Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Revenge of Plastic Man

(image credit: realmusicpeople.com)

Via The Walk-Man, we learn that Michael Jackson has beamed in from the 24th Dimension to reassure us that he's Just Like You And Me.

Before we changed races. And biology. You know, shortly after we decided our new haircut just wasn't doing it for us.

'How Beautiful We Were'

From Van der Leun at American Digest, comes a lovely rebuttal to T.S. Eliot's cautionary verses about mankind (us) wrecking our own civilization. An excerpt:

"We told our children that any child could grow up to be President. And then we made it come true.

"We had car shows, boat shows, beauty shows and dog shows.

"We ran robots on the surface of Mars by remote control.

"Our women came from all over the world in all shapes and sizes hues and scents.

"We actually believed that all men are created equal and tried to make it come true.

"Everybody liked our movies and loved our television shows.

"We tried to educate everybody, whether they wanted it or not. Sometimes we succeeded.

"We did Levis.

"We held the torch high and hundreds of millions came. No matter what the cost. ..."

Included at the end, is this powerful insight from another titan, Carl Sandburg:

The People Yes

The people will live on.

The learning and blundering people will live on.

They will be tricked and sold and again sold.

And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,

The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,

You can't laugh off their capacity to take it.

The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.

**************************************************

Something to chew on when things seem bad.

Cap-and-trade shell game

And, as always, guess who gets to foot the bill? You guessed it -- Mr. and Mrs. Joe Chump, Anytown, USA.

And you thought we were going to get away with a paltry $700 billion. Suckers!

(Via Instapundit)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yer first kiss



... Otherwise known as Pachelbel's Canon ... :)

Symmetry



Yesterday marked the 37th anniversary of M.C. Escher’s death. (Via Mental Floss.)

Thank you, my friend, for reminding ME ... if not anyone else ... that Real is Real, even when it's not.

He blows it 8 to the bar



Yeah.

Japan is too cool

(image credit: Xinhua)



Col. Robert Neville turned me on to this lovely slice of musicana (his bride is Japanese, and, like him, I share a love of that culture). Its title is misleading. It's NOT about food. The real title is "I shall walk looking up." Here are some of the lyrics:

I shall walk looking up
so my tears won't fall

remembering spring days

on this lonely night


Read more here.

To my lasting regret, I only spent 3 months in Japan, and only in Tokyo, having been stationed at Pacific Stars and Stripes for the short remainder of my military obligation. How I wish I could have had just one glimpse of the landscape captured in the picture posted here. And that's just one microscopic snippet from an amazing cornucopia of amazements hardly to be imagined in such a small country.

As it was, I had a heckuva good time in Tokyo, however brief. Best memory: Two Japanese high-school boys who attached themselves to me and Anne, a fellow soldier, in hopes of improving their English. They took us here, there and everywhere around Tokyo, filled with delight and pride. They introduced us to an extraordinary Italian restaurant, which was roughly the size of compact car, at which the food was prepared behind a bar the relative width of a two-by-four. The cuisine probably would have been sneered at by anyone whose only experience with Italian food consists of a greasy pizza at Pizza Hut, but the boys thought it was the bee's knees.

At 3 a.m. one night, after a long pow-wow during which Anne and I patiently transcribed pages of Rolling Stone magazine (with which the boys were endlessly fascinated), we wandered out in search of sustenance. NO ONE bothered us. NO suspicious and/or dangerous characters lurking in dark doorways. We did encounter one gentleman, dressed in khaki pants, a polo shirt and Dockers, who had a Doberman pinscher on a leash. Anne, a dog lover, exclaimed and petted the pooch, but our escorts were suddenly curt, and dragged us away. Turns out the guy was a gangster. How could they tell? He parted his hair in the middle.

When they found out I was being shipped out, they plied me with presents. Lovely, plummy desserts their mothers made, a beautiful teacup and saucer, and an amulet to bring luck.

Wherever you are, Hideki and Tetsuo, I wish you every happiness.

*****************************

My dear Colonel, what a lovely tribute as you and all Australians bid farewell to summer, readying for winter's long, quiet adagio. No accident that "hope springs eternal."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meditations on spring

Autumn fulfills, with redolence
of scent that promises new birth someday;
Each breath is crisp, and all is fulfilled -- the year has given us all we need. Eat and be nourished from what we have saved.
Summer is gone; her fruits fill us up. We fiddle for now, for life is a dance.

