Wednesday, November 30, 2011
PDQ Bach's Throw the Yule Log Uncle John......
Life is full of problems, and one of the most often-encountered is the fact that it is frequently difficult to understand words being sung by a chorus. One of the few things, it can be safely argued, that Palestrina and P. D. Q. Bach had in common was a concern for this problem, and P. D. Q.’s vocal music seems surprisingly careful in this respect. In spite of his care, however, your humble editor has received complaints about the lack of intelligibility of some of the words in the recording of A Consort of Choral Christmas Carols, the gemütlich and thankfully secular songs that make up part of the Portrait of P. D. Q. Bach album. These complaints often focus on the chorus of Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John, where all four voices sing entirely different material at entirely the same time. So here are the words to all three of the Christmas Carols, presented in a visible part of the spectrum for your patient perusal. Say, if you don’t own the record album, why not order it today? Why not indeed?
—description by Peter Schickele reprinted from The Peter Schickele Rag, #14.
Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John
Throw the yule log on, Uncle John
Throw the yule log on Uncle John
Soprano: Fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa fa mi fa
Alto: Wahza whuza wuhza wuhza wuhza woo woo, wuhza wuhza wuhza woo woo, wuhza wuhza wuhza wuhza woo wah
Tenor: Chick chick chick chick chick chick chick chick-a chick-a chick-a boom bah
Bass: Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ha
Put the pickle down, Uncle John
Put the pickle down Uncle John
Soprano: Fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa fa mi fa
Alto: Wahza whuza wuhza wuhza wuhza woo woo, wuhza wuhza wuhza woo woo, wuhza wuhza wuhza wuhza woo wah
Tenor: Chick chick chick chick chick chick chick chick-a chick-a chick-a boom bah
Bass: Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ha
Ten o’clock on Christmas morn and all the guests are coming to the door;
Ten o’clock on Christmas morn and Uncle John’s already on the floor.
Though the weather’s bitter cold there’s not a frown to mar the festive mood;
Wait ’til they discover that old Uncle John has eaten all the food.
Hear the hall clock strike, Uncle John
Hear the hall clock strike Uncle John
Soprano: Fa la la, fa la la, fa la la, fa la la fa la la, fa fa mi fa
Alto: Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, fuzzy wuzzy had no hair, fuzzy wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy wuzzy wuzzy wuhza wuhza woo wah
Tenor: Sis sis sis sis sis sis sis sis sis boom bah
Bass: Boom chick boom chick boom chick boom chick boom chick boom chick boom boom boom buhzoowah doowah
Please, will you come to Uncle John?
Gather around poor Uncle John.
Please, will you come to Uncle John (the no-good good-for-nothing),
Oh, when will you come to Uncle John?
Oh, when will you come to, Uncle John?
I agree with it 100%. While I have had my doubts about the man--I worked for him in 1998-1999 in the House of Representatives, and prematurely lost my job when he did--it's clear now that, absent Sarah, he's the GOP's best shot at sending Mr. Obama back to Oahu.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Ladies & Germs, Mr. Greg SHANKIN!
* Hey, it’s rumored that Charlie Sheen checked his ex-wife Brooke Mueller out of rehab in Mexico and brought her to another facility. Which begs the question: What kind of rehab facility lets Charlie Sheen check someone out?
* President Obama is losing support from his own party. In fact Jimmy Carter just compared him to Jimmy Carter.
* Michelle Obama urged her husband’s supporters to sign an e-card for his 50th birthday. Which explains why Joe Biden has magic marker all over his computer screen.
* Prince Charles adopted a puppy. He has floppy ears and a big snout — and I don’t know what the puppy is like.
* The military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is officially over. Don’t confuse this with President Obama’s economic policy, which is “don’t ask, I don’t want to talk about it.”
* The government is one week away from running out of money to pay its bills. So basically, our nation has become Nicholas Cage.
* President Obama says he inherited most of the problems with the economy. I think he's being modest. He deserves a little credit.
