Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet"

If you are feeling on the edge of a nuclear meltdown.... if you are desperately in need of a calming of the storm.... if you're at the end of your rope.....

...this song may help.

It certainly has never failed me.

It's from a 78 minute composition by Gavin Bryers called "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet." Once in the 1970s a then-young Mr. Bryers taped some homeless folk standing around a fire in an oil barrel on the streets of London, and in the course of the conversation, one of the hoboes, for no particular reason, broke into song, singing a couple of lines from an old hymn.

Getting the tape back to his music studio, he looped it... and found it had a hypnotic effect. It inspired him to add the orchestral accompaniment, half bolero, half hymnody.

His first version of this song was 22 minutes long. In 1993 he released a CD, 74 minutes long, with orchestral accompaniment and, for the last section, Tom Waits' wanting voice singing harmony.

It's music of a different sort, of a different reality.....

A tiny reminder of the heavenly world that awaits us.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In Memory of the D-Day Bagpiper

Bill Millin playing the bagpipes in an photograph from World War II taken shortly after D-Day.

The Scots bagpiper at Normandy went to his Regimental Reunion yesterday. He was 88.

Sir, we salute you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"We Require Beeg Savings!"

Commercial from the late, lamented Detroit firm Highland Appliance in the early 1980s.

Sheer brilliance.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Next time things don't go so well with you, watch this.

Chinese pianist on the Chinese equivalent of "Britain's Got Talent." Man lost both arms in an accident when he was 10. Says "Well, I decided then, I could die today or live a wonderful life."

So he has. God bless him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You Have Flailed Me For The Last Time

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

China Surpassing the USA? Not so fast.....

There's been a lot of hoo ha over the last couple of days about China "surpassing Japan" and becoming the second largest economy in the world. "It's only a matter of time before they surpass the United States!" they're saying.

Not so fast.

Fox News has a good analysis as to why this won't happen, but I'd like to mention a more immediate reason:

Let us call her Karen. She's eleven years old.

She's a sixth grader with an IQ about about ten zillion. She's top of her class in her elementary school here in Macomb County.

And she is why China will not surpass us, or even continue to succeed.

Karen is the daughter of a good friend of mine, who adopted her from a Chinese orphanage: she was thrown there as a result of the Chinese one-child policy.

They don't need girls, you see. Just boys to carry on the family name.

But if they throw away children like Karen--who will grow into a marvellous adult--what are they doing to themselves?

Under the one child policy, according to Wikipedia, the Chinese government has "prevented" some 250 million births.

Think about that.




That is a quarter of a billion people.

And no Mexico next door to import replacements from.

Think about that!

China is demographically aging as a result of this policy. In twenty years, the number of retirees will triple.

That's a hell of a lot of people for the individuals left alive to support through the local equivalent of Social Security.

And also an army of males who will never, ever marry.

Karen is what makes America great. But.... what of the boy who 'should' have married her back in China?

We're talking tens of millions of males, presently and getting worse, who will never, ever, marry, or even have a sexual relationship with a woman because the Chinese government has destroyed them!

The unreformed Chinese communist system, plus the unreleased sexual energy of a hundred million unmarried and unmarriable males, can only mean one thing: war.

Possibly war with us. But more likely, civil war.

No, China will not surpass the United States.

If our own abortive policies are harming us, consider what China's is doing to them.

Think about it.

And tremble.


An old wargaming buddy of mine writes:
"We are still rather far ahead on Production Points, but our main opponent's Reinforcement Track is pretty full, and his Technology Index is only one level below our own. Next couple of turns should be interesting -- will we choose the Offensive or Defensive? In any event, we'd better keep investing in Breakthroughs like wind power and nanotechnology and the like, or we're screwed..."
All too true. But then, both we and the Chinese (and the Russians and the Europeans) have pulled the Iconoclasm and Heresy cards this turn, too...

As for breakthroughs, I'd prefer Translight Travel, Microsoft-Free Windows, Fusion Power and Ultra-High-Capacity Batteries.

Oh. And lasers. Eight o'clock. Day one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

If You're Feeling Patriotic: The Presidents!

...brought to you by the Animaniacs.

Gene Simmons' Tribute to the Military (Whodathunkit?)


Given the contempt of Hollyweird for the US Military, I've always had a special place for those entertainers who come and entertain the troops these days. Thanks, Gene!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The 25 Worst Americans?

