Archive for the ‘Random Observations’ Category

Whoa, I got a somebody-a-lanche on my Media coverage post.  Don’t know who linked me, but thanks!

Other Opinings:

~  I’ve never understood people who can’t bring themselves to believe in God, but will readily profess that they think The Universe has a plan for them, or that the Universe is trying to tell them something.  I’m sorry, but if thinking that God talks to you means you are a loony, what does thinking that the Universe is talking to you say about your mental stability?

~ This is perhaps the best, most succinct summation of my problems with much of traditional thoughts on evolution in a comment to a post by Professor Bob over at Mitchieville:

Never understood this kind of anthropomorphizing when it comes to evolution:

Evolution is nature’s mechanism for modifying a species over time to suit the local environment.

You should be capitalizing Nature in this sentence, as your are treating is as a proper noun. Nature, in “her” wisdom, “uses” evolution to “modify” species based on her perception of their needs relative to their environment?

Nature is truly a maginifcent engineer, designer and programmer! Wait…I thought this stuff was all random and unguided by anything but happenstance? Selection by reduction and elimination, not by optimized adaptation.

Also, sentient trees?

to whom it provides, deliberately,

How does a tree “deliberately” provide food and shelter to ants? Are you suggesting that it is “aware” of its ant protectors, and conciously makes “efforts” to ensure that they are well-provided for? Where does TreeBeard fall in all this? Or the Forestalls?

I often challenge evolutionists to defend their viewpoints without resulting to anthropomorphic language. Species cannot “adapt themselves” to the environment, unless they can somehow perceive changes in their environment and then encode changes into their DNA based on this input. To date, no mechanism for such a step has been identified.

If an environmental variable changes enough to result in attrition of a species, only those members who, by whatever random mutation have those traits necessary to survive already resident in their DNA will prevail.

For pure evolution to work, Nature cannot “adapt” a species to survive…it will survive merely by the luck of the draw.

Or it isn’t evolution.

I can adapt to my surroundings. If it is cold, I put on a coat. If it is hot, I drink extra water and change to flip flops and hawaiian shirts.   If an animal’s primary food supply suddenly becomes available, it must find something else to eat.  Only those within the species that can already metabolize the new food source will survive.  The others will die off.  Thus, no NEW information is introduced into the DNA, but rather, merely utilization of that which was already there, if dormant.  This is optimization, not evolution.  Survival of the fittest merely optimizes an existing genus, it cannot account for the introduction of a NEW species.

It’s not like the hapless lizard or ocelot, when suddenly faced with a new environmental variable, goes: 

“Hmm, no more catus pears.  Only pomegranates.  Noted.  Got it.  Stand-by.

{{nnnuuugghhhhh…hhhrrrmmmmm…eeeerrrrrrrgggghhh..{{whirl, clank, beep, KA-CHING!}}}}

There!  I am now able to eat pomegranates where before I could only eat cactus pears.  SOUPS ON, HOGS!”

~ Lastly, and completely unrelated to anything previous in this post, I continue to be amazed at the alacrity with which broad swaths of the Prog culture have managed to forget the last eight years of insanely partisan protests charged with high dudgeon and frothingly caustic rhetoric condeming the Bush administration for all manner of crimes against humanity, to include planning and conducting the attacks of 9/11, replete with inflammatory and violent images calling for Bush and Cheney’s respective heads.

Such that now, somehow markedly less strident if not less fervent protests against economic policies which most sane minds would agree will prove our nation’s undoing are greeted with fear, condemnation and clucking reproof by the media and prog commentators.  When the progs do it, no matter how hyperbolic or bellicose, it’s speaking the truth to power, free speech, and standing up for what you believe in!  When anybody else does it….it’s DANGEROUS insurrection which needs to be watched with the utmost suspicion and prudence.

Remember, the only acceptable form of revolution is a Marxist revolution.

Well, on CNN, the Tea Party protests got only one link, but amazingly enough, the article was balanced, fair, and by no means a hit piece.  I encourage you to read it.  It lays out the basics of what the protests are about, and even seems to paint them in if not a positive light, then at least in neutral terms.

Nationwide ‘tea party’ protests blast spending

However.

Let us compare that article to this one from that bastion of journalistic objectivity, MSNBC.

 Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ being held across U.S.
Obama aims to ease dread of deadline day, vowing ‘simpler tax code’

Notice how they manage to toss a puff for Obama into the Headline?

Also notice that the Page Title in the HTML actually says, “Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ vent anger across U.S.”  The anger part becomes important pretty quickly. I’ll just highlight in bold all the fun, inflammatory terms and polarizing language:

Whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged “tea parties” across the nation

Whipped up. As in, into a frenzy.  At least they didn’t downplay the numbers, got to give them that.

Protesters even threw what appeared to be a box of tea bags over the fence onto the White House grounds, causing a brief lockdown at the compound before the package was declared not dangerous.

The assumption being, of course, that something the protestors threw over the fence would be dangerous.  Which, if it “appeared to be tea bags”  would, I propose, be a bit of stretch, wouldn’t you think?  Unless of course it fits your narrative.

Shouts rang out from Kentucky,

Looks a bit like “shots rang out,” doesn’t it?

“Frankly, I’m mad as hell,” said businessman Doug Burnett at a rally at the Iowa Capitol, where many of the about 1,000 people wore red shirts declaring “revolution is brewing.”

That’s right.  Angry, red-shirted Iowans warning of revolution.  Hey, maybe that DHS report was right!?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up a tea party at Austin City Hall with his stance against the federal government, as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, “Secede!”

Not just revolutionists, but successionist as well!  The way this is worded, does it not give the impression that Texas Gov. Rick Perry might tacitly approve this sentiment, as it is “HIS” flag-waving audience?  Not THE audience, but HIS audience.  A subtle but grammatically significant difference.

Other protesters also took direct aim at Obama. One sign in the crowd in Madison, Wis., compared him to the anti-Christ.

Don’t forget rabid, fundie Christians.   “Taking direct aim” at Obama.  I believe they use to call this sort of thing “yellow journalism.”  Now they just call it, well, MSNBC.

Jim Adams of Selma carried a sign that showed the president with Hitler-style hair and mustache and said, “Sieg Heil Herr Obama.”

Must have changed the name on one of the Code Pink signs, I guess.

To be honest, I can’t tell if the penner of this AP piece was simply trying to present a sense of the moral outrage of the participants, but I doubt it.    The use of such charged terms as “whipped up” and “shouts rang out” do more than convey intensity…the suggest a frenzy, the possibility of violence.  Which is at odds with the vast majority of other reporting on the events out there.

The movement attracted some Republicans considering 2012 presidential bids.

Really?  Like who?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich planned to address a tea party in a New York City park Wednesday night. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sent an e-mail to his supporters, letting them know about tea parties throughout the state. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attended two tea parties.

These three have all expressed interest in running in 2012?  Who knew?

To me, giving cherry-picked statements from isolated firebrands equal time with the more common tone of frustrated but motivated political activism in the name of “balance” really isn’t.  It makes it appear that this undercurrent of revolutionary fervor was a common theme, which it is not.

The TEA Parties are really just about getting the government back on track, under control, and accountable to the people again.  Rather than the other way around.

Folks, all you have to do is look at the pictures from the various Tea Party rallies, and then compare and contrast the pictures over at ZombieTime from a series of Lefty proteests, to see what a fallacy it is to be so cautionary against “conservative” activism.  The Radical Left long ago cornered the market on crazy.

A day late and a dollar short, but that’s my usual M.O. anyway.

I didn’t get to watch all of the interview, debate, whatever it was with Rick Warren and the two presumptive presidential nominees, but I did get to see enough of both segments to get a representative taste of it all.

What I thought was the most interesting was the clear and almost irreconcilable philosophical disconnect between the two camps.  On questions of taxes, McCain was able to present the, to me, most common sense view that the best way to strengthen the economy, the best way to increase individual security and stability is to give them more of their own money with which to make choices.

I heard from Obama the basic tenet of progressive socialism that the rich bear some sort of inherently greater burden of responsibility to pay for social programs than anybody else.  If you make over $250,000, then you are going to take it in the shorts on taxes because you are (ptooie) rich.  What these social engineering crusaders seem constitutionally unable to comprehend is the simple reality that rich people spend more money because they have more money to spend.  The more penalties you put on being successful, the more burdensome you make it to have disposable income, the more you hamstring any kind of economic growth.  You’d think this to be self-evident, but the lofty idealism of the Progs sees higher taxes and centralized government as the cure for it all.  Here’s your government health care and like it.  No, really, you have to sign up, and you HAVE to pay X% of your income to support it.  You know, for the poor.  And the children.