* They had so much rain in New York that a lot of the cabbies had their first shower in years.
* In two weeks, Regis Philbin will stop doing whatever it is he does. I'm telling you, two more weeks of this. It was easier to get Gadhafi out.
* I read Dick Cheney's book. I don’t want to ruin it for anybody, but in the final chapter he kills Harry Potter. If you want the book, in the bookstore go past the self-help section. It’s in the self-serving section. (Hey, at least the guy he shot was a lawyer. Unfortunately it was the only Republican trial lawyer in the United States.)
* The economy is so bad, Barack Obama changed his slogan to "Maybe We Can!"
* "Ahnult! What is best in life?" "Zu Kiss Ze Enemy, See Zem Driving On Ze Street Bevor You, Und Hear Ze Lamentation of Zer Husbands!"
* The poor long for riches, the rich long for heaven, but the wise long for a state of tranquility.
* Anyone who teases you loves you. - Jewish Proverb
* "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." -- Vice President Al Gore
* Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
* The other day I saw MICROCOSMOS, a 1996 French movie about insects doing whatever it is that insects do. My favorite scene: where an extremely determined dung beetle rolls his wedding gift from point 'A' to point 'C' but stopping at point 'B' when the 'present' gets impaled on a twig. The struggle that followed reminded me of work.
* A restaurant in New York is serving a grilled cheese-flavored martini. wow , finally, a way to get my kids to finish their martinis.
* There’s a new social network just for senior citizens. Actually, we’re just sending them to MySpace and telling them it’s new.
* Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Don't eat pork. I'm sorry, what was that last one?? Don't eat pork. God has spoken. Is that the word of God or is that pigs trying to outsmart everybody?
* Stupidity: God's way of saying "You! Out Of The Gene Pool!"
* A new study found that a mother’s diet affects her baby’s allergies. Which can only mean one thing: My mom ate cats.
* Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.
* A little girl asked her father, "Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with 'Once Upon A Time'?" He replied, "No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with 'If elected I promise.'"
((Thththtthtat's all, folks......))
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I had no idea until my Facebookie friend Lou Pizzuti mentioned that today is the 48th anniversary of the beginning of Dr. Who.
(I had no idea that the Doctor appeared the day after JFK was shot. Does this mean that there was a Dalek on the grassy knoll?)
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Ladeez and Germs, Mr. GREG SCHANKIN! (And you'd thought I'd forgotten.)
* Conrad Murray was found guilty of giving Michael Jackson an overdose of a prescription sleeping aid. Pretty reckless on the part of the doctor. They said the sedative he prescribed was five times more powerful than a Joe Biden speech.
* Southwest Airlines said someone is painting Arabic symbols on the sides of the airplanes. But they claim it's not a safety concern. Really? Some nutjob is close enough to the plane to paint an Arabic symbol on it. Shouldn't that be a Red flag?
* On this day in 1922 King Tut's tomb was discovered and the men who discovered it are still considered the greatest fortune hunters of all time, not counting the woman who claimed Justin Bieber is the father of her baby.
* Facebook is hiring. Good luck finding workers who aren't going to screw around all day on Facebook.
* All the world leaders at the United Nations agree on one thing: Superman has got to do more.
* Congress was hard at work Tuesday. They voted 396-9 to reaffirm "In God We Trust" as our national motto. I still don't know why we would trust God after what he did to Kim Kardashian and Kris.
* It was the final episode of “Kate Plus Eight.” Now, if you want to hear Kate Gosselin scream at her children, you’ll have to move within a 12-block radius of her house.
* A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: 'Duh.'
* A Chinese businessman bought a bottle of rare scotch for $200,000. The Chinese are buying bottles of scotch for $200,000, and our president is brewing his own beer in the basement.
* An 83-year-old male prostitute was arrested. Police say he only charged $20 an hour, but for most of that time, he just talked about his grandkids. Shortly after he was arrested, the police also arrested the world's most optimistic pimp.