The conservative Right Wing News site contacted 100 prominent Conservative bloggers, somehow missing me ;0), to submit their candidates for "The 25 Worst Americans." Their results are as follows with numbers of votes given in parentheses:

25) Saul Alinsky (7)
25) Bill Clinton (7)
25) Hillary Clinton (7)
25) Michael Moore (7) (Tie)

21) George Soros (8)
21) Alger Hiss (8)
21) Al Sharpton (8) (Tie)

18) Al Gore (9)
18) Noam Chomsky (9)
18) Richard Nixon (9)
18) Jane Fonda (9)
18) Harry Reid (9)
18) Nancy Pelosi (9) (tie)

12) John Wilkes Booth (10)
12) Margaret Sanger (10) (tie)

10) Timothy McVeigh (11)

9) Ted Kennedy (14)
9) Lyndon Johnson (14) (tie)

7) Benedict Arnold (17)
7) Woodrow Wilson (17) (tie)

4-5) The Rosenbergs (19)
3) Franklin Delano Roosevelt (21)
2) Barack Obama (23)
1) Jimmy Carter (25)

Remember the order does not reflect badness but generalized agreement that they all belong on such a list. Nobody in their right mind would believe that Roosevelt or Carter are worse than Booth or McVeigh.

As for the list tho.... a rather sad lot of choices. Well, maybe I am not conservative enough. Or maybe my fellow conservative bloggers need to read some more history books. (But I will agree with the unspoken rule that none of the names herein should consist of the merely criminal, otherwise Charlie Manson et al would knock pretty much all of them off the list.)

Anyway, of this list I would agree with the following:

Saul Alinsky, Communist agitator;
George Soros, nationalist-socialist agitator;
Alger Hiss, traitor;
John Wilkes Booth, assassin;
Margaret Sanger, child killer;
Aldrich Ames, traitor whose sale of secrets killed Russian patriots;
Timothy McVeigh, terrorist and traitor;
Ted Kennedy, Ted Kennedy;
Benedict Arnold, traitor;
Julius Rosenberg, atomic spy

(Actually Ethel Rosenberg does even belong on this list; she merely aided and abetted him, which doesn't normally rate a lightning ride. They electrocuted her because he would not sing about the others involved in his spy ring.)

The following DO NOT BELONG on the list for the reasons given:

Bill Clinton - Not the worst of Presidents, merely one of the worst men ever to be President. He was, withal, the Governor of the United States, no more. But we prospered under his rule, generally speaking. (I once heard a drunken Bosnian weepingly thank me that Clinton was President; "He saved my daughters! He ended our War!") I'll therefore grant him his foibles. Looking back, his sexual behavior was a pecadillo compared to Mr. Obama. (And even Mr. Obama doesn't belong on the list–yet.)

Hillary Clinton - Not even close. As Secretary of State she has not been ineffective; as Senator, she could have saved us the Obama presidency. Her support for abortion makes her anathema, but she's not worthy of the Top 25 list.

Michael Moore - Who? (WAAAAAAY too small a fish).

Al Sharpton - Again, Who? To small (and stinky) a fish. The only reason we know about him is because of the media.

Al Gore - He managed to not get elected President in spite of winning the popular vote. That should put him at the top of any Conservative's list of great Americans. Since then, all he's done is boff masseuses and put out science fiction movies. Hardly Worst American kind of stuff.

Noam Chomsky - Easily ignored.

Richard Nixon - For all his faults, he performed a Biblical feat: this nasty old anti-Semite singlehandedly saved Israel during the Arab Israeli War in 1973 by sending them badly needed arms. Sometimes even jerks can do good. For all his crimes, this single work makes him sing with the angels.

Jane Fonda - Again, WAAAAAAY too small a fish. Besides, Barbarella serves to counter most of her harm.

Harry Reid - Who? (That's what people will ask in 10 years when they hear this name.)

Nancy Pelosi - See Harry Reid.

Lyndon Johnson - He had his foul faults; Vietnam was an unimaginable blunder. But he was not any where near totally evil as portrayed. He DID get the Civil Rights Act pushed through, and the Voting Rights Act, and the Poll Tax Amendment. Not top 25; maybe top 100.

Woodrow Wilson - A censorious genius come 30 years too soon, although he DID strengthen segregation. His bad choice of second wife and his bad timing to have a major stroke doomed him. Bad, yes, but not top 25; not nearly as bad a President as, oh, say, James Buchanan or Warren G Harding, and not 25 Worst American material.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Fer chrissakes, bretheren, what are you thinking??!?! Not even close. If Winston Churchill gave him his Seal of Approval, how can we do less?

Barack Obama - I don't like him but it is WAY too soon to tell. However, the fact that he accepted a Peace Prize nominated a week after taking office IS remarkably stupid. He should have turned it down. But he's STILL not Top 25 Worst stuff. Like I said before: Yet.

Jimmy Carter - Bad, incompetent, a fool, and a poltroon, but not Top 25 stuff. Besides, without Jimmy there would be no Reagan. (Again, not even as bad as Harding.)

