Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fridge Pic #003: "Owl's Well...."



An orphan owl chick cuddles with a stuffed plushy toy owl given it by its caretaker.

Best comment from FreeRepublic: "I know the feeling; I've felt that way ever since the election."

credit: The Guardian (U.K.)

Pushme-Pullyu Alert

They could just as well have named the two heads "Democrats" and "Senators-from-Maine".

Moo.

Obama sez: Abort or else, papists!

It says here that Obama I, Our King, Our Leader, has decreed that hereafter there shall be no protection for those who refuse to worship Moloch: to wit, any health care "provider" who refuses to "provide" death to an unborn child through the issuance of morning after poisons shall have no federal protection, and be subject to dismissal... or worse.

What happens when they take the next step: mandating abortion everywhere, even in Catholic hospitals?

Perhaps *that* will be our Dred Scott decision--when faithful Catholics throughout the country have to finally confront their failure to stop this train and we see the day when the Church has to close the entire Catholic health care system nation wide rather than accede to evil.

For it is objectively and forever evil to deliberately abort a child or assist another in so doing. Nothing, not all the Margaret Sangers, Frances Quisslings, or Hollyweird propaganda will ever change this.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I had no idea....

...that George W. Bush was also an accomplished rock singer.

He even did it on a pro-Bono basis....wasn't that nice of him?

"...the darndest things"

One thing to know about autistic kids is that they're very, very literal: they don't get double meanings at all. Furthermore, they don't know self-censorship. If it is thought, it gets said.

This makes for, shall we say, adventures in communication on occasion.

Well, last night The Old Silverback, having finished supper, was enjoying dessert--a fresh banana. I'd eaten about 2/3 of it when my youngest son came up to give me a hug.

The butt end of the banana went flying out of my hand and landed on the carpet. Ooops.

This morning, right before I left, again I was eating a banana when another son--this time my eldest--came up to give me a goodbye hug.

Again. Banana goes flying and ends up on carpet.

My eldest son looked me and said, "You're not too good with your banana, are you, Daddy?"

Fridge Pic #002: "'Nuf Said"


Credit: "Lucianne" (Lucianne.com)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fridge Pic #001: "Kneel"

(I hereby institute a random feature of pics to be printed out and stuck on the fridge, next to the children's artwork from school.) (This also gives me the chance to learn the post-picture function on this blogger thing.)



Credit: "General Zod", Facebook (www.facebook.com)

Now THIS is movie magic!

It sez here that in New Zealand, a woman who had lost her legs as a child has been given an astonishing gift: a prosthetic "tail" like that of a mermaid that allows her to swim.

Apparently she wrote the guys at Weta Workshop, the special effects crew responsible for the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as the Narnia series. They decided to do it as a lark--after all, they need to do something between film achievements--and they gave this lady the ability to swim.

Now this is an astounding achievement. I thought it was a silly story until I saw the pics. Those guys at Weta* (the NZ film crew, not the DC public TV station) are truly amazing.

*All this time I thought that "Weta" was, like WETA, an acronym or something. It turns out that the Weta is an six legged 'prehistoric cricket' endemic to NZ only. Ya learn something every day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"A Creature of Legend"

Rotters reports the following:

Greeks shut airports, services to protest economy
Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:23am


ATHENS, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Greeks disgruntled by their country's economic woes ramped up protests against the government on Wednesday, shutting down airports and disrupting many public services.

Public schools and tax offices shut down, and services at ministries and public offices were suspended, as hundreds of workers marched to parliament with banners reading "No to pension reforms, privatisations and job cuts".

"Government policy ... only burdens workers, the unemployed and the poor," public sector umbrella union ADEDY, which represents 500,000 members, said in a statement.


How do we explain this behavior?

Through science fiction, of course: Niven and Pournelle's masterpiece The Mote in God's Eye:


(NOTE: Moties are three handed aliens who breed themselves into civil war every few decades or so.)

