Archive for February, 2006

Unto the Abyss

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Even after the experience of the Great War, and the Depression, people on the eve of the Hitler war could not appreciate what was coming. It is only in retrospect that we understand what happened as the 1930s progressed — when a spineless political class, eager at any price to preserve a peace that was no longer available, performed endless demeaning acts of appeasement to the Nazis; while the Nazis created additional grievances to extract more.

This is precisely what is happening now, as we are confronted by the Islamist fanatics, whose views and demands are already being parroted by fearful “mainstream” Muslim politicians. We will do anything to preserve a peace that ceased to exist on 9/11. Not one of our prominent politicians dares even to name the enemy.

Read the rest.

Serendipity

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

So I’ve tinkered with the template for the blog, bringing it more in line with the appearance of the rest of this website.

The odd thing is, you notice how the logo image overlaps the border at the top? Totally unintentional. In fact, I can’t figure out how to get it to not do that.

But… I think it looks pretty good, and I’ve decided I’m not going to fix it. So there. I probably wouldn’t have thought of doing it, but now that it’s done, thus it stays. As an old friend of mine would say: “A Mistake is Art!”

P.S. — Man, do I hate IE6

Iran Holocaust Cartoon Contest

Monday, February 20th, 2006

“Iran has sponsored Islam suicide bombing terror attacks against innocent men, women and children in Israel. Iran directly funds the activities of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.”

If anybody is wondering why this is news, or what the post caption has to do with this, see this link regarding the “Iran Holocaust Cartoon Contest“.

And then go look at the other Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contest. A nice twist on the phrase “Turnabout is fair play.”

Hat Tip: Electric Venom

Anthem

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Several years ago, in the early part of 2001, I traveled to Ireland with my family. On our last night there, we visited Bunratty Castle, where they have a touristy-but-cool “medieval banquet” in the great hall of the 500 year old castle. Part of the performance is that they will declare some unsuspecting tourist a Traitor, and throw him in the dungeon. As we entered the banquet, my mother (who’d been there before) secretly nominated my brother as sufficiently “traitorous” for such treatment.

I don’t remember all the specifics, but basically the king came out and declared that there was a traitor in our midst; and then guards came to our table and took my unsuspecting brother away as the king read off a litany of vaguely humorous crimes, (I believe the word “rapscallion” came into play somewhere…). They took him out of the room down a short hallway — where there actually was a small dungeon, consisting of an open doorway and a ten-foot drop (gotta love that medieval security technology!) — and apparently asked him to ham it up a bit and act as though Terrible Things were being done to him.

Finally, the king decides that in the presence of such an august gathering such as this, he would show clemency, and the prisoner was brought back out. But there was one condition — he had to sing for his supper. As he is an American, the song chosen was “The Star Spangled Banner” — the American national anthem.

As a semi-professional singer myself, I can say that “The Star Spangled Banner” is, if you’ve never noticed, quite a hard song to sing well; part of this comes from the fact that the range is very broad, and if you start in the wrong key you will quickly find that you’re not going to reach those high notes. My brother is not the best singer out there, but he can carry a tune fairly well. He was standing in front of a room full of strangers (plus his family), with no accompaniment….

… and he nailed it.

This is not the important part of the story, however.

What really brought the moment home in my memory, is that at this dinner in Ireland, full of tourists and families from all over the place — Irish, Americans, various and sundry Europeans — everyone stood up.

Everyone placed their hand over their heart.

Everybody Sang.

If they didn’t know the words, they faked it.

I don’t really know what to say beyond that. It was a powerful moment. It was a beautiful finale to a perfect trip. We headed home the next morning.

Note: This post was inspired by a post by Baldilocks.

Been there… Done that…

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

As sick as I am already of the whole news blitz, this is pretty funny.

As clichéed as it has become, somehow variations on that joke always seem to strike me as funny.

The News is Broken, Alright

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

I think Cam Edwards says it best:

We have Iran threatening to blow Israel off the map, we have riots in Pakistan over a bunch of cartoons, we have Al Gore bashing America while in Saudi Arabia, we have misuse of taxpayer funds given to Katrina victims, and the White House press corps thinks the top story is a 14 hour delay in telling them about a hunting accident??? And they wonder why so many of us think theyâ??re irrelevant.

He missed one detail though: Apparently the press also thinks that two-year-old Abu Graib photos are important news. And of course they still won’t show us the news-making Mohammud cartoons, out of “respect for Islam”, but in reporting on the cartoons, they will show us “Madonna in Elephant Dung”, out of “respect for… errr… um…. uh… never mind”. It seems that my prediction is coming true — the media is indeed shedding the last vestiges of their claimed impartiality.

itselectric!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

In the course of some behind-the-scenes blog setup, (I updated to WordPress 2 last night…), I came across an old comment from Kate at Electric Venom. She gave her email address, which as you might guess, ends with “@electricvenom.com”, but she put in one of those “do not spam me” things, like so: @REMOVETHISelectricvenom.com.

The first thing that popped into my mind glancing at that was, “Selectricvenom. Isn’t that what they tried to hit W. with before the last election?”

And if you get that, you are a true follower of politics.

*Somebody* involved was on drugs.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

This is pathetic.

Police in Aurora [Illinois] have confirmed that a 12-year-old boy who said he brought powdered sugar to school for a science project last week has been charged with a felony for possessing a look-alike drug.

The boy[…] said two other boys asked if the bag contained cocaine after he showed it to them in the bathroom Wednesday morning. The boy’s mother said he told them it did, but then added, “just kidding.”

A 12-year old makes an adolescent joke about a bag of sugar actually being cocaine, (when prompted by his buddies), and is charged with a felony.

It is utterly pathetic and disgusting that the news story here is NOT one of school officlals (and police officials) being fired with extreme prejudice for irresponsible behavior, overreacting, and gross negligence in theire duties to educate and serve schoolchildren.

Diet Controversey

Friday, February 10th, 2006

I’m so tired of celebrities trying to stir up publicity by inventing “bold” complete-risk-free controversies to show everyone how strong and individual they are.

If any of them really had any balls between them, they’d go on a magazine cover dressed as Mohammad.

That would at least get a little respect for boldness, if nothing else.

(On the down side, it seems to work. I never would have even heard of Kayne West except for all the publicity stunts he keeps pulling — even if he does boast all the artistic merit of an Olsen Twins video. And Madonna? She’s been doing it successfully for a few decades now. As “artists” go, she’s a remarkable businesswoman.)

Diet Controversey: All the press; half none of the significance.

Get Inuit

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a little something I wrote several years ago:

Inuit Snow