* I know the Lions lost again, but it's better than a couple of years ago, when they couldn't have scored against the Christians.
* Facebook has been redesigned and it now contains a real-time news ticker. Every update says, “Breaking news: You’re screwing around at work.”
* 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.
* The Solyndra executives are scheduled to testify before Congress, and they’re expected to take the 5th. Why not take the 5th? They’ve already taken $535 million.
* President Obama plans to create thousands of new jobs by replacing all automobile GPS systems with real people who sit in the back seat with a map.
* After pressure from Republicans, President Obama moved his big jobs speech from Wednesday to Thursday night. Obama gave in when he realized something important: He could just TiVo “Jersey Shore.”
* A woman in Colorado was arrested for groping a TSA agent last week. On the bright side, today she was offered a job with the TSA.
* They say hurricane Irene could be the biggest disaster to hit New York since “Spider-Man the Musical.”
* The United States’ credit rating was downgraded to AA+. Am I the only one who thinks that doesn’t sound so bad? It's better then any of my report cards ever were!
* Chaz Bono was spotted shirtless on the set of “Dancing With the Stars.” There were no survivors.
* There’s talk of splitting California into two different states. Apparently, this divorce between Arnold and Maria is bigger than we thought.
* A couple of people who worked for the presidential candidate Michele Bachmann say that she gets these chronic migraines. That's been the story. To derail her candidacy a lot of people are trying to make it like it's a female thing, cause she gets these headaches. It's not. President Obama also has a chronic headache. It's called Joe Biden!
* What's the difference between Lindsay Lohan and Rick Perry? It only takes Lindsay four and a half hours to finish a sentence!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Jeff Foxworthy is now picking on Michigan:
1. If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Michigan.
2. If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Pellston is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Michigan .
3. If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through April, you might live in Michigan.
4. If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Michigan.
5. If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Michigan.
6. If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Michigan.
7. If you have worn shorts and a coat at the same time, you might live in Michigan.
8. If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Michigan.
9. If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Michigan .
You might also be from Michigan if....
10. "Vacation" means going up north on I-75.
11. You measure distance in hours.
12. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
13. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
14. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
15. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).
16. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
17. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.
18. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
19. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
20. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
21. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.
22. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
23. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.
24. Down South to you means Ohio .
25. A brat is something you eat.
26. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole barn.
27. You go out to a fish fry every Friday.
28. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
29. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
30. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly."
31. You drink pop and bake with soda.
32. Your doctor tells you to drink Vernors and you know it's not medicine.
33. You can actually drink Vernors without coughing.
34. You know what a Yooper is.
35. You think owning a Honda is Un-American.
36. You know that UP is a place, not a direction.
37. You know it's possible to live in a thumb.
38. You understand that when visiting Detroit , the best thing to wear is a Kevlar vest.
39. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your Internet friends!
Not bad. But an incomplete list. I would add a few more.
40. If twelve judges in your county share the same five last names between them, you might live in Michigan.
41. If everyone you know thinks there is a trench at the southern border of your county, never to be crossed by white people headed south, you might live in Michigan.
42. If you can stand on the southern border of your county and can count four burned out buildings on the other side of the line, you might live in Michigan.
43. If, one year later, you stand on the same spot, and still count the same four burned out buildings (with a serious likelihood you may count a couple more), you might live in Michigan.
44. If you can visit your own childhood neighborhood and find that 80% of the houses are still occupied by the same people who occupied them when you were in elementary school 40 years earlier, you might live in Michigan.
45. If you can only visit your childhood city parks if you live in the same neighborhood you did as a child, since they're closed to you if you don't live there any more, (thus guaranteeing Those People South of Us are kept out), you might live in Michigan.
46. If you think, judging from the way your neighbors behave, that Thomas Paine said "Give me librium or give me meth!", you might live in Michigan.
