Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Growing up Lutheran, you realize early on that there are two tenets of the faith: one, Jesus died for our sins, and two, you had damn well better sing about it. Johann Sebastian Bach, perhaps the foremost of Lutheran choral composers, wrote over 300 cantatas in his lifetime, or roughly one for every Sunday, feast day, and holiday for five years (which explains on several levels his Coffee Cantata).
Of course, as a bright young lad with an above-average singing voice, Christmas meant one thing and one thing only for me: sing, boy, SING! Sunday school pageant (soloist). Adult church choir (never enough altos, right?). School vocal concert (again, soloist). Christmas Eve service cantor -- for not one, not two, but three different churches. It was like being Andrea Bocelli, only without the hair, groupies, and bumping into things.
Along the way, though, I picked up one song that has to me always symbolized at its deepest level what Christmas is and truly about.
What child is this who laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring Him laud
The Babe, the Son of Mary
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh
Come peasant, King, to own Him
The King of Kings, salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone Him
Raise, raise the song on high
The Virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born
The Babe, the Son of Mary
Pretty straightforward, right? All that talk about joy and happiness and babies and shepherds and goodies and whatnot, how could that not be a favorite.
Truly, though, that isn't it at all. It's the second verse -- the one that most people leave out.
Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding
Good Christian fear for sinners here
The silent word is pleading
Nails, spears shall pierce Him through
The Cross be borne for me, for you
Hail, hail, the Word made flesh
The Babe, the Son of Mary
Talk about a buzz kill. This is Christmas, right? All that stuff is a good three months away! We should be rejoicing! We should be praising!
Well, yes we should. But to me, the miracle of Christ's birth has never been the fact that he WAS born....but that he was WILLING to be born at all.
Seriously. Which one of you would choose, if you could, to give up the sweetest gig in the universe -- Son of God -- to be popped out in a cattle barn and dropped into a cold manger, with the knowledge that, after thirty-three years of life, you would be ditched by your friends, unjustly accused, tortured, and executed?
Jesus knew all that. He knew in gory detail what was going to happen to Him. He knew He was giving everything up for nothing, that He was going to get no thanks for what He was doing, that there would be people that, after all He said and did, would not only refuse to believe Him, but would go so far as to kill Him in the most repulsive, demeaning, humiliating, and painful way possible.
And yet....despite all that....He did it. Not for Himself, but because He loved us.
It is that act of selfless, beautiful love that is truly "the reason for the season". Even on this most joyous night, the shadow of the cross is not far away....but were it not for that cross, that suffering, there would be no Christmas.
On this great and wonderful evening, I leave you with what is my favorite Christmas song of all.....the one that always brings tears to my eyes.....sung by one of my favorite artists.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Of course, that doesn't make any sense to the California Supreme Court.
The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn't immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn't medical.
All right, fine, we won't help them -- then wait for the court to rule that we can be sued for NOT helping them.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Of course, what they leave out is the fact that Rosen has a little bit of a credibility problem in her tantrums about people who support gay marriage bans, given her endorsement of said people.
Again, the problem is not what Rick Warren said or did; it's the fact that he's a) white, b) not a reliable Democrat voter, and c) doesn't worship Obama.
Anything else, is OK.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Many borrowers who received help with mortgage modifications earlier this year tended to re-default on their payments, a top U.S. banking regulator said on Monday, citing recent data......
Dugan said recent data showed that after three months, nearly 36 percent of borrowers who received restructured mortgages in the first quarter re-defaulted.
The rate of re-default jumped to about 53 percent after six months and 58 percent after eight months, Dugan said, without providing an explanation for the trend.
Really? What a surprise! You mean people might be defaulting for reasons other than the bank being mean to them, like their having taken out loans that they had no f'ing chance of paying?
Sunday, December 07, 2008
With stories like this, it can now be formally changed to "All Propaganda".
The Nationals tickets were bargains for Freddie Mac, part of a well-orchestrated, multimillion-dollar campaign to preserve its largely regulatory-free environment, with particular pressure exerted on Republicans who controlled Congress at the time.
Internal Freddie Mac budget records show $11.7 million was paid to 52 outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006. Power brokers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were recruited with six-figure contracts. Freddie Mac paid the following amounts to the firms of former Republican lawmakers or ex-GOP staffers in 2006:
But of course, not one word is whispered about a little thing like an actual person in Congress in 2006 who just happened to be a former director of Freddie Mac, or its largest recipients of actual largesse.
