30 November 2008

Monday Morning Distraction, Or Risque Business.

I'm sorry, but I just had to; Risky Business is one of my favorite movies from my favorite decade. A Guitar Hero commercial with Heidi Klum reprising of one of the movie's iconic scenes:

Because we at RSR strive to keep our readers fully informed (in this case particularly our male readers), here is their other version. (Mildly NSFW) For comparison purposes only.

You get one guess which one has been viewed more times.

29 November 2008

Your Weekend Distraction.

Comedian Ron White says you "can't fix stupid." True enough. But, you can catalogue it for our amusement: The FAILblog. Enjoy.

28 November 2008

They Call Him 'Endive Salad', Or A Belgian Walks Into A Bar...

...and learns the power of the Internet:
Current Belgian Minister of Defense Pieter De Crem apparently stumbled into a Belgian bar in New York City on Monday evening with his entourage. Following his visit, bartender Nathalie Lubbe Bakker blogged about their visit (in Dutch), talking about how disgusted she was of how drunk De Crem was and how embarrassed she was about his behavior. Worst part, she wrote, was the fact that one of the politician’s advisers admitted to her that the meetings they were there for on taxpayer’s money were in fact canceled because the UN was meeting in Geneva (which is about 330 miles from Brussels). He reportedly told her they had decided to come to NY anyway despite being aware of the cancellation because the political situation here was ‘calm’ and that he’d ‘never visited the city anyway’.
Bakker's blog post was apparently noticed in back in Belgum, and the good Minister had some 'splaining to do when he got home - which he was not at all happy about. (It appears he had the blogger sacked from her bar job in New York.)

It seems the Minister De Crem has not denied the event happened, or that his office called the bar's owner after the blog post got some attention. (As an aside, getting drunk in a bar in New York can be a career enhancer if you tell it right.)

The story here, though, is not a drunk Belgian. Or that politicians are pretty much scum the world over. The story here is that today anyone, with a keyboard and an Internet connection, can hold those in power accountable in ways that before were unthinkable. And those in power realize it. But instead of seeing this as an advance of participatory democracy, many politicians see it as something they cannot control and therefore a threat. Minister Pieter De Crem's reaction is fairly typical:
"I want to take this opportunity and use this non-event to signal a dangerous phenomenon in our society. We live in a time where everybody is free to publish whatever he or she wants on blogs at will without taking any responsibility. This exceeds mud-slinging. Together with you, other Parliament members and the government I find that it’s nearly impossible to defend yourself against this. Everyone of you is a potential victim. I would like to ask you to take a moment and think about this."
Yes, Minister De Crem, freedom of speech is a "dangerous phenomenon in our society." It's supposed to be. It's there to keep folks like you scared straight, and always mindful of just who the hell you work for.

Hattip: Instapundit.

A Post-Tryptophan Distraction.

My daughter says this is me. It's a fair cop. Though, in my defense this was my favorite TV theme song (mostly because of these folks work).

26 November 2008

The Civics Quiz.

Since this is a pretty political blog, here is a test to see what you really know about our government versus what your think you know. You may be surprised.

And your humble blogger? 31 out of 33 correct (94%).

Hattip: View From The Porch.

The Check Is In The Mail. Promise.

FEMA says they will provide more help to local governments to pay for debris cleanup from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. If their past efforts are any indication, my guess is the local folks will see the cash in about 2018, after FEMA spends a few million coming up with a definition for what exactly constitutes debris.

FEMA. Not something to be thankful for.

Hattip: Dead Pelican.

Don't Forget...

...why this is the greatest country in the world, and why we should be thankful for it:

Watch it all. Though, if you voted for Barack Obama you'll likely find this Thanksgiving prayer more to your liking. (WARNING: harsh language is used.)

UPDATE: Jules Crittenden offers up a Thanksgiving history and morality lesson well worth reading.

25 November 2008

Monday Afternoon Wicked Cool.

Tens of millions of dollars could not solve what one man's desire for a cup of Joe could - a useable drinking cup in space:

NASA astronaut Don Pettit loves his coffee. So it comes as no surprise that he found a way to drink coffee from a cup, instead of the traditional straw, on his day off Sunday aboard the International Space Station.

