Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I saw a bush in our backyard loaded with berries that looked a lot like chokecherries...but when I went to pick them, they didn't look quite right so I decided to check up on them.

Here's what Chokecherries look like:

chokecherry, Prunus virginiana  (Rosales: Rosaceae)

Magnoliopsida > Rosales > Rosaceae
Prunus virginiana L.

Photographer: Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., United States
Descriptor: Fruit(s)
Image taken in: United States


And here's what I had in my back yard:

common buckthorn Fruit(s)

common buckthorn
Rhamnus cathartica L.
Photo by Jan Samanek


As you can see...very different.  I just thought that the buckthorn were Chokecherries because it had been so long since I last picked them.  As as soon as I saw the pictures of the real thing...I couldn't believe I had mistaken them for chokecherries!

Chokecherries make a delicious syrup for pancakes or a wonderful jelly for bread...

Common Buckthorn, however, is a medicinal herb that is used to cure constipation, and can cause painful cramping, nausea, vomiting, and red or orange urine.


When in doubt, make sure to double check before you pick wild produce...even if you've been doing it all of your life!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 12:43:09 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #
Monday, 29 September 2008

Here's a picture of what 50% of Americans look like to a conservative.

I think this might be what Robert Beal would say if he was capable of stringing words together that made sense.

It is probably a lot like the opinions held by such "top producers" as Tom Petters.

Seems like something "top producers" William and Shirley Pierce might have taught their students.

It sound like it would be right in line with the philosophy of intelligent, moral people like Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk.  Now THAT'S a guy with a complex mental life who must certainly feel the moral weight of responsibility.

That mean government, always interfering with innocent, hard-working rich people.  Oh!  Those evil liberals who want to burden these bastions of virtue with government interference and regulation!

I think it's great that these poor put-upon assets to our country have someone to stand up and speak for them.


[off-topic update- Rocky just came back from a professional function, and reported that someone told him in conversation tonight that the reason we are in this economic mess is because the Democrats were helping the blacks buy houses.  Wow.  Rocky said he just walked away.  Probably the best response.  Really, the only safe and sane response.  The guy was probably armed.  Our friend Blake was there as well.  It will be interesting to get his take on it.]


[on-topic update] There's little news of this in the conservative MSM, but apparently the good Chrsitian morality says it's OK to gas babies and children if they are Muslim.  Dont you liberals wish that you had that kind of clarity and sanity?  You'd never be able to vote for Obama if you had these kind of rock-solid values.

Monday, 29 September 2008 16:57:09 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [13] |  |  |  | #
Sunday, 28 September 2008

Got up early today, and made pancakes.  Then ran to get Tim's best friend, who is visiting from Montreal.  Then, I took the two of them down to the Renaissance Festival (to meet Tim's girlfriend so they could hang out), and ran back so that I could get an early start on the latsest batch of jelly and make some bread.  Got the bread all mixed up and set in hot water in the sink to raise (the air is too cool and dry here right now to raise it on the counter), and went to pick more grapes...

...the houseguests finished eating, and drove off past me to go to the Renaissance Festival, and I rushed home in time to punch down the bread, put it in pans and start it raising again...

Only to find that someone had stacked their dirty breakfast dishes in the bread bowl (on top of the dough), and thoughtfully sprayed water on the whole mess to rinse the dishes.


Well, I'm grumbling now....before there was cursing.

So now I am making a whole new batch of bread, but my day just got much more packed.  Sometimes the little set-backs are the most aggrevating.

It's so easy to lose perspective.  It's not like that was the last of the flour in the house or anything.

Sunday, 28 September 2008 12:13:50 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #
Friday, 26 September 2008

Here's a cute story about how Kirk Cameron won't kiss anyone but his wife....including on screen.

That's very sweet.

It almost makes you forget that he's an extremist adherent to a philosophy that is trying to hasten the day when he and all of those in his religion get to slaughter most of the rest of humanity in rivers of blood, destroy the earth, and bring hellfire and torment to everyone who doesn't believe as he does.


Friday, 26 September 2008 04:50:55 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #
Wednesday, 24 September 2008

So I guess what happened here is that some GOP bigwig observed that a lot of people are being foreclosed on, and that if they lost their homes they would no longer be eligable to vote, and someone should maybe "clean up" these inelgible voters from the voter rolls.

You know.  "clean the voter rolls".  Like they did in Florida.  No big deal, just disenfranchise a whole bunch of people really quietly, and leave it up to them to find out about the problem and fix it on election day.

After work, and in time before the polls close.

And they're agast that this could be construed as "voter suppression".

I'd give them the benefit of the doubt...but Im afraid I've given it all away.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 20:18:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

(read with crackely old crazy prospector voice)

W-e-e-elll Do-o-o-gies.  Shift my ever moving foundation!  Darned if they haven't come up with a fine solution to the economy, the oil shortage, and the dilemma of marriage equality...the Pastor's pledge.  We'll lick 'em dern commies yet!

Just look at all of the pastors who signed their pledge.  Someone from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has come on board.  Aye-men.

They will also be happy to see that I made sure to do everything I can to get this into the hands of as many people as possible...just as they requested.



Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your entire e-mail list of family and friends.

Please forward this to your pastor

Please forward this email and encourage your pastor to sign the Pastor's Pledge.

September 24, 2008

Dear Friend,

The upcoming election is the most critical in the history of our nation. The very future of our nation’s foundation is at stake. Every person will be affected. If the liberals win, then our foundation will no longer be based on the traditional Judeo-Christian morality. It will gradually but assuredly be based on an ever shifting, ever moving foundation.

I cannot overemphasize the importance the Nov. 4 election. That is why I hope you will forward this email to your pastor, and encourage your pastor to sign the Pastor’s Pledge.




Donald E. Wildmon,
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association





Wednesday, 24 September 2008 19:35:39 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #

A little more about the walk…

At the closing ceremony, the MC of the event told us that the world would look a little different.  We wouldn’t have people cheering us and honking and waving at every intersection, for one thing.

And she’s right…but it’s funny…I just have this feeling that they MIGHT, or that I just might cheer THEM if I just knew their story.

I saw so many feats of selflessness and kindness, heard so many stories of bravery and love and perseverance, enjoyed so many demonstrations of humor and consideration, that I have to believe that it is still right there, under the surface in almost everyone, just waiting for a chance to express itself.

Every person I meet that I don’t know, might have been someone who was standing along the route cheering, a sponsor, a crewperson or a walker.  The lady behind the desk at the car dealership who handed me my license plates, for instance, or the guy who put them on my car for me.  They might have been standing out by the side-walk and handed me a bottle of water just when I needed it, or a piece of candy when my energy was flagging, or they may have been one of those Angels sent directly from God who had string cheese (salt AND protein in one delicious package).

Maybe it’s just residual endorphins, but I sort of expect to see acts of kindness, gratitude and generosity around every corner right now.

You wouldn’t believe the outpouring of community support.  Every time we crossed over a freeway, cars honked and people waved.  Cars honked at almost every intersection.  When we were walking on sidewalks, cars passed and honked.

The cheering stations were full, and there was one that was so unbelievably huge.  There were probably over a hundred people there.

We were walking along on a trail through the woods, and I was in an extremely focused moment.  It was fairly quiet, and we were somewhat behind because of Sue’s sprained ankle.  We were going up a hill just as the path turned a sharp corner, and as soon as we came in sight a loud roar started, and just kept going.

I stopped and just gaped like an idiot.  An involuntary “wow” escaped.  The people standing closest to me cheered even harder and smiled even more broadly.  People yelling, waving signs, flags, pink flamingo lawn ornaments, funny hats, it’s all a blur.  But I remember that it wasn’t until about a hundred feet down the path that I began to be aware of the pain from my blisters again.

Sometimes a cheering person would hold up their hand for a “high-five” and say things like “Thank you from my daughter, who can’t be here” or sometimes there were little signs and memorials with pictures of people who had died of breast cancer.  Their families standing around clapping and cheering and saying “thank you”.

There is a traveling couch memorial that is just wonderful.

Bald women sitting in the shade with tears in their eyes, saying “thank you for walking for me”

But all of that is just prelude to the crew.

The crew were sent from God.  One the second day, pit stop 4, it was necessary for us to walk about a block-and-a-half off of the path, attend the Pit Stop, and then walk back to the path.

You would not believe how bad that was for our psychology.  Sue sat down and said “I want ice for my ankle, but I don’t want to walk all that way and then walk back again.”

I couldn’t blame her.  I didn’t want to either, and I didn’t have a sprained ankle as an excuse.  Suddenly, a crewperson appeared, and said “I will go and get you ice, water and food.  Just don’t move.”

Sue replied “No worries, I’m not going ANYWHERE.”

