BOOKSHELF IS IN, though it lacks some few refinements.
BOOKSHELF IS IN, though it lacks some few refinements.
CREDIT TO Howard "Yeeaarrrgh!" Dean on any subject whatsoever -- the man being manifest proof that degrees of knowledge confer neither wisdom nor intelligence -- this bit of signal Dean idiocy (reported by Jeff G at Protein Wisdom) reminds me of the story about the man who called a spade a spade until he tripped over one in the dark.
Funny how one's vocabulary simplifies itself in extremis, as it were.
Yes, it is, Baby Doll. Yes. It is.
THIS SIGN OF THE TIMES:
Although I can't help wondering if the discount is steep enough to move the remaining detritus. It is, after all, taking up valuable floor/shelf space.
OR SOMETHING LIKE one of them rhetorical flourishes that bite in the brain like sweet clover on the tongue.
The first of the east wall bookshelves. TADA!
And already, Loki has discovered he likes the bottom shelf. I see a power struggle for possession of the high ground in the future of this bookshelf -- between me and that cat.
Who, by the way, is home from the hospital, healed and otherwise unchanged from his recent traumatic experience. Oliver should be home over the weekend and the new kittens a week from this coming Monday.
Also by the way, but rapidly becoming IN the way, if you get my drifting conversational focus, the kittens don't all have names. Me, I prefer naming cats in situ, as it were. They have to be in their new home and interacting with it before they tell you their name. This thing of picking names like baby names from a book you buy in the supermarket checkout just isn't on.
Herself disagrees. And no expectant mother has fussed more over prospective names.
Three Siamese of -- er -- undocumented provenance and pedigree. There are two seal-points, one male, one female, and one blue-point, female. The female seal point is already named Aqua. That's settled. Somehow, it manages to get through the not-here barrier and convey its appropriateness via photographs alone, which makes it some pretty powerful kittyname fu, if you follow.
But the other two... We'll see.
Tooth thing is doing well for the moment. Drugs are having their effects -- both desired and not-so-. The pain is mostly gone and we are back to more-or-less normal operation. YAY! I have to go back in a month to have a crown put on. Meantime, they've got me coming back in next week for further checkups. This, as the trope runs, will not end prettily. More anon.
IGNORING YOU, I am merely preoccupied. For the past several days, I've had ever-increasing oral pain. Finally, Wednesday, I decided I'd put it off too long already, and I could afford to take Thursday off if I had to, and went to see the dentist.
And had an emergency root canal.
Well, it wasn't really an emergency -- as in not-life-threatening -- but the oral surgery also wasn't exactly elective.
I haven't exactly been enjoying life these last couple of days. And now, I'm recovering somewhat, but am tethered to kickass antibiotics and a painkiller -- the one Rush got busted for -- whose warning label says, "To hell with heavy machinery, don't operate a push cart under the influence of this stuff." Oh, it's also the one Dr. House pops like Tic-Tacs. Not sure how he manages it. Acquired tolerance, perhaps.
Tried to nap. I'd sleep for fifteen minutes and wake up wondering what time it was. Look at clock and go, "OMG! Is that all?" I remember being bored with bed rest as a kid, until I could fall asleep. But I couldn't concentrate on anything long enough to be productive. The very definition of apathy and lassitude.
Needles to say, my only reaction to the news of the day is like I'm a Marshall lead head cranked to 11 -- "Why is it that everything that comes out of the Left, sooner or later, is revealed to be a fraud, a lie, trickery, deceit? And why is it that leftist myrmidons never seem to catch on?"
Hardly nuanced. Or even sensible -- for all its probable accuracy.
And alluvasudden, the trip to Indy Sunday is up in the air. After I made Toni rearrange her away gigs so we could both go. Ain't I a stinker?
It all depends on how I do putting in my work day at the Patch Factory today.
Swennyways, that's what I've been up to.
For those who care.
THAT WORD MEANS what you think it does.
A spokesman for ING said on Monday it had launched a "moral appeal to management to hand in bonuses for 2008," confirming an earlier report in Dutch daily De Volkskrant that ING was asking 1,200 employees to return their bonus payments.
How exactly are these strong-arm tactics "moral"?
