"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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Confused About the Duke Lacrosse Not-Rape Case?

Mary Katharine Ham has a roundup of things that did not happen:

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Not Dead Yet

A "phone booth" was a . . . .

Ahh, forget it.

We Report, You Deride

Real Headline from The Herald Sun of Durham, N.C.:

"Woman charged with malicious castration for Christmas party fight."

Money quote from police spokesman: "All we can tell you is that the injury was done with her hands. There were no weapons used."

Am I the only one who doesn't understand the use of the word "malicious" in this context? What's the other kind like?

Story HERE.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Child

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Presented as a Public Service

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More Seasonal Cheer

I was recently introduced to the unique holiday song stylings of Islamic Rage Boy. You'll find a sampling of his work HERE.

These folks are truly demented. How can we not love them?

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Barack Obama Christmas Carol

H/T to Dawn Eden (whose book you can buy HERE).

A Surprising Christmas Message

from Ayman al-Zawahiri, said to be al Qaeda's second-in-command:

Another Christmas, Another War

". . . if you continue to attack, we will kill every goddamn German that tries to break into this city."

Not a very sensitive, nuanced approach, eh? More HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Blasphemy of the Day

December is truly the Holiday Season. Filled with Holy Days, there is Christmas on December 25, there is Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish celebration beginning on the 25th of Kislev, and there's Kwanzaa.

This last being a bit of hard-leftist agit-prop invented in 1966 by a black-supremecist criminal con artist named Ron Karenga, who explained, "...it was chosen to give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."

[That's not something you see every day: An unapologetic, straightforward attempt to save you from those Christian snares. But even Ron knows that the "dominant society" isn't "Christian" in any important sense. But it is mildly capitalist and free-market in its beliefs, and that's what got Dr. K's panties in a bunch. But I digress.]

What's really odd about Kwanzaa is that hardly anything about it is true, and everything about it is intended to divert African-Americans from Christianity. It would be hilarious were it not so sad, and it's still amusing for all that.

Since its invention the bogus holiday has been incorporated as a sacrament of the Established Church of Fundamentalist Secular Orthodoxy. As such, we guarantee that your children (if they attend a school run by The State) have learned about this ancient tradition, and been taught the Kwanzaa Song. They may be unable to read, but they damn well better know that "Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa is an African Holiday." Which it's not, of course.

Indeed, like all aspects of the dogma of the Established Church, criticism of Kwanzaa will get you shushed in polite circles. Making fun of Kwanzaa, and exposing its silly roots, can get you banned by AOL. No, really:
Wow! -- my stupid poem, my puny blog, deemed "offensive" by a colossal corporation. My first reaction was that "Banned by AOL" would look great on my homepage. Then I started to wonder, as the anonymous commenter had: Does AOL censor email? And if so how? When and why? Come to think of it, Is that even legal? What constitutes "a high volume of complaints" and who is doing the whining?
That's part of Kathy Shaidle's excited tale of her discovery that she'd done something so offensive, so beyond the settled realm of acceptible internet discourse, that Mighty AOL had programmed its servers to block any email that included a link to WHAT SHE'D DONE.

And what, you may ask, had she done? (We're so glad you asked.)

Her crime (one so heinous as to be a Crime For Which There Is No Name) was to compose and publish this little thing:
'Twas the night before Kwanzaa
And all through the 'hood,
Maulana Karenga was up to no good.

He'd tortured a woman and spent time in jail.
He needed a new scam that just wouldn't fail.
("So what if I stuck some chick's toe in a vice?
Nobody said revolution was nice!")

The Sixties were over. Now what would he do?
Why, he went back to school -- so that's "Dr." to you!
He once ordered shootouts at UCLA
Now he teaches Black Studies just miles away.

Then to top it all off, the good Doctor's new plan
Was to get rid of Christmas and piss off The Man.

Karenga invented a fake holiday.
He called the thing Kwanza. "Hey, what's that you say?

"You don't get what's 'black' about Maoist baloney?
You say that my festival's totally phony?

"Who cares if corn isn't an African crop?
Who cares if our harvest's a month or two off?
Who cares if Swahili's not our mother tongue?
A lie for The Cause never hurt anyone!

