Archives for the Month of February 2007 on Jeffrey Quick's Blog

Why do evangelicals ignore Ron Paul?

That's the question Rev. Chuck Baldwin asks here. But he misses the answer: evangelicals don't support Ron Paul because they are not small-government conservatives. They really want government to impose their moral values on the rest of the country, and they want the goodies that government can provide. That's why they wet themselves over Bush's "Faith-based initiatives"; they wanted to get their own ladles in the cannibal pot. And Ron Paul has proven that he isn't going to give them what they want. Oh yeah, he's pro-life (the one area where I disagree with him, but he makes it an internally-consistent position), but he's not pro-War on Drugs, Porn, or Iran. And Falwell and Robertson have had Beltway Fever for way too long, and would do well to relocate their ministries to a state not bordering D.C.

Charles loses his head over Mickey D's

Prince Charles is letting his name go to his head:

The Prince spoke as he and the Duchess of Cornwall visited a diabetes centre in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and watched children packing healthy lunch boxes to encourage awareness of the disease.

As nutritionist Nadine Tayara told him they discourage children from eating fast food, he retorted: "Have you got anywhere with McDonald's, have you tried getting it banned? That's the key."

Right, mate, got to exercise that Divine Right of Kings.
Maybe he should meditate on what happened to the FIRST King Charles.

And if you click the link, check out the comparison between a Big Mac and a Cornish pasty. Not precisely a ringing endorsement for traditional food, is it?

An inconvenient truth about Al Gore's energy usage

I want to be a greenie, just like Al Gore. Can I use 221,000 kwh of electricity this year, just like my hero?

Tip o'hat to Boortz.

UPDATE: Gore's excuse. Carbon offsets. eh? Can I buy those at Home Depot, or do I have to go to some hippie store in California? Maybe some Amish stand has them, next to the whoopie pies.

Obamamania

Obamamania hit Kulas Library pretty hard yesterday. One of our student workers asked off to attend a sudden meeting she had. No problem, as she did the right thing and got somebody else to work her shift. But then that person wanted to leave early too, to go to the Obama rally, and it turned out that Person 1 was actually working the rally so that she could get in...I guess they gave out 7000 tickets for a 3000-capacity space. I guess it was just as well I not know that; I still would have let her go, but I would probably have been more grudging about it.

I came home, and Rusty was all pumped, having heard the beginnings on WTAM on the way home...and was ticked that there was no TV coverage. My receiver doesn't get AM, for lack of an appropriate antenna, and Mon. is TV night for her, so she wanted to be in the living room...but she wouldn't move the stereo in her room that was blasting down the hallway while I was trying to work. So I went into my survival supplies and broke out the Grundig (which sounded better anyway). I told her I was going to let her listen alone, because I wouldn't be able to resist making snide comments, and why burst her bubble? By that point the fluffers had been getting the crowd up for an hour and a half. Finally, the Great Man spoke, for about 20 minutes. I asked my wife what he had said, and it was the usual...pull the troops out, give the teachers more money. Personally, since Democrats think other countries usually have better ideas than we do, I think we should pay our teachers a wage equal to the average of teachers in the 4 countries on either side of our academic ranking. They should get paid what that kind of teaching is worth; sounds perfectly fair to me.

Sorry, I don't get what the fuss is about. Obama is a fresh face, and he's not the Hildebeast. But I haven't heard any ideas out of the man, and the hoopla is entirely out of proportion to the presentation. If I were a Christian paranoid, I might even suspect that it's the work of Satan, and we're headed for the Obama-nation of Desolation.

Oh no, the "gay agenda" in schools

WorldNetDaily does its usual hand-wringing:

U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf yesterday dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.

Personally I think it's a Good Thing to teach children to accord homosexuals the respect due to all human beings. But then, "all human beings" includes drug dealers, axe murderers, and politicians, so this isn't necessarily a moral endorsement.

The anti-gay side goes a bit off the rails here:

"In addition, Wolf makes the odious statement that the Parkers' only options are (1) send their kids to a private school, (2) home-school their kids, or (3) elect a majority of people to the School Committee who agree with them. Can you imagine a federal judge in the Civil Rights era telling blacks the same thing – that if they can't be served at a lunch counter they should just start their own restaurant, or elect a city council to pass laws that reflect the U.S. Constitution?" the organization said.

