Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Greg's Giggles for 10/31/2011

What? I already posted something today? And it wasn't Greg's Giggles?

Okay, okay already.... Ladies 'n' Germs, Mr. Greg SCHANKIN!

* A new study found that using Facebook too much can lead to psychological problems. Which explains that new relationship status, "It's complicated . . . because a magical unicorn said it was."

* Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman announced that he received the endorsement of Jeb Bush, Jr., who is the son of the brother of the former president. Analysts say he's sewn up the crucial 'guy you didn't know existed' vote.

* Rumor has it that Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are friends again. There you have it. Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton are now more mature than President Obama and John Boehner.

* Those aren't zombies. They're voters. It's election day.

* A hot dog company in Chicago is suing a rival for stealing its secret recipe. Just what we need — another weiner scandal.

* The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy. Digging out of this mess will be hard for them, but not as hard as winning two games in a row.

* On the bright side, with that earthquake the other day I didn't have to shake my morning martini.

* They traced the epicenter of the earthquake to N.J. Governor Chis Christie's aerobics class. / No, to Kim Kardashian's honeymoon suite.

* A panel of medical experts has recommended that health insurance companies provide free birth control to their customers. The recommendation has been hailed as 'historic' by women's' groups, and as '10 years too late' by Maria Shriver.

* Man, it's been a tough time for the economy, but last week, President Obama declared that quote "things will get better." Yep, and then he opened his eyes, and blew out the candles on his birthday cake.

* Regis Philbin won a daytime Emmy for being the best television host ever. That should take the sting out of ABC trying to push him out.

* A new report shows that due to the weak economy right now, more Americans are canceling their cable television. Good luck trying to live without eight shows about cakes.

* I hear Tim Tebow is going out for hallowe'en this year as a slow white Bronco.

* A man jumped the White House fence, but after a brief chase, the Secret Service was able to talk President Obama into coming back and finishing his term.

* A friend you have to buy; enemies you get for nothing. - Jewish proverb

* Amid the heat, health officials are telling Americans to stay home. Americans responded by saying, 'We are home. We have no jobs."

* The earthquake last week caused cracks in the Washington Monument. Experts say it's the biggest crack problem in D.C. since Marion Barry.

* The Chinese economy has shown signs of slowing down. Experts say that's what happens when your workforce starts to enter its teens.

* New statistics show the U.S. economy added 0 jobs in August. The White House cautioned Americans not to read too much into those numbers. What numbers?

* Hurricane Irene wasn't that bad. In fact, it was downgraded to a tropical storm. Even our hurricanes are getting downgraded.

* Mick Jagger is 68 years old. He's still out there touring, although now it's more like "wandering off." (They say he's organizing the Stone's next big show, the Steel Wheelchairs Tour.)

* Year by year the complexities of this world grow more bewildering, and so each year we need all the more to seek peace and comfort in joyful simplicities.

* President Obama signed the new debt bill into law. But it doesn't really solve the problem. Economists say in 10 years, the deficit will be $27 trillion. But you know what? In 10 years, that'll be President Bieber's problem.

Tattered Remnants #044:
A Forgotten Vanguard:
USS Reuben James 10/31/1941



What was their names, tell me
What was their names?
Did you have a friend on the good
Reuben James?
- Woodie Guthrie, November 1941.

As I have written, this blog has tried to avoid honoring military heroes for the simple reason that they receive many honors already--and this blog is about the unnoticed.

For this occasion I will breach the rule.

Seventy years ago today, as I write this, in the cold and dark waters of the North Atlantic, the first American warship was sunk in World War II.

She was the destroyer Reuben James, and she sank before there was war between the United States and Germany.

The Second World War was not going well for the Allies at this point. In North Africa, the Germans were within striking distance of the cities of the Nile; British preparations for a counteroffensive had not yet borne fruit. In Russia, the forces of the Barbarossa invasion were at their maximum extent; they were tantalizingly close to Moscow and the Kremlin could even be seen by scouts through binoculars. And Britain was slowly starving to death as her ships sank almost as fast as they could be built.

Reuben James was part of the North Atlantic protection ordered by President Roosevelt, nominally to guard our shipping with Britain–but intended, in fact, to provoke the Nazis to making a blunder, much as they did in World War I when the passenger liner Lusitania was sunk by the German Imperial Navy.

A small destroyer, with a crew of 159, the James was an older craft, keel first laid at the end of the First World War and then mothballed for almost ten years. She was reactivated and eventually stood guard over Convoy HX-156, a group of several score ships loaded with goods to help the British in their stand against the Nazis.

A German U-boat, U-552, spotted the James as it guarded an ammunition ship, and launched torpedoes. Reuben James took a single hit to the bow; an ammo magazine exploded and the ship was shattered into two pieces. Of her crew, 115 died; 44 survived.

It is generally forgotten today that prior to Pearl Harbor the people of the United States wanted very little to do with another war in Europe, as the First World War was seen as many to have served the purposes of the power elite far more than the people. Many among the interventionists who wanted immediate American involvement in the war tried to use the sinking of the James as a causus belli. Woodie Guthrie (little remembered today, but whose son Arlo eventually would write about littering on Thanksgiving) wrote a famous ballad about the sinking. Unfortunately, from an American P.R. point of view, it did not work.

The 115 who were lost were the first American casualties of the war. Woodie Guthrie or no, however, their deaths did not have the effect of mobilizing American involvement. A movement might have coalesced around the sinking, but history had other ideas. The incident that would mark the world forever would not come for another five weeks, when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. And in the smoke of Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the James was eventually forgotten in the United States.

But their deaths were not in vain.

In the two days following the Pearl Harbor attack, America was still divided. We were keen to avenge the horrors of Pearl Harbor, but we still were reluctant to get involved in Europe: that was still seen as a European problem, not our own. In Washington, those who had strained at the leash to lead us into war against the Nazis were at their wits end to get us to liberate Europe.

But then, three days after Pearl Harbor, Hitler solved all of our strategic dilemmas by mindlessly declaring war on us--citing American operations in the Atlantic as being the cause. In a long, ranting speech to the German Reichstag meeting in the Kroll Opera House on December 10, Hitler shrieked that American aggression in the Atlantic had become "intolerable." Invoking the Axis Treaty, he then declared war--and in so doing guaranteed his own doom.

In short, the Reuben James (and other US Navy ships involved in the Battle of the Atlantic) jabbed Hitler into a fury--and into making a decision that killed him. And his regime.

So today, take a moment and remember these forgotten men, who lost their lives for our freedom seventy years ago today.

What was their names, tell me
What was their names?
Did you have a friend on the good
Reuben James?





LIST OF PERSONNEL LOST WHEN THE USS REUBEN JAMES WAS TORPEDOED AND SUNK ON OCTOBER 31, 1941.

