Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Tuesday, 28 August 2007 panics.

Aaleena has commentary.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 21:57:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] | #

You poor thing.  I'm not going to put the You Tube Video up here, because people can see it all over the internet.

Sorry you had to find out the hard way that no amount of preperation can 100% protect you from panic brain.

I'd feel really badly for you, except this is one blip on the radar and if you go on to do other things, people will forget all about it.

Fill the rest of your life with acomplishments and important work.

I'd feel worse for you, but you're young and beautiful and probably have an adoring family and the scholarship for winning your State pagent probably has you pretty well set up, and being jealous gets in the way of a lot of my sympathy.

Anyway, chin up and please don't let this moment define the rest of your life, because that would be really stupid.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 21:22:38 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Here's an article talking about a legal arraingement in France some 600 years ago that was used to formalize a family relationship between people who were either related or unrelated, making them a household.  It could also have involved same sex romantic couples.

Of couse, anyone who hates the idea of same-sex romantic relationships having any legal standing will either claim the research has been faked, or simply dimiss it as French.

Personally, I don't find it surprising.  We know for a fact that other cultures had social/political/civil structures that accomidated such relationships.  And to be sure, there are non-sexual reasons why people who are not married might want or need to form a household...especially in such time when society had fewer built-in stabalizing forces such as we have now.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 09:29:18 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Just let them have the damned papers already.


Yes, it's a fishing expidition.  Yes, even if you haven't done anything wrong or embarassing, they will find something that they can make into something they can use (and who really thinks you got where you are by being a saint?).


But either turn the damn papers over or drop out of the race.  Didn't you learn anything from Bill's debacle?


Stalling doesn't help Democrats.  When a Democrat does it it is seen as weak and sneaky.


When Republicans do it, it is strong and decisive.


Because of the liberal media.


If you don't address whatever it is now, people won't be tired about hearing it by election time.  If they don't have something by election time, they'll do like they did to Kerry and make something up, and it'll be too late to disprove it.


I wouldn't care how it affects you either way, but all the talk is splashing over onto any candidate whose not a Republican.


And besides, any papers about the public's business should be available to the public.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 08:52:50 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  |  | #
Monday, 27 August 2007

In a couple of weeks, my friend and Kung Fu "brother", Chris, will be heading for Iraq.

For those of you who weren't here for my Black-belt saga, Chris is the really big guy who gave me the merciless "beat down" for my sparring match at the end of my test.  Exhausted, sore, mentally and physically drained, I had to go three minutes non-stop fighting this guy who probably outweighs me by close to 100 LBS and is a good eight inches taller than me...and who does 150 mile bike races for "fun" and charity.

I could hardly lift my hands above my waist, but Chris came at me like a freightrain, and got the adrenaline going so I could not only lift my hands, but hit him hard enough to spin his head-gear around sideways once, and cave his belly in enough to make him give out a "whoofing" noise.

I don't really remember much of that fight (I was somewhere else in my head, cross-country skiing), but suffice it to say that it had the "buddy-cop" effect.

Chris is kind, good-natured, competative and generous.  He's a good man, and a good friend.  We'll all miss him, as will his wife and his German Shephard, Axel.

Good luck, Chris, keep yer head down, and thanks for serving.

Monday, 27 August 2007 18:39:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  | #

Neil at asks an excellent question:

If they think we’re so “radical,” why don’t they just use their faux majority to elect legislators to legalize partial-birth abortion and such?  Then they wouldn’t need judges to ignore their duties and make up their own laws. 

Thanks Neil!

Ignoring for the moment the confusion between interpreting the laws in line with the spirit of the Constitution and “ignor[ing] their duties and make[ing] up their own laws”…

Well, the answer is to reflect the question back to you.  If the religious right really had a lock on the sentiments of mainstream America…why would we have quotes from the leaders of your beloved movement feeling the need to say things like this:

"It's like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It's better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night. You've got two choices: You can wear cammies and shimmy along on your belly, or you can put on a red coat and stand up for everyone to see. It comes down to whether you want to be the British army in the Revolutionary War or the Viet Cong. History tells us which tactic was more effective."--Ralph Reed Los Angeles Times, 3/22/92

Or these:

With the apathy that exists today, a small, well-organized minority can influence the selection of candidates to an astonishing degree.  –Pat Robertson in The Millenium


The apathy of other Americans can become a blessing and advantage to Christians who choose to get involved and fill the void of leadership. –America’s Providential History (A popular Christian homeschooling  textbook)


"We don't have to worry about convincing a majority of Americans to agree with us.  Most of them are staying home and watching Falcon Crest." ,"  --Guy Rodgers



As a tactic for a short-run defense of the independent Christian school movement, the appeal to religious liberty is legitimate. Everyone who is attempting to impose a world-and-life view on a majority (or on a ruling minority) always uses some version of the liberty doctrine to buy himself and his movement some time, some organizational freedom, and some power. . . . So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. --- Gary North



Combined with direct mailings and telephone whisper campaigns perfected by Richard Viguerie, for example, the combination of cultivating voter apathy and then using “churches”, direct mail and other “alternative media” to motivate “the troops” has been very successful.  So successful that Viguerie couldn’t help but crow about it in a book;
America’s Right Turn
.  He calls direct mail, church voter guides, and other “alternative media” “secret weapons”.


This is probably why it is so important for them to constantly beat the drums of impending doom with regard to government.  The constant sense that nothing good can come of government, that government can’t do anything right, that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and only God can stop it, no effort of mere mortals can affect it.

How else do you account for the constant conservative serenade of how moral decline in our country has lead to the terrible crime and violence of our culture, despite the fact that violent crime has been on a decline since the early 1980’s and reached an all-time low in 2005?

There’s nothing you can do, the world is falling apart.  Come to Jesus, and for God’s sake make sure you have a conceal-and-carry permit.  The end is coming.  There’s nothing the government can do.  God and vigilante justice are the only answer.

(never mind that the greatest drop happened during the Clinton Presidency, a time when, presumably, American morals were most out of control, and continues through much of the Bush Presidency, when the “invading hordes of illegal immigrants” have supposedly been importing unprecedented social ills).

In 2005 the UN Development Program Report pegged the United States Literacy Rate at 99.9%

Which means that 99.9 out of every 100 Americans can read and understand the articles urging them to dismantle their “failing” school systems, rather than invest in fixing their few shortcomings.

 This is actually quite good when you add in the consideration that the skills required for “basic” literacy have continued to expand.  You need a progressively higher degree of literacy to be considered “basically” literate as time goes on.  For instance, my mother in-law gave her grammar-school readers to my children as a gift.   Given the formula provided by the teacher, my mother-in-law’s third-grade reader was at a beginning first –grade level by today’s standards.

 Having volunteered as a reading tutor for some of the remaining .1% I can tell you that the reasons many of them were unable to learn to read in school had little to do with the school system, and more to do with severe disabilities, crippling home-lives and moving around a lot due to economic instability.  Things that “conservatives” have continuously said are none of the governments business to address.  The Church, private charities faith-based initiatives are the only answers to such ills.

WHY is the extreme right so invested in this sense of failure, decay and hopelessness?  I suppose they want us to admit that “we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves”.  There is nothing we can do on our own, nothing that we can do through our government, unless it is a “Godly” administration like the current one, in which case, there is also nothing for us to do. 

Just go to church and get your voter guide, or stay home and despair.

Screw that, get out and vote.  Register to vote.  If you can’t vote for a candidate you want, vote AGAINST a candidate you don’t want or just “throw your vote away” writing in Bill and/or Opus.  At least that sends a message that the votes are there to be won, by the party that fields the right candidates.

Monday, 27 August 2007 12:07:43 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  |  | #

Ben at EclecticsAnonymous has an excellent treatment of another subject that has Malkin excreteing energetically onto the Internet.

I mean, "Campus Crusade for Christ" doesn't sound hostile at all, right?  Personally, I think that the wing-nuts are just happy for a two-fer.  They get to shut down a women's lib campaign in an Arabic setting AND harrass an arabic school.