It's pretty absurd for gays and Christians to compete for the title of "oppressed minority du jour", and it's pretty offensive to equate ideas (which can change) to skin color (which can't). Maybe we need a codocil to Godwin's Law. And these are the folks that say "Gays can change," so why can't Christians change? For that matter, if Jim Crow weren't then legally supported and encouraged, a voluntary approach to integration might have been more successful.

The problem here is that Parker wants a "free" public education without public values.Unlike in Germany, the judge is perfectly willing to allow Parker to teach his child as he wishes...just not at taxpayer expense. It mystifies me that evangelicals think that the public schools can be transformed, or that things will be OK if they just teach Godly values. Civil institutions are "of the world". About the only religious sect that really gets the church-state thing are the Amish; they realize that the Christian ultimately can't coexist with "the world", and seek to withdraw both from paying for the world's poisoned candy and from eating it. The Southern Baptists are beginning to come to the same conclusion about education: that they need to "come out of Egypt".

As the judge said, diversity is a positive value. That includes religion. But when two diversities clash, each must find its own corner. And given that the only arguments against public acceptance of gayness are religious, wouldn't it be best (and arguably constitutional) to not support those religious arguments in a public school?

Liebertarian? What's Boortz smoking?

Boortz muses on the possibility of Joe Lieberman jumping parties. Well, yeah, it could interesting and all. But then he says:

How about switching to the Libertarian Party?

Yeah, right, Neal. Look, the main substantive difference between the Democrats and the Bush admi. is the Iraq war. It's really the only current idea they have, the rest of their ideas being stale rehashes of economic ideas that failed so long ago that the Republicans think they're conservative ideas. So Lieberman going 'Pug is at least within the realm of the possible. But he's in no way a philosophical libertarian, and given that majority opinion about Iraq in the LP these days makes Cindy Sheehan look like a neocon, there's really no motive for him to jump in that direction. Nor would his presense be welcome by anone besides Boortz, who is buddy-buddy with Bob "no drugs, no Wicca" Barr, who is now an LP Region Rep, and who really needs to be Zumboed on the drug issue.

Divertimento in C

At long last, the Cleveland Chamber Collective performance of 11/5/06, with Mary Kay Fink, flute; Sae Shiragami, violin; Lisa Boyko, viola; Linda Atherton, cello.

I. Stephen's tune
II. Aubade
III. A cute minuet
IV. Jimmy's march

What's worse than showing your behind on network TV?

Calling Child Protective Services on somebody for showing their behind on network TV.

I mean, really, I'm sure the CPS goons watch TV; it's not like they have any real culture.

Modest proposal for electoral reform

The dextrosphere has been abuzz about the Democrat's idea that unionization should not be subject to a secret ballot, but that petition signatures should be sufficient. They point out that this is self-serving for the 'Crats (it is), and that the net result would be more unions, because employees who would be intimidated into signing the union petition could not then secretly vote against the union. And such intimidation does happen, as my wife (who is anything but a shrinking violet) can tell you.

It seems to me that the Right is taking the wrong tack on this. They should be taking the principle involved in this and feeding it back to them good and hard. What the Democrats are saying is that secret ballots are unnecessary. Well, if that's the case, why are we spending so much money on fancy voting equipment? Why don't we just make each person's ballot a matter of public record? After all, if you think it's moral to loot your neighbor, then you should be proud of that. And since intimidation doesn't matter, when you vote for a law or a candidate who harms a particular industry, it should be perfectly OK for a company in that industry to lose your resume after checking the voting records. If all Americans are responsible for all other Americans, shouldn't all Americans be accountable to all other Americans? No more of this "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" If we're paying attention, I can guarantee that public policy will do a 180 in a libertarian direction.

When is a gas tax hike not a gas tax hike?

OK, maybe the state highway patrol needs money to run driver's licence examinations (Why can't insurance companies do that?) and check on motorists who are broken down or in accidents.

To plug the hole in the patrol's budget, Strickland wants to cut a good chunk from an obscure state discount on the gas tax given to wholesalers to offset evaporation at the pump. The change would net the state $38 million annually.
I'm not too concerned about how the legislature plays the budgetary shell game. But this worries me:
Strickland said Ohioans would be "protected at the pump" because the evaporation benefit to wholesalers - not retailers - would be cut. But the head of a group that represents 400 Ohio gas wholesalers said gas prices would eventually rise as a result.

