Saturday, July 26, 2008

How do I despise thee?

Let me count the ways.

I’ve been thinking about Barack I Am The Anointed Obama and his little world tour. And the things he’s been saying(not saying in some cases) and doing. And not doing. Which keeps bringing me to two questions: Who does this arrogant bastard think he is, and what does he think he’s doing?

Despite so much of the media basically bending over and lubing themselves up for him, even some of them have been getting a bit upset by his actions, and those of his followers. Basically demanding his PR weenies be treated by presidential protocol, for instance; which, from reports, caused some reporter to tell the PR weenie “You’re not in the White House and he’s not president yet.” He shows himself to be a flat liar by starting the speech in Germany with “This is not a campaign speech.” He blows off visiting wounded troops because he can't make it a campaign stop, then lies and says the military told him he couldn't visit. He speaks of taking what people earn through trade and ‘distributing’ it; in other words, ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need’. In Israel, being asked twice what he would do as president to see there was never another Holocaust, and refusing to answer.

And the more basic question, why the hell is he campaigning in EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST? He’s running for President of the U.S., not Ruler of the World(although his attitude seems to be toward world government, preferably with him as the head); does he think the opinion of Europe & Co. is so important here that it’ll sway the election for him? Is he planning on using them to pressure the House & Senate to let him do whatever he wants if he’s elected?

And let’s speak of that ‘if’. He seems to think it’s his due to be in the Oval Office, that the election is a formality that’s annoying the hell out of him. And if we’re not smart enough to anointelect him, then The Children Will Suffer. Oh, and while it speaks of you wanting to properly better yourself, you’d better be aware that voting for The Obamessiah does not mean you’re not racist; just that you’re trying to atone for your racism. Etc.

We’ve got a standard-issue corrupt Chicago machine politician, who thinks he’s entitled to be deferred to and worshiped, who thinks that after less than two years in the Senate it’s his time to be President. Two particular things scare hell out of me in this: one is the “I’m so excited to be in your presence that I’m going to pee my pants!” attitude of so much of the media; the second is the virtual worship of so many people. No matter the lies he’s caught in, no matter the flip-flops that make John Effin’ Kerry look like a steady hand, no matter the open socialist bullcrap, they want to worship him. And remember, we’re talking about people who think not being allowed to carry urine bombs is violating their free speech rights; what do you think they’ll want to do if he’s not elected?

Maybe I ought to buy some more bullets and 4895. And primers. Just in case.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh wow, trouble in the Islamic Republic:

who'da thunk it?
For an organisation that prides itself on being a well-run administrative machine, the leadership of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is having a rather testing time. It’s not just last Saturday’s mysterious explosion in a suburb of Tehran that killed 15 people that is causing the leadership sleepless nights, although the nationwide news black-out imposed immediately afterwards does suggest the Revolutionary Guards, the storm troops of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, are rattled.

Details are only now starting to reach the outside world, and it looks increasingly like sabotage was responsible for devastating a military convoy as it travelled through Khavarshahar. The company responsible for moving the equipment, LTK, is owned by the Revolutionary Guards and is suspected of being involved in shipping arms to Lebanon’s Hizbollah Shia Muslim militia, which is trained and funded by Tehran.

Oooh, who could so dislike the minions of the mullahs?
Tensions have been running high in
Tehran since Seymour Hersh, the respected American investigative journalist, revealed in the New Yorker magazine last month that President George W Bush had authorised up to $400 million to fund a major escalation in covert operations to destabilise the regime.

Having contended with Iran’s attempts to undermine the Iraqi government over the past five years, British and American military commanders are more than happy to undertake covert operations in Iran, and there have been unconfirmed reports that special forces are operating undercover in the country.


If there was no other reason, this one would really show

how the Olympics suck. God only knows how many athletes have been screwed by the IOC over the decades, and here's another blatant example.

Stopped watching them years ago, and crap like this sure isn't going to make me rethink that.

Dammit, Kevin beat me to it, and said it better

Kim posted a link to an article that fitted nicely with his old essay 'Let Africa Sink'. I read the article, and the followup, then just now found that Kevin(the bastard) said it a lot better than I was going to.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

As that Oleg Volk poster put it,

fast food rejects with police powers:
For arguing with a TSA agent, Robin Kassner wound up being slammed to the floor. She's filed a lawsuit.

"I kept begging them over and over again get off of me ... and they wouldn't stop," Kassner said.

And it wasn't enough for another woman to show TSA agents nipple rings that set off a metal detector. The agents forced her to take them out.

Mandi Hamlin said, "I had to get pliers and pull it apart."

In Chicago, people like Robert Perry are subjected to exhaustive security checks. He was patted down, his wheel chair was examined and his hands were swabbed, all in public view in a see-through room at the security checkpoint. Perry, 71, is not alone

"It's humiliation," Perry said.

Perry was also taken to a see-through room by a TSA agent when his artificial knee set off the metal detector.