Source: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/logs/DD/dd245-cas.html

Lieutenant Commander Heywood Lane Edwards, U.S. Navy (Commanding)
Lieutenant Benjamin Ghetzler, U.S. Navy.
Lieutenant Dewey George Johnston, U.S. Navy
Lieutenant (J.G.) John Justus Daub, U.S. Navy.
Lieutenant James Mead Belden, D-V (G), U.S. Naval Reserve.
Ensign Craig Spowers, U.S. Navy.
Ensign Howard Voyer Wade, D-V (G), U.S. Naval Reserve.

BAUER, John Francis, Jr., Chief Radioman (AA) Class V-3, U.S. Naval Reserve.
BEASLEY, Harold Hamner, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
BENSON, James Franklin, Machinist's Mate second class, U.S. Navy.
BIEHL, Joseph Peter, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
BOYNTON, Paul Rogers, Yeomman first class, U.S. Navy.
BRITT, Harold Lelie, Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
BURRELL, Herbert Ralph, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
BYRD, Hartwell Lee, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
CARBAUGH, Leftwich Erastus, Jr., Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
VARUSO, Joseph James, Radioman second class, U.S. Navy.
CLARK, James Brantley, Fire Controlman second class, U.S. Navy.
COOK, Raymond, Mess Attendant first class, U.S. Navy.
COOPERRIDER, Carl Eugene, Gunner's Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
COSGROVE, Lawrence Randall, Gunner's Mate second class, U.S. Navy.
COUSINS, Alton Adelbert, Cheif Machinist's Mate (PA), U.S.N.R., Class F-4-C
COX, Charles Beacon, Chief Torpedoman (AA), U.S. Navy.
DANIEL, Dennis Howard, Yeoman third class, U.S. Navy.
DEVEREAU, Lawrence Delaney, Chief Boatswain's Mate (PA), U.S.N.R., Class F-4-D
DICKERSON, Leonidas Camden, Jr., Storekeeper third class, U.S. Navy.
DOIRON, GIlbert Joseph, Water Tender first class, U.S. Navy.
DRINKWATER, Karl Lee, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
DUNSTON, Nebraska, Mess Attennndant third class, U.S. Navy.
DYSON, Corbon, Radioman third class, U.S. Navy.
EVANS, Gene Guy, Boilermaker second class, U.S. Navy.
EVANS, Linn Stewart, Fire Controlman third class, U.S. Navy.
EVERETT, Carlyle Chester, Fireman second class, U.S. Navy.
FARLEY, Edwin Louis, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
FITZGERALD, John Joseph, Quartermaster third class, U.S. Navy.
FLYNN, William Aloysius, Torpedoman second class, U.S. Navy.
FRANKS, Hartley Hardy, Ship's Cook second class, U.S. Navy.
FRENCH, Ralph George, Chief Commissary Steward, U.S. Navy.
GASKINS, Lester Carson, Machinist's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
GREER, John Calvin, Chief Electrician's Mate (PA), U.S. Navy.
GREY, Ernest Dwane, Jr., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
GRIFFIN, Arthur Raymond, Signalman second class, U.S. Navy.
HARRIS, Charles Waldon, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
HAYES, Charles Chester, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
HENNIGER, William Henry, Gunner's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
HOGAN, Francis Robert, Gunners' Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
HOUSE, Hugh, Gunner's Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
HUDLIN, Maurice Woodrow, Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
JOHNSON, Joseph, Mess Attendant first class, U.S. Navy.
JONES, Glen W., Chief Quartermaster (PA), U.S. Navy.
KALANTA, ANthony J., Boatswain's Mate second class, U.S. Navy.
KAPP, Donald, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
[sic: should be "GUNN, Donald Knapp, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy" -HyperWar]
KEEVER, Leonard A., Chief Machinist's Mate (PA), U.S. Naval Reserve, F-4-C
KLOEPPER, Ralph W.H., Signalman third class, Class V-3, U.S. Naval Reserve.
LITTLE, Joseph Gustave, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
MAGARIS, Paul L., Radioman first class, U.S. Navy.
MC KEEVER, William James, Sean second class, U.S. Navy.
MERRELL, Windell Harmon, Fireman second class, U.S. Navy.
MERRITT, Auburn F., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
MILLS, Gerald Edward, Seaman second class, Class V-1, U.S. Naval Reserve.
MONDOUK, Albert J., Chief Water Tender (PA), U.S. Naval Reserve, Class F-4-C.
MUSSLEWHITE, Edgar W., Machinist's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
NEELY, Kenneth Cecil, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
NEPTUNE, Aldon W., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
NEWTON, William Harding, Yeoman third class, U.S. Navy.
ORANGE, Harold J., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
ORTIZUELA, Pedro, Officer's Cook first class, U.S. Navy.
OWEN, Benjamin T., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
PAINTER, William H., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
PARKIN, Joseph J., Chief Water Tender (PA), U.S. Navy.
PATERSON, William N., Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
PENNINGTON, BUrl G., Quartermaster second class, U.S. Navy.
POLIZZI, Joseph C., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
PORTER, Corwin D., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
POST, Frederick R., Boatswain's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
POWELL, Lee P., Pharmacist's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
RAYHILL, Elmer R., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
REID, Lee Louis N., Torpedoman first class, Class V-6, U.S. Naval Reserve.
RESS, John R., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
ROGERS, James W., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
RYAN, John J., Jr., Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
RYGWELSKI, Clarence, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
SALTIS, Edward Peter, Boatswain's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
SCHLOTTHAUER, Eugene, Chief Water Tender (AA), U.S. Navy.
SETTLE, Sunny J., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
SORENSEN, Walter, Gunner's Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
SOWERS, Wallace L., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
STANKUS, Anthony Gedminus, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
STELMACH, Jerome, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
TAYLOR, Wilton L., Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
TOWERS, George F., Chief Gunner's Mate (AA), U.S. Navy.
TURNER, Lewis Aubrey, Signalman third class, U.S. Navy.
VOILES, Loyd Z., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
VORE, Harold M., Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
WEAVER, Jesse, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
WELCH, Chester L., Fireman second class, U.S. Navy.
WHARTON, Kenneth R., Fire Controlman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Class F-4-C.
WOODY, George, Jr., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
WRAY, Edwin E., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.

