Friday, February 27, 2009

Blog of the Moment: Pro Libertate

"At this very moment, the President of the United States is announcing a New Age of Space to relieve unemployment. Billions of dollars are going to be spent on unmanned space ships, just to make work. The opening episode in this New Age of Space will be the firing of the Whale next Tuesday. The Whale ... will be loaded with organ-grinder monkeys, and will be fired in the general direction of Mars." - From The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Well, why not? If the secret to prosperity is simply to permit the government to spend money it doesn't have in any quantity our rulers can name on any project that pollutes their evil imaginations, why shouldn't they commission the construction of a huge fleet of spacecraft to be filled with organ-grinder monkeys and dispatched into the void?
-Space Keynesianism

Pro Libertate

At work this week a co-worker was discussing his various jobs over the years, inclucing cop and service in the military.

"Which branch of the military were you in?" someone asked.

"The Air Force and the Army. Did I fly in the Air Force? No. Did I fly in the Army? Yes. Figure that one out."

"What else did you do?"

"I was an organ grinder...and a monkey."

"Still are!" came a shout from the other side of the room.

Too Tired

I'm too tired to write a post. It requires thinking, you see, and how can you think when ALL you can think about is having your head hit that pillow again? I was going to write on near death experiences based on some nonsense I saw at a Christian website (the nonsense was not NDEs themselves-though the experiences may not be "real"-but the attempt to make them fit into an insane worldview) but that's too much thinking at the moment, and anything I tried to compose would be incoherent (though perhaps that's your view of much of what I write anyway). No, just too tired, but I am trying to post everyday now (bar unforeseen circumstances) and don't want my legions of fans, followers and return visitors to see me slacking. So this is what you get. If I didn't have to work and meet obligations to family and friends and if...if I didn't have to sleep...but I do...right now, in fact, a few more hours anyway...goodnight and good morning.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Last Dishonest Pizza?

It was supposed to be a casserole of some sort for dinner last night (I never did find out what it was exactly) but my mom (I was visiting) changed her mind when the casserole started to burn. She had not checked on it and the oven temperature was set too high. I thought it would be fine, but no, she decided we would have pizza instead. She had asked earlier in the day for a "self-rising" frozen pizza. It was on her list that she sent dad and me with to the supermarket.

Dad said it was too expensive, so he didn't get one. Mom asked first thing when we returned where her pizza was. Didn't have enough in my account, said dad, without mentioning the big bag of marbles he'd purchased (something about a slingshot and squirrels). So the old casserole went in the oven (and it was old, prepared who knows when and then left in the freezer for who knows how long). But 425 degrees was too much for it. Dad said he'll have it tomorrow though. In the meantime Mom got on the phone and called the local Round Table just down the street, the one where she has a take-out pizza account (so she says). I could hear her from the living room as she ordered, asking the order-taking girl what specials they had going. A large (in Round Table speak "large" means "a very small pizza that no other pizza place would dare call large for fear of customer riots") pepperoni, two salads and two drinks was agreed on and Mom gave the girl her debit card number. After about 20 minutes Mom was pacing and looking out the window, then she opened the front door. Get ready, she declared, it's going to be here any second! When the seconds and then minutes passed without a delivery, Mom got on the phone. The girl told her the card was no good (invalid number) and Mom shouted at her to hold on a minute, it was good. It's my account I just deposited money into, of course it's good. Turns out though that Mom had read the card number wrong. Well, you should have called me and told me the card didn't go through, I've been here waiting with the front door open for the last hour! Girl claims she called. Liar! says Mom. Did you hear a phone ring? Dad and I shake our heads, as indeed we hadn't heard a phone ring at all, and there are phones all over the house, but nary a peep out of them.

"How can they lie like that?" Still, she put the order in again. When the food finally arrived, Mom had a little talk with the delivery guy, who sounded apologetic from what I could hear of the conversation.

The two salads were supposed to come with dressing.
"Where's the dressing?" She ran back outside and shouted to the retreating pizza man that the dressing was missing. "I'll call later for a freebie!" she yelled. Back inside, as the food sat on the kitchen counter, Mom looked closer at the salads. "Oh, I guess the dressing is in there, I couldn't see it in this dim light."

Mom got her small (that is, a Round Table "large") pizza after all, DiGiorno and dad's wallet be damned. Was pizza her plan all along? Did she sabotage the oven setting? Will pizza delivery guy ever return? Find out in the next startling episode of Mom's House On Pizza Night.

Just Some Stuff 2

Video via Drinking Liberally in New Milford

Bad Days

From an email (mostly).

It's all in the perspective...

Things Got Ya Down?

Well Then, Consider These . . .

In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 am , regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11:00 AM Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 AM all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11:00 , Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.

Still Having a Bad Day????

The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska was $80,000.00. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.

Still think you are having a Bad Day????

A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

Are Ya OK Now? - No?

Two animal rights defenders were protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn , Germany . Suddenly, all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly. The two helpless protesters were trampled to death.

What?? STILL having a Bad Day????

Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with 'Return to Sender' stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits.

There now, Feeling Better? No?

