Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heating Lard Vs. Heating Water

I was making roux last night from lard and flour and as I stood there stirring, listening to God Music and drinking a Harp, I wondered what was going on in the pot in terms of heat transfer.

First, there would have been almost no temperature variations within the roux. My stirring made sure of that. So the roux was of even temperature with two boundaries - one of the pot and the other of the air. The pot, being cast iron, wasn't quite even in temperature, but probably close enough where it contacted the roux. Same with the air.

Consulting an engineering table, I discovered that lard is almost twice as easy to heat up as water. It takes 1 calorie per gram of water to raise it 1 degree C. It takes 0.54 calories per gram of lard. I'm way rusty on my heat transfer calculations, but to me that says the lard would have been closer to the temperature of the pot than the temperature of the air as compared to what a pot of water would have been.

I'm discounting the effects of the flour suspended in the lard, which is probably a tragic mistake. Flour needs only 0.38 calories per gram to go up one degree Celsius. That suggests roux - an even mix of flour and lard - would be closer still to the temperature of the pot.

Maybe Ohioan at Heart or Mut could lend a hand here. They're a lot closer to the worlds of science and engineering than I am right now.

Preventing The Unicorn Invasion

President Obama put his name to a column recently wherein he details his plans to keep us safe from unicorns.
On Tuesday, I unveiled a new national plan to confront unicorns. It's a plan that will reduce carbon pollution to prevent the worst effects of unicorns, prepare our country for the effects we can't stop, and lead the world in combating the growing threat of a unicorn attack.
The science is settled. Unicorns are out there, massing for an assault on our country and our way of life. Thank Gaia we've got a president who recognizes the threat.

The sparkly rainbow ones are the most dangerous.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ecuador Better Not Mess With Us

... because if they do, we'll send the US Navy down there to teach them a lesson.

Ecuador has been acting up. They're thumbing their noses at President Obama and telling him to get lost when it comes to Eric Snowden and some other stuff, too. Well, we're not going to take that kind of guff from a bunch of Latin American pipsqueaks, no sir. Dig what we're going to send them*.

Pretty frightening, no?

* - We'll send them the video, not the fleet. Due to military budget cuts to pay for green energy subsidies, free contraceptives for 30-year-old coeds and IRS employee conferences where they pour over tax returns from Dawn Wildman and Mut, we can't afford to send any real, you know, ships. Instead, we'll just email them a link to that video. Tough times demand tough action.

Gay Marriage: The Biggest Domestic Issue Of Our Time

It's high time we got rid of the hate and stood strong with couples of grown men or grown women who have no dependents and love each other.

I can't sleep at night because of the injustices they face.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chart of the Week

... comes from Zerohedge.

Bernanke: We might begin to consider the chance of discussing talks to look into the possibility of contemplating a slowdown in our insane money printing.


Everyone else on the FED: Wait! We were just kidding! We'll keep printing forever and ever!

Markets: Really? Are you sure?

Stock prices as the members of the Fed spaz out.

One More Thing On Highland Park And Gay Marriage

Thanks to the DOMA ruling yesterday, the DoD now recognizes gay marriage. Yay! The greatest civil rights issue of our time is being won!

What's the plan for places like Highland Park, MI when the debt bomb goes off? We owe more than $16T. At some point, monetizing the debt will no longer work and there's going to be a fiscal day of reckoning like no other for the US. Cataclysmic budget cuts will happen, either through actual cutting or inflation. The residents of Highland Park get a large percentage of their income from the government and they currently live in crime, poverty and social decay.

What are you going to do when their benefits are slashed? More to the point, what are they going to do?

Enjoy the parades while you can.

A Little Bit On The Gay Marriage Rulings

I think they're a distraction. I'm growing to think the whole gay issue is a giant distraction. It's like Global Warming Climate Change. It's a manufactured issue that's being exploited to the benefit of some.

Some of my progressive friends think gay marriage is the civil rights issue of our time. Two adults without children, living together must be recognized as "married" for some reason. Whatever the horrible injustices they face with only two incomes, no kids and no responsibilities outside of managing to keep themselves off the police blotters while they find new ways to inseminate feces or chafe faces, I just can't believe it rises to the level of "the civil rights issue of our time."

Instead, I'd argue that Highland Park, MI* and its peers are the civil rights issue of our time. Cities where civilization has regressed, leaving a shattered population living in squalor and ruin.

Gay marriage? Marching and chanting and singing. Highland Park? Crickets.

* - I've been doing research into Highland Park. I've got a bunch of links stored up and that one is the best summary, sans commentary and analysis. The problems in Highland Park are not centered around their schools, but this representative of the overall collapse of society in places like that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Dave Ramsey Defense Of Wealthy Nations

I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan. He's against debt, in favor of saving and offers a great plan for getting rich. Getting rich is great, but that wealth has a purpose - helping others. My wife and I are working hard to pay off our last debt, our mortgage, so we can do just that. Being wealthy is a prerequisite for significant financially charity. As Dave says, poor people can't help others.

