12. April 2008 · Comments Off on The Producers – Euro-Style · Categories: European Disunion, Fun and Games, General, Good God, That's Entertainment!, The Funny, World

So my first reaction to this story was a jaw-dropped five minutes of boggle-eyed amazement. The second was to double check – this wasn’t an intricate send-up by the Onion, or Iowahawk? April Fool’s day was almost two weeks ago, admittedly… but no, it appears to be a completely straight – in the sense of being accurate, not in the sexual sense – news story.

Third reaction – wow, what a horrible thing to do to a poor unsuspecting little Verdi opera. That rumble you hear for south of the Alps? That must be the great maestro himself, revolving in his grave at a couple of thousand RPMs. Hook him up to an electric generator, you could probably power a couple of good-sized American suburbs, or maybe all of North Korea with the resulting output. This is just the latest manifestation of a depressing and currently fashionable penchant for staging operas and incorporating trappings and conventions taken cafeteria-style from an assortment of sources, to include gangster movies of all ages, S&M porn flicks and bloody violence a la Peckinpah or Tarantino…no matter how unsuited the opera is to that sort of artistic vision, or how much violence it does to the plot, or the characters. (more here)

It seems to be the ultra-trendy thing in Europe, apparently; it doesn’t seem to have caught on much in the States, where an opera house actually depends on appealing to the subscribers, season-ticket holders and the audience in general. We’re… umm, kind of traditional, that way. Generally the people who want to revel in gangster movies, S & M porn flicks or whatever, can get their fix somewhere else than the stage of the Met or the Houston Grand.

You’ve got to hand it to the director of this 9/11 Masked Balls-up, though – for sheer Teutonic thoroughness in including every single stupid, tired and overworked anti-American trope in the eu –repertoire: ugly naked people in Mickey-Mouse masks, same old anti-capitalist political posturing, Uncle Sam and Elvis impersonators… the whole ugly collection, calculated to demonstrate American vulgarity and European cultural superiority and creativity. I’m imagining the creative types sitting around, brainstorming and shouting out their ideas for every element and laughing their asses off the whole time at the credulity of their audience. It would be reassuring to think this was some kind of ‘Producers’ type scheme, to deliberately create a production guaranteed to go down in flames on opening night, but apparently not. According to the linked story, it’s sold out, or near to being so.

Ah, well – the next time I read of some euro-snot looking down his artistic nose and condemning Americans for being crass and vulgar and generally uncaring of our artistic heritage, I shall think of this production… and laugh, and laugh and laugh.

14. February 2008 · Comments Off on Memo: A Reminder of Basic Principles · Categories: Fun and Games, Fun With Islam, General, Good God, Rant, sarcasm

To: The Arch Bishop of Canterbury
From: Sgt Mom
Re: The discrete attractions of sharia vis a vis English Common Law

1. Having been raised in the relatively intellectual and logic-based tradition of the Lutheran church, the temptation to take a swipe at a church founded on Henry VIII’s scheme to get out of one unrewarding marriage and into another more to his liking is almost overwhelming. The Church of England came about because King H. had the hots for Anne Boleyn and she wasn’t giving him any until he ponied up a ring and a crown and lots of other pretty shiny baubles. Lutherans have the 95 Thesis nailed to a church door, and the C of E… has Henry VIII’s gonads. I admit, Bish – you made a damn good show of it though, especially with the Book of Common Prayer, the King James Bible and all that. Speaking as a wordsmith, it beats Luther’s Small Catechism all hollow. Pure ecclesiastical and literary gold, but lamentably, it looks like your church has been running out of steam ever since.

2. What on earth where you thinking, urging your fellow citizens to acquiesce to the use of sharia law in Britain, as anything other than a small-scale, mutually-agreed-upon-between-the aggrieved parties adjunct, a sort of counseling service? Did you have any idea of the ruckus that would arise, upon suggesting that it was inevitable and by implication a good thing in this pretty, shiny multi-culti 21st century Britain? Do you even, god save us, have any idea that your casually tossed off remarks appeared to approve of grafting an alien sprout onto the tree of common law? An alien and wholly contradictory sprout that no matter how often or how loudly the praises of sharia law are sung by the usual chorus, casual consumers of recent media reports cannot help concluding those places in which sharia law holds sway are violent and benighted hellholes? In the eyes of those innocent of spectacles constructed of industrial-strength rose-colored glass, it is a turd. No amount of gold-plate will make it acceptable, not least, I suspect, to those who have had first-hand experience of it. (Especially those of the female gender.)

3. It is one thing, my good Bish, to discuss theoretical constructs – it is quite another to install them as workable and working systems, when real-world experience of them suggests that the outcome will be something comprehensively different, from what it appeared to be in ones’ airy world of theory and abstraction. See the practice of communism, when tried out in any place you could name.

4. Hoping that this memo will be of assistance to you, in explaining the storm which has descended upon your miter-capped head.

5. Sorry; coming up with an explanation for all those gorgeous but empty church buildings the length and breadth of Britain is more your line of work. Good luck with that.

Sgt Mom

Later:This lovely monologue/rant courtesy of I-don’t-know-who-it’s-a-couple-glasses-of-chablis-into-my-birthday-eve here

Eh – Rantburg, the source of all things sour and sarky

12. February 2008 · Comments Off on A New Canterbury Tale · Categories: European Disunion, Fun With Islam, General, General Nonsense, Good God, sarcasm, World

From Iowahawk, naturally. How can an English major resist a parody entitled:
Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte.”

Read, and savor the final punchline. You won’t regret it. Really.

30. November 2007 · Comments Off on A Note to the People of Sudan · Categories: Fun With Islam, Good God, History, Stupidity

There was a time when the British Empire would have wiped you off the face of the earth for threatening harm to one of their subjects…it wasn’t that long ago…

…just sayin’.

30. October 2007 · Comments Off on Religious History in a Minute and a Half · Categories: Good God

History of the World’s Religion in 90 seconds.

From Paul…who really doesn’t like to be linked, but hey, he’s in Vegas, what’s he gonna do?

