Saturday, December 16, 2006
What brought this to mind was a print I have, which I rather like. I was looking at it- and reminding myself once again that I need to get a frame for it- and thought of Candy. It's the Tequila Fairy
by Alain Viesca(website here). My daughter got a piece of his a couple of years ago, and a while later I ran across him at a fair and bought a copy of this; one of my favorite things. It would probably have pissed Candy off if she'd ever seen it.
But I like it.
Friday, December 15, 2006
I'm only twenty-five years old,
a finer warrior never was seen
from Inverness tae Gretna Green.
When I was young my father said
he would put me to a decent trade,
I didn'a like that job a'tall
so I went and I joined the Forty-Twa*
The wind may blow, the cold may crawl,
the rain may rain and the storm may storm
but you willna frighten' John MacGraw,
the stoutest man in the Forty-Twa
The corporal who enlisted me
he slapped my back, and then says he,
"A man like you so strong and tall
could never be kilt by a cannon ball.
The colonel then when he came roond,
he looked me up and he looked me doon,
and then says he "I'll take a guess,
ye must be the beastie of Loch Ness."
To a great battle across the sea
the general he sent after me.
When I got there wi' my big gun
the battle was as good as won.
'Cause the enemy they all ran awa'
when the saw the size of Big MacGraw.
A man like me so big and neat, ye
ken yourself ye can never be beat.
The King then held a grand review,
Ha! We numbered a thousand and fifty-two
the Forty-Twa came marchin' past,
and John Macgraw came a marchin' last.
The royal party grabbed their specs
and all began to stretch their necks;
said the King to the Colonel, "Upon my soul!
I took that lad for a telegraph pole!"
*The Forty-Second Highlanders
Son just had his birthday, and will be going to his first duty station in Europe soon. So what do you give someone who's not going to have much baggage room and will be gone for quite a while? Birthday was a good CRKT folder, so what for Christmas? Something small and light, and which will not cause his sergeant or above to have conniptions.
No, I will not accept suggestions such as a copy of The Guide To The Better Brothels In Western Europe.
Your day will come, jackass. And it will be baaaaaaaad.
I know it's been mentioned by others, but this needs to be mentioned again.
There can be no doubt that the children were the target as the car that was attacked was only ever used to drive them to and from the Greek Orthodox School in Gaza City and was never used to drive their father.
But we're supposed to believe it's the Joooos who are the troublemakers and evildoers.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
(note: this is going to be a bit long for me, and I'm not as good as pieces like this as Kevin or the Curmudgeon for instance; but here goes)
From Kim:“We interpret the Second Amendment in military terms,” said Todd Kim, the District’s solicitor general, who told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the city would also have had the authority to ban all weapons.
So this mucksucking lawyer says, in essence, that in the middle of a bunch of noted Rights of Free Men, the founders of this country threw in a amendment to protect the MILITARY having arms, and says he and the other Superior Beings can ban ALL firearms if they choose.
From the Geek:
Silberman and Judge Thomas B. Griffith seemed to wrestle, however, with the meaning of the amendment's language about militias. If a well-regulated militia is no longer needed, they asked, is the right to bear arms still necessary?
"That's quite a task for any court to decide that a right is no longer necessary," Alan Gura, an attorney for the plaintiffs, replied. "If we decide that it's no longer necessary, can we erase any part of the Constitution?"
Think about that. Despite there being clear instructions in the Constitution itself about how this highest law of the land can be changed, here's some God-cursed judges and other lawyers asking 'can we erase any part of the Constitution?' if they decide it's unneeded? Unless you're a lawyer or judge with delusions of grandeur the answer is obviously NO! But if you're not one of those things, what do you know?
It's been said before, the Judicial branch of the government needs a big, swift, serious kick in the ass. Too many judges for too long have decided that THEY are the arbiters of everything, that no other branch of the government can tell them "No", and that whatever they say, goes. And they've been getting away with it- at least partly- because A: a bunch of other judges like having that level of power and help them along and B: too many cowardly/statist/fill-in-the-blank politicians find them useful to push what they want, bypassing the Constitution that they swore to protect and defend.