"He yelled at me to get the belt off. 'I told you to get the belt off.' So I took the belt off. He ran his hands down over and pulled the pants down, they went down around my ankle," Perry said.

At that point, Perry was standing in his underwear in public view. He asked to see a supervisor. That made things worse.

"She was yelling 'I have power, I have power, I have power," Perry said. The power to stop him from flying to Florida with his wife that day to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

"It makes you feel like you have no rights," Perry said
Mr. Perry, according to them, the only rights you have are to not be abused as long as you do what you're told with no protest. Have to know your place, you know.

As a baby, Angone was diagnosed with cancer. Her parents, both Chicago police officers, had to have her leg amputated. She said she always warns TSA security agents that her prosthetic leg will set off the metal detector, but many insist on doing an embarrassing full body pat-down.

"I feel like I'm being felt up in public," Angone said.

Her father Bob Angone wanted to know, "What's the reason for all the feeling up, you know the groping at the back of the neck, the chest, underneath the bra, all the groping on her body, her buttocks?"

CBS 2 News asked the TSA those questions, but got no answers
The only thing really amazing about this is some parent hasn't beat the crap out of the dirtbags doing this while hiding behind a badge.

And I flatly call bullshit on this:
A spokesman said that out of 2 billion passengers screened nationwide since 9-11, there have been only 110,000 abuse complaints.
I'll bet if you actually dig into it, it's 110,000 abuse compaints where someone actually followed through all the way; include those where people were too threatened or intimidated to do so, God knows what the actual number is.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Once upon a time, the cat needed a name

Furball had become part of the family, but as yet had no name(other than occasional "Dammit!" and other references). So one evening wife and I were going over possibilites and inspiration struck.

A while before we'd discovered the Asterix the Gaul comics. If you've not heard of them, there's this village in Gaul. The only village not conquered by the Romans. It seems the village druid Getafix can brew a potion that gives super strength and speed, and every time they've been attacked the Romans(pirates, whoever) get their ass kicked, so the local Roman garrison has a "We leave them alone and they don't hurt us" attitude. The village has, among others,
Asterix, the best warrior in the village
Chief Vitalstatistix
Cacofonix the (untalented) bard
Fulliautomatix the blacksmith
and the best friend of Asterix, Obelix. Who is permanently strong and fast because as a baby he fell into a vat of the potion, and has a dog named(what else?) Dogmatix.

So I said "Let's call him Catmatix. It's simple, and when I yell "CAT!" he'll know who I'm talking to." And, since he could make an amazing amount of noise running through the house and on occasion had caused minor disasters, wife extended this to Catmatyx(yeah, different spelling) Catastrophix the Curious called Calumph.

Never used the full name except around friends; in any case, that's how the beast was named.

Three quotes

thanks to the man from Idaho:

If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

Arkansas Supreme Court

And, in reference to the filthy murdering dirtbag about to become deceasedMedellin case, from the fathers of the victims:
Meanwhile, Randy Ertman, father of Jennifer Ertman, hotly denounced the world court's order for stays.

"The world court don't mean diddly," he said. "This business belongs in the state of Texas. The people of the state of Texas support the execution. We thank them. The rest of them can go to hell."

Adolfo Peña, father of Elizabeth Peña, agreed.

"I believe we've been through all the red tape we can go through," he said. "It's time to rock and roll."

Actually, need to add one more in, from the Governor of Texas:
"The world court has no standing in Texas and Texas is not bound by a ruling or edict from a foreign court," Perry spokesman Robert Black said. "It is easy to get caught up in discussions of international law and justice and treaties. It's very important to remember that these individuals are on death row for killing our citizens."

Reasons why various DC officials should be introduced

to tar, feathers and a rail(or a rope, but let's keep this to a minimum right now):
If you're awakened in the middle of the night by a crash, may you carry a loaded gun with you as you investigate? Evidently not. The Washington Post reports that D.C.'s acting attorney general, Peter Nickles, "said residents could neither keep their guns loaded in anticipation of a problem nor search for an intruder on their property." According to Nickles, if you see an armed criminal charging your home, or in the event of "an actual threat by somebody you believe is out to hurt you," you're allowed to get your gun, unlock it, and load it.
Under D.C. law, "machine guns" include not only guns that fire continuously but also guns that fire once per trigger pull if they can fire more than 12 rounds without reloading or "can be readily converted" to do so. According to the District's interpretation, even a pistol that fires 12 or fewer rounds counts as a "machine gun" if it could accept a bigger magazine.
Speaking of registration, the District has established a burdensome 12-step process that involves multiple trips to gun dealers and government offices, fingerprinting, a written exam, and ballistic testing. How long does all this take? "Up to 14 days," according to one police department publication. "Approximately eight weeks," according to another. "There are circumstances where it could take months," says Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Well, maybe we should skip to the next step; I think there are lots of lampposts in DC...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Further pita experiment

For lunch tried using two of the larger pieces for pizza. Heated the oven & stone to 400 while getting everything ready, then threw the bread on the stone for a minute before taking it out and putting the sauce & toppings on, then back in until the cheese was nicely melted.

