Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some of you will know how ironic this is.....

I was looking through the top 100 Banned and Challenged books of 2000-2009 and found, at number 69, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  Since the title of the book is based on the temperature at which book paper burns, it is both eerily funny and scary to know that someone, somewhere has tried to ban this book.  It was required reading in advanced English in my high school and had a profound impact on me and my relationship with books and with information in general. 

I kind of thought of myself at the time as Clarisse, the teenager who showed Montag the wonders of sitting on the porch and walking from place to place-basic freedoms and individuality.

I can also see myself as the old woman at the beginning of the book who chooses to set herself on fire and die with her books rather than be taken off to a mental hospital for 're-education'.

What is important to remember though is that tyrants always want to stifle education, reading, and free thought.  Whether it's burning books, banning them, bringing lawsuits against bloggers, or instituting controls on information dissemination, it's all meant to control the populace.  I look around at the number of people who are totally oblivious to their surroundings because they are wearing their earbuds with their music players and I flash to Fahrenheit 451's Seashells.  It's not so much a stretch now as it seemed 20+ years ago.

Go and look through the list and see if anything that affected you is on it.  Then go re-read it.  You may (re)discover something you thought was lost or might find a new/old truth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

French Freudian slips: When 'inflation' becomes something else....

Via Drudge:  In an article from, the France's former justice minister is talking about rising foreign prices in Canal Plus when she says:   
 "When I see some of them looking for returns of 20 or 25 percent, at a time when fellatio is close to zero, and in particular in a slump, that means we are destroying businesses,"
 I'm not exactly sure which businesses are being destroyed by a slump in fellatio (perhaps only the prices are rising in France), but can make a guess.  I always thought the oldest profession was almost recession-proof though. 

I can't even imagine having the patience for this...

Video via Uncle Jay:

My tattoo artist would have smacked my fool head and then would have banned me for life from the shop if I had EVAH kicked up a fuss like this woman.  And she would have been right to do so.   Not to say that there weren't occasional cringy moments or mutters under the breath but at the heart of it I was paying to have it done and it would be dumb to scream or cry or caterwaul. I just feel sorry for the artist and for any other patrons in the shop having to listen to this ignorant bint.  There were times she started screaming and he hadn't even put the needle to skin yet. The person who took the videos of artist is promising four more youtube installations of this particular customer.  I checked out his site and he's got a pretty nice portfolio.

Do tattoos hurt?  Yes!  Do they hurt bad enough to be screaming like a banshee even when the needle's not touching you?  Not in my experience.  It'll be interesting to see the final product.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life is just weird sometimes--hair lessons

Four months ago I went to a fancy salon and we did highlights, lowlights, foils, colors, and layers over the course of three hours and to the tune of $150 and hardly anyone noticed (Himself, being a good partner, did notice). 
This weekend I bought some stuff to help repair split ends and some conditioner ($6 total), and I took about 30 seconds (maybe less) to trim my bangs with the scissors that we keep in a cup with the pens and a backscratcher in the living room and I'm getting compliments out the yin/yang.

Lesson learned.

And people want to live in Florida WHY??

Click on this link to Uncle Jay's place and judge for yourself.  We just have to worry about chipmunks, coyotes, and the occasional evil squirrel.

So, Sen. Kerry is torqued that voters can be swayed by simple slogans....

He says:  “We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening.”
(Via Bret Jacobson at Big Government).  I wonder why he would think that this is a BAD thing since ignorance about the government is one of the factors that brought Obama to the Presidency.  Let's check out the video (via Tam at View From the Porch) and see how well Obama voters do in a simple test about the federal government.

I think that what Kerry really means is that he's afraid of an electorate that's actually paying attention, that is getting informed, and that is ready and willing to take action to finally rein in the bureaucracy and those that now think of themselves as the ruling elite of this country.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

When you've paved with good intentions, the destination is....?

