Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sunday Post

I was going to write a post called Rejected Post Ideas, but I couldn't get up the energy. So this is going to be instead the generic Sunday post.

I dreamed of ants last night, probably because the Argentine invaders have come back in force, one of their scouting number appearing wherever I happen to be, or where ever my food happens to be. I set my finished plate on the floor (I was watching TV and was tired), then went to bed, but my slumber was haunted with visions of tiny black bugs crawling everywhere, including all over the bed. Upon waking I discovered my forgotten plate, right where I'd left it the night before, covered with a moving black sheet. I quickly disposed of it, leaving random ants wandering aimlessly.

It's been wet the last couple of days here, with no sun at all. I like it.

I made the mistake, the other day when I deposited my check on my lunch break, of thinking McDonald's would be a good idea. I saw the drive-thru (the fast food giant has a location right next to my bank) was moving fast, and that I would still have time to get a little something. I hungrily zoomed through the parking lot, racing another car coming the other direction, beating them to the lane that featured the menu board and intercom. The dollar menu beckoned and I ordered two McDoubles (only one slice of cheese now, formerly two slices and called the Double Cheeseburger then), small fries and two apple pies (those are two for a buck) and it didn't look like much food. When I read the little apple pie boxes after consuming eveything, my folly was clear; each "pie" (and they're quite small) had 250 calories, 500 in two of them. I had consumed my fill for the day in a single meal. I'm hatin' it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Slave Mentality

Do you say "I owe the IRS (government) this amount of my income" instead of "A gang of thieves has taken some of my hard-earned money by force"?

Do you say "I have to go to the DMV to get my driver license renewed" instead of "I'm visiting the local office of the driving extortion racket to pay my protection money so I can have the 'privilege' of driving my own car"?

Do you say "I have to pay my property tax, it's coming due next month" instead of "My rent is due to the government landlord next month, and if I don't pay it I'll be evicted"?

If you do typically view things in the way presented by the first statement in each example above, then you have not thought through the reality of the situation. To break free of the slave mentality, you must first recognize that you do currently have a slave master, that is, the governing class in whose self-interest it is to keep you in your chains. It is better for them if you don't even realise that you are a slave, and that's why so much indoctrination takes place by means of the state-loving media, the government run and controlled school system, etc. To be free, first free your mind, and then eventually freedom will become reality.

Many Americans are under the illusion that the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery. Its words certainly sound as if it did: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." The language sounds quite clear. Neither "slavery" (defined by one dictionary as "submission to a dominating influence") nor "involuntary" ("compulsory") "servitude" ("a condition in which one lacks liberty esp. to determine one’s course of action or way of life") shall exist within the United States.

But words are abstractions, and must always be interpreted. As Orwell made clear to us, unless we pay attention to what is being said, scheming men and women with ambitions over the lives and property of others, will interpret words in such ways as to convey the opposite meaning most of us attach to those words. This is true with the American state – particularly through its definers and obfuscators in the judicial system – in telling us the "true meaning" of the 13th Amendment. This provision was only intended to prohibit private forms of slavery; the state was not intended to be bound by its otherwise clear language. Thus, the 13th Amendment did not end slavery, but only nationalized it. The state is to have a monopoly on trafficking in slaves!

Compulsory systems of military conscription, jury-duty, school attendance, and road-building duty, have long been upheld by the courts as not being barred by the 13th Amendment. So, too, has that most far-reaching form of involuntary servitude, taxation. When the state desires your nonconsented services, the courts – consistent with their record of expanding state power while giving very restrictive interpretations to individual liberty – are quick with the "newspeak."

The Slave Mentality by Butler Shaffer

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For some reason, this doesn't excite me

via The Whited Sepulchre

Make Your Own Mayo

video via LRC Blog

Mayonnaise is basically just vegetable oil and eggs (or, more specifically, egg yolks) and maybe a few other ingredients. It's really very simple. I just buy the Walmart brand, although last week, when I ran out, I bought Kraft, because it was on sale. I use it mostly for sandwiches and to mix in tuna or chicken for tuna or chicken salad which will then become a sandwich when the slices of whole wheat bread (usually) are added, or, sometimes, I'll have the tuna or chicken just with crackers.

I've been buying bologna recently and tried making a sandwich with it with only mustard added. That was a mistake! It needs mayo. I can't eat a cold cuts sandwich without mayonnaise. Will I attempt to make my own? Don't bet on it, though the video makes it look pretty easy. I'm sure I wouldn't have a taste for just mayo alone spread on a slice of bread, though.

I have a friend that mixes deviled ham with mayonnaise. I have to say I've never done that in my life, and in fact, have stopped buying deviled ham completely as I can't justify paying that much for one little can.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wall

I remember reading the digest-sized magazine that would show up every month, bringing an enlightening and refreshingly different perspective on economics and government. It was a "libertarian" magazine, and I was thrilled every time one of the free issues showed up in the mailbox.

Yes, you read that right, it was free for the asking, all you had to do was write them one time and they would send you the freedom-promoting periodical forever. As I recall, that eventually ended, but for decades that was their policy. Who are "they"? They are FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education. As Gary North writes here, that successful strategy of "giving it away" was adopted by Lew Rockwell. Writes North:

One of the most important ideas he ever appropriated is Leonard E. Read's strategy of giving everything away. Read's Foundation for Economic Education published The Freeman, the monthly magazine of free market ideas. FEE copyrighted the magazine. Then it released everything into the public domain, unless an author requested copyright protection.

The Freeman's past articles are archived here, published in HTML, and here in PDF format.

It was a monthly reading experience that tore down the wall of conventional thinking that had been all I'd been exposed to and propagandized with by the media and the school system.  In a real sense, I was free for the first time in my life. My views did not become solidified after that,  and I would, for some time, still think the way I was "supposed" to about politics and voting and the military and all the other nonsense we're all brainwashed with. But the seed had been planted...