Drinking any liquid in the weightless environment of space could be a messy affair. With hot coffee, it could be a potentially scalding affair. So astronauts use silver pouches and plastic straws to sip anything from water to orange juice to Pettit's beloved space java.
OK, an acute understanding of zero-gravity fluid dynamics helped. Here's a video:

A Link? Who Knew?

Murdoc examines a map of current gasoline prices and a map of gasoline taxes by state, and finds something stunning - areas with lower gas taxes tend to have lower per gallon prices.

Why can't Congress, State Legislatures, and the Blue Media figure out this kind of thing?

Well, At Least We're Tops In Something. (Updated)

Four Louisiana cities considered some of the most dangerous in America.

And New Orleans is, of course, Number One, due to "semi-organized, drug-dealing kids with low moral IQs and guns." Well, Duh. And instead of obsessing about guns in this equation, what about putting some emphasis on raising moral IQs??

UPDATE 26NOV08: A friend suggested a quick way for New Orleans to put a dent in it's crime rate - convince Rep. William Jefferson to move. Good point. I'm sure they have some real estate available here)

And Now, An Amazing Musical Interlude.

Hattip: Theo Spark.

Dogs And Cats, Living Together; Or, Another Sign Of The Apocalypse?

I am the first to admit that I am not a big football fan. But last night I had the oportunity to take my son down to New Orleans to see the Saints lose to the Green Bay Packers, and damn... a real football game broke out. And the Saints were in it. The Saints won (really) by a score of 51-29 (yes, really). Think about that - The New Orleans Saints scored 51 points - not in a season, or two seasons combined, but in a single game. The Saints played so well that even your humble blogger was cheering them on by the end of the third quarter.

I swear, as we were walking to the car we saw these four guys on horseback, checking their watches...

24 November 2008

Monday Morning Distraction.

A bit of architectural weirdness: 50 Strange Buildings of the World.

As an architect, I can assure you that's just the tip of the weirdness iceberg. Trust me.

Hattip: Samizdata.

The Energizer Church.

THIS is how you make an Anglican church relevant in the community. Read it all.

I'm glad Father Jerry Kramer and his intrepid band are getting some recognition for their efforts, as it is justly deserved.

What? Did you expect these people would ever notice...

22 November 2008

19 November 2008

An Episcopal Church (tm) Prophet Surfaces.

In Sweden:
“The orgasm is God, the orgasm should be worshiped,” Bebeacua told the Kv√§llsposten newspaper.

“The orgasm is the ultimate feeling of lust, it shouldn’t be limited to ejaculation. You can reach it through art or by looking at a landscape and thinking ‘Wow!’”

According to Bebeacua, the church has a few hundred followers, and he hopes that registering the Madonna of Orgasm Church will get more people to consider the orgasm as God.

The church only has priestesses and its scriptures are called the Catechism of the Orgasm. The only gospel peached is the gospel of sex.
Private prayer must take on a whole new dimension in that church, if you know what I mean. And what's this about "the church only has priestesses" - doesn't sound very inclusive now, does it?

Don't You People Have A Life?

Sometime this weekend this humble blog had it's 25,000th unique visitor since I started keeping stats. Don't know who is was exactly, (I'm too cheap to pay for advanced Sitemeter), but to each and every one of you who stops by - and especially to those who keep coming back - I thank you. (And his ego thanks you, too - ed.)

An Army Of Yats.

I think this is what Glenn Reynolds (a.k.a., Instapundit) had in mind when he penned An Army of Davids: A New Orleans blogger is able to provide what the New Orleans Police Department and lots of money apparently can not - useable, up-to-date crime maps. Like this.

If the City of New Orleans maintains similar stats at their homepage as the article above notes, they're not very easily found.

And Now For Something Completely...... Wonderful.

There is a God. Here's proof.

Hattip: Matthew at Billy Ockham.

18 November 2008

Todays Required Viewing.

Questions asked of Obama voters. Watch it all:

This is not so much an indictment of these voters, but of the mainstream media that (very selectively) informed them and played to their biases.


High School Musical meets South Park:

Hattip: Ontario Emperor.

