Friday, January 29, 2010


O = KP^2 = null set != Mozart

how the brain doesn't work

lileks doesn't need a link from me, but i laughed more at (and identified more with) today's bleat than many in recent memory.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

it's a start

Sensible reductions in government spending are always welcome:
WASHINGTON – Facing voter anger over mounting budget deficits, President Barack Obama will ask Congress to freeze spending for some domestic programs for three years beginning in 2011, administration officials said Monday...

The spending freeze would apply to a relatively small portion of the federal budget, affecting a $477 billion pot of money available for domestic agencies whose budgets are approved by Congress each year. Some of those agencies could get increases, others would have to face cuts; such programs got an almost 10 percent increase this year. The federal budget total was $3.5 trillion.
Further details in the article (plus knowing how bureaucrats think) makes me less optimistic about how seriously anyone inside the beltway is taking deficit reduction.

Make that a really large "portion of the federal budget" being scaled back, and quickly please.

update: imagine my surprise - not even a day later, the senate rejects the deficit reduction plan. you've heard it said that "the devil's in the details"? i suspect he has his minions from top to bottom of this government spending insanity.

Monday, January 25, 2010

restaurants with character

In 1996 my sister and I drove from Fort Worth to the northeast. The primary purpose was to attend our cousin's wedding in Wilmington DE, but there was much other sightseeing involved. At the start of the trip, I was a much pickier eater and would have probably relied on Burger King, but thankfully my sister changed that habit.

The most memorable restaurants on that trip were a wood-fired pizza place (which I now cannot find on a map) in Cincinnati OH, and two places in Toronto. One of these was just a microbrewery in a basement whose kitchen happened to be open late, and served the most interesting interpretation of quesadillas we have ever seen (both cheese and beans were white). The other was a small but nice Italian restaurant, where the waiter told us the Italian-named specials in English with a French-Canadian accent - imagine how that would sound...

Driving to the west coast in 1999, I found a couple of interesting restaurants. First was a chinese restaurant in Kingman AZ (not sure, but "Golden China" seems to be in the right location on that map) where the lunch special including tea was $4, and the radio was blasting Zeppelin, Ozzy, and B.Ö.C. Next on that trip was Chalet Basque, which cost five times as much for three times the amount of food on ten times the number of dishes. All I ordered was the roast beef dinner, and out came a basket for rolls, the entree plate, bowl and saucer for each vegetable, a saucer for the butter pats, glasses for water and tea, etc., etc., etc... filled the table for four I was seated at alone.

So now it has become my habit to find interesting places to eat. Of course the best barbecue is usually found in the smallest spots, like Ranchlanders' near Hammond TX and Big O's in Valera. Plus, most towns with populations over 1,500 on the back roads I travel have some little place for the locals to eat, like Staghorn Cafe in Cross Plains or George's in Post. Most are a gamble that usually pay off.

The inspiration for this post came Sunday evening, when I found Gunny's Place in Eastland TX. With only six tables in front, it's not even big enough to be on Google maps. But Gunny is one of those larger-than-life characters that I wasn't sure still existed. He's a cigar-chompin tough-as-nails Marine that wouldn't have been out of place in a John Wayne war movie. The menu says he invented a few sandwiches, and I had the Gunny Burger, which is something between a burger and a philly cheesesteak. Ground meat and/or sausage grilled with bell peppers and onions, covered in nacho cheese on a philly roll - might sound odd but it tasted great.

So if you're not in the habit, instead of relying on lowest-common-denominator fast food chains, give the local places a try.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

details, details...

update & bump: President Hussein re-treads the worn out notions of Smoot and Hawley.

sowell and igst, very edited:
Hoover and FDR had no understanding of the U.S. economy after the stock market crash of 1929 and their interference in it deepened and prolonged the nation's misery...

Prior to this time, no president had attempted to have the federal government intervene to bring a depression to an end.

Many saw in the Great Depression the failure of free market capitalism as an economic system and a reason for seeking a radically different kind of economy — for some Communism, for some Fascism and for some the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration... remarkably little effort has been made by most of the intelligentsia to try to sort out the cause or causes...

While unemployment went up in the wake of the stock market crash, it never went as high as 10% for any month during the 12 months following that crash in October 1929. But the unemployment rate in the wake of subsequent government interventions in the economy never fell below 20% for any month over a period of 35 consecutive months...