The Wearable Motorcycle

via Stuff I Found On the Net

MacArthur Park

Gitmo for the Ears

This song is so moving, it has funny lyrics, yes, but if a person does some research, this "story" actually is quite moving. The way the music flows with its highs and lows, is so moving to me - PLUS Donna sings it with such stirring and powerful emotion that pulls me into it so much, almost as much as Richard Harris did with the original, which I of course, love.

This song, whether or not intended to be a hit, became one because of its phenomenal theatrical structure, melody and unforgettable/memorable lyrics. And the song makes perfect sense if you know what it is to have loved and lost like Jimmy Webb (and Richard Harris) did. "Awful instrumentation"?? You must be out of your mind. This song is and will always be a 20-century classic!!!

As for the metaphor "The cake is melting..... & the icing ...." could possibly be Webb's taking a phrase from one of the poems by English poet, W.H.Auden which included: "My face looks like a cake left out in the rain."

Even if you hate the lyrics, you have to admit that this song has an amazing opening melody!

-(from various YouTube comments)

Jimmy Webb - MacArthur Park - Live in London 1999

Jimmy Webb remembers Richard Harris

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Emily Dicktwainhepqueenrowkins

Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Katherine Hepburn, Butterfly McQueen, Clarence Darrow and Richard Dawkins, what do they have in common? They were (or are, in the case of the only one living) all skeptics of religion, either atheists or agnostics or butterflies. What's more, their quotes are now appearing in buses, courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion"-Butterfly McQueen

McQueen died in 1995 at age 84 when her clothes caught fire while attempting to light a lantern (the Mock God and Die curse in action once again?). From the flames of an exploding kerosene lamp to the eternal flames of Hell, I suppose, right Christian?

Of course, as usual, freethought free speech brings out the utter hypocrisy (and projection) of the religious fanatic:

Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said FFRF is spreading a message of “hate,” adding the foundation is intolerant of Wisconsinites who believe in God.

“They’re an ultra-fringe wacko organization that is desperately trying to get attention, and I would just encourage people to just ignore them,” Suder said. “No one pays attention to anything they do.”

No one pays attention, except religious wacko Scott Suder, that is. Isn't it interesting that Mr. Suder thinks that simply informing people that not everyone (including some very famous and admired figures) believes in god is the equivalent of "spreading hate". He should join the "hate speech" wackos on the left, as they are his true compatriots in crushing freedom and enslaving minds!


Summer of 1990

Unscramble an egg? It's an impossible order, it can't be done, except by magic, and there in no real magic in the world, none with the power to turn back the clock, back to that Friday evening in August, the day that I received my new eyeglasses with the blue frames, the day you glanced at the titles of the videos I was about to check-out and said "hmmm", a very friendly "hmmm". I noticed you were no longer wearing a ring, and you finally, after a good number of days, smiled at me and gave me a friendly comment. "At 10:01PM!" you said as I was on my way out, as you handed me the computerized receipt with the date stamp and your name at the very top.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Jesus and Mo

Military Prostitution

Military prostitution has long been seen around U.S. bases in the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and other countries. But since the U.S. has begun to deploy forces to many Muslim countries, it cannot be as open about enabling prostitution for its personnel. U.S. military deployments in the Gulf War, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War have reinvigorated prostitution and the trafficking of women in the Middle East.

Military Prostitution and the Iraq Occupation

How to Play Soccer With Your Hands

That's Handy

Quick Soccer Facts

Originated generally in its present form in Britain.

Worlds oldest club formed in 1857 is Sheffield FC.

The most played and most watched sport on Earth.

Called football in practically every country except America, who call 'Grid Iron' football and football soccer :)

Famous rivalries include the Old Firm ( Scotland ), Manchester derby, London derbies, Milan derby, Real vs Barcelona, and many more.

Some famous players: Pele, Maradonna, Charlton, Eusebio, Cruyff, Dalglish, Ronaldo, Beckham, Mattheus

- source

Why are donut boxes pink?

image via FattyChow

Someone googled this question and landed here, which doesn't exactly answer the question. So, in the spirit of serving humanity (which I do anyway by my mere existence, of course) I've made up an answer. If you want something approaching a real answer, try these:

Not all of them are, but there are many wholesalers that sell this color. It started out as a cheap way to decorate a box,,,simply make it a soft color...from there it has just been adopted by other stores.

For the same reason that liquor stores use brown bags....its a product association thing...if you don't have a big name retail chain then go with what people associate with your product your the case of boxes.


Harvey gets kicked out of his mom's house at age 40 when she decides to remarry. Needing a job to survive, he goes job hunting. With no work experience he thinks it would be a good idea to try and get a job at World of Donuts. He visits the store and talks to the manager.

The manager decides to test Harvey and see how good he is, and so does a role play, acting like a customer.

Manager: How much are your donuts?
Harvey: Uhm... I don't know.
Manager: No.. say 50 cents

So they have another go:
Manager: How much are your donuts?
Harvey: 50 cents!
Manager: Are they fresh?
Harvey: umm.. 50 cents?
Manager: Well. not exactly... You should say "Yes, yes, very fresh".

So they try again for a third time:
Manager: How much are your donuts?
Harvey: 50 cents!
Manager: Are they fresh?
Harvey: Yes, yes, very fresh.
Manager: Should I buy one?
Harvey: umm.. 50 cents!
Manager: Well, that's pretty close! Say "You better hurry before somebody else does!"