So I guess we can safely say it's not that Freddie Mac gave money to politicians and political staffers that's the problem; it's whether or not the fact that they did can be used to impugn Republicans. What was done is irrelevant; who did it is.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down
2. Page yourself over the intercom
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask, "Would you like fries with that?"
4. Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks; once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch it out for espresso.
5. In the memo field of all your checks, write "For Marijuana".
6. Skip down the hall instead of walking and see how many looks you get.
7. Order a "diet water" when you go out to eat.
8. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go".
9. Sing along at the opera.
10. Tell your friends that you can't attend their party because you have a headache -- five days in advance.
11. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream, "I won! I WON!"
12. When leaving the zoo, start running for your car yelling, "They're loose! They're loose!"
13. Tell your family over dinner, "Due to the economy, we're going to have to let one of you go".
Last, but certainly not least:
14. At the pharmacy, pick up a box of condoms, go to the counter, and ask them for the key to the fitting room.
All in all, though, should I be concerned that my father sent me this?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Your result for Which Star Trek Ship Should You Command? Test...
20% Flight_Control, 30% Tactical, 20% Science and 90% Command!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Prepare to upchuck.
On Saturday, on a sunny day in San Francisco, 15 beautiful people were arrested for you, your neighbors, your friends, your family and the people you love. We did it for people you may not even know, we did it for people you may fear and we did it for people you may not understand. Most importantly, we did it for civil rights.
To the brighter side, at least this sounds better than the toddler at the grocery store testing out the maximum displacement of his lungs in an attempt to get Mommy to buy Fruity Pebbles rather than Cheerios.
But the net motivation and effect on passersby is exactly the same.
Supposedly this creature so desperate to "do something" for other people lives here in San Francisco. If that's the case, I know at least two organizations who would be more than happy to have him show up on their doorsteps right now and would have him hard at work actually helping people who need it within thirty seconds, without wasting the police's time, burning up thousands of taxpayer dollars, and producing the increased air pollution/wasted gasoline/unnecessary blood pressure spikes that his little tantrum did.
But since there's no TV cameras, I doubt he'd be interested.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
But what happens when coincidence turns up someone using the same pseudonym as you -- and the end result is that person's profile, hopes, and dreams being dragged through the mud and mocked on a nationally-read gay blog?
I mean, seriously. My profile says San Francisco. A simple search of my blog would indicate I'm in San Francisco. Heck, you don't exactly need to be a Mensa scholar to recognize that the picture that is the first friggin' thing you see on the blog is not the waterfront of downtown Dallas. They obviously are not without research capability, given that they located the guy's profile in the first place, so how did they miss things so obvious?
But all because of that, some guy who I don't know, who likely doesn't even know me, and has nothing to do with my opinions is having his personal information aired to the public, being accused of being a pedophile, being called all sorts of names, and having people laugh at him -- all because a blog full of bigoted fools couldn't be bothered to do the most basic research before they set off on their smear-fest.
I know the next response from Jim Burroway, Daniel Gonzales, and Timothy Kincaid: "Well, uh, we're not responsible for what our commenters post, and besides, we can't do anything about it."
I might believe that had it taken them more than a few minutes to find my offending comments, remove them, and ban me. But, since it didn't, I call bullshit.
What is more likely is that, since they've spent years teaching these commenters that people who criticize the behavior of other gays are lower than pond scum and should be treated accordingly, their ability to correct the behavior of their drooling hordes is sharply limited by their fear of being stomped. Besides, they're gay liberals; they're not about to admit that they're wrong, and more likely they're going to blame me or this guy for having the same pseudonyms.
So there's the problem. This guy is probably going to keep receiving undeserved sh*t from gay liberals and other assorted halfwits, and the people who precipitated it are too intransigent and too cowardly to stop it.
Seriously, I wonder if it's time for a name change on my part. I have no desire to undo four years of history, multiple email routings, and God-only-knows-how-many weblinks, but the simple fact of the matter is that I either do it or leave someone else in the situation where a bunch of moronic gay liberals are going around trying to ruin his life because they're too stupid to realize he's not me.
What do you think?
Prepare yourself before this portion:
The streamlined process looks only at income, not assets. If you refinanced your home to buy a Mercedes or own another home, you won't be expected to sell them to pay your mortgage.
Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, predicts that many homeowners who have little or no equity will stop paying their mortgage and then reduce their income to get the biggest payment cut possible. They could stop working overtime or, if two spouses work, one could quit. After the modification, they could try to boost their income again.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Schiff says. "People are going to feel like complete morons if they don't participate. The people getting punished are the ones who never made an irresponsible decision to buy a house they couldn't afford."
