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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dramatic Rescue at Sea (or Travelblogging, Part 1)

Greetings from the mid-Caribbean, Monkfans! I was planning longer, more contemplative posts from this trip, but a) access is $0.75 per minute and, b) I have some late-breaking news that might even interest CNN (if it’s a slow news day.) Our cruise ship, the Norwegian Sun, just swung about and stopped after sighting desperate waves from a man afloat in a dinghy, between Key West and Cuban shores (slightly closer to the latter). The dinghy contained two people, one of them very ill. Our ship has dispatched a doctor and will be bringing the two aboard shortly until they can be picked up by the US Coast Guard. To all appearances, these are bloated, capitalist fat-cat refugees from the People’s Paradise. Our crew and passengers gave a hearty round of applause to the rescuers and the rescued as they came aboard on Deck Two.

The occurred was around 2100 Zulu, near 23.48.98N 082-02.61W. Pictures need little elaboration. Apologies for the brevity, but citizen-journalistic responsibilities take precedence over bloviation at the moment.


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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Congratulations, Chefjef!

Yes, it's heartfelt Christmas congratulations to Chefjef and clan, who have just been adopted by an adorable little cat. Chefjef's wife, mother, daughters, and --tonight -- many female guests present to celebrate his wife's birthday fawned over the creature, a neighborhood kitty who has found the Chefjef family the most amenable of her many options.

Chefjef is having none of it, however. He made his objections -- indeed, his outright prohibition -- certain, loud, and clear. Needless to say, he was ignored. It was fascinating to see the entire human male-female drama played out in microcosm in the space of half an hour: woman gets idea; man objects, invoking God-given authority as head of the household; woman ignores, needles, and/or outwaits man until she gets what she originally wanted.

When I left, the Chefjefs were still "discussing" the issue. Chefjef's prohibition stood. But I know how this will end ..... we all know how this will end. Congratulations on the new addition to your family, Jeff!

In fairness, the beast looks a bit more like this (minus the green tie)...

Than the cute&lovable&adorablelittul kittens depicted above. As far as Chefjef is concerned, it should look more like this...

I tried to console him and help reconcile him to his inevitable defeat by reminding him that he could fatten the thing up and think of it as fajitas or mongolian barbecue on the hoof. He was still having none of it. Few things in this life are sadder -- or more enobling, in a sense -- than watching a man you know is defeated refuse to admit to his downfall. Besides, Chefjef, it's a cute&adorable&playful&lovable&hugablelittul kitten! Don't be like the chairman of your favorite political party...

...shown here publically abusing a cutelittul kitten, which I'm told he frequently does... I know you are sad and angry right now. I'll call Mother Sheehan and have her weep for you, shall I?


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Friday, December 16, 2005

Lexicological Aside No. 2 (Plus a Few Filthy Musings)

Many posts ago, I purloined an acronym for use in describing a particular interest community unique to the developed world, thus ushering in my role as the natural successor to Eric Partidge* and Vita ab Alto's role as the repository (or is that 'suppository?' Those terms always confuse me) of the most cutting-edge linguistic innobvation in the English-speaking world (...uh...including "innovative" spelling, as you'll note...)

Proof of Vita ab Alto's pudding came shortly thereafter, in a post where I stole the Russian term "samodovolnost'" for use in English. Still later, I half-jokingly identified the representative ideology of the Left in the developed world as "Liacrism:" Leftist, internationalist, anti-Christian, relativist secular materialism. I find that, despite the lyrical, almost dancing-elf soundof the acronym, it is redundant and does not capture the spirit of the the thing named. I came up with it on the spur of the moment, but it is clear that it will not abide. I gave the matter some additional thought and have rendered the name until only its essence is left:

Secular Communitarian Utopian Materialists

Yep. SCUM.