In the wake of (the Smoot-Hawley) tariffs, unemployment rose far more dramatically than in the wake of the stock market crash. The unemployment rate stood at 6.3% in June 1930 — eight months after the stock market crash — when the Smoot-Hawley tariffs were passed. A year later, the unemployment rate was 15% — and a year after that it was 25.8%.

All of this unemployment need not be attributed to the tariffs, but the point is that the tariffs were supposed to reduce unemployment. The unemployment rate was already trending generally downward for several months when the Smoot-Hawley bill was passed, a trend that reversed itself just five months after the new tariffs went into effect. Once the unemployment rate rose into double digits in November 1930, an unemployment rate as low as 6.3% was not seen again for the remainder of the decade...

(Obama & Co.'s) $1.6 trillion worth of interference (is bad enough, not to mention its) payoffs in aid of subversives...

Friday, January 22, 2010

In a land close, really close by . . .

One of the most entertaining "musician wanted" ads i've seen is for a bassist in the Fort Worth area:
In a land close, really close by . . . (FW)
Date: 2010-01-16, 11:40PM CST
Reply to:

Close, really close by, in a magical, mystical kingdom, there live a band of merry musicians who, while their sound really rocks, they sense in their collective musical psyches that their group is in dire need of some ... serious bottom end.

Those of the band are all experienced musicians, able to make magnificent melodies and hand up heart-warming harmonies, entertaining the masses while at the same time having a joyous revelry in the presence of each other . . . and yet, they are still severely lacking of . . . serious bottom end.

This band of merry musicians is welcomed at the events of their fellow man & maid as well as in the cloistered halls of the nobles, though the band prefers to avoid sharing their music in places commonly referred to as "dives." (If fact, conversely to performing in "dives," these musicians might instead even be seen plying their trades at their preferred houses of worship on Sabbath days (which happens to be this particular minstrel's favorite place to share his craft)! Those of this band also make it a point to reserve time for their families!) In all of this, the band does enjoy the company of each other, and occasionally (and in moderation) they may partake of the fruit of the vine or of the vat. However, they DO NOT partake of nefarious substances such as evil potions or concoctions created by those of any underground apothecary. And thus, the merry band happily share their craft far and wide, though they are still in need of . . . serious bottom end.

But in the meantime, unbeknownst to the merry band (and yet not far, far away . . . and soon to be revealed), there lives an ingenious troubadour who can meet their need! He is a friendly fellow, and he has masterfully designed musical equipment that can reach WAY down low, providing the earth-moving rumble that this band seeks. He is able to play a variety of musical styles (though he considers "heavy metal" to be something that knights should take off at night and wash regularly), he has masterful chops, and he is able to lay down tasty tones that will satisfy the greatest needs of the adoring masses and give them . . . serious bottom end!

The land waits for answers . . . . What will the band of merry musicians do? Will the masses remain bereft of things down low, only to live out their days filled with woe and treble? Will the band find the mysterious musician with serious bottom end skills who lives close, really close by?

Write me to find out . . . .

on jeopardy

A: insane

Q: what is the federal government?


update: okay, maybe the whole world is insane...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the rule of law not and has never been the rule of lawyers — especially lawyers we can’t vote out of office when they say we must let trained terrorists move in next door.

As for privacy, Americans are not as self-absorbed as ACLU staffers — who, by the way, reserve the right to search your bags before you enter their offices. If you fret about privacy, it’s Obamacare that ought to give you sleepless nights. The lefties who’ve told us for nearly 40 years since Roe v. Wade that the government can’t come between you and your doctor are now saying you shouldn’t be able to get to a doctor except through the government, which will decide if you’re worth treating — that is an invasion of privacy. Penetrating enemy communications, on the other hand, is what Americans think of as self-defense. It’s what we’ve done in every war in our history. It’s what common sense says we must do to win. And when America goes to war, Americans want to win.

And our reputation in the international community? Reputation with whom? Sharia states where they stone adulterers, brutalize homosexuals, and kill their own daughters in the name of honor? Rogue regimes where exhibitions of American weakness are taken as license to mutilate? Euro-nannies who rely on us for protection because they’re without the will and the resources to do the job themselves? They ought to worry about their own reputations.


Calling someone "ignorant" isn't necessarily an insult. Different people have knowledge of different topics, and are "ignorant" of other topics. For instance, one blind date I had in college referred to a Bible verse "in the book of the Phillipines" (seriously).