The same is true for nations. Zambia didn't develop the AIDS drug cocktails which changed that disease from a death sentence to a handicap. Ecuador didn't then distribute the drugs throughout Africa to try to bring an end to the AIDS-related misery and devastation. Dittos for all manner of other technological advancements which have improved and extended human life.

A common criticism hurled against America is that we consume a vastly disproportionate amount of the world's resources. Thank God we do or the rest of the world would be utterly screwed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Fundamental Problem With Meghan Laslocky's Morality

... is that she assumes everyone else will apply it where she does. To her groin.

Meghan Laslocky is one of many let the mask slip on the whole single sex marriage thing. It's not about fairness or civil rights, it's the obliteration of a restraining social norm in pursuit of entropic, destructive hedonism.  She's got an article out on CNN attacking the whole idea of monogamy. Because, you know, we're animals and animals aren't monogamous.
It's time for our culture to wake up and smell the sex pheromones: monogamy is not natural for many, or probably even most, humans...The evidence shows that monogamy is a rarity among mammals. Only 3% to 5% of all the mammal species on Earth "practice any form of monogamy." In fact, no mammal species has been proven to be truly monogamous.
CNN ran the piece with a charming photo of penguins, though why they chose penguins is beyond me. I would have chosen 1940 Rotterdam in flames or something similar.

Yes, animals like to have lots of sex. That's fun for people like Meghan! Animals also go in for cannibalism, pointless slaughter, vivisection, and lots of other things that aren't fun for people like Meghan, but are fun for others. See, Meghan likes her groin. A whole lot. Not everyone thinks of their groin first, though. Some think of lebensraum or, at a more basic level, simple violence.

Meghan thinks that if we put an end to that icky, repressive monogamy stuff, she can wander back to her hut and get it on with a banker, a gardener, a part time Wal-Mart greeter or her Aunt Sally and no one will say, "Boo!" Well, she can until the people that like harsher things use her own logic to tumble to similar conclusions and decide to act on their now-freed fantasies.

Two good reasons to bomb Rotterdam: 1. Animals kill each other without mercy to gain territory*. 2. You can do it to some really cool music.

* - Animals do it to obtain mates, too! There's your groinal tie-in right there, Meghan! It's the Daily Double - He-111s bombing the tar out of the Low Countries and Nazi soldiers raping people. How can we go wrong?

Government Response To The Bond Market Bubble Popping

So now that Bernanke has driven the markets into a total tailspin by suggesting that he might not go on printing unbacked trillions of dollars forever, you can bet that the DC political consultants brilliant people in the Senate are planing a rescue of something or other. After all, these guys and their staffs are all members of David Brooks' meritocracy. They got the test scores and grades and we didn't.

Having fixed health care, won the war on poverty, saved the American farmer, liberated undocumented workers and firmly disciplined Wall Street and the banks, it's a sure thing that the likes of John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Chuck Shumer and Harry Reid will rally their squads platoons brigades of Ivy League meritocrats and rescue us all with another bill.

This time there will be no half-measures. Expect a 24,000 page bill, at least.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Want My Bathroom Mirror To Do This!

I'm Not So Sure This Is An Error

... seen on another website:

Hooray For The Meritocracy!

Right now, I'm listening to David Brooks' Bobos in Paradise. Well, off and on. Mostly off. Brooks' chief claim at the beginning of the book is that during the 1960s and 70s America went from a hereditary ruling class to a meritocracy by changing the entrance requirements of our best colleges, and then, most of the rest.

Harvard and Yale, you see, used to give preference to the children of it's alumni. So that means we have the SAT test to blame for things like this.
Senator Bob Corker issued a statement on Sunday to clarify that 1,100 pages of the immigration bill have been public since May.
Corker added another 117 pages to it recently, bringing the total to 1,200 pages.

Back in the days of the American aristocracy, when legislators wore powdered wigs and all sounded like Thurston Howell III as they spoke to each other, President Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act  into law to build our freeways.

It's 3 pages long.

Thank God for our meritocracy. Just think what might be happening now if we lived in those bad old days.

Thank goodness we don't live under these people any more and instead, live under the brilliant rule of a genuine meritocracy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

We Are Detroit

Michael Barone has a short review of Charlie LeDuff's new book, Detroit: An American Autopsy. If you hadn't seen it elsewhere, the book is particularly timely as Detroit has defaulted on some loans, stiffing creditors, retirees and, perhaps, diversity consultants in the city's gay and lesbian outreach office. It's widely agreed that the place is a wreck. That means that all manner of shortcuts can be taken and we can get straight to the blame. Here's Mike's take.
Who is responsible for all this? LeDuff sometimes seems ready to blame just about everybody in authority-crooked politicians, political fixers, lazy judges, General Motors executives, union leaders, Wall Street. Looming over his narrative is the giant—literally giant; he is hugely tall and fat—figure of Kwame Kilpatrick, son of a (now former) congresswoman. He was elected mayor of Detroit in 2001 and 2005, and convicted of bribery in a trial replete with evidence of phone-sex texting with one of his top staffers. And there's no doubt Kilpatrick fostered a political culture that was rotten to the core. 
But Kilpatrick didn't start it. I blame the ambitious liberalism of the Cavanagh years, which I believed in at the time, and the 20-year rule of Coleman Young, mayor from 1973 to 1993. Young was smart, funny, and politically ruthless, with a background in left-wing unionism.
Why is it always people in authority that get the blame? Did they come from a different set of humans, a different species, perhaps? Do people in authority come out of a different box than we do? Are they marked at birth?

