Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why reading is important

This poor kid not only made an embarrassing mistake, but now it's all over the Internet. I'm a really cruel person for spreading it further. So be it. If it saves just one teenage boy from the same fate...

For what it's worth, I wouldn't have understood what it was either, at his age.

Akubra tip to SondraK.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DC to Catholic Church: You're our bitch!

You'll violate your most basic moral tenets and like it!

I'm impressed by Wizbang's good sense. He's not a fan of the Catholic Church, and in fact he thinks we're wrong on most of the issues. But he still has a high regard for the First Amendment, which is increasingly being interpreted to mean "everyone but Catholics." [Emphases below mine.]
Critics are denouncing the Church (as is their wont), saying that the Church must be bluffing, that the Church is overreacting, that the Church is being hypocritical because it hasn't made the same threats in other places where gay marriage has passed, and it's all a big to-do about nothing, because the law explicitly says the Church doesn't have to perform gay marriages if it doesn't want to.

They're right on that last point. They're wrong on every single other one.

First up, the Church doesn't bluff. There may be a surface resemblance between the Church's move and the typical move of politicians facing budget cuts -- make the cuts in the most visible, most popular, most needed areas first -- but that's where it ends. The Church does NOT use the poor as hostages for imposing its social agenda.

Next, the Church is not overreacting. While the gay marriage aspect is the most attention-grabbing aspect, it is the other elements that are most offensive to Catholic doctrine -- and most directly threatening to the Church. The Church does NOT sanction or assist in gay marriage, does NOT offer "same-sex benefits" to employees, and does NOT recognize same-sex relationships as equal to opposite-sex ones. Under the proposed law, they would have to yield on each of those points...

The Church has its beliefs. It has its tenets and its principles. It has decided which are the most important ones, and has rediscovered its spine. It has drawn the line in the sand -- society can go to Hell if it wishes, but the Church will not aid and abet in the process.

On this, they will not bend. If that means that they will no longer help in the adoption process in Massachusetts, so be it. If that means they have to completely shut down their charitable works in the District of Columbia, so be it.

And as they've said in the past, if hospitals end up required to perform abortions on demand, they will shut down every single Catholic hospital in the country.

Now that is a bluff we dare not call -- Catholic hospitals represent 12.7% of all hospitals in the United States and 15% of all hospital beds. And the Church clarifies that threat -- they simply won't sell them off, but shut them down and, if necessary, tear them down. They will be morally obliged to make certain those hospitals are never used to perform abortions.

Look, people: the Church has said for years that it will not do certain things. The government says, "You may not provide services unless you do those things," and then feigns surprise when the Church says, "Very well, we accept your conditions and will cease to provide services."

It says something about both Church and state that the Church continues to meet the needs, without gain for itself, of people who despise it. Simply because it loves them. And that the state takes our love so much for granted as to try to force us to obey them with the threat of preventing us.

Hey, feminists! You ain't woman enough to be Sarah Palin

Victor Davis Hanson on why feminists hate the lovely Sarah so furiously:
Her success as an independent female, who was an up-from-the-bootstraps small-town council member, mayor, state regulator and governor, is antithetical to doctrinaire feminism. The latter devolved into a political and grievance-based creed. It is often whiny, and increasingly dominated by single, childless shrill elites. Many try to equate their own unhappiness in matters of family and sex into some sort of cosmic complaint against male patriarchy - as a way of leveraging influence, access, money, and power or simply justifying now regrettable life choices made in their 20’s and 30’s.

Feminism is not about ensuring that Dorothy at K-Mart is not fired because she is female. It is more about an upper-middle-class Dedi Wilson-Reynolds getting to the top of the university food chain, law firm, or government bureaucracy, on the assumption that her gender deserves compensation, in the manner of being non-white or foreign-born or non-Christian.

In such a climate, here comes snazzy, breezy, winking Sarah—happy, good-looking, a mom, and in no need of a rich husband or well-connected dad (in the manner of her critics like a Andrea Mitchell, Sally Quinn, Nancy Pelosi, etc). She inherently exposes feminism as a liberal advocacy movement rather than a bipartisan effort to ensure equal opportunity for women in the workplace and society at large.