So the manager decides to give Harvey a go, and after a few days, the business is going very well, until one day, a robber walks in and pulls a gun from his jacket pocket:

Robber: How much you got in that cash register!?!
Harvey: 50 Cents!
Robber: Are you trying to be fresh with me punk?
Harvey:Yes, yes, very fresh!
Robber: Alright that's it! Do you want me to shoot you?
Harvey: You better hurry before somebody else does!

So the robber shot poor hopeless Harvey, and the spray of blood landed all over the stack of nice white donut boxes, turning them pink and inspiring the World of Donuts manager to special order pink boxes for the shop, a move later imitated by dozens of other donut shops, but not before making World of Donuts famous for having the original pink donut box!

Harvey, you were one hell of a donut shop employee after all!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Bubble Economy Bubble

So the government tries to recover the happy Bubble Economy years by getting debt growing again, hoping to re-inflate real estate and stock market prices. That was, after all, the Golden Age of finance capital’s world of using debt leverage to bid up the book-price of fictitious capital assets. Everyone loved it as long as it lasted. Voters thought they had a chance to become millionaires, and approved happily. And at least it made Wall Street richer than ever before – while almost doubling the share of wealth held by the wealthiest 1 per cent of America’s families. For Washington policy makers, they are synonymous with “the economy” – at least the economy for which national economic policy is being formulated these days.

The Obama-Geithner plan to restart the Bubble Economy’s debt growth so as to inflate asset prices by enough to pay off the debt overhang out of new “capital gains” cannot possibly work. But that is the only trick these ponies know. We have entered an era of asset-price deflation, not inflation. Economic data charts throughout the world have hit a wall and every trend has been plunging vertically downward since last autumn. U.S. consumer prices experienced their fastest plunge since the Great Depression of the 1930s, along with consumer “confidence,” international shipping, real estate and stock market prices, oil and the exchange rate for British sterling. The global economy is falling into depression, and cannot recover until debts are written down.

The Oligarchs' Escape Plan

h/t to The Barefoot Bum

Isaac Asimov, Where Are You?

Autonomous military robots that will fight future wars must be programmed to live by a strict warrior code, or the world risks untold atrocities at their steely hands.

Robot Rebellion

Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics

Of course, Asimov's first law conflicts with the whole idea of robot soldiers, unless maybe they're just fighting other robots.

Thank God It's Red Shirt Friday

So I just recently received the following in my email at work:

If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man...

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home. No, he responded. Heading out I asked? No. I'm escorting a soldier home. Going to pick him up? No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq , I'm taking him home to his family. The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you.. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do. Upon landing in Chicago , the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.. 'Ladies! and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier.. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.' Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American. So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do. Red Fridays. Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority.' We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of American's supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that .. every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is 'We need your support and your prayers.' Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear20something red every Friday. IF YOU AGREE -- THEN SEND THIS ON. IF YOU COULDN'T CARE LESS --THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON

Yes, it was all in red text. Now, the red shirt thing is not new, but apparently to the guy (a co-worker) who sent the email it was. He sent it to the whole department. There was no objection by anyone (including management) to the sending of the email. I wonder though how much tolerance for an anti-war (or outright "anti-troop") email message there would have been? You see, as long as you conform, it's all good; as long as you blindly follow the state, like the ignorant fool that "sent this on", you're cool with the other sheep.

Below is another idiot by the name of Penny Evans:

I am a new resident to this beautiful state and find that the majority of the people are nice, considerate people that is, until they get behind the wheel but
that is another letter all together. I wonder why no one participates in the ‘red shirt friday’? This is something many people did back in Arizona.

The idea is to have a ’sea of red’ on fridays to show support for our troops. The message was passed around through the internet more than a year ago, didn’t Colorado get the e-mail? The few people I have seen wear red on fridays, said they just happen to wear red that day and knew nothing about red shirt fridays.

So, if you could be so kind as to print this letter so the word can get out to Colorado, I would really appreciate it, as I am sure others would too (I hope). One more thing, why don’t I see flags flying either, did I move to an unpatriotic state?

Penny Evans, Parker


You'll notice the moron is surprised that people might just coincidentally wear a common color such as red on a Friday without knowing about Red Shit Friday. You "Support The Troops" dumbasses need to come up with something better so your "support" will be more easily recognized, like maybe wrapping your whole head in the American flag. That would truly be a symbol of your blindness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Posting, Just Posting

I've found it difficult the last few days to get the energy or enthusiasm to write any real posts. Sometimes that's just the way it is. In fact, I don't even feel like writing this. But I will.

I've got posts in draft that I started but couldn't finish, and lots of ideas, many based on current news events that are rapidly becoming dated (maybe I'll post them anyway, for the hell of it, so if you soon see a post about John McCain and why his temperament makes him unqualified for the presidency, you'll know why). I've got other posts that I'm getting ready, but again, it's a matter of finishing them. I wonder, too, if this all doesn't have something to do with my new, low-carb diet. I just haven't been in the mood for much of anything, not even watching TV. (Serotonin levels dropping...)

Which brings me to a DVD I watched half of last night. Or, I should say, that I watched half of half of last night, as there are two double-sided discs, containing both Gettysburg and its sequel/prequel companion, Gods and Generals.