Worked quite well, made a thin, crispy crust that held up quite well.

Lawdog speaks of Creatures of Doom that come in

little furry costumes. Which reminded me(cue 'trip down memory lane' music),

Couple of decades ago, before daughter had shown up, wife and I wound up with a cat. Little black & white furball traded for a bag of tomatoes from the garden. Cute thing, first housecat I'd ever had, got real fond of him. Time came for him to be, ah, 'fixed' was the term was I grew up with. I had to work days right then, so wife dropped him at the vet on her way since she didn't have to go as early, planning to pick him up after work.

Handed him off to the vet(no carrier, just on a leash) with no problem: "Here you go, go with him and I'll be back for you later." No problem. Fast forward to about 3 p.m., phone rings and the vets' receptionist says "Can you come get your cat?" In a slightly unhappy tone of voice.

Permission sought and granted to leave early, she drove over and, as she opened the door, was assaulted by the damndest noise you could imagine from a bunch of critters; every dog, cat or whatever he worked on was barking, hissing, howling, yowling or whatever noise they could make. Courtesy of guess who...

It seems that he went into the cage with no problem, and when his time came the vet opened the door and said "Let's go" and reached in.


After temporary bandages were applied, and with the help of gloves and his assistant, cat was removed from cage despite his 'leopard in the long grass' imitation and anesthetized. Of course, the first dose only made him woozy; took a second to actually put him out. Then, surgery done, he was returned to the cage while the vet went for stitches. Or maybe the assistant did that. Never did find out that part.

In any case, cat began coming out of it, and as soon as he could rolled to a crouch, looked around, found the nearest four-leg and began staring. Until said four-leg began barking. Then moved on to the next, and the next... they'd called wife early because he had every animal in the place going, and every time one quieted down he'd move The Stare back to them and start them back up; he refused to stop, and they couldn't quiet the others down.

Vet stuck his head out and saw her, said "I'll get him" and went to the cage, at which point cat backed into the furthest corner and began describing exactly what was going to happen when the door opened. Vet was pulling the gauntlets on over the bandages when wife said "Let me try." Which seemed like a better idea than a repeat match, so the vet unlatched the door and opened it, stepping out of the way. Wife called "Here Catmatyx(long story), here kitty kitty." At which he looked around, saw her, jumped out, ran to her and managed to jump high enough to reach her arms, where he promply settled in. Which was one of the more amazing parts, as after he got home he promply flopped, and barely moved except to eat a bit, drink a bit and wobble to the litterbox until the next day.

Last thing she heard from the vet? "Please don't bring him back. Ever." For some reason.

Even better: he weighed, oh, probably six or seven pounds then; when he got his full growth, in winter ran about fourteen.

Some more on elite viewpoints and families

Went by the Curmudgeon’s place the other day(need to do that more often) and found this post on the ‘problem’ of women who decide to stay home while the husband works. One linked article is from (fG)Britain on the bloody awful cost of child care:
The research shows that average childcare charges around the country have rocketed - rising faster than the rate of inflation for the seventh year in a row. Critics say this makes a mockery of Government attempts to persuade more women to return to work, because the fees are beyond the reach of most families, including the middle classes. The average cost for a nursery place for under-twos across the whole of England is £159 per week, compared to average earnings of £457 a week. This brings the annual bill up to £8,268, close to the cost of sending an older child to some independent day schools. However, the highest reported cost was for a childminder, in West Sussex, who was charging £750 a week or £39,000 a year. This is more than the annual salary of a nanny, who can earn around £30,000 a year. It is also more than the annual fees of £26,490 for Eton College. The average fee for childminders in England is £144 per week for a child under two and £142 for a youngster of two and over. This increase is broadly in line with the inflation rate. However, out-of-school club charges have risen by more than six times the inflation rate, with typical costs of £43 for 15 hours a week.
And so forth. Say almost $300/week for under two, slightly less for over, round it to $15,000/year. For ONE kid. That’s one hell of a bite out of a paycheck. So if mom & dad decide to forego the money she’d earn outside the home and she stays home with the kids, what’s the problem?
A 2003 policy paper on equality for women, backed by four Cabinet Ministers, claimed there were "real problems" over women who stay at home to bring up their children. The document suggested that mothers who stayed at home were failing to repay the state for the cost of their time in education.

Got that? She stays home, she’s not ‘repaying the state’. She shouldn’t worry about taking care of her kids, oh no: she should be working so the government can tax what she earns, and spend it on socialist bullcrap. And let's pass on the fact that the money for that education was taxed out of people.

But author and academic Patricia Morgan said: "When there was this great campaign to get all the women out to work because they were unproductive at home, it was somehow assumed that childcare outside the home was a "non cost". "But we are now discovering what they found out in the Soviet Union and Sweden - that out of home care is extremely expensive. Unless you are earning a huge salary someplace like the City, it's a case of is it worth it? It's ludicrous."