In its zeal to protect us from Mexicans who want to pick our fruit and clean our homes, the federal government is walling off our southwestern border. Congress passed the Secure Fence Act (SFA) in 2006, authorizing barriers along some portions of the 1,969-mile boundary; other stretches will be fitted with a “virtual” wall of motion sensors and cameras. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was supposed to have built almost 700 miles of physical fence by the close of 2008 and the Bush administration.

We can assume it fell short since the federal government is ever incompetent and has been tight-lipped about how many miles it has completed.

Whether they’re between states or countries, borders soon cease to be noticed by most people living along them. They marry one another, establish businesses, visit, laugh, cry, agree, disagree, and dream together. So it is along the U.S.-Mexican boundary. The wall will sunder these families and friends as mercilessly as Berlin’s barricade did Germans.

The Founding Fathers understood government’s essence, its cruelty and callousness, far better than do modern Americans. That’s why their Constitution never empowers politicians to regulate anyone’s movement into or out of the country...

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall!

The White Stuff

Can you be white and be an African-American at the same time? We're not talking about having a white mother or father, like our President, but rather a white mother and a white father. In other words, are white people who are naturalized U.S. citizens and whose home continent is Africa, African-Americans?

Paulo Serodio identified himself as African-American and was then told "never to define himself as an African-American … because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so."

Check Out Opposing Views

Opposing Views presents differing viewpoints on major political and societal issues. They also linked to Skeptical Eye on their politics page.

Blog of the Moment: Sketch of the Day

Sketch of the Day

High Fructose Corn Syrup is almost impossible to avoid unless you consume fresh, unprocessed foods exclusively. I've been aware of and against its ubiquitous use in our food for quite a long time now, and in my personal grocery shopping look for products without it whenever possible. Just this week I tried to buy ketchup (catsup?) but couldn't find a single brand with sugar instead of HFCS. I bought a bottle of cocktail sauce (I know, not the same thing, but I like the taste and have ever since my childhood fish and chips were dipped in it) instead because it's made with sugar and not the dreaded corn crap.

I like the skull and crossbones on the drawing above, I just wish all products with the stuff had a warning label on them that included the symbol.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sex With Dead Presidents

Jefferson and Justine

In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated.--Justine Lai

Join or Die

h/t to J.J. Johnstone

What are you fighting for?

Via out of step

The Rest of the Restrooms

A Place To Pee

I've often thought that one way for competitors of Wal-Mart (such as Target) to gain an edge over their rival is to have really good restrooms (toilets, you know), thus giving people an extra incentive to shop at their stores. Of course, there are costs involved, but how much is a happy bunch of customers worth? Why in huge stores with large numbers of shoppers such as Wal-Mart are there only a few, unpleasant stalls and urinals (in the men's rooms, naturally) instead of enough to truly accommodate (or is that a commode a date) the many needy gotta goers?

I pulled into Wal-Mart just the other day, then discovered after I'd parked that I had to go, and badly. As I crossed the parking lot, anxiously hoping that Wal-Mart had a free urinal in the men's restroom just inside the door near customer service, I fantasized about what a world that was really created by an omnipotent god would be like. There would be no waste that we'd have to eliminate from our bodies, leading to unbearably uncomfortable moments such as I was experiencing, but whatever we ate or drank would be completely absorbed, leaving no trace or trickle to deal with later, but only, perhaps, a pleasing scent, possibly emitted from the surface of the skin, even making regular bathing unnecessary, as it would cleanse us as well (and no more dealing with smelly homeless people in the library or on the bus as an added bonus). If only god was real, what a wondrous world it would be.

So, I reach the doors of the store, enter and head straight for the what's supposed to be a restroom (which should be a place where you can actually rest rather than fight a crowd and have to do your business in front of an audience) only to find one of the two--yes, two!--urinals out of service and covered with a plastic sheet. Not only that, but there was a line of boys and men behind the stall and the one working urinal, and I wasn't willing to wait or put on a show, so I hastily left.

A thought then occurred to me. This particular Wal-Mart was in a large shopping complex, made up of a huge mall and, across the parking lot, more stores in an open strip mall. I knew there was a Borders book store in that other series of shops on the other side of the asphalt. It would be an agonizing walk, but that's the destination I decided on, figuring the restroom there would be lightly occupied if at all. But as I made my way painfully through the weekend crowds, I found myself inside a JCPennys department store. This, I thought, could be the answer to my need for relief. I saw the sign above the escalator, indicating that the store's restrooms were upstairs. Old fashioned department stores usually have pretty decent toilet stations (isn't that a much better--and more honest-- name for them?), only surpassed in comfort and cleanliness by the magnificent labyrinths of sinks, stalls and pee receptacles that you find in grand hotels.

I got on the moving staircase and found a nearly empty floor on my arrival at the second level. This is perfect! I moved more swiftly now, knowing nothing and no one could foil me now. The hall off of which sat my heavenly destination was only a few feet away.

I burst into the restroom, prepared to finally unzip and let go a steady 2 or 3 minute stream, when what do I find but a man changing his kid's diaper on the "changing station" right next to the urinals. This wasn't an infant either, but a little girl who carried on a conversation with her dad while he cleaned her up. I felt uncomfortable, to say the least, especially with the guy's other kids, a few of them also girls, loitering around the place while they waited for their father to finish taking care of the youngest member of the clan.

Why me, I asked myself, before retreating back into the hallway and going to plan B, that is, Plan Borders. As I relieved myself in the okay Borders men's room, I knew I would inevitably browse the aisles of books after I was through. It's an illness, folks, and I really can't help myself. Like my mom in a shopping center, we're talking a visit of at least an hour or two whenever I find myself around that many bound volumes of reading material. The urge to purchase certain valuable tomes I pick up then becomes irresistible.