17 November 2008

Obama's Economic Shot In The, Um... X-Ring.

There has been much talk about the surge in gun sales since Obama was elected (yet another story here), but to actually see it in person was quite another thing. Your humble blogger went to a gun show yesterday in Gonzales, Louisiana, and was amazed at the amount of people in attendance - especially on a Sunday morning in church-going Louisiana. It was the first time ever to stand in a long line to get into a gun show there, and I have never seen business so brisk. (I went to the show looking for this Springfield Armory .45, which there are usually 5-10 at most gun shows, but they were sold out.) Several exhibitors said that it was be busiest show in memory.

Obama would do well to not go after guns. Firstly, there is no crisis right now - the Assault Weapons Ban faded away four years ago with no negative effect - and second, agitating the pro-Second Amendment crowd hurt Clinton in 1994, Gore in 2000, and could split Obama's fragile coalition (more than a few Democrats are pro-gun). A savvy politician would ignore the urge to "do something," and make all of us recent buyers look like fools. But then again, when have you ever known a Lefty Democrat to resist the urge to "do something"?

FEMA Tries It's Hand At Comedy.

More like comedy of errors, but hey - that's FEMA.

It seems the Federal Eternal Misery Agency has spent a bunch of taxpayer dollars and rolled out a website to show how much they are doing for Katrina/Rita recovery. Two small problems - first, according to The New Orleans Times-Picayune it's not the most accurate site (the project I'm involved with is indeed not listed correctly); and second, the City of New Orleans already has a website doing much the same thing, but it appears more complete and accurate.

I mean, what does that say about your organization when Ray Nagin's city government is a more reliable information source??...

15 November 2008

14 November 2008

Friday Afternoon Weird, Explained.

It seems one Jess Loquist got in touch with his inner Mulder recently, and claims to have seen a UFO here in Baton Rouge. The truth is indeed out there, Jess, but in this case it's not likely not little green men, but this:

A CH-47 Chinook. They fly over here quite often.

Hattip: The Dead Pelican.

13 November 2008

The Second Amendment, Proper Use Of.

In New Orleans. The hero is not your stereotypical gun-owner:
Brian Berthiaume, a guitarist with the local band Bad Off, foiled a burglary at a home in lower Broadmoor and held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived. He discovered the crime in progress while walking his dog Buckley.
Though, the alleged perp is pretty stereotypical:
...who police say had a bag of marijuana on him and was on probation for simple burglary...

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, A Member Of The Mormon Religion?

Respect for diverse values and opinions? Nah. It's blacklist time:
The artistic director of the California Musical Theater, a major nonprofit producing company here in the state’s capital, resigned on Wednesday in the face of growing outrage over his support for a ballot measure this month that outlawed same-sex marriage in California.

Today's Required Reading.

Via Matthew, a French soldier's take on his American colleagues in Afghanistan. Read it all. And thank goodness for the 'Net, as you sure don't find things like that in our Blue Media.

All The Bias That Fits, We Print.

Remember that "Sarah Palin thought Africa was a country, not a continent" story that made the rounds a few days ago? Well, it turns out it was a lie. A purposely made up lie by some filmmakers:
MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a Fox News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday
The Blue Media, who has already deemed Gov. Palin little smarter than a caribou, ran with it because.....
Gaines told the Times that someone in the network's newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.
It must be true because it was in an email??? Boy, THAT'S professional. Let's hope these morons don't know any "colleagues" in Nigeria needing to move some money...

12 November 2008

Completely Unclear On The Concept.

Pirate survival rule number one: never open fire on someone way better armed than you. Like, say, the Royal Navy:
Pirates caught redhanded by one of Her Majesty’s warships after trying to hijack a cargo ship off Somalia made the grave mistake of opening fire on two Royal Navy assault craft packed with commandos armed with machineguns and SA80 rifles.
I hope more pirates make that mistake.

Yes, He Will Be My President, Too.

It’s been a week since we woke up to the results of the presidential election, and I have been letting the notion of a President Obama sink in for the past seven days before I commented. I know that there have been megabytes already posted by conservative/libertarian bloggers and pundits about what happened, why it happened, what will happen, and what we should do next. Here's the beginnings of my $0.02:

First, let’s face some facts.