My good friends and mentors in the SLOBs might tell me that the problem was incipient socialism, but I'd suggest that it was an inseparable combination of socialism and cultural decay. Defaulting on loans, particularly in the case of a place like Detroit, is an indication that the people of the Detroit divorced having from earning and that's why they elected Peronist demagogues and socialist morons. It was as much moral relativism as it was childish, progressive economics that killed the city.

In a group email a while back, one of the SLOBs pointed to an address by Pope Frances that smacked of socialism. Here's part of what the Pontiff had to say.
"Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace," Pope Francis said. "But there is no peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth."
When everyone claims his own rights, there's a natural tendency to vote for the guy who promises to take things away from people who have earned them and hand them to you.

And then there's my favorite hobby horse.

While clicking around the Interweb Tubes, I came across Data Driven Detroit, a site loaded with facts, figures and presentations. Here's a presentation on the state of children in Detroit. Things are pretty bad, but there's apparently no need to discuss behavior. The concept of illegitimacy isn't raised once. Moral relativism at work, perhaps?

A mind-blowing stat from the presentation: 80.6% of all children 6 years old and younger living in Highland Park live in poverty. Not surprisingly, 87.6% of all births in Highland Park are to single women.

Coleman Young, Kwame Kilpatrick and all the rest are undoubtedly swine, but they didn't drive around Highland Park wrecking the place themselves.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Seeing Leprechauns

No, really! He was there just a minute ago!
So our daughter is playing club soccer again this year. It's an expensive proposition and we're a bit tight with the cash right now. Our budding Jonas Gutierrez talks to me all the time about how much she loves the game, but she never says that to my wife. Consequently, it seems like the soccer thing is all my idea and I'm hallucinating her desire for the sport while we pay out for her to be on the team.

I feel like I'm telling her over and over again that I've seen leprechauns in our back yard.


Went To A Wedding Last Night

... and the men were in suits and the women in dresses. Everyone was doing their best to look their best. The  women were smaller than the men and clearly weaker. The groom was a big, strapping fellow and the bride was a lovely, petite woman.

My wife and I taught a remarriage class for the Diocese recently. At the beginning, the couples spent about 5 minutes each telling their love story. The stories were different, but had some basic similarities. The men were caught by the woman's beauty and the women fell in love with their man's kindness, thoughtfulness and skills.

Our obsession with "everyone is equal" is madness. Whether it's women in the infantry or gay marriage, the underlying concept that we're all the same flies in the face of observable reality.

Is it so very hard to be happy with who you are?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Laguna Meadow Panorama

One of our boys figured out how to do the panorama thing with our Galaxy 3's while we were camping on this week. After he taught me how to do it, I took several. Here was one of my favorites - Laguna Meadow. I left it really big, so it's probably worth a click.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Immigration Bill In A Nutshell

Here's my understanding of the bill*.

The people in favor of the bill are the big government types. The government is responsible for education, health care and is the dominant feature in the lives of most people making less than the median income. In short, the government is responsible for the state of our human capital.

The people who have created the situation are telling us that our human capital is screwed up. We don't create enough businesses, have enough babies or work hard enough so we need to import uneducated, unskilled people who don't speak English from a failed narco-state.

Well, that's good enough for me. If Harry Reid and John McCain like it, I guess I ought to support it, too.

* - I don't understand the bill at all. It's about twenty three thousand pages long. No one understand the bill.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Americans Are Such Losers

No, this is not a repeat. I'm just stealing from myself.

Jeb Bush in support of the immigration bill:
"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity," Bush said at the annual Faith and Freedom conference in the nation's capital.
And now, the logical inverse of his statement.
"Americans don't create enough businesses to maintain our standard of living. Americans have wrecked their families and are slaughtering their babies to the point where we can't maintain our population. Americans are slothful." Bush said at the annual Faith and Freedom conference in the nation's capital.
We suck.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Massacring Our Way To Immigration Reform

Jeb Bush in support of the immigration bill:
"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity," Bush said at the annual Faith and Freedom conference in the nation's capital.
Um, no. Americans are plenty fertile. We just slaughter a huge percentage of our babies, offering them up as human sacrifices on the altar of hedonism. If you line 40% of your population against a wall and shoot them, you can't very well come back from that glorious event and say," Man, I wish we had us some more immigrants. We just don't have enough people in this country."

Soldier 1: You know what we need?
Soldier 2: What?
Soldier 1: Immigration reform. We're just not fertile enough.
Soldier 2: Makes sense to me!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Link Of The Day

The site is larded up with ads to the point where you have to look hard for the "Next" button (lower right hand corner), but it's worth it. It's the Animal Photobombs site. It has lots of great stuff. Like this.

