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JUST ONE MINUTE
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HOW'S THE WEATHER UP THERE?
"Listen to me carefully, because I'm only going to say this once: I did not have sexual relations with that woman -- Gabrielle Dolly."
--Prof. Glenn Reynolds (I-Instapundit), July 23, 2005
THE 101st FIGHTING KEYBOARDISTS
The structure of this blogroll is most assuredly meant to endorse a particular worldview, attitude, and imputed pecking order -- mine. Get over it.
Author Archives: Mark Philip Alger
THE GO FUND ME campaign is still on all donations eagerly solicited and gratefully accepted.
You can get to where you can donate (by PayPal, if that’s how you roll) by clicking the button at right.
Or, you can buy one of my books (at Amazon, of course), and get something tangible for your money. Trust me, you’ll enjoy them.
And I should say some good words about the kind and generous people who have gotten us this far. Thank you SO MUCH.
SORRY TO BE SO late posting today. I bet there is SOMEbody who’s been waiting on eleventerhooks for me, muttering in their beer that I’m behind schedule. I usually set the posts to appear around a quarter to seven. This morning, I had to shovel the walk. We had about six inches of global warming overnight.* I was up at that ungodly hour, but my attention was elsewhere.
YOU JUST CAN’T WIN DEPARTMENT
OBAMA DOES SOMETHING DECENT for a change and gets undercut by his fellow Democrats.
YOU CAN’T BREAK EVEN
YOU CAN’T EVEN GET OUT OF THE GAME
Nino Scalia managed to though. You’ve seen the stories. And the conspiracy theories abound. Obama had him assassinated a la Pelican Brief. (The author in me is pissed that people refer to the movie starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts and not the most excellent novel by John Grisham on which the movie is based. I recall that even the Reader’s Digest version was a tense, thrilling page-turner.) (And, no I’m not retailing the rumor, only reporting its pathetic existence.)
Are we, just as men like to imagine we’re hard wired to stare at women’s boobs…
Yes, Dolly we like to stare at YOUR boobs especially, but I was going somewhere: Are we hard-wired to fill in the empty frames of reality with our own, fevered imaginings? And are we hard-wired to go straight to the conspiracy thing? Occam’s Razor says we must be, and it also says we’re almost always wrong.
*That joke is so old that, before the global warming craze started up, it was “six inches of partly cloudy.” Referring, of course, to the inability of weatherfolk to predict even something so relatively simple as the amount of precipitation from a storm. And, of course, the dirty little secret is that the warmistas’ computer models don’t take into account the water vapor in the atmosphere — which has a whole order of magnitude greater effect on the heat content of the whole lashup than CO2 or even methane. The dirty little secret is that water vapor — clouds, humidity — is the biggest greenhouse gas and the warmists don’t even take it into account.
My first attempt at pro-level doodling. I see all those photos of Moleskine pages on Pinterest with their beautifully-composed, and oh-so-clever doodles and I wonder at my temerity to even try.
Back in my 20s — in the late’70s — I did a fair stick of line drawing with a pencil, and inking with felt-tipped pens. This was before I was making a living at commercial art and had my own set of rapidographs, which I do, now — ultrasonic cleaner and ever’thinn.
Above is a Pinterest board carrying the individual panels of a strip I did. The title of the strip is Jazzcat. It’s about — surprisingly — a cat who loves jazz. She has (from her perspective) the misfortune of belonging to a heavy metal rock guitarist, whom she calls Axe Murderer.
I lost interest in the project because I realized (then) that I didn’t have a notion of how to continue to develop scripts. How do I follow this template and make regular period witticisms on the themes stated in these three strips? Now, I think I could plot it, if I could draw it. And there’s the rub — drawing the thing. Even here, between panels 1 and 2 of Strip2, you can see the inconsistency in Jazz’s face. Readers might not be bothered by it, but it would bug the fuck out of me.
And that’s why I need to work on my drawing chops.
MISSED FRIDAY THE 13th by one.
::CRUDE, BUT EFFECTIVE …
PART OF THE ACTIVITY ongoing currently in The Study at Casa d’Alger is cleaning and re-arranging work areas. Toni has on her plate at the moment the decoration and framing of prints to be auctioned off to benefit Dick Wagner’s Remember the Child benefit in aid of (If I have this right) St. Jude hospitals for children. I could be wrong about that. In order to clear space on her desk for that — and to make room for the birdcage — she’s been beavering away at shredding outdated records, clearing out junk, taking donables to Goodwill, sellables to Half Price Books, and so-forth.
I, on the other hand, am maneuvering to get rid of the jury-rigged desk (a sheet of MDF lain across plastic milk crate file thingies on 4-wheel furniture dollies) which I have been using for … I guess four years, now. I will be returning to status quo ante-ante-ante and using the powder-coated-wire baker’s rack I was using in the late ’90s and around the turn of the century. (That makes it sound so long ago.)