Renner's Motie seemed to search for a word. Visibly, she gave up "Renner, I must tell you of a creature of legend."

"Say on." Renner ... dialed for coffee. Coffee and stories, they went together.

"We will call him Crazy Eddie, if you like. He is a...he is like me, sometimes, and he is [an engineer], an idiot savant tinker, sometimes. Always he does the wrong things for excellent reasons. He does the same things over and over, and they always bring disaster, and he never learns."

There were small sounds of whispering in [Starship] MacArthur's wardroom. [Renner] said, "For instance?"

[Renner's Motie] paused to think. It said, "When a city has grown so overlarge and crowded that it is in immediate danger of collapse...when food and clean water flow into the city at a rate just sufficient to feed every mouth, and every hand must work constantly to keep it that way...when all transportation is involved in moving vital supplies, and none is left over to move people out of the city should the need arise...then it is that Crazy Eddie leads the movers of garbage out on strike for better working conditions."

There was considerable laughter ... [Renner] grinned and said, "I think I know the gentleman...."



(This post dedicated to my good friend Phil Rose.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

John C. Calhoun: An Evil Man, An Evil Philosophy

Doubt me? Witness THIS little gem by the man himself:

I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good, a positive good..... I hold then, that there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other. ... I may say with truth, that in few countries so much is left to the share of the laborer, and so little exacted from him, or where there is more kind attention paid to him in sickness or infirmities of age. ... I fearlessly assert that the existing relation between the two races in the South, against which these blind fanatics are waging war, forms the most solid and durable foundation on which to rear free and stable political institutions. ... The condition of society in the South exempts us from the disorders and dangers resulting from this conflict; and which explains why it is that the political condition of the slaveholding States has been so much more stable and quiet than that of the North. . .

Monday, February 23, 2009

An Interesting Discussion--

--over the whole "state sovereignty" movement at Human Events.

While I've gotten no visitors at this blog, yet, I posted the latter half of the post below here, where it received a rather sharp, indeed hostile, reception by a number of the readers. However, as the discussion progressed, many of those who attacked up front at least seemed interested in listening to what I had to say. The discussion is well worth reading.

Confederate Zombie: Re-Animating the Corpse of John C. Calhoun



[Executive Summary: Many Republicans, in these "time that try mens' souls," are looking for new sources of strength. Unfortunately, some of them are looking to the writings of John C. Calhoun, a slaver, an advocate of white supremacy, and the most wrongheaded disinterpreter of the Constitution imaginable. In short: anathema sit. Or as Snoopy might say: Bleah.]

I'm seeing a great deal of despair and desperation in the conservative movement these days. Andrew Breitbart says here that the conservative movement is so irrelevant these days [2009] that when it comes to people listening to their message, "A.C. Nielson doesn't count that low."

He further goes on to state that Hollywood's influence on the radical-leftist Obama administration is so overwhelming that
If "the medium is the message," as Marshall McLuhan formulated 45 years ago in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man," then Hollywood-style liberalism is America´s current and future message. And conservatives have no one to blame but themselves for not investing their collective efforts in the pop cultural and the greater media experience.
So what is the Conservative movement offering up as an alternative to Hollywood's bread and circuses?
The answer appalls: Warmed-over neo-confederalism of the John C. Calhoun variety.

Already these neo-Confeds are on the march. For instance, it was reported here that "Today the Bay County Patriots marched for their rights. Over 150 people showed up for the Bay Patriots walk and rally."

The piece continued:
The supporters marched from the Panama City Marina to McKenzie Park. The rally remained peaceful as participants showed support for the military and listened to speakers such as Bay Patriots President Derrell Day. § They chose Sunday, George Washington’s birthday, because he was the leader of the country’s first revolution. § Bay Patriots member Bob Thompson says they are rallying to request the state legislature to fight to regain sovereignty rights.
Sovereignty rights! Ah, sovereignty! A word, as the brilliant but flawed science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein once said, "is entry found in dictionary [sic] between 'sober' and 'sozzled.'"

