Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best summary of the NFL Network's live coverage evah

This is why 18to88 is my favorite Colts blog.
Collinsworth: But back to the topic, Bryant, how can you possibly say that this season was a success for the Patriots? After their impending playoff loss, they'll forever be remembered as the football version of the 2004 Yankees. This season will be a failure both for them and for me personally, as I'll have to talk about other teams during Super Bowl week, and quite frankly I stopped paying attention to anything other than Tom Brady's ass about 3 months ago.

Gumbel: I think you're missing the point Chris. The playoff loss will only put the Pats in a more historic light. They'll go down with the great Bears teams of the 1930s that also choked in the playoffs. Being remembered forever makes you great. This team will invariably be remembered, therefore it's been a great season. Does this turtleneck make me look fat? I don't want to be confused with my brother.

The most disturbing aspect of Gumbel's play-calling is his propensity to end every play with "Brady goes down in the arms of Wilkerson!" Eeeeeeew. That's just wrong.

Someone fetch the world's smallest violin...

I think this was a Simpsons episode earlier this season...
Milwaukee's crackdown on towing unregistered vehicles has caught some motorists by surprise, leaving them grumbling about the hassle and expense of retrieving their rides.

If the numbers in the article are right, it looks like you can save about $50 by registering your car instead of getting it towed. Hell, in the neighborhood I work in, you just cut the sticker off someone else's license plate and save the registration fee.

The article doesn't break down numbers (north side vs. east side) but since I have pale skin I'm considered a racist anyway so I may as well say it: I'm reminded of the bit where the Seattle Public Schools called "future time orientation," aka planning ahead, a "White norm" that was not to be imposed on students. Where else would the J-S be going with this article?

Although, frankly, we don't seem to expect anyone to do much planning ahead. Spend your retirement money on electronics and cruises; the government will pay for your medications. Spend your paycheck on jeans and manicures; we'll pay for your pregnancy. Etc.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

BDS in Vermont...

A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.

Steyn is his usual entertaining self. I hope someone puts his Saturday event on YouTube.

Two interesting things I noticed when I was in VT in October. 1) No American flags anywhere except government buildings. 2) All the scarecrows lined up on "quaint main streets" were dressed like 80s yuppies--Izod, khakis, sweaters over their shoulders... *shudder* The landscape looked like Kentucky--not a knock, I liked Kentucky, but the peoplescape was creepy. Especially Burlington. I don't know how my friend up there can stand it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Don't get hurt, don't get hurt, don't get hurt...

Colts safety Bob Sanders has signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with Indianapolis that includes $20 million in guaranteed money, according to NFL sources.

I hope his knees have five years left...

Speaking of highest-paid defensive players, DFree says his surgery went well but hasn't posted anymore updates.

ADDENDENUM: Dungy: Harrison likely to start vs. Titans My squeal of delight woke the cat. I'm in trouble now...

Self-indulgent malignant narcissism

Bhutto Assassination a Painful Reminder that we are at War

Anyone reading this was probably already aware that we are at war, but I'm impressed by how many people I know--mourning Bhutto because she was a brave woman in an misogynist culture--who still refuse to acknowledge that the perps are part of a worldwide anti-Western movement.

My life is about 458% better than it was when I moved to Milwaukee (141% better than it was during the 2004 caucus, which I did not participate in), but it's driving me crazy that the upcoming election has serious repercussions for the fate of Western Civilization and I MOVED OUT OF IOWA AND CAN'T SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS WHAT'S GOING ON. !*&#(!

By the WI primary it should be all over but the cackling, and I don't look forward to choosing between "straight Communism" and "Communism with a slick coating of Jesus" in November.

(Wow, it feels really good to believe that the Fate Of The Planet hinges on something I did or didn't do. Don't worry, logically I know better, but I'm really starting to understand why people go nuts about global-warmingism. "If I take a shower today, the polar bears will die! I HAVE THE POWER!" Oooh, feels tingly.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

You can't serve both God and Gaia...

Brendan O’Neill, an athiest, on one of the reasons I haven't been to church in awhile. It's long, with end-notes...
The cult of environmentalism embraced by the Christian churches does away with morality altogether. Some sceptics claim that environmentalism is a new form of moralistic hectoring; it is better to see it as amoralistic hectoring. In judging everything by how much CO2 or pollution it creates, environmentalism dispenses with questions of moral worth and judgement. So a flight to visit a newborn nephew in Australia (5.61 tonnes of CO2) is as wicked as taking a flight to Barbados to lounge in the sun; and the transportation of delicious food from Africa to Britain is as unforgivable as the transportation of weapons and drugs from Latin America to Los Angeles: after all, both involve exploiting the ‘warehouse of resources’ and upsetting the ‘fragile balance of species and environments’, as Williams put it (5). When human actions are judged by their levels of pollution alone, the issue of meaning – of why we do things, who we do them for, and how we might do them better – is implicitly downgraded.