Friday, I cleaned out some junk lumber (crap — scorn quotes — “hardwood” ply imported from China and sold five-to-seven years ago by both Home Despot and the Lowes Matrix … but no more, thank the Gods of the Copybook Headings) from the corner under the printer, (where, eventually, some bookshelves will be set on file cabinets, drawer units, and glass-doored bookshelves), and set up a Workmate with a piece of 1/2″ ply (that Chinese crap) on top for a drawing surface.
And that’s the (buried) lede. I now have a drawing table. A place to work on my chops. Coupled with my scanner, I should be able to move toward making better covers for my books, which is what all this is in aid of.
::NOT EVEN SURE WHY …
THIS IS controversial.
PINTEREST NOW ACTIVATED …
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED that, when you hover your mouse cursor over an image on BTB, a small, 3D button with the label Pin It appears in the upper left corner. This is a Pinterest button. If you have a Pinterest account, clicking on that button will pop up a window offering you the option to pin that image to a board in your profile. If you don’t, I don’t know about you. You really should. Pinterest is a most excellent time sink, and a subject of much fascination at this desk.
If you just want to visit our profile — and who wouldn’t — the objects of our fascination can be seen at https://www.pinterest.com/markphilipalger/ pinterest dot com slash mark philip alger (All one word — one “l” in philip.). Lots of neat and fascinating stuff on 69 subjects.
:: ICYMI (Which is, in case you missed it, is …
INTERNET-SPEAK FOR In Case You Missed It): Law Dog is back, and in true form.
Coffee spew alert.
:: IN AN ASIDE, THE DUTCHMAN …
MUTTERS So useful to the enemy that if he did not exist, they’d want to invent him. (And links to this article.)
I’d have to say… Recalling back from the ’60s, when it was asserted that, in any revolutionary cell of four, three were FBI agents, that agents provocateur, being tools of statism (ideas so great they have to be mandatory), are inevitable. So inevitable, I say, that any fool so foolish as to appear to be too bad to be true ought to be considered to be one (agent provocateur, I mean).
:: KEVIN ASKS
“WTF?!? WHEN DID that get regulated? (The amount of ammunition an American may possess.)
Oh, c’mon, Kev! You know that. It’s part of the rich legacy of British common law we inherited back when we were just 13 poor little colonies, shivering on the East Coast of this vast land (Where nobody ever owned firearms, because — after all — who needed them? The redcoats were around to protect us. (And after all, they were the greatest army in the world in their day.))
You remember: Paul Revere’s ride, when the redcoats marched out of Boston to Lexington and Concord, and seized all that ammunition and powder (they didn’t have manufactured cartridge ammunition back then, only ball and powder) on behalf of the Crown. (You know — King George III.)
Loki — Because (I assume) he is a light-eyed cat, he hates the flash more than ordinarily. And he seems to be able to tell when a camera is set to use one, whether by seeing the autofocus laser or by hearing the flash’s capacitor charging. When he does, he closes his eyes. Which solves the redeye problem. It took me about a year using the Coolpix to learn to shoot him in good light so the flash was not necessary. This situation is improved even more since I started using the Lumia for more-to-most of my cat shots, because of its brilliant use of existing light.
(Marginally related anecdote: my teacher at the Nikon School used to say that “available light” is a nonsense term. As he put it, if you have a flash in your pocket, that’s available. And “natural” light forecloses situations indoors when there is only artificial light. He preferred (and passed that preference to me) to say, “Existing light.” Meaning that the photographer is not intending to change the light, no matter its source, or how it falls, taking it as he finds it and making the best image possible given that.)
OF NECESSITY, I HAVE been lately investigating money-making (earning) opportunities.
Although I am not looking for a “get rich quick” scheme, I do not believe that there is any future in what used to be called “gainful” employement — i.e. jobs — at least not for people as close to retirement age as I am. Instead, I am convinced that, closer to the truth, in the future, we will all be — to one degree or another — cottage industrialists. That an ever-growing portion of the labor force will find their employment in hustling small-bore enterprise. Singular avocational specialization will no longer be possible, as personal support will not admit of being realized in one sole occupation.
I have, therefor, been exploring such atomized pursuits as may match up with my particular skills set. One such has been iWriter. And here is my recommendation on that particular one.
They are at some pains to set themselves up so as to not be an employer — paying wages and benefits and having to pay the higher rate of taxes and unemployment insurance, and cover withholding of income taxes. Instead, they have attempted to set themselves up as a broker — pairing writers and consumers of text for a fee, but not exactly employing or being employed. At the same time, they seek to play the employer by demanding that all work they broker be “work for hire,” which means THEY own the copyrights.
Oh, HELLS to the no. Not taking that one up the old wazoo. Nor would I recommend any other writer do so.