Monday, 27 August 2007 06:55:19 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

And whoever is posting as "April Gaede" wouldn't know neo-nazi-demeaning sarcasm if it goosetepped back and forth in front of her wearing a clown hat and Hitler moustache. 

Hate to think what homeschooling from her has done for her children's literary sense.

"April Gaede", I'm not traumatized, I think you're a joke.

Hence the laughing.

Monday, 27 August 2007 06:34:28 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [10] | #
Saturday, 25 August 2007

Michelle Malkin is having a raging fit about how “liberals” want to “educate” rapists to keep them from raping again...


However, even if you just read the bits of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article that she quoted, you can clearly read that what the officials and social-work experts and police (none of them actually identified as liberals) were advocating is an outreach or education to the community, families, and victims to let them know that the adaptive habits that they have come to after generations of tribalism and rule by religious extremists are not constructive, and not necessary in our culture.  We have a better way of dealing with it.

In many places in the world, had someone intervened in the incident they described, the criminal would have not have been arrested by authorities.  He would have been either captured by a tribal militia, or would have been chased off to gather HIS posse and come back and tear up the whole community, most likely creating a situation where there are mass killings and rapings.

Silent suffering is something that women and families are expected to undergo on behalf of the community in a situation where no central authority has the power to consistently control the law, and when government does have the means to exercise its power, it does so to consolidate and shore up it’s power rather than administer justice.  People use guns and tribal connections to back them up.   An armed society is a polite society.  Even when it is bad for one individual, it is better for everyone if the guns stay silent.  The price of demanding personal justice is too high.   As dysfunctional as it is, avoiding a spark of a genocide event or an eruption of endemic partisan violence is often deemed to be more important than justice for one individual, especially a woman who will just be condemned and shamed along with her family by religious leaders who want to pin the blame on someone who doesn’t have any agency in society to make waves with.

Since they have come to America, victims and communities have recourse to powerful, centralized authority which is charged with the obligation to support the rights of the individual and their family for justice, and impose order on elements of society that want to cause disruption and chaos for their own purpose.  But they still have old cultural habits that need to be examined and changed.

The idea is to educate the community as to how to abandon old, unconscious and deeply engrained habits, and show people how to use the tools of citizenship to both uphold the rights of the individual to justice AND the stability and health of the community.  Not to let rapists get off, actually to make it more likely that they will be caught.

This is not to excuse either the criminal nor the indifferent witnesses.  Everyone who failed to help that woman committed a criminal offense, and should at the very least be made to appear in front of a judge and censured for it, if not fined.  Obviously, the rapist should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

 I recall an MPR interview with Nuruddin Fara, a prominent Somali writer, who spoke of the great gift to the world that was the opportunity to learn about citizenship in America and return with those ideas to places where such things cannot even be imagined by the people living there.

Of course, what I’ve seen of Malkin’s writing leads me to conclude that her “solutions” are deportation or concentration camps.  Which wouldn’t really solve the problem of women suffering cultural apathy to rape and other violence against women, but it WOULD make it so that Malkin could watch and do her “tut-tutting” over the inherent inferiority of non-Americans from a safe distance.

Of course, Malkin can’t seem to understand that when a man named Omar Jamal comes out and says “Ibrahim is innocent of rape he said”, Omar is reporting that Ibrahim is claiming to be innocent.  Omar is not claiming that Ibrahim is innocent.  He is reporting the claim, not making it.  At least, that is what is indicated by the simple language that she is quoting.  Maybe Omar Jamal IS claiming that Ibrahim is innocent, but she certainly didn’t provide substantiation of any kind for that conclusion.

Malkin also references an article in the Star Tribune talking about the Somali communities tendency to try to handle domestic abuse and other women’s issues themselves, without involving the law.  Of course, she treats this as a unique cultural quirk of Islam and Somali culture without a blink at the fact that child abuse and domestic abuse issues were dismissed out-of-hand by the Right-wing Christian community just a few decades ago, child protection laws were even fought by church leaders, and  Christian groups upheld the right of a man to maintain order in his house through violence, and to this day there are religious leaders in the Christian community that urge women to try to work out their marriage problems “in the church” rather than leave.

To illustrate how silly it is for Malkin to make is sound like domestic violence is a particular curse of the Somali community in Minnesota, you can read the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s femicide Report for 2006.  20 women and 12 children were killed in acts of domestic violence.  You can decide for yourself how many of them can be put down to Somali culture or the Muslim religion.  There is a summary of each known case at the end of the report.

She also takes a swipe at Somali community activist Omar Jamal as “Playing both sides”, because he publicly explains the cultural difficulties that Somali’s have with using the law to solve what they see as private family issues.  Nothing in her quote gives the impression that he is justifying the behavior by explaining it, but she interprets it as “defending” the perpetrator.  She also points out that Omar Jamal was convicted of making false statements during his process of immigrating to the U.S.  His sentencing is long since past, and it was obviously determined that what he had done was not an infraction that necessitated deportation (his sentencing was scheduled for April of 2005).  Naturally, she laments that he has not yet been deported.  Maybe there was some sort of gross negligence in that determination, but Malkin doesn’t make a case for that.

So we have a community that is accustomed to deal with an unstable local tyranny of armed vigilantism by knuckling under the rights and freedom of individuals.  Society’s response to that is to educate the community in how to achieve community stability by exercising government power through citizenship participation to uphold the rights and freedoms of individuals, and have them help put the criminals in jail.   Also part of the education should be the small fact that Minnesota has a Good Samaritan law making it a misdemeanor to not give aid to someone who is in danger for their lives.  The rights of citizenship come with obligations.

And instead Malkin scoffs at this idea of education as “liberal cluelessness”.

Uh huh.

I got to Michell Malkin from Anne Lieberman at Boker Tov, Boulder!   Naturally, she asks what the Democratic front-runners would have done if they had been in that apartment building.  Of course, she doesn’t say it, but implies that they would ignore it and not call the cops.

Uh huh.  "Something to think about" indeed.

Saturday, 25 August 2007 18:09:26 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Gene Chapman was running for President.  He was seeking the nomination of “The Alliance” (Libertarian, Constitution and Southern Parties) nomination for President.

He has since withdrawn.

Which is a darned shame because it has no doubt disappointed a very talented young man who was going to be his “Intellignet Design Advisor”.  R. Josiah Magnuson.

You’ll be happy to know the little trooper took it well.  He posted a nice, polite letter on the internet and has decided to support Ron Paul for president instead. 

It’s nice to know he was able to find a suitable candidate to take second place to Gene.  Let’s not be too hard of Ron Paul, now.  It’s difficult, after all, to fill the shoes of a Gandhi-impersonatin’  failed-self-immolant tax protestor.  After all, the Federal Reserve has got to come down and if Gene’s not the guy to do it, Ron Paul will have to do.

Josiah isn’t daunted.

In fact, he went on to be the finalist in the Answers In Genesis Research Paper Challenge.  I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it appears to be a sort of talent show where homeschoolers compete to show who does the best Ken Ham impersonation.  The girl who won got a $50, 000 scholarship to Liberty University.

It sounds like a lot, but you have to remember the conversion.  Maybe somebody knows the exact exchange rate, but I believe that $50,000 worth of education from Liberty converts roughly to what you learn from a Monday morning conversation over a coffee and bagel breakfast at the student union of a public university…if the conversation is with one of those creepy people who hang out in the student union and strike up conversations about how they quit college to preserve their Christianity, and they would be happy to stop by your house and pick you up and drive you to a Bible study in another town if you just give them your contact information.

But not to worry, those kids will do fine as long as they don’t try to cash out of the system.  If they stay in,  however,  that education can be cashed in for a lifetime of paychecks from a think-tank, and endless speaking engagements funded by various fundamentalist Sugar-Daddies.

The laugh is on the AiG winner, though, because Josiah has leap-frogged her into the realm of involvement with organizations requiring the money of rich fundamentalists.  While some teens in his situation would flounder.  He’s a founder!

Just keep on truckin’ there Josiah!  Remember the Ant and the Rubber Tree plant (if that’s not too secular, if so, I apologize) You’ll have the constitution whittled back down the Articles of Confederation in no time!