"You're taking $40 million out of the economy and giving it to the patrol so they can go around and give people tickets," said Roger Dryer, president of the Ohio Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association.

Strickland's proposal would chop the wholesalers' discount from the current 1.3 percent to 0.35 percent.

The governor said there would be "no justification" for wholesalers to raise gas prices in response to his proposal.

"When this benefit was originally provided, technology wasn't as good as it is today in terms of evaporation loss," he said. "We're trying to hold retailers harmless and asking wholesalers to absorb a reasonable reduction in the benefit."


This bespeaks a worrisome level of economic illiteracy. Does Strickland really think that since wholesalers really don't need the evaporation credit anymore, that it somehow hasn't figured into their price structures?

Damnit, Ted, if you're going to tax us, then tax us. Don't pussyfoot around. You're a Democrat; we expect economic rape.

PETA picks on Trappists

The monks at Mepkin Abbey are being harassed by PETA for, well, following industry practices in egg farming. So why isn't PETA picking on, say, Ohio Fresh Eggs? Because monks are "supposed to know better", so it's more newsworthy.

Now, I don't like caging chickens. And I've never forced a molt; it seems to happen naturally all too easily...which makes this statement:

Molting was banned last year by the United Egg Producers.
...more than a little ridiculous.

If Trappists were given to words, I'm sure they could find some choice ones. But I have only two words to say to political organizations which interfere with monastic life: "cluck, you."

No quarter for gun-rights Quislings

Since I couldn't say it better myself:

On Friday evening, a gunwriter who was apparently tired of his 42-year career put his word processor in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

The gun writer was Jim Zumbo of Outdoor Life, and the bullet was this.

The first link summarizes what happened quite nicely. And for those of you who might be inclined to see this as a kind of Internet lynch mob, Beck nails, quite precisely, why it had to happen:

This is justice in action. These are not times for craven, flubber-spined, and supine throat-displays to tyranny by someone with the firearms authority that Zumbo carried until he spoke his mind on the matter of "assault weapons". If his sense of fashion does not permit him to carry an AR-15 in the woods, then he should not do so, but he has no right to call for their prohibition. "Opinion" be damned. When an "opinion" demands the suppression of other peoples' rights, then it is to be completely condemned as wrong for its disconnect from the facts of reality. It is a fact that the essence by which to define a "terrorist" is not the weapon that he uses, but the use to which he puts a weapon. I am fully aware that, in this day and age, a statement like that arrives with such blinding acuity that untold millions of utterly stupid people will simply not be able to see it. However, there are enough remaining who can to dispose of a punk like Zumbo by popular market demand, and that's good enough for today.

Somebody working in that field for 42 years, and seeing the politics, would not have said what Zumbo said unless he believed it. And it is not just "expressing an opinion"; it's giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Zumbo has been tried for treason to the cause of 2nd Amendment rights. He still has his 1st Amendment rights, to say what he believes in any forum that will have him, to any audience that will listen. Unfortunately, that's no longer the gunnie community. And anyone out there who actually thinks this is a free-speech issue had better not start with me.

UPDATE: check out this from Tom Gresham, who just may fall heir to the mantle of Col. Jeff.

Nutjobs for purity

Tom Hayes has some trenchant comments on the people who have their panties in a bunch over the word "scrotum" in a children's book. But Janet La Rue of the Concerned Women for America Rape has done them one better. She wants to protect our troops from the evils of pornography.

Soldiers have always had their pinups. Maybe they weren't explicit. But the Greatest Generation didn't look at their Bette Davis pictures as if they were icons of the Blessed Virgin. 'Scuse me, but these are young men with needs. Would La Rue prefer that they patronize Certain Professionals off-base? Or do to the civilian population what soldiers have historically done? That's the way to win hearts and minds, for sure. These guys are dying for freedom (at least that's what Bush says), and we won't let them do WHAT?!

Any issue that can get rightwingprof and Amanda Marcotte to hold hands and sing kum-bye-ya is clearly "out of the mainstream."

Weapons control in Milan, mid-16th c.