And that neglects one very important thing: the kids. There are studies showing, over and over, that kids who have mom(or dad in some cases, but one of their parents) at home when they’re little do better. In school, in later life. But that’s not NEARLY as important, it seems, as getting mom out paying more in taxes, and putting the kids in care the government has more control over. Damn.

The other article is from here, and boils down to ‘women who stay home are failing feminism’. Illustrated with such gems as
I stumbled across the news three years ago when researching a book on marriage after feminism. I found that among the educated elite, who are the logical heirs of the agenda of empowering women, feminism has largely failed in its goals. There are few women in the corridors of power, and marriage is essentially unchanged. The number of women at universities exceeds the number of men. But, more than a generation after feminism, the number of women in elite jobs doesn't come close. Why did this happen? The answer I discovered -- an answer neither feminist leaders nor women themselves want to face -- is that while the public world has changed, albeit imperfectly, to accommodate women among the elite, private lives have hardly budged. The real glass ceiling is at home.
Ok, here we have another ‘educated elite’(phrase sound familiar?) who are not taking their rightful places among the ‘elite’ because of the glass ceiling at home. After lots more women went out into the workplace,
But then the pace slowed. The census numbers for all working mothers leveled off around 1990 and have fallen modestly since 1998. In interviews, women with enough money to quit work say they are "choosing" to opt out. Their words conceal a crucial reality: the belief that women are responsible for child-rearing and homemaking was largely untouched by decades of workplace feminism. Add to this the good evidence that the upper-class workplace has become more demanding and then mix in the successful conservative cultural campaign to reinforce traditional gender roles and you've got a perfect recipe for feminism's stall.

Few years ago somebody wrote “So women moved into a lot of formerly male occupations, and after a few years discovered something we could have told them: very often, work sucks.” And finding yourself in a job you don’t actually like that much, but feel you ought to stay at because of ‘feminist ideals’, sucks even more. Especially if, like a lot of women, you want to get married and have a family. And be there when the kids are little. But let’s take a look at that “choosing” to opt out:
What is going on? Most women hope to marry and have babies. If they resist the traditional female responsibilities of child-rearing and householding, what Arlie Hochschild called "The Second Shift," they are fixing for a fight. But elite women aren't resisting tradition. None of the stay-at-home brides I interviewed saw the second shift as unjust; they agree that the household is women's work. As one lawyer-bride put it in explaining her decision to quit practicing law after four years, "I had a wedding to plan." Another, an Ivy Leaguer with a master's degree, described it in management terms: "He's the CEO and I'm the CFO. He sees to it that the money rolls in and I decide how to spend it." It's their work, and they must do it perfectly. "We're all in here making fresh apple pie," said one, explaining her reluctance to leave her daughters in order to be interviewed. The family CFO described her activities at home: "I take my [3-year-old] daughter to all the major museums. We go to little movement classes."_ Conservatives contend that the dropouts prove that feminism "failed" because it was too radical, because women didn't want what feminism had to offer. In fact, if half or more of feminism's heirs (85 percent of the women in my Times sample), are not working seriously, it's because feminism wasn't radical enough: It changed the workplace but it didn't change men, and, more importantly, it didn't fundamentally change how women related to men.
She’s so tied up in her view of feminism(“You MUST go out and work in Elite Positions or you are failing Feminism!”) that nothing else will do. She sees the very idea of “I have a choice, and I want to stay home with the kids” as demonstrating a failure.

Thereafter, however, liberal feminists abandoned the judgmental starting point of the movement in favor of offering women "choices." The choice talk spilled over from people trying to avoid saying "abortion," and it provided an irresistible solution to feminists trying to duck the mommy wars. A woman could work, stay home, have 10 children or one, marry or stay single. It all counted as "feminist" as long as she chose it. (So dominant has the concept of choice become that when Charlotte, with a push from her insufferable first husband, quits her job, the writers at Sex and the City have her screaming, _I choose my choice! I choose my choice!_)
Let’s pass on using quotes from Sluts in the City as part of her argument. Let’s stick with her seeing ‘choice’ as a good thing only when women choose what she thinks they should. Which is an awful lot like the current “Freedom of speech only counts if you don’t offend someone” bullcrap.

Great as liberal feminism was, once it retreated to choice the movement had no language to use on the gendered ideology of the family. Feminists could not say, "Housekeeping and child-rearing in the nuclear family is not interesting and not socially validated. Justice requires that it not be assigned to women on the basis of their gender and at the sacrifice of their access to money, power, and honor."_

Gee, for the last quite a while who was it that said being a housewife was not interesting? Was not socially valid? Was not something a woman should want to do? Why, the radical feminists. The ones for whom the ability to choose what you do wasn’t and isn’t good enough: you have to choose the RIGHT things or you are failing feminism and all women. And that ‘sacrifice of their access to money, power, and honor' bit bothers me. That raising kids apparently doesn’t count as honorable(and obviously doesn’t lead to money and power; at least not the kind of power the statists want). I think you can gauge just how important that is by how badly so many people want to take as much of it as possible away from the parents.