Survivors:
APPLETON, Chrlie Edward, Jr. Fireman 2c, US Navy.
APPLETON, Parmie Glendon, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
BEASLEY, George Napoleon, Jr., Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
BEGLEY, Claborn, Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
BERGSTRESSER, William Henry, Chief Machinist's Mate (AA), US Navy.
BOYD, Solon Gescovy, Machinist's Mate 1c, US Navy.
BRIDGES, Brent Neil, Radioman 3rd class, US Navy.
BUSH, Roy Virgil, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
CARR, Robert James, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
COYLE, Floyd Bob, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
DEL GROSSO, Daniel Joseph, Seaman 1c, US Navy.
DELISLE, Gerald Joseph, Coxswain, US Navy.
ELNITSKY, Joseph Fedenich, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
GIEHR, George Frederick, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
GORZIZA, Arthur Emil, Machinist's Mate 1c, US Navy.
GRAHAM, Guy Shipp, Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
HAJOWY, Joseph, Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
HINGULA, Norman Francis, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
HOWARD, Robert Joseph, Torpedoman 3c, US Navy.
JACQUETTE, Charles Samuel, Jr., Fireman 1c, US Navy.
JAEGGI, Earl William, Shipfitter 2c, US Navy.
JAMES, Vance Turner, Metalsmith 1c, US Navy.
KAPECZ, Rudolph T., Gunner's Mate 1c, US Navy.
LONG, Gordon H., Watertender 1c, US Navy.
MOLNAR, Joseph, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
NAGLE, Earl G., Seaman 2c, US Navy.
NIECE, Delos, Seaman 2c, US Navy.
OAKS, Kenneth Courtland, Radioman 3c, US Navy.
OLEXA, Steve, Seaman 2c, US Navy.
PHALEN, Charles W., Fireman 2c, US Navy.
RICHARDSON, Lester E. Fireman 1c, US Navy.
ROBINSON, Clarence F., Seaman 1c, US Navy.
SILLS, Lawrence, Jr., Seaman 1c, US Navy.
SIMS, Lloyd E., Watertender 1c, US Navy.
STENCEL, Julius, Machinist's Mate 2c, F4D, US Navy.
STEWART, Aaron H., Gunner's Mate 3c, US Navy.
STEWART, Robert S., Seaman 2c, US Navy.
TATE, Cleophas, Electrician's Mate 3c, US Navy.
THOMPSON, James C., Seaman 2c, US Navy.
TURNBULL, Thomas P., Electrician's Mate 2c, US Navy.
TYGER, Leland E., Fireman 3c, US Navy.
WESTBURY, William C., Machinist's Mate 1c, US Navy.
ZAPASNIK, Fred F., Shipfitter 1c, US Navy.

For more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Reuben_James_(DD-245)
http://www.woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/Sinking_Of_The_Reuben_James.htm
http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/uss-reuben-james-sunk-october-31-1941/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Correcting the Record on Newt's "Deathbed Divorce"

Well, we've heard for years that Newt Gingrich "divorced his wife on her deathbed as she lay dying of cancer so he could be married to someone else."

Not true, like most media stories about Republicans.

Sez who?

Sez his (and her!) daughter, who was there. In short:
My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.

Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.

She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.

The tumor was benign.

As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved, but life continued.

As have many families, we have healed; we have moved on.

We are not a perfect family, but we are knit together through common bonds, commitment and love.

My mother and father are alive and well, and my sister and I are blessed to have a close relationship with them both.

So. That puts paid to THAT media lie. I can't wait to hear the next one.

Pure. Freaking. Genius.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beware Those "Eco-Safe" Curly Bulbs!

For months "they" have been beating on "us" to "get with it" and "upgrade" our "primitive" Edison filament bulbs and replace them with the new "environmentally friendly" curly bulbs with high content of mercury.

"They" must know, don't they? After all "they" are SO MUCH SMARTER than "we" are, right?

Right?

They don't mention what happens if you step on one.

Don't click the link that follows without a strong stomach, but know that if you DO step on one, something like this happens.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Terror in Bosnia: Not Brought To You By Bosniacs

Well, it's only a matter of time before the Exterminate-All-Muslims crowd starts to ululate over today's terrorist shooting in Bosnia. Per Reuters:
A gunman fired on the United States embassy in Bosnia Friday in a 30-minute assault blamed by state television on a radical Islamist from neighboring Serbia.

The gunman was wounded by a police sniper during the attack in Sarajevo's busy downtown, in which a police officer was seriously wounded and shop workers scrambled for cover.

Bosnian television identified the man, bearded and carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle, as 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic, a Serbian citizen from the mainly Muslim town of Novi Pazar.

It said he had been visiting a community of hardline Islamists in northern Bosnia. A Reuters photograph of the gunman showed a tall man with a brown coat and a long beard.

I don't know from Novi Pazar, but I do know the American embassy in Bosnia quite well; I was there for several meetings (including the day where my picture on this blog was taken). I also think I know the village in question, the town is "Bocinja Donja", in the former American sector to the north of Sarajevo.

If he was a "Serbian citizen", he is likely a "Sanjak" (Serbian Muslim related to the Bosniacs; oddly enough, the Serbs in Serbia didn't harass the Sanjaks, saving their fury for the ones in Bosnia).

Well, I'm going to have to issue the usual disclaimer here: to wit: "Don't blame Bosnian Muslims for the act of a single madman." This guy is one in a million.... and not in a good way.

Of course, those most like to do so also celebrate the act of another Serbian madman that murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in 1914. The Serbs actually had the gall to name the bridge where the assassination occurred 'Prinzip Bridge'--kind of like naming the Book Depository Building in Dallas after its most infamous employee. (The name was changed back in 1994.)

And before some swine starts talking about how I'm a "Muzzie Sympathizer" or "Quisling" or some such (as I expect is inevitable), I can relate that a significant part of my job in Bosnia was encouraging North African settlers in the Islamist village of "Bocinja Donja" to get the hell out of Dodge and go home. We were aware even in 2000-2001 that the islamists there were bad news.

Fortunately, their attempt to Islamize Bosnia went nowhere. The Bosnian Muslims have a saying: "Dates don't grow here, but plum trees do." That is, date palms don't survive the wet European climate, but fruit trees, used to make the highly alcoholic slivovitz and rakia (same stuff) surely do.

This is a metaphor for the underlying truth: fanatical Islam of the Wahabbist - Salafist variety common in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere is alien to Bosnian Muslims, who like their rakia and their freedom.

Bosnian Muslims generally haven't seen the inside of a mosque in 3 generations, tend to drink like fish, are perfectly OK eating pork, and their gals dress, er, very European-ly. (You can get a general take on a particular Bosniac gal's devotion to Islam as being in inverse proportion to the depth of her neckline.)

My guess is that this particular terror-punk either is a Serbian fanatic who hasn't forgiven us for the loss of the war to the US in 1995 and 2001, OR he's a Sanjak (described above) who hung out with Bocinja Donja types.

Anyway, it's just a matter of time before my Dedicated Site Pest or his budz show up to leave a mess on my blog. I reply: to those who are coming over here to diss me for "helping terrorists," well, here's my response.

ADDENDUM

Wasn't Bocinja Donja. Per the Washington Post, it was Gornja Maoca ("Gornya Maotsa") which IIRC is in what used to be the French sector in the south of the region we protected.

Still: the vast, vast majority of Bosniacs want nothing to do with these people, and so HAVE nothing to do with them.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Nature is much more clever than we had imagined"

It sez here that recent cosmological research has found huge quantities of highly complex "organic" hydrocarbons in the Crab Nebula cloud. Specifically there seem to be hydrocarbons of such complexity that they resemble coal or petroleum(!).
Such chemical complexity was thought to arise only from living organisms, but the results of the new study show that these organic compounds can be created in space even when no life forms are present. In fact, such complex organics could be produced naturally by stars, and at an extremely rapid pace.

