30 November 2007

If that's all it takes...

...then let's boost arms sales to Taiwan and stay at our base in Japan!

China refused to let US ships dock in Hong Kong for family reunions this week. Why? Because we hosted the Dalai Lama earlier this year.

Wow. I mean, I knew they were miffed, but this?!?!?! Seriously, though, what would you expect from a government that just barely decided to stop arresting women for carrying condoms and is still forcing women to have abortions at the local authorities' discretion.

At this point, I think we need to warn our citizens to get their food storage and personal defense in order and then invite the entire nation of Tibet to visit. China will probably collapse our economy at that point, hence the food storage and defense mechanisms recommendation. After all, it's not like I haven't thought this through...*wink*

Excellent Second Amendment Article

Paul Greenberg's TownHall article is GREAT. It's a very well-put analysis in defense of Constitutional ambiguity. Let's all read the Constitution, shall we? :-)

29 November 2007

Oooh, shiny!

This story was really heartwarming (at least in contrast to the deluge of turds being lobbed for the rest of the news) - a commendably honest and diligent meat cutter found and returned an ID bracelet to the original owner. Where did he find it? In the bird's gizzard. Gizzards are wonderful things, aren't they?

It may be working!

Now that news has gotten out, the SPP (aka: "North American Union") may be dying.

And don't take my word for it - take theirs:
...public exposure has been a hindrance to the progress of the program...
So let's keep the pressure on!


28 November 2007

Finally, a good preliminary assessment

In this article, Paul Edwards argues that the hysteria surrounding the release of the religiously atheistic movie, The Golden Compass, is counterproductive.

It is SO nice to finally hear someone in the media say that.

The approach I believe is proper lies at neither end of the loudness I've been hearing - at one end, "see this movie! It's great!" from the promoters; and at the other, "boycott this movie! It advocates atheism!" from many, many friends and family members.

The thing I do appreciate about the increased awareness is that it actually creates awareness. The movie does not advertise its agenda, and it does indeed have one. However, to organize against it is really paranoid.

To quote Edwards:
Pullman chooses to identify as true what in reality is a false religion in the garb of Christianity—while ignoring the work of the true Church in the world. Redefining good as evil is a plot element Pullman uses throughout the trilogy, and not just in relation to the Church. The books are a prime example of what Isaiah warned against when he said, “Woe to them who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).
Our response should not be to merely paint Pullman as a liar and deceiver, denying that the Church he depicts exists. On the contrary, we should agree, at least in part, with Pullman that such a Church has existed—and still exists—but that it is not the genuine Church, as Pullman leads his readers to believe.

This does not mean that I'm going to be seeing it, because hey, we haven't seen a movie together in the theater for over a year. But I'm not worried. When they come up, it's good to allow questions to your faith - even if they're formulaic and misguided - so that you can address them.

What a skill!

Here's a great article about forensic art/reconstruction. It was spurred by the accuracy of the forensic artist who did the sketch of "Baby Grace," but talks to others as well and includes a lot of really interesting information. Not exactly for the faint-of-stomach, but it was absolutely fascinating!

More cool robot ideas

Training dental students and helping people laugh. How sweet is that? I bet the human dental patients will appreciate it!

27 November 2007

Two bad ideas and a good one

Good idea: making a robot that is touch-sensitive enough to help elderly people sit or stand up - given the recognized shortage of healthcare professionals around the country, this handy Japanese invention could be a real boon in a few years!

Bad idea: letting Middle-Eastern money own more of our economy. Isn't oil enough?

Bad idea: publishing the ramblings of a perverted fiction writer about waterboarding the President's daughter - the one who's into all the humanitarian aid. (And missing editing the first occurrence of the s-word, while editing it later in the article - I figured they were just quoting until I saw edits later... guess Time isn't what it used to be!)

Here comes the bride...not so fair, though

Wow - must really stink to be this terrorist, eh?

21 November 2007

Return of McClellan

I am FED UP with what I'll call "reporting without substance" - or with minimal substance so as to turn speculation into "the real story." Stuff like you see here. (Yes, that's a FOX News article.)