I found it interesting that when asked which Supreme Court judges they wouldn’t have nominated, Obama named the conservative ones, and McCain named the liberal ones.  Which I guess ultimately shows that there’s probably a pretty good mix as it is.

As interesting as the actual interviews were the regular breaks to the commentator panel.  I just shook my head after a piece of the McCain portion, where the Democrat analyst was clucking and fretting and just generally all atwitter.  He was comfortably predictable as he trotted out the same tired old bugaboo about Roe V. Wade.   One of the most oft repeated memes amongst the Progs is the idea that one too many conservative justices on the Supreme Court, just let the ideological balance shift ever so slightly in the “wrong” direction, and the first thing they’ll do after fluffing their robes and dusting their wigs is overturn Roe V. Wade.  The big, dark, scary monster under the bed is that this will of course, by direct inference, lead to back alleys run red with blood from coat hanger abortions by savage, unscrupulous hacks preying on poor defensless teens who couldn’t seem to manage any other form of birth control.

Nevermind the fact that all overturning Roe V. Wade will do is return the decision on whether or not to ban abortion BACK TO THE STATES.  Roe v. Wade is one of the single most egregious violations of the principles of Federalism and States rights ever to hit the books.  Roe V. Wade only stated that it was unconstitutional for STATES to ban abortion, reserving that right solely at the Federal level.  The only thing that would result from round-filing this ridiculous piece of legislation jurisprudence is that States would be free, once again, to determine what happens inside their borders with respect to abortion.  But that kind of silliness simply can’t be allowed now, can it?

I also heard, yet again, the strange “7-10 years” mantra from the Dem side wrt domestic oil drilling.  I simply cannot comprehend how an otherwise seemingly intelligent human being can continue to parrot the nonsense that, since we won’t see results for 7-10 years from increased domestic oil drilling, then we shouldn’t start. Huh?!  NO, they cry!  We need better solutions, NOW! Not ten years from now!  Well no shit, Sherlock.  Let’s find some great, solid, workable short-term solutions, WHILE WE STEADILY BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE NECESSARY FOR OUR GRADE SCHOOLERS TO HAVE AFFORDABLE FUEL WHEN THEY START DRIVING 10 YEARS FROM NOW!   Is that as far the the “vision” of our Prog brethren extends?  Less than seven years?  Anything past that simply isn’t worth considering?  Idiots.

For a group of folks who are so “all about the children” all the time, they don’t seem to be real bright on providing for these same kids’ futures.

I didn’t see anything that radically changed my mind in this forum.  I thought B.O. was smooth as butter, baby.  He also deftly avoided answering/committing to a position on several of the tough questions.  I thought McCain was much more blunt, and direct, but he seemed to have a lot more of the common-sense answers and solutions to problems that I would expect.  He also talked around several of the thornier issues, but overall, I came away with a clearer understanding of his positions than Obama’s.

I just can’t get my head around the globalist, socialist, “rich people are bad and poor people are somehow developmentally disabled and need the Goverment to look after them” mentality that is modern progressive liberalism.  They say they demand an energy policy, but oppose nuclear fuel, building more refineries or drilling domestically, while we continue to send huge chunks of our GNP to foreign oil interests who are showing increasing hostility to us in the world market place.  Face it folks, we are a fossil-fuel based economy and have been for a hundred years.  That isn’t going to change overnight.  Sure, yes, absolutely, let’s find a way to change that, work for a brighter tomorrow and all that.  But let us also be starkly realistic about our ongoing energy needs for the next 20 or 30 years.

They say they are for the children, and yet excorciate anyone who would monkey with the sacrosanct Grail that is abortion.  B.O. said that he would support deploying troops in support of our national interests, but thinks we need to “dialogue” with militant Islam.

After all is said and done, though, I often wonder if we don’t make just a liiiiitle too big a deal about this whole thing.  We aren’t electing a king.   Appointing a chancellor.  There is no imperial decree.  The balance of powers still works…shakily at times…but it works.  As yet no President has managed to set aside the Constitution.  It’s Congress where the real sausage is made.  So, instead of making this one man the make or break all, the catastrophic tragedy or penultimate hope of the country, let’s just find the guy that will be the most likely to work within the system to do what’s best for the country overall.

