Monday, March 31, 2008

Life in the Kingdom

One of the extra preachers spoke on Sunday, and it was a fine sermon. He talked about Glass Half Empty Christians and Glass Half Full Christians. The Half Emptiers focus their hope on their own resurrection when they die, while the Half Fullers focus their hope on the Resurrection of Jesus and what that means for the whole cosmos and for life right here and right now. The Kingdom of God is all around us and will grow and encompass the whole universe in the fulness of time. Be joyful, therefore, even if you can't be happy because of circumstances.

It is exciting to think of living in the Kingdom even in the midst of so much violence and suffering. I imagine how even my most insignificant actions in furtherance of the Kingdom may be multiplied in their effects through the coming ages. Perhaps one small kindness will bear amazing fruit in the eons to come.

Enough with the Crap 'a 'thons

Some of the teens at our church are participating in a "Rock'A'Thon". For charitable donations they will rock in a rocking chair for ten straight hours! Another kid at church, one of the Cherubim, hit me up for $20 for a Jump 'A 'Thon where she was going to jump rope for some prodigious amount of time. Last year, the kid across the street was going to do a thousand karate kicks for charity.

Why do these things always involve some senseless activity that benefits nobody? I'd definitely give to a Rake' A 'Thon, and I'd even supply the leaves!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Transcendent Threat, My Ass

I heard a news story on the radio about the demented J Sidney McCain and a big foreign policy speech he recently gave. In a snippet, he declared that anyone who didn't acknowledge that Islamic terror or extremism or some such thing was a "transcendent threat" was not worthy to be president. "Transcendent"? Really? If he means that the threat is worse than any other threat, he's insane. Russia still has a crapload of nukes, and they still don't like us. Other countries have nukes as well. I reckon that nuke wielding nation states are a way more important threat to America than Islamic extremists.

When I think about threats, I like to bring things down to a personal level. What is the biggest threat that I face? It's not Islamic extremists, that's for sure. I am more threatened by wankers like J Sidney McCain who use the concept of Islamic extremism to turn my fellow Americans into bedwetters who, in a moment of fear induced stupidity, might vote for GOP candidates or who will otherwise acquiesce in increasing government power. As between Osama bin Laden and J Sidney McCain, I regard the latter as the bigger threat.

When I ponder threats, I also like to consider the capabilities of them that threaten me. Sure, some nutjob in a cave in Pakistan might sincerely wish me harm, but if he doesn't have the means to fulfill his wishes I am not going to worry over much about him. Russia has the means to kill me and everyone for a hundred miles around me, but for the moment doesn't seem to want to do it. I reckon making sure that Russia doesn't change its mind is way more important than worrying about the impotent nutjob in the cave.

Filet O'Fish and Sausage Biscuit Unquestionably Superior

Through all the menu changes at McDonald's over the years, the best sandwich is still the filet o'fish. If anything, the filet o'fish has gotten better but without any substantive change to the basic sandwich. The soft steamy bun, the creamy tartar sauce, the cheese food product, and the square fish part (species unknown) breaded and deep fried combine to form the perfect entree. The best side is naturally french fries as long as they are fresh. The filet o'fish is best when fresh out of the fryer, and in my day as a servant of McD in the 1970s we didn't make filiet o'fishes ahead of time, just to order. I suppose that this is still the case. If you order two sandwiches, eat the filet o'fish first while it is at the height of freshness. I don't want to know how the slab of fish is made. I imagine that a fish slurry is extruded into molds and sprayed with a crumb batter product and flash frozen.

The best breakfast sandwich at McDonald's is the sausage biscuit with egg (no cheese, thank you). They didn't even have breakfast back in my day, and for a long time there was just the McMuffin line. Now, all has been surpassed by the sausage biscuit. I am convinced that the sausage varies slightly by region, and I have detected slight taste differences as I have breakfasted at McD's on road trips. I once had a long commute up highway 41, and a McDonald's in Land O'Lakes was just about halfway. That's where I fell in love with the sausage biscuit and coincidentally where I started on the slow journey to obesity. I had a brief affair with the Croissanwich, considered it better than the McMuffin, but I was won back by the sausage biscuit.

Once again, a McDonald's lies halfway along my commute, this time in Yorktown. I try not to stop, but the siren song of the sausage biscuit beckons me. The meal is the best bargain. You get the sandwich, a hash brown, and a drink for slightly less than the sum of these items if ordered individually. Those hash browns rock, as long as they are fresh.

McDonald's is a happy place, a clean and snappy place, my kind of place.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Richard Sharpe is My Hero!

