Saturday, May 27

God Bless the Forward Air Controller

God bless the Forward Air Controller,
With his target marker and his extra set of balls.
(The sky pilot said it
And you’ve got to give him credit,
For a son-of-a-gun-of-a-gunner was he:
“Praise the Lord and laser-paint the target
And we’ll all stay free.”)

God bless the riflemen and the field cooks,
The assistant gunners and loaders,
The quartermasters and the combat engineers.
(Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom.
Springing to the call
Of their brothers gone before,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom).

God bless the Drill Instructors and the Tops,
The Lances and the Specs,
The Pettys and the Command Master Chiefs.
(For the heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone,
But non-commissioned men
Will live and die among their own.)

God bless the screwballs, the misfits,
The shitbirds and the FNGs.
(Death where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling,
Oh Grave, thy victory?
The bells of Hell go ding-a-ling-a-ling
For them and not for thee.)
God bless the Fire Control System Specialist.
(For in despair I bowed my head,
“There is no peace on earth,” I said.
Then I heard the Sig Op say,
“Rounds are out and on their way.”)

God bless the dragoons, the powder monkeys
And the little drummer boys.
(May we fill their vacant ranks
With a thousand free men more,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom.)

God bless those who shoot, move, and communicate.
God bless those who triumphed,
God bless those who tried.
God bless the quick and the dead.
God bless those who pray,
God bless those who stand and wait.
(And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
True hearts to stand before us.)

Friday, May 26

Monday is Memorial Day

And I think I shall go to the VA and say Thank You to a lot of vets. Bless them all for all they have done for us.

And may we all say a special prayer for our troops in harms way.

Thursday, May 25

Algore Will Save Us

Fear not good fellows and fellas... Algore will save us from the dreaded.... manbearpig!

Tuesday, May 23

Nation of Islam in the Heartland

A while back (November), there was some kerfluffle about some Nation of Islam goons roughing up people in West Oakland liquor stores. I quote from the AP article -
Yasir Hakeem Azzem, 19, and Kahlil Ali Raheem, 24, were arrested Wednesday for
their alleged involvement in Nov. 23 attacks on the New York Market and San
Pablo Liquor Store, authorities said. A group of about 11 black men dressed in dark suits and bow ties were seen smashing liquor bottles and toppling food racks while demanding that both stores stop selling alcohol to black people.

Now, campare and contrast with the article linked and the quote from the store owner in East St. Louis:
"Every since we opened, the Muslim brothers have been coming in here harassing
us, threatening to burn down the store," he added. "They came in here today, about 15 of them in suits. They pushed the customers to the side and blocked all of the entrances. They were screaming, harassing and threatening us. They said we have to close in 30 days or they will close it themselves or burn it down."

Now, I have to admit, the news articles DO NOT specifically mention the Nation of Islam. But a quick internet search of names and places sure show their involvement. And boy, what a similarity of thuggish tactics. So, what is this... a plan to install Farrakhanism in the Black communities? Notice that the store owner claims to be Muslim.

The goblins prey on the weak. Discuss amongst yourselves. I'll be back. Mcgyver, out

Monday, May 22

Mary and the Pharisees

O my Teacher and my Savior,
What would have been my destiny,
Had not eternity expected
My acquiescence every night,
With each fresh customer enticed
Into the web of my profession?

The Magdalene by Doctor Yuri Zhivago (Boris Pasternak)

Listen up, fresh customers. Ron Howard, facing a disappointing critical reception to his film The Da Vinci Code, has fallen back on the less-than-brave tactic of claiming that the film’s offensive qualities (which he obviously underestimated) are intended only to provoke discussion. If you haven’t heard that one before, you slept through Fahrenheit 911.

But if they want some discussion, I’ve got it on tap, and all at their expense. The subject of this discussion is the Mary called Magdalene; a Mary very extraordinary, the freed captive of seven demons who wept at the foot of the cross; a seer of angels and first witness to the Resurrection. Mentioned in all four of the gospels (but ignored by the trendy bogus gospels of Thomas and Judas) the few chords that she touches there have reverberated through two thousand years of history.

Hollywood can’t understand a woman like Mary, just as they can’t understand Joan of Arc or Shakespeare’s Ophelia. This is because Hollywood is heavily informed by feminism. Feminists don’t know dick about women, even if they happen to be women.

How Many Marys Can We Put You Down For?

Mary Magdalene is a sort of miniature trinity, being sometimes one woman and sometimes two or three (or even four) depending on interpretation. Besides the passages where she is named as Mary Magdalene, three other women mentioned in the gospels are thought by some to be Mary Magdalene:

- Mary, the sister of Jesus’ good friends Martha and Lazarus, who left home to become a disciple. Also called Mary of Bethany. [Luke 10:38-42, John 11]

- A woman in Capernaum who anointed Jesus’ feet, much to the annoyance of Simon the Pharisee, who told Jesus he ought to send her away because she was a sinner (probably a prostitute). [Luke 7:36-50]

- An adulteress who was saved from stoning by Jesus. [John 8:7]

In Roman Catholic tradition, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, and the unnamed sinner of Capernaum are thought to be the same person. In Greek Orthodox tradition, they are thought to be three separate women and each has a separate feast day dedicated to her. Protestants tend to fall somewhere in between, generally holding that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany, at least, were separate individuals. Some popular traditions associate Mary Magdalene with the adulteress of John 8:7, but most scholars don’t. In my opinion they were all separate women – Jesus had lots of female followers, including more than one Mary.