Of the two serious choices we’ve got, I’ve got to say that the best person for that job is McCain.

You remember the Bloom County cartoons, where Opus would occasionally need to take a break from everything and sit amidst the dandelions for a while?  I feel like a I need one of those.

What with all the shootings and crazy weather and the painful mediocrity of the candidates currently in the race for President, not to mention the ridiculous nonsense invovled in the anti-Christmas hype, it’s hard not to feel a little gray and worn down after a while.

 And reading over my last few posts, I realize that I sound, well, pretty cranky and caustic and just generally unpleasant.  I’m not really that way in person.  I guess what I write here tends to be an outlet of sorts.  Reading over the news and other blogs, and seeing the kind of craziness reflected there, at times it just makes my blood boil.  I tend to seethe out through the keyboard, and over time, it tends to give things a pretty acerbic tone.

The blogs I really enjoy reading are the ones that make me laugh, or think, or smile.  Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten how to laugh.  I’ve got to be so serious at work, and so responsible at home, and things get so busy that I tend to bury any chance of catching my breath, just sitting around and enjoying things.

With that said, I thought I would take a break from calling people idiots, and just drop in some random stuff I’ve written in the past, stuff with a little lighter tone.  Hope you like:

“It is not the intensity of the effort we apply to the hammer, or the chisel, but rather the marks we leave on the stone that determine how we are to be remembered.”

Don’t let the world bring you to your knees…Get there by yourself!

Love is something you are given, not something you earn.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect – He wants us to admit that we aren’t.

God doesn’t expect us to have all the answers – He wants us to admit that we need His Truth.

God doesn’t want us to stand on our own  – He wants us to kneel with Him.

The truest measure of one’s faith is his willingness to forgo the comforts of convenience and ease, and stand deeply in the midst of an uncertain situation.  As we stand outside ourselves, outside our carefully constructed comfort zones and safety measures, we must face the inevitability of our own inadequacy.  When faced with circumstances beyond our control, in that moment of doubt, we must turn our face toward God, and ask His intervention.  Indeed, it is not until we realize how fully we our out of our depth, in situations beyond our experience, that we turn toward Him who would preserve us.  Our faith is tested in the crucible of trials that we know we could not face alone.  Our faith becomes tempered and hardened as the finest steel, through victories possible only through His divinity.  Where there is confidence in ourselves, there is little room for faith in Him.  We choose to fill that space where He would stand.  Only when we step aside, and relinquish our own selfish desires for personal glory, will the Lord step in and perform a mighty work through us.

Are you trying to receive the benefits of Christ’s name without the demands of His Kingdom?

True wisdom is an understanding of the total inadequacy of your own knowledge.  Those who think that they are wise and believe that they have nothing left to learn, are the fools they believe others to be.  Knowledge is a thirst that is never quenched, yet still should we drink.  Through our intelligence we gain knowledge, through our knowledge we gain understanding, and through our understanding we slowly gain wisdom.  With wisdom comes the realization of how much we have yet to learn, and joy at the prospect of the search.

The more you know about Quantum Physics, the more sense the Bible makes.

Do you ever feel like the Matrix is breaking down?  Like there is some sort of unraveling going on that is slowly dissolving the bonds of rationality, civility, even just basic humanity in us all?  Some sort of corrosive substance being poured on the foundations of our society, even the fundamental core of reality?  It’s like some weird Star Trek episode where the shields are failing, and there’s some strange sort of radiation leaking through which is starting to make everyone act all crazy.

And from the “Just Freaking Stupid” Dept.

And from the, “Well, ya don’t say!” Dept.:

 It just really doesn’t look good for the human race, folks. 

Why did you take the job at the supermarket if you knew that you’d be asked to handle pork, alcohol and tobacco products?

Why did you decide to become a cab driver if you weren’t going to take fares from people who smoke, or drink, or have dogs, or have a juicy ham sandwich in their greasy little fist?

Now, you may consider it “intolerant” of us wacky westerners to ask you to do otherwise, but it’s not intolerance if you know ahead of time that it’s going to be a requirement of the position! One might begin to suspect that you had some sort of, how you say, an agenda?

