30 June 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For....

...You just may get it.

There is movement afoot to recall our current Governor, Bobby Jindal (R-Spineless), because of his refusal to veto the Legislature's doubling of their own salaries. A copy of the recall petition is here.

While I understand the sentiment (Governor Mitch Landrieu), and the anger (Governor Mitch Landrieu), I don't think folks are thinking this through (Governor Mitch Landrieu). What if the recall is successful (Governor Mitch Landrieu)? Read what our State Constitution says about succession (Governor Mitch Landrieu). If Jindal is removed, our next governor (Mitch Landrieu) would be......

Is that what you REALLY want?

Me, either.

UPDATE: Well. wadda ya know - a vertebrae sighting: Jindal just vetoed the pay raise.

28 June 2008

There Is A Lesson Here.

This post is to remind you of two seemingly unconnected things, dear readers, that are connected - first, the plight of the people in Zimbabwe who have suffered much and deserve better than to be starved and beaten by a Left-wing scumbag desperate to hold power; and second, why the Supreme Court's recent Heller decision on gun rights is so important to a free democracy.

The Heller decision??" I hear you ask.

Yes, the Heller decision. For the first time in modern history, the right of an individual to his or her self-preservation has been specifically recognized as belonging to, well, the individual. And further, the individual has the right to the means necessary to exercise that right.

Now, the connection. Go read the post below again and ask yourself this question - would Mr. Mugabe'c criminal regime still be in power if all Zimbabweans could be armed, as we can be in America, instead of only Mr. Mugabe's armed thugs? Can criminal violence flourish, government-sponsored or otherwise, when the victims have the means to defend themselves?

Mr. Mugabe asks, "How can a ballpoint fight with a gun?" He, like most thugs in power already knows the answer - which is why only his side is armed. The ballpoint only wins when the people who hold the ballpoint in one hand hold the means to enforce it in the other. When that is all of the people, the ballpoint always wins; the government must respect the will of the people or be swept away.

Any ruthless thug knows they can do what they want if you can't stop them. Mao understood this. So did Adolph Hitler. So does your common street criminal. It is deeply troubling, therefore, that those in our own country who advocate banning or repealing our right to defend ourselves have forgotten where the anti-gun rights impulse in America comes from.

27 June 2008

Another Jimmy Carter Foreign Policy Success, Revisited.

(Welcome freerepublic.com readers!)

The foreign policy gifts of Jimmy Carter - which gave us the secular, pluralist, pro-Western Iran we know today - just keep on giving. Recently, thanks to the postings at Theo Spark’s Last of the Few, I've been following the disaster in Zimbabwe and the man who made it so – it’s de-facto dictator, Robert "let-them-eat-nothing" Mugabe.

Mugabe is running "unopposed" for another term as president - as he's now forced the one viable opposition candidate out of the race. (The election is today.) In most democracies, candidates win elections by earning people’s votes. According to the Times article, Mugabe does it rather differently:

“If there is one MDC vote they will find that person and cut off his or her head,” Ben Freeth, a white farmer quoted his workers as telling him. “ ‘It is a serious threat’ were the words that they used to tell me.”

The same message was delivered to voters in Chiredzi, in the southeast of the country, who were handed serial numbers of their ballot papers and told that their votes would be traced and punishment meted out if they were found to have voted the “wrong way”.

You would think since Jimmy helped put Mugabe in power, the folks at the Carter Center, who claim to get all in a lather about free and fair elections, would be busy soaping themselves up over this one. But all they could muster was a press release. (Busy worrying about with all those Gitmo detainees, I guess.)

A quick history lesson: In 1965, what was then known as Rhodesia declared itself independent from Britain rather than give up white minority rule. Rhodesia quickly found itself isolated through sanctions, having to fight - rather successfully - a war with two Soviet-funded Marxist groups trying to topple the white-minority government. The leader of ZANU, one of the Soviet-sponsored groups, was Robert Mugabe.

By 1978 the white-minority government accepted the inevitable, and sought a way for peaceful transition to black-majority rule. A transition government was established, a new constitution was drafted, and the major non-violent group opposing white-minority rule, United African National Council, won the elections. It’s leader, American-educated Methodist Bishop Abel Muzorewa, became prime minister of the new Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

The two Soviet client groups, Mugabe’s ZANU, and the ZAPU, didn’t like the arrangement (they refused to participate) and they continued the war - ironically fighting against their stated goal – a popularly elected black majority government. The British government and the Carter Administration were not happy the Marxists were cut out, either. They shunned the new government, and in 1979 they forced a “peace agreement” to include the two Marxist groups. New elections were held in 1980 which, after some ZANU “campaigning” (e.g., intimidations, beatings, killings) which the British and the Carter Administration largely ignored, Robert Mugabe won. And - surprise, surprise – Mugabe hasn’t lost since.