It’s a matter of opinion, anyway, not of doctrine or faith. Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine both refused to take sides on this issue.

Regardless of this, we know several things about Mary Magdalene from the passages where she is unmistakably identified: She had seven devils cast out of her by Jesus, she was present at the crucifixion, she discovered Jesus’ tomb empty and spoke to the angels who were there, and she was the first to see the resurrected Jesus. Throwing in the other women just adds some background to Mary; in particular, the idea that she was a prostitute.

Mary and the Feminist Vice Squad

“That, my dear,” Teabing replied, “is Mary Magdalene.”

Sophie turned. “The prostitute?”

Teabing drew a short breath, as if the word had injured him personally. “Magdalene was no such thing. That unfortunate misconception is the legacy of a smear campaign launched by the early Church.”
So says the Gospel according to Dan Brown. Brown doesn’t stop to consider the fact that Mary Magdalene is a Catholic saint. (She’s a saint in the Orthodox and Anglican churches, too.) Making someone a saint is a funny way of smearing them. Dan Brown doesn’t bother drawing logical conclusions from his ideas, probably because he has no original ideas.

The depth of the confusion can be seen in this Time article about The Da Vinci Code: Mary Magdalene, Saint or Sinner? Even the title ought to give Christians pause at the fundamental ignorance being displayed here. Saint and Sinner are not two mutually exclusive things – in fact, every saint is both at once. Even the saints sin and fall short of the glory of God.

Treating the conflation of Mary Magdalene with the “sinner” as an underhanded conspiracy that has been covered up for centuries (“Three decades ago, the Roman Catholic Church quietly admitted what critics had been saying for centuries: Magdalene's standard image as a reformed prostitute is not supported by the text of the Bible.”) the article goes on to lament: “Whatever the motivation, the effect of the process was drastic and, from a feminist perspective, tragic.”

Of course, from a feminist perspective, everything is tragic – from simple organic chemistry on up to God Himself. It’s all so unfair. And they can’t understand Mary Magdalene except in terms of status and power (which are matter and energy in the feminist universe) so they must stumble the moment they set foot on her trail:
"The pattern is a common one," writes Jane Schaberg, a professor of religious and women's studies at the University of Detroit Mercy and author of last year's The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene: "the powerful woman disempowered, remembered as a whore or whorish." As shorthand, Schaberg coined the term "harlotization."
If I’m laying it too heavily on the feminists here, it needs to be pointed out that feminism has no unique content of its own. It is only a minor subspecies of parochial modernism, that despises history and refuses to understand anything except by its own narrow, contemporary values. So they are shocked that Mary Magdalene, whom they have chosen to picture as the Hillary Clinton of Galilee, is mixed up with “less distinguished” women like simple Mary of Bethany and the whore of Capernaum.

A simple examination of the canonical gospels, rather than a rummage through the dumpsters of Gnosticism and neo-paganism, allows us to look at Mary Magdalene the way Jesus Christ saw her, which is quite a different perspective.

Jesus Among the Whores and Sinners

“Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” So said Jesus to the chief priests and elders of Bethany, who questioned how he could forgive the sins of such people. “For John [the Baptist] came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him.” [Matthew 21:31-32]

It was no small part of the scandal that Jesus made among the scribes and Pharisees, that he consistently refused to turn his back on the whores and tax collectors, let alone recognize their right to put such sinners to death under Mosaic Law. “Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Luke 5:30-32]

But the clearest answer is given when Jesus meets the whore at the house of Simon the Pharisee [Luke 7]:

SIMON (muttering to himself): This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

JESUS: Simon, I have something to tell thee.

SIMON: Master, say on.

JESUS: There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

SIMON: I suppose the one to whom he forgave the larger debt.

JESUS: Thou hast rightly judged. Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

It is this woman that Catholic tradition identifies as Mary Magdalene, to the outrage of the feminists who call it “harlotization”. They couldn’t miss the point by a wider margin if they tried, though I suspect they try very hard to miss the point. They must likewise miss the point of “the last shall be first”, “blessed are the poor in spirit”, and “the meek shall inherit the earth.”

They want to “elevate” Mary Magdalene by turning her into Simon the Pharisee, but Jesus was on the side of the poor powerless whores.

Pope Gregory and the Legend of Mattress Mary

In his “Homily 33”, Pope Gregory the Great (c. 540-604) made a number of conjectures about Mary Magdalene: That she was the sinner that met Jesus at the home of Simon the Pharisee, that her sin was prostitution, and that the ointment she put on Jesus’ feet was -so to speak - formerly used as a sexual aid.

None of these ideas were new, but they planted the identification of Mary as a whore firmly into Catholic tradition. So the modern Pharisees all hit the roof. But even if Gregory’s speculation was off base, Jesus Christ would have had no trouble seeing his point.