I put it on for my aunt the other day. She is always asking for movies to watch, and when I brought over a few, including the comedy Big Fat Liar, she looked them over and picked out Gettysburg (Martin Sheen is in it!). After the first half hour or so, she starting asking if I was tired (I decided to stay and watch the movie with her) and I said no, I was fine. After an hour she became more insistent, saying I must be tired and we could always watch the movie another time. I realized then that the film was boring her, and, in my suddenly tired state (brought on by the power of suggestion, no doubt), I was inclined to agree. It was all conversations between generals and getting ready for battle; no romance or North and South style soap opera. I took the DVD out and said goodnight. Then, just last night, I watched it with my dad. Sometimes he falls asleep during movies, and I thought this one was sure to act as a soporific. But no, he was wide-eyed the whole time. The film appeared to end with the fighting at Little Round Top, but there were no end credits and no notice to flip the disc over. Dad got up from the couch and said what a good movie it was, surely assuming it was over, but I knew that just couldn't be so.

I searched in vain for anything on the main menu indicating we'd only seen the first half. I finally had to go to scene selection to confirm that indeed we had watched the whole of the film, at least what there was of it on that first side. I took the DVD out and flipped it, and lo, the other half appeared. On the first side it only said that additional special features were on the reverse, not the rest of the movie. The average moron would never have figured it out. Thank the gods, I'm an above average moron.

I will watch the rest of the movie later today.

What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it?
It didn't say anything. It just let out a little wine.

Q: What's the difference between a grape and an elephant.
A: A grape is purple and an elephant is grey.

Oh, really?

Q: What did the grape say to the elephant?
A: Nothing, grapes can't talk.

Oh, really?

Okay, I can explain why I've included grape jokes, I'm not sure about the elephants, though. You see, the "posting, just posting" of the title came from my years with Ray the ex-race car driver, artist, sign painter and joke teller. He was my Mom's second husband and he would tell the same 3 or 4 jokes over and over. One of his favorites went something like this:

A man walks into a produce shop to buy some fruit. It's during the war or something and he is shocked by the outrageously high prices. Oranges are 10 dollars each, apples 12 dollars, bananas 8, and so on. He bags a few in spite of their inflated cost and takes them to the clerk at the counter to pay for them.

"That'll be thirty-two dollars," says the clerk.

The man gives him thirty-three.

"Hey, that's too much!"

"No, it's right" says the man.

"If it's right," replies the clerk, "then what's the extra dollar for?"

The man looks him in the eye and says: "I stepped on a grape coming in."

Ray was always joking in other ways too. When we went for a drive, with Ray and Mom in the front seat, and my sister and I in back, he would roll down the front window and yell to people on the sidewalk, shouting "Coasting, just coasting!" whenever we were going downhill and his foot was consequently off the accelerator. Sometimes he would also take my sister's doll, the one with the Phyllis Diller hair, and hold it out the window at the same time. My mom, of course, would always express her embarrassment at all of this, but still laugh anyway.

And so, as you can see, I'm still posting. Just posting, maybe, but posting nevertheless. Oh, and by the way, Gettysburg is a very good war movie.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Give it away

We all know (or should) that Windows Vista sucks. Should Microsoft give Windows 7 (the next OS) away free or at a discount to existing Vista users?


Why Microsoft Should Give Windows 7 Away

Just One More Good Reason to Read...

... this blog.

Kenny Glenn

You don't have to love cats, or even like them, to know what an evil person this is , and what rotten parents he has.

Okay, two more good reasons.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Quote of the Moment

"Capitalism is based on the exploitation of man by man; socialism works exactly in the reverse!"

Can Christianity Unite the World?

No, I haven't gone Christian (never again, as they say) but I do read what various Christians have to say. Check out Dave Black.

One of the greatest fallacies about Koine Greek is that it was chosen for the inscripturation of the New Testament because it was somehow superior to the other languages of the day. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is only one reason (humanly speaking) why the New Testament was written in Greek, and that is a man named Alexander the Great.

Alexander was the first universalist of the ancient world. He had been commissioned by God (or so he thought) to unite the world and then infuse it with the culture and language of Greece. His aim, he said, was “to marry East with West.” He dreamed of a universal empire in which there was neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free.

We have seen in recent years a similar dream among certain Americans who think that by spreading democratic ideals (by military force if necessary) they could unite East and West.

Introducing Philippians

The relationship between church and state continues to be a subject of great interest and importance to me, particularly the dangers of statism and its inevitable by-product, nation-worship. For example, I think the flying of the American flag in our churches is a bad idea. In my opinion, it sends all the wrong messages. For one thing, it confuses the kingdom of God with the kingdom of man. We wonder, “Where does America stop and Christianity begin?” For another thing, Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. It transcends tribe and nationality. And it is God’s primary agent of activity in the world. Because of this, the nation-state is always seeking to usurp Christ’s kingdom authority. Allegiance to the nation replaces (or at least actively competes with) allegiance to Christ.