And every member of the perpetually offended out there loves it: because if they can't get people to vote the way they want, they can get some idiot judge somewhere to order what they want. Screw the people, screw the law, the JUDGE has spoken and that's all that counts.
And it's a big part of what's pulling this country apart. This current bullshit is just one aspect, but it's a big one. Kim said:
"It does not matter what the Supreme Court decides.
Our Bill of Rights enumerate our Constitutional freedoms as individuals, and that’s the beginning, and end of it.
So let the blackbirds chirp all they may, and whatever they decide, it’s irrelevant. We know what the Second means, and the legal opinions of some appointed civil servants don’t matter.
Cold. Dead. Hands."
I agree. The Constitution does not mean what a bunch of black robes say, it means what those words on parchment say. Problem is all those Superior Beings who think it should mean what they say it does, therefore they can say what they want and- ta daa!- that's it. Which has already meant various levels of trouble, and in this could mean Big Trouble. Because- not only in this case- if the people decide that the Constitution no longer means anything except what some judge says, and it(finally) becomes obvious enough that too many politicians like it that way, it basically means that there no longer is a United States, there's just a rule by government fiat in all ways. We're too damn close to that for comfort now; if we step over the edge, I flat hate to think about it.
Over at Uncle's he's got this post, with various comments. You can go to most any gunboard and find similar threads, all boiling down to "What happens if some court says 'you can't own guns, turn them in' and various LE types start knocking on doors saying 'We're here to take them'?" (Note that Uncle asks "The right to self defense is considered in almost all societies as sacrosanct. How could any court rule in a way that would put citizens at the mercy of criminals that have no regard for the rule of law?" The answer, unfortunately, is 'with great ease of mind'. Just like courts have ruled that the police have no duty to protect you, just to protect 'society', and at the same time will rule to hang you for using what amounts to 'unapproved means' to protect yourself.)
Two things to note here. One is the fact that most gun owners are not only honest citizens, they don't want to hurt anybody. Many having been in the military and/or LE themselves, they do not want to find themselves looking over sights at one of those uniforms. But they remember that oath, to protect and defend the Constitution, that they took; and that the people who'd be knocking on their door took but seem unwilling to uphold("The chief/commissioner/mayor/governor gave me an order, I HAVE to obey it"); and some of them will fight. All the others, they've had a lifetime of respect for the law and those who enforce it, and that would be hard to break through. But for at least some, they'd be a law-abiding citazen who's now been told by government "You can't be trusted with/don't need/shouldn't have guns, and we're taking them" and now finds the minions of government, armed and prepared to arrest or kill, beating on their door. And some will say to themselves "I cannot tolerate this", and it will get very, very nasty from there.Second thing you will have in this mess is the LE community(which it has unfortunately become) and the military types who will become involved if this happens. Part of the 'go to hell' process is the attitude of too many LE personnel, "I've got my orders and that's that. I have to carry them out whether I like them or not, and if that means shooting or jailing you so I can go home tonight, then that's what I'll do." It's been pointed out that some- maybe many- LE and military will refuse to carry out such an order, and some will. The rest, even those who don't like it, will do it. And the moment there's resistance, the 'us vs. them' kicks in, the "We can't let anyone defy this, let alone fight it, because that is Defiance Of Authority which we cannot tolerate: it causes problems and reduces our authority if we do. So we will stomp all over you".
And that means that after the first report of someone fighting, it'll go from 'we intended this to be an orderly process with consideration for peoples' rights' to 'just kick in the door and go!'. Which will get bad almost beyond belief. You think we have a problem with wrong-door raids and people being wrongly shot now? Think what'll happen then. And if wives/kids/neighbors get in the way or have 'something resembling a weapon in their hand' or are just in the wrong place when bullets start flying, well, it will obviously be the fault of the gun nuts. Which will be used as 'proof that private citazens should never have been allowed to own these dangerous weapons', etc. After 9/11 every government agency out there dragged out their wish list of 'things we need enacted/powers we need for security'; think it'll be any different if/when this starts?
