Monday, August 10, 2015

So hands off that gearshift, mister!

Spotted while "touring" Britain on Geoguessr:

Using Google Street View's whiz-bang time machine thingy, it looks like it's been that way at least since 2008. Really on the ol' stick there in Worcester, aren't we? (So to speak.)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trust no fox in the green meadow...

... and no Christian on the Internet.

It’s funny, when I first started this blog, it was an outgrowth of apologetics discussions I’d been having with Protestants, especially Calvinists, like Tim Challies and the Bayly Brothers. The hostility level usually stayed low, but it was really clear that they and I weren’t singing out of the same hymnal, so to speak.

The times, they are a’changin’. Today I almost never get into arguments with Protestants. In fact, my best friend’s mother, a Fundamentalist whom I would have expected to find firmly in the Pope-as-Antichrist camp, frequently sends me links about Catholic things that she’s really impressed by.

Say what you will about militant atheists, they’ve caused the various Christian sects to bury the hatchet, and not between some heretic’s shoulder blades. Those people despise us all equally. The more ignorant they are, the more vitriolic their denunciations. I don't know for certain that all of them are atheists by philosophy; some may just be jackasses who get off on the idea that they're somebody's moral and intellectual superior. Sort of like they accuse us of being, but for real.

It’s not all that far from this:

to this:

Go check out the originals here and here, if you’re strong of stomach. Streicher and Betty Bowers could probably find a lot to talk about.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A few thoughts, and jolly well about time, too

Note: I have no idea what to do about the font on this post. I messed it up and nothing seems to put it right. Sorry for the dissonance.

In another month and a half, it’ll be a year since my last post. I’m durned if I’ll allow my blog to go to seed that long, so it’s about time I put some thoughts into pixels. In no particular order:

1. My posting hiatuses (hiati?) seem to coincide with a change in my ADD medication. I’m back on my old drugs now and I have a feeling my ability to write will return along with it.

2. My job situation went on a roller coaster ride last winter. I won’t go into details – I make it a policy not to talk about work anyplace I can get dooced – but the upshot is that I’m back at the Greatest Paper in the Northwest™ doing page layout and copy editing. I’m not complaining about that part; I like the work and I’m good at it. It’s just the ride there that left me feeling slapped around like a white-trash housewife the morning after payday. I’m working evenings, which is proving an adventure for my Lovely and Brilliant Wife as well as the three HFA kids she wrangles into bed every night while I’m gone.

3. I’ve become addicted to GeoGuessr. It makes my inner map geek turn cartwheels. Basically, it plunks you down somewhere in the world on Google Street View and you have to work out your location from signs and other externals. I find the USA and UK versions fun for idle amusement, but some of the other maps pack a real challenge. (Have you ever tried to get your bearings in the middle of the Russian steppe or the Brazilian highlands?) There are no actual rules about looking things up but I limit myself to having Google Maps open in a second tab so I have a larger area to look at. Not for everybody, maybe, but I love it. It’s kind of fun seeing all these places I would never have sought out on my own.

4. The Grille from Ipanema in Coeur d’Alene is fantastic. Yummiest Brazilian barbecue I ever threw a lip over.  I recommend it highly. My only regret is that they don’t serve Xingu.

5. I have another grandbaby. Drama Queen and her husband presented me with an adorable granddaughter in November. Okay, technically she’s their baby, but I think of them as merely her caretakers when I’m not playing with her. Seriously, take a look. Is this not hyperconcentrated cuteness?

6. I also lost my last grandparent, my grandmother, last month. She was 94. We had her memorial on what would have been her and Grandpa’s 75th anniversary. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

7. Covarr just got word that he has a role in the Masquers Theatre’s upcoming musical.

8. I hate wildfire season in central Washington. Not just because of the smoky air and the people losing their homes, but because there’s nothing but fire photos to put on the front page, and there are only so many things you can do with them. It’s like trying to find ways to make tuna casserole new every meal.

9. I think I need to post my political stuff here more rather than Facebook. I’ve had several people unfriend me over political stuff. I really don’t understand people who do that.

10. We took the kids on a family vacation this summer for the first time in five years. Went to the Cannon Beach Conference Center and then down to see the in-laws in California. The drive home was 16 hours. My butt is permanently shaped like a minivan seat.

11. Still waiting for SSI to kick in. The kids qualify and the functionaries we talk to keep assuring us it’ll be any time now, but we haven’t seen any money yet and some bills are starting to stack up. If I have any readers left, some prayers would be appreciated.

12. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife has taken up art and is beginning to post some of her creations on her blog. Amble over and take a look and let her know if you see anything you like. Yes, it’s for sale as soon as she gets set up to make prints.

13. I hate Caps Lock. Even though I use it every day. I especially hate retyping entire paragraphs because I forgot I had it on. Grr.

14. I still have my comments prior to 2012 exported from the now-defunct Haloscan system, but I haven’t figured out how to import them.

15. My ten-year blogiversary was in April, and I totally missed it. Yay me, I guess.

16. God continues to be good, the Catholic Church continues to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and I continue to be a mediocre Christian at best.

Now to tidy up the sidebar and fix the kids’ ages. And we’re back in the Blogosphere!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sort of a 9/11 post

Everybody's posting their 9/11 reminiscences today. Most people seem to have watched the whole thing on TV and wept or stood in shock. Oddly enough, I didn't. I had no idea anything was amiss until I got to work and saw my co-workers huddled around the radio. As it became clear that this was big, my first thought was "I hope Mary [my editor who was in D.C. for a visit] got some good photos."  Then the enormity of the whole thing struck me.

Such is the thought process of a newspaperman. And that day, our little afternoon daily actually scooped the big metro papers that had all gone to press before the attack. We were on the other side of the country, not any sort of a target for even the most hateful enemy. What are they going to do, terrorize our potato fields?