Via Advice Goddess, an article about the "Paycheck Fairness Act".  Much like the American with Disabilities Act, the net result will be that fewer women are hired because it makes it easier for them to sue on the grounds of "sex based pay discrimination".  The article, by Christina Hoff Sommers, rightly points out that there are a lot of valid reasons for women earning less then men, including less time actually spent on the job, experience, education.  None of these are factors that are controlled by the employer, yet with this bill, they can potentially face a costly lawsuit.  She also points out that a bill such as this will set men and women at odds with each other.

I'm seeing a parallel with the Americans with Disabilities Act which had the effect of chilling the hiring of folks with special needs, because once in place, they could sue your pants off if you fired them, even with the most documented of causes.  Apparently the Federal government does not either look at the results of any of the laws it passes, it just passes them (the examples are too numerous to mention).

The secondary point made by Hoff Sommers I think is actually a more salient one--it sets men and women against each other in a gender war similar to that of the early 1970's, thus weakening the American people by dividing them using an enemy that is integral to the society and thus cannot be completely disposed of (see Sun-Tzu) and it creates a no win situation for both parties.  All it does is open the door to lawsuits and lawyer fees without actually helping anyone, just like the ADA. 

Gender equity in the workplace was given the boost it needed and now market forces and the proclivities of those in the workplace are reaching a status quo.  To try to change it again would be counterproductive and would potentially cause far more problems than it would solve.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mr. Obama goes to church....

And, to quote the late Paul Harvey, "the rest of the story".  It seems that the Obama family's totally uncharacteristic voyage to the local church was impelled by a personal interest:  there was a muslim activist speaking on "Prospects of the two-state solution in the Middle-East". 

Not something you're going to hear in the MSM, folks, and just adds fuel to the fire of Obama's loyalties and whether or not they truly lie with the country that he was elected to lead. 

(Via Moonbattery, ht:  Himself at Middle of the Right).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Captain Gaffetastic and Stimulus Funds for Academic Research....

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, an article by Kelly Field about Biden oohing and aahing to a bunch of college presidents about how critical academic research is to the stimulus effort.  BTW, there was $18 BILLION in the stimulus bill earmarked for academic research.

The paragraph that kind of stuck out to me: 
Mr. Biden said he was "always amazed" by criticisms of federal spending on research. "Some of our critics act like we've come up with some new social intervention," he said.

"The rest of the world gets this, and we can't afford to lag behind," he said, adding, "we cannot afford to not rededicate ourselves to the work you guys around the table do."

Now let's just go to THIS article (ht Himself at Middle of the Right):
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.

Nope, don't know why anyone would criticize federal spending on research.....    Glad Biden doesn't want us to lag behind in personal hygiene matters and I hope he rededicates himself to assiduously washing his genitals every time he has sex--just to set an example of course.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The IMTS.... Sensory overload in 3-2-1.....

Himself and I were gifted by the Mighty and Indomitable Og with a chance to go to the International Manufacturing Technology Show on Saturday.  There were robots that sorted things, there were robots that made robots, there were lasers, cutters, printers, wires, tracks, hydraulics, measuring devices, and there was one BIG robot that could lift a 3000 pound weight like it was a marshmallow.  In addition, there was swag--pens, pencils, pressure-riveted hearts, and bags--lots of bags.  There was also the Ogwife and the Oglet (who is one of the most well-spoken teens I have ever had the pleasure to meet--she's also a walking compass with the best sense of direction I've ever encountered in a human).

We had a quick before-show tour with Og, to whom this stuff is old hat, even when new--he pointed out things that we might have otherwise passed by in the sea of shiny objects like the machines that make hip replacement joints.  Himself has been part of that world, albeit in the past, so he was quick on the uptake in regards to objects that seemed to me to be indistinguishable from magic and was able to walk me through a lot of it.  My brain went on overload before we got out of the first building, however.  For myself, I thought the tracks that hold wires and hydraulic hoses were pretty cool which kind of shows my level of understanding.

It was a MOST enjoyable day and we both had a fantastic time AND we learned a lot about cutting edge technologies.  I was kind of waiting for the Terminator to walk around a corner, but all I saw were NASCAR cars (cool unto themselves).  Thanks to the Indomitable One from both of us for making it possible.

Definition of hypocrite....