ON A SIMILAR, if opposite score, I can cheerfully recommend one source of information, an online publication titled The Penny Hoarder. The blogger here not only finds and directs the reader to potential sources of income, but does the same for money SAVING offers. Worth your while.
OLD FRIEND RAGIN’ DAVE points out that it’s cold outside. (With help from some singers.) We here at Casa d’Alger have made the same observation. The Gales of November may have sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald, but February is always the bitch of winter around here. I’ve also noticed that, nearly any time we have an ice storm in February here in the Oh-hee-ho Valley, one looks back and wonders, “Gee. And it was 60 just last week, too!”
Shot at right is from Bellevue, Kentucky, on the south shore of the Ohio, back in 2007. (Click to embiggen.)
SOME YEARS AGO, I MADE IT a regular practice to run a single column of short notes, delimited by ellipses (…) for my daily blog substance. For the nonce, as I attempt to re-instantiate BTB —
— Whatchoo mean “I”, paleface?
Your pardon, Dolly. …as WE attempt to re-instantiate BTB, Da Doll and I together, WE shall continue to do so.
Democrats rigging elections? Who’d ha’ thunk it?
Ace posts the fable of the boy and the nuts:
A boy put his hand into a jar of filberts and grasped as many as his fist could possibly hold. But when he tried to pull it out again, he found he couldn’t do so, for the neck of the jar was too small to allow of the passage of so large a handful. Unwilling to lose his nuts but unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears.
A bystander, who saw where the trouble lay, said to him,
“Come, my boy, don’t be so greedy. Be content with half the amount, and you’ll be able to get your hand out without difficulty.”
Alternative solutions (as opposed to being satisfied with half (so to speak) a loaf: 1) pick up the jar and pour the contents out — getting as much as (or more than) one’s hand can hold; 2) break the jar, thus getting the entire contents of it.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
The Leftists’ Utopian Eden is a false paradise built on lies and maintained by abuses.– Sultan Knish
(Hat tip: American Digest.)
DID IT! The Genesis Undertaking is uploaded to Amazon, enrolled in KDP Select and (I presume) KOLL. Registered copyright at US Copyright office. watch this space for the announcement that the eBook is live at Amazon. I encourage Dolly fans to post reviews at Amazon or GoodReads.
BACK IN THE GOODOLE DAYS — the golden age of blogging, I used to tease Kevin Baker of The Smallest Minority for his runon posts. Lawd, the boy could write one! They were long! But when he wrote it, there wasn’t any more to be writ about it.
Me, I’m kindof a short-and-sweet guy. I’m always looking for the succinct bon mot, le mot juste — just the word that perfectly describes a situation or sums up a concept. But only one and one only.
So, along with my gratitude for his kindness, imagine my pleasure at reading this post at TSM.
Short. And. Suh-weet!
SO OF COURSE being made redundant at the old gig is saddening and all that, but still and all, it frees up time and energy for creative pursuits not chasing somebody else’s dime. And having 35 years of experience at something, even if it’s not what they wanted you to have experience at does tend to indicate that you might be good — or even passable — at it… maybe even good enough to get paid to do it.
The bottom line is, once we get all sorted out, we’re going to be hanging out a shingle with “Will Desine fer Food” on it. So, as you go through life, when you encounter design work that may be done by a freelancer, do be so good as to keep us in mind. I can assure prospective customers of this: given clear parameters, I will quote a price up front, I will honor that price so long as the job remains unchanged, and my rates will start out cheap — by comparison with the market.
If you anticipate a need, bookmark this link: Dreamflower Works, which is my company name (dba only, not yet incorporated or LLC’d). As time allows, there will be a portfolio of sorts up there. For now, you can see my work in the gallery pages on Otto’s site. For as long as they allow that.
IN A PRETTY TYPICAL link-to-it-and-drop-an-Oscar-Wilde-bon-mot post on Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds refers to the condition detailed in the article here as “the sad economics of Internet fame.” Apparently, accepting and adapting to reality is now sad when whiney social justice types find the real condition to be — (whine) unfair.
Poor is the new rich, as Sarah Hoyt sagaciously notices.
I have said many times, many ways, in many venues over the years, in the future, we will all be cottage industrialists. People with facile-but-limited understanding of reality may call it the post-scarcity economy, but I prefer to think of it as the post-jobs economy. That is, to say not that we will no longer have to work for a living, but that we will no longer work for a single employer for an entire career, deriving our entire incomes at a single job at any given time. Rather, everyone who is prudent (or, maybe, the prudent and imprudent alike) will maintain several opportunistic income streams supported by a skill set generally more-varied than (I suspect) a lot of people these days are accustomed to thinking of as the norm.