In 1980 Robert Mugabe inherited a country that was a net exporter of food (it was known as "The Breadbasket of Africa”), had a small, but educated and growing black middle class, a mostly stable economy (even with the sanctions and war), and had an opportunity to heal the racial divide.

Mugabe sought to change all of that. And to the misery of the average Zimbabwean, black and white, he succeeded. After an initial flourish of optimism (and a lot of self-congratulating by British and American leaders), Mugabe has tried to force Zimbabwe into a one-party, Marxist-socialist state with him as permanent leader. As with all such experiments which combine economic naivete, political thuggery and mob rule, it didn’t go well. Since 1980 Zimbabwe has gone from an exporter of food to the brink of starvation. Mugabe always blames others – white farmers, foreigners (especially Britain and the US), and the opposition – for the country’s problems. And when that doesn't work, intimidation, repression, and sometimes death suffice to keep Mugabe and his cronies in power. (Case in point.)

Robert Mugabe has turned a promising opportunity in post-colonial reconciliation and peace into just another starving, corrupt, African dictatorship with hyper-inflation. A basket case without a basket.

And those who helped put Mugabe there, the British and Americans, don’t seem to be too bothered about it. They make noises, true, but they do not seem too interested in actually doing anything about it. And the UN? They think Mugabe is great! And even invited him to speak at (irony of ironies) the World Food Security Conference earlier this month in Rome, where Mr. Mugabe ate pretty well.

The other day Megan McArdle postulated that the average Zimbabwean today is worse off than they were under Ian Smith’s white-minority rule. While I think, statistically, she may be right, that becomes a slippery argument that can easily segway into paternalism and racism. I do not think it is a apt comparison, as there are factors other than economic well-being involved. (Moussilini made the trains run on time. So what? Is it better to eat on your knees or starve on your feet?) I think the better argument here is the moral one - that Robert Mugabe and his cronies have proven themselves today to be as big a threat to freedom, liberty and progress in Africa as Ian Smith and his folks were in 1965. Ian Smith subverted democracy to keep power. So today, does Mugabe. Is a Marxist with a whip better than a Master with one? If the world treated Ian Smith as a pariah when he wouldn’t respect freedom and the democratic process, the world must do the same with Robert Mugabe.

26 June 2008

Thank You, God, For Antonin Scalia.

The Supreme Court, for the first time in U.S. history, has ruled conclusively that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Full text of the decision is here.

This is big. I think in the long run it's Roe v. Wade big. Let's see how Obama and McCain respond.

Volokh has more. Their initial assessment is that it still leaves some fundamental questions open. I agree, but the groundwork has been laid.

25 June 2008

Returning The Spirit.

None of this "invitation into a deeper conversation," or "doing a new thing" crap - a New Orleans church shows the true meaning of Christian Mission:

A team of New Orleans Episcopal volunteers is scheduled to leave New Orleans this morning to help flood victims in Quincy, Ill., a community that reached out to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The four-day trip by the Rev. Jerry Kramer and seven companions from the Free Church of the Annunciation will deliver money and personal cleaning supplies into the Midwestern flood zone, said Duane Nettles, pastoral associate at the church.

Fr. Jerry Kramer is both a friend and an orthodox Anglican. His church, Free Church of the Annunciation, was flooded and badly damaged during Katrina. But hrough the efforts of Fr. Jerry, his congregation, and the many missionaries who came down, Annunciation has come back - and is a beacon of hope in the Boradmoor neighborhood. If you want to help Fr. Jerry and his church, go here.

24 June 2008


Unfortunately, this pretty well sums up our Presidential choices this year:

I almost miss the one who rode the broomstick. Almost. This, however, clarifies that choice:

From: Last of the Few.

23 June 2008


Yes, I know posting has been a bit sparse. But right now, I'm just fed up. On the political side, I'm fed up with our governor, Bobby "No Balls" Jindal; I'm fed up with our cleptocrat Legislature (Motto: "Yes, it does grow on trees"); I'm fed up with the Legacy Media's orgasmic ordination of Barack Obama as the returning Son of God next President; I'm fed up with John McCain's invisible Yugo-in-a-NASCAR-race campaign.

On matters of Faith, I'm fed up with The Episcopal Church's (tm) slithering around to purge - or at least silence - people like me who don't buy into "doing a new thing" morality; I'm fed up with the Anglican Communion for letting The Episcopal Church (tm) get away with it.

Work-wise, I'm fed up with FEMA for being so divorced from reality that reality is now asking for alimony and child support; I'm fed up with State recovery people who don't give a damn about the solution so long as it gets it "off their plate" and on to some one else's.