"Umoja! Ujima! Kujichagulia, too!
Collectivist crap never sounded so cool!
Those guilty white liberals -- easy to fool.
Your kids will now celebrate Kwanzaa in school!"

And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight:
"Happy Kwanzaa to all, except if you're white!"
As a service to the universe, Kathy has provided an annotated version, with hotlinks, HERE.

The complete story of her being Banned By AOL is HERE.

And her modest mention of the events appears today on her own blog, relapsed catholic.

Now THIS is Scary

Louise Clarke, a 30-year-old Englishwoman, has been diagnosed with a rare mental disorder, the effects of which would terrify any rational person:
"It might sound funny to others, but suddenly thinking you are French is terrifying," she said.
Sounds about right to us. More HERE.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas, Christmas Time is Here

Tired of all those Christmas movies that everyone's already seen four times? Today's Washington Post has the solution: The Do-It-Yourself TV Christmas Movie.

Am I Surprised?


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Christmas Goat?

We are unaware of any scriptural basis for the "Christmas Goat" tradition, but apparently there is (nonetheless) such a thing as the "Christmas Goat."

Straw. 43-feet high. Flame-retardant chemicals. Vandal dressed as the Gingerbread Man.

No, really: More HERE.

Via girlfriday, where there's even a song.

Here's a picture of the 2004 incarnation (so to speak):

A Low Rent Guy

"As Secretary-General Annan prepares to leave his post at the United Nations, a mystery is surfacing surrounding his apartment on Roosevelt Island, subsidized by New York taxpayers, which is still in use by the family of his brother, Kobina Annan.

"The apartment was where Mr. Annan and his wife lived before 1997, when he became secretary-general. The Roosevelt Island home is part of an estate of low-rent state-regulated housing. For years, the Annans saved considerable sums by occupying an apartment meant to help financially strapped low- to moderate-income New York families.

"One question Mr. Annan has never addressed is why he and his wife felt comfortable availing themselves of this generous arrangement. Another is how it is that, since Mr. Annan and his wife left that Roosevelt Island apartment 10 years ago to move into the rent-free residence on Sutton Place supplied to the secretary-general, their former low-rent apartment was handed over to be occupied by the family of Mr. Annan's brother.

"This kind of apartment, part of a state-regulated housing development program called Mitchell-Lama, is subject to strict eligibility requirements, involving family size and financial ceilings on combined family income. There is also a requirement that the leaseholder make continuous use of the apartment as a primary residence."

Story HERE.


Shamelessly stolen from Are We Lumberjacks?

[UPDATE] Annika had a slightly different reaction.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Maiden

Luke 1:26-38

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

"And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

"And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

"For with God nothing shall be impossible."

And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her.

Matthew 1:18-24

When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife . . . .

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Finally, Some Recognition

If Time Magazine notices something, does that necessarily mean that it's all about last week? We're depressed.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Cards

Insurance agents send out Christmas cards. Car dealers send out Christmas cards. Accountants send out Christmas cards. And so, inevitably, politicians send out Christmas cards. They can't stop themselves. It's an opportunity for them to demonstrate to their constituents that they're . . . something or other.

Of course, card selection is rather different for a politician. You or I can choose to send out cards that reflect our own views -- religious, political, or personal. Thus some regular people decide on those truly horrid family-picture cards. Others choose differently iconic images, such as the Christ child, the Madonna, Santa, reindeer or, we suppose, Madonna.

Politicians, on the other hand, must choose more carefully, so as not to offend. Too religious, and the ACLU is offended. Too secular, and the orthodox are irritated. Strike too close a balance, and it's clear to everyone that you're trying not to piss them off.

Which brings us to The Honorable Phil Bredesen, Governor of the great state of Tennessee. The Nashville Tennessean reports that his card this year features the image set out above right:
Gov. Phil Bredesen has given an unusual twist to his family's Christmas card: He is marking a Christian holiday with a card depicting a Muslim girl.

The card's cover is a print of a painting by the governor of a young woman he met when he toured Afghanistan in March.

"May the peace and joy of this Christmas season be with you and your loved ones throughout the coming year," the card reads.

"While it may seem odd to put a portrait of a young Muslim woman on a Christmas card, this Season reminds us that He loves His children most of all," Bredesen stated on the back of the card.