Saturday, 25 August 2007 08:02:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] |  |  | #
Friday, 24 August 2007

PZ Myers is going to be in Expelled!

Turns out, they interviewed him fo rthe movie.

The whole sordid story is HERE.

Lookin' less like a spoof all the time.

[Update:  Neil at 4Simpsons is giddy about Expelled.  I thought about pointing out that the makers of the movie felt they had to lie and misrepresent themselves to get people to participate in the interviews...but it wouldn't do any good.]

Friday, 24 August 2007 14:50:13 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  |  | #

You gotta go check this out.  I’m going to reproduce it in its entirety here, with commentary, but you should go see for yourself just to make sure I’m not changing it up on you or anything.  Because you WILL suspect me of such before the blog entry is over.  Also, although at least one of these people self-identifies as "Libertarian", I'm not going to make abig deal out of it, becasue I've just buzzed Mark enough lately and I don't think it's fun for either of us right at the moment.  Also, even most of the wacky Libertarians I know would recognize that these guys are off their nuts).

I’ll let you judge if my translations are accurate, by giving you a link to the original language (of Whoop whoop crazy talk).

Federation of States, January 3, 2005 - -  Gene Chapman had planned to martyr himself as a protest in front of  the IRS  office  in  Greenville, SC today,  but was apprehended by police and taken to a mental ward.

Gene Chapman is apparently a good man in his heart and he seemingly tries to be a Christian.  However, not only does Gene Chapman try to combine his apparently confused and misguided concept of Christianity with the Hindu non-violent starvation approach of Mahatma Ghandi in confronting civil government, but he now also admits to embracing the Buddhist idea of self-immolation (suicide) as a terroristic threat and similar to a weapon used by the Islamic (Moslem or Mohammedan) suicide bombers, except that he does not intend to kill others. 

These Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism and Mohammedanism) are alien in America and a combining of some of those alien teachings with those of Christianity can result in teachings and understandings that are a corruption of the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ.  These tactics smack of a form of terrorism as Chapman attempts to hold himself as hostage in an attempt to create publicity against the IRS.  Anyhow, he has been arrested and removed to medical/mental facilities where he will be treated and perhaps released in a couple of months.

(translation:  Gene, what were you thinking?  Don’t let those other religions make you crazy!  Let The One True Religion make you crazy!  What, being Jesus crazy isn’t good enough for you? Just having the faith to bash gays and hate the government isn’t good enough for you?  You want to join those Buddhist Monks with their freaky power to meditate while burning to death? Or the Hindu ability to go without food until looking at your skinny ass forces people to  overcome their human stubbornness and selfishness?  You’d give up being able to do meth and hire gay hookers and then blame it on the devil for THAT?)

Chapman’s hunger strikes of protest against the IRS and especially his suicide threat was a tragedy in the making since he should have been talked out of this loose-cannon, alien and defeatist approach to his problems.  Perhaps he was just overwhelmed with the realization of the totality of occupation and control by the Federal Empire of the U.S.A. and the evil forces behind it and maybe he had no other plan to fight it.  There are far better ways to expose the IRS and the occupation in general to gain liberty and freedom.

(I understand that you want reality to conform to the images that you confused and carefully disordered mind creates, heck, we ALL do.  Which is why I have to shake my head and make ‘tut-tutting’ noises. I realize that we’ve both completely rejected the consensual reality of our fellow humans and therefore have no real model for behavior except for a string of irrational and self-contradictory proclamations from people who had just learned how to write things down…but YOUR ambiguous and inarticulate thought-shapes cause you to act differently than mine say you should, so you’re not being rational).

Seeking self inflicted suicide for a cause is seeking martyrdom, but really amounts to seeking glory for one’s self rather than for our Father in Heaven.  Suicidal terrorism is morally wrong on several grounds and certainly was never advocated by Jesus Christ.  The difference is that Christ taught the truth and a gospel of love, charity and of life eternal.  He and His disciples taught and practiced His teachings in the presence of the bureaucrats and the corrupt civil and religious  rulers.  Jesus taught that the Father’s Kingdom shall come on Earth as it is in Heaven and, to this end, His disciples also worked.

(That selfish bastard.  How dare he be insane?  That’s just misguided.  He’s being crazy for himself now.  He really needs to refocus and give himself a good checking-over and realize that he’s a danger to himself on HIS OWN BEHALF.  And he needs to become a danger to himself on GOD’s behalf.)

It was the corrupt scheming and conspiring of evil Satan-inspired men to terminate the life of Jesus with crucifixion and it was they who were responsible for His death.  And likewise these evil men sought to kill His disciples to stop them from teaching the truth, the laws God gave unto Moses,  and of  requiring repentance and a new birth in the spirit by Baptism that they might go forth likewise with love and charity with a message of hope of life eternal for mankind.  These Christian teachings have proven to produce wonderful communities, not perfect, but still a civilized, just and peaceful society full of mostly happy people.  Such communities are a beginning of His Kingdom on Earth.

(If I could just find a country where everyone was exactly like me, I’d be so happy.  Why oh why do the people who are most like me have to be so WEIRD and MISGUIDED?  I could have been happy living with a whole bunch of Gene Chapman as my society if he just changed a little bit.  Man, back in the days when ergot poisoning was endemic, things were perfect.  Why oh why can’t things be like that again?  Damned medical and agricultural science progress.  Ruined everything.)

Christ did not ask His followers to kill themselves in some spectacular way in a useless effort to force the Roman Empire to submit.  He instead taught a Gospel of love and forgiveness, even for tax collectors.  Yet Jesus was not completely non-violent.   He over turned the tables of the money changers and used a whip to drive them out of the Temple.  

(Jesus forgave even the commie tax collectors, but he drove the evil opportunistic capitalists using religion for profit out of the temple and…wait, what was I saying?  I feel dizzy.  Did I put my keys out on the doormat and put the cat in the freezer and hang the groceries on the keyhook by the door again?  I can’t remember.  What are these pills doing on the counter?  My daughter says I have to take them, but I don’t do anything she says since that night she went to sleep without her tinfoil hat on and the Alien Jews that secretly run the government started controlling her brain with lazers.)

It is true that many of the followers of Jesus were killed by evil and conspiring men who were against their teaching of love,  charity  and forgiveness which was against their form of corrupt rule and also was alien to the various false gods of the Romans, Greeks and money changers.  Jesus did not self-immolate to make some kind of point.  While it is likely that Jesus could have avoided arrest by the corrupt authorities, He had to fulfill the prophecies and was thus arrested, falsely accused and slain by evil men so, among other things, He could show the world that death was not final nor an end of existence.

(See, where Gene got it wrong was in trying to do the deed HIMSELF.  Look at Jesus.  He did it right.  He planned it all out with God before he was even born, used his infallible and almighty power to make sure that it would happen exactly the way they wanted it to, made someone else do the dirty work, and then punished them in hell for eternity.  All he had to do was not pussy out himself, and it was all sewn up.  He had it fixed so it couldn’t fail, and then he made a constant series of decisions to not stop it, and it just happened.

Because of man’s sinful nature.

 Praise God.)

Let us not be caught up in false and divergent religious, civil or political movements.  The Confederacy was and shall again be  mostly a Christian nation.  The peaceful and political restoration and liberation of the Confederate States of America is the real answer for the people of the South.  Join us in that worthy cause and live to build a better society and do not chase after false doctrines nor tangents.

(In summation, Don’t let other Gods make you crazy.  Let the One True God make you crazy.  Don’t participate in government unless you can do some real damage.  Don’t kill yourself, let God do it.

The south shall rise again.

Here, have some wheat, I grew it myself.)

Vance J. Beaudreau

(Translation by Teresa)

Friday, 24 August 2007 08:30:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] |  |  | #
Thursday, 23 August 2007

So I went to the store today to buy some paint for the upstairs bathroom, which has had the wallpaper removed and the walls washed down with vinegar water, scraped with a putty knife to get the residual past off, and then wiped down again with the vinegar water again.  The only way to be sure, short of nuking the site form orbit.

