Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just got back from my folks’ place.  It was a nice, relaxing time.  There have been some changes that had really helped diffuse the tension that I feel whenever I return there.  Everyone seems a lot calmer, more relaxed.  It’s nice.

My parents spent a lot of money on snowshoes for us.  Two pair.  One about the right size for Rocky and Tim, and one pair the right size for me and Grasshopper.  They are really cool.  Excellent exercise as well.  We will definitely appreciate and use them a lot.

My brother’s wife, Netti, made a big basketful of home-made jams and jellies.  Huge.  Many , many hours of work hand-picking the fruit, braving timberwolf cubs, bear, and biting insects, cooking, and processing.  They are really beautiful, and I hate to even open them.  She is one of those people who just seems to have an endless store of ability and accomplishment.  And she appreciates wry dry, oblique humor and doesn’t get all bent out of shape about my jokes.  In fact, she seems more amused the more obnoxious they are.  And she has asked to borrow some of my books.

My cousin, Ben made a hand-crafted cribbage board for our family.  It is really beautiful, and I know we will spend hours playing it…once we re-learn the rules.  There are a lot of gifted craftspersons in our family.  My cousins Jon and Ben are among them.  In some families, you get a groan, or a roll of the eyes at the mention of hand-made gifts.  Not so in our family, where if someone says they made something for you, you KNOW it’s going to be special.

I am looking at a gift from my aunt right now.  Home-made cloth coasters with really bright, arty pictures of coffee cups on them.  They even come in a little cloth box.  Ingenious, beautiful, durable, and like nothing else anyone I know has.  ‘course, she is a professional tailor and dressmaker/designer.  If there were a show like iron chef, but for clothing designers, she would win.

My sister gave us some home-made sauerkraut, and a beautiful squash that she grew in her garden.  It is a new variety that is so sweet, it tastes like pie without any need to add butter or sugar.  It’s just as good as its weight in gold to me.

I got Perfect Push-ups from Grasshopper.   On the theory that they will save on my bad shoulder.  Rocky got me a shiatsu massage machine that actually works.  No small feat!  It is great!.  Tim got me a DVD of MuLan.  Tim also got me a HUGE box of chocolate truffles.  Like, FOUR POUNDS of fine chocolate.  It is amazing.  It melts if you give it a warm, lingering glance.  Which I do.  Frequently.

One of the families that have been our houseguests this season brought us some fancy hard cider.  It looks really nice.

As soon as I get some time, I’ll tell you about the activities.  I have some southerners who occasionally come here (HI ER!)  So I thought I would give you a little look into the world of ice fishing.  I realize that some people have watched Grumpy Old Men, and Fargo, and think they know all about it, but you might be surprised by something.  For one thing, when we lived in Alabama, my assertion that we drove heavy, four-wheel-drive trucks out onto the ice to fish was greeted with a hearty “shut your mouth!”  I have proof.  That’s all I’m saying.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 9:12:14 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

(Hat Tip:  Pharyngula)

And tomorrow, have the real thing! A warm, happy family-and-friends-filled Christmas with peace, goodwill, and warm fuzzy feelings for all.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3:27:29 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #

My friend Paula gave me a fantastic gift.  It was a "give card" from Network for Good.  She gave me a specific amount of money, and then I got to choose which charity I wanted to give it to.  I chose one that helps families of children with cancer.  The charity helps these families with bills up to $500.00 per month.  The charity is "Angels Among Us"

It seemed like a great thing.  I specifically chose a new charity because we already give to our "favorite" ones...and I have always thought that it would be good to give to one of these charities that helps families with bills...but I didn't want to cut into any of my other charities that I give to.

It was kind of neat.  It felt really good to be able to do something I've always sort of wanted to do.

Thanks Paula!  Great idea.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3:10:41 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #
Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's a good thing.

Rocky was telling me a story about a conversation he was in the other day.

A guy was talking about how we are in this financial mess because banks were forced by federal regulation to give out tons and tons of loans to people who didn't deserve it.

