Saturday, July 30, 2005

Politics, Lies, and Logic

Molten Thought has a logical analysis of several recent political "scandals".
Credibility is everything these days. It's the coin of the realm of the blogosphere, and the credibility-challenged media and politicos are struggling mightily to adjust to this reality.

When information is transmitted so freely, so readily, and so widely, spinmeisters and liars see their stock plummet swiftly.

The American people have never liked a liar---they just lacked the means of easily telling when someone was lying prior to the Information Age.
(Also read their post on Darwinian dogma.)

most difficult bible verse

Here's a "meme" question that is actually worth asking - What is the most difficult verse in the bible for you? I'll have to think about my 'final answer'...

There's one that is difficult for me conceptually (which is not exactly the point of the exercise): What is going on in 1 Samuel 28?

wasted energy bill

From the corner, GM asks "Has anyone considered that fighting in the Mideast could be reduced if radical environmentalists stepped out of the way of domestic oil production and nuclear energy?"

air america scam, pt.2

What did Al know, and when did he know it?

no bias here, pt.3945

Powerline wonders why there has been so little coverage of the assassination attempt on President Bush.

Victory in Iraq

Varifrank has a good essay on how Americans view victory.
The miracle of World War II isn’t that Americans, who having survived the great depression went into battle with only 90 days of training and managed to beat the “Aryan superman” on his own home turf at a war they had trained for 10 years to fight. The miracle was that despite our losses in a war we didn’t start, that despite our natural desire for vengeance we still managed to set it aside because we recognized the common goodness of mankind. We fed our former enemies and helped rebuild their country. We bet on the Germans, and the bet paid off. It was a gamble, and it was by no means certain to win. Its over now and we can go home, as friends.

We are placing the same bet on the Iraqis. The Iraqis are people and they deserve the freedom that was taken from them by people who wished only to enslave them.
Although it's not the central theme, here's another good portion:
There is now an effort underway by the left to turn victory into defeat. The people who once argued we only went to Iraq for the oil are already screaming that we are leaving, and by calling it a “pullout” it acts as a preemptive attempt to set the tone of the debate, to say that we’ve lost when in fact, we’ve won. The Iraqis have won. They still have their oil, and now they have their dignity.

The world bet that we wouldn’t expose our soldiers to fire to remove a dictator, and they were wrong. The world bet that we wouldn’t leave if we did invade and again, they were wrong. The world said that the Arabs couldn’t be trusted to vote and yes, they were still wrong. The world said that civil war would break out, once again, wrong. They said that the Shiites, the Sunni and the Kurds could never make a working government, and yes, once again, they were wrong.

Of course, being wrong every single time should be no reflection on the left's intelligence, but it should cause us to evaluate their value in the debate.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

baseball history

Bobby Bragan is about to make pro baseball history.

On Aug. 15, Fort Worth's Mr. Baseball will set a working-age record for a manager at the pro level.

Bragan will be 87 years, 9 months and 16 days old when he dons a Cats uniform and returns to the dugout for one night against the Coastal Bend Aviators at LaGrave Field.

The article also mentions that Mr. Bragan remembers talking to Honus Wagner.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

worma > frogma > ratma > dogma

This new blog Darwinian Fundamentalism looks promising. Here's one humorous link from that site, most other articles are more serious.

primitivism

Joe N at No Pasaran! sums up the neo-luddites,
The new primitivists of the developed world... sentimentally yearn for simplicity, but forgot that it came with great harshness. They look fondly on a nasty, short, and brutal life to satisfy a yearning for innocence that they have been unable to find in their relations with people or in other disappointments they find with themselves.
makes this recommendation,
The least one can do is ignore them. The best one can do is to continue to prove their world view otherwise by living well in a modern world, and occasionally asking them to empirically examine the basis of their reasoning, and why living examples of it only can be found in the least equitable and poorest societies on earth.
and concludes thus,
In a good society people help the disadvantaged on either the conservative or collectivist model. Either way, they are helped. If a social theory causes that society to help more of them, we aren’t just being stupid, we’re being cruel by bringing more people into mediocrity and misery. The more of them you have to serve, the harder it is on the remainder supporting them, and they too are victimized by a tyranny of bad ideas. Intended to pander to a comfortable sliver of the population that thinks compassion is about helping the greatest number of people, they should be more concerned with the conditions which require so many people to need any help at all.

air america scam

Al Lied! Kids Died!

(hey maaan, like, who cares if it's true? it's catchy!)

groundwork for the cultural revolution

can you see a pattern here?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

panic

being hatless, i don't have this problem... ;)

Happy Birthday

Mary Jo Kopechne would have been 65 today...