When I was laid up recently I started rereading the Bernard Cornwell Richard Sharpe series. I had read them all before, but it has been long enough ago that I found that I had forgotten them enough to enjoy them almost as much as if I hadn't read them before. I'm up to "Sharpe's Regiment". I even discovered that Cornwell wrote another Sharpe novel, taking place between some of the older ones, that I don't possess. I must have it!

For me, Richard Sharpe and Patrick Harper, the heroes of the novels, are as compelling as Aubrey and Maturin, albeit in an entirely different way. Sharpe is a more interesting character than Horatio Hornblower or Captain Aubrey. He's not all that moral. He is honorable, but he's not entirely above stealing or murder. He thinks with his balls a lot of the time.

I have seen the BBC series of televison films with Sean Bean as Sharpe more than once, and I would like to have them on DVD. I'd really love to see the novels made into theatrical films or even a series of HBO movies with high production values. The BBC films were pretty good, but they didn't really do the novels justice. Sean Bean is too old to play Sharpe, but I have been thinking that Christian Bales would make a first rate Sharpe. I had considered Jamie Bamber, but I don't see him as tough enough. I just haven't seen him in anything other than Battlestar Galactica. Cornwell's Napoleonic War hero was a hard ass.

I'm also looking forward to the latest installment of Cornwell's series set in Alfred the Great's England. I enjoyed hhis Arthurian series, too. I could not get into the series set in the War Between the States, but I'll probably give it another try one of these days.

I bet I've forgotten the Aubrey books enough by now to read them again! At last, a reason to celebrate my fading memory.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Syndicalist Blog

By following a commenter back to his profile, I found an interesting blog: The proprietor. Mr Owen, is a syndicalist.

Holy Weekend

The choir nailed Rutter's Requiem on Good Friday. The tenors and basses all showed up for remedial section practices, and this was a big help. The chamber ensemble (flute, oboe, cello, harp, tympani and glockenspiel) was fantastic. The service was quite moving, but I found myself annoyed that several of the teenagers who had been recruited to do readings of prayers on the seven last words couldn't be bothered to dress in clothes that didn't look as if they were getting ready to clean out the gutters. One kid actually wore a freaking baseball cap. This is in a very formal service, mind you, not one of their teeny bopper affairs. I reckon I'm turning into a grumpy old bastard now that AARP is recruiting me as a member. In my day, we took our hats off in church and we didn't wear sweats to services, and that's how we liked it!

Easter had full houses for both services, both of them traditional. My COPD has been acting up, so I had pretty much sung myself out on Friday and was almost useless for all the Hallelujah songs, especially by the time we were doing them for a second time at the 10:30 service. I was part of a recorder trio that played along with the organ (harpsichord was busted) and the choir on a Bach piece, however, and did not screw up my part. It was helpful that we had a conductor.

It was cold as all get out on Easter morning, so my decision to pass on the sunrise service was validated. I ate two small chocolate bunnies and a clutch of Cadbury Cream Eggs in honor of the occasion.

I like Easter better than Christmas. The Christmas narrative is just not believable to me, and I wish that our prestly caste would focus on the symbolic import rather than on the Nativity stories as factual. Also, the whole point of Christianity is commemorated in Holy Week, and Christmas is irrelevant except to the extent that it relates to Easter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stuff I've Been Thinking About

I thought BHO's big speech was right on the money. As Jon Stewart put it, BHO talked to America about race "as if we were adults". Some of my conspecifics apparently didn't get it and don't understand why black people might be angry. Seriously. My conspecifics' ancestors almost died when their tater crop failed, and you don't hear them whining about how hard they had it. Their ancestors' tenements in old New York were as bad as any slave quarters, probably worse, but do they whine about it. Actually, they do. They were whining about it just yesterday when they questioned the legitimacy of black anger.

When the New Yorker comes in the mail, I go through it and take in all the cartoons. Sometimes, I cover the captions and substitute "F**k you!" to see if they are even funnier. One cartoon this week has some plutocrats sitting around wondering whether there is an "upper class" in heaven. This got me to thinking that there could well be a class system in heaven. But the rich bastards won't be in the upper class unless they were major philanthropists in life. The poor in spirit, the meek, the peacemakers, the faithful and loving will have lots of treasures in heaven, and guys like me might get to wash their heavenly cars if we are lucky. Rich folks might not ven be there, what with its being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, yadda yadda yadda.

Someone asked me whether I reckoned the Beijng Olympics should be boycotted because the Chinese government is so oppressive. That should be up to individuals, in my view. The government shouldn't make that decision for athletes and Olympic Committees and individuals. If you feel strongly about the matter and reckon that taking action concerning the Olympics will make a difference or a measningful statement, then by all means boycott the games. For my part, I will not be competing this year, so don't even ask me. I never follow the games, because they don't interest me. I can't stand it that athletes are grouped by nation-state, and I would prefer it if they just competed as individuals or for their home towns or some such thing.