I’m going to skip around a bit here:
Here's the feminist moral analysis that choice avoided: The family -- with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks -- is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust. To paraphrase, as Mark Twain said, "A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read." Women who want to have sex and children with men as well as good work in interesting jobs where they may occasionally wield real social power need guidance, and they need it early. Step one is simply to begin talking about flourishing. In so doing, feminism will be returning to its early, judgmental roots. This may anger some, but it should sound the alarm before the next generation winds up in the same situation. Next, feminists will have to start offering young women not choices and not utopian dreams but solutions they can enact on their own. Prying women out of their traditional roles is not going to be easy. It will require rules -- rules like those in the widely derided book The Rules, which was never about dating but about behavior modification.(speaking of which…) The preparation stage begins with college. It is shocking to think that girls cut off their options for a public life of work as early as college. But they do. The first pitfall is the liberal-arts curriculum, which women are good at, graduating in higher numbers than men. Although many really successful people start out studying liberal arts, the purpose of a liberal education is not, with the exception of a miniscule number of academic positions, job preparation. Feminist organizations should produce each year a survey of the most common job opportunities for people with college degrees, along with the average lifetime earnings from each job category and the characteristics such jobs require.(because nobody produces such studies now, of course)

… So here's an easier rule: Marry young or marry much older. Younger men are potential high-status companions. Much older men are sufficiently established so that they don't have to work so hard, and they often have enough money to provide unlimited household help. By contrast, slightly older men with bigger incomes are the most dangerous, but even a pure counterpart is risky. If you both are going through the elite-job hazing rituals simultaneously while having children, someone is going to have to give. Even the most devoted lawyers with the hardest-working nannies are going to have weeks when no one can get home other than to sleep. The odds are that when this happens, the woman is going to give up her ambitions and professional potential. It is possible that marrying a liberal might be the better course. After all, conservatives justified the unequal family in two modes: "God ordained it" and "biology is destiny." Most men (and most women), including the liberals, think women are responsible for the home. But at least the liberal men should feel squeamish about it. … If a woman making $50,000 per year whose husband makes $100,000 decides to have a baby, and the cost of a full-time nanny is $30,000, the couple reason that, after paying 40 percent in taxes, she makes $30,000, just enough to pay the nanny. So she might as well stay home. This totally ignores that both adults are in the enterprise together and the demonstrable future loss of income, power, and security for the woman who quits. Instead, calculate that all parents make a total of $150,000 and take home $90,000. After paying a full-time nanny, they have $60,000 left to live on.

And so on, and on. Till we get to this:
Worse, the behavior tarnishes every female with the knowledge that she is almost never going to be a ruler. Princeton President Shirley Tilghman described the elite colleges' self-image perfectly when she told her freshmen last year that they would be the nation's leaders, and she clearly did not have trophy wives in mind. Why should society spend resources educating women with only a 50-percent return rate on their stated goals?
So we’re back to that ‘repaying the state’ crap. As the Curmudgeon said, "Failing to repay the state" -- ? Have you ever heard such a thing before? When has the state ever spent its own money on anyone? Its funds come from taxation -- from money taken from ordinary people like you and me, on pain of punishment if we refuse. If Generation N "owes" anyone for the cost of its education, it would have to be Generation N Minus One!"
And, in the case of many college students, their parents saved to help pay for it and the kids take out loans they’ll be repaying for years(often for an ‘education’ largely consisting of bullshit), but by God(except you shouldn’t say that, it’s not PC) they should repay the state by doing jobs- even if they decide they don’t like or want them- and being taxed to death for doing it.

Early feminism was pretty simple, it seems: women should have equal opportunity to try for a job, and if they’re qualified for it and do the same work, get the same pay as men; equal rights. Then came the bullcrap like this, “WE do not like being housewives and mothers, so you shouldn’t either; it is degrading.” So a lot of women force-fed this stuff as they grew up go out to be proper change-everything-feminists and discover after a few years that they want a home and family, and want to be there if they can with the kids. And that just pisses the feminazis off immensely(yeah, I think the phrase fits) because they can’t stand the idea of women not acting the way the ‘elites’ have decided they should(…” I taught a course in sexual bargaining at a very good college.” And you didn’t listen to me!”) “If you MUST reproduce, only have one. And have a nanny, no matter the cost, because it’s your duty to feminism to stay in the workplace, no matter the cost to you and your family.” Etc.

I don’t have the patience, to take some of this crap apart like Kevin(for instance) does; I just put up some of the more dumbass parts and point at them while I dance around and laugh at them. Or tell them what friggin’ idjits I think they are.