What do these people mean by "sovereignty"? What do these folks stand for?

"Interposition." "State's rights." The revival of abominable political theories that were crushed in 1865. And yet, those who claim to speak as members of the Party of Lincoln make noises as if they were the Party of Jefferson....Davis.

One example of this can be found, here, in Human Events, once a major voice of the conservative movement, we see one A.W.R. Hawkins conjuring up the zombied corpse of John C. Calhoun as a model for the movement to emulate:
The use of the 10th Amendment in conjunction with nullification garnered much attention in 1828, when the federal government passed a tariff that southerners believed affected them disproportionately. When the 1828 tariff was complemented by another in 1832, Vice President John C. Calhoun resigned the Vice Presidency to lead his home state of South Carolina in pursuit of an “ordinance of nullification,” which was no less a declaration of the sovereignty of each individual state within the union than the declarations now being made.
This is, frankly, disgusting. John C. Calhoun, a stone-cold racist of the worst sort, a backward-looking devotee of human depravity and slavery, did more to contribute to the start of the Civil War, the total and complete destruction of the Old South, the burning of Atlanta, and the overthrow of the antebellum South, than did U.S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman combined. He looked backwards, not forwards; he sought a world in which the chains of the black man would remain forever unstruck and where all those protesting that enslavement would be rendered dumb, silenced, and be forever crushed. Five minutes perusal of William Lee Miller's 1997 masterpiece Arguing about Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress should show that this is an exercise in madness. An hour's reading of it raises the desire to hit these neo-Calhounists over the head with a clue stick.

This new love affair with Calhoun is pure, unadulterated Bad Craziness. For a number of reasons:

1. First and foremost it gives the Obama worshippers the opportunity to paint all opposition to his socialist policies as being a bunch of (a) kooks, (b) cranks, (c) racists, and (d) neo-Confederate south-will-rise-again crazies.

2. Secondly, it puts the conservative movement in the same position it was in the 1950s, when St. William Buckley first arrived on the scene: riddled through with water-purification nuts and John Birch Society conspiratists who had to be told to shut the hell up in the name of the common good of the movement. Like the GOP in the early 1950s, we now have a bunch of fools blovating a morally repugnant romanticism with no basis in either reality or truth. We need to encourage them to be silent, and we need to do it soon, lest they overwhelm the conservative movement and leave the Obama socialists free to run rampant while we fight a nasty civil war of our own, banging heads between allies when we should be huddling them.

3. Most important of all, it encourages the Conservative movement to declare itself in opposition to the Constitution and to call for replacing that Constitution with some sort of states-rights rag that is not only unworthy of loyalty but not even viable. Gettysburg and eventually the March to the Sea revealed the hell that the state's rights mantra would lead--a dead confederacy forcibly reconstructed into the Constitution. If Conservativism falls back on secessionism, then Conservativism will fail. Utterly.

Jefferson Davis, in his memoirs, stated that the main cause of the destruction of the Confederacy was its own internal divisions, caused by its own adherence to the principle of states' rights. He suggested an epitaph for the Old South: "Died of an Idea."

That "idea" is the "idea" of John C. Calhoun, of state sovereignty. The United States is a federal republic, a national unity where the States are clearly subordinate to the central government (and, I would argue, are almost all* creatures of Congress). Replace it with state sovereignty and you replace it with a one way ticket to endless civil war, oppression, and evil. The fire of Calhoun's thought lit the cannons that fired on Fort Sumter: cannons which eventually fired a salute to the rising Federal flag four years later.

Like John Brown's Body, John C. Calhoun lies a moulderin' in the grave. Let his spirit rot there as well, for if fully reanimated it can only lead its followers to the fiery gates of Hell--and through them, forever.

*Almost all: with the possible exception of the Original 13, Texas, Hawaii, and Vermont, the latter three of whom were originally sovereign republics.

