I don't look back. So here's a look forward from the precipitous cliffs of the two biggest buzz words of 2008: "Change" [1,360,000,000 Google Hits] and "Hope" [Running far behind at only 617,000,000 Google Hits].Continued...
Journalist Chris Smith is impatient for Obama to take office. He’s sick of that long countdown to Bush’s final day as President, even though the numbers have now become so small, and the clear and brilliant light can be viewed at the end of that long dark tunnel. In this, Smith probably has a lot of company.
It's probably not necessary to point out that this sort of thinking the idea that Obama will magically soothe us, heal us, kiss our foreheads and make it all better -is part of a dangerous trend originally noted when Obama first became a candidate. I wrote "thinking" in the previous sentence, but it's really more of a feeling that Obama will fix it. Or, if he can't fix it, at least he'll talk about it in a way that doesn't involve abominations such as 'nucular.' And even if he doesn't talk about it right, we'll all experience such a sense of relief about his mere presence that maybe that will be enough. Because feeling good is a major part of what this is all about.
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Life (or at least Obama) loves to imitate The West Wing. Now: Obama will take the oath with Bible used by Lincoln
Then: THE WEST WING "INAUGURATION PART I" BARTLET: I kept changing my mind all week on which bible I wanted to use, and then I finally settled on the George Washington Bible but we ran into a problem with the New York Freemasons, which we don't have time to get into.
I like the idea of using the Lincoln bible for a whole host of symbolic reasons. I just hope the Buck-and-West-Wing stops there. [Who are you kidding? Not me.]
Sippican Cottage tells you why in The Greater Fool Theory Of Housing Excerpt:
There's Postmodern evil afoot here. Everything is boiled down to a pastiche, and you put all these disconnected totems into a blender and put the mixed up parts on a concrete rectangle. It's making us all crazy in a very subtle but profound way.
There has been a concerted effort to dismantle all standards of right and wrong and beauty and truth. If ever truthiness was put into sticks and bricks, this house is it. When you rebel against standard things, sooner or later you run out of ways to be original, and all that is left is to do the exact opposite of good. It's the only permutation of new that's left to you after a while. The American house is becoming that prefect distillation of bad ideas. Everything exactly at cross-purposes with its stated purpose.More....
Wretchard at his best. In an off-hand comment to his post, Belmont Club » The strike on Hamas Richard Fernandez sees what others prefer not to see:
Maybe the root of this conflict isn't "land," "statehood," or even religion. Maybe its about preserving fighting and terrorism as a way of life; as a business. Palestine is an alibi for anything, but mostly it is the justification for a mode of employment, a whole series of professions, a whole raft of contractors, a self-sustaining funding network that could not exist without continuous and never-ending war. This monster has already consumed the Palestinians; stolen their future, made a mockery of their hopes.
But sometimes I wonder if the West is any better off. How much "aid", how many diplomatic jobs, how many tenured positions in universities, how many "activist's" careers, how much research and development, weapons manufacturing, military training programs -- how many jobs depend on keeping this abomination going.
This is too much of a good thing for everyone except the ordinary Israeli and Arab for the music to stop. Sometimes I wonder whether it is any more feasible to finish this war than it is to stop illegal immigration. Maybe nobody really wants either a fence or victory to happen. That would be too simple. One thing seems certain: whatever the UN or the diplomats propose isnât going to make a dime's worth of difference. One can't read the drivel coming from the UN without wondering whether they are joking, mad or moronic. And no, Obama's not going to fix it. We are in the real world equivalent of Groundhog Day. What worries me is the suspicion that some people want us to stay there.
There is something worse than war. It is war without end masquerading as a "peace process".
I refer to a brittle weakness in our economy, courtesy of the same smartaleck caste of MBAs who brought us derivatives and hyper-leveraged finance. A frailty that could, potentially, turn some short-term crisis into full-scale disaster -- and all because of a good theory that窶冱 been taken way too far.
Here's what the commercial jet pilots (the good ones) were doing while you were bitching in the terminal.
Position: Underneath the Electric Jet, KJFK (Kennedy)...This from Dave @ Flight 390: America from the Flight Deck, the best blog by a professional airline pilot on the net. If it is not in your bookmarks, it should be.