10. September 2007 · Comments Off on Forted Up – Continued · Categories: General, Good God, History, Old West, War, World

(part 1 here and part 2 here)

The execution of approximately a hundred and twenty men, women… and yes, children also… of the Fancher-Baker wagon-train party stands out particularly among revolting accounts of massacres in the old West, and not just for the number of victims. The most notorious 19th century massacres usually involved Indians and either settlers or soldiers in some combination, overrunning a settlement or encampment, or ambushing a military unit or a wagon-train and slaughtering all in or after a brief and bitter fight. Sometimes this was the overt intent of the aggressor, or just customary practice in the long and bitter Indian Wars; ugly deeds which can be given some fig-leaf of rationalization by attributing them to the heat of battle. But Mountain Meadows was carefully planned beforehand and committed in the coldest of cold blood. How it came to happen is a story almost unknown and incredible to modern ears; bitter fruit of the poisoned tree which had its roots in the persecutions of earlier Mormon settlements in what is now the mid-West. A recitation of the events and reasons for this would make this account several times as long. Sufficient to say as did the character of Dr. Sardius McPheeters, that the Mormons came to realize that they could only get along with their immediate neighbors if they had no neighbors, and they decamped en masse for the wilds of Utah Territory.

There they set about building their new city, on the shores of a salt lake at the foot of the Wasatch mountain range. Driven by zeal, missionaries for the Church of Latter Day Saints traveled and proselytized fearlessly and widely. Eager and hardworking converts to the new church arrived in droves, ready to build that new and shining society in the desert wilderness. It has been no mean accomplishment, outlasting all of the other 19th century social-religious-intellectual communes: Brook Farm and the Shakers, the Amana Colony and any number of ambitious and idealistic cities on the hill. Most of these places barely survived beyond the disgrace or death of their founder, and the disillusion of their membership.

That the mid 19th century Mormons did so must be credited to the iron will, organizational abilities and dynamic leadership of Brigham Young. President of the church, apostle and successor to murdered founder Joseph Smith, Young was also appointed governor of the Utah Territory by then president of the US, Millard Fillmore. Essentially, Utah and the Mormon settlements were a theocracy to a degree not seen since the very early days of the Puritan colonies. Young and his church continued to have a contentious relationship with the US government. Who would actually be in charge; the civil authorities represented by the US Government, or the religious establishment, personified by Young, in his position at the apex of LDS authority? Church-approved polygamy rattled mainstream Americans to no end, since many suspected that it was a wholly self-serving justification for the indulging of male lusts. (The Victorians generally entertained lively suspicions about male lusts, which would today not disgrace a university womens’ studies department.) On their side, memories among the Mormon settlers of their persecutions in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas were still raw, even as more American settlers continued to move westwards to California and Oregon. Isolation in the far West turned out to be less absolute every year.

By 1857 rumors were flying thick and fast, shouted from every meeting place of Mormons in the Territory that an American military invasion was on the way, with the stated intention of deposing the theocracy, murdering every believing Mormon and laying waste to the settlements they had built with so much heartbreaking labor over the previous decade. And early that spring, shortly after the Bakers and the Fanchers had departed Arkansas, a popular and much-loved Mormon missionary, Parley Pratt had been murdered there by the estranged husband of one of his plural wives. As historian Will Bagley wrote in his account of the massacre, Brigham Young may have been respected – but Parley Pratt was loved. And when there were rumors passed around that some of his murderers were among the men in the Fancher-Baker train, there was stirred up a perfect storm of paranoia and millennial fears. Brigham Young had ordered that a number of outlaying Mormon colonies in California, Wyoming and Nevada to immediately withdraw, and for his people to stockpile supplies and steel themselves for all-out war.

And the Fanchers and the Bakers and all their friends and their children, their cattle herd and their wealth of wagons and property were right in the middle of it, all unknowning.

(next; how the plan unfolded… but at whose order?)

06. September 2007 · Comments Off on Forted Up – Part 2 · Categories: General, Good God, History, Old West, War, World

(Part one is here)

The start of the trail season, spring of 1857 saw a number of prosperous but restlessly ambitious emigrants taking the trail west, many of them linked by ties of kin and friendship: the Bakers of Caroll County, Arkansas, and the Huff and Fancher clans, from Benton County, were joined at some point along the long trail from the jumping-off place at the edge of the sea of grass by families with the prosaic names of Tackett, Jones, Mitchell and Prewitt. Alexander Fancher, the paterfamilias and trail-boss of the Fanchers was experienced in the ways of the emigrant trail, having gone back and forth several times. He and his kin intended to settle for good in California and to that end had bought not only their wives and children, but much of their portable property and savings, and a large herd (estimated at 800-1,000) of long-horned Texas cattle. Some of the party were Argonauts, intending to look for gold, but the Fanchers’ cattle were their gold, and intended to market them at a profit to the hungry gold miners in California. They had already registered a brand, for their new ranch and herd.

By 1857 the emigrant trail was not the long and desperate march through unsettled wilderness that it had been ten years before. The US Army had managed to spottily garrison and patrol the Platte River Valley, and the Mormon settlements spreading out from Salt Lake City offered one last and often life-saving chance at rest and resupply before the final calculated leap into the desert and over the sheer mountain wall of the Sierra Nevada. The Fanchers and the Bakers and the other families, numbering about a hundred and fourty men, women and children, arrived in the Salt Lake City area at the end of August, and after consultation decided that they were too late in the season to venture the northern trail, following the Humboldt River into the desert where it sank eventually into the sand, and up the long rocky climb up the Truckee River to the steep mountain pass named after the emigrant party which had so famously left their own traverse too late.

Experienced and sensible, Alexander Fancher and his fellows would not chance being trapped in the snow; not with their long train of wagons, their herd of cattle and their horses. They would take the southern route, the old Spanish Trail that lead down through the Mojave Desert, through the less precipitous passes farther south. (Roughly following present-day I-15, from Salt Lake City, Los Vegas and San Bernardino) It would be a long haul through various deserts, and a couple of hard pulls through mountainous terrain, but nothing like the cruel snows which had doomed the Donner-Reed Party ten years before. By early September they had reached Cedar City, the last outpost for resupply before descent of the Virgin River George and the long desert crossing below. They met a cold reception from the Mormon settlers there, and were not able to purchase any supplies. Doubtless shrugging it off, they moved on south and camped in a pleasant mountain valley at the foot of the Iron Mountains and adjacent the Spanish Trail.

