Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Pimp-Slap for Perez

I am so LMAO. So much so, that I had to blog and purge.

Perez Hilton.

It really does not get any better than this.

Mr. Hilton, it seems, has used a Homophobic Slur (The Other “F” Word) was captured doing it in a YouTube video [not linked here] and is seen receiving a slap in the face for same -- and the resulting screeching, cat-fight blow-up is national scuttlebutt and has resulted in Mr. Perez Hilton becoming the very public target of Ridicule.


What a waste of life-form-level intelligence. What a sad, pathetic little man. First, he hides in the weeds and lays in wait for opportunities to further his “career” and favorite social agendas at the expense of the innocent. And then, bang! Before you know it, the Cosmic Karmic Wheel has turned and the venom is in the other vein. Or, in his case, the Pimp Slap is on the other face. Not much I like better than watching an Angry Fist turn the other cheek (sharply to the side, with appropriate force) for someone who cruelly picks on the innocent.

I have this thing about the use of Fear. When you use Fear as a weapon to get what you want from others it should taste exceptionally bitter and burn like hot coals when it is touched to your own lips or heaped upon your own head by a turn of fate. I don’t feel schadenfreude in the misfortunes of the inept, the ignorant or the innocent; I bathe gleefully in it when it is the result of the misadventures of a misanthrope.

For those of you who came in late… a recap of sorts: Perez Hilton a.k.a. Mario Armando Lavandeira. (I’d have changed my name too.) According to Wikipedia, Hilton has a reputation as a blogger “known for posts covering gossip items about musicians, actors and celebrities. He often posts tabloid photographs over which he has added his own captions or ‘doodles.’ His blog has garnered both positive and negative attention for its brash attitude, its active ‘outing’ of alleged closeted celebrities and its role in the increasing coverage of celebrities in all forms of media.” I won’t re-post the entire entry, you can go here and pick it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perez_hilton.

Hilton is a stealth misanthrope of the lowest order who specializes in perpetuating his own useless, flimsy celebrity status under the guise of promoting a self-defined “higher” social good or, worse, he does what he does because he thinks it is fun. He’s been sued by folks who were otherwise-minding-their-own-business more times than I can count. He has a reputation for meanness that is particularly harmful to live-and-let-live Innocents. Again, from Wikipedia: “On his blog, Hilton is open about his homosexuality and about his desire to ‘out’ those who he claims are closeted gay celebrities.” The Wiki entry has a special section devoted to people of all stripes and sympathies who STRONGLY abhor Hilton’s activities. Count me WILLINGLY piling on.

Yo, Perez, what other people choose to do, how others choose to live out their dreams in ways that do not bother or harm the lives of any other person shouldn’t be any of your business. Anyone who lives under the law and doesn’t seek to impinge on the lives of others should be Free from the Fear that you might, or a government might, or that anyone else might seek their public ridicule or openly subject them to disrepute. Anything happen to you lately to get your attention on this matter, buddy? Perez, come now! It honestly surprises you when the Sword you have lived by comes calling with malice aforethought?

Having had a person in my own life who has been “outed” has made me keenly aware of the lasting damage that can be done by the careless spread of any private and protected information by second or third parties – whether true or not – when the person most concerned is unprepared for the event. (I cannot and will not argue lifestyle choices here. Don’t write me if you think I’m a [YourLifestyleChoiceHere]-Hater. I’m not. This piece isn’t about that. Caveat: I do favor forcing “private” information into the light when a person’s health or life is in danger. This isn’t about that either. It’s about what-goes-around finally coming-back-around.) When people are “outed,” and they aren’t the one doing the outing, reputations, livelihoods and careers can be trashed – not to mention what is done to families and otherwise loving bonds between people. Makes no difference if the outing is sexual (He’s GAY!), personal tragedy-related (She was raped, you know….), political (Did you know he’s a Republican?!?), past-life-indiscretion (She went to prison for it.), or any other private matter of lifestyle – if the person about whom the information is released isn’t the confessor, then it’s just gossip of one form or another. Check your handy moral and religious references -- gossip is bad. It is one of the refuges of the cowardly and fearful. It’s a weapon of the intellectually and emotionally weak.

Back to the case: another thing Hilton does regularly is to pick off “easy prey” in his desire to Ridicule for the purposes of furthering his own flimsy Celebrity or in order to further “his” social agenda. Again, this piece isn’t here to beat around the arguments concerning Mr. Hilton’s cause celeb, Same-Sex Marriage, just to beat around and beat up on his excuse for celebrity. He’s a hater of anyone who doesn’t “do” however he thinks they “should do.” Mr. Hilton is now primarily “famous” in Average-Jane-and-Joe-America for putting the then-Miss California, Carrie Prejean, in a tight spot in the final question phase of the recent Miss USA 2009 Pageant. Transcript of the question and answer from Wikipedia:

“During the Q&A portion of the contest, pageant judge Perez Hilton's question came to Prejean. Hilton asked:
Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?
Prejean responded:
Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.”

Okay. Probably a fair enough question in the context of All Things. After all, we are about “change” here in the Red, White and Blue.

[I am compelled to interject at this point, as an aside, that I cannot fathom how a sad little hater of a man like Hilton became a judge in the Female Beauty Pageant world in the first place. If he’s Gay and likes men, wouldn’t he be more qualified to judge the MISTER Universe pageant or something where men are contestants? As a gay man, and therefore obviously more open to being the potential target of some other man’s sexual desire, does he aspire to improve his chances at success-in-same by being a part of “all things more feminine” and therefore have an edge on the rest of the male world in attracting male attention? I’m so confused here. (It’s kind of like trying to follow the space-time-continuum paradoxes in a Star Trek film.) I understand that he has appropriated, as his very nom-de-guerre, a take-off on the name of his own highest estimation of The Sacred Feminine, Paris Hilton. (What the heck is HE thinking?) Does being a faux-feminine beauty-wannabe qualify him to judge True Femininity in some pageant organizer’s mind. Oh, wait… many state Miss X Pageant directors are also gay men?!? Hmmm…. Wow. I wasn’t aware of the trend. I would think that any female-beauty-contest-judging panel would more suitably be composed of Past Miss Whomevers and consist of slightly more traditionally-Masculine experts in Femininity. Perhaps Mr. Hilton can find a spot on the panel at the Mr/s/?. GLB 2010 Pageant. Hey, I wonder what those contestants would say about same-sex marriage, Perez? But, I’ve departed from the text enough….]

So, back to the drama at hand: Mr. Perez as the hunter and the Innocent as the hunted…. Or was it the other way around now...?

Like the celebrities “outed” before her, I personally think that Miss Prejean did the best she could with the career-ending, politically-charged dynamite handed to her. She fell on it. Again, I’m not here to hash that outcome. (She took the same stance as our President, by the way.) But it’s what came after that outcome that really shows us Mr. Hilton in all his radiant glory. He went to his video blog and made pronouncement upon the then-long-removed-from-competition and therefore-moot-contestant Ms. Prejean:

(Wikipedia: ) “After his blog post Hilton lambasted Prejean as a ‘dumb bitch’ in a YouTube video [I refuse to link.] he taped after the pageant Sunday night. He apologized the next morning for the attack, then retracted his apology. On the following Tuesday afternoon, Hilton told an MSNBC female anchor that he was thinking of the ‘c-word’ as he listened to Prejean's answer. Hilton in an interview with CNN's Larry King; ‘Yes. I do expect Miss USA to be politically correct.’"