Template Change

I made a change to the blog template this morning because I wasn't seeing the share buttons at the bottom of my posts. I've been meaning to make changes to the site for some time and this spurred me on. I don't have time this week to make the color changes I really want, so I just picked my favorite of the pre-made templates. It's got sort of a sandy, beach-y feel to it which I like.

Anyway, that's what's going on here. Pardon our dust while we remodel and all that.

Well, I Feel Safer

... now that I know the IRS, NSA and for all we know, the night watchmen at the Smithsonian are monitoring and probing into all aspects of our lives.

Well maybe not all of our lives. It seems as though some of us are exempt.
The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
Meanwhile, the IRS tried to get admin access to the website of one of those dangerous Tea Party racist groups.

Some groups are more equal than others.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Awesome Fried Catfish

One of the reasons I write this silly blog is to keep notes of things I like and things I think. A while back, I made fried catfish nuggets, but used a hybrid recipe. We decided to make it again last night. Figuring I'd blogged about it, I looked here, but no luck. I searched my Catch account, but no luck there. I guessed and guessed right last night, but I don't want to have to guess again, so here's the magic.

First, start with Terry Thompson's Mustard Fried Catfish recipe.

Substitute Dixie Fry for the corn flour. So that's a cup of corn meal, a cup of flour, a cup of bread crumbs and a bag (cup) of Dixie Fry. And that's a winner! Everyone loved it.

Cooking notes: Use lots of oil in the pan. 1", at least. I tried to time the nuggets, but can only guess at the actual timing of the frying. Once a piece of white bread starts bubbling upon immersion, the oil is ready. At that point, 3 minutes on a side for the catfish seemed to work fine. Take one out and try it. The Louisiana Seafood Bible says lots of people over-fry their fish, but I'd rather have slightly overcooked catfish than undercooked.

You will need more breading than mustard-egg mixture. We needed a second recipe of breading and only one of the mustard-egg coating.

Equipment notes: Before I started last night, I suggested to my wife that we ought to buy a deep fryer. It was the day before Father's Day and I was dreaming of other delicious, fried foods. She argued against it and was right. A monster skillet with plenty of oil will do the trick. Get the vegetable oil from Costco and you won't feel bad about tossing the leftover oil into the trash.

As Chef Jacob says, it's all about the taste!

Can Someone Help Me With The Immigration Bill?

I worked at the Catholic Charities Food Resource Center recently. We provide supplemental food assistance to people who are on other forms of assistance but have run out of food. I did intake again, where you look the client* up on the computer, find out their family situation and then help them pick out fresh food from whatever is on the menu that day.

Some of the people are homeless, some are between jobs and some, through sloth, stupidity or ignorance, are just hopeless losers. Some have unrealized potential and are unnecessarily screwed up.

There are lots of customers and when you go over their incomes from various sources of assistance - SSI, SDI, Food Stamps, etc. you marvel at how they get by at all. The benefits are small. Whatever the benefits might be, these people are a financial drain on the country. They consume far more government money than they produce, assuming they produce anything at all, which most don't.

Immigrants to the US are almost all from the south - Mexico, mostly. They're not electrical engineers and accountants. They're low-skilled workers who are going to go in and out of programs like ours.

Why do we want more of them?

It's like we have a death wish or something. I see these people and all I can think of is the debt clock on B-Daddy' blog, spinning, spinning, spinning, the numbers going ever upwards. We're rushing towards total bankruptcy at the rate of a trillion dollars a year and we're debating an immigration bill?

From the looks of things, Japan's collapse has begun. The printing of yen has stopped propping up the Nikkei and the thing has fallen 20% in the last few weeks. They are Screwed with a capital S. Isn't anyone watching this in Washington? This is real. It's really happening.

And we're debating an immigration bill, trying to bring more poor people into the country. I don't get it.

* - Client? Customer? Friend? Personally, I prefer friend. It's so easy to love the people who come in that the words customer or client seem too cold.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


For whatever else I say on this blog, breezily noodling the underlying structural meanings of this or that latest government assault on religion / business / people in general, my life has changed.

Where I once felt free to write whatever I wanted, I now censor myself.

We have no idea where this is going next. We have no idea where it's going to end. All I know is that it's going in a very bad direction for people like me.

Quick! You Need To See This Right Away!

There. Now don't you feel better?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Every Man A Snowden

We as a society have agreed that traditional institutions are morally bankrupt. Churches are full of hypocrites, the media is lying to us, politicians can't be trusted and objective morality is a sign of bigotry. Everyone should be able to decide right and wrong for themselves. To quote our president, "Sin is when I'm out of alignment with my values" or something close to that, emphasis mine.

We've created a monster and released it. Now some of us are shocked that the thing is loose in the countryside, wreaking havoc. Mr. Snowden, using his values, not those of, say, John Boehner or Barack Obama, made a call and revealed the NSA spying program.

Of course he did. We coached him to do just that. When we raised him to "Question Everything," we forfeited the concept of common mores and respect for conventional social structures. While lots of people are up in arms about what he did, none of them can say why, in an objective sense, it was wrong. Snowden wasn't out of alignment with his values, ergo, according to the most powerful person in the world, what he did wasn't a sin.