When it was all over, let's just say that it was one very expensive use of a "rest" room.

Monday, May 25, 2009 On Memorial Day

This Memorial Day takes on added significance in light of recent history. As an example of how the War Party operates – unloading a fusillade of lies followed by a massive cover-up – the Iraq war is only the most recent in a long line of American interventions across the globe that were based on systematic deception.

During World War I, Americans were told that the Germans were bayoneting babies, and Western newspapers were certain that the kaiser was plotting to parachute German troops into Montana.

In the run-up to World War II, FDR said "the Yanks are not coming" – while working tirelessly behind the scenes to drag us into the conflict. The wars in Korea and Vietnam were supposedly fought for democracy against "godless communism," in spite of the fact that the authoritarian regimes we supported were brazenly repressive of their people.

Not much has changed since then. Today, we are told that we must fight the "terrorists" – defined as anyone who opposes the U.S. government and its plans to manage the world – and that this must be a war without end, without a definable enemy, and without the moral and legal constraints that have governed warfare and international relations in the modern era.

To buttress its case, the War Party claims that the 9/11 attacks changed everything, thus anything is permitted: torture, preventive detention, denial of habeas corpus, obsessive secrecy, spying on American citizens – the list of abuses disguised as defensive measures goes on and on.

Throughout our long post-9/11 nightmare, we've heard very little dissent from the American media, which has been cowed by our hectoring rulers into virtual silence and, often, active complicity. But has been exposing the lies of the War Party since 1995 – and it's essential that we continue our work as the "war on terrorism" escalates, albeit under a new name.

Remember the war dead this Memorial Day, and recall the lies they died for. The best way to honor the fallen, both soldiers and civilians, is to ensure that the tragedy is not repeated again, by making your tax-deductible contribution to right now.

Donate to

Told Ya!

Right here, in fact. If you look at the number of followers through Google that this blog has, it has dropped by one today. This happened after that "follower" read my two latest posts on Memorial Day. Bye-bye Guam girl. Guess some only want an echo chamber; sorry I couldn't oblige, but I have to be true to myself and I won't compromise that, no matter how many people don't like it. By the way, I follow many blogs and read many more that I have lots of disagreements with, sometimes even to the point of getting somewhat angry with some of what is written, but I've never stopped reading or following someone for that reason. It's stupid.

Blog of the Moment: Corktageous


It's [Memorial Day] a disgrace of a holiday where we "honor" those who have murdered, raped, pillaged, nuked, and tortured for the state.

The state's (I refuse to call them "our") veterans deserve a lot of things--such as being spit on, or locked up for crimes against humanity--but respect is hardly one of them.

Rather than show any respect for veterans, we should use this day to remember those who do deserve to be remembered: those who have been slaughtered by the troops, those whose lives have been permanently destroyed by the troops, those who refused to serve, those who deserted the troops in times of battle, and those who betrayed their own country in times of war.

Now that's a memorial day I could get behind.

A memorial day we can all get behind

Support the Empire Day

Yes, support the U.S. Empire and its endless, unjustified, murderous wars. That's what you do each and every time you spout inane phrases about the "sacrifice" of our "heroes" and how those wearing the uniform of the Almighty State have somehow "protected our freedom" by killing foreigners (including uncounted numbers of children).

This morning, I turned on the television and caught a bit of CNN, which is supposed to be a news channel, but in reality is a "news" channel, in other words, not much more than an organ of statist propaganda (typical of mainstream media, by the way, which is why those involved with it hate the internet so much). The brain dead news reader, someone named Heidi Collins, then proceeded to announce the government's "moment of silence", scheduled for 3pm today, and then dear Heidi, who no doubt views herself as some kind of journalist, went on to proclaim that our Dear Leader wants this moment so we can "remember what Memorial Day is really all about".

It went on and on from there, with a segment on "honoring those in current wars", the words spread across the screen in large letters, with the government spokesperson Heidi telling us that "they sacrifice so much for us...".

While interviewing a couple of "heroes", servant of the State Heidi said "Thank you so much for your service." Actually, Ms. Collins, those who "serve" make the Evil Empire possible, for without them and their "service" it couldn't exist, so they deserve only dishonor, if anything.

I couldn't take anymore, so I actually had to turn to the Obama News Network, otherwise known as MSNBC, for some relief from the endless pro-war (what else can you call it?) propaganda from CNN GNN (the Government News Network).

Harry Browne On All Those Significant Days:

• Labor Day, when we pretend to care about other people’s jobs while frolicking at the beach.

• Election Day, when we pretend we’re making a difference by voting.

• Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Susan B. Anthony Day, when we pretend to be politically correct.

• Memorial Day, when we pretend that we live in a free country because of all the people who were killed in the government’s senseless wars.

• Flag Day, when we pretend the government is America.

• Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day, when we pretended that World War I made the world safe for democracy).

• National Teachers Day, when we pretend our children are getting an education.

• Earth Day, when we pretend that making the government more powerful will make the environment cleaner.

• United Nations Day, when we pretend to believe all those inane statements about world peace.

Pay No Attention to This Day

h/t to LRC Blog

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dress Pants, Super Fast Typing, and Left Over Sandwiches

At least for the moment, friends and followers of this humble blog can now be seen in one quick, sweeping, breathtaking view!

I notice that some blogs have this problem and some don't, seemingly randomly, though I'm sure there is a reason in each individual case. Just because you have the Followers element on your blog, doesn't mean people attempting to view your valuable contributions to the blogosphere will have to repeatedly refresh the page to see your remarkable talent, or that seems to be the case anyway. I checked numerous blogs and the issue appears to be unrelated to simply having the Followers element displayed on a blog , though the Blogger expert says otherwise. But on to my pants.