Fact Number One - we lost. And quite honestly, we deserved to loose. We sent up the wrong people who tried to run on the wrong message. While honorable and selfless, John McCain is no Ronald Reagan or Newt Gingrich – and we needed both to win. Obama’s message was simply “Change.” As empty as that may turn out to be, it was powerful and positive. And our message was…. Anyone?… Anyone?… That’s right – it was basically, “not Obama.” We offered nothing really powerful or positive that folks could latch onto. And Americans love positive.

Fact Number Two – because we lost, Barack Obama will be our President. On 20 January he will be your President. He will be my President. We must be as gracious in defeat as we should be in victory - congratulate him on his win, recognize him as our leader, and pray he does well for our nation. It is the Office we respect. (If you have ever served in the military you understand what I am talking about. If you don’t, watch this.) When our country is threatened from abroad, we must practice what we preach (“Country First”) and be ready and willing to unite behind the President.

Fact Number Three – every leader needs a loyal opposition, and we need to be just that –as tenacious and as partisan as they will be, so must we be. We must define ourselves by a consistent message - one that is positive and unites people behind it - and we must find new leadership to carry this message. The GOP currently in Washington sold the Reagan Revolution for a pittance of perks and earmarks; they are our sorry past – not our future.

More on Fact Number Three, later. But for now, RSR extends it congratulations to Senator Obama and his family.

11 November 2008

Rights Vs. Privileges. (UPDATED Again)

With all of the Prop 8 protests going on, the Anglican Curmudgeon lays out a very strong, rational argument against gay marriage that is worth your reading.

While I agree with Anglican Curmudgeon that marriage is a privilege, not a right, I also think that the promotion of monogamy has a direct positive benefit to society, just as the promotion of having both the father and the mother directly involved in raising of children as a direct societal benefit.

Speaking as matter of civil law (and not theology or Scripture) I think that an equally rational argument can be built for gay marriage based on the notion that the promotion of monogamy, and the limiting of sexual expression to it, has a direct positive benefit for society. I could be persuaded by such an argument, as could many, but I have not seen one from the pro-gay marriage side. Nor do I think they will make it, as I agree with Anglican Curmudgeon that there is a much larger agenda at work here and gay marriage is a menas - not an end.

And the other sticky point is, if you accept the notion that the society grant the privilege of unions between more than a man and a woman, then on what rational basis does one draw the line in limiting what unions will be recognized? Will multiple partners be allowed to marry? Immediate family members?

Having said all of that I still believe, Scripturally, that homosexual practice is a sin - just like heterosexual practice outside of marriage - and the Church should not be compelled to recognize it, solemnize it, or bless it just because society does. (But I also I think that a person should never be turned away from Christ or the Church because of their sexuality.)

UPDATE 12NOV08: As I said yesterday, the Prop 8 protests seem to have less to do with gays wanting into the mainstream (marriage) - and more to do with radicals finding an excuse to bash the mainstream. Coupling the gay marriage issue with violence isn't going to win anyone over (intimidate, yes; but not change minds), and gay Americans who truly want to be included in the mainstream of American society need to condemn these bigots before they end up controlling the debate.

UPDATE 13NOV08: Gay Patriot agrees that this kind of thing is little more than a juvenile temper tantrum (I'd call it a hate crime), and asks where are the grownups. Good point. Grownups understand that sometimes you loose, and grownups try to learn from that to win in the future. Again, the opponents are not winning any friends over to their side with this kind of thing.

Sidebar - Do you think this fellow will get at all upset about a Cross being angrily trampled in this situation? Me, either.

Even More Required Reading.

In the Army we had something called an 'AAR', or "after action report," where a mission was reviewed after-the-fact to see what worked, what didn't, and what to do to improve. P. J. O'Rourke has drafted (as only he can) the GOP's 'AAR' concerning the most recent election.

Read it. Learn it. Live it. Unless you want 2010 and 2012 to look just like 2008.

