Monday, December 29, 2008

The least embarrassing embarrassment I've ever endured




Barack is very disappointed with me!


I only scored 27 on the Obama Test


It gets worse: I have eight children, not one of whom has ever been partially aborted and then left on a shelf to die. I can't believe he'd want to share a country with me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Note to Judy

For the record, I'm well aware that you and your husband were lawfully married in 1967. I spoke metaphorically, and in terms my mother would have disapproved of as well. Please excuse the slight hint of Irish Spring on my breath.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And it came to pass in those days...

All the stress, all the overtime, all the lost sleep and dread of not making everything perfect in time... this is what it was all for. Well worth it.



A blessed Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's too late for this year


But maybe next Christmas... if madness doesn't seize us all first!
If you wish to inspire dreams of non-Euclidean madness into all of your holiday guests, then take home this ageless, indestructible creature from Beyond the Stars. The Great Cthulhu yule tree ornament.

Sure, he'll destroy all mankind, but in the mean time you’ll get a whole house-full of fanatical cult of believers ready to do your bidding during the holiday season. By the time they clue into what’s going on, they will already be tormented by visions of this Ancient One.

I want!

Monday, December 22, 2008

You go, Dad!

Humiliate: [Late Latin humiliāre, humiliāt-, to humble, from humilis, humble; see humble.]
Dennis Baltimore Jr. was caught vandalizing school property at Long Beach's Wilson Classical High School.

He was sentenced by his dad to walk the streets of Long Beach and Signal Hill on Tuesday for five hours in two locations wearing a sign saying, "I am a juvenile delinquent who should be punished. I have wasted your tax money with dumb acts of vandalism in the public schools."

The lede asks "Cruel and unusual punishment or just good, old-fashioned discipline?" as though there were necessarily a difference. A punishment that's "usual" soon becomes ineffective, and an effective punishment requires a certain measure of cruelty. It can be overdone easily, of course, but the point is to make him really, really not want to be in that situation again.

The kid's not suffering any permanent harm. He's just learning some desperately-needed humility. My parents would have done this, too. The fact that he accepted his punishment even though he's too big to use brute force on, indicates that he's been pretty well raised so far. He did something stupid and destructive, and his dad is reacting appropriately.

I'll bet anything we don't see this kid on America's Most Wanted in ten years. Way to go, Dad!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Old age hath yet his honor and his toil

My best friend from childhood, Nate Hilman, the Greatest Photographer in the Northwest, doesn't read this blog much, but on the off chance he does:

Happy birthday, you elderly [person of irregular birth]! Now you know what it feels like to be this old! Ha ha ha... ugh! Hack! Wheeze!

Careful what you ask for

We're off to go ice skating for my Excellent and Virtuous Daughter's eighteenth birthday. So I won't be here to face the recriminations and slurs on my Christian witness that will inevitably follow from this video. Caution: Hilarious but very bawdy. You have been warned.



Hat tip - and wagging finger - to the wonderful Miss C.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holy cow!



Two buses slid down an icy hill and are now hanging over I-5 in Seattle.

Turns out they were full of kids from Moses Lake's Job Corps center. Everyone seems to have gotten out all right, praise God, but the paper has been getting call after call about it from worried parents. Hardly surprising.

I've driven on those hills in the winter, and it ain't pretty.

Update:Here's another picture that kind of captures the topography a little better:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The weather outside is frightful

Actually, it's not bad here, but the rest of Washington got snow dumped on it as if with God's own shovel. For some reason, Moses Lake got passed over. Which kind of sucks, because I have small children, a large hill, and several saucer sleds just crying out to be combined.

Meanwhile, there's nothing like a good snowfall to bring out the Norwegian in all of us.



Uff da!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's in a name?

I know there are a myriad comments to be made on seeing these two stories so close together, but I'm not going to be the one to make them. No siree. Not this little gray duck.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Goodbye, good guy

Van Johnson travels in elephants.*

Nobody would ever mistake Johnson for a dashing leading man, but whatever character he played always seemed to me like someone I'd enjoy sitting down and having a beer with. He came across as the quintessential good guy, whether he was Bogart's not-too-bright but fundamentally decent exec in The Caine Mutiny or Gene Kelly's cynical, tippling sidekick in Brigadoon. Those two roles are what I remember him best for, but he has an impressive list of credits under his name. Time and again, he plays the second banana in an aw-shucks sort of way. (Ack! In looking at his bio, it looks like his marriage was kind of a sordid one arranged by the studio. He married his best friend's wife the day their divorce became final, and Louis B. Mayer paid off the jilted husband with career favors because the marriage enhanced Johnson's own career. Sick and shameful.)

I hope he's somewhere now where I can meet him someday and find out if he's really as nice as he came across on screen.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cheesy Christmas Movies: Miracle on 34th Street

No, not the famous one with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie (drift)Wood. This one was a made-for-TV version from 1955, condensed into an hour-long format. I haven't seen it yet, but I will as soon as I get time. (Right now, we're decorating the house for Christmas and I just stepped away because the noise was getting overwhelming.) I notice a few familiar names in it, but nowhere near the big names the feature-film version had. Still, it's a story that could probably benefit from being condensed. Leave opinions in the comments.

Monday, December 01, 2008

This year, give the gift of Death

Murder, Inc. has gift certificates. How disgusting is that?

Although I can think of some slogans they could use:
The gift that keeps on giving makes giving obsolete.

Why share your stocking space?

From our family to your lack of one

For unto us a child is torn into tiny pieces and stuffed in a dumpster

What blob of cells is this...

We wish you a saline scalding, we wish you a saline scalding...


Or even a simple
Merry Deathmas!

Feel free to fill in your own in the comments.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

I didn't have time to post during our national paean to gluttony, because I was too busy, well, gluttonizing. This marks the first year that my Lovely and Brilliant Wife has hosted Thanksgiving at our house. I think that should be considered sort of a rite of passage, especially for women: the first year that you don't go to some other woman's house and partake of her meal. It's like moving from daughter (or daughter-in-law) to mother. Since it was also her first holiday with the title "Grandma," it seems fittin' for her to savor her matriarchal moment.

I took the afternoon off on Wednesday to drive over to Tacoma and get Wharf Rat, her boyfriend and the grandchild, then stop off and pickup Long Drink on the way back. That was the plan, anyway. As it happens, someone went and moved around all the roads between Seattle and Tacoma so that none of them look like they did twenty-odd years ago when I lived there. After an eternity creeping along in holiday weekend traffic and twice - twice! ending up on I-5 going the wrong direction, I finally collected up all the young 'uns and we made it back home around midnight.

(Incidentally, what's the correct way to designate Wharf Rat's chap? They're not married, so "son-in-law" is obviously out. They live together (for now, in her mother's overcrowded apartment, God help them!), so "boyfriend" or "gentleman friend" both seem too transitory. "Baby Daddy" is revolting on several levels, not least of which is grammatical. "Partner" carries the baggage of being used as a homosexual epuhemism. All I can think of is "pseudo-son-in-law." So until I get a better suggestion, PSIL it is.)

The day itself was not without hitches. The cooking had to be done in shifts, as different kids tackled different dishes. The dining room table collapsed as we were setting it (before the food was laid out on it, praise be) and had to be shored up with TV trays and a two-by-four. Long Drink (12) and Drama Queen (oh, so 13) had to be dispatched to Dollar Tree for wineglasses, as it turned out that all of ours had been broken over the last year.