Don’t want to get your mitts dirty handling “unclean” foods?  Don’t get a job in the %$&%*#’ing deli!

So, cry me a river, Muslim grocery clerks when we don’t seem too sympathetic to your “plight.”  Your brethren for years seemed to have little problem dishing out the warmed over hot dogs and MadDog 20/20 at 7-11.  Why so squeamish all of a sudden?

I found an interesting link/post via one of the comments, entitled “Combatting creationism with History.”  The premise being, of course, that the Bible is a quaint collection of melded cultural myths, an archaic holdover from the scientific dark ages to which people cling out of a sense of maudlin sentimentality, if nothing else.  Gee, nothing new there, to be sure.

I guess I am curious as to why creationism needs to be combatted?  Why does it so often seem that the scientifically-illuminated feel honor bound to “destroy” or otherwise “combat” the theory of creationism on a scientific basis?  Is there a core belief among these warriors of science that a belief in the causality of creation rather than random chance is some sort of dangerous delusion from which people need to be rescued?  Are they some sort of moralistic/scientific crusaders who see it as a mission to release people from their intellectual servitude to such antiquated ideas about the origins of our universe?

Then can we all just right now stop calling it the “theory” of evolution, and accept that it has, for all intents and purposes, been accepted among the vast majority of the scientific community as a natural law, akin to the Laws of Thermodynamics?  And therefore, that attempting to find fault with some of the premises of evolutionary theory puts one in the “flat earther” category, calling gravity “magic” and insisting that ideas such as entropy and exothermic reactions are so much heretical nonsense?

What I find interesting in these “scientific” viewpoints is the tacit assumption that our modern creation “myth” was culled together from various ancient sources and “tuned” to fit modern theology by some nameless group (perhaps the Council of Nicea?).  And yet, there seems little credence paid to the idea that the Babylonians or Chaldean or whomever could have instead been influenced by a creation tradition found among many of the tribal people they conquered and/or enslaved.  The Babylonians were well-known as a pollyglot of various cultural traditions incorporated from assimilated people.  Why is it so far-fetched to assume that their creation mythology could have been influenced by the long-standing oral traditions of captured ancient Hebrews whose culture predated their’s by thousands of years?  I’m just asking.

I recently visited the Pacific Science Center in Seattle on my last trip back to the States.  Yeah, I know. What was I thinking? Christians are all supposed to be all, “because God did it!” and shun such heretical institutions as this.  However, what I did find interesting was a video presentation on gravity and space, wherein the featured scientist related that recent stellar measurements and observations from the Hubble telescope suggested that the universe is in fact expanding at an increasing rate, rather than at a slowly decreasing rate, as has been the prevailing theory.  Almost like things were being pulled, rather than pushed.  His comment was something to the effect that, “I guess we don’t really know anything about gravity, like we thought we did.” 

So, for years, the Big Bang theory and its exploding singularity required that after the initial release of energy, the universe would expand to a finite limit, and then slowly collapse back in upon itself as gravitiational forces took over (yes, folks, I did actually go to college.  Yes, yes, more heresy, I know).  However, now it would seem, just the opposite appears to be taking place.  Hmmm.  Wait, you mean a scientific discovery has set the entire acacdemic world on its ear, and radically altered pre-existing theories?  Why, that NEVER happens!  Okay, okay, it happens all the damn time.

Now, with all that said, I think about the derision with which the anti-creationism crusaders view our quaint little Biblical narrative.  Of course, then I also think about the repeated Old Testament references to God “stretching out the heavens.”

I guess I take issue with the idea that simply because a concept is in the Bible, it must therefore be held as presumptively unscientific. My visits to places like the Pacific Science Center serve only to bolster my faith, not lead me to doubt it.  To me, the discoveries of science only point that much more decisively towards a creative force, one deeply mirrored in the Biblical narrative.  No, in many cases, not literally, but certainly conceptually.

To me, there is a great deal of scholarship out there which is summarily dismissed not because it is scientifically inviable or logically flawed, but merely because it is creationist in its context.  This hardly seems to support the kind of inherent skepticism required by the scientific method.

