October 31, 2006
John Kerry's Lounge Act...
... just wouldn't make it here in Lost Wages.
I'm having a fabulous time. Romantic evening with hubby last night, relaxing time at the spa this morning. Late afternoon I saunter back to our room, fire up the laptop and am confronted with Jean Clod Kerry's anti-US troops "joke" infront of college students ...
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."*Kerry's "joke" revealed the long, deep-seated contempt and hatred of the American military that has been the touchstone of Leftist bonafides since Vietnam. Kerry has never really left the 70's era where he took center stage to slander his fellow soldiers with his "Winter Soldier" testimony -- of "Ghengis Khan" allusions.
J-Clod has also compounded his original foot-n-mouth with pulling a Nixonesque meltdown "explanation" blaming his critics and pulling even the perfidious chickenhawk meme.
"I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did."Yes, J-Clod, the US military is SO full of Democrats that is why Gore tried to block their voting in 2000!
Yes, the military is just chock full of Democrats with the intelligence of a sack o'hammers who couldn't negotiate the education system.
Maybe Theresa will take away J-Clod's shovel and hand him a ladder.
Then, hopefully, she'll ground him, take away his credit cards and keep him from a microphone for a while.
Oh... and watch as the Dems' friends in the MSM will scramble to bury this story. They are already attempting to push Kerry's lies about this.
October 30, 2006
Viva Las Vegas
It's 8:15 am and this is the view I'm looking at while sipping some coffee this morning:
Hubby is attending seminars and I'm tagging along for fun and relaxation while he's in classes. I've got some serious pool lounging, tedious spa attending and hard-nosed shopping on my agenda.
I'll be checking in from time to time... and I want to try and get a pic of this same view at night with all the lights. Our room is delightful and the weather promises to be perfect (mid 70's).
October 29, 2006
Battlestar Galactica - Collaborators
We now find the remnants of humanity three days out from their exodus off New Caprica. But don't think that all is status quo from their last season. When an initial crisis is past and a moment of calm is achieved, human condition is to immediately look at who to blame and who to punish.
And we don't always get it right.
The episode opens in the most chilling manner with Jammer, a peripheral character from last season who has figured more prominently in the summer webcasts and in the opening episodes of this season, on his knees in the launch tube. He is surrounded by six grim-faced people, including Anders, Tyrol and Tigh, solemnly pronoucing judgment on him as a traitor. Certainly, what we have known of Jammer is he is not evil, but has been more idealistic and naive. However, he is being held by the six as quilty for participating in a cylon-backed raid that killed women and children and even his freeing of Cally at the gravel pit was too little, too late. He is still begging at the window when the outter doors of the launch tube are open and he is sucked out into space.
When Anders - disallusioned by his participation on the Jury of Six - confronts Kara who has been recruited to replace him, she has a small speech that encapsulates not only this episode but the internal logic of the BSG writers. Kara tells her husband that the last four months have changed her, changed everything, as if the world were painted in different colors.
Things change in BSG, not for the sake of change, but by how people are forced to change, either rising to occassions or falling to them.
One of my old-time faves, a big-screen, gaudy, over-the-top Hollywood movie is The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses. Even as the Jews flee from Egyptian slavery, they squabble amongst themselves. Dathan, who had been an overseer, consistently gnaws at their morale "is it not better to be slaves in Egypt then to die in the desert?" In another scene, with Moses gone, the Jews fall to making idols, quarreling and generally acting like fools. It is a movie that illustrates humanities tendency to want to follow the easiest path, its refusal to face the hard questions, its willingness not to think beyond the now.
BSG presents the same kind of universality. Tom Zarek, like Baltar, presented the face of the opportunist to the audience. A man who seemed to wear his commitment to ideals like a campaign jacket. He had been a constant thorn to Adama and Roslin. Yet, we find out this season he had refused to cooperate with Baltar and the Cylons and spent the four months as hostage. We are whipsawed this episode alone, first admiring his realization that he cannot remain as President without Adama's cooperation, then realizing he's behind the vigilante group Jury of Six, and then, in the final confrontation with Roslin, Zarek is fully correct in his assessment of the situation.
In a particularly masterful scene, Roslin is appalled at actions Zarek has taken, but Zarek seems to have a better grasp of humanity than she does. He challenges her, saying that the alternative she proposed, of open-ended trials would turn neighbor on neighbor, of false charges of "collaboration" leveled to settle personal scores, of an all consuming factional bloodbath that would tear the fragile coalition of remaining humans apart. Roslin's face changes from righteous anger to dawning comprehension. Zarek is right. He's not trying to "hold power" but was attempting to weed out the worst of the worst collaborators, take care of them, and then take full reponsibility for it upon himself ... to turn over the government to Roslin with no blood on her hands. Roslin cannot help but realize that Zarek is just as committed to seeing humanity survive as she is, and she knows she herself has done things less than principled for the same goal.
The episode ends with Roslin sworn in as President and in seeking a general reconciliation with the people anounces a general amnesty.