The Euroweenies have a long precedent for gun control:

During the 1540s and 1550s it was illegal for musicians to perform at inns or private parties to which the guests carried swords, lances, spears, daggers, small hand-held swords, or other prohibited arms, including the newly popuar harquebus. The penalty for violation of this decree was 25 scudi (that is, 133 lire) or three lashes of the whip, fines which most freelance musicians were both unable and unwilling to pay. The proliferation and control of arms was of general concern to the state in early modern Europe, and numerous ordinances limiting their usage were enacted by the Spanish crown in order to curb the assembling of makeshift armies for the purposes of revolt or banditry. This particular law, however, no doubt arose from the conventional wisdom that mixing weapons with levity, dancing, and alcohol had tragic consequences...[gruesome story follows]

-- Getz, Christine Suzanne, Music in the collective experience in sixteenth-century Milan. Aldershot, UK; Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2005, p. 172-3.

Some comrades are more equal than others

Evidently the Bolevikian Revolutionary helps his own:

"We call them the royal family of Barinas," said Antonio Bastidas, an opposition politician in Barinas who grew up playing baseball and catching catfish with Chávez and his brothers. "They started out with nothing and now call themselves revolutionaries, though they are revolutionaries with all the best trappings of power."
Yeah, they're revolting, all right.

Just another weekend

Last night's concert went extremely well. I had some problems in the first piece with a note not sounding, but after that, I played shawm better than I ever played in my life. The singers were equally solid. Those of you who weren't there (which was all but, oh, 3 dozen of you :-( ) really missed out. Afterwards, Dr. Duffin stood the first round at a local wine and martini bar. A good time was had by all.

The weekend took an abrupt turn for the worse when Rusty got a call at 8 (she was still in bed). She'd been reminded that she had agreed to pick up her granddaughter Sara (age 10). And Sara was bringing A Friend. Sara is an OK kid, but her friend was loud, hyper, obnoxious. We hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I cooked, and they both said they didn't want any as they'd had breakfast. OK, cool. Then Sam started asking for food. "We asked if you wanted breakfast, and you didn't." "I don't want any eggs that came out of a chicken's butt. I eat store eggs." Well, where do you think eggs come from anyway??" So she's sped up on caffeine and sugar, driving even Sara nuts, to the point where Sara was saying to her face, "I'm not bringing you next time." They decided to play Monopoly and that we'd play along. Cool...but Sara said, "Sam is really bad at math". And that was the truth, besides having no attention span. Her money was all over and she couldn't keep track of her properties. We felt sorry for her, so we'd voluntarily pay her (In my family, if you landed on a property and the owner didn't catch you, you didn't have to pay.) But she owned a utility, and Sara kept on singing out the answer to "4 times the amount on the dice". Finally, we made a rule: you had to ask for your own rent. Next roll, I landed on the utility and shook an 11. "Here's an easy one: what's 11 x 4?" "Uh.....41?" (Rusty): "OK, pay her $41." I mean, that's the way it works in the real world, doesn't it? Sara had the first (dark blue!) color group, but wasn't aggressive about building it up. And after Sam turned down a green and then bought it at auction for $200 over what she could have had it for, I bought it from her for $320 to complete a color group.

We got rid of them at 3. I'm making fetayer, drinking a Belgian-style ale and listing to string quartets...what all God-fearing people SHOULD be doing on a Sunday afternoon.

Great Hatto Hoax

Gramophone magazine has been flogging the recordings of a little-known pianist, the late Joyce Hatto, who had retired from the concert stage many years ago because of a rare cancer, and had supposedly made wonderful recordings of a wide repertoire in her home studio. Now they're singing a different tune: apparently a number of the "Hatto" recordings have been proven to be by other pianists. Hatto's hubby and producer, William Barrington-Coupe, has some explaining to do, and isn't doing it yet. I assume that once BIS, Altarus, and especially the notoriously-ruthless-on-IP-issues Sony have their day in court, he will have explained it all.

Case Collegium Musicum concert tomorrow!

February 17 at 7:30 at Harkness Chapel
We're doing late-14th century music from France and Italy, some with singers with or without doucaine or sackbuts, some with an alta capella. It's shaping up pretty well. The ladies (I think Nate is singing in a couple pieces, but it's pretty much a concerto delle donne) are doing a pre-show at Thwing today at noon. Tonight the alta does the polishing we were going to do Weds. I'm pretty happy with things thus far, and it's a pleasure (and humbling) to be playing shawm with a world-class shawm player (Debra Nagy).