I guess I find it difficult to lend credence to those who would (and I must say, justifiably so) criticize many Creationism defenders’ reliance on the “just because” or “well, it’s obvious” defense, when the scientific evolutionists continue to refer to biological organisms adapting or reacting to changes in their evironment, without any references to the actual biological/physiological mechanism whereby genetic code is reprogrammed based on input from external stimuli.  What “drove” the early amphibians to seek land vs. water?  And for the love of pete, stop anthropomorhpizing “Nature” in all your freaking documentaries.  An amorphous “Nature” is given the causal force behind adaptive change, without really explaining what this force is, or how it influences the genetic make-up of species to “spontaneously” adapt to new conditions.

So I guess, ultimately, it is to my mind a “pot-n-kettle” kind of argument.  Don’t claim the moral and/or scientific highground if you can’t provide any better answers to the questions of ultimate causality than those wacky creationists.  Science and creationism don’t have to be mutually exclusive, unless of course, that is the internally mandated and pre-determined viewpoint.

Somewhere along the line I picked up “The Wink.”  You know, that slight twitch of an eye (mine happens to be the left) when you are passing someone you know in the hallway, and on some subconscious level,  a mere “Hey!” doesn’t seem quite sufficient.  So you maybe add in a subtle head nod, and sometimes, even, yes, a wink.  It’s by no means one of those suggestive winks.  And it doesn’t rise to the level of a knowing wink, or anything that needs to be accompanied by a, “How YOUUUU doin’?!”  I don’t really see myself as a quick wink kind of guy, but there it is.  I’ll call it a “qwink.”  As in:

Did you just WINK at me?!

Why, no. Hardly.  It was merely a qwink.”

Oh, well then. Nevermind.”

  A harmless affectation which (one hopes) doesn’t rise to the level of an idiosyncrasy, and, with any luck, isn’t mistaken for a facial twitch or deformity.

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What it is it about some human males that they feel the need to draw a penis on the bathroom stall?  For the last weekend I’ve been working in another building, and forced to use the somewhat substandard toilet facilities therein. The graffiti was without exception vulgar and crude.  The “artistry” was profane and not even fit for Hustler magazine.  I know our culture is all about equanimity and breaking down stereotypes, but I am here to tell you, there ARE classes of people.   Whether through culture, breeding, or simple ignorance, there is a class of people whose idea of making their mark on the world is to scribble threadbare poems we might have learned in 4th grade, unimaginative expletives, and the occasion rendering of genitalia, often accompanied by attempts to portray physically improbable sexual positions, across the interior of a water closet.

For my part, I left a moving Haiku suggesting an essense of eternal questioning, followed by a sudden epiphany about the meaning of french toast, and concluded with a paean to the ecstacy to be found in a well turned-out Aston Martin.  I’m sure I left them properly humbled.  The cretins.

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This just in:

Transformer blast rattles Manhattan

A transformer explosion Wednesday caused panic in midtown Manhattan. “We saw hundreds and hundreds of people running down Third Avenue. They were screaming, they were crying,” said witness Adaora Udoji. One person died and at least 16 were injured, New York officials said. full story

Witnesses weren’t sure if it was Megatron or Optimus Prime who exploded.  Developing…

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From the, “You should REALLY get that checked out” department:

Squirming Fly Larvae Pulled From Man’s Head

Ewwww.

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And from the “WTF?!?!?!” Department:

‘The Darkness’ has too many demons

“It’s unrepentantly violent, soaked in obscenity, and stitched to its skin with the occult. Blood goes flying as you summon demons to massacre anyone in your way. To gain power, you devour human hearts. Oh, and did I mention that you also play a Mafia hitman?”

We are circling the drain, people.

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On a lighter note, one of Jeff Harrell’s funnier ones:

A not-exactly-brief visit from an unnameable horror from beyond time and space.”

Oh sure, go on, laugh.  You know you want to.  {{mutters incoherently under his breath, sticks pins in Jeff Harrell voodoo doll, drinks himself into a stupor on MadDog’s Raspberry-Green Apple Sorbet.}} 

He is the Mozart to my Salieri.  He must be stopped.   ARRRRRGHGHGHGH!

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I’m think I’m done now.  Maybe.

Reports are flying in that the fabled Stardust Casino in Las Vegas imploded in a massive explosion early Tuesday morning.  Several witnesses to the event stated that to them, it looked suspiciously like a controlled demolition.

“You don’t see buildings like that just collapse.  I’m pretty sure that there is something else going on here,” stated one cynical observer.