Yet, we know the dark blood borne of the Cylon occupation is not over. Tigh is just this side of insane and Kara is pregnant with a black hole of twisted despair.
I'm sure we'll witness yet more changes as we continue along with these tribes of humans wandering across the desert of space.
October 28, 2006
Murder by Fire
Born and raised in Southern California, wildfires have been as much a part of my life as summers at the beach.
I was seven and I can remember sitting in the car as my grandfather drove us through the ruins of Bel Air after it was devestated in November 1961. Where beautiful homes stood amidst lush landscaping, a pageant of glorious color, now was a blasted landscape of grey and black, a sparse forest of blackened chimneys. It comes back to me each time fire dominates the news and my neighborhood.
Fire in the tinder-dry hillsides of Southern California in the fall is bad enough. It is living hell when the Santa Ana winds howl and the fire literally explodes across the landscape.
That is what caught the U.S. Forest Service firefighters that were overrun on Thursday in the Esperanza fire. Three died instantly, one shortly afterwards, and a fifth is hospitalized in grave condition with burns on 90 percent of his body.
A tragedy? Yes, but more than that. Take a good look at the picture below. That is what is left of their firetruck. These firefighters were murdered. Murdered by the arsonist(s) that deliberately set that fire.
Listening to the officials talk about this, one cannot help but hear the barely restrained rage in their voices. Flags may be flying at half mast across the state, but there is nothing halved in the emotions flowing through state and local service personnel - firefighters, police, ems, search and rescue - and the friends and neighbors of these murdered men.
As it stands right now, the reward for information to find the arsonist(s) is at $500,000.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger added $100,000 in state money to a reward already posted by Riverside County for information leading to the arsonist. San Bernardino County and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which has a casino, added another $200,000. A Rancho Mirage resident, Tim Blixseth also donated $100,000, bringing the total to $500,000.
October 26, 2006
Full veiling is anti-female
Some would have it that Western women have no business commenting on the message sent by full veiling. Certainly,
white Western men should never even mention it at all! Non-Muslims should just quietly and uncritically defer to the sentiments of the women who choose to tent themselves.
Now, besides the sophistry of conflating the wearing of head scarves with burqas, of long sleeves and pants with chadors, not one of us that have taken to criticising the likes of the excreble Yvonne Ridley are calling for the legal banning of scarves or burqas.
But hey, instead of this "white" woman questioning the commitment to integration of immigrants who choose to live in Western cultures but who also refuse to even minimally assimilate, here's a few words from Ishad Manji in The Trouble with Islam
Enough, too, of wallowing in the conceit that Westerners owe us basic human respect, but we owe nothing to the Western values that offer us this opportunity for respect.And this about veiling.
...but desert tribalism can be detected even in what Muslims are often instructed to wear. Millions of Muslim women outside of Arabia, including the West, veil themselves. They accept that it's an act of spiritual submission. It's closer to cultural capitulation. ... While the Koran requires the Prophet's wives to veil, it never decrees such a practice for all women. Why, indeed, should it? Veils pretect women from sand and heat -- not exactly a pressing practical concern beyon Arabia, Saharan Africa, and the Australian outback. This means I could wear a turtleneck and baseball cap to meet the theological requirements of dressing modestly. To cover my face becaue "that's what I'm supposed to do" is nothing short of brand victory for desert Arabs, whose style has become the most trusted symbol of how to package yourself as a Muslim woman. Tell me: Should Allah operate like Prada?. And here's a telling excerpt from an interview with Wafa Sultan
[Q]Are Western feminists on your side? I have encountered Americans and Israelis who - when it comes to the rights of women in Arab countries - side with multiculturalism. Has this been your experience as well?Well, naive is one explanation.
[Sultan] Yes it has. I haven't received the kind of support I expected from women in the US. Recently, I gave a speech at the University of California, and during the question period, an American woman told me she didn't believe the things I was saying about Muslim men's treatment of women. She said: "Muhammed was the first man on earth to give women rights."
I responded, "Would you please tell me what some of those rights are, so I can tell Muslim women to be aware of them?"
She said, "I don't know, but I was invited to a mosque in LA, and that's what the mullah told us."
Can you believe how naive these women are?
Australia's Mufti - Women are Satan's weapon
This evil male makes my point about anti-female message that full veiling sends:
THE nation's most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned "meat" that attracts voracious animals.Kudos to this Muslim woman
In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame. [...]
"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
"The uncovered meat is the problem."
The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men.
"It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa)."
Australia's most prominent female Muslim leader, Aziza Abdel-Halim, said the hijab did not "detract or add to a person's moral standards", while Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Waleed Ali said it was "ignorant and naive" for anyone to believe that a hijab could stop sexual assault.
"Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that there is a relationship between rape or unwelcome sexual interference and the failure to wear a hijab, clearly has no understanding of the nature of sexual crime,"
October 25, 2006
After a weekend of playing and spoiling Nik and Sean, I'm now reminded of another important aspect of 4 year old preschoolers.