To Gregory, the notion of a whore’s perfume being put on Christ’s feet was a vivid example of how sin is transformed by redemption. He further imagines that the seven devils that Jesus cast out of Mary (an event mentioned in two of the gospels, but never described) represented the Seven Deadly Sins – so Mary Magdalene was a regular Smorgasbord of Sin.

People who cannot understand how Gregory is praising Mary Magdalene cannot understand Jesus or Christianity, period. The more degraded Mary the Sinner was, the more exalted was Mary the Saint. Having been forgiven so much, she was great in repentance and great in love – great in spiritual virtue, not power, status, or respectability. That’s why Jesus refused to be repelled by her, and why he praised her above the “good” Pharisees.

Hamlet told his mother, “Assume a virtue, if you have it not.” Mary Magdalene had the virtue, and doesn’t need our modern assumptions. Again, it is those who want to dress her up as a Pharisee who insult and diminish her. Call it the Mary Magdalene Code. There’s nothing secret, esoteric, or difficult about it, yet some people will be eternally stumped by it.

Mary Magdalene, Superstar

For hundreds of years before the feminist neo-pagans and the best-selling philistines discovered our poor Mary, millions of Christians followed her through the familiar Easter recitation of John Chapter 20.

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Simon Peter and another disciple went into the tomb first and saw nothing, after which they went home. It was Mary Magdalene to whom all the visions were given that morning – Mary the sinner, the whore, the weeping maudlin woman. Not the Pharisees or priests, or even the apostles. Just her, who loved him most.

No small thing, for those who can understand it.

Saturday, May 20

What If....

I can't say that I have tracked the immigration issues closely over the last three weeks, but I have tried to read a few things here and there. I am struck by something that hasn't been getting a lot of play anywhere.

Virtually all of our focus regarding illegal immigration is centered on that pushing up from the south, via Mexico. And I can see legitimate reasons for considering this first. We do have a huge problem with the number of people entering this country illegally from the south. Many Americans agree with this.

But what if our problems were instigated from the northern border instead? What if we were being flooded with Quebecois who wanted a better life in the U.S. and we now were surrounded in grocery stores by packages dual labelled in English and French?

The U.S. border with Canada is just as porous as the Southern one. Pictures printed in National Geographic magazine years ago showed that the only thing preventing international neighbors from crossing into each other's yards was a rather long grassy patch. (Perhaps this has changed in recent history, but I have no information to make me think otherwise.)

So let's suppose that we had as serious a difference in wealth between Canada and the U.S. as we have with Mexico, and also let's suppose we had an influx of illegal Canadian immigrants in our nothern states to mirror the growth of the Latino population in our southern states. What would be the result?

I know that these illegal immigrants would be demanding that we provide socialized healthcare, just like Mama Canada provided back home. The thought of having to pay for their own illnesses and hospitalizations would seem outlandish. The Canadians I have known have always flown home for serious treatments, preferring the free healthcare at home to paying for care here.

They would demand that French be taught in schools. But rather than the acceptance that we see now of teaching Spanish in schools, I don't think French would be so well accepted in the classrooms of America. Why? Cold, hard fact: the worldwide population that speaks French is one third of the population that speaks Spanish. (This might have been different if the illegal immegration issue had happened at the beginning of the twentieth century, when French was the international language of the educated, much as Latin was during the Roman era.)

There might be a push to get Americans to try, yet again, to follow the metric system. I would have thought that would be a bigger issue now, but that never shows on any news article I've seen. But even if we were to see such a request, I think it would fail again--but after decades of influx of immigrants, that might change.

There would probably be an increased desire for children to have the chance to play hockey. (Part of my brain wonders if the great increase in soccer in this country has any connection to the influx of immigrants going back a decade. But I digress.) Ice arenas would be popping up left and right to field the demand for these tiny skaters, or at least more outdoor rinks would be developed in the Dakotas.

There would definitely be a huge influx of voters that would track more closely with Democratic positions, probably more so than I think we will see with the current Mexican immigration of pious Catholics. (Have the Democrats really stopped to think of that? Something makes me think they haven't.)

But nothing really sticks, does it? The socialized medicine issue would be a big one, but I really can't think of any other issues that would cause a huge backlash of reaction.

Yet I can't imagine the population of America being any more accepting of immigration from a northern source as compared to a southern one. The problem isn't where these people are coming from; the problem is that they are getting for free something that costs others dearly. They claim they want the same rights as those of us who already live here, but the only reason why we of European descent are here is because our ancestors paid the price legally to live here. My ancestors followed the rules to come to this country. For illegal immigrants to demand free access is to get a benfit that my ancestors didn't have.

Now, if Latinos want to get into this country quickly and easily, then let's re-establish slavery and enslave them and bring them to this country the way slavers did with Africans two centuries ago. What? No one is suggesting that? Hmmm. Our desire for fairness touches us in ways we don't often think of.