Outside Air Temperature: None
Windspeed and direction: 290 degrees at 28 gusting to 42 knots
Precip: Blowing snow
I am underneath Fi-Fi's belly with flashlight in right hand; left hand in pocket of leather flying jacket. It is surrealistic out here tonight. It reminds me of a movie scene in Alien, where Dallas, Kane, and Lambert descended the Nostromo's crew elevator down to the surface of LV-426. Back to planet Earth, it is unbelievably cold, with howling winds from the northwest. My face is burning, soon to be numb. The snow is stinging my eyes as I try to keep them open, following my flashlight beam, searching for the hydraulic leak, missing piece of aluminum, or shredded tire. Whatever is wrong, if there is anything wrong, this would be the time to overlook it... Got to be careful, even if it freezes my face. Oh well, the pain will go away in a few more seconds.
Giotto, The Nativity, 1304-1306 (Detail)
Throughout the night, the cold drew close,
And wrapped our home in shrouds of frost.
Within, four candles lent us light,
Returning to us what was lost.
Around us, all our village slept.
Our children safe, their breathing slow.
Four candles gleamed beside the tree,
Their flames burned long, burned low.
Then all fell silent round my house.
The snow shown blue, the shadows, slate.
You could almost hear the planet turn.
I stood bereft beside my gate.
Behind me, those I loved slept warm,
Protected by God's endless grace.
Below me lay the village streets,
Clad in shadow's chill embrace.
The darkness waned, the morning loomed,
Within my house the fire grew bright.
But still I walked on fragile snow,
And prayed for greater light.
As a child I'd lived in dreams of stars,
Of peace on Earth --life's golden seal--
And this night seemed, of all our nights,
The one when all such dreams were real.
Tonight I know this is not so.
The world is not as we would wish,
But as we make it, day by day,
And this the mystery and the gift.
The candles whisper of His gift.
The stars reflect them high above.
The gift is given to us again,
That we remember how to love.
-- Mill Hill Drive, Southport, Connecticut, 1990
Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 16. I could be in the driver's seat.
Tag? I'm it? Okay, I'll play.
The Anchoress prays unto the Lord, as she will, Lord, how dull I am!, because self-abnegation is a way of life! (Hair shirt? Check. Scourge? Check. Communion Wine? Make it a double.) And then she passes on this virus to me.
“It’s simple. Just list all the jobs you’ve had in your life, in order. Don’t bust your brain: no durations or details are necessary, and feel free to omit anything that you feel might tend to incriminate you. I’m just curious. And when you’re done, tag another five bloggers you’re curious about.”
Fine. I'll do it, but only because the Anchoress is Sister Mary Nunsense in my book and I don't want my knuckles slapped with her ruler.
My jobs, in order, were:Continued...
.... in more dire need of a bright red ball gag than any gay man in history?
I mean, given all the talented, intelligent, stylish, and attractive gay men in America, is this walking spawn of Gumby and Elmer Fudd really the best gays can do in terms of a "spokesman?" Can't some gay American be found with enough clout to tell Frank to "put a ball gag in it?" I mean, someone other than Keith Olbermann?Continued...
Every time I think I have seen just how deeply the pinheads of Seattle can suck, they yet suck more deeply.
The icy streets are the result of Seattle's refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows. "If we were using salt, you'd see patches of bare road because salt is very effective," Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation, said. "We decided not to utilize salt because it's not a healthy addition to Puget Sound."We note for the enlightenment of Mr. Wiggins, aka "Putz," that Puget Sound is 1) vast, and 2) composed entirely of salt water.
Upon receiving this, my correspondent replied: "Unbelievable. Well, at least something is finally uniting the country."
... and Squeeze Until They Say "Yes, Massa."
This illustration via the clammy cadre of "progressive" white racists at The Boston Phoenix. You know, those happy warriors who voted for Obama because "it's not about race but about 'change' Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink." Now they're running a charming story about what they think they're owed. Sure to be short-listed for The Putzer Prizes, this magnum dopus is titled and subtitled Take Back Barack -- "It's time to reclaim the man we put in the White House." An assertion to which one might answer, with Tonto, "What do you me 'we', white man?"
Sung by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir. Lyrics by Christina Rossetti:
A Substantial Stocking Stuffer: Nokia's "2 Rights in 1." Just the thing for those among your friends and family who like to shoot their mouths off.