I won’t re-argue the whole marriage question timeline here, but that’s what I was talking about in my opening paragraph. A viper lying in wait for an easy mark. Please allow me to use the format one employs to reveal the True Killer in the Parker Brothers board game “Clue:” “It was Mr. Hilton -- on National Television -- with The Politically-Correct Question.” Sorry, Miss CA. But I distinctly heard Mr. Hilton just ask you, to paraphrase an old mean-spirited joke, if you have “quit beating your wife.” [Irony intended.] You lose with any answer.

And now, Mr. Hilton has used a Homophobic Slur (The Other “F” Word) and received a slap in the face for same -- and the resulting blow-up is national chuckle-fodder and has resulted in Mr. Perez Hilton becoming the very public target of someone’s ridicule. He's lucky someone hasn't popped a cap in his ass. How sad, Perez. How sad that this didn’t happen prior to the outing of some otherwise quiet and unassuming gay celebrities or prior to the Miss USA 2009 Pageant.

But, don’t worry, Carrie… rest easy in the fact that now, forever, and always, Perez Hilton will go to his grave wishing he were half the woman you are.

So, I don’t know which side of the issues you come down on. Don’t care really. Some of you may feel sorry for Mr. Hilton. If you do, please read his blog and support his sponsors. For the rest of you who may enjoy cosmic justice... join me in enjoying a piqued, hurt, screeching little coward writhing in agony from a blind-side pimp-slapping as his private laundry is publicly aired.

That’s why I’m sitting here laughing my ass off.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Life, Fortune, Honor

Who wrote this piece below...? (He's dead now if a clue will help.) If you send me an email asking, I'll tell you. (Or you can Google yourself silly.) Why the secrecy? If I told you the name of this man up front, public polling says that I'd have a 50/50 chance that you'd call me names and never return my calls again.

That notwithstanding, this piece should be required reading for EVERY American regardless of demographic. Preferably to be read at a young, impressionable age.
(Btw, if you object to any part of this post, fine, but I don't want to hear from you.)

- - -

My children and I attended the gathering on the North Carolina Capitol grounds in Raleigh on Wednesday and the air was filled with all sorts of things - and none of it was covered properly in the media. I have three children I dearly love. Their future is, in part, my responsibility. I fear for their country's future. I fear for their liberty and their freedom. That's why I went on Wednesday and will go again whenever I can.
If you are one of the few who didn't/don't understand the Tax Day Tea Parties and want to understand them, this is for you.
If you think the Tea Parties were crap or mean or partisan. Stop now. You haven't got what it takes to understand the rest of this. Go away.
If you are a "thinking American," interested in your/our roots (whether you claim them or not,) who has an active, open and feeling soul, it'll just be confirmation of what you already realize.

Read on....

= = =

"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"

It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.

Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.

The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them." All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.

On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."

Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.

A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.

Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.

Much To Lose

What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?

I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.

Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: "Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

"The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.

"If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."

Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.

William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."

"Most Glorious Service"

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

• Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.

• William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.

• Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.

• Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.

• John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.

• Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.

• Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.

• Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.

• George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.

• Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.

• John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."

• William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.

• Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.

• Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.

• Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?" They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.

Lives, Fortunes, Honor

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Season's Grudge Reprised

Spring and birdsong have crept through my little forest on fog trails
Under loam and matte of leaf and stem I sensed the bulge of bulb and tendril
(Although that false and mischievous cloud obscured my view.)
Then Winter’s vapor did as vapor will and yielded late to fat flakes fallen
Heaps upon heaps of this bold reminder that season’s change can hold a grudge
Thus in an hour hid all victory from despair and his companion fear
They’ve found their way from East of Eden to my doorstep and into my garden place
Spring has held her tongue and awaits her cue in the wings of the story’s drama
I know her being to be right there in hiding, idling for a constellation’s arrival,
Pending a degree of heat and a lumen of light and a plodding turn of celestial arc
But only because I have seen the play before, just as I was last a seed awaiting
Window glass and wood frames the sadness within and the purity without
The snow has come a last time to bundle tight our expectation
And we will wait under this last shroud of denial until March bursts on
An arrow to her mark at downstage center in the footlights’ special warmth
Expectation of the story known still yields excitement in our hero’s wrath
I wish death not on any living thing except the bitter breath of winter
Living, like dying, isn’t fallow when furrows belie the field
Only furrows broken from below will beggar the sun’s return
And choice greenness, once again a hobo in search of home,
Arrives at where we are to be taken in as a child, our steward
The stage is set afire with light and all the characters are afoot
The properties are placed and the book is solved and put to voice
Implements of sound and light await the touch of action sewed
Tilling ground without a plow breaks the plowman, not the soil.
And none but broken earth will render birth and earth renewed
The white-crested daffodil can shiver a while to strengthen stem and petal
And earn the right to gaze where we dare not – straight into the sun.
So in the wings is Spring in costume with her painted face in study ready
And I, the plowman, here stand promising her I will not fail to cue her line aright
And I will beat her sword into my plowshare and take her path
Where she will lead, into her Summer’s promise I will follow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


In the night I walked beneath the Pole Star, there
My eyes were heaven-bent for help in prayer.
In a carrying wind I could hear music in the void.
Was I thinking of a silhouette in darkness I was walking toward?

Stars, distant and far away, struggled to exist - some now cold -
The only heat they’d ever known lost to space.
An orchestra of light electric spoke out of the past and raced
Beyond my ears as to stone a tale of turning they told.

My steps became tender - the moon was still to rise.
Gravity makes sure the step even when the heart only sighs.
Until we learn to fly, all steps end where they begin in dread.
Dreams only leave the ground when wings are finally spread.

And then a star did turn to stone as the orchestra’s memory played.
It fell from the night as in a blink I watched and stared at where -
At the place it had been and through its arc to nothing there.
A brilliant portent lit my brain and I drew in a breath delayed.

And when that breath came out again it carried a name in a prayer -
A sigh, a name and nothing more I’d dare.
When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are.
Specially if the wish is only a name of someone away and far.

Had you been beside me in the darkness eyes ice blue,
We’d have seen the star together you and I.
Would you have expelled my name in a whispered awestruck cry?
Would the moment have bound us - you to me and I to you?

Had we been taken by a golden streak in the inky tar
Would we have thought it right to make a wish in reverie?
A simple pledge to hold in our heart that memory
So we could say, “Remember when we wished upon a star?”

Thank God the Pole Star stayed its place anchoring the sky
I followed on toward my goal in a mundane errand of need
I vowed to keep that memory held and the portent sure to heed
On I walked. On I went. I left that place of time gone by.

Even if I hadn’t seen it, that star would have fallen just the same
Just a rock of elements bound in the common fire of annihilation
It had no hope or faith or love or living consolation
But it made me think of being alone. And died as I breathed your name.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I have a "condition..."

So I go to my doctor this morning and told him, “When I got up this morning, I absent-mindedly put on a pair of white gloves and I called my daughter Minnie. On the way downtown, I couldn’t help singing, ‘Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go.’ And, at the post office I called the drowsy clerk Sleeping Beauty.

What’s the matter with me?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” the doctor says. “You’re having Disney spells.”

It's no wonder I'm so Grumpy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII

Controversial Super Bowl XLIII Prompts Bailout Proposal

(Washington, D.C. – Feb. 2, 2009) ROUTERS - Today, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are in high gear looking for ways to tackle the doubt-riddled future of one of America’s most enduring sports traditions. The 2009 Super Bowl XLIII was played last night in Tampa, Florida, and ended in a 347-347 tie between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. (See Sports for play-by-play game recap and statistics.) The Obama administration has assured the American public that they will put into action their promise that “this type of debacle will never happen again.”