Deutsche Flugzeugwörter

Achtung! Das Noisenjetten bilden eine Humorlisten über die Fliegenwagen.

movies

Here's a movie I'd pay to see - Hollywood Death Spiral.

net worth

and i'll take the $32,786 on gift certificate, mr. sajak.

good question

Monday Evening asks, "If the Constitution is a living, breathing document, how much more lively must be a Supreme Court Opinion?"
What are the Court’s opinions? I mean, we know what they were; We know what they wrote; but that was weeks ago. What do the words they wrote then, mean for us today? We need a committee to tell us what the Court’s opinions mean.

frogs

Michigan J Frog is not dead, they just put him in the cornerstone of a building which wil be be demolished in 2055.

Unfortunately, the funeral-crashing toad is still free...

headlines

Headline - Mistaken Shooting in London:
The man shot dead by police in south London yesterday is not connected to attempted terror attacks on the capital, Scotland Yard said today.

“For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets,” said a spokesman.
...and in related news:
Thousands of people killed by Islamofascism around the globe were not connected to terror attacks either.

“For people to lose their life in such circumstances is our policy and one that Muslim fanatics do not regret,” says Osama bin Laden.
(\sarcasm)

"mommy, i'm scared!"

"don't worry honey, it's only poetry."

blogdreams

Lileks has blogdreams too.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What can we learn from all this?

Victor Davis Hanson
Perhaps the jihadist killing was not over the West Bank or U.S. hegemony after all, but rather symptoms of a global pathology of young male Islamic radicals blaming all others for their own self-inflicted miseries, convinced that attacks on the infidel would win political concessions, restore pride, and prove to Israelis, Europeans, Americans — and about everybody else on the globe — that Middle Eastern warriors were full of confidence and pride after all.

Meanwhile an odd thing happened. It turns out that the jihadists were cowards and bullies, and thus selective in their targets of hatred. A billion Chinese were left alone by radical Islam — even though the Chinese were secularists and mostly godless, as well as ruthless to their own Uighur Muslim minorities. Had bin Laden issued a fatwa against Beijing and slammed an airliner into a skyscraper in Shanghai, there is no telling what a nuclear China might have done.

India too got mostly a pass, other than the occasional murdering by Pakistani zealots. Yet India makes no effort to apologize to Muslims. When extremists occasionally riot and kill, they usually cease quickly before the response of a much more unpredictable angry populace.

What can we learn from all this?
Read the rest.

ZZ Top

I could sing this song most days at work. Flying Space Monkey may start singing this song soon.

:)

Friday, July 22, 2005

daylight saving

House and Senate negotiators agreed to extend daylight saving time by four weeks as part of an energy bill.

Quoth the pinhead,
"The beauty of daylight savings time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier."
You know what would make me "feel sunnier", Markey? Knowing that our government has its priorities straight - you know, like protecting Americans from the numerous actual threats we are facing - stuff like that.

Thanks for making my day a lot less sunny, D-Mass.

you tell 'em, john!

The Australian Prime Minister's smart answer to a dumb question:
"...once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it has given the game away, to use the venacular, and no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen."
Go read the rest, it gets even better.

rebel against rebellion

Lileks' Screedblog on the fashionability of rebellion:
Yes, everything in the culture today argues against being a rebel, doesn’t it? For heaven’s sake, rebellion is the assumed default position, even if it’s used to make a certain soda brand assume market dominance. Of course there’s an unforgiving sort of conformity undergirding all the “rebellious” messages, but the idea is still quite plain: the cool & the hip define themselves by opposition to whatever the status quo is. (Unless the status quo is the iPod. In which case, conform!) Ever since Brando, all you have to do is say “he’s a rebel” and people nod approvingly. Ah, the rebel. We need those! But a rebel against what? Yes, I know: whaddya got, the stupidest answer in the history of movies. Well, we have rule of law, food inspection, penicillin, and building codes. Okay, if that’s all you got, I’m rebellin’ against that.

What if the kids rebel against rebellion? Or loserhood?
I want to be an individual just like everybody else!

there is no woodpecker

Headline:
Expert Questions Existence of Woodpecker

The story should have included this quote:
"Do not try and peck the wood. That's impossible. Instead ... only try to realize the truth."
"What truth?"
"There is no woodpecker."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A to Z

While netsurfing, I ran across this odd vehicle called the KAZ. For whatever reason, I started thinking of other names that end with the letters AZ, then I started searching for others. Here are my results:

---

BAZ is the first name of Mr. Lurhmann, a film director.

DAZ is a laundry detergent sold in the UK.

EAZ is the ICAO code for Eastern Air in Zambia.