So I wander through Breitbart's sites pretty much daily and there were two articles side-by-side and the content I found to be kind of interesting.  The first one, about Obama leaving "By Their Creator" out of his recitation of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, came just before an article about the Obama's actually getting off their duffs on a Sunday morning and going to church

I listened to the video at the first link very carefully and I think that they skipped over quite a few words in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence precisely so they could skip over "Creator" without making it look too painfully obvious to the average 6-month old that they were trying NOT to use the word Creator. 

I also thought it was funny that he emphasized the word "Mexicans" in his speech since at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, Mexico was not a nation (didn't happen until 1821).  He was pandering to the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, so it's not surprising that he would bend history to his own purposes.

But back to the subject at hand....  he spent so much trouble trying to avoid directly quoting the Declaration of Independence that he had to do some fairly interesting verbal gymnastics but yet, he and his family decide to go to church (for the sixth time since taking up residence in the White House). 

I mean we all know that it was to show that he's not a muslim (see, I set foot in a church so I can't be muslim), but c'mon.......  put the two things side by side and all it equals is at best a hypocrite and at worst, a liar.  For the record, yet again, I don't think he's a muslim now, but I do think he was raised that way in a foreign country and it has had the effect of him non-bonding and having no true feelings towards this country.

Just when I think that I couldn't get more disgusted, he does stuff like this......

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The measure of a man......

Brian Wood, a game developer, met that measure, in spades.  When he knew that an impact (from what turned out was a drunk driver) was imminent, he turned his vehicle deliberately so that he would take the impact, thus sparing the lives of his wife and unborn child.  Interestingly enough, his latest project was Company of Heroes Online.  I've never seen the game, but I do know that his actions caused him to join the Company of Heroes.

This is what separates Real Men from all others.  It is a quality that still exists but has been buried under decades of rhetoric and man-bashing.  Hopefully Brian's game helps to teach those qualities and will reverse the damage that has been done.

Rest in Peace Brian!

Full article here.  The gaming world has stepped up to the plate to take care of those he gave his life to save.

O'Donnell--starting small and winning big! The larger meaning....

Talk about grassroots movements!  Yesterday when I logged on to donate to her campaign for our household, her goal was $50,000.  This morning she is 90% to a cool million bucks.  And I'm betting it was all small donations:  we gave $40, Dick and Kelly gave $100.  I heard on the radio this morning that O'Donnell's donation website had so much traffic that it crashed yesterday.  (BTW, it is back now--donate!)

Himself and I were talking this morning and we feel that O'Donnell's success is more than just the tea party--it's a moratorium against the power brokers and those who would choose our candidates for us.  Did we want McCain, a RINO as the Republican candidate?  No, we certainly did not.  We didn't want a candidate that the RNC chose for whatever reason (hey, McCain has been around a while, let's throw him a presidential bid regardless of the consequences for the country).  For too long, there have been backrooms and gatekeepers and those, on the left and the right, who feel that the American public has to be led to the "correct" decisions.

The RNC (NRSC)'s reaction to O'Donnell's primary victory and their (now) grudging, insufficient, support is a clear indicator of the character of those who would lead us down the primrose path to maintain their powerbase.  When confronted by Americans who would not be led, despite the millions of Republican dollars that they spent trying to destroy one of their own, they freaked, they panicked, and they reacted like small children who are seeing their favorite toy being taken away from them.  The American public has spoken and they don't like it one bit.

With technology, organizations such as the RNC and DNC are rapidly becoming superfluous-- they are no longer needed--the American public does not need a central place to send their money when they can back the candidate of their choice directly.  I have a sneaky suspicion though that the DNC will hang on longer because the liberals LIKE to be led--it makes their lives more comfortable when they don't have to make the hard decisions.  Unless the RNC pulls on their big kids' underwear, sucks it up, and starts listening to the people  they are going to go the way of the dodo.  And I think that would be a good thing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It might be better to not......

I saw in this article that the Obama Administration is planning on "getting tough" with China.  Because "getting tough" has worked so well for Captain Barak Bows-a-Lot and his band of merry mischief makers.  Do they really think that ANY country, especially China, will take them seriously??  (picture via The Breda Fallacy)

And the word of the day for the Republican National Committee--"Irrelevant"....