"What impressed me most is that complex organics are easily formed by stars, they are everywhere in our own galaxy and in other galaxies," Kwok told SPACE.com in an email interview. "Nature is much more clever than we had imagined."

Oh, really?

'Nature' is 'much more clever'?

Are we attributing personality aspects ('cleverness') to an impersonal force ('nature')?

Or are we trying to admit that maybe there is a God but we don't want to say out loud?

Naaaaah.



"Genesis allowed is not! Is planet forbidden!" - Charles Johnson

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just Because: "Fandango"



This obscure 80s flick is a simple roadtrip film--with the twist ending: Gardener, the Best Man in this wedding, who appeared to be a selfish schmoe throughout the story, is revealed to be a true gentleman who has pulled a rabbit out of a hat so that his best friend can marry the girl he, Gardener, loves.

The dance in this scene is to be remembered.

Note the well the kerchief--he never actually touches her. An awesome and bittersweet goodbye.

Great movie.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"She* turned me on to a Newt!"


(Or: "I got better. Maybe." )

Time to come out of the closet.

I may have been VERY reluctantly dragged to the point where I can support the Newtster for the White House.

Maybe.

I'll admit I don't seem to have much success in picking candidates. I wrote a letter to Newt to run back in '07, but he didn't even respond to the letter much less bother to run. And, in the 2008 primaries, I pulled the lever for Fred Thompson, and we all know how that turned out. And: I'll admit I wanted a date next November with a gorgeous lady from the far north .... but she stood me up. (I did pick Sarah for VP four months before she hit the national scene.... but again... *sigh.*)

So. I'll have to pick one from the remainder pile.

But.

Looking at the field--no Snow White, all seven dwarfs--there's not much.

Except.... (c'mon Rich you can say it) .... Newt.

Yeah, him. Newt Gingrich.

Leave aside his three marriages and other bad judgment reference his, er, Amish-style pants (no zipper).

Leave aside his worse judgment about NY-23 and global barmying.

Leave aside his use of a T-Rex skull as an office decoration when he was Speaker. (Whether it was a sly geeky joke about how he was portrayed in the press OR an attempt to intimidate supplicants, either way... bad idea.)

And leave aside the fact that the Clinton impeachment was unsuccessful because the man who should have led the charge had his shoes nailed to the floor for reasons we all know.

And leave aside the fact tat I lost my job on Capitol Hill as a result of his resignation as Speaker back in '98-99.

In fact, let's leave aside all the skeletons in his closet. Of which there are enough to fill a morgue. (Why do skeletons matter? Cuz Newt's a Pubbie. We can't get away with what Dems can get away with. Skeletons? Hell, if Newt's could fill a morgue, Clinton had enough to cast a George Romero movie. But Clinton of course was a donk. Democrats can get away with anything but the legendary "dead girl or a live boy", and even these are acceptable if you're a Massachusetts Democrat. Not so the GOP. Pubbies are 'spected to behave themselves.)

So. Anyway. The fact is, if not Newt, who else is there?

Bachmann, Huntsman, and RonPaul!....? Three Congresscritter wannabees? No, no, and in the case of RonPaul!, not just no but HELL NO. There hasn't been a House member elected since, what, Grover Cleveland maybe?

Cain? A politically inexperienced guy who has NEVER run for office before, whose primary qualification is the fact that he's black? Frankly, we got one of those already. If he were a (U.S.!) Senator? A Governor? I'd consider it. As it is: I'll pass.

Perry? The proud owner of Camp Chowderhead? No thank you.

Mitt? The man who gave us Obamneycare? Hell no, Schedule II.

So that only leaves.....

....by Hobson's choice....

....Newt.

He would certainly wipe the floor with Obama in a debate, and he's certainly smarter than everybody, on BOTH sides, put together.

And he would certainly be able to survive the drowning-by-spittle that the press would dish out. He's been there, done that, and survived with relative aplomb.

I like the fact that he said, in one of his autobiographies, that, for him, the life-changing event was his visit, as a youth, to the ossuaries at Verdun, where he first realized that politics matter. I had a similar experience at Tuzla and Srebrenica.

Most of all, he's a lower-case f-federalist, pro-strong-defense, pro-business, mostly-trad-values supporter whom the Tea Partiers would not find totally repugnant, even if they, like me, would have to take a little time to get used to the idea.

In short: I'd vote for him, wearing clothespin on nose, simply because everyone else appears to be utterly unqualified. Alas. (One day I hope to vote for a guy for some reason other than he...er...stinks less than anybody else.)

So. One cheer for Newt. (Yaaaay.) ( "...and there was great rejoicing!")


____________
(*Dr. Karen Siegemund, Professor of Mathematics, University of Massachusetts and a single sane person surrounded by lunatics. Yes, Karen, you can take credit.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Greg's Giggles for Monday 10/24


They say he's totally spoiled, too.

It's Monday. We hate Mondays. Therefore, iiiiitttttttsssssss..... Greg SCHANKIN!

* A new study found that using Facebook too much can lead to psychological problems. Which explains that new relationship status, “It’s complicated . . . because a magical unicorn said it was.”

* Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman announced that he received the endorsement of Jeb Bush, Jr., who is the son of the brother of the former president. Analysts say he's sewn up the crucial 'guy you didn't know existed' vote.

* Rumor has it that Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are friends again. There you have it. Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton are now more mature than President Obama and John Boehner.

* A hot dog company in Chicago is suing a rival for stealing its secret recipe. Just what we need — another weiner scandal.

* The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy. Digging out of this mess will be hard for them, but not as hard as winning two games in a row.

* On the bright side, with yesterdays earthquake I didn’t have to shake my morning martini.

* They traced the epicenter of the earthquake to N.J. Governor Chis Christie’s aerobics class. / No, to Kim Kardashian’s honeymoon suite.

* A panel of medical experts has recommended that health insurance companies provide free birth control to their customers. The recommendation has been hailed as 'historic' by women's' groups, and as '10 years too late' by Maria Shriver.

* Man, it’s been a tough time for the economy, but last week, President Obama declared that quote “things will get better.” Yep, and then he opened his eyes, and blew out the candles on his birthday cake.

* Regis Philbin won a daytime Emmy for being the best television host ever. That should take the sting out of ABC trying to push him out.

* A new report shows that due to the weak economy right now, more Americans are canceling their cable television. Good luck trying to live without eight shows about cakes.

* A man jumped the White House fence, but after a brief chase, the Secret Service was able to talk President Obama into coming back and finishing his term.

* A friend you have to buy; enemies you get for nothing. - Jewish proverb

* Amid the heat, health officials are telling Americans to stay home. Americans responded by saying, 'We are home. We have no jobs."