I knew there was hope for my best friend when, during a period she was taking the bus to work specifically to "save the planet," she also started driving a couple hundred miles every weekend to visit her grandmother, who was diagnosed with cancer (I believe it's in remission now, I should send her a card), and thus creating about 4x more "emissions" than she "saved" on her 5-mile commute: she still recognized that there are more important human things than saving the rocks.

(Aside: Everytime I see a city bus with one passenger belching diesel fumes into the night, I wonder what's being "saved"...there are reasons for mass transit but "the planet" is not one of them.)

I don't want to burn a Guatemalan's lunch in my gas tank, and I don't want to plow up habitat to grow more corn. I don't want to refuse to purchase coffee (transportation is bad...) from someone who depends on sales to America to support their family. I don't want to dump mercury bulbs into the landfill. I hate people in the specific, but in the abstract there's no reason to keep people poor and miserable at the behest of rock-worshippers.

I would like Illinois to stop pumping water from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi watershed, but that shouldn't keep other people starving and brain-damaged to protect the lichens.

Boy, is nuclear winter ever gonna bum out this guy...

Global Warming will "save" the world from [cariacatures of] conservatism.

I'm not an expert on paleogeology, but I'm pretty sure it's been hundreds of millions of years since the last time Texas was covered in water. Certainly longer than humans have been planting crops and worshipping Gaia.

(If I was Nebraska or Wyoming, I would have cut off the water to California and Arizona YEARS ago. Attention Phoenix: No water means God doesn't want you to live there. Go back to Buffalo.)


Everytime I hear John Lennon's "Happy Xmas/War is Over" I want to punch a hippie. It's a reflex. The only retail holidaymas song that drives me more nuts is that Melissa Etheridge version of "Give Peace a Chance" they play at the Bayshore mall.

I went out today to get stuff for my box to Iraq. As I was buying car and sports magazines, I started to wonder what female soldiers like to read (I like sports magazines, but I'm not typical). Tried to make the rest of it gender-neutral, which was really hard. There's no gender-neutral shampoo; it's all fruity and and flowery, or studly-get-you-laid. I never noticed that before.

Target had Colts Blue flannel sheets on clearance. I'm pathological.


I've always wondered what this building was. It's a museum! How did it take me 18 months to learn this? There's a needlework exhibit!

Benazir Bhutto

Video from the BBC on the assassination and aftermath, including the Taliban hanging out in the mountains of Pakistan (from LFG). I should watch more video news...

I'm not really surprised, just sad and a little scared. Pakistan was held together with baling wire and chewing gum as it was...

I'm also characteristically pessimistic that any of the COEXIST crowd will realize that Islamists don't want to coexist with their own countrymen, much less us.

Video of Fred Thompson on FOX. I really hope he's changing some minds in Iowa this week.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This is just wrong.

NEW YORK — The New England Patriots’ shot at history Saturday night will be available to every television viewer in the country after months of wrangling.

I understand the NFL is trying to evade a congressional hearing, but I really don't see the need to simulcast on TWO broadcast channels. Totally screws over those of us who don't have cable and prefer not to watch thugs, cheaters, and sleazebags, thank you.

(That would be more convincing if I ever watched TV other than football...)

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who had urged cable and NFL executives to settle the dispute, had a much more positive reaction to the league's announcement.

"I couldn't be more thrilled that as the Patriots rush toward an historic undefeated season, football fans everywhere have won a victory of their own," Kerry said. "With today's announcement, the NFL showed their loyalty to the sports fans who made the NFL an empire in the first place.

"The best news of all is that now no die-hard Pats fans will be shut out from watching their team take aim at football history," Kerry said in a statement.

I'm sure he voted against it before he voted for it; I'm also sure he has no idea the which team plays in the field bearing the name of the family who made all of his wife's money.

Are there any bars in Milwaukee without a TV? I need to be away from the internets on Saturday night.

Playoffs?!? You wanna talk about playoffs?!?!

I just wanna win a game...

I think the Colts starters will play at least the first half (sorry, Titans). Giving them three weeks off in 2005-2006 turned out very badly; needing the win last NYE to get a better seed turned out much better.

P.S.: Dear Eli, please don't throw the ball to the F-Pats defense over and over on Saturday night (unless they're close enough to return it to the end zone themselves), because the more you have it, the less whats-his-face gets it. Love, Radish.

Addendenum: Police are investigating whether alchohol was involved. Seems obvious from here. Unless it was lysergic acid diethylamide...

Getting myself the presents I really want.

"We have replaced the divine right of kings with the divine right of self righteous groups."
--Newt Gingrinch

Divine right my fat ass!

Ordering a signed copy of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism for myself, and a plain copy for my self-described "proud liberal" fruitcake best friend. I don't know if she'll read it--she had an actual panic attack when I told her the Nazis banned smoking in public to improve the health of the mothers and children of the master race--but it'll look nice on the shelf next to her Anne Rice S&M trilogy, which she once recommended and which I returned after the second chapter of the first book. Bleccch.