What the outraged, shocked gaspers in politics and media don't get is that Snowden is a symptom of the disease they themselves helped us contract. If all morality is relative and all values personal, why should you expect anyone to place any limits on their behavior at all?

See also: Chicago, murder rate of.

In a way, Snowden acted out his own multicultural morality play. We like to associate multiculti with races, religions and sexual orientations, but that's an arbitrary limit that exists only in the minds of the academics. Culture is much broader than melanin and who you want to sleep with. It includes political leanings as well. Multiculti has taught our young-uns that everything is groovy.

Please fasten your seatbelts, the captain sees turbulence ahead.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

If We Didn't Buy Stability, What Did We Buy?

To my way of thinking, the whole point of massive government intervention in our markets in the form of regulations, spending and printing was to buy reasonable comfort, security and stability so we could go about our business of smoking dope, drinking booze, visiting Indian casinos, having unfettered sex and aborting babies. The deficits and monetization thereof were necessary to prop up the Pink Police State.

Lord knows that if we're all taking out huge student loans to get degrees in Queer Film Studies, there's no way we're going to be able to create any wealth to pay for Sandra Fluke's OB-GYN visits and resulting massive doses of antibiotics.

So we bought into the Peronist nirvana theory that we could regulate and print our way to stability. Did we get it? Well, from the looks of things in Japan, the home of Krugmanesque levels of government intervention, the answer is a resounding ...

Dig this chart of the Nikkei 225:

NKY Chart
NKY data by YCharts

BOOM! BUST! ZING! SMACK! THWACK! Its like an old time Batman comic book fight scene in financial form.

So ....

If fascist economics didn't produce the stability we needed to relax and download porn all day, what good was it?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Kind Of Thing Would Never Happen If We Just Gave The Government More Power

A report released last week by the Energy Department’s inspector general found that nepotism within the department has become an “open and widely accepted” practice, which has resulted in the relatives of department officials getting their relatives employment at the DOE.
Oh, wait ...

The Pink Police State Pushes The Accelerator

Kathryn Jean Lopez has an excellent essay over at the National Review dealing with Governor Cuomo's recent push to give greater government support for abortion. Read the whole thing, but here's the payoff for me.
Today, the most recent numbers available show that in New York City two in five pregnancies end in abortion; the likelihood of abortion is 60 percent if the child in the womb happens to be black. Statewide, the numbers are lower, but still shockingly high. In the midst of this abysmal culture of death, Weddington joined the Empire State’s governor last week in Albany as he insisted that access to abortion be expanded there.

Which leads to some questions: Do we actually prefer abortion now? Is it out with safe, legal, and rare, and in with quick, legal at any stage of the pregnancy, and maybe preferred? Maybe even expected?
I'd read about Cuomo's push for more abortions and knew about the abortion rates in NYC, but hadn't put two and two together. If you're killing 40% of the unborn and you want more, then logically, you must want to kill most babies.

As good secularists who put our faith in science, we ought to conduct experiments to determine just how this will affect society. Maybe we could gather up a really big troop of bonobos and abort, say, 60% of their babies at random times during the pregnancy. After all, we use bonobos as guides for sex, right? Aren't there lots and lots of studies showing how they share a ton of DNA with us and they get it on all the time? Well, let's take it a step further. Let's snuff them out before they can escape the womb. If we want to be really clever, we could have a bonobo Gosnell who delivers the bonobo babies and then stabs / strangles / drowns them in front of the whole troop.

Pete Singer would love this sort of thing.

I couldn't find the clip I wanted*, so this will have to do. Governor Cuomo would make a fine Anton Karidian / Kodos the Executioner, don't you think?

* - From Star Trek's The Conscience of the King, here's Kodos' speech to those he is about to have aborted massacred: "The revolution is successful. But survival depends on drastic measures. Your continued existence represents a threat to the well-being of society. Your lives mean slow death to the more valued members of the colony. Therefore, I have no alternative but to sentence you to death. Your execution is so ordered, signed Kodos, Governor of Tarsus IV."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Don't Trust Snowden

... to make policy decisions for the government.

But I also don't trust the government any more.

Mut and WC Varones have both posted this image on Facebook.

Ordinarily, I'd feel about this guy the same way I felt about the Wikileaks weasel - catch him and throw him in jail. Under the current Peronist fascist regime, however, I'm not sure how to feel. Everything is fishy. This is what Peggy Noonan was talking about when she warned about the country coming apart after Obama turned the IRS into the Gestapo.

Add to that the Administration's unprovoked attacks on my faith through the HHS mandate and the IRS thuggery and you've got a high level of mistrust. So what is it? Is the guy a patriot uncovering one more bit of fascist oppression or is he just some 29-year-old dingbat who thinks he knows better than everyone else?

Another friend of mine, one who I've never seen as politically active, posted a similar photo on Facebook. The mood of the country is getting creepy.

Ordinary people wearing tinfoil hats? The government spying on everyone? Madness.

Link Of The Day

If you've ever been on military deployment or wondered what it was like coming home, click here.