FAZ is a fictional race in the videogame Star Control.

GAZ is the French word for "gas".

HAZ is a restaurant in London.

JAZ is a discontinued disk storage system.

KAZ is an eight-wheeled prototype electric car.

LAZ is a language spoken near the Black Sea.

MAZ is a producer of electronic music and software.

OAZ (technically, Omicron Alpha Zeta) is a Christian fraternity in Memphis, TN.

PAZ is the Spanish word for "peace".

RAZ is a character from the videogame Psychonauts.

SAZ is a Turkish stringed instrument.

TAZ is either a concept in communistic anarchy, or the Tasmanian Devil.

VAZ is a Russian automobile manufacturer.

WAZ (technically, Wąż) is a Polish coat of arms.

YAZ is a band from the 80's.

ZAZ is either a Russian automobile manufacturer, a sweet mustard, or a portable die cutter.

---

How many of these did you know before you read this post? I'll tell you how many and which ones I knew about beforehand in the first comment.

terrorist schmerrorist

YHWH is God. Allah is not.

Psalm 34 NIV

I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.

The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,

keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.

Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;

the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.

The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Won't someone PLEASE think of the butterflies!

Environmentalism seems to be destroying their habitat.

The Plame Game

No Oil For Pacifists thinks it should be over by now. Discerning Texan thinks the first phase is over, but that there should be more to come.

new front

China is doing more than just saber-rattling.

on defeatist wimps

Steyn, of course:
Consider the Bishop of Lichfield, who at Evensong, on the night of the bombings, was at pains to assure his congregants: "Just as the IRA has nothing to do with Christianity, so this kind of terror has nothing to do with any of the world faiths." It's not so much the explicit fatuousness of the assertion so much as the broader message it conveys: we're the defeatist wimps; bomb us and we'll apologise to you. That's why in Britain the Anglican Church is in a death-spiral and Islam is the fastest-growing religion. There's no market for a faith that has no faith in itself. And as the Church goes so goes the state: why introduce identity cards for a nation with no identity?
Read the while thing, then see Cox & Forkum's related cartoon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shakespearean Auto Names

In my typical half-awake state before work, I ofter have random ideas, sometimes funny, usually dumb. Today's idea was a couple of cars named after characters in Shakespeare's plays. With some help from this list and autotrader.com, I came up with a few more:
Alfa Romeo Juliet
Bentley Benvolio
Charmian Ghia
Chevrolet Tybalt
Duesenberg Guildenstern
Fiat Philario
Hispano-Suiza Gonzalo
Hudson Hubert
Lada MacBeth
Lotus Emilia
Maybach Marcellus
Mercury Mercutio
Opel Oberon
Pontiac Grandpre
Porsche Portia
Renault Banquo
Rolls Royce Lucretius
Volvo Voltemand
Yugo Iago
Can you think of any others?

p.s. Should any auto companies actually use these names, I plan to seek royalties...

Zaphod Ad

For fans of the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, here's a funny election campaign video for Zaphod Beeblebrox.

(large quicktime .mov = ++slow download if you're on dialup)

Profiles in Cowardice

just a little reminder for the next time Teddy shoots his mouth off...

soft values = soft target

Found via Blue Goldfish. John Leo considers whether shades of grey can fight black and white, and quotes Christopher Hitchens:
if, as the peaceniks like to moan, more bin Ladens will spring up to take his place... there are many more who will also spring up to kill him all over again. And there are more of us and we are both smarter and nicer, as well as surprisingly insistent that our culture demands respect too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Supreme Court Nomination

NBC is reporting that the nominee will be John Roberts.

update: NRO's Johnathan Adler speaks highly of him, as does Powerline.

lead pipes

i prefer copper

Epidemic

Do you suppose Oprah will do a show on post-abortion depression?

Steyn, of course

re: the plame game
"But in the real world there's only one scandal in this whole wretched business -- that the CIA, as part of its institutional obstruction of the administration, set up a pathetic ''fact-finding mission'' that would be considered a joke by any serious intelligence agency and compounded it by sending, at the behest of his wife, a shrill politically motivated poseur who, for the sake of 15 minutes' celebrity on the cable gabfest circuit, misled the nation about what he found."
See also Andrew McCarthy via Molten Thought, and The Discerning Texan, and Captain's Quarters, and...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Medical Warning

If left untreated, a case of Zamfir may develop into full-blown Zamphobia.

errrr...

how not to hide a cell phone tower

Thursday, July 14, 2005

lite. post.

tired.

much. work. strain. eye. stomach. burn. sleep. ha!

post. later. weekend? lucky...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stability Uber Alles!