I'm going back and forth on buying myself a Kitchen Aid mixer. I've been making cakes and cookies with a wussy $10 WalMart hand mixer for the past 11 years; it's slow and painful, but it can be done. But it's always felt unjust--my sisters got beautiful huge mixers as wedding presents and they NEVER USE THEM. They collect dust in their kitchens. Anyway, I can afford to buy one this year. And then I'll be just as good as normal women (no, not really, but I'll be home baking and I won't notice).

But I'm not sure who's going to eat all those cakes and cookies, and there's nowhere to store a serious stand mixer in my crappy apartment kitchen. So I'll waffle for awhile.

I've got three days to myself. Other than going shopping to put together a box for someone serving in Iraq, I've got no plans. I haven't been to the Harley-Davidson factory yet, but they're closed for end-of-year maintenance...

Gotta find something to do besides sit here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

¡Feliz Noche de Rábanos!

Night of the Radishes is a tradition in the Oaxaca region of Mexico, where townspeople carve dioramas, including nativities, out of monster radishes, then bring them to the town square for fun and prizes (I like the cat...). More pictures of fantastic radish art here (not mine, I haven't been to Oaxaca yet).

Since I am Radish, I've adopted (and adapted) it as one of my personal holidays. I usually relax at home and work on my own art. This year I'm off to western Iowa to spoil my niece and nephews; just the way their schedule worked out.

UPDATE: Well, I'm off as soon as NE Iowa stops being "Travel not advised; towing prohibited." It's fine here, it's fine at my parents' house, and it's covered with ice everywhere in between. How did people live before the Internet?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Don't look at the final score, look at the "Game Flow" chart.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Maybe I'll go to Mad-town tomorrow night...

The Crusaders (10-1) are off to their best start since the 1944-45 season and have won eight straight games. Their only defeat was an 87-78 loss at Vanderbilt, which is ranked 17th in the nation. And even in defeat, the Crusaders out-rebounded Vanderbilt by eight and had 21 offensive rebounds.

Homer Drew's my write-in vote for POTUS if Huckabee gets the nomination.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We break from tonight's crankiness for this cartoon update

Gary Varvel, of course.

Anyone who still doubts AGW is a religion should check out the bit about Gore that Bono (all this time I thought he claimed to be Catholic...) wrote for Time:
As Al leaves our house, I fall over myself to explain that my fancy car runs on ethanol, then laugh nervously, like when you meet a parish priest in the supermarket and it turns into confession.
"...turn spiritual yearnings into practical realities...moral powerhouse that can lead a great, global spiritual revival...shift in consciousness...He [Gore] is like an Old Testament prophet..."

Gimme a break.

Meow-y Christmas...

5 families, 31 kids, 0 fathers, 0 responsibility

Five families with 31 kids sign a public-housing lease agreeing they can be thrown out if someone commits a crime, then get evicted when some of the children are arrested for assault/robbery. That's a lot of kids.

I don't understand the "civil rights" claim, unless "free housing no matter what" has become a civil right. I've signed leases with similar clauses (there might be one in my current lease; I refuse to pay rent from prison so I don't really care if there is or not...). College students sign anti-drug clauses in leases and get evicted when their roommate gets busted dealing on the premises. People are free to rent somewhere that doesn't care about criminal activity, if that's what's important to them.

Claiming that such a clause "targets" blacks implies that blacks are incapable of NOT committing crime, which seems kinda racist to me. Well, "racist" as I learned about racism in 1980; in 2007 "racism" includes "expecting people to follow laws and obligations regardless of their skin color."

It's deeply sad that these children--at ages 14-16, clearly old enough to understand the consequences of their actions--decided they cared more about whatever psychological/financial gain they could get from robbing people than they cared about their mothers and siblings having a roof over their head (I suppose they thought they wouldn't get caught, or if they did get caught they could weasel out of it...). It's not fair to punish the younger children for the failures of their siblings and mothers...and it's not fair to incubate thugs at taxpayer expense, either.

I found it interesting that the rally was held in a church. I'm not sure why.

Go-go Crusaders

The Crusaders' match-up with the Badgers of Wisconsin will be televised live as The Big 10 Network's featured game. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Sounds like a good night to go out drinking wearing a Valpo shirt...under a sweatshirt.

Random bitter rant.

My best friend, who inexplicably cares about crap like this, reports that not only is Britney Spears pregnant (baby's gonna go straight from delivery to detox, if it survives until birth...), her 16-year-old sister is as well. After pausing to laugh at all the people who are "surprised" that teenage dropouts from the backwoods get knocked up, I just feel really sad. For myself, not Jamie Lynn or the baby, who (unlike the pregnant teenagers around Milwaukee) have plenty of financial resources and a family who doesn't think there's anything amiss here.

I KNEW I should have been a two-bit whore when I was 14-24, instead of spending all that time in the library!

I'm joking. Sorta. I was over thirty before I figured out that skankiness is admired in young women far more than anything I bring to the table.