Khaled Sakalla, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Nashville, said the local Muslim community also wishes Christians a peaceful and happy holiday. But, he said, if the governor saw a Muslim woman in Afghanistan as depicted — with her head partially uncovered — that's not the Muslim dress code.

"Women shouldn't have their faces fully covered, nor should they have their hair half-uncovered," Sakalla said.

A local conservative Christian minister also wasn't sure.

"If he is saying Christmas is about honoring all religions, I don't agree," said the Rev. Maury Davis of Cornerstone Church in Madison. "If the message is to love all people, that is Jesus Christ's message. The governor's message is just not very clear."

The back of the card closes with, "May the miracle of Christmas help bring peace to this young woman and her wounded land."
So the Governor managed to irritate some folks who think this stunt is patronizing, others who wonder if he's promoting some sort of Universalist mush, and still others who can't stop themselves (even at this distance) from correcting the dress of their female co-religionists. This is a card with something for everyone. Or nothing for anyone.

We, on the other hand, couldn't shake our very first reaction: That the young woman's pose bears a rather alarming similarity to yet another iconic figure from popular culture.

But maybe that's just us.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Peter Boyle - R.I.P.

From Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, with Gene Wilder:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We're Not in San Francisco Anymore

The Associated Press reports:
READING, Pa. - A minor earthquake shook at least one building near the city Wednesday and prompted startled residents to inundate Berks County's 911 center with phone calls.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake, with a magnitude of 2.5, struck shortly after 2 p.m. about seven miles west-southwest of Reading, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
We thought it best to post this before Hired Hand weighed in from northern California. Out there, if it's not at least a 4 they don't even talk about it after work down at the neighborhood tofu stand. Of course a moderate thunderstorm makes San Franciscans hide in the closet, but that's another story.

Cats in Sinks

No, it's not that you misunderstand. There's nothing more to it than that: Cats in Sinks.

And who'd want to miss THIS? While safe for work, you'd do well to turn your speakers down (although you may ultimately decide that hearing these noises from your office will cause your co-workers to fear you on a fundamental level).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Messenger

Malachi 3:1 -

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 40:3 -

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Mark 1:1-8 -

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

And preached, saying, "There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

"I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

CBS: "Women Are Stupid"

Some Assembly Required

Everyone is Exceptional

Television station WCVB in Boston reports:
NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Needham High School has abandoned its long-standing practice of publishing the names of students who make the honor roll in the local newspaper.

Principal Paul Richards said a key reason for stopping the practice is its contribution to students' stress level in "This high expectations-high-achievement culture."


Richards said one parent with three children attending Needham High told him publishing the honor roll is a constant cause of stress in her family. According to that parent, one of the three students routinely made the honor roll while the other two did not.


Richards said publishing of the honor roll represented "an unhealthy focus on grades." He pointed out that there are lots of other ways that students achieve, such as in clubs, musicals, concerts, athletics and community service.

He said the ranking of students solely based on grades goes against the school's overall mission which is to "promote learning."

The decision to drop publishing the honor roll comes at a time when the Needham High community is dealing with heartache. Last month, two seniors were killed in a car crash. Last spring, a Needham High student committed suicide.
We are speechless.

In related news, the American League announced that they would no longer keep or publish batting statistics because, while such measures made Joe Mauer's mother proud, they tended to negatively impact the self-esteem of, say, Shawn Riggins.

Not The New York Times

Today's editorial in the Washington Post, on the occasion of the death of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet:
It's hard not to notice, however, that the evil dictator leaves behind the most successful country in Latin America. In the past 15 years, Chile's economy has grown at twice the regional average, and its poverty rate has been halved. It's leaving behind the developing world, where all of its neighbors remain mired. It also has a vibrant democracy. Earlier this year it elected another socialist president, Michelle Bachelet, who suffered persecution during the Pinochet years.

Like it or not, Mr. Pinochet had something to do with this success. To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum.

By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death.
Read the whole thing.

Monday, December 11, 2006


God Bless America

There are only about 14.6 million Jews in the world. Of every four Jews, three live either in the United States, with 5.9 million, 2% of the population, or Israel, with just over 5 million, where they make up only 80% of the population. Jews make up as much as 1/2 of one percent of the population of only a very few countries (the U.K., Belarus, Belgium, France, Russia, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Hungary, almost Australia).

