"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Canadian Health Care

"This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years."

More from The New York Times.

But watch out for in your ear, kid

Yesterday, at a Houston Astros minor league mini-camp in beautiful Kissimmee, Florida, Hall of Fame bound pitcher Roger Clemens pitched to some of the newest draftees. They included minor league infielder prospect Koby Clemens, The Rocket's oldest son.

We've all tossed pitches to our kids in the back yard. But none of us is Rocket Roger, and few of them have genuine Major League talent. So we suppose it's appropriate that Roger later described his first pitch to the kid as "probably one of the harder fastballs I cut loose." And Koby's reaction? He took the old man over the left field fence for a homer.

A real father-son moment.

But, once again, Mr. Clemens senior is no ordinary dad, and Mr. Clemens junior no ordinary son. Which, of course, raises the question: Where do you think dad threw the next pitch, when son Koby again came to bat?

Exactly right. As any student of baseball would have predicted, Roger threw the next pitch high and tight, right at the kid's head. The younger Clemens dodged the pitch, then smiled at his father.
"He was like, 'Sorry about that pitch inside. I was trying to change the view of the ball for you a little bit,'" said Koby, a third baseman who was drafted by Houston last summer. “I said, ‘I knew what you were doing.'"
Story HERE.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Separated at Birth?

Actor Don Knotts died last Friday at the age of 81. More HERE.

But now that they have "both" passed on, it is appropriate to note that Don Knotts and Frank Sinatra never appeared together, for the very good reason that they were the same person.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I now pronounce you. . .

The Beeb reports:
A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal.

The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders.

They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi.

"We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said.

Mr Alifi, Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight on 13 February and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat.

"When I asked him: 'What are you doing there?', he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up".

Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case.

"They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife," Mr Alifi told the newspaper.
H/T - a man known only as "Chesty."

Truth is Where You Find It

Anonymous e-mailer to NRO:
The downfall of civilization can be traced directly to the practice of putting televisions in taverns. Men stopped talking to one another. Then they went home and started talking to their wives to whom they hadn’t talked in centuries. This led immediately to wholesale divorce, which in turn led to women in the workplace and juvenile delinquency. Other ills too numerous and horrible to mention followed until men stopped wearing ties so they wouldn’t hang themselves.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

James Earl Carter, Jr.

Mr. Carter, plainly one of the five worst presidents in the history of the United States, and consensus winner of the "Worst Ex-President of All Time Award," says: "Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group's militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence . . . ."

Sing it, Jimmy.


Point One

James Lileks observes: "The Bush administration may well be in the right, but they have handled this poorly – the remarks about vetoing any Congressional efforts to block the sale may have been aimed at Congress, but they splashed right in the face of the voters. The crafty response would have been to acknowledge the worries, assure a complete and total review and disclosure, and let the facts speak for themselves. “You can’t stop it and I don’t care if you try” is not a wise response, and there’s no backtracking from that initial reaction without looking weak."

They Got the Wrong Guys

The two black bears at Richmond's Maymont Estate have been euthanized, after one of them escaped from their two-acre habitat, left the surrounding restricted area, climbed a four-foot fence, and then reached through a 10-foot high chain-link fence and bit the hand off a young child.

Wait, no. That's not exactly correct.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The child entered a restricted area and climbed a four-foot fence to reach the bears' two-acre habitat. The child apparently then put his or her hand through a 10-foot chain-link fence and was bitten.

Maymont officials do not know the identity, age or gender of the child, Brown said. However, they were informed in a closed-door meeting this morning that the skin on the child's right hand had been broken and the rabies test was necessary.
That is, a child (who may not have been so little) was permitted by its parent to go aggressively out of its way to get near enough to one of the bears that "the skin on the child's right hand" was "broken."

Apparently it is unknown which bear "bit" the child, so the brain tissue of both must be examined to determine if they are infected with rabies. This cannot be done on a live animal.

There is some adult involved here who was responsible for this child, and permitted it to run amok. That's our prime candidate for capital punishment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Support the Danes

Christopher Hitchens writes:
Please be outside the Embassy of Denmark, 3200 Whitehaven Street (off Massachusetts Avenue) between noon and 1 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 24. Quietness and calm are the necessities, plus cheerful conversation. Danish flags are good, or posters reading "Stand By Denmark" and any variation on this theme (such as "Buy Carlsberg/ Havarti/ Lego") The response has been astonishing and I know that the Danes are appreciative. But they are an embassy and thus do not of course endorse or comment on any demonstration. Let us hope, however, to set a precedent for other cities and countries. Please pass on this message to friends and colleagues.
That would be HERE, not far from St. Albans and the Cathedral, near the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory.