Bill Maher made a good point on MSNBC about McCain when he said that McCain wasn't stronger, just dumber. Seriously, McCain seems to be proud of his ignorance of foreign affairs, and he makes one blunder after another. I suspect that he's trying to convince th dumbasserate that he is one of them. For once, the talk really is straight, since McCain genuinely is a dumbass.

I caught a glimpse of a headline that screamed that Hillary Clinton was "IN THE WHITE HOUSE ON STAINED BLUE DRESS DAY"!!!!!! First off, I would like to see Stained Blue Dress Day recognized as a national holiday. Secondly, unless you have evidence that Hillary was involved in a three way with Bill and Monica on Stained Blue Dress Day, then I don't really care where she was. I take it back, I don't want to know about the three way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Some Suggestions About Filing

I've been cleaning out files, sending some to storage, figuring out what to do with others, and trashing a lot. I can't believe the crap that people keep. Does anyone believe that there will ever be a use for the drafts, redlines, redrafts and comments leading up to a contract that was finalized several years ago? Do they reckon that historians will want to know how that nonexclusive distribution agreement was drafted back at the begining of the third millenium? What fascinating history was behind that choice of venue clause? There's about a one in a billion chance that those drafts could be used to help in contract interpretation, and it is just as likely, hell more likely, that your documents that you saved are going to bite you on the ass. If you're stupid enough to keep this stuff, you're probably not smart enough to negotiate a contract, either.

And another thing. You don't have to print every fracking e-mail you ever sent or received and save it in a file, especially e-mails where you thank someone for their goram e-mail. And when something is done, it usually suffices to keep the final product, whether it's a contract, pleading, responses to discovery, letter or what have you. Nobody gives a frack about your creative process!

Before you make a file or put something in an existing file, ask yourself why the hell you are considering keeping the damned thing at all? What would be the downside if you threw it away? I let throwing away serve as my default, and unless I can think of a good reason to keep something, it's gone, especially if I know that our lawyers or other representatives have the thing in their file.

You don't have to print every attachment to every e-mail and save them in a file. Just read the ones that interest you on the screen, or if you print them out, toss them when you're done, unless you have good reason to keep something.

Just because you had a reason to keep something initially, you don't have to continue to keep it when that reason no longer pertains. Purge your files once and a while! Delete your old e-mails regularly. It's all potentially incriminating in the hands of an unscrupulous (Is there any other kind?) prosecutor.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rev Wright not as Crazy as Right Wing Media Suggests

Rev Wright's entitled to his opinions, for crying out loud, and I happen to agree with more than a few of them. I've been looking at his supposedly incendiary remarks, and except for his implying that the government gives out drugs (which for all I know it does), I can understand where he's coming from. Right wing religious leaders have said a lot crazier stuff, and nobody's asking John McCain to repudiate them.

So, I don't see that BHO has to take a position on Rev Wright's statements or that it makes sense to attribute the views of Rev Wright to the members of his congregation.

Anybody that listens to R Limbaugh, S Hannity or other brain cell destroying wankers wasn't going to vote for Obama anyway. If Obama needs the dumbasserate to win, then he might as well give up.

Some Tips for Wm Kristol

The internets are an amazing thing and can be a valuable research tool for a would be pundit. Google, for example, is just one of what the young people call "search engines" to help you find out about stuff. Here's the thing, though. A lot of the stuff on the internets is just plain bullshit that people just pull out their asses. For example, Newsmax is all bullshit all the time, and I hope that you have learned a lesson about internets sources.

Bill, I know that you are not a member of the reality based community and that the concept of "truth" is most irrelevant or alien to you, but when you deploy what we call "facts" in an argument, those "facts" are "verifiable" or "refutable" in the real world, and you look like a complete wanker when you use "facts" that aren't "true". A "fact" is by definition "true", so if you use a "fact" it involves a "truth claim". I know; it boggles the mind that people would care about such things, but as a pundit you have to be able to persuade the very people whose reliance on "facts" and "truth" is so mystifying. So try to learn about these concepts.

One of your intellectual forebears, Goebbels, noted that the bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be believed. So stick to the big lies, Bill, that are your stock in trade.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Laura Ingraham: Douchebaggette

Professional harpy Laura Ingraham says Brett Favre is a woman because he cried on the TV.
Frack you, Laura Ingraham! First of all, it is not an insult to call someone a woman. It would be an insult to call them a Laura Ingraham but not a woman in general. Second of all, it is not unmanly to cry. Achilles himself cried over the loss of Briseis, and he was the manliest man who has ever lived. Jesus wept, thank you very much, and I don’t think anyone doubts his manhood, except maybe Laura Ingraham, Jesus hater.

