII Flying Fortress veteran today? Yes? Well, this one's cooler! This dude's 87, and I don't even care about his political opinion. I just hope I'm that lively and adventurous at his age--heck, I hope I'm that way if I get to within twenty years of his age!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DNC apology for backdrop of Russian ships - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

DNC apology for backdrop of Russian ships - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Very embarrassing.  Their graphic arts supplier must not be used to military themes, or else doesn't bother to pay close attention to what Google Images brings up in a search.  Thank goodness this didn't happen during the Cold War, or the Dem candidate would have been sunk.  "Sunk", ha!  See what I did there?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 did not change me

Over at PJMedia Lifestyle, Dave Swindle asks how 9/11 changed you. My answer, also to be found in the comments there, is that it didn't:

9/11 did not change me politically. I had long been alternately skeptical of and disgusted with the Western Left, ever since I absorbed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago one summer in high school. And I had long followed the dreary litany of Islamic terrorism, bombings and hijackings, from the 70s onwards. When 9/11 happened, I knew before hearing any announcement that it was probably Osama bin Laden, because he was responsible for the attacks on the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. I had visited Kenya before, and loved the warm friendly people there, so that attack was doubly atrocious to me. On 9/11, watching Muslims party in the streets, and proggs exclaim “How terrible! But…” simply confirmed me more solidly in my opinions. I will never forget or forgive the jihadists, nor how proggs insinuated--or proclaimed--that America deserved 9/11. I've made it a rule to reject with great force the national security advice of such people in the years since.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

DRIVING MRS. SATAN - Never say die - Black sabbath cover

Have you heard an exceptionally lovely acoustic rearrangment of an especially lethal metal song today?  Yes?  Well, this one's better!

02 Take your Hand Out of My Pocket Van Morrison At The Rainbow Theatre

This is what conservatives are saying to Sandra Fluke, and indeed to all proggs.  (Double-posted because I decided I liked Van Morrison's version better.)

Sonny Boy Williamson II Take Your Hands Out Of My Pockets

This is what conservatives are saying to Sandra Fluke.  What she does with her body is of no concern to me, otherwise.

The MEMRI 9/11 Project

Since September 11, 2001, The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has been following, and documenting, content from the Middle East and South Asia media on the attacks of that day. Many of the initial reactions in these media – from prominent journalists, academics, politicians, and leading religious figures, as well as from officials in the governments of Arab countries – centered on conspiracy theories implicating the Jews, Israel and/or the Mossad; President Bush, Vice President Cheney, the CIA, the FBI, and/or the National Security Council; Christians and/or the Vatican; the U.K.; white supremacist groups; and others.
To visit the MEMRI 9/11 page, click here.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Voter fraud? Yes, and at their own convention!

"Even though the no's were again as loud if not louder than the aye's on the third vote, Villaraigosa said he had determined that two thirds of those present had voted in favor. Boos filled the arena in response."

Now tell us again how there is no Democrat voter fraud in this country.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Late night ADHD linklets

"The Navy SEAL Foundation says it will not accept any donations generated by the memoir, "No Easy Day," which the Pentagon says likely contains classified information that could put military personnel at risk."

Southern schools dominate list of best colleges for free speech.

Archeologists from the University of Leicester have found the long-lost Church of the Grey Friars – the last known resting place of Richard III.

"Creationism has no predictive ability or qualities, so it is not scientifically useful. Evolution allows us to understand how living things came to be as we see them today and as they were in both the distant and recent past. It allows us to predict the fate and behavior of populations,"

Paleoart: The prehistoric world's most epic predators

Are dinosaurs still cool?

The center of our galaxy has a pigtail.

Christians attacked in Kenya, in India, in Egypt

Did they really discover the Higgs boson?

Random Rock Bloggage

So I see in the entertainment news that Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is slagging fellow 90s rockers Soundgarden, for hitting the revival road only for the money. I don't know much about 90s rock, I admit. The stuff was mostly one long expectoration to my classic rock ears, at the time. But does Mr. Corgan truly not realize how limited a shelf life most bands have? Or how shallow a creative well? Ancient bands like The Who or The Rolling Stones can still sell out big halls, if not arenas. But probably there's barely one fan in a hundred who came to hear their latest songs. People want to hear music that made impressions on them, at the most impressionable, memorable times of their youths. Time boils all artists down to their essentials, and these endure. Bands that don't have any essentials just effervesce down to nothing. Who listens to The Critters, The Shadows, Black Pearl, Bloodrock, anymore? If a band has achieved something that endures, that deserves to be celebrated--and rewarded.