Possibly in response to repeated criticism from G & S, The New York Times has a new public editor. More HERE.

Dhimmitude on the Charles

James Miller wonders:
Imagine what would happen if the Danish government apologized for the cartoons, fired the editor of the paper that printed them, and gave $50 million to the radical Islamic protestors who have demanded the heads of the cartoons' creators.
And concludes that the result would be pretty much what's happened to Harvard President Larry Summers.

More HERE.

In Which We Endeavor to Widen Our Horizons

Here at G & S we seldom refer favorably to raving moonbat left-of-center magazines, newspapers or blogs except to highlight their often humorous content. But we have a certain libertarian -- not to say Objectivist -- streak, and so find ourselves at times in agreement with fever-swamp psychotics liberals.

Today the Oldtimer commends to our attention one Lawrence "Liberal Larry" Chomstein, and his take on the President's comments yesterday regarding solar power. Mr. Bush suggested that, in the future, homes could have solar panels on the roof, capable of generating not only power for that family, but excess power that could be sold back to the operators of the general power grid. Sounds pretty crunchy, no?

But even the most well-intentioned and high-minded action may have adverse collateral consequences, no? The Democrats, in nominating Mr. Gore and then Mr. Kerry, did not intend to cause the election of Mr. Bush, but that was the direct consequence, n'est pas?

Perhaps not. Larry explains:
So let me get this straight. Bush wants me to spend $15,000 of my own money installing solar panels on my roof, and then sell whatever I don't use back to the city so his Big Sunshine Buddies can gouge my neighbors on a rainy day? No wonder the Shrub is suddenly so jolly about solar power. His plan would effectively create ten of thousands of miniature Mom & Pop Enrons, all screwing their neighbors for an extra buck and pouring their ill-begotten loot right back into the RNC.

Just like water, air, real estate, and personal income, sunlight is a natural resource that belongs to everyone. It shouldn't be selfishly hoarded by private citizens, but held in trust by community leaders and distributed to each person according to his need. Obviously, Bush doesn't have any concern for the energy requirements of people who live under bridges or in sewer systems where the sun does not reach. Nor does he care how unfair solar power is to parts of the world that aren't blessed by constant sunshine. Will Bush do the right thing and cut back U.S. energy production so Germany, France and other sunless locales can compete with us in the global marketplace? What of states that are heavily dependent on aggressive gas taxes to create pointless union jobs? Will there be federal assistance available for the thousands of impoverished contractors who will be forced to sell one of their Harleys just to put food on the table?

There are bound to be severe environmental ramifications to solar power as well. One or two rooftop solar kits are just the beginning. Endless fields of solar panels soaking up the sun's rays like giant sponges will cast the world into a dark age unseen since Reagan was elected. Animal species and plant life that depend on their meager share of sunlight to survive will be threatened with extinction. Crops will fail. Millions will starve. Ted Kennedy's days of nude sunbathing will be over. Do you want to live in that world? I sure don't.
There's much, much more over at BlameBush! (subtitled "Because Bush is to Blame for Everything").

The sort of thing "Larry" is doing has always been difficult, but has latterly become well nigh impossible. In 1729 Jonathan Swift could count on it being unlikely any careful reader would take him seriously when he modestly proposed cannibalism as the solution to the problem of the great number of children born to the Irish poor. Such parody, when well done, takes some political or social notion and extends it, or transfers it to a different context, to illustrate the weaknesses of the parodied position.

But the success of such a venture depends upon general agreement on certain boundaries. That is, it requires that the audience agree that while a wide range of issues are debatable, there exist broadly shared beliefs, and therefore wide and deep understanding of what is serious debate, and what is absurd parody.

Today, much of what issues from the New York Times, or Senators Reid, Schumer and Kennedy, to say nothing of Dr. Dean and the most popular "progressive" blogs, could have been written by a parodist of profoundly modest talent.

Except that they're serious.

Compare and contrast, for example, today's knee-jerk and incoherent editorial in the Times, with the main editorial on the same subject in the Washington Post. The Times is all in favor of corporate racial profiling, entirely because Mr. Bush is on the other side (which seems to them not only an entirely sufficient reason, but a patently obvious one, requiring little exposition), while the Post wonders if various of the critics haven't taken leave of their senses.

Sigh . . . . .