Yesterday morning, crossing the desert by car (you didn't think I was using a camel, did you?) I saw an old man with two trash bags, one slung over each shoulder, standing on the shoulder of the highway. As I got closer he stuck his thumb in the air, an obvious obscene gesture of some sort, so I chose to ignore the insult and just zoomed past him instead of picking him up and driving the poor old guy to wherever he wanted to go, as I would have if he hadn't been so obnoxious. Then I got to thinking. There are a couple of those stupid Border Patrol check points along the way (just getting the sheeple used to the Police State) and I thought what if some illegal substance was in those bags?. I mean, since even breathing is almost a crime these days, you could lose your vehicle to the forfeiture laws even if you're later judged not guilty of one the State's imaginary "crimes". I'll have more to say on those check points in a later post, by the way. But on again to my pants.

So, I get a call from work that we're having visitors of some importance in the office and that I must where dress pants not blue jeans. I look down, taking my eyes off the road, and notice that indeed I am wearing the forbidden denim. I explain I've been out of town and was heading straight to work but to change clothes will cost me time as I'll have to go home and hope I have some clean, pressed, acceptable attire in the closet. I let them know it will make me late, and they say that's fine. So, home I go. It takes me at least an extra 20 minutes to do all that, and I arrive at work only to find that none of the bigwig VIPs are in the vicinity of where I perform my tasks and thus will never be subjected to my sartorial folly of wrinkled too short frayed grey pants and a tucked in shirt at least one size too small along with unshined black shoes that would even be rejected by Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift store shoppers.

As I'm thinking such thoughts, a co-worker let's us know of his remarkable super fast typing skills, whereupon I mention my similar ability, stating I also have super fast typing, only that when I use it the result is indistinguishable from random gibberish (as opposed to regular, readable gibberish, that is) and then proceed to demonstrate.

That afternoon saw us presented with free food, actually trays of left-over sandwiches that those special guests had already picked over. I tried a cheese and turkey, and it tasted good, but it made me sick.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Soap Knuckles

Have you ever had one of those baths or showers where the bar of soap kept slipping out of your hand and away from you, making its bathetic attempted escape, a literal tragic figure in its own mini soap opera, knowing its inevitable fate is unavoidable, but fleeing foolishly just the same, knowing all the while that it will finally waste away to nothing, its doom sealed by its duty?

Well, now you and your slave suds can avoid the failed flee and the needless pursuit that follows, with these. Go ahead, try it, knock yourself out.

Soap Knuckles


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Abort Internet Explorer

Some Blogger sites (including possibly this one) are not opening in IE7. The following message is received: Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site. Operation aborted. 

I have removed some recent changes I made to the sidebars, and on my computer it seems for the moment to have fixed the problem, but with IE you can never be sure. Microcrap offers their usual excuses, blaming the web sites instead of their shitty browser (see also here) and claim the problem is fixed in IE8, which they urge you to upgrade to. But why is this problem nonexistent in Firefox and Chrome, the two browsers I use most?

For more on this issue see here and here. And while you're at it, if you aren't already using something other than IE, download Firefox or Chrome.

Anarchists can wait it out

The reason statism has been so much more successful than anarchism (so far) is that statists think it is OK to to kill those who disagree with them. From an evolutionary standpoint, that's a hard strategy to beat, especially in the short-term. Does that make them right? Of course not.

Not unless might makes right, which it doesn't. Read the rest here

New Sherlock Holmes

This movie might be fun, I don't know (set for release on Christmas day), but it looks more like a typical Hollywood bastardization. And yeah, I'm aware it's "based" on a comic book, but I have to ask, what was the comic book based on? As one site puts it, it's based on an original story/comic book by Lionel Wigram. "Original" story? What happened to Conan Doyle? If I'm not mistaken, it was the Edinburgh native that created the character of Holmes.

Is this a new Holmes for the 21st century?

Will there be sequels, and if so, will the Baker Street Irregulars be appeased or appalled by future entries in the series?

Really, as long as a new Sherlock is being presented, why not go all the way with the makeover?

For my tenth birthday I asked my dad for a hardcover copy of the collected Holmes stories. I still remember my disappointment when I didn't receive it (Dad had said that he couldn't find the book) and so he gave me a book of illustrated stories based on Disney feature films and shorts in its place. I still have that book, but I so wanted the Arthur Conan Doyle volume instead. I can't say it was one of the great disappointments of my life, but if my life had only been ten years long, it would have been.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The World According to Americans

click image to enlarge

via Phils Phun

Blog of the Moment: People Reading

The beauty and rarity of a given book being read at a given time, instead of, say, packed away in a box somewhere is what initiated the blog. But, throughout the past two and a half years, I've discovered that I've not only been chronicling the popularity of books, but also the diversity of individuals. What goes on inside our minds is evidenced by and influenced by what we are reading, have read, and the inner dialogs we have with authors.

People Reading

h/t to and video via Readers in the Mist

Air Mattress

"Didja get that air mattress set up?"

"No, Uncle. I mean, yeah, but just the other night."

"Just the other night? Why I got that for ya almost a week ago!"

"I know. I didn't get a chance..."

"Didn't get a chance! Now, who was it complained that his back was going out? Who was it said if I don't get me a different bed I'm gonna wake up with terrible back pain and hardly be able to walk? Who?"

"I know..."

"You know? Sounds to me like you don't know a damn thing! Sounds to me like you're nothing but a damn fool!"

"But, Uncle, I..."

"Here you got yourself a rich uncle, who goes out his way for ya to get you the new mattress you need for your back, and you go and don't blow it up, you blow it off!"

"I did blow it up, I..."