“Let me help you with that”; “Let me get that for you”; “Do you need anything?”  “Are you OK?”;”Can I get you something?” ; “Everything OK here?”

That is what crew sounds like.  These people worked their ASSES off, and I’m pretty sure that at least once, I forgot to say “thank you”.

They road bikes up and down the line day after day to make sure nobody was in trouble.  They called sweep vans for the sick and injured, they monitored stoplights and directed traffic and entertained us while we waited at stoplights.

There was a guy in a pink cowboy hat who just sat there looking like he was happy to see each and every one of us.  There was a lady with a sort of Genine Gerafalo sort of dead-pan humor who cracked me up every time, once augmenting her directions on how to safely negotiate a complicated intersection crossing with the safety instructions for exiting an aircraft in an emergency.  And then there was Mullet Pig.

Mullet Pig was a guy in a pink pig mask with a “diamond” tiara and magenta hair weaves.  He was a little chubby, and had a big hairy belly.  I know, because he often performed cartwheels as part of his acrobatic cheering routine.  Also, jump-split kicks.  He had a sort of “Wyld Stallions” vibe going on as well (a-la Bill and Ted).

He referred to himself in the third person.  As in “Mullet Pig loves all the three day walkers”, and “Mullet Pig doesn’t want you to get crushed by a truck, so listen up!”

For a significant portion of the walk, we entertained ourselves by brain-storming a buddy-movie in the vein of the “Bill and Ted’ or “Jay and Silent Bob” movies:  “Mullet Pig saves the 3-day”.  Of course, we also amused ourselves at Susie’s report that she mispronunces “National Philanthropic Trust” (just try it, you’ll get the idea…it’s a spoonerism).

I think I love Mullet Pig.  I think that everyone should have a Mullet Pig of their very own in their lives all of the time.

The last day, 1.5 miles from the end, I was beginning to tear up from the pain in my ankle.  I knew I could finish, but I also knew that we still had a long way to go and it was going to hurt.

And there was Mullet pig, shaking his pink pom-poms, and yelling something we couldn’t quite hear.  When we got closer, I yelled: “we love you Mullet Pig!”  He yelled back “I love you too”.

When we got to him, I gave him a hug (not pleasant for him by now, I assure you.  I was a grimy, sweaty mess), looked into his eyes and said “Thank you.  Every time I see you, it makes me happy”.  Just for a moment, the Mullet Pig persona disappeared, and he said “That’s why I do it.  Thank You.”

I think it's pretty safe to say that he's not in it for the hugs from sweaty, road-grime-covered, sun-burned chicks with no make-up and hair that has not seen a blow-dryer or curling iron for three days.

There’s nothing I can say to express how important the crew is, and the people who show up to cheer at these events.  Amazing.

So if you volunteered to crew, or if you showed up to cheer, or even if you just tooted your horn and waved as you drove past the event…Thank You.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 06:43:11 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] |  |  | #
Tuesday, 23 September 2008


(Hat Tip:  Pharyngula)

Oh, and this is fun:

Someone was getting tired of having their Obama/Biden sign stolen, so they put a camera on it to watch it 24/7

Fun stuff.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 15:34:53 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #
Monday, 22 September 2008

OK, so compare George Obama's take on his own story

With Dinesh D'souza's take and tell me:

Who knows George Obama's story better?  George Obama or Dinesh D'Souza?

What I like best about Dinesh's article is that the only thing he is honest about is his own motivations (opportunistic, mean, petty, self-serving, full of contempt and scorn for both Barak and George Obama).  Well, I think he got right also that George Obama lives in a Nairobi slum.

He doesn't mention that George Obama is proud, independent, and self-sufficient.  He neglects to mention that George does not want his brother's help.  He doesn't mention that George is happy with his life as it is.  And he doesn't mention the possibility that George Obama might just think that he is an overbearing, intrusive dick.

My parents would call those "lies of omission", and I would have gotten a rather severe case of the "wooden spoon remedy" for committing that many that grandly and that boldly in that small span of is even possible that they would have washed my mouth out with soap.

Oh, and do you like the one about how the media goes after Palin so hard and treats Obama with kid gloves?  Ha!  The man can't sneeze without it being panned for "downfall gold".

Sorry to break it to ya, righties, the media isn't liberal  They are about shaping the narrative for maximum ratings and $$$.  Which puts them on their own side, and no-one else' other words - they're Conservative.

For instance, if they were so anti-Palin, they would have mentioned this.

Here's the original.

So far, I have found that one local station covered it.

Monday, 22 September 2008 17:53:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #

I have a just walked sixty- plus miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-day Walk For the Cure. 


The actual total was 61.5.  Thank you to my sponsors.  Everytime I thought it would be easier to take the sweep van, I thought of you, and how I was representing you and the money you invested in my participation.  It kept me strong and helped me finish.  Thank You.


Yes, I walked every single mile, and the half-mile too.  This does not include all of the walking we had to do at camp in order to get through the thousands of tents to the one end of camp to get dinner…and to the other end of camp to get a shower…and then again in the morning for breakfast, medical tent the get blisters properly lanced and taped, etc.


The rest of my team finished as well:


Suzie Andert  (three-time veteran of the 3-day; friend, advisor, coach, and the prettiest darned supply pack-mule Ive ever seen)

Leslie Dwight (Who gets my "super-trooper of the year" award.  This woman is a walking machine)

Susan Grove (Who got swept once due to her sprained ankle, but the extra mileage made up for it..and anyway, getting swept takes nothing away from the fact that she walked around thirty miles with a sprained ankle…and was only taped for 17 of them)


And me.


 About half-way through, my ankle started hurting so I went to the medical tent and had it adjusted by a chiropractor.  Apparently, I’d walked 15 miles with it out of joint.  I’m glad the chiropractor knew what to do…all I knew was that I had a large purple-and-magenta bruise on the blade of my foot, and my ankle was swelling.   And adjustment and some support tape made all the difference.  Then I just had the pain from the inflammation to deal with…but it was less than half what I’d been dealing with the day before.


 The bottom of my right foot has three large blisters…one that actually covers the entire ball of my foot, and two the size of quarters on either side of the heel.  There is no epidermis left between any of my toes.  On my left foot, I have two small blisters on either side of my heel.


I’m not stiff and sore, though…a testament to a well-designed training schedule and the power of frequent, disciplined stretching.  Also, I think the fact that I slept on the hard ground rather than an air mattress helps.  Don’t know why, but I find that I am less stiff and sore after a big physical event if I sleep somewhere firm.  Air mattresses or soft mattresses kill my back and hips!


#1 important re-cap point!  Rocky watched the kids all weekend, including our God-daughter (Sue's daughter).  He managed the house very well.  It looked great when I got home.  He got all of the kids to all of their events (some of them 25 miles away), got the kids to do chores, had dinner waiting for us when we got home....etc.  He's so wonderful!


He also brought the kids to see us and cheer us.  They waited for several hours until we walked past.  Sue almost cried.  I was so happy.  For the moment, all of the pain went away...and actually the last 2.5 miles went much easier because they were there for us.  Then, they also went forward and were there to see us finish as well!


Factoid:  Did you know that your feet can swell up so much that your toe-nails turn black and fall off?  No, that didn't happen to me, or anyone on our team, but I heard at least a dozen people say it happened to them...and more who said that it had happened to them one of the other times they did the walk.  One lady said she only had three toenails left, and was pondering whether or not she could get a discount on her next pedicure.

At one point during the last half of the second day, Sue and I both had ankle injuries (we later found out that she had a sprain from twisting it on a bit of uneven ground.  I had a bone out of joint) were Marching along in grim silence, just putting one foot in front of the other, feeling the pain each time, and moving through it one step at a time.

Sue:  "What's that up there?"

Me:  "Nothing.  Just more people."

Sue:  "  I think I see Bataan."

Of course, while she was historically accurate in that the Bataan death march was sixty miles long...technically, Bataan would have been BEHIND us, and there would have been soldiers yelling in Japanese and shooting the stragglers, rather than "sweep vans".  Oh yeah, and no "Pit Stops" with food, water and port-a-potties.

Still, the analogy FELT accurate enough.

Another snippet of conversation with Suzie (not to be confused with Sue)

Me:  "Ouch".

Suzie:  "Uh-oh, what's wrong."

Me:  "Nothing.  Sorry.  One just escaped.

Suzie:  "An ouch escaped?"

Me:  "Yeah.  I try to keep them in a little corral so they don't get out and bother you.  I've got a little collie that runs around herding them into the corral."

Suzie:  "The inside of your brain makes me laugh."


There was a little boy visiting his mother at the lunch stop, and he ran over to a crew member with his mom's empty water bottle:

Boy:  "Can I have some water for my mom?"