And what's wrong with money? Is there some rock music rule that you have to spend your career living in a van, with no prospects beyond the next gig or studio date? Rock's promise of eternal youth was exploded long ago--let rockers be adults!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Pakistan is "decaying"

This brave article deserves wide exposure. Unfortunately, posting a link on my blog is the best I can do.

A decaying state kills its minorities

Most Muslims hold that violation of some human rights takes place because of the tough living conditions and poverty in the country. The view displays all the collective blind spots about human rights. It presumes certain conditions to exist against objective evidence to the contrary. It talks about the minorities in Pakistan without being aware of their view of how they are being treated. Under the present PPP government a Christian federal minister has been killed by Punjabi Taliban in broad daylight in Islamabad.

Today in 2012, you have TV anchors saying more or less the same thing: Muslims themselves are being maltreated, so the persecution of non-Muslims cannot be blamed on them. Going on a tangent, they allude to the Rohingya Muslims of Burma about whom the rascally foreign-funded NGOs have done nothing. (In Burma, the NGOs protesting Rohingya rights are savagely suppressed by the Burmese ruling junta.) The ominous sign in Pakistan is that the majority Muslim community is completely inured against what the minorities are going through.

Remember, you can go to Google's news aggregator and search keywords Christians Attacked, no quotation marks. A theme will emerge...

Chris Matthews is losing credibility on race

Yes, even in 2012, there is still a lot of hatefulness out there. But, as has been said elseweb, if you're constantly hearing "dog whistles", that chiefly means that you're the dog.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Van Morrison!

David Thompson -- His Greatest Hits

Culture and ideas blogger David Thompson, whom you may click through to here or over there in my blogroll, had recently put together a meta tag for some of his best old posts. This was kindly done at my request, at the cost of quite some time. He then informed me of his favorite brand of spirits, to which I reply that he really ought to put this greatest hits link in his list of categories, on his sidebar. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crossroads Generation - "The Poster"

Late night ADHD linklets

This Long-Lost Nintendo Knitting Machine Would Have Let You Make Sweaters With Your NES

She said: 'We got talking about skulls and the next day he turned up with this skull. He said it was Ned Kelly's skull, and told me to "put it in the bottom of your bag and wrap it up".'

Astronomers observe waves of gravity in space-time itself

Genome of mysterious extinct human completed, scientists say

CIA balked at chance to kill bin Laden in ’99, Polish ex-spy says

Taqiyya, Iranian style...

Compare and contrast:

Iran's Khamenei: Nuclear arms use "unforgivable"

UN nuclear agency confirms Iran has shrouded site, says its probe ‘significantly’ hampered

Lying to infidels is permitted under their version of Islam, remember.

Bruce Springsteen is "Howard Zinn with a guitar"

Washington Diarist | The New Republic

Leon Wieseltier labels The Boss thusly in the above-linked article.  This is of course incorrect.  Bruce Springsteen is "Studs Terkel with a guitar."  He was the prominent Chicago journalist and radioman, and prolific compiler of hard luck stories for book publication. For him the year was forever 1930, just as for modern radicals the year is forever 1968, and for Springsteen it is forever the recession year of 1974.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Booming Business of...Creationism?

Alarmingly, yes!

The New Jersey group behind the website Creation Science Hall of Fame is putting its efforts into opening a brick and mortar creationist attraction along Interstate 75 in northern Kentucky, according to the Courier-Journal.

Progress in Kentucky will be determined by how much and how quickly the group can raise capital through donations. Terry Hurlbut, secretary and treasurer of the group, told the Courier-Journal that they're hoping to raise $2 to $3 million to begin construction. [...]

Answers in Genesis, the group behind the Creation Museum, is planning an equally ambitious exhibit named Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed amusement park complete with a 500-foot by 80-foot depiction of Noah's ark.

Though the Creation Museum saw a dip in attendance last year to 280,000, down from 404,000 visitors when it opened in 2007, the group was still able to obtain $43 million in tax breaks from the state of Kentucky based on projected attendance.