* The earthquake last week caused cracks in the Washington Monument. Experts say it’s the biggest crack problem in D.C. since Marion Barry.

* The Chinese economy has shown signs of slowing down. Experts say that’s what happens when your workforce starts to enter its teens.

* New statistics show the U.S. economy added 0 jobs in August. The White House cautioned Americans not to read too much into those numbers. What numbers?

* Hurricane Irene wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was downgraded to a tropical storm. Even our hurricanes are getting downgraded.

* Mick Jagger is 68 years old. He’s still out there touring, although now it’s more like “wandering off.”

* "In an honest Service, there is thin Commons, low Wages, and hard Labour; in this, Plenty and Satiety, Pleasure and Ease, Liberty and Power; and who would not balance Creditor on this Side, when all the Hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sower Look or two at choaking. No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto." - Bartholomew "The Dread Pirate" Roberts

* A man in California was caught speeding and was mailed a picture of his illegally speeding car from the police who said he had to pay a $45 fine. The man responded by mailing the police a picture of $45. The police's response? Mailing him a picture of handcuffs.

* President Obama signed the new debt bill into law. But it doesn't really solve the problem. Economists say in 10 years, the deficit will be $27 trillion. But you know what? In 10 years, that’ll be president Bieber's problem.

* "They tried me in absentia. They sentenced me to death in absentia. Let them execute me in absentia." - Eamon de Valera, Irish revolutionary (later President), in 1922

* Because of our national debt, every child in this country owes $50,000. China heard this and said, “We’re hiring.”

* A new study has found that the majority of wealthy people in China want to move to other countries and the government is trying to find ways to keep them. If only they could build a big wall.

* The report on climate change said that humans are very likely making the planet warmer. To which Hillary Clinton said, 'Hey, can't blame me for that one.'

* Hitler’s birthplace in Austria has revoked his honorary citizenship. Talk about a rush to judgment.

* Officials at BP have filed for permits to drill for oil again in the Gulf of Mexico. They say the oil is easier to find than ever because it's mostly on top of the water.

* Starting next year, all U.S. savings bonds will be electronic rather than printed. So they’ll be paperless, as well as valueless, useless, and worthless.

* Dick Cheney says that when people in Washington read his new book, “heads will be exploding.” When Cheney says heads will be exploding, he means it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eminiar, Vendicar..... and Earth


Detroit near French Road... showing areas currently owned and occupied by the aborted.

An AP article claims that things have gotten less violent over the last couple of centuries.... a LOT less violent. In an article entitled "Bombings, beheadings? Stats show a peaceful world" 'researchers' make the astonishing claim that 'historically, we've never had it this peaceful.'

Oh, really?


In his new book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," [Harvard psychologist Steven] Pinker makes the case that a smarter, more educated world is becoming more peaceful in several statistically significant ways. His findings are based on peer-reviewed studies published by other academics using examinations of graveyards, surveys and historical records:

— The number of people killed in battle — calculated per 100,000 population — has dropped by 1,000-fold over the centuries as civilizations evolved. Before there were organized countries, battles killed on average more than 500 out of every 100,000 people. In 19th century France, it was 70. In the 20th century with two world wars and a few genocides, it was 60. Now battlefield deaths are down to three-tenths of a person per 100,000.
Very nice. Except that it fails to take into account the organized mass slaughter/genocide of the unborn worldwide. In the United States we have murdered 50 million children since 1973; these missing are the cause of our illegal immigration "problem." China has murdered 450 million since instituting the One Child policy (13 million/year since 1978), and the sexual imbalance 117 boys:100 girls guarantees civil war in a generation. Russia has had so many that the population has even shrunk 2% every year for decades; this is why they have recently banned abortion after the third month. Europe's abortion policy is one reason why its central cities are becoming more and more Islamic--the Muslims move there to take the place of Euros unborn. India uses it to murder girl babies. And don't get me started on what it is doing to Japan.

No, the human race is not very nice, nor has it improved. We've simply set things up so that the slaughter does not appear on television.

Welcome to Eminiar. Or is it Vendicar?

Bah.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Qdaffy Duck: An Ex-Parrot, Pining for the Fjords



It is reported that Libya's President Qdaffy is dead.

Thanks be to God. And: Sic Semper Tyrannus.

Let us remember a few of the victims of this evil man whose names we know: Nermin Hannay, a Turkish woman, SGT Kenneth T. Ford, and SGT James E. Goins, along with 79 other people injured in the 1986 Berlin Discotheque Bombing, which he ordered.

Then there is the British police woman, Yvonne Fletcher, who was sniped from the Libyan embassy.

Let us also remember those 258 or so who died in the Lockerbie Bombing of 1988:



And we're not even talking any of his own people he slaughtered.

May God have mercy on what passed for his soul.

PS: Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez called it an "outrage." I prefer to think of it as.... an object lesson. (A wink is as good as a nod to a blind man, eh, Hugo?)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ahead Warp Factor One.



This is a portrayal of what travel at near light speed (90%+ C) would be like. Strangely like the light said to be visible during a near death experience. Go figure. (Of course, travel at near light speed would probably CAUSE a near-death experience... or worse....)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greg's Giggles for 10/18

Once again, Ladies 'n' Germs, Mr. GREG SCHANKIN!

* It's so hot, Casey Anthony thought she was already in hell.

* President Obama will begin a three-state bus tour. I believe the three states are confusion, delusion, and desperation.

* "We welcome death. Martyrdom is a million times better." -- Col. Muammar Gadaffi, vowing never to surrender to NATO's air campaign. This guy better have a swim suit because we all know where he is headed!

* Arnold Shwarzenegger's favorite game? Old Maid.

* One night at Cheers, Cliff ClAvin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm: "Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this.. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! ; In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers...."

* A year after they were rescued, most of the Chilean miners are still unemployed. Most employers are hesitant to hire them because of that giant gap in their resumes.

* Chris Hansen, the host of "To Catch a Predator," was caught cheating on his wife with a woman 20 years younger than him. Hansen knew something was up when he walked into his kitchen and he was already there waiting for himself.

* A right-wing religious group in Iowa is now asking all the Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge to remain faithful to their spouse. Isn't that the marriage vows?

* The royal couple really immersed themselves in American culture while visiting. In fact, when they left, they were $2 trillion in debt.

* My children, in playing video games, spend an inordinate amount of time killing "bosses." I wonder if we are really preparing them properly for life in the work world later on.

* Great day today! Obama didn't speak. Congress didn't act. Experts on vacation. And the Dow soared 423 points. There's a lesson in there.

* President Obama says he will not give in on the debt ceiling even if it costs him his presidency. Well, that should make the Republicans fold.

* President Obama's popularity is slipping while he's on vacation. When he went for a walk on the beach, the tide went out.

* President Obama has declared that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. And if you're looking for a way to celebrate, I recommend the "Mac n' Cheese Big Daddy Patty" from Denny's.

* Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

* Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for president, saying he wants to spend more time lacking charisma with his family.