Winter is filled with its own romance.
Life falls to slumber, in cold dissonance. We wait, and we wonder, in hope that one day
the new day we wait for is brilliant and gay,
For each day we hunger for, day after day, is only a hope of a hitch on the post of another good day. And good days are precious, in winter, we know.

When Spring comes, Spring sings.

Spring is all possibilities. Spring is daffodils, demanding their consciousness. Well, daffodils have their own say to say. And what they have to say is, We are spring.

What other plant dares to push up out of the cold ground than these?

And to be so beautiful?

A little bit o'pre-summer goodness



My own theme song in life, and a damned good tune :)

Power to the people

(image credit: monstersandcritics.com)

All the lights go off at the Sydney Opera House for Earth Hour tonight! Er ...

Meanwhile, Tim Blair's retaliatory Hour of Power goes into the red zone: "We’re glowing like irradiated lab mice here."

From the comments:

"Three laptops, 4 fans, a load of washing on, both ipods in their stereos and firing, third stereo on (cannot be asked to work out the turntable bit but), printer going on some cases I’ve been saving to read ... and I do believe I am overcome with the will to do some ironing.

"And neighbours over the road and next door all lit up as well. The Hour of Power is cheering me up."

(Me too, mate. Take THAT, carboweenies. Hahahahaha!)

Meanwhile, just in time for Hour of Power, Mount Redoubt in Alaska erupts.

Carbon .... allgghhhhhmmm ....



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sun-spot spiff

Well, well, FRIKKEN!!!! well.

Seems Ye Olde Sunne Spotte activity just might cause bigger problems than the fictitious (and criminal) "global warming" scare.

Jeeze ...... YA THINK?!?

Is that a rocket in yer pocket ...


... or just an awesome prank?

Hahahahahaha!

(via The Blog of Walker)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why bonuses have touched a nerve

No, it's not because you and I are jealous of those who get them.

It's because the bonuses, themselves, are wrong on a fundamental level:

"The Wall Street bonus system needs overhauling because what happened at AIG is not an isolated incident. It is commonplace to pay bonuses even when there is no evidence that there is an equivalence between the bonus and the work performed. The bonus is paid to keep them from leaving.

"It amounts to extortion,
because by paying employees twice, first for work done poorly, second for cleaning up their own mess, corporate managers, employees, and directors in effect conspire to fleece the stockholders, in this case U.S. taxpayers who own 80 percent of AIG shares. Contracts arranged through a conspiracy are not valid, and we should not hesitate to set them aside.

"The bonuses paid under the terms of those contracts are much more than a pimple on the face. They are a malignant tumor." (emphasis mine)

One incredible Afghan


"(I) have passion to my homeland, I love it, I love Afghanistan, I love its people, I love to fight against any troubles with steps and pen, I love to fight for the freedom of speech, for liberation of my country from terror, I love to work for human rights and democracy in my country. I can’t stop whatever I can do to my country, many years being as refugee in other countries and away from it I felt and realized how much important was it. The direction to which Muslims turn in praying, for me is Afghanistan. Wherever I am I turn to Afghanistan to pray."

(From a speech given by blogger Nasim Fekrat of Afghan Lord, on winning a Freedom of Expression Award in Siena, Italy.)

It's heartening to know Nasim is out there fighting the good fight. I only hope he can do something about the blue ghosts sitting at the left of the photo.

Meanwhile, check out more blogger challenges over at The Blog of Walker.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Muslim Babe of the YEAR



Sorry, guys. No testosterone fix for you on this post. (Though, no doubt, my girl is lovable.)

The government of Iran is holding her for ransom for no particular reason. As they have held lots of other non-babe journalists. And plenty of other non-babes.

Iran is working on nukes, most diligently. Even the Obamanaught has acknowledged it. Basically, Iran's reason for developing the weapon of ultimate destruction is to destroy all thought that does not agree with it.

Mostly, to get rid of natural impulses, babe- and guy- and guy-and-babe-wise-natural-impulses-wise. English-speakers will understand this, but let me put it in plainer words for you Islamic neanderthals:

(And I know you're reading it, because I keep track of stats, you idiots -- every time I post an Islamic Babe, you flood my site, @#$%$% hypocrites) --

YOU THINK YOU ARE 'PURIFYING' YOUR WOMEN, AND, BY EXTENSION, YOUR WHOLE CULTURE.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS KILLING SPIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT.

Thatisall...fornow.

(Godforsaken bastards. Have a nice day.)

Who is Stephen Conroy?

Just had to get his name in the title of this post, and here's why:

"The Federal Government [Australia] will begin trawling blog sites as part of a new media monitoring strategy, with official documents singling out a website critical of the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy. ...