They're only the twelfth largest religion in the world. There are 30 times as many Buddhists as Jews. Nearly twice as many Sikhs. There are 60 times as many Hindus.

For every Jew on earth there are one thousand Muslims.

It is a truly wondrous thing, then, that these few Jews are so very, very important in certain circles. They seem, for example, to positively obsess James Baker and the rest of the Iraq Study Group, and Jimmy Carter has quite a thing about them as well. Go figure.

We've previously noted that Mr. Baker and the Iraq Surrender Group seem to believe that Israel is uniquely important to solving the problems of security in Iraq. But that report is even more bizarre when touching upon the Jews, in a way we had overlooked. It calls for the future of Iraq to be hashed out by something called the "Iraq International Support Group." Mark Steyn realized something rather interesting about the makeup of that entity:
"RECOMMENDATION 5: The Support Group should consist of Iraq and all the states bordering Iraq, including Iran and Syria . . ."

Er, OK. I suppose that's what you famously hardheaded "realists" mean by realism. But wait, we're not done yet. For this "Support Group," we need the extra-large function room. Aside from Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait, the ISG -- the Iraq Surrender Gran'pas -- want also to invite:

". . . the key regional states, including Egypt and the Gulf States . . ."

Er, OK. So it's basically an Arab League meeting. Not a "Support Group" I'd want to look for support from, but each to his own. But wait, Secretary Baker's still warming up:

". . . the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council . . ."

That would be America, Britain, France, Russia, China. A diverse quintet, representing many distinctive approaches to international affairs from stylish hauteur to polonium-210. Anybody else?

". . . the European Union . . ."

Hey, why not? It's not really multilateral unless there's a Belgian on board, right? Oh, and let's not forget:

". . . the Support Group should call on the participation of the United Nations Secretary-General in its work. The United Nations Secretary-General should designate a Special Envoy as his representative . . ."


Oh, but lest you think there are no minimum admission criteria to James Baker's "Support Group," relax, it's a very restricted membership: Arabs, Persians, Chinese commies, French obstructionists, Russian assassination squads. But no Jews. Even though Israel is the only country to be required to make specific concessions -- return the Golan Heights, etc. Indeed, insofar as this document has any novelty value, it's in the Frankenstein-meets-the-Wolfman sense of a boffo convergence of hit franchises: a Vietnam bug-out, but with the Jews as the designated fall guys. Wow. That's what Hollywood would call "high concept."
My goodness: Iran needn't abandon its nuclear bomb program, or stop running guns and explosives to Iraq, and Syria isn't required to put a hold on its assassination of troublesome Lebanese politicians, but it's Israel that's in line to make concessions and, by the way, isn't invited to the party where the goody bags will be handed out.

Which brings us to Jimmy Carter. As all the world knows, Mr. Carter's new book (judiciously titled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid") is so biased, tendentious and inaccurate that its publication sparked the resignation from the Carter Center of Kenneth Stein, a Fellow there and its first director.

Sunday's Washington Post has a review of our worst ex-President's newest anti-Israel screed, titled "What Would Jimmy Do? A former president puts the onus for resolving the Mideast conflict on the Israelis":
Carter's interest in the Middle East is longstanding, of course; he brokered the first Arab-Israeli peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979, and he has been rightly praised for doing so. But other aspects of his record are more bothersome. Carter, not unlike God, has long been disproportionately interested in the sins of the Chosen People. He is famously a partisan of the Palestinians, and in recent months he has offered a notably benign view of Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization that took power in the Palestinian territories after winning a January round of parliamentary elections.

There are differences, however, between Carter's understanding of Jewish sin and God's. God, according to the Jewish Bible, tends to forgive the Jews their sins. And God, unlike Carter, does not manufacture sins to hang around the necks of Jews when no sins have actually been committed.
The Jews escaped Pharaoh, Titus, Diocletian and detouring Crusaders, and were the objects of repeated pogroms by the Tsars of All the Russias (both Romanov and Red), scheduled for extinction with industrial efficiency by the Germans, repeatedly set upon by the armies of more than 100 million Arabs, and subject to threats of being "wiped off the map" by Iran and its puppets. What is it about them that simultaneously earns them the enmity of James Baker, Jimmy Carter, and much of the world, but at the same time permits them to survive year after year, century upon century, for nearly 4,000 years?