(Afternote: At least one good friend of mine is a devotee of Calhoun. If you're reading this, old chum, I hope you understand me. You are a friend; but, I aver, your ideas in this matter would, if unleashed, do you and the Movement a grave disservice. We can only win by seizing the center, not occupying the fringes.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"I'm Just a (Trillion-Dollar) Bill"

After I returned from overseas and was reunited with my kids in 2003, we have spent a lot of time together watching kidvids (largely against my will)--most of them unadulterated crud, I hate to say, Digimon and Pokemon-esque toy commercials with zero value whatsoever.

One exception: the old 1970s TV musical shorts collected under the title Schoolhouse Rock. Great stuff. My favorite is a half hour tape called America Rock, which is actually reasonably patriotic and old fashioned by modern PC standards. I like to trot it out on patriotic holidays; they're both more uplifting than Saving Private Ryan or The Patriot and a lot shorter.

Which brings us to this wonderful post on Mother, May I Sleep with Treacher?, a blog I've never heard of.

Until now.

It's heartening to think that there are a few others out there who realize what is going on in Washington DC. "Ohhh yeah!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

An infinite number of Infinite Monkeys

Well.

I knew that there was a blogspot called infinitemonkey.blogspot.com and infinitemonkeys.blogspot.com. However both of them appear(ed) to be inactive and I thought I could snag on the Infinite Monkeys meme for myself.

Unfortunately, I was just reading Hugh Hewitt's book BLOG: UNDERSTANDING THE INFORMATION REFORMATION THAT'S CHANGING YOUR WORLD. Oh, how quaint! having come out in 2005. Unfortunately, he lists a number of fairly decent blogs that one "should" follow.

Including, alas, www.infinitemonkeysblog.com.

Well, dayum. Back to the marketing blackboard.

Until I come up with something more clever (and which hasn't been used in, oh, for about a year) I'm going to stick with this blogspot until further notice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why God Can't Get Tenure at Any University

I did not write this; it appeared in my in-box one day from God knows where.

But I wish I did.

- - - -

Why God Can't Get Tenure at Any University

1. He has had only one major publication.

2. It wasn't in English.

3. It had no references.

4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.

5. Some even doubt he wrote it himself.

6. Sure he created the world, but what's he done
since?

7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.

8. The scientific community has had a hard time
replicating his results.

9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission
to use human subjects.

10. When one experiment failed, he tried to cover it
up by drowning the subjects.

11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted he
deleted them from the sample.

12. He rarely came to class, just told students to
read the book.

13. Many say he had his son teach the class.

14. He expelled his first two students for learning.

15. Although there are only ten requirements, most
students fail his tests.

16. His office hours are infrequent.

17. He can't abide Marx and has never read Foucault.

And finally.....

18. He persistently exhibits a pro-Israeli bias in his
writings.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Rules of Bureaucratic Warfare

...learned at great expense and compiled only after I ticked off my Honcho for the last time.

------

00. Always check thy six. This is rule zero as it cometh before any and all other rules.

01. Rememberest thou the Principle of the Most Holy Peter and forget it never.

02. Thou hast two bosses, Thy Honcho and The High Honcho whom Thy Honcho doth serve; when there is a conflict between them, servest thou Thy Honcho over The High Honcho.

03. Forgettest thou never that Thy Honcho can fire thee at any time; The High Honcho can fire thee immediately and more permanently, but has many other targets and his attention is divided amongst them; thou therfore hath a reduced chance of receiving a smiting by his lightning bolts from on high.

04. Nobody can be the servant of two masters; he will either love the one or hate the second, or love the second and hate the first. Noone can be the servant of both Thy Honcho and The High Honcho. The fact that thou must perforce is thy problem.

05. Remember that thou art what thou art only because thou makest Thy Honcho happy and makest Thy Honcho look good; forget this not, lest thou committeth a CLM (Career Limiting Maneuver) and be shitcanned.