Via RIA Novosti:
Excessive pressure from the United States on North Korea "does not add to stability" in the settlement of the Pyongyang nuclear program, a Russian expert said Tuesday.
...and in related news, excessive pressure from the dentist does not add to stability of the rotten tooth, I said today.

Clarity

I have only a vague recollection of the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork. The main theme of that recollection was that he gave sensible answers to nonsensical senators. Now he has written some few sensible words about the nonsensical court:
The court's philosophy reflects, or rather embodies and advances, the liberationist spirit of our times... In its insistence on radical personal autonomy, the court assaults what remains of our stock of common moral beliefs. That is all the more insidious because the public and the media take these spurious constitutional rulings as not merely legal conclusions but moral teachings supposedly incarnate in our most sacred civic document.

That teaching is the desirability, as the sociologist Robert Nisbet put it, of the "break-up of social molecules into atoms, of a generalized nihilism toward society and culture as the result of individualistic hedonism and the fragmenting effect of both state and economy." He noted that both Edmund Burke and Tocqueville placed much of the blame for such developments on the intellectual class--in our time dominant in, for example, the universities, the media, church bureaucracies and foundation staffs--a class to which judges belong and to whose opinions they respond. Thus ever-expanding rights continually deplete America's bank of common morality.

Consider just a few of the court's accomplishments: The justices have weakened the authority of other institutions, public and private, such as schools, businesses and churches; assisted in sapping the vitality of religion through a transparently false interpretation of the establishment clause; denigrated marriage and family; destroyed taboos about vile language in public; protected as free speech the basest pornography, including computer-simulated child pornography; weakened political parties and permitted prior restraints on political speech, violating the core of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech; created a right to abortion virtually on demand, invalidating the laws of all 50 states; whittled down capital punishment, on the path, apparently, to abolishing it entirely; mounted a campaign to normalize homosexuality, culminating soon, it seems obvious, in a right to homosexual marriage; permitted discrimination on the basis of race and sex at the expense of white males; and made the criminal justice system needlessly slow and complex, tipping the balance in favor of criminals.

Justice O'Connor, a warm, down-to-earth, and very likeable person, joined many, though not all, of these bold attempts to remake America. Whatever one may think of these outcomes as matters of policy, not one is authorized by the Constitution, and some are directly contrary to it. All of them, however, are consistent with the left-liberal liberationist impulse that advances moral anarchy...

The court's critics are not angry without cause; they have been provoked. The court has converted itself from a legal institution to a political one, and has made so many basic and unsettling changes in American government, life and culture that a counterattack was inevitable, and long overdue. If the critics' rhetoric is sometimes overheated, it is less so than that of some Democratic senators and their interest-group allies. The leaders of the Democratic Party in the Senate are making it the party of moral anarchy, and they will fight to keep the court activist and liberal. The struggle over the Supreme Court is not just about law: it is about the future of our culture.

summertime

It's hot where Carl of No Oil For Pacifists is staying:
in California, renting a house with a 245 degree deck and a 160 degree view of the Pacific Ocean
That's like 405 degrees, right?

Monday, July 11, 2005

coincidence?

you be the judge!

please, no more lemons!

Lileks on "The Sleeper Cell":
"Oh, it's entirely possible that the real secret weapon of Islamist terrorism is disaffected Gauls, and someday Jacques Chirac will blow the Louvre to protest infidel cheese tariffs. It's also possible that pigs, given an aerodynamic profile and a nuclear-fueled jetpack, will break the Concorde's transatlantic speed record."
With that review, I bet watching the movie would make me feel like I'm pitchforking rutabagas out of a truck, too.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

chicken donut

Today I ate a chicken donut.

Yum.

Okay, it wasn't really a donut. It was a Popeye's spicy chicken strip which, at some time in its formative pre-cooked years, had curled upon itself and got stuck in a circular shape. The subsequent battering and frying kept it locked in that shape until I ate it, about three hours ago.

Spiciest. Donut. Ever.

It was the highlight of my week. That should tell you about the level of excitement around here...

p.s. Have you ever noticed that fried chicken is the most religiously associated type of fast food? Two of the main franchises are Church's and PopeYes.

UPDATE: I have a new highlight for my week. Just got back from a Rangers' game. Bad start, and a scare in the top of the 9th, but Rangers won 12-10 against the Toronto Bluejays. Part of the highlight is that I had the best seat I've had at Ameriquest Field - the front of the second section (24) almost directly behind home plate.