This camping place offered generous pasturage and water, but on the morning of September 7th the emigrants began to be attacked by a large war-band of Piute Indians. Dismayingly, it soon became clear that the Indians were unusually persistent; this was no quick smash and grab ambush, a sudden screaming foray at dawn, with a handful of casualties and a few cattle or horses stolen in a few minutes. This was a deadly, concerted siege. The Fanchers and the Bakers and the others swiftly forted up, chaining their wagons together and digging hasty trenches; they held out for five days. Seven of them were killed outright, another twenty or so wounded, and dismayingly, they began to run low on ammunition, and were tormented by an inability to reach water without being repeatedly sniped at. Of two men who attempted to fetch water from the spring closest to the encampment, one was shot down, and the other escaped… but not before seeing that the man who shot them was not an Indian.

But this was not very unusual… there were brigands all over the west who pretended to be Indians as a cover for robbery and murder, and there were whispers of white turncoats among the various tribes. Still and all, when the cavalry appeared on the horizon, probably everyone in the besieged encampment took a deep breath of relief. Here was rescue at hand; well armed frontiersmen like themselves. Not actually the cavalry, for this was still Mormon territory – it was the local militia, their leaders advancing under a white flag, with good news for the emigrants.

They could leave, the militia leader said… they had been able to call off the Piutes and negotiate some kind of truce with them. But they would have to disarm and leave their wagons and cattle and horse herd, and walk back under escort of the militia to Cedar City. Oh, the children and the wounded could be taken in wagons, but everything else would have to be left behind. No doubt the Fanchers and the Bakers, the Prewitts and the Tacketts and their wives and older children did not like the idea much… but they had their lives and what small valuables they could carry on them. And so they left the wagon encampment in three parties, trusting the men who had come to their rescue. First came some wagons with the wounded, some of the women with babies and small children in it, then another group of women with the older children on foot, and then the men, each of them escorted by a militiaman.

And when a prearranged signal was given by the militia leader, they turned and executed the men, and all of the women and children but for seventeen of them who were babies or assumed to be too young to ever remember what they had seen at the place called Mountain Meadows.

(to be continued)

27. July 2007 · Comments Off on Way To Much Time On His Hands · Categories: Ain't That America?, Air Navy, Domestic, Fun and Games, General, Good God, Technology, World

A model of an aircraft carrier… made entirely out of Legos.

(link courtesy of Rantburg, the source for all things civil and well reasoned.)

17. June 2007 · Comments Off on Whither Palestine? · Categories: General, Good God, Israel & Palestine, Rant, World

It’s a rhetorical question, to which the answer is probably “straight down the same old drain that it has been circling for thirty years and which have become even more circumscribed since the latest intifada and the election of an even more unsavory lot of gangsters than Yassir Arafat if that were &&$#@ing possible and why the &$##@ does anyone still care?” I certainly don’t, except for a lingering bit of curiosity about how long until… oh, but I’ll get to that.

Now the whole of Gaza looks like a sandy and surrealistic version of “Escape from New York”, combined with one of those nature films which have quantities of rats or scorpions or something equally unattractive, all crammed together at the bottom of a pit, or in a wire cage and either frantically clawing/stinging each other to death… and trying to escape, while the dispassionate camera stands above the tangle, and watches.

Watching dispassionately is about all that is left for all but the die-hard pro-Palestinian adherent to do. The rest of us have becoming increasingly disabused of our illusions and our natural sympathies. Fifty years of sucking on the international charity teat, and being waved as a bloody shirt every time someone gets a little narked at Israel, or the Jewish community, or the US, or whatever the middle-east cause du jour is. Thirty years of murdering Americans, culminating by rejoicing in the streets after 9/11. The unstoppable torrent of lies, sickening violence, whining self-justification, of children dressed up in little bomb vests, of honor killings and mob killings and plain old killings. Of hijackings and assassinations, and the desecration of Christian holy sites. The corruption of international agencies tasked with responsibility for looking after three, or is it four generations of those who backed the wrong side in a war they thought they might win, the perversion of the news agencies who are supposed to do more than shill for one side, and of intellectuals who have rather more invested in striking a pose in an artfully draped kaffiyeh…

Nope, every shred of sympathy I ever had for the poor, pitiful Palestinians dissolved about two years ago. In the words of a tee-shirt I used to have, “I used to be disgusted. Now I’m only amused.” And not even very much amused, since there is really only thing I have left to wonder about in this regard. And that would be, how soon the usual media shills, international charity busy-bodies and intellectual frauds will start prancing around, telling us how sorry we have to be for the Palestinians and demanding that we “do something”. Oh, yeah, and I wonder if it will have any effect this time around, outside the very small circle of media shills, international charity busy-bodies and intellectual frauds. Even Jimmy Carter must be getting fed up.

In answer to those impassioned pleas, I will do something, of course. I will go and make more popcorn.

27. May 2007 · Comments Off on Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet…. · Categories: General, Good God, GWOT, Iraq, Media Matters Not, War

The mainstream media is hunting torturers… but only if it’s Americans doing the torturing. If Al Qaeda’s torture manuel just happens to be found, just lying around?

Quick, do another story about Abu Ghraib, or Guantanamo… something, quick!

I found this link to the manuel, as posted on “The Smoking Gun” yesterday through The Belmont Club. I thought I’d rather wait twenty-four hours, before posting it here. Please be warned, it is really nasty. But it puts the whole question of torture of the detainees at Guantanamo rather in a different light.

16. April 2007 · Comments Off on Overheard in the Hallway · Categories: Domestic, Good God

“Why can’t these whack jobs just skip everyone else and just go straight to killing themselves?”


Our hearts and prayers to the families of the victims and to the family of the shooter.  I’m sure they never thought they’d raise a mass murderer.

UPDATE:  I’ve deleted all comments and have closed them.  I’m sorry.  I will not have a discussion about “more guns” or “less guns” or video games or movies or any of that other shite.  I’m sorry.  I can’t do it.  The politicalization of every event must stop somewhere.  I won’t be part of hijacking this horror show for any cause.

08. April 2007 · Comments Off on Happy Easter · Categories: Good God

All around the world the glad tiding, “He is risen.” is expressed in too many languages to count.

He is risen. He died for our sins and yet three days later He comes back and shows us that there truly is everlasting life. It’s perhaps the greatest story of forgiveness and redemption ever written.

I’ve heard a lot about how there’s an attack on Christianity in the media and how the left particularly dislikes fundamentalists. I don’t think that’s quite it. I think there’s a universal apprehension growing for any sort of fundamental belief in the “God who must be obeyed.” that is expressed in the Judeo/Christian/Muslim tradition. And I’m going to go further and say it’s not belief in that God that’s under attack, but those who misuse the belief in that God. They are the ones that many folks, left, right and center are growing increasingly apprehensive about.