Why, one might say it's positively miraculous. And to think that nearly 6 million of them live here in the United States.

God Bless America.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The End is Nigh

We here at Glib & Superficial spend a good deal of time surfing the web. We'd like to say that we do so in order to bring our readers interesting and thought provoking information, but that would be a lie. We spend much, most or all of our time surfing because we've nothing better to do.

That being the case, we suppose it had to happen some day. But as a matter of fact it happened today.

We found ourselves HERE.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7, 1941

A reminder to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of an appropriate exit strategy: Tokyo in February, 1945, and the deck of the battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Iraq Study Group

So now we have the considered wisdom of the Iraq Study Group.

In neither college nor law school did I find study groups particularly useful. I still don't see what value is added. An idea is not made more right, more useful, more likely to work, or more wise by virtue of the number of out-of-work politicians who endorse it.

I learned all I needed to know about the report when I discovered that it includes the word "Israel" several times.

The United States is presently undertaking security and military operations in support of the elected government of Iraq. Syria and Iran daily support a murderous insurgency with weapons, training, and funds. The Iraq Study Group was appointed to review the situation and suggest possible courses of action.

All of which has exactly what to do with Israel?

Well, nothing, of course. But if we'd like to bribe Iran and Syria to stop undermining the Iraqi government, perhaps Israel represents a bargaining chip. As an ally, we have more influence over that state than we have with Iran, since the latter is our sworn enemy. The reasoning appears to go that we can pressure Israel to come to an agreement to resolve the problem of Palestine. But since the only thing Syria, Iran and the Palestinians actually agree on is that Israel should be destroyed, it's a tad difficult to figure out how to work that triangle into a deal that has anything (helpful) to do with Iraq.

John Derbyshire, relying on others actually to read the report, observes:
It seems the only thing I would have learned from reading it is that what G.B. Shaw called "the great and the good"—the likes of Sandra Day O'Connor, James Baker, etc.—are not actually very smart, and rarely have anything interesting or useful to say.

Which I already knew.
Me too.

Werner Heisenberg

On this day in 1901 the German physicist Werner Heisenberg was born.

One day the great man was out for a drive, and was stopped by a policeman for speeding.

"Do you know how fast you were going?!," yells the irate cop.

"No," Heisenberg replies, "but I know exactly where I am."

Via NRO.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

'Tis the Season III: Killer Pies

No less an authority than the BBC reports:
Organisers of a village Christmas party have been told they must carry out a risk assessment of their mince pies - or their festivities will be cancelled. Council bosses say posters will have to be displayed at the party in Embsay, in the Yorkshire Dales, warning villagers the pies contain nuts and suet pastry.

The cocoa content and temperature of the hot chocolate must also be checked.

Resident Steve Dobson said the rules had made the small party as difficult to arrange as the Great Yorkshire Show.

Mr Dobson said he learned of the regulations after writing to Craven District Council to ask if he could use a car park outside Embsay village hall to hold the free party for the community.

He planned a fireworks display, mulled wine, Santa's grotto and free mince pies made by members of Embsay and Eastby Women's Institute.

"It is bureaucracy gone mad", Mr Dobson said. "The council gave me a huge list of things we had to do. I wrote back, a little bit tongue in cheek, asking if I really had to risk assess free mince pies and a brass band, and they said yes.

"Everything we do, from putting tinsel up to providing refreshments has to be assessed. We have to consider the dangers involved, that someone might choke on their mince pie or have a nut allergy.

"I also understand that Santa may need a Criminal Records Bureau check.

"For a small Dales village we found it a bit of a joke really.

"It's gone from us hoping to use a bit of council property for a community party, to needing the same sort of planning we would have to put in for the Great Yorkshire Show."

Mr Dobson said it he was now considering moving the party to private land elsewhere in the village.