Rocky made many points counter to this, but I think the best one was pointing out that when businesses are "forced" to do something, they do it grudgingly.  They minimize it, and do as little of it as possible. 

And in reality, we have spent the last several years enduring ad after ad after ad on TV, in newspapers, on the internet, BEGGING people with bad credit to take out loans with this company or that.  People with bad credit were heavily lobbied to re-finance loans, and roll their other bad debt into their new loans on their houses.

I know some of these people.  Some of them owe us money that will never be returned, as the houses are gone and they still have massive debt to people with more power than we have, and more ruthlessness when it comes to getting it back.

I occasionally would complain about how these predatory lenders were sleazy scum-bags who should be against the law.

Naturally, I was sometimes denounced as a commie being against innocent capitalists just wanting to make an honest buck.

Anyway, Rocky had a pleasant, passing conversation with this guy, and seemed to have at least made some impression on him.

But later, in another conversation involving some of the same people, a new player came into the mix.  A guy who had worked for one of these companies.

"Well, you can blame me at least a little bit for this whole mess.  I used to work for one of these companies, and they told us to write to the government and tell them that they needed to deregulate us so we could do these loans." (Obviously, this is an approximation of what I remember Rocky saying he remembered the guy saying...not a real quote.)

The first guy got a stunned look on his face, like the rug had been pulled out from under him.

And, as much fun as it might be to smugly leave it there with a sense of superiority...

...none of us have all the answers all of the time.  Sometimes we need a reality check.  The best people recognize them when they see them and learn from them.  I got the feeling that Rocky thought this guy was that sort of people.

 

Sunday, December 21, 2008 10:38:37 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] |  |  | #
Friday, December 19, 2008

I finally finished helping Grasshopper organize/clean his room.  It took a little more than one day.  I moved everything out of his room, vacuumed, dusted, and then he helped me move stuff back in...just the stuff that had a place to go in his room.  Just the important stuff got to go back in.

Then, we sorted the remaining stuff into piles, stuff to be given away, and stuff to be thrown away, and stuff to be put in storage.

I got him to part with some of his "nature collection".

He got rid of three birds nests, a zip-lock bag containing the mouse bones and other solid waste extracted from dissected owl pellets (he was studying the owl's diet...I blame the school for giving him the idea)...some rocks, and some sticks and leaves and about half of the bird feathers.

Remaining is:  a much smaller collection of bird feathers, the dried skin fragment of an alligator gar (skin, and scales), the jaw-bone of an alligator gar, a collection of rocks and minerals, a couple handfuls of sea shells, a fossilized mausasaurous tooth, and a prehistoric squid fossil.  They all fit in a small shoe box.

We got the artwork down to a small pile of the favorites, managed to eliminate a huge number of toys that will be passed on to younger children, and just generally, got the toys and games and puzzles and projects corralled into various plastic bins that sit neatly on shelves.

There is a bin for the mis-begotten Lego’s creatures that slides under the bed.  He really DOES have monsters under his bed...they are just of his own making, but at least they are no longer collecting dust underfoot.  He assures me it will all be worth it when he becomes rich and famous for winning some design competition that he plans to enter with one of his best friends.

The Dungeons and Dragons manuals, NPC sketches, and the note-books full of master plans for campaigns that will "blow away" his friends with their diabolical complexity and sheer evil genius all fit on one shelf.

The novel-in-progress is in a binder...on a shelf.

Unless this child grows a sense of organization and order, he is destined for a future of only being able to function in a think-tank environment...

 

Friday, December 19, 2008 11:05:35 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [9] | #
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blagojevich.  Would it improve your feelings toward the man if you found out that some of his time and energy that could have been spent smearing and sliming our democracy had instead been spent clubbing baby seals?

Go.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:29:29 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #

Just so you know, if you happen to be looking for a quaint little bakery where you can get the name “Adolf Hitler” put in icing on a children’s birthday cake, and maybe get them to throw a cute little swastika on there for good measure…and if you want them to understand that you are not a racist, you just, for some reason named your son “Adolf Hitler” and like swastikas, and your daughter’s middle name is “Aryan Nation”….