Things Were Funnier When We Were More Relaxed

Imagine a modern comic trying to record something like this.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Quote Of The Day

Free people must live in risk and danger. America use to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave." those two descriptors go hand and hand. It IS time to discuss the level of risk each free person must be expected to endure to preserve freedom.

California Saved The Planet!

... really, that's the only explanation for this.
Thanks to quick action by California, temperatures have stabilized well below the Climate Models of Doom.
Here's more.
Hundreds of millions of dollars that have gone into the expensive climate modelling enterprise has all but destroyed governmental funding of research into natural sources of climate change. For years the modelers have maintained that there is no such thing as natural climate change…yet they now, ironically, have to invoke natural climate forces to explain why surface warming has essentially stopped in the last 15 years!

Forgive me if I sound frustrated, but we scientists who still believe that climate change can also be naturally forced have been virtually cut out of funding and publication by the ‘humans-cause-everything-bad-that-happens’ juggernaut. The public who funds their work will not stand for their willful blindness much longer.
Oh please. As soon as Global Warming Climate Change is killed off, we'll find some new environmental disaster looming that requires huge changes in our lives, massive funding for scientists and fascism. We always do.

Four legs good, two legs bad.

H/T: The Coyote Blog.

Pop Go The Weasels?

Southern Europe has been living off of Germany for quite a while now. The European Central Bank (ECB) has been buying up their debt so their government can continue to support their Pink Police States as they circle the drain. Very soon, the German High Court will determine whether or not this is constitutional. If it isn't, then it will dramatically change Germany's relationship with the ECB. As the ECB's only legitimate backstop, it might just put an end to the fantasy of socialist Europe.
(L)eading authorities on this area of German law say that the European Central Bank's bond buying program is barely covered by the ECB's mandate -- and thus exceeds the constitutional limits established for Germany's role as a member of the euro zone. The critical view of the legal experts is largely shared by the German central bank, the Bundesbank, which says the ECB is overstepping its authority. According to one Bundesbank official, decisions to bail out EU states or even rescue the monetary union "are reserved for other actors, primarily governments and parliaments."
That is, can the ECB commit German funds through bond purchases? Is it constitutional for the German people to be future-taxed without voting on it or without their representatives voting on it?

Print. Print. Print.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Even A Paranoid Pig Finds An Acorn Of Doom Now And Again

Darker than dark blogger Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge recently posted about central bankers losing control of the situation.

Quick recap: To pay for Sandra Fluke's contraceptives and otherwise prop up our pink police states, central banks all over the world are printing money like mad. The stock markets have shot up, fueled by this funny money*.

Here's a notable tidbit from Durden's Cassandraizing.
(T)he largest sell-offs occurred in Japan, and in Japan there is not only no risk of policy tightening, there policy-makers are just at the beginning of the largest, most loudly advertised money-printing operation in history. Japanese government bonds and Japanese stocks are hardly nose-diving because they fear an end to QE. Have those who deal in these assets finally realized that they are sitting on gigantic bubbles and are they trying to exit before everybody else does? Have central bankers there lost control over markets?
That's a great point. The markets are expected to swoon when the money printing stops or even at the hint of it. Japan has no such plans. Not now, not ever. The fundamental mechanism at play is
print money -> stock markets go up
When that no longer holds, we will experience ... money printing without benefit? Money printing itself has all kinds of perilous side effects. Without the stock market getting goosed, you'll have some very unpleasant times. Whatever the end state might be for all of us, Japan will probably lead the way.

It's not been a good month for the Nikkei stock index.
* - It's actually not that funny.

Profile Picture Of The Week

Scoping out the comments at Ann Althouse's blog, I came across this gem, the profile picture of Ignorance is Bliss.

I love it.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Because It's My Blog And I Can

... plus, I miss English Premier League soccer. A lot.

Full screen. This really needs full screen.

If You Can't Stop The Reporting, Stop The Distribution Of News

I've spent some time noodling over Dean's latest post. This one is on the erosion of the First Amendment.
Imagine that: a federal registry of government-sanctioned reporters. Not sounding too free-speechy, now, is it? But it shouldn't be surprising as the poltical class in this country, comprised of Democrats and Republicans alike, are fully vested in and thus fully supportive of extending/expanding the status quo. Never make the mistake of thinking otherwise.

So, it's happening already where you have free speech for some but not free speech for others and if you are reading this now, which you are, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to assume that bloggers and blogging would be in that latter category.
At first I thought, "What's the big deal? A clever person could find all kinds of ways around this if they wanted to post seditious things." While that's true, the problem would become: who would read what you posted?

My traffic here is about a fourth of what it was at my peak. I don't get links from the big boys any more and I'm sure I've been written off as a total nut. That's fine, let others get the links. But what if there were no links to get?

You don't have to go after the bloggers if you can go after the distribution systems. Drudge, Instapundit, Hot Air, whatever. If the MSM, as Dean suggests, colludes with the government to protect themselves from attack, then that isolates the online community. Even in the absence of NSA tapping in to all Internet traffic, finding the choke points would be trivially easy. You wouldn't even have to successfully prosecute link masters like Glenn Reynolds. All you'd have to do is shut them down while the case was pending and it would disrupt the flow of information from content creator to content consumer.