Mommy, my Alpha-Bits spell DCFS!

In Port Huron MI (my home town, sorta), letting your kids eat Cheerios without milk is probable cause to have a DCFS goon snoop around. While feeding child kibble of any sort is suboptimal nutrition, if it were child abuse, you'd have to lock up the entire country. Of course (sob!), I am physically scarred from the amount of sweet dry cereal (and ice cream, and cookies, and pop, and my mom's pies, and and and) that I ate as a child (and adult!). And my parents loved me. Not that a DCFS ever cared about that.

For more horror stories, see here.

E pur, si non muove

Those who find humor in crackpot "scientific" "thought" might want to go here. Recommended by a Georgia legislator, no less.

Obama: man of principle?

I've recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with an old friend who is blogging. It's way cool to be able to be involved with her life and thought (and being a underemployed Gemini, with 2 blogs yet, there's quite a bit of her out there.) But there are lapses...

Like this, in which she tried to convince me that Barack Obama is a principled man. What principles, Andee? What fundamental rules of governance has Obama articulated, or lived through action well enough that they could be deduced? And you want him to talk to the Sunday school teacher from Georgia? Riiight...Carter had more principle than anyone named Clinton, but were they the right principles? I mean, Hitler was a pretty principled guy too, in his way.

In any case, given the reality of the Two Majors, if he's principled, he'll have to abandon principle to get elected. She hasn't voted Duopoly in 15 years. She's seen jackboots in her face (long story that I used to have links to, but they're all dead). And she's captivated by a fresh pretty face? I'm disappointed.

Zundel gets 5

I really hate to stick up for a sleazeball like Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, but this is a free speech case. And if willful denial of reality were a crime, we'd have to lock up most of the US population. His website (the "crime" for which he was convicted) isn't even hosted in Germany; do they think they have a right to police the Internet?

Canada booted him through a 9/11 law:

In February 2005, a Canadian judge ruled that Zundel's activities were not only a threat to national security, but "the international community of nations" as well.

A Canadian law, passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, allows the government to hold terrorism suspects without charge, based on secret evidence that does not have to be disclosed to a suspect or his defense.

Zundel was deported a few days later.

Evidently a terrorist is anyone who you say is one.

"Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar"

...and sometimes it's an excuse to sic the cops on a member of another party. In this case, the siccer is Rep. Keith Ellison and the siccee (no jokes, please!) is Tom Tancredo. And I really don't think that cigar smoke was the only or even the primary issue here. I doubt a Democrat has had as much fun with a cigar since...no, let's not go there.

Unity '08

A friend alerted me to these folks, who seem to think they will save American democracy from polarization and partisanship.

Pardon me, but this is a crock.

First, there is no center in American politics. The duopoly parties actually have fairly clearly-demarcated positions: the Democrats want to control your money, the Republicans want to control your body. The "center" is control, and when we have a fairly centrist government like that of the "compassionate conservative", we get control of both bodies and money. And the electorate reacts against either form of control, depending on their mood, by voting for the other form of control. Both parties belong on the sinister side of the American political spacial metaphor...with even the theocratic Constitution Party to the right, the Libertarians farther on, and with anarchy as the terminus. (the terminus of the left would be de jure slavery, I suppose.)

They correctly diagnose the problem and opportunity: utter disgust. NOT ONE of the mooted duopoly candidates can unify the country. So what's their solution? Have the citizens pick a candidate over the Internet. The candidate has to pick a running mate from the other party (Independents have to pick one from one other party, and give the left-out party a cabinet post). So this was "everyone will win", see? They don't hate the parties; they just want to issue a wakeup call. And who is reponsible for this inew idea? Political operatives -- the same bunch of people who gifted us with the dysfunction we have.