Thanks to whack jobs of all religions who have done things in His name, the word “fundamentalist” has taken on a very dark meaning. I hear “fundamentalist” and I immediately think of Islamic terrorists. If I think Christian fundamentalist, I think of the folks who attack gay people based on Leviticus, perhaps the most sociopathic book in The Bible. Jewish fundamentalists I understand the least. I think the hats and sideburns are way cool though.

I’m a believer. Or, rather I should say, I’m a seeker. I believe that there’s a God and I use that word because it’s easy to say and easy to spell and most folks have a good idea of what I’m talking about. Is that God expressed best by The Bible, by The Koran, by the Tao te Ching, or by The Complete Witches Handbook? I can’t tell you. I don’t know. But I continue to pray and meditate and seek to become closer to that entity that I call God. For me religion simply gives you common guides for community expression and a sense of community.
I respect and even envy people who have been exposed to a religion and immediately say to themselves, “Yes, this is what I believe. This is the set of rules I’m going to live my life by.” It seems much easier than what I tend to go through. I have to admit though that along with that envy and respect, I have no small amount of fear toward those folks. The purely rational part of me screams, “It’s a BOOK. Written by MEN trying to consolidate their power base! What’s the MATTER with you? You may as well live your life based on the Greek Myths.” Christian friends ask me if I don’t believe in The Bible, where do I place my faith?

My prayers are simple. I pray for the knowledge or God’s will for me and the strength of character and courage to carry that will out. If I’m in a particularly brave frame of mind, I’ll throw, “God change me, no matter what.” out there. It’s short, but it’s not a whimpy prayer by any stretch of the imagination.

Where do I place my faith? As a cradle Catholic, I can’t ignore the Christian faith that was programmed into me at an early age. Those symbols are pretty much ingrained in me. They’re a part of me. I use those symbols and stories as guides in my life. My favorite Gospel is Matthew and I would have loved to have been part of his Church. Communal living with the closest of friends all with a similar core belief? How cool must that have been?

But I think I can wrap up my faith in one word and the weird thing is that it comes from the Hindu which I’ve speant very little time studying. The word? Namaste. The easiest translation is, “The spirit which resides in me recognizes the spirit which resides in you.” For me that’s the very best expression of our journey here on Earth. Within all of us is some piece of the devine, the potential for spiritual life everlasting is within each and every human.  It’s the ultimate expression of unity. Part of the devine is within me and it sees the devine within you. Namaste. He is risen. Namaste.

My faith is in that someday, somehow, we’ll put all the stories and all the symbols together and use them to unite us all in a true brotherhood of man instead of separating us into conflicting tribes.  That’s where I place my faith.

04. March 2007 · Comments Off on Roller Skating and Internet Radio · Categories: Domestic, General, Good God, Politics, Rant

The Copyright and Royalty Board, part of the Library of Congress, has announced copyright license fee increases that, if not struck down, will put many of the more innovative Internet music streaming (read radio) sites out of business. According to Bill Goldsmith at radioparadise.com, the royalty payments will amount to 125% of their revenue. I don’t think this is hyperbole based on what I read on the Radio and Internet Newsletter site.

Who benefits? All the usual fat cats. Who gets screwed? Well that would be all the smaller indy bands and labels, those of us who appreciate their work, and, of course those of us who are sick to their stomachs of the crap that passes for commercial radio broadcasting these days.

All of this is at the instigation of the RIAA of course – the same folks who, flummoxing around because their business model was caught totally unawares by the advent of digital music (boy, who could have seen that one coming 20 odd years ago at the introduction of CDs and then again, in the last decade, when Al Gore invented the Internet), have resorted to litigation against grandmothers because little Jimmy discovered file sharing. As a trade association I think they are doing a piss poor job. I had a conversation a while back with the third generation proprietor of a small local roller skating rink. What a resource to have. You can drop off the kiddies for good clean fun, knowing that Bonnie is watching out for them – a gem of a local institution. Bonnie told me that she didn’t know how much longer it would make economic sense to stay open – one of her single largest expenses is paying RIAA royalties.

Meanwhile, I legally downloaded some songs for my daughter, and found out that it is nearly impossible to transfer them to any other device. For this we can thank the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, otherwise know as The Act Passed By Congess, Signed Into Law By The President, But Written By The RIAA.

Hey, I’m for law and order, but I am rooting for the guys figuring out how to beat these greedy bastards. Maybe once the RIAA and their lackeys on the U.S. Congress figure out that the only alternative to an equitable fair royalty structure and a reasonable fair use doctrine is widespread free illegal underground distribution, they will get their heads out of their asses.

I encourage our Loyal Readers to bitch to their government representatives and to engage in civil disobedience in this matter (just don’t get caught and if you do, don’t call me).

05. February 2007 · Comments Off on Anatomy of a Rotten Day Part Deux · Categories: Allied Treachery, Domestic, Good God, Memoir, sarcasm, The Funny

So this one time at Camp Pendelton, there was a Marine in my section and he had a bad day.(Found out that his wife had been sleeping with his best friend and she took the kids and split.)
Our wise SNCO called all of us NCOs into his office and said , “We needed to help this Marine out and make sure he does not hurt himself.”
So three of us were volun-told to get over to his house ASAP and take away and hide all of the things that he could hurt himself with (just in case).
I drew the short straw and got the knives, so I took note of all the sharpest and most lethal and packed them up to go to the armory. Then I hid the rest in plain sight.

Long story short he didn’t hurt himself… and he never found the knives I had hidden in plain view. He got out of the military, moved and never found them.

So I guess the moral is*if there is one*you’re not having a really shitty day—

unless I show up and hide your flatware!

07. January 2007 · Comments Off on Thought-crime · Categories: Ain't That America?, Cry Wolf, General, Good God, Pajama Game, Politics

I was never, even in my convinced feminist phase, much of a fan of hate crime legislation. Tacking on extra special super-duper penalties for a particular motivation in committing a crime against a person or property seemed… well, superfluous. Defacing someone’s property, lynching someone, harassing phone calls; most of the stuff of which hate crimes are made is already illegal anyway, with pretty hefty penalties already attached upon conviction.