After I wrote the above I thought a bit more, and something else strikes me: both the Brit and American articles note the collectivist nature of the people who don’t want women to have the choice to stay home. ‘Paying back society’, ‘failing the feminist cause’; you don’t have- or shouldn’t have- an individual life: you have to make your choice(the one allowed) based on what’s best for the collective. Hell, these people might as well put an eyepiece on their Blackberry and walk around saying “You WILL be assimilated.” Though not in a good way.

Way back when I was still married and the kids were small, wife and I looked real hard at her getting a job(she’d stayed home after daughter was born), and two things were real evident: one was the costs of a job and daycare and taxes would just about cancel out the extra income; the other was that she badly wanted to be home with the kid(later kids). And it worked out. Barely at times, but worked. And I think the kids were much better off for it in the long run.

Back to that ‘costs of a job’ part. A lot of people, like the feminist studies professor, tend to add up taxes and childcare only. Add in transportation to and from the job(which can include parking), and work clothes, and that adds a lot to those other numbers. And let’s not forget the housework stuff. They like to quote the ‘men don’t do enough housework’ studies, but those often leave out a lot. Like mowing, and pruning. Like unstopping or repairing a drain; things the wife may not want to do(hell, some of it I didn’t want to do) or know how to. A couple of times I looked at getting a second job; both times she talked me out of it, with two main points: one was, with the shifts I often worked, I didn’t get to see the kids enough as was; the other was who’d do all the around-the-house and yard work she couldn’t(especially with kids to watch)? Everything’s a tradeoff, isn’t it?

Couple of general notes

Ref the pita bread, I didn't try the recipe with white flour only, so don't know how it'll compare so far as texture and taste; more experiments needed(at least these you can eat). The ones that did puff up properly during baking were thin enough that stuffing one was a bit touchy; I'm thinking just a little bit thicker would work better all the way around..

Some more thoughts on the DNA problem noted the other day.

Another point of view on Obama's civilian national security force. This may well be right, but considering things Obama has advocated, I flat do not trust him. And if this is right, the cost is staggering.

And some thoughts from Kim on electric cars.

The UN hostility to arms ownership under ANY circumstances

has been noted before; this over at Volokh has some personal notes that really bring it out:
But Anderson was present at the beginning of the U.N.'s campaign against gun ownership:
I recall sitting in meetings of landmines advocates talking about where things should go next; I was director of the Human Rights Watch Arms Division, with a mandate to address the transfer of weapons into conflicts where they would be used in the violation of the laws of war, and small arms were the main concern. I was astonished at how quickly the entire question morphed from concern about the flood of weapons into African civil wars into how to use international law to do an end run around supposedly permissive gun ownership regimes in the US.

I dropped any personal support for the movement when it became clear, a long time ago, that it is about controlling domestic weapons equally in the US (or, today, even more so) as in Somalia or Congo.
The post also notes the UN ideas of proper gun laws:
Citizens should only be allowed to own guns if they are given a government permit, and the permit should only be issued if there is a "good reason" for posssession or or "genuine need." In particular, permits to own guns for self defense should not be issued unless the applicant proves taht he is in immediate danger.

The law require "safe storage", which means that firearms should be disassembled and the ammunition ammo stored separately.

There should be frequent renewal procedures to assure the owner's continued eligibility. A good example is provided by Australia, which for most gun owners (except farmers) requires membership in a sports club, and participation in a minimum number of shooting events annually.

A firearms license should be contingent on the consent of the person's spouse or former partner.

All firearms should be registered on a centralized computer system.

The home and vehicles of a gun owner should be subject to official inspection "at will."

Yeah, the UN doesn't think much of that messy 4th Amendment stuff, do they? And here(again, this stuff has been noted before, but we need to keep it in mind) is some of the other wonderful things the UN & Co. want to shove down our throats:
Providing financial and planning support to the proponents of a gun confiscation referendum in Brazil.

Adopting a Special Rapporteur's report declaring that self-defense is not a right, but is a limited excuse for violating the rights of the criminal. (don't you just freakin' LOVE that?)

Declaring that insufficient domestic gun control is a violation of current human rights treaties. Under the U.N.'s standards, even the pre-Heller laws of the District of Columbia were so lax as to be international human rights violations, for allowed the possession and use of defensive rifles or shotguns, in business premises, against non-lethal felony attacks such as rape, mayhem, arson, and armed robbery.

Rebecca Peters' organization IANSA (International Action Network Against Small Arms) is the "the organization officially designated by the UN Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA) to coordinate civil society involvement to the UN small arms process." The official UN Report against self-defense was written by an IANSA member, University of Minnesota Law Professor Barabara Frey.

According to Peters--the head of the organization which the U.N. says represents "civil society" on gun issues, all handguns should be banned, as should all rifles capable of firing 100 meters, as should the defensive ownership of any gun.