They are germ-factories.
I'm now down with aches, pains and a voice that cracks and growls like an untuned '68 Camaro with a bad muffler.
October 22, 2006
Islamo-feminists ... more radical than Western feminists
You agree don't you? Well, Yvonne at WaPo sez so, so it must be true!
I was a Western feminist for many years, but I've discovered that Muslim feminists are more radical than their secular counterparts. We hate those ghastly beauty pageants, and tried to stop laughing in 2003 when judges of the Miss Earth competition hailed the emergence of a bikini-clad Miss Afghanistan, Vida Samadzai, as a giant leap for women's liberation. They even gave Samadzai a special award for "representing the victory of women's rights."Well, Ms. Yvonne, please list the Islamist countries where these Islamo-feminist women exist. Iran? Where they dangle sixteen year old girls by the neck for the crime of being a rape victim? Where "moral police" can accost and beat girls and women on the streets for showing a lock of hair or wearing fingernail polish?
Some young Muslim feminists consider the hijab and the nikab political symbols, too, a way of rejecting Western excesses such as binge drinking, casual sex and drug use. What is more liberating: being judged on the length of your skirt and the size of your surgically enhanced breasts, or being judged on your character and intelligence? In Islam, superiority is achieved through piety -- not beauty, wealth, power, position or sex.
Sweetheart, that's your Sharia. Islamic law uncontaminated by evil Western rule of law. Own it. Own it all. Including your "laughing" in derision about Vida Samadzai while remaining silent about the death threats she has received from your "feminist" co-religionists.
I will own the warts of excessiveness of Western Civilization because the cost/benefit sheet comes down positively in the benefit column, regardless of the silliness of Paris Hilton.
I notice you live in England, not Iran, and enjoy the freedoms of Western society while embracing a religion that tolerates a radical element that would erase your rights as a human being if it were successful in its stated goal of world dominance.
You are moslem. Whoopee. I expect you to sift through your holy book for those wonderful, inspiring passages. But don't expect to convince the rest of us how wonderfully feminist it is when not one, one Islamic theocracy treats women as equals.
Your column is full of sneering half-truths while hypocritically condemning Westerners who quote the Koran "out of ignorance." You cite Western criminal statistics on domestic violence as "proof" that Western men oppress women. However, those stats actually prove that Western Civilization has criminalized domestic violence and prosecute. Unlike Islamic theocracies that encourage and support male on female violence.
You frame the veil controversy as a half-baked male excuse to get women to expose themselves. However, as I posted on PW more than two weeks ago ... In Western culture we have a saying about someone who has committed something so humilating and shameful —that they “should never show their face in public again.”
The veil enforces female humiliation. Females as shameful creatures. Females as less than ...
It doesn’t matter if a female “volunteers” to wear the veil or not. That she is a party to her own public humiliation doesn’t make that humiliation moot.
The veil is anti-female and no one should be allowed to say otherwise unchallenged.
Now you tell me who is civilized and who is not.It is you who is "not", Yvonne. It is you.
(h/t Dan Collins at PW)
Quote of the day
"It so happens that everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional."
~~Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
October 21, 2006
Walter Duranty shilled for Stalin,
Walter Cronkite stuck a knife in the back of the US Military by declaring the Vietnam war "lost" after the US won the Tet Offensive handily,
And Ted Kennedy so hated Ronald Reagan he tried to get the Soviets to interfere in President Reagan's re-election.
The offer was to help the Soviet leadership, military and civilian, conduct a PR campaign in the United States as President Ronald Reagan sought re-election. The goal of the PR campaign would be to cast President Reagan as a warmonger, the Soviets as willing to peacefully co-exist, and thereby turn the electorate away from Reagan. It was a plan to enlist Soviet help, and use the American press, in unseating an American president.Wow. The Left and their apparatchiks in the MSM haven't changed a lot in last several decades, have they?
October 20, 2006
Battlestar Galactica -- Exodus Part II
As long time viewers know (and have to remind themselves) is that BSG is not an "episodic" tv show. It does not follow the formula of setting the episode in the first 6 minutes before commercial, running 3 acts, concluding and getting everything back to status quo until the next week.
Nothing stays status quo on BSG.
One of its strengths is the writers' ability to find both the touch of the villain and the touch of the hero in every character. We can utterly despise a character for most of a season, to find some bit of redemption of him or her at the end.
This week we watched the end of Ellen, a grasping, venal maneater who followed her libido wherever it lead with a libertine enthusiasm. And yet, her last scene, as she told Tigh all of what she had done and how she calmly took the cup out of his hands and drank her death, revealed that part of her that only Tigh must have seen and loved. When he laid his head on her body and cried, we could understand.
The battle scenes were exciting, wonderfully directed with a few surprises. Crouched down with the humans waiting to rescue the hostages, we look up to see the Galactica actually dropping down into the atmosphere, its belly aflame with re-entry heat. A daring move to launch Vipers then jumping away.