TO MIND AMIDST the work day.
A signing-bonus baby -- all-pro defensive lineman, not the brightest bulb in the marquee, but with beaucoups sponsorship deals -- wanders into a bank to cash his bonus check.
OK, so no self-respecting sports agent would allow his client anywhere within blast radius of his bonus check, but roll with me on this. 'Kay?
And the teller tells him he needs to endorse the check. You know -- there on the back.
So the bonus baby flips the check over, takes the profferred pen, and -- tongue-tip out to the side in deepest concentration -- writes on the back of the document, "I heartily endorse this check..." and signs it with a flourish.
OK. So, if you endorse a candidate... Do you have to sign them on the back? Above the line? And show two forms of ID?
OR IS "Toxic Asset" just another way of saying "Liability"?
What the world needs is a reliable virtual equivalent to a real-life kick in the balls.
[T]he recent sharp decline in house prices in the Los Angeles area isn't totally related to the overall economic recession. A lot of it is Hollywood-specific, as we all try to learn how to make money in the worst, most painful, least attractive way possible: earning it.
A NEW BLOG by Hank Morgan. Gravity Well. Appears to be fictional, perhaps in a similar vein to Methuselah's Daughter. The author admits to some connection to Roberta X, including borrowing tropes from Bobbi's "I Work On A Starship" series. Quite cool. I hope the pressure to produce doesn't push Hank to up the pace. Better a few well-turned pieces than regular production on-schedule. At least, I think so.
So, Hank Morgan. That's a pseudonym any Dragnet fan would spot.
There was also a pirate named Henry Morgan. But don't be so quick to assume...
Well, obviously, you know this guy. It is a guy, isn't it? Not something like a George Eliot thing?
I could say, but that would be telling, wouldn't it. And it's not for me to say.
So what's the point?
Just to tell people to go and read and stop back frequently.
Well, why didn't you say so?
Because you had your hands up to the elbows in the DL can.
You were degreasing.
AS IT DOES TO ME that Obama's seeming addicition to the use of a TelePrompTer is of a piece with other leftist behaviors? Not sure? Let's try this:
Leftists seem (incidentally, my generation -- the Baby Boomers -- is often tagged with this unfairly, I think it's a leftist thing more than a generational one) to want the rewards without the effort it takes to earn them. This mindset is why satin tour jackets were so popular awhile back and why athletic team jackets still are: you get to have the trappings of glory without the sweat.
This is why you see so many leftists in looter jobs -- jobs on the public dole, or political sinecures (Michelle Obama, call your office) with meaningless titles and no job descriptions (and no real productive output). And this is why you hear leftists ranting against capitalists and businesspeople. Those people earn their money, and provide real value to the general public. If they became examples to that public, why then, their methods might become required of all who seek success, and how would that make the looters and poseurs look?
So here's this lightweight, this dilettante, who has glided easily on his pedigree and no accomplishments to the pinacle of power. Why should he put forth the effort of a Demosthenes or a Churchill to become a great orator? Why, when he can appear to be slick and polished with the crutch provided by his TelePrompTer?
IF'N I MIGHT. To any government official who has said the words, "I take full responsibility..."
If what you're taking responsibility for is unlawful, are we to take that as a guilty plea? An acceptance of the mandatory minimum sentence for the crime?
ALL ALONG THAT the true aim of the watermelon Left (green skin-deep, red to the core) is not the preservation of the environment. Their public policy prescriptions would not bring that desideratum about. No. Rather, they are struggling to bring about the collapse of western civilization. As such they are enemies of We the Little People.
Enemies of the People! Can't shoot 'em on sight, can't get 'em to shut the fuck up.
Um, Dolly? Chill.
AND I'LL CHOP IT (Heinlein) ... Why I don't read leftists.
1. "I realized why I don't like to argue with leftists. The problem is, it's like a monster movie, or a nightmare, in which you keep pumping bullets into the demon, but it has no effect. And where's the satisfaction in that?
Sorta like that.
And more power to those with the stomach to venture into Indian Country and bring back reports of the natives.
I WAS CYNCIAL. Did I just hear on the radio a spot urging listeners to go to "fatherhood-dot-gov?"
You have got to be joking me.