Men cry all the time. Them as don’t cry were fracked up by some crazy oppressive parent or teacher, like a Laura Ingraham, who lied to them and said that the penis disabled the tear ducts and the heart that could be broken. Them as don’t cry are them as don’t have the courage to have a broken heart. I don’t much trust a man who can’t cry unless he has some physical impairment of the tear ducts, in which case I feel pretty bad for him.

I cry all the time. Now, mind you, I’m not particularly sensitive to slights and insults and I am way more likely to laugh at you if you try to insult me than I am to cry. But my heart is broken, and I sometimes weep at the suffering in the world, at losses of loved ones, at serious disappointments, at some movies, when I hear some poems or songs, and at odd moments of joy or experience of the sublime. Sometimes I cry when I pray. And I’m not a woman. I was born with a penis and tear ducts and a heart capable of being touched.

I didn’t know who Laura Ingraham was before, but now I can add her to my list of douchebags that I don’t want to have anything to do with.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yard News

Here on Hosner Mountain it's 60 degrees and sunny. It's supposed to rain all weeked, but I'm hoping the clouds will stay away long enough for me to get a good look at Mars as it tracks close to the Moon after nightfall. Mars is supposed to be about a Moon's width away from the Moon, so it should be easy to find.

I'm not running out to buy any flowers or anything, but I'm seriously ready for Spring. Am I reading too much into the return of the cowbirds? After all, the juncos are still here, too. The peonies are sprouting, but there's no sign of any daffodils.

To my surprise, some of the larger comets survived the Attack of the Herons last Autumn and made it through the Winter under the ice in the pond. Here's to their evading the herons until the lilies grow in. I'll leave some of the detritus that has washed into the pond as cover until then.

The snow melt combined with major rainstorms has caused the pond to overflow again with some erosion damage on either side of the weir. I aim to put a stop to this and to strengthen and elevate the banks of the pond in those areas in order to stop erosion and force excess water over the weir. My plan is to build stone walls about two feet above the present level and to make them watertight with cement. Then I'll fill in the gullies and elevate them and replant them with shrubs and ornamental grasses. If that doesn't work, then I reckon I'll just have to go with the flow and turn the gullies into permanent run off channels.

I went to the lumberyard and looked at wood for the raised garden beds. I'm thinking that I'll just get eight 2 by 12s and make myself two 8 by 8 frames and fill them with Moo Dirt. I will probably put weed barriers under the dirt. The crop that Mrs Vache Folle has approved consists of lettuce, grape tomatoes, cukes, squash, basil, parsley, spinach, and green onions. I aim to add to the raspberry patch this year and to do so will move a couple of rhodies.

If we don't have another silt disaster like last year, I hope to get a lot done in the garden. I may start mining stones from the mountainside as early as this weekend if my unending bronchitis clears up better.

Suggestions for Hillary

It seems to me that HDianeR Clinton can't win the nomination unless the superdelegates ignore the will of the voters and put her over the top despite BHO's electoral successes. The only way this will happen is if BHO is so damaged by some scandal or a propaganda campaign that he is seen as unelectable. Maybe he will turn out to be "Client Number 10" of the Emperor's Club or some such thing, or he'll say something really stupid. Who knows?

It makes sense to hang around in case something comes up like this, but it makes no sense to try to damage your opponent so much that you work to elect JSidney McCain, III. You might just defeat the whole purpose of staying around, because the superdelegates will be too disgusted with you to give you the nod.

If I were on HDiane's campaign staff, I'd advise caution. Run hard the rest of the way and stay in it in case BHO implodes or develops cancer or ends up assassinated or something. Demonstrate some party loyalty and unity, for crying out loud. You are a young woman and will have other chances unless you go all Lieberman on us. Think about what you can do as a Senator with your party in power! You could be up for leadership. Don't screw this up. Act like you realize that this is not about you. Be gracious. It's over unless BHO fracks up, and you should join the reality based community and recognize this.

Recently, HDiane has been floating the idea that a quarter of her supporters wouldn't vote for BHO if he were nominated and that they'd vote for JSidney instead. Who are these people? The ones who will vote for their favorite white candidate but not for a black dude? What else could it be? There's not much similarity other than European ancestry between HDiane and JSidney. Is the Democratic party going to let its agenda be dictated by these people? I don't think HDiane should go there.