"Whirlpool has strongly criticised Senator Conroy's plan to filter internet content and his handling of the Government's $15 billion national broadband network. It is a community-run forum devoted to discussing broadband internet access."

If I mention Conroy's name in not only the post, but the title and label section as well, his goons and their web-trawlers will be sure to see it.

Get this, Con-man: ANY attempt to censor, influence, "filter," whatever, the Internet, is going to be met with extreme displeasure, to say the least.

Thatisall.

(Via Tim Blair -- please check out his whole post)

It's delightful -- it's denormal

Mark Steyn gives a bracing overview of the "human rights" free speech situation in Canada.

But this is no time to get complacent! Attention, "HRC": just because some of us Yanks are a little distracted right now by other things, doesn't mean we don't have our eye on you kreepy kommissars.

Hmm. I'm getting ready to send teabags to all my elected representatives. Wonder what kind of symbol might be appropriate to send the "HRC" ... muzzles, perhaps?

(Many thanks to Blazing Cat Fur for the link)

Oolong or Darjeeling?

Tea parties are gaining strength.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Forget about SARS ...

Karmasurfer sez:

"We now have a pandemic in its infancy that will dwarf any physical virus that ever reared its ugly head, whether natural or man-made. It doesn't have a name yet, but I feel I should have that dubious honor, since I'm the first to discover it.

"Let's see ..... swine flu has been taken, as has mad cow disease. I'll get back to that later."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh, baby!


Wow-wow-WOW, does this Mongolian beef look good -- AND it looks easy to make. Can't wait to try it.

The Crepes of Wrath blog (ha-ha!) is GREAT. What a great new find from Instapundit.

'Is this the end of America?'

"As an aghast world — from China to Chicago and Chihuahua — watches, the circus-like U.S. political system seems to be declining into near chaos. Through it all, stock and financial markets are paralyzed. The more the policy regime does, the worse the outlook gets. The multi-ringed spectacle raises a disturbing question in many minds: Is this the end of America?"

Heh -- you gotta love the first comment:

"if it's the end of america then it's the end of the world, including canada, so look out. We'll cross the border in roving packs, steal your women and your beer."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rep. Murtha 'honored' ...

... for dishonoring Marines.

Blechh. He's from Pennsylvania.

Mad hattery

Okay, a lot of people like to snipe at First Lady Michelle Obama's fashion sense. Well, at least she didn't show up at any events of state wearing a chapeau like THIS:


And she was never seen in a, er, creation like THIS one sported by the wife of the president of Cameroon. Tim Blair's caption reads thusly: "Pope Benedict XVI chats with Cameroon’s President Paul Biya. The building in the background is actually a hat, below which Biya’s wife Chantal is slowly having her spine compressed:"



(Top photo credit: bluefly.com; second photo, news.com.au)

Getcher tea bags right here, patriots

It started with Rick Santelli, seen in this video calling for a "Chicago Tea Party" to register opposition to current economic policies:


Now it's morphed into a national movement.

What began as a chance remark by Santelli has resulted in a Web site. Check out reteaparty.com. Please show up to a Tea Party nearest you, and register your pledge.

For more info, go to instapundit.com and type in "tea party" in his search bar.

Seen on a sign at the recent Cincinnati Tea Party: "Tar. Feathers. Washington, D.C. Now."

Well, yeah!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ordinary Joes, listen up

Okay, so we're all pissed off about the fat cats. Why?

Because we know they've been doing stuff behind our backs for YEARS, now, sucking off our money, vampire-wise, and getting away with it. Only now, with the financial crisis happening, do we pay attention.

And we MUST PAY ATTENTION -- NOW.

Dig this:

"On Tuesday, Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J) wrote to Treasury Secretary Geithner, asking him to "use every legal means available" to stop $3 billion in previously disclosed retention payments to brokers at the new joint venture being formed by Morgan Stanley and Citigroup's Smith Barney unit.

"These payouts constitute misuse of taxpayer money and are an insult to hardworking families who are saving every penny," wrote Sen. Menendez.

"Morgan responded in a statement that the payments aren't bonuses, but loans that won't start paying until 2010 and cannot be kept in full unless the broker stays at the firm for nine years. "The program is necessary because our financial advisers are being poached by competitors," the statement added."

____________________________________

"Our financial advisers are being poached by competitors."

____________________________________

Let me repeat that:

"Our financial advisers are being poached by competitors."