Crew: "Sure.  Hey kid, do you know why I work crew?"

Boy:  "No."

Crew:  "So when you grow up, you won't have to." (because breast cancer will have a cure)


I’ll post about this again, and do a much better job of it, but I wanted to give you some idea about what went on.

When we have pictures, I will post again.  I especially need to show you the picture of, and tell you about “mullet pig”.  He was one of the volunteer crew members that helped us (and entertained and encouraged us) at street-crossings.

One last thought:  THIS is the strength of our nation.  These women are housewives and office workers and beauty consultants and three-time cancer survivors...and yes, some figherfighters and police officers, and personal trainers...but mostly ordinary everyday women.

And they can walk sixty miles on sprained ankles and feet that have lost toenails, and taped-up knees.

They can walk and sing funny filk songs about "I'm walking on blisters (to the tune of "Im walking on Sunshine")" and they can stay up an extra hour and dance like there's no tomorrow on day two.

And if they start to falter, all it takes to keep them going is a sign that reminds them that "blisters don't need chemo"  (that one worked for me), or a thought about their sponsors, or a funny man dressed up in a pig mask and magenta hair weaves (I'll tell you about him later).

If they think a cause is worth it.  You might say that it isn't important to finish, because we raised the money whether we finish or not...but that isn't true.

See...many people say that it is impossible to find a cure for breast cancer.  Many people also say that it is impossible for an average suburban housewife to walk sixty miles.

Well, here's news to them.  The "impossible" is NOT impossible.

So there.

Now, Im going to the gym.


Monday, 22 September 2008 06:57:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] |  |  | #
Thursday, 18 September 2008

In another case of "you keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

I'd noticed that most of the religious conservatives I know were ignoring my pleas for sponsorships or promotion of my participation in the Susan G. Komen.

I didn't want to draw any conclusions from it, but I was having a hard time helping myself.

Anyway, I got an e-mail from a friend of mine who is a fairly newly-minted religious conservative and she told me flat out (this is one of the things that I like about this person: no guesswork) that she couldn't sponsor me because the Susen G. Komen organization gives Planned Parenthood grant money.  I assume this grant money is for the cancer screening that they offer to low-income patients.

She was wondering if I knew of any "pro-life" breast cancer organizations...



Before today, I was not sure if you could die from shooting hot tea out of your I can tell you that while it is painful,  it is not necessarily fatal.

What IS potentially fatal, however, is pro-life groups spreading lies and fake science, claiming (at the preceeding link does) that Susan G. Komen's efforts CAUSE cancer, and preventing people from contributing to the elimination of cancer.  How completely low and sickening.  Actually, it's evil.

Tomorrow I go out to walk sixty miles to fight evil.  At six Ay-em.  You gotta get up pretty darn early to fight evil.

Thursday, 18 September 2008 21:25:48 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] | #

My friend Jenny recently asked me to do more personal posts, as she has no idea what is going on with our family.

So here it is:

I hardly ever see Tim anymore (formerly known as Adventure Boy) since he is in marching band all of the time.  However, I am his "friend" on Facebook, and he has me in the top level of clearance so I get to see all of his interactions.

Also, he has a girlfriend.  They met at CONvergence.  Nice fan girl, cute as a button.  Nice family.  They've had us over for a BBQ.  First official date, a movie and several hours of "hanging out" at the Mall of America.

She made me a "friend" on Facebook too.

Grasshopper is working hard at school , and learning to get organized.  Also, dealing with the frustration he feels do to being an imperfect perfectionist.

I start my Susan G. Komen walk tomorrow with my team, "Beautiful Feat"...captained by my best friend, Sue.  I still have $200.00 in sponsorships left to raise, if anyone is interested.

Rock is going to drive us there and run the house until we get back.

My friend Falina is going to come down and give me a thereputic massage next week to help me recover (I love having a friend who is a generous massage therepist)

I just finished canning 36 more quarts of home-made wild Grape Juice.  Just call me the "Suburban Scavenger"  I had already managed to score enough wild grapes in random vacant lots and street-sidings to make 24 quarts of juice...but my family has already drank them.  I still have to bake a blueberry pie (the last one's been eaten already) and then I have to pack for my walk.  First job on returning home will be:  as much choke-cherry syrup and jelly as I can product and presrve before the birds eat all the berries (unless the grapes are still good, in which case I will make a run at getting some grape jelly in.)

Rocky is in the throws of finishing his latest book.  He has little to no life, although he has managed to get out and play tennis with the boys a couple of times in the last week.

Thursday, 18 September 2008 12:21:56 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #
Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Ben (the once and hopefully future Eclectic Anonymous) thought that the last video I put up was a little on the serious side, so he sent me a link to this:

You know how Mr. Rogers was rumored to be a Green Beret with multiple kills to his name and it turned out not to be true?

Well, here we have a real-life army guy singing on a children's show.

It's the British Army (the Life Guards), of course...and naturally, since he is singing about triangles, several of the commenters on the video make "gay" comments...and since he served as a peacekeeper, there doesn't appear to be much likelyhood of any "multiple kill" stories...

but none of that is either here nor there.


Here is James Blunt singing "triangle".  Hopefully it will make you smile.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008 15:40:31 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #

Geekgoddess has this clip up on her blog, and I was so moved to see it there.  I remember this speech the first day the Daily Show was back after Sept 11.

I remember that it was the best thing I had seen on television.  The first commentary that I had seen that was genuine, expressed what I felt, was inspiring, and not self-serving and manipulative.  Viewing it now, it is a little akward, a little dis-jointed, a lot muddled...

...but that day it was exactly right on every note and every beat and every word.  It was exactly right.




Thanks, GG, I have wanted to see this again for a long time.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008 12:46:03 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
Monday, 15 September 2008

CNN advertizing the next episode of Larry King:

"Dr. Phil will be here to tell us why we care about politics."


The economy is in the toilet, economic indicators are plummeting, Osama Bin Laden is still at large seven years after major intelligence failures From highly politicized agencies resulted in 3,000 dead civilians...bail-outs of companies that can't manage to stay afloat despite ^ @! $ !!ing the public for all it is worth, and sticking us with the bill twice after passing laws that make it impossible for us to declare bankrupcy...

And Dr. Phil is going to explain to us why we care about politics?

I want to know, who are these dipshits who give a high-flying rat ^ @! $ !! what Dr. Phil thinks?

Monday, 15 September 2008 22:29:07 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] |  |  |  | #

Yet another example of the true agenda of the "pro-life" movement raising it's ugly head.

PZ Myers got a letter the other day.

The letter follows below.  Notice once again, rhetoric that equates birth control to abortion.  This rhetoric has always been there, but it is increasing in frequency and volume.  The issue is not life, nor human dignity for these people, it is about control of women and their sexuality.

(Hat tip: Pharyngula)

My name is Mike Koelzer and I am the owner of Kay Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I thought you might be interested in seeing the recent coverage on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson of our pharmacy's policy to not sell contraceptives. You will find the link to the ABC video at

Ours is a very important story on the abortifacient properties of birth control pills and why we no longer carry them in our third-generation, family-owned pharmacy.

I would enjoy speaking at your church or your organization's conference or other event. I also would be honored to have you share my apostolate in your blog etc. To learn more about my apostolate, please see



Monday, 15 September 2008 16:09:08 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #

Thought it would be fun.  Anyone else want to go?  >:->



Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your entire e-mail list of family and friends.


Biblical Worldview Conference in St. Paul


Dear Teresa,


What: A Code Blue Rally for students and adults

Purpose: To equip Christians to stand for truth

         in an "anything goes" culture

Where: St. Paul, Minnesota

Place: North Heights Lutheran Church

       1700 West Hwy. 96

When: Sunday, October 12 (5:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

Costs: No admission fee

Speakers: Dr. Bob Cornuke, Sean McDowell

         (son of Josh McDowell) and Brannon Howse


Topics include: Three Worldview Trends You Must Understand

If You Want To Contend and Defend Your Faith; Political Correctness

is Cultural Marxism; Eight Ways To Think Like A Christian;

A Christian Response to Global Warming and Animal Rights;

Understanding The Reason For the Rise of Oprah's Pagan

Spirituality and a Christian Response; The Search For Noah's Ark,

The Ark of The Covenant and Mt. Sinai;

Why Worldview Training Matters and Students Want it;

The Rise of One-World Spirituality and more.


Seating is limited and filling fast.

There is no admission fee,

but you must register online at


Monday, 15 September 2008 08:44:50 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #
Sunday, 14 September 2008

It's OK Vala, I understand.

It seems like you've got it made, being your own girl, doing whatever you want, pretending to be whoever it is convenient to be at the moment...making your own rules up as you go along...blazing a path through whoever and whatever stands in your way...

and then you meet some square, teutonic boyscout with a mind like a steel trap and next thing you're going to be makeing him annoyed and uncomfortable for the rest of his life.