Of course, we might sooner expect a change in our solar system as to expect that Americans would remove the U.S. flag from their sanctuaries. Once again, the church has bowed to the culture. We seem to think that America has a national religion. This is the myth of a Christian nation – a myth so ably exposed by Gregory Boyd in his book by the same title. What is this myth? It is the unquestioned identification of America with the cause of God’s truth and righteousness. This attitude has long been sacralized in the United States and is an established feature of our national psyche. But is it correct?

Christians without Borders

Friday, February 13, 2009

Affirming States’ Rights Based On Jeffersonian Principles

“That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, slavery, and no other crimes whatsoever;. . . . . therefore all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force;”

Federal gun crime laws? Void. Federal drug crime laws? Void. The gazzillion other federal criminal laws that deal with anything other than the specific enumerated crimes? ALL VOID.

New Hampshire Fires First Shot Of Civil War

On the Origin of Anglicanism

You may have seen this before, but Anglican priests that worship the warmongering state irritate me, so I thought a little Izzard was in order. The Episcopal in question never heard of blowback, I guess, or learned that WAR IS THE HEALTH OF THE STATE, and that real conservatives are against what amounts to an American Empire.

War Is the Health of the State

by Randolph Bourne

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just Some Stuff


Well, I had not heard of this before (the site and book, I mean) but via Not A Potted Plant here is Hot Chicks With Douchebags.

So I get word that a search must be conducted post-haste to find a rare photo belonging to my mom. What happened to it and what made it so rare? My aunt took it without getting permission first. She was visiting Mom and looking through the family album and found a photograph of my Mom and my mom's friend from England (the only known photo Mom has of her friend) and also my aunt all sitting on the sofa at my aunt's house (it's an old picture from the 80s). Well, she thought she looked pretty good in that photo (she's basically an old hag now) and so she removed it meaning (she claims) to have a copy made. It didn't matter that the photo was from 1980 something and that she doesn't look that way anymore, or that she may as well just pull out one of the daguerreotypes (or maybe cave paintings) from her childhood years and display that version of her forever lost past appearance. Well, she took it and then she lost it. Have you ever taken a photo, or anything else, without asking from a family member's house because you just had to have it?

Libertarians Are Not Social Liberals

Social liberals are often quite aggressive advocates of using state power to impose their preffered versions of "liberty." Most libertarians are disgusted by thought-policing political correctness, by forced "sensitivity" training, by so-called Hate Crimes tribunals and racial and gender quotas. They detest smoking bans, forced volunteerism and the whole panapoly of Nanny State outrages. They may detest religious incursions on government, but they also detest governmental incursions on religion.

...most libertarians I know may be in favor of gay marriage, but they're against the state forcing eHarmony to provide services to homosexual customers against their will.

...liberals are dishonest or ignorant when they claim that they are particularly libertarian in their outlook when, more often, they are merely strong champions of having the State mirror and impose their value choices.

The Myth of Libertarians as Social Liberals

Blog of the Moment: Evolved and Rat/i/onal

No matter what the subject, she's the best.

Evolved and Rational

College, Who Needs It?

Don't dare mess with the "American Dream" of getting a college degree - don't point out the fact that, more often than not, the education received is meaningless, unnecessary, and adds nothing to an individual's abilities or productive value. "Going to college" provides people with a pitifully false sense of accomplishment and intelligence.

Karen DeCoster at The LRC Blog

I've always felt the same way about college and getting a degree. Unless we're talking about specialized skills and knowledge, e.g., the medical field, college is pointless to actually improving yourself. So many wouldn't even feel the need for that degree if it weren't for the idiot capitalist system cronies doing the hiring at countless companies. A bachelors degree is often required, regardless of what you majored in, just to "qualify" for certain positions. Now, how asinine is that when it's obvious what ignorant fools most college graduates are? Whenever I look for true incompetence, I search for the person with an "education".

Please, Sir, May I Have Some More Toilet Paper While I'm Brushing My Teeth?

Well, I've begun brushing my teeth at work. I know many do this already, but I'd never seen anybody where I work do it until a few days ago. I think about all the snacking and lunch eating and donut munching that goes on there, and wonder that any of them have any teeth left at all, considering that all that crap stays on their yellowed pearly whites all day. I mean, I know we've got a dental plan and all, but why subject yourself to dental torture. So I saw this guy brushing his teeth in the bathroom, and I decided it wasn't for me (the bathroom, not the brushing). Who wants to see someone rinsing and swishing and spitting in the communal sinks? So I bought myself the elements of a "dental kit"; a folding travel toothbrush (with anti-bacterial bristles), a tiny tube of Crest, dental floss on a stick (100 count pack), and 2 cute little bottles of mouthwash. I park on the upper parking lot, and pull in backwards. With my trunk open and me against the wall, no one can see my activities. So that's where I brush and swish and spit. It actually feels better having a clean mouth, plus, since I don't want to be brushing all day long, I've found myself reluctant to eat a lot of junk. I've been taking salads to work and snacking on things like apples instead of chips and cookies and all the other "foods" that leave so much residue on your teeth.

On another note, the restrooms at work have recently experienced shortages of essentials such as toilet paper and paper towels. A budget cutting measure in these tough economic times, perhaps? People got so fed-up that they (the powers that be) finally corrected the situation the other day. The stalls were once again suitable for number two, and the water at the sinks once again faced a paper nemesis. We wondered, though, if at some point very soon, janitorial duties would be added to our list of tasks in yet another effort to consolidate and make due with fewer slaves employees. "Sorry, Mr. Customer, Sir, but I can't help you right now. It's my turn to vacumn the floor."