Now for MY additional candidates:

Top of the List (in place of Obama, Roosevelt, and Carter):

Harry Blackmun and the Roe v. Wade Crew (Warren E. Burger, William O. Douglas, William J. Brennan, Jr., Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr.); they signed the death warrants of over 50 million Americans so far [count as one].

...and with a further dishonorable mention of Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, Norma McCorvey's (Ms. 'Roe's') attorneys, who caused her to perjure herself at the start of the case by offering their life stories as hers, and thereby contributed directly to the great American genocide. [count as one].

Roger B. Taney and the Dred Scott Decision Crew (James M. Wayne, John Catron, Peter V. Daniel, Samuel Nelson, Robert C. Grier, John A. Campbell); they made the Civil War inevitable [count as one].

And the others, in no particular order:

Walter Duranty, New York Times reporter, 1930s; a traitor to his profession and his nation, pretended that Stalin's crimes did not exist because he didn't want to hurt the home team (his fellow communists).

Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.; far more abominable than any of his spawn, including Teddy; his defeatism, exhibited as ambassador of the US to Great Britain in 1940, might have heavily contributed to the defeat of the Allies in WW2. (Fortunately Roosevelt loathed him and disbelieved everything he heard from him.) Furthermore, he deliberately lobotomized his own daughter. A monster.

Henry Wirz, commander of the Andersonville POW Camp in the Civil War.

John C. Calhoun, pro-slavery legal powerhouse (and a northerner!*), a would-be Samson who tried to bring down the Temple of the Constitution before the Civil War; there are some Conservatives who would animate his States Rights corpse to this day. Not joking, either. (*My bad, no he wasn't, he was from N. Carolina. Ooops. Thanks to my friend Jonathan for that correction.)

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.

Robert E. Lee; had he not betrayed his nation, he would have ended the Civil War in 1863 and eventually been President. (Can you imagine him commanding the Union Armies at Gettysburg?) His only saving grace is that he was no war criminal; his soldiers pretty much followed the rules of war, and he surrendered rather then let them become guerillas; furthermore, his example in taking the Oath of Loyalty allowed many of his men to do the same–which is why he was not hanged as he should have been. But partially rebuilding a home you deliberately burn down doesn't excuse your arson.

Edmund Ruffin, secessionist fireeater who lied that he fired the first shot at Ft. Sumter.

Aaron Burr, Third Vice President of the United States, with emphasis on the word "Vice"; shot Alexander Hamilton for no sane reason as well as other high crimes and misdemeanors.

David Curtiss "Steve" Stephenson, murderer of Madge Oberholtzer and head of the KKK in Indiana, 1923 (nominated not because of his murder of Ms. Oberholtzer but because of his other political acts; the murder merely revealed what he already was).

Orval Faubus, Governor of Arkansas during the Little Rock Central High School integration crisis, 1957 (George Wallace would certainly be on this list, had he not repented his racism and support for segregation as a result of his horribly painful recovery from his assassination attempt in 1972).

Angela Davis, communist agitator who should have been electrocuted for aiding the 'Soledad Brothers' murder of Judge Harold Haley (she can sue me).

William Ayres and Bernardine Dohrn, communist cop killers (they can sue me, too).

(Yes, I know that that list does not add up to 25; I'm one of the 25 Worst Americans At Math.)

Of course I'm interested in hearing anyone's opinion on the subject.... :0)


A good friend of mine comments that I should consider

1. Jesse Helms
2. Andrew Jackson
3. Father Charles Coghlin.

All of these are good candidates, although as far as I know, Jesse Helms never killed anybody. Neither did Strom Thurmond (altho Strom had even less excuse for his bigotry as HIS OWN DAUGHTER was black!). But still. Not top-25 material.

Andrew Jackson undoubtedly did--particularly Cherokees. On careful rethought, he can probably replace Mr. Ruffin, whose baleful influence doesn't exceed Jackson's.

Father Coughlin however....

Er, I happen to know a bit about Father Coughlin; he was a Detroiter, remember. My grandmother helped build his second church after the first one was burned by the Klan. Due to the family connection I made a point to do a bio on the man while in college, using papers held at MSU. Upshot: the man was a supreme jerk, BUT (1) he DID shut up when ordered to by his Archbishop (which too many of our leftist crazy priests don't do) and (2) I heard a tape recorded interview of the man in 1970, shortly before he died, where he weepingly repudiated his anti-Semitism, saying that he was totally shattered by Auschwitz. Finally, he was a Canadian green card holder, not a US Citizen, so techncially he doesn't qualify.

The whole point of my list is non-common-criminals who had a baleful effect on history and never even had the decency to be sorry for it later (=George Wallace).

Good calls, tho.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?