Preach it, Victor! Let's face it, Sarah Palin is exactly the kind of woman that feminism purports to produce: capable of thriving alongside men without becoming mannish. Most of her detractors are not capable of that, and so they pretend that it's somehow an undesirable thing. Moreover, she is not grossed out at the idea of being a wife and mother, nor is she rendered subservient by the compromises any married person has to make. Most professional feminists find something demeaning in changing diapers or sharing the housework. In fact, it requires a strength and will that they secretly envy, and once in a while, they'll admit it.

And here's another take on the same phenomenon, using one of my favorite books as an analogy. This is true, too. I've run across intellectual snobbery often enough. And it's nothing more than that. One of the smartest men I ever knew was a high-school dropout who got his education as a Navy SeaBee, at the University of Being-Shot-At-By-Angry-Southeast-Asians. On the other side of the coin, I've known a fair number of people who were (as the great Jerry Clower would have said), "educated far beyond their intelligence." Often enough, a degree is simply a certificate demonstrating that the holder had enough leisure time to pursue it.

Book-larnin' is easy to acquire (besides the hard sciences, that is; those are another matter). But Sarah's knowledge is earned, which is what the chattering classes despise her for. As far as I'm concerned, if you can't change your own oil, you're not smart enough to sneer at Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Could you describe the ruckus, sir?

Jim at Obscure Store is dead-on: this guy does look like the sort who would throw darts at bar patrons. And defile the parking lot.

What goes on in Florida, anyway? Have they overtaken California as America's weirdo hive?

I needed this

It's been the week from hell at the Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™ and it's only Wednesday. Nothing unusual; the beginning of the Christmas retail season is always a nightmare. So it's really refreshing to have an actual chuckle to offset the death's head grin that has become my customary expression.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bring it on!

Here I thought Paul had ignored my challenge, and it turns out his comment disappeared somewhere into the bowels of Haloscan. He writes:
"I accept your challenge, and look forward to finally seeing all your boys... because you'll be the one singing."

With the dismal season my beloved Cougs have been having so far, I'm afraid he may be right.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hey Spider!

Are you hogging all the brain cells in Tampa, or what?

A perfect story for Veterans' Day

Say what you want about American criminals, some of them still remember that they're Americans:
A Milwaukee Army reservist's military identification earned him some street cred Tuesday, when he says four men who mugged him at gunpoint returned his belongings and thanked him for his service after finding the ID.

The 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student said he was walking home from work about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday when he was pulled into an alley and told to lay face down and with a gun to his neck. Four men took his wallet, $16, keys, his cell phone and even a PowerBar wrapper from his pants pockets, he said.

But the hostile tone quickly changed when one of the robbers, whom the reservist presumed was the leader, saw an Army ID in the wallet. The robber told the others to return the items and they put most of his belongings on the ground next to him, including the wrapper, the reservist said.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Knock that off, fetuses!

You're just blobs of tissue! You're not supposed to be able to do that! Stop impersonating human beings this minute!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Throwing the Apple Cup gauntlet

My friend Pastor Paul and I are separated by an irreconcilable difference. Not a theological one; that whole Luther business pales in comparison to the real division. And it's not because he was raised on the west side of the state. Why, some of my best friends are Coasties. No, the problem is that Paul, in his benighted wrongheadedness, is a Husky fan. (Spit, curse!)

I issued a challenge to him last year at Apple Cup time, but he begged off, pleading insufficient time. So here it is again, in plenty of time for the November 28 game:

The day after the confrontation between UW and the Holy Cougars, the supporter of the losing team will post video footage on his blog of himself and all male household members performing "I'm a Little Teapot."

There you go, Paul. The challenge is public; the gauntlet is thrown. You have oodles of time to acquire a camera or a cell phone or something. No excuses this year.

Or are ya... chicken?

Sunny day... sweepin' the clouds away...

Sesame Street turns 40 today, as anyone knows who pulled up Google this morning.

I grew up with the show. My kids did too. If my grandson can't sing the theme music to "Elmo's World" by now, I'll be very surprised. It's as much a staple of American childhood as Cap'n Crunch and Tonka trucks.