Thursday, May 18

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses

We've come a long way since the days when hordes of immigrants flowed through Ellis Island. In those days, all came to our shores with the dream of a better life in America, but the hords flooding illegally over our border in the north and especially in the south, come with a completely different attitude. While some do come because they want a better life, the others come with a feeling of entitlment; this is their land to take back from the American interloper who stole it from them, and they will sue in our courts to get what they want.

I received this in an e-mail this morning [hattip to Obi-Wan] and it speaks to the core of the immigration issue and to America's soveriegn right to determine who is given the priviledge of becoming an American citizen.

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

During the recent Cinco de Mayo celebrations here in the SF bay area scads of cars cruised the streets brazenly desplaying the flag of Mexico, but only a few included the American flag as a token display. I was not persuaded that they give a rip about American. I've never been racist, but living in a neighborhood over-populated with non-english speaking residents who show no sign of learning the language or assimilating into the culture (becoming American) I find I'm really tired of seeing the Mexican flag on every car and hearing the Mexican stations blaring out of their music from their car stereos. There is no demonstrated desire to assimliate, learn the language, or become "good neighbors" in their neighborhoods. It is hard to be supportive of a people that clearly isn't interested in being part of the American society.

I'll leave it to you all to decide whether or not you agree with Teddy, or the voices of la raza, A.N.S.W.E.R, and the other anti-American organizations lending their support and muscle to the "immigrants' rights" fight.

For my part, immigrants do not have rights unless they come here legally. Illegal immigrants have only the right to be deported. Period.

Wednesday, May 17

State of the (Dis)Union

From time to time the President of the United is required to convey to Congress (Article II, Section 3) infromation on the State of the Union. However, in recent history (i.e. latter hafl of the 20th Century) this has become either a boring laundry-list of what the President wants to do in the coming year, or how great a President he has been, etc. This President is no exception to this. In and of itself, this does not make him a bad President, but even under ordinary circumstances is rarely conveys the true state of the affairs of the Nation.

These are not ordinary times, nor have they been ordinary times for a very long time. History did not end with the Fall of the Berlin, nor did this War come on us completely by surprise, or as a bolt out of the blue, unanticipated. 9-11 was only a surprise in the scale of the destruction. Muslims have been calling for the Death of America (and acting to bring about the deaths of Americans) for over three decades now. I say "Muslims" rather than "Arabs", because not all of these Muslims have been Arabs. Some of them have even been Americans.

But terrorism has had a decidedly Muslim character, notable by a few exceptions (some of which are questionable as to their affiliation with Muslims). There has been no shortage of Imams and Ayatollahs calling for the deaths of America from Mosques all over the world. While there is much talk about moderate Muslims, it seems highly unlikely that they are even a particularly prolific minority, as said Imams are not in hiding, or in fear for their lives from other Muslims like, say, Salman Rushdie is. No the start of our discussion of the Disunion in our Nation should begin with the absurd manner in which we look at the Muslim question and Terrorism.

Imagine a different world than we live in today. In late August an obscure prisoner in Federal custody reveals a horrific plot intended to kill thousands of innocent Americans. After intense interrogation, he even reveals the name of the principle leader: Mohammed Atta. Using NSA assets, Atta's cell phones are traced to various points around the country, and in foreign nations. Quite inquiries turn up rumors that a man matching Atta's description had meetings in the Czech Republic with men believed to be working for Saddam Hussein. The word goes out, and on 11 Sept 2001 Atta and three other known "acquaintances" are removed from American Airlines flight 11, and detained. News of the detention and some details of the plot are leaked by person(s) unknown at the CIA, and ten minutes afterward, CNN is running "Breaking News".

9-11 never happens. Bush is a hero, right?

No. Five minutes everyone from CAIR to the ACLU is screaming "racial profiling". As the months progress (and Jesse Jackson marches), the charges are dropped amind allegations of "torture" and abuse. 2002, with the United States still in a deep recession, the Democrats re-take the House and Senate. Bush and his entire cabinet resign in disgrace, and by the 2004 "elections" (the Republicans run Trent Lott as a sacrifical pawn) Saddam Hussein is greeting Jacques Chiraq at the groundbreaking of the Osirak II nuclear reactor following the ending of 13 years of sanctions.

If you don't think that represents the likely outcome, you haven't been paying attention since Abu Grab-ass. The latest "crime" of the Bush Administration was not receiving a list of phone numbers without addresses or names, but having had a fake but accurate rumor that the NSA had less information than is generally available in a telephone book.

The horror.

No, had the Bush administration done anything to stop 9-11 he would have been more vilified than Hitler. This is a fact. We know this because even after 9-11 he is more vilified than Hitler by the L³eft and the MSM for doings that might prevent it from happening again.

If our incoherent reaction to Islamic Terrorism wasn't bad enough, we have recently witnessed criminals openly flaunting their crimes, while demanding that they be treated specially because they broke the law. I am speaking, of course, about the recent "immigration" protests. Earlier I said Imagine no 9-11, the pro-illegal immigrant movement says "Imagine a world where illegal immigrants don't work 9 hour days for $10 a day". And they mean that as a bad thing. I'm a free-market Capitalist, but even I am compassionate enough to say that if we are going to have a mandatory minimum wage, then let it apply equally across the board. The current system doesn't even really reward the illegal immigrants as much as it does the people who are willing to break the law to make it possible for them to work. I'm not just talking about the crooked sub-contractors or restaurant managers who are willing to take a kick-back for not looking too hard at Jose Quevero's "Driver's License". From the human smugglers who help them cross the border to the suppliers of illegal documents once they get here to the shyster car dealears who'll sell them a junker for twice what it's worth if they don't look too closely at the "proof of insurance", illegal immigration is a big business.