Signs of the Thames

Some of the best (and clean) pics from We're Not Afraid:

Underground

Simpson

UK OK

Big Ben

OSX

Soup

Electronic Music Pioneer

If you know anything about electronic music, you probably know the name "Bob Moog". I suspect, however, you don't know who was a major influence on him. Raymond Scott was the inventor of the sequencer and other unusual electronic instruments, including an instrument for writing film scores.

Supreme Court Confirmations

Turnabout is fair play, right?

aha!

Sprucegoose figured out the secret behind blogging's "summer slump":
(Longer daylight hours) lead to more daylight activities and less nighttime activities. The pajama-wearing bloggers have less time in their pajamas.

it's amazing what a little tax cut can do

via Bloomberg.com
Rising tax payments and a growing economy may push the U.S. federal deficit down to $325 billion or lower, a 24 percent decline from the previous estimate, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The agency, in a monthly snapshot for fiscal 2005 that ends on Sept. 30, said tax payments and spending were running ahead of the year-ago pace...

there's always an exception

Ron Reagan proved that sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree.

Update: MacStansbury found a video link for the exchange.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

7/7: What They Said

Bush & Blair

Churchill

UPDATE: My co-worker just came up with this quote.
London has been threatened (previously) by experts. Guy Fawkes tried to destroy London. The Great Fire tried to destroy London. France tried to destroy London for centuries. Spain tried to destroy London. Hitler tried to destroy London. I don't rate this latest attempt very highly at all, considering.
Wordgirl has good advice, too.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

dude, that's twisted

John Kerry for the Supreme Court?!?

also via the site: Idaho's Napoleon Dynamite Proclamation.

UPDATE: Mish Mash has another twisted idea for an SC nominee:
"As far as dancing around the filibuster goes, you could nominate some whackjob even the sellout Republicans wouldn't go for and let them have a floor vote, like Senator Boxer, as a show of your magnanimous bipartishanship. She loses the vote, and then the Dems can't very well throw a hissy fit when a conservative is the next nominee, can they?"

New Movie

You may or may not remember Steve Taylor. He's a Christian musician who started back in the 80's, around the time of Petra & Stryper. I got his autograph on his first album, "I Want To Be A Clone", while he was still performing with the Jeremiah People. He made several albums under his own name, then one(?) with Chagall Guevara, then... I didn't hear anything else about him for several years.

It turns out that he is now focusing on film production. "The Second Chance" will be his directorial debut, and is scheduled for release this fall (one site suggests Sept. 9th).

Oh, and the movie will star Michael W. Smith.

Volcano Update

Analysts downgraded the stock value of the Volcano of Fire (VoF), saying the mountain has failed to meet market expectations of actual production of fire. VoF stock slipped 27 cents on the VolMex exchange Saturday on below-average trading. Litigation pending against VoF continues to cast a dark cloud on the mountain.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What's worse than jury-tampering?

The Left's pattern of judge-tampering. Discerning Texan is on the case.
If we truly live in a Republic, where democratically elected representatives of the people make the laws and the courts merely interpret the laws, as intended by our founders, then we simply cannot allow the erosion of the people's voice to continue. To the extent that any democracy allows the will of its people to be usurped by the tyranny of an elite few, then it ceases to be a real democracy -- or even a democratic Republic -- such as ours.

Live 8, Live 9, whatever it takes

Give 'em the business, Allister!

The intro:
"There was a time when young people who wanted to save the world would become doctors, scientists or teachers; move to Africa to devote their lives to helping the poor; or even study economics, human rights law or international relations. Now, it seems, they go to rock concerts. Its much less hassle."
The point:
"Poverty in Africa cannot be reduced through government-to-government financial transfers, which never trickle down. This kind of aid perpetuates poverty, promoting poor government policies and corruption, rather than real and lasting economic growth. Sadly, this will be the outcome of the current effort."

Some data:
"A separate study from the Globalisation Institute this weekend finds that for every 1% increase in aid received by a developing country, there is a 3.65% drop in real GDP growth per person."

"(A) recent estimate by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the chairman of Nigerias Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (is) that country's politicians had stolen or squandered $396 billion since independence in 1960, six times the total value of the aid handed out by the US to Europe during the Marshall plan after the second world war."

Metal Therapy

A federal circuit court ordered the immediate and forcible removal of neoclassical rock guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen from the spandex he has worn since his debut album in 1985.

:)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Recycling #0008: Leftover Corn

I first wrote this about six years ago. Here it is again, somewhat modified from the original:

---

Early in the fifteenth century, there was a son born to the king of a small country in Europe. The king had long awaited a male heir, and there was much celebration in the land at the news of his birth. Of course, the child was given the best of everything, the finest clothes, the best foods, and was taught by the most learned men in the land. He was also tall, strong, and handsome, so all the young maidens dreamed of marrying him someday.