And the alternative possibly sucks even more. It means the whole population saying "Well, we can't fight the government" and meekly handing their arms over. Which will be followed at some point with handing pretty much everything else over because those who want this will not be satisfied with taking our guns. They will, sooner or later, want pretty much total control over all parts of our lives.
You want to know what we'd become? Look at England. Taxed to death, told how you're allowed to speak and write and think, few firearms allowed to the peasants and their government wants to ban them all, you use 'too much force' or a weapon in self-defense, even against an attacker in your own damned home, and you stand at least as much chance of going to prison as your attacker. And on and on, including the government planning to supvervise your life down to and including how you read fairy tales(the approved ones, of course) to your kids.
One of the nasty things I've been contemplating on in this is that if I'm not already, I will be on a list of 'these are the people we need to get first'. No, I do not think I'm so prominent, so publicly known and popular that I'm a particular threat. It's simply that(I think Kevin's the first one I heard say it) what I do here, and things connected with it, will put me there. We buy guns, we write about them, we post on gunboards, we bitch at the gummint and LE when we think they do something badly or just flat wrong and we encourage others to do the same. Which means that if we're not already on some alphabet-agency list, if this crap in DC goes through and various agencies and politicians start rubbing their hands together in glee, we will be. I'd imagine I'd be way down on the list compared to a lot of other people, but I'd be there(in generally good company I'd say). Which is a sobering thought.
Generally speaking, I cannot imagine it actually going through. Among other things we have the this from Ohio, and this from Washington, both of which give hope. So we wait and see, and hope the SCOTUS hasn't completely lost its collective mind.
And I keep worrying for my country.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Owning a weapon is becoming a habit for rural homeowners who feel unprotected now that so many police stations have closed.
I have never seen a police car in my village and violent crime in the county, of course, is up. Baseball bats, swords, machetes, Mace and firearms are kept beneath the bed or close to hand by many people.
In a post the other day Uncle wrote "The right to self defense is considered in almost all societies as sacrosanct. How could any court rule in a way that would put citizens at the mercy of criminals that have no regard for the rule of law?" They answer is 'easily', as they've done it in country after country. And the results have generally been pretty plain to see. And this is one of the consequences: honest people who the government has essentially abandoned buying weapons illegally because, to borrow the old saying, "It is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six"(of course, in Tony Blair's Britain you don't even get twelve in many cases anymore, just one of the God-cursed judges who think they've taken Gods' place, but still).
It's going to be interesting over there one of these days, when the peasants tell Parliament to kiss their collective ass.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
To me, no question these BPMs were looking at a test run, a publicity opportunity, or a way to ease the way for some real hijackers. Or a combination of these.
And hooray to US Airways for standing behind the crew.
Q: Do you mean to say that if Israel did not exist, there would suddenly be democracy in Egypt, that the schools in Morocco would be better, that the public clinics in Jordan would function better?
A: I think so.
Q: Can you please explain to me what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to do with these problems?
A: The Palestinian cause is central for Arab thinking.
Q: In the end, is it a matter of feelings of self-esteem?A: Exactly. It’s because we always lose to Israel. It gnaws at the people in the Middle East that such a small country as Israel, with only about 7 million inhabitants, can defeat the Arab nation with its 350 million. That hurts our collective ego.
Well, tell you what, Ahmed: stop whining, stop blaming the Jooos for all your damn problems and start acting like a damned Man! you sorry little bastard. Maybe reflect on just WHY that little country keeps kicking your collective ass, and actually produces people who make the world a better place. Doctors, researchers, writers, musicians, men and women who actually care about life, you know, people like that.