Craven Council's director of community services, Jonathan Kerr, said: "We support these community events and we try to help local communities organise them and make sure they are as safe as possible."
How much damage of how many sorts has been done in the name of making life "as safe as possible?"

H/T to Tim Worstall.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Beasty Boys

I am on record as predicting that, within the lifetimes of my sons, pedophilia will be seen not as dangerous deviant behavior, and certainly not as a matter for the criminal law, but instead simply one lifestyle choice among the many that might be selected from the great buffet table of life.

As we enter the mopping-up stages of the decades-long campaign to normalize homosexuality, social deconstructionists must search for a new cause with which to scandalize the squares and startle the horses. Snickering at the normals is mandatory. (Homosexuals call the rest of us "breeders." What contemptuous term do you suppose will be used by those who prefer little girls? May we look forward to an Oscar nomination for "Boys in the Sand (Box)?")

My prediction remains firm, but I must confess that this story gave me pause, suggesting keen competition between pedophilia and bestiality:
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's Council for Animal Ethics said on Thursday there was no need to ban sex with animals unless it took place in pornographic films or sex shows.

Only one of the 10 members of the council, set up by the Danish Justice Ministry to establish and uphold animal ethics, wants bestiality expressly forbidden.

The others said current laws provided enough animal protection, according to Danish news agency Ritzau.

A senior member of the right wing Danish People's Party was shocked by the recommendation and said the subject should be put to a referendum.

"Then there wouldn't be any doubt about the result," Christian Hansen said. A Justice Ministry spokesman was not available for comment.
While one may wonder what qualifies as "right wing" in Denmark, it must also be asked why, if sex between man and armadillo is itself unexceptionable, the filming thereof should nonetheless be a stumbling block. We suggest, only partially in jest, that commercial exploitation of the affectionate sheep may be the issue.

Not Soon Enough

Associated Press headline:

President Carter Talks of Funeral Plans

Sorry, while we wish the ex-President no harm, some headlines write themselves. The story goes on to explain:
Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday he hopes to be buried in front of his home in Plains, the southwest Georgia town where he and his wife were born.

"Plains is special to us," the 82-year-old said during a three-hour live C-SPAN2 interview. "I could be buried in Arlington Cemetery or wherever I want, but my wife was born here and I was born here."

As a child, Carter briefly lived next door to Rosalynn, and the two began dating in 1945. The couple married the next year and in July celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

"Plains is where our hearts have always been," he said.

Carter said there are also plans for a funeral in Washington as well as a brief display of his body in Atlanta.
It's just as well that he plans several public displays, as that will give us an opportunity to make sure the son-of-a-bitch is dead.

Mr. Carter, always in the running for the title of "Worst President of the United States," has long since retired the trophy as "Worst Ex-President." His post White House career has been one long anti-American campaign, as he shuttles between murderous dictators (Castro) and murderous terrorists (Arafat). His anti-Americanism is exceeded only by his implacable opposition to Israel, a careless contempt which we suppose is explicable as merely derivative of his desire to bathe in the praise of anyone and everyone who hates America.

Any person of merely ordinary self-regard would promptly have understood that he was being exploited by America's enemies not because of his wise and penetrating political insights, but simply because an ex-President makes a great backdrop for trashing America. Jimmy seems actually to believe they think he's a great guy. He doesn't understand that the mean girls are making fun of him behind his back.

Now we learn that he'd like to be buried in his front yard, possibly in the begonia bed. Zoning and public-health questions aside, this seems a bit odd, rather like poor Jeremy Bentham, who reposes in the lobby of University College, London. And think of the security issues: Such a shrine will inevitibly become a place of holy pilgrimage for terrorists, washed-up dictators, international thugs, UN anti-Semites, African kleptocrats, and the like. We leave it to others to imagine how to stock the gift shop (little suicide-bomber dolls? a photographic collage of the American hostages mixed in with Jimmy in his cardigan?).

We shudder.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

And they have a plan . . .

Battlestar Galactica.



Friday, December 01, 2006

The Mainstream Media as Cult

Ali Bubba, at Alabama Liberation Front, asks:
Why are we watching AP repeat the same basic mistake that CBS committed with Dan Rather's fake-but-accurate National Guard debacle?