From an early age, however, the child was a very independent sort. Even though so much had been granted to him, he disliked having been born into royalty, and had little patience for the trappings of that society. He had no patience for the ritual of the court, and his tutors could never really engage his attention on any subject, save one.

His only times of attention to his schooling were during the painting lessons. This visual talent blossomed at an early age, and he was intent on learning all he could about the methods of the masters. Since he attracted so much attention in the villages, he would go to remote scenic places to paint pictures. This was the only part of his life that brought him real happiness.

The rest of the time, he became more and more rebellious, and often argued with his father, even in public. This was unheard of in the history of their monarchy, and the otherwise peaceful land became filled with whispering and rumors. The king was well aware of this, so he devised a plan to quell the rumors. He sent his son on a journey around Europe, telling him that he could paint to his heart's content, but must return to be crowned king at the appropriate time. Of course, the son jumped at the chance to see the world, quickly packed his painting supplies, and left as soon as he could.

A few short years passed, and the king became ill. He sent messengers to bring his son back to fulfill his promise and take his father's place of rule. The son had some small advance warning of this, and managed to elude the king's men for a short while. Many in the castle were worried that the king might die before the son returned, but eventually the king's men found him and safely brought him back to fulfill his duty.

The very moment the elderly king and his son saw each other again, the past was forgotten, and they were both filled with joy. Due in part to his elation, the king actually recovered from his illness, and lived a few more years before he needed to retire. His son, having matured on his journey, began to appreciate his homeland. He never once regretted having his earlier travels cut short.

All these years, however, the royal subjects had not been told why the son had left. Gossip always assumes the worst, so they assumed he had either gone insane, deserted his country, died of some horrid disease, or been banished for some crime. With the suspicious (to them) coincidence that his return had happened so soon after his father's illness, they remained wary of him.

Though the journey was explained to everyone, and his paintings were prominently displayed in the museum, it was too late. The son had lost the respect of his soon-to-be subjects. The press even gave him the nickname "The Prince, formerly known as Artist".

Eminent Domain Abuse, pt.2

Vodkapundit: "Everybody knows politicians can be bought. Who knew they came so cheap?"

Pop! go the Boomers

Varifrank has a great obit for the boomers. It starts with the following and gets better:
As someone born at the tail end of the "Me" generation, there is nothing funnier to me than watching the baby boomer generation as it slides into its oblivion. A whole generation dedicated to "me" is reaching its end; finding nothing but its fat corpulent corrupt self satisfaction for all their works. No monuments, no temples, no universities, no ideas. Just obsolete record collections and posters of concerts and glory days gone by. The sad thing about the "me" generation; when your life is about nothing but self satisfaction it doesn’t leave a whole lot behind to be remembered for by the next generation.

Your generation sure has come a long way, Gary. And from the deepest part of my 'Generation Next' heart, I wish you'd all just keep moving right along. Your generation lived in the soft pocket that the generation before provided for your generation, and yet you hated them for it. The parents of your generation, the generation that survived the triplet horrors of the Great Depression, the struggle against fascism and finally the Soviets was your definition of evil, not the horrible things they fought against. They left behind a world that you could live in that was beyond anything they could have imagined. Freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of expression, and inside of a single generation you went and wrapped the whole thing around a telephone pole like a drunken teenager behind the wheel of a Maserati. It must’ve been hard for them to find the will fight starvation, Hitler and Stalin, but it must’ve been absolute hell for them to withstand the pain of their hearts being crushed by their own kids.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Molten Thought

The blogathon is on! Molten Thought is blogging 24 hours straight to benefit the Armed Forces Relief Trust. Go by and drop something in the tip jar.

(They've already posted more in the first three hours than I did all last week...)

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Update 1: Wordgirl takes the idea of having superpowers seriously. As does Teflon. My friends and I didn't. Here's a partial list of ours:

One guy's superpower is to create small items within his reach by saying the phrase, "What I really need is a ______."

Another's superpower is to always receive bent silverware at any restaurant.

Yet another's is being able to predict ten seconds ahead of time when either the phone or doorbell will ring, and who is calling.

My and my father's superpower is to find parking spaces close to our destination. Though it has been proven repeatedly over nearly fifteen years, for unknown reasons some people still doubt it. No matter if a spot is needed at the mall on Christmas Eve, or at the civic center during a convention, a space almost always opens up for us. I've even heard reports that this phenomenon has worked without me being present; that people have invoked my name and parking spaces have become available. If for some reason we are not able to find a spot nearby and have to park far away, something mildly unpleasant will happen at that place - like being overcharged at a store, being served bad-tasting food, stumbling over a step, etc.