LIKE ANY STATEMENT Obama makes, this has an expiration date. It is past it. It is, to borrow the Nixonian phrase, inoperative. And it will remain so until and unless I can figure out how to get it to work on this platform.
I apologize to those who were reading BTB by RSS feed. I really had no idea there were any of you.
Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.
--François de La Rochefoucauld, (Maxim 218)
And this is relevant... how, exactly?
You mean to say that hypocrites do not abound in the news today? That they are not, in fact, those most often quoted, most often amplified, and least often questioned?
'Ll, no. Just axin's, all.
THAT HE DIDN'T insert -- didn't know the language had been inserted -- that all contracts entered into before date certain are to be honored.
It was probably loaded in there by some aide or other, because IT'S BLACK-LETTER LAW! It's required by the Constitution. You can't abrogate a contract after the fact except in very straitened situations, and an ultra-vires handout of taxpayer cash to companies that ought to be going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy isn't one of them.
(But, it should be noted, Chapter 11 is.)
Right in one, Dolly!
Now, in law, there is a presumption that you oughtta've known. In many cases, it amounts to a "gotcha." You can be utterly innocent of ill intent and still run afoul of some distant law. It's a fault of the leviathan state. But in this case... not so much. If you're supposed to be competent in a given activity, you can't claim you were ignorant of a fundamental of that activity as a get-out from under blame for fucking up on that point.
Which is what Dodd is doing. If he wants to be a legislator, then he needs to be competent in the law. At least as competent as your ordinary citizen. Eh? He oughtta've known that there'd be -- there' have to be -- a provision in the law protecting existing contracts.
So he's incompetent to be a legislator.
And the hits just keep on coming.
Truly, Dolly. If you pay attention to Democrats, they write their opponents' campaign commercials for them.
THAT PRETENDING HE meant something less vicious and despicable than the plain meaning of his actual words when he said managers of companies steered onto the rocks by Democrats' gratuitous intermeddling in matters the government has no business being involved in should commit suicide will get him off the hook.
Jeeze, Alger! You sound like Hannity. That was a filibuster if I ever heard one!
Yeah. ::sheepish grin:: I get that.
Yeah. Grassley. Pretending to admire the Japanese culture of self-criticism. Stupid. Ignorant. Dangerous. That kind of thing comes from a socialist mindset. It has the same roots as Marxist-Leninist-Maoist self-criticism. It's always insincere. It never has a positive effect. It makes a pitiful figure of the apologist. It's un-American. One of my favorite fictional heroes says, "Never apologize." I agree.
What to do starts with: Don't screw up in the first place, and when you do, make it right. Apologies are mere attempts to buy absolution for nothing.
And that goes for Grassley as much as for the bankers.
THAT CHUCK SCHUMER possibly one of the most partisan left-wing mad-dogs in the Senate, has lined up a bunch of big money Republicans to raise money for his reelection campaign, does it occur to you that some of his foaming at the mouth is aimed at this? "Fork it over, or you get more of what just hit you."
Does it bother you?
I don't believe I'll ever see a Congressional subpoena. I think they already know -- well in advance of any cause to know or care -- that I would not knuckle under.
"Senator, I don't think I care for your tone."
INTERNET have this Quote of the Day. (Vanderleun)
The death of the P.I. and its "life in death" on the Web is only the second in a trend that will grow. And as the other papers fail into the Web we will hear, again and again, about the Internet, about Craigslist, about The Drudge Report, and a hundred other reasons these papers are dead.
What we will never hear is that their editorial policies and news slanting were part and parcel of their demise. We will never hear about the willed insults, slights, and snubbing of fully half of their potential circulation pool. Journalists and editors write a lot about "taking personal responsibility" when it comes to others. You never hear them write that about themselves. There's no mea culpa among liberal newspaper journalists these days. There's only "The Internet ate my newspaper."
ADMINISTRATION WANT you to get your panties in a ruck over the whole thing AIG's paying performance bonuses to employees who -- you know -- performed.
And it looks as though they're going to try to pull back the bonus money, and use that as a stalking horse for further regulation of the insurance industry to boot.
And nobody says anything about Congresscritters being exposed to charges of libel. (Or is that slander?) Do they?