…well, if you are just looking for a little tolerance and understanding under those specific circumstances…

Rest assured…Walmart is there.  AND  I bet they say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” too!

For the record, a three-year-old boy should be able to have a birthday cake...no doubt about that...but he should also have parents who have enough sense not to name him Adolf Hitler.   Also, who puts a kid's full name on their birthday cake?  I don't think I know anyone who has done more than the first name.

 

This whole story is psycho.  Although, in fairness to Walmart, I should point out that the story says that in light of the controversy, they are reviewing their policies.

(Hat Tip:  Bob Wagner)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:36:33 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] | #

Finally!  A news alert from my hometown that doesn't have anything to do with the weather, a tragic accident, corruption, missing persons, or bodies being found!

Bemidji got mentioned in a sit-com on national television.

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:00:34 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #
Saturday, December 13, 2008

“You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide” claims that it is not unconstitutional for them to come into the schools with their Christianized political propaganda.  Even though it is unabashedly political and religious, even though they have spoken out against Catholics, gays, and have handed out Bible tracts.

Here's some local coverage of their activities.

Here's my impression of them from a recent encounter with some of the people from this group.

Given that they were able to make me mildly uncomfortable during an exchange I could walk away from at our local grocery store,  I can’t imagine what it does to kids who have to attend mandatory school assemblies where these people are teaching things that most parents (yes, Christian parents too) would never agree to.  The attitude of these people is quite intimidating, maybe not for a middle-aged martial arts teacher, but I can certainly see why it would be inappropriate to require teenagers to be subjected to it at the public expense, using public resources, and the authority of the school and government behind it.

They can’t even get the majority of the Republican party to take the tone they take…even though a majority of them agree with the politics.   It is wrong to use the authority of the schools to make the students think that this reflects the best values of our society.

Their assertion is that it is perfectly constitutional to spend our tax dollars to force students to sit through a mandatory assembly where Christianized political propaganda is blared at ear-shattering levels.

The arguments against separation of Church and State have come largely from one guy.  One very prolific guy.

David Barton is a very important evangelical operative.  I have yet to hear an argument against separation of church and state that isn’t fundamentally reliant on his work.  He has been re-writing the history of America since the 1980’s.  And his historical revisionism has been very successful in religious schools and the homeschooling arena.

Some say that he is a Christian Reconstructionist whose ultimate goal is to institute a Biblical Christian form of Shari’a Law on the nation.  Maybe, maybe not.  It’s sort of difficult to pin people down about what they mean by “Biblical Law.”  It seems to mean different things to different people, from instituting the Ten Commandments into the law code, to reviving Leviticus.  Anyway, whatever the ultimate goal is, people should not be fooled by poor scholarship.

 

I find it more likely that he just finally found something that he could be wildly successful at…and doesn’t want to give it up.

I love this page, because it shows the sort of company that David Barton keeps.

 

The Wikipedia page on David Barton.

Article where David Barton admits that there are no primary sources for some of his most widely referenced, and most popular “quotes” from the founding fathers.  He also claims that he is applying a “higher academic standard” in calling them unconfirmed.  I don’t know about you, but I if I had EVER quoted from a founding father or anyone else in a history class in college, and was unable to cite the original source…it would have been an epic fail.  Especially if said quotes contradicted the overwhelming amount of source material that we have on the founders in their originals.

In case you think he is an unimportant flake, here’s the entry Time Magazine did about him when they named him one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.  He may be a flake, but he is not unimportant.

Here’s what J. Brent Walker, Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee said about Barton’s “Scholarship” in 2005.

This article has a pretty good treatment of David Barton’s poor historical and legal scholarship.  It is by Rob Boston, for “Church and State” a publication of the group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.  It has many of the same arguments as J. Brent Walkers, but also builds on it.