Then there's this, which I don't understand, but which makes me cry and vomit at the same time, mostly because I can't stop imagining what the poor woman's final minutes must have been like.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pro Bowl

(Hey, it's an excuse to run a picture of Joey Addai...)

The inclusion of a man who missed 4 of the first 14 games because he was serving a suspension for cheating kinda makes me think it's less about ability and more about popularity. Specifically, popularity with obsessed teenage fanboys and other people who have nothing better to do than to submit multiple ballots daily for several weeks.

Gary Brackett got screwed over by his own lack of notoriety.

Exhibit B proving "25 daily votes per e-mail address is a bad idea": Vikings getting 8. I mean, really. And I'm not just saying that because I've got a brother-in-law who will bring that up at Christmas.

I got no problems with Goatboy or the inclusion of Sean Taylor; but there's no way an F-Pats/Chargers/Vikings/Cowboys line-up, with a couple of Titans and Seahawks and the Favre-inator thrown in for color, truly represents the best individual players of the league.


Overnight I got an e-mail from the campagin of Mike Huckabee, whom I loathe. I don't have any good way to track down who sold my e-mail address to him, but if I figure it out...! Probably one of those immigration groups that went off their nut and endorsed him (despite his Arkansas tuition for illegal aliens of college age plan, his "one official language isn't diversity" prattle, etc.).

I know which art magazine sold my postal address to NARAL. It entertains me to see their crap in my mailbox next to Limbaugh's newsletter. :P It entertains me further to return their pre-paid envelope to them completely empty. Feel free to waste your resources trying to reach me, ladies; that way you can't use them elsewhere.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is not good.

Based on watching both Green Bay and Indy play the AFC West, I'd have to give the Pack the advantage in that potential Super Bowl matchup. Ooof.

Sunday Steyn

What’s the “pro-choice” line? “Every child should be wanted”? Not anymore. The progressive position has subtly evolved: Every child should be unwanted.

Yeah, THAT's gonna help the planet.

Anyone want to buy a dogfighting setup?

No one bid enough for Mike Vick's dogfighting estate in Virginia.
The house has two master suites and a media room with wet bar. A double-sided gas fireplace separates the bathroom from the bedroom in the upstairs master suite.

Other amenities include jetted tubs, freshly refinished hardwood floors, a two-car garage and an expansive kitchen with center island, granite countertops and built-in stainless steel appliances.

As I'm reading this, I think it would make a kick-ass B&B. Except for:

Behind the house and a full-size basketball court, partly obscured by a fence, are four outbuildings and dozens of dog cages.

I suppose you could rehab them into meeting rooms for group retreats. Or donate space to a local animal rescue and use that hook to market the B&B toward animal lovers.

It's a good thing I don't have millions of dollars lying around.

Wedding in Congress!

GOP representatives Mack, Bono tie the knot

They look cute together. :)

OK. So she's from California and he's from North Carolina. I assume they'll live together in D.C., but what about the off-season? Split time between their home districts, spend time apart taking care of business in their home districts? I assume that, unlike, say, the Clintons, they enjoy spending time together...

Since no one cares where I am at any given moment, I find the logistics of other people's marriages (well, non-Hollywood peoples) fascinating. Especially when the wife has a non-pink-collar career.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Miller Brewing Co. announced Friday that it plans to test market the Miller Lite Brewers Collection, a trio of craft style beers that are lower in calories and carbohydrates than other craft beers, beginning in February 2008.

Milwaukee-based Miller will test the products in four markets: Minneapolis; Charlotte, N.C.; San Diego, Calif.; and Baltimore.

Note they have the good sense not to test it here.

This is wrong, terribly wrong.

(It needs to stop snowing so I have some motivation to put down the computer and get off this couch.)

Julia Carson...

I didn't like her politics, but I respect her hard work out of poverty and discrimination (her mother was an unwed teenager who cleaned rich folks' houses) to Congress. And I marvel at how she worked tirelessly to ensure others would have less incentive to work toward their own success.

In the "entertaining in a sick, predictable way", someone at DailyKos posted about it at 8:12 PST and by 8:15 PST someone was already commenting on the political ramifications of the special election to fill her seat for a few months. She hadn't cast a House vote since September; what's the rush?

And here's a quote from the Indy Star that made my jaw drop:
"I told somebody, she may be an African-American woman, but she reminds me of a redneck county judge when she works the room," President Bill Clinton once said.

He might be the only white guy in America who could say that without hearing from Al $harpton...

(When I lived in Indy, I lived in the northern sliver of the city that was in Dan Burton's Congressional district. One year the DNC challenger was a transvestite male prosititute. He got 7% of the vote.)

Iowahawk and the "mortgage crisis"

It's extra-funny if you've been to Coralville and watched it change over the past 15 years. Everytime I'm there, there's fewer trees and more rows of beige boxes of ticky-tacky ("That's not fair, Heather--some of them are ecru!"). I appreciate and admire people's desire for an affordable backyard for their kids, but face it, Levittown's heirs are doing the American landscape no aesthetic favors. On the plus side, I expect one-bathroom mid-20th century homes to remain "affordable" (because there's no demand) in the distant future when I finally amass a 30% down payment to qualify for a 30-year fixed mortgage...Bleh.
I had forgotten that another three months had passed since my last home equity loan, so I hopped into the new Benz and drove to First Coralville to collect my quarterly Fifty Large.