But it all came together beautifully. The kids pulled it off with nary a bicker, which in our house is right up there with loaves and fishes. They pitched in on cleaning up after dinner without nagging. Visigoth (4) and Ostrogoth (2) ran out of attention span before the rest of us ran out of appetite, so I spent much of the meal corralling them rather than eating. (I actually had my big plate of turkey and stuffing for breakfast this morning.) After dinner we test-played a game that Covarr (19) bought for the church youth group, which he helps lead. And there was Christina presiding over it all with justifiable pride. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. It was like living in a Hallmark Channel special.

We've got a lot to be thankful for. Both the PSIL and I have gainful, family-supporting employment, our house is safe, everyone's in good health, and the prospects for next year are looking good. Someone online (I forget who) said they always watch "It's a Wonderful Life" on Thanksgiving rather than Christmas. It's a good time for it, especially with the economy tightening up. We may be worried about this or that, but the reality is, things could be a heap worse. This time last year, I was sure it would be by now. Thank God we live in Bedford Falls; it could so easily be Pottersville. I may not be the richest man in Moses Lake, but you couldn't prove it by yesterday.

In which vein, here it is. Replay your favorite parts while you wallow in gratitude.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Calvin & Hobbes greatness

Two-year-old Ostrogoth has actually done this:

Book facts

As long as I'm stuck here at the paper on a Sunday afternoon, waiting for an advertising client to call me back, I might as well respond to my auntie's Book Facts meme. Seven weird, random things about my reading habits.

Only seven? Where to begin?

1. When I grow up, I want to be Harry Turtledove. I've actually started in (barely) on an alternate history novel that at this rate will be finished somewhere around the time the earth crashes into the sun. But ah my foes and oh my friends, the research is fun to do!

2. I have yet to see any part of a Flashman novel that doesn't immediately set my table on a roar. Seriously. I can just pick up the book, turn to a page, and laugh. It doesn't hurt that the author was the most painstaking craftsman of historical fiction ever to draw breath, as well as having a bawdy, curmudgeonly sense of humor. Alas that he had to stop drawing breath last winter.

3. I save my place by dog-earing the page at the bottom. I started doing in grade school that because of a librarian who would skim along the top corner of any book I returned to see if I'd been mistreating it.

4. The only Orson Scott Card book I've ever not enjoyed was Ender's Game. That's the only thing by him that most people have even heard of. Almost everything else he's written, I loved.

5. In high school I discovered Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books and became hooked. I still think they're one of the greatest unknown treasures in sci-fi/fantasy.

6. The only horror author who has ever frightened me is H. P. Lovecraft. The others might as well not even bother.

7. When I re-read How Green was my Valley, the words on the page are in English, but the ones behind my eyes are in Welsh. For a man who didn't actually speak Welsh (at least I don't think so), the author has a perfect feel for the cadences and quirks of the most beautiful language on earth.

I usually don't tag anyone in paticular, but this time I will. Kaci, Ricki and Word Girl, tell us all about it!

A little resentment, a little envy

My friends got to go out hunting this year, and I was stuck here raising kids and working two jobs. So I guess I'll have to settle for doing it vicariously:

Not with a roar, but with a whimper

I'd love to gloat over the Apple Cup game yesterday, but it was basically a matter of which team reeked slightly less. Still, we kicked the Dawgs, and that's what matters. And I can still point and guffaw at my friend Sister Mary Attila: ex-nun, rabid Husky, and now Managing Editrix at the Sequim Gazette.

Neener neener!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This was so much funnier before I had kids


Wharf Rat (now 20) would have done this in her childhood. Visigoth (4) has come darn close.

By way of explanation, I found a complete collection of Calvin & Hobbes for download here. I need to e-mail the excellent Marcello and thank him profusely.

Update: Speaking of Visigoth:

Is a picture of our home life beginning to emerge?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I think I'll stand over here...

... A long way away from this guy.
MÜNSTER, Germany -- Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany's first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn't like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.

So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.

Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn't portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.

Just the name "Muhammad Sven" provokes thought. In any case, I'm glad I'm not underwriting his life insurance. Akubra tip to Damian.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We hate you because you're intolerant!

If you follow the comments at the YouTube site, you can certainly see the gay people's point. The Christians had no business going into the Castro district and praying or singing. Even if they were within their rights technically, it was just plain rude and more than a bit foolhardy. Imagine a group of, say, black kids going into a well-established white neighborhood and doing something that made their outsiderness obvious. Wouldn't the locals be justified in doing the same thing? Of course they would.



There's a commentary at Michelle's from one of the Jesus Freaks, and apparently the (remember, rightfully) angry locals threw coffee on one of them, knocked her down and kicked her. Just a friendly way of saying, "Go back where your kind belongs, breeder!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coffee snorter

From the inimitable Iowahawk:
In his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial 45 years ago, Dr. King said "I have a dream that one day my children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Let us now take pride that Tuesday we Americans proved that neither thing matters anymore.

Set down your beverage and read the whole thing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh, to have this kind of time!

Not to mention the savvy. I can't imagine working all this out. I wouldn't embed it if I could; you'll have to go watch it all at full size. Akubra tip to Cassandra.

Bless me, Barry, for I have sinned?

Okay, I understand the new president-elect isn't behind the California prop-8 tantrums. But what with the whole Obamessiah thing and the irony of tolerant brownshirtism, this from the comments at the above-linked post was too good to pass up:
O my Obama,


I am heartily sorry for
having offended thy homosexual activist goon squad,
and I detest all my "incorrect" thoughts and acts,
because I dread the loss of business/social acceptance in such a "tolerant" clique,
and the pains of vandalism and harassment;
but most of all because
they offend Thee, my Obama,
Who are all good and
deserving of all my unquestioning sycophantic devotion.
I firmly resolve,
with the help of the queers continued patronage
to confess my doubleplusungood thoughts,
to donate as much as the gays demand of me to the next gay marriage initiative
and to amend my life.

Amen.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two possible reactions

In a related case, a group of Christians held a funeral for a baby, born alive, and left to die on the roof of an abortion clinic. The response from the president-elect was that it was a disgusting political ploy.

Okay, so they called his attention to it intentionally to highlight his response. It was Operation Rescue, after all, and they're not known for subtlety. But what happened to the child was real, and despicable. It was completely unworthy of any civilized society.

Now, there are two possible reactions to something like this. One is to say, "My God, this murder was an abomination. Things like that must not be allowed to happen." The other is to say, "Why are you making me look at something that makes me so uncomfortable?You're only trying to make me look bad!" Guess which one Barack Obama chose?

This gives us more insight into his character than a hundred televised debates. It's not a political ploy, dammit! It's a human being! If human life is so worthless to this man that he cannot spare even a moment's sorrow, but thinks only of his political position, then he is utterly without conscience and all his charm is the façade of the sociopath.

Making health care Katolischenfrei may work too well

Ed Morrissey reiterates what I pointed out yesterday:
How serious are they? So serious that they won’t bother to sell the hospitals. They’ll shut them down and take the losses in order to prevent their use as abortion clinics. To do otherwise, the bishops stated, would be to cooperate in the evil of abortions.