**********

Before you rage off about how stupid that is -- and let there be no doubt, it IS stupid --

THIS is what we're up against, finance-wise, crisis-wise, world problem-wise:

WE'RE IN A WORLD OF HURT BECAUSE THE ECONOMY NOW DEPENDS ON SOMEONE BEING SATISFIED WITH A BIGGER SALARY THAN SOMEONE ELSE, TO KEEP THE WHEELS PROPERLY GREASED.

**********


Whaddafuh are "credit default swaps?"

"Leveraged buyouts?"

"Crappola that is nothing more than smoke and mirrors?"

Whatever happened to I pay you X for Y? Cash on the barrel-head?

**********

Grieve, my rat-brethren. Grieve now, while you still have a soul. For sorrow cleanses, and renews; but Mammon asks its own tribute, and will not accept a substitute. Make yer choice.

Principle, or principal?

T.S. Eliot: (warning: Regular feature)

"While it's hard to blame a parent for wanting to safeguard their children from harm - my girls have been raised with at least half of this list - I think most of us have moments when we wonder whether we're turning their childhood into something between a gilded cage and a padded room."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fear and loathing in Warmingstan

Time for Al Gore to return his phony Nobel and go invent another Internet, or something.

Americans increasingly aren't buying the snake oil.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What ... me tyrannize?

Christopher Hitchens gets a lot of bad press, but he's got Islam right.

Reason's death-knell countdown

Or, why Andrew Bolt sez it's easy to turn white into black:

"(T)he purpose of science classes is not to teach students the scientific method:

"A HIGHLY regarded international test run by the OECD has been accused of ideological bias for eliciting students’ BELIEFS about the environment and sustainable development, rather than KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNDERLYING SCIENCE of issues such as greenhouse gases and acid rain… "

(emphasis mine)

So, just to get things straight: Science has as much to do with FEELINGS as with objective fact. And, as we all know, FEELINGS are objectively measurable.

Riiiiiight.

You pegged it, T.S. Eliot.

Painting with patterns



"Magic" Digital Video Brush - video powered by Metacafe


Totally cool :)

(Via my Dana, by way of smokeringsandcoffeestains.com)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tijuana know a secret?

"(V)iolence claimed 6,290 PEOPLE LAST YEAR, double the previous year, and more than 1,000 in the first eight weeks of 2009.

"When ... coffin makers fell behind during the December holidays, the morgue there crammed 200 bodies into two refrigerators made to hold 80.

"More than 400 women have been raped, strangled and dumped in the desert since 1993."

(all emphasis mine.)

Iraq? The Sudan?

Nope. Cuidad Juarez, a U.S. border city.

Deafening silence, for the most part, from the MSM.

I visited that fair city once upon a time. Sleazy, in a seedy and tiresome sort of way. It was as if it were a forgotten corner of some store, filled with dust bunnies, but desirable as the First Experience With Another Country. It only took an hour or so to want to run from the endless vendors of sub-rate crap, not to mention the purveyors of such titillations as shows featuring people having sex with donkeys. A heartily forgettable place, but benign, overall, crime-wise.

Now, it's a charnel house. Ah, but the 25 or so people killed occasionally nowadays in Iraq are infinitely more worthy of attention than 1,000 in just two months.

Why do you suppose that is?

'Little Mr. Conservative'



Quite a kid.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The quiet, terrible erosion of reason

... not so quietly observed by Col. Robert Neville:

"Dig the cute little moppets who want to kill Jews for their birthday. The alleged 'honour' of Muslim 'men' lays between their Mothers, daughters and sisters legs. There is no respect for 'women and life' amongst the Arab Muslim people. That’s nihilism. There are 'commercials' on Arab TV glamourising female and male homicide/suicide bombings.

“And now for a word from the makers of Preparation H and our sponsor: Hamass!

All of you Islamists, off-the-rails leftists, enablers of destruction of reason (and the um, beneficiaries, therefrom) of all stripes:

This is the way the world ends, to quote T.S. Eliot. And YOU did it. (If it happens. Which I will fight against with my dying breath.)

You've actually done it. You've legitimized murder for Some Animals, But Not Others. Listen to the death knell of humanity, and all we hold dear. Look on your mighty works, and despair. (Percy B. Shelley) Your OWN pitiful existence is about to end at your own hand.

While I'm on a quotation roll, here's Abraham Lincoln: "People are about as happy as they want to be." Tell me something -- are you happy, now?

I'm not about to be destroyed, either by the likes of you, nor anyone else with such a mindset. It's my duty as a caring human to tell you there IS a way out. If you're interested, I'll share.

Otherwise, you're toast. And you are NOT taking me along with you.

//off soapbox