UPDATE: Via Instapundit, Christopher Hitchens provides a dose of reality for the Left:
Those who think that they have just voted to legalize Utopia (and I hardly exaggerate when I say this; have you been reading the moist and trusting comments of our commentariat?) are preparing for a disillusionment that I very much doubt they will blame on themselves.

Today, Take The Time To Thank A Veteran.

You owe them your very freedom.

My thanks to John, Morgan, Keith, Earl, Garland, Lloyd, Darren, Toby, Darby, Danny, Jack, David, Rick, Fritz, Bruce, Jason, Michael, and Scott. (And a special thanks to my lovely bride who supported me while serving.)

(Image from here.)

UPDATE: Interesting personal statistic - my father was a Marine, and nearly all of the men from his generation I know are veterans. But of all the people my age I knew from my youth - high school, church, Scouts, college - only four of us ever served. And we're supposed to be the Reagan Generation.

10 November 2008

I Guess Islam Supports Same-Sex Marriage. Yeah, That's The Ticket...

Via Instapundit, someone points out an interesting anomaly in all of the California Prop 8 protests.

UPDATE 11NOV08: LGBT intimidation 'dialogue' efforts aren't limited to post-Prop 8 California.

More Required Reading...

Brad Drell posts an easily understood (beer is used) lesson on taxes, with the best post title of the day: Atlas Walked Into A Bar And Shrugged.

Tonight's Required Reading.

Sometimes I wonder why I do this when people like Bill Whittle are out there: A Flag, On a Hill.

Read it all. My main question - can Bobby Jindal ride a horse?

I'll Take Mine With A Twist, If You Please.

Another milestone birthday: The official Red Stick Rant mixed drink, The Gin and Tonic, turns 150 today. Stephen Green, the Vodkapundit, is recommending Bombay Sapphire to celebrate. Couldn't agree more; so drink up, Ranters!

Who Cares.

An old Commie windbag (birthmark edition), shouting from from the ash-heap of history, has some advice for the President-elect:

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the Obama administration in the United States needs far-reaching 'perestroika' reforms to overcome the financial crisis and restore balance in the world.
I mean, look at how well it worked for him...

Semper Fi, Mac.

The United States Marine Corps is 233 years old today. If you know a Marine - serving or veteran - thank them today for their service.
(Note: Image author unknown.)

09 November 2008

Change We Can Believe In??

The recent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disasters cost you, the taxpayer, a cool 700 billion dollars. You would think that those who helped run those organizations would be called to justice.

But President-Elect Barack Obama wants to call one of them, not to justice, but to head the Justice Department. More on this Democrat stalwart here.

In the private sector, the executives who bankrupt a business, cook the books and cost people millions, go to jail. Do the same thing in government, and you get a promotion. Oh, and keep your insider mortgage, too.

Hattip: Instapundit.

08 November 2008

I'd Have Gotten Higher, But I Missed My Landing On The Triple Lutz...

The nice people at Blogged.com, who must be really, really bored this time of year, stopped by and rated this humble blog a 7.2, or "Very Good." (Blogger sprains arm patting himself on the back -ed.) They implied in their e-mail (very, very vaguely) that if I posted my Blogged rating in my sidebar I'd get some cookies, or a naked picture of a girl named Amy. I'm a whore for cookies; it's posted.

A "Hot Steamy Night Of Scripture"...

...Is promoted at The Episcopal Church's Diocese of California website. And we're not talking temprature or humidity here:
On the night before the big election, I was done with campaigning and the last thing I wanted to see was another political commercial. My pre-election tension was high, as a Facebook friend wrote in her status that she felt “the same anxiety as on Christmas Eve when I was six-years-old and I had asked Santa for a bicycle.” I completely understood the sentiment and I needed relief. What better than a night out for trashy tales of sex and smut? And in the fullness of pre-election ambiguity, where better to go for bawdy fare than St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco?