I know, I may sound derogatory, but I assure you that I had NO intention of sounding that way. It was purely accidental and derived simply and naturally from the component pieces of the ideology:

"Secular" accounts for the anti-religious aspect -- especially the fervent, almost Freud-like hostility to any form of Christianity. Foamy the Squirrel has an excellent little summary of how this prejudice often manifests itself. He even uses the term correctly. (Google it y'ownsef. Oh, all right... PARENTAL ADVISORY -- SLANG AND UNCONVENTIONAL ENGLISH.)

"Communitarian" accounts for the socialist impulse -- whether of the "national" variety, a la our friends the Islamists, or the standard, garden-variety California-style Marxist-Leninists (y'know, like Nancy Pelosi:)

Pelosi: I am NOT a scumbag!

"Utopian" accounts for the fact that most members of the idiotarian crowd wish, in the memorable words of William F. Buckley, to "imminentize the eschaton;" to bring about a New Age, usher in Mankind's Next Phase, or behold the Bold New Dawn. THEY will bring it about; just you sit back, watch "Kate and Leopold," and let them worry about the future.

"Materialists" completes the "secular-" meme, since members of this group do not believe in any intelligence greater than mankind, or that mankind has any enduring nature -- he is, instead, infinitely malleable and can be molded as needed by the demands of the Great New Age that they are trying to bring about. It is possible, of course, to be a secularist and not a materialist and vice versa.

Holding any one of the tenets as holy writ gets you honorary membership in the International Society of SCUM. Holding two or more makes you a dues-paying member, so PAY UP, SCUMbags!


* Eric Honeywood Partidge, Kiwi author of A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English and pretty much the authority for many years of the meaning and implications of new slang terms in English. I have a copy of the unabridged 1970 edition (the best), now sadly very hard to find, even in professional academic libraries. Of note to Oh!Susanna, he's also the author of a well-received text on 18th-century English poetry.

PS: Yes, I know comments are broken. When I can figure out what I screwed up, HTML-wise, they'll be back. I know y'all are holding your collective breath...

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Stupid Party?

Independent Counsel
David Barrett

This is very interesting:

[Independent counsel David] Barrett ... was assigned the duty of looking into whether [a] former Housing and Urban Development Secretary ... Committed tax fraud in trying to cover up payments to a former mistress.

Yet, as published reports have indicated, he soon discovered that he was onto something much bigger. He found unsettling evidence that Justice Department officials were actively interfering with the probe and even conducting surveillance of Barrett and his office. Worse, there were indications that [the President] was using key players at the IRS and Justice to harass, frighten and threaten people who somehow got in the ... President's way.

This may turn out to be as big as Iran-Contra or a like scandal. It may determine the fate of future presidential races. This time, however, it's not your typical second-term fubar. The allegedly guilty parties are Democrats and the president in question is none other than our old friend, Billy the Trouser Snake, in trouble YET again:

Like most independent counsels, Barrett didn't set out on such a mission. He was assigned the duty of looking into whether former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros committed tax fraud in trying to cover up payments to a former mistress.

Yet, as published reports have indicated, he soon discovered that he was onto something much bigger. He found unsettling evidence that Justice Department officials were actively interfering with the probe and even conducting surveillance of Barrett and his office. Worse, there were indications that Team Clinton was using key players at the IRS and Justice to harass, frighten and threaten people who somehow got in the former president's way.

The pattern was set early on, when the White House sicced the FBI on Billy Dale, who had served as the director of the White House Travel Office since the days of John F. Kennedy. They mounted a baseless probe of Dale's finances, while chasing after his daughter, his sister and others. Dale was guilty of holding a job coveted by presidential pal Harry Thomasson. But rather than simply firing Dale, the Clinton White House chose to destroy him.

By all accounts, the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance.

Democrats know this.

...And they're doing their level best to keep Barrett's reports from being released and to mitigate any fallout that might accompany the counsel's revelations.

Using provisions in the independent-counsel statute that permit people named in a report to review the allegations against them and file rebuttals, attorneys close to the Clintons have spent the better part of five years reviewing every jot and tittle of the charges arrayed against their clients and friends.