What kind of impact would that have? The Catholic Church is one of the nation’s biggest health-care providers. In 2007, they ran 557 hospitals that serviced over 83 million patients. The church also had 417 clinics that saw over seven million patients. If they shut down almost a thousand hospitals and clinics nationwide, the US would not just lose a significant portion of available health care, but the poor and working-class families that received the health care would have fewer options.

Also, the Catholic Church runs this on a non-profit basis, spending vast sums of its money to ensure access for those unable to pay. That’s the kind of model that many on the Left believe should exclusively provide health care — and FOCA would spell the end of the major provider already in that model.

No doubt the left will call this blackmail, as though the only reason the Church provided health care at all were for political leverage. What the pro-aborts cannot grasp is that there are some wrongs that some people simply will not do, and that those same people do right because it is right. Some people actually believe in absolutes of right and wrong, and in eternal consequences for both. Genuine principle is so alien to the pro-abortion lobby that they will end up selling out poor people in their desperate quest to bend our faith to their will.

God bless you, Mr. Sybouts

One of my Sunday School teachers went home last week. I mentioned him in my list of things I like about Protestants. His role was to tell us stories out of the Bible, and boy, did he. Because of him and some others like him, when I needed to find my way back to the Lord, I had the scriptures to fall back on. I'm grateful.

Most of my memories of Larry Sybouts are little details. At Goldendale First Baptist Church in the 70s, we still had an old-fashioned belfry, with a thick bell rope that hung down in the narthex. Mr. Sybouts (I'm still not old enough to think of him as "Larry") used to slip back there before and after services to ring the bell. Once in a while he'd let me do the ringing. Being just a little feller, I would pull down on the rope and it would hoist me back up in the air a few feet. That was the coolest thing in the world at the time.

Mr. Sybouts' trademark was Juicy Fruit gum. He always had a bottomless supply on his person, and every time he encountered a child, out would come the pack and he'd offer us a stick. The last time I saw him I was probably about twenty. I know I was taller than he was bu then. He never even hesitated before proffering the gum.

So Lord, if You happen to see a man in a gray flat-top haircut show up at the gate and offer You a stick of gum, would You take extra-good care of him? And You might let him ring some heavenly bells. He'd love that. Thank You.


Islamic calligraphy comes in a bewildering, beautiful array of scripts. Copying the Qur’an is a sacred act, and — so I suppose — extreme calligraphic exertions are one way of demonstrating extreme piety. One of the most demanding scripts is the ghubar script — literally, “dust script” — and it requires that the scribe produce words that are as fine as hairs while still legible (on pain of eternal damnation, for distorting the Holy Book is a Mighty Sin). To an extent this sort of miniature writing had some actual functionality: sending long, compact messages to far-off lands by carrier pigeon, for example. But…

This is unbelievable. Check thou it out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The gauntlet has been thrown

The bishops have clearly articulated the Catholic position on abortion, and it's not "nuanced," no matter what Nancy Pelosi thinks. Now we'll see if our impending president actually cares. I'm betting not. Which could have some disastrous effects, because I don't think he actually believes that the Church will have no choice but to close hospitals and charities, rather than participate in abortion. There may also be excommunications for pro-death politicians.

I expect there will be punishment in store for any bishop who continues to hold to Church teaching on the matter. The First Amendment must not be allowed to interfere with the Sacrament of Abortion.

Thinking of migrating

I was considering today the possibility of moving over to Wordpress. It's not that Blogger's been mean to me or anything, but Wordpress seems to have a lot more versatility with files and widgets and photos (oh my!). But I'd hate to lose my archives and sidebar stuff, and I don't want to get into a situation where I have to spend a lot of time on blogging. (I waste more time at it as it is than I ought.)

Has anyone else ever made that move, and how did it work out for you? Any tips/warnings? Oh, and what about Haloscan comments? Will those disappear? I like having access to them all the way back to my blogbirth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why can't we reenact this every year?

On November 12, 1970, a whale exploded on the beach near Florence, Oregon. Hilarity and severe auto damage ensued.



No matter how many times I see this video, I still can't stop laughing at the change in the observers' expressions as they realize that large hunks of whale are, in fact, just as subject to gravity as anything else. A/T to Apoloblogology.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just so we're clear

This is a hate crime:

This is not:


This is what awaits people who vote wrong:


Full story here. And promises of what's to come here.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I can has cornz?

The baby (somnophobic little pill) and I have been getting up several times a night, so I set "Hee Haw" to record on the DVR. He doesn't mind, and there's nobody else up at that hour to complain. So, why not:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ignorant burbling of the day

From the AP article I linked below, proof that being an "activist" doesn't require knowing squat about history beyond, say, 1969:
"At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one," said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential Washington, D.C-based blogger. "They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards. You don't do that and get away with it."

Oh, really?

Dolt.

Good church, bad church

So gay people in California are cheesed at the Mormon Church for supporting Proposition 8. Boycotts are planned, and apparently there have already been protests and minor violent incidents. There's a push to get the Church's tax-exempt status revoked on the grounds that they had no business getting involved in politics.

I notice, however, that the same people who most vigorously oppose mixing religion and politics aren't calling for a similar action against the liberal churches that fought hard against the proposition. I haven't heard the gay activists calling for a single boycott or IRS audit of the Episcopal, Unitarian or Metropolitan Community churches over their involvement in the area. My UU-minister aunt has worked hard for the gay marriage cause here in Washington. I'm not on the same side, but you don't see me or any other conservative shouting for revenge on her church for taking a stand. That's what religious people do: they vote their consciences. Why hold it only against one side?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes! Oh, lordy, yes!

Bioegineering students in Texas are working on a beer that will fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The secret, apparently, is a genetically-modified yeast. Now this is what scientific research should be about.

"Honey, would you go to the fridge and get me another bottle of medicine?"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Another Obama thought

When Barack Obama was born, his parents would have been unable to marry in 21 states. The last such laws were struck down the year I was born. Yesterday he was elected president by voters who had never heard the word "miscegenation" and would have no concept of its meaning if you explained it. Yep, things have changed.

Support for the president

This may seem contradictory to what I've posted over teh last few days, but it's really not. I outlined my fears and objections to an Obama presidency. Be those as they may, the die is cast.

I was a McCain supporter, not just because he was the Republican nominee, but because I hold a high opinion of him. He campaigned like a gentleman (which may have been his undoing) and when he conceded last night, he did that like a gentleman as well. We as conservatives should do the same.

Back in April, several of us agreed to avoid certain behaviors we saw damage the Clinton and Bush administrations unduly. Now a blogger at Patterico has advice for the new chief executive and also reminds us what we as conservative Americans ought to say and do now that Obama is the president-elect:
1. We’ll acknowledge that you’re the President of the United States, that you got the job fairly and properly, and that you want to do the right thing.

2. We’ll shun anyone who believes personal harm to you is a good way to prevent your policies from coming in. For that matter, we’ll shun anyone who believes personal harm to you is a good idea for any reason.

3. We’ll try to stop the programs that look like boondoggles before they start. Once they start, we’ll try to make them work as efficiently as possible.

4. We’re not all moving to Costa Rica or anything; we don’t view this as the end of civilization. We’re going to try to make this country a better place. We’ll keep farming, working, raising families, and petting puppies. Sometimes, we’ll like you.

5. We’ll fight for what we believe is right. The free-market folks will fight. The small-government folks will fight. We’ll point out how the programs aren’t working. We’ll point out the long-term harm. And in all likelihood, we’ll try to get a viable candidate to send you on the lecture circuit in 2012.