06. If Thy Honcho is male and Thou art female, be nice and pleasant, but never too familiar and never, never dress in a manner too physically revealing (female receptionists/low rank secretaries can ignore this rule, but only before their 30th birthdays).

07. If Thou art male and thy underling is female, never shalt thou dippest thy pen in her inkwell. Forgettest this rule at thy eternal peril, for lo! this rule doth apply triply regarding receptionists/low secretaries. (Corollary: keepest thou thy lust always, always to thyself; bureaucrats by definition hath no need to screw any but the public.)

08. Discretion is the better part of not getting caught. (See Rule 30 below.)

09. Choose Thy Honcho even more carefully than he chooses thee, for his sins are thine or very quickly shall become thine unless thou shalt quit in a few weeks. Yea, even those sins that occurred before thou beganst to work with him shall be thine, now and forever, amen.

10. Always check thy six. This rule is not repeated by accident.

11. Always check Thy Honcho's six.

12. When checking Thy Honcho's six, double check thy own, in case thou hast annoyed Thy Honcho recently.

13. Always check thy underlings' sixes lest they not check thine.

14. After checking thy underlings' sixes, recheck thine own in case they haven't.

15. Thou shalt act as a shit-screen for thine underlings, lest they fail to check thy six.

16. Honorest thou Thy Honcho in public, and never forgettest thou that, Peter Principle aside, he may not yet have reached his level of incompetence; even his nonsensical decisions may have context of which thou art unaware.

17. It is thy job to determine what that context doth be before he does.

18. Diss Thy Honcho to anyone other than thy spouse at thy eternal peril; and disseth Thy Honcho not even to thy spouse if thy marriage is rocky.

19. Fearest thou not to keep thy wagon hitched to Thy Honcho's, unless and until it is clear that he has met St. Peter and has risen to his level of incompetence. When that doth happen, find a new Honcho. Discreetly.

20. Be diplomatically frank with Thy Honcho in private, and never in front of a co-underling and never-never in front of thine own underlings. Failure to do this is a major CLM.

21. Always check thy six. (Like I said.)

22. Forgettest thou not that, the longer the title, the lower the weenie doth be on the totem pole.

23. Disseth thou not the individual with the long title, lest thou find thyself under him at a later time with a higher position and a shorter title.

24. Today's junior SOB is tomorrow's Honcho. Diss the junior therefore at thine own peril.

25. Never forgetteth that thy underlings, thy compatriots, and Thy Honcho are all as ambitious as thou art, and that fact can be made to serve thee.

26. When something goeth wrong and Thy Honcho doth inquire about it, tell everything. Thou art likely screwed regardless, but Thy Honcho may yet be able to pull thy chestnuts out of the fire if he/she is fully informed about it. (Corollary: If he knows about problem x before he is asked about it by the High Honcho, he may forgive problem x, particularly if problem x is fixed forthwith.)

27. When something goeth wrong and thine underlings inquire about it, tell them no more than they need to fix it.

28. Thou shalt not keep Thy Honcho in the dark about anything with the exception of thy personal life and thy lust for Thy Honcho (if applicable); these latter, yea, must remain eternal mysteries, amen.

29. Know the art of keeping thine mouth shut.

30. Rememberest thou the Eleventh Commandment and keep it wholly.

31. Rememberest thou that when Thy Honcho is replaced as replaced he must be, thy chance of thy career coming to an untimely end after a CLM goes up dramatically. Thy new Honcho will always weigh thine usefulness against the degree to which thou shalst annoy him; if the latter unduly outweighs the former, he will replace thee with one of his former underlings from a former job who will not do as well as thee do but who will at the very least well know how not to annoy him.

32. Learneth thy Honcho's pet peeves ASAP and avoid them like thou shalt the plague.

33. Friedel's Law: When outside bureaucratic forces come to 'investigate' a CLM by thine Honcho or thyself, (a) Admit nothing. (b) Deny everything. (c) Make counteraccusations. (d) Take hostages only when necessary. (e) Do not fear to take hostages if necessary. (f) Never, never call the Inspector General.