Two words: "Everybody knows." Anyone who has studied anthropology, sociology or mass psychology understands how false beliefs can become conventional wisdom within groups if (a) high-status individuals within the group advocate the belief, and (b) there is no one inside the group to dispute the false belief.

That, in short, is the herd-mentality explanation of why liberal bias pervades the MSM. It's also the explanation of the Heaven's Gate cult (whose members acted on the belief that they must commit suicide in order to be taken aboard a cosmic mothership traveling behind the Hale-Bopp comet). Where group membership is dependent upon shared belief, where skepticism of key beliefs is viewed as disloyalty to the group, and where non-believers are stigmatized, marginalized and excluded, the truth or falsehood of group beliefs is moot. Logic and evidence, so far as they might undermine belief, are unwelcome. This is how it becomes possible for groups to act upon false beliefs.

"Everybody knows" so-and-so to be true, and those who question what "everybody knows" tend to make themselves unpopular.
We think it unlikely that the editorial board of the New York Times will commit mass suicide any time soon

[we pause while you insert the appropriate joke of your choice]

but this is a point well taken. We see it at work again when Nancy Pelosi explains that she feels "sad" that President thinks that Al Qaeda fighters are in Iraq. "Everyone Knows" that there was no connection between bin Laden and Saddam (except that there was), and our Speaker-To-Be apparently got her talking-points confused. You'll recall that once upon a time "everybody knew" that Al Qaeda fighters had come to Iraq only because American troops were there. Of course, most people rather quickly realized that this was a good thing, rather than a bad thing, and so "everybody knew" it was time to move on to new confabulations.

How 'bout an Episcopal Blessing?

The University of Texas chapter of “Young Conservatives of Texas” plans to install an "ACLU Nativity Scene" on the West Mall of the Austin Campus. Their chairman explained:
We've got Gary and Joseph instead of Mary and Joseph in order to symbolize ACLU support for homosexual marriage, and of course there isn't a Jesus in the manger.
To commemorate the fact that ACLU founder Roger Baldwin was a notorious Soviet sympathizer in the 1930s, the Magi will be Lenin, Marx and Stalin. The tableau is completed by a terrorist shepherd and Nancy Pelosi as an angel.

We must say that we have in fact adopted the practice (where appropriate) of adding a comforting “Fear Not” whenever we mention the name of the Speaker-to-be. It is a trifle alarming, however, that the story does not make explicit that none of our differently-specied fellow creatures will be subjected to involuntary servitude.

Story HERE, via relapsed catholic.

This Just In: Oliphant is a Jerk

Jim Geraghty wonders:
I guess the point is that Benedict once insulted Turks (by opposing their membership in the EU) or Muslims (by quoting that Byzantine emperor) and so he's callously concluding he can make up for it by blessing them. I don't think that's an accurate depiction of events, and the cartoon seems to be smacking Benedict around for reaching out to his foes and trying to have an honest dialogue with them. Apparently the pope is callous when he doesn't talk to Muslims, and callous when he does.

But what really nags at me is the banners in the angry crowd. One says, "Go home Pope," one says, "Pope out of Turkey", and the last one says, "Nice dress however."

Oh, I get it! The pope's vestments look like a dress! Ha ha! Hooboy, what hilarity! I'm sure Oliphant was awake all night thinking that one up.

I look forward to his cartoons that will mock hijabs, abayas, burqas, veils... I mean, Muslim men's robes and tunics are kinda similar to a dress. Come on, Oliphant, let's see how gutsy you are by calling a bunch of Muslim men cross-dressers!
Someone please tell me again that the Established Church of Fundamentalist Secular Orthodoxy doesn't daily wet its Armani slacks for fear that, through some terrible inadvertence, it has nonetheless offended our peaceful Muslim brothers (remember, you're not allowed to look at our peaceful Muslim sisters, so better not to mention them at all), while at the same time Christians and Jews constitute an editorial free-fire-zone.

Pay attention here, my brothers: Pat Oliphant, the legendary speaker of truth to power, has just giggled into his soft little hand, pointed at the religious leader of more than 1 Billion Roman Catholics, and said, "Ha, ha ha! The Pope wears a dress!"

I presume that editorials in the Washington Post and New York Times decrying such insensitivity will appear in tomorrow's editions.