Barack Obama is going into office with a number of handicaps. The biggest, I think, is just the temptation to abuse his popularity in the ways I pointed out below. He's also made a lot of pie-in-the-sky promises that he now has either to keep or get out of without being seen to weasel.

His lack of conscience where human life is concerned will cost him the support of a lot of Christians who otherwise might be reconciled to him. (Me among them, alas; I aim to fight him on those issues every inch of the way.) And he's going to have a very, very hard time gaining the respect of the military, because he's never served. Clinton faced the same thing and never really overcame it.

I think he got the office with a lot of dishonesty, through ACORN fraud and other machine tactics. But as the saying goes, once the ship sails, all bills are paid. Now that he's in, we need to pray for him and hope he doesn't get himself and us into any situations we can't get out of by the next election cycle. Let's not be like the Gore campaign and refuse to accept a fait accompli.

I'm pleased to see that the White House will no longer be exclusively white. I'd rather it were a conservative black man in the Oval Office, but at least that particular barrier has been broken for good.

Good luck, Mr. President-Elect.

Addendum: This is what I meant. Would that it had been said several years ago.

November 5 and Triumph of the Will

I'm sure the post below made everyone think I'm just another of those rubes clinging bitterly to God and guns, shouting "Obama=Hitler" as though it were an item of political discourse or something. On the contrary, I chose my subject matter most carefully. Allow me to clarify.

Barack Obama is not Hitler. I don't expect to see him establish liquidation camps for his enemies. I doubt very much he will enmesh us in a war to spread his brand of political and racial purity across the globe. And pace Godwin's Law, I'm not tacking the name onto him simply as the embodiment of evil.

The movie I embedded below has nothing directly to do with extermination camps or world wars, either. It's entirely positive in tone. It reflects what happened when a highly charismatic leader surfed to office on the shoulders of a throng of worshipping admirers.

When Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, the country was enmired in a depression that makes ours look tame. They were demoralized, they were anxious, and they were tired of the rest of the world holding them in contempt. The National Socialists promised law and order, economic prosperity and prestige for the nation. in contrast to his image today, Hitler was seen as a uniter, not a divider. Unlike his ally to the south, he actually did make the trains run on time. He was marvelously effective and popular to match.

Hitler's popularity came mostly from his person, not his political party. Unfortunately, that popularity was such that he didn't have to do much to squelch opposition himself. Public opinion was sufficiently pro-Hitler that it wasn't necessary to have more than cursory laws against dissent.

This is where the parallels between Obama and Hitler come in. Try to forget for a moment what we know of Hitler in retrospect. To Germans of his time, he was young (only 45 when the movie was made), vibrant, optimistic. He made them feel good about themselves. He gave them hope.

Like Hitler, Obama comes to leadership at a time when Americans are hungry for a person to believe in rather than a dry philosophy. Obama has a powerful and not terribly scrupulous political machine backing him. He has no Enabling Act, but he does have a substantial majority for his party in both houses, essentially creating a one-party rule. He also has a huge grass-roots following, for whom Obama's enemies are their enemies. He also has a lot of friends in the popular media, through whose lens he looks even more like a savior. The vandalism and assaults during the campaign weren't ordered by him. They didn't have to be.

Hitler tolerated churches only so far as they played ball. The infamous Reichskonkordat, which guaranteed freedom for German Catholics, required the Catholic Church to refrain from fighting in the political arena. Most of the Protestant churches in Germany made similar agreements. Religion that contradicted the National Socialist Party was considered outside the pale and suppressed by any means necessary. Today the Church stands for human rights against the Obama platform as well. Undoubtedly lots of bishops will go along with him in support, they think, of the greater good. Bishops who haven't have already begun to see some menacing signs. If the pope attempts to discipline the dissenting bishops, he'll be painted as an enemy of America. In 1934, remember, Jews weren't yet sentenced to death. They were just unpopular and distrusted. Practicing Christians are likely to be treated that way under an Obama-Democratic government such as has just been elected.

Today, we see Triumph of the Will as a load of hooey, but in 1934, it was seen as just a portrait of a self-evident truth. That's because there were no media contradicting Hitler's version of events. Newspapers and radio stations were expected to adhere to the party line. Obama may not have thugs smashing presses and jamming radio broadcasts, but he does have the Fairness Doctrine, which his supporters are already gleefully promising to reinstate. What that promises bring is a velvet-gloved Canadian-style censorship. Look at the treatment Kathy Shaidle, Mark Steyn, et al. have received form mainstream Canadians. "Free-speecher" has actually become a pejorative up there. "Racist" is poised to become a synonym for "anti-Obama," and who wants to defend the hate speech of a racist? It won't take long, I suspect, before conservative talk radio is forced back to the shortwave bands.

Now, I don't think this is permanent. I don't think Obama could make himself president-for-life, even if he's inclined to. The 22nd Amendment may be repealed in his administration, but even so, the American electoral system isn't going to disappear under him. He certainly isn't going to ship all the undesirables off to camps and gas us to death. Any damage he could do will be temporary. But it could still take decades to mop up after, and be very unpleasant in the meantime.

Catholic Überblogger Mark Shea is fond of dividing history into two parts: "What Could it Hurt?", and "How Were We to Know?" Watch Triumph of the Will, not with hindsight, but with the optimism and pride that the original viewers felt in 1934, as they witnessed the dawn of a new, hopeful day. Then ask yourself, "What could it hurt?"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I for one welcome our new Democratic overlords

... and would like to offer this tribute to their benevolent reign.

Kalifornia Klansmen?

Via Jeff (HTBUH):
This reminds me of the Ku Klux Klan campaign against Al Smith.

But remember: conservatives are the bigots.

Ironically, there's a semi-official belief among Mormons that the US constitution is divinely inspired. Presumably this includes the Fourth Amendment. Doubly insulting.

Afterthought: from an LDS commenter at Protein Wisdom
The Church cannot ever ever ever recognize same-sex marriage. Our foundational assumptions about human nature and about God’s nature and about life after death prevent it. And the last time we were out of step with the rest of the country regarding marriage practices we were murdered, raped, ravaged, pillaged, and driven out of the country at gunpoint in the dead of winter.

So we would kind of like that to not happen again, dig?

Point well taken.

News from the home front

I've been purposely staying away from the subject of our ongoing mortgage trouble, both because I didn't know what was going to happen and because, honestly, nobody wants to read the whining. But we talked with a credit counselor yesterday, and it appears very likely that we won't lose the place. We'll wind up with some extra legal fees and such, but we won't face the impossibility of finding a rental we can afford for this size family (are you freakin' kidding?). Everyone who prayed, thanks!

We've actually been helped a lot by the mortgage meltdown this year, because currently the bank has a lot more houses than it can ever unload. There are three homes up for sale on our block alone. (As it happens, I know at least two of those aren't foreclosures, and I doubt the third is. But still...)

So we have our vine and our fig tree after all. And none shall make us afraid.

Obama's Grandma

Madelyn Dunham now travels in elephants.*

No snark on this one, if you please. A man's grandmother is sacred. I believe him when he says that his best character features were formed by her. Kids might obey their parents, but it's the grandparents they listen to.

If he's elected today, then it's sad that she couldn't be there to see it happen. She deserved to. And if he's not, then she's entitled to be proud of him anyway.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Chortle!