Nevertheless, Conservative puditry is rife with reference to David Barton.  A friend recently sent me a “civics” quiz that nobody would pass unless they had heavy exposure to David Barton’s work, and bought into his ideas of what the founding of America was like…

…work that was conducted by someone who is most generously described as a “self-educated historian”, and which contradicts both the vast scholarly bodies of work in history and law.

Nothing against autodidacts, but anyone who wishes to be an autodidact should be careful to find out what the pitfalls and standards of a discipline are before they try to master it.  Conservatives scoff at the idea of peer review, but then, when peer review shows some weakness in the scholarship of an expert here or there, it is that very act of discovery that they use to undermine the idea of the value of “expertise”.

And they accuse credentialed experts of hubris and arrogance when they point out the short-comings of scholarship in those who are not credentialed.  In fact, while it is possible for an autodidact to achieve a very high level of expertise and respectability, conservatives seem to assume that such respectability should simply be granted without a need to vigorously defend ones ideas.

And no wonder, because it is that very peer review that exposed David Barton, and forced him to admit that he had no original citations for many of his quotes and assertions about the founding fathers.  Likewise, his claim to greater scholarly rigor can be contradicted by the experience of any History undergraduate.

But that doesn’t matter in the end.  His mistakes and “errors where the truth is concerned” will continue to be repeated and promoted by people who find them useful for a very, very long time.  In fact, they seem to be gaining acceptance rather than losing it.

More on David Barton:

http://community-2.webtv.net/Tales_of_the_Western_World/DAVIDBARTON/

Saturday, December 13, 2008 8:12:12 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #
Friday, December 12, 2008

 

 

Links to tons more footage at Dumpbachmann.com

Friday, December 12, 2008 1:16:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [5] | #
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

And, by “Merry Christmas”, I mean: “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men.”

I find myself in the Christmas spirit suddenly.

The Christmas spirit sort of sneaks up on me late.  I tend to be Christmas resistant until right before the end.  I guess it’s the pre-Christmas noise.  It gets in my way.

And an increasingly large part of the noise are the conservative blow-hards turning “Merry Christmas’ into their own personal “Seig Hiel”.

I went to Rainbow to pick up a couple of random items that I needed.  And there was the Salvation Army person.  I like seeing them every year, and I usually manage to dump something in the bucket.  Sometimes it’s a penny, sometimes it’s a buck.  It’s usually around 50 to 75 cents.

But I don’t do it on the way IN to the store, because I am usually cold, and I don’t want to try to dig through my purse with my numb hands.  I smiled at the guy to let him know I’d catch him on the way out.  He smiled and said “Merry Christmas.” He was talking my language:  Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.  I’ll be here when you come back.” 


“Merry Christmas”, I said back:  “Peace on earth, and Goodwill toward men.  I’ll see you then.”

And then I entered the store, and there were two young men there at a table topped off with banners proclaiming “You can run, but you cannot hide!”  Flame icons danced on the banners….the wrath of God that would one day consumed the wicked.  No doubt after these two fine young men dispatched them with controlled bursts of weapons fire learned from watching Kirk Cameron in that one “Left Behind Movie”.  But not until the final battle for the earth, you know.  No, they will certainly keep their powder dry until then, I’m sure.

Friends of Judge Moore’s; Preachers  in our schools with our tax dollars; evidentally, they think the pope is the anti-Christ - no word on WHICH pope.

I smiled and nodded to them.  Goodwill toward men.  I still had a good dose of it.

One of the kids sensed my discomfort, and he smirked; “Merry Christmas”  He said.  Different language:  Hate the fags, the Jews are going to hell, kill the ragheads.”

“Happy Holidays”, I replied, choosing a synonym in my language that didn’t mistranslate in theirs, but still means “peace on Earth, and Goodwill towards men.”

“Merry Christmas”.  The boy said again, with and even bigger smirk and  a slightly different accent “Someday I’ll pull the trigger on your unGodly ass, and won't you be sorry then, you commie.”

A woman pushed between us and stopped, made a funny weird little bow to stress what she said; “Merry Christmas.” ; “Thank God we have nice clean-cut kids like you to hate the fags, tell the Jews they are going to hell, and  kill the rag-heads.”

