Sunday, January 11, 2004
It’s All About the Power and Prestige, Not Faith
Why, one might ask, should Italy hope for an Italian pope, given the almost universal praise for the pontificate of Karol Wojtyla?,
asked by Roberto Pazzi in a New York Times op-ed entitled Why the Next Pope Needs to Be Italian.
The short answer, according to Pazzi.
The origins of this question go back in time and deserve examination. I was watching on that unforgettable Roman evening of Oct. 16, 1978, when, on the state television network, RAI, which was still broadcasting in black and white, the newly elected pope appeared: a foreigner, Polish. I confess that, once I’d got over my surprise, like many of my fellow Italians I felt a certain bitterness, because my country had lost its last universal sign of power.
Read that last sentence again. It is bemoaning a loss of “power,” even if it is simply a “universal sign of power.” Pazzi isn’t hoping for an Italian pope to benefit the salvation of his fellow Catholics, he is hoping for an Italian pope to wield power.
Think about that.
Saturday, January 10, 2004
“The False Idol of Equality”
Clearly, then, the concept of equality is only tangentially related to the prosperity or well-being, let alone the freedom, of those who fall under its scope. It concerns itself only with the sameness or equivalence between people, and only a jealous soul could hope for that.
Mars or Bust
Bush has proposed getting men to Mars and a permanent base on the moon. Lovely idea, by why should the cost burden of such an endeavor be borne by individuals living in America through taxation? If there is such an overwhelming desire to settle the moon, or get men to Mars, the cost of such an endeavor should be borne by the private sector. I tend to agree with the following statement, by Bruce Sterling, posted at Hit & Run.
I’ll believe in people settling Mars at about the same time I see people settling the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Desert is about a thousand times as hospitable as Mars and five hundred times cheaper and easier to reach. Nobody ever writes “Gobi Desert Opera” because, well, it’s just kind of plonkingly obvious that there’s no good reason to go there and live. It’s ugly, it’s inhospitable and there’s no way to make it pay. Mars is just the same, really. We just romanticize it because it’s so hard to reach.
On the other hand, there might really be some way to make living in the Gobi Desert pay. And if that were the case, and you really had communities making a nice cheerful go of daily life on arid, freezing, barren rock and sand, then a cultural transfer to Mars might make a certain sense.
Whether it be the Gobi Desert, the moon, or Mars, private enterprise should fund exploration and/or settlement, not government.
Friday, January 09, 2004
I Thought Canada Was “Progressive” on Sexuality
Daniel Medley says this,
Two 12 year old Canadian girls have been expelled from school for a blatant act of capitalism.
Two Grade 7 girls were encouraged to leave their school after they were caught in a public make out session in the school cafeteria.
The 12-year-olds charged boys $5 to watch the lunch-hour show late last year.
which was reported here.
Colby, can you verify this?
Republicans Still Selling “Honorifics for Dollars”
Back on November 3rd, 2003, at my old Blogger site, I posted Honorifics for Dollars. In the post, I wrote of one of the ploys the Republican party is using to raise cash. Specifically, I had received notification that I had been selected as a “honorary chairman” for the Business Advisory Council, and, if I would just contribute five hundred dollars or so, I could have my name published in the Wall Street Journal, with other illuminaries. For the details on this, click the link.
Interestingly, I just received another call from DeLay’s call center, which I can just about picture in my mind as a bunch of drones with headsets on hoping to score the “big one,” informing me that I am still being considered as a honorary chairman of previously mentioned council, and, that I would be receiving an invite to DC for a March meeting on business taxes, so could I contribute five hundred dollars. I said no. How about two hundred dollars, the caller asked. I said no. How about one hundred dollars? I said no.
What is up with this? I don’t contribute to any political party, and, I have also given up on voting. I wonder how far it will go?
Senate Resolution 1993
Eric Peters, writing in The American Spectator, brings to our attention Hillary Clinton’s latest atrocity, co-sponsored by John Warner, Senate Resolution 1993. Peters’ piece, entitled Buckle Up for Hillary, bitch slaps Hillary and Warner for attempting to constrict your personal responsibility with “primary enforcement,” nationally, regarding seatbelt use. From Peters’ article.
Hillary Clinton wants you to buckle up for safety—and she’s ready to crack her whip to make sure that you do. Along with co-sponsoring Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, Sen. Clinton is pushing strong-arm federal legislation, Senate Resolution 1993, that would all but require every state in the country to pass “primary enforcement” seat belt laws.
Primary enforcement means the police can screech out of alleyways, turn on their sirens and pull you over, hands on their guns, spotlight in your face—simply for failing to wear your seat belt. (Primary enforcement also gives police officers legal pretext to demand that you produce ID, answer questions—and enables them to give you and your vehicle a thorough “once over”—again, solely for failing to buckle up.)
Yep, this is the land of the free and home of the brave.
Via Gene Healy at Liberty & Power: Group Blog.
“Life is tough, and it’s really tough when you’re stupid.”
The above quote is credited to Damon Runyon and was lifted from a piece by Suzanne Fields, exploring personal responsibility, entitled Life, literature and intellectuals. Another piece, in a similar vein, written by Walter Williams, is entitled An urban legend.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again. Until individuals recognize their sovereignty, meaning, denying the state’s control of lives, the insanities recognized in the two above linked articles will continue. Individually and collectively.
Via Allison at Allisonlives.com.
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.