Or should that be "siortl?"
Swansea Council contacted its in-house translation service when designing a bilingual sign barring heavy goods vehicles from a road in the Morriston area of the Welsh city.

But as the translator was not available, they received an automated e-mail response in Welsh saying: "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated."

Unaware of the real meaning of the message, officials had it printed on the sign under the English, which correctly reads: "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only."

The council took down the sign, near an Asda supermarket, after Welsh speakers spotted the mistake.

I guess bilingualism has a long way to go.

See why I love this woman?

Given the choice between despising the imperfect and embracing them, guess which one Sarah does?
NEW PARIS, Pennsylvania: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska was swiftly working the rope line at an apple orchard in southwestern Pennsylvania when she met a supporter who brought her to an abrupt stop.

Amber Brown, 23, held a poster that read, "I have Down syndrome and I'm voting for you. I'm a fighter too!"

Seeing Brown, Palin wrapped her in a tight hug.

"I love that poster," Palin said. "You're a fighter and you're beautiful."

Then Palin hugged her again. Before climbing back on her campaign bus, she circled back to Brown and hugged her a third time...

Ignoring her teleprompter, Palin gazed to her left. "I've got to make a comment about this poster," she said. "'I'm extra-special just like Trig."'

"Now what she's saying there," Palin said, "that extra chromosome that our blessed bundles of joy were born with. It's like a bumper sticker that was mailed to me from a Down syndrome group in Arizona. You know how we have bumper stickers on the back of our vehicles saying, you know, My kid's a better soccer player than your kid, and, My kid's on the honor roll and your kid isn't, well this bumper sticker says, 'We win - my kid has more chromosomes than your kid.' "

Afterward, Anita Kearns of Louisville, Kentucky, who had watched the speech with her children - Josh, 27, who has Down syndrome, and Katie, 19 - was beaming. "She stands for everything that matters right now," Kearns said. "Free enterprise, the American way, working for your family."

But most important, Kearns said, "I love that she's an advocate for special needs. It hasn't been since the Kennedys that we've heard a politician talk about it, and they talked about it in a very different way. And that was so long ago."

Yep. There was a time when 90 percent of these children weren't consigned to the dumpster. Sarah Palin is just plumb good. Which is why her opponents despise her so much.

The glorious days to come...

... unless you happen to be little and helpless.

I know I promised to get another post in on the brave new world that awaits us under an Obama administration, but I've been so up to my kiester with work and family that I just haven't had the time. (Of course, I'm on salary, so it's not like there's much difference between company time and my time. It's all company time.)

The thing that really worries me about electing Obama along with a Democratic supermajority is the abortocaust. Now, it's not the first time we've had a pro-death president in office, but Clinton had a check on his power in congress. Even before the '94 "contract with America" there were enough Republicans in both houses to make a filibuster possible. Also, Clinton wasn't really committed to the abortion industry. He mouthed the words because his party demanded it, but he wasn't bought and paid for.

Obama is. If he's got a single scruple about the value of helpless life, he's kept it well hidden. His dismissal of Gianna Jessen sums it all up. If you let them live, they cause you all kinds of trouble later.

The BAIPA is the most egregious of his positions on human life, but it's not the most insidious. Consider a couple of seemingly unrelated facts:

1. Barack Obama is both willing and able to use brownshirt tactics to control public discourse. The Fairness Doctrine is one aspect of that. So is the fact that nearly all the mass media are manned by his fans. The mainstream media will say whatever he wants them to. The Fairness Doctrine and other legal muzzles will guarantee that the mainstream media are all the media that are out there.

2. Abortion is a big-money business. There were something like 1.2 million abortions last year. (That figure is lowballed – more in a moment.) The cost runs between $400 and $800 on average; some are as much as $1,200 if it's after a certain point and requires an actual doctor. When you do the math, it adds up to a major cash cow.

The reason 1.2 million is a low figure is that the Guttmacher Institute only tracks reported abortions. It's common practice among abortuary workers to report only those abortions that leave a paper trail. But when there's a cash transaction, all bets are off. And legal attempts to get a clinic's records - for any reason - are a quick route to an ended career. As Phill Kline learned.

So we have an administration that (a) is heavily committed to a huge-money industry and (b) has the capacity to shut off talk that that industry doesn't like.

The first thing to go will be the crisis pregnancy centers. All the Obama campaign has said so far is that he intends to cut off federal funding for the centers, but that's kind of a non-statement. So far as I know, most of them don't get any federal funding. There have been bills introduced in the past to ban them from advertising or even operating at all, as their supposedly deceptive practices are cutting into Planned Parenthood's business.

I'm going to digress a little to marvel at the sheer chutzpah it takes to go after the CPCs. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife volunteered at our local one, and there's absolutely nothing deceptive about it. However, it does give the lie to the canard that pro-lifers only care about babies until after they're born. Crossroads keeps new mothers supplied with diapers and baby clothes, all of them from donations form the community. What support does Planned Barrenhood give women who "choose" not to abort? (Sound of crickets.)

Our CPC is also due to get an ultrasound machine next year, which the abortion lobby is trying to make illegal as well. See, women who see ultrasound of their babies are less likely to opt for an abortion. "Choice" is okay with the abortion industry as long as it's a choice that lines their pockets. That's the real issue abortion clinics have with CPCs: they offer actual alternatives to abortion. Tell me again which one is pro-choice? (Ironically, the reason given by the pro-aborts for prohibiting ultrasounds is that they might pose a risk to the baby. As opposed to the utterly safe alternative of scalding their skin off or jamming sharp objects into their skulls.)

Back to Obama's plans for America. First they'll come for the crisis pregnancy centers. Next will be the sidewalk counselors. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife spent countless days in front of a clinic in San Antonio, and the stories she could tell you would curl your hair. Trigger-happy guards watching for an excuse to shoot someone, sidewalk counselors being assaulted, things like that. One of the saddest things she saw was an older man, father or boyfriend or both, literally dragging a girl out of the minivan as she screamed, "No, no, I don't want to do this!" Two of the clinic "escorts" came in response to her cries for help, and dragged her into the clinic themselves. This isn't rumor; my wife actually watched it happen. Some choice, huh?

Under an Obama regime, you can expect the protesters and sidewalk counselors to be banned altogether. We've already seen how much use our presumptive president has for the first amendment. Want to bet that the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act gets expanded? The pro-lifers couldn't do anything to help that girl in the minivan because the guards had orders to shoot to kill, and the law backed them up. How many of those will go entirely unwitnessed if nobody is even allowed to raise a voice against them?

In my earlier post, I brought up free exercise of religion. That's going to figure even more into Obama's abortion policies. Already states are passing laws forcing pharmacists to dispense abortifacients, even in their own store. Same with hospitals. Doctors are being targeted even now for the same thing. We've gone from a fight to allow them to do abortions to a fight to force them to. Again, it's all about choice, isn't it?

Although the stereotype of the pro-lifer is a big-haired Bible-banging fundamentalist, the big enemy of abortion is the Catholics. See, it's absolutely, unequivocally forbidden for any Catholic to take part in an abortion in any way. If my medi-cab company ever told me to drive a woman to an abortion clinic (a service they've been known to provide), I'd have to quit. Period. Any Catholic who participates in abortion in any way is automatically excommunicated. No ceremony or official action is needed; you're barred from the sacraments immediately. (Contrary to popular belief, excommunication isn't the same as damnation. However, since it's also a mortal is to participate in abortion, dying without absolution for it does> land you in hell.)