It was quality worthy of any widescreen epic.
Kara never did fully succumb to Leoben, luring him one last time to a sixth death in an effort to evacuate Kasey. Another poignant, almost throwaway scene, as Kasey's real mother shows up on Galactica, profusely thanking a stunned Kara. Kara's face reveals warring emotions in kaleidoscope fashion -- loss, hurt, realization, and a deep chagrin at being fooled even this small bit by Leoben.
We also said goodbye to the Pegasus, as Lee started finding his edge again, in disobeying his father's orders and sacrificing the ship in order to save the Galactica and the fleeing human fleet.
The longer story arcs have begun. Gaius Baltar is fleeing with the Cylons as both sides abandon New Caprica. And baby Hera is now in Cylon hands. While D'Anna takes the child, setting off the nuclear bomb now forgotten in the love the Oracle foretold she would feel, we also know that Baltar will conspire to get close to Hera. Remember, at the end of season one, Six swept up Baltar in visions of "the shape of things to come" with the two of them raising a Cylon/Human baby.
The music was notable this episode, with haunting pipes at closing as Galactica filled with people long separated, now met, and stories exchanged on those that would not be returning.
A new chapter in this long saga next Friday. Please watch along with me. Best show on television.
October 17, 2006
GAY! GAY! GAY!!!!!!!
Since it's so close to Halloween, I thought I'd take a page from the Democrat playbook and scare y'all with the homersexshual. You know, cuz the Dems really seem to think that anyone to the right of them just must get the vapors at the thought of a little swishiness in the room.
First they tell us that we must never, ever trust gay men around adolescent males (while at the same time trying to destroy the Boy Scouts). Now we get to witness more gay outting.
Anonymous accusers? check
Outted "gay" isn't on the Democrat plantation? check
Democrats still berift of any actual ideas three weeks from election? check
No need to hunt for the perfect Halloween costume, no need to spend any money on fake vampire teeth, wigs and capes. Just make yourself a button that says "I'm a gay conservative" and scare the crap out of your neighbors.
That's how the Dems view most voters -- mouthbreathing homophobes.
Yeah, that's the kind of people I want in charge of national security.
October 16, 2006
UN -- Moral cretins pontificating
No fictional farce can do this better
The fifth seminar in the Unlearning Intolerance seminar series of the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), entitled "Cartooning for Peace: The Responsibility of Political Cartoonists?", will explore the rights, roles and responsibilities of political cartoonists in promoting peace issues.Why yes! Those events are equivalent because we all remember how Offended Moslems(tm) -- rioting, murdering, burning in the wake of "blasphemous" cartoons -- were met by Offended Jews rioting, murdering, burning -- in response to the Holocaust-as-Jew-conspiracy cartoons.
The anger and divisiveness engendered by the publication of the caricature of Prophet Mohammed and the recent controversial exhibit on the Holocaust suggest both a sense of the power and of the necessity of responsibility in the art of cartooning.
Let's not address that the moslem's calculated thug behavior is the problem; let's tell cartoonists and anyone that may offend moslems to SHUT UP.
So, how long before the UN is demanding Western governments to institute "blasphemy" laws and that Sharia be instituted for local moslem communities?
In the interests of multi-cultural "respect" and "tolerance", of course!
October 14, 2006
Battlestar Galactica -- Exodus Part 1
The Cylon execution of hostages at the gravel pit fell apart as the human resistence mounted an ambush, rescuing Cally, Roslin, Zarek and others. Meanwhile the Cylon ambush on the droppoint of Galactica's Sharon Agathon on New Caprica was countered as a strike team accompanying Sharon had planned for such a contingency.
As this episode is really the set up for the next, it set up more questions than it answered.
At some point, Sharon Agathon will find out that Hera is still alive. It is going to be ugly. Will she believe that Adama was not in on the plot? Or even Helo?
Kara seems taken with toddler Kasey. Has she bought into Leoben's assertion that Kasey is her child or is she just showing the sympathy and care due to a small innocent while attempting to lull Leoben into being careless?
What is going to happen to Baltar? He has been the craven, sex-obsessed villian we love to hate since the pilot. Once in a while we have been teased that there might be a tiny kernal of conscience under all the drunken lechery and arrogance. However, Baltar must be on the short list of every other human as People.we.want.to.execute.as.traitor. His "rehabilitation" as a character is going to have to be masterfully done if it is to be believable.
Speaking of traitors, the look in Tigh's one good eye as Ellen attempted to justify her betryal was priceless.
October 12, 2006
SCOTUS -- The Button Question
Here's an interesting case before the Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON - With an 11-year-old San Jose murder conviction hanging in the balance, the U.S. Supreme Court today appeared sharply divided over how to establish courtroom rules for spectators who wish to display silent messages, such as buttons, during jury trials.While a trial is supposed to be an examination of the evidence with the jurors as triers of fact, we all accept that a certain amount of theater takes place. Attorneys will use voice inflection and gestures to "play to the jury." Defense attorneys will "clean up" their clients. Families of both defendant and victim are allowed to sit in the audience as long as they don't interrupt the proceedings. However, can they wear something that identifies them as family members? A photobutton? What about a black armband? A colored ribbon pin?