You may find that sad; I don’t. Though it’s hard to persuade anyone of it, I see it as hopeful, and reflective of a greater level of opportunity available to those willing to work diligently at earning a living doing many things they enjoy — albeit none of which may be the sole support of an individual or a family.
I know I promised myself I would spend the bulk of the year-end break working my fingers to the bone at the keyboard. But reading the listings below of tasty tales by independently published authors at reduced prices, I am sorely tempted to play hooky at least part of the time.
By Cedar Sanderson
Click the book cover.
On sale for the first time from Dec 17-23rd
The pixie with the gun has come home to see his princess crowned a queen and live in peace. But nothing is ever easy for Lom. A gruesome discovery on his doorstep interrupts their plans and sends Lom off on a mission to save not one, but two worlds. It’s personal this time and the stakes are higher than ever before. With friends falling and the enemy gathering, Bella and Lom must conquer the worst fears and monsters Underhill can conjure. Failure is not on the agenda.
by Pam Uphoff
Click the book cover.
Free for five days!
It’s traditional for young lords in the Kingdom of Ash to spend two years in the army. Xen Wolfson is a young wizard, and Garit Negue a young prince. And the world is filled with adventures and danger … and learning experiences.
Their world has been in sporadic contact with two different cross-dimensional worlds–generally as a target for conquest. When the Empire of the One returns, the young warriors are standing foursquare in their path.
Brand New Release!
By Amanda Green
Click the book cover.
The one thing Lt. Mackenzie Santos had always been able to count on was the law. But that was before she started turning furry. Now she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy to keep the truth from the public-at-large. She knows they aren’t ready to learn that monsters are real and they might be living next door.
If that isn’t enough, trouble is brewing among the shapeshifters. The power struggle has already resulted in the kidnapping and near fatal injury of several of Mac’s closest friends. She is now in the middle of what could quickly turn into a civil war, one that would be disastrous for all of them.
What she wouldn’t give to have a simple murder case to investigate and a life that didn’t include people who wanted nothing more than to add her death to the many they were already responsible for.
By Cyn Bagley
Click on the book cover.
In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.
Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.
By Mark Alger
Click on the book cover.
Marked down to $2.99 (save $3.00) through Christmas
Sometimes you just have to go to war in the underwear you have on.
Dolly was reborn into a new body just last week. Right out of the birthing chamber, she was tumbled into a conflict that goes back to the stone age. Her creator, the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite, has disappeared, and the God in charge of her institution — the Babylonian Marduk — has called for her death. Her lover and Geppetto, Mitchell Drummond, is threading his way through political minefields to keep her as safe as her profession allows.
New in love, they soon find they can’t keep their hands off each other. Their sexual fever comes to worry them. They suspect there’s more to the situation than mere new love. Meanwhile, they have a job to do. Keeping up the pretense that all’s well and nothing’s going on is wearing thin. But in Upothesa, you’re not allowed to talk about secrets. Dolly is a secret. Trying to keep it together, Dolly and Drummond go on a mission to New Zealand to protect the Dolly’s secret and the life of a major TV drama star.
By James Young
Click on the book cover.
My God, we are losing this war. — Lt. Nicholas Cobb, USN
March 1943. The Usurper’s War has resumed, with disastrous results for the Allies. In Hawaii, the U.S. Pacific Fleet lies shattered after the Battle of Hawaii. Across the Pacific the Imperial Japanese Navy, flush with their recent victory, turns its gimlet eye towards the south and the ultimate prize for their Emperor: The Dutch East Indies.
For Commander Jacob Morton and the other members of the Asiatic Fleet, the oncoming Japanese storm means that the U.S.S. Houston and her Allied companions must learn to fight against overwhelming odds against an enemy who claims the night as their own. In the skies above Houston and the other old, tired vessels of the ACDA Fleet , Flight Lieutenant Russell Wolford and his men attempt to employ the Allies’ newest technology to even the odds. With full might of the Japanese Empire falling on them, the ACDA’s soldiers, sailors, and marines must fight to hold the line long enough for reinforcements to come.
By Alma Boykin
Click on the book cover.
$.99 Dec 21-24, 1.99 Dec 25-28
One man becomes all that the Turkowi fear — and respect. Matthew Charles Malatesta, second son and rumored bastard of a mercenary, grandson of Duke Edmund “Ironhand” von Sarmas. One man, who will fight to the last breath to carve a place for himself, who will create a court of learning and civilization, who stands alone between the might of the Turkowi Empire and all of Godown’s people.
By Amie Gibbons
Click on the cover image. (Note: This title is a novelette.)
On sale for $0.99 from 12/19 to Christmas
Turns out coincidences do happen, and it sucks when it leads killers from an alternate reality to your door…
Rose plans on partying her last weekend of freedom before her residency starts, but fate has different plans. When men straight out of a fantasy novel attack, she gets pulled into a blood feud between magical beings thanks to a random stroke of luck. Now she has to adjust to her new world view and help one of the men to save herself from a fate worse than death.