Huh. I'd assumed all the luxury cars in that area belonged to U of I students, both foreign and Chicago. Never occured to me that people were buying expensive toys with home loans...I'm kinda naive.

(Back in antiquity, I schlepped rides back to Iowa from all kinds of strange people, who left me at truck stops along I-80 where I waited for my parents to remember to fetch me. Good times.)

The truest thing you'll read in the J-S Online all week

(well, I trust what they write about the Packers is true, because if they get it wrong people will find out and burn their building to the ground, heh heh)
The Onion is funny, [founder] Hannah argues, because "it's closer to the truth" than what we read elsewhere.

They certainly nailed this guy (warning: vomit alert).

But seriously. You won't see honest discussion of these issues in the MSM:

This looks sadly familiar, too.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This rant brought to you by capitalism.

I must rant this evening.

A couple of weeks ago I made the mistake of bookmarking a blog aggregator that collects blogs of quilters and puts all their latest entries in one page. Materials, techniques, pictures of cats, photos of travels. This interests me.

Unfortunately, it also aggregates all their Marxist anti-American screeds, along with screens and screens of "ZOMG! Global warming will kill us all!11!! Teh poor polar bears will drownd!" quilts. Polar bears can swim, and I thought leftists believed in evolution? Anyway...I deal, to get to the good stuff.

Today one particular blog jumped out at me. It's by a couple of retirement age, who have been driving around the U.S. and Canada in their hybrid, staying at quaint B&Bs, visiting museums and gardens ("peace gardens", eating at lovely organic cafes, shopping at cute locally-owned shops, and taking a billion pictures with their digital camera and posting their adventures to the Internet. Sound idyllic, minus the usual anti-Bush rants...except today their post was about "the evils of capitalism", how capitalism destroyed Montana, and how the U.S. has to do a better job of redistributing my income for "social justice."

Let's see. Their hybrid vehicle was brought to them by...capitalism. No one would have designed, marketed, and manufactured it if they hadn't thought they could make a few bucks. The museums and gardens? Doubtless sponsored by corporations and foundations and legacies left by...capitalists (as many taxpayer dollars get wasted on crap like "peace gardens", they're not enough to keep any of it open). Organic cafes, serving local produce, brought into down by trucks powered by fuel...capitalism, capitalism, and capitalism in action. Digital camera--hey, capitalism! Internet...didn't take off outside of academia until people realized they could make money from it.

And finally, I'm sure a couple can't drive cross-country patronizing the quaint and the organic for months on end on their Social Security alone! If they have all that extra damn money and they believe poor people should have other people's money, why don't they donate it to some drop-out single mothers in their home state for diapers instead of spending it on luxury items while they agitate for the government to remove my opportunity saving and investing so I can spend a year in my retirement driving cross-country?

(That's rhetorical; I already know that liberals have no inclinations toward walking their talk.)

I'm not sure what pisses me off more: the ignorance, or the arrogance. Sounds like a good name for a soap opera.

I'm not going to say Montana doesn't have some problems these days, but Communism isn't going to make a single damn thing better. At least they can get toilet paper all the way out there in Butte...

I just wanted to spend a Friday night looking at quilts...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"The fourth quarter is Sage Time"

Whoever authorized the Texans to take the field in union suits should be banned from football for life.

Fred Thompson Campaign Apologizes

I felt panicky when I read the headline, but this is the best apology I've read in some time.

We apologize for referencing that 47% tax increase Huckabee imposed on Arkansas taxpayers when he was governor. That must be really awkward for him, now that he’s running in a GOP primary election. We notice he never points it out to voters.

More people need to be pointing that out, especially around Iowa the next few weeks.



In a sense they're using waterboarding as form of torture on us - a constant reminder that Americans are no better than our adversaries.We don't fly planes into buildings, we don't behead gays and we don't imprison rape victims - but 40 seconds of simulated drowning, that's unforgivable.

. . .

If the New York Times, NPR, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Hugo Chavez hate something - then it MUST be good for you.

I am SO suddenly in the mood for a steak, a beer, and some onion rings.


My mother sent me this cartoon.

Do they still send kids to the office for the F-word? Administrators would never have time to do anything else...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This tree needs you, Charlie Brown

A genuine authentic replica!

After the photo op with der Dämonkater, I tried to find a safe place for the tree to live, but the furry bastard can jump onto every horizontal surface in my apartment, including the refrigerator and 6' bookcases. The tree is now resting comfortably in the closet.

...and I had a blue security blanket for it and everything.

Television welfare

Fourteen months before the switch is scheduled to be turned off on old-fashioned analog TV broadcasting, the federal government is talking about the $40 coupons designed to ease the transition for folks who haven't bought digital sets or aren't hooked up to cable or satellite.