I'm fed up with cloudy days; I'm fed up with Ally Sheedy for letting herself go; I'm fed up that I STILL can't get a cherry pie with powdered sugar at Bud's Broiler; I'm fed up with cute fuzzy bunnies not being cute and fuzzy enough anymore.

In short; I've had enough. I need a Guinness. I'll post more after a few pints when I damn well feel better.

UPDATE 24JUNE08: Reason 23,896 why you shouldn't rant on an empty brain. A commentor asked about my comment about Ally Sheedy letting herslef go. I saw her on one the CSIs a while back, and did not look at all, um.... Sheedy-ish, but I see from this photo that I am in error. (Should have said Molly Ringwald?)

RIP George

George Carlin died yesterday of an apparent heart attack. He was 71. Carlin was one of the great comedians and, for better or worse, he picked up Lenny Bruce's mantle and kept pushing the edge of the envelope.

While I always found his early material funny, and his analysis of modern wordplay wonderful, with the hindsight of years I will remember him - as with Lenny Bruce - as someone fully of his age. In Carlin's case that was the 60's - with that adolescent "I wanna say poo-poo whenever I want! It's all about me!" mindset. Carlin, like so many of the 60's generation, broke barriers without thinking through if they needed to be broken, or what to do once they were. The repercussions of that era are still reverberating through our society today with mostly tragic, if well-intentioned, results.

20 June 2008

Glengarry Glen Ewe.

Jeff Corriveau , a Hollywood writer whose credits include Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and cable's Talk Soup (a favorite in my house...) has been penning a new cartoon strip since January: Deflocked. I've read a bit of it, and it seems pretty well written and funny. (The main character is a sheep named 'Mamet.')

Deflocked is currently running on a trial basis in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, 14 - 27 June. If you would like to see Deflocked continue in the Advocate, take the Morning Advocate's Comic Survey and give Jeff a vote.

19 June 2008

I'm A Binomial Surd!

According to Cosmologist* Max Tegmark, we all are:

“there is only mathematics; that is all that exists.”

What a relief. Makes all that struggling over the "meaning of life" stuff pretty pointless, don't you think? Instead, I think just go and divide myself by 0. It may take a while, so I'll leave you with something to ponder:

Hattip: Instapundit.

* No Stephanie, a cosmologist doesn't sell lipstick and blush. And he is not related to Max Factor.

18 June 2008

Wednesday Evening Distraction.

From Theo at Last Of the Few, this is just..... weird. Very Terry Gilliam.

The Honorable Louisiana Minority.

Fellow Bayou Staters, remember these names - the ones who opposed the recent pay raise AND are refusing to accept the additional cash. They have what someone seems to have lost.

17 June 2008

Flipping and Flopping.

Bobby Jindal said he will not veto the 100% pay raise the Legislature just awarded themselves. Oops. That, apparently, is not what he said when was asking for my vote. Now I feel like, well.....

...hit it, boys:

Thanks, CB.

Now let me tell you how I really feel...

Somebody's Interested In John Medica.

Hmmm. Ever since this posting on FEMA (motto: "What? Me Hurry?") giving away $85 million in supplies for Katrina victims, and on John Medica, the (State?) person mentioned who said Louisiana had no need of the supplies, I've had a curious number of visits from folks at the State of Louisiana (O.T.M. ISP) Googling "John Medica."

According to StatCounter, the last one came from this IP address: 159-39-29-19, and had a Division of Administration (doa.la.gov) suffix.

Tuesday Morning Jaw Dropper.

Go read this post over at Billy Ockham, which links to this this article in the New York Daily News.

Words fail me. Which means, of course, that The Episcopal Church (tm) "doing a new thing" is somehow involved. Johnson's Third Rule of Episcopal Thermodynamics, indeed.

14 June 2008

That's What They Want.

The Louisiana Legislature, put to song. Turn it up:

And Governor Bobby Jindal's performance? I think this is pretty accurate:

I can just hear Timmy Teepell now: "Perhaps a large wooden badger....?"

iPhone P0rn.

OK, it's not really porn in the normal (??) sense of the word, but it is to iPhone geeks - A roundup of new iPhone news, insights, and predictions enough to make your firmware, well.... you know.

Hattip: Instapundit.

(iPhone Porn. Hmmm. Has possibilities: "She opened her browser wide to accept the pulsing 3G....." Yep. That'd make the user manual much more fun...... -ed.)

UPDATE: ("...which swept her over the EDGE..." Goodness me. This stuff almost writes itself. -ed.)

13 June 2008

Recalls, Anyone?