However, one would expect members of Congress to have a better knowledge of our Constitution.

the viewpoint view

katrina != haiti

government health care aches & pains

Free Credit Score Quiz

Adjusted for inflation, the cost of Obama's credit bailout is less than which of these previous government expenditures?

1 - Marshall Plan
2 - Louisiana Purchase
3 - Race to the Moon
4 - S&L Crisis
5 - Korean War
6 - The New Deal
7 - Iraq War
8 - Vietnam War
9 - NASA

Answers below:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Massachusetts Results

update & bump: Democrats admit cheating against Scott Brown - in 2004.

Some follow-up on Scott Brown's victory (most of these are a link or two away from Instapundit):

Daily Pundit:
America has been given an unavoidable look at what the Democrats really are: power-crazed taxing, spending tyrants who care no more for the will of the people than they do for liberty itself. Now we have to give them a good look at a better option - no more “not quite as bad as the Dems”... McCain-style RINOs,... “Benedict” Arlen Specter(s), the Pennsylvania Turncoat...

This nation is only as good as its voting citizenry, but today showed that when that citizenry makes the effort to be good, it can be very good indeed. The Dems, with their socialist agendas, had convinced themselves that liberty in this nation was dead, succumbed to the sweet siren call of security from womb to tomb. Today they learned otherwise.
Tom Blumer
In electing Scott Brown to what the elites believed was Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat one day shy of the anniversary of Barack Obama’s inauguration, Massachusetts voters have delivered an irrefutable repudiation of the president, his agenda, and the people in Congress who support him.

Make no mistake. All the attempted post-election distancing in the world won’t change the fact that this election was all about Dear Leader... if Obama & Co. can’t sell their agenda (in Massachusetts), it’s an epic fail everywhere. (ed: link mine)
...the up-tingle is now a down-trickle...

both sides wrong

all those guns sold last year weren't grabbed by obama, and crime went down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Massachusetts Vote

"The Chicago-Obama Democratic machine must be bursting with pride at a Massachusetts Democratic operation that clearly has the skill sets necessary to deprive the voters of an honest and unpoliticized outcome."

update 1: Tom Blumer continues:
The run-up to the 2008 presidential election and the first year of Barack Obama’s administration represent a virtual case study in how authoritarian rule begins to take root. History surely will recite a lengthy litany of freedom-restricting and/or government power-enhancing laws, regulations, actions, and statements that have come from Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and their swelling ranks of apparatchiks since they assumed one-party control of the U.S. government and Congress early last year.
update 2 & bump: Like Chicagoa, MA has plenty'a dead votahs.

update 3: The Anchoress weighs in...

war of words

For reasons both obvious and unpublicized, David Horowitz...
can’t set foot on this campus – or any campus – without being accompanied by a personal bodyguard and a battalion of armed campus security police to protect me and my student hosts.

Sheer prudence forces me to visit campuses with these security measures in place because I’ve been demonized by the campus left at virtually every school I’ve visited in the past decade and physically assaulted at several. USC officials regard the threats against this event seriously enough to have assigned twelve armed officers to watch over the proceedings. These police are not here to protect you from me. They are here to protect me from you members of the USC Progressive Alliance, Students for Justice in Palestine and the USC Muslim Student Union who have made these threats and incited hatred towards this event and its speaker. These are the tactics favored by fascists – and when I use that word I mean it literally. I don’t use it the way the Left does, as an epithet for anyone they don’t like.

The attacks on this event and those organizing it are part of a national hate campaign that the left has organized against me and others who share my views. It can be tracked on numerous websites over nearly a decade and is evidenced in the common themes of slander and abuse that are directed towards me. The left’s campaign – really a declaration of war — is in part a response to my opposition to its anti-American, anti-democratic and anti-Semitic agendas.
read it all

so it is written

Science once again is catching up to what is already known: the Bible was written when it says it was written.
Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing — an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David's reign.

The breakthrough could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought... (ed: by those who put too much faith in science)

Until now, many scholars have held that the Hebrew Bible originated in the 6th century B.C., because Hebrew writing was thought to stretch back no further. But the newly deciphered Hebrew text is about four centuries older... "It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century B.C. and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research," said Gershon Galil, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, who deciphered the ancient text.

The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel's Elah valley...

the downward spiral

People took the candidate (Obama) at his word of bipartisanship, fiscal seriousness, and centrism, and from day one got instead shady Cabinet nominations of tax cheats and lobbyists, indifference to congressional corruption,... a whiny monotony of "Bush did it" for a year, a 1,000-page healthcare monstrosity, fiscal insanity, serial appeasement of enemies with conscious neglect of old allies, and on and on. No hope, less change...