A Harsh Rebuke to Televangelists

Reading about televangelists as in these posts at the Rude Pundit and at Pandagon makes me in turns sad, angry, afraid, disgusted. In my view, these guys are blasphemers. They slander God, and they are the folks Jesus was talking about when he warned that not everybody who called "Lord, Lord" would be known to Him. They mislead millions, and they will be judged because of it. Of this I am as certain as I am of anything.

John Hagee claims that he knows that God smote New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina to prevent a gay pride parade. In view of its being the divine wrath, it makes sense that FEMA wouldn’t want to mitigate the suffering any too efficiently. Some televangelists, including the now dead Jerry Falwell and the not yet dead Pat Robertson, reckoned that the WTC attack in 2001 was a message from God about the gays. GW Bush says the attackers were evil and that God didn’t do it, but he is not a qualified televangelist so what does he know?

Hagee is impatient for the horrible deaths of most of humanity, and he expects that God is going to start a killing spree any day now. Jesus told us to pray that we do not see the time of trial, but Jesus said a lot of things that Hagee apparently doesn’t credit. Blessed are the peacemakers? Just dicta.
It seems to me that Hagee is dead wrong. He is lying about God. Of this I have a strong conviction, and I feel that it is incumbent on me to tell the truth. God did not tell Hagee that Katrina was His doing to stop a gay pride parade. And Katrina was no such thing. The WTC attack was no such thing. The tsunami in Indonesia was no such thing.

I base this solely on my own conviction after searching my heart and considering how gracious and merciful God is. Besides, it stands to reason. If the Son of God was sacrificed for sin, why would God be interested in preventing sin, even if you reckoned that homosexuality was a sin? Wouldn’t a God that routinely caused bad things to happen that would not otherwise have happened without His divine intervention send some storms in the path of the genocidal maniacs in Darfur? Wouldn’t he have smote the Hutus or the Nazis of Pol Pot with some foul weather? I suppose you could claim that genocidal maniacs are instruments of God and that all this genocide was meant as a message about gays. And that’s just what you might do if you were an insane blasphemous televangelist.

Oh, I forgot. The Holocaust was God’s way of chastising the Jews according to Hagee. Just as He used the Babylonians and the Romans to get the Jews back into line, God used Hitler to send a message to the Jews to get right with Him. Presumably, if the Jews had repented of whatever it was that made God angry, then the Holocaust would have been averted.

If Hagee is receiving spiritual messages, they are from the Devil. Many of the televangelists are on Satan’s payroll if you ask me. Why does God let these people mislead us? Why does God inflict us with GW Bush and his ilk? It's not because of gay people, I'll tell you that much.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grover Norquist: Dumbass or Douche?

I saw Grover Norquist on The Daily Show, and here's what I learned about him. He will never, ever get it that the GOP is lying about making government smaller. He reckons that John McCain really means it this time. Who has made the federal government the biggest in their tenures? Ronald Reagan and GW Bush. Did they promise to make government smaller? Yes, they did. Who got the US into the most debt? Ronald Reagan and GW Bush. Didn't they run on fiscal responsibility? Why, yes, they did.

Why would Grover Norquist believe John McCain? There's a few possibilities. One: he's a dumbass. Two: he doesn't really believe the GOP will make for small government but he's a GOP tool whose job is to deliver the small government vote to the big government party. Three: he has looked into John McCain's reptilian eyes and been hypnotized. Four: he's a dumbass.

Economists Suck

I heartily agree that economics is the "dismal science", and I almost always suspect that economists are as full of crap as a postmodernist cultural studies essayist. They use lots of jargon and charts and math that probably don't mean anything, and I'm supposed to believe that they have a clue about what is going on with the economy. If they're so damn smart, why aren't they raking it in on the stock market? Because they're just guessing and they hope nobody calls them on it if they're wrong.

What I really don't get is how giving a bunch of people a few hundred of their own dollars is supposed to jump start the economy. Once the rebate is spent, it's gone, and folks aren't any richer or more secure than they were before they got the rebate. Why aren't people spending? Because they don''t feel as rich as they did before the housing bubble burst. A few years ago, they had all this home equity, and it made them feel like they had a cushion and could splurge on a bathroom remodel or a vacation or a bass boat or what have you. Now, the equity is gone or way reduced, and they think twice or thrice about every expenditure.

What can be done to help with home values? Throw resources into the real estate market? Make it easier to get a mortgage? You tell me, Mr Smarty Pants Economist!

How is adding "liquidity" to big banks going to help if they aren't willling to put it in real estate? How is that supposed to make me and my neighbors feel like spending money? Good thing those fat cat bankers are swimming in cash! Now I can start buying stuff again! Please.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kinds of Delegates

Elected delegates: hand picked by campaigns and not likely to bolt.

Caucus delegates: same dif.