* A woman in Mexico was arrested after she tried sneak her husband out of prison inside her suitcase after a conjugal visit. Or as Southwest calls it: the next big thing in air travel. [RK here. Greg, don't let them see the battle droid scene in STAR WARS I: THE PHANTOM MENACE. They might start getting ideas.]

* A group of rare snow leopards has been discovered in a remote corner of Afghanistan. So I guess traveling through Afghanistan isn't as safe as you thought.

* After all, what is your host's purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. ~P.J. O'Rourke

* Just days after calling off her wedding to Hugh Hefner, Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris has returned the couple's dog to Hefner. Sources say he is a slightly mangy fellow who pees himself a lot, but he's very glad to get his dog back.

* It's the 76th anniversary of social security. I mention it because there's no guarantee that there will be a 77th.

* Critics are calling "Jersey Shore" the most offensive thing the United States has done to Italy since the opening of Olive Garden.

* Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

* Happy birthday to Donald Trump, who turned 65, allegedly. We still haven't seen the birth certificate so we don't know for sure.

* According to reports, Apple now has more cash on hand than the U.S. government. Which sounds impressive until you realize that Radio Shack has more cash on hand... Actually, the big difference between Apple and the government is that their stuff is made in China, while we're owned by China. Two different things.

* President Obama said that even though we've been downgraded, we're still a AAA nation. Unfortunately, he meant in the minor league baseball sense.

* They say that Christopher Columbus was the first Democrat. When he left to discover America, he didn't know where he was going. When he got there he didn't know where he was. And it was all done on a government grant.

* I love Detroit. The weather just terrible here - too cold. All we want to know in Detroit is where the hell's all that global warming we've been hearing so much about. That's all they ever do in the winter, stand outside with an aerosol can. >ssst< That's right. Screw the grandkids. I'm cold now.

* Just 10 days until the big Iowa Republican presidential straw poll. How many think Mitt Romney will win the straw poll? How many think Michele Bachmann will win? How many would rather vote for the straw?

* According to a new report, only 12 percent of American high school students can pass a basic history test. That's the lowest percentage since our country was founded in 1922.

* Scientists believe that people born in the next 20 years could live to be 1,000 years old. How many times would you have to get up to go to the bathroom at that age?

From Greg, on his FB page, October 14: "Hi everyone, I had some major surgery on 9/27, I thought all was going well but had to spend this last week back in the hospital, the doctor wanted to open me up again - I refused. I pray I made the right decision. I am home again. I thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes. I have lots of time for FB now just not the will. Please continue to pray for me I can use all the prayers I can get. Thank you and God Bless all of you."

Let me express for everyone my best wishes for his quick recovery! (Send him a get well note on his FB page if you know him!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's time for a little pick-me-up.



This wonderful rant first appeared on Windsor, Ontario radio station CKLW in 1974, a year when, like the present, things appeared to be falling to pieces and that the America we all knew and loved was falling apart.

Here's to America, the greatest nation in history: and here is to those who uphold, protect, and defend it, not merely in uniform, but in the quiet and useful lives they lead.  (Broken link fixed 20140727.)

ADDENDUM

And if that doesn't work:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Evil Overlord List:
Or, Ruling the World for Fun & Profit

Charles Schumer was quoted as saying that it was 'Impossible' for the Democrats to lose control of the U.S. Senate next year.

A top Democrat said it's "almost impossible" Republicans will take over the Senate majority in 2012.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), his party's former campaign chairman, acknowledged that Democrats have a tough political map as they seek to defend dozens of seats in the Senate, in which Democrats hold a 53-seat majority. Republicans, with far fewer seats to hold, are targeting the chamber for a flip.

"When you look at it from 30,000 feet, it looks bad," Schumer said during a breakfast meeting at Third Way, the moderate Democratic think tank. "You look at it race by race, it looks good."
This violates Item #24 of the Evil Overlord list. To wit: "I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)"

It's clearly time to revive this old gem: a list of all the things one should never do when one is acting as an Evil Overlord. (I have a copy by my bedside and review it nightly.)

At the risk of revealing certain industrial secrets of my trade.... (but not at risk of violating the Copyright Act, thank goodness) .... ladies and gentlemen, the Evil Overlord List.
====

This Evil Overlord List is Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach. If you enjoy it, feel free to pass it along or post it anywhere, provided that (1) it is not altered in any way, and (2) this copyright notice is attached.

Being an Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours. However every Evil Overlord I've read about in books or seen in movies invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present...

The Top 100 Things I'd Do
If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord


  1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

  2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

  3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

  4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

  5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

  6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

  7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

  8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

  9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.

  10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

  11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

  12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

  13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

  14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

  15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

  16. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know."

  17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

  18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

  19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.

  20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

  21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

  22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

  23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

  24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

  25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.

  26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.

  27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

  28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

  29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

  30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

  31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

  32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

  33. I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

  34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

  35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.

  36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

  37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.

  38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

  39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

  40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

  41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

  42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

  43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.

  44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

  45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

  46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.

  47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

  48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

  49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

  50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

  51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.

  52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

  53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.

  54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

  55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.

  56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

  57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.

  58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

  59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.

  60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.

  61. If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.

  62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.

  63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

  64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.

  65. If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.

  66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.

  67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.

  68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better save my life again.

  69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.

  70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

  71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.

  72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.

  73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.

  74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.

  75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.

  76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)

  77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutentant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.

  78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."

  79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.

  80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

  81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.

  82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.

  83. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.

  84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.

  85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."

  86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.

  87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

  88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.

  89. After I captures the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.

  90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.

  91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.

  92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)

  93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.

  94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

  95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.

  96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

  97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.

  98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.

  99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.

  100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

RLK here. There's more. I may post it later.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is the Constitution racist?



Some in NYC seem to think so. It's a common meme. "The Constitution says that slaves were only 6/10 of a man!" "The Constitution allowed slavery!" Etc etc.

Anyway. I came across the following collection of quotes on the subject. Read of them what you will.

“I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery].”
—George Washington

“[M]y opinion against it [slavery] has always been known… [N]ever in my life did I own a slave.”
—John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. President. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1854), vol IX pp. 92-93. In a letter to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley on January 24, 1801.

“[W]hy keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil.”
—Charles Carroll, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Kate Mason Rowland, Life and Correspondence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898), Vol. II, pg. 231.

“As Congress is now to legislate for our extensive territory lately acquired, I pray to Heaven that they …[c]urse not the inhabitants of those regions, and of the United States in general, with a permission to introduce bondage [slavery].”
—John Dickinson, Signer of the Constitution and Governor of Pennsylvania. Charles J. Stille, The Life and Times of John Dickinson (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1898) p. 324.

“That men should pray and fight for their own freedom and yet keep others in slavery is certainly acting a very inconsistent as well as unjust and perhaps impious part.”
—John Jay, President of Continental Congress, Chief-Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Governor of New York. Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891), Vol. III, pp. 168-169. In a letter to Dr. Richard Price on Sep. 27, 1785.

“Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us who profess the same religion practice its precepts… by agreeing to this duty.”
—Richard Henry Lee, President of Continental Congress and Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee and His Correspondence With the Most Distinguised Men in America and Europe (Philadelphia: H.C. Carey and I. Lea, 1825), Vol. I, pp. 17-19. The first speech of Richard Henry Lee in the House of Burgesses.

“t ought to be considered that national crimes can only be and frequently are punished in this world by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him who is equally Lord of all and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master.”
—Luther Martin, Constitutional Convention Delegate. James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. III, pg. 211.

“Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity… It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men.”
—Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Minutes of the Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates From the Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States, Assembled at Philadelphia, on the First Day of January, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Four… (Philadelphia: Zachariah Poulson, 1794), p. 24. “To the Citizens of the United States.”

“Slavery, or an absolute and unlimited power in the master over life and fortune of the slave, is unauthorized by the common law… The reasons which we sometimes see assigned for the origin and the continuance of slavery appear, when examined to the bottom, to be built upon a false foundation. In the enjoyment of their persons and of their property, the common law protects all.”
—James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court Justice. James Wilson, The Works of James Wilson, Robert Green McCloskey, editor (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), Vol. II, pg. 605.

But more of this soon. RLK.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Kiddie Cartoon Every Politico Must See. Daily.

Greg's Giggles for Columbus Day

Ladies and Germs, it's Greg Schankin!

* The east coast is still cleaning up after the earthquake. Experts say this only happens once a century. It’s Larry King’s third.

* FACEBOOK recently changed its format. My initial reaction, being a good conservative, is "It's new. I hate it. I liked it the way it was before." Then the libertarian in me takes over and then says, "It's new. I hate it. I liked it the way it was before."

* People on the East Coast are cleaning up after the hurricane and on the West Coast, we’re cleaning up after the Video Music Awards.

* Several Fox News hosts criticized “Spongebob Squarepants” for pushing a global warming agenda. Then things got really ugly when they demanded to see “Dora the Explorer’s” immigration papers.

* The woman who attempted to rob Alex Trebek’s hotel room may face 25 years in prison. Even worse, while she’s waiting for the judge’s decision, they’ll make her listen to the music from “Jeopardy.”

* After the debt vote, Sen. Chuck Schumer said it’s time for jobs to move to the front burner. They’re only worried about our jobs when they’re about to lose their jobs.

* Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side. - Jewish proverb

* Legal experts are now investigating John Edwards for the money he spent to hide his mistress and love child. The good news for Edwards is that he is now eligible to run for governor of California.

* A peacock escaped from the Central Park Zoo and wandered around the city. Either that or they just saw a pigeon on his way to a gay pride parade.

* Obama is planning another speech on job growth. I don’t think it will be a big speech.

* The economy is so bad, Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

* Ron Paul. America's simple, easy to understand wrong answer.

* A company in Virginia has a new DNA test than can predict your child’s athletic skills. Here’s the test: If you’re a child and you know what DNA is, you’re not an athlete.

* Forty-five years ago, Star Trek's first episode appeared. Americans gathered around their TVs and asked, “Is that guy wearing a toupee?”

* NASA says that without the space shuttle, we'll have to pay the Russians $63 million to take one astronaut into space. And if the astronaut wants to check a bag, it's an extra $15 million.

* Someone unearthed the very first Ronald McDonald TV commercial. You can tell the ad is from 50 years ago, because all the little kids are skinny.

* The economy is so bad, Bill Gates had to switch to dial up.

* "All animals are equal, but some are tastier than others." (Orwell was not a PETA supporter.)

* True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.

* A school in New Zealand discovered that a model skeleton for an anatomy class was actually a real human skeleton. Yeah, they made the realization when they noticed they hadn’t seen their anatomy teacher in about eight months.

* My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not you’ll become a philosopher. Socrates

* Fashion Week started recently in New York. If you don’t know about Fashion Week, it’s like Shark Week for anyone that cares about clothes. If you can tell, I’m very much into fashion. My outfit today is called “Creepy Uncle.”

* A New York appellate court ruled it is legal for a suspicious wife to use a GPS device to track her cheating husband. More bad news for Bill Clinton.

* The economy is so bad, my niece told me she wants to dress up as a 401-K for Halloween so that she can turn invisible.

* A new survey revealed that being an IT guy is the most hated job in the country. President Obama's thinking, “Wanna bet?”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Empire Strikes Back



A sign at the Chicago Board of Trade. (Source: Minyanville)

For the record, my solution to the Occupiers is simple: Close the buildings. Seize the porta-potties. Announce publicly that anybody who excretes anything in public goes on the Sex Offender Registry for 25 years. And voila.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Revolutionary Wannabees On The March



These idiots should be drafted and sent to Eastern Europe to exhume and identify the victims of the LAST great Socialist revolution. Anathema sit.

ADDENDUM

I AM THE 98%. I am not one of the 1% living high off of hog while working for a bank on Wall Street. Neither am I one of the 1% who support those who are living like pigs while protesting on the streets of Wall Street.

I think the former need to examine their consciences and modify whatever predatory behavior they are engaging in if any. I think the protesters supported by the latter need to take a shower, shave, put on a suit, and go look for a frakking job. Repost this if you're sick of neo-sixties crapheads hijacking the rest of us. RLK.

ADDENDUM II: 6:00 PM

If you think I'm just making this stuff up, review please the Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St Movement! (User Submitted)

Posted Sept. 25, 2011, 3:46 p.m. EST (12 days ago) by anonymous

Admin note: This is not an official list of demands. This is a forum post submitted by a single user and hyped by irresponsible news/commentary agencies like Fox News and Mises.org. This content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly. There is NO official list of demands.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.

Lloyd J Hart 508-687-9153


Lucking foonatics. All of them. Every last one.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Insanely Great: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)



Just remember: the man who brought you this commercial was adopted.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sarah Palin votes no.



Three and a half years ago--six months before anybody in politics had ever heard of Sarah Palin--I had her picked as our VP nominee.

No jive.

The above Email--I still have it in my possession--has been modified only by my removal of the email addresses of those to whom I sent it. I will be happy however to transmit a paper copy of the original to anyone who asks. It reads as follows:



There are many reasons why people can't stand her. Her voice. Her hair. Her refusal to kill her child.

And there's a lot of speculation as to why she said no.

I think the reason is simple: she wants to live and her children to grow up. Given what's happened--including an arson attack on a church identified as hers--I can't blame her for bowing out.

But. damn.

So. No Snow White: we are stuck with one of the Seven Dwarves. But which is which? Your call.

Doc - Gingrich
Grumpy - Bachmann
Happy - Cain
Sleepy - Perry
Bashful - Ronpaul
Sneezy - Huntsman
Dopey - Romney

As Kurt Vonnegut would say:

Heigh-ho. :0/

GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

What Has Been Seen....