(ed: don't forget the policy of "opacity is transparency".) ironic — Obama was elected as a reaction to Bush's mistakes of deficit spending and big-ticket new entitlements that nullified his otherwise effective anti-terrorism war; instead, he took what people liked about Bush and ridiculed them, while trumping Bush's spending that had turned so many off.
read it all

Monday, January 18, 2010

now that's utopian thinking!

The third PJTV link for today says "there's a lot more than just money to "spread around." "

Obama's America?

Someone should inform Matthews & Obama, et al., that America does not belong to Obama, especially beyond 2010.

R.L. Simon expands:
...the disconnect between the citizens and the leadership in our country is greater than I can ever remember it. It’s bordering on the surreal... The whole relationship between the governors and the governed is being called into question by people drunk on their ideology, much of which they have forgotten or may not even exist in any coherent form in the first place. We are at an extraordinary moment.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

css mess

tonight i tried again to fix the css styles on this blog's template so that the text would fit better inside the curvy graphics i added. now it looks okay on my computer, please let me know whether or not it looks okay on yours...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

danny glover

vodkapundit calls him "the pat robertson of the left". after the rantings of others like:shouldn't that be "just another pat robertson of the left"?

poll numbers

They don't fool most of the people most of the time any more:
67% of likely U.S. voters believe the news media have too much power and influence over government decisions... Just 8% think the media have too little power and influence...

Only 20% of all voters say most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of a political campaign. 72% say most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win.

Just before the November 2008 presidential election, 68% of voters said most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win, and 51% believed they were trying to help Democrat Barack Obama. Just 7% thought they were trying to help his Republican opponent, John McCain.

conservative ideals are better

read the whole article, but some of its key points are:
"Given the horrendous mess that Obama and his liberal minions are making, there are signs that the American people might finally be coming to their senses. An increasing number realize that the utopian dream of fairness and equality (of misery) toward which the liberals have been driving us for a century is in actuality a gigantic nightmare that will destroy the American way of life. Perhaps the people will be ready shortly to throw the bums out, abandon statism and start over. If so, conservatives must be ready to lead that counter-revolution."

"In the 110 years since 1900 we have had 19 Presidents — eleven Republicans and eight Democrats. The Democrat Presidents have ranged in philosophy from moderately liberal (Kennedy) to ultra-leftist (Wilson, FDR, Johnson, Obama) with the average far closer to the extreme left than the moderate center. The Republican Presidents, on the other hand, varied from center-leftish (Teddy, Hoover, Nixon and the Bushes) to strongly right (Coolidge, Reagan) with the average definitely closer to the center than the right. This does not strike me as strong evidence of our country's supposed center-right orientation."

"Here are three specific goals that I suggest be the main objectives when our turn comes again:
  1. Role of Government. Shrink the New Deal/Great Society/Obamania-inspired gargantuan government that is choking freedom out of American life.
  2. Defeat Islamic Fundamentalism. Reduce, and hopefully remove the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism as a threat to... the World.
  3. Recapture the culture... The basic goal is to restore (a reasonable facsimile of) the traditional culture that permeated American life from the 18th to the 20th century. Start on the long path toward delegitimizing the pornographic, anti-family, anti-religious, egalitarian, multicultural, environmentally wacky, anti-achievement, socialistic cesspool that passes for culture in America today.

liberal ideas are harmless

...until people start taking them seriously and putting them into practice."
"If we wish to really help the Haitians, or the people of any third world country, we should first get it into our minds that we can respect them as individual persons created in the image of God while at the same time recognizing that they're trapped in a culture that is devastating their potential. The worst thing we can do, perhaps, is to "respect" a culture that eats its people alive."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

speaking truth to power, occasionally

Mark Steyn:
Few industries congratulate themselves on their "courage" and "bravery" more incessantly than artists and journalists — at least when it comes to plays about a gay Jesus, or joining the all-star singalong for Rock Against Bush. But it's easy to be provocative with people who can't be provoked. Faced with an opportunity to demonstrate real courage, the arts and the media shrivel up like a bunch of dying pansies.

funny bit

someone else's kid asked:
My friend K doesn't have a blog, but she should because she occasionally sends me e-mails like this one:
Daughter: “What is that black stuff on the bagel?”
Mommy: “Those are poppy seeds.”
Daughter: “I thought puppies came from dogs!”
I e-mailed her back, "Were you eating bagels or beagles?"