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Ace of Spades rants:
This isn't just about cartoons. This is about the Islamists' attempts to inflict their theocracy upon us. Not even through war and conquest, which would be terrible enough. But through something even worse-- sheer cowardice on our part. They are attempting to impose their belief system upon us through our own voluntary submission to Islamic law, just for fear of speaking up for ourselves and making some radical Islamists somewhere very cross.

It's one thing to be forced to accept an alien religion and culture through military conquest. It is simply craven to accept such things while still ostensibly free and unconquered.

Submission. The key tenet of Islam. It is strange that many of those in our nation who are most hostile to religion, and most angered that anyone with a religious viewpoint even argue a political point in the public square, for fear of poluting it with their Jesus-talk, are so willing to submit entirely to the tenets of fundamentalist Islam.

I don't think that Islam should be discriminated against in the West. But I'll be God-Damned To Hell before I see it elevated, as quasi-official state doctrine enforced by our cultural guardians in the media and the academy, above every other faith in the country.

This is London

A NURSE who slapped a colleague's face with a frozen trout before moving the fish's lips and saying: "give us a kiss" has been struck off.

Britain's Nursing and Midwifery Council ruled at a disciplinary hearing that Patricia Jennings, 55, who also poked a woman's breasts to see if she was pregnant should be banned from practising to protect the public.

In a bad week for the reputation of the nursing profession, Christine Mitchelson, 52, of Newcastle was struck off after the tribunal heard she put a patient's glass eye in a glass of Coca Cola and served it to her ward sister.

Ms Mitchelson faced 12 counts of professional misconduct, including drawing a smiley face on a patient's hernia.

Good night, and good luck.

Link HERE.

Can you really do that?

Once upon a time I found the gentle humor of "Peanuts" often matched my mood. (In the early 1970's, the only cartoon strip run by the Rutgers Daily Targum was "Peanuts". Proposed budget cuts led to a threat by the editors to cut the strip, which they had to pay cash for. There was a near riot. Think about it.)

And betimes Zonker's adventures at Walden College struck a familiar note.

But these days I get the feeling that Scott Adams is reading my mind. Today is no exception.

Monday, February 20, 2006

February 22, 1732

by Rembrandt Peale

"He was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. His temper was naturally high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendancy over it. If ever, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath. In his expenses he was honorable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects and all unworthy calls on his charity. His heart was not warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every man’s value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it. His person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish, his deportment easy, erect and noble; the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback."

Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Dr. Walter Jones, January 2, 1814)

Bang! Bang!

"Firing Line" is a full-service gun dealer and smith, selling a complete line of firearms, accessories and parts. Their retail store is located on Highway 60, in Wyandotte, Oklahoma. They have an indoor range with eight shooting lanes, on which, they proudly tout, "Our customers can shoot anything from a .22 caliber to a 50 BMG on our range." For the uninitiated, "BMG" doesn't stand for "Big Machine Gun" (although it is one), but instead for "Browning" machine gun, since current models are descendants of the military weapon designed by John Moses Browning.

Every year Firing Line sponsors something called the "Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show." This year's version will be June 24 & 25. Here's the flyer:

And, of course, there's a web site HERE. If you don't have your own automatic weapon, never fear, a wide selection will be available for rental on site. It's billed as a family event, a place where you'll find fun for mom and dad, and children of all ages. Here's video of last year's gathering. I particularly like the "kill the car" event. The clip begins with a father and his young daughter, and they return later:

How could a family better spend a weekend?

Every day, in every way . . . .

From Savage Chickens.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Food Channel

Before following THIS LINK, consider where else you've been today where there was any chance at all that you would read this sentence:
Some dishes seem unexceptional, such as the goat penis, sliced, dipped in flour, fried, and served skewered with soy sauce.
We thought so.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Not Serious

Alec Baldwin is an actor. For some reason, we think that people who appear in movies are entitled to our attention. Go figure.

If one aspires to be taken seriously, one ought not say things like this:
Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America's prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions.
Some might think that "terrorizing our enemies" is a good thing. Apparently not. More HERE.

Piling On

I am tempted to say "Only in America." But the fact of the matter is that the Brits and Aussies can have a go at this sort of thing, although they're a tad serious down under. There was a time when the Canadians could be counted on, but they've gone all Euro on us.

Nevertheless, FARK is posting "Sitcom Situations for Mohammed." Why? Because it's funny, and because the actual Creator and Judge of the universe thinks these are funny. Well, He thinks the funny ones are funny. Link HERE. Our favorites here:

OK, Who Ratted?