After a shock-riddled game that lasted well into the wee hours of this morning both the Federal Government and the new NFL are rapidly causing battle lines to be drawn all across the nation. The game was halted 19 times for ten or more minutes for conflicts which arose during the contest that appear to be beyond any foreseeable resolution.

The crisis began when a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an immediate stay prohibiting the Arizona Cardinals from substituting back-up quarterback Matt Leinart for injured starter Kurt Warner. Warner went out with bruised ribs early in the first minute of play after taking a crushing hit from Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. In a unanimous ruling, the court stopped play until a suitable player could be found to lead the team. The court ruled that third-year backup Leinart was not the man to lead the team in Warner’s absence citing his complete lack of any of the characteristics which would give the team “hope” and “carry America forward into the new millennium.” Both teams protested and NFL officials quickly produced a rule book to combat the court ruling, but to no avail. The Ninth Circuit Panel dismissed the attempt as a “backward step” for the nation. The Supreme Court declined the case immediately and Cardinals staff scrambled to find a suitable replacement.

Realizing their third-string QB Brian St. Pierre was not a member of any obvious minority, Arizona began seeking volunteers for the position. Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers, in whose state the game was played, nominated Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb as replacement for the injured Warner. The Court acceded and the game continued following the near two-hour delay with spectator McNabb now suited and playing in place of Warner.

The Eagles’ McNabb is an African-American.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Representative Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) issued a joint statement proclaiming the solution “suitable for sustaining the integrity of the contest” despite many outcries from Cardinal fans who pointed out that McNabb had just recently quarterbacked the team Arizona had beaten to reach the Super Bowl. “It’s stupid,” one said. “We just beat this guy to get here. He lost. We won. We should have the right to pick our own quarterback.”

Court officials rightly argued that McNabb was only one man on a huge Eagles roster and he had had “very little to do” with the Philadelphia loss to the Cardinals in the Conference Championship just two weeks ago. (McNabb was 28 of 47 for 375 yards and three touchdowns in the NFC Conference final.)

The game continued under protests by both Arizona and Pittsburgh but the Steelers’ outrage at the initial controversy quickly died after Pittsburgh scored four quick touchdowns, two on offense, and one each by the defensive and special teams squads.
That is when the Obama Administration quickly stepped in to prevent a huge problem from becoming a national crisis. The Obama Crisis Reduction Assurance Panel (OCRAP) removed Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger and replaced him with Canadian footballer Ben Dover. Dover had led the Saskatchewan Roughriders to last place in the CFL. Dover is white but he is openly gay, and would satisfy any possible Ninth Circuit objection. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) later praised the OCRAP move as “a cleansing moment of great relief in America.”

The game continued and the new Steelers quarterback was substituted. He was sacked a record 12 times in the remainder of the first quarter leading to six fumbles and three defensive touchdowns by the Cardinals. Dover courageously soldiered on, however, each time emerging from the pile with his trademark smile beaming on his face. “It was rough in there for a while,” he said at halftime, “but I loved it. That’s my kind of football.” He added, "Polamalu's hot tonight."

Both teams again protested the government intervention and the Cardinals then went on to score 63 unanswered points. Every time a player was injured. One of the new regulatory stakeholders proposed, and won, a ruling on the player to be substituted. The Court, Florida lawmakers, the Teamsters, the Heritage Foundation, and NOW all became involved in the game. Substitutions included an international cast of dozens all claiming intimate knowledge of football and thorough how-to ideas which would lead directly to victory. Some notable first half substitutions included film director Michael Moore (OT-Az.), noted philanthropist Richard Branson (SS-Az.), actress Lucy Lawless (WR-Pitt.), singer Toby Keith (TE-Pitt.), actor Will Smith (RB-Pitt.) and actor Danny Glover (DT-Pitt.) These substitutions were compromises necessary to stave off crises within the OCRAP a spokesperson stipulated.

Lawless was the first woman to play, and score, in a pro football playoff contest. “She’s totally hot,” offered an unnamed Steelers official.

By the end of the half the score was Cardinals 126 – Steelers 119. Conservative NFL defensive traditionalists attempted to step in to return to the actual rules and reign in the game’s wild scoring swings, but it seemed to be too little, too late. The straw breaking the camel’s back seemed to come on a Steelers fourth down late in the second quarter. The Cardinals, under duress, substituted blind rock music icon Stevie Wonder at cornerback. He immediately started in with his hit single from 1976, “I Wish.” The lyrics to “I Wish” include the words “nappy headed boy.” Bernard McGuirk, longtime sidekick for Don Imus, who was in at wide receiver for the Cardinals on the play, immediately filed a protest with the NFL and the NAACP asking the simple question, “How come he can say ‘nappy head boy’ and I can’t say “nappy headed ho?’” referring to the controversial line which had almost caused an end to both his and Imus’ careers. There was a wild melee on the field. The courts, the administration, ASCAP, the NAACP and the NFL immediately went into a closed-door session to hammer out a solution. It was at this point that the game became, by all accounts, too big and too complicated to continue in its traditional format.

At half time the Obama Administration announced that the Super Bowl was “too big to fail” and that it would take steps to nationalize the NFL, now to be called the Obama Freedom Football Action League (OFFAL). The administration assured the public that it had worked with lawmakers to forge a tentative plan to bail the OFFAL out with 19 billion dollars in aid and compensations.

The game continued, haltingly and in fits, jumps, and starts under a myriad of rule changes until most lawmakers and fans had left the game due to its length. Additionally, the game was played for a number of hours in total darkness while organizers scrambled to obtain enough Carbon Offset Credits to turn the lights back on.

With 1:59 left in the fourth quarter and Arizona leading Pittsburgh 344-340, the OFFAL and the OCRAP halted the game and awarded the teams a field goal and a touchdown & PAT, respectively. When the game was finally called a tie in the early hours of February 2nd, many traditionalists were once again upset. “This is one game that can’t end in a tie,” was a common cry. But new OFFAL officials cited fairness and trust, and change, as the cornerstone of the new league.

“This is best for everybody, all around,” said OFFAL Commissioner Designee Oprah Winfrey. She promised many more such games in the future where everyone’s needs and wants received a fair hearing during any OFFAL contest. “They will be great for the fans!” she promised. “We’ll laugh and we’ll cry. It’s the New Football.” Only the Chicago Bears have so far supported Winfrey in her quest to become the new commissioner.

Winfrey’s television show “Oprah” originates from Chicago.

The bailout proposal seemed to confuse many as the morning dawned and the stadium began to be set up for the Global Warming Crisis Monster Eco-Truck rally to be held tonight at the stadium. The contract with the rally organizer was the actual determining factor which decided that the game would be called, stipulating that all previous event paraphernalia would be cleared by six o’clock that morning.

Meanwhile, last night’s Super Bowl outcome has left many Americans reeling and wondering what shape the future NFL, now OFFAL, will take and how they will manage in the ’09-’10 season to come. “It’s going to be hard, long and painful,” said one Steelers fan, Bruce Oantoo. Oantoo was being consoled arm-in-arm by a small group of mixed Cardinals and Steelers supporters. They said that they were off to a nearby watering hole to plan how they would come together in the near future. The bar, Leather & Lather, a noted Tampa night spot for single men under the age of forty, welcomed them in from the night with cheers of “Hi, fellas!” The men inside seemed to be clinging to one another man-to-man in hopes of a better tomorrow. And that tomorrow starts now as lawmakers gather in Washington to prepare for the gathering storm.

Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, was unanimously named MVP of Super Bowl XLIII. He was the headliner for the half-time show and rushed for 73 yards and seven touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters for Pittsburgh.