I cut myself three times with the putty knife.  The vinegar water stings pretty bad when it gets in the cuts.

"But putty knives don't have sharp edges" you say.

"I know," I answer.  Yet here I am.  Three putty-knife cuts on my hands.  I am able to apply quite a lot of pressure to a putty-knife, apparently, and when it slips, there is badness.

So I go to the store and I pick out my colors, a pretty bright blue and a nice browny-green that, while coming from two comletely different sets of Granamal-style color-grouped chips, complement each other well.

I bring it up to the paint-mixer lady, and she exclaims over my selections "These colors are PERFECT together.  Oh my God!  They're absolutely perfect, they just make me want to go paint something."

"OK", she says, scanning the chips and setting the machine, "Prussian Blue, and..."

"Excuse me?" I ask, blood turning cold in my veins.

"Prussian Blue.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes.  What?  Is there something wrong?"

" ahead."

So I go home and I'm painting and my friend Barb calls me on the phone and I tell her that the name of my color is "prussian blue",and it's all wrong.

"Why?  not a good color?"

"No...It's a fine color, perfect It's just...first of all, it's kind of Robin's egg blue...a little lighter, but close, and Prussian Blue is..."

"More like Cobalt"


Then, I tell her about how it is also the name of the teeny-bopper Neo-Nazi pop band comprised of Lynx and Lamb Gaede.

"So.  you have a neo-nazi bathroom?"


Then, I held the phone out from my ear as she lets out peals of unrelenting laughter.

"You know I'm going to be calling this your Neo-nazi bathroom for the rest of your life right?"

"Sigh.  Yep.  I know."

Thursday, 23 August 2007 22:31:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [15] | #

Courtesy of Conrad Zero,

A link to the story of AT&T deciding for their customers what they should and should not hear.

Don't like it?  "Just" boycott AT&T.  LOL!

They claim it was a one-time mistake, but others disagree.

Conrad recommends that you tune in to this organization for news of what is happening in the music business.

It will no doubt soon be denounced for it's communist content.

Thursday, 23 August 2007 13:18:17 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

The Foo Fighters are HIV/AIDS denialists.

Mother of God!  Will the hurting never stop?

I suppose next I'm going to learn that the band Rush is anti-vaccination, the Dixie Chicks believe in Morgellon's Syndrome, or Queensreich are Holocaust deniers or something.

No, no.  that would be too terrible.  I couldn't bear it.

(Hat Tip:  Denialism. com)

Thursday, 23 August 2007 00:08:22 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  |  |  |  | #
Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Ya know, I used to like John McCain.  I didn't agree with him all the time, but I liked and respected him, especially for the service to the country and what he endured for his comittment to and belief in our country - and I thought he did some good work.  Then he pussied over and let BushCo walk all over him, impugn his service to the country, call him a traitor, insult his family, lie about his daughter and imply that either he or his wife had had an extra-marital-affair with a person of another race to appeal to the racist vote...and then he pimped their lies and cover-ups to the American public.

I used to like Mike Huckabee.  I saw him in numerous interviews and found him charming and affable and likable.  Then he announced he was standing for election to the office of the President, opened his mouth and started talking politics and the most bizzare and unsupportable crap imaginable started coming out of his mouth.

I used to like Ben Stein.  Didn't agree with him on anything to speak of, but he was clever and entertaining and funny and played these adorable character roles (Beauler?). and now he gets involved with something like this.

What's next?  We're going to find out that Arlan Spector eats puppies?

Come On you guys!  I used to have at least a dozen Republicans that I liked and could vote for or at least root for on occasion!  WORK WITH ME HERE!

Maybe this Expelled movie is a spoof?  Yeah.  That's it.  It's a spoof.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007 12:07:21 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #
Tuesday, 21 August 2007

I found a new blog.


I think I like it.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007 23:43:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Bob Wagner describes the actions of what I have begun to think of as representative of the "Libertarian" philosophy.  This guy has appeares to have pretty much deliberately shit on and sabotaged every single, solitary protection his workers had,all the while running their livelyhood into the ground.

And after all, why shouldn't he?  He's got no responsibility for anyone but himself.  He can do whatever he wants to with HIS company right? 

And just because he had to pay for unemployment, why should his employees get to collect?  And why should he send out the paperwork for them to pay their own money to extend the benefits they THOUGHT they were getting, but weren't because he'd stopped paying for them?Because he laid them off?  Screw that! 

Drug laws, gun laws?  Professional ethics boards?  Taxes? Screw 'em.  Bunch of nanny-state cry-baby whiney crap.

Buyer (and employee) beware. 

Ah yes...if everyone could do what this guy has done and not face any social sanction for it at all, it would be "libertarian" paradise! 

Tuesday, 21 August 2007 17:33:09 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [24] |  | #

Hey Grover,

I just wanted to send you a quick note thanking you for your tax activism.  I can tell you, having our governor work so hard to keep his no tax pledge and work so hard for you and your out-of-state organization has really benefitted this state.

We didn't need that I-35W bridge anyway.

Say!  I have an idea, you know how it's going to cost our state so much more to rebuild it than it would have to fix it in the first place?  Maybe you can convince Pawlenty to not fix it!

I hear he's rethinking his vetos for increased spending in transportation, road, and infrastructure maintenance, though, so you'd better lean on him real good.  You let one guy get away with it and next thing you know, ALL the people who signed your little pledge will have caved in to the namby-pamby "safe road huggers".

I bet we could get an EVEN BIGGER tax cut than the one we got after he "balanced the budget" by cutting services and infrastructure expendatures to avoid raising taxes!  I mean, sure our local taxes will go through the roof *again* as local governments have to take up the slack...but bridge at a time, right?

Sarcastically yours,



P.S. Rush Limbaugh called Pawlenty a "liberal Democrat".  You'd better check yer Boyee, Grover baby.  Make sure he's not on the pills again.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007 14:46:36 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] |  | #

Hey!  Parracks!  I got your message while we were on vacation, but since we didn't have any signal except digital roaming, I thought you would be OK with us waiting to call you back.  I'm going to try tonight after 7:00PM.



OK, with that out of the way...

On to other things.  I have almost finished with the laundry, which I spent all day on yesterday.  Ironing, and such.  The bathrooms are clean (and I mean CLEAN, there was an old toothbrush involved.  Not one micrometer of either bathroom escaped scrubbing), but I'm having to do some maintenance.  I just got done platering some fairly nasty damaged places on the bathroom walls.  Some of our guests (not Karen, who is an excellent guest on her frequent trips through the cities) have a problem remembering to start the fan BEFORE starting the shower.  This leads to cumulative steam damage to the walls and paint in the bathrooms...not to mention mold.

The hotel Lhotka has taken kind of a pounding in the last couple of years, is what I'm saying.  So plastering and painting and repairs are a constant thing.  You would think the rules would be simple to remember and follow:

1) Turn on the exhaust fan before you start the shower.

2) SHUT the shower door during your shower.

3) Leave the shower door OPEN after you shower so that air can circulate in the shower and dry it out, preventing the growth of mold.

4) Use the squeegee provided to remove water from the glass to prevent water spots and soap-scum build-up.

The wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom has almost completely peeled of fthe walls, so it is time well past time to finish the job of removing it, and then prime and paint the walls.  I think I'm going to try some of that special bathroom paint up there and see how that works (that doesn't get you off the hook for using the fan, though.  Just DO it.)  Also, I'm going to try to update the vanity up there by roughing up the dark-walnut stained vanity and priming and painting over it with a more modern color.

And yes, those UGLY old late-1970's light fixtures days are numbered.  I've got a plan for lighting that bathroom, and it's going to be GEORGOUS!!!  Those of you who know and like my husband might want to give him some commiseration in the next few weeks, 'cause I'll tell you now, it ain't going to be cheap.  You might need to buy him a drink.

And we need a new exhaust fan in that bathroom too.  Not that it'll do a damned bit of good if people don't USE it.  OK, 'nuff said.  No more words.  In the future, ACTION will be taken.