This careful and continuous monitoring of the report explains why Sens. Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin and John Kerry took the highly unusual step earlier this year of trying to slip into an Iraq-war spending bill an amendment to suppress every word of the Barrett report. (Every other independent counsel finding has been printed in its entirety, with the exception of small sections containing classified material.)

...But who is doing the real obstructing of justice in this case? No, not the Democrats:

Alert Republicans, pushed by talk-radio listeners and bloggers, managed to short-circuit that effort, but Democrats patiently pursued their goal. They got what they wanted recently, when the House and Senate met to iron out differences in yet another appropriations bill. Democrats inserted language that would prevent public release of the 120 pages of the report listing the Clinton transgressions. They offered what may have looked like a good deal. They promised not to object to letting Barrett continue with any prosecutions already underway.

Republicans negotiators, led by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich, took the bait. They agreed to keep the public in the dark about the important stuff in exchange for a big, fat nothing. Unbeknownst to Bond and Knollenberg, Barrett shut down his grand juries three years ago.

The move represents more than just boneheaded politics. It's grossly irresponsible. If the report contains the kind of bombshells that have been hinted at in reports published by The Wall Street Journal and National Review, among others, the public not only has a right to know, Congress has a duty to investigate.

I agree.

The two political parties really do approach the matter of politics in very different ways. For the Democrats, politics is a religion and they are its Gnostic high priests. Unless they're Bill Clinton types, who are just in the business for personal power or other gain (and both parties have people like this), the Democrats' worldviews are bound up inextricably in their politics -- it's often the main vehicle for self-actualization, even for many amateurs like the KosKidz.

For most Republicans, politics is either an unpleasant necessity or a country club game for rich boys and girls. They do not take it seriously. Further (to their credit, actually) most Republicans in public office don't let their profession entirely take over their character, as do most Democratic politicians. That is to say, many (by no means all) Repubs act on principle or with some sense of personal limits driven by personal conscience, unlike Democrats, for whom power is always principle -- even when they do think they're acting from principle, like Jack "Brave Sir Robin" Murtha, they're usually dead wrong. This is far and away the exception rather than the rule , since deomcrats regard politics not as a Game of Kings (or Kingmakers), but as warfare carried on by other, more vicious, means. To carry the warfare analogy further, Republicans approach politics in an 18th century manner: very rule bound; almost a gentlemanly thing. Democrats are much more 20th century: fangs out, car bomb timers set, and gas chambers cranked up -- total war.

As Napoleon proved to more than one Fredrician-style army and Nelson proved to the "fighting instruction" admirals, those who bind themselves to silly rules and niceties most often lose when facing those who don't. The US as a whole needs to learn this as it conducts its "War on Terror" (which is always to say, the latest campaigns in the millennia-long War on Islam). The Republicans can either go on pretending they're in a game for gentlemen (and ladies) and will wind up wafting their silk hankies and dipping their snuff as the minority party, or they can beat the Democrats at their own game and then rule the country on principle (which would be a nice change....)

Just a thought...


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Friday, December 09, 2005

The State You're In...

Credit VaA correspondent and Official Spiritual Advisor Rev Nolan Dynamite and his lovely and mysterious* soon-to-be-better-half for the following bit of fun:

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

In my case, I counted states that I had spent an aggregate of six months or more in as having "lived" there -- this accounts for FL, NV, and TN (as a kid), lest Yhe KANH!!!! should call me to account for them. If I can't be said to have "lived" in Nevada when the Las Vegas Emerald Suites Nellis sends me Christmas cards every year, I don't know who can. (I called them last week and they have me booked for three TDYs totaling two months worth of stays, with my credit card info and suite preferences already on account!)

We could do this with countries too and it might be fun, although the young correspondents I got this from may not have long lists yet:

Belgium, France, Germany (at the time, West...) Great Britain, Honduras, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the US of A.