Irrelevant or some variation, that's what I'm hearing on the radio and that's what I'm reading on blogs when there is a discussion of the RNC's reaction to O'Donnell's victory in the Delaware primary yesterday.  The RINO Republican National Party is making itself irrelevant.  They are no longer the gatekeepers or the power brokers where candidates in the past needed to kowtow and supplicate on bended knee in order to gain the funds necessary for campaigning.  As they say in the South, the RNC is "showing its ass" to the rest of the country with its temper tantrum and its statement that the RNC would not support the Republican candidate chosen BY THE PEOPLE instead of handpicked BY THE RNC.  And Mike Castle is showing his total lack of class by not congratulating his opponent in a battle well fought.  What a bunch of whiny pouty babies.

All I heard this morning on the radio were people who are planning on, or have told, the RNC that they are not needed and that the people would directly support the candidate(s) of their choice, not those chosen by the RNC.  That the RNC is no longer necessary to get candidates of the people elected.

As a cautionary note, I think that Christine O'Donnell should not take any money from the RNC, even if they "relent" and offer it to her.  With the outpouring of support from around the country, I don't think she'll need it (her campaign contribution page does accept VISA).

As for the RNC, Mr. B said this morning "if you choose not to be representative of your party, then you've become irrelevant."  And by trying to maintain their perceived power base over the expressed wishes of those they are supposed to support, the RNC is going to fade into history without a whimper.  Good riddance to them.

ETA:  I sent her $40 ($20 each from Mr. B and myself).  Why??  Because I (we) want to put our money where our mouths are.  An additional thought from another conversation with Mr. B--if the RNC does not at the very least OFFER O'Donnell the money donated to the National Party for the purpose of electing candidates (I still do not think she should take it if offered, at this point), then they are essentially misappropriating funds and should be treated like any other thief.  Maybe they didn't./don't think she will win, but that's not their call, really.  The voters of Delaware picked her as their candidate and the party should respect and support that.  Otherwise, what good are they?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

But... it's for the CHILDREN..... Indianapolis schools BUSTED....

Via Kyle Olson at Big Government.....

Indianapolis schools got busted by a watchdog group for spending $25,000 in cell phone bills--in one month (please to note that the month in question is December, which includes the Christmas break.  The kicker of this situation is that instead of just sucking it up, admitting there's a problem, and correcting said problem, the Indianapolis school district decides to attack the watchdogs.  Of course this extravagent expenditure did not meet the meme of the local paper which runs such stories as teachers going through dumpsters in other districts to glean enough supplies to bring to their classrooms.

It's just more of the same as the LA edifice to educational hubris, just on a different scale.  School districts have no idea about the realities of expenditures because until recently, money has been plentiful--all they had to do was ask for another tax increase FOR THE CHILDREN.  But people are starting to wake up and actually look at their districts and those expenditures and are judging for themselves if it's actually for the children or if it's FOR THE TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATION.

Okay, this is too funny--Westboro Baptist Church peeved at that guy in Florida...

Via Libertyzone (who everyone should read all the time--the snark is great with that one). 

So the daughter of Fred Phelps, that asshat from Kansas who loads his flocks into buses and drives around the country being attention whores by protesting at the funerals of servicemen, Amish girls, etc. is angry at the OTHER asshat in Florida who was going to burn the Koran on 9/11.  The reason--Westboro Baptist did it first and no one cared (which should have been how this other situation was handled).  So now they actually have the audacity to whine that someone got more attention for being stupid than they did.

Maybe now that the word is out, they'll get some visits from the adherents of the "Religion of Peace" and we won't have to worry about them anymore.

So what's worse??? Paying for bureaucrats to be employed or having them on the dole?

Okay, so driving home yesterday I was listening to 890 AM (WLS).  Unfortunately Roe Conn was on--I swear I just leave it on the station by habit because I think I'm getting a more balanced view from NPR--at least NPR is bias you can be sure of.  In any case, he's bringing up the liberal point that if the federal government starts cutting programs, then all of those overpaid feds riding on our tax dollars will then be out of work and will be on the dole like a whole lot of Americans from the private sector. 