VIA: Strategy Page
A direct descendant from this stealthy weapon:
The Burning of the Bull: An Emblem for the Year of Our Lord, 2008 -- A bull sarcophagus in which a member of the Ubud royal family was cremated burns during the funeral ceremony Tuesday July 15, 2008 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. - 2008 in photographs @ The Big Picture
Physician-assisted suicide is not at all about “death with dignity”, but rather about actively enlisting the culture in support of radical individual autonomy. Not only must we exert full control over the time and manner of our death — which we have always been able to do, by simply killing ourselves — but we demand that society support, honor, and praise this decision, without the faintest whiff of criticism or condemnation. It is not sufficient that we be able to kill ourselves. Rather, it is necessary that we actively kill those societal sensibilities and strictures which condemn such a choice as morally misguided and potentially destructive to our human dignity and our social fabric. - The Doctor Is In [This entire essay is a powerful argument against our secular society of perpetual indulgence which I commend to all.]
Just the thing for trimming the tree. And disposing of it afterwards. Ornamentgranate - Deko-Objekte - DaWanda
A bull sarcophagus in which a member of the Ubud royal family was cremated burns during the funeral ceremony Tuesday July 15, 2008 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. - 2008 in photographs (part 2 of 3) @ The Big Picture
Drill. Here. Drill. Now. Legalize. Marijuana.
Who says there's no good news about Bernie Madoff?
"Madoff, single-handedly, has done more harm to the Progressive cause than almost anyone yet realizes. And, that's because The JEHT Foundation, one of the leading providers of grants for all things Progressive, has just abruptly announced they're shutting their doors at the end of January as a result of having come to the realization that they've lost virtually all their money because it was all under Madoff's management." -- Daily Kos: State of the Nation [VIA The Belmont Club's They Got Took, which notes: "'Activists' have a curious relationship with money. They don’t make it, but they need to spend it. They need what they loathe. What can I tell you?"]Less money=Less Mischief. Unless the O-Admin launches a bailout for Progressive Charities. Wait for it.
"It was Orville’s turn. At 10:34 on the windy morning of December 17, he piloted Flyer for a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds." -- Humankind Takes Flight: The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, 105 Years Ago Today
Bill Dyszel shoots and scores with the scathing Morbid Major Magazine Song As a book and magazine writer, editor, and agent for over 30 years I can attest to the fact that there's nothing but the adamantine truth in this song.Continued...
U.S. Debt? Check.
Farm Prices? Check.
Congress No Good? Check.
Price Controls? Check.
Cost of Living? Check.
Job Seekers? Check.
Socialized Medicine? Check.
Deserving Democrats? Check and double-check.
In what can be considered the final death blow to counterculture, a prominent rolling paper company that caters to the unskilled smoker who doesn't care about thick paper and too much glue, has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against an obscure apparel company for this obvious Obama t-shirt parody. They're claiming the brand will be exposed to "to criticism and scorn," since some might make an association between pot smoking, Bambu, and the President-elect.Who could possibly be into smoking, dope, message t-shirts and supporting Obama at the same time?
UPDATE: Special nostalgic look back at the Campaign That Was. Ah, those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.
"Barack Obama: There Will Be Bamboozling"
The archives he retains will, invariably, be merely personal -- clippings from the local papers, a box of business cards, filched matchbooks, a sheaf of menus, random pay stubs, a well-thumbed Rolodex, and a few albums filled with pictures of friends and acquaintances remembered with varying degrees of accuracy. And his snapshots.
They will be snapshots of his personal celebrations; the birthdays, anniversaries, shared summer houses, days in the park and nights on the town. He'll be in some of them. Friends will proliferate in others. And the city will persist, implied, either in the background or intruding in the middle distance; like the air, unnoticed until absent. When you leave her, this is what you will carry away. It will fit in a medium-sized cardboard box. We've all packed this box. Mine was labeled, "New York."
Like the lies of false and faithless love, your memory of the city will fade long before the snapshots in the box. True, they fade slowly -- pushed into the mist by other days and other scenes -- but fade they do. And so you will find yourself pretending, long after she has gone to seed and faded into the smoke of the world, that you still know what she looks like, and how you felt, when you lived with her through all those bright days and white nights.Continued...