-(Routers News, Ltd.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm not sure how to take this....

Which philosopher are you?
Your Result: W.v.O. Quine / Late Wittgenstein

There is no provable absolute truth. The way you see things is dependant on your language. Truths exist only within a language, and change as the language does.

--This quiz was made by S. A-Lerer.

Sartre/Camus (late existentialists)
Immanuel Kant
Early Wittgenstein / Positivists
Plato (strict rationalists)
Which philosopher are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear Mr. Vice-President

An open letter of apology to Albert Gore, Jr.….

Dear Mr. Vice-President,

I should never have doubted you. You said that you would put an end to Global Warming if it took until your last dying breath. I laughed. I never believed in the whole “Man Made Global Warming” thing. I chuckled at Earth in the Balance and I nearly laughed my ass off at An Inconvenient Truth. I didn’t believe a word you uttered. Well, I do now. You have proved that Global Warming was man-made to me beyond a shadow of a doubt. It had to be man-made, otherwise, how could one man have acted so decisively to end it?

As I said, I should never have doubted you. I apologize. I’m not sure how you did it but you kept your promise and put the issue to rights. As I write this, it is 21 degrees here in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is forecast to go as low as 9 degrees Fahrenheit this very night.

I shall doubt your prowess no more. You have flipped the switch and turned off our perilous meltdown into an ashen future. I congratulate you, Sir! You have turned off Global Warming.




Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Battle for South Florida

(I can't believe that I didn't know ANYTHING about this.
This has been happening right under my nose and I had no idea.)

U.S. Pounds Cuban Militants in South Florida, Rocket Attacks Continue

By Jonathan Mellow

(CGSNews.com) – U.S. jets pounded Cuban Militant targets in the South Florida Conflict Area for the third day on Monday in an operation aimed at stopping Cuban Militant rocket barrages that have plagued South Florida’s southern communities for years. The operation is the strongest military assault on the area since the Elian Gonzales Operation in the ‘90s.

Some 40 rockets had rained down on U.S. communities by midday on Monday,
including a Cuban rocket that slammed into the U.S. coastal city of
Palm Beach, killing one person and injuring at least seven others, the army said.

Another U.S. civilian was killed hours after the surprise operation was
launched on Saturday morning, when a Cuban Militant-fired rocket made a direct hit on an U.S. home in a community near Miami.

Cuban ex-patriots reported at least 307 dead on Monday--many of them Cuban gang members, though there are reports that a number of children have been among the casualties in the last three days. The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which is in charge of Cuban refugee issues, said on Monday that more than 50 of those killed were civilians.

The United Nations and other members of the international community have called for an immediate return to a ceasefire between the U.S. and Cuban Communist Militants, but U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates indicated on Monday that the U.S. had no intention of backing down.

(Copy & Paste)

“This operation will be extended and deepened as we find necessary. Our goal is to strike Cuban Militants and stop the attacks on the U.S.,” Gates told U.S. lawmakers.

Gates laid full blame on the Cuban Militants saying it controlled the South Florida Conflict Area. The U.S. withdrew from the South Florida Conflict Area more than three years ago, in a unilateral pullout giving a chance for what he called a “new reality”. But instead the Cuban Militants have been firing rockets and missiles and carrying out attacks against the U.S., he said.

Gates said that the U.S. was targeting the Cuban Militant leadership and doing its utmost “to prevent civilian casualties” among Floridian Cuban ex-patriots. He noted that the U.S. was also allowing humanitarian aid to continue to enter South Florida.

Speaking at the same meeting U.S. President-Elect Obama’s spokesman said that the U.S. should not work to stop the rocket attacks but should concentrate on validating the Cuban Militants.

“Our goal should be twofold—sure, stopping the attacks on our cities and eliminating the threat of rocket attacks from the South Florida Conflict Area,” said the Obama spokesperson.

“Stopping the attacks can be done within a short period of time, while
eliminating the threat of rocket attacks from South Florida will entail a respectful dialogue with Cuban Militants’ in their rule over the Conflict Area and accelerating the proposed Iranian base there,” the spokesman said in reference to Iran’s backing for the Cuban Militants.

The U.S. has taken great pains to explain its position to the international community. Officials have had to compete with pictures of flattened, smoking and burned buildings and the bloodied dead and wounded from South Florida.

U.S. government spokesman Annie Ware-Anitime said that her country’s message is that it would no longer tolerate the rocket attacks against its citizens but it did respect the Militants’ Right to exist.

“A quarter of a million U.S. citizens have lived the past seven years under duress, almost daily barrage of missiles. No country would accept that violation of its sovereignty,” Ware-Anitime said in Palm Beach.

Ware-Anitime said that the U.S. had restrained itself for many years but the Cuban Militants had deliberately built its military infrastructure in the midst of its own civilian population.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 3,100 rockets have been launched at the U.S. in South Florida--300 of them during the six-month ceasefire and another 350 last week, the army said.

“The last six months there has been no U.S. response,” Ware-Anitime said.
“The Cuban Militants had misinterpreted that restraint as weakness. They blatantly said they would not respect an international ceasefire. But now they have realized that America’s restraint and its abilities are far more than they expected,” Ware-Anitime said on Sunday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met on Sunday with foreign diplomats in the southern U.S. city of Miami, which has been hard hit by rocket attacks from the South Florida Conflict Area for years.

Clinton said despite the fact that the U.S. had left the South Florida Conflict Area years ago, with the idea that this would be the beginning of a Cuban client state. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the Cuban Militants seized control of the South Florida Conflict Area from Cuban
Authority forces.

“The Cuban Militants use their power to harm civilians. Our actions are designed to minimize the harm to civilians,” Clinton said. Most of those killed were wearing uniforms and the U.S. called on Cuban and U.S. civilians to leave places that would be bombed, she said.

According to U.S. officials, South Florida residents were warned following the initial air raid by phone calls, text messages and leaflets to leave buildings where the Cuban Militants was storing weapons or was headquartered.

Clinton said that the role of the international community would be to state clearly that: “The U.S. is not responsible. The Cubans are the rulers there but the Cubans aren’t responsible either. Both groups put the population of South Florida in danger.”

Clinton rejected calls for a ceasefire and said there was no equating the U.S. and the Cuban Militants. “The Cuban Militants are a terrorist organization and the U.S. is a state defending itself,” she conceded under sharp questioning.

U.S. President Obama said in a media interview that a ground operation is still on the table. The U.S. had called for a ceasefire and restrained itself time and again but it was clear, he said, that the U.S. would have to deal with the Cuban Militants with “full-fledged diplomacy if necessary.”

U.S. troops and tanks could be seen amassing on the border with the South Florida Conflict Area on Sunday for a possible ground incursion. The government has given the go-ahead for the call-up of thousands of U.S. reservists, state-run CNN reported on Monday.

Overnight, U.S. planes struck the Cuban Militant outposts and weapons manufacturing facilities as well as the office of Cuban President Raoul Castro and what the army said was a center for weapon research and development at the Communist University in South Florida City. Naval forces also struck Cuban Militant vessels and posts, the army said.

So far the U.S. has struck some 300 Cuban Militant targets, including 40 smuggling ports along the Florida coastline, on Sunday. The Florida Army Air National Guard used new bunker-buster missiles that it received from the U.S. recently, the Miami Herald reported on Monday.

The army said more than 150 rockets had been launched from the South Florida Conflict Area since the operation began, including two rockets that hit further from the South Florida Conflict Area than ever, slamming into the U.S. port city of Tampa far north of South Florida.