You've just admitted that your poor, tender feelings mean more to you than anything else, including the lives of your offspring. You've basically admitted that the 'Palistinians'- who your countries could have taken in and given homes after YOU told them to get out of Israel("Stay out of the way while we annhilate the Jooos!")- are more useful as a bunch of sodding death-worshipping barbarians to focus your feelings on than they are as human beings.
And by the way:
Mr. Sheikh, as the Editor in Chief of Al-Jazeera, you are one of the most important opinion-makers in the Arab world. What do you call suicide bombers?
For what is happening in Palestine, we never use the expression “suicide bombing.”
What do you call it then?
In English, I would describe it as “bombings.”
And in Arabic?
Literally translated, we would speak of “commando attacks.” In our culture, it is precisely not suicide.
But instead a praiseworthy act?
When the country is occupied and the people are being killed by the enemy, everyone must take action, even if he sacrifices himself in so doing.
Even if in so doing he kills innocent civilians?
That is not a Palestinian problem, but a problem of the Israelis.
This little part of the exchange tells us you don't have any fucking idea of the concept of honor; again, you're just a bunch of whining little homicidal brats who need someone to blame for their lack of self-discipline and continual pants-crapping. As the guy once said, "Dude! You suck!"
Along with your whole murdering, goat-humping tribe. Like Dennis Miller said:
No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course --that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel.
Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.
You know, Golda Meir was right, with one addition: she said there wouldn't be peace until you idiots loved your children more than you hated Jews. Guess what? Until you manage that not only will there not be peace, you will remain a bunch of child-raping, hating, murderous savages.
And by the way, you sodding jackass, while you make happy faces about mothers murdering other women and children while killing themselves, THESE are the kind of women we admire.
Yes, I am a wee bit pissed. How can you tell?
What's that? More per square mile there than here? I'll have to say I have my doubts about that, but it's not something I'll get too upset over. Hmm, lookee here:• One of the most destructive tornadoes in the UK struck Birmingham on July 28 last year when hundreds of buildings were damaged by 135mph winds. Gotta tell you, Mr. Blair, if a lousy F2 is 'one of the most destructive' then you folks have gotten off light. An F5 would flat curl your hair.
Well, I'll stop talkin' at you for now, you've got a bit of cleanin' up to do. Catch you later.
[CLIFT:] You're obviously aware of your main critic, Mr. Stein, who used to be with the Carter Center.
[CARTER:] Thirteen years ago! He hasn't been associated with the Carter Center for 13 years.
When we were originally sent Professor Stein's letter explaining his resignation from the Carter Center last week, I looked Professor Stein up on the Carter Center's site. Professor Stein's Carter Center page is here, describing Professor Stein as the "Carter Center fellow for Middle East affairs since 1983."
THE person speaking had lived through it all. He was from the Moluccas - the Spice Islands of legend - and had been there most of his adult life. He was a Catholic and spoke from experience of people and events known to him at first hand. The tale he told of friends and communities betrayed, and innocents tortured and murdered without qualm or mercy, was heart-rending. All the more so because it need never have happened; and because it reflected badly on those who were obliged to prevent it: the Indonesian government and the International Community, especially the UN and its International Court of Justice.
Read it. It's enough to run you out of your last blood pressure prescription. And it contains something else. I've read the bit about 'there is no compulsion in Islam and how that means real moslems would NEVER try to force someone to convert. There's a very careful note on the background of it, and I'm going to put up a long excerpt:
"Popularly it is translated ‘There is no compulsion in Islam’. But the verse reads din ‘religion,’ not Islam. Also it should be noted [though this is never usually stated when the verse is used as a proof of the peacefulness of Islam] that Sura 2,256 is addressed to Muslims, not non-Muslims. It warns Muslims not to dally with ‘unbelief,’ and implies that belief is easy which is what the reference to ‘no force’ seems to suggest.