Glenn could be placed under, umm, "police protection." For his own good, of course.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Truth In Advertising

Seriously, is there another reason you'd hire a ride on a weekend night?

Prayer, Reading, Meditation And Writing

... make up my decision loop, not necessarily in that order. It wasn't always prayer, either. That's a very recent addition. I'm blogging this to share something I've found to work for me. Maybe it will work for you, I don't know.

The Problem: I've been going through a lot of turmoil lately. It's nothing to do with my family or friends, but it's had a profound impact on me just the same. What I took as a central purpose in life is now uncertain both as a purpose and as a possibility. My standard reaction to such things is anger and aggression, but that doesn't lead anywhere good, so I fight those.

Aside - Topic for Jacob the Syrian Hamster: Is it aggression to fight your own aggression? If so, do you need to be more aggressive that your original aggression to out-aggress the aggressiveness of your aggression?

Back to Rationality and My Solution:
  • Prayer. If you're going to get advice, get it from a Reliable Source.
  • Reading. Writing without knowledge is just jabbering on paper. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from Christianne Amanpour and could lead to a job at CNN or the NYT and no one wants that.
  • Meditation. This is also known as "talking at your windshield while you drive." It can also be done silently, but why you'd want to do that when you can look like a total psycho to other motorists is more than I can cypher out.
  • Writing. There is great power in English composition. It forces you to form your thoughts, clarify your arguments and convince yourself of your logic.
Boring Details: In the last year or so, I've discovered the joy of Adoration. Here's what that means.
Understood simply, Eucharistic Adoration is adoring or honouring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. In a deeper sense, it involves "the contemplation of the Mystery of Christ truly present before us".

During Eucharistic Adoration, we "watch and wait", we remain "silent" in His Presence and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist ... By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.
I go to local church that has perpetual Adoration, say a Rosary and then just hang out with Christ. He's there, I'm there and we talk. As a scientist and logical thinker, I used to think this kind of thing was utter nonsense. I experienced a profound miracle a few years back that helped me get over my mighty brain and see that there's a lot more to the world than data, equations and reasoning.

So, as I was writing, I hang out with Jesus and we talk. I don't only go when I've got troubles, that would be rude. It would be like visiting a friend only when you needed to borrow money. The last time I went, however, this turmoil was central in my thoughts. What He told me was, "find another purpose." Yes, I know that's an obvious answer, but there's thinking it and feeling it and then there's knowing it. When He tells you something, you know it.

Several times on this blog, I've written about how I've used Brian Tracy's book Goals to create a decision structure for my life. It's worked well for me, but up until this last year or so, it's all been self-focused and self-driven. Weak in the prayer aspect of my recipe, it's worked, but not as well as it could. With the advent of Adoration attendance*, the recipe now has a Higher Purpose.

I'm going back through my goals and rewriting many of them now. I'm not sure where it's going to end up. Like Stephen King and his fiction, much of my writing just starts and then flows out of my head onto the screen, surprising me sometimes where it ends.

While I'm not finished with this round of goals reassessment, I'm much more at peace because I've started it. I'm not sure if this recipe will work for you, but it's done wonders for me over the years. It's working like a charm once again, dealing with this most recent existential crisis.

I hope this helps you. God bless.

* - It's a twofer! An alliteration and a clever Catholicism reference! #winning

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Socialism And Fascism Are Still Failures

Just in case you were wondering how things were going in Greece, here are a pair of videos from recent rioting in Athens where youth unemployment has gone past 50%.

When you think about it, this is the progressives fighting the progressives. A bunch of ignorant kids raised on fascist drivel in their government schools are rioting for more money from the lefties in the government who have spent all the money already.

This reminds me of the old joke where the coach rallies his players in the locker room with the cry, "We're one team, let's fight!"

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Neem Oil For The Win!

For quite a while now, Momma Daisy has struggled with a variety of ailments. Rusts, mildews, tiny insect bites and so forth. She has managed to survive, but not thrive. Recently, a beloved reader of this blog who is also an excellent gardener (my mom) recommended Neem Oil - Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap. I bought it, used it and voila! Momma Daisy is back and rewarding us all with her transcendent beauty. I left both photos below fairly large and clickable.

A most excellent flower, Momma! Thanks!

A perfect leaf. I love the dark-to-medium green design of it. If you look, in the lower, left-hand corner, you can see one of her older, abused leaves.
Thanks to my mom and Momma Daisy, we've got class and color back in our garden.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Government: The Player's Best Friend

... well, maybe one of the player's best friends. The real BFF might be rum and coke or breaking up with the previous boyfriend. Who knows. We'd have to ask Vox Day or J D Johannes about that.

In any case, I did some more mulling over Samantha's Story. Here it is again, for those who don't want to click here and read my previously penned purple prose.

The video is a cornucopia or progressive, libertine fail awesomeness that it could be reused over and over on a blog. Which it might. But not right now. Right now, I'm going to zero in on one aspect in particular: Waiting until you're ready.