Sunday, 14 September 2008 13:32:00 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

GeekGoddess sent me this link, and I read the article.  There are SOME valid points in here, in that discussion of ANY public building should face challenges on the environmental impact, safety, interferance with schools, public transportation, etc.

But the underlying message of "not in my backyard" is just rediculous.  Old people have to go SOMEWHERE and there are going to be more of them all the time.  Why should they not have a place in the community that they helped build?  And then there's the assumption that somehow communal living, communal transportation, and social security will ruin our country and bring our communities down.

You know what else brings a neighborhoods down?  Old people dying in their homes and not being found for a week, cause nobody checks on them.  Old people dropping dead cause they have to shovel their own damn sidewalk rather than having a building association do it while they gather at the community center and have a nice time dancing to old-time music.  Or how about this?  Old people getting robbed and burgled in their own homes 'cause criminals see them as an easy mark?

Or what about young people having to drive for a couple of hours every day to visit mom and dad in the nearest affordable assisted living apartment on top of driving to and from work, working, getting little Jenny to band practice...etc?  That's even less time for the Lions club or the PTO or being a den mother/father.

And then there's the whole view of the elderly as some sort of social burdon.  These people built our schools, built our economy, fought our wars, volunteered in our community...and many of them continue to volunteer in the community and mentor young people to this day (most of the members of our local Optimist club are near, at or beyond retirement age)

As more and more people reach an age where they need additional services, and cannot afford them themselves, what are we going to do?  If this article is any indication, we're going to follow the path of the pigs in 1984 and send them off to the glue factory.

Of course, not everyone sees it that way:

Lee said he doesn't think residents' repeated opposition to senior developments is anti-senior. What people usually oppose, he said, is density -- multi-story developments that have many people living in a relatively small space, as they do in senior condos and apartments.


Yeah, that's a problem.  People living together, commuting together, getting help when they need it but maintaining a certain level of independence.  It's discpicable.  People should either live alone in their own home like God intended, or they should be in a nursinghome and forced to wear diapers.  No in-between.  Either you can take care of yourself, or you can't.


It's like they want seniors who can no longer live alone to have some dignity or something.


Sunday, 14 September 2008 08:19:47 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] | #
Saturday, 13 September 2008

Teresa, if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be:

Taupe Armageddon Palin

What would YOUR Palin name be?

Saturday, 13 September 2008 20:01:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] | #

Michele Bachmann says that Sarah Palin is the victim of "The biggest hissy-fit of modern times" is "comfortable in her skin" and "represents normal people".



"The biggest hissy-fit in modern times"? Wow...bigger than Watergate? For real? The press is hounding Sarah Palin more than they hounded Nixon? They're spending more time on Palin than they did on the Monica Lewinski thing? Really? The avid coverage of Gerald Ford's gaffs were more fair than criticism of Palins attempts to ban books at her local library and fire the librarian? The press's coverage of the "bunny attack" on President Carter was more relevant than questions about whether or not Sarah's claims about giving back federal money were true? Really? This is the biggest deal that the press has ever made about a political candidate? Wow. Those bastards.


And Sarah Palin is "comfortable in her skin". What does THAT mean? Presumably, she doesn't have any dermatological problems, or what with the press going all ga-ga over her, we'd know about it (along with how "spunky" she is to overcome it, and how much her faith has sustained her through it). That may seem like a strange choice of words, especially for someone like Michele Bachmann, who is more the type to say something less imaginative like "she is comfortable with herself". But in order to properly understand what she means, you have to use the Republican lexicon. See, Barak Obama pointed out that McCain was just recyceling Bush's failed policies and calling them something else...and he called it "putting lipstick on a pig" To the Republicans, Sarah Palin was, at that time, most famous for saying the word "lipstick" "McCain's policies" must have been code for Sarah and that ment that McCain was Sarah's make-up man, and...uh...actually, I'm not sure how the logic train ran...but it started with McCain's policies actually representing Sarah herself and ended with Obama calling Sarah a "pig" because they both used the word "lipstick". So, if you use Republican logic to interpret Ms. Bachmann's words, you can clearly see that when Republicans are backed into a corner where they have to say something nice about Obama or they will look like dicks, Obama is usually noted for being the first Black candidate for President. So "comfortable in her skin", means that Ms.Palin and her family are comfortable being white people. So what Bachmann is REALLY saying is "white pride"! Yeah, it doesnt make any sense, but what can you do? They're Republicans; no attempt to figure out what they're "really" saying makes any sense.


Kind of like what does Bahchmann mean by "normal people"? Well, Ms. Palin represents "normal people". Therefore, "normal people" are White, Protestant Evangelicals who also speak in tongues and roll around on the floor in church, are in the top 1% income bracket and have large quantities of their wealth invested in energy and defense companies. And don't we all live next door to one of those guys?

But then again, Michele Bachmann may not make sense, but she certainly has balls!  Just look at the way she handles a face-to-face confrontation with Lord Voldemort!



I can't imagine how brave she must be to talk over him, falsely accuse him of sexism when he has made legitamate critisms, and generally behave like a deisel-powered, socially inept bulldozer towards him. Michele Bachmann has balls of steel!

She just looked him in his face and said what she thinks;  It is demeaning to women to suggest that there are more qualified women out there than Sarah Palin.  You just can't expect that much from women, you sexist pig.  The only way it would have been ballsier is if she's said it to him in Parseltongue!

Now, stop demeaning women by discussing their qualifications.  Straighten up, fly right, and rally behind a candidate that knows how to treat women!


Saturday, 13 September 2008 07:53:35 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] |  |  | #
Friday, 12 September 2008

Many religious scholars have a history of deep and thoughtful exploration.

Their studies span the liberal arts, with a servicable insight into science, philosophy, sociology, and other disciplines.  Their writing is lucid and focused.  Their conclusions are clear and comprehensible, and their influence on their fellow man is beneficial.

This man is not one of them.

He quotes the great scientist, Pascal Wager, for starters:

"More scientists and philosophers state that God’s existence and non-existence are equiprobable.

Scientist Pascal Wager recommended a solution: His consequences of non-belief are bleak and unchangeable; better to err on the side of belief.

Now, how does religion explain God’s existence? "

But then, what else should we expect?  As the great scientist Einstein Blunder once said "Nothing ever changes."

Friday, 12 September 2008 05:19:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
Thursday, 11 September 2008

I remember that walking my kid to the bus stop with all the false confidence I could muster, kissing his cheek, and telling him that everything was going to be fine when I put him on the bus. Because it's most important for kids to keep things as normal as possible.

I remember kissing my husband as he left for the airport wa-a-ay too soon after the planes were allowed in the sky again. Because we're AMERICANS damnit, and we're not going to be chased out of OUR OWN skies.

I remember New Yorkers behaving in a disciplined, upright manner, helping their fellow man and doing the right things almost every time. Because a people can't remain free without remaining virtuous.

I remember seeing "W" on that pile of rubble with the bullhorn and thinking that maybe, just maybe the crucible was going to make a man out of him.

...well, three out of four ain't bad.

Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:59:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [11] | #

When I saw the headline "Not Holding Back: Why I didn't Redshirt My Kindergarten-Age Son"...I thought:

"Because he's too young to get eaten by a green slobbering space monster?"

"Because even though he's short, there's no guarantee that 'random surges in gravometric particle-waves' will go over his head"?

"Because Starfleet let one under-age ensign onto the bridge, and that is entirely enough?"  (BTW, Will Wheton is all grown up and is made of awesome)


Apparently, no.

Have you all heard about this?  Parents holding back their kids from starting kindergarten until age six so that they can be better at sports?



Thursday, 11 September 2008 09:05:19 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] |  | #
Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Amy Alkon, the mavin of mysanthropy is in love with the pod car.  It's individual, you see.  No need to have to interact with all those smelly humans.


No link-love 'cause I've got a feature on my blog that counts my comments for me.


But seriously,  I'm with Amy on this one! how cool would it be to live in the universe of I, Robot?  Dibs on the Allan Tudyk android!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 20:50:15 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

I was involved peripherally in a discussion with a wacky fundy on his blog once.  He insisted that pacificsts were immoral, because they would stand idly by and allow someone to rape and murder their children.


Either that, or they would commit violence in order to protect their family, so they weren't really pacifists.  Indeed, he went on to argue that pacifism was immoral.


This is so typical of that mindset; create a strawman to attack by only accepting polarizing assumptions.  Oddly enough, this guy was really hot on accusing other people of creating strawmen...but usually what he called "strawmen" were actual arguments.


But back to pacifism.  A friend just lent me season two of Kung Fu, and I was watching an episode that reminded me of this argument, and encapsulated my argument perfectly.