And that's not mentioning the ones who mule a few grams of smack (or take a job on their back. Brothels may only be legal in Nevada, but that doesn't mean that Nevada is the only State with brothels) as part of their passage.

The figure that is quoted for Illegals in the US is about 12 million people. There are only about four million people in Tennessee. How long will it be, realistically, before they demand their own State? Oh, never mind...

And that is the State of the union in a nutshell. We are more divided than we have been since the Civil War. It isn't just these two issues, but they are the flashpoint, and neither party is really willing to take them (or for that matter any of our lesser problems) seriously. Neither party will lead. Other than abortion uber alles, the Democratic Party can hardly be said to stand for anything. If the Republicans are for it they are against it, which really leaves them out on issues like immigration, where even the Republicans are split. I'm sorry, but saying that we can't do anything about the existing Illegals isn't a policy statement, it is an unconditional surrender. Being afraid to hurt our enemies' little feelings contributes to our insecurity, not our security.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and politics abhors a power vacuum. Something the mythical moderate Muslims and the Illegals might both want to ponder. If neither existing party offers a realistic alternative, then maybe we should look in another direction.

[/Endeth the Sermon]

I have just decided to enter the Immigration fray

This is getting out of hand and if Mexico files one, ONE suit We should try to start a movement for our governments to sue Mexico so our country can get our lost money back and for for allowing, NO ENCOURAGING it's people to violate our laws. Read the entire story

Still, Mexico says it will file lawsuits in U.S. courts if the National Guard arrests migrants, and its leaders worry that increased border surveillance will force crossers into more dangerous areas to avoid detection.

A Honduran teenager faces deportation after being charged with stealing an anti-immigration protest sign.

Joel Martines, 19, was arrested May 11 on charges he stole the sign outside a convenience store where day laborers seek work. The store has been the scene of protests supporting stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

While Martines was in custody, immigration authorities determined he entered the country illegally last year through Texas.

Tuesday, May 16

John Kenneth Galbraith, RIP

My great-uncle was a cowboy, and during the New Deal he drove a herd of cattle 40 miles to sell them to the United States government.

To his horror, the government agents immediately shot the cattle – literally right before his eyes – and bulldozed the carcasses into a ditch. He’d thought they were going to use them to feed the poor. Fifty years later he was still outraged: “They wouldn’t even let me take some of that meat for my dog.” Another life-long Republican was born.

[I’ve always wondered if one of the agents my great-uncle met that day could have been Edgar Dick, the father of science fiction legend Philip K. Dick. Edgar Dick worked for the Department of Agriculture and went around the country in the 30s, killing cows for Uncle Sam – exactly like a character in a Philip K. Dick novel. Possible, but not likely, I guess.]

His brother, my maternal grandfather, was a shopkeeper. He likewise harbored a life-long grudge against the New Deal. The thing that made him angry was the pamphlet that periodically arrived in the mail from the Office of Price Administration, listing the prices that merchants were required to charge for all items. That little book was the personal work of the Deputy Director of the OPA, John Kenneth Galbraith. The price of everything was whatever Mr. Galbraith said it was.

The liberal fetish for price-fixing probably helped cause the shortages that forced rationing during World War II, though the country had managed to avoid rationing during World War I. Most people figured out that price controls were bad when Nixon took a page from Galbraith and imposed them during the 70s. Galbraith never figured it out as long as he lived. If it had been up to him, some clever fellow in Washington would still be pulling numbers out of his butt and mailing them to every business in the country.

Galbraith was the king of American liberal economics, the biggest deal since Professor Thorstein Veblen. He typified the heroic pose of the liberal oligarch: elitist, dictatorial, utterly divorced from mathematics and methodology, and smugly convinced of the moral superiority of socialism.

Any kind of socialism. Galbraith believed that the country should be run by a triumvirate of Government, Business, and Labor. When Lee Iacocca adopted that program for his abortive presidential bid, somebody from The New Republic finally had the courage to say it: that system had already been tried; it was the essence of Mussolini-style fascism. That’s FASCISM, Boys and Girls. Iacocca was a dim-witted lightweight who faded away fast, but someone should have challenged Galbraith directly on that point. It was his idea, after all.

The parallels between fascism and liberal economic thinking will someday astound historians, but today we can’t talk about that without giving Compassion Freaks the stutter-fits. But they share the notion that freedom produces chaos and injustice, which the State can fix by wise micro-management and strict control. Liberals mostly confine this theory to the economic sphere. Mussolini applied the same logic to politics, culture, information, and education. Why not? All of those spheres are likewise full of chaos and dissent, which intellectual oligarchs are just itching to jump in and fix. Galbraith wandered down that path, too, proposing that the government force-feed government-approved culture to the masses.