The following verse - usually never quoted - is the one that deserves attention. It applies to non-Muslims whom it warns in unambiguous language of the dire consequences of not embracing Islam: ‘[you] are the inmates of hell, and shall dwell there’. There is intimidation and coercion in this verse [Sura 2, 257] and perceptive Muslims would realise that if you can threaten unbelievers with hell fire if they don’t become Muslims, then a fortiori you can use physical force to make them embrace Islam.
There is an even more cogent argument against the ‘tolerance,’ and lack of coercion allegedly preached by Sura 2,256: the behaviour of Muhammad.
‘Then the Apostle [Muhammad] sent Khalid bin al-Walid … to the tribe of Beni Haritha bin Ka‘b in Najran and ordered him to wait three days before attacking them, after inviting them to embrace Islam.. If they agreed then he was to accept their submission from them; and if they refused he was to fight them. So Khalid set out and came to them and sent out riders in all directions inviting the people to Islam saying “If you accept Islam you will save your life.” They embraced Islam because of the threat. ….. When they came to the Apostle [Muhammad] and he saw them he asked “Who are these people who look like people from India?” and they replied, “These people are the Beni al-Haritha bin Ka‘b. … The Apostle [Muhammad] said to them: “'Had Khalid not written to me that you had accepted Islam and not resisted, I would have tossed your heads beneath your feet”.’ Despite denial by modern-day Islamic spokesmen, according to Ibn Hisham his biographer, Muhammad not only approved, but commanded the use of force in religion. And Islamic Law, especially the Qur’an, explicitly approves the use of such force.
Some Muslim scholars may grudgingly admit this privately when pushed, but publicly attest the opposite, claiming against all evidence to the contrary that the Qur’an opposes the use of force in spreading Islam.
Sura 2,256 is a trap for unwary non-Muslims. It cannot be taken at face value. The final blow to its credibility comes from the fact that whatever it may originally have meant, informed Muslims consider it to have been abrogated.  The abrogating verse is Sura 9:73 : 'O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them’."
Interesting reading. If you can keep your head from exploding in the earlier part.
Looked over at Tim Blair, and he notes this marvelous little piece from a down-under looney named George Monbiot. Basically, 'any sport that brings lots of fans in should be stopped to save the Earth', etc. Here's the line that really stands out to me:
To avert it, the latest figures suggest, we need a 90 per cent cut in carbon emissions from every economic sector in the rich world by 2030.
Think about that. Does this clown have any idea what would be required to cut 90-freaking-percent of carbon emissions?!? And the next question would be, just how many people is he willing to see die for it? Most of the world population, apparently. Obviously, he will see that HIS fat ass stays in a nice, comfortable lifestyle, but how many people is he willing to see starve/die of thirst/die of disease/die of exposure/etc. to take care of that troublesome 90% cut?
And please note that 'in the rich world' bit. No carbon cuts from China or India or Africa or any other protected species part of the world, oh no. 'Course, he may well classify India as a 'rich world' place because they're working with us and expanding their economy, etc., which probably removes them from protected species status.
And while I'm at Blair's site, let me point out this wonderful piece of crap on 'leave no environmental footprint' day:
On Friday December 8 at 8pm, turn off your house electricity. Switch off your gas hot water heater. Put your car keys away. Switch off your mobile and any other battery-powered devices, and unplug your landline phones. Don’t step foot into any powered site, shop, house or building. You can, however, use public transport, buy ice and use beeswax or soy candles, which aren’t made from petroleum.
If you’re working that weekend, see if your employer will join The Big Switch Off.
(Oh Lord, I thank thee for providing such a dumbass to laugh at)
Where to start, oh dear. If you're in a cold climate freeze your pipes, in any climate maybe ruin food in the fridge/freezer, and huddle in the dark. Becuase, you morons, public transport USES ENERGY! And it took energy to produce the bloody candles which give off pollutants when you BURN THEM! And it took energy to PRODUCE AND KEEP THE ICE! for your pure, Gaia-loving, putrid soul. And, as Amos said in the comments, "Your employer might not wish to join the big Switch Off, but they may wish to include you in the big ‘You’re Fired, Asshole’."