There was a Hutterite community being menaced and attacked by cattelmen (typical western motif) and the leader of the Hutterites was going to move his community; despite the fact that a large amount of their sheep were ill and would not survive the journey.


When Cain suggested that they stand their ground, the Hutterite leader said that if he is attacked by a man with a stick he had three options:

1) Let the man beat him and do nothing.

2) Beat the man rather than being beaten.

3) Go somehwere else.

Cain pointed out that there was another option:

4) Take the stick away from the man.


What was critical to the Christian's argument in my story was that he take away option #4.  That was the only way for him to complete his argument that pacifism is immoral.  In order to make pacifists craven, cowardly and immoral and the brave Christian "soldiers" preaching millitarism moral...he had to do away with #4.


Here's a real-world example.

In peaceful protests in recent years, protestors have discovered people in their midst that they have reason to believe are police officers acting as agents provocatuer.  They are usually dressed as "black block" anarchists...probably because that explains why their faces are covered (difficult to prove that they are cops if their faces are covered).  You can dismiss the fact that sometimes they are wearing boots identical to the riot police, or whatever evidence the protesters have.

It doesn't matter if the provocatuers are policemen in fact or not.  There is no need to prove it to court-level standards.  The protestors are developing a method of dealing with it that I think will eventually become quite effective.

Whenever someone notices another protestor about to start violence, or pushing for violence, they raise the alarm.  The protesors surrounding the provocatuers withdraw to create a ring  of space around the provocatuers, isolating them and making it easier for cameras to catch all of the action around them.

They then take up some sort of chant expressing their belief that the people in question are police, and that they reject the violence being encouraged by the provocatuers.

Eventually, the provocatuers are forced to leave.

The weapons of the provocatuers are:

1) Anonymity

2) Confusion

3) Public perception that they are part of the protest and their actions are tacitly approved by the other protesters.

Effectively executed, this tactic should eliminate the stories that involve the press saying "and then someone threw a bottle".  With the provocatuer isolated and easily identified, there will be no excuse for collective punishment.  So far, the weakness of this is that in order for it to work, it is necessary for the activist organizers to keep everyone together.  Where it failed in St. Paul was that the provocatuers broke off from the main protest, and this tactic does nothing if they are somewhere they cant be contained.  When you hear the organizers yelling "walk don't run"...that is probably so that people are not accidentally injured in mob panic.  However, it would also help to keep the groups together, where they can police their own membership.

The weapons of violence can be taken away by identification, organization, and isolation of those trying to use the cover of the community to violate the values of the community.  And no one gets hurt.

As one protester put it "nonviolent direct action".

So the Christianist millitants can mock pacifism all they want, and try to make it seem like pacifists are a bunch of immoral pansies...and they can even use that idea to convince themselves that their millitarism for their faith is moral and rightous.

That's fine with me because any pacifist knows...self-deception is always the first step toward self-defeat.

If you are interested, here are some examples of this priciple in action:

In this video, the tactic I describe comes into play about minute seven:



Here you can see how it worked in Canada with a bunch of Canadian protesters.



You can see that the protestors put themselves between the uniformed officers and the undercover officers with rocks (the police department was later forced to admit that the three people in question were undercover officers, but insist that their assignment was not to start trouble...however, they were identified as cops due to their provocative behavior, and their police-issued boots. They identified them, isolated them, prevented them from provoking violence. The video shows the provocatuers being cuffed, but the police department was forced to admit that they were officers when investigation showed no record of the arrests.


And as I alluded to before, this tactic works against all provocatuers, those who are police and those who are not.


Pacifism is the committment to find the non-violent solution.  It is a lie to say that that way has to be self-destructicve or ineffectual.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 08:31:36 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] | #
Tuesday, 09 September 2008

Watch this clip carefully and tell me where in it Barak Obama stops talking about McCain's policy positions and begins talking about Sarah Palin.




Roxeanne claims that Barak Obama "implied that Sarah Palin is a pig".

Roxeanne is normally quite astute.

But for future referance...know that every time someone uses the word "lipstick" they are really talking in code about Sarah Palin.

Just so you know...Sephora just sent me an e-mail add with lipstick on sale.

Clearly, they are calling sarah cheap.

Now you have to boycott them if you are a feminist.

But on a positive note...Ben Stein even manages to sound like an ignorant gas-bag when he's bad-mouthing Palin...



How is that even possible? He used to be so funny and iconic. Oh yeah. He started talking with his own words.

Tuesday, 09 September 2008 20:43:51 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #

Remember how we were hearing there for a while about how Christian preachers were stirring up villages in Africa and driving out "witches", and there were lots and lots of pathetic stories about little kids and old people being horribly abused and tortured because of being accused of witchcraft? 

Well, Sarah Palin was apparently prayed over by an African Bishop who claims to have purged a town of witchcraft.  I'm a little creeped out by that.

Here is a description of how Bishop Muthee waged spiritual warfare on the town.  I especially like the part about how his helpers weathered demonic attacks characterized by sickness and physical weakness while fasting.  You gotta love it when people who aren't eating describe the results as the work of demons.  But apparently, these ended once they got some people to invade the local witch's home, murder her pet python, arrest her, and then she left the town.  They drove her out with their spiritual power!

Sheesh.  These people make Obama's former pastor look like a normal pastor by comparison.


Talk-to-action has assembled a great deal of good information:

Part one

Part Two

So really, what does this all have to do with Sarah Palin the candidate? 

Frankly, we don't know.  The things coming out of churches she has belonged to are disturbing.  She would do well to give a speech asserting her comittment to a secular government, and detailing her opinion of the role of private belief in public life.

This is much more important than stupid questions about the "baby burden" and whether or not she had an affair, or the fact that her daughter is pregnant.

I'd like to know if she thinks sound anti-crime policy includes storming witches houses, murdering their pets, and driving them out of town. 

This quote made me laugh though...but only fellow "tick" fans will get it:

"God showed Pastor Thomas the need for “armourbearers” so he gathered the intercessors (now 9) and gave each person two armourbearers on the day they fasted and prayer (the person from the day before and after) to form a protective hedge. "

"Saaaayyy...Aren't you guys crazy Dominionists bent on destroying modern civilization and controlling the world?"

"No, we're a hedge."

Hey, what good is it living in an age where insane people are on a spiritual mission to destroy the world if you can't have fun with it?


Tuesday, 09 September 2008 06:11:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [7] |  | #
Monday, 08 September 2008

One of my favorite conservative bloggers is a woman named Roxeanne de Luca.

She just loves Sarah Palin, and has been providing numerous link-love fests with examples of how much people love the woman she fondly refers to as "the Sarahcuda".

However, she recently described a scene in WI where a mob of people swarmed the press and chanted "You're all liars!  Stop telling lies! Tell the truth!"

My favorite quote from her entry:  "Speaking of media bias, the people of Wisconsin are doing their best impersonation of “Kill the beast! Kill the beast!

Somehow, I don't think that depicting the good McCain/Palin supporters of small-town America as an anti-intellectual, hysterical mob of ignorant torch-bearing peasants was the intent.

And read the comments at the "people of Wisconsin" site.  Yikes.  Somehow, the media that credulously repeated everything President Bush said without question for six straight years is "liberal" and "Marxist".

Even the Republican's newly discovered "Maverick" hero McCain was less malleable than the press, and he let them call his adopted daughter illigitimate and smear his service.

I guess they will be calling him "Comrad Bush" from now on. 


Monday, 08 September 2008 23:46:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Hey everyone!  I just want to say, thanks for all of the donations!

You all had me scared for a while there...but now I am suddenly down to only needing $441 to meet my goal.

I'd like to thank you all for donating, and if you know anyone who would like to kick in $5 or whatever, just let them know.  This thing is small enough now that we can easily nickel-and-dime it to death.

Here's the link to my donation page, in case you know someone who might have an extra couple of bucks in their pockets.

I'd especially like to say thank you to those of you who contributed even though you have no idea who I am, and those who contributed anonymously.

I am floored at the number of $100 and $50 and $25 donations.  Magenic (where Rocky works) contributed $256.00 in matching funds for donations from employees.

Readers of Rocky's blog contributed.  Geekgoddes and Alenaae each plugged my fund drive on their blogs and both brought in contributions.

It's really nice to be part of something like this and see the generosity of people.

Thank you for your money, your time, and your support.  I am very grateful for all of you.

Here's the score so far!  The walk is in two weeks, but the donations page will be accepting donations until October which point any remaining funds that I have not earned will be charged to my credit card.  A prospect which, because of your actions in the last couple of weeks, is not nearly as scary as it was a couple of weeks ago.  :-)


80 percent of goal achieved.