Superdelegates: loyal only to selves.

Metadelegates: problematize the concept of delegation asa social construct embedded in structures of power. Who is "delegating" what to whom?

Megadelegates: will change candidates for pie.

Hyperdelegates: can't hang around for second ballot.

Cryptodelegates: guys pretending to be delegates to pick up chicks and get free booze.

Paleodelegates: old people in straw hats who don't remember who they're for without a button.

Quasidelegates: Michiganders and Floridians.

Heterodelegates: pledged to the other guy.

Homodelegates: pledged to your guy.

Geodelegates: from planet earth.

Exodelegates: from elsewhere.

Clinton Courting the Dumbasserate

I don't know much about Philly, except that they make a mean steak sandwich, or Pittsburgh, except that they like their steaks almost raw, but I do know about the rest of Pennsylvania. I married a former Pennsylvanian and have had the misfortune to visit there many times and to know Mrs Vache Folle's idiot relatives who still live there. Here's the plain blunt truth. The middle of Pennsyvania is completely overrun by dumbasses. If by some genetic miracle a non-dumbass is born in middle Pennsylvania (let's call it Pennsyltucky), they will move out as soon as they can thereby maintaining the predominance of the dumbass strain.

And one thing that dumbasses believe with all their hearts, if they are white or white-ish, is that the only reason they aren't successful is that black guys got all the breaks. To Dumbassus pennsyltuckianus, black guys have all the luck because there is a huge quota system designed to make sure that black guys get ahead and that white dumbasses stay down. Seriously, they believe this and say it out loud all the time. If a black guy gets ahead, it can't possibly be on the merits because every dumbass knows that there are white guys out there, and plenty of them, who are smarter and way more qualified than that black guy could possibly be, what with his being a black guy and all.

This is the constituency to which Hillary Clinton aims to appeal when her surrogate Geraldine Ferraro says that Barry Obama is an affirmative action case. Clinton needs the dumbass vote to win big in Pennsyltucky, and she reckons that pointing out that Obama is a black guy who, ipso facto, doesn't deserve any of his credentials will boost her cred among the dumbasserate. The irony is that she didn't need to have anybody say this, because the dumbasses already feel this way without any prodding. I suppose that Clinton worries that the dumbasses view voting for Obama or telling people that they voted for Obama as a way to show that they aren't really racist after all. Not to worry, Hillary. Dumbasses don't know that they are racists and, therefore, don't know that they need to change their image. So Clinton takes the calculated risk of alienating the non-dumbasses outside of Pennsyltucky to squeeze out every advantage in the Commonwealth. Bold move, but really gratuitous. Smacks of desperation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Political Obsevations

How much do I care that my governor paid for sex? Not a bit. I care a lot more that federal tax dollars are being wasted on a mindless investigation and prosecution of some pretty straightforward, consensual commerce. I am sad that my governor didn't come out swinging. "I paid for sex! What of it? The feds can blow it out their ass!"

I can't believe the presidential campaign is about "experience". The three surviving presidential candidates' resumes don't exactly contain a whole lot of relevant experience. Then again, no candidate really ever has any relevant experience unless he or she is the incumbent. Perhaps former leaders of other countries could be recruited as president.

Senator McCain's resume highlights include being a bad pilot, a prisoner of war, and a Congressional douche. What is it about any of this experience that makes him fit for the presidency? None of it. In terms of temperament and judgment, he is clearly the least fit of the three candiadtes. On the war, he's crazy and/or evil. He's not as smart as the others.

Senator Clinton at least had a stint in a real job as a private lawyer, and she was married to a president. Then she was a Senator. She doesn't seem apt to fly off the handle, but she really pissed me off with the blank check she gave GW Bush on Iraq and her crazy vote on Iran. She'd have the benefit of her husband's advice for what it would be worth, but otherwise nothing about her background makes her particularly presidential. She is very smart, though, and I like that she makes wingnuts apoplectic.

Senator Obama has had a career in service to his community as a community organizer and then as a lawyer and legislator. There's nothing in his resume that marks him out as an executive. On the other hand, I don't see any reason to think he wouldn't do just fine, and he hasn't pissed me off yet. I like his wife the best of the spouses. If you don't vote for me, you might as well vote for Obama. That's as strong an endorsement as you'll get from me.

Lincoln had very little experience. So did Kennedy. Hell, none of the previous presidents had a clue. So you should vote for the one you like the most or dislike the least. You're going to be stuck with the bastard on the TV for years.