Yeah, my tax dollars are going to subsidize television for the lazy, the ignorant, and the poor (although note the coupons are not a non-cable subscriber with a non-digital set, I can get a coupon, even though my tax return will indicate I could afford both cable and a plasma TV).

I suppose one could make a case that people need broadcast TV for school closings, weather reports, or emergency information on local news, but I get that stuff with a $10 AM/FM/weather band radio that will still work after February 17, 2009...and baseball games, too.

...OTOH, I look forward to the riots when people who didn't get a coupon for a converter, or can't figure out how it works, or otherwise didn't act in time wake up and there's no TV. ZOMG! No TV! WTF are we going to DO all day?!?!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Something lighter

Every year about this time, my friend Roland makes me a calendar with artsy pictures he's taken on his many trips around the globe--Tibet, Peru, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.

So this year I made him a calendar with pictures of Wisconsin, which I've uploaded to Flickr.

I didn't manage to fit the calendar months to the months the pictures were taken, and it's a little dark because I don't go out in the sun, but it's a decent representative sample of where I've been this year.

Next year I'd like to get up to Lake Superior and the western part of the state.

Universal Human Rights vs. multiculturalism

Here's an exposition on a comment I left at Malkin today, on a post about the murder of Aqsa Parvez, a teenager in Canada (CANADA!?!?!) who was killed by her father because she didn't want to cover her hair.

I e-mailed a link to the news article to a liberal friend who has one of those insipid COEXIST bumper stickers, and asked her why she wants to coexist peaceably with a culture that approves of killing women who don't want to be treated like livestock or furniture.

The answer I got was that she can't criticize Islamic religion/culture because she doesn't like people telling her she should follow Christ instead of Mother Gaia. I wouldn't like that, either, but...

Here I note that I have participated respectfully in her Solstice and Yule ceremonies the same way I have participated respectfully in Passover dinners and Catholic masses when invited. I occasionally mock the Goracle-inspired AGW components of her beliefs because they lead to totalitarian restrictions on those of use who do not believe, but for the most part I'm pretty laissez-faire about religions that don't violate basic human rights and individual beliefs thereof. There would be nothing wrong with submitting oneself to Allah if a) people were submitting of their free will and not societal mandate and b) Allah wasn't a misogynist bastard who exhorted his followers to kill unbelievers, subjugate women, and rule the world under a seventh-century justice system.

So. She won't judge them because that would be hypocritical; moreover I have no right to judge their religion/culture (nevermind that they judge my culture daily) because I'm not one of their religion/culture. As a member of an entirely different culture (thank God) I have no right to an opinion, much less a right to interfere.

I don't see "honor" killing (I prefer the term "shame killing", as the murder is meant to abrogate feelings of shame, but it hasn't caught on) as a valid religious or cultural choice. The right to walk freely, regardless of hair covering, and not be murdered is a universal humanright. It transcends cultures; it's not limited by religion, skin color, or national origin. I'd be just as vehement about a splinter white Midwestern "Christian" group who killed their daughters for leaving the house with their hair uncovered.

No, she says it's a religous/cultural issue and we have no right to comment or interfere because we're not of that culture.

Logically, if culture takes precedence over universal human rights, it was wrong for the abolitionists to judge/interfere with antebellum Southern culture. They weren't of the culture, the universal right to befree did not apply because it was abrograted by the c ulture, the
abolitionists had no right to interfere.

I thought this was a great counter-example, until I realized that the abolitionists were interfering with white nominally Christian culture. Next time I'll lean on the "throughout the British Empire" and hit slavery in India, Africa, and other colonies. But this friend gets distressed when people use the Stars and Bars as a racist symbol, so I thought I'd lead with it.

Rather than admit that human beings have universal rights regardless of culture, that cultures that suppress universal rights SHOULD be criticized, or that it's OK for outsiders to pressure cultures to change if they treat a class of people (blacks, women) as livestock, she stopped talking to me for the day. Heh.

Multi-cultural liberals. This is how they work. It makes her feel warm and fuzzy and happy to believe that all people are kind and well-meaning and all cultures are wonderful with the exceptions of certain aspects of American culture; even the THOUGHT that this is universal truth so makes her sad and depressed to the point the discussion must end. I'm sure she's at the beach asking The Goddess for solace (it was 80 in South Carolina today).

(I doubt she'll feel warm and fuzzy when she's being stoned for her Pagan faith under Sharia law, but I'm still optmistic that the U.S. won't devolve that far.)

This is a pattern; she'll be back tomorrow complaining about F-Pats fans at her office being belligerant assholes (redundant, I know). Heh.

Anyway, back to poor Aqsa.

The OPP has arrested Aqsa's father for murder, which is good, but it's Canada. It's entirely possible their "Human Rights[sic] Commission" will feel the same as my friend, that Canadian government has no business interfering with an acceptable act of religion/culture, even as they insist that clergy have no right to decline to officiate same-sex marriage.