The Louisiana Legislature voted, without debate, to double their salaries. Starting next month. Our state is near dead last in everything; our education system stinks, as do our roads and bridges, the Recovery is stalled, and the State says they are broke. This is (generally) a SFW blog, so any honest comment I have on this issue most certainly could not be published here.

It appears my Representative, Hunter Greene, voted for it. Unless suddenly he walks on water or makes oil appear out of thin air, I will have a VERY hard time voting for him again. For anything. Peppi Bruneau once told me that Greene was one of the most capable people he'd ever seen in the Legislature. I'm not so sure about that anymore.

Look, I agree that the position of legislator in Louisiana is more than a part-time job, and worth more than $16,000 a year, plus expenses. At that rate, only those who can afford to hold office actually can. So I think some kind of increase is due. But it should only be enacted by a vote of their bosses, the people, be phased in, and only happen AFTER we see some results.

But the big surprise, and disappointment, is not greedy pols at the Capitol - that is nothing new - but how our new wizz-kid governor, the "next Ronald Reagan," has handled this.

He hasn't.

Bobby Jindal has utterly wimped out on this issue, and said that he will not veto the pay raise even though he opposes it, as this is the Legislature's issue. Wow. That's some leadership. He sounds more like the "next John Kerry" or maybe the "next Mary Landrieu" - not the "next Ronald Reagan." He has allowed the Legislature to tell him who's boss (not him), and define their relationship for the next three and one-half years. Jindal was tested. And he failed.

Because of the near unanimity of public opposition to this pay-raise, Jindal had a golden opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the Legislative leadership over this, and win. He would have come out a hero - a real man of action - and defined the relationship with the Legislature on HIS terms. But now he is looking like just another failed revolution; our "next Buddy Romer." Were it not for who would take his place, I'd say let McCain have him.

Bosom Comrades.

Another "Che'nge We Can Believe In" sighting. Here's the jaw dropper: the Che and Obama posters hang together in the office of an Ohio Judge.

Obama supporters seem to think these two belong together. I'd agree, but I don't see that as a positive thing. And neither, I suspect, will the critical swing voters Obama must get to win.

I'm sure this will, too, be explained as a fluke, or this guy will be "disassociated" from the Obama camp. Reminds me of a good joke I heard the other day: Obama has a new campaign bus - you can put 36 people in the bus while throwing up to 6 more people under it....

Happy Birthday, Carole!

12 June 2008

Finally - Change We Can Believe In.

Well, more likely to happen than the "change" that prophet from Chicago is preaching about. Creative Minority Report says we are all supposed to die today. Really:

A self-styled prophet from central Texas is giving doomsday predicting another shot by pegging Thursday as the start of a world-ending nuclear war.

"It could be turned loose before then," Yisrayl "Buffalo Bill" Hawkins told ABC's "20/20" for a report to be broadcast Friday night. "You are going to see this very soon, really soon."

In a sense, I'm relieved. It'll cut down on the wait times at the Wendy's drive-thru.

UPDATE 13JUNE08: I woke up this morning. I looked out my intact window and didn't see a scorched, irradiated back yard. Oh, well.

I'm Sorry, CB.

I should listen to my elders more often. I used to read CB Forgotston pretty regularly until he really started taking after Bobby Jindal not long after Jindal took office. I thought then that CB was being a bit cranky (give the boy space, I thought), and was somewhat annoyed at his (Forgotston's) stance.

I changed my mind - CB wasn't being cranky, he was spot on. Jindal has, IMHO, not lived up to the image he portrayed as a take-charge visionary wunder-kid. He seems far from that - weak, distant, distracted; and his staff seems to be calling the shots.

The current legislative pay-raise scandal (and there is no other word for it) is a case-in-point. Instead of putting his foot down and taking charge, the legislators are threatening him. If he was the person I voted for, I would have expected a reply of, "Make my day," or "Bring it on!" This pay raise is so unpopular Jindal would win any game of brinkmanship the Legislature could start. And look like a hero for it.

And what's even worse, all the "small-government, fiscal-conservative, citizen-legislator" Republicans voting for this. Bunch of hypocrites. The graphic on top of this Forgotston post says it all, IMHO.

Dangerous, Senile American Cowboy, 1; (The Other) Murderous German Philosophy, 0.

Twenty-one years ago today, the man who truly saved Western Democracy threw down the gauntlet.

And two years later, he won.

Hattip for the reminder: View From The Porch.

Image: 70,000 New Democrat Voters In Louisiana!

"Louisiana's top election official met Wednesday with a Democratic group whose voter drive efforts have flooded urban registrars with registration forms, many of them fake and incomplete."