A Skeptic's Letter to Lee Strobel

Whether or not there are traces of pagan religion to be found in Christianity is a topic of profound interest to me. After all, if Christianity inherited ideas from ancient mythology, then it is less likely to be a true revelation from God and more likely to be a product of superstitious man in ancient times. If, however, Christianity is so far removed from ancient pagan beliefs that its doctrines are otherwise inexplicable as anything less than divine revelation, then one must consider, as you posit, that it is the one true religion revealed by God. So, I took to the section of your work in The Case for the Real Jesus, in which you refute the idea that Christianity Copied Its Beliefs about Jesus from Pagan Religions, with zeal.

In so doing, I couldn't help but notice your frustration with Internet bloggers who claim that Christianity exhibits pagan beliefs, even going so far as to express "a rising indignation" toward them. Well, what an opportunity this is for you! Because, I am one of those pesky Internet bloggers. And I found your examination of this issue to be so inadequate and uncritically biased, that I will continue to blog about the pagan origins of Christianity until you can up the ante and prove a lowly Internet blogger such as myself wrong. Yes, this is a splendid opportunity for you indeed. Because, if you can prove me wrong, that's one less pesky Internet blogger and one more saved soul. Not to mention, a fine example for those to whom you can witness through this process – resulting in even more saved souls! But, the question remains: can you do it? More importantly, will you even bother to try? According to your belief system, there is much at stake here. So, how will you respond?

Dearest Lee

The Life of Christ in Cats

The Life Story of Jesus, gloriously captured in cats by internationally reviled Birthday Card artist Antonio Fictitio. Crafted in the finest Armitage Shanks Urinal Grade Porcelain.

Drawing his inspiration from an extremely large gas bill, he 'purr'-fectly brings this 'tail' of inspiration to life and gives 'paws' for thought to lovers of cats, plates and Jesus alike.

Christ in Cats

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why God is Not a Satisfying Explanation

Why has religion been such a prominent force throughout mankind's history? Why do people continue to cling to something they have no evidence for? Some claim to have evidence to back up their beliefs, but do their arguments stand up to scrutiny?

God Riddance

I thought I saw an atheist, once, walking down the street.
I checked for horns, I checked for tail, I checked for cloven feet;
Began to tremble frightfully—my heart was in my throat—
Then sighed in happy recognition, for ‘twas but a goat.

I thought I saw an atheist, down near a swollen stream
With scaly skin, and blood so cold, I couldn’t breathe to scream!
I looked into his bulging eyes, and prayed “God, grant my wish”
Then laughed in my embarrassment—it only was a fish.

I thought I saw an atheist, with fur and pointed claws,
And wicked teeth for chewing up Judeo-Christian laws,
I ran, and tripped, and fell to earth, then hid behind a log—
It caught me, though, and licked my face—of course, it was a dog.

I thought I saw an atheist, though cleverly disguised
Not giant and reptilian, but human, normal sized,
It looked to be engaging in productive, useful labor;
But no, this was no atheist—this person was my neighbor!

I thought I saw an atheist; in fact, I saw a few!
My neighbor, and the grocer, and the cop, and maybe you!
I even found some in the church, right there beneath the steeple;
It turns out, to my great surprise… that atheists are people.
- by The Digital Cuttlefish. And there's More Cuttlefish

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Nuke Everything

I don't find this all that interesting myself, but if you like seeing bottles of glue (and lots of other stuff) microwaved, it's definitely for you (h/t to Not A Potted Plant).

...why do people say nuke it when referring to microwave ovens? Microwave ovens do use radiation to cook, but this radiation has nothing to do with the radiation from nuclear energy. The radiation from nuclear energy can be dangerous because each bit of that radiation might kill cells. Any one bit of microwave radiation, on the other hand, is no more dangerous than any one bit of visible light. It’s the ability of the magnetron to concentrate lots of microwave radiation in a small space that makes microwave cooking possible.

The Twisted History of the Microwave Oven

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Is Rationalization?

As an accusation, the term "rationalization" appears in casual conversations, weblog posts, and formal essays. Examples I have heard are: "Her explanation sounds like a rationalization to me." "Is what he said really true, or is it just a rationalization?" "His whole theory is a rationalization!"

Rationalizing is fake reasoning for the purpose of convincing oneself or others that one's actions are proper--done either consciously (in which case it is immoral) or as an automatic and hidden act of the subconscious (in which case it is a form of mental illness).

Blog of the Moment: distributorcap

Annette said...
I love it... what a great picture.. I think you got them all...

SE said...
Yeah, but is that Vladimir Putin I see in there too? What's Putin doing there? I see he's two seats over from Billy Kristol, and we all know how the neocons hate Putin and want a new cold war with the Russians. Perhaps Putin is there as a spy, a training mission for his future KGB career?

Distributorcap said...
yep - putin was put in (putin = put in) to spy

No Spy Left Behind!

distributorcap NY

The Commentator on Anarchy and Liberty

Anarchy And Liberty

By the way, I don't agree with the writer in the link about astronauts and draft dodgers. DD's are not heroes. They dress their selfish acts as though they're "independent" thinkers with a conscience. Nonsense.