There are some good links in the post, check it out. And remember: the UN is not our friend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pita bread:

The First Try

Just took my first try at Steve's recipe out of the oven. Not bad. Having half whole-wheat flour makes a difference in the texture, as you'd expect, and it has a good flavor. I did discover that when he says to roll it out 'less than 1/8" thick', don't go too far below 1/8; if you do, they won't puff up at all. Not a problem since I mostly intend to use this batch for hummus, but still.

I think that if you made this into four balls instead of six, it'd make pieces just about perfect for pizza.

Possible problems with some DNA profiles

and reason #326 why so many local agencies and so many people distrust the FBI.

Insty pointed to this article, and it's interesting. DNA is a powerful tool for law enforcement, but it's like any other: it has to be used properly. And if there's a serious question about how it's used, that needs to be fully investigated. But here's the FBI trying to prevent such investigation, with some really disgusting threats and bullcrap scare tactics.

Read the whole thing, it's interesting. Basically pointing out that the most basic DNA profile might not be the 'beyond doubt' proof of guilt that it's been painted to be. But
The FBI laboratory, which administers the national DNA database system, tried to stop distribution of Troyer's results and began an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to block similar searches elsewhere, even those ordered by courts, a Times investigation found.
FBI officials argue that, under their interpretation of federal law, use of CODIS is limited to criminal justice agencies. In their view, defense attorneys are allowed access to information about their specific cases, not the databases in general.
He urged authorities in several states to object to Arizona-style searches, advising them to tell courts that the probes could violate the privacy of convicted offenders, tie up crucial databases and even lead the FBI to expel offending states from CODIS -- a penalty that could cripple states' ability to solve crimes.

In one case, Callaghan advised state officials to raise the risk of expulsion with a judge, then told the officials that expulsion was unlikely to happen, according to a record of the conversation filed in court.

Here's one that should really piss people off:
Soon after Barlow received the results, Callaghan, the head of the FBI's DNA database unit, reprimanded Troyer's lab in Phoenix, saying it should have sought the permission of the FBI before complying with the court's order in the San Francisco case.

Asked later whether Callaghan had threatened her lab, Troyer said in court, "I wouldn't say it's been threatened, but we have been reminded."

Dwight Adams, director of the FBI lab at the time, faxed Griffith, Troyer's boss, a letter saying the Arizona state lab was "under review" for releasing the search results
Got that? The FBI says that this state agency should have sought permission from the FBI to comply with a court order. A court order on a search of the ARIZONA STATE DNA database. And threatens them for not seeking blessing from the FBI before doing anything. That's fairly disgusting. And it goes on:
It didn't. After the judge, Steven Platt, rejected her arguments, Groves returned to court, saying the search was too risky. FBI officials had now warned her that it could corrupt the entire state database, something they would not help fix, she told the court.
Now, I admit I'm not a computer whiz, and some odd things do happen; but could someone explain to me how doing a search that the database was designed for could corrupt the friggin' system? And that threat from the FBI that "WE will not help fix it" is just wonderful, isn't it?

Ok. So there's a possiblity of matches on a number of DNA profile points that may be a problem for some criminal trials. And the FBI immediately starts pushing bullcrap arguments and threats to try to prevent this being dug into, including threats(that would backfire horribly if they actually tried it) to try to keep individual states from searching their own databases on this matter. Which makes people wonder just what the FBI may be trying to hide, cover up, whatever to become this damn-near hysterical about this. This kind of crap always comes out, and it always makes the Bureau look like a bunch of tyrants, and they keep doing it.

Interesting article, with some interesting possible implications. Like the guy said, "I can appreciate why the FBI is worried about this," said David Kaye, an expert on science and the law at Arizona State University and former member of a national committee that studied forensic DNA.

But "people's lives do ride on this evidence," he said. "It has got to be explained."

Had a comment on the 'Elite education'

post, and thought I'd say something here that I may not have gotten across.

I don't have problem one with someone getting a fine education. Period. For that matter, whether you had to work multiple jobs or your family had enough to write a check, neither is a problem for me. Hell, I WANT people to succeed, and if they've done well enough to just write a tuition/books/dorm check, good for them; if you worked your ass off to get through school and came out with a degree in engineering(to use the commenters' specific field), you did well. In either case, you're supposed to be proud of earning a good education.

The problem is not what school you went to or your having done well: the problem is the attitude so many people who go to 'elite' schools have, whether they have it going in or get it in school, that anyone who didn't go to one of THOSE schools is an unlettered cretin who should be ignored if at all possible; after all, what could their thoughts or beliefs be worth?

Ever watch Frazier? Perfect example of the actual attitude of a lot of these people: you didn't go to Harvard, or at least Yale, you don't really count as having been educated, etc. One episode the station had been bought by a guy who'd dropped out of high school(in Texas, yet), started working as a gofer at a radio station and worked his way up. He was now worth billions, owned a bunch of radio and tv stations and- as the producer threw in- had the worlds biggest collection of sixguns. Frazier's main comment: "I'm working for Yosemite Sam!" Didn't seem to occur to him that someone who'd never gotten near the hallowed doors of Harvard was now his boss, and in money and authority had far outstripped him, through hard work over years; all that mattered was this unlettered yokel had some say over him, and that was just insufferable. THAT is the kind of attitude I'm speaking of, and disgusted by.