"VIP's voter drives in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Jefferson Parish resulted in piles of sketchy applications that had to be investigated — "busy work that is not leading to productive registration of voters," Dardenne said."

UPDATE: A little FYI about VIP, or Voting Is Power, the group that appears to be the one registering these 70,000 new voters,. Here is their website. VIP appears to be an arm of the Muslim American Society, which itself appears to have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Look, unlike an Islamist state, we are still a free country. And VIP has the right to organize and register voters just like any political entity, and should be able to do so withour persecution. (Try THAT in Saudi Arabia! -ed.) But I also think we have the right to know who they are, and who is behind this effort. (Thanks for the heads-up, Charles!)

Profiles In Incompetence.

I have been working on a design project in New Orleans in which FEMA is involved. We got the project more than 18 months ago, and were this any other project of it's type, it would have been designed and be under construction by now. So let me say, from first-hand experience, that FEMA personnel are actually demons who inhabit a logic-free, reality-free level of Hell called the Stafford Act, and they have descended upon my fair State to sow inaction, indecision, and general bureaucratic regulatory exasperation with respect to the recovery. (And trust me, I'm being diplomatic here.)

The 'M' in FEMA stands for "management," not "solutions," and they take that charge very seriously. (If you solve something, it goes away. Where's the regulatory management opportunities in that??) So I thought I'd pretty much heard it all when it came to FEMA logic. But this story takes, or more accurately, gives away the cake (sit it down before you read this. -ed.):

"FEMA gave away about $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims, a CNN investigation has found.

The material, from basic kitchen goods to sleeping necessities, sat in warehouses for two years before the Federal Emergency Management Agency's giveaway to federal and state agencies this year."

FEMA said they were excess to "their needs." But not apparently, to the needs of residents, which FEMA seemed to know about:

"(Martha) Kegel said FEMA was told in regular meetings that Unity (a non-profit) was desperate for household supplies and that the group has been forced to beg for donations. But she said FEMA never told Unity and other community groups that it had tens of millions of dollars worth of brand-new items meant for storm victims.

Put a towel on the floor, folks, 'cause your jaw is going to hit it again. It gets worse. Someone from the State of Louisiana got in touch with his inner Blanco and passed up getting any of these supplies:

"These items also were offered to all states -- yet Louisiana, where most of the people displaced by the storm live, passed on taking any of them.

John Medica, director of the Louisiana Federal Property Assistance Agency in Baton Rouge, said he was unaware that Katrina victims still had a need for the household supplies.

"We didn't have anybody out there who told us they wanted it," Medica said."

And you wonder why we're STILL in the shits down here???

Hattip: Carole. (Who, if she had a bloody blog, woud get a link.)

UPDATE 13JUNE08: Well, it appears somebody grew a brain - the Louisiana Recovery Authority is trying to recover that $85 million in supplies intended for Katrina victims so it can actually go to, y'know, the victims. What a concept. Welcome to FEMAworld.

11 June 2008

Better Blogging Thru Chemistry.

The Naked Emperor is on a roll. A post-operative, drug-induced roll, but a roll none the less. So stop by for some great pearls of wisdom, such as:

"Only dogs and middle managers stick their nose up somebody else's butt to see who their friends are."

"Your dog loves you, it's an adoration relationship. With cats, it's more of a friendship based on common interest. Because you both love the cat"

Just keep scrolling down.

Fun With Weapons, Free Time, And Trick Photography.

While Iraq may be our war, it has been the Brits who have delivered the best wacky videos, such as a classic Peter Kay knock-off, and the RN ship lip-scynching Queen's Bohemian Rhaposody. But we Yanks are coming back, as this pretty cool entry attests:

Hattip: Last of The Few.

10 June 2008

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. Eh.

I don't usually blog on things in The Great White North, since my Canadian readership is very small and mostly limited to Google porn searches with the term "red stick" in them. (I really don't have a dog on that sled team. Sorry)

But sometimes, you gotta say "WTF??" and wonder what they put in the beer up there. Freedom of Speech may be an American "concept", but it used to be a Canadian one, too. Not anymore, apparently:

"This is a breathtakingly broad prohibition, which extends far beyond the terms of the (already troubling) statute. Boissoin and his group aren't allowed to saying anything "disparaging" about homosexuals, which presumably would even extend to statements such as "homosexuals are acting sinfully" or "The Bible, which I believe should be our moral guide, condemns homosexuality."

Nor can they say anything disparaging (not just anything false or threatening, but anything disparaging) about Prof. Darren E. Lund of the University of Calgary Faculty of Education, a self-described "activis[t]" for "social justice issues in schools and communities," and his witnesses, who include Prof. Kevin Alderson of the University of Calgary, and Douglas Robert Jones, a recently retired Calgary City Police Service officer who has been Liaison to the GLBT Community. I would have thought that activist university professors were proper subjects for discussion, criticism, and even disparagement — but the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission forbids Mr. Boissoin and the Concerned Christian Coalition from engaging in such speech."