If I had time on my hands and were fonder of conspiracy theories than I am, I'm be looking for membership in the CFR, people getting Soros money, and other establishment ties. What this smells like to me is an attempt to co-opt third-party activity by establishing a third non-party, so you don't have to vote for vanilla or chocolate, but can have TWIST instead...the same old product, full of high fructose corn syrup and soy phytoestrogens, but with a new flavor. (I don't see anything new, or very definite, in their platform.) If this movement became extremely popular, they could get citizens to insist on removing the current 3rd-party barriers (Under current law, their plan to nominate after the Big 2 conventions is just not going to fly), which would be good for real 3rd party. But a group that powerful would become a de-facto first-and-only party. And nothing will change.

Vox Day serves me crow,

here,with a rich mole poblano, re my comments on Amanda Marcotte, late of the John Edwards campaign. As a blogger, I really should have known better than to take words at face value: Edwards is a politician, his lips were moving, therefore he was lying.

But the whole episode has been bizarre. As Vox points out, it probably wasn't Edwards but one of his operatives who got the idea of using Marcotte, and that operative will probably quietly disappear in a week or so. In any case, it showed no comprehension at all of the blogosphere. We're seeing this more and more: politicians figuring that since the bought Old Media are going under, they have to blog. When they do, they are consistently wooden and boring. So they hire a blogger, who, in order to not cause public offence, has to be wooden and boring too. Blogs are by their nature countercultural. It might be possible to do a viral Edwards campaign, but if you're going to do that, it has to be sub rosa; you don't shout to the rooftops, "Hey, we got one of the biggest bloggers out there to blog for Edwards!"

I still think though that, having made the mistake of hiring her, and her having made the mistake of taking on the job, they should have brazened it out. This is a hit on their credibility, and it shows both of them as fundamentally gutless. That it had to be a bullying moron like Donohue that brought her down is worst. Yes, it would have been inevitable; if she didn't screw up on Edwards' site, she would have done it on her own (and why didn't he pursue an exclusivity agreement?)

The moral of the story is: if you want to run for office, keep it clean, reasonable, and not too bizarre. And if you can't do that, and get busted by your words, stay in there like you meant your words, because if you didn't, you had no business writing them. The classic example is Tom Alciere, who had won election to the New Hampshire legislature but gave up his seat in the furor over comments he made again and again on Usenet on the moral propriety of defending yourself with deadly force against the police, no matter what they want from you. That argument has theoretical validity, but if you make it, you're going to have an awfully hard time, both practically and ethically, in becoming the cops' employer...which is what Alciere did. And his response should have been, "Look, you guys deserve to get hurt, but I don't want you to get hurt, so I'm going to do my best to get all the illegitimate BS laws off the books, so there's no reason for you to get hurt." But he pulled an Amynda and backtracked on his words (but couldn't remove them from Usenet). I try to write so that I will never have to do that (questioning Vox Day's intelligence excepted...hey, I'm saving one of the breasts for Spacebunny...)

I'm glad there's nobody famous named Jeffrey Quick

Keith Urban (the artist) is being sued by Keith Urban (Mr. Nicole Kidman) because he called his domain Keithurban.com. Don't we normal people have a right to our own name anymore? I'd like to see a judge tell Mr. NK where he can stick his suit, and his guitar.

Men, your mother's in the urinal

The last place a man can go to escape from nagging women has been invaded by the Wizmark Interactive Urinal Communicator. Use the urinal, and a female voice will urge you not to drink and drive...even if your urine was generated by too much coffee.

I don't know what's in it for the restaurants and bars voluntarily using these devices. But I know they aren't covering the bathroom floor with them...

I guess I'm the moral equivalent of a Holocaust denier

So says Ellen Goodman.

Taranto (who doesn't believe in trackback URLS) nails the problem quite precisely:

Imagine if someone in 1937 had foreknowledge of the Holocaust and began sounding the alarms, describing in detail what was going to happen just a few years later. Most people probably wouldn't believe him. They would be, to use Goodman's phrase, denying the future. But would they be "on par" with people who deny the Holocaust after it has happened?

That seems a stretch. There's an enormous difference between doubting an outlandish prediction (even one that comes true) and denying the grotesque facts of history. Because we are ignorant of the future, we can innocently misjudge it. Holocaust deniers are neither ignorant nor innocent (though extremely ignorant people may innocently accept their claims). They are falsifying history for evil purposes.