So was Galbraith a fascist? Not really. Galbraith was a poser, not an economist, and his brand of “liberal” economics is a mess of smug prejudices, not a real theory. Like so many others, Galbraith took his liberal intellectual superiority for granted, and felt no need to prove it by actually doing any thinking.

Too bad. He was a pretty good writer, though. So was Mussolini.

Monday, May 15

Cell Phones, Privacy, and Your Big Fat Mouth

USA Today says:
A majority of Americans disapprove of a massive Pentagon database containing the records of billions of phone calls made by ordinary citizens, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. About two-thirds are concerned that the program may signal other, not-yet-disclosed efforts to gather information on the general public.
Oh, I'm sorry, were you concerned about your telephone privacy? Are you afraid that strangers are listening in on your conversations? Then read the following sentence carefully: LEAVE YOUR BLASTED CELL PHONE AT HOME, MOTOR MOUTH.

I've been listening in on people's phone conversations every day for years now, and I'm frankly getting sick of it. It started about ten years ago. I had an old television set that picked up frequencies that have since been reserved for cell phones. So right in the middle of Masterpiece Theater, I get a voice-over by Suzy Creamcheese who can't stand the unbearable loneliness of a fifteen-minute drive to the grocery store without calling her sub-mental boyfriend. After having many such cell phone calls broadcast into my personal space without my permission, I realized that 95% of them were about nothing at all. No information was communicated, no important instructions were given, no important questions were answered, no rational purpose was served. Just blah, blah - hold on, I've got another call - blah blah blah.

I admit that this is partly a personal problem. I've got a thing about telephones. I've never liked them very much. I hate the way they allow old girlfriends, over-talkative relatives, and complete strangers to just ambush you right in your own home. Of course I have a telephone and of course I talk on it, but I regard it as an occasional convenience at best. I get uncomfortable talking to people that I can't see. What the hell are they doing while they tell me all this crap I don't want to hear? Are they even wearing clothes?

But what annoys me most about telephones is the tyrannical regime they impose everywhere. The phone rings, so the television or the Bach concerto has to be turned down, children have to be silenced, and everybody has to sit quietly while someone talks on the phone. EXCUSE ME, I'M TRYING TO TALK ON THE PHONE. Any idiot who picks up a phone and dials it immediately shuts down whatever is going on at the targeted location (or wakes it up, if it's 3:00 AM) and nobody questions this power. The telephone is the wall console from Orwell's 1984: it speaks and you obey.

This would be bearable to me if people used telephones in a reasonable manner, but they don't. They use them as substitute brains. If they have a problem, they don't stop to think about it, they grab the phone and call somebody. If they have a moment of solitude, in which they might ponder the meaning of their existence or enjoy a sunset or make up their minds about immigration issues, they grab the phone. If they haven't talked to Suzy Creamcheese for two whole hours, they grab the phone. If they have nothing worthwhile to say to anybody, they grab the phone.

My television problem was solved long ago by a new television, but the cell phone problem gets worse every day. They make them the size of matchboxes now, apparently so nudists can carry them around in their asses. Everybody has one. I can't enjoy a moment's peace in public without someone suddenly shouting, right in my ear, HELLO or DUDE, DUDE!

There are no more quiet back rooms in America where you can drink a cup of coffee in silence. Everybody goes in there to use their f--king cell phones. HI, IT'S ME AGAIN! WHAT? HE DID? OH MY GAAAAAAWWD!

So don't tell me about the NSA listening to your phone calls. I have to do it all the time. If they could bother you one fraction as much as you bother me, there might almost be some justice in the world. What they ought to do is identify the people who make more than six calls a day and knock them unconscious with ultrasonic feedback signals. Unless they happen to be driving, in which case local law enforcement should be alerted so they can pull them over and pistol-whip them.

The Mossad killed the Palestinian terrorist known as "The Engineer" in 1996 by packing his cell phone with plastic explosive. Then they called him and blew his head off. The Mossad sure does have some great ideas.

Suppose the NSA had a science fiction device that could read people's brain waves and eavesdrop on their thoughts. What would they hear?

Nothing. Nothing but white noise and cell phone calls.

Sunday, May 14

Happy Mothers' Day!

To all the moms here, and all our moms, whether they be on this side of the clouds or walking on the other.

Friday, May 12

Doing It Their Way

I found this video on today.

It's old footage from the battle for Fallujah, but it's well edited.

Marines really know how to get the job done.

Semper fi!

Tuesday, May 9

X-TREE! X-TREE... Read All About It!!!

Screedblog has the exclusive on the contents of the letter from President AhmedbenDiddling to President Bush.

Dear Infidel Crusader Zionist sock-puppet Saudi-lackey depoiler of Mesopotamia woman-touching pigdog fiendish (293 words excised) Shah-licking son of a toad’s offal: I trust this finds you well. I have much on my mind, and have taken the pen to unburden my breast. I have enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope should you wish to reply.

Now that's what I call an introductory greeting.

It continues...