I mentioned taking the discolored textured plaster off the cealing as well, but Rocky turned a funny color.  Funnier than the strange orange tint of the cealing plaster.  I'm looking for a cheap and easy work-around.  Maybe I'll try a weak bleach solution.  Maybe I'll paint it.  Both have their draw-backs but I think he'll cope with that better than the mess and expense of scraping and re-texturing the cealing.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007 11:44:36 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 09:39:27 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Highlights of our week-long trip to International Falls:

1)      Grasshopper and I were rehearsing with the Rainy River Orchestra along with my mom and dad.  We rehearsed for an hour every day and spent at least another half hour every day practicing.  We got the music on Sunday, and the concert was on Friday night, so we had to learn fast.

Each stand of the junior orchestra consisted of a more experienced player, and a less experienced player.  My dad helped Grasshopper, and I helped a woman named Celeste, who is 29 and has Downs Syndrome.  She is very bright and a hard worker.  He technique is very good.  Her only real problem is that she has a difficult time tracking the music because she is blind in one eye.  I suggested to her mother that maybe she would benefit from enlarged music.  I mostly just helped her find her place whenever she got lost.  I also helped her follow the speed signature changes as she had a hard time tracking the music and the conductor at the same time.

The concert went very well.  The senior orchestra did a fantastic job, especially the two cello soloists.  Their performance was amazing, and followed by a stunned silence from the audience and then a thundering standing ovation.  The evening was completed by a group of teenagers doing a fiddle ensemble.  It was awesome. 

Typical of small town community center performances, however, was the fact that part of the concert was marred by a chorus of barking from the neighborhood dogs, and a couple of hot-dogging pick-up trucks tearing up and down the street with after-market exhaust systems roaring their Godly White Male Virility.  You couldn’t help but imagine the sloped foreheads and dragging knuckles of advanced testosterone poisoning.  As all the doors and windows had to be opened to let in the night air (the building would have been stuffy without it, as there is no AC), the disruptions were significant, but the orchestra just played on, and all disturbances were temporary.

The local paper covered the concert.  Grasshopper ended up with his picture on the front page.

2)       I went canoeing with a fellow cello player, a girl named Sammy.  We were going to canoe to town and back, but the wind came up.  At one point, we spent twenty minutes paddling at full speed just to keep from being swept out into the lake.  We made it most of the way there, but decided that it was taking too long, and we were almost out of time, so we turned around and went back to the resort where Sammy was staying.  She got in trouble from her grandmother for being gone for too long.  Here I am, nearly forty, and still a corrupter of youth.

3)      We were camping at another campground not far from Rainer.  We were right on Rainy Lake.  A couple of guys lost the lid of a minnow bucket from their boat.  Adventure Boy kindly swam under the dock after it and retrieved it for them.  The next day, one of the guys lost his glasses over the edge of his boat.  Grasshopper dove under the boat several times, and eventually retrieved them from the bottom of the lake.  The man who lost the glasses offered him a dollar for retrieving them.  His buddy ridiculed him for being stingy and only offering a dollar.  Grasshopper said he didn’t want any money.  The man eventually persuaded him to accept two dollars, one of which went for ice cream, and one of which will be saved for a rainy day.

4)      Rocky went out and bought Grasshopper his very first grown-up rod and reel.  He’s had a number of kiddy sets in the past, but this is a wonderful Cherrywood rod.  Rocky presented it to him the night before their first big excursion into Black Bay.  The awe in Grasshopper’s voice when he breathed the words “thanks Dad” left a glow in our hearts for a couple of days.

5)      Rocky and the boys spent a lot of time fishing.  One of the places they went was out on Black Bay in the canoe.  Black Bay is in Voyagers National Park, and it is really cool.  They also put into an island there, and explored it.  Then they had a shore lunch and came home.

6)      There were bald eagles and Blue Heron everywhere.  There was a small island of rock a short distance from the end of the dock, where a couple of eagles came almost every day and spent some time fishing.  They were impressive to watch with or without binoculars. 

7)      We had a pot-luck picnic.  I brought some picante sauce I had made from our garden, as well as some Teriyaki pork spare ribs.  There was much rejoicing.

8)      We checked out a little Chinese restaurant in International Falls one day.  It was bland and flavorless…flawlessly conformed to the palates of Northern Minnesotans.  The nice Chinese family that runs it were recent immigrants from China Town in New York city.  I used my few words in Chinese.  The girl politely informed me that I should talk more through my nose when I spoke Chinese, because if I didn’t I would continue to sound like a man.  Easy for her to say, she’s smart enough to learn passable English in three months.  I have enough trouble with the words and tones and grammar…much less undoing a lifetime habit of cultivating an impressive contralto speaking voice.

9)      On our way home, we had to stop at the Big Fork River.  Where it crosses Hwy 71, there is a small rapids.  We pulled over into the city camp ground and let the kids climb around on the rocks and swim in the rapids for a little while.  If Rocky gets the footage up on our website at some point, I’ll be sure to put up a link to their exploits.

10) Adventure Boy was his usual helpful problem-solving self.  He helped with setting up camp, maintaining equipment, watching his brother, managing the dog, carrying heavy things for various people in the orchestra and generally making himself useful and helpful.  Things would go a lot less smoothly without an Adventure Boy around.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007 08:08:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
Friday, 10 August 2007

Sure, atheists can DO math just as well as Christians.

And atheists can see the material beauty and majesty of math.

But Christian Math is just...more...ineffable.

I mean, without God, the numbers just add up...but WITH God...the numbers ADD UP. 

er sumptin'.

(double hat tip:  Pharyngula and Good Math, Bad Math)


Friday, 10 August 2007 21:35:44 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  | #
Thursday, 09 August 2007

Neil at bewails violence against Christians in other countries.  The ones that caught my eye in particular were in India.

Why?  Because of This:

Christian Terrorists Massacre Eight Hindu Civilians in India

Christian Terrorists Kill 44, Wound 118 in Attacks in Northeast India


Baptist Church Backs Terrorism in North-East India


Terrorists in North-East India get American Support


Christ and North-East India


It couldn’t possibly be that people in India might possibly be reacting to events like this could it?

Nah.  That would be very difficult to believe. 

[Update: There's a website that is exclusively dedicated to serving up lots of material to serve the persecution fetisch.] 

Thursday, 09 August 2007 19:44:31 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] |  |  | # takes on Mike Adam’s hysterical screed against microwaves.  I’m really, really, really sorry that they had to do that.  After all, I remember when I was in grade school and our family got a shiny new microwave and one of the parents of one of my mom’s piano students told me about how eating food from that unnatural machine was going to give me cancer.

I don’t remember her exact words, in part because it was a long time ago, and in part because I wasn’t paying attention to her words.  My attention was focused on waiting to see how she would react to the fact that she wasn’t getting any smoke when she dragged on her cigarettes because we had taken them all out and poked pin-holes in them and then put them carefully back in the pack as a prank while she was in the studio with my mom visiting and writing out the check for her daughter’s lessons for the next month.

Also, I could tell that what she was saying was total bullshit.

Anyway, the anti-microwave screed got the Hoofnagle treatment, so I don’t think I need put in my housewifey two-cents except to point out that there is absolutely no possible way I could keep up with my daily coffee habit if not for my microwave.  Keeping a constant freshly-brewed-in-small-batches supply going all day would be too time-consuming, and going without is unacceptable.  No, two pots brewed daily, (one in the early morning, and one in the afternoon) and then kept at the perfect temperature cup-by-cup throughout the day by constant “zapping” is the way to go.

I’d like to turn my attention to the article where Mr. Adams puts the howler on the “corrupt” FDA for wanting to regulate dietary supplements.  He absolutely freaks out:

I've documented much of the criminal history of the FDA in my recent book, Natural Health Solutions and the Conspiracy to Keep You From Knowing About Them, which suddenly seems even more relevant today than when I wrote it. In that book, I documented the FDA ordered book burnings, the raids on vitamin shops, the kidnapping of natural health practitioners, the threats, intimidation and oppression tactics that have been used to suppress natural medicine for nearly a hundred years now. And now, with this CAM Products Regulation effort, the FDA is about to deal a final, fatal blow to the alternative medicine industry, outlawing nutritional supplements, functional foods, homeopathy and natural therapies all at once.