Fundamentalists (however you define the word) make up a much smaller proportion of the country than Catholics do. The health-care professions are filled with us. The goal of eliminating conscience exemptions is not a blow against the fundamentalist caricature, but a concerted effort to expel all Catholics from the health-care field. If you change the rules so that a practicing Catholic is required to do things to keep his job that his faith absolutely forbids, the only Catholics you'll have left are the ones whose principles are for sale. Naturally, there won't be any new ones entering the professions, either. The less-numerous Protestant pro-lifers will be much easier to weed out once health care is entirely Katolischenfrei. (I'm not running down Protestant fervor on life issues; quite the contrary. But let's face it - we're more numerous and better organized, and hence a bigger thorn in their side.)

Finally, as I alluded to last week, the Fairness Doctrine and other free-speech-suppression tactics will be to the abortion industry's benefit as well. When the FCC won't issue licenses to religious radio stations, when the Internet is scoured of conservative content, when anyone who speaks out is subjected to investigation and harassment (you think Joe the Plumber was an anomaly?), the abortion industry will have no oversight and no restrictions whatsoever. You think abortion workers will be bound by consciences or limits on their own? Ask Carol Everett or Jill Stanek. But do it fast. If Obama wins, they'll be a lot harder to hear.

The bottom line in an Obama presidency: Live babies bad, dead babies good. If you don't like it, keep your mouth shut.

A matter of equal writhes rights

First off, women my own age are not too old to take off their clothes in public, thank you very much.
Kimberlee Ouwroulis doesn’t believe her age should be a roadblock to success.

So, the 44-year-old adult dancer from Stouffville has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, alleging the owner of a Mississauga strip club fired her because she was too old.

“He told me that the club is going in a new direction with younger girls,” Ms Ouwroulis said. “That’s age discrimination to me.”

I have no axe to grind here; I don't frequent girlie bars and it wouldn't break my heart to see them go out of business. But if she can still bring in the customers, that seems to justify her on capitalistic grounds. A strip club owner is in kind of a poor position to take the high ground on anything, including aesthetics. Especially since he's 49 years old himself and I'll bet he doesn't look like a movie star.

(I do get a chuckle out of the idea that the guy paying her to give lap dances is called "Mr. Sit.")

On the other hand, maybe this is a god business opportunity for some enterprising person to start a club featuring elder ecdysiasts. Call it "Saggy's Place" or something. Chez Oedipus?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thanks, Mom!











The Golden Age of Broadway Musicals



Score: 100% (13 out of 13)



My mom used to play the records from these musicals all the time when I was a kid. I had the scores memorized long before I ever actually saw the plays. (Or the screen travesties that sometimes showed up on TV. Don't get me started.) There were only a couple where I couldn't immediately hear the line in my head.

If my Reverend Auntie doesn't get them all, I'll be very surprised.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Did they say Saudi Arabia?

I would have sworn it was Montana.

Barack Obama Malcolm X Jr.?

This has got to be hooey. I really don't buy it for a second. But you know, it's no sillier than "Sarah Palin is Trig's grandmother."

On the other hand, it would certainly settle the citizenship thing, wouldn't it?

Afterthought: The news media are taking this thing with a spoonful of salt, as they should. But compare how much attention it gets to the amount of ink/pixels lavished on the equally silly and scurrilous Sarah/Bristol/Trig rumor. Apparently they wanted to savor the remote possibility of something shameful about Sarah, whereas the journalistic principles kick in when it's about a candidate they want to like.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Cinema: White Zombie

I'm not a huge fan of horror movies in general. In fact, I haven't even watched the one I'm about to post, although I intend to correct that when I get an hour without kids.

My loyalty in the horror genre is given to H.P. Lovecraft and Manly Wade Wellman, neither of whom makes a very good transition to the screen. The emphasis on the visual in a horror film kind of takes away from any plot or characterization. I know there are serious fans of the genre, but I just can't be one of them.

However, I may make an exception for this "lost classic," which is apparently the very first zombie movie. (Candice, take note!) There doesn't seem to be any brain-eating in it, which suits me dandy. But it has the magnificent Bela Lugosi, only a year after his definitive performance in Dracula and long before his slow decline into Edward Wood travesties.

Most of the cast didn't sound familiar, so I did a little looking around on IMDb. I wonder if this movie should have been called "Curse of the Silver Screen" or something. None of the principals lived long and prospered.

Madge Bellamy was on the downhill side of a very prolific career as a silent film siren. She resurfaced in 1943 to stand trial for shooting the millionaire she was keeping company with. He survived, she get probation, and that was the end of her fame. She died poor and mostly forgotten, just a month before her memoirs were published.

Robert Frazer died at the age of 53 with only a string of forgettable B-films to his credit.

John Harron probably coulda been a contender. His brother's murder in 1920 catapulted him into films, and he hung around with the likes of James Cagney and Pat O'Brien, Hollywood's legendary "Irish Mafia." Johnny did well in the silents, but never got much more than bit parts in talkies. He died of spinal meningitis at the age of 36.

And we all know what happened to Bela Lugosi. The man whose Dracula makes all the others look stale, the hypnotically creepy Hungarian who could mesmerize an audience like a snake stalking a bird, ended up doing humiliating self-parodies to support both himself and his drug habit. He has the sad distinction of finishing his career with the worst movie ever made. Sic transit gloria mundi, I guess.



incidentally, there's a fascinating zombie story here. Apparently they're not just a myth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wanna be humbled?

Read this. Then rethink how much you really give God.

An Esther? Or a Daniel?

My best friend's mom pointed me to Man with a Black Hat, where David passed on an incident in the Sarah Palin tour d'awesome. It's from a pastor of some church in Ohio, who had an encounter with her in Cincinnati:
As he [McCain] moved to my right, Sarah Palin came over to my left side … standing over the crowd and then looking at the little lady who had lost the son. It took a moment for her to shake some hands and people were pushing in all around. Sarah came and got on her hands and knees on that side of the stage and hugged that little mom, telling her, “It was not in vain.” She promised her support.

It was at this moment Sarah Palin reached out for me to help her up, and as I was assisting her to stand, I was now face-to-face with her, and God said, “Open up your mouth and I will fill it.”

Here is what came out:

“God wants you to know that you are a present-day Esther!”

[She immediately began to cry!]

“God wants to tell you that you are chosen for such a time as this!”

“You are called, and chosen to be a leader.”

“Don't lose heart and don't fear man.”

“The news and naysayers and criticizers are going to be very hateful toward you … and in the days ahead they are going to turn up the heat … but do not fear.”

“You are a present-day Esther.” You are an Esther. You are an Esther!

Aaaaall righty, then.

I'm with David on being skeptical of private revelation. I've known too many people who were always having a "word from the Lord on their hearts," who were just as likely to have a word on their gall bladder from Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Then again, I've also known people whom God really does seem to speak through. Whether this guy is a prophet or a loon is kind of irrelevant, though, if what he's saying is true. The two aren't always mutually exclusive.

The pastor seems pretty compos mentis, more or less like any other charismatic Protestant. Like David, I'm familiar with them, and they don't seem weird to me. You just have to speak the language. For the same reason, I don't have too much problem with Fatima and Lourdes. To be a Christian requires a belief in the possibility of miracles. Whether a particular one occurred or not doesn't change that.