47. If 80% of your childhood friends who graduated from college live in other states now and have never been back, you might live in Michigan.
48. If most factories you drive by have had empty parking lots for more than a decade, you might live in Michigan.
49. If racial hostility is the underlying theme of everyone's politeness to one another, you might live in Michigan.
50. If every year you think "things can't possibly get worse," and every year they do....
....you might still live in Michigan.
(This. place. breaks. my. heart.)
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg
November 19, 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Friday, November 18, 2011
The key to understanding this video is that ALL the individuals in this video defending, praising and going to bat for Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae are the bought-and-paid for muppets of those who bankrupted us.
Occupy THEM. Or rather, they should occupy themselves making large rocks out of small ones.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
News Item: Congressman Nadler Denounces Voter ID Law as 'Discriminatory'.
Necro-American spokesman Grrrrrnnnnnghk, a leader of the New York City Zombie community and spokesman for the New York Association of the Deceased, told The Daily Caller that laws requiring voters to present photo identification are part of a “deliberate plot by conservatives and Republicans to suppress votes” that would be cast by zombies, ghosts, poltergeists, and other members of the Deceased American community.
TheDC asked Grrrrrnnnnnghk on Monday why states should not require voters to show photo ID at the polls.
“It doesn’t have to be photo ID. You get Social Security with Social Security cards and, by the way, plenty of voter IDs — you have a photo ID issued by a state university as a student or as a teacher, and those — in a lot of states, those aren’t valid. And there’s no valid reason why those shouldn’t be valid for voting purposes,” Grrrrrnnnnnghk told TheDC before attending a forum on voter ID laws on Capitol Hill.
“People generally have voter IDs because they drive cars, but lots of people don’t drive cars,” he explained. "Particularly those whose only mode of movement is a slow, mindless shuffling gait directly forward into shotgun fire while holding out their arms in front of them and groaning 'Braaaaaains.'" He added, "Those who never leave their residences in old museums and old houses rattling bang-clank equipment also would be deprived of their rights."
“A lot of these states that are passing these laws are making it very difficult to get the underlying corpses, so it will take you a lot of time; it will cost you a lot of money to get it, particularly as courts are loathe to open a tomb. And that’s putting a poll tax, either in time or in money, or both, on the right to vote. And that’s wrong.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Georgia, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Idaho, South Dakota and Hawaii currently require voters to present photo ID at the polls. In Michigan, voters can sign an affidavit instead of presenting a photo ID. Kansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin have passed photo ID laws that will take effect in 2012. Rhode Island will adopt a photo ID law on Jan. 1, 2014.
“The evidence is that this will eliminate about 5 million deceased voters,” said Grrrrrnnnnnghk. “We don’t have 5 million cases of voter fraud. You don’t have 50 cases of voter fraud in the country of the kind of voter fraud that an ID card might deal with. The dead have rights too. It's all part of American culture's on-going aversion to the deceased. It's discrimination.”
(Photo Borrowed from The Onion)
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
ADDENDUM: From the Verdun Ossuary:
After the war ended, tens of thousands of the three hundred thousand dead at Verdun were gathered and buried together, German and Frenchman, enemy to enemy, brother with brother, their bones intermixed so as to unite them perpetually in the future world they died to make, and to moulder together in honored sadness at one of the great monuments to Mankind's folly.
God rest them all. And let us never build another like it.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
- Ronald Reagan, 1986
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Dr. Stolinsky returns to the Silverback! He first contributed here back in February. We welcome him back as he describes, perfectly, what I assess to be the situation involving the Occupiers. I’ll be posting my own essay on the subject as a follow-on to this one in a few days.
Let me also note one coincidence: today is November 8, 2011, the 73rd anniversary of another anti-Semitic mob. - RLK
Years ago, “read the riot act” was a common expression. When a boss set an employee straight, we often called that “reading the riot act.” The expression has its origin in Great Britain. In the early 18th century, there was social unrest as industrialization began.