Here's the big "ooh, ooh! Bush lied!!!" moment:

Former WH man Scott McClellan has a new book out (I don't think that's record time, but I'm sure it's close...). In it, there's one released, carefully-selected excerpt (found here) where he says the administration deceived him about what he was saying regarding the Valerie Plame non-scandal. Does he say how he was deceived or what the deception was about? Nope! Not yet, and I'm curious to see what he actually means. But the media has turned this into, "Bush lied about Scooter Libby telling Bob Novak that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA (in the house that Jack built.)"

I'm not sure what McClellan has to say yet, since I haven't read his book yet - and neither has anyone else, I'd venture to say - aside from from the oh-so-compelling, non-specific excerpt.

I am fairly certain, though, what the real scandal was here:.
  • Valerie Plame was a desk jockey for the CIA by the time anyone in the media cared about her - and she told people herself about her job.
  • Bob Novak found out Valerie Plame was a desk jockey for the CIA from Richard Armitage, a Clinton administration official.
  • Bob Novak (whom I think has destroyed any semblance of his own moral authority, although a lot of people you'd otherwise think were smart still revere and like to quote him) blabbed about Valerie Plame to fill up his required weekly wordspace.
  • Bob Novak refused to tell anyone that Armitage was his source until after Scooter Libby was ridden out of town on a rail, due to Novak's allowing an entirely misdirected investigation to proceed about something that was not a crime in the first place.
And now, therefore..."Mainstream" media proclaim Bush/Cheney lied and scapegoated Scooter Libby, deceiving poor Scotty McClellan in the process!

No wonder Drudge and the "New media" have made such thorough inroads to spreading news.

What a way to keep the media out of it

So have you heard about the Saudi gang-rape victim receiving 200 lashes and six months in (need I say, "a Saudi") prison? What a load of BS. The court claims they stiffened her sentence for going to the media about it. (Why, oh why, would they want the media not to know about this???)

This Australian article's comments do provide more details - although no source for them - that indicate (at least some of) the rapists received even more severe punishments...and apparently they attacked her male companion, as well. Wonder if that contributed to the harshness of their sentences...

At any rate, some point out that, "it's their country, and they know the laws, and they broke the law" to justify lashing the victim. That is ridiculous! Lots of things are "rules" and "customs" all over the world that should NEVER occur. In this case, lashings where the executors have to trade off because they get tired are simply inhumane. That inhumane things are "custom" does not make them right.

We don't have to ask where the civilized world's citizen outrage is - that's evident all over the media. But official outrage? *crickets* The US is "astonished." <sarcasm>Wow. I've never heard such thundering criticism - we'd better batten down the hatches...</sarcasm>

Too bad people who lop off hands for stealing own the spine we thought we had in the US.

19 November 2007

ACK! It's happening!

You know the joke, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you?"

For a while, we've known that Chavez and other maniacs around the world have been cooperating to fight the US.


We need to wake up and get our representatives to admit where our friends and enemies are - and finally call evil by its name, rather than ridiculing the President for doing it.

13 November 2007

So much for moral equivalency

For those wanting to "dialogue" with Iran - here's what we have to work with:
Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged...
And another:
The latest row [between Iran and Britain] involves a woman hanged this June in the town of Gorgan after becoming pregnant by her brother. [for the record: gross, but I doubt it was consensual...] He was absolved after expressing his remorse.
Still think the "religious right" in this country is as much or more a threat than the Islamofascists fueled and financed by Iran, Rosie?

12 November 2007

It's only right!

Please put what's right ahead of personal entertainment and help make a statement in support of the WGA strike by signing this petition.

It's only right that writers profit from their work, regardless of which distribution method their employers choose to make their profit.

Get the mop out...

This article is about "living poor." At least that's the title. But before the author actually gets into how she "lives poor," (and incidentally, there is very little substance in that thread, despite the fact that her article runs two pages long), she feels obliged to practice some verbal diarrhea by indicting our entire society:

Yet there is another reason I hesitate to call myself poor -- the cultural baggage associated with the word: Poor people are lazy, stupid, immoral, shameless and incapable of making smart decisions. Poor people are losers; our country loves winners. We want poor people to trade their rags for riches. We want them to embody the American dream.