In an hour of spirited arguments, the justices sparred with lawyers -- and each other -- as they weighed a controversial federal appeals court decision last year overturning the 1995 murder conviction of Mathew Musladin. The appeals court found that Musladin's conviction had been tainted because the victim's family sat in the front row of a South Bay courtroom wearing buttons with the victim's photo.
The justices today acknowledged that the Supreme Court has never directly addressed whether such displays violate a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial, in part because of the elusive problem of determining exactly what crosses the line into influencing a jury. [...]
During the arguments, several justices, while troubled by the buttons, wondered aloud where they would draw the line, even raising free speech issues. Justice Anthony Kennedy asked whether a court rule might prevent sobbing by a victim's family. And Justice Stephen Breyer expressed concern that banning any buttons, posters or placards might be "too broad."
I'm not even sure myself where I fall in this question. I think a photobutton may be too much, but on the other hand, I've seen the opposite happen. I recall one contentious criminal defense attorney demand a judge order the prosecutor to remove her District Attorney lapel pin because it looked too much like an "law enforcement" pin. He argued that people are raised to put trust the police and thus this "silent appeal" to the jury was prejudicial to his client. In another case, dealing with the murder of a law enforcement officer, the judge actually had a memorial in the courthouse lobby dedicated to law enforcement killed in the line of duty covered because he believed having jurors walk by it each day was prejudicial.
Of course, wondering what was in that huge wooden box in the middle of the lobby would never cross their minds, eh?
Actually, I have less concern over emotional appeals to jurors than I am about the quality of jurors and educating them to their obligations and duties. Too many jurors think they are either judges or legislators, and when they engage in "jury nullification" they leave real, serious problems in their wake.
A former resident of Orange County, Calif., has become the first person to be charged with treason against the United States since the World War II era, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.
Adam Gadahn, 28 - also known as Azzam al-Amriki or Azzam the American - "gave al Qaeda aid and comfort ... with intent to betray the United States," according to the treason count in the indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, Calif. [...]
In his first tape, Gadahn announced that he had joined al Qaeda, "a movement waging war on America and killing large numbers of Americans," and that "the streets of America shall run red with blood."
In another al Qaeda videotape made in September 2005, about the time of the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Gadahn called the attacks "the blessed raids on New York and Washington."
Discussing "jihad against America," Gadahn referenced terrorist attacks in London and Madrid and stated: "Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing."
October 11, 2006
Remember my voting advice?
The Security of the United States is not a game ...
...can we afford a party that treats it like one?
Hillarious! (better view it before YouTube censors it)
When a study backs up what common sense tells you ...
From the DOAH files
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Here's some soothing medicine for stressed-out parents and overscheduled kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics says what children really need for healthy development is more good, old-fashioned playtime.One of the serious tradeoffs in our contemporary "egalitarian" culture is the demand that even married men and women should look to their individual needs/careers first. Thus, children are either lost in the shuffle, or they become mini-me's, tiny adults shuttled from one structured activity to another so the parent can boast of his/her child's accomplishments and feel less guilty about the lack of quantity of time actually spent with the child. After all, don't French lessons, club soccer, gymnastics, et al, count for more than an hour or so in the backyard taking a trip to the moon in rocketship made from a refrigerator carton?
Many parents load their children's schedules with get-smart videos, enrichment activities and lots of classes in a drive to help them excel. The efforts often begin as early as infancy.
Spontaneous, free play -- whether it's chasing butterflies, playing with "true toys" such as blocks and dolls, or just romping on the floor with mom and dad -- often is sacrificed in the shuffle, a new academy report says. [...]
A lack of spontaneous playtime can create stress for children and parents alike. If it occurs because young children are plopped in front of get-smart videos or older children lose school recess time, it can increase risks for obesity. It may even contribute to depression for many children, the report says.
If you thought "yes", then go read that study again.
Children need unstructured time. Time they are responsible for to shape to their own needs and happiness. Happiness is what we make for ourselves, it doesn't come from the outside. Being happy is a skill. A child that complains "I'm bored" is a child that hasn't had enough unstructured time to learn how to handle it. Crayons, paper, scissors, glue, paint, balls, blocks, cardboard boxes, rubber bands, ribbon, buttons, paper plates, sidewalk chalk, yarn, coloring books, board games, books ....
Got that in a couple of boxes or baskets at home? Within easy reach of the kids? A few feet of dirt in the backyard they can dig in to their hearts' content?
They why should they ever be bored unless they have lost the capacity to be children?
This is something you cannot farm out. Time for you to locate a refrigerator box and show your youngster how to fly it to the moon.
