Friday, January 09, 2004
Steven Den Beste’s writing is informative, if, somewhat long winded at times. In this piece Den Beste waxes eloquent on so called intellectuals and their propensity to obscure their subject with meaningless contusions of language. Kim du Toit, admiring Den Beste’s prose on this subject, wacks a couple thousand words from Den Beste’s musings and sums it up nicely with this statement.
...most academic-speak is turgid bullshit.
“Gulag, virtual exhibition”
An online presentation of Forced Labor Camps. Many links and photos. I haven’t made it all the way through the associated links as of yet, but what I’ve made it through is, enlightening.
Via Fred Lapides’ Goodshit.
Take a look at the picture accompanying this article. The photo shows a couple of Polish divers celebrating New Year with a pike. Yes a pike, they are sharing their champagne with the pike. Unfortunately, the Polish police are investigating the divers because, as Maria Niedziolka, of the National Fishing Authority says,
They may have committed offences of poaching and maltreating a fish,..
Shouldn’t the Poles and the pike have been drinking vodka?
Via Anna at Belligerent Bunny Blog.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
A Lesson in Understanding Bigotry
I’ve Got Alot to Learn About Decorating, I Guess
So I acquired a nice stained glass piece for Melissa. Overall, it measures 15” by 47 1/4” with 16 individual panes. The majority of the panes are old style clear, to slightly opaque or pearlescent. Two of the panes are reminiscent of a sunrise blended into cirrus clouds, three of the panes are blue, and running through the piece is a lead rendition of some type of budding plant complete with glass buds. It’s not bad.
Anyway, Melis arrives back in town, so she can see my acquisition, and she loves it. One problem though. The three blue panes. I mounted the piece in our living room picture window but, evidently, it does not belong there because there are no other blues in our living room.
Oh well, at least she likes the piece.
The title says it all. Here’s the link. There are nine drawings, all portraits, of the same individual, by the same individual, over the course of a trip. They were done as part of a government experiment with LSD. The caption included with the final drawing.
8 hours after first dose.
Patient sits on bunk bed. He reports the intoxication has worn off except for the occational distorting of our faces. We ask for a final drawing which he performs with little enthusiasm.
‘I have nothing to say about this last drawing, it is bad and uninteresting, I want to go home now.’
Ha. Where can I sign up to participate in such an endeavor?
Via J. Orlin Grabbe.
Paint by Numbers
Have you seen the January 12, 2004 cover of Time magazine? Here’s a link to a small facsimile. The magazine, which my lovely wife has dropped in the mailbox courtesy of her many travel rewards, arrived at my house yesterday. Superimposed on the unfinished paint by numbers picture of Dean are the words “Who is the Real Dean,” with a follow-up statement that states “The Democratic front runner is still a mystery to most voters. A look at what they’ll see when they fill in the blanks.”
As I looked at the cover, and the accompanying captions, here’s what I thought. The paint by numbers picture is unfinished because Dean does not have any principles. Additionally, the picture is unfinished because Dean will don whatever disguise the “people” want him to don to gain their votes. So, grab your paint by numbers paint sets and start filling in Dean’s blanks. Don’t worry if others seem to paint Dean’s portrait differently than you, Dean will wipe the slate clean, from time to time, in order to find the right combination of colors to garner him the most votes. Every individuals’ view of Dean will be considered, at least until he finds the right colors that seem to draw the most sheep to his fold. After he has the sheep in his fold, the slaughter can begin, and he can then paint himself as he really is.
So, one Timothy Dumouchel wants to sue his cable company. His reasoning for the small claims suit,
Dumouchel blames Charter for his TV addiction, his wife’s 50-pound weight gain and his children’s being “lazy channel surfers,” according to a Fond du Lac police report.
Additionally, Dumouchel states,
I believe that the reason I smoke and drink every day and my wife is overweight is because we watched TV every day for the last four years,” Dumouchel stated in a written complaint against the company, included in a Fond du Lac police report.
But the real reason for Dumouchel’s suit is,
But the reason I am suing Charter is they did not let me make a decision as to what was best for myself and my family and (they have been) keeping cable (coming) into my home for four years after I asked them to turn it off.
Okay, let’s review. Man sues cable company because he asked said cable company to shut off cable to his home. The cable company stopped billing plaintiff in 1999, but did not disconnect cable service to plaintiff’s home. Plaintiff received four years of cable service for free, even though plaintiff did not want cable.
Evidently the smoking, drinking Dumochel does not know how to use a pliers, screwdriver, or, how to unscrew a cable connection from the back of his television, let alone shut off his television, or, he’s afraid of his wife.