Occupy Wall Street mob shuts down Port of Oakland and loots stores.
- News item
There is no system right now that exists; we’re going to create that system.
- Michael Moore
Freedom is too demanding for some people, and they will hanker after communism even after it has irrefutably demonstrated its moral, political, and economic bankruptcy.
- David Pryce-Jones
U.S. Constitution © 1787, all rights reserved.
Local police forces were in the early stages of development or not yet in existence. There was reluctance to call in the military, but often there was no choice.
In 1714, Parliament passed the Riot Act. If people assembled and acted in a disorderly or violent manner, force could be used to disperse them.
But first, the crowd had to be informed that the assembly was unlawful. The local mayor or sheriff had to announce the following:
Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King.
This was “reading the riot act.” The custom survives to this day in Britain and America, where the police are required to announce that an assembly is unlawful, so that people have the opportunity to leave. But if they do not, the police can then use reasonable force to disperse them.
The U.S. Militia Act of 1792 was titled, “An act to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” This is in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Act provided that the president could “…command the insurgents to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within a limited time,” and it authorized the president to use the militia if they failed to disperse. Otherwise, we would descend into mob rule. Although mob rule is sometimes confused with democracy, it is nothing but a violent minority imposing their will on the majority - the direct opposite of democracy. And democracy itself is majority rule, which may - or may not - be compatible with freedom. If you doubt this, look at Egypt or Iraq.
To believe that all people desire freedom is, as a lawyer would say, stating something not in evidence. Many people prefer other things to freedom - for example, Sharia law, or economic equality. And they may resort violence to get it.
Those who condone mob rule may pose as friends of freedom, but in reality they are its enemies. In the face of mob violence, we must be prepared to read the riot act if necessary. Of course, in order to read the riot act, one first has to recognize that there is a riot. The Occupy Wall Street movement, and it offshoots in other cities, are not only destructive, they are also anti-American and anti-Semitic.
The demonstrators hope to provoke the police and then complain of police brutality. But we cannot go to the opposite extreme, and under-react for fear of over-reacting. This leads to paralysis and to more rioting. Yes, some of the demonstrators’ grievances are legitimate. Some Wall Street big shots have acted irresponsibly, to say the least. But the demonstrators’ methods are not legitimate.
The demonstrators claim they want to overthrow “the system,” yet most have no idea of what they want in its place. But those who back the demonstrations may have a very clear idea of what they want. Many of the signs are professionally printed, and reportedly the SEIU, ACORN, and others - perhaps including George Soros - are funding the demonstrations.
I know a little about riots. My wife and I were living in Los Angeles during the 1992 riot following the Rodney King verdict. The verdict was announced on Wednesday, and localized rioting began. By Thursday morning, we could see multiple fires through our bedroom window, in a line coming closer - clearly carefully planned. We drove to a market to get a week’s groceries, but others had the same idea, so the lines were long.
While waiting, I listened to a pocket radio and learned that a sporting-goods store less than a mile away was being looted at that moment. I regretted that I had been unable to break my habit of obeying the law. It is impossible to obtain a permit to carry a firearm in Los Angeles, but who would have known if I had a small revolver in my jacket pocket?
As is universally true, strict gun-control laws restrain only the law-abiding, but do nothing to reduce violent crime, and even less to control a riot. The police were overwhelmed, and in addition were inhibited by political correctness. The California National Guard was mobilized, but they could not deploy promptly. Their M16 rifles retained their full-automatic capability, and politicians did not trust the guardsmen with them. So armorers had to alter them, one-by-one, to fire only semi-automatically, and this took days.
Finally, even politically correct politicians realized that something had to be done. President Bush the elder sent in Marines from Camp Pendleton and soldiers from Fort Ord. But to comply with the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, he first had to order the rioters to disperse.