The above is a comment by The Commentator on the very same post. Can't say I agree with it completely, though I suppose the sentiment is understandable. Personally I don't see astronauts or "draft dodgers" as "heroes", but maybe that's just me. If those who fled the draft did indeed "dress the act as though they were independent thinkers with a conscience" meaning, I guess, that they pretended they were simply being noble and right in opposing an unjust war, rather than engaging in the simple act of saving their own ass, I can't disagree. Then again, there is nothing wrong with fleeing to save your own ass when someone (government) is attempting to force you into involuntary servitude, servitude which will just happen to also expose you to great bodily harm or death.

A very good post by The Commentator, by the way, and there are more where that came from. A highly recommended blog.

Federal Parasite Job Security

Companies are cutting jobs by the tens of thousands. State and local governments are penny-pinching, too. So what about Uncle Sam? Tough times for him as well?

Not exactly.

In fact the number of federal workers is on the rise.

Not surprising at all that the parasite class, i.e., government employees, keeps growing. Their employer has the legal power to steal, unlike private companies (with the exception of those that are "too big to fail") that must survive in the marketplace and actually offer goods and service that people are willing to voluntarily pay for. I often wonder about what we like to call "democracy". Even the peons that I know personally don't like the amount of taxes being deducted from their wages, in fact many of them complain loudly about it (and we ain't talking about Rush Limbaugh fans here). How many would voluntarily pay those taxes if they weren't forced by law to do so? Wouldn't real democracy work just like the market? If nobody likes New Coke, Coca-Cola stops producing it. If people think Toyota and Honda produce a better automobile than GM and Ford, Toyota and Honda make a profit, while GM and Ford struggle and GM sticks its hand in the taxpayer's wallet. Let's make taxes truly voluntary and see how long the parasite class survives and how many get added to its growing numbers.

And how about this:

"Federal belt-tightening would worsen the problem right now," said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

No wonder we're in so much trouble and the government beast continues to get larger and larger, if this is what passes for "conservative".


Christians and the Burden of Proof

Does the Christian acknowledge that he has a burden to prove his claims, or not? If he does, then he should get down to business and present his proof. If he does not acknowledge that he has a burden to prove his claims, then he should state his denial explicitly and be prepared to live with the results. He should realize that he has no basis to protest non-believers who do not accept his god-belief claims and remain in their non-belief. They certainly aren't going to "believe" on the theist's say so, and theists who renounce their burden to prove their claims need to learn how to get over this. - Dawson Bethrick

Holiday Poll

Well, it's long past time to remove the ol' holiday poll from the sidebar. It seems Xmas was most popular, though Halloween was a close second. I don't do much to celebrate these days myself, I just watch others do so (well, I do eat a lot on one of the days listed below; can you guess which?). I also like the cool decorations in all the stores. I decided to put up a poll way back in July (no, I didn't actually begin the poll at that time) when someone said that 4th of July (Independence day) was their favorite holiday. That puzzled me, because I've never had much to celebrate that day and there isn't much happening either (most of the stores stay open all day too). I guess some make a big BBQ deal out of it though, and go somewhere to watch fireworks. When I was a kid we had a big picture window from which fireworks could be seen on the 4th. We could stay home and get a show and sit and eat our snacks right there (we had a bar set up there with chairs). I don't think I've seen fireworks for some years now, maybe at Disneyland, but not on the 4th.

I suppose all my foreign visitors (I get a lot of them) didn't know what to make of such an Americanized list. 4th of July? Thanksgiving? Even Halloween is uniquely celebrated here (I think). As for Christmas, it's not American, but our version of St. Nick is. Didn't you know Santa Claus is a U.S. citizen?

What is your favorite holiday?

4 (30%)

1 (7%)

5 (38%)

4th of July
3 (23%)

Why I am an Atheist by Jeffrey Amos

Why I am an Atheist

The biggest reason I am an atheist is that I grew up evangelical and later rejected evangelical Christianity – that is the subject of the rest of my blog and will be overlooked here. But evangelical Christianity rejected doesn't imply atheism; in my case, non-Christian theist to deist to agnostic to atheist took from April until October. Here, I will cover my reasons for being an atheist rather than an otherwise undecided non-Christian.

H/T to Debunking Christianity

Against Gun Control

From Libertarian Anarchy

Let me begin by stating that this analysis of gun control is biased in favor of minimizing crime and deaths as much as possible, and in favor of protecting individual rights. I am not a gun nut, nor do I support the Second Amendment. Next, I want to say that I originally supported gun control. I thought it was obvious that guns caused crime. Tellingly, I was uninformed and drew my conclusions from the media-definitely not good critical thinking. However, as I researched economics and political philosophy, I changed my position. I discovered that gun control, like all government action, must violate individual rights. I discovered that gun control, like any government prohibition, cannot work, and that gun ownership actually deters crime. Finally, I realized that gun control vs. legalization is a false dichotomy; the true dichotomy is between government vs. private weapon control. In a free society, weapons can be controlled through voluntary, peaceful means.
The Case Against Gun Control

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How to Turn Someone Into An Atheist

Just give them some comfort (Ray Comfort, that is).