The Sun Sentinel reports from Pensacola:
An Escambia County middle school gym teacher let children sit out his class if they paid a $1 bribe daily, netting him perhaps thousands of dollars, officials said Thursday.
We are a bit surprised that the school district has responded by arresting this fellow. One might have imagined that instead, a special tax would be imposed to subsidize those kids who couldn't afford to pay the dollar.

And it seems likely that the little nippers sought escape for the classic reasons: excessive rope climbing, and insufficient dodge ball.

Will they never learn?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

On the Shoulders of Giants

Photoshopped Walter Cronkite shamelessly pilfered from Jessica's Well.

All too real photograph of shameless partisan hack Dana Milbank from Michelle Malkin.

Rumor has it that the Washington Post's ombudsman will opine with respect to Mr. Milbank in Friday's Post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

In Which Gentleman Farmer's Head Explodes

He always seemed a bit too happy to me, though I always thought it was the weed. Wrap your mind around THIS one, GF:
Willie Nelson Releases Gay Cowboy Song

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Country music outlaw Willie Nelson sang "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" more than 25 years ago. He released a very different sort of cowboy anthem this Valentine's Day.

"Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)" may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist. But it was written long before this year's Oscar-nominated "Brokeback Mountain" made gay cowboys a hot topic.
Story HERE. No word yet as to Gentleman Farmer's paradox-driven meltdown.

We have met the enemy . . . .

. . . . and he is us. Mark Steyn on demographics:
Why is this newspaper published in the language of a tiny island on the other side of the earth? Why does Australia have an English Queen, English common law, English institutions? Because England was the first nation to conquer infant mortality.

By 1820 medical progress had so transformed British life that half the population was under the age of 15. Britain had the manpower to take, hold, settle and administer huge chunks of real estate around the planet. Had, say, China or Russia been first to overcome childhood mortality, the modern world would be very different.

What country today has half of its population under the age of 15? Italy has 14 per cent, the UK 18 per cent, Australia 20 per cent - and Saudi Arabia has 39 per cent, Pakistan 40 per cent and Yemen 47 per cent. Little Yemen, like little Britain 200 years ago, will send its surplus youth around the world - one way or another.


In 2005, some 137 million babies were born around the globe. That 137 million is the maximum number of 20-year-olds who'll be around in 2025. There are no more, no other sources; that's it, barring the introduction of mass accelerated cloning (which is by no means an impossibility). Who that 137 million are will determine the character of our world.

The shape's already becoming clear. Take those Danish cartoons. Every internet blogger wants to take a stand on principle alongside plucky little Denmark. But there's only five million of them. Whereas there are 20 million Muslims in Europe - officially. That's the equivalent of the Danes plus the Irish plus the Belgians plus the Estonians.


Scott Ott reports:
(2006-02-15) — V. Gene Robinson, the first openly-homosexual Episcopalian bishop, came under attack today for a recent statement in which he called his alcoholism a “disease” for which he’s getting treatment.

“Bishop Robinson has reinforced the stereotype that being a drunk is some kind of medical condition that needs a cure,” according to an unnamed spokesman for the American Drunkards Association (ADA), a non-profit group that helps people recover from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. “Alcoholism isn’t a disease, it’s who we are. We want to be accepted for who we are. The bishop has done irreparable harm to drunken clerics everywhere, not to mention the damage done to millions of lay-drunkards.”

The American Drunkards Association also lobbies lawmakers to gain equal rights for alcoholics — “a large and growing group of Americans who face discrimination daily, especially from the department of motor vehicles.”

“Imagine not being allowed to drive just because of who you are,” said the unnamed ADA spokesman. “Police across the country engage in discriminatory profiling against drunkards, and there’s no public outcry about this civil rights abuse.”

Bishop Robinson, who left his wife to live with his homosexual partner, said he’s “humbled by the opportunity to be the denomination’s first openly-gay, openly-drunk and openly-irresponsible bishop.”

“My life sends a refreshing message to our parishioners of redemption without repentance,” he said. “It’s a real improvement on old-fashioned Biblical principles.”
We know that's not Bishop Robinson. But the pic of a drunken Nick Nolte just never gets old.

Good News

According to THIS TEST, your humble and obedient servant has only a 4% chance of dying within the next four years. Since that's about how long I have to work to get my pension, I suppose it's good news for the Attorney General.


Jian Zhong Li loved Netflix. After a long night sorting mail at a Queens processing center, he could settle in at his Brooklyn home with all sorts of movies he’d never seen in the theater. Li especially loved Netflix because the DVDs come in well-labeled red envelopes that make them easy to identify amid the bulk junk. It also makes them so much easier to steal. When postal inspectors followed Li to his car, they found 83 stolen discs.