34. The rule immediately previous applieth not if the investigators art from law enforcement or the I.G. If this is the case, STFU and contactest thou thine lawyer forthwith.

35. When the choice is between thee going to jail and Thy Honcho or Underling going deservedly to jail, thou shall choose the Honcho or Underling. Loyalty hath its limitations. (Remember this even if the price of Thy Honcho going to jail is thy being shitcanned; it is forsooth better to be shitcanned and have to get a real job than to wind up in the federal tennis prison at Danbury.)

36. Security enforcement nazis are to be respected and feared but not overly so; they are like unto wasps who can be swatted if thou shalt move carefully enough.

37. Forgettest thou not that thy tongue is thy gravest enemy, particularly when Rules 33-36 are applicable.

38. Remembereth that even thy most junior underlings have one nuclear bomb at their disposal, to wit, thy underling's race resentment doth trumpeth thy Honcho's displeasure. An incompetent underling who cries racial discrimination hath enormous power to screweth thine resume (and trigger Rules 33-37) and get thee shitcanned. The fact that such cries are baseless or have been repeated by the same underling in previous positions will not save thee.

39. Kicketh thou not a former or lateral Honcho on the way down, no matter how much of an SOB he doth be, lest he later return the favor; Honchos have an unfortunate habit of bouncing back.

40. When given the choice between offending thy God and offending the bureaucracy, offend God; unlike the bureaucracy, He may forgive thee.

41. Model thyself on the Vogons, forgetting not that they were amateurs compared to what thou must become.

42. Rememberest thou the Klingon rule: if thou wouldst not have a thing heard, say it not. (As regard thy tongue there are no do-overs.)

43. Did I mention to always, always, ALWAYS check thy six?


Richard L. Kent, Esq. is former Deputy Political Advisor to the Commanding General of Multinational Division North, Stabilization Force, Bosnia. (See Rule 22.) He is now a solo attorney, and hath nobody as a Honcho, for which he doth thanketh his Creator.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009: Obligatory 25 Things Post (OR: "Who Is This Richard L. Kent, Esq. Guy Anyway?")

(This one's for all the children at Little Green Footballs. They know who they are.)

It appears there is some unwritten rule that says I should tell people 25 Things about Me. Well. Here we go.

25 Things about Me.

0. I was born on Frank Zappa’s 21st birthday. My astrological sign is “neon.”

0A. I also share birthdays with Joseph Stalin and Jane Fonda. Wheee.

1. I work at the law firm of Me Myselphen Eye, a.k.a. Holden Caulfield PC. My true profession is that of Catcher in the Rye.

1A. As a lawyer, I do okay. But as for catching people in the rye, I am not very good at it.

2. I am very fond of obscure 1970s military simulations published by The Avalon Hill Game Company. About as many people still play games from The Avalon Hill Game Company as still avidly play Space Invaders and Pong. Alas.

3. I am very, very fond of 1970s era rock music, and have an entirely too large collection thereof.

4. I have no idea how to reset my Ipod-wannabee to “shuffle” so I am doomed to hearing them over and over again in precisely the same order.

5. I am also very fond of movie soundtracks. John Williams is not God but will do in a pinch.

6. I once wrote a novel. It sucked.

7. I don't like John Grisham very much. OTOH, I am convinced that the author of the “Solomon v. Lord” series of law novels must have downloaded all the legal files from my hard drive before writing them, even if they are set in Miami.

8. I am also very fond of Monty Python and Classic Trek and can probably quote more of them verbatim than I could the New Testament.

8A. When I stand before St. Peter this is not going to do me any good.

9. The holiest words since Revelations: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among those rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

9A. The next holiest words are from St. James Madison's The Federalist #10: "If men were as angels government would not be necessary."

9B. The third holiest words are from The United States Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

9C. As you have already no doubt figured out, I am a great advocate for the Constitution, and for the role of those with faith under that Constitution as full-throated participants.