The two were reportedly Venezuelan, powerful Russian-designed weapons which Lebanon's Hezbollah has used against Israel with deadly effect for
years. U.S. officials believe the upgraded rockets, which have a 150 mm
diameter and a range of up to 240 miles, have been supplied to the Cuban group by Venezuela, Iran and Syria, and smuggled into the Cuban Militant-controlled territory through coastal ports along the South Florida-Florida border.

Humanitarian aid has been flowing into the South Florida Conflict Area through U.S. controlled crossings during the last two days, officials said.

The military operation took both South Floridians and Americans by surprise.

Over the last few years, the U.S. government has warned the Cuban Militants to halt rocket fire and mounted limited aerial strikes and incursions. But it never followed through with an all out military assault as it has this time.

One U.S. strike during the first round of attacks hit a graduation ceremony for Cuban Militant policemen. Cuban Militant spokesman Jorge Carlos Rivera vowed that his group would continue the “resistance” until “the last drop of blood.”

Cuban Militant chief in Havana Jose Escrival called on Cubans in South Florida to rise up in a new Hispanic intifadah. Since Saturday, Cubans throughout South Florida and in Miami have been rioting. On Monday, a Cuban stabbed three Floridians in what is being called a terror attack.

But some Palm Beach residents were also surprised.

Murph Crocker and Bud Jones, both 29, were standing on a small pier
overlooking the South Florida Conflict Area, drinking Budweiser and watching for U.S. military actions on Sunday as journalists arrived to take pictures of the city.

Crocker said he was surprised by the assault but Jones said he was not.

“They shoulda done this eight years ago,” Jones said. “The situation was
insufferable. There were many wounded in body and soul and suffering from trauma during the years,” he said.

Another resident at the site, who was too shy to give his name, said that his 11-year-old son was afraid of the rockets. Rockets have been hitting Miami since he was just three years old. He doesn’t know another reality, the resident said.

Resident and photographer Cheryl Johnson said she had been surprised.

“We didn’t expect [it] to be. We thought that everything [would] be the same. They [the Cuban Militants] will keep sending rockets at us and we will do nothing…so we were very surprised,” she told CGSNews.com.

“It’s hard for me to say that it’s good because I know a lot of citizens there [in South Florida] were hurt,” she said. “I’m truly sorry about the citizens in South Florida but we have to do something. We cannot keep sitting here and doing nothing.”

(Copy & Paste)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Favorite Subject-ive!

My most excellent mentor Doc over at his podium “They Rode On” set our brains to task with an observation by Barbara Kingsolver:

Don't expect God's protection in places beyond God's dominion. It will only make you feel punished. I'm warning you. When things go badly you will blame yourself.... Don't try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you are good, bad things can still happen; and if you are bad, you can still be lucky. - Barbara Kingsolver

Then Doc offered, “I recognize that even the premise of the first sentence will offend the righteous, believing there can be no such place, but putting that aside, I like this. Nothing new about the sentiment, but I like the arrangement of the words. I'm listening to The Poisonwood Bible at the moment, so if the punctuation isn't right, please forgive. Beautiful book. I'll warn you though, it is as much a woman's book as Blood Meridian (McCarthy) is a man's (and if that distinction doesn't make sense to you, read the two and you will never need to ask again).”

To which I replied:
“My usual reaction to observation on speculation of this order -- and we are ALL definitely speculators. (Not due, btw, to righteousness, due to belief in/of the definition of the concept of "God." Just a small basic difference which you accurately presupposed intuitively.) The definition of "God" includes "omni-" for omni -- all things -- otherwise you have only a very powerful being, not The All-Omni One. Arthur C. Clarke posed that, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." To my way of thinkin', God can only be "God" if he supercedes all technology (and magic.) So, to fasten the ends on my point, I'd challenge Barb to change the last word of her first sentence here from "dominion" to "volition." Other than that... I'll certainly buy her advice!”

Then Doc queried of me: “So, taking your implication of omni-presence as a given, I'll ask, just for yucks, which you will sacrifice to theodicy: omnipotence, omnibenevolence, or (the always less than satisfying Catholic answer) humanity's ability to accurately distinguish between good and evil? (It's too late for silence, btw. You already took the sugared bait.) >-)”

(I hate it when he looks at me like that.)

New acquaintance and long time “They Rode On”-er Buck added: “re: bait. I can see the glint of the hook and refuse to play. Mainly coz what I know of theology can be placed in my right eye, sans pain. Or even watering. But I like the quote.”

I then responded: “No prob on the sugared bait. If you check my BMI, you'll see that I'm over quota anyway. Ah, yes... good old Gotty (Gottfried Leibniz) and the question of Theodicy. Permit an old mind to cogitate a proper response and if patience permits, await a further observation. i.e. Hang on a second whilst I jot something down. I shall return anon”

Somewhat reluctantly, I have returned. Or perhaps retreated. Here. Jotted for your consideration…

- - - - - - - - - -

(Despite Barbara’s admonition against critique of the universe as a math (or logic) problem, here goes anyway. Reel me in boys!)

Ah, yes… leave it to good old Gotty! Gottfried Leibniz coined the phrase “Theodicy” way back in 17-something. Interesting about his name. (From Godafrid, which meant "peace of god" from the Germanic god "god" and frid "peace". Some guy named Norman, and a bunch of his friends, also named Norman, collectively THE Normans, stole Gotty’s name and brought it to England. Presumably Mr. Leibniz took it back.) Anyway, I doubt that he ever had any real “peace of God” concerning his question, “How can we justify God?” or more critically, how can we show that the evil in the world does not conflict with the goodness of God, and in spite of evil, that “our” world is the best one that could possibly exist. In short, if God, why pain and suffering of ANY kind at all anywhere any time? So Gotty, or God-dy, to his friends, seems to have come up with the coining of THE question for the ages. The definitive “Why?”

As of this writhing, (yes, writhing) I have three children under ten years of age. The question “why?” comes up all the time and I’ve discovered the perfect answer. It’s the same answer parents have used for ages. It’s the be-all-end-all parent-child-argument ender. It is the answer because it is the answer. It’s the one you were given and promised you’d never use on the helpless. The answer (which you already know) in a moment. First, some more exposition.

My children and my answer to that question, “why?” have served to sharpen the fractured and over-brimming insight that I have come to regard as my view of God in recent years. After all, according to Alfred W. Tozer the most important question you will ever answer is, “What do you think of when you think of God?” Every other answer to every other question will stem from this one answer in his estimation. At some point I have to agree.

Let us return to the question at hand.

Which will I sacrifice, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, or mankind’s judgement?
Or, in other words, which of the three will I lay claim to as the foundling common trait of God?

1) He is all powerful but is either too stupid, too insensitive (i.e. selfish), or just not in the mood to do “good” as humanity defines it. 2) He’s “good” but can’t (no power) or won’t (too stupid or selfish) or is just not in the mood to do “good” as humanity defines it. 3) Men and women are just moronic tiny specks who are too selfish to “get” God’s Idea of Good and Evil and follow His advice (i.e. humanity has too limited of an understanding to definitively define anything and we have poorly and indignantly defined “God.”)

Dude. Do you really have to ask?

Let’s put aside how God can possibly be “known.” I can’t even think how to address all the paradox of that question here. This is so "Area III" I can't even fart.