. . . Our people glow with pride over our nuclear efforts, sometimes literally. I repeat that the enrichment is for peaceful purposes only, and we seek only peace, and peace is our goal, and there is nothing more we love than peace. Except death. Sorry; forgot. Death is definitely number one. In third place of things we love, well, there were those nice ice-cream desserts they had at this little place in Tehran. When I was Mayor I had them brought in on Fridays. Good times, good times. But once I found a hair.

For more from this gem of a letter... click this post's title above.

Sincerely and Death to America,

Mahmoud, descendant of Xerxes, 34th degree Mason, personal valet of the hidden Imam, and not just a member of the Hair Club for Men – I’m also the President! Death to America.

And a fond Death to Iran to you too!

Monday, May 8

Can You Believe This?

Swinton also spoke out about the right-wing religious influence still dominant in the film industry.

She told the audience: "Last year, in the process of promoting two fantasy films for different Hollywood studios, I was advised on the proper protocol for talking about religion in America today.

"In brief, the directive was, hold your hands high where all can see them, step away from the vehicle and enunciate clearly, nothing to declare."
Read the rest and see if you don't roll your eyes as much as I did.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin did a great job on this!

UPDATE 2: So did Ed Driscoll!

Sunday, May 7

US forces evict Americans

Its my opinion that there is no place called Palestine. Theres a place called Jordan and a place called Syria and a place called Egypt and a place called Israel, but no Palestine. Its my opinion that Gaza and the West Bank are not Palestine, they are Israel. I prefer to look at maps that don't show these enemy (paleoswinian jordyptian) held territories, but a completely intact Israel without the scars of these enemy held areas seperately defined.

This morning I saw this photograph and headline and something dawned on me

Israeli Forces Evict Jewish Settlers

It dawned on me that this new effort by illegal aliens in the US might one day result in the US government viewing illegals the way much of the world now views "Palestinians". And one day, Americans living in areas dominated by illegal aliens might be forcibly removed by the US government in some effort to please the world.

Are illegals aligning to become the new Paleoswinian Jordyptians? Are Americans soon to become the new Israelis, pressed by the world to give squatters what we have fought and died for?

I say evict the "Palestinians" back to Jordan and Syria and Egypt. Evict the illegals back to Mexico, or Colombia, or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, or from where ever it is they came.

Friday, May 5

"By Kennedy standards, it was a fender-bender,"

Patrick Kennedy (yes, one of those Kennedys) appears to be following in Tedddy's footsteps when it comes to driving mishaps. According to

Patrick Kennedy's Capitol Hill car crash in the early hours of Thursday morning was the second vehicular mishap suffered by the Rhode Island Democrat in three weeks.

Appearing on ABC Radio's Mark Levin Show last night, WRKO Boston radio host Howie Carr detailed the earlier accident, which went unnoted outside of the local press in Providence, Rhode Island.

"The accident wasn't reported in the newspapers until almost a week after it happened," Carr complained in his own Boston Herald column last week.

"The story ended up in the D section of the Providence Journal, under the East Bay Sports Bulletin Board and a big story headlined, 'Two arrested after Newport tagging spree,'" he said.

The police appear to be cooperating with the Kennedy's though:

According to the police report, there was no indication that Kennedy was driving under the influence, with his physical condition described as "appearing normal."

Kennedy's handwriting after the accident, however, didn't appear normal, Carr told Levin, explaining that in Rhode Island police require drivers to write their own accident statement.

"It looks like it was written by a chimpanzee, or a 2-year-old," Carr said, speculating that it could been caused by "medications" Kennedy was taking.

After the second crash, Kennedy relased a statement saying he was taking Ambien, a drug linked to disoriented behavior in press reports.

Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't want to get in a car with any Kennedy. They appear to be accidents looking for a place to happen.

[Update:] For more on this story click here

Thursday, May 4

A Rose is a Rose but these are Roses

My day usually starts with me walking out the door of the bus and I have to walk through my garden to get to my suburban. When my roses are in bloom I wait until the last few days they are blooming and cut the older ones. The waitresses at IHOP or Denny's appreciate them. It makes a persons day start very well.

This morning as I walked through them I was awe-struck. These red roses are named Mr. Lincoln and these two are 6 to 8 inches across and so fragrant that I had to bring them to work. The yellow roses are not teacups they are full sized roses but the Mr. Lincolns are massive and so fragrant it is almost impossible to describe them.

To see the size note that they are in an Iced Tea glass and the little thing below them is a coffee cup.

Life has many things in store for us and for us to do but it is never too late to take a minute to stop and smell the roses.

To all of the people who have touched my life and to those who will. Start the day this morning with these beautiful roses in mind. One of G-ds greatest gifts to us.

And no I didn't post the same pic twice. Same view, different lighting.

Wednesday, May 3

But... But... I Thought We Were Losing???

If the MSM is to be believed (anyone with half a brain does not just "believe" them), we are losing the War on Terror and our efforts have been in vain. is reporting...

U.S. and international efforts to defeat al-Qaida have hampered the terrorist group's ability to obtain weapons of mass destruction, a top American intelligence official said.

Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, principal deputy director of national intelligence, declared in a speech this week that while Al-Qaida remains dangerous, the global war against terrorists in the past 4 1/2 years has "disrupted [al-Qaida´s] efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

Hum, I bet this must just stick in the MSM/anti-American Left's craw.

Gen. Hayden said key successes in the war on terror include denying al-Qaida safe haven in Afghanistan, killing or capturing large numbers of its leaders, cutting funding sources and forcing terrorists to spend more time eluding capture.

"Most fundamentally, we have prevented any further attacks against the homeland," he said.

But administration officials said operations in Afghanistan and other recent incidents indicate that al-Qaida continues to seek nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons.

And Gen. Hayden warned: "The global jihadist movement is evolving in many ways. The movement is spreading and adjusting to our counterterrorism efforts, and it is also exploiting the communications revolution, the Internet and media sensationalism."

The job isn't finished yet, but we are making progress in spite of the best efforts of the MSM and anti-American/socialist left. None of the successes above would have happened if we were not in Afghanistan and Iraq. The cost has been high, but the fight has been worthy of our efforts. The sacrifices of so many civilians, and of the military personel have not in vain. In spite of all the blood spilled and lives lost(Iraqi and colalition) it has not come anywhere near the level or numbers of Saddam's mass murders. We need to keep this in perspective, and we need to stay the course and finish the job.

Oh and.... we are winning.

Tuesday, May 2

The Illegal Immigrants road to amnesty. Is this how to do it ?

Vista Immigration Protest Turns Unruly
Hundreds Of Officers Called In After Protesters Throw Rocks, Bottles

POSTED: 6:55 am PDT May 2, 2006
UPDATED: 9:49 am PDT May 2, 2006

VISTA, Calif. -- Deputies and police officers from all over San Diego County were sent to Vista on Monday night to disperse an unruly crowd at an immigration rally.

The demonstration began peacefully as one of the many "Day Without Immigrants" demonstrations that took place around the county. But at about 8 p.m., some of the 800 to 1,200 protesters began throwing rocks and bottles at deputies, sheriff's Lt. Phil Brust said.

Between 150 and 200 officers from police departments in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside and the California Highway Patrol formed riot lines and marched toward the demonstrators, telling them to disperse.

By midnight, all but about 150 people had gone home. The smaller group made a last stand, throwing more rocks and bottles, Brust said. Deputies warned the mob to disperse or face arrest. At that point, the group broke up and officers cleared the area.

No arrests were made, and nobody was injured during the confrontations.
Extra deputies were assigned to patrol Vista overnight to prevent additional disturbances, NBC 7/39 reported.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has a history of tension with Vista's Latino community. Although nearly 50 percent of Vista residents speak Spanish as their first language, not a single deputy patrolling the city's streets is fluent in Spanish, according to the department.

Monday, May 1

Protests in Berkeley?

Nooooo, of course not.

My son took over 100 photos of today's protest in Berkeley, and here are a few of them...

Big sign on the steps of Sproul Hall, just in case you don't know what they want. Does anyone see the ghost of Mario Savio hanging around? (Notice who's sponsoring this sign...yep, International ANSWER.)

High quality signs they've got there. Obviously a lot of thought went into making them.

Interesting...usually you can see protest photos from around the world and the signs are all in English--to get the message out to the people the protest is really trying to reach, that is--primarily Americans. A lot of signs here in Spanish. My daughter's gringo translation of the sign in green is "All minutemen will die." Charming, I'm sure.

Hey, at least they got the American Flag right-side-up this time, even if it is backwards. I guess beggars cannot be choosers.

This sign needs no translation.

Protesting is hard work, and a guy needs to rest, you know?! (Those trash cans are exactly the same ones that were there when I was in college, eons ago. Must be pretty sturdy.)

And of course, the obligatory iconic image of Che--can't have a lefty protest these days without it, can we?

Can we do it? Yes we can! Bob the Builder in shades of red, I guess.

Ummm, you're right, they aren't. Unfortunately for you, however, illegal aliens are.

And notice once again the high quality media used on this Sharpie on beer can cardboard. Haute couture, indeed.

Besides Che, every first-class protest simply must trash the military.

This is quite a good shot. White doorway of Sproul Hall (which, for those of you unfamiliar with UC Berkeley, is the administration building and is right off Telegraph Avenue on the south side of campus), the weather-beaten farmworker-type, and the flags, taken from a dramatic angle.

This one I like better, though. Perhaps not as dramatic, but at least it's got the right flag and it is pointing in the right direction.

And YAY! Some rational people at last. I haven't talked to my son, but I am betting they were in the minority.

Someone paid a pretty penny to get the message across, and one good thing about being up can't hear all the chanting.

After over 40 years of this sort of thing, the UC Police are used to it. It looks to me like they're hanging around the rational people to make sure the wackos don't forget that they're peaceful.

And of course, along with the essential Che and the obligatory trash of the military, every protest needs ugly people. I think they get them from central casting. And note that this, bashing Bush too! You can't have a proper protest without that!

Thanks to my son for taking and sending the photos. He has a lot more, but I think this does a good job of giving everyone just a taste of what it was like in Berkeley this afternoon!

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