I'm also a little reluctant to call the lovely Sarah a present-day Esther. There is no secret plot to eradicate Christians from the planet. (At least not a human one; Satan hasn't given up yet.) The parallel doesn't stand up very far. I suspect the good pastor latched onto Esther because she was a woman. But as feminine as Sarah clearly is, she's not approaching office in a traditionally womanly role.

From where I sit, she's more of a Daniel. Daniel didn't have to save his people from overt destruction. They weren't endangered, just a minority overwhelmed by evil rulers. What Daniel did was legitimize virtue by example. He didn't get into authority through godliness; the Babylonians weren't terribly impressed with Jewish spirituality. He got there through sheer competence and honesty. Daniel's enemies had to go to some pretty ridiculous lengths to discredit him, because there wasn't anything legitimate to nail him with. His heroism wasn't as much in what he did as in who he was. He was proof that it was possible to remain true to God and still survive in Babylon. Because of guys like Daniel, the Jews managed not to be absorbed the way the other ten tribes seem to have been.

That's where I see Sarah Palin, win or lose. If McCain wins, she rides into office along with him, maintaining a social-conservative presence in the government. If Obama wins, she's still blazed a trail for women in politics. Never again will it be taken for granted that being pro-life and pro-traditional-marriage disqualifies a woman from being a feminist. (Let the uterofascists howl as they may; they still can't stuff the genie back into the bottle.)

Sarah Palin isn't likely to save us all from destruction. But then, she doesn't need to. All she had to do to win the victory was show up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For Wharf Rat

When she was smaller, we used to do a lot of driving in a truck without a radio. So we built up quite a repertoire of "car songs," ones we could belt out over the defective muffler to keep fatigue and boredom away.

A while back I made her a CD of as many of those as I could find, but her favorite wasn't on it. Thankfully, the blogosphere contains High-Falutin' Newton, who enabled me to rectify that. Out of his vasty deep collection of Western Swing, here's "I'll be Hanged if They're Gonna Hang Me" by the Tune Wranglers:



I can almost smell the oil-laden exhaust from my old truck just hearing it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hey!

Whoever came here from Centerville, leave a comment if you come back by! Or if you're someone who knows me, e-mail me at jbmartin (at) nwi (dot) net. I'm curious to know who in that excellent-but-teeny town is reading this blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

JIb Jab on the candidates

I couldn't play this direct on the site, so I'm trying it on here.

Gay brownshirts protecting society from bigots...

... who show their hatred by participating in the political process as though they had rights. Notice where the story places the blame. Hint: it's not the perpetrators. If those religious fanatics had kept their mouths shut, those poor homosexuals wouldn't have been forced to such extremes.

I expect to see more of this sort of harassment regardless of who wins on November 4. If it's Obama, these earwigs will have the blessing of the government. If it's McCain, they'll be so angry that every traditionalist will be a target. Kind of like burning down the synagogue when the harvest fails. And in blue areas, don't count on the police to be on your side.

Meanwhile, Orson Scott Card offers some possible solutions.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am. Are you?



From Iowahawk:
If it's meta-memes and meta-meta-narratives these media headlice want, so be it. I hope you will join me in expressing a simple bit of solidarity with this guy, Spartacus style. I AM JOE. I am a Wal Mart schlub in flyover country who changes my own oil and unclogs drains without a license. I smoke and drink beer and toss the football in the front yard with my kid, and I figure I can fend my way without handouts from some Magic Messiah's candy bags. Most everyone in my family and most everyone I grew up with is another Joe, and if you screw with them, you screw with me.

Are you a Joe? Say it proud. Leave it on every goddamn newspaper comment section and online forum. Let these pressroom and online thugs know you won't stay silent when they try to destroy the life of a private citizen for speaking his mind -- because for every one of them, there are a million Joe Wurzelbachers. And for that we should all be thankful.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What we have to look forward to

The Wall Street Journal has a chilling look into the future under an Obama regime. I'm embarrassed that it hadn't occurred to me before that with both houses overwhelmingly Democratic, this election will probably eliminate the last check on left-wing power. There are a number of things to be worried about, but what scares me the most is the effect on free speech.
- Free speech and voting rights. A liberal supermajority would move quickly to impose procedural advantages that could cement Democratic rule for years to come. One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls. The District of Columbia would also get votes in Congress -- Democratic, naturally.

Felons may also get the right to vote nationwide, while the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition.

Now, it's possible that once Obama is elected, he'll lay off the brownshirt tactics against his critics. I'm not betting on it, however. Once he's in power, he'll have to stay there, and to consolidate it for his successors. Expect to see something like the blogger lawsuits happening in Canada against Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle, et. al. on the one hand, and FCC licenses being pulled from radio stations that air conservative talk shows on the other. The Internet as a whole is beyond effective regulation, but it's possible to make it too expensive for the opposition to speak.

Two other things that the article doesn't mention:
Free exercise of religion: The top priorities on the Democratic agenda are gay marriage and abortion. Now, I know it's not a popular stance for a Christian to take, but I really don't care all that much if the secular government wants to recognize homosexual unions. Other people's love lives aren't really my problem. Nor do I care who wants to share community property with whom, or designate whom as an insurance beneficiary, or any of that. Those are a matter for secular law, not religions to which the principals don't belong anyway. (I think it'd be less hypocritical if the state also recognized polygamous marriages on the same principle, but the polygamy lobby isn't as popular, so it ain't a-gonna happen.)

What I have a problem with is being required to consider those unions a marriage. I don't care if other people do, but my religion defines pretty carefully what is and isn't a marriage, and it's my right to adhere to that. It's also the right of religious institutions to determine whom they do or don't consider married.

This is not a minor matter. Churches that employ paid staff often have a lifestyle requirement that mandates that employees will not violate the teachings of that church. So do church-run schools and universities. When I went to Warner Pacific College in the early 90s, I had to sign an agreement that I would not drink, smoke, attend dances or fornicate. Those things were contrary to the Church of God, Anderson Indiana, which ran the school. (Or as we called it, Church of the Holy Hoosier.) Whether I considered them a sin was irrelevant. It is a church's right to require that both members and employees conform to certain standards of behavior. You don't like that, go to a secular school or work for a secular business.

My church, for instance, doesn't consider anybody married who has been divorced from a still-living spouse. Undoubtedly there are cases where the Catholic Church extends the benefits of marriage - employment or insurance, say - to people whose marriages are invalid under canon law, but there's a difference. A heterosexual marriage, even if invalidly contracted, is capable of being made valid. The ex-spouse could die, or the original marriage could be declared null, or something. For all the Church knows, the couple that was invalidly married last week could be convalidated tomorrow. The couple can be treated as married because there is no definitive proof that they are not. (Yes, I'm oversimplifying it, but bear with me.)

A homosexual marriage, by definition, cannot be valid under Church law. No matter what the circumstances, two people of the same sex are not married in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Period. Does anybody really believe that a completely Democratic government will respect the rights of churches in this? Couple the current trend of mandatory approval with suppression of free speech, and I don't foresee much hope for the right to dissent. As St. Jack said, they'll tell you that you can have your religion in private, and then they'll make sure you're never alone.

I don't have time to get into how an unchecked Democratic regime will affect the abortocaust, but that one scares me even more. To be continued...

See what happens?