In the same year, nearly $50 million in funding was cut from public education in Kentucky, notes Forbes.

funny gifs

Sookie takes a good gander at the future of science education in America.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Glenn Greenwald on MSNBC

From The Guardian earlier last week...too late to leave a comment at the article, so thought I'd blog it here.

All of that is fine and largely unobjectionable: given Fox's existence, there's no reason Democrats shouldn't have their own television gathering place, for the sake of balance if nothing else.

Eh? The Democrats have every other network, don't they? MSNBC is just more open about it. Collar any journalist at any non-Fox network and ask them: What party did you vote for in the last ten elections? Or if they're too young, ask them what party did their J-school professor vote for? It'll be either the Democrats, or something even further Left. This is of course not to say that there is some liberal conspiracy, or that liberals can't be good journalists. It's just simply to observe the otherwise noncontroversial fact that birds of a feather flock together.

They flock together so much so that perceptions sometimes get warped. Let there be one non-liberal TV news channel (Fox). Let there be one non-liberal national newspaper editorial page (The Wall Street Journal). Let there be one predominantly conservative pre-digital media format (talk radio). What does that mean in the minds of liberals, to have these conservative outposts existing? Why, it means that liberals just can't get their message out! Vilification and de-legitimization of the non-conforming voices must commence, over and above any disagreements over matters of actual fact. And that is an early warning sign of the fabled "totalitarian temptation", when you feel threatened if your opinion isn't held unanimously. In dictatorships, the line must always be unanimous.

Pakistani Christians attacked during a land grab

Pakistani Christians attacked during a land grab

If you search Christians Attacked, no quotation marks, in google's news aggregator, you will almost always come up with a story about Christians being brutalized by Muslims in Pakistan.  This is why I have no patience for American Muslims whining about how oppressed they are in the U.S.  "The tree is known by its fruit."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Creationist groups deletes unbiblical passages from Bible

From the Patheos blog...a super satire by James F. McGrath

At their 2025 annual meeting, a well-known young-earth creationist organization decided to finally take the step of removing Genesis 1-3 from their canon of Scripture.
“It was long overdue,” said the organization’s longstanding president (who changed his name to an unprintable squiggle after discovering that his surname referred to a meat outlawed in the Bible). “We accepted Genesis 1-3 for a long time, emphasizing that it doesn’t mention evolution. But recently, it was drawn to our attention that neither is it as staunchly anti-evolution as we expect from a truly Christian text. Most of our arguments, in fact, are absent from Genesis 1-3. And so we had to draw the conclusion that it was an inadequate depiction that does not deserve to be considered inerrant Scripture – unlike our own writings on this topic.”

When asked for examples, he listed the following: “It never mentions God making the 2nd chromosome in human beings look like it resulted from the fusion of two chromosomes inherited from a primate ancestor, to test our faith. It never mentions God creating starlight en route to Earth 6,000 years ago. It even uses ambiguous language, sounding as though it could be saying that God commanded the Earth and sea to bring forth life, rather than creating them directly. And in Genesis 2:2, the literal wording talks of a day in which God made the heavens and the earth. Being at odds with our literal six-day creationism, we decided to remove it from our Scripture, lest anyone be confused by it or led into error.”

At the same annual meeting, the organization also decided to change the name of their organization to Answers in Genesis 4-50.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Who is ever going to undo the damage wrought by creationist science education?  Bill Nye reassures his audience that creationism will fade over time.  But now it seems to be in flood tide, as more and more parents reject science and get their legislators to do so also.  Whatever follows, it probably won't be like creationism was never here.

Help fight the fight by staying up to date at watchdog sites like, for instance, The Panda's Thumb.  Although I notice that there is too much going on for them to keep up with anymore.  You can make a newsfeed for "creationism" with Google's news aggregator, also.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michael Mann defamation lawsuit against National Review

Being likened to Jerry Sandusky is fightin' words, whether or not it's legally actionable. I've always admired and enjoyed Mark Steyn, but I think he stepped in it this time, as anyone who runs his mouth for a living will inevitably do, occasionally.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Louisiana's Loch Ness mythology" | NCSE

"Louisiana's Loch Ness mythology" | NCSE

Dear God, the poor Louisiana children...It's like there's a rebellion against rationality convulsing the country, when it comes to evolution.  Dear fellow Christians:  Think of all the love and blessings and favor you have experienced in your lives.  Do you really think that's all going to just poof and go away, because evolution is true?  Honor the Bible, but don't worship it!  Worship belongs to God only!