By Travis Clemons and Michael Z Williamson
Click on the book cover.
A man awakens in a 21st century Illinois hospital, holding very distinct memories of being shot in Switzerland decades earlier. The nurse calls him Detective Crabtree and says the DuPage County Sheriff will be by to check on him shortly. Yet he remembers his name being Sherlock Holmes.
When Sabrina Worthington is killed during a home invasion, her billionaire husband has an ironclad alibi. But Adam Worthington does not appear to be the grieving widower people would expect to see. Meanwhile, their former girlfriend keeps tugging on every possible string to convince the authorities to indict the man for murder.
By the tick of the clock, it would seem impossible for a man to be shot in the 19th century and wake up more than one hundred years later. It would also seem impossible for a man to shoot his wife while she’s at home and he’s at a theater thirty miles away. But when the seemingly impossible is properly analyzed, will Holmes determine the improbable truth behind her death and his life?
by David L. Burkhead
Pricing will be $0.99 the 19th through the 26th.
Click on the book cover.
A young mother hears the Norns. They tell her of terrible things to come. When Ulfarr wants her gift of prophesy to serve him, he takes her, murders her husband, and steals away her children. Can the young mother escape from Ulfarr’s clutches and save her children from him? Only the Norns know.
HERE YESTERDAY, SO of course, I was out in it, working. Got dehydrated, as you might expect, and got so tired that I had a minor meltdown as I was cleaning up at the end of the day. My legs and back ache this morning and, as you can tell from the picture, am nowhere near finished with the shed, am planning to continue on today — with similar weather in the offing. Have a glitch induced by my slap-dash construction technique, which, one hopes, will admit of simple — if tedious — solution. I will have help today, which I did not yesterday, so one has cause for hope. With luck, the thing will be finished by mid-afternoon.
Ve vun! Ve vun! Ve vun! Vaht? Ve lost? Oi. Dey cheated.
That’s my claque, celebrating the (finally) completion of the deck to support our soon-to-be-new backyard shed.
Working in direct sunlight and high humidity this afternoon, I finished piecing in the last bit of the deck, drilling weeping holes across the plywood, and sweeping it down. This evening, I intend to pre-assemble some of the metal sub-assemblies. Tomorrow, Steve-R and I will put the thing together. Wish us well.
Started last August. Finally, the end is in sight.
JUST CALLED SWMBO AT her away gig to give her the gnus. We now have a fully functional set of outside steps here at Casa d’Alger. So we can carry construction materials from the study (upstairs) to the site (downstairs). Next weekend, the shed.
Note: This was begun back in March and never finished. It was apparently too ambitious an undertaking for the time I had available to write it. Needless to say, it says some things that might interest readers and can fans.
I’M WRITING THIS AT six ayem on time-change day, so it’s properly a Catsundtide post, not a Caturday post, but it’s the wrong time of day to be more clever than that. I’m up at this hour on a Sunday because I woke up feeling a little shakey from hypoglycemia and had to get up to deal with it.
…Which is an apposite lead-in to the subject on my mind. Loki, my ragdoll-ish little buddy. He gave us a scare today. Back up and lay down some background. It’s pay week. I get paid this week at my day job. Which leads to it’s grocery day. Friday after work, I run to Sam’s and Saturday, I do Kroger. Which means,from the cats’ perspective, the whole world is disrupted with loud noises and lots of comings and goings and other disturbances to routine — but also interesting smells, like bread, and sounds like rustling plastic bags, and interesting things to munch on, like plastic bags, and (not so interesting) unusual things to hork up on the floor in the study, like plastic bags.
And, in the midst of all this furious activity, both Toni and I noticed that Loki was a little down on his chin — listless and lethargic, unresponsive to us and unwilling to move. It came to a head when I tried to clear the study of cats in preparation for bringing groceries in from the car. We leave the door open to make it easier to get into the house with hands full of groceries. And, with a household consist of ten indoor cats, providing such an opportunity for escape could be seen as imprudent — even an abdication of fiduciary duty. So we clear the study of cats and close the hall door. When I’m by myself, on entering after a grocery run, I thump my cane on the floor three times and shout, “Everybody out!” which has conditioned the cats (mostly — good luck with unanimity from such a collection of individualists, no matter how well-socialized) to abandon their perches on desk, cat tree, and windowsill and head for the door.
Today, Loki lay down in the passage between the desks, every bit as intransigent as a ’60s-era sit-in protester. I gave him a nudge with my toe and he — with palpable reluctance — got up and ran under Toni’s desk to hide on a pile of shoes. Feeling guilty about the perceived necessity, we dragged him out and unceremoniously dumped him in the hall. But both of us commented on how the behavior was MOST unusual for our little frost giant trickster.