Guy, your daughter SHOULD be proud of her success in school; from the sound of it she's worked for it and earned it. That is not, and should not be, a problem.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Reason #896 why we can't trust the major media

Especially when something reflects badly on the guy who give them a thrill up their leg:
The stunning comments from Democrat Sen. Barack Obama that the United States needs a “civilian national security force” that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar United States Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force have mysteriously disappeared from published transcripts of the speech.

In the comments, Obama confirmed the U.S. “cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set.”

Campaign officials have declined to return any of a series of WND telephone calls over several days requesting a comment on the situation. Nor have they posted a transcript of the speech on their website.
WND points out two newspapers that printed the supposedly complete transcript of the speech, the Wall Street Journal and the Denver Post, as examples. The New York Times didn’t post a transcript, and neither did the Washington Post nor the Los Angeles Times. Most oddly, as Unruh points out, the Obama website doesn’t have that speech available, either

Said it before, I'll say it again, this idea of Barack Hussein Obama's should scare the crap out of you. The fact that his own website, let alone so much of the media, skips that part of the speech tell you one of two things:
He realized what a pile he just stepped in, and want to hide it, or
He realized just what people think of that, and wants to hide it until after he's elected.
I tend to think it's the latter, "I shouldn't have said what I really think because the peasants aren't ready for it."

Added: Confederate Yankee has a note: Snark at excitable Andy's spelling error aside, his defense of Obama is an original one, essentially, "Bush is Hitler, Obama is only Himmler."

Why, that's just far more reassuring isn't it?


Of a sort, anyway. Few days ago made some hummus and discovered I had no suitable bread. Being in a hurry I didn't bake any, just stopped by the store. Who were out of the kind I like(of course), but had a flatbread I'd never tried.

While sitting here trying to decide on something for lunch(some shifts/changes screw with your system), I started thinking pizza, but didn't really want to go out. And, being lazy, didn't want to make crust. Then remembered the rest of the flatbread.

Chop up some bacon, grate some cheese, find the package of mozzarella I'd fogotten, slice up a bell pepper from the garden, some tomato sauce, and there's fresh pizza I didn't have to go out for. Pretty good, too.

Oh, while it wasn't bad, pita definitely beats flatbread for hummus dipping.

Words of wisdom from

Mostly Cajun:

An old prospector walks his tired old mule into a western town one day. He’d been out in the desert for about six months without a drop of whiskey.

He walked up to the first saloon he came to and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger walked out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, ‘Hey old man, have you ever danced?’

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, ‘No, I never did dance. I just never wanted to.’

A crowd had gathered by then and the gunslinger said, ‘Well, you old fool, you’re gonna’ dance now,’ and started shooting at the old man’s feet. The old prospector was hopping around and everybody was laughing.

When the gunslinger fired his last bullet, he holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon. The old man reached up on the mule, drew his shotgun, and pulled both hammers back making a double clicking sound. The gunslinger heard the sound and everything got quiet. The crowd watched as the gunslinger slowly turned around looking down both barrels of the shotgun.

The old man asked, ‘Did you ever kiss a mule’s ass?’

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, ‘No. But I’ve always wanted to.’

The lessons from this story are:

1. Don’t waste ammunition.

2. Don’t mess with old people

If I didn't have too many shirts already,

From Your Emperor

From a place where, not long ago, police calling for help

would have a posse on hand, and someone leaving the house would put a pistol in their pocket(and knew they'd almost certainly not need it), we now have this:
Two unarmed police officers who were attacked by a mob of 30 adults and teenagers were today receiving hospital treatment after being bitten, kicked and punched.

The officers were attacked by the gang after asking a teenage girl to pick up some litter.

Other teenagers and adults then attacked the officers after the girl refused their request and dropped the litter again
Disgusting, but not unexpected considering how things have gone there. Then comes the very sensitivefriggin' insane comment from an inspector:
“Whilst we would never use the word 'mob' which is an inflammatory word, we can confirm that eye witnesses have described their initial fear that officers were going to be seriously injured or killed.”
Aw, isn't that nice? Two of their officers are in the hospital, they and witnesses thought they were going to be killed, and the inspector is so concerned with the feelings of these slimeballs that he won't call them a 'mob'. That's inflammatory, you know.

PC and sensitive at any cost.

Tam mentions fashion victims

in her town, including the dork with the too-far-extended swingarm. I my town yesterday, not a fashion victim: more of a dumbass.

Head to the library, which is close enough, even on a hot day, to use the bicycle. Come to an intersection with the far side blocked by the wrecker. Mind you, basic four-way intersection in a residential area, no jogs in the road or whatever, and the wrecker is hooking up to the Lexus that had been driven over the curb, over the telephone junction box and into the light pole.

The stories we never know...