You'll both be happier for it.
October 10, 2006
Advice for the day
If you can't find someone to vote for, you can find someone to vote against.
No excuse for not voting. None. Nada.
October 09, 2006
Over the past few days ...
I've decided a far more annoying discussion in regards to Battlestar Galactica is not the silliness of trying to draw parallels with contemporary events (the whole Cylons=America Humans=Iraqi terrorists schtick) but the discussion decrying the "betrayl" of BSG's "gender-neutral universe" by having the colonists on New Caprica "obsessed" with having babies. Or having Roslin teach children. Or having the Sharon on Galactica use Helo's last name ...
I mean, think of it! The last 50,000 humans in the whole universe who think they've found a safe world to colonize and they are ::::gasp::: trying to reproduce!!
How shocking! How patriarchal!
How frakking silly.
Technorati: Battlestar Galactica
There are just some movies
that should not be made.
Fer gawd's sake, why?
October 07, 2006
Battlestar Galactica begins Season 3 -- 'Occupation' and 'Precipice'
Battlestar Galactica ended Season 2 by jumping a year into the future, with a nascent colony on New Caprica and more established personal relationships (couples include Lee and Anastasia, Kara and Samuel, Galen and a very pregnant Cally) when the Cylons suddenly appear. Galactica, Pegasus and the last of the Colonial fleet jump away and a venal and craven President Gaius surrenders to the Cylons.
Season 3 picks up four months after the surrender. Not one to leave their viewers in a state of famine between seasons, BSG offered online shorts of the human Resistance movement during those four months.
The opening two hours found characters changed and hinted at several new story arcs. The Cylons are squabbling amongst themselves. Some cynically seeing the humans as just property to be administered and others as sincerely wanting to establish a relationship with them. There's squabbling within the human resistance movement on the morality of certain courses of action -- most notably between Tigh, who is so bitter and singleminded he hardly cares about the people he claims he wants to protect, and Roslin, who is active in intelligence gathering for the movement but opposes Tigh on tactics she feels are beyond the pale and may carry consequences far beyond mere practicality. Meanwhile, we get our first glimpses of what four months has wrought on the fleet that escaped the Cylon invasion. Adama is driven, not the least of which is by a conscience feeding on its own guilt. He pushes the few pilots he has to train, and train again, to the point of their own exhaustion. Surprisingly, the few times we see him calm is not reading in his quarters as was usual in the past, but in his visits with Sharon. 16 months has brought not only an understanding between them, but a certain closeness.
Lee has grown soft -- in more ways than one. The first shot of him, taking a call with a towel wrapped around his now considerable girth, jowls prominent in his whiney rage was shocking. As his wife, Anastasia observes, Lee has "lost his edge." For him, his near-death experience took something from him. Will he get it back? And what will it take for that to happen?
One of the most horrifying and surreal story threads is what is happening to Kara. For four months she has been "kept" by Cylon Leoben in well-appointed apartment, creating a scenario of faux-domesticity that is I love Lucy meets No Exit. Kara murders Leoben with what ever sharp object she can secure, only to have him calmy download to another body and come through the door later "Hi, honey, I'm home!" while Kara sits at on the couch and his old body assumes room temperature on the floor. We learn this has happened five times. Precipice brings a new wrinkle to this story arc as Leoben searches for a way to "turn" Kara. He brings home a blonde toddler named Kasey and claims she is the result of Cylon fertility experiments - the child of Kara and Leoben.
The closing scenes this week, with two hundred humans trucked out to an empty quarry to be slaughtered as an example to the rest, are harrowing.
BSG never plays it safe. It assumes its audience is mature enough that it can present moral ambiguities and allow the viewers to ponder issues theirselves. The writers allow the characters to evolve, to fall from grace, to doubt themselves, to act both rationally and irrationally and to rise to heroism. Humans actually act like humans on this show, and the Cylon hybrids do, too.
It is refreshing to have intellectually engaging, adult content on commercial television.
I hope you're watching along with me.
October 06, 2006
Getting away from Foley, then Infatida -- in France
While the Foley Follies continues to animate so many, including giving Dems like Mrs. Patty
Lovejoy Wetterling cover to cravenly and falsely accuse Republicans of covering up "child molestation", the world keeps turning and churning. If you want to know the latest, Edmund has agreed to cooperate with the FBI. One might legitimately ask why ABC didn't contact him themselves and vet the story before publishing. AOL IM sessions are not saved by default, so how did Brian Ross know the page wasn't named "Lucy Ramirez"? Hello? Brian Ross? Are you really a "journalist?" And if Nancy Pelosi is so sure that gay men merely "showing interest" in young men should be viewed with suspicion, is this where she is going to campaign for repeal of all the laws that have banned Boy Scouts from public venues?
[Updated -- for those still unclear that there are two separate incidents involving emails and IM's, see this]
Have fun, all. Let me know when some laws have been broken because when I go to work I actually have to deal with case after case of actual child molestation.
Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day.Add to that the plans for a Muslim Only hospital coming from the Netherlands and the creeping dhimmitude of the West continues, either imposed or willingly embraced by "multi-culturalists".
Michel Thoomis, the secretary general of the hardline Action Police trade union, has written to Mr Sarkozy warning of an "intifada" on the estates and demanding that officers be given armoured cars in the most dangerous areas. [...]
He said yesterday: "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their 'comrades' free when they are arrested."
October 04, 2006
Indecent Foley and the 18* y/o of infamous IM's
"Eighteen year old?" You ask.
Yep* [updated - the first im was when former page was 17 years + 345 days old. Other IM's, specifically the infamous "Congressional vote delayed by cybersex" exchange took place when said ex-page was 18 years + 2 months old. Facts that would be materially taken in consideration by any issuing DDA when contemplating filing charges.]
Reminiscent of the Dan Rather fraudulent memo scandal, ABC provided the IM transcripts in .pdf form ... and eagled-eyed Wild Bill spots one line where the "anonymous teen's" screen name is revealed. The blogger then does the deep digging, connecting the dots, and revealing that ABC has played it fast and loose with asserting "internet sex with a high school student."
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Cynical 'homophobia' by Dems
Bob Beckel, in Hannity and Colmes last Monday, said that innocous emails should have "raised questions" because Mark Foley is gay.Revel in the rank hypocrisy, just as I pointed out before.
At the same time, as Ace and The Anchoress point out, the Democrat party
stands as a whole for the proposition we must have no suspicions about gay men who want to hang out with boys in the woods.
I guess this is where Dems are stating that, by default, gay men should never be trusted around adolescent males.
Keep putting that message out, Dems.
Democrats - there's no silver lining when there's a black Rethuglican core
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high on Tuesday -- but not everyone is celebrating the milestone as a positive development. According to one Democratic operative, the Dow's record close is "not an achievement but a failure." Robert Weiner, a Democratic strategist and former member of the Clinton administration, [...]Let's see, the last time this happened in Jan 2000, it was fueled by the Dot Com "no there there" bubble...and we know that the writing was on the wall. Then, the economic hit we took on 9/11/2001.
"Scratching and clawing to achieve this milestone almost seven years after the earlier record is not an achievement but a failure."
The stock market has moved back into record highs, inflation is less that 3%, unemployment is under 5%, interest rates are under 6.5% and Federal tax revenues are hitting record highs.
We already know the Dems are unserious about national security, now is the setup for a Dem return to House leadership where they've already signaled that want to significantly raise taxes by reversing the Bush tax cuts, thus "recapturing" all the low-income people that were removed from the taxrolls and raising the 10% tax rate to 15%.
Bravo, Dems. Bravo.
If you're under 40 you probably have no idea what a bad economy looks like. You might even expect a great economy 24/7 as 'normal' and an entitlement.
If you want a real recession coupled with further appeasement of Islamic fascism, well, then go right ahead and Vote Dem!
Yeah, that's the ticket.
October 03, 2006
'Cheap surrender to fanaticism'
What would a Socrates, Galileo, Descartes, or Locke believe of the present decay in Europe — that all their bold and courageous thinking, won at such a great cost, would have devolved into such cheap surrender to fanaticism?The creeping deference to Sharia, to a double standard where the "superior" position of Islam is a given is not only happening in Europe.
Just think: Put on an opera in today’s Germany, and have it shut down, not by Nazis, Communists, or kings, but by the simple fear of Islamic fanatics. ...
Note also the constant subtext in this new self-censorship: fear of radical Islam and its gruesome appendages of beheadings, suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, barbaric fatwas, riotous youth, petrodollar-acquired nuclear weapons, oil boycotts and price hikes, and fist-chanting mobs.
In contrast, almost daily in Europe, “brave” artists caricature Christians and Americans with impunity. Why?
For a long list of reasons, among them most surely the assurance that they can do this without being killed.
Eric at Classical Values points out the importance of clarity when addressing the different elements of modern Islam, from jihad extremists to moderates.
All I know that Wahhabists are not the base of anything but themselves, nor should they be, and I don't want them to get away with passing themselves off as the Muslim base.Sad irony or a cynical play on an American tendency to take people at their word? Certainly the latest slapdown of a media outlet by jihadist frontgroup CAIR, gives pause to anyone that considers America immune from dhimmitude.
It's one of the sad ironies that the goal of Wahhabist hegemony is often aided and abetted by those who claim the most loudly to be against it.
An Islamic Civil Rights (sic) group is thanking a Minnesota radio station for "reacting positively" to concerns about an on-air skit that offended at least one Muslim listener. ...If the skit had been "Christian Jeopardy", you know KDWB would have told any number of Christian groups to go pound sand if they complained.
A person "reportedly used a fake South Asian accent in announcing contest categories such as 'infamous infidels,' 'potent portables' and 'smells like a Shia,'" CAIR said. "The complaint also stated that a female host was threatened with beheading when she got an answer wrong."