“You know, I used to say Merry Christmas until it became an offensive term.”  I ventured.

“I think Happy Holidays is an offensive term.”  The guy said.

“What makes it an offensive term?”  The second guy asked.

Jews getting beat up on the Subway for not saying it”.  I responded.

“When did that happen?” the first boy said dismissively.

“Last year.  It was in the news.”

“Oh, well…if it was in the NEWS, it MUST be true, right?”

Time to walk away.  He wouldn’t care about it if he believed it were true, so trying to convince him is a waste of time.

As I turned, the first boy twisted his face up one more time.  He might have been thinking about shooting someone, or he may have been thinking he had won the “argument”…or an invisible elf might have snuck up and crapped in his mouth…I don’t know…

“Merry Christmas”, he yelled after me; “There’s nothing you can do about it.  Christmas means  100% agreement with George W. Bush.  Like it or not, Christmas means nuke Iran ’till they glow and shoot ‘em in the dark.  There’s nothing you can do about it, and you’d better say it, ‘cause your government is taking your taxes and paying us to teach our perversion of what could be a perfectly good religion to your kids, AND they’re providing me with the means to harass you at the grocery store, biaaaatch…so what you gonna do about it?”

For Pete’s sake, I just wanted to buy some groceries.

As I walked through the store, the employees asked me “How’s it going?  Finding everything you need?  Everything OK?”  It’s kind of a Rainbow foods thing, and it kind of bugs me.

But then I stopped about the third time I was asked.

“You know what? No.  Everything is not OK.  I really could have done without the ‘Merry Christmas’ shake-down at the front door.”

Who was it?  Was it those kids? 

“Yeah.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll go talk to them.”

“Just tell them, it changes the meaning of Christmas, if you say it with a smirk.”

“I agree ma’m.  It won’t happen again.”

I finished my shopping, paid, and left.  As I walked out, I saw the bell-ringer.  I dropped a buck into the bucket, and smiled at him.  He smiled back.

“Thank you, and Merry Christmas, Ma’m.”

“Merry Christmas to you, too.”

And peace on earth and goodwill toward men.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:04:41 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [7] | #
Tuesday, December 09, 2008

An old friend of mine from college just posted the above picture on Facebook.  Ah yes, that's me, class of '86.  My senior picture.  I hate having my picture taken, and I usually delete pictures of myself that go up on the internet, if I can.  What's weird about this, though, is I don't even recognize myself in that picture anymore.

The Joe-collage's-girlfriend-prep-look was never mine.  But it always felt like a costume.  I was assured that if I didn't go with that look, I would regret it later.  They might be right.  I liked wearing it to school afterwards, because it threw people for such a loop.  People would say funny stuff like:  "Did you just get back from a meeting with your probation officer?"

Silly people.   I never had a probation officer.  You had to be some sort of hoodlum super-achiever to even get really arrested back then.  They'd put the cuffs on you, and haul you in and make your parents come and get you, but to actually get CHARGED with a crime and sent to court and put on probation?  Nah.  People didn't take kids seriously in the olden days.

I had friends that would say "I have a court date".  To explain why they were leaving school later.  I always suspected they were actually going to the dentist...but you know, maybe not.

Back to the picture...the beads and earrings are a bit much, aren't they?

The photographer kept telling me to unbutton that last button.  I thought that was a little weird, as he was OLD.  Like, he must have been at least THIRTY.  I guess he was right, cause now that I try to picture it, having that last undone button done up would have looked pretty uptight, and it doesn't look nearly as slutty as it felt.  It's just, next to a black sweatshirt with the arms and collar ripped off of it, that neck-line looks positively PLUNGING.

Years later, I saw that pose he had me in referred to as "the zit-popping pose".

The guy who took my senior pictures was the best in the area, though.  You had to drive to a whole 'nother town to get to his studio, he was expensive, and it was kind of difficult to get an appointment.