That’s where it stopped. We had him checked out and he was OK. I do remember that. That’s how it always seems to happen. One day, though, that won’t be all there is to it and we’ll lose him for good or ill. Not looking forward to that.
He’s taken lately to stretching out next to me at bedtime and patting my face with a forepaw. I have no idea what that’s all about. I have some pictures of him doing that somewhere. Sometime when I’m not in a hurry from here to there, I’ll put them up. Meantime, here’s a pic of Earnie I was going to put up and was on my way to do it, when I discovered this unfinished post from two months ago.
Earnie through the screen. From April of ought-twelve.
TONI ASKS ME on occasion, “Why don’t you do Caturday posts any more?” That’s not so. I just haven’t done one in a long while. Doesn’t mean I’ve stopped. But I do feel guilty about the lapse. So, herewith, Earnie, from the other evening.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT is a limit on the power of Congress – and only Congress. That’s what the phrase, “Congress shall make no law…” Means. At the Federal level, sole legislative authority is given to Congress. And, under the doctrine of supremacy, (the Constitution says right on the box, Supreme Law of the Land, so that fits), on matters which the Constitution touches (and ONLY those matters), Congress is the supreme nation legislature. So what a state legislature legislates touching religion, assembly, association, the press and speech, and to petition the government is automatically null and void.
Now, it has not always been so. In fact some states early on had established religions, that being a right reserved to the states and the people, albeit forbidden the federal government.
The First Amendment forbids Congress (and thus any other legislature) to make any law respecting freedom of association. This means, directly, that the so-called “public accommodation” provisions of 1960s-vintage “civil rights” legislation, not having repealed those provisions of the Bill of Rights, are flatly unconstitutional. Any claims on the basis of public accommodation and the forbidding of discrimination in the provision of those goods and services on sundry bases are therefor — according to Supreme Court opinions and rulings — null and void.
Now, a lot of people are het up in a lot of who-struck-John on the subject of the shooting range owner who, exercising her First Amendment right of Free Association, (Not that the First Amendment grants the right — that’s an ontological impossibility — but that it recognizes and aims to secure the extant right as a proper function of government.), has chosen to refuse service to Moslems. Leaving aside the impossibility of enforcing such a rule, one cannot reasonably deny that she has that right. And, as legislating in the matter is forbidden to Congress, the matter is — by law — exclusively private.
Many of the more-reasoned arguments among the het up folk go like: “Be careful what powers you give the government; you may not like what use the government gets up to with its powers down the road.” And I do not argue the fundamental fact. It is true. Government should never be given power the people don’t desperately need it to have.
In this case, that boat sailed — about fifty years ago, when statists in power in Washington decided that the people would rather give up the freedom of association than face long, hot summers of violent protests and rioting on into the foreseeable future. And the statists in power knuckled under to extortionate thugs. Some of whom still ply their trade today — ::coughJesseJacksonAlSharptonLouisFarrakhan::cough::
[Insert Ben Franklin’s quote on the subject and conclude with the “And they shall have neither.”]
I won’t presume to speak for others and argue, “Nobody’s arguing for government action to deny freedom of religion to Moslems.” That’s pointless, and not credible. I haven’t seen any serious arguments to that effect, but neither can I guarantee nobody’s made them. What I AM saying is that — for myself — I am arguing that in broad general, Americans need to stop turning to Washington for the solution to every problem and work things out for ourselves. If Moslems present a clear and present danger to America and Americans, We the People need to recognize that fact and behave accordingly, whether or not our government acknowledges our wishes.
As I have said in response to news reports on the shooting range owner’s actions, I believe her actions should be universal. Not that our government — or any government — should restrict religious freedom, but that We the People should, in exercising our right to freely association with whom we see fit, should refuse to associate with Moslems.
I do not know how this will work. But my statement of principle goes thus; I recognize that you, as a Moslem, have found in Islam some semblance of inner peace and order, and have accepted the need for you to submit to God. However, I do not believe in the divine origin of the creed of Islam, and find its tenets abhorrent. The history of the faith tells me that it is not a religion as I see it (we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one), but a toxic political ideology which has, in the person of its strongest adherents, declared war on my nation, people, family, and self. This is an intolerable situation and I will not tolerate it. So long as you practice Islam, I shall not associated with you, in community, worship, or business. Should you wish my association, you must abjure Islam and all who practice it. You cannot gull me with protestations of moderation, there can be no such thing. By the tenets of your own faith, if you depart one iota from its tenets, you are apostate and marked for death. I can only trust you if you leave the faith. Granted that also marks you as apostate, so I cannot see a happy solution for you.
You can say, “Well, then, why should I wish to associate with you?” I do not have an answer. I only know I don’t wish to associate with YOU.