America really does seem to be alone over here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A little hero worship

Unlike most of the transplants I work with, I completely understand why everyone in Wisconsin loves Brett Favre. I've got the same thing going on with Peyton Manning (who turned out much better than I thought he would in 1998).

There's room in the Hall of Fame for them both. :)

Potpourri for $100

  • Sage Rosenfels still is perfect as the Houston Texans' starting quarterback. I would love to add some ISU info to his Wikipedia entry, but I can't figure out their editor. Their loss!
  • Kyle Orton gets to start this week in a meaningless game.
  • This concludes the "NFL QBs from Iowa" portion of the program.
  • I got a Halloween card in the mail today....postmarked Dec 4.
  • I want a "Neither Whore Nor Submissive" T-shirt like Aayan Hirsi Ali.
  • I'm trying to figure out the whole Canadian gov't vs Mark Steyn thingy. He's getting sued by the gov't for writing in a magazine? The one thing that is very clear is, to quote Kurtz: From now on I stay strictly on the American side of the Falls (easily done as said since I keep forgetting to take time off work and stand in line at the passport window). And I feel even more grateful to have been born in the U.S. with a Bill of Rights than usual.
  • Unrelated, I got a thingy in the mail telling me I'm entitled to a $25 settlement in a class-action suit against MasterCard concerning fees charged on foreign transactions 1996-2006. That's approximately how much (American) I spent on exhibition catalogs from the Art Gallery of Ontario on a day trip in 2003. Strange.
  • Oh, and ISU won on Saturday. As if there was any doubt.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Let's go State!

The Battle for Iowa is underway, and not a single one of the ten starters was from Iowa. Might be able to overlook it if either of them were in the top 25, but they're both terrible this year. May as well let the local kids play...

While I'm hatin' on the Turkeys, I note that the only thing stupider than painting the visitors' locker room in the football stadium pink (do perennial Top 10 teams resort to cheap gimmicks for their success?) is suing a school for "gender discrimination" against women because they have a pink football locker room.

Frankly, if I was a feminist concerned about the U of Iowa, I'd be more worried about their male "student-athletes" (please) raping their female athletes, after they're supposedly "sensitivity and sexual-harrassment trained" after the athletic department did their end-run around the legal system on behalf of later-convicted rapist Pierre Pierce in 2002. (I expect small-town high schools to pressure rural counties to drop charges against their athletes, but I expect better from a state university.)

But I'm not, so I'm enjoying the game on Sirius, and then I'll enjoy watching the best game ever played in Iowa. Ahhhh yeah.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Good day today.

After watching my friend disgrace his family name for generations to come (not really; he knew stuff I didn't know and was in it right up until Final Jeopardy), I had dinner at Bayshore a friend from work, where three separate nice-looking young men 50-75% my age complimented me on my brand-new Colts hoodie (excellent taste they have).

On my way home, my younger sister called to tell me my nephew should be a big brother in July (which brings the total of young skulls full of mush I can mold from afar to four. MUAHAHAHAH!!). And could I please bring Sprechers root beer at Christmas, because she likes watching people freak out when they see her drinking out of brown bottles when she's pregnant. *snicker*

There was a bunch of politics stuff I was going to complain about tonight, but now I'm in a good mood.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Important Television Announcement

My friend Jason will be on Jeopardy! tomorrow. In Milwaukee, that's 6 p.m. on Channel 58.

I'm excited. I haven't seen him in a couple of years--heck, I haven't met his wife, I was unemployed and couldn't afford to fly out to their wedding--but he's been a very good friend to me since college and I'm very proud of him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why I like Fred Thompson, in a sound bite.

Warning: It's a CNN blog, so the comments don't inspire faith in the American public.

Thompson: Don't let the government tell you what to eat

Keep your laws off my body!

I want to take Bobzilla to school...

Told of being called "gentle," Sanders was amused and said, "That's awesome, man."

Well, yeah--did he expect people to believe he'd lay out a 10-year-old who wasn't wearing pads? :P

I'm further amused by the Indy Star labeling temperatures in the upper 20s "frigid" and "brittle cold."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Free trial offer for members of NOW

My brother sent me this...

Oh, Christmas is going to be fun this year.

Sausages on Ice!!

I love this town.
The Milwaukee Brewers Racing Sausages will crack the ice with Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and other local figures Friday night, when the ice rink in Red Arrow Park opens for the 2007-'08 season.

Walker and his costumed accomplices from area sports teams will cut the ribbon opening the rink at 5 p.m., following a skating recital performed by the Greater Milwaukee Figure Skating Club.

I can't explain why I love the racing sausages so much (Bratwurst is still my #1, even after his pathetic 2007 season) because I don't really understand it myself.


I like reading news like this:

In a first for the prestigious Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for U.S. high school students, girls walked away with top honors in both the individual and team categories.

Note that both of their mothers have science careers.

I occasionally fantasize about how much better my life would be if my mother had taken any interest in getting me an education instead of signing me up for the Future Homemakers of America, althought not as often as I imagine how much better my life had been if I'd been reading Seventeen and Cosmo in study hall instead of history and science.