Well, let's say that global warming will be a Holocaust (a burnt offering? Did she really mean that?), and that man has the power to stop it by shrinking his carbon footprint. Will Ellen take responsibility for the Indians and Chinese (not to mention poor Americans) who will die to accomplish that? It may be corpses now, or more corpses later. But since she wants government action, it is her responsibility. She can buy Priuses and fluorescent bulbs all she likes. But if she really wants to reduce her carbon footprint...naw, she can't do that; liberals don't own guns.

Amanda and Melissa safe, for now

John Edwards isn't going to fire his two new bloggers for being, well, bloggers. And that's a good thing. It would have cost him more in the long run to cave to the likes of Donohue, than it has to apologize and deal. If Edwards didn't read them, then he should have; either way, he accepted what he was getting. And Democrats don't fire people for sleaziness; they make their wives Senators instead. So you have to wonder why intelligent people like Vox Day were so sure that Amynda would be tossed to the wolves. I mean, aren't wolves a protected species?

ODA appealing Schmitmeyer ruling

It looks like last week's bleating idiot got his wish: the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture is appealing the ruling in favor of Carol Schmitmeyer. Yeah, I know, Democrats don't believe in private property. But I was hoping that Boggs would do something to distinguish himself from his predecessor. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..."

The making of a 10 year old felon

Speaking of insanity in Texas education:
Read 'em and weep.

Cari Allen...Mike Nifong...together in a penitentiary, with "prosecutor" tattooed on their foreheads. A guy can dream, can't he?

$500 for not kissing your child's teacher's ring?

rightwingprof asks, "Is the Texas GOP on drugs?" and does a real good wrapup of bloggery re TX Rep. Wayne Smith's idea to fine parents who blow off parent-teach conferences (with a side dish of Gov. Perry's bid to sell the flower of young Texas womanhood to Merck).

Well, no, Clay, it's the entire GOP, not just Texas. This is the party of Abe Lincoln Lenin, "Big Stick" Roosevelt, Herbert Hooverville, "Not a crook" Nixon, and hundreds of other purveyors of large government. Historically, it's the folks who think that Reagan was representative of Republicans as a whole, who think that GOP really is a limited-government party, who might better be accused of taking reality-distorting substances. Personally, I hope that folks in Baytown walk up to Smith on the street and bitch-slap him, next time he's home. But, unfortunately, he's not acting out-of-type for his party.

Ken Blackwell finds his voice

Kenny has written a damnfine piece on the connection between the civil rights movement and the 2nd Amendment. I'm suspecting the man might do more for the cause of freedom as a writer than he ever did as a politician. No, I'm not taking back the nasty things I said about him, yet, any more than I'm in a rush to call Bob Barr a libertarian. But I have to give props where props are due.

Stossel on Boston terror freakout

As you'd expect, John Stossel has an interesting take on the Lite-Brites of Death fiasco:

Terrorism is horrible, but your chances of dying in a terrorist attack are relatively low. You're more likely to be killed hitting a deer with your car. (Two hundred Americans die on average every year from car collisions with deer. Including the toll from 9/11, the average number of Americans to die each year from international terrorism since 1981 is 145.)

Believe me, I'm not looking for swarthy men with C-4 when I drive those country roads at night.
But he misses here:

Excessive fear of terrorism hurts Americans, too. After 9/11, many people chose to drive rather than fly, leading to 1,000 additional deaths in automobile wrecks.
It isn't fear of Islamic terrorists that causes Americans to do that; it's fear and distaste for their own government's agents.

Carleton manages the news

Carty Finkbeiner (the man who has almost singlehandedly wrested the Laughingstock of Ohio trophy from Cincinnati, who took it from the original holder, Cleveland) got his hands slapped real good by Federal judge James Carr. It seems Carty got a burr up about a local radio station and stopped inviting them to press conferences...then had one of their reporters barred from attending. the judge was not impressed with the idea of press conferences being invitation-only events. Details from Bovard.

Raising a generation of wimps

Hey, I know it's cold out there. I get into a cold car in the morning, which never really warms up. I come in to a library that's cold. I contend with frozen rabbit bottles and chickens huddling together, and thank the Gods that the broodies keep the eggs from freezing. But why have the schools been closed? Maybe in the city, where the kids have to walk and the parents don't (not can't, don't; that's what Unique Thrift is for) afford proper coats, there's an excuse to close the elementary schools; by high school, kids should know how to survive. But out where I live, kids get picked up in front of their house. The same is true of the MR/DD programs (wife got the day off from driving them). The Amish schools have been open, and those kids walk...and the schools don't have indoor plumbing! And they don't have medical insurance to cover frostbite.