Goal:  $2,200.00
Achieved: $1,759.00

Monday, 08 September 2008 08:49:00 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
Saturday, 06 September 2008

Skatja just posted an e-mail sent to her because her dad is an antheist.

In the letter, the Christian says that it should have been illegal for her to be born.

And then signed the letter "with love".

The mind boggles.

Saturday, 06 September 2008 22:34:18 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Tha author of What's Wrong With Kansas? (The populizer of the concept that people in the Red States who vote againt their economic interests in favor of social conservative values are "bitterly" clinging to their guns and Bibles and fear of outsiders.  I think Obama's big mistake is not that he addressed those ideas in public, but that he assumed that people read books and would recognize and understand the argument)


Anyway, his next book is:  The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule


Bora at A Blog Around the Clock sums up the point nicely:


As conservatives tend to do, they say one thing and think the opposite (you know, black is white, up is down, clean is dirty, war is peace, ignorance if power...). They say they are all for Free Market. And many people believe them. And when they get in power and screw up, everyone says they "abandoned their conservative principles". No, they did not - they did exactly what conservatives do. Free Market is a danger for their ideology. In a free market economy, they feel insecure because it is not a hierarchical system they like. It is a system in which they can potentially lose. It is a system in which they cannot succeed because the only way they know how to get to the top is by ruthlessly stepping on others. What they like is a hierarchy, a state without government in which conservatives rule through their own corporations, a system in which they have monopoly. And that is exactly what they do when they grab the levers of power.


For instance, look at the "free market" issues that constantly come up in conservative circles:


"Consumer freedom" for medical patients.  People should be able to "choose" the medical treatments that they want...whether or not those "choices' violate standards of care.  So if they want the "choice" to go to a doctor who perscribes oregano oil and garlic for their cancer (it's an anti-oxidant!) or other disease...then the government should not be there to stand in their way.  Just as an aside, I have to say that I love this site.  Read down to the part where they tell you not to fall for the fake oregano in the grocery store.  You need their special, magic oregano.  Read all the way to the bottom to see the list of things they claim it cures:

 "Oil of Oregano Effectively Treats:

· acne · allergies · arthritis · asthma · athlete's foot · constipation · croup · dandruff · diarrhea · digestive disturbances · insect bites · bronchitis · canker sores · colds · flu · earaches · fatigue · gum disease · parasites · headaches · menstrual irregularities · psoriasis · toenail problems · seborrhea · ringworm · rosacea · sinusitis · muscle pain · varicose veins · warts


You might say that if someone wants to use oregano to treat their toenail problems, that's their right.  A true enough argument, but ultimately, the government says nothing about people taking "suppliments".  A person can eat all the oregano oil and garlic they want to.  The government does nothing about it.  What the government SHOULD NOT allow is the assertion that "suppliments" do things that they do not do.  The government should not allow false claims and dangerously inaccurate information in selling products to people.  If you want to sell medical treatments, you have to have your claims checked to make sure you are not defrauding people.  And conservatives complain that it is unfair that their snake oils might have to actually measure up to the claims made about them.


In the name of "free market", conservatives want to have the "freedom" to make unproven or even disproven claims about their products, and denounce barriers to fraud as government nanny-state interference.


In the name of "protecting consumer freedom" certain organizations thuggishly attack critics, spread misinformation and obstruct efforts to give the public reliable information.


I can't believe that this is, in any way, to protect people's rights to make their own choices; but instead to combat their ability to make good choices and to advantage the clients of certain groups against superior the name of "free market" and "small government".

Saturday, 06 September 2008 05:35:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [33] | #
Friday, 05 September 2008

A couple of really dumb burglers displayed the typical brain-dead American approach to guns.  In other words, thinking of them as magical boom-sticks that make them all-powerful, without giving any thought to the fact that they are just a tool and only as good as the person holding onto them..., how'd that work out for them?

They got themselves filled full of holes by their own weapons.  The unarmed suburbanites that they were trying to burgle disarmed them and turned the weapons against them.  The assumption is, that they (the suburbanites) will not be charged.


Friday, 05 September 2008 17:19:11 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #

I admit, I was getting a little tired of being called Hitler by Ben Stein, Ann Coulter, Rev. Lively and other Dominionist rabbel.  I am completely gobsmacked that they are so completely ignorant of the actual man and his actual message, and how completely, vigorously, and explicitly it is opposed to the liberal/scientific/civic worldview.

Here's from the first chapter of the second volume of Mein Kampf:

The moment these artists in parliamentary government have the first glimmering of a suspicion that their darling public may be ready to kick up its heels and escape from the harness of the old party wagon they begin to paint the shafts with new colours. On such occasions the party astrologists and horoscope readers, the so-called 'experienced men' and 'experts', come forward. For the most part they are old parliamentary hands whose political schooling has furnished them with ample experience. They can remember former occasions when the masses showed signs of losing patience and they now diagnose the menace of a similar situation arising. Resorting to their old prescription, they form a 'committee'. They go around among the darling public and listen to what is being said. They dip their noses into the newspapers and gradually begin to scent what it is that their darlings, the broad masses, are wishing for, what they reject and what they are hoping for. The groups that belong to each trade or business, and even office employees, are carefully studied and their innermost desires are investigated. The 'malicious slogans' of the opposition from which danger is threatened are now suddenly looked upon as worthy of reconsideration, and it often happens that these slogans, to the great astonishment of those who originally coined and circulated them, now appear to be quite harmless and indeed are to be found among the dogmas of the old parties. the committees meet to revise the old programme and draw up a new one.

Take away the snarky cattiness, and what you've got is a long complaint about how representative government works:  "Oh, the parties become obsessed with helping themselves and forget who they're supposed to be serving, and then people have to get mad and make them pay attention." 

Frickin' duh.

That's why the founders had a distaste for parties.  But the fact of the matter is; that in a representative government similarly-minded people will form parties.  And those the government...have to be kept in line by the people they represent.  Whining about how proper citizenship in a representative government is hard, and you have to keep working to make it work.  What a big baby.  Man up and do it.  That’s like saying your car is broken because you have to keep steering it.

This is where McCain had it the most right last night.  And if you saw the cameras panning the crowd, you could see many individual that DID NOT like it.  Party politics are inevitable, but it is up to the people to keep them from eclipsing the good of the nation…just as it is the people’s job to keep the government working for them rather than for itself, and you do it by staying informed and voting and speaking, and not accepting bullshit.

Hitler was a big whiny baby...but he has a plan.  Do away with Democracy, and you can REALLY fight Marxism!  (By which he appears to mean market socialism...not communism.  He REALLY didn't like the idea that a society that needs things it doesn't have should, through it's government, trade and negotiate and enter into diplomacy with countries that have the needed materials and make agreements with them.  Also, forget about figuring out how society can live within its means.  The society should, instead use millitary force to go get them.)

So let's say Germany needed oil.  Having to deal with countries that have oil and get them to hand it over through economic (Marxist) means by managing trade through the government, which has collective bargaining power, the government under Hitler would go and take the oil needed.  (Forget about conserving or trying to reduce demand) Because the chosen people of God needed it (he spent much of Volume one establishing the case for the Aryan people as being God's chosen winners in the struggle - the microevolutionary struggle where the species of man can "evolve" within the species, but clearly...the species of man did not evolve from an ancestor in common with non-human animals.  This is important, because for Hitler the natural order was an inflexible one ordained by God, with man at the top, and with the Aryan race above all other kinds of men.  Being the result of "random chance" would not give the Aryans the God-given right to take what they (in his mind) needed to survive.) 

It might be also convenient to come up with some excuse for why the people you're running over in the process deserve it.  'cause Hitler has noted in Vol. I that civilized people don't enjoy this sort of thing, but he argued it is necessary.  For survival.  The political and economic models have failed (because you have to keep fixing them).

Scarcely anything else can be so depressing as to watch this process in sober reality and to be the eyewitness of this repeatedly recurring fraud. On a spiritual training ground of that kind it is not possible for the bourgeois forces to develop the strength which is necessary to carry on the fight against the organized might of Marxism.

Basically, if you’re tired of politics as usual, tired of repeatedly having to control your government, then sign on with us!  We'll take care of it!  What we need is a whole new approach!  You're tired of having the same old process where you have to keep participating and making your elected officials pay attention to you and keep them honest and stuff, we'll fix it!

At a time in which the one side, armed with all the fighting power that springs from a systematic conception of life – even though it be criminal in a thousand ways – makes an attack against the established order the other side will be able to resist when it draws its strength from a new faith, which in our case is a political faith. This faith must supersede the weak and cowardly command to defend. In its stead we must raise the battle-cry of a courageous and ruthless attack. Our present movement is accused, especially by the so-called national bourgeois cabinet ministers – the Bavarian representatives of the Centre, for example – of heading towards a revolution. We have one answer to give to those political pigmies. We say to them: We are trying to make up for that which you, in your criminal stupidity, have failed to carry out. By your parliamentarian jobbing you have helped to drag the nation into ruin. But we, by our aggressive policy, are setting up a new philosophy of life which we shall defend with indomitable devotion. Thus we are building the steps on which our nation once again may ascend to the temple of freedom.