Most of all, we want to believe that poor people are shiftless and depraved and always to blame for their poverty. Otherwise, we'd have to face the possibility that someday we, too, could wind up on the business end of the bread line.
Without resorting to acronyms for expressions I don't use, here are my thoughts on this:

  1. ACK.
  2. This woman does not know very many nice people. (And I wonder whether she knows any...)
  3. This woman must not know any real conservatives.
  4. This woman is a liberal class warrior who puts evil words in all of our mouths.
  5. This woman sounds as if she thinks she's the only person with internet access who understands poverty or cares about the poor.
  6. This woman is smart about her spending.
I know poor people, and I know people who make and spend more money. No one I've met in my LIFE - to the best of my knowledge - thinks that all people who are going through financial hardship are lazy, stupid, etc. On the side of the fake coin that the author uses, though, I do know a few who think poor people are just unlucky. The truth is - as usual - somewhere in-between "they're all just lazy" and "they're all just victims," depending on the individual, and these dishonestly-created divisions are the milk that class warfare thrives on.

Class warfare is destroying our country.

People are individuals, and as individuals, we react differently to the varied situations in which we find ourselves. Some individuals are stupid and have lots of money. Some are stupid and have no money. Many are smart and have little money, and many are smart and have lots of money.

YOUR INCOME IS NOT THE MEASURE OF YOUR PERSON, and despite the author's protests to the contrary, she does hold herself up as noble, by virtue of holding those not in her situation as ignoble.

Here's the one good part of her article:
I might not have selected this scenario for my life. But now that I have it, I'm going to see what I can learn from it. My hope is that it will make me wiser about what I eventually seek.
Hear, hear!

09 November 2007

What would be the problem?

A FoxNews blog claims that the military may be (implicitly over-)diagnosing personality disorders - which then lead to discharges - in order to avoid paying for the diagnosed individuals' health care. In the author's words, "it appears that in some way this is being used as a quick way to discharge people that may somehow save the military money."

First, that's a pretty rash thing to say, not that that necessarily makes it wrong. But the blog doesn't even try to substantiate its claim.

Second, when was the last time the military had to try to save money? Oh, back when they had to cut half their contracts (and are threatened again with it now) because our government drastically reduced their budget (or, currently, are requiring a surrender date before they hand over a dime)? Maybe budget cuts on things that keep us alive aren't such a good idea.

Third, so what? Why would we require the military to pay for medical costs for people who can't serve, for whatever (non-wounded-in-service) reason? Pensions and retirement are slightly different issues, since it's continued compensation for completing your commitment. Where do we require people to pay for medical costs of (former) employees who can't work, aside from limited disability payments? How ethical is that??? The military won't pay for your continued insurance if you're discharged for being unfit to serve, because you haven't completed your commitment; it sounds rough to us thoroughly-entitled souls, but especially in the military, your physical and mental well-being are and should be considered almost a "good or service." Contracts are off if the good is defective or the service is not performed. Why should the military be different?

07 November 2007

It's that big "but"

Here's a fun headline:
Iran's nuclear program "irreversible": president

Maybe it's "irreversible," but I doubt it's unbreakable.

LOVE Pres. Sarkozy

He's conservative, self-sufficient, intelligent, gutsy, and hey - he even thinks America's not the Great Satan! What a guy! He's France's President Sarkozy, and he's visiting the US right now (in an official capacity; he's vacationed here before). Sure, he's piled onto the "people cause global climate change" bandwagon, but nobody's perfect.

I have to thank the French people, who have shown much more spine (and understanding of reality) than the Spanish in their most recent elections. I love Spain, and their short-sightedness saddens me.

We are in desperate need of allies who have a real grasp of the most serious threats to freedom in the world - and no one would know better than France, who's been fighting a street war against Islamofascist "youths" for years now, as well as having economic issues. I am so glad we have a leader like Pres. Sarkozy to work with!

Vive la France!

06 November 2007

Let the kid have it back already

A 3-year-old boy found a woolly mammoth tooth recently. Pretty cool, eh? Except now it's on display at an art gallery. Poor kiddo! Said his grandpa, "When we dropped it down at the art gallery, he was crying. He didn't want to let it go...At first he thought it was just a rock. Now he's all excited." The nearby archaeological center already has one on display. I assume the art gallery will be returning the tooth to little Kaleb after a show, but given that there's already one displayed in the area for people to ogle, I think it should be returned sooner, rather than later.

On a related note, I wonder what the Tooth Fairy left the mammoth for the two-pound chomper?