Wow, and here I thought it was just about the prevalence of unsubstantiated health claims made by the producers of these materials or the constant and shrill demands that they be treated legally as legitimate medical treatments (sorry, regulation and FDA compliance is part of being a “legitimate” medical treatment in the U.S. You can’t have it both ways, sunshine).

It couldn’t possibly be because of the prevalence of wild variance in product quality and dosage regulation, contamination of the product by mercury, lead, and other potentially harmful chemicals that have been a common problem for the industry?

Seriously, the more I hear alternative practitioners kvetch about not being taken seriously, about the government programs not allowing their treatments to be paid for through Medicare, how their treatments are not validated by science because of  a "conspiracy" in the main-stream medical community to ignore them, how they can’t get insurance companies to cover their services and treatments as “legitimate” medical treatments…you would think that they would welcome the opportunity to prove the safety and efficacy of their products, and to have them validated by standard science.

But then again…maybe they actually know how full of bullshit their claims really are.

Thursday, 09 August 2007 19:15:19 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] |  |  | #
Monday, 06 August 2007

Just a note to let you all know I'm going to be blogging rather sporadically for a while.  I just got a passel of work to do, and you know hte saying "Make hay while the sun shines".

Just call me one of America's "laborious and saving". 

Monday, 06 August 2007 13:29:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Continuing the trend of Constitution Party boosters who have needlessly duplicated consonants in their names:

Meet Mary Starrett.

She is anti-choice.  Read the whole article.  I like here answer to the question if abortion could be allowed in the case of rape and incest.  She answers that an innocent child shouldn’t have to suffer for the sins of the father.

Of course, the woman is another story.  It would be interesting to hear what sort of rights a woman has in their world view if a group of cells have more rights because it might one day form a person.  A woman can suffer for the sins of another because she has fewer rights than something that isn’t even a person yet.

Mary Starrett is very cute, smart, educated and articulate.

Why oh why can’t we have Mary Starrett instead of Ann Coulter?  She’d SAY equally entertaining bat-shit insane things, but she’d say them in a way that was actually clever and she’d be easier to look at.  Also, one look at those adorable little grandma chipmunk cheeks, and you KNOW she’d be nicer.

 After all, I think a wholesome, girl-next-door wife, mother and grandmother is more qualified to talk about how important is for women to recognize their proper “place” than a jaded-looking, dried-up, underfed, crabby bitter spinster.

Here is one of Mary’s opinion pieces.  Here is a list of more titles.

Video!  Whose and adorable little conspiracy theorist?  You are!…yes you are…ah-boo-boo-boo.

It weirds me out a little bit that it averages two-to-four sentences on almost any new topic before she gets to a point where I remember she’s lost her mind, though.

For instance, the “fact” that the BBC reported the fall of WTC 7 twenty minutes before it actually fell.  What I find interesting about the conclusions they drew from that, assuming it’s even true and not an urban legend, is that there were TONS of things reported that turned out to not be true.  We had a report of a car bomb on The Mall.  I remember a report of a bomb going off somewhere in Washington, and fires that turned out to be false alarms.  It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to me to have a report of something happening that turns out to have been a false report, or a report that was prepared ahead of time, knowing that near-by buildings had been damaged (which was mentioned before the collapse of WTC7)  and got aired prematurely, and then the event happens.

 It doesn’t mean the government did it.  Why would 9/11 be an inside job, as Mary says she believes?  What possible reason could they have for doing it themselves when, as anyone in the Clinton administration could have told you it was only a matter of time before something happened.  Were the Republicans poised to take advantage of the tragedy? Oh yes, it would appear to be so.  But why would your orchestrate your own tragedy when it was so clear that one would eventually be provided for you, even if you put your best efforts into preventing it?

I’m sure some of Mary’s fans are a little disappointed at her balking at validating the Zionist Global Conspiracy Theory.  She stopped just short of it, and wouldn’t be budged or nudged into anything more than a polite non-comment.

And I have to say I am a little disappointed that there was no mention of the alien captives in area 51.  Still, we can’t have everything.  But really, a good-old fashioned call for the government to ‘fess up about what REALLY happened at Roswell would have rounded out the roll-call of where-the-fringes-of-the-right-and-left-wings-meet conspiracy theories very nicely.

About her theories on Waco:  It might be that the Branch Davidians were all about peace and fluffy puppy love…but read up on Jonestown sometime.  Read up on the lovely, intelligent, talented, giving people who were members of Jim Jones’ cult.  Read about what a caring and visionary leader Jones himself was.

 Nobody who was in his church in the early years, or who knew many of his followers would have predicted the sudden shift in paranoid militantism, the sexual abuse, or that those people could be convinced to hold down their fellow cult members, plug their noses, and force cyanide-laced Kool-Aid down their throats at gun-point.

Sorry, but given the various histories of cults like this, like the Hale-Bopp cult as well…I am more likely to believe the government line that the cultists preferred to take their own lives and the lives of their fellows rather than be arrested.

Not because I inherently trust the government, but simply because in this case, it seems more consistent with reality than that somehow the government just decided to butcher a bunch of people for no reason.  Nobody has ever given me one good reason why the government would take the actions they are accused of taking.

There is a certain pattern to government malfeasance that just doesn’t fit the Waco conspiracy theories, whereas the pattern of a cult gone to the point of self-destruction because it’s ideology has reached a point of madness where they realize they can no longer exist within the confines of reality is much more consistent with the facts.

Had the government done nothing in Waco, I think we would have had another Jonestown…only this time it would have been on American soil, and do you know WHO people would have blamed?  The government, of course.

But this is the essential fact I see in the Constitution party’s platform.  The government is to be shrunk down to where it has no power at all, and the church will move in to fill the gaps.  ‘Course, what they DON’T say is that the church, being the most powerful civil institution, would pretty much be able to put whoever they want into the government as well.

And do you think the big business guys that they complain about will miss a beat?  I don’t think so.  Just look at all the money they unload on religion already.

The third-largest party in the U.S. is rooting for a theocracy, buttressing their arguments with conspiracy theories that have long ago passed the dead-horse stage, and arguments of inference and paranoid over reason.

God help us all if this is our best “alternative”.

Monday, 06 August 2007 12:35:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] |  |  | #
Saturday, 04 August 2007

Meet Christian Exodus:


They are big supporters of the Constitution Party:



From the Christian Exodus FAQ on their website:


Is your organization a part of the Constitution Party, or it's Platform? If not, have you heard of the Constitution Party based in PA? They are a Party running on Christian Beliefs.

All of our Board members are Constitution Party members, and approximately 2/3 of our membership. Certainly the Constitution Party shares our beliefs and principles more than any other political party, and Christian Exodus will work diligently to promote and support the Constitution Party.


Check out their Position Statement.  Just in case you decided not to follow the link, here’s a couple of things you shouldn’t miss:


We hold that the power to enact uniform naturalization rules rests with Congress as specified in Article 8 of The Constitution. We also believe that the various States retain the right to restrict and control immigration into the State as had been exercised under the Union until 1875. No person residing in a State contrary to the laws and regulations of that State attains the expectation of rights, privileges or immunities held by citizens.

The 14th Amendment: holds that the 14th Amendment was enacted rather than being properly ratified. The history of this amendment is fraught with scandal and unscrupulous actions. The Amendment was properly voted on and properly rejected; only after the dissenting states were not allowed a vote was the Amendment passed.

This fraudulent act redefined the Federal government and its relationship to "The People". We hold that it is the right of the various States to nullify this Amendment and all laws and court rulings arising from it.

16th Amendment:

We hold that the various States should repeal the 16th Amendment, which grants Congress the power to directly tax the people. Direct taxation of the people is contrary to the original intent of the Union and deprives the States of a powerful check on federal excess.