Virginia Dare at 425 years old

August 18th is the 425th birthday of Virginia Dare, the first infant born to English parents in North America. She vanished along with the rest of the Roanoke Colony, her fate as unknown as the rest.

If she survived into adulthood, she might have intermarried with the Indians along the coast. Centuries later, her descendants might have intermarried with the runaway slaves, who sought shelter among the Indians in the coastal swamps and forests. So, if she has any descendants in the present day, they would most probably self-identify as black. So, why her name was appropriated by certain white supremacists for their website, I don't know. They probably didn't think it through that far. Seems like a cosmic joke to me, though.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Internet Hates Progressive Insurance.. But Should It?

Reblogged from The Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog.  This guy sound knowledgeable, and so it might be worthwhile to read this and see if there's more to the story than has come out in the blogosphere so far:
The Internet Hates Progressive Insurance.. But Should It?

An email he received from Progressive is here.

Still no answer to why Progressive was litigating against their own customer, though.  Bad, bad, bad visuals, that. I've had to leg-wrestle with my own insurance companies several times, but it was usually due to simple muddle & not malice. Glad I've been spared this scenario...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Swiss Member of Parliament Has Had Enough!

I'm actually proud that Bill Clinton saved those Yugoslav Muslims from extermination, but other than that this is spot on.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Random Rock Bloggage

I completely missed news of the passing of hard rock keyboardist Jon Lord, a couple of weeks ago.  RIP to him, and thanks to his shade for all the great thrills!  Here's a quote, from guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, about the Deep Purple song "Highway Star":

"Jon Lord worked his part out to mine. Initially, I was going to play my solo over the chords he had planned out.  But I couldn't get off on them, so I made up my own chords and we left the spot for him to write a melody.  The keyboard solo is quite a bit more difficult than mine because of all those 16th notes. Over the years, I've always played that solo note for note--again, one of the few where I've done that--but it just got faster and faster onstage because we would drink more and more whiskey.  Jon would have to play his already difficult part faster and faster and he would get very annoyed about it."
        -- Ritchie Blackmore

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jesse Jackson at Wisconsin Sikh temple?

I was watching CNN this morning, and they were interviewing members of the Sikh temple which was attacked by a white supremacist. In a few shots I saw Jesse Jackson in a black do-rag. Why in the world is the old camera whore crashing in on the Sikh's grief? Other than that he's an old camera whore, I know that much, having observed him photo-bombing various events since the 80s.

Related story here. Still wonder who invited him.

Here are some photos I took of Jackson when he came to town in 1995, to protest Republican electoral victories in Congress.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Viking Pundit: Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies ...

Eric the Viking Pundit pens one of his rare long-form expositions, and it's an opposite field, upper deck home run:

Viking Pundit: Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies ...: Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies too Living in Massachusetts, I'm not accustomed to the barrage of political ads that mus...

The poor Sikhs...

Brutalized by a racist skinhead--his military service is beside the point.

I remember in the weeks after 9/11, bumping into some Sikhs. One was an elderly shopkeeper, who had a big patriotic sign about Sikh-Americans behind his counter. Another was working the deli counter at a boutique grocery. He had an American flag sticker on his food service cap. Just tonight I transacted some business with a Sikh woman--so I surmised from her surname. I should have said something....

Wisconsin Sikh Temple Gunman Was Not A “Crazy Vet”

Wisconsin Gunman Was Not A “Crazy Vet”

Over at ROK Drop, GI Korea fillets the emerging news media narrative.  It's still early, with many details yet to emerge.  But, just as with the Tea Party smear in the Aurora theater shooting, it's vital to keep the journalists honest, no matter how hard certain memes fit their presuppositions.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Actual justice needn't wait on cosmic justice

Adam Wheeler Went to Harvard | Jim Newell | The Baffler

In brief, someone profited by committing fraud against Harvard University, and this publication objects to Harvard seeking restitution and punishment.  The author presents what he imagines are hypocrisy-illustrating examples of larger crimes going unpunished.  To which I say, "Everybody does it" is an adolescent's argument.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Silence

Olympic Silence

"This is a crucial moment where the Olympic committee needs to stand up and prevent its descent into folly. This is not an internal Israeli matter, nor about political posturing or revenge. It is about doing justice to the memory of 11 men who came in peace and went home in coffins. The victims were killed not on the streets of Tel Aviv, nor accidental tourists at Munich. Rather they were members of the Olympic family, murdered inside the Olympic village as participants in the Games. It was an onslaught against the entire Olympic ideal.