When I was a kid, school would of course close when the roads were impassable. We had to walk a quarter mile or so to the stop on the main road (to be fair, when it was this cold, Mom would drive us down and have us wait in the car). But for cold? Not unless the school furnace was down.

On a similar note: my wife belongs to a bunch of Freecycle lists, and her pet peeve is people who say they "need" stuff they don't need. They have no concept of the difference between "want" and "need". The incident that set her off this weekend was the woman who"needs" fencing because she lives on Rt. 44 and her children can't play outside. 'Scuse me? Did it ever occur to her to WATCH her children? Or, if that isn't practical, to EDUCATE them? When I was a child, we were AFRAID of roads. Even our dirt subdivision road was a matter to be very careful about. And a major paved road like M-25 (thumb of Michigan) might as well have been the Berlin Wall for ease of passage. We'd cross if we had to, and didn't see any cars anywhere.

Granted, we had some educational aids. My maternal grandmother, who had mobility problems post-polio, Parkinsons, and probably half the DSM, would threaten to kill herself by running out into the street. We were shocked when my mother (who had grown up with these games) invited her to go ahead and do so, but we definitely imprinted that highways could be lethal. And in 2nd grade, I had to cross the other lane when getting off the school bus. One spring day some old man was rounding the curve and didn't see the flashers because of the sun. Per the story, I ran to escape him, he swerved to avoid me, and we met. Result: concussion, fractured humerus, multiple fracture of the right femur. And my early summer pretty much blown.

But even kids without these "advantages" knew enough not to play in the street, not to play with guns, and how to dress for winter. Why don't today's children know these things?

A kid, a slingshot, and RIAA Goliath

"violating antitrust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats." Sound like RIAA to you? Robert Santangelo and his lawyer think so. He wants the jury trial he has a right to. And if he gets it, I think he'll win. His mom did.

Sheep may safely graze

Farm and Dairy is such a popular little paper that even the sheep have taken to reading it:

Continue reading "Sheep may safely graze"

Blue team terror farce

After three weeks, out of 11 cities, Boston decides to freak about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force campaign.

"It's clear the intent was to get attention by causing fear and unrest that there was a bomb in that location," Assistant Attorney General John Grossman said at their arraignment.
No, it's not. If it were clear, don't you think people would have been panicing when this all started? And, duh, if I were putting a bomb somewhere, I sure wouldn't cover it with blinking lights.
Authorities vowed to hold Turner accountable for what Menino said was "corporate greed," that led to at least $750,000 in police costs.

Wow! The War on Terror meets class rhetoric. I guess the Democrats will have to free the Guantanamo detainees so they can fill it with CEOs.

I really want to see a prosecutor snickered at by a jury over this. Maybe they can bring Mike Nifong in to try it; it's not like he has anything left to lose.

Stuart saves America

It looks like Al Franken is running for Senate, and should get your vote because he's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

Actually, that's a little unfair. Franken actually does have a platform. Unfortunately for America, it's a bit like the last platform Saddam Hussein stood on.

Looting for arts starts today

I didn't realize that the Tax on People With Unpopular Habits was really an inventory tax, that smoke shops have to pay tax on their present inventory whether it sells or not. Of course, I should have; how else could one guarantee compliance? This is going to shake out a lot of marginal outlets. And the folks too far out to be bothered to come downtown for art will have no problem buying their smokes out of county.

This gentleman is quite well-spoken:

John Coleman, manager of Cousin's Cigar Co. on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, said he has been preparing for the impact of Issue 18 for months -- cutting back his inventory from 300 cartons on hand at all times to about 100.

Coleman, whose store specializes in imported cigars and tobacco, said he will scale back his cigarette business even further if customers head for the county lines.

"This tax increase is a tyranny of the majority," Coleman said. "And no one will stand up for the rights of those who choose to enjoy tobacco. Cigarette retailers across the county will be forced out of business, the arts will not be bolstered a bit, and in the end it is a terrible sort of prejudice."