And, of course, by the time the FedGov gets around to deciding you make too much money and they reach down to make you hand over part of your salary. Wages. Tips. Whatever. It'll be too late to really do much effective about it. And Yet Another slice of the liberty salami will have been... sliced off.
First they came for the stockbrokers, and I said nothing because ... dig it ... I'm not a greedy bastard.
You mean to say they don't do that already?
I mean... Isn't that what a tax is? DC's way of saying you make too much money?
IS MORE APPALLING: the palpably un-American, tyrannical, draconian statements from Chuck-you Schumer and Barney Fag -- er, Frank, or the fact that the media apparently can't even spell tyrant, let alone unconstitutional or attainder.
In order for a journalist to be able to report the unlawful nature of Schumer's promise to (1) originate a revenue bill in the Senate, (2) pass a bill of attainder, (3) meddle in matters the Constitution does not contemplate (and therefor forbids Congress to act upon), (4) keep being a farging bunghole, making actionable threats against indvidual American citizens who have DONE. NOTHING. WRONG... said journalist would have to be qualified to do his or her job.
What are the odds?
TO ME LIKE a back door effort at gun control. I mean, if you can take that much ammo off the market that easily... isn't that the leftist, PSH-al, anti-gun bigots' wet dream? All without having to go through the legislative process with the messy interface with -- you know -- actual voters...? BONUS!
Now, I hear that the Defense Logistics Agency has backed off on this. But I would keep an eye on it anyway. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if some statist in DC would try to -- er -- backdoor the back door.
ON THIS VERY subject any number of times. In a letter to either John W. Campbell or Lurton Blasingame, RAH averred that he had on several occasions (ISTR the number three), been present at events later reported in Time. And in every single case, Time's report was wrong on all facts.
From which I draw the conclusion, as did Paul Simon, "I don't believe what I read in the papers/They're just out to capture my dime."
SPEAKING OF DOLLY SAYING something inappropriate...
Hey! I'm ARMED!
...but oh, so deep...
And they say you're exclusively self-winding.
Oooo! ::Yosemite Sam slow burn::
Toni was reminiscing last night about how the bar she used to tend at (and we used to hang at -- even had our wedding reception there) was famous -- or infamous, if you prefer -- for its participation in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade. The owner would rent a big flatbed truck. He'd decorate it with a hula-skirt border in green and those tacky foil shamrocks and cardboard cutout leprechauns, put a keg of green beer on it, and invite a bunch of his cronies. They'd follow the parade route, drinking and being rowdy.
All right so far?
After some number of repeat performances, the bar was kicked out of the parade. The organizing committee put it: "No redeeming social value."
Now, I ask you...
Which again illustrates graphically that the BATFE is a whirling vortex of suck at DOING THEIR JOB, doesn't it?
"...whirling vortex of suck..."
Spotted at The Smallest Minority.
JOE COCKER sings "With a Little Help From My Friends" at Woodstock.
You may think you know this performance, but you do not.
THIS WEEK because, as Big Dick says, I can.
First, Aqua. Bebbeh grrl kitteh.
I warned Toni that Aqua Cat sounds like an Anime character, but she wasn't having any of it. We'll see.
As you may guess, it's new-kitten time. This time, Toni is picking from a litter we knew about before Mama (Isabel) delivered. One boy, one girl. She called Sunday while I was at the Tea Party and asked if she could get two. Heh. As the line goes around here, "Are they cute?"
And some health news. Both Loki and Oliver are in hospital. They're getting permanent pedicures. We tried very hard to put it off indefinitely, but the risks to life and limb (not to mention the furniture) were getting too great. One night recently, Loki raked my back trying to get into the bed. I could have as easily been lying on the other side and gotten it in the face. Toni's a heart patient and on blood thinners. An unnoticed cut could be very dangerous and, even when noticed, they bleed a lot and take a long, painful time to heal.
They boys are just too rambunctious and Loki is too clumsy. ::sigh::
We're really worried about Loki in long convalescence. He does not take to being confined. When he was younger, he did a very credible impression of Taz the Tasmanian Devil character in the Warner Brothers cartoons any time he was left in a cage. Here lately, he's been a bit better behaved, but only a bit. We're afraid that his cage rage will necessitate his being sedated, will lengthen his convalescence, and that experience will scar his little psyche and he'll come out of the thing a different kitty -- possibly one who's not quite so sweet and goofy.