Go girls!

For what it's worth, I think Larry Summers isn't wholly wrong; most women have lousy math, logic, and spatial abilities, to the point a 50-50 mix of genders in science and technology occupations is unrealistic. But my own observations are that there really are barriers--social, cultural--keeping women with high abilities from pursuing sci/tech careers: family attitudes, the taunts of boys in high school, a desire for motherhood before menopause, etc. 60-80 years ago, most talented women would have to choose between traditional family life (not necessarily precluding paid employment) and a wiz-bang career; it's probably time to acknowledge the choice is still necessary for most non-independently wealthy women.

I've considered going back to school for a second B.S. in some non-applied science, maybe chemistry, but I'm still paying for the last round of school.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Not my fault, but I'm sure I'll pay for it anyway.

INCREASING incidences of divorce around the world have a negative impact on the environment, leading to a less efficient use of energy and resources and bigger expenditures on utilities, a new study says.

In 2005, US divorced households spent as much as 56 per cent more on electricity and water per person than married households, and used up to 61 per cent more resources per person than they did before the separation took place.

Sounds like something I noted about ten years and heat and lightbulbs cost the same whether there's one person in an apartment or two, so the spinster spends double the percentage of her income on shelter as a married woman of similar employ, assuming she's not coupled with a deadbeat. (And I was promptly savaged for making the observation. Ah, the open-minded, tolerant sensitivity of women in groups.)

But more to the point, will al-Gore's minions shuttle all the spinsters off to energy-saving group homes before or after they outlaw the private use and ownership of automobiles (with exceptions for the very wealthy and politically connected, i.e. al-Gore and his friends)??

In other news, I reduced my carbon footprint by canceling the trip I was supposed to make to Miami this week. *weep, snuffle* Except I didn't reduce anything; the jet I won't be on is making the trip whether I go or not, further illustrating how absurd this "carbon accounting" bullshit really is.

(I was supposed to meet up with my friend Roland from Germany, who is spending one of his 8 annual weeks of vacation, not including federal holidays, in south Florida, but for the first time in 18 months the guys who write the software finished a release on the deadline and now they expect me to test it before Thursday. Scheiße!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I think I went out with this guy once.

He seems familiar.

The worst part about dating bleeding heads is after I disentangle from them, other undesirable characteristics, such as being a Hawkeye fan, don't seem so bad in comparison. At first. *shudder*

I miss self-check machines, although I understand why they're impractical in Milwaukee.


Christians in Iraq are being exterminated by Muslims, and it's all George Bush's fault. Iraq under Saddam was a haven! Our troops caused all the violence! And in the very last paragraph: Islam isn't bad because Christianity used to be bad. Lovely.

I'm surprised any MSM outlet bothers to address Christian persecution by Muslims. The other stuff doesn't surprise me one bit.

If our military had realized violence against Iraqi Christians was going to increase after the start of the war, yeah, they should have done more to protect churches and clergy. But I'm not sure anyone realized Iraqis would simultaneously reject Baathist totalitarianism and embrace Islamic totalitarianism. Seems odd.

(At least if the Colts choke today, I won't have to keep seeing that 60 Minutes promo...always looking on the bright side, I am).


I love winter.

I tell everyone I moved to Milwaukee for the weather (it's one of several reasons), but ever since I moved here, Iowa has had better winter storms. *mutter*

Like the country hick dork that I am, yesterday I went grocery shopping before breakfast and had all my weekend errands done before the snow started at noon. I canceled my frivolous social plans for the evening, made some chili, queued up some DVDs, and embroidered for about eight hours.

And this morning, I realize it wasn't that bad; all my friends--Milwaukee natives and southern transplants alike--had great fun without me and I feel like a wuss.

I'm just not getting the hang of this city-life thing.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Brutal and sad.

HT to JWF:

The young Saudi woman who was sentenced to 90 lashes after being gang-raped tells her story. It's brutal, and sad, and leaves me with a renewed appreciation of 21st century in America.
But [her husband] stood by her, outraged at what the men had done and the fact they were going unpunished.

He complained to the police on four occasions before anything was done.
Good on him. Her brother tried to kill her for "shaming the family" by being raped, but at least she'll have somewhere to go if she survives the whipping. :( I'm sure they'll never have a normal married life...probably not a problem for him since he can have up to three more wives.

...and I'm going to be sending the link with the following quotes to everyone who tells me that George W. Bush is turning the U.S. into a "theocracy":
"...this is a country with no written penal law, in which the judges are religious scholars with very little formal legal training."

Legal reforms have been announced recently.

But life in the kingdom is still dominated by the religious police who work for the Commission For The Propagation Of Virtue And The Prevention Of Vice to enforce a strict Islamic lifestyle.

I'm not seeing an equivalence between "enforce a strict Islamic lifestyle"--to the point where the state abuses rape victims because they left the house without their husband--and putting a tree with lights in the statehouse. Seriously--get over yourselves.