"Liar! Now, listen up son, I know you ain't used to these kinds of camping furniture. You a city boy, like your sissy daddy, that can't be helped, and you weren't to blame for your upbringing.  And I have some 'sperience with tiny beds, bad mattresses and long legs. Whoa boy do I some 'sperience with long legs! But that's another story. What I mean is, I once slept in a bed like you got. It was the worst sleep I had during those miserable fourteen years I was in that flop house. Flop house my aching ass! You couldn't flop and it wasn't a house!" 

"Uncle, please, I will use it and..."

"Now boy, listen to me, just cause you never spent no night in the woods with the SFL, don't mean you can't get a good nights sleep on a air bed."


"The Squirrel Football League. Now don't tell me you be ignorant of that too?"

"Never heard of it."

"Not surprised! The sheltered existence you pansies live, nope don't surprise me at all!"

"What is it?"

"Son, nephew boy, don't you know squirrels play with their nuts? It's the naturalist thing in the world to them. Why, you put a big nut in a squirrels hands and it is dynamite. But one squirrel ain't nothing, no sir, you gots to see a whole team of squirrels in action! Now that's sport, deep woods kinda sport, yes indeed!"

"I don't get it, you're joking, right?"

"I don't joke. My brother did, and it landed him in jail, so, no, I never joke 'bout nothing.  And your back ain't no joke, so use that mattress. If it don't do the trick, why, I'll splurge and buy you the deluxe air mattress. You can count on your old uncle, yes you can!"  

"Uncle, just how did you make your fortune? Mom always told me it was in airplanes."

"Air plains, son, air plains. Just simply, no frills sleeping. I told all the doubters I'd make money from nothing, from the very air they was breathing, and they all just scoffed. Proved 'em wrong, now didn't I?"

"And that's all you want to do is air mattresses?"

"Well, I got something up my sleeve. What do think about the SHL?"


"Squirrel Hockey League. It won't be as easy as football, as them critters don't take naturally to a stick in their paws like they do a nut, but I'm working on it. Coming soon to a rink near you."

Ventura: Waterboard Cheney

...and legalize drugs

“Give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.”

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm going to offend you...

Well, probably, though not necessarily in this post, and not at all ever if you happen to agree with me on everything, but, as I haven't (that I know of) been cloned (or should I say duplicated, since a clone would no doubt hold one of the myriad opinions I held at some past point in my life that I no longer agree with) I don't think that's likely. So, if you are a regular reader of this blog (or become one) be prepared to be offended, it's inevitable (though some will claim they're not offended by views they strongly disagree with, I can't believe they never are so offended by anyone). And always remember that you can express your own view in the comments, and that all are welcome here, including you, no matter how wrong you are.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chris Hallquist On Eagleton’s Book

I’m honestly tempted to say the book is the worst I’ve ever read...

On Terry Eagleton’s new book Reason, Faith, and Revolution

Arnold Schwarzenphony

Schwarzenegger is a big phony. He pretended to be a conservative, just enough to snooker the state’s Republicans. That’s not hard to do given the state of the GOP in California. He tried governing as a fiscal conservative, but then when his reform initiatives failed at the polls, he did a 180 and became an advocate for all the things he used to criticize. Now everyone dislkes him. That’s usually what happens when officials try desperately to be loved. They end up unloved and lonely. It’s far better to stick with one’s principles. Perhaps Arnold, the star in a great American rags-to-riches story actually, will go down in history as an unprincipled opportunist who promised to save us but ended up pushing the state over a cliff.

Arnold throws a hissy fit

I always wondered why Arnold ran for governator. He obviously wanted to conquer something new, and politics certainly would seem like a logical next step. But he is prevented by the US Constitution from running for the highest office, which most ambitious politicians usually have as a potential goal in the back of their minds (and Schwarzenegger has imagined himself in the Oval Office), and if you're Arnold, that has to be your ultimate conquest. But there are other more useful fields he could have pursued (though perhaps not as ego enhancing as political office) and if he had no interest in something else, he would have been better off sticking to the movies.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mainstream Anarchy

Things we didn't voluntarily agree to: The Constitution, incomes taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes, tariffs, NAFTA, the EU, the American Dollar (and all other bullshit fiat currencies), public schools, drugs being illegal...

Imagine No Religion Or Politics

Roddenberry famously distrusted organized religion. And, he wanted to portray a society that had transcended the pains of political squabbles.

Star Trek, Religion, and Politics

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ruler of The Rings

You'll get tired of watching this long before the kid's strength gives out.

How to Lose Your Mind Without Really Trying

"You never watch TV anymore. Don't you know if you don't watch TV you'll lose your mind? Your brain will just go blank if you just sit doing nothing."

So said Mom recently to Dad, upon finding him sitting in a chair, a cup of tea in his hands, staring into space, doing, as he said, "nothing".

I've always thought that doing nothing is a good idea, so I'm with Dad on this. 

Of course, Dad still watches some television, just not as much as before. When he does watch, though, especially later in the evening, the result is often the same as doing nothing, for he falls asleep.

He likes to read, though, and always has at least a couple of books going at the same time. To me, that's a much better use of one's mind than letting your brain suck at the glass teat. Besides, Dad doesn't like a lot of what some consider the vulgarity of current TV shows.

Last night, on Directv, I caught a few minutes of something called Shop Erotic, which is basically just a shopping channel for sex toys. I'm not sure what Dad would think of that (or thinks of it, if he's come across it during his channel surfing), but I don't think he would consider two women discussing the features of various pleasuring devices a good use of a satellite channel, even if only for an hour or so.

Mom, on the other hand, would just call it disgusting and talk about how times have changed and how you couldn't even say the word pregnant on TV back in the day. Then she'll go back to watching her crime and murder shows.

Mom is so dedicated to television that she'll get irritated if the kitchen TV isn't on when she's preparing a meal.