See,  what he’s saying is that the "Marxists” have this systematic approach to life based in the idea that it is governed by predictable natural processes.  And that has made them corrupt, because they violate the old view of life which was mystical and had heart and…whatever…so the traditional way of life has to be energized by a “new” philosophy of government.  To preserve what’s old against what’s new, you have to be newer yet.

Shorter Hitler:  There are times when people have to put effort into maintaining their civil society, but they get tired of doing it.  So when those times of testing come along and effort is required, it is time to propose change.

And if someone comes along and suggests changes…you have to suggest something changier...but you have to leave some things the same:

1)     Sound Religious Doctrine:

By helping to lift the human being above the level of mere animal existence, Faith really contributes to consolidate and safeguard its own existence. Taking humanity as it exists today and taking into consideration the fact that the religious beliefs which it generally holds and which have been consolidated through our education, so that they serve as moral standards in practical life, if we should now abolish religious teaching and not replace it by anything of equal value the result would be that the foundations of human existence would be seriously shaken. We may safely say that man does not live merely to serve higher ideals, but that these ideals, in their turn, furnish the necessary conditions of his existence as a human being. And thus the circle is closed. course, the word 'religious' implies some ideas and beliefs that are fundamental. Among these we may reckon the belief in the immortality of the soul, its future existence in eternity, the belief in the existence of a Higher Being, and so on. But all these ideas, no matter how firmly the individual believes in them, may be critically analysed by any person and accepted or rejected accordingly, until the emotional concept or yearning has been transformed into an active service that is governed by a clearly defined doctrinal faith. Such a faith furnishes the practical outlet for religious feeling to express itself and thus opens the way through which it can be put into practice. a clearly defined belief, the religious feeling would not only be worthless for the purposes of human existence but even might contribute towards a general disorganization, on account of its vague and multifarious tendencies.

2)      Identity:

To take abstract and general principles, derived from a philosophy which is based on a solid foundation of truth, and transform them into a militant community whose members have the same political faith – a community which is precisely defined, rigidly organized, of one mind and one will – such a transformation is the most important task of all; for the possibility of successfully carrying out the idea is dependent on the successful fulfilment of that task.

 Out of the army of millions who feel the truth of these ideas, and even may understand them to some extent, one man must arise. This man must have the gift of being able to expound general ideas in a clear and definite form, and, from the world of vague ideas shimmering before the minds of the masses, he must formulate principles that will be as clear-cut and firm as granite. He must fight for these principles as the only true ones, until a solid rock of common faith and common will emerges above the troubled waves of vagrant ideas. general justification of such action is to be sought in the necessity for it and the individual will be justified by his success.

3)      Appeals to individualism, and rejection of “statism”.

The current political conception of the world is that the State, though it possesses a creative force which can build up civilizations, has nothing in common with the concept of race as the foundation of the State. The State is considered rather as something which has resulted from economic necessity, or, at best, the natural outcome of the play of political forces and impulses. Such a conception of the foundations of the State, together with all its logical consequences, not only ignores the primordial racial forces that underlie the State, but it also leads to a policy in which the importance of the individual is minimized. If it be denied that races differ from one another in their powers of cultural creativeness, then this same erroneous notion must necessarily influence our estimation of the value of the individual. The assumption that all races are alike leads to the assumption that nations and individuals are equal to one another.

This is important, because after all, he believes that government doesn’t work, is inherently flawed, and so any “solution” MUST require that the state be minimized and the individual elevated.  As long as the individual subscribes to the necessary philosophy, or at least supports it.  (For instance, it is not necessary for you to be a Christian as long as you recognize that the nation is a Christian nation, and support the supremacy of Christian principles in civic life).

The primacy of the god-ordered world is argued here:

Over against all this, the völkisch concept of the world recognizes that the primordial racial elements are of the greatest significance for mankind. In principle, the State is looked upon only as a means to an end and this end is the conservation of the racial characteristics of mankind. Therefore on the völkisch principle we cannot admit that one race is equal to another. By recognizing that they are different, the völkisch concept separates mankind into races of superior and inferior quality. On the basis of this recognition it feels bound in conformity with the eternal Will that dominates the universe, to postulate the victory of the better and stronger and the subordination of the inferior and weaker. And so it pays homage to the truth that the principle underlying all Nature's operations is the aristocratic principle and it believes that this law holds good even down to the last individual organism. It selects individual values from the mass and thus operates as an organizing principle, whereas Marxism acts as a disintegrating solvent. The völkisch belief holds that humanity must have its ideals, because ideals are a necessary condition of human existence itself.

The idea that natural processes organize the world is anathema to Hitler, because it inevitably leads to socialism.  If the world functions mechanistically, and there is no divine will directing it, then you cannot say that one thing is better than another.  One action is not more moral than another, one idea is not better than another, and one race is not better than another.  The order in nature had to be, in Hitler’s mind, the result of an intelligent, moral creator.  The actions of nature had to have moral value for his concepts to work.

(Incidentally, another reason Darwin ended up on the bonfires is the sentence that follows the one above:

But, on the other hand, it denies that an ethical ideal has the right to prevail if it endangers the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal. For in a world which would be composed of mongrels and negroids all ideals of human beauty and nobility and all hopes of an idealized future for our humanity would be lost forever.

Darwin repeatedly and energetically rejected the idea that human morality should be trumped by natural processes.  Because he recognized those morals as being an inherent and natural part of humanity…and therefore a SURVIVAL TRAIT. )

I’ll just leave you with the last couple of paragraphs of Chapter 1 of Volume II of Mein Kampf:

It is self-evident that so general a statement of the meaningful content of a folkish philosophy can be easily interpreted in a thousand different ways. As a matter of fact there is scarcely one of our recent political movements that does not refer at some point to this conception of the world. But the fact that this conception of the world still maintains its independent existence in face of all the others proves that their ways of looking at life are quite difierent from this. Thus the Marxist conception, directed by a central organization endowed with supreme authority, is opposed by a motley crew of opinions which is not very impressive in face of the solid phalanx presented by the enemy. Victory cannot be achieved with such weak weapons. Only when the international idea, politically organized by Marxism, is confronted by the folk idea, equally well organized in a systematic way and equally well led – only then will the fighting energy in the one camp be able to meet that of the other on an equal footing; and victory will be found on the side of eternal truth. a general conception of life can never be given an organic embodiment until it is precisely and definitely formulated. The function which dogma fulfils in religious belief is parallel to the function which party principles fulfil for a political party which is in the process of being built up., for the conception of life that is based on the folk idea it is necessary that an instrument be forged which can be used in fighting for this ideal, similar to the Marxist party organization which clears the way for internationalism. is the goal pursued by the National Socialist German Workers' Party. folk conception must therefore be definitely formulated so that it may be organically incorporated in the party. That is a necessary prerequisite for the success of this idea. And that it is so is very clearly proved even by the indirect acknowledgment of those who oppose such an amalgamation of the folk idea with party principles. The very people who never tire of insisting again and again that the conception of life based on the folk idea can never be the exclusive property of a single group, because it lies dormant or 'lives' in myriads of hearts, only confirm by their own statements the simple fact that the general presence of such ideas in the hearts of millions of men has not proved sufficient to impede the victory of the opposing ideas, which are championed by a political party organized on the principle of class conflict. If that were not so, the German people ought already to have gained a gigantic victory instead of finding themselves on the brink of the abyss. The international ideology achieved success because it was organized in a militant political party which was always ready to take the offensive. If hitherto the ideas opposed to the international concept have had to give way before the latter the reason is that they lacked a united front to fight for their cause. A doctrine which forms a definite outlook on life cannot struggle and triumph by allowing the right of free interpretation of its general teaching, but only by defining that teaching in certain articles of faith that have to be accepted and incorporating it in a political organization. I considered it my special duty to extract from the extensive but vague contents of a general world view the ideas which were essential and give them a more or less dogmatic form. Because of their precise and clear meaning, these ideas are suited to the purpose of uniting in a common front all those who are ready to accept them as principles. In other words: The National Socialist German Workers' Party extracts the essential principles from the general conception of the world which is based on the folk idea. On these principles it establishes a political doctrine which takes into account the practical realities of the day, the nature of the times, the available human material and all its deficiencies. Through this political doctrine it is possible to bring great masses of the people into an organization which is constructed as rigidly as it could be. Such an organization is the main preliminary that is necessary for the final triumph of this world view.