But on the other hand, I could understand how the persons and communities against whom such crimes were routinely directed were pretty generally directed could feel particularly threatened, and could honestly feel that such legislation could provide a modicum of protection. Many of the crimes typically reported as being “hate crimes” were pretty vile, as well as being very widely reported. I could understand those fears; as a feminist woman, and member of one of those classes against hate crimes could theoretically be committed. Personally, though, the existence of misogynist comedians and the whole so-called patriarchal establishment dedicated to keeping women down so lavishly documented in MS Magazine just didn’t cause me a moment of worry. I just figured that being a bigot of whatever persuasion was punishment in itself. Ignorance and bad manners wasn’t something that could, or ought to be legislated against.

I could also understand and sympathize with legislators who passed hate-crime legislation. They run for office, and it must be extraordinarily difficult to look into the eyes of constituents who are frightened and beleaguered and tell them “no”. At the very least, our solons need to be seen as doing “something”. The same for community organizations, and local media outlets; the case against hate crime legislation was made, if it was made at all, almost apologetically. No one wanted much to be seen as being in favor of bigots and racists, misogyny and homophobia, which is pretty much where you must be if you were against such a worthy cause.
More »

06. November 2006 · Comments Off on Bidwell-Bartleson, 1841 · Categories: General, Good God, History, Old West, Pajama Game

The westward movement of Americans rolled west of the Appalachians and hung up for a decade or two on the barrier of the Mississippi-Missouri. It was almost an interior sea-coast, the barrier between the settled lands, and the un-peopled and tree-less desert beyond, populated by wild Indians. To be sure, there were scattered enclaves, as far-distant as the stars in the age of “shanks’ mare” and team animals hitched to wagons, or led in a pack-train: far California, equally distant Oregon, the pueblos of Santa Fe, and Texas. And men in exploring parties, or on trade had ventured out to the ends of the known continent… and by the winter of 1840 there were reports of what had been found. Letters, rumor, common talk among the newspapers, and meeting-places had put the temptation and the possibility in peoples’ minds, to the point where an emigrating society had been formed over that winter. The members had pledged to meet, all suitably outfitted and supplied on the 9th of May, 1841 at a rendezvous twenty miles west of Independence, on the first leg of the Santa Fe Trail, intent for California, although none of them had at the time any clear idea of where to go, in order to get there.

A handful of wagons, two or three at a time straggled into the meeting place, at Sapling Grove, in the early weeks of May, until there were about thirty-five men, which was considered a suitable size of the party. There were, in addition to the men, ten children and five women: three wives, the widowed sister of one of them, and a single unmarried woman, and it would appear that none of them had been into the far West before. They had a vague notion of the latitude of San Francisco Bay, and perhaps were dithering for some days over whether to follow the long- established Santa Fe Trail, or the slight track which wandered off in the direction of the fur-trading post at Fort Laramie and from there on to Oregon. While they were still making up their minds, a small party of Jesuit missionaries led by the legendary Father Pierre De Smet and bound for Ft. Hall, in the Oregon territory arrived. The Jesuits had hired the equally legendary mountain man, Thomas “Broken Hand” Fitzpatrick as their guide, and the California party attached themselves to this party, no doubt with a certain amount of relief. Sufficient to the days’ travel were the evils thereof, and the Jesuits and “Broken Hand” would accompany them for the first thousand miles.

They left on the 12th of May, after electing one John Bartleson as nominal captain… but like the Stephens-Townsend Party of three years later, seemed to have functioned more or less as a company of equals. They moved slowly for the first few days, having gotten word that another wagon and a small party of men was trying to catch up to them; ten days later, they did so. Among the late-comers was Joseph Chiles, who would eventually cross and recross the California trail many times over the following fifteen years. Another three days later, the party was joined by a single elderly horseman, traveling alone, penniless and without weapons, trusting in the protection of the God he served, the Methodist Rev. Joseph Williams. The Reverend Williams had taken it into his head to go forth and minister to the heathen Indians. Arriving at Sapling Grove to find the party already gone, he had ridden alone through the wilderness to join them. Whether this was an act of jaw-dropping naivety, or saintliness is a matter of perspective.

Under the stern direction of Fitzpatrick, the party reached Fort Laramie after 42 days of hard travel. The party traveled in a mixture of conveyances and teams: The Jesuits in four mule-drawn carts and a single small wagon, then eight emigrant wagons drawn by horse and mule teams, then a half-dozen drawn by ox teams. The cracking pace set by the mule carts meant many exhausting hours in harness for the slower oxen, which a single day of rest at Ft. Laramie did nothing to make up for. And supplies were already running short. They hunted for buffalo along the valley of the Sweetwater, and met up with a party of 60 trappers on the Green River, who told them flat-out that it was impossible to take wagons over the mountains and desert and mountains again to California. At that point a small group of seven men packed it in and headed back to Missouri, and all but thirty one men and Mrs. Nancy Kelsey decided to carry on with the trail towards Ft. Hall and Oregon.

Their further adventures are well-documented, as there were four diarists among them. A fair proportion of them became successful and pillars of their respective communities in later life, although one of them, Talbot Greene later turned out to be an embezzler escaping the authorities. He was pleasant, well-liked and trusted by the others, serving as their doctor, and carried with him to California a large chunk of lead. No one could fathom why he needed quite so much of this commodity; even then, it was considered bad from to pry too much into others’ personal affairs.

(To be continued)

02. October 2006 · Comments Off on ROP, Part 2 · Categories: General, Good God, GWOT, History, Pajama Game

So, what is it with Islam, these days; Is it really thriving like the green bay tree? Or might the Islamic faith militant, exemplified by Bin Laden and his merry chums, sympathizers and apologists be ridden by a secret terror of their own – that Islam is not growing, powerful, and omnipotent, but flawed at the root, and dying by degrees – a dangerous-looking but essentially hollow show, like the pufferfish? Is it a hollow faith, crumbling by insidious degrees, as it’s commonly assumed tenents are being examined in the spirit of skeptical scholarship? The ferocious reaction to any departure from orthodoxy suggests that the most fanatical believers may fear so, very deeply. Even the scholar of linguistics, Christoph Luxemberg, in his study of influences of the Aramaic language on the Koran must publish under a pseudonym – for his suggestion that translations of the Koran must consider the Aramaic in teasing out exact meanings is as explosive as what devotees of the Prophet strap about themselves, or pack into automobiles as their response to the insults of another extant belief system. And again, the violent response suggests that something more is going on here, something deep and dangerous – but the very violence of the response is enough to make a curious person wonder why? Why so touchy?