17th Amendment:

We hold that the various States should repeal the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of Senators. The manner in which Senators are elected or selected is a matter that should be left to the States as the original Constitution intended. Direct elections have resulted in a marked reduction in the power of the States to influence Federal actions and policies.

Check out their plan of action.


Here’s what FOX News says about them.  Imagine the treatment they would get if they were a LIBERAL organization that had secessionist leanings.  Also note that they are too extreme even the Bob Jones University.

Here’s a Testimonial from a true believer

And another blog passionately about the world they are leaving and the world they will create.

Don’t miss that last link…really.  He hits every note in the Conservative scale.  If he doesn’t write for, he should.  He's a very articulate, expressive, and orderly communicator, expecially when compared to Devvy Kidd.

I might point out that the referance to the Book of Exodus in their name implies that they believe that they are fleeing slavery and oppression in America (which they as much as say in their website.  Remember what the people in the original Exodus did to Egypt?  I wonder what plagues the people of the Christian Exodus have planned for us?

Saturday, 04 August 2007 07:55:42 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  |  | #

It’s time to meet some of the more well-known boosters of the Constitution Party.  Just my little helping hand to Mark…who seemed a little grumbly about having to look into it more deeperer on his own.

Of course, being a free-thinker, Mark will also have to double-check the information that I provide*…but  hey.  It’s just the cost of being a responsible member of society that you find things out for yourself.

So, without further ado…let’s take a look at today’s profiled Constitutional Party booster:

Devvy Kidd is a writer writer and speaker.  In addition to an apparent fondness for randomly doubling consonants, she seems to be an advocate for the Constitution Party.

Quatloos!  Featured Devvy Kidd on their website, focusing on her apparent insistence that the 16th Amendment is illegal.

The World Net Daily seems to believe her.

Somehow, the Courts beg to differ (below copied from the Quatloos website link provided above):

Miller v. United States, 868 F.2d 236, 241 (7 th Cir. 1989) (per curiam) - the court stated, "We find it hard to understand why the long and unbroken line of cases upholding the constitutionality of the sixteenth amendment generally, Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Company . . . and those specifically rejecting the argument advanced in The Law That Never Was, have not persuaded Miller and his compatriots to seek a more effective forum for airing their attack on the federal income tax structure." The court imposed sanctions on them for having advanced a "patently frivolous" position.

United States v. Stahl, 792 F.2d 1438, 1441 (9 th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1036 (1987) - stating that "the Secretary of State's certification under authority of Congress that the sixteenth amendment has been ratified by the requisite number of states and has become part of the Constitution is conclusive upon the courts," the court upheld Stahl's conviction for failure to file returns and for making a false statement.

Knoblauch v. Commissioner, 749 F.2d 200, 201 (5 th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 830 (1986) - the court rejected the contention that the Sixteenth Amendment was not constitutionally adopted as "totally without merit" and imposed monetary sanctions against Knoblauch based on the frivolousness of his appeal. "Every court that has considered this argument has rejected it," the court observed.

United States v. Foster, 789 F.2d 457 (7 th Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 883 (1986) - the court affirmed Foster's conviction for tax evasion, failing to file a return, and filing a false W-4 statement, rejecting his claim that the Sixteenth Amendment was never properly ratified.

(copied from the Quatloos! Website)

Check out Devvy’s reading list for becoming an informed citizen.  Of course, when you are done, you will believe that the Illuminate are out to kill you…

Devy Kidd endorses El Doroado Discount Gold, Inc.  You can count on an internet sales site like ElDorado Discount Gold inc.  Especially if someone as sane and well-balanced as Devvy endorses them.  After all, she’s one smart cookie.  She isn’t fooled by the Shriners’ helping treat all those kids with disabilities.

Devvy Kidd was the Freedom Drive Manager for We The People; a grass-roots organization determined to defend honesty, integrity and legality and….uh…


Oh yeah, if your head is still spinning from her insistence that the 16th amendment isn’t legal, how about her apparent insistence that the local county sheriff can legally refuse to enforce Federal laws?

And check out this jeremiad. If America’s schools were ACTUALLY anything like Devvy describes, I would want to abolish the Department of Education too.  Of course, if schools were as bad as Devvy says they are, it would also explain the lack of focus and coherence in her essay.  But when my kids come home and I say “What did you learn today?”…they have never answered “Sodomy, Communism and America Hatin’!!”

Sigh.  Oh well, at least I can go to bed tonight secure that Devvy Kidd is out there fighting tirelessly for my right to join an armed compound with my Sheriff’s support, make sure my kids have a ignorant terror that gay people will convert them, and selectively decide which constitutional amendments I’ll observe.  Vote Constitution party!

*         You should be aware that this is a capriciously written narrative intended to connect the dots of various things I’ve found on the web, and is NOT intended to inform you in anyway about Devvy Kidd.  The “facts” are unchecked.  As is always the case, the commentary provided by me is intended to entertain (mostly myself) rather than inform, and the conclusions drawn are not necessarily carefully considered.

Saturday, 04 August 2007 06:51:15 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  |  | #
Friday, 03 August 2007


This is great and all...I just wish that I could believe that their fervor has nothing to do with the upcoming election.  Then again, THIS is the checks and balances in action.  The legislature putting the check on the Executive.  Perhaps too little, perhaps too late...but it's something we need.  Finally!

Newt Gingrich apparently finds all of these calls for transparency, scruitiny, and accountability too be tedious, however.  And partisan.  Shamefully, shamefully partizan.  Imagine!  Democrats using the machinery of government to represent their interests! It's unAmerican.  Chortle.  Somehow, people seem to forgeth that the framers KNEW that it is difficult, if not impossible to get people to act altruistically in a manner consistant enough to run a government.  So they gave us a government where everyone could get involved and use the tools of government to represent their own interests and nobody could (in theory) get the other over a barrel.

[update:  I had to leave this entry for a while to go run a kid to a class]

One problem is, too many people are abstaining from government and politics because for some reason they think it should be pure and nobel and altruistic and idealistic and the fact that it is not alienates them.  Hey, I'd like that too.  And when someone is being partizan or merely looking after themselves it's appropriate to point that out, but come on, it IS good for the country to have Gonzales questioned.




Doesn't it seem that Newt is saying that Gonzales merely has the APPERANCE of being a big lying cheat...and that it is the unhinged Democrats CREATING that perception completely unfairly?  I read Newts statement as being "It's too bad that the Democrats have ruined this man's reputation, but since they have, he should step down for the good of the country and the party."

Yeah.  So they can put in some other guy to pull the same dirty tricks and we have to go through this whole process again while nothing changes?

Yes, American politics require the constant struggle for accountability...but I'd like the efforts to cause the corruption to at least miss a beat.

(Double Hat Tip:  Frecklescassie)


Friday, 03 August 2007 06:48:27 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] | #
Thursday, 02 August 2007

I scored 29 despite being rubbish with numbers.  See how you do:

The test assesses five different areas. Autistic-like responses will show poor social skill, attention switching, communication and imagination, and an exaggerated attention to detail. In other words, geekiness. You scored 29. The ranking below provides some idea of where that AQ fits in.

32 - 50 Scores over 32 are generally taken to indicate Asperger's Syndrome or high-functioning autism, with more than 34 an "extreme" score.
   24 Average math contest winner
   21 Average male or female computer scientist
   19 Average male scientist, and average male or female physicist
   18 Average man
   17 Average female scientist
   15 Average woman, and average male or female biologist
0 - 12  
Thursday, 02 August 2007 09:15:14 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] | #
Wednesday, 01 August 2007

Our family is OK, and as far as we know, all of our friends in the area are OK.  We're still getting information, but so far so good.

Thankfully, Rick changed his normal route a few days ago...otherwise there is a very good chance he would have been driving over that bridge when it went.

How are you guys?

For those of you outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area - one of the big bridges on one of our major freeways collapsed today...into the Mississippi River. as many as fifty cars are reported in the river and six people have died, according to CNN.

The pictures on the news look pretty aweful.  It's going to take a while for our community to recover from this, and it is terrible to think of all the people and families that are in pain and fear tonight.