I don't think I ever properly thanked my mom for going to such trouble and expense to get me the best photos possible.  But in my defense, how could I have really been expected to understand it as a kid?  It was pretty nice of her, though.  I know now how hard she had to work for that money, and how long in advance she had to save it just for that...how far in advance she had to call for an appointment...how much less trouble she could have taken for perfectly adequate and much cheaper pictures to be taken in town.

But she went to the trouble to get a good photographer who would take the time to get her skittish, self-conscious, camera-shy daughter to relax in front of the camera and get some decent photos.

That it was that important to her kind of makes me feel pretty good.

 

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 6:53:16 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [9] | #
Sunday, December 07, 2008

I was over at Pharyngula and PZ had a link to this, and it's just too good to pass up.

Apparently, Bill Donohue of the Catholic league can't find enough atheists to accuse of persecuting Catholics, so he's started in on the Catholics.

PZ came across this during an incident where an atheist display was stolen from a public area.  (this sign was complained about as "persecution by certain wacky fundies...persecuting Christians by simply voicing the opinion that there is no God. These same people had no comment on the fact that the sign was stolen.  If they did, Im sure it would be shrugged off as the understandable penalty for persecuting Christians).

Some people talked about stealing elements from nativity scenes, PZ urged the moral high-ground.  Good for him, two wrongs don't make a right.

Then someone suggested ADDING to nativity scenes.  And PZ posted about the Catalonian tradition of adding porcelain statues of public figures in the act of defecation to nativity scenes.  Here are photos of some from this year. this site has a small explanation of the practice part of it reads thusly:

Catalonians hide caganers in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization, hope and prosperity for the coming year.

Apparently, the reason it came to PZ's attention is because Bill Donohue is in a fit about it and attacked the practice.  One thing I've learned from my visits to Barcelona is that many Catalonians are ardently and passionately attached to their regional identity and I would have presumed before this that attacking any of their traditions would raise a ruckus. 

Bill Donohue is so irrelevant, he's not even up on religious traditions that are hundreds of years old.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a 350,000-member group based in New York, has written to the museum's board of trustees to say it finds the show offensive.

"When it's degrading, everybody knows it except the spin doctors who run the museums," the group's president, William Donohue, said Sunday.

In a tradition that dates back to the 18th century, Catalonians hide caganers in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends over to try to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization and the hope for prosperity in the coming year, according to Joan.

It's pretty funny.  Those darn Catholics apparently have really good "spin doctors" who can plant a tradition that far in the past and spin it just to make Bill Donohue look like such a tool.

Speaking of which, Bill Donohue is outraged that someone is using the word "Christmas" rather than "Holidays".  So.  Let me get this straight, people are only supposed to say "Christmas"...not "holidays", 'cause that's persecuting Christians.  But when they do something inclusive, they aren't supposed to use the word "Christmas".  So what are they supposed to do if they want to do something for everyone?  Oh yeah.  They're not supposed to do something for everyone.  October, November and December are now supposed to be the sole property of Christianity, I guess (I can't find a perma-link.  It's the Dec. 3 2008 press release).

Gazette.net reports that the 26th annual "Christmas Revels," a French-Canadian style celebration, will be held this month at George Washington University.  The December 3 article on the website points out that the show focuses on the longest night of the year, the winter solstice.  "Despite 'Christmas' in the title, this is not a religious pageant, but rather an inclusive seasonal celebration that is meaningful to the community at large, regardless of background."

In recent years, "holiday" has been increasingly substituted for "Christmas" by the PC police.  Christians have fought back and are daring to say "Merry Christmas!" again.  However, in the case of "Christmas Revels," it is a sham. The use of the word Christmas in the title of a show about the winter solstice is false advertising. 

Anyway, while the IDEA of adding to the nativity scenes is amusing to me, I don't think people should do that, just because it would probably give Donohue a great deal of sick pleasure and add to his persecution fetische.  Let's not be a party to that sort of thing, please.  His need has already grown too big for all of the Atheists and Agnostics, and practitioners of non-Christian religions and Protestantism to feed.  You don't want to add to the damage.