Never, ever question The One™:
Real plumbers don't like Joe. Or at least the ones supporting Democrat Barack Obama.

About 100 union plumbers from a Boston-based local plan to knock on union members' doors Saturday in Portsmouth, N.H., and "Joe the Plumber" is certain to be a topic of conversation, said Kevin L. Cotter, business manager of Local 12 Plumbers and Gasfitters union...

"He's impersonating a plumber," Cotter said, referring to Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio man who confronted Obama about his tax plans and who became a media celebrity after John McCain repeatedly referred to him during the presidential debate Wednesday night.

Wurzelbacher, however, has paid a price for his moments of fame; news media reports have said he does not hold a plumber's license, has been hit with a tax lien, and would probably qualify for a tax cut under Obama's campaign proposal.

"We will definitely be talking about 'Joe the Plumber,' " said Cotter, whose international union was the first to endorse Obama during his run for the Democratic nomination.

Joe's mistake was asking the Obamessiah a question at a rally that he couldn't answer. In retaliation, he's now being investigated by the state for working without a license (which he apparently doesn't need) and his tax problems are being spread all over the front page. He'll probably lose his home and his livelihood, and I wouldn't be surprised if his boss has to go out of business as well. Because Joe asked questions.

Moral of the story: Support Obama or keep your mouth shut. Or it will be shut for you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And they call this justice?

Let me get this straight. Kevin Coe was convicted of one count of rape and sentenced to 25 years. He served the entire sentence. No parole, no good behavior, no nothing. He wouldn't seek parole because he still maintained his innocence. (There do seem to be some holes in the conviction, and it's the only one that stuck out of some 43 that he was accused of.)

Upon finishing his time, he was brought to court, re-tried, and sentenced, in effect, to life for the same crime. How, other than as a technicality, does this differ from double jeopardy? You can't take a man who has fulfilled his obligation and say, "Well, we've thought it over, and we don't think the original sentence was enough. Back you go." If he has an obligation to serve his sentence, the state has an obligation to let him go free when he's done.

The rationale behind the "civil commitment" is that a man convicted of a sex crime is likely to reoffend, so they'll keep treating him until he's not a danger. It's kind of a pre-em So in essence, Coe has been convicted of crimes that have never even been committed.

Are we still in America, or not?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lower that Cascade Curtain!

Ran across this map today showing the primary vote tallies for Gov. Rossi vs. Christina Gregoire in the Washington primary. If you add up the numbers from all the red and pink (pro-Rossi) counties, they total up to 80,077, or about 7,000 less than King County. Unless Thurston County/Olympia turns red (and the devil will ice-skate the same day), there is no way the rest of Washington can win an election against Seattle. (Even without the cheating.) No matter whom we elect, King County will always have an effective veto.

Eastern Washington needs to secede and form its own state. I'd rather be another West Virginia than be Seattle's bitch. Are there any other brownsider bloggers with me on this?

The young and the clueless

Something the Barking Spider said triggered kind of an embarrassing memory.

The first time I lived on my own, I was 20 years old and had just moved to Portland. Being new to big-city life, I hadn't gotten out of the habit of picking up hitchhikers. (Of all the myriad times I did, BTW, I never, ever had one that was anything but polite and grateful. In retrospect, I'm a little surprised I never got carjacked. Then again, with my car, what would have been the point?)

I was driving to work one early afternoon, going up 20th toward Belmont (quiet, mostly residential neighborhood), when I saw a woman a few years older than me with her thumb out. Naturally, I pulled over and let her in.

"Where can I drop you?" I asked.

"Well, actually, I'm working."

Did I mention that I was naive? And a hick?

"That's okay, I've got time. Where do you work? I can drop you off."

"No," she said patiently. "I mean I'm working."

Now the little light bulb came on over my head. Even I knew what that meant.

"Ah. I see." Blushing furiously. "Well, I'm not hiring, so maybe I'd better let you get on with it."

I let her out at the next corner. She was really tickled and more than a bit surprised that I had taken her at face value. Thanked me very kindly and waved as I drove away.

Looking back, I should have wondered why she would be hitching at traffic going one direction while walking the opposite way down the sidewalk. But then, what did I know?

What the election boils down to


Circumstances are irrelevant. Either babies (and by extension, other human beings) are in and of themselves a good thing, or they are a bad thing. Are they valuable, or are they trash?

Choose which you believe and vote it. Everything else is secondary.

Who's being negative?

We seem to have forgotten how politicking was done in the good old days before right-wing blogs and left-wing media monopolies. You just don't picture those dignified old men in the history books pimp-slapping each other this way.

On the other hand, it seems that not-too-subtly-implied death threats were still out of bounds.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Audacity...

... of Hope Flames!
PORTLAND, Ore. - Authorities have arrested two men after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a 4-foot by 8-foot campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a southeast Portland yard.

Karen Scrutton said she was asleep inside her home at 7956 S.E. 17th Ave. in the Sellwood neighborhood when she saw her sign go up in flames after 1 a.m.

"I screamed upstairs to my husband, 'Gene! Gene!" she said.

A neighbor heard a crash and chased off one of the suspects. Gene Scrutton said his son-in-law found another suspect not far away.

Coincidentally, I lived several years just three blocks away from this house. Lovely neighborhood, when it's not being attacked by Molotov-cocktail-throwing thugs.

Feel the rage!

Hate and anger from McCain/Palin supporters:
At Clearwater, Gov. Palin lathered up the crowd herself. "You're going to have to hang on to your hats," Palin told the rally, according to The Washington Post, "because from now until Election Day it may get kind of rough." Linking Sen. Obama to a reformed radical of the '60s, Palin shrieked her signature smut line, "he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

"Kill him!" a man in the crowd reportedly responded to Palin's rabble-rousing. Her related attacks on the media had already whipped a frenzy among the crowd of about 3,000. Tempers rose to a boil when she blamed Katie Couric's questions for tripping her up as a seeming dimwit. The Post wrote, "Palin supporters turned on reporters ... waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. ... One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African-American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

As with McCain's fingering of Obama as "that one," in the last debate, supporters dismiss a white Southerner calling a black man a "boy," as mere words. Perhaps so, but, given the nation's sad, racial history, such language still elicits ire.

"Let's get it on" seems to be Palin's campaign refrain. "It's about time the pit bull got loose," the Post quoted Ken Gow, a 47-year-old police officer who was among the more than 10,000 people at a rally in Carson, Calif.

Compare the reasoned political discourse from Obama's supporters. (I'm not going to try to quote it all; follow the links Michelle has collected.)

How vicious does the left have to get before they're held to the same standard as the right?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Could sure use some prayers

So Christina made our house payment last week, and the mortgage company waited five days to process the payment. During which time we bought frivolities like groceries and gas. Wen they finally put the payment through, it bounced. The upshot is that, as a result of their incompetence, they're threatening intending to take our house if we can't make three payments by the fifth of November. We were out of the woods until today. I'm so pissed I can't even see straight.

Prayers gratefully accepted.

Addendum: I don't think it's an accident that the Internet Monk posted this today. We needed to be reminded.

Huge surprise

So apparently the Obamessiah doesn't just stand for the worthlessness of human life, but it turns out he's also crooked as a dog's hind leg.

A Chicago Democrat? Who'd'a thunk?

Meanwhile, as you can see, the respectable news organizations are all over this story, way ahead of the conservative pundits. Right? Yeah, right.