Okay. We got three things here which seem to cover every possibility. Power, goodness, and perception. Three is a special number. Big cool things come in threes or with three parts. Can’t define a Cartesian plane without three points. Three dimensions is the minimum required for reality and for a real object in space. Height, width, depth. The matter is covered. But to go for reality as we know it, you must add the inherent energy of a thing. (Time is the critical concept here.) Mankind has sensed this for millennia, but it’s taken Einstein and quantum theory to define it in terms understandable. Plato’s Cave had it at it’s source. Everything vibrates and has an energy signature. Everything, that is, except God? At least by definition? Is God self-defining or can He be measured. Can his power or goodness be measured? Have we the yardstick? Einstein: Energy = mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. (Don’t get me started on “light.” We can’t even define it, let alone measure it. We haven’t the yardstick. So we do with light as we do with God – we assume. But I digress….) And finally, submitted for your approval… Paul: (God) Love (the greatest of these) equals hope multiplied by faith squared.

To resolve the question at hand, I have no problem defining humans. But God? I don’t think any of us can define God. We can guess by looking inward and outward. Define? Hardly. I’ll go with number three, the human frailty theorem, every time. At least for "yucks," anyway.

For gits and shiggles, let’s make a few points moot. First premise. Is God all-powerful? Is He powerless? What difference does it make to us? If he’s all powerful no other force of nature, including human intellect, will, heart, or supplication makes any difference. God can do anything or God can do nothing. He certainly doesn’t sign anything. (Although Law still recognizes His Acts.) The result looks the same from here. That being true the only valid prayer is “God, help me align myself to your will.” Alcoholics – acceptance is the key.

Third premise. Are humans able to distinguish between good and evil? In nature, without moral imperative, no. Without guilt, no. Without reason, no. Without hope, no. Without time, no. Neither good nor evil can exist without the causality of time. Something has to “happen.” “Happen” implies energy. Good and evil require an answer to the question “why?”

So, to the point… second premise, is God benevolent? What’s “good?” Sounds good? Seems “good?” Feels “good?” Is “good” up for a vote? Is “good” purely sensual? Or is “good” externally defined? All but the last are completely variable. If “good” ever comes up for a vote, it’ll never reach consensus. If God is omnipotent or impotent, the only prayer is for acceptance and alignment. If God is good or the opposite nothing, the prayer is still the same. Acceptance.

In any event, it is all too evident that humans are small and insular as a group and we aspire to the direct opposite of both. Perhaps our own offspring are our clue just as we suppose ourselves the offspring of God. (How else did we get here? No, I dare you. Keep answering all your questions with the response, “But what was before that?” What will you do with the unavoidable causality of time, not to mention the irrationality of space?)

My best, and please-forgive-me, and let-me-off-the-hook, example…

I have lain on my back facing the clear night sky with a child near to hand and heard the question “why?” and then begun to look deeper into the dark starlit sky and then to ask myself the same question without proper answer. At some point, a child, ourselves included, can ask a question to which the proper parental answer is, “I don’t know.” A stubborn child can ask so many times and with such shrill venom that a parent’s final refuge is an old saw. Not a circular saw, though many have thought about it. (And we wonder why bad things happen to good people.) No, the old saw, “because I said so.”

So, sorry to stare at the hook and laugh, but the only vote that counts now or ever is our own. We each get one vote and one vote only and it must come by Theology and not by Theodicy. Tozer’s postulation. Leibniz’s answer. THE reason Theodicy will never provide an answer and Theology always will. Prove that wrong. I dare you. Is the only answer Faith? Is the ante for the game of “which omni- is God?” the ultimate acceptance of Him as something to be questioned? Can we Theodically accept ANY supposition? Can we Theologically accept “Because I said so?” If the Catholic answer is less than satisfying, (it sure is to me just because Catholic is Catholic) go lay on your back and stare at the night sky and keep asking “why?” and answering to the best of your ability until you reach “I don’t know… I guess something just happened” or “I guess because someone said so.” Maybe God’s Answer is ultimately because of premise option three, mankind’s inability, our inability to see in any glass other than darkly. In the beginning was the word. “Because I Said So… Dammit!”
At least for yucks, anyway.

Congressional Hearing Game Show

For two of my favorite categories: “there ought to be a law” and “how can we get some mo' money for the federal treasury.”

The congressional confirmation hearing process. I propose that this process be developed into a reality game show as a means to raise revenue for the United States Government. A starting framework of 10 suggestions is as follows:

1. All congressional hearings for federal post candidates shall be broadcast in prime time and shall initially be two hours in length, with eight (8) commercial interruptions of one minute each. All broadcast rights for hearings shall be awarded by sealed bid to the highest bidder from among one of the major media networks. The bid winner agrees to pay the amount of their bid per hour of televised time.

2. All proceeds from revenue from the hearing process shall go directly to the United States Treasury.

3. In any congressional “hearing” to confirm a candidate for a federal post, each questioner shall have, at the outset, fifteen seconds of introduction and “expression of gratitude.” Immediately thereafter, no congressperson shall at any subsequent time speak in a declarative sentence. Like Jeopardy, all congressional inquisitors shall speak only in question. Any declarative statement immediately disqualifies the questioner from the process and this condition shall also immediately disqualify the questioner from federal office and shall immediately trigger the process for special election in the questioner’s home state to replace said questioner . Each questioner shall have, at the outset, the right to ask three (3,) and only three, questions of each candidate.

4. No question shall contain more than six (6) commas or more than one semi-colon, and no question shall exceed a duration of fifteen (15) seconds as posed by the questioner. A violation results in disqualification of the questioner. A violation of this condition shall also immediately disqualify the questioner from federal office and shall immediately trigger the process for special election in the questioner’s home state to replace said questioner.

5. For each question that can be answered by a simple “yes” or “no,” the questioner shall be awarded an additional bonus of fifteen (15) seconds for an additional question.

6. For each simple “yes” or “no” answer, the candidate shall be awarded one (1) bonus point. An accumulation of one hundred (100) bonus points IMMEDIATELY qualifies the candidate for the position without further vote of congress.

7. At no time shall any questioner speak the name of any other questioner. A violation of this condition shall immediately disqualify the questioner from federal office and shall immediately trigger the process for special election in the questioner’s home state to replace said questioner.

8. Ten judges shall be selected to oversee and judge the hearing process. The judges panel shall consist of 1) the Chief Justice of the United State Supreme Court (de facto chair of the judging panel,) 2) one person selected at random from the current panel of all judges employed as judges on “American Idol,” 3) an additional two of the US Supreme Court judges chosen at random, 4) the chairman of the National Rifle Association, 5) the chairman of the National Abortion Rights Action League, 6) Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, Ph.D., 7) one of the two persons randomly selected as the current past winner of the Best Actress or Actor Oscars, 8) and finally two taxpayers, one man and one woman, chosen at random in a national pool.

9. Each judge shall have a buzzer at their disposal. At any time the judge may sound their buzzer and exclaim in a loud voice, “That’s Bullshit.” (The second syllable of “bullshit” shall be bleeped for broadcast.) When this happens ten times the candidate is automatically disqualified and a backup candidate is placed into the witness chair. The number of backup candidates has no limit.

10. In the highly likely event that there is no automatic qualification of the candidate, the process continues until the two hours are over and at that time the committee votes on the surviving candidate. In the event that no candidates survive, the event may be held over on subsequent nights until a winner is chosen.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Truth of Southern BBQ

... from some fellers who look like they should know....

Y'all know what they're talkin' 'bout.
Bar-B-Q ain't a verb. It ain't a fancy do or a grill.
Y'all come back now... y'heah?

(Thanx, Stuart!)


Obama's Economic Plan: Ignorance or Engineering?