Last week on NPR they ran another one of those poor-mouthing stories about the sad plight of Hispanic female converts to Islam and how they must cope with family disapproval, and—horrors! How people look at them funny when they wear a headscarf! NPR seems to love this sort of story, they bang on (and on, and on and on!) about the Poor Muslim having to Cope In Heartlessly Hostile America about as often as they do about the Poor Palestinians Having to Cope with the Brutal Israeli Occupation, demanding our sympathies as if their listening audience were some sort of psychic ATM; swipe the story-card through the slot, here’s another twenty bucks worth of Sympathy for the Chosen Victim Class. I’d love to hear a story, for once, about Amish or Mennonite women having to cope with people giving them the eye-brow lifted look because of their somewhat distinctive and defiantly old-fashioned dress-sense, but that’s just me. And I am also left to wonder – what about converts from Islam? I googled that, this weekend “Islam+converts+from” and got a couple of stories and a query “Do you mean ‘Converts to Islam?'”

Well, no, I meant exactly what I typed in – but considering that conversion from Islam means a death sentence as an apostate – talk about a story that most major news media don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole, and a subject which converts would also prefer to remain untouched. Since exposure as a convert means the death penalty for apostasy, one can hardly blame converts from Islam for being extremely circumspect. Missionaries and ministers to converts also must feel the same need for a similarly subterranean profile but there are still a trickle of accounts and witnesses, mostly from religious organizations. One story which intrigued me when I first read it some years ago was about conversions to Christianity among the Berbers of Algeria – that very quietly, many local Berbers were rejecting Islam as a horrific death cult; in fact, reclaiming their heritage as Christians, which they had been up until the Muslim conquests of the 8th century. (St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica was a Berber Christian.)

There was the briefly famous Afghan convert, and a handful of others, leaving one to wonder how many other converts there are in the shadows, seeking no notice of themselves for fear of being murdered. One also wonders how many outwardly conforming Muslims have quietly declared apostasy in their hearts, going through the outward motions for the sake of their families and a bit of peace and quiet, or have moved to another city, or country and just let the whole thing lapse. There’s probably no way to work out the numbers, but it is food for thought.

Especially since life under a strict Wahabi Islamic rule seems desperately unappealing: Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban and Iran under the Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors looked more like sort of religious concentration camp, with every pleasure in life, small and large being banned, constrained and forced underground. No wonder that only those who are allowed to exercise power over their fellows seem to look on it with any affection.

This is only a speculation, a working out of various themes and memes in my own mind. But it is different way to look at the whole structure of Islam, and a way to account for the hostility on display every time the followers of the Prophet feel disregarded and to have been offended. It could be that the disproportionate reactions are those of frightened men who feel power trickling out of their fingers, like grains of a handful of sand.


30. September 2006 · Comments Off on ROP · Categories: General, Good God, GWOT, Pajama Game

(part 1 of 2)
The pufferfish is an odd little creature with mostly poisonous flesh, which has developed as a primary defense, the ability to inflate itself in order to appear larger to predators. In addition, the spiny pufferfish is covered all over it’s body with short bony barbs. In full defense mode, it looks like nothing so much as a small spiky ball, a sort of aquatic porcupine, attempting to look larger and more combative, more dangerous than it actually is. I was reminded of these qualities this week when I read something apropos of the latest Muslim hissy-fit over Pope Benedicts’ mildly stated observation as regards violence and Islam. I am not quite sure where I read it, or anything but the general thrust of the suggestion, which was in a way, revolutionary.

What if Islam is not a strong, vibrant and attractive faith, growing like some sort of theological kudzu, sweeping all before it? What if it is actually a hollow construct, under stress from a number of directions, seeming strong but in reality fragile, riven throughout with tiny cracks, and teetering on the edge of implosion? What if the frequent explosions of violence at the slightest of critical voices were not a demonstration of power and strength, but of tamped-down fear – fear that if the orthodoxy is questioned or defied, then the whole construct will come crashing down in ruins? What if the whole structure of Islam is actually shivering on its foundations, and the whole bloody-handed constellation of imams and ayatollahs, of shaheeds and jihadists know and fear that, down in the pit of their souls? That the whole thing is a sham, based on the maunderings of a desert bandit, pulled from bits of this or that, for his own aggrandizement? What if the whole jihad against the West is the last spectacular lashing out of those who know in their hearts that if the roots of Islam are ever questioned, then doubt will set in, and the whole edifice come crashing down – and that quietly, here and there, the faithful are slipping away, and ever more would join them but for the threat of death for apostasy.

This is an interesting train of thought; as Eric Hoffer pointed out decades ago in his study of fanatical belief, The True Believer – a certain sort of fanatic is driven by secret doubts of his or her own abilities or qualities. The most violently inclined towards homosexuals, for example, may be someone who may in their deepest and most private part of the mind feel homosexual urges, and is then shamed and horrified by them. The most virulent advocate of racial superiority, for example, may be the one who at heart has doubts about himself – and reacts with special brutality against a member of what is supposed to view as a lesser race who yet exemplifies more superior qualities than himself. For myself, I have always observed that someone who was entirely comfortable in themselves and in their deeply-held beliefs was not threatened by someone who did not share them – and certainly not threatened enough to erupt in threats and violence.

Ages ago, I read Bernard Lewis – The Roots of Muslim Rage, when it first was published in Atlantic Magazine. I made a total pest of myself to my friends, because I ran around with my tattered copy (this was at about the start of the first Gulf War) saying “See! this is what makes them so angry with us!!!” It seemed only the sensible, empathetic way of looking at it then, and still does now: that the Islamic world, once so powerful, glorious, famed for tolerance, scholarship and culture, was diminished and shattered. That men who had been told all their lives that they were the righteous and blessed, should look around and see that their world was diminished, powerless and ridden by disease and ignorance, and should at once seek for a reason that this should be the way of things, that there should be a reason for this. And of course, it is always easier to find a reason – that the rich and powerful should be so because they had cheated, or were empowered by Satan. There could not possibly be any fault in Islam or in those who followed the faith most perfectly for they were chosen and favored by God, in being submissive to him. It was entirely understandable to me, with a great deal of sympathy and regret, that of course, those who thought themselves so chosen must be looking around and observing that most of the lands where Islam ruled were plagued with poverty, disease, ignorance and autocrats. Even those in the Middle East who sat on a lot of oil reserves were not in all that much better a shape. Only so much can be imported and paid for with oil money.