I KNEW I WOULDN'T last the race, so didn't feel bad at all that I made it an hour-and-a-half before my back gave out. I am here to tell you -- and may be among the first -- the Cincinnati Tea Party was/is (it's still going on as I write) a rousing success. I just walked in the door and have yet to sweep the pix off my camera, but... WOW! My very unscientific and wholly amateur (amateur as having worked in the crowd control bidness for over thirty years) guesstimate is that there were about 7,500 people crammed into that 250' x 250' (approx) area. There might have been more, depending on how tight they were packed around the fountain. I couldn't get close enough to see. More in a bit.
SO THE CINCINNATI Tea Party has over 5,000 attendees signed up. If we all show up, it will be the largest Tea Party protest so far. Sunday, 3-5PM, Fountain Square. Be there or get voted off the island.
And there's also an April 15 march from Fountain Square to City Hall to present a petition to the Mayor asking that the city refuse any stimulus funds. That's a work day, for you Productive-Americans, so arrange to get off.
I'll be taking my camera and my lame ass downtown Sunday, so watch this space.
As the great liberal intellectual Bertrand Russell explained while scoffing at the idea that he would give his money to charity: "I'm afraid you've got it wrong. (We) are socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians."
--Ann Coulter, quoting Bertrand Russell
COME ON A FRIDAY again this month. That's twice in a row, if you're keepin' track.
THIS ITEM in the Spectator (UK) that leftist fraud and other corrupt practices have gotten so pervasive that banks have been forced to acknowledge it by screening for it in new account holders.
Please to note that these are state-owned (and operated) banks.
Takes one to know one?
That would be my guess.
Silver lining, eh?
Yeah. Pretty much.
SPOTTED AT POWERLINE this item on leftist smarm and hypocrisy.
Just another day in contemporary American politics. Liberals break the law, violate their opponents' privacy, either commit or facilitate theft, and meanwhile assure the rest of us that they did all of this because of their moral superiority.
And, no, they most assuredly do not all do it.
So you tell them you went there. And enjoyed it. And want to go back... They look at you like you just told them that you went to Hell for spring break and it was so awesome because you got Satan's autograph and everything.
THAT ANY -- scorn quotes -- "conservative" who has to find a venue for his ideas in Newsweek (Of all the scurrilous publications in the world, the home of Eleanor Clift!), is pretty much self-marginalizing.
David Frum to the white courtesy clue phone. David Frum to the clue phone.
That is all.
OF BROTHER JOHN BIRCH and I belong to the Antioch Baptist Church, and I ain't even got a garage, you can call home 'n' ask my wife!
--Undying gratitude to Charlie Daniels,
...just not for this song.
I didn't know these guys were still around. They've been preaching a patriotic line for fifty years, now. They may have been a bit -- erm, ahhh </buckley> -- overwrought about who was betraying the Constitution upon occasion (though in retrospect, they may have been closer to right than either Ayn Rand or Bill Buckley would ever admit), but the fundamental message seems to me to be very close to what the Tea Party Conservatives seem to be coalescing around.
Food for thought.
THE PERSIFLAGE about the supposed high cost of health care, (and this article at Maggie's Farm is a good precis of the topic), I rarely see that the principle reason health care costs are so high is that over half of the money spent on -- scorn quotes -- "health care" in America these days is actually not spent on medical care, but on insurance. (I heard a 60% figure bandied about, but with no anchor to the statistic, I quote it with all due disclaimers tagged on.)
I'm pretty sure that the money spent annually on my behalf on insurance far outweighs my regular expenditures. Yes, there is a need for coverage against catastrophe. But I maintain I don't need first-dollar coverage, and would be far better served with an HSA. But the tax code is so badly jiggered around that my employer is better off paying inflated rates for my "health insurance" than in increasing my salary by the equivalent amount and letting me make my own arrangements.
And I'd bet you are in a similar situation.
TO THIS thread at Mostly Cajun (All American).