So let me, as an American, exercise a God-given Right: Professor Darren, E. Lund, I think your actions show you to be intellectually incapable of defeating your opponents in open debate, and therefore have dealt with the problem like a cowardly fascist - by suppression. Professor Kevin Alderson, I think you are no better. And Douglas Robert Jones, I think as an officer of the Law in a liberal democracy, you more than anyone should know better.

Ban that, you Hosers.


Tamara K. over at View From The Porch is in the running to win a session at Blackwater shooting camp in North Carolina.

Swing on over and give her a vote!

UPDATE: And speaking of free speech kerfuffles (see post above), Tamara finds herself embroiled in one as well. With the Obama campaign. If Obama's people don't want their logo associated with satire, what do they want it associated with?

Oh, that's right: "Che'nge We Can Beleive In."

Blog Of The Day.

Link is here. Any religious site subtitled "We Laugh Because We Beleive" gets on my blogroll - especially after this.

Anglican Spine Alert!

Now here's a stunner:

"The Archbishop of Canterbury has demanded that the Government sit up and take notice of the Church of England, after a report disclosed how Christianity is being ignored at the expense of Islam."

More here:

"The policies of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (heck, I'd go back to David Lloyd George! - ed.) have helped to generate a spiritual, civic and economic crisis, according to a report commissioned for the Church of England and to be published on Monday. It calls for the appointment of a "minister for religion" to be the prime minister’s personal "faith envoy" and who would recognize the contribution of faith communities to Britain across every government department."

Minister for religion? Isn't that what our Gracious Lord of Canterbury is supposed to be?? I'm just saying.

I predict this will be dismissed as "Islamophobic" by the usual, vocal crown of Islamofascists. And the Church of England will, by and large, return to it's default invertebrate state.

Hattip: Instapundit.

09 June 2008

Some Numbers To Consider.

The junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, has served in Congress since 2004, or 1,317 days. It is the only Federal office or service Barack Obama has ever done.

John McCain, the senior Senator from Arizona, served his country for 21 years as a military officer, spending 1,966 days in captivity because of it, and then went on to serve in Congress for 26 years.

Think about that - John McCain spent more time as a POW than Barack Obama has spent in Congress. Tell me again who has the experience to be the leader of the Free World??

Monday Morning Distraction.

Time to get in touch with your inner Trekkie:

Top 100 reason why Captain Kirk is better than Captain Picard.

A few of my favorites:

3. When Picard went back in time he brought back Data’s head. When Kirk went back in time he brought back a blonde.

33. Picard’s engineer wears goofy wrap-around sunglasses. Kirk’s engineer wears a kilt and can drink you under the table.

89. Kirk once taught an emotionless female android how to love. Then he broke up with her.

There are other such lists, re: Kirk/Picard, but this is the best, IMHO.

He Didn't Even Say "Please" First....

A short post over at Louisiana Conservative, pointing out a classic example of how representing us does not seem to be the primary interest of our Congressional representatives. And how it effects you at the gas pump.

UPDATE: This utterly proves The Naked Emperor's argument I linked to a few days ago.

UPDATE 10JUNE08: Oh, my. My little post made it here.

08 June 2008

She's A......

The first part of defeating evil is calling it by it's real name. The same is true for defeating self-centered, 60's has-beens. (Oooo, they hate that!) So combine a song by South Park's Eric Cartmann with a photo montage of Hillary Clinton, and you get... this:

Hattip: Last of the Few.

Boston Part II - The Coolest iPhone Trick In The World, or Desperation Is The Mother Of Invention.

What with the new iPhone 2.0 phone and software set for release tomorrow, this seems like a pretty good time for my favorite save-your-ass iPhone story.

When were flying back the other week, I forgot to print my boarding pass at the hotel before we went to Logan Airport. So when we got to the terminal, instead of scanning my boarding pass at electronic check-in and heading on in, I was going to have to wait in a looong line. The wife was not at all pleased (she had printed hers earlier...). So with some sense of desperation, I opened the airline e-mail on my iPhone to the PDF boarding pass, looking for any number or code I could enter in the electronic check-in to save me from the long line. I found none.

Damn. But there was a bar-code on the PDF. Hmmm. I enlarged it to see if there was a code on it that I could enter - but again, nothing.

This is where the desperation part comes in, and what possessed me to do this I do not know - I stuck the iPhone, with the enlarged bar-code on the screen, under the electronic check-in scanner and......