"I do not cast the charge of "anti-Semitism" lightly. If the slain athletes had been American, British, or Palestinian for that matter, does anyone doubt that the Olympic Committee would hold a fitting memorial tribute? Why did the opening ceremonies include mentions of the Bosnian War in 1996, and the 2002 Games opened with a minute of silence for victims of 9/11?  Why, when it comes to Israel, does all the talk about "brotherhood" and "unity" seem to fall by the wayside?"

Vouchers for creationism in Louisiana? | NCSE

Vouchers for creationism in Louisiana? | NCSE

Not only this, but Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is cutting state funds for library technology in rural parishes.  Somebody is stuck on stupid in that state!  If he is Romney's veep pick, that will give me serious, serious pause about voting the GOP ticket in November.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Everything I Own - Bread.wmv

A small tribute to the victims of the Aurora theater massacre.  Blinking back tears, just reposting this clip.

Aurora theater victims tribute Sunday morning on CNN

So sad watching the victims' stories on CNN. We are promised eternity, but we are not promised tomorrow...

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Rick Moran is unsatisfied with the variety and quality of commentary emerging in the aftermath of the Aurora Batman movie theatre shooting. The diagnosis is simple: He's become jaded and desensitized. Our poor powers of expression are overtaxed by events like this. Mute shock dampens the wit. People try to make sense of things, and they fly to what is familiar and what seems true, rather than devising rhetorical novelties. Doesn't make for bracing reading, but maybe punditry isn't the first thing one should look for in times like this, in the first place.

It is not our friends' help that helps us, so much as the confident knowledge that they will help.
-- Epicurus

Friday, July 20, 2012

Aurora Colorado Shooting

Can't really say anything other than how horrible it is. I've been abroad else-web today, sharing sympathy, and snapping back at proggs who tried to pin this on the Tea Party or the NRA. But my heart just goes out to the families who have suffered so much today, and will continue to do so.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A blogroll at last!

I finally took the time and effort to figure out how to turn on Blogger's blogroll, and added the first couple of dozen blogs I could think of offhand. I'll be adding more later, as I'm sure I'm overlooking some favorites. Thanks to Eric at Viking Pundit for the pointers.


Some old offerings of mine elseweb seem to have undergone obliteration by the website proprietor. Well, sic transit gloria mundi... I spent many enjoyable hours there over the course of the Aughties, but I was becoming a bad fit by the time I stopped participating. Just wasn't as P.O.ed as much as many of the others, I guess. Plus I had recently been banned at Little Green Footballs, and didn't feel like sticking around for that scenario to unfold again. Never did make any comment about it, prior to this, just faded away. I'm still pecking away at this blog, but I've been putting my heart into commenting here and there around the web, here and here and here for example. I find that I prefer being the fellow who's too conservative, rather than the one who's not conservative enough, and so I gravitate towards online communities where discussion and disagreement over a broad spectrum of opinion are tolerated. I not infrequently get censored at the proggish sites, but hey! Only n00bs whine about the moderators. And I'm not about to start now.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Creationism amok

Creationism is starting to break out.
Creationists to open free school school in Britain.

British National Trust includes creationist content in welcome center at Giants Causeway.

Erskine College has to defy Presbyterian convention, exclude creationism from curriculum.

Several state Republican platforms endorse creationism.

South Korean creationists force removal of evolution from curriculum.

I haven't seen anything lately, but creationism is rampant in the Islamic world too, especially in Turkey.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Never thought I’d see this day: Reflecting on queen’s historic meeting with ex-IRA commander

Never thought I’d see this day: Reflecting on queen’s historic meeting with ex-IRA commander

I very much hope that this is the seal upon which a lasting peace will be made.  Exhaustion, not victory, has been the outcome in Northern Ireland, and it's time to draw a line under The Troubles and move on.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday ADHD linklets

So Orbitz is steering Mac users to pricier hotel rooms? Or something like that? Maybe I can revive my old Micron PC, when next I go shopping for lodging.