My list will get longer come the end of December. More on that to follow.

PS: I guess I really am a Southern boy: It's always been "coke" to me.


* "Mysterious" not just because she doubtless wants to remain so, as all women do, but because the right Reverend has thus far failed to tell us boo-diddly-squat about her....

Update: Nolan Dynamite found another cool tool that shows the states you've been in. He has way too much time on his hands these days.... Just wait 'til you're married, buddy!

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

There is also a way to generate a similar map of countries visited, but I'll hold off on posting that until after the first of the year, because my list will be more impressive then. ....developing.....


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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Samodovolnost' and Bill O'Reilly

The Russians have a wonderful word, samodovolnost', which has no direct equivalent in English, but which should. (In fact, since English thrives in major part because it has the most larcenous vocabluary ever, perhaps we should just adopt the word with simplified spelling and pronunciation.) Nonetheless, it means, essentially, "fatuous or obnoxious self-satisfaction and unwarranted pride in self." For a world-wide Anglosphere populated with ticks in human form known as politicians and that peculiar variety of intestinal worm known as the "journalist" (really, the TV, radio, or newspaper talking heads -- I am more a "jounalist" in the original 18th cent. sense of one who maintains a journal of public discourse than they are; most of them are propagandists for the State Religion)(of course, there are those who would maintain that I am also a type of intestinal worm, but we'll leave that for the moment......)

Now, what was I writing about....? Oh, yes: Samodovolnost. And Bill O'Reilly. Apologies to many otherwise like-minded conservative friends such as Billy Bob, Frenkenstein, Cave Dave, colleagues at work, and others, but Bill O'Reilly really is a piece of cheese and a blot on the landscape; a fatuously self-congratulatory oxygen theif whose bloviation entails stealing way more than a normal person's ration of O2.

The first hint for me of his growing Samodovolnostification was when he lashed out at bloggers (whom he should realize are among his natural poltical and cultural allies) for conspiring to steal his ratings. Of course, I never really liked him to begin with, based simply on the same public persona of self-absorbed smugness that turned me off of Rush Limbaugh years ago.

Nonetheless, now there is proof unequivocal of his Samodovolnostishness:

An exchange between Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: Okay. Gas prices are down a lot. Why do you think that is?

O’REILLY: Because they’re afraid they’ll go to jail. And those C.E.O.s who manipulated them–

CAVUTO: Why are you sure that they manipulated them?

O’REILLY: I have guys that are inside the five major oil companies - my father used to work for one of those oil companies, by the way - who have told me that in those meetings they look for every way to jack up oil prices after Katrina, every way. When they didn’t have to. And they got scared because in my reporting and some other reporting, they said –

CAVUTO: Wait, you’re taking credit for gas prices being down?

O’REILLY: My reporting and reporting of others.

Bow to Rob of Say Anything, who's spot on in his analysis:

Right Bill. Oil prices didn’t spike because of the damage done to the nation’s refinery infrastructure during the hurricane season and the subsequent rebuilding of that infrastructure. Nope. Oil prices spiked because the evil corporate heads of the oil industry decided to take advantage of America during a weak moment, and the prices only came down thanks to the concerted efforts of hard-fighting media pundits.

Neither a Keynesian nor a Friedmanite; without Marx or Adam Smith; not supply side, but not demand-driven -- Mr O'Reilly has created a new "Third Way" in economics: the School of Heroic Journalism. The hand is no longer invisible: Mr. O'Reilly obligingly provides it for you as a public service (his only reward--a multimillion dollar contract with Fox News). He will tell you what you need to buy and he will tell the suppliers what they must supply and how they are to price it. You heard it here first.

Brain...or...something else?

This is Mainstream Media Disorder in one of its most extreme manifestations. It's mildly heartening to see that it doesn't just aflict the Left. (As Bill can tell you, it's a burden being right all the time...)