...."Welcome Clifford!" said the electronic check-in screen, "Would you like to....." and it gave me a list of options - the last one was "Print another copy of your boarding pass."

The scanner read the bar-code from the iPhone screen.

Why yes! Yes I would like to print another copy of my boarding pass! I was saved. I got my boarding pass, went through security, and we were on our way.

So ask yourself - could you do that with your trendy RAZR? Or your size-of a-hamburger-bun Blackberry?? I didn't think so.

Sixth District Getting Interesting.

State Senator and Doctor Bill Cassidy, has now definitely thrown his hat in the ring to unseat newly-elected Democrat Don Cazayoux, and Woody Jenkins and Lauinda Calongne are hinting at it.

This last Friday night Lauringa Calongne, who lost her bid to be the GOP nominee last time round, gave a party In Baton Rouge as a thank you for her supporters (which included me). She also invited her two Republican opponents, Paul Sawyer and Woody Jenkins, and thanked them publicly for their participation, service, and for being worthy opponents. (Which was a pretty classy thing to do, IMHO. Very Reagan.)

Also in attendance, and saying some very good things about Laurinda, were Senator David Vitter and Congressman Charlie Alexander.

Does that mean Laurinda is running again in November? She still won't say. But with a lineup like that.......

......I hope Mr. Jenkins can read the handwriting on the wall.

Today's Required Reading.

The Naked Emperor points out the obvious - we don't have an energy crisis as much as we have a leadership crisis.

Well, duh. About 15 years ago one of the arguments used against drilling in ANWR was that it wouldn't benefit us for about....... 15 years. Remember that inconvenient truth when you go to the gas pump this week, and when you go to the voting booth in November.

06 June 2008

My Inner Vogon Makes Me Famous.

Wow. Something I wrote actually made it onto Samizdata.net. Impressed? (I'm still not saying which one, though...)

Friday Palette Cleanser.

From Last of the Few (of course!), let's play 'guess the nationality'.

Once you get there, click on the image to reveal the answer.

The Longest Day.

Was 64 years ago today:

When some sanctimonious Lefty tells you that our country is the biggest threat to freedom, remember what happened on this day, and remember those men that had what took to face it.

And remember, too, that thousands of our fellow Americans, who still have what it takes, are today still facing down our enemies so that you, me, and that sanctimonious Lefty, are free to sleep in peace at night.

UPDATE: And what if today's press had covered D-Day? We'd have something like this:

And what if the 1944 press had had covered Iraq? We'd be home by now.

05 June 2008

Bill Whittle......

...isn't dead. Really.

More Music From The Decade From Hell.

If you thought the last post was scraping the bottom of the 70's music barrel, au contraire. It went much lower. The aforementioned KISS, for example:

Such stirring social commentary in the lyrics. Actually, for the 70's it was, and we used to listen to it. Ugh.

A Song For Our 14-Year-Old Daughter Who Thinks Her Parents Are Weird.

See - we're all right; we just seem a little weird.

Now where are those old KISS records?....

Today's Required Reading.

Via Instapundit and Ed Driscoll, comes this piece by novelist Andrew Klavan where he points out the obvious - all "lifestyles" and "cultures" are not equal. Well, obvious to anyone who doesn't think Western Civilization in general, and America in particular, is a great failure:

"Beating poverty in America nowadays is largely a matter of personal behavior. Get a high school diploma, don’t have kids until you’re married, don’t get married until you’re 21, and you probably won’t be poor. It also helps if you work hard, show up on time, act courteously, and avoid anything felonious.

But where are these kids going to learn such things? It’s the stuff you just sort of absorb in a healthy, traditional, two-parent home, and that’s exactly what they’re missing. If they learn what they’ve lived, they’re done for—the girls too likely to “come out pregnant” like their mothers, the boys to be underemployed and maybe even do time."

He also chides Conservatives for allowing our culture to become a monopoly of the Left:

"Many conservatives often seem to have given up on culture or not to care. There’s a strong strain of philistinism on the right. When we talk about “culture wars,” we usually mean preventing the courts from redefining marriage or promoting abstinence instead of birth control: culture, in other words, as the behavioral branch of politics."

Read the whole thing.

And James Lileks has a related ideological test. (Just scroll down once you get there, and stop when you see the kid with the BB gun.)

Boston Part I - Trintiy Church Welcomes You Your Wallet, or Paying To Pray.

Boston's Trinity Episcopal Church is one of my favorite places - not just a favorite in Boston, but anywhere.

Image by Red Stick Rant

To me, there is not a better church building, Episcopal or otherwise, in the United States. Designed by the incomparable architect (and Louisiana native) H.H. Richardson, it is an icon of American architecture. Take one step inside and it is easy to see why.