Text of Obama speech on the economy….
Jan. 8, 2009
WASHINGTON - Here are excerpts from the prepared text for a speech given by President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., as released by his transition office.

[With my observations.]

We start 2009 in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime - a crisis that has only deepened over the last few weeks.

[A crisis created of the Liberals, by the Liberals and for the Liberals.]

This crisis did not happen solely by some accident of history or normal turn of the business cycle, and we won't get out of it by simply waiting for a better day to come, or relying on the worn-out dogmas of the past. We arrived at this point due to an era of profound irresponsibility that stretched from corporate boardrooms to the halls of power in Washington, DC.

[…but mostly from the Democrat Party of the United States of America.]

For years, too many Wall Street executives made imprudent and dangerous decisions, seeking profits with too little regard for risk, too little regulatory scrutiny, and too little accountability. Banks made loans without concern for whether borrowers could repay them, and some borrowers took advantage of cheap credit to take on debt they couldn't afford.

[Loans demanded and guaranteed by Democrats in the U.S. Congress to make life fair for the poor. How’s that workin’ out for us?]

Politicians spent taxpayer money without wisdom or discipline, and too often focused on scoring political points instead of the problems they were sent here to solve. The result has been a devastating loss of trust and confidence in our economy, our financial markets, and our government.
Now, the very fact that this crisis is largely of our own making means that it is not beyond our ability to solve. Our problems are rooted in past mistakes, not our capacity for future greatness. It will take time, perhaps many years, but we can rebuild that lost trust and confidence. We can restore opportunity and prosperity. We should never forget that our workers are still more productive than any on Earth. Our universities are still the envy of the world. We are still home to the most brilliant minds, the most creative entrepreneurs, and the most advanced technology and innovation that history has ever known. And we are still the nation that has overcome great fears and improbable odds.

[Don’t forget that we’re the only nation on earth that USED TO promise reward for effort. Now, apparently, we’re promising reward for existence.]

That is why I have moved quickly to work with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will immediately jumpstart job creation and long-term growth. It's a plan that represents not just new policy, but a whole new approach to meeting our most urgent challenges. For if we hope to end this crisis, we must end the culture of anything goes that helped create it - and this change must begin in Washington. It is time to trade old habits for a new spirit of responsibility. It is time to finally change the ways of Washington so that we can set a new and better course for America.

[Senator, President Elect, the only place that the culture of “anything goes” thrives is the Liberal Wing of the Democrat Party in the U.S. Congress. With the possible exceptions of Hollywood and the recording industry.]

There is no doubt that the cost of this plan will be considerable.

[BOHICA. Bend over. Here it comes again.]

It will certainly add to the budget deficit in the short-term. But equally certain are the consequences of doing too little or nothing at all, for that will lead to an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes, and confidence in our economy. It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy - where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.

[STOP. WRONG. NEVER. NO. Buddy, THAT’S how we got into this f’ing mess. Government, false, overreaching government got us into this mess. Government putting its hands and stupid ideas into the environment of Natural Law got us here. Greed and compassion coexist regardless of what we’d like to believe. One cannot exist without the other. Neither can be eliminated. Government is for mutual defense, commerce regulation and standards of weights and measures. Government is for unbounded equality in liberty and unfettered equality in jurisprudence. The human heart and its propensity to good or evil cannot and will never be regulated.]

That is why we need to act boldly and act now to reverse these cycles. That's why we need to put money in the pockets of the American people, create new jobs, and invest in our future. That's why we need to re-start the flow of credit and restore the rules of the road that will ensure a crisis like this never happens again.
That work begins with this plan - a plan I am confident will save or create at least three million jobs over the next few years. It is not just another public works program. It's a plan that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment - the fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work, even as, all around the country, there is so much work to be done. That's why we'll invest…

[The word “invest” means spend. The money spent is collected from fees and taxes. Fees are paid by users. Taxes are paid by people. All spending requires acquisition of capital. Acquisition of capital by government means release of capital to government by the people. Willingly or by force. Release of capital by people to the government means less capital to fuel the engine of a mutual social financial economy. In short, more money to government means less prosperity in the common economy.]

…in priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century. That's why the overwhelming majority of the jobs created will be in the private sector, while our plan will save the public sector jobs of teachers, cops, firefighters and others who provide vital services.

[People only buy what they think they want or what they truly need. Government buys what they think we should have to purchase our votes for its continuance.]

To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years.

[Government produces ZERO energy. Government can only prohibit the production of energy.]

We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.

[Government regulation causes paperwork and unnecessary spending. The answer is cheaper energy and cheaper efficiency not overregulation. Better mousetraps attract frugal dollars – “better” regulations attract confiscatory costs.]

In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced…

[EVERYTHING can be outsourced unless there’s a government regulation prohibiting same.]

…- jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.

[The planet is self-cleaning. Safety is guaranteed by mutual agreement or through the threat of force. People lie. Which concept do you trust?]

To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its cost, we will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America's medical records are computerized. This will cut…


…waste, eliminate…


…red tape, and reduce…


…the need to repeat expensive medical tests. But it just won't save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs - it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors…

[By definition, error is inevitable.]

…that pervade our health care system.
To give our children the chance to live out their dreams in a world that's never been more competitive, we will equip tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries. We'll provide new computers, new technology, and new training for teachers so that students in Chicago and Boston can compete with kids in Beijing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future.

[At what cost to people who would prefer food, housing, safety, and personal satisfaction to taxation? Chicago and Boston aren’t competing against Bejing… Chicago and Boston are competing against each other.]

To build an economy that can lead this future, we will begin to rebuild America. Yes, we'll put people to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools by eliminating the backlog of well-planned, worthy and needed infrastructure projects. But we'll also do more to retrofit America for a global economy. That means updating the way we get our electricity by starting to build a new smart grid that will save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation. It means expanding broadband lines across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world. And it means investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.

[See “invest” above. We haven’t allowed free construction of energy resources in this country in decades.]

Finally, this recovery and reinvestment plan will provide immediate relief to states, workers, and families who are bearing the brunt of this recession. To get people spending again, 95% of working families will receive a $1,000 tax cut - the first stage of a middle-class tax cut that I promised during the campaign and will include in our next budget. To help Americans who have lost their jobs and can't find new ones, we'll continue the bipartisan extensions of unemployment insurance and health care coverage to help them through this crisis. Government at every level will have to tighten its belt, but we'll help struggling states avoid harmful budget cuts, as long as they take responsibility and use the money to maintain essential services like police, fire, education, and health care.

[Ergo, 5% of working families will receive a massive tax increase. Why doesn’t every citizen pay the same proportion of the tax burden regardless of any existential characteristic? Artificial, disproportional redistribution of wealth fails EVERY time it’s tried. There is no such thing as “bipartisan.” It is an oxymoron of the highest purity. Government has no belt save the permutations of Interstate 95 circumnavigating Washington, D. C. The Beltway is no “barrier” to the flow of capital, sadly, it is a catalytic conduit.]

I understand that some might be skeptical of this plan.

[Only the logical and rational.]

Our government has already spent a good deal of money, but we haven't yet seen that translate into more jobs or higher incomes or renewed confidence in our economy.

[Gee… I wonder why….]

That's why the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan won't just throw money at our problems - we'll invest in what works.

[Sigh. See “invest” above.]

The true test of the policies we'll pursue won't be whether they're Democratic or Republican ideas, but whether they create jobs, grow our economy, and put the American Dream within reach of the American people.

[And it won’t.]

Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made transparently, and informed by independent experts wherever possible.