Advertised as “For Mature Audiences Only,”
Pulp Scripture by SMV-resident playwright William Bivins, was billed as “Bible stories they didn’t teach you in Sunday School.” The seven one-act plays were performed as dramatic readings by four actors who showed remarkable breadth of character and range of emotion.
If they had taught me this kind of thing in Sunday School, our family would have been at the Roman Catholic church the next weekend. But the rector of St. Mary the Virgin is thrilled:
With a show that opens with feigned sex, the series of short plays were at once brow-raising, funny and reverent – Pulp Scripture illustrated how encounters with holy history are best revealed as equally sacred and profane. “Bivins has made scripture more accessible and immediate,” the Rev. Jason Parkin, Rector of SMV told me after the play, “and he has shown that engaging the divine story can be happy, joyous, and fun.”
It's a free country - they can do as they please. But I'm sorry; I can't "live in tension" with this kind of pop twaddle masquerading as theology. The new North American Anglican province can't come soon enough.

Throw Pillow Fight.

Sometimes, I just can't help stepping in it. (Scroll down for the comments, including mine.

UPDATE 10NOV08: I've tried to post several comments in the thread above since last night, but it will not take them. Hmmm. Have I been banned from Reason Online??

Clinging Check.

Not even a week after the election and....

Clinging to guns. Check.

Clinging to religion. Check.

Clinging to antipathy toward people who aren't like them. Check. No, wait...

07 November 2008

More Clinging? Well, Duh.

The New York Times paid a visit to flyover country and noticed that gun sales are way up in the past week. Gee, I wonder why....

My local gun shop says sales have surged, especially semi-autos and pistols. Other shooters in the area say the same thing. Many have purchased something in the last two weeks, or are going to purchase in the near future. I know of several people who are buying a gun for the first time, and one local firm whose employees are getting together for a group buy of AR-15 type rifles.

Is this reactionary? Sort of. While no ban is imminent in the next few weeks, the Democrats generally, and northern Democrats in particular, have not shown themselves to be friends of the Second Amendment. They often see gun control as a quick "we're doing something" that makes their base happy. If Obama does try to ban handguns or semi-autos, or force states to strip concealed carry, he needs to remember one thing: the 1994 Congressional elections.

All that being said, I'm ordering one of these tomorrow.

05 November 2008

My Next Four Years.

I was feeling pretty down about yesterday, and wondering this morning where we go from here. Then, this came on the XM:

And you say there is no God.

04 November 2008

One Man, One Vote. No, Wait...

Barring some stunner from the West Coast, it now seems that the Hard Left's "long march through the institutions" is complete - The Messiah will be elected President. And the ACORN strategy... worked:

You can bet your bottom dollar (the one Mr. Obama leaves you with) that the conscientious Mr. Ron Jones will not be prosecuted for voting "couple times." Neither will anyone else for that matter.

Martin Luther King, quite rightly, struggled for "one man, one vote." But not this. This makes a mockery of everything Dr. King worked for.

03 November 2008

Life, Is Choices. As Are Economic Opportunity, Your Wealth, A Strong Defense, And Your Second Amendment Rights...

Tomorrow is the day we decide our future for the next four years. Here is a reminder - as if you need another one - of the magnitude of that choice:

Vote, dear readers. Vote.

Hattip: Vodkapundit.

UPDATE: Matthew over at Billy Ockham has made his choice - McCain/MILF. It's mine, too.

Profile In Character.

Instapundit links to this Slate article about John McCain, friendship, and loyalty:

A nurse entered and seemed surprised to find anyone there, and it wasn't long before I found out why: Almost no one visits anymore. In his time, which was not very long ago, Mo Udall was one of the most-sought-after men in the Democratic Party. Yet as he dies in a veterans hospital a few miles from the Capitol, he is visited regularly only by a single old political friend, John McCain. "He's not going to wake up this time," McCain said.
Read it all. Is this kind of deep, ingrained character and honor what you want in the White House for the next four years, or do you want "change" so bad that you don't really care what that change is?

01 November 2008

A Sword And Shield We Can Believe In.

The Messiah calls for an American Cheka. No, really:

A "Civilian National Security Force"?? What exactly would they be securing? Has the man never heard of the Posse Comitatus Act, or is he trying to deliberately get around it?

Intimidation We Can Believe In.

If you support a Republican in Seattle, you must live in a "hell house" - so it's OK to publish pictures of your house and your address.

I expect we'll see more things like this around the country if The Messiah wins.

Hattip: LGF.