Sunday, December 07, 2008 6:36:01 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  | #
Thursday, December 04, 2008

Samantha:  "Tense?  Me?  I'm not tense.  Am I?  When did you first notice?"

Jack:        "As. We. Met."

        - Carter and O'Neill, "Ascension" Stargate, SG-1

 

I have the Best. Students. Ever.  Tonight I got a Christmas present from one of my Kung fu families (the dad and two kids take the classes).

They gave me a gift card for a massage.

Like I said:  Best. Students. Ever.

UPDATE:  My, Christmas DID come early this year.  Pcomeau gave me a link to this Rodney video, which is Frickin'  PERFECT:

 

 

 

Random thought:  Putting Daniel, who is cutest when he is annoyed and uncomfortable together in an episode with Rodney, who is cutest when he is being annoying and discomforting was the most genius Atlantis-related idea ever.

Random Thought 2:  Is is bad that I also think that my husband is cutest when annoyed and uncomfortable?

 

 

 

Thursday, December 04, 2008 9:18:13 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  |  |  | #

Alan has an entry up about how some silly wacky fundies have their panties in a twist over some idiot writing "the gay Bible".

I saw that He Who Must Not Be Named was most displeased...so the effort is not a complete waste.

Suffice it to say that Alan's assertion is that "The Gay Bible" is NOT a serious scholarly work, is not faithful to the Bible, and is just plain silly.

HWMNBN's position is that it is yet another sign of the coming Gay Apocalypse.

The whole "controversy" would not be worth mentioning, except that Alan has managed to work in a comparison between the KJV of the Bible, and the LOLCats version of the Bible:

(Block-quoted from Alan)

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Sounds like Christmas to me.

But if you're going to go with a different translation this Christmas season; do it right. Instead of the Princess Diana Bible, might I recommend the LOLCats Bible:

"Then there wuz sheep-doods in teh field, an they wuz watchin teh sheep in teh dark. Iz vry vry boring. srsly. An suddenly, visible angel! An glory! O noez!! But teh angel sed, "DONT AFRAID OF ANYTHING! it r ok, you can has gud news for all teh doodz! Todai in da city ov David, you can has sayvur! is Christ da Lord! w00t! Is sign fer u, find da baybee wrapd like brrito in a big fud dish." An suddenly, moar angelz! They sez, "w00t to teh Ceiling Cat! An peace fer doodz he luffs! Kthxbai."

Thursday, December 04, 2008 11:31:50 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [10] | #
Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jack Black should never be Jesus.

And what happened to Dr. Horrible's costume?  It's not evil at all.

And they sure are lucky the gang in black didn't call in Captain Hammer.  It'd cause a panic.

 

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die
Wednesday, December 03, 2008 2:23:28 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [1] | #
Monday, December 01, 2008

Sam assumes that the process of assembling a diverse administration is, by necessity, the assembling of an incompetent one.  Obviously, because the governance of an administration that is completely uniform in opinion and complete agreement in world-view and ideology has been SOoooo successful.

Naturally, cars that do less damage to the environment will be of low quality like the "Victory Gin" and "Victory Cigarettes" of 1984.  Presumably, Obama will also use perpetual war to keep the populace motivated, and cover his political blunderings with calls to patriotism and blame any losses on those disagreeing with him and undermining his efforts...obviously, since everything Sam believes that Obama will do comes straight out of "1984".  It just stands to reason that forcing the auto industry to move in the direction that demand is already moving is going to be a disaster.  'cause ignoring the market and pouring untold piles of money into advertizing and trying to create artificial demands for vehicles that people don't want anymore, but offer a higher profit margin has worked so well...why would you change that rather than just reduce the $28/hour average wage of the auto industry union fat-cats (ie, the average auto worker?)

Let's sum up with a little Ori watch:

Hallowed are the Ori!  (ah yes, memories of childhood)

Hallowed are the Ori!

(Hat Tip:  Pharyngula)

Screw the Ori!