Monday, March 10, 2008

SciFi Channel Original Movies Still Suck

I have complained before about SciFi Channel's godwaful original movies, but they keep making them worse and worse. Last weekend must have been a giant snake festival. There was one giant snake after another. One movie had a giant Komodo dragon as well as a monstrous cobra, and these two monsters fought to the death. Another movie featured a super enormous dinosaur ("fifty times larger than a T-rex") that some space aliens resurrected and set loose on the populace. The giant dinosaur breathed fire and could be dematerialized and rematerialized by the aliens at will. They had some pretty sophisticated technology and powerful weapons, so the dinosuar seemed fairly gratuitous. The acting was really abominable, and the production values were abysmal. But they weren't really bad enough to be good.

Remember those movies with Doug McClure where he would find a lost world full of really fakey looking pterosaurs and other monsters? Those movies were terrible, but they were so terrible that they were kind of good. These SciFi originals are just plain bad and not even campy. I don't think they are even trying. They should pay me to write them some cheap ass but enjoyable movies.

Carlson Cancelled

Faux libertarian and former bow tie model Tucker Carslon is getting his show cancelled by MSNBC. It's about time. MSNBC already has enough of Carlson's brand of douchebaggery with Joe Scarborough. Fox Noise can't get enough of it, though, so I'm sure Carlson will land on his feet. over at the network of pure evil.

Without the bow tie, Carlson is nothing.

If only they could get rid of Tweety Matthews they might have be on to something.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Jury Nullification

Amanda Marcotte comes out in favor of jury nullification in drug cases:

I agree with her 100%. I would also refuse to convict in tax cases or victimless crimes of any sort.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Andy Rooney's Next Piece

Why is that when I "take a shit" I am actually leaving shit behind? I'm really "giving a shit", but the expression to "give a shit" is not the opposite of "take a shit". When I "give a shit", there's not necessarily any actual shit involved.

Sometimes, I remark that something is "good shit" but at other times I am dismissive of something by calling it "shit". I'd better know "shit from Shinola" or I'll be in "deep shit". But I'm an expert if I "really know my shit" even if there isn't any Shinola to mistake it for. I'm a fool if I "don't know shit" whether its mine or not.

If I want to curse someone, I can hardly do better than telling them to "eat shit" unless I tell them to "eat shit AND die". But I have eaten "shit on a shingle" and enjoyed it many times.

A raconteur may be said to "shovel the shit", but an idiot may have "shit for brains". If I get disturbed about something, I might "shit a brick", but if a woman is well built she may be said to resemble a "brick shit house". I'm not sure if this would be taken as a compliment or if the woman would think I was a "dumb shit" if I told her she was like a "brick shit house".

Anyway, enough of this shit.

Do Black People Have Better Sex Than Me? Okay. How About Whites in General?

Many of my black friends over the years have professed the sincere belief that white people have an objectively less powerful sex drive than black people. They told me that black people wanted sex more often and enjoyed it more than white people and that this was a scientific, biological fact of nature not subject to meaningful dispute. I certainly can't argue from my own experience since my own sex drive is all that I have to go on, but I am generally skeptical about these kinds of racialist claims.

I might buy an argument to the effect that my black friends had a less repressed attitude about sexuality than I did and that this permitted them to celebrate it more than someone who was raised, as I was, to believe that all sex was evil and dirty and certainly not to be enjoyed. I still had a pretty good sex drive in my younger days despite this propaganda, although I never enjoyed sex as much as I might have if I hadn't been emotionally scarred by those damned sex hating Baptists. Even today in the sanctity of the marriage bed, orgasm is accompanied by a profound sense of self loathing and shame. I have to tell you that this cramps my style more than a little bit. It has nothing to do with being white, though.

Anyway, I have always had to take my black friends' word for it when they talked about their sex drives. I've had white friends who seemed to be major horndogs, too, though, to hear them talk and to see how much effort they put into chasing tail. I have never had a discussion with a woman, black or white, about this issue, so they may have another take on it altogether. I suspect that the putative racial differences in horndoggedness are, to the extent that they even exist, actually cultural.

I would be interested in what people might have to say about this. If it is true that black people have more and better sex and that there is a physiological basis for this, then we should try to figure out a way to bottle whatever it is that gives them this characteristic and distribute it to non-blacks. If there is a difference with a non-physiological basis, then understanding it might be used to inform ways to treat culturally induced sexual repression. If there isn't really a difference, then I'd like my friends to shut up about their sex drives.

Is there any chance of getting a grant to study this issue? If the methodology involves a penile plethysmograph, count me out.

United Health Care Inefficient

The transition from my former company's health insurance plan to my wife's company's plan has not been seamless. My wife's company's plan won't cover me until my old employer's plan writes a letter confirming that I'm not covered any more. Meanwhile, I have to pay out of pocket for everything.