CAIR sent a letter to the radio station last week. "Given the existing prejudice against and stereotyping of Islam and Muslims, we believe Islamophobic rhetoric can and does have a negative impact on the lives of ordinary American Muslims," the letter said. ...
KDWB morning host Dave Ryan issued an apology and the station posted a statement on its website, saying, "KDWB does not condone making light of Islam and Muslims. We regret that listeners found the 'Muslim Jeopardy' comedy skit of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive."
It is said that great civilizations are not defeated, they commit suicide.
Jihadists won't have to defeat us on the field of battle, they are already grooming our society for dhimmitude with the cultural battle lead by such as CAIR.
October 02, 2006
A story you won't find in the MSM
This week, Patterico starts a series of posts covering his exclusive interview with an Army psych nurse who had been stationed at Gitmo.
I know Zarqawi, the terrorist said to the American. I am going to have Zarqawi cut off your family’s head while you watch. Then he will cut off your head.This is especially apropos at a time when some people cannot understand that terrorists are neither civilians nor lawful combatants and, therefore, not entitled to either the criminal justice system nor the rights of POWs.
The terrorist said it all in a matter-of-fact way, looking the American straight in the eye.
The American was not frightened. There was little danger that the terrorist was going to carry out his threat . . . at least any time soon.
October 01, 2006
Foley was rightfully forced to resign -- Updated
He was an adult in a position of power, no matter that his emails (non-sexual) or recently revealed IM's from 2003 (sexually explicit) appear to be legal as the age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16.
You see, my objection to the consensual affair of Billy Jeff and Monica was the power differential. Just as it is in this case.
I'm being ethically consistent. It's why I support parental consent laws no matter how many times I'm told that I should "just get over" the fact that teens will have sex.
So count me as among the crowd that, while applauding Foley's being run out of DC on a rail, I'm finding the manufactured rage from the "it was just about a bj, you prudes, it was just sex" crew emanating more than just a whiff or two of rank hypocrisy.
Washington D.C. attorney Clarice Feldman offers up an eyeopening timeline of the sordid affair
Sometime last year a former page contacted the St. Petersburg Times with an exchange of emails between himself and Congressman Foley. In the words of the editor, they never ran the story.Why?
There was nothing overtly sexual in the emails, but we assigned two reporters to find out more. We found the Louisiana page and talked with him.He told us Foley’s request for a photo made him uncomfortable so he never responded, but both he and his parents made clear we could not use his name if we wrote a story. We also found another page who was willing to go on the record, but his experience with Foley was different. He said Foley did send a few emails but never said anything in them that he found inappropriate. We tried to find other pages but had no luck. We spoke with Rep. Alexander, who said the boy’s family didn’t want it pursued, and Foley, who insisted he was merely trying to be friendly and never wanted to make the page uncomfortable.Understand that the emails were separate and distinct from the unconscionable and disgusting anonymous transcript of IMs. Conflating the two distinct episodes is either done out of confusion or deliberately in support of another agenda.
So, what we had was a set of emails between Foley and a teenager, who wouldn’t go on the record about how those emails made him feel. As we said in today’s paper, our policy is that we don’t make accusations against people using unnamed sources. And given the seriousness of what would be implied in a story, it was critical that we have complete confidence in our sourcing. After much discussion among top editors at the paper, we concluded that the information we had on Foley last November didn’t meet our standard for publication. Evidently, other news organizations felt the same way.
Foley acted immorally and unethically. He has rightfully lost the trust of his family and constituents. He deserves to be shunned by anyone with any concern over obnoxious behavior between adults and teens, regardless of genders involved.
But if the first innocuous emails had "triggered" an investigation by Hastert, as disengenuous Leftists are asserting in their newly found dedication to sexual propriety, how long before such an investigation premised on "Gay men can't be trusted emailing young male pages" were leaked to the press that the NY Times would be running the story on page 1 of their website and denouncing on their editorial pages the "homophobic" GOP and its "witch hunts" distracting the nation from "failures"?
Oh... I'd measure it in minutes.
See, this is no longer about the disgusting, and thank-God-gone Foley for the Left. That's why they can't write honestly about the subject.
*UPDATED* Now it just gets weird. Commenters blaming Republicans (natch) for "forcing Foley into the closet"
my guess is that Rep. Foley’s inappropriate actions might not have occurred were his sexual needs satisfied with a mature, committed and open relationship that actually lined up with his orientation. It appears the GOP would rather have a closeted, frustrated predator in Congress than a well-adjusted openly gay representative.I guess than that Hillary wasn't satisfying Billy Jeff in a mature, committed way, so that why he indulged in an inappropriate, including sexual conduct, manner with a female subordinate his daughter's age. Blame it on Republicans for creating the oppressive monogamous atmosphere. They'd rather have a frustrated, closeted satyr in the oval office than a well-adjusted openly polygamous President.
Makes sense, eh?