So here's one of my favorite clips form the show. I'm not sure of the date, but it doesn't really matter. Sesame Street's weirdness was kind of timeless.

Election Day

Okey-dokey. Election day is over and I've done my civic duty. This being Washington, I was tempted to write "Democrat votes inside - do not destroy" on the ballot envelope before it went to Olympia. But since it came from Grant County, I figured nobody would believe me. Maybe it'll get through anyhow.

I'm watching the AP wire to see what Washington results go up today, but because Washington has all-mail voting, it'll be a couple of weeks before everything is certain. The big race in the state was the referendum on the domestic partnership law. Unsurprisingly, it passed overwhelmingly in Seattle and is almost neck-and-neck across the rest of the state. Since the rural counties are likely to be the last to come in, it could still fail.

Yes, I voted for it. Thing is, it's a fair law. There is no reason why the government should be dictating what is and isn't a valid marriage. That's a religious matter. The DP law doesn't force anyone to recognize as a marriage, something that by definition cannot be one. I voted for it even though it benefits mostly people who tried to prevent me from being able to vote.

I tell you three times, if the DP law fails, it'll be because the homo-guerrillas shot themselves in the foot. The same sort of people who are likely to believe in traditional marriage are exactly the sort of people who are unlikely to roll over to threats. Most people don't have any problem with homosexuals in general; as I've said before, a traditional definition of marriage isn't the same as hate. I don't know anyone who would pull the same sort of stunt on a gay person that the gay brownshirts pulled in Massachusetts (see the post below). They justify these things with the canard that we would do it to them if the situation were reversed. And yet, we don't. We leave them alone, and they keep refusing to do the same. You want enemies? Okay, you got 'em.

I signed the petition to get the referendum on the ballot specifically because of sites like whosigned.org and knowthyneighbor.org. I'm a little disappointed that the Supreme Court has blocked the release of the signers' names, partly because the law is the law, and partly because I wanted these assferrets to know how much contempt I hold them in.

So in case any homobigots are reading this, my name is Joel Martin. I'm in Moses Lake, Washington. I signed the petition. My home address is readily available. I don't fear for my job because my employers are too sensible to be bullied. I don't keep a firearm in the house because I have small children, but I'm a pretty good hand with a tire iron and I have no problem with getting bloodstains on your lovely new party frock. Come to town and flop one painted toenail across my property line, and we'll discuss politics over your feeding tube.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Another good idea ruined by gay brownshirts

I was going to vote in favor of the Domestic Partnership law, because, frankly, I think it's fair. It ought to be possible to designate another person, be it a beddy-buddy or just a roommate, as a beneficiary for government purposes without having to designate it as a marriage.

But I'm beginning to think I was wrong. Even if this particular law is reasonable, I don't think there's any doubt that the gay lobby wants to use it as leverage to force the rest of us to bend to their will.

Case in point:
As Peter described the incident [video at link], he came to work on August 10 and began his day normally. A female manager from another store was in the store and began talking to Peter about her upcoming marriage. When Peter asked “where is he taking you for the honeymoon,” she corrected him and said she was not getting married to "he" but to another woman.

Peter did not immediately react, but when the manager sensed Peter’s discomfort with the subject of same-sex “marriage”, the woman apparently continued bringing it up to Peter throughout the day, reiterating that she was getting married to another woman. Finally, after the fourth or fifth time she brought it up, Peter remarked that his Christian beliefs did not accept same-sex marriage. At that point the woman became very angry and bluntly told Peter that he needed to “get over it” and said that she would be immediately contacting the Human Resources department.

A few hours later Peter was notified by a Human Resources representative that he was suspended from work without pay, effective immediately. Two days later, on August 12, after some further interaction with the Human Resources department, he was formally notified that he was terminated from the company.

That is the sort of thing that could very easily happen in the People's Republic of Washington. These people don't want tolerance or equality. They want to enforce approval and forbid dissident thought. The Greek Chorus is very clear on that point.

If it's just going to be used as a vehicle to religious discrimination, then I think I'd better vote against it. I'm not giving up my constitutional rights, especially in order to create a new right for the very people who want to take them away.