ON THIS DAY OF MEMORIAL, when so many sentiments will be expressed, the only appropriate sentiment is:
SNIPPETING OF work-in-progress, working title Discovery will commence tomorrow, (Saturday, June 7). It is also planned that said snippets will be promulgated at Good Reads and any other appropriate venues. Those additional site will be announced here, on Facebook, and at my author’s blog.
SOME TIME AGO I mentioned that I had plans for my Web presence — that I wanted to soft-pedal the politics to some extent, and to put up more about my art and writing on my author’s blog.
I’m getting started with a post this morning requesting some input from readers — if the blog has any. Please to go and participate if you’re of so a mind.
“It is impossible to understand the politics of the Left without grasping that it is all about deniable intimidation.”
FOR AFFICIANADOS of erotica.
In whose judgment is a free trade a failure?
The notion of “market failure” is a contradiction in terms. The “market” is an abstraction. The concrete reality is individuals freely trading goods and services. What would it mean for such free trade to “fail”? By what standard? In whose judgment? “Failure”–for whom? These are the unasked questions. They can’t be asked, because the answers would be the refutation of the doctrine of “market failure.
Know how to put on a show.
Skinny little dude about 63 playing a crappy old guitar (might as well have been a Winston your grandpa bought at the five and dime for ten bucks.) With an 18 year-old kid playing standup bass, a black dude on drums, and some Australian guy playing Strat- and Telecasters through a Fender Twin amp and a couple of background singers ROCKED the house with tunes you know from Emylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, and Juice Newton (and more I probably never heard of — the guy is country royalty)
Highlight of the show, maybe was when the band persuaded the audience to sing along with Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Ya hadda been there. But how do you top that? Easy: blow the roof off with a loud, raucous rendition of “Whole Lotta Shakin’.”
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER Laurent Fabius blathers that there are fewer than 500 days to “climate chaos.” French? Who cares?
If, come September 25, 2015, it doesn’t happen, will they…
GO THE FUCK AWAY?
THESE PEOPLE (THE RINO ESTABLISHMENT) never stand on principle, except during campaigns, when they don’t mean it. And when it comes time to govern, then they jettison it. — Mark Levin
As I’ve said many times before: principle is pragmatic.
THAT AT LEAST some trace amount of the half-hearted defense of the Not-So-Sterling Donald was the fact that his accuser recorded his utterances without his permission. And it is a worthy defense, albeit misplaced. We have a presumption of privacy in our “houses, persons, papers, and effects” which, by the law shall remain uninfringed. But, also which by the law, not only the government may infringe. (That means everybody.)
And, one might be forgiven for assuming that those campaigning for public office should be held to a higher standard, nest paw?
But a recent round of advertisements “and I approve this message” from Mitch McConnell assert beginning, middle, and end that their contents were drawn from “undercover news report” and “hidden camera footage” …
I.E., without Matt Bevin’s knowledge or permission.
It seems to me that such turpitude (Mitch, not Matt) ought to be immediately disqualifying. But there’s no truth in political advertising and, were Bevin to complain, it would be dismissed as whining by his opponents, but, still, has not McConnell broken the law? What penalty shall attend upon this breach?
ALL THE VITUPERATION and denigration surrounding Sterling Donald. It seems untoward to hear a fellow citizen described as a mutant piece of shit. Or a despicable piece of human debris. I don’t like it.
Still and all, I can’t disagree with St. Ann’s take on the matter.
I had listened to roughly eight hours of commentary on Donald Sterling and the ugly remarks he made in conversations secretly tape-recorded by his girlfriend, before I heard anyone mention a wife.
HE HAS A WIFE?
Says more about the media than about Sterling that it took all day for the media to get around to MENTIONING that fact.
NOBODY IN THE LEGACY partisan press will have the balls to lay the blame for this where blame is due — on the progressivist movement in general and the Democrat party in particular (and more recently, on the Barack Obama administration and the Pelosi /Ried axis in the the Congress — as operating since 2007).
I TURN 60 THIS YEAR. As does one of my school friends, who still plays out and was once called “The best rhythm guitarist in Cincinnati.” Both of us have been in the music business since our teens. But, At least, he gets his face in front of audiences weekly. Me, I’m better known – albeit worldwide — in the production office than onstage (I suppose “pretty well” is better than “not at all”). And the closest I’ve come to playing guitar is shaking Justin Hayward’s hand in 2009. But I’m guessing Pete would probably agree at least part way in my assessment that, at least on the basis of popular music, American culture — the part of our national life that is seen and heard worldwide — is by and large a Black culture. I argue it’s undeniable, when you consider how much of the American self-identity is rooted in Jazz and Rock and Roll, and how pervasive and influential the black influence has been in both. In the beginning Rock and Roll was black music. And, post-Elvis, rock music worldwide owes an unescapable debt to the blues and gospel, a point well-made in the Oscar-winning documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom.