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Update 2: This sleep deprivation test doesn't mention having a lousy work schedule.

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Update 3: Yikes. Was she following a garbage truck or something?!?

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Update 4: Nobody expects the Hatless Hordes! :)

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Update 5: Dubya for Mount Rushmore!

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Update 6: Wow, it's tough to tell what the Founding Fathers' intent was, 'cause they didn't, like, write hardly at all... :P

Poetry

Intolerance is tolerance.
Uniformity is diversity.
Idiocy is intellect.

Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg, the funniest comedian since Steven Wright, died four months ago. Here is the Wikipedia entry for some of his jokes. Unfortunately most are profanity-laced, so I'll include some clean & cleaned-up ones here:
I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs.

All McDonalds commercials end the same way: "prices and participation may vary." I want to open my own McDonalds and not participate... "You got Big Macs?" "Nope ... we got spaghetti! ... and blankets."

I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There's turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Some one needs to tell the turkey: man, just be yourself. I already like you, little brother. You do not need to emulate the other animals.

Rice is great if you're really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something. Fettucini alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults.

If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptable.

...and then at the end of the letter I like to write "P.S. — This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated."

I hope the next time I move I get a real easy phone number. Something like, 222-2222. I would say sweet. People would say, "Mitch, how do I get a hold of you?" I would say, "Press 2 for a while, and when I answer, you will know that you have pressed 2 enough."

...when I drive a rental car, I don't know what's going on with it, right? So a lot of times I drive, like, for ten miles with the emergency brake on. That doesn't say a lot for me, but it really doesn't say a lot for the "emergency brake." It's really not an "emergency brake", it's an "emergency make-the-car-smell-funny lever."

I went to the doctor the other day. All this guy did was suck blood out of my neck. Never go to see Dr. Acula.

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don't need a receipt for the doughnut - I'll just give you money and you give me the doughnut. End of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario in which I would need to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend? "Don’t even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here. Oh wait, it's back home in the file... under 'D', for doughnut."
UPDATE: Found another source (besides several copy-paste fansites):
I called the hotel operator and she said, "How can I direct your call?" I said, "Well, you could say 'Action!', and I'll begin to dial. And when I say 'Goodbye', then you can yell 'Cut!'"

That would be cool if the earth's crust was made out of graham cracker. It would disappear just like the ozone layer, but for completely different reasons.

This one commercial said, "Forget everything you know about slipcovers." So I did, and it was a load off of my mind. Then the commercial tried to sell slipcovers, but I didn't know what they were!

Imagine if you were a drummer, and you accidentally picked up two magic wands instead of sticks. There you are, keeping the beat, the next thing you know, your bass player turns into a can of soup.

If you can't sleep, count sheep. Don't count endangered animals. You will run out.

I was on a bus once, it was in the middle of the night, and I had a box of crackers and a can of Easy Cheese. It was dark, and it was a surprise how much cheese I had applied on each cracker. That's why they should have a glow-in-the-dark version of Easy Cheese. It's not like the product has any integrity to begin with. If you buy a room-temperature cheese that you squeeze out of a can, you probably won't get mad because it glows in the dark too.

I saw a lady on TV, she was born without arms. That's sad, but then they said, "Lola does not know the meaning of the word 'can't'." That, to me, is even worse in a way. Not only is she missing arms, but she doesn't understand simple contractions.

When I was a boy, I laid in my twin size bed, wondering where my brother was.

I have a king sized bed. I don't know any kings, but if one came over, I guess he'd be comfortable. "Oh, you're a king, you say? Well, you won't believe what I have in store for you."

You know when a company wants to use letters in their phone number, but often they'll use too many letters? "Call 1-800-I-Really-Enjoy-Brand-New-Carpeting." Too many letters, man, must I dial them all? "Hello? Hold on, man, I'm only on 'Enjoy.' How did you know I was calling? You're good, I can see why they hired you!"

How does a sesame seed stick to a bun? That's magical. There must be some sesame seed glue out there. Either that or they're adhesive on one side. Peel off the backing, place it on the bun.

They could take sesame seeds off the market and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine 5 years from now saying, "Remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank!"

I have an oscillating fan at my house. It goes back and forth. It looks like the fan is saying "no." So I like to ask it questions that a fan would say "no" to! Do you keep my hair in place? Do you keep my documents in order? Do you have 3 settings? LIAR! My fan lied to me. Now I will pull the pin up. Now you're not saying ANYTHING!

I didn't go to college, but if I did, I would have taken all my tests at a restaurant. Because the customer is always right.