Fewless numbering, more better grammer please. [VIA: Art and Installations from Money | WebUrbanist]
Donald Sensing @ Sense of Events shoots and scores with Hitler hates cussing.
Make sure you have captions turned on by clicking the small up-arrow in the far lower right of the Youtube box and clicking on "CC." And wait for the penultimate line, it kills.
"Living in capitalism without understanding the role of money is like a fish that doesn't know how to navigate water," they write. "In our modern economy, capital is the equivalent of water to fields. With it comes the possibility of growth, without it little can survive." [VIA: The indispensible Brutally Honest.]
"I did not have interpersonal relations with that man, Governor Blagojevich." - Bloodthirsty Liberal
The story that put the lie to the No-O & Blogo Meeting was discovered yesterday. Once discovered it promptly disappeared down the memory hole at News : KHQA. Seeing that it had vanished I searched for it in Google Cache and, sure enough, there it was. For about an hour and then cached page vanished as well. A second story from the same source confirming the meeting also met the same fate.
But, fearing something like the erasure of the cached page, I made a screen shot. Here it is:Continued...
At least he didn't emulate Jimmy Carter by saying, "I'll never lie to you." Indeed, this whole administration is shaping up to be a paraphrase of Mary McCarthy's “Every word he says is a lie, including and and the.” Still they'll look to find a reason to believe.
Americans spent the 1990s in a fantasy world, where technological change supposedly would transform the human condition, taking as their intellectual guide science-fiction writers like William Gibson. There was nothing wrong with the market mechanism as such; what went haywire was the childish imaginings of the American public.
Underlying the crisis is the Western world's repudiation of life, through a hedonism that puts consumption or "self-realization" ahead of child-rearing. The developed world is shifting from a demographic profile in which the very young (children four years and under) outnumbered the elderly (65 and older), to a profile with 10 times as many retirees as children aged four or younger. Economics simply never has had to confront a situation in which the next generation simply failed turn up. - Spengler @ Asia Times Online
The more interesting question is why the Left dominates the social sciences and humanities. To answer that question might produce the reason there are so few conservatives in the academy. (Could it possbily be that the Leftists in charge of hiring decisions won’t hire them?)Do ya think?
"The past is prologue"
An Obama aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, took back David Axelrod's remark last month that Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich had spoken recently. "What the president-elect said today is correct, David Axelrod misspoke," the aide said. -Ben Smith - Politico.com
These are early days. The Obama Administration will not start for another six weeks, and it is already building scenery for an opera worthy of "All the King's Men." We do know the end of the first act: Obama takes the oath of office, and the orchestra frantically signals trouble ahead. - Untouchable - What's News Tonight by John BatchelorContinued...
At length corruption, like a general flood,
Did deluge all; and avarice creeping on,
Spread, like a low-born mist, and hid the sun.
Statesmen and patriots plied alike the stocks,
Peeress and butler shared alike the box;
And judges jobbed, and bishops bit the town,
And mighty dukes packed cards for half-a-crown:
Britain was sunk in lucre’s sordid charms.—Pope.
"The state of matters all over the country was so alarming, that George I. shortened his intended stay in Hanover, and returned in all haste to England. He arrived on the 11th of November, and parliament was summoned to meet on the 8th of December. In the mean time, public meetings were held in every considerable town of the empire, at which petitions were adopted, praying the vengeance of the legislature upon the South-Sea directors, who, by their fraudulent practices, had brought the nation to the brink of ruin.
"Nobody seemed to imagine that the nation itself was as culpable as the South-Sea company. Nobody blamed the credulity and avarice of the people,—the degrading lust of gain, which had swallowed up every nobler quality in the national character, or the infatuation which had made the multitude run their heads with such frantic eagerness into the net held out for them by scheming projectors. These things were never mentioned. The people were a simple, honest, hard-working people, ruined by a gang of robbers, who were to be hanged, drawn, and quartered without mercy." -- From Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Volume I, by Charles Mackay, 1852
Six thousand years ago, a mother and two children died at the same time and were buried here holding hands. Someone obviously cared a great deal, as the scientist found that flowers were placed above and below the bodies. It is not yet known how they died. - Green Sahara - The Big Picture - Boston.com
Warming is evidence of global warming. Cooling does not mean that global warming is not happening, just that it hasn't yet...but it might, still..and then the theory will be right again...except if its not, and then it will be because something has temporarily interfered with the theory working, like cooling, but that doesn't mean the cooling has replaced the warming -- its just hiding it, for now. We know this because the models tell us. Can't be anything else happening like the sun, the oceans or any of that stuff. Why? Well, because that's why.