Note that Samantha's parents don't get a say in any of this. She's a hormone-fueled teen who goes to the school counselor for advice, a counselor who looks to be a devotee of Sandra Fluke. The counselor and other henchcreatures within the government "health care" apparatus advise her to look for a lover (of any sex) who will wait until she is "ready."

Yay! 16-year-old-girls deciding when it's "the time," advised by government employees who have no personal stake in the outcome. When the diseases / babies / beatings / depression come, the school counselor will be:
  1. Sleeping in the bedroom next to Samantha's, awake all night from her sobbing,
  2. Sitting with her at the hospital for her next appointment,
  3. Helping her walk through her life-altering decisions at the dinner table, or
  4. At home, watching TV with a glass of chardonnay after a long day spent destroying the foundations of civilization.
My money is on #4. The government lackeys have no personal, vested interest in Samantha no matter how caring and compassionate they might be. Instead, they're evangelists for the state religion of tolerance fairness moral equivalence and libertine self-immolation.

From the teenage guy's point of view, things couldn't get any better unless the school counselor came over to his pad to light the candles, put on the music and pour the Boone's Farm for them. Whereas in the olden days of misogynistic oppression, societal opprobrium weighed heavy on the girl's mind, protecting her future self from idiotic, lust-fueled decisions by her teenage self, you've now got the full might and majesty of the United States Government telling her, "Go for it! He's the one!"

Memo to self: Have talk with teenage daughter about avoiding the suggestions of school guidance counselors. Emphasize how the guidance counselor won't be around to change diapers.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Microsoft Looks To Have Given Up

... when it comes to social networking.

Here's their horrible, SharePoint-based site extolling the virtues of MSFT social networking tools. It looks like an assignment handed in by a 6th-grader who really, really, really didn't want to do it. To say they mailed it in would be an understatement.

I clicked around a bit on that site and came across this horror, what looks to be a homeless guy who wandered into a Booze Allen Hamilton facility and made a video in the bathroom where he suspended the video camera over a toilet.

The best part* is that the video is shown using Silverlight, MSFT's pathetic web technology that failed so badly they're now killing it off. If you don't have the Silverlight plug in for your browser, you can watch the video as a WMV file.

Yes, they still post WMV files and not just on their AngelFire sites.

And there you have it. Social Networking from one of the world's largest, wealthiest companies. It's sort of like this, only not so successful in its outcome.

* - It turns out that wasn't the best part. The best part was that the embed code provided on the MSFT site didn't work. There was an unclosed iframe tag. Unbelievable.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Reality Can Be Kind Of Icky

... so let's gloss over the icky parts and just talk about holding hands and colorful native traditions.

A while back, I began wondering if Brazil would be a decent second home. I bought Michael Palin's Brazil from Audible and got about an hour into it before I quit (at least for now). Michael's book is a travelogue. He starts in remote, northern jungles and makes his way south, chronicling his journey all the way. His first stop is a lovely Indian settlement that lives in the ancient ways of the tribe. Very little in the way of modern technology, lots of interesting native customs. Michael is charmed.

He talks about some ceremony (I forget what) where he participates. He talks about their clothes. He talks about what the women do, what the men do, what the kids do and how everyone lives in harmony. The tone of the whole segment is classic progressive ecotourist. It's a very respectful, "everyone does things differently and this is as valid as anything else because it works for them" sort of thing.

And then he leaves.

He doesn't stick around for women dying in breech births, for limbs being amputated from treatable gangrene, for molars rotting out painfully or any of the other charming, native customs they have to deal with on a regular basis. Instead, he scoots off with his camera crew to look at something else in Brazil.

Over in NYC, they have a new app for your smartphone. It helps you find out information about sex. The NYC Teen Website features this fun video promoting it.

Isn't it cool? Richie is so fine. He's just with Samantha. No one else. The two of them are cute, happy and ... colorful! Because, you know, Samantha is bi. Awesomeness squared! Since Samantha is worried about how she feels and what might be happening, she looks for help.

From the government.

Yay! Government! The school guidance counselor provides her with a handy booklet that gives her all kinds of helpful information. Information like this.
"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side.' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'"
Oh, wait. I think I got the wrong thing. That was Uncle Adolph, a completely different secular religious figure. Right. Here it is. Places to get, err, sexual help for LGBT teens who might be pregnant*. No judgment, no pressure. Nothing but help. Everyone is nice and loving and caring. "No matter who you have sex with," the worker says,"it's important they wait until you're ready." Like after you've hit the bong a few times and had some Jim Beam. Or something like that.

When it's all over, creators of Samantha's Story and the rest all go to their tony suburban homes like Michael Palin heading off with his camera crew to visit Rio. Left behind are the unseen, untold stories of child abuse, drug addiction, obesity, diabetes, unemployment, illiteracy, prison terms, gangland crime and more.

Oh well. There's hardly time to get into everything. The important thing is that the NYC Health Department cares.

* - Due to concerns over the length of the publication, certain portions got edited out. In particular, the portions where former abortionist doctors talk about pulling babies apart in the womb like segmenting chicken or delivering them into toilets and stabbing them in the necks with scissors were deemed too long and, err, unhelpful for the religious informational purposes of the campaign.