Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wonderful things ...

So far the Great House Re-siding Project has uncovered about 60 pounds of old spiderwebs, coal chips, three forlorn mugs mysteriously framed into an addition, 5 rotten boards, an assortment of large, aggravated spiders .... and a newspaper.

I don't know if it was left deliberately, or as a humorous attempt at insulation. It's a copy of the Seattle Times from June 8, 1950. Insects did some editing of the contents but I managed to extract some useful information. Did you know the yearly rogue elephant roundups in the Belgian Congo are dangerous? Well, now you do. Or did. Haven't checked lately, and I'm pretty sure it isn't the Belgian Congo anymore, and where was I? Oh yes. Sorry. I was distracted by finally learning the secret of flying saucers. According to David Zaslavsky, "hatchet-man for the Soviet newspaper Pravda" (yes, that is a direct quote). He goes on to say "Behind the 'mysterious saucers' there are real flights of American pirate planes in the air over foreign territory". This will be a terrible disappointment to all the alien-worshippers and crop-circle fanatics, but the truth must be told.

The best part (at least, that I could read without insect ellipses) was an editorial that proved, if nothing else, the Seattle Times editorial slant hasn't changed much in 55 years.

"... a tendency has been noted in the administration to whip up a sort of saber-rattling jingoism, which does not become us, with less emphasis upon the leadership for peace to which we are obligated by our traditions and our World War II aims ... This manifests itself in increasingly bitter exoriations of Russia, with no longer any differentiation between her people and the rampant crew in the Kremlin; in increasing emphasis on arms as the only resort to achieve peace, and by a cynicism about peaceful overtures of another sort and about the United Nations ..."

Man, that sounds familiar! It's an editorial complaining about McCarthy. Yes, that Senator McCarthy. And the Seattle Times is complaining because his little antics are "putting a damper on moves toward resolution of our differences with Russia." That's the only problem they can see. Oy.

UPDATE: I swear I didn't know about this before I posted the above. That's my Seattle Times, always going the extra mile. Yes, they are now comparing Rove's comments about liberals to McCarthy's insinuations about Communists. What are they smoking?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hands off my house!

Maybe the Supreme Court is correct in its ruling, and eminent domain is the province of the states and counties. It has been pointed out this kind of stupid taking of private property to benefit private companies has been done before. Fine. Whatever. What do we have to do NOW so my cute little house doesn't get munched by some developer who will pay more taxes than I do? Or ANYBODY's cute little house? Just to be clear, I can accept as a regrettable necessity the need for eminent domain when it is a question of a freeway or a bridge or something the public as a whole will benefit from. I don't like it, but I understand it. I don't understand why Pfizer, of all companies, needs THAT PIECE OF LAND so badly private citizens have to be evicted from it. It isn't like they aren't making obscene amounts of money with that little blue pill. They can jolly well buy enough land somewhere else. Land that doesn't have people living on it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

It isn't cutting-edge unless wires hang out the back

This is what real science looks like in its native habitat. Note the lack of gleaming control panels, blinkenlights, or even a cover. I strongly suspect that the wire in the center used to be a paperclip. Other pictures of this, the first solid-state transistor, show the lucite frame with extra holes and other strange non-functional features, indicating to the knowledgeable this was a re-used piece of lucite. See, real scientists don't care about the packaging, but they are packrats. We save everything. Could be useful some day! And it's not like they pay us much.

True state-of-the-art science equipment looks like a train wreck. It is cobbled together with just enough care to make it work, once. And then you sort of keep using it, adding extra gizmos as needed, for years. If you can buy it in a catalog and it has a cover, it isn't science! Remember, look for the dangling wires!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Painful Joy

A powerful and disturbing political cartoon from Iraq the Model, here. Bear in mind the cartoonist is Iraqi. I've read stories about people doing horrific, painful things to themselves to escape death, and wondered if I would have the resolution to do it myself. I guess when you've lived with real torture (as opposed to the stuff that gets the Media all worked up -- you know, making prisoners listen to pop music?) pain and death are not strange to you. If you knew the other choice was getting fed feet first into a plastic shredder, would you cut off your feet to escape? And be glad that you had the choice, instead of none at all?

I wish the Iraqi people could go right to boring PTA meetings and arguments about zoning, but there are a few idiots who won't let that happen without a fight. A fight is what they are going to get. These people are tough, and have survived hell. They will do what needs to be done, bandage their wounds, and then go shopping for new feet. A'ash al Iraq!

Thursday, June 16, 2005


It fought valiantly, but I won in the end!

Table conversation has turned to "stupid liberal tricks". Sorry, know there are some smart ones and even nice smart ones ... but these individuals seem to not read all their own literature ...