I recall a vehicle with a pedestal-mounted machine gun on the streets of Westwood near UCLA. I don’t recall what kind of vehicle it was - I was concentrating on the .50-caliber “Ma Deuce.” A colleague had to sleep on the floor of his office at USC for three days, because the streets were impassible. The tire store I patronize kept their window with the bullet hole for years as a memento. Medical clinics and businesses moved out of the area. Some never returned.
The riot finally ended after six days, but not before 53 were dead and perhaps $1 billion in damage had been done. Those who grumble about insurance companies should recall that fire, business, and home policies exclude damage resulting from war or insurrection. The companies might have refused to pay, and called the riot an insurrection - as did Congresswoman Maxine Waters. This would have intensified the economic damage. Those who make light of mob violence should consider these facts.
Serious damage was done to inter-racial relations. Korean American merchants felt - with some justice - that the police had abandoned them. In one revealing incident, the TV showed merchants on the roofs of their stores, defending their property and their lives with rifles - while talking heads called them “vigilantes” in a disparaging tone.
And it was months before I could look out our bedroom window and not remember the fires. Trust takes years to build, but it can be destroyed in a short time. In the end, loss of trust may be the most destructive effect of mob violence. If enough people no longer trust their fellow citizens to act in a non-violent manner, and they no longer trust their liberal mayors, liberal governors, and liberal president to suppress mob violence, what will they do?
They may turn to a leader who promises to restore order - even at the expense of their freedom. If high unemployment, a weakening currency, increasing disorder, and decreasing confidence in the government do not make you uneasy, perhaps you should study the history of Germany in the 20th century.
Before that happens, we should read Occupy Wall Street the riot act.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org . You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
Monday, November 7, 2011
* 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.
* We have fantastic news. The two sides have come to an agreement. The crisis is over. We are going to have football.
* Tiger Woods' approval rating is also down, primarily because he appears to have lost the ability to play golf!
* It doesn't make it a gotcha question just because it got ya.
* The U.S. is now in serious danger of defaulting on our foreign loans. Which explains why today, China showed up and broke the Statue of Liberty's kneecaps.
* Don't fill your time with worry - fix what you can and let the rest take care of itself.
* Kirstie Alley announced that she's selling her mansion in Maine. It's the greatest day ever — if you're a lobster.
* President Obama said this week that the downgrading of our credit rating should give America "a renewed sense of urgency." A renewed sense of urgency? The only people that don't think it's urgent are the president and our congressmen that just went on a five week vacation.
* I never go into a hospital. People die there.
* Alex Trebek injured his leg while chasing down a burglar. Trebek insists that at no time was he in jeopardy, or double jeopardy.
* It has been a crazy week for stocks. First down, then up, then down, and today they are up again. It's like trying to follow Gary Busey when he's off his meds.
* Cindy Lauper turned 58 years old the other day. You can tell she's getting up there — her new song is called "Girls Just Wanna Have a Quiet Evening at Home Watching Lifetime."
* Right now the only winner in this economic mess is Sarah Palin, who has all her money in pelts.
* Ever notice Flag Day is the only holiday that we don't get drunk to celebrate.
* Some of the counts Blagojevich was convicted of carry 10- to 20-year sentences, so he could be facing up to 300 years in prison. That's a long time, even for a leprechaun.
* A woman working at a Dunkin' Donuts was apparently a prostitute. It takes a lot of guts to be a hooker in a place full of cops.
* Here in Michigan, we passed a law against texting while driving. But there's no law preventing you from writing a letter while driving.
* The economy is so bad that when Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.
* The Debt Limit Plan is what Congress calls a "two-step" deal. It steps on the middle class and the lower class.
* There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going to. ~ Helen Keller
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot
I can see no reason the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."
This little ditty is in reference Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up King James I and Parliament on November 5, 1605.
Four lines of doggerel that made every Catholic in England a terrorist-by-presumption for a hundred years.