From New York Magazine.

Top Ten Islamist Grievances

Number 5: From a 1999 audiotape by bin Ladin: "And do not forget the betrayal of Acre, when Saladin's noble warriors were defeated by the infidel crusader Colonel Sanders, who burned my people at the stake, women and children alike, burning them both regular and Extra Crispy."

Nine more from Ace of Spades HQ.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"Everyone and his mother knows why the networks and the print journals haven't shown the cartoons -- they fear Muslims blowing up their buildings and stabbing their editors to death."

More HERE. And the infamous cartoons, which you won't be seeing in the New York Times or the Washington Post, or on CNN, NBC, ABC or CBS, are HERE.

Islamic Rage Spreads

HOMESTEAD, Florida (AP) -- Angry Muslims shook their fists, threw rocks, and burned Aunt Jemima in effigy outside a Pancake House in Homestead, Florida, protesting images of the Prophet Mohammad which had appeared on the popular restaurant’s signature dish.

Local Islamic cleric Mohamed el-Baradi bin-Sultan ad-Ali denounced the controversial flapjack in a speech to the throng:
This is too much. It was not enough that these infidels sell bacon and sausage, made from the unclean pig, and something called “scrapple” which also can’t be good. This Pancake House permits men and women to eat together, and even welcomes young Jewish women, who shamelessly display their Zionist boobies, particularly in the summer when the weather is warm, and they wear those little tube-top things that they need to keep pulling up.

Sharia clearly prohibits depictions of the Prophet on food products, post-it notes, and leather thongs. This latest unspeakable blasphemy is intolerable.
Consolidated StickySeats, Inc., the owner of Pancake House, denied that the image was of the founder of Islam. "It’s really nothing more than a thing we had left over from a Star Wars promotion. That’s supposed to be Liam Neeson," a spokesman explained. The company announced that it would pass out coupons to every Muslim in Homestead, good for a free medium soft drink.

More HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Washingtonians Cope With Snow

Monday, February 13, 2006

There's something about . . . Librarians

I like librarians. There. I've said it.

When I was a kid I was terrorized by cranky women whom I presumed to be such at the Monmouth County Library (then entirely contained in a very old house in Freehold). They were not, of course, but merely clerks paid to sit at the front desk and stamp the cards in the back of the books. It was many years before I got up the courage to approach one of those clerks and ask to speak to . . . . The Librarian.

He turned out to be a rather happy (if somewhat distracted) fellow who seemed overjoyed at the prospect of helping me; particularly as I wanted more help than direction to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Only much later did I realize that my request might have been his only opportunity that month to be a real librarian.

Real librarians know the difference between facts and information -- between data and knowledge -- between being told and learning. And (here's the secret) they'll help you figure it out for free. No, they really will! The rise of the internet and the explosion of information does not mean that we need fewer librarians (although we may need fewer libraries), it means instead that we need many more.

It happens that I have in mind a particular librarian, the proprietress of Mary's Library. She is an honest-to-God librarian, living among her own mountain of books. Did she live in a less geologically stable locale than Spokane, burial beneath a pile would be a daily hazard. The blog is about whatever she fancies but, being (at the end of the day) a Librarian, it can't help but be mostly about books. Go take a look.

You don't suppose . . . . .

Above and behind the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States is a marble frieze depicting great historical lawgivers. This is a portion of that sculpture:

The bearded fellow with the cap and sword, fourth from the left, is Mohammad.

We apologize in advance . . . .

. . . . to all those who will be offended by this.

Commenting on the Vice President's hunting accident, and the snarling reporters who today began gnawing at the "24-hour delay" in "reporting" it to the New York Times ("OMG! He's been shot. Quick! Call Helen Thomas!"), Jonah Goldberg notes:
Just imagine if chutzpah destabilized the space-time continuum. Then imagine Ted Kennedy taking to the floor of the Senate to denounce Cheney's accident reporting protocols. Space and time would fold in on themselves in the well of the Senate and while Ted would vanish in a fzzztt...spork! and a burst of ozone, maybe a cool pterodactyl or woolly mammoth would escape through the rip in existence and terrorize the capitol.
We now return you to your regular program.

Just So

Mark Steyn:

"If they wanted to appease the surging Muslim demographic, the British could conceivably withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan but it's hard to imagine they could withdraw from vulgar sex jokes and still be recognizably British."

Curiouser and curiouser!