- liberal threatened by a poster of a gun. A *disassembled* gun

- liberal telling conservative female employee about erotic dream he'd had. About her.

I swear, you can't make this stuff up.

And then there was food ....

got'im! mystery blogger is RednexRants! He has just been recounting a rare sighting of that *totally* mythical creature, the Spitting Moonbat! Funny guy!

Ahh. Hamburger! With dead mushrooms! I feast!

Adventures in Liveblogging!

All the big bloggers do it, so of course I have to! And this is a rare, rare event, a meeting of conservative bloggers, deep in the heart of LiberalLand! There are six of us, even! For your delectation:

ooh! beeer!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Stupid Democrat Tricks: The Draft is Coming! Run!

It may be a shock to some, but your humble blogger here does know how to be diplomatic. I just don't often choose to be. I used up a years supply of diplomacy on an otherwise calm and enjoyable evening not long ago assuring a very worried woman that her teenaged son was in no danger of being drafted. The self-censor circuit did get a little overheated though, as I discarded the real reasons (the military prefers motivated and intelligent volunteers, they don't need or want any child of yours, and they are doing much better without the draft. I mean, when you have the draft you get bozos like Kerry. With live ammo, and commanding poor schlubs who deserve better). No, you can't say that to a nice, albeit liberal-credulous lady who commendably adores her child. She is sure some recruiter is just slavering to get the kid in a uniform and send him to storm the trenches, with or without a rifle. Never mind we don't HAVE trench warefare these days, and the old cannon-fodder model isn't in use either. Junior, should he VOLUNTEER and convince someone he'd be more help than a hindrance, would probably be doing something like driving a truck or keeping careful track of how many 5/16 - galvanized - screws - sheet metal - box (1) were in inventory. Yeah, the uniform is kinda non-negotiable and he'd probably have to learn which end of a rifle should be pointed at the enemy, but even now there are folks in uniform (VOLUNTEERS, hint hint) in Iraq who have never fired a weapon at the enemy. Perfectly safe? No. Question is, is it safer than going to work at World Trade Center North?

Let's review. The military does not want the draft. Volunteers are motivated and they can pick and choose. The administration does not want the draft, because the general public does not want the draft and the military does not want the draft. So who does that leave? With the possible exception of Charles Rangel, even the Democrats don't want the draft -- but they'd really like to make people belive the Republicans do. But they are the smart ones! Don't forget that!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Questions I'd like answered

By now everyone has had a chance to notice that the Media seems to be a charter member of the Koranic Anti-Defamation League, but can't see the genocide in Sudan with a microscope. Nice priorities, guys. They need to update their dictionary too, or maybe realize the free Workers of the World version might be missing some crucial details. Last time I looked, "gulag" was not a synonym for "place where vegetarian meals are hard to get". They make this stuff up, and have the nerve to get upset at the thought of someone lying to them? Fascinating. In a pathological sense.

So we all know the laundry list of reasons Why They Hate Us. The real reason is we are happy and prosperous, and I don't know about you but I rather like it that way and see no reason to change. The only reasons the Media wants to talk about, though, usually boil down to Israel one way or another. How dare we support a country, like us, who doesn't feel like baring its throat to the knife. It makes me wonder, though. All these mosque explosions going on in Pakistan and Iraq and other places. Pretty clear you aren't going to find a lot of the Imperialist oppressors in a mosque, hey? So .... did these unfortunate worshippers support Israel too?

Just asking ....

Friday, June 03, 2005

Living in Interesting Times

Sixteen years. That's how long it has been since Tianaman Square. They never tell you how uncomfortable it can be witnessing history. I was in grad school then. Lots of mainland Chinese grad students in my field. They knew the details that I was only getting in dribs and drabs from the media (so pre-blog!). I heard about the students massing, about the Spirit of Freedom statue, the hope that there would be change, real change.

We got tanks, bloody, mangled bicycles, and the students weren't there anymore. Weren't anywhere anymore. Even the Chinese government couldn't hide that.

And I still remember my Chinese friend, shouting into the phone at the US editor of the Chinese government newspaper. I don't understand a word of Chinese, but I understood exactly what he was saying. He would read an excerpt of the official party line of what had happened in a voice that dripped with scorn, then change to undisguised anger as he gave his opinion of that version of events.

You can't go back when you say things like that. We gave them all asylum, you know. All the Chinese students, if they wished, could remain. Maybe I'd still be in science if they hadn't been allowed to stay. Looked at one way, they were competition. But more importantly, they were friends and colleagues. I supported the asylum then, and still do. So my friend would not be run over by a tank.