Someone forwarded this old chestnut to my Email. Don't know who originally wrote it but it wasn't moi.

Though I wish it was.


The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm. The answer was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing with time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there are more than one of these religions, and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell; because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my Freshman year--"...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you."--and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true; and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.



RK here. Of course, the logic at the end breaks down. Hell may yet freeze over, just after a time the individual writing this essay is in a position to have sexual relations with Ms. Teresa Banyan or equivalent. QED.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport, or DHellTA Airlines

Sometimes a lawyer has to travel two days for a five minute hearing. This is one of those days.

I was in a small mountain town called Luray, VA for a 5 minute hearing this morning, to get to it, I flew Delta in from Detroit to Baltimore yesterday afternoon on a tic from ORBITZ - $170 round trip, not bad.

Anyway. I arrived in Baltimore at 4:30, drove three (!) hours to George Mason University Law School Law Library in Arlington.... only to find it was closed shortly after I arrived. (I went there because their Virginia Criminal Law collection is excellent.) So. It's 7:30 PM and I have tons of research to do to prep for court. All the other law schools are closed except for one. CUA.

Woudnchaknowit that they were OPEN at 8:30 and would remain so until 11:00 PM? Sometimes all that tuition money wasted is forgiven.

So. Anyway. Two hours later, 1:00 AM, I'm driving on Route 50 looking for a fleabag when a cop pulls me over because "you're weaving all over the road, sir." He puts me through the Alcohol Test Calesthetics, makes me blow the breathalyzer, I'm totally clean. He's actually pretty cool. "Look, sir, I'm giving you a choice. A ticket for reckless driving for driving when sleepy, or you go stay at that hotel across the street." It's a HILTON but what the hell. $170 a room is cheaper than a traffic conviction. I think.

So. 0600 I'm up and driving to Luray, a two hour plus drive, with my old first law partner. We're there at 8:30, and I've had about 3 venti coffees and a giant Redbull. Fine and dandy. I meet the client, go to court, talk to client again, and then drive back to the airport.

Problem; I leave Luray at 1:00 PM, and my plane leaves at 5:00 PM. And traffic is awful.

As I drive I start to get text messages. "Your flight has been delayed 15 minutes." "Your flight has been delayed an additional 20 minutes." "Your flight now leaves at 6:00." Fortunately, too, as I arrive at the airport 5 minutes after the flight originally was supposed to left. I'm lucky. Thank God for Orbitz.

So we stay on the ground.... rain and thunderboomers in Detroit. We stay on the ground.... rain and thunderboomers again. Finally we pull into the penalty box.... "Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to report that our avionics are showing a malfunction. I think it's instrumentation, but...." (Visions of Apollo XIII in my head.) "We're pulling back to the terminal so a mechanic can look at it.".....

....7:15 "Ladies and gentlemen, the mechanic we got is not trained to fix this particular problem, we're waiting for another one to come from maintenance."

....7:30 "Ladies and gentlemen, we are awaiting the arrival of a Delta agent to help you reset your connecting flights...."

....7:40 "Ladies and gentlemen, we're awaiting the arrival of a spare from the warehouse, we'll be another 5 minutes...."

....8:10 "Ladies and gentlemen, please, be patient. Anyone wishing to leave the flight may do so. However, if you do, we must consider that you have abandoned the flight and you will not receive a refund."

....8:30 "Ladies and gentlemen, the flight crew is now distributing sweets and soft drinks through the aircraft. We will be underway shortly."

....8:40 "Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform that the current flight crew has reached its statutory daily flight time maximum, a new crew will be arriving shortly...."

....8:55 "Ladies and gentlemen, please return your trays to the upright locked position and gather your belongings. ... you will be permitted to leave the aircraft. Remain in the terminal area as the new crew will be arriving in 15 minutes."

....9:10 "Ladies and gentlemen, we have determined that the aircraft no longer has a sufficient number of lemon-scented hand napkins on board...."

Actually, that last is a Douglas Adams reference. What they actually said was:

....9:10 "Ladies and gentlemen, the new flight crew will not be available until 11:45 tonight. You are free to leave this part of the terminal..."

Naturally all the restaurants in this GD airport closed at 9:00.

So I'm sitting here, still in Baltimore, I having a diabetic meltdown, havent had so much as a breadstick since 1:00 PM, and. I. will. never. fly. frakking. Delta. ever. again.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Feeling insignificant?

Still feeling insignificant?

Korea by Night

The part with the lights on it is the FREE half of Korea.

Just a reminder.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Thought for the Day: If You Give A Mouse a Cookie... will demand $65 billion for the auto industry, trillions for Wall Street bankers, and universal health care.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Star Trek Meets Monty Python...there are no words.