As for myself, I do love the medium of television, especially digital cable with a DVR (which I unfortunately don't have at the present) but even when I am watching something I like, I still find myself dipping into one of the many fiction and non-fiction books I'm reading at a given time.

But back to the subject of doing nothing. I've often wondered what people have against it. I dislike the inactive brain, the brain that needs constant outside stimuli, the brain so unhappy with itself that it can't stand it's own company and must seek assorted excitements to keep from falling into total boredom. I'm content just to watch some ants, or look out the window at the passing cars, the leaves blowing in the breeze, the strange old woman sitting on the front lawn with a rosary in her hands. Hey, what is that old woman up to? Who is she? Oh, never mind, she's leaving, just out for a walk, I guess.

Yes, I think I could still be very happy without TV. Just don't dare take away my internet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The New McNugget Diet

I need to lose a few pounds. Now, don't get the wrong idea, I'm not really noticeably fat, just a few pounds overweight (hey, cut me some slack, I live in the USA, the fattest nation in the world, where just breathing in the fast food aromas on the average street will cause your waist to expand), and with my shirt untucked, you can barely notice my bowl full of jelly. I actually look quite good for someone of my still relatively young age (maybe someday I'll post a photo; now, there's a good reason to keep reading this blog!).

Well, yesterday, when I got up for work (what other reason would I have for getting out of bed at a particular hour? I can't think of one, but if you want to eat, what are you gonna do-but no, hey, I don't really want to eat anymore...I wonder) I wasn't feeling too hungry, so, noticing an unopened carton of 1% milk in the fridge, with a soon to arrive expiration date printed on its side, I thought to myself, you better drink some of this before it goes bad, so I poured a tall glass. After I'd finished it in a couple of gulps, I realized that my love of cold, refreshing milk was not misplaced, so I poured another one (gotta use it before it goes bad, you know). Double refreshment! I was now ready for an eight hour shift of pure drudgery.

I wasn't planning on eating much while at work (and I don't say at lunch because nobody there seems to only eat during that designated half-hour), so, I only took with me a humble apple and orange, a can of diet soda (they have soda in a vending machine in the break room, but no diet caffeine free soda) and a dark chocolate bar imported from Belgium (the chocolate bar I took strictly for my health, as it's my belief that dark chocolate is not candy, got that, NOT candy, but a health food and natural medicine).

Work went fine for a few minutes, but then I began to feel uncomfortable, my insides churning, cramps and pain and intestinal distress settling in, an urgent need to run to the nearest restroom overtaking all other considerations. And that was pretty much my day. I don't tolerate large quantities of milk, especially any with more fat than fat-free milk (which, by the way, just happens to be all other milks). I can tolerate other beverages on an empty stomach with no problem, but milk gets me every time, and I'd had two glasses of the deadly white liquid!

At times the pain became very intense, and I wasn't sure I could make it through the entire day. After the early crew left for the day, I went to the break room for a Sprite, thinking it might help to settle things a bit, and there I ran into Antonio, who was getting bottled water for the room, as we were extremely busy and he thought everyone deserved some cold water. I mentioned I wasn't feeling well, bought my Sprite, and headed back to the torture chamber. The soda seemed to help just a little, but it wasn't enough, and when I finally took my second scheduled break, I remembered I had some peppermint tea in my car. I walked to the parking lot, got my tea, and went back to the break room to heat some water in the microwave. After the hot peppermint water was in my stomach, I actually started to feel better, and by the time my shift was over, I felt back to normal, and, I discovered, very hungry (I'd had nothing all day except the milk, not bothering to even try and eat an apple or an orange as I'd planned),  so hungry I couldn't concentrate. I didn't want to get something to eat though, and I resolved to just rest my stomach and get some sleep. 

In the car, driving, I continued to tell myself I shouldn't eat anything, that besides, I was attempting some sort of diet. Still, the lure of the drive-thru pulled at me, urging me to just get a little something to tide me over. No! I was resolved, I wouldn't do it! I was proud of myself as I drove, past Taco Bell, and KFC, and Jack In The Box, and Burger King. I was doing it, I was resisting, I had will power!  Then, up ahead, shining in the night, a giant M, also known as the Golden Arches, came into view. "Maybe just a small french fries or a few chicken McNuggets" went my thoughts. I pulled in, and there was no one ahead of me in the drive-thru line. I searched the menu for McNuggets and couldn't find them, then saw the ten piece and when the female voice came over the intercom, I ordered them with BBQ sauce. "Is that all?" the girl asked. "Yeah," I replied (they always seem irritated if you don't order more than one item). 

With my hot McNuggets on the seat beside me, the BBQ sauce hastily opened and dripping onto my new seat cover, I happily dipped and gobbled the little fried tidbits all the way home. I felt stuffed afterward, and somewhat gulity, but I now knew what I would do if I ever decided to end it all:

Just to be sure, if it ever comes to that, I think I'll order 10 party buckets, because if 500 McNuggets isn't enough to do the trick, then nothing can.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Inflation Days Are Here Again!

Over the past few months, the government has literally blasted the economy with trillions of new dollars conjured from the ether. The fact that this “stimulus” has blown some air back into our deflating consumer-based bubble economy, and given a boost to an oversold stock market, is hardly evidence that the problems have been solved. It is simply an illusion, and not a very good one at that. By throwing money at the problem, all the government is creating is inflation. Although this can often look like growth, it is no more capable of creating wealth than a hall of mirrors is capable of creating people.