Being carefully raised in the Lutheran tradition and somewhat of a history nut as well, I had been schooled in the history of the Protestant Reformation. I knew very well how the great unified fortress of the medieval Catholic Church began fracturing once the Bible began to be translated from Latin into the various vernaculars spoken across Europe. It was revolutionary not just because ordinary people could read it for themselves, without the intercession of a priestly authority – but because a great many clever people had to sit down and work out for themselves exactly what each word, each phrase, each sentence actually meant. Ambiguities had to be resolved, alternate versions of varying antiquity had to be consulted – there’s nothing like a translation for thrashing out meaning from a text. The authority and power of one holy, catholic and apostolic church shattered on the rock of textual analysis – something that is just now beginning to happen with the Koran. Again in The Atlantic, I found a fascinating article about the work of various scholars, just beginning to analyze the Koran with the same attention and care long given to the Old and New Testaments. (link to article here)

But the Koran may not be translated, examined, analyzed – merely accepted whole and entire, memorized and recited. For what dangerous heresies and doubts might emerge then?

(to be continued)

*Original Atlantic link is for subscribers only

26. September 2006 · Comments Off on Deluged! · Categories: General, Good God, Site News

We have been deluged with another tidal flood of automated spam, all of it offering a number of semi-legal, quasi-legal and possibly-barely-legal services, commodites, and experiences.

I have had to add a number of new words to the totally banned/instantly nuked list, and another number of words to the held-f0r-review list.

There have been comments held over, and not appearing for a while, and some which may have been nuked. Sorry. Repost. And if your comment included some questionable language, or references to insurance, prescription drugs, or assorted possibly x-rated personal services… maybe do the old-fashioned thing, first and last letters and dashes for all the letters in between?

Or something.

My life is busy enough, I don’t need to turn on the computer at 5:00 AM and begin bailing out 150 spam comments, at least two thirds of which have references to beastility, shaved nether regions and drugs of dubious provenance.

25. September 2006 · Comments Off on Ye Choose and Ye Do Not Choose · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Good God, GWOT, Pajama Game

Well, watching the all-Islamic spazz-out as regards Pope Benedict’s recent suggestion that violent coercion had no place in leading the individual towards a particular religious belief has afforded me a number of opportunities for cynical amusement: the indignant demand that the Pope be fired for his disregard for Moslem sensibilities was one, and the demand from a group of Pakistani clerics (very obviously not the sharpest scimitars in the drawer) that the Pope Benedict formally debate a collection of Moslem scholars, and snappily upon being defeated by logic and reason, himself convert to Islam was just another item in a rich banquet of shadenfreude.

It’s almost as comic as President Ahmedinajad demanding that President Bush convert to Islam himself… in hopes probably, that the entire US would follow after. Ah, the frustration of those who are just bloody-mindedly sure that they are right, and it is only perversity and ignorance that prevents everyone else from seeing it… but enough about the far-left of the Democratic Party, I was talking about those representatives of the “Religion of Peace” who seem to be all over the headlines of late. (Enable extreme sarcasm mode) That 98% of whom it is said, give all the others a bad name. (End extreme sarcasm mode)

The sheer gall and towering ignorance combined and on display is such a dense confection that it probably pulls light into itself and wanders through the universe as a nascent black hole. One can easily understand how a barely literate imam from the wilds of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia can achieve such a such a monumental mass of misunderstanding about the West’s religious beliefs, or supposed lack thereof. But when Sayd Qtub, supposedly one of Islam’s great modern political thinkers managed to see every sort of licentiousness and depravity in a church sock-hop in teetotal Greeley, Colorado in the late 1940ies, one is not inclined to expect too much out of Qtub’s intellectual heirs or their powers of observation. Alas, large chunks of Western media and intellectuals, to include our own very dear bi-coastal types, also manage to comprehensively miss or misinterpret the religious mores of heartland America, so I don’t suppose I can expect much from the Seething Islamic Street ™.

So, here we go, one more time, for the benefit of those who have, perhaps supped too deeply of the BBC and it’s ilk: Yes, America is religious, to a greater extent than the cultured and secular types consider seemly. But please, please stop with the old game of picking out some congregation of freaks like Fred Phelps, or any other assortment of fundamentalist nutjobs, Elmer Gantry-ish televangelists begging for dollars from their mega-church’s cable TV station, or some credulous hick who sees the Virgin Mary’s face in an oil slick, or a pancake or some other bit of ephemera… and implying that they are just typical of all devout Americans. They are not… they are, in fact, atypical, and we have been pointing our fingers and snickering at them for decades.

By the way, just to demolish another sweaty intellectual fantasy, there is no way on earth that a single bread-and-butter fundamentalist sect could ever take over the US, a la “Handmaids’ Tale”, other than in Margaret Atwood’s feverish dreams. There are just too many other sects, synods, denominations, congregations, or whatever, most of whom rather cherish their own particular idiosyncrasies, and many of which have, in the past, fought like cats in a sack. Look, you can describe both the Amish and the Mormons as being rather conservative and old-fashioned, but aside from the fact that they both have large numbers of adherents living in the US, that’s about all they have in common. Even the Lutherans have two opposing synods, both of whom view each other with deep suspicion. Frankly, the only way that Americans would ever conform to a single, over-arching religious belief would be at gunpoint, and very possibly not even then. Most of us, though, are unostentatious in our beliefs, or lack of them, and are somewhat suspicious of those who are not. Our houses of worship will probably never attract the attention of a BBC producer… nothing to titillate or tut-tut.

A church community of some kind or other has been the mainstay of American life since before the beginning of the Republic. Most of them came to these shores as refugees from religious orthodoxy in the places they originated; and while some of them were not averse to imposing their own orthodoxy, most did not care for having orthodoxy imposed upon them by others. This may yet be the hard rock upon which the wave of Islam breaks, that Qutb and Bin Laden and their ilk do not see, because they were too busy looking at the flashy vulgarity of popular American or Western culture, and never saw the bedrock underneath.

So let them bluster, demand away, stamp their feet in Peshawar, or Mecca, or Qom, and expect the arrival of the 12th Imam, and demand submission; in the meantime, we are watching.

“Look well, O Wolves! What have the Free People to do with the orders of any save the Free People? Look well!”

21. September 2006 · Comments Off on All Apologies · Categories: Fun and Games, General, Good God, GWOT, sarcasm

So, Pope Benedict’s apology for having the temerity to point out that Islam is kinda, sorta, just a tad bit on the violent and coercive side, and that such coercion is something that Christians do not find logically defensible is not acceptable?