So I don't have a lot of memorial stuff. What I do have is a snippet of a column by Dorothy Rabinowitz that reminds me why America is worth preserving:

There are other faces of Muslim America. Five years or so after the terrorists drove their planes and passengers into the twin towers and the Pentagon, a cab driver from Pakistan remarked, as we drove past the rubble where the towers had stood, that he could never pass this place without trying to see them again in his mind. A painful effort, for all that it brought back. What was not painful, he added, was the memory of certain people in his neighborhood—a mixed but mostly white area of Queens, with many Italian-Americans, some Jews, and he thought some Irish. After the attacks, some of the men had come to him.

"My wife doesn't go out without a head cover," he explained. The men had come to tell him that if anyone bothered her, or his family, he must come to them.

"I must tell them and must not be afraid. Do you know," he said, in a voice suddenly sharp, "what would have happened if Americans had done this kind of attack in my country? Every American—every Christian, every non-Muslim—would have been slaughtered, blood would have run in the streets. I know the kind of country this is. Thanks be to God I can give this to my children."
Thanks be to God indeed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday, May 09, 2014

If Jonathan Edwards were a feminist nutcase

I mean, seriously, doesn't this have the same cadence as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?
Men, homo rapiens, you scum, you filth. There is no word to describe the extent of your evil, you are pure evil, pure lechery. I hate you, how I hate you. In the 250,000 years of your rotten, defunct existence, you have managed to kill 5 million years of life on earth...
Whew! I'd beg for mercy, if only it were possible for a homo rapiens wretch like me. RTWT, if only for an appreciation of the sheer artistry of the rant. I've known plenty of Fundamentalist preachers who couldn't approach that level of pulpit-chewing, mouth-foaming intensity. (No disrespect to Fundamentalists intended.)

This, incidentally, is the same womyn-spirit who wrote the roundly-mocked screed about how all sex (at least, any that could possibly fulfill its natural function) was rape. Go ahead and read that one if you like, but you'll want to take a shower afterward.

Akubra tip to V the K.

Monday, March 10, 2014

You gotta know when to hold 'em...

...know when to fold 'em, and most importantly, know when to stagger away from the table and vomit in the alley before your buddies can come up with a bet like this.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Of bakers, sociopaths and brownshirts

On the religious freedom/anti-harassment bill in Arizona, V the K at Gay Patriot writes:
There are several personality traits that define a sociopath. Some of the key ones are: Superficial charm, Untruthfulness and insincerity, Lack of remorse and shame, and Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love,
A sociopath is not led by facts and reason to a conclusion; they are not relevant, only the conclusion is relevant. The sociopath wants what he wants. Often, what he wants is ego gratification through forcing others to capitulate.
You can’t argue with sociopaths. They don’t care about reason, or liberty, or freedom. They only care about getting their way; which in this case means forcing Christians to bake cakes and arrange flowers for gays. Because that will mean that they win and Christians lose, and that’s all that matters; the Power. And they know that their fellow sociopaths in politics, business, the media, and the courts… career fields that reward and celebrate sociopathic behavior… will be only too happy to grant them that power.
Normal, reasonable people are capable of getting along without constantly having to stir sh-t up. But Drama Queens (which, when you think about it, is just another word for sociopath) love stirring sh-t up and turn people against each other for their benefit and amusement.

Before I get into the main topic, let me first say that the next person who uses the phrase "Jim Crow" will be clopped upside the head with a history book. Jim Crow laws prohibited merchants from serving customers across the color line. They were a restriction on the freedoms of business owners, closer in intent to the "civil rights" legislation currently in place than to this attempt to mitigate their coercive nature.

Most opponents of this bill probably know only what they hear in the news, which is to say, nothing. The bill does not allow businesses carte blanche to deny service to gay people. No restaurant, no cab driver, is going to be permitted to turn away a gay customer. Even the baker and the florist cannot refuse to make a cake or arrange flowers for gay people simply because they're gay. All it does is close a loophole in existing law, to extend to religious believers the same protection from punishment by individuals that they already have from punishment by government.

Now to the meat of it. What kind of person opposes that protection? The word "sociopath" is a strong one, not to be used lightly.
In other states that have no protections, it has become a trend for gay customers to approach, say, bakers who feature their Christianity prominently in their advertising,  and order a wedding cake. The baker refuses politely, explaining that his religion forbids him to participate in blasphemy, and refers the customer to another bakery. The gay people take their wounded feelings first to court, where they bankrupt the baker, and then to the news media, where they all join in a chorus of "Ooh, those awful Jesus Freaks!" In the meantime, some other baker has made them a cake for free by way of consolation.

Here's where sociopathy comes in. If the stated purpose is true, that the goal is to buy a wedding cake, there are plenty of bakers out there to choose from. The customer has the choice of buying from one of the many who do want his business, or the one that doesn't. He chooses the unwilling one. At this point, it's not just about the cake, but about getting the cake by force. When a man does this with sex, we call him a rapist. When it's commerce, he's hailed as a courageous activist. At bottom, they're both sociopaths.

But I doubt very much that the cake is the issue. The issue is whether people who are different may be left alone, or must be ostracized and punished. Targeting a small minority – and Christians with this scruple are a minority – in order to put them out of business is (pace Godwin's Law) the same method used in pre-Holocaust Germany, albeit on an individual basis rather than a wholesale one. The law is merely the cudgel with which to beat the undesirable people. And the people who engage in it are still brownshirts, whether they display swastikas or rainbow bumper stickers.

A sociopath wants to harm people to feel powerful. A brownshirt wants to harm people because he hates them personally. Two different kinds of two-legged vermin.