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Sunday, December 04, 2005

She's Pretty Cool, but Jesus Rocks!

I post this poem with the author's permission. As you'll see from her intro, she's been dealing with some pretty tough issues (especially for a sixteen-year-old). This will probably become a performance piece in my church's youth drama ministry (run by The Kanh). I post it here not just because I frequently find the young lady who wrote it to be a spiritual gift and an inspiration, but also becuase I've done some of my own thinking (which, sadly, seldom runs to more than enjoying poetry already written) along similar lines. I have been dealing with significant issues in my own life (tho' my own burden pales to insignificance compared with hers!), and have found myself frequently having the same or similar wonderings:

I don't really have alot to write about on here, but I do have something that I wrote awhile ago and I figure this is a pretty cool place to put it. I recently was diagnosed with Carcinoid cancer ... I wrote this a few nights afterI was daignosed.

I wonder ...

I woder where tomorrow comes from, where is it going today?
I wonder why I’m so tired and hungry but yet so full?
Why can’t I think, move, breathe?
Why did He give and I receive?
Why does He try and take away, but I hold on?
Why was I chosen?
What makes me so special?
I feel sick, nauseous, chest hurts, it's cold, and sometimes lonely.
But I know others have gone before me and won, and I know I can do the same.
I wonder is life gunna change?
Has it already and I missed it?
Why do I already want to give in?
Why should I fight, what’s to lose?
Where is He going with this, where am I taking it?
Can I look past it or thru it?
Why is He so strong and how can He hold me?
Why has he already taken everything?
Why do I need Him?
What’s in it for Him?
I’m still tired but I can’t Sleep.
All I do is think, think about tomorrow, think about today,
Yesterday, next week, next year.
And sometimes I’m too tired to think so I sit, and wait, and watch.
For what I don’t know, but I’m still sitting, and waiting, and watching.
As I’m sitting, and waiting, and watching
I'm watching as He paints a picture, a picture of my life.
Its dreams, hopes, worries, desperation,
But it goes blurry with one stroke, and with the second stroke its wiped clean Except for 3 spots.
I see this and I’m amazed and I sit, and wait, and watch
Because I’m to tired to think or move.
So He does it all for me.
And I wonder … but I’m too tired to think.

Audra, you are one cool kid! (Okay, maybe not as cool as my two, but only the tiniest smidge less...) Thank you...


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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Star Chamber Begins to Crumble

You may have missed this in last week's news, but a very significant, if little-heralded, event occurred in DC (Drudge readers may have seen it, but he did not comment on its significance):

Marble chunk falls from top of Supreme Court

A chunk of marble fell from near the roof of the U.S. Supreme Court onto the stairs in the front of the building but no one was injured, a court spokeswoman said on Monday

It seems that with the pending appointment of Judge Samuel Alito, the ediface may be starting to crack in a literal and physical sense, not just ideologically. Alito will definitely change the philosophical balance of the court, away from the dogma of the US' de facto established state religion: leftist internationalist anti-Christian relativist secular materialism,* and judicial activism in support of it, toward common-sense and conservative strict-constructionism. The left knows the danger well; that's why they've begun their shrill, if weak-minded and entirely false, anti-Alito campaign. (Seeing and hearing the left's opinions, in any venue, is like reading Pravda back in its Soviet days: utterly predictable, even to the specific terms used; dreaily shrill and unreasonable; more significant for what was not said than for what was said; and entirely, lock-step consistent with the "party line" and/or officially-sanctioned talking points. The "liberal" hive-mind seems to be centrally controlled sometimes.)

Nonetheless, last week's event points to the potential for literally earth-shaking change. The very foundations of Festung Blaufaschismus may be crumbling. We may even be seeing the beginning of vast tectonic shifts, in which the Blue Coastlines break away from America completely.


* For which I still don't have a good, concise name. I am open to suggestions. A military-like acronym, such as LIACRSM; "Liacrism," perhaps?

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