Guy Fawkes was a fanatical Catholic during the Wars of the Reformation who thought that England could be returned to the Church if her Protestant king was killed, the government overthrown, and a Catholic king put in his place. He was, in short, an idiot--and a violent idiot. His plot not merely failed, it made everybody in England who kept the Catholic faith a suspect for treason long after. He was a fool, a coward, and an evil, evil man.
And an evil, evil movie of recent vintage--V for Vendetta--has somehow turned the man behind the gunpowder plot into a symbol of rebellion.
Guy Fawkes's terrorism crushed my people and fellow believers for many decades in England and Ireland. And anybody who chooses to wear his face as a symbol of "rebellion" publicly proclaims himself as the moral equivalent of Osama Bin Laden, who was basically a religious terrorist who also tried to blow up a legislature.
I find this especially comic because the pinheads who choose to hide their identities behind this pernicious symbol do so as puppets of Hollywood marketeers, who have no shame in peddling the most abject bullshit to sell their movies. (Those masks are copyright 2006, Time Warner.) Hollywood, after all, was responsible for the reappearance of the Klan in 1915, which was the first tie-in campaign to a movie (Birth of a Nation).
Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, Nephew. They’re a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people... will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don’t believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes. - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, episode: The Siege of AR-558
Friday, November 4, 2011
In other words, at 1.6% African American, Occupy Whatsit is in essence racist. It must be. That's the only possible explanation. It can't POSSIBLY be that it's made up of a bunch of stupid elitist morons who don't resonate with anyone not a college sophomore or who thinks like one.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Don't ya jes' love it
Don't you jes' love it
Don't ya jes' love it
(c) 1971 Daddy Dewdrop (M. Richard Monda). The above is posted as political commentary in accordance with the fair-use exemption of the Copyright Code (Title 17 United States Code, Section 107 et. seq.). Valid in the United States and Canada except Newfoundland. Void where prohibited.
One commenter in Britain nailed it:
"(sob) if only Michael had lived to see this "
Anyway. It's as good excuse as any.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
....from their self-named show. They're not famous yet, but they're gonna be.
Or else. (Yougoddaproblemwiddat?)
This one is recorded from their live show, Hey It's Pomplamoose. Here's the official videosong for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlDGFrP4NgI
For more Pomplamoose visit their YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/PomplamooseMusic
With thanks to WJK. (Doo dop de doo dop de doo.)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
From the Tattered Remnants series. More here.
In celebration of the Feast of All Saints, I wish to run -- rerun -- this essay on St. Thomas More, one of my five Patron Saints (along with St. Thomas the Doubter, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Thomas Becket, and Joan of Arc).
It was first published in 1997 when I was in law school. It appeared in my little journal, Eutopia, after all the Catholics were thrown off the Catholic University law school newspaper because we were too Catholic. (Go figure.)
And, here I again break the rule mandating that I write only about obscure people--for in spite of his fame, great in his lifetime and growing since--More was surely one of the Tattered Remnant.
A MAN OUT OF SEASON: ST. THOMAS MORE
"I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duty they lead their country by a short route to chaos."
Lawyer. Judge. Chancellor. Designated Traitor and Enemy of the King. Executed criminal.
His story is well known: a highly skilled master of the laws in the early days of lawyering, he rose to the position of Chancellor of All England, that is, the equivalent of Chief Judge of the Supreme Court and Prime Minister combined.
His master, Henry England, King, the Eighth of that Name, decided he wanted to get rid of his infertile Spanish wife who had only bore him a dull-witted girl and a number of dead sons. Nominated to succeed to the Chancellorship by his enemy Cardinal Wolsey, he too, like Wolsey, proved incapable of meeting the endless and impossible demands of his syphlitic and, ultimately, mad patron.
When given orders to pursue and formally approve an unjust divorce and remarriage, More quietly withdrew from his great office. He did not criticize his master, but neither did he approve. He remained silent, hoping that would save him.