Greg's Giggles for 10/3

Ladies 'n' Germs, Mr. Greg Schankin!

* Hey, I heard that 7-Eleven is now selling potato chips that taste like hot dogs. Seriously? I’m still waiting for 7-Eleven to sell hot dogs that taste like hot dogs.

* Thirty-three soldiers from the Mexican army were allowed to return home after accidentally crossing the border into the United States. That’s how bad things are. People are only crossing the border accidentally.

* Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.

* A woman in Florida called 911 after she found a bear swimming in her backyard pool. That’s right, there was a bear in the water. Or as Sarah Palin calls that, “soup.”

* A new study found that 10 percent of toddlers are overweight. That explains the most popular new stroller on the market: a wheelbarrow.

* They say 50 is the new 30 — not in age, in money: $50 is now worth about $30. (More like $2.00, Greg, in gold dollars. Alas.-RLK)

* The unemployment rate in Mexico is so low that illegal immigrants are sneaking back into Mexico. Obama has solved the illegal immigration problem!

* The economy is so bad, I saw the CEO of Wal-Mart shopping at Wal-Mart.

* The country is running out of money and everyone is fighting. It reminds me a lot of my childhood.

* Eliot Spitzer’s show on CNN was canceled. So you wonder, how will the guy kill an hour?

* Experts say New York’s new gay marriage bill could bring $210 million into the state’s economy. Even more surprising: All of that would be from one crazy bachelor party.

* President Obama will be in New York tonight for a fundraiser at the Broadway musical “Sister Act.” Meanwhile, Sarah Palin will be in town to do some hunting at “The Lion King.”

* A new study says that swearing doesn’t make you feel better, but you know who disagrees with that? Anyone that has ever stubbed their toe.

* Congressman David Wu has resigned after being accused of unwanted sexual advances. Or as it was called in th 90's, “the Clinton.”

* The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other. MARIO PUZO

* Why do they give heat warnings? I think I’m pretty good at figuring out that it’s hot on my own.

* If we killed everybody who hates you, it wouldn't be murder: it would be an apocalypse!

* In New York even the subways were closed for Irene. New Yorkers had nowhere to go to the bathroom. They were stunned.

* I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re hoping for an end to the bloodshed in Libya, a peaceful transition to democracy, and . . . cheaper gas.

* "Breaking News: President Obama has just confirmed that the DC earthquake occurred on a rare and obscure fault-line, apparently known as "Bush's Fault"."

* A new way to avoid any .05 alcohol issues while driving: I went out with some friends last night and had too many drinks. Knowing that I was way over the limit, I did something that I have never done–taken a bus home. Went very smoothly and arrived safely. Amazing, as I've never driven a bus before.....

* Standard and Poor's has also warned there's a 1 in 3 chance we could be downgraded again in the next three years. We could go from AA+ to F.U....

* The city of London has fined President Obama for the traffic he caused while visiting back in May. Which raises the question, “Are there any countries we don’t owe money to?”

* To no one’s surprise, on the "Today Show" yesterday morning, John McCain said he will not be running in 2012, or walking for that matter. He’s just going to get one of those Rascal scooters and drive around.

* Democrats warned that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the government would cease to function. How would you be able to tell?

* Experts say that because of the debt ceiling debate, America’s credit rating could be seriously ruined. On the bright side, we were just approved for a Discover card.

* That’s right, after couples get divorced, men gain the most weight. While women gain the most stuff.

* Schools in Illinois are dropping writing portions from standardized test. When asked why, a spokesman said, “We simple does not needs them.”

PS. If you know happen to know Greg, send him an Email. He'll be pleased to hear from you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Nickel Mines Horror: 2006-2011



Five years ago today, on October 2, 2006, a would-be rapist barracaded himself in a school building with ten young Amish girls, all aged thirteen and younger, in the little town of West Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. He had brought with him a large supply of weapons and sufficient equipment to tie them all in place so that he could put into effect his plan to defile them all.

He shot the girls without raping them; five died, and then he killed himself.

One made herself immortal in their defense.

I've told this story before. I'll tell it again. It should not be forgotten.
======



TATTERED REMNANTS #041: MARIAN STOLTZFUS FISHER

"Shoot Me First": Marian Stoltzfus Fisher (1993-2006)

One of the great plagues of the past century has been that of the exploding malign narcissist. We all encounter one in the news every few weeks or so. Somewhere in the world, some individual suffering from some degree of mental decay, fanaticism, hate, and evil lays their hands on a weapon or weapons of mass destruction and goes berserk, killing as many people as possible in a few minutes, people whose only crime was being within his range. They come one after another, the names, the incidents – Columbine, the Austin Clock Tower, This-Or-That-High-School – in an endless thudding of horrors that eventually get forgotten, replaced by the next one in the sequence.

The victimizers elbow their way into our consciousness and their names take up space in our heads in spite of ourselves. But the victims fade into statistics, if they are ever known at all.

Rarely does an incident happen that makes us remember with pride those who lose their lives.

Marian Fisher was one such. She was only thirteen--the youngest of our Tattered Remnants.

In keeping with the customs of her people, no photograph exists of this astounding girl.

She, her younger sister, and eight other little Amish girls were at the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Bart Township, Pennsylvania on October 2, 2006, when a man came in with a gun and took them hostage. The man, a sexually obsessed truck driver, had come to molest them; he decided to kill them.

Marian Fisher was the oldest of her classmates. She was thirteen.

She stepped up to him and is said to have spoken three words that make her immortal.

She said, "Shoot me first."

(And it is said her younger sister Barbara echoed, "Shoot me second.")

The man shot all ten girls, muttered "Pray for me," and then shot himself.

It is believed that Marian may have been buying time, attempting to throw the man off of his stride, or perhaps to consume a bullet that he could not shoot at another. It is even possible that he was deterred from his plans of rape by her courage.

But in that simple act, those three words, she showed that She Got It.

She understood what the fight was about.

And she gave her life on the off chance that others might live in her stead.

It should be mentioned: of the ten girls that were shot, five survived, including Barbara (although one of the five was left helpless for life).

"Shoot me first."

Which of us would have such courage to choose to die at the blink of an eye?


The outside of the cemetery in Lancaster, PA, where Marian is buried. Its exact location is private.

ADDENDUM:

Along with Marian, let us remember her sisters in Christ who died with her:
Naomi Rose Ebersol, age 7;
Lena Zook Miller, age 7;
Mary Liz Miller, age 8;
Anna Mae Stoltzfus, age 12

Let us also remember those other victims of the shooting:

Rachel Ann Stolfuz, age 8;
Barbie Stolfuz Fisher, age 10;
Rosanna King, age 6;
an unidentified girl, age 12;
an unidentified girl, age 13.

SECOND ADDENDUM:

It should be mentioned that the Amish community even took up a collection for the wife and children of the murderer.

Which of us would have such courage to forgive at the blink of an eye?

Photo credits: Alex Pendjurin (first and second picture); findagrave.com (third picture).