If those you love are in your house with you, give them a big hug for me, would you?  Just out of gratitude for your peace and safety tonight.

Wednesday, 01 August 2007 21:20:48 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [10] | #

Someone was wondering why I didn't put the "Those Wacky Fundies" moniker on my brief blurb about Tammy Faye Bakker Messner.  Another assumed that I had refrained from commenting further to avoid speaking ill of the dead, and was just biting back bile.

Well.  I feel enough time has gone by that I can speak more freely.

Tammy Faye was a fundie.  And Tammy Faye was wacky.  But she misses the mark in my book for a "Wacky Fundie".  Because for me a "Wacky Fundie" is wacky because of the schitziod nature of their world view: preaching hate in the name of love, treating human nature as dirty, sick and corrupt while at the same time claiming that we could not have evolved because we are God's exhaulted creatures, insisting that all men are sinners, while making sure everyone knows that everyone else is a worse sinner than themselves.

My personal favorite was a wacky fundy who, in one conversation insisted that we should not give young girls the HPV vaccine because it could be consrued as "permission" to go ahead and have sex.  But then, in a different conversation said that God's instructions about how to make a sex slave out of a war captive female were basically God's way of saying "if you're going to do it anyway, here's the best way to do it."  God hates harm reduction and risk reduction when it comes to children's health, but gives it the A-OK when it comes to satifying men's lust.  Lovely.

I got none of that off of Tammy Faye.  I think she was genuine and sincerely a loving, open-hearted faithful person.

That doesn't let her off the hook for the things that she DID do wrong.  There's no denying that she profited from the greed, corruption, and outragous abuses of her two husbands.  She didn't seem to have any scruples about accepting the bounty without question as to where it came from.  As some commentators pointed out, she seemed to view the luxuries and plenty that she enjoyed as being the natural result of her faith.

I think of Tammy Fae as being simple-minded and thoughtless, naieve and vain.  Faults enough, but normal, natural, and not unusual.  This is especially true of the "feeling" faiths...the "knowing what God wants in your heart" brands that teach people from birth to distrust questions, thought, and reason.  What I DID NOT see in her was the hatefulness, guile, or hypocracy.  I see someone who was trained to be child-like and trusting, to not ask questions, to expect God to provide bounty and to view hardships not as an out-come of personal failings, but instead as some sort of test or trial that God applies for his own reasons.

Here is an NPR report on Tammy Faye.  See what you think, but anyway, in the end it really doesn't matter what you and I think.

Please don't miss the clip of the "documentary" narrated by Ru Paul.  I like the ending quote.


Wednesday, 01 August 2007 16:36:54 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Much is made of the supposed much higher level of "charity" amongst the religious as opposed to the non-religious.  The common wisdom is that religious people give away a lot more of their money.

But the question remains, when you take away the billions of dollars of "charity" given to enrich Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker et al, to building certain "Bible Colleges" that only function to teach people a disfunctional and limited vision of the world, building Chrystal Catherdrals and corporate churches with health clubs and espresso shops in them - how much of it actually goes to help people with real needs and problems?  And don't forget all the money that's been used to help churches tell their parishoners to vote Republican.

Many people argue that private charity is better than government programs, and point to government waste and mismanagement.  All the while exhaulting the shills and frauds of private charities, and bragging about how much better they are because they give away more of their money to send people Bibles, or print out and distribute Jack Chick tracts (and I suppose entertainment that elicits a cynical humor is a sort of public service), or makes people sing hymns and pretend to be penitent to get a little soup and a sandwich.

Don't get me wrong, there are many fine religious organizations and privately funded NGO's out there, and you can find them and give them as much or as little as you want and feel great about it.

However, if your idea of "charitable giving" is sending unwanted bibles to newspaper subscribers around the country, you can keep your Bible; you smug, sanctimonious sense of superiority; and your money for all I'm concerned.

It's enough to make me glad I don't subscribe to a hardcopy of any newspaper, but instead get the electronic versions.  I'm saving the trees twice!  Once with the newsprint I'm not getting, and once with the "charity" Bible I'm not getting.

(Hat Tip: Pharyngula)

Wednesday, 01 August 2007 10:55:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #

Yesterday I got up at 3:30 AM and took the Chinese boys to the highschool, I had volunteered to help wrangle the lines at the airport, so I got on the bus too.  Grasshopper went with as well, to wring out just a little more time with his new friends.  He was a big hit with all the Chinese kids, as well as the teacher and the principal of the Loudi school.  I think it was because of his spunky attitude, friendly nature, high energy levels, and his very expressive ability with non-verbal communication.

Anyway, on the bus to the airport, the kids sang songs.  The kids passed time this way a lot, any time they were forced to be inactive, and were together waiting for a long time.  One kid would start a song, and everyone who knew it would join in.  They had a preference for ballads and plaintive love songs in either Chinese or English.

One of the kids asked me to sing a song, and when I asked Grasshopper to sing with me, he yelled that we were going to sing, and everyone got quiet.  Then we had to argue about what to sing, and eventually I agreed to sing Grasshopper's favorite children's song...the "Johnny Appleseed Song".  It is short and lively and fun.  I think the kids liked it.

One of the boys, who went by his "American" name, "Antonio", had been given one of his host father's uniform jackets from when he was at the Citidel.  He was kind of the star of the departure, as every kid wanted to see the jacket, and learn what each patch and symbol meant.  Antonio wore it proudly, proud of his host father's accomplishments, and proud of the wonderful gift.

As we got off the bus, Grasshopper and I were innundated with gifts.  Bags of fine green tea, good-luck charms, hand-embroidered handkercheives, even a tiny china doll on a key chain.  One girl gave me a perfumed sachet box filled with dozens of tiny paper cranes that she had folded herself.  Everyone who had been a guest in our home, even for just an hour or so presented us with gifts.

The Americans on the bus were able to get special concourse passes that are available to people helping passengers who need assistance, so we were able to go with them all the way to the gate, which was lucky, because the entire group was selected for extra security checks, and it was rather starteling and uncomfortable for the teenage girls to experience the pat-down (rather more personal touching than they are culturally accustomed to).  We were fortunate to have arrived even earlier than two-hours before the flight, since it took a long time to get 23 people through the full security check.  Especially with half-a dozen TSA agents angrily barking one-word commands that were complete non-sequiters, and yet somehow managed to contradict one another.

For instance, I was telling the kids that they had to take off their shoes, and a TSA agent came up and yelled "Red!  Red!" at me.  As I was trying to figure out what that meant (I was thinking maybe the condition had changed from orange to red, but couldn't figure out how that affected the procedure for removing shoes), another TSA agent was shouting "Grey! Grey!" at the bewildered English teacher from China.  Eventually, one TSA guy chased the others away to their other posts, and calmly, quietly, explained things in real words, and the mess straightened out immediatly.  We were supposed to use the red bins, not the grey bins to put our stuff in as they went through the x-ray machine.  The helpful and articulate TSA agent also procured the red bins for us.

Unfortunaly, the barely conversant TSA agents have merely resumed their original posts, which meant that one of them was manning the metal detector and alternated between yelling "hurry up!  hurry up! and One at a time!  One at a time!"

We saw a bunch of National Guardsmen getting ready to leave.  I made sure to shake their hands and thank them for serving our country.  I told them my cousin was home finally, and safe with his family, and that I wished the same for them.  The Chinese students seemed to look at the soldiers with admiration and respect.

We got to the gate with no trouble, and when the boarding call was given, we watched them get on the plane, calling "good-bye" in English and Chinese.  The airport people seemed to have gotten accustomed to not having tears of farewell at the gates, and were visably and audibly annoyed, telling us to be quiet and settle down.  I remember when such scenes were common.  I suppose they are gone forever now.

And then they were on their plane and gone.

Later that day, I went to the high school to pick Adventure Boy up from his drama day camp, and I accidently, out of habit, pulled into the south parking lot, where I had been picking up our guests after their school days.  Of course, I started crying again.  So I'm going to go now and send some of the kids an e-mail so it will be waiting for them when they get home.


Wednesday, 01 August 2007 08:53:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #
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