It occurs to me, listening to this cut by Tears for Fears, (hearing the number as recorded at Knebworth sometime in the early ’90s, I fell in love with Oleta Adams), that one reason why the black female voice is so well-loved, both by audiences and leading artists who hire the support of “colored girl” background artists, is that most of these singers shape their voices more fully and with greater power than a lot of white girl singers, with their little-girl voices (e.g.: Britney Spears) and, as a result, they sound more grown-up, with a greater ability to move the listener and to stand up to a male voice. Consider Lisa Fisher versus Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter.”
Considerations I had, among others, while watching 20 Feet From Stardom over the weekend (Thank you, Netflix.)
AS MARK TWAIN said*, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” We have in the day’s news an example of the latter. The radio news headlines assert that the IPCC report claims that “a rise in temperatures of two degrees” could result in “Old Testament disaster, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” Notice they’re not claiming to predict that will happen, but that it could. Well, Mr. Mayor, Kate Upton could walk up to me, press those magnificent mammaries against me, suck my face — with tongue, and beg me to do her right there on the spot. But the likelihood of it is slim.
And, it’s only fair that the total temperature change since the end of the Little Ice Age (q.v.), has been less than two degrees. In 200+ years. So, is it realistic to expect that, going into a solar minimum, with dropping temperatures for the last fifteen years that there will ever be an increase in global temperatures as great as two degrees?
*Of course he did. I read it on the Internet. And they can’t put anything on the Internet if it’s not true. I read that on the Internet.
…Sung to the tune of:
ACCORDING TO THE LETTER quoted in its entirety in this post at PowerLine, the two of you (and/or your staffs) appear to be laboring under some sort of a misapprehension when you write:
We believe that Congress and the public have a right to know when individuals funding political ads and attempting to influence government decisions have a financial stake in the outcome. We certainly believe it would be wrong for any company to mislead Congress and the public by falsely describing its economic stake in legislation.
You may believe what you like, but it is not so — not by half. Congress has no rights. Period. Congress has powers and subsequent authority granted by the People through the Constitution and delegated to it by the States. As a body, Congress has no rights. Rights inhere only to individual persons. Nor is ANYONE blessed by our Creator with the right to know the private business of any other citizen.
Consider yourself spanked.
Oh, and by the way: (In case Koch Industries neglects this proper, fitting, and appropriate response.)
GO FUCK YOURSELF.
FOR HER EVISCERATION of Obamacare in this week’s column. In passing, she asserts “Screw you, Mickey Kaus,” (Who, she writes, is a principal cheerleader for Obamacare — but, more likely, the IDEA of universal, government-paid medical cost-shifting.)
Which brings me to mind the appropriate response to that Rhode Island State Senator (Why should I trouble myself to remember his name?) whose terminal arrogance entitles him to denigrate, vitiate, and generally ignore the Second Amendment to the Federal Constitution. GO FUCK YOURSELF.
Actually, that is growing in my mind to THE appropriate response to leftist importunings.
GO FUCK YOURSELF!
ROY EDROSO is a closed-minded, bigoted left-wing extremist tool.
Pass it on.
HIT A WOMAN (still, observe how the grievance feminists don’t disagree), but sometimes I think somebody needs to discipline St. Ann. Look on it as part of her trials.
This week, her column evinces an astringent support for abortion.
I also think all Republican candidates should be trained with shock collars and cattle prods to automatically respond, upon hearing some combination of the words “abortion,” “rape” and “incest”: “Yes, of course there should be exceptions in the case of rape or incest, and I also support giving rapists the death penalty, unlike my Democratic opponent, who wants to give rapists the right to vote. Now, back to what I was saying about Obamacare …”
Look: if it’s human and alive, it’s a human life. Zygote, blastula, fetus, infant, child, adult. Killing it is murder. And, given that the right to life is first and foremost in the list of inalienable rights endowed upon us by our creator, and that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men,” the abrogation of the right to life of 55 million children under the 40-year regime of Roe v Wade is one of the greatest evils ever encompassed by government. The Holocaust pales by comparison. The butcher’s bill of international communism is the only greater evil I know of. Truckling with supporters of this abomination is not a worthy stance on principle. “It’s purest evil, I agree, but we can’t win elections if we stand on this principle.” Is just as bad as [sgtschultz]”I vas chust followink ort-ders.”[/sgtschultz]. Or worse.
So: at the risk of sounding like a true believer (what’s wrong with being true to your beliefs? Is it better to be false to them?), I also think that Republican pundits who truckle with abortion advocates to win power should be trained with constant bitch-slaps until they FUCKING GET IT.
That is all.
THE WHOLE 97% claim never was credible in the first place.
And another thing: even if it were (fat chance), it’s irrelevant, because as Mommy told us:
SCIENCE ISN’T DONE BY CONSENSUS.
Thanks to Ev Mickey on Facebook.