An anonymous source has come forward to state that he “knows a guy” who was involved in placing 428 pounds of high explosives throughout the building in structurally critical locations.  He suggested that they had been in preparations for “the past three months,” carefully planning the destruction of the hotel’s two towers.

Rumor has it that the structure had secretly been stripped to bare concrete and steel in the preceding months, suggesting a wide-ranging conspiracy to cover up the preparations leading to the demolition.

As the investigation into this incident proceeds, the facts about more and more controlled demolitions are coming to light.  Most seem to involve thousands of man hours to prepare the buildings for implosion. 

One wonders how activities of such magnitude can go continue to go unnoticed by so many people! Shocking!

One internet website even goes so far as to suggest that there are “only a handful” of demolition companies in the world with the experience and expertise to plan and execute a true building implosion.

So, all that being said….

One wonders how the Twin Towers destruction on 9/11 was a carefully planned conspiracy by BushCo?  100’s or 1,000s of man-hours?  Hundreds of pounds of explosive placed through the buildings?  Rare and unique skill sets required?  Remote detonation capability requiring some sort of transmission medium which would reach all the explosive charges without interference so that they would explode in the necessary sequence, without any trace of visible wiring?

Now, I’m no Rosie O’Donnell or Cindy Sheehan, but…

It just don’t add up.

- You know what I hate?  You know what chafes me worse than a wool jock-strap on a hot summer’s day?  You know what gets under my skin worse than the alien implant I received during my last abduction? 

** Happy Meal Toys **.  Some amorphous blob of injection molded plastic, uncannily and unerringly tied to whatever current DisneyPixareamworksony animated wonder is the latest pablum de jour.  Oooh, and look!  If I stick these two poorly-mated parts together, and pull his arm…his leg twitches!  Or maybe if I press a flipper, his beak moves….an eighth of an inch.  Ah, the pure, cleansing joy of a child at play.

Tell me again how this is a “toy?”  My kids play with it about as long as it takes to cross the parking lot, and then it will lie, undiscovered and unmissed beneath one of the back seats of the minivan, keeping forlorn company with the other useless trinkets, baubles, and marketing misfires destined only to further clog America’s landfills with more tons of non-biodegradable crap.  Why why WHY!?  Newsflash!  These aren’t toys, because they AREN’T FUN.  Every few months I have to go through the toy bins and cull out the meaningless clumps of misguided and misbegotten sputum from the bowels of some industrial Cloning Den For Ill-Considered Marketing Tie-Ins.  Useless!

- IMHO:  One of the greatest social innovations of the modern age:  Camisoles as outer wear.  I don’t know who first thunk that one up, but my hat is off to you, whoever you are.  Ranks right up there with those pastel-colored nylon running shorts the girls wore in gym class.  And angora sweaters.  And 80’s hair.  Okay, okay, yeah, I’m emotionally trapped in High School.  But you knew that.

- On the California Legislature’s current initiative to ban spanking:  How come those who oppose laws against sodomy or other forms of sexual kinkiness adopted the rallying cry of “keep your laws out of my bedroom!”  But, now apparently some think it’s just fine and dandy to legislate how I discipline/raise my child?

The question I have is this:  What do you do when asking nicely doesn’t work?  When threats and time-outs are met with screaming defiance?  When begging and pleading and cajoling and bribing (and other such solid parenting methods) have all failed to bring your little terror to heel?  What do you do when time after time after time, your child flagrantly disobey you, often looking you straight in the eye as he or she pours her Hawaiian Punch on your new suede throw pillows?

Do you cluck, and waggle a finger, and scold mercilessly, “Now Deyton, that wasn’t nice.  Mommy is awful upset about that.  Here let me get you some more juice.”

I guess if you’re a good, socially-advanced Progressive, you calmly explain your reasonings, the potential long-term impacts of disobedience within the social milieu, and encourage your young 4-year old to respect mommy’s boundaries.  Then you reward him with a cookie for being a good listener and only ruining ONE of the pillows, instead of both, like last time.

Or, you could give the little cuss a couple of good swats on the rump and dump him in the crib for a bit.  And you do it consistently, firmly but fairly, until the young blank slate comes to understand that there are sudden and painful consequences to using the Sharpie on mommy’s new drapes, after you were told repeatedly not to.  But I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.