Friday, January 08, 2010

dey haz spelin ishooz

airlyn tikt ajunt: "whas' ur naim?"

osama bin laden: "osama bin laden"

airlyn tikt ajunt: (typin "o-b-a-m-a s-i-n l-o-n-d-o-n") . . .

teeyesay komputorz: "s ok 2 fli"

airlyn tikt ajunt: "heerz ur bordin pas, obama"

osama bin laden: "k thx boom... er, i meen bai."

biosphere 2

"the replicant in decay"

via snadrs

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

from bad to worse to worse

This story needs no commentary:
TOKYO – Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognized as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings at the end of World War II, has died at age 93.

Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city.

He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the southwest, which suffered a second U.S. atomic bomb attack three days later.
This detail does though:
Last month he was visited in the hospital by filmmaker James Cameron, director of "Titanic" and "Avatar," who is considering making a movie about the bombings, according to the Mainichi.
What then is the most accurate term for Mr. Cameron's desire to profit from the deaths of others: vulture, graverobber, or ghoul?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

humans, bodies, & humans' bodies

via dustbury, again:
My personal philosophy is that I am the driver of my body-vehicle, not the vehicle itself. That’s what has made aging easier for me than it was before I really grasped that idea. Like a car, my body ages, but I, the driver inside, am the same age I ever was — I am ageless. My dreams brought this home to me this morning because in my dreams I am never any younger or older than about 30. That means something to me and, as I step into the final phase of my time on this planet, it’s a comfort.
I hadn’t thought about this before, but my own dream experience is similar: unless it’s spelled out early on that it’s the childhood version of me, there’s no real indication of my age in any of my dreams. Certainly the infirmities of age don’t play any role therein.

As for driver vs. vehicle, this sounds something like C. S. Lewis: “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” And there are worse things in life than sounding something like C. S. Lewis, whether or not you subscribe to Lewis’ particular faith.
Since I think about this kind of thing a lot (too much, probably), I'd agree with this view from both theological and personal viewpoints. As smart as my dad is, he doesn't seem to think about these things, which only now seems unfortunate as he struggles with the advancing weaknesses of Parkinson's...

Monday, January 04, 2010

year end review

on our annual corporate internal review system, it's difficult for me to fill in the "goals for next year" blank, because:

1) our company is being sold, so the review will (probably) never be seen again,

2) i have no company-related goals, and

3) i don't speak corporatese.

humans, nature, & human nature

dustbury vents (and i edit):
What is with this idiotic notion that Nature is good and Mankind is bad? Fact is, Nature is cruel, even demonstrably vicious, and Mankind is, uh, more kind than not. That's why Mankind has prospered and proliferated. DUH. Consider this: Christianity is the biggest ever departure from Nature. Its central premise is that we all matter. Odd. Wrong? Perhaps. But absolutely right in human terms. It has led to the extension of human thought, lifespans, and a kind of beauty and accomplishment no other culture has ever dreamed of. No other kind of human philosophy has produced such sheer gorgeousness. Now we are being asked to regard ourselves as vile, a scientifically verifiable pollution on the face of the earth, something akin to the AIDS virus...

We've been lulled into this delusion, I suspect, partly because we've been instructed to regard Nature as the repository of all beauty: anything we might produce ourselves must pale in comparison to the wonders of, well, just about anything that is recognized as life...

But this isn't the only bill of goods we've been sold:

In a world with few inescapable consequences, we bridle at the thousand tiny course corrections, the constant nudging that kept most of us on the straight and narrow path. We yawn at things that used to cause us a healthy sense of alarm. The "God of today" is a tolerant, undemanding, comfortable God who thinks we're all special just as we are... But somewhere deep down, I think we know better. I think we sense that we are glossing over the faint whiff of moral rot...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

a new psalm

I've posted Psalm 107 for several Thanksgivings now (in several versions):

But I read another Psalm last night that might become my annual New Year's post, the first half of Psalm 37:

1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.

2 For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.

11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

12 The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.

13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees his day is coming.

14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slay those who are upright in conduct.

15 Their sword will enter their own heart,
And their bows will be broken.

16 Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked.

17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the LORD sustains the righteous.

18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will be forever.

19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

20 But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures,
They vanish--like smoke they vanish away.

and now, a serious resolution

"repudiate the coward’s history"

Friday, January 01, 2010


My new year's resolution is 12 megapixels.