But Harry England rightfully saw his silence as criticism, and ultimately demanded that he sign a formal oath of approval. More's refusal to sign led to his execution. He was beheaded with words that should be engraved on every public servant's doorway: "I die the King's good servant, but God's first!"
He is given the title of "Man for All Seasons" — the title of a famous play by Robert Bolt in which his story is used as a counterpoint for the age.
Even forty years ago, Bolt recognized the challenge More presented toward our modern mind set. But rather than being a man for all seasons, is not More truly a man out of season? Does he not contradict the whole spirit of our age?
Why, in this day and age where "mistakes are made" and responsibility dodged, where sensual desire is placed on the same plane as divine command, where "doing what thou wilt" has become "the whole of the Law" — why should a man like More, who tenatiously clung to his outlook to death, be taken at all seriously? In America today, where God is said to have died, the idea that a man should cling to the refusal to take an oath even unto his own destruction seems completely alien to us.
More seems like fanatical Christians of old who chose death over Emperor worship: that is, almost an alien being. Why—so the thinking might go—why should we not simply take an oath while mentally crossing our fingers? Why lose our heads when we can simply claim that 'they would have killed me if I hadn't'? After all, an oath taken under duress isn't binding, is it? And if there is no truth in the oath to begin with, is not an oath just a mouthing of words?
Bolt answers this point directly. In one scene toward the end of the play, More meets with his daughter — who begs him to take the Oath of Supremacy and come out of the Tower where he has been held for a year. Bolt gives More these words: "When a man takes an oath, Meg, he's holding his own self in his own hands. Like water....and if he opens his fingers then—he needn't hope to find himself again..."(1)
But why should he take such a stand? At another point of the play, More is confronted by his good friend, the Duke of Norfolk, who points at the signatures on the oath, and says, "Damn it, Thomas, look at those names — you know those men! Can't you do what I did, and come with us, for fellowship?" To which More must reply: "And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?"(2)
And again: "I will not give in because I oppose it — I do — not my pride, not my spleen, nor any other of my appetites but I do — I!" He challenges Norfolk: "Is there no single sinew in the midst of this" — he taps Norfolk — "that serves no appetite of Norfolk's but is just Norfolk? There is! Give that some exercise, my lord!"(3) And with that their friendship ends.
To stand against the spirit of the age, to attempt to exorcise the Zeitgeist: this is dangerous, indeed possibly deadly, activity. In More's case it was admirable, but futile; the separation of England's church from that of Rome — against which he stood—is wider even today than it was in his own time. But in other cases — that of the Maid of Orleans in the fourteenth century, or more recently, the cases of Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi, or Natan Shchransky — the refusal to give in, to submit, to unlawful authority and the evil exercise of power, can lead to the ultimate destruction or transformation of the power defied.
The renouned English Catholic, G.K. Chesterton, makes an interesting observation on the inappropriateness of saints to an age:
[I]t is the paradox of history that each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most. St. Francis [of Assisi] had a curious and almost uncanny attraction for the Victorians; for the nineteenth century English who seemed superficially to be most complacent about their commerce and their common sense.... [Francis] was the only midieval Catholic who really became popular in England on his own merits. It was largely because of a subconscious feeling that the modern world had neglected those particular merits. The English middle classes found their only missionary in the figure, which of all types in the world they most despised; an Italian beggar.(4)
If indeed an age is converted by the saint who contradicts it most, then perhaps to call More a man out of season is not appropos: for given the superstitions we substitute for God in our day and age, a man willing to go to the block for a legal quibble may be its most inspiring contradiction. Perhaps this is what will make him a man for our season in the end after all.
1 Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons, Vintage Int'l Publishers, 1960, p. 140.
2 A Man for All Seasons at 132
3 A Man for All Seasons at 123-124.
4 G.K Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas, "The Dumb Ox", Doubleday, 1933, at 24.
This essay first appeared in EUTOPIA: A LAY JOURNAL OF CATHOLIC THOUGHT, in the Fall of 1997.
For more, watch this.
And finally, this.