In a written statement, he said he put the family TV in the basement in 1999 after he had called to get cable disconnected, but soon thereafter, his wife had moved it back and hooked up the cable connection, and it still worked.
He stated he “made a deal” with her that “she could watch TV as long as the cable worked.
Dumochel is a moron, and the courts aren’t many steps ahead of him.
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
It’s A Safety Issue - Get’em Off the Road
By now, must individuals who spend anytime on the net, or reading blogs, are aware that DC is in the throes of passing a bill that will outlaw cell phone use, unless, of course, you are using a hands free device. The polilticos say it is a safety issue. I’m surprised they are not doing it for the children. As I contemplated this while walking this evening, I kept picturing the interiors of cop cars. Not that I make a habit of spending time in cop cars, though I wouldn’t be surprised to be riding in one some fine day.
Contemplating this further upon my return home, I Googled around looking for a photo of the interior of your average cop car and found this. It’s a pdf file so it may take a moment or two to load, but if you click on the link, and scroll down to page 4 of 5, you’ll find the photo I’d like you to see. Take a good look. Now, tell me, in all honesty, can there be any justifiable reason to ban cell phone use in individuals’ cars when cops can ride around punching keys on a computer, with a cell phone on the dash, and, as time goes on, more and more departments are adding video cameras too. And don’t forget the obligatory shotgun mounted to the dash. Is it any wonder that when cops are high speed chasing “criminals” they are causing accidents? Take the cops’ toys away first, and I may consider the cell phone ban as “legitimate”, but I doubt it.
Update: Added informative link.
Expand Your Mind Not Your Fashions, Be a Heretic
Paul Graham, the designer of Arc language, wrote an interesting essay entitled What You Can’t Say that I was recently made aware of by Ian over at Music for Misanthropes. The essay is a rather long read, but should keep your interest. It’s opening premise.
(This essay is about heresy: how to think forbidden thoughts, and what to do with them. The latter was till recently something only a small elite had to think about. Now we all have to, because the Web has made us all publishers.)
Talking Out of his Arse
Religion may preach peace and tolerance, yet it’s hard to think of anything that — because of human malpractice — has been more linked to violence and malice around the world.
Greg repsonds to Kristof’s assertion with this statement,
No, Nic, it isn’t hard—think SOCIALISM.
Unfortunately, I think Kristof can’t “think socialism” because he’s swallowed too much of it. Say, hook, line, sinker and the pole too.
If you’re interested in a review of this topic, you know, religion is the root cause of the majority of killing, read this, and the entire comment thread associated. This, ends with the statement,
Religion is the biggest killer of all time The statement is the same as saying Science is wrong - it produces atom bombs But you see the gun is neither good nor bad - it is a wonderful opportunity that is so easely (sic) abused because of peoples ignorance. Knowledge and wisdom is the key. Science is for desribing and understandign (sic) the Material World. Religion is for describing and understanding the Spiritual World.
Question, don’t accept and stand on your own two feet.
Quote on Democracy
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilization has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence. From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back into bondage.
-An observation by the Scottish Historian Professor Alexander Tyler, circa 1787, on the decline and fall of the Athenian Republic.
Taliban Embraces Spin
Taking a page from the playbook of Western politicians, the Taliban has apologized for killing children in a botched bombing. From the Taliban’s mouth piece,
It was a mistake by our mujahideen (holy warriors),” senior Taliban commander Mullah Sabir Momin said by satellite telephone on Wednesday.
“We wanted to target the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) office in the city, but because of a small mistake, this plan failed,” he told Reuters.
I wonder why it was a Reuters journalist?
Via Google News.
Smoke Em if you Got Em
Russell Whitaker relates a story of an offended non-smoker whining about Asian smokers outside of a Target store. The non-smoker, when Russell spoke to him about his uncivility, wanted to beat Russell’s ass.
Um, Shouldn’t Accountability Start a Bit Lower Down the Chain?
Glenn Reynolds points to a New York Times article referencing NGOs, and oversight of them, entitled Asking the Do-Gooders to Prove They Do Good, and posts a quote from one Coralie Bryant, a Columbia University professor who states this,
Accountability is the central issue of our time,
Oh that accountability actually was the central issue of our time. But it is not. Accountability is increasingly on the wane and the reason for this waning is that no longer do a large percentage of individuals accept accountability. Relieved of this burden by the culture of relativism, the nanny state and repressed memories, blame is always passed on to something or someone else. It is never anyone’s fault, unless you’re a terrorist I guess. If accountability was the central issue of our time, or if there is a desire for accountability to be the central issue of our time, it has to start with the individual, not a corporation or an NGO. Corporations and NGOs running amuck, with little oversight, are simply the chickens coming home to roost in a big way and shitting all over themselves.