Well, since it was one of those “I’m sorry you were offended by what I said” sort of apologies, yeah, I can see that you have the right to seeth and whine, and burn churches and shoot elderly nuns in the back. So, how about a real apology… (Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!)

I am so sorry that you lunkheads wouldn’t know a logical theological disputation if it up and bit you on the butt.

I am sorry that large numbers of you are so illiterate that you believe any old load of old shoes that the imam tells you in the Friday sermon.

I am sorry that most of you have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement, and an underdeveloped sense of logic, technological skills, and smell.

I am sorry that a fair number of you want to turn Western Europe right back into the disease ridden, violence plagued, and autocratically ruled hellholes that you crawled out of.

I am sorry that your much-vaunted Caliphate was built, and maintained by a reliance on treachery, war, plunder, and the brutal oppression and economic skinning of various conquered peoples, and that when what had been conquered was squeezed dry, and the march of Islamic armies towards new sources of plunder was halted, it still took a couple of hundred years for it to rot from the inside.

I am sorry that your standing armies can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag, and that a nation and people you despise hand your own asses to you on a silver platter, every damn time. That must be so depressing for you… try valium.

I am sorry that all you have is a lot of oil, and limitless reserves of resentment. Wait until the oil runs out, my little desert chickadees, and there is no more money to buy western technology, medical treatments, and all those pretty baubles that you can’t build yourself because the education of your best minds (such as they are) is focused on memorizing the Koran!

I am sorry that I have to open the internet pages and read about Australians being blown up in Bali, teachers in Thailand being beheaded, the rape of Scandinavian school girls, the burning of cars in Paris suburbs, Afghan and Iraqi children blown up by car bombs, Spanish and English commuters exploded by bombs in backpacks left on trains, ad nauseum.

I am sorry you can’t just stay in the 7th century and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

OK, is that better, as apologies go? You’re welcome. I live to serve.

(Ok, so I am betting on Timmer or Paul recognizing the inspiration for this rant within 3 seconds reading it….)

Also posted at Blogger News Network

(Re-posted and re-titled… something about the title wouldn’t allow comments)

15. September 2006 · Comments Off on I Stand By The Pope · Categories: Good God

Yeah, I know, you all can close your mouths now. You KNOW I’m not a fan, but sometimes you have to call bullshit when bullshit is bullshit.

This is what the Pope said direct from the Vatican’s Web Site.

If they can pull offense out of that, then folks, Islam is just plain nucking futs.

And I have to say it was actually a pretty good speech theologically speaking.

Okay…it was a pretty good speech for a guy who’s aiding and abetting child molestors…there…feel better?

15. September 2006 · Comments Off on Say, How About a Nice Car-B-Que? · Categories: General, Good God, GWOT, Rant

Oh, dear, the fabled Islamic Street is seething ….Again

Considering the sort of venomous and spiteful abuse of Christians and Jews that mosques and the more spittle-flecked imams dish out every Friday, reactions from the Islamic world on Pope Benedict’s remarks are… I don’t know, a little unbalanced?

Talk about being able to dish it out, but not be the least able to take it… when it comes to disputation of theological issues, the Religion of Peace has the greatest glass jaw of all time.

The funniest thing about the Affair of the Danish Cartoons? Aside from the manner in which most of the western press retreated at speed and in Keystone Cops disorganization, from defending the sacred principle of the “Freedom of the Press” and “The People Have a Right to Know”… well, that would have been the mildness of the cartoons themselves. Swear to my wholly orthodox and Lutheran Church version of the Deity, I’ve seen stuff with more bite in last week’s “Family Circle” comic. We’re talking mild, folks. Skim milk mild.

So now, the Pontiff of the Catholic Church has some… well, considering some of the things they called Martin Luther, back in the day… rather mildly phrased criticism of Mohammed, and the Islamic street goes ballistic? It seems like everything, real or imagined makes the Islamic street go ballistic, but never mind. Grow some skin, guys. Seriously. Realize that this toleration thing is two-way. You want some serious respect for your beliefs? Try reciprocating a little. Maybe plant a synagogue in Saudi, and gag some of the really rabble-rousing Friday sermons from the Friendly Neighborhood Imam with the old Protocols of the Elders of Zion playbook. At the very least, knock off the shouts of “Islam is a religion of peace… and if you don’t agree with is, we’ll kill you!”

And you can knock off the “carbecues”, any time now. Think of what all those burning cars to for that global warming thingy…

(also posted at “Blogger News Network“)

11. September 2006 · Comments Off on Has Islam Become the Enemy? · Categories: Good God, GWOT

The idea that Islam, as a religion, is the enemy is growing here in the United States.

Is this a radical idea that’s drifted into the mainstream or is it a matter of the constant sound of silence from the “moderate Muslim world” when radical Islam rears its head time and time again wearing thin on the American psyche? Is it something else entirely?

Bonus Question:
Is not appeasing the same as antagonizing?

09. July 2006 · Comments Off on Random Thoughts… · Categories: General, Good God, Rant

…in the wake of this weekend’s Protein Wisdom-Deborah Frisch blog-swarm du jour:

1. Life is short, and the blog-universe is huge.

2. If you are not interested in what you are reading on a particular blog, move on.

3. If you get off on arguing in the comments… well, that’s your hobby. Mine is gardening. No one gets paid for a hobby.

4. Being the object of a blogswarm is about as much fun as being repeatedly stung by a swarm of African killer-bees.

5. There is a lot to be said for veiling certain aspects of your personal life in your blog. Like your children, your home address, and where you work.

6. Implied threats and sexual aspersions about someone’s immediate family are beyond the pale. So are DOS attacks on their site.

7. This is one for the theory that people who study psychology have a shaky grip on their own sanity.

8. What the &$%# do we have to *%^$ing do to get some &$%ing civility between people who disagree strenuously?

9. Frankly, I am glad that the biggest problem I have with comments here are the torrents of automated spam. Getting the sort of comments that some other bloggers get would make me pretty sour about the whole open comments concept.

21. June 2006 · Comments Off on Rapping Yoda · Categories: General Nonsense, Good God, The Funny

Get this video and more at MySpace.com

09. June 2006 · Comments Off on United Colors of Cat-dom……….??? · Categories: Domestic, General, Good God

sammy, morgana, the fat one, and Henry

Too good for the floor.