[Wrong decisions are wrong decisions – transparency is irrelevant. “Independent expert” is code for “people who believe as I believe who aren’t on my staff.”]

Every American will be able to hold Washington accountable for these decisions by going online to see how and where their tax dollars are being spent. And as I announced yesterday, we will launch an unprecedented effort to eliminate unwise and unnecessary spending that has never been more unaffordable for our nation and our children's future than it is right now.

[No American can hold anyone accountable save the person who seeks their vote. Stupid voters install stupid representatives. Never underestimate the amount of damage that can be wrought by stupid people in large numbers.]

We have to make tough choices and smart investments…

[See “invest” above.]

…today so that as the economy recovers, the deficit starts to come down.

[The Federal Deficit is directly related to the amount of government spending.]

We cannot have a solid recovery if our people and our businesses don't have confidence that we're getting our fiscal house in order.

[We cannot have a recovery at all unless the government spends less. Period.]

That's why our goal is not to create a slew of new government programs, but a foundation for long-term economic growth.

[Holy God in Heaven. A lie is a lie is a lie. The alternative is UTTER ignorance. I think I’m hoping for a lie.]

That also means an economic recovery plan that is free from earmarks and pet projects. I understand that every member of Congress has ideas on how to spend money. Many of these projects are worthy, and benefit local communities. But this emergency legislation must not be the vehicle for those aspirations. This must be a time when leaders in both parties put the urgent needs of our nation above our own narrow interests.

[Elections, re-elections, are based on delivery of good and services. Deliver the goods and services and you get elected. Do I really need to comment further?]

Now, this recovery plan alone will not solve all the problems that led us into this crisis. We must also work with the same sense of urgency to stabilize and repair the financial system we all depend on. That means using our full arsenal of tools to get credit flowing again to families and business, while restoring confidence in our markets. It means launching a sweeping effort to address the foreclosure crisis so that we can keep responsible families in their homes. It means preventing the catastrophic failure of financial institutions whose collapse could endanger the entire economy, but only with maximum protections for taxpayers and a clear understanding that government support for any company is an extraordinary action that must come with significant restrictions on the firms that receive support. And it means reforming a weak and outdated regulatory system so that we can better withstand financial shocks and better protect consumers, investors, and businesses from the reckless greed and risk-taking that must never endanger our prosperity again.

[There’s a vast, huge difference between regulation and oversight. Conservatives have begged for oversight for years.]

No longer can we allow Wall Street wrongdoers to slip through regulatory cracks. No longer can we allow special interests to put their thumbs on the economic scales. No longer can we allow the unscrupulous lending and borrowing that leads only to destructive cycles of bubble and bust.

[Wrongdoers. Special interests. Unscrupulous. See “U.S. Congress.”]

It is time to set a new course for this economy, and that change must begin now. We should have an open and honest discussion about this recovery plan in the days ahead, but I urge Congress to move as quickly as possible on behalf of the American people.

[Until all media reports so we can decide, there is no “open” and no “honest.”]

For every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs. More families will lose their savings. More dreams will be deferred and denied. And our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.

[All crises are solved. The only issue is cost. Pointing fingers is the best way to avoid repetition. Did your parents never say, “See, I told you so?”]

That is not the…


…country I know, and it is not a future I will accept as President of the United States. A world that depends on the strength of our economy is now watching and waiting for America to lead once more. And that is what we will do.
It will not come easy or happen overnight, and it is altogether likely that things may get worse before they get better. But that is all the more reason for Congress to act without delay. I know the scale of this plan is unprecedented, but so is the severity of our situation. We have already tried the wait-and-see approach to our problems, and it is the same approach that helped lead us to this day of reckoning.
That is why the time has come to build a 21st century economy in which hard work and responsibility are once again rewarded. That's why I'm asking Congress to work with me and my team day and night, on weekends if necessary, to get the plan passed in the next few weeks. That's why I'm calling on all Americans - Democrats and Republicans - to put good ideas ahead of the old ideological battles; a sense of common purpose above the same narrow partisanship; and insist that the first question each of us asks isn't "What's good for me?" but "What's good for the country my children will inherit?"

[Survival always trumps the vision of the future. No survival, no future.]

More than any program or policy, it is this spirit that will enable us to confront this challenge with the same spirit that has led previous generations to face down war, depression, and fear itself. And if we do - if we are able to summon that spirit again; if are able to look out for one another, and listen to one another, and do our part for our nation and for posterity, then I have no doubt that years from now, we will look back on 2009 as one of those years that marked another new and hopeful beginning for the United States of America. Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless America.

[If you really want God to Bless us, get the Hell out of His way.]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lance: "Real Gone"

All I need to know about life, I learned from Lance Armstrong.

10. Just because you’re from Texas it doesn’t make you “big.”

9. “I represent change.” – Obama. “I’m the most tested athlete in history. I’ve never failed a drug test.” – Lance. Yeah, right. You can’t believe everything coming out of the mouth of the flavor of the month.

8. If you ride with Oprah, you’ll ride with anyone.

7. Forget the potential harm to your sex life… riding all day with a potato chip-shaped piece of leather up your crotch obviously directly affects the neural pathways to your brain.

6. Saying that “you give a dam” may simply mean that you’ve blocked up a creek on your property to create a swimming hole, increase pollution and annoy your neighbors.

5. While still recovering from a near-fatal cancer, he married Kristen Richards, who stayed with him through most of his Tour victories and bore three artificially conceived children (imagine the needles) and was his chief supporter and fan. He left her when his life returned to “normal.” Habitual victory seems to negatively affect faithfulness, loyalty, and trustworthiness.

4. He left fiancĂ© and fellow cancer victim & Grammy Winner Sheryl Crow* – who wanted a child with him badly enough to consider artificial insemination – and immediately accidentally naturally impregnated a nobody biologist from Colorado. Nice, dude. Real class. I bet Sheryl thanks God she dodged that bullet every day of her life. Evidently, the more bike races you win, the less you think of the people who support and enable your success.

3. Winning the Tour de France takes heart and lungs and legs. Having a child out of wedlock…? Now that takes ball.

2. Lactic Acid and VO2 maximum endurance thresholds are inversely proportional to the intelligence and ability required to count your blessings.

1. Surviving Cancer and winning bicycle races gives you the right to act like an asshole.

*Real Gone - Sheryl Crow
(I finally realized that this describes Lance to a t….)

I'm American made, Bud Light, Chevrolet
My momma taught me wrong from right
I was born in the south sometimes I have a big mouth
When I see something that I don't like I gotta say it

We been driving this road for a mightly long time
Payin' no mind to the signs
Well this neighborhood's changed - it's all been rearranged
We left that change somewhere behind

Slow down, you're gonna crash
Baby you were screamin' it's a blast, blast, blast
Look out babe you got your blinders on
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone, real gone
Real Gone

There's a new cat in town - he's got high paid friends
Thinks he's gonna change history
You think you know him so well, yeah you think he's so swell
But he's just perpetuatin' prophecy

Come on now

Slow down, you're gonna crash
Baby you were screamin' it's a blast, blast, blast
Look out, you got your blinders on
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone
Real gone
Real gone
Real gone

Well, you can say what you want, but you can't say it 'round here
'Cause they'll catch you and give you a whippin'
Well I believe I was right when I said you were wrong
You didn't like the sound of that now did ya?

Slow down, you're gonna crash
Baby you were screamin' it's a blast, blast, blast
Look out, you got your blinders on
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone

Well here I come, and I'm so not scared
Got my pedal to the metal - got my hands in the air
Well look out, you take your blinders off
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone, real gone

Real Gone
Real Gone
Real Gone