And it started me thinking....  would that be cost effective?  And my answer is 'yes'.  Because we'd be paying a flat fee, no benefits, no retirement, and there would eventually be an end to it once their unemployment runs out (in 2305, the way they keep extending it).  And once they start downsizing the federal government then a whole lot of other institutions (higher ed for example) could start cutting because a lot of the administrative bloat in higher education is a direct response to increased demands from the feds, the state, and various accredititing bodies.

The way I figure it, with the tax savings from the downsizing going to the folks who need it (small business owners--yes, those who, on paper, make more than $250,000/year) then the private sector can gear up and hire these people to do productive work rather than paper pushing.  Of course many of those highly educated folks will think that regular work may be beneath them and won't take advantage of new opportunities, but they are the folks that need to be thinned from the herd anyway.

So am I missing some crucial economic point or have I just busted the new liberal meme regarding the downsizing of the federal government??

Monday, September 13, 2010

Callin' it as he sees it..... Chris Christie takin' no BS

Every video I see of this man just warms the cockle's of my heart.  At what looks like a public Q/A Christie is confronted by a teacher spouting the party line.  Not only did he disabuse her of her mythology, he went on to show his righteous anger about the head of a New Jersey teachers union asking her followers to pray for his death.  He shows, very clearly, the difference between being a professional and a thinking adult and being a self-satisfied drone (via Frank Ross at Big Journalism).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Remembered

For my generation, those moments when those planes full of passengers were deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and those heroes who took control over their lives for just long enough to save who knows how many others are our defining moments.  Just as our parents and grandparents remember where they were when JFK was shot, I don't think that anyone can forget the events of that day--the horror, the incomprehension, the blank stares of those around you as we watched those Towers melt into dust--as we watched the bodies hurling out of windows as those people attempted to save themselves or get away from the flames.

I was in Boston--the people around me were calling friends, family, loved ones--was anyone flying out??  Where were they going?  Were they ON THOSE PLANES??  First the thought that it was a horrible accident--some plane off course.  Then the realization that it was deliberate.  Civilized minds trying to comprehend acts of absolute barbarity.

We have to remember that feeling, we have to remember those who will kill innocents for their religion and their god, we have to hold onto that horror so that we don't forget, so that we don't let those who would perpetuate such acts celebrate their terror merely because WE ARE and because we will not bow to their beliefs and change who WE ARE to meet their 8th century ideals.

There are those who would have us forget, who would negate our anger by calling us bigots and intolerant.  There are words on the television this morning about 'interfaith love and understanding'.   These are blatant attempts to change our feelings, to make us feel small for our righteous anger.

But as long as there are those who would do us harm, merely because we are not them, because we will not change our lives to bow to Sharia law, because we feel that honor killings, female genital mutilation, the stoning of homosexuals are barbaric and have no place in a civilized world, then we must stand firm.  We must hold to those feelings of this day, we must not be lulled into false security by those who feel that dhimmitude is preferable to freedom.  We must REMEMBER!

ETA:  Borepatch links to something that says everything that I'm trying to.  Check it out here.   Watch the video and remember.....

Also check out Listen to Uncle Jay here.....

And Mr. B here.....

And Dick over at Big Dick's place here.

ETA some more: 

Ed over at Atomic Fungus has this to say:
"Here's the thing: we don't care who you worship or how as long as you're not causing anyone any harm. You want to be a snake-handler? Go for it. You want to take off your clothes and dance around a bonfire in the woods on Beltane? Have a good time; make sure to wear some mosquito repellent. You want to worship Bob in search of ultimate slack and achieving gut blowout? Hey, this is America; we have freedom of religion here. You leave me alone to practice my religion and I'll leave you alone to practice yours.

You want to fly airplanes into office buildings and kill 3,000 people because your holy writings command you to kill, subjugate, or convert all unbelievers? Um...we have a problem, here."

And Bookworm has tributes here, here, and here.