Give to organizations that save children from evil, witch-hunting pastors like the one that prayed over Sarah Palin.  I suspect that some of my witch friends might want to kick a five-spot to one of these organizations from time-to-time, for instance…

 

Find Out More

Stepping Stones Nigeria
Room 36, D Floor
St Leonard's House
St Leonard's Gate
Lancaster LA1 1NN
Tel: 0845 3138391 (Mon-Fri 9 - 5pm)
Email:
Info@steppingstonesnigeria.org
Website:
www.steppingstonesnigeria.org
Works in partnership with local organisations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria to build sustainable futures for some of the region's many disadvantaged children, including protecting, saving and transforming the lives of children who have been stigmatised as being 'witches'.

Child's Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN)
Website:
www.crarn.org
Organisation with a firm belief in, and intent on, safeguarding the rights of a child including the issues of child abandonment, street children and stigmatization as witches and wizards.

African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN)
Website:
www.anppcan.org
A pan African network that promotes child rights and child protection in Africa.

Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA)
Unit 3D/F Leroy House
436 Essex Road
London N1 3QP
Tel: 020 7704 2261
Website:
www.afruca.org
An organisation concerned about cruelty against the African Child, promoting the welfare of African children in the UK.

Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of "Possession" and "Witchcraft"
Website:
www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR750.pdf
UK Government report by Eleanor Stobart on the frequency and severity of child abuse linked to accusations of "possession" and "witchcraft" in the UK.

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)
Website:
http://www.crin.org
A global network coordinating and promoting information and action on child rights. It has numerous resources on the issue of child witches in Africa.

Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS)
PO Box 133
Swanley
Kent BR8 7UQ
Tel: 01322 667207
Website:
www.ccpas.co.uk
The only independent Christian charity providing professional advice, support, training and resources in all areas of safeguarding children and for those affected by abuse. You can download their
Good Practice for Working with Faith Communities - Spirit Possession & Abuse on their website.

Consortium for Street Children (CSC)
Unit 306
Bon Marche Centre
241-251 Ferndale Road
LONDON SW9 8BJ
Tel: 020 7274 0087
Website:
www.streetchildren.org.uk
58 UK based organisations, working in 89 countries, dedicated to the welfare and rights of street living and working children and children at risk of taking to street life.

Every Child Matters
Website:
http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/resources-and-practice/IG00220/
UK Government website that provides, amongst other things, advice to practitioners and managers to help them identify and deal with abuse that may be linked to a belief in spirit possession. The guidance is aimed at all agencies working with children.

Metropolitan Police: Project Violet Team
Website:
www.met.police.uk
Project Violet aims to support communities where cultural and faith-based beliefs can lead to the abuse of children, including cases involving suspected witchcraft and spirit possession.

Poor Children: Child "Witches" and Child Soldiers in Sub-Saharan Africa
Website:
http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/Articles/Volume3_2/
Symposium/Cahn-PDF-04-06-06.pdf

Examines two different aspects of the accountability of children: those children who are thrown away by their families because they are "sorcerers," and those children who become soldiers and, through their involvement in armed conflict, inflict violence and death on others, including children.

Nigerian Children's Parliament
Website:
www.ncp-fmwa.org
Official organisation representing children in Nigeria.

Nigerian High Commission
Nigeria House
9 Northumberland Avenue
London WC2N 5BX
Website:
www.nigeriahc.org.uk
The official website of Nigerian High Commission in London.

Nigerian Ministry of Women Affairs
Website:
www.nigeria.gov.ng/NR/exeres/8211764C-80CE-4235-887D-79FB5135122A.htm
Nigerian government department responsible for the speedy and healthy development of Nigerian women and the survival, protection and participation of all children as preparation for meaningful adult life.

Victoria Climbié Foundation
C/o 28 Museum St
London WC1A 1LH
Tel: 020 8571 4121
Website:
www.victoria-climbie.org.uk
Campaigns for improvements in child protection policies and practices and to ensure effective links and coordination between statutory agencies, care services and BME communities.

Monday, December 01, 2008 6:27:14 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
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