Here's what makes this so frustrating: the two plans are with THE SAME COMPANY! The insurance company is waiting for a letter from itself. It cannot act until it tells itself that it can. It knows enough not to pay under the old plan but it claims not to know that the old plan has been terminated because it has not told itself this yet.

Again, the guillotine would come in handy right about now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bring Back the Guillotine

I sometimes have apocalyptic fantasies. You know the ones where the evildoers and the arrogant get their comeuppance? Where the downtrodden are lifted up and justice is meted out at long last? Sometimes I catch myself thinking that way about the election. If the Democrats take over in a big way in 2008, surely there will be many hearings and investigations and much wailing and gnashing of teeth by GOPers, neocons and the contractors in the government trough.

Then I remember that I'm talking about the Democrats, the spineless ones, they who cave on everything. First off, there are going to be pardons aplenty before the changing of the guard. It's going to be all pardons all the time for the last few weeks. Then the Democrats won't have the stomach for the oversight work. Their political advisors will tell them that the public will be turned off by investigations and hearings.

I don't think they will if the Democrats play it right. The key is to bring back the guillotine. That will make the hearings interesting.

I Am Depressed

I've been sick now for going on nine days. First it was the worst flu ever which sort of got better on Sunday, but then it morphed into bronchitis. I keep hacking up blobs of phlegm, and my sides are sore from coughing. Any exertion leads to a coughing jag which in turn leads to light headedness.

Thanks to my being puny, I am very depressed. I take no joy in anything. I can't work out. My appetite isn't good (except for cheesecake). Nothing is much fun. My outlook is very bad. I'll never find a new job. My wife is probably planning to leave me what with my sucking as a husband. My dog aims to kill me in my sleep.

On top of everything, my carpool companion is off his meds and super depressed as well. He's obsessed with the existential meaninglessness of life and the prospect of oblivion after death. I keep telling him about the resurrection but he won't accept this as any comfort without some rational basis. Sucks for him. For me, the prospect of oblivion isn't nearly as daunting as some of the alternatives: hell, being a ghost in chains, endless reincarnation.

Anyway, I need a major pick me up. I'm hoping for antibiotics and more codeine tomorrow when I see the doc again. Maybe alcohol would help.


Last time I flew I got a kick out of the in flight catalog and some of the items that were offered. One was a computerized water bottle that would help you "track your hydration goals". I usually just look at the bottle and see how much is left and compare that to how much I figured on drinking, but then I'm old fashioned. I don't really have a formal "hydration" plan. When I get thirsty, I consume liquids. I suppose if I had a plan, I would be able to hydrate more optimally.

I am way behind the curve when it comes to hydration. From watching TV I have learned that my water might have calories and that it might not even be clear. It could have all kinds of crap in it (flavors, vitamins, coloring, electrolytes, what have you) and still be "water". Who knew?

I have been toying with developing my own line of waters. One I call "Energy Water" contains a supersaturation of sugar. I have been putting this in the hummingbird feeder but I'm now thinking of marketing it to humans. Another product I have invented is heated and then forced through ground up coffee beans. This gives it a rich flavor and a jolt of caffeine and can be drunk hot or cold. Another product I often make for my own hydration process involves adding a measure of scotch or bourbon whiskey to the base compound.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Man born of a woman hath but a short time to live and is full of misery. He cometh up and is cut down like a flower.

Such are some of the lyrics in the Requiem I have been practicing. What a downer, huh? But for many humans alive today and for most humans who lived in the not too distant past, truer words were never spoken. Life was suffering, and death was a welcome rest. No wonder so many of the hymns I learned growing up were celebrations of sweet, sweet death. Our lives of relative prosperity, relative freedom from sudden and premature death, and relative safety are aberrations.

We still manage to find things to complain about. We're soooooo busy, what with multitasking and driving the kids from play dates to soccer and having to pick up the dry cleaning on the way back from yoga class. It's enough to make anyone crazy.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

But Jar Jar Would Never Vote to Abolish the Republic or Anything Like That

Hillary Clinton's vote back in 2002 to authorize the use of military force in Iraq was a lot like when Padme left the Senate and gave her proxy to Jar Jar Binks. Who could have anticipated that the outcome would be a monumental abuse of power and a clusterf**k of such gigantic proportions?

A line from Animal House seems apropos: "You f**ked up. You trusted us." Hillary Clinton should just admit that she never dreamed that GW Bush and his regime would turn out to be as crazy and incompetent as they did. It was surreal. A lot of Americans were hoodwinked and would understand the explanation. After all, enough of them voted for the wankers again to give him a second term even after it was becoming pretty clear that they were evil and/or incompetent. America was in denial then.