So you can understand why all of the architects visiting Boston for the recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention would want to see it, including your humble blogger (though my reason was a bit different - read on). Not that I needed a tour of Trinity - I had been in the church hundreds of times before, and during the 1992 AIA convention I even gave tours of the church. I know the place pretty well.

At my home parish, I read Evening Prayer on the weekends. It is usually just me, alone in the church, and I find the time to be intensely spiritual. For weeks I had been looking forward to reading Evening Prayer at Trinity - a spiritual experience in one of the most spiritual spaces ever.

So imagine my surprise when I entered the vestibule and was greeted by two college-age kids at a table across the door to the nave, saying I had to pay $6.00 for a "self-guided tour" to enter. I told them that I was an Episcopalian, had been there many times before, and didn't want to tour - I wanted to say prayers. They told me that worship times were posted, this wasn't one of those times, and to go downstairs to get a ticket if I wanted to get in.

So downstairs I went. I asked the person behind the counter if, as an Episcopalian wanting to spend a few minutes in prayer, I needed to pay $6.00. Yes, I had to pay. So I ponied up $6.00, went upstairs, and quietly said Evening Prayer.

I figured that maybe this was something special, what with all of the architects in town. So I decided to let it pass.

Now page forward three days, after the convention. My wife and children are with me in Boston, and we go to Trinity Church. We open the great door and there, in the center of the vestibule, is the same little table blocking the main nave door manned by the same college-age kids during the AIA convention. And the kids tell me the same thing - $6.00 to get in. But we're Episcopalians, I reply, and we don't want a tour. Sorry, we need a ticket, they insist, or come back during "regular" service times. I ask if they normally charge to get in, and they said yes. So we left.

Travel all over Italy, or France, or the UK, and NOWHERE will you be required to pay a cover charge to enter a house of God. (I know, I've been there.) They often ask for a donation, but that is all. I think what Trinity is doing is unconscionable. At the least, it's not what their website indicates (See a A Place for Prayer). Nor is it very "welcoming" or "inclusive, to use the pop-theology catch-phrases of the day, and I must say I have a hard time seeing Trinity as a spiritual space anymore. I do not think Trinity is that hard up for cash - it is the 10th largest Episcopal Church in the nation (my parish is a mere 113th), so lack of funds is not an excuse. If they want to run guided tours and ask folks to pay for it, fine. If they want to offer folks self-guided tours for a price, fine. But to deny entry to all unless they pay, and to assume everyone who seeks entry to the church, outside of appointed worship services, is somehow only there to "see" the place, is insulting in the extreme. Doubly so when those seeking entry are their fellow Episcopalians.

Go There. Now.

The Naked Emperor is posting again, and which means you are missing some great stuff if you don't head over for a visit. Start at the top and scroll down!

Bad Habits.

Since coming back from my trip to New England I have been rather remiss in making regular postings. Which leaves you, dear readers, with nothing new to look at when you drop by. My apologies.

Since returning I have had a mountain of work to do, and a lot of tasks on the homefront. Which means my focus and my time has been elsewhere, and I've gotten out of the habit of regular posting. Most of my tasks are now done, which means I have more time in the day/evening/dark-of-night to spend with RSR.

I have started, but haven't finished, several posts on my sojourn to Boston and environs, and will try to get some of them up soon. I know some of you are waiting for them.

So don't despair, dear readers, I'm back on the Net... I think.

UPDATE At lunch today, one of my regular readers asked when my Boston posts will be up. OK, OK. First one's coming in a bit.

03 June 2008

Why Barack Obama Won't Stand On His Legislative Record.

He doesn't seem to have one:

Bet you can't name any, either. And this man wants to be the leader of the Free World??

H/T: Last of the Few.

02 June 2008

Today's Episcopal Church (tm) Theology, Put To Music.

I think I've found it:

Matthew will find a better one, of course. But I don't mind. I strongly suspect he has a basement full of nerds, chained to computers, who do nothing but wander YouTube 24/7 looking for all of those cool videos he posts. It's the only explanation.

UPDATE: Matthew and his basement full of chained minions did indeed find a better one. Though, I think it is more suited for the Scottish Episcopal Church..... (Oh, dear. That was a baaaaaaaaaad joke. I should be sheared for it, don't ewe think?)

UPDATE Welcome Stand Firm readers! And to those who will accuse me of anti-Scots bias for my little sheep joke, don't. I'm of Scots descent. Been there twice, even. I eat haggis, I love the sound of bagpipes, and the notion of going commando while wearing a scratchy wool skirt is, to me, the very definition of manliness.