You're right. BUT... It didn't happen by accident. It was done to us deliberately, with malice aforethought.
This might seem tangential, but it's not. From a darker road, my wife was relating the details of a local news story. A teenage girl was abducted, raped, and murdered. The Person of Interest was seen leaving the woods where her body was later found. He was "on the street" as they say, having been paroled from multiple prior offenses of both violent and sexual natures.
She asked me, with true despair in her voice (and bear in mind she's a former liberal), "How does this kind of thing happen?"
"You're not going to like my answer," I said. "One hundred years of progressive politics."
And that's the truth. When Hillary Clinton shrills that the Right wants to roll back 100 years of "progress" (scorn quotes), the proper response is, "Damned right, Skippy! Damned right."
There lies the ultimate perpetrator in the crime you detail: the hubristic notion that Man can (or should) direct his own evolution, that Man (or men) CAN know enough about reality and the state of events to direct it with any reasonable expectation of sailing clear of the rocky reefs of FAIL.
DIALECTIC WILL HAVE to be the abandonment -- the deprecation, in fact -- of the term "capitalism." It will be hard, I know. Most of it have heard it all our lives, and those of us who believe in the primacy of individual liberty understand that the thing the word represents is by-and-large, good.
But the term itself is of purest evil.
"Capitalism" as a term and as a concept is pure Marx. Yes, there was capital before Marx. Yes, there were even capital markets as far back as the seventeenth century in the Netherlands. But the idea that free markets and the use of money as both a tool and a commodity is an "ism" is entrenched in the Marxist dialectic. And, as such, for liberty-lovers to use the term in any way, positive or negative, is to cede at least half of the semantic map of this part of the world to the Enemy.
Instead, refer to free markets, to free exchange, to human commerce. These terms emphasize that what we espouse is the free, unrestricted, untrammeled exchange of goods and services -- willing buyer and willing seller -- with no outside intermeddling to be brooked. That the private dealings of private individuals are no business of the state, especially, and that statists, marxists, and collectivists of all stripes should be told loudly, firmly, dispositively to butt the hell out and mind their own damned business. And that this is the default position of civilized human society -- all others are barbarians and to be given the back of humanity's hand.
JUST OVER THREE years ago, now, the principle goal I had in mind was to build in bookshelves. "Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall," I said.
My how things change.
But at last and at least, one bookcase is finished.
No it's not! You're doing it again!
That Kzin Wars thing where you claim...
Oh. That. Whatever.
But you still have trim molding to do!
On the whole room, Baby Doll. And I will get to it. But some part of it will remain to be done until the very last. Get used to it. For all intents and purposes, this bookshelf is done and I'm moving on.
Sheesh! Good thing she's so cute...
YOUR OFFICE! Today, President Obama was heard to say:
"It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient especially when it's inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology."
Better prepare to pack up your desk, Jimbo. Cartons in which copier bond is shipped make great packing boxes for getting out of Dodge in a hurry. Check the copy center -- there are usually a few lying around.
Oh, Alger! You're such a sarcast.
THAT'S THE KIND where all of us belong. They may have won all the battles. We had all the good songs.
No apologies to Tom Lehrer.
THAT ... "Jules Crittenden asks whether Obama is 'wicked, childish or dim.'"
I should point out that the three are not mutually exclusive.
'N' I'm pissed, 'cause they din't axe me!
Well, they probably didn't know you're available, Dolly. It pays to advertise.
Right! 'N' who's in charge of that?
REVOLVED AROUND an AI -- artificial intelligence. Dolly is an artificial person, something somewhat different. I mention that to point out that I've done some thought and some study on the subject. Not to claim any expertise, mind, just an above-the-crowd awareness.
I don't believe that mankind will ever develop a true artificial intelligence, and that's it hubris to think we might. Or, at any rate, it's hubris to try.
We can make machines that process brazilans of operations per nanosecond -- hyperubersupermassively parallel, neural net, holographic memory -- whatever. We can't give it a soul. Until we do, until we become God, it ain't happening. Incredibly lifelike counterfeits, perhaps. Very long-lived and luxurious cyber containers for our own intelligences -- massively augmented by connections to vast networks of computers. But not real intelligence. Not true original life.