10. I was blessed with the best parents in the history of the human race, with the possible exception of Joseph and Mary. Likewise my eight brothers and sisters.

11. In spite of the aging process, inflated spare tire and grey white hair, I still secretly think I’m about 19 and that it’s still 1981.

12. I remember the awesome events of Freshman Year with much greater clarity than I do any events in the last five years.

12A. Make that the last twenty-five years.

13. Most of my best friends are people whom I would not recognize if they walked up to me on the street and shook my hand.

14. I do not want a teddy bear on my head, thank you, my son.

15. As soon as they identify the individual responsible for my children’s autism, if there is such a person, I’m going to put a bear on HIS head......a live one.

16. I share my life with a woman who is perfect in every way but one: she has the weirdest taste in husbands I have ever encountered. (Our relationship is strange and wonderful; she’s the wonderful part.)

17. I have learned that when you have three boys under the age of 12 the entire Star Wars series gets played so much in the background on the DVD player it becomes almost a liturgy.

18. I believe Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne” and “Babylon Sisters” are the very best cool jazz rock songs ever written.

19. I think that, like democracy, Roman Catholicism is the worst religion in the history of man except for all the others. Show me the bones of Christ and I'd convert to Orthodox Judaism in a heartbeat.

19A. The fourth holiest words are from Ss. Jake and Elwood Blues: "Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis."* (My definition of "Illinois Nazi" is rather broad, but includes anti-semites of every stripe.)

20. I still believe the bloodless destruction of Soviet Socialism and the collapse of the USSR is proof that God exists and that there is justice in the universe after all. I also believe that anyone who thinks that Soviet Socialism was in any way cool is certifiably insane.

21. I believe old friends are not to be lost lightly, and I still mourn those I have.

22. My German is terrible but my Russian is pretty good. In order to recite the alphabet in either I need a dictionary. (I can still recite the alphabet in French with perfection–even though I only had ½ a semester of French class in Jr. High School and speak not a word of it.)

23. The girl who sat behind me in French class in Jr. High School is now a clerk for one of the judges in this county; this has occasionally proven very useful.

24. Speaking of Jr. High School, I am still of two minds of the nature of the eternal punishment that I face: is it returning to Ottawa Jr. High School for eternity, or going back to Army Basic Training? If the latter. my personal tormentor will be Drill Sergeant Craine, United States Army, armed with a treadmill with no off switch.

25. I don’t like being in my forties. They’re no fun at all.

*The above quote has been corrected. It was St. Indiana who said "Nazis. I hate those guys." But St. Jake said it better, and first, as above.

Monday, Feb. 16, 2009: First Post/Introduction

§ It is said that an infinite number of monkeys typing away at keyboards will eventually reproduce the complete works of Shakespeare.

§ Unfortunately, what they don't say is that the total amount of matter in the universe, if turned into monkeys and typewriters, powered by the total amount of energy present in the universe, to feed the monkeys in question, working for a hundred billion years, cannot possibly succeed to type out as much as the first act of Hamlet.

§ HOWEVER, one Infinite Monkey--i.e., a human being--can write all of Shakespeare's works in the course of a single lifetime... if that Infinite Monkey happens to be Shakespeare.

§ You are an Infinite Monkey. So am I. Amphibians are we, half spirit and half worm. (Yoda was wrong; we *are* "this crude matter." Or at least to the extent of 50% of us are.)

§ We are monkeys in the sense that we are primates, hairless apes, trapped in a world we never made (to quote St. Steve Gerber). We are infinite in the sense that we are also immortal and that essential thing that makes us individuals will still be around when the sun is a brown dwarf. (Whether we will be happy at that point in time is another question.)

§ If you recognize, like me, that we are a duality and not the hollow, mechanical emptiness that is a finite monkey--you may find my writings amusing. If so, welcome. Stay a while. And feel free to comment. (But keep it clean. NB: I can nuke any post I deem unclean. So there.)