Ray Comfort is a deluded moron

Once again, the pathetic Mr. Comfort overestimates his importance to anyone and everyone, and once again he completely misses the point. He is soooo good at missing the point, he could miss the Earth while stomping his foot.

His hilarious banana video isn’t what makes him hated. If anything, that makes him almost palatable in a twisted, tragi-comic sort of way. He’s hated for his smug, self-righteous and assinine tactics, his dedicated ignorance, his condescending tone and most of all for his Goodyear blimp-like mind, with an overinflated ego and a lighter-than-air intellect. I don’t actually feel hate for him, more like the feelings I have for a struggling bug that has been only half stepped on.

At Least He Admits It

Comfort's Classic Laugh-Fest Banana Video

"I was introduced on a radio interview recently as being 'internationally hated by atheists.' To what do I attribute this great honor? Obviously, to my dumb banana video." -Ray Comfort

pull the plug

An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything. He will of course deny that because it's an intellectual embarrassment, but if I say that I don’t believe that a builder built my house, then I am left with the insanity of believing that nothing built it. It just happened.

Christian apologists like to ask "Why is there something rather than nothing?", as if they have a trump card in their deck filled with jokers.

Nothingness is the abstract idea of the lack of somethingness. It is the lack of anything at all. Nothingness cannot be known, because to know it, requires a knower, and a knower is something.

Can a true state of nothingness exist in reality? The answer cannot be known. It is impossible to have direct knowledge whether a true state of nothingness could exist. The statement "I know that nothingness could exist" is a contradiction.

"Why is there something rather than nothing?"

This question implies that nothingness is more natural than somethingness. The question implies that somethingness needs an explanation because nothingness is the normal state of affairs. We somehow feel the need to account for somethingness, while nothingness requires no accounting.

I think most people intuitively feel that somethingness, or existence, requires an explanation beyond itself.

To ask the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" is to commit a reification error. Reification is to regard an abstraction as something concrete. To reify a concept is to treat it as if it were real, rather than to treat it as it actually is, which is just a concept.

The Reification of Nothingness

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chicken Killed By Sacred Cow

I was kinda tired, but mostly I had to go to the bathroom. When you've gotta go, that always trumps everything (unless you're in bed in the morning and are too lazy to throw off the covers and walk to the bathroom, rolling over and returning to slumberland instead and then waking up to have to go even worse), so when I pulled into the parking lot of the shopping center with the Vons supermarket and several fast food joints, I decided to find a restroom first, then get some quick food from one of the featured "restaurants" and maybe go to Vons as well for some beer.

Popeyes, that'll hit the spot, I said to myself. Ever since being introduced to their chicken by a crazy Afghan, I'd been somewhat of a fan. "I'll eat where I go to the bathroom", I declared (I really did), so I chose Popeyes. After I parked, I walked across to Popeyes and entered the establishment through a side door. I paused just momentarily to look up at the menu board, making sure they knew I was serious 'bout gettin' me some chicken, then moseyed (I can't believe I actually spelled that word right on the first try) around the corner where the inviting porcelain fixtures awaited. I got to the men's door and was confronted with a locked restroom. Token required, it said, though I tried to open it anyway, without luck. I really had to go now, but there was no way I was going to stand and wait for fat asses to finish ordering their mounds of fried death until a Popeyes person was free to honor my request to just USE THE GODDAMNED RESTROOM!

I stormed from the place as easily as someone holding it in could, and walked a few feet to the next door Burger King. The restroom there was unlocked and clean, and it did not appear to be frequented by filthy bums. I gave my business to the King and ordered a couple whoppers, sacred cows and chickens be damned. I'll spend my cash where they let me pee, GOT THAT POPEYES?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Orthodox Steeler

Most NFL fans are familiar with the sight of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu crossing himself during games, but one subset of fans is gleefully aware that he crosses himself from right to left, rather than left to right.

Orthodoxy has no tradition of celebrities who testify to their faith, said the Rev. Thomas Soroka, pastor of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKees Rocks. There are lists of celebrities who have belonged to the church, including Tina Fey and Tom Hanks. But none are considered exemplars of Orthodox spirituality. Current online discussions of an Orthodox celebrity that don't involve Mr. Polamalu tend to bewail the conduct of Rod Blagojevich, who was removed as Illinois governor last week after a four-day impeachment trial.

"A lot of times when people are Orthodox, it's more of an ethnic or cultural thing. Troy stands above that by being a practicing, committed Orthodox Christian," Father Soroka said.

"Orthodoxy is quite sober. It's not flashy or attractive to those who are looking for stardom. It's much more introspective, and I think Troy embodies that."

But it helps that Mr. Polamalu is cool and handsome, with Samoan warrior hair that hasn't been cut in seven years. His plays appear to defy the laws of physics.

"Being faithful and devout isn't always cool. So it's great when you can point to Troy Polamalu and say, 'Look, faith isn't stupid. It's something really special,' " said James Purdie, 26, a subdeacon at St. George Cathedral.

"Seeing him crossing himself after a play, or praying on the sidelines, it's a way of witnessing that your faith can be incorporated into your everyday life."

Cross the Orthodox Way

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