We suppose it was inevitable, what with the release last week of the movie version of the children's book, Curious George. The movie, not about the odd antics of Mr. Clooney, but instead focusing on those of the hyperactive pet of The Man in the Yellow Hat, has provoked complaints from animal-rights "activists." One, for example, opines:
Although the white man in the yellow hat is never depicted mistreating the monkey (although some might argue dressing a wild animal in human clothes is the cruelest form of exploitation), the monkey is, nevertheless, a "naughty little monkey". George is constantly unsupervised, gets in trouble with the police, and is even sent to jail.


A modern, socially responsible reading of the book must focus on a socially just solution to the problems presented by the monkey's capture. Such a reading makes Curious George an excellent educational tool in teaching children an environmental ethic where the rights of all creatures are valued and considered.
And then there's the fact that he smokes. And sleeps in a bed. No, really. You could look it up HERE.

When Dan Quayle expressed the opinion that the Candice Bergen TV character Murphy Brown left something to be desired in the role-model department, he was roundly hooted down by the left, with the (apparently intended to be) withering observation that "Murphy Brown" was a fictional character, didn't the vice-president know that?

Well, Curious George isn't real, either, and doesn't really act much like a monkey. He's a make-believe monkey, much like Pluto is a make-believe dog, and Mickey isn't really a mouse. But that would involve fun and imagination, something entirely foreign to the animal-rights lefties.

I don't think there's much danger that anyone -- regardless of age or mental infirmity -- will mistake this movie for a wildlife documentary.

But that's just me.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

February 11, 1964

Stop the Violence

Another attack, HERE.

Catholics Are Sissies

And we have proof, HERE:
Poland's Roman Catholics expressed outrage on Thursday after a magazine published a picture of the much-revered icon of the Black Madonna with pop icon Madonna's face transposed on to it.

"We are shocked to see, yet again, the miraculous icon of the mother of God used in a [profane] way for advertising and business purposes," said Paulinian monks at Jasna Gora monastery in the southern city of Czestochowa, who are custodians of the icon that Poles believe was painted by St Luke the Evangelist.

Pop magazine Machina published a photograph of the sacred icon, with pop idol Madonna's face transposed over the face of the Virgin and one of the singer's children in the place of the baby Jesus, on the cover of the issue that hit the newsstands on Thursday after a three-year publishing hiatus.

"The icon, along with the crucifix and the Bible, are key symbols of faith for all Christians," the monks said in a statement published on their website.
The Big Pharaoh asks:
WHAT???!!! Is that it? That's the protest??? No boycotting of all Poland? No vilification of Poland? No burning Polish flags in Catholic Italy and Brazil?? No demanding an apology from the Polish government for what the INDEPENDENT magazine Machina printed? No riots???

Ohh, Catholics are sissies!
That's the least of it. Where are the denunciations of the United States, and the antisemitic screaming? No shaking fists? Not a single embassy fire?

Good God. We are embarrassed.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Approval: 27%

And disapproval of a whopping 43%. It's simply impossible to understand how a serious politician can survive these sorts of poll numbers. They indicate that the public has no confidence, and is fed up.

What? The President? Heck no. He's chugging along at about 47/52, hardly surprising when you have a job that requires you actually to do things.

Nope, the 27/43 are Hillary Clinton's "Definitely Vote For" and "Definitely Vote Against" numbers in the latest Rasmussen Poll when voters were asked whether they'd vote for her if she runs for president in 2008.

Another 23% allow as how they'll wait and see who she's running against before deciding. If the Republican candidate has a measurable pulse, we figure those undecideds will split about 75/25 against Hilly.

April Fools?

Rumors abound that Apple is set to release a "full-screen" video iPod (i.e., the entire face of the machine is the screen) around late March or early April 2006. Many say this represents what Apple should have done with their original iPod Video that came out in 2005 (screen size having been the main complaint).

The screen is supposed to include a transparent version of the iPod click wheel that will appear when you touch it.

Well, we know what purchase #1 with our annual bonus will be.

Apple stock, of course.

And then a next-generation iPod Video.

ANOTHER Corrupt Republican.

Or not.

The Associated Press reports:
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.

The activities _ detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press _ are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.

Reid's office acknowledged Thursday having "routine contacts" with Abramoff's lobbying partners and intervening on some government matters _ such as blocking some tribal casinos _ in ways Abramoff's clients might have deemed helpful. But it said none of his actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff.

"All the actions that Senator Reid took were consistent with his long- held beliefs, such as not letting tribal casinos expand beyond reservations, and were taken to defend the interests of Nevada constituents," spokesman Jim Manley said.

Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party's attacks portraying Abramoff's lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.

But Abramoff's records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid's office in 2001 alone.
Does this mean that Dr. Dean will now shut up about this "Republican scandal"?

We didn't think so.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wow, that sucks.

(02-08) 18:01 PST Monterey, Calif. (AP) --

The tranquility of Monterey has been disturbed by a foghorn stuck at the end of the Coast Guard pier. The switch is stuck on "on" and nobody in the area knows how to fix it, Petty Officer 1st Class Lance Benedict said Tuesday.

So the foghorn wails every few minutes.
We'd make some sort of snide reference to politics, but really the only response is "Wow, that sucks."

More HERE, though I'm sure you kind of get the idea.

Been There?

Damn Yankees

"When you are a kid playing baseball it is pure fun and worrying about what team you are on should be the least of your concerns," [Lowell] Spinners general manager Tim Bawmann said in a press release. "It becomes an issue where kids are devastated when they find out they are on the Yankees. Many kids actually pray they will not be on the Yankees when the rosters and teams are announced."

More HERE.

As Well They Might

University. Canada. Bad Danish cartoons. Guess what:
"There are concerns that people may see them and be offended by them and may be terribly upset by them, and given that, we thought that was a good enough reason to ask him to take them down," said [St. Mary's University] vice-president Chuck Bridges.
More from the CBC.

As Well He Might

As this is posted, the headline on CNN's website is:


When events become so bizarre that it is difficult to describe them accurately using normal language, it's time to consider a diagnosis of mass psychosis, and prescription of psychoactive drugs for much of the Islamic world.

G & S Loves Science

One cannot escape the great march forward of human knowledge. Where once we huddled in dark caves, seeking distraction by playing at dice with finger bones, now even our children understand that four of a kind beats a full house. It is inexorable: We hear the sound of inevitability.

For long have our masters scolded us that the food we liked, the food that comforted us, the food we craved, would kill us by stroke, by heart attack, by the slow rot of cancer. Fail to heed us, they warned, at your own peril. Double-Quarter-Pounder with cheese, eh? When you fall writhing on the floor, clutching your chest, we shall go about our medical duties with the attitude of that fellow with the shovel who trudges along behind the elephants in the parade. You got what you deserved, you greasy pig.

But take heart! Those who live by the scientific study must needs die by the scientific study. If our medical voodoo masters demand that we consume tasteless skim milk and bushels of brussels sprouts not because they have the shriveled souls of DMV bureaucrats, but in the name of science, then they must recant, and scuttle back to that nasty little crevice of Hell they call home. We are triumphant!

The Washington Post reports this morning that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has spent $415 million on a study that has concluded that prime steaks broiled with butter won't hurt you. And that, my friends, is the trifecta of authority: the WaPo, NIH, and a multi-centa-million dollar study. We're golden.

Above the fold we learn:
Low-fat diets do not protect women against heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer or colon cancer, a major study has found, contradicting what had once been promoted as one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle.

The eight-year study of nearly 50,000 middle-age and elderly women -- by far the largest, most definitive test of cutting fat from the diet -- did not find any clear evidence that doing so reduced their risks, undermining more than a decade of advice from many doctors.

The findings run contrary to the belief that eating less fat would have myriad health benefits, which had prompted health authorities to begin prominent campaigns to get people to eat less fat and the food industry to line grocery shelves with low-fat cookies, chips and other products.

"Based on our findings, we cannot recommend that most women should follow a low-fat diet," said Jacques Rossouw of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which funded the $415 million study.

Although the study involved only women, the findings probably apply to men as well, he said.
We can hear the frustration and dejection in his reedy little voice, can we not? Didn't work out the way you expected, did it, you damned pale, skinny celery-cruncher.

It is a great day. It is a new day. We'll see you at lunch, brothers and sisters. We'll see you at lunch.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Too Good to be True

A news service no one has ever heard of reports HERE:
Tehran, 7 Feb. (AKI) - Iran has decided to rename Danish pastries "Mohammedan" pastry - a new twist in the crisis which has triggered protest by Muslims throughout the world against cartoons of Mohammed first published in Denmark.
Something makes us think that these are not called "danish" in Arabic.

The Jewish Street Explodes

"At Brandeis University, a course on Lesbian motifs in Yiddish literature was briefly interrupted as students asked their professor what he thought about the controversy. In Washington D.C. a flurry of letters to the editor and press releases poured out of Jewish organizations."

More HERE.

You Can't Make Me!