Friday, 05 September 2008 09:13:43 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #
Thursday, 04 September 2008

MPR has a group of "rank-and-file" Republicans representing the Republicans.  One of the women wanted to dispel the myth that Republicans are intolerant.

So she pointed out that just within that group they had "Agnostics and Christians and Catholics".

Fish don't see the water.  "Christians" don't see intolerance in saying that Catholics aren't Christian.

Thursday, 04 September 2008 13:38:18 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #

Stop talking about stupid rumors about fake extra-marital affairs, and the “mommy burden”, and stupid rumors about fake baby bumps.  Sarah Palin’s family isn’t the issue.  Sarah Palin herself is not the issue.  Sarah Palin is the current focal-point symbolic face of a movement.

That movement is the issue.  More to the point, its methodology is the issue.  Because movements that cannot advance without this methodology have never ended well for humanity, nor the nations that they were implemented in.

The fact of the matter is, that anyone who can’t recognize the methodology of the people pushing Sarah Palin forward is not going to be persuaded by anything…much less trivia like that.

And for God’s sake people;  if you DON’T recognize the methodology of the people pushing Sarah Palin forward - read Mein Kampf.

I realize that reading the disorganized, irrational ranting of an anti-evolutionist, anti-abortionist, anti-birth control, anti-multiculturalist, anti-political correctness, anti-managed-trade-policy, anti-conservationist militarist who opposed medical and public health solutions to sexually transmitted diseases and instead advocated a return to moral purity as the only real solution; who had the urge to stamp the word “God” on every public surface he got his hands on; who painted his political rivals as defeatist traitors determined to undermine certain victory, who painted his political rivals as leftist elitists by making populist appeals to anti-intellectualism; who insisted that social well-being rested on a cultural adherence to a unifying religious doctrine (while advocating individual religious freedom); who manipulated people with the specter of a hidden agenda of an unpopular minority to undermine the cultural health of the nation, and described himself as doing the "work of God"…


…well, I can see how that might be tedious.

But then again, you already read it every day on the right-wing blogs and in the newspapers and see it on the television whenever you turn on the news.

Why not read the original?

And I don't even want to hear someone crying about how I called Sarah Palin a Nazi.  I most certainly did not.  In fact, I am merely pointing out the methodology that the Nazi's used for gaining power, and the similarities to the tactics of a certain right-wing political philosophy.  If you wish to argue that there is no right-wing political philosophy that embraces the positions and methods described above, or that Sarah Palin does not represent, advocate and support that philosophy, or that she is not being supported by people who adhere to that philosophy please feel free.

Or I guess you could argue that Hitler didn't actually have the above positions and use the above methods...but to prove that you'd have to actually read the things he wrote and said...and that would be hard and unpleasant....and you might learn something.

At any rate, the point is that Sarah Palin is not the point.

Stop worrying about personalities and personal issues (or personal non-issues).  And start worrying about positions and policy, and pay attention to the big picture.  Sarah is just one person in a bigger situation.

Thursday, 04 September 2008 10:20:10 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #
Wednesday, 03 September 2008

 Rocky and I were at Dragon Con, rooming with our friends, Gary and Isa and a delightful German journalist named Robert.

I hadn’t mentioned it the first time I posted after we got home from Con.

So it didn’t make sense to some of you when I began hysterically babbeling about how great it was to briefly meet Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudik and spend the whole time talking about how great other people were instead of about how great THEY were.


So I met, shook hands with, and talked to two REALLY adorable men who play characters that, to put it mildly, totally float my boat.  So to speak.

So then I have a little bit of time, so I rush off to the blood drive to give blood.

They take my pulse:  60BPM

They take my blood pressure:  111/60 (up from 103/50 last time)

After walking a block and climbing a flight of stairs, and shaking hands with two of the cutest guys on the planet (in my humble opinion).

They stick me with a needle, and start my blood filling up the little pint bag…and I kid you not…I apparently didn’t have enough of a pulse rate or blood pressure to fill a pint bag even half-way before it started clotting, and they pulled my needle and sent me on my way…

…a failed blood donor.  Again. I got a packet of cookies, a bottle of water, and a free tee-shirt...oh yeah, and a huge purple bruise that's about five inches across.  To add insult to injury...after repeated wigglings and twiddlings of the needle from the nurse, blood began running out of my skin NEXT to the needle.   So - Epic fail in the blood donation front.

Sorry Nathan and Alan…it’s not you…it’s me.  I’m told this happens to lots of people from time-to-time. 

But I would have thought that if anything could have raised my pulse rate enough to successfully donate blood, it would be a close encounter with Captin’ tightpants and his soulful baby-brown eyes.

Obviously, I need not even TRY to donate blood until I’m at a Con where I can meet Michael Shanks or John Barrowman…

I’d be willing to try.  So I could give blood, of course.  Anything to help humanity.

And another service to humanity:  Here's the You-Tube video of their panel at DragonCon:


Wednesday, 03 September 2008 23:50:00 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  |  | #

I was really hoping that McCain would take Pawlenty off of our hands...but if he HAD to have a woman...couldn't he have spirited away Michele Bachmann?

She actually, earnstly, and proudly, embraced the pejorative "Minnesota Nice".  Doesn't she know that "Minnesota Nice" is a sarcastic name for bitchy, underhanded, two-faced, shallow, passive-agressive fake niceness?

Come on, McCain, Michele is just as pretty as Sarah...just as much a Jesus nut-and-fruit-cake...just as pro-drilling.


...dare I say it?

Maybe Sarah should dump McCain and ask Michele to be her running mate!

If one is good, then more is better.  Am I right, or am I right?  Think about it, Republicans! 



Wednesday, 03 September 2008 13:16:48 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #
Tuesday, 02 September 2008

Didja hear about how all of the homes that were raided by police were full of bomb-throwing radicals intending to riot?

Yeah.  Funny Story.  Some of them were actually Legal Observers crashing at a home of a former millitary policeman.


Tuesday, 02 September 2008 23:30:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Funny thing from DragonCon:

Isa showed up at the Bad Astronomer's panel, and I was happy to see her.


Me:  "How's your day been?  Been to any other science panels?"

Isa:  "I wanted to go to '96% of the Universe is missing?'  But I couldn't find it."


I literally laughed out loud.  Then, Isa got it and the guy sitting next to me got it and we were all three laughing like freaks.

This video reminds me of that.


(Hat Tip:  Pharyngula)

Sorry about the bad rap.  David Hewlett will apologize for me.  He's better at it.



Tuesday, 02 September 2008 15:54:41 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

If you don't know who Amy is, just google for her blog.  I'm not going to link to it, since I do a better job of counting comments on by blog than she does, and I think that my college transcript gives better testimony to my intellectual capacity than she does.

I just thought this was a funny point:

Some of you will remember that Amy bragged about how she got down on teenaged mothers of every race, and called them names and insulted their babies eaqually.

Well...funny story.

BTW, I agree with her that people should leave the kid alone.  I'm just surprised that she said it.  'cause, you know...she so even-handed in throwing around condemnation and demanding that people be shamed and all.

But speaking of mean girls...check out these DJ's talking to Palin about a political rival:



Tuesday, 02 September 2008 12:26:38 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #

Public information officer Tom Walsh calls Journalist Amy Goodman a criminal.


Bomb-throwers, brick-throwers and traffic disrupters belong in jail.  Know how you know who are the bomb-throwers, brick-throwers and traffic disrupters?  They're the ones who have bombs and throw bricks and are disrupting traffic.

That said...there is a lot to protest in both parties...and they KNOW it.  Which is why the only legal way to protest is well away from where the actual events are happening, in hard-to-find places with minimal facilities.

Tuesday, 02 September 2008 09:15:53 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
Monday, 01 September 2008

Obama on private matters of Sarah Palins family life:

"Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits, and people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president."

"And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that's off limits."

And as for the whole "theory" about her supposedly faking her last pregnancy to cover another pregnancy by her daughter...

1) What? Somebody has too much time on their hands.  Sure, anything is possible...but there's just too many stilts on a story that DOESN'T MATTER. (In other words, I dont see any reason to believe it, and even if true, its unimportant.  Boot to the head.)

2)You can say it matters because Palin runs on "Traditional Family Values".  But that would mean that you are assuming that a mother faking a pregnancy and miraculously "delivering' a baby while her daughter is convelescing from a mysteriously convenently timed prolongued "illness" ISN'T "Traditional Family Values".

False assumption, epic fail. Try again, or better attention to the possibility that Palin might be an anti-intellectual religious nut opposed to science-based policy instead.

(Hat Tip:  Pharyngula)

Monday, 01 September 2008 19:49:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [10] |  | #
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