June was the bloodiest month so far, in Boko Haram's jihadist attacks on Nigeria's northern Christians. Damn the evil Saudi wahabbists, who exported this murderous militantism to Islamic communities around the world.

Climate scientists are receiving some ugly harassment these days. Via The Week, who provide a pithy synopsis. You don't have to be a civilization-hating greenie to deplore things like this. I myself accept the prevailing scientific consensus, that global warming is real, artificial, growing, and a menace. I tend to trust the power of aggregate knowledge. When researchers in widely separate fields find evidence pointing to the same phenomenon, that's not to be cried down as a conspiracy, human nature doesn't work that way. The much ballyhooed corrections to this or that observation, which are seized upon as evidence of AGW's falsity? They all come from climate scientists, engaging in normal scientific self-scrutiny--not from deniers. I do mistrust leftists, hoping to gain control of the means of economic production via science, which they couldn't via democracy or revolution. But I'll trust the scientists much more than I will them, or the deniers.

Guadalcanal veteran has lost dog tags returned to him by Aussie soldier. What a nice surprise for an old hero.

Loch Ness Monster used by fundamentalist schools as evidence of creationism. Dear God, please make the shtoopid go away. Person for person, fundies are among the most honest, upright, trustworthy, and patriotic people in the country. If only they could be made to understand that the Bible is not God!.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Activists Take Out Frustration on ... Ronald Reagan

Classless...just like the adolescents in Clinton's White House who vandalized the place in advance of handing off to Bush.
Activists Take Out Frustration on ... Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Gay marriage

There's an air of inevitability about it now, even though it's being imposed by judicial fiat & not by democracy. We're in uncharted waters. What will the future look like, with the former building block of society and transmitter of civilization being joined by multiple forms of unions, whose primary purpose is to gratify the partners' appetites? It's not such a tremendous leap from where we are now, of course, not in these days where a "family" is simply any group of people who share sweet feelings and a refrigerator. Still, this is going to be very new and different.

Creationism in South Korea

Once again, they copy some of our worst attributes...

"South Korea surrenders to creationist demands: Publishers set to remove examples of evolution from high-school textbooks."

Mention creationism, and many scientists think of the United States, where efforts to limit the teaching of evolution have made headway in a couple of states1. But the successes are modest compared with those in South Korea, where the anti-evolution sentiment seems to be winning its battle with mainstream science. [...] Even the nation’s leading science institute — the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — has a creation science display on campus. “The exhibition was set up by scientists who believed in creation science back in 1993,” says Gab-duk Jang, a pastor of the campus church. The institute also has a thriving Research Association for Creation Science, run by professors and students, he adds.

Proof that having a thoroughly educated, thoroughly modern, thoroughly First World society is no shield against scientific folly.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Theodore Roosevelt on the incompatibility of Islam and Western values

It is utterly impossible to appreciate social values at all or to discriminate between what is socially good and socially bad unless we appreciate the utterly different social values of different wars. The Greeks who triumphed at Marathon and Salamis did a work without which the world would have been deprived of the social value of Plato and Aristotle, of Aeschylus, Herodotus, and Thucydides. The civilization of Europe, America, and Australia exists today at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization, because of victories stretching through the centuries from the days of Miltiades and Themistocles to those of Charles Martel in the eighth century and those of John Sobieski in the seventeenth century. During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier and the Polish king the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors; and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today nobody can find in them any " social values" whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influence and the decaying native Christian churches are concerned. There are such "social values" today in Europe, America, and Australia only because during those thousand years the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do, that is, to beat back the Moslem invader. It is of course worth while for sociologists to discuss the effect of this European militarism on "social values," but only if they first clearly realize and formulate the fact that if the European militarism had not been able to defend itself against and to overcome the militarism of Asia and Africa, there would have been no "social values" of any kind in our world today, and no sociologists to discuss them.
-- Theodore Roosevelt, "Social Values and National Existence", Papers and Proceedings of the American Sociological Society, vols 9-10, 1916

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

"If I wanted America to fail"

Life of Julia ad campaign

It's so insipid that The New Yorker likens it to paper dolls, Chutes and Ladders, and gasp inspired by the aesthetics of USA Today. The New Yorker is by no stretch conservative, but they've always had a superior sense of style, and Life Of Julia's style rubs them the wrong way.