Jeb, one of the contributors to Girlfriday, reminds us:
Let me start by saying that as anyone who knows me would tell you, I am a George Bush loving conservative. I think the Iraq war is right and abortion is wrong. Terry Schiavo was murdered. Richard Nixon is over-demonized. Reagan had tremendous foresight, and George Bush is no idiot.

I love cowboys. I love a good Western. I have loved Clint Eastwood from afar, literally for as long as I can remember. Homosexuality is wrong. Adultery is wrong.
But she went to see Brokeback Mountain anyway:
So I think I should have hated Brokeback Mountain. But I didn’t. I was moved to tears. Heartbroken even.
After a long and thoughtful review, she concludes:
If Brokeback Mountain is meant to be some kind of endorsement of homosexuality well then I didn’t get it and I’d have to give it an “F.” But if it is supposed to be a small, poetic illustration of one part of the human condition it does an achingly good job.
Read the whole thing HERE.

But she still can't make me go see it. No she can’t.
[Sounds of feet stamping wildly.]

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cars, Motorcycles, Bicycles, and . . .

From The First Post.

Bless You, My Children

Now that we have your attention, we note that we missed THIS story, about the priestly blessing of a Hooters restaurant in beautiful Waco, Texas. But Muley was all over it, wondering in "Spicy Wings and a Prayer":
Now, I surely don't wish harm on anyone who works in or eats at this Hooters, and it would be proper and Christian to ask God to protect all souls inside from any disaster. But -- am I the only one who thinks that calling on the Lord to bless a restaurant whose appeal and indeed its very name is based on the idea of men coming in to look at women's breasts through tight T-shirts is a bit...oh, I don't know...unseemly? Is there a chart somewhere which lists which types of businesses may or may not receive church blessings? Where do casinos fit into this list? Strip clubs? Peep shows?

Only in America

When next some pundit opines that those fellows and gals in the Muslim world just aren't like us, and it is therefore idiotic for utopian optimists to believe they will embrace Western values, consider this:
GAZA (Reuters) - When entrepreneur Ahmed Abu Dayya first heard that Danish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad were being reprinted across Europe, he knew exactly what his customers in Gaza would want: flags to burn.

Abu Dayya ordered 100 hard-to-find Danish and Norwegian flags for his Gaza City shop and has been doing a swift trade.

"I do not take political stands. It is all business," he said in an interview. "But this time I was offended by the assault on the Prophet Mohammad."
Full story HERE.

. . . in other news

From Ace of Spades HQ, via Right Wing News by way of relapsed catholic.

Recent Medical Advances

The Times (the real Times, in London, not that fake Times in New York that almost got us fired) reports that this April the Royal College of Nurses, at their annual convention, will take up the question of how best to assist patients who like to cut themselves:
NURSES want patients who are intent on harming themselves to be provided with clean blades so that they can cut themselves more safely.

They say people determined to harm themselves should be helped to minimise the risk of infection from dirty blades, in the same way as drug addicts are issued with clean needles.

This could include giving the "self-harm" patients sterile blades and clean packets of bandages or ensuring that they keep their own blades clean. Nurses would also give patients advice about which parts of the body it is safer to cut.
In a bid to retire the trophy for stating the obvious, The Times notes that the proposal "is likely to provoke controversy." A safe bet. Just to be sure its readers aren't confused, and have all necessary information at their fingertips, the article explains:
At present nurses are expected to stop anyone doing physical harm to themselves and to confiscate any sharp objects ranging from razor blades to broken glass and tin cans.
The pattern, of course, mirrors not only provision of syringes to junkies, but also passing out condoms to kids. The theme is that people are going to do certain dangerous, stupid, destructive things, so we might as well see to it that the damage isn't any greater than it has to be.

It would seem to any self-respecting undergraduate economics major that by reducing the cost of the behavior (by minimizing damage, and reducing the social stigma by this sort of official support) the result will be an increase in the underlying behavior. And it may well be that the negative effect of such encouragement completely overwhelms any positive result. For example, have unintended pregnancies declined since condoms, other birth control devices, and cradle-to-grave sex education became universal in the United States? We didn't think so.

And this principle has application to a wide range of dangerous behavior often accompanied by unintended or otherwise collateral damage: The arsonist whose ignorance causes an explosion, or the destruction of more than his target building; the murderer whose aim is so poor that he kills some pain-in-the-ass innocent bystander; the joy-riding teen whose defensive driving skills are inadequate to a high-speed chase; the poisoner whose potion causes unnecessary suffering. Extend the list at your leisure.

Can we make this stuff up? No, we can not. Complete story HERE.