I have no problem not listening to the Temptations.
UPDATE 2: Finally found the one where the letter X gets an agent.
"It's like X wasn't given enough to do so they had to promise it more...Okay, you won't start a lot of words but we will give you a co-starring role in tic-tac-toe. And you will be associated with hugs and kisses. And you will mark the spot. And you will make writing Christmas easier. And incidentally you will start xylophone. Are you happy?"

9 Judges vs 10 Commandments

George Neumayr at The American Spectator writes:
Monday's ruling is yet another dismal reminder that the Supreme Court has written a new constitution for America without bothering to hold a Constitutional Convention. In fact, the Supreme Court should be renamed the "Ongoing Constitutional Convention." That's what it is at this point: nine judges determining from day to day the form of government under which over 280 million people will live. Liberals prefer this de facto Constitutional Convention to a real one since calling together the states to ratify a new secularist constitution would be a real hassle. They wouldn't dare be that direct and honest, for if they said to the American people, "The Founding Fathers' constitution is an outmoded theistic relic. Join us in forming a new constitution on secularist foundations," the people would never ratify it. So what do they do? They write a new constitution in David Souter's office and call it jurisprudence.

PBS vs Abstinence

Hey, don't be so upset that your tax dollars are being used to attack the only 100% effective deterrent to STDs. Playboy is paying for it too.

:P

Checkout Time

Let's help them with their bags.

Discerning Texan

On the upcoming Supreme Court nomination(s?), Discerning Texan writes:
Dear Mr. President:

Please, please nominate originalists to the court. It may be the most important thing you do in your entire Presidency. Don't cave in to these back-stabbers: if you have to go "nuclear", so be it. But this is too important. I know you know what the right thing is to do. And I have faith that you will do that right thing. Please don't let us down now.

You took an oath to "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." If you really meant that, please stand up for what is right, rather than what is expedient. For this is the very reason you were destined to be President at this moment in history. God Bless.

Cheat Seeking Missiles

All the libs in the courts.

All the T in China.

All the racism in Mexico.

Mish Mash

Mish Mash asks a question that has probably never been asked before:
"Who is the patron saint of buffer overflow exploits in the Greek Orthodox church, anyway?"
Also read "How The West Was Zoned".

Friday, July 01, 2005

SBC-AT&T merger?

Local telephone-service provider San Antonio-based SBC (NYSE: SBC) and long-distance provider Bedminster, N.J.-based AT&T (NYSE: T) announced plans on Jan. 31 to merge their operations.

It's fine with me, just so long as SBC keeps up with their good customer service.

No Confidence

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government lost a vote of confidence on Friday in the Bundestag parliament.
The chancellor needs to fail in the vote so that he can present the argument of his government's "inability to act effectively" to ask German Federal President Horst Koehler to dissolve the parliament and announce an earlier election.
But wait, if he succeds in failing the vote, then (for once) he is acting effectively. How... ironic?

this looks interesting...

V for Vendetta is scheduled to be released on the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes. Hmm...

Let's hope the Wachowski Brothers learned something from their Matrix experience.

Postmodern Sesame Street

Why would this not surprise me?

One Down, At Least One To Go

Sandra Day O'Connor announces her retirement from the Supreme Court.

Eminent Domain Backlash

Vodkapundit points out that, once again, Democrats oppose protecting the poor.

War of the... uh... what was I saying?

That's funny, my first car was a 1939 Kokomo Mogul 8!

(there's a few pg13-level suggestive lines)

Perspective

Lileks comment today on the US Military:
These are the men who make my fat happy life possible, who will jump on a plane and go to Venus on behalf of people whose idea of sacrifice is taking a few minutes to sort the plastic from the glass on recycling night. Puts things in perspective.

robot

A robot replica of sci-fi author Philip K. Dick was unveiled at the NextFest 2005 event in Chicago. What I want to know is - does he write about electric sheep?

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other links at that site: nanofabric and nanodiamonds

eureka!

Scientists only recently discovered how ice melts, yet remain confident in their theories of evolution and global warming.

Fort Worth #19

"Fort Worth (Texas) continues to move up the population charts, going from No. 20 to 19 in U.S. census figures released today."

Take that, Milwaukee! (just kidding)

Offensiveness is on the Offensive

Ann Coulter sums it up this way:
That's the America you live in! A country founded on a compact with God, forged from the idea that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights is now a country where taxpayers can be forced to subsidize "artistic" exhibits of aborted fetuses. But don't start thinking about putting up a Ten Commandments display. That's offensive!
And, if you have the stomach for it, she includes a partial list of the filth your tax dollars are being wasted on.