Let the Munchkins dance

Friday, May 8, 2009

This Pair of Socks Is Brought to You by the Letter D

My dad seems to only wear white socks these days. I'm pretty sure in his younger days he wore colored dress socks, at least when he went to work. I myself wear white socks and black socks almost exclusively, though I do own some tan and a few pairs in various shades of brown. I try to add bleach to my whites, but socks only stay white for so long, until they're relegated to the hobo drawer, suitable only for wearing at home or somewhere where you don't care what you look like, such as the 99¢ Only store (there are some good bargains there, though you have to be careful as the pricing can be deceiving if you don't check and compare the size of the product and other factors). So, periodically, I simply have to buy new white socks. The same goes for my black sock collection as well, though the problem is the opposite; instead of getting darker, as the whites do, the blacks start to gradually fade, their color indicating to anyone who would notice them that they've been around the block a few too many times, until finally they also enter hoboland to join their dirty white cousins.

Sometimes, as we've all experienced, one of a pair will go inexplicably missing, almost surely never to return.

This of course presents a problem if you buy different brands of socks, because it then becomes difficult to find a perfect match for the sock that was left behind.

So, I was visiting and my dad happened to open his sock drawer and out came a pair of socks (white ones, naturally) and I noticed they were marked with a black Sharpie, each of the pair branded with the letter D.

"What's the D stand for?" I asked, until my little light bulb (mine is still incandescent, you hear that, Feds?) went on, and I realized that the D must stand for "dad".

"Nope," said Dad. "I mark all my socks with letters now so I know which ones go together, no more guessing. These happen to be the D pair, but there are also the A, B, C, and so on."

So I'm wondering, does that mean Dad has limited himself to a maximum of 26 pairs of socks? What happens if he accidentally ends up with 27 or more pairs? I know I have more than 26 pairs, and that's not counting all the ones with holes in the toes, the ones that somehow never get thrown out, but just end up pushed to the back of the sock drawer, like an elderly relative that's been shipped off to the old folks home, no longer allowed with the rest of us, a thing we dare not just toss away completely, but that we also can no longer stand the company or sight of. I guess.

The next time I'm at Wal-Mart I've got to get some new socks, white and black. I'm way behind on my sock buying schedule.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bible Quiz

Okay, so they actually call this thing the Ultimate Bible quiz, but how could it be when it consists of questions such as this:

8. How did the Israelites get into Egypt in the first place?
A: on bicycles
B: by train
C: They swam.
D: Joseph's brothers sold him.

And this...

35. In Jesus' parable, who stopped to help a man in need?
A: Donald Trump
B: Donald Duck
C: Don Knotts
D: a Samaritan

To be fair, there are also multiple choice questions like this:

9. Who led the Israelites into the Promised Land?
A: Aaron
B: David
C: Joshua
D: Moses

Now, having absorbed a lot of Bible in my youth and early adulthood (yeah, I was a born again for a while) even the questions without the obviously false choices were pretty easy.

I notice quite a few atheist bloggers who put this thing on their blogs, maybe to try and show Christians that they know some Bible too, and maybe know more of it than the average believer (probably true in many cases), but I don't know if there is much point in that. How many Christians utterly dismiss Islam without having read the Koran or studied the Muslin faith at all?

Having said that, for those in the West, some knowledge of the Bible is important, in the same way some knowledge of Shakespeare is. They are part of the heritage of Western culture, so we shouldn't be completely ignorant of them.

Anyway, below you can see how I scored.

You know the Bible 97%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Take More Quizzes

Wow! I'm a Bible scholar and I didn't know it!

Click image to enlarge

Just Some Stuff 3

Video via The Skratch Padd

A constitutionally limited government provides the services of security and justice. To accomplish this, it establishes a system of national defense, police and courts—these are the means of production of security and justice. By definition then, limited government is socialist (i.e., state ownership of the means of production.) It’s also socialist in the sense that the provision of security and justice is socialized: the costs and benefits are collectively shared. Furthermore, these services are funded through involuntary taxation and private citizens are coercively prohibited from competing in their provision. Government is inherently a coercive socialist monopoly. Therefore, constitutionalists are socialists, as they support limited government. (To be precise, constitutionalists are coercive socialists—I have nothing against voluntary socialism, which is perfectly legitimate.)
The thing is, they also consider the principles of liberty to be important. Constitutionalists believe that markets are better than central planning, but that government is necessary to protect liberty—that government is a necessary evil. This contradictory position mainly exists because they lack the understanding of the logical conclusion of the principles of liberty: the stateless society.
Constitutionalism is Socialism

Dear friends, I had quite a harrowing trip over the mountain on the interstate heading to AZ a couple of months ago. There were reports of snow in the mountains, but since it had stopped raining earlier in the day where I work, I figured it couldn't be that bad. I get off work late during the week, so it was of course dark out. When I drive East I usually go at night. Well, as I got closer and closer to the east county area the sky got darker and darker. I could see clouds up ahead. Nah, couldn't be that bad, why would it still be raining when it stopped completely by work hours ago? But no, here it came, rain, and lots of it.

I thought I could deal okay with a little rain, but as I left the city lights behind it began to snow! There was a sign back there somewhere saying "extreme winter conditions up ahead" but I'd paid it no mind. Still, I went on, until my car started to slide when I tried to merge into the other lane. WTF? My wheels were spinning, and what's more, there was thick snow covering the fast lanes, just the one right hand lane was really open, with cars and huge trucks backed up in a long, long line. But even the one lane not covered in snow was covered in ice, and I could hear my tires struggling each time I put my foot on the accelerator. I'm never going to make it, I thought. I promised myself if only I made it safely over the pass and down into the desert, I would write my friend Sara more often.

My mom then called on my cell phone while I was driving. "How bad is it?" she wanted to know. "Maybe you should turn around and go back."

"It's snowing and the freeway is covered in ice, and if I turn around somewhere I'll be going through the same thing again anyway" (I'd made it pretty far by that time, you see) .