You do not want to watch this. Move along. Nothing to see here....Continued...
I've known a few suicides, but none of them ever seemed to require "assistance" once their minds were made up. One or two tries, maybe. But sooner or later, they got it done. Perhaps "Suicide Assistants" can be a new career path for some of those 2.5 million folks Obama wants to find jobs for.
Being left-handed makes this move a natural:
The Step-Through Move
To execute this move do the following:
Come to a one-count stop.
Fake a jump shot.
If you want to go to the left, take a quick step to the side of the defender with your right foot. Protect the ball as you go toward the hoop....
You might even get a power lay-up by faking to the middle, then executing a quick drop step with the baseline foot, then, power it up. - How to teach and coach one-on-one basketball moves
"Lawyers and financial advisers have reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of divorce inquiries since the financial markets collapsed in September.... Like a frog, the Toxic Wife needs to hop safely on to another lily pad, and a rich one, before leaving her husband. She won't stand on her own two feet. And finding a job is quite beneath her.... As the joke doing the rounds among City men goes: 'This credit crunch is worse than a divorce. I've lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.'" -- Recession: When the money goes, so does the toxic wife - Telegraph
Fishermen's Terminal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Centered around a memorial for over 500 local fisherman who were lost at sea
I just thought, âI still want to make this book that Iâve been wanting to make since Sasquatch dropped me,â so I thought, âJust make it. Just start.â And again I had that idea about doing this book about writing, but the idea of writing about writing, doing a book that was about writing with writing in it, was something that was so different than my class. I wanted to give some kind of visual equivalent to the class that I teach, so I just started messing around and making collagesâand actually there are many, many more than are in this book. And while I would work I would just hear these little things, like, âWhat would be different if there were no monster stories? Anything?â And thatâs all Iâd have to have and then I could start messing around.
The answer that comes from our politicians, who see their pet programs and their contributors as too big to be allowed to fail, is to increase our debts through formerly unimaginable greater deficit spending, piling multitudes of new debt upon the existing. That is a prescription for delay, at best, of a far worse reckoning.
THE OLD PINE BOX is pleased to be able to offer a special line of coffins in support of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Designed by the folks at PETA and built exclusively by THE OLD PINE BOX, these coffins allow you to voice your defense of all creatures even after your own voice is silenced. Every coffin purchased from this selection will result in a net contribution of $75.00 to PETA. - About The Old Pine Box
Via the eversharp copyranter: Peta coffins.
(Number between 5 and 50) + of the + (Country / World / Solar System / Galaxy / Universe)'s + (cool- most- best- worst- fun-)est + ( Subject) = Digger attention span.
From the simple but wicked xkcd - A Webcomic - Alternate Currency
Please help! I took my husband's i-phone and found a raunchy picture of him attached to an e-mail to a woman in his sent e-mail file (a Yahoo account). When I approached him about this (I think that he is cheating on me) he admitted that he took the picture but says that he never sent it to anyone. He claims that he went to the Genius Bar at the local Apple store and they told him that it is an i-phone glitch: that photos sometimes automatically attach themselves to an e-mail address and appear in the sent folder, even though no e-mail was ever sent. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? The future of my marriage depends on this answer! - Apple - Support - Discussions - Pictures automatically attach to e-mail? ...
"You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time; and that should be enough for most purposes." - From Minims by Tom Weller. [Note: Long ago I was the editor for this wonderful book. Glad to see it has survived being out of print and is still being pointed to today by distinguished pages such as Drawn. ]
We are going about this the wrong way. We treat symptoms rather than disease. We goafter men when we should be going after addresses. Behind every Islamic killer there is a nation. We have long known their names -- Syria, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. These dismal places are the factories of terror and blood. Wherever you find hordes of dead Westerners and slaughtered Jews you will find the footprints of one of these regimes. The Return of Scipio
Time: 1964. "I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours."
Power of suggestion wielded by Ars PsychiatricaContinued...