I figured if I could make it to the Indian casino at the summit, I'd be okay. I could either stop there if conditions were bad, or just keep going, because just past that point the downgrade begins and it would get better the lower the altitude was. Sure enough that was the case, and other than a massive, blinding sand storm in the desert, the trip was uneventful after that.

Over the past four years I've asked police officers throughout the U.S. (and in Canada) two questions. When's the last time you had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana? (I'm talking marijuana only, not pot plus a six-pack or a fifth of tequila.) My colleagues pause, they reflect. Their eyes widen as they realize that in their five or fifteen or thirty years on the job they have never had to fight a marijuana user. I then ask: When's the last time you had to fight a drunk? They look at their watches.

All of which begs the question. If one of these two drugs is implicated in dire health effects, high mortality rates, and physical violence--and the other is not--what are we to make of our nation's marijuana laws? Or alcohol laws, for that matter. -- Norm Stamper on the Huffington Post (h/t to Utah Savage).

How to Get to Heaven

A woman was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to Heaven. She asked them, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, Would that get me into Heaven?"

"NO!" the children answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, the answer was, "NO!"

By now she was starting to smile. Hey, this was fun! "Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?" she asked them again.

Again, they all answered, "NO!

She was just bursting with pride for them. "Well," she continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD."

Two Beggars

Two beggars are sitting side by side on a street in Rome. One has a cross in front of him; the other one the Star of David. Many people go by and look at both beggars, but only put money into the hat of the beggar sitting behind the cross.

A priest comes by, stops and watches throngs of people giving money to the beggar behind the cross, but none give to the beggar behind the Star of David. Finally, the priest goes over to the beggar behind the Star of David and says,"My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country, this city is the seat of Catholicism. People aren't going to give you money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who has a cross. In fact, they would probably give to him just out of spite."

The beggar behind the Star of David listened to the priest, turned to the other beggar with the cross and said: "Moishe, look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing."

It's Squirrel Time!

Q: Who is the most famous male singing elephant?
A: Harry Elephante.

Q: What did the cat say to the elephant?
A: Meow.

Q: How can you tell when an elephant is under your bed?
A: Your nose is squashed against the ceiling.

Q: Why did the elephant cross the road?
A: To get to the circus.

Another Government Lemon?

Free Market Cure

And another view...

Sanders Video via drinking liberally in new milford

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why Are All the Planets Round?

A string of straw man arguments from a typical ignorant religious fool, hilariously illustrated by PiratedLogic.

From Dead Ryks Underground

The Invisible Car

Art student makes car disappear



I often wonder what people are thinking when they open a new retail business. Small, independent retail stores have a difficult enough time when the economy is strong, but in a weak or recessionary economy, it can be almost foolhardy to attempt to make a go of it.

I pulled into the side parking lot. It was a hot afternoon and all I wanted to do was quickly make my way into the Walmart that occupied this end of the sprawling, enclosed mall. I had just worked a morning shift after working a late shift the night before, and I was tired. I just wanted to get a couple of things to make a quick and easy meal with; some canned chicken, a loaf of potato bread, a bag of generic potato chips, and some MGD 64 light beer. As I walked across the hot asphalt I noticed a new sign on the corner location right across from Walmart (a prime location with a lot of foot traffic), a sign in dark blue lettering that read simply "Gift". As I passed through the crowd (most of whom were making a beeline for the world's largest retailer) I got a closer look at this new store, a gift shop selling mostly Buddha statues and other apparently Chinese items, including tee shirts with dragons on them and various trinkets and bric-a-brac. Inside was a small Asian man behind a long counter. He looked forlorn, but occasionally hopeful as people passed on their way into and out of the mall. But no one entered the little gift shop, and I wondered what the man inside was thinking (he was, I guessed, the owner of the new establishment).

Had he sunk his fortune into this venture? How much was the rent on this place, and how could he ever sell enough of the junk on his shelves to make a profit? The previous occupant had been a pizza place, and if you can't make money selling pizza across from Walmart in a busy mall, how can can you make money selling something with much less appeal than pseudo Italian pie?

I entered Walmart thinking about this for a few more moments, then wandered over to the book and magazine section just past the entrance and treated myself to the gift of a new paperback book, a science fiction novel, before moving on to the food aisles. Perhaps in an alternate universe that new gift shop could make it, but I doubt it will in this one.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Mission: To establish permanent, autonomous ocean communities to enable experimentation and innovation with diverse social, political, and legal systems.

The Seasteading Institute

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Warner Archive Collection

I love old movies. I've been watching them since I was a child (and the films that were new then are, I guess, old now). When I speak of old movies, though, I typically am referring to black and white films primarily from the thirties and forties. When AMC first came along on cable (it was different then, and commercial free, and has been usurped as Old-Movie Fan heaven by TCM) I watched it almost every night, amazed at all the great films I'd never seen. Losing myself for a couple of hours in those monochrome images was like getting lost in a wonderful novel, and I never could understand the rejection of those films by so many (especially younger) people. Even my own mother would often (not always) complain if a film was "some old black and white thing" (her most outrageous comment, though, came during my sharing of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, when she said "this movie wouldn't be too bad if they colorized it and added sound").

Now, I love to have in my own collection of DVDs the films I love best, the ones I watch over and over (no one else in my family has any such concept of "favorite movie"; if they've seen it, they don't want to see it again, unless they've forgotten it, that is). But, there are some movies that are impossible to find. Either they're out of print or were never issued on DVD in the first place. Now, however, there is the Warner Archive Collection, providing on demand bare bones DVDs of many of the films in their vaults. It would be nice if every studio offered a similar service, as some obscure films just aren't made available. I've got my eye on The Adventures of Mark Twain , a 1944 biopic of the great American writer, played in the film by Fredric March. I saw it too many years ago, but I only saw it that one time. I'd like to own it on DVD, and now I can!

h/t to out of step
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