But it will reward the the people politicians pander to, won't it?
In short order, the people there:
-- Accused me of being a pedophile
I hope nobody is ever stupid enough to leave their little boys alone with him.
But no, I wouldn’t leave my nephews around him either.
-- Questioned my sexual orientation
If he’s really gay, then he has serious emotional problems, and I feel bad for him.
ND30, along with other kooks like former gay porn actor turned flop wannabe-FOX pundit Matt Sanchez, and a “michigan matt” all come from the “Gay Patriot” blog - aka the deranged sisters of Log Cabin Republicans.
The guys from that particular website has some issues - nothing more than walking Paul Cameron advertisements, and believing your average gay person is inferior to them.
Confused me with someone else entirely -- and then proceeded to publish that person's profile and information
You can’t get any gayer than gay.com! LOL:
Now consider Box Turtle Bulletin's "comment policy".
While we value a range of opinions, we may delete comments and/or ban or moderate commenters who engage in:
-- Threats, direct or implied. This can include implied threats through the posting of phone numbers, addresses, or places of business or employment.
-- The use of derogatory terms. Prohibited terms include (but are not limited to):
-- Terms which demean one’s personal appearance or mannerisms
In addition, commenters may be moderated or banned for persisting in any of following behavior:
-- Defamation against entire categories of people. This includes members of religious groups and political parties.
-- Unsubstantiated claims, for example, claims which are not backed by direct quotes, links, or bibliographic references from independent sources
-- Unsubstantiated rumors or speculations, particularly where sexuality or sexual behavior is concerned
What makes this really funny is that a simple thirty-second check of my blogsite would have made it clear that, if that's my Gay.com profile, it's in the wrong city, wrong physical description, wrong age, and totally unaware of the partner I already have. But why be accurate, when you know that you'll never be held accountable for such behavior by Jim Burroway, Daniel Gonzales, and Timothy Kincaid? It's all about the smearing, and these blog owners are more than willing to aid and abet such things when it's their ideological allies that are doing it.
As I said yesterday, gee, it's almost like they care less about content and what a person actually does than who that person is.....
UPDATE: Grabbed the Google Cache of the comments in question.
Second Update: Not surprisingly, Jim Burroway tried erasing the comments (which is why I grabbed the Google Cache).
Not good enough. As I pointed out above, their idiot commenters not only made all sorts of nasty remarks about me, but, in their attempts to do so, directly smeared someone who is in no way connected with me AND everyone over at GayPatriot. There needs to be a public retraction and an apology made to that person and the GayPatriot blog.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Gee, it's almost like they care less about content and what a person actually does than who that person is.....
Karger says a "soft boycott" they started against Bolthouse Farms, which gave $100,000 to Proposition 8, was dropped after he reached a settlement with the company. Bolthouse Farms was to give an equal amount of money to gay political causes. The amount ultimately equaled $110,000.
Remember that these gay and lesbian groups were the ones that said threatening boycotts unless someone donated an equivalent amount of money to them was blackmail and extortion?
Of course, expect a condemnation by gays of said behavior committed by gay and lesbian groups about the same time there's a run on mukluks in Hades.
And so are you saying that I have no legal right to express my freedom of speech in encouraging others to participate in a boycott?
Here's a better example of the expression of that "freedom of speech".
But the anger was apparent as the few customers of the evening walked in, including a lesbian couple. They were met with angry chanting of "Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you!"
Funny, last time I looked, yelling "Shame, shame, shame" at a lesbian couple qualified as harassment and hate speech in the eyes of Burroway and his cohorts, and thus did not qualify as "freedom of speech".
The other example, on the other hand, is that of a private employee who merely had a conversation with a co-worker — the same sort of conversations which take place around water coolers all across America. This is not even close to being in the same category. This employee was in no way the public face of of the company. In fact, her identity remains publicly unknown still.
Meanwhile, this woman's donation is only public because she followed the law and put her correct name, address, and occupation on it, which was then propagated by websites that were specifically set up and looking for "dirt" to harass and attack Mormons prior to the vote.
Nothing exists to show that she publicized the fact; the law and gay and lesbian people did it. Why, then, are they calling for her to be fired?
Hey, hey, ho, ho, Marjorie has got to go!
The entertaining part about this is that California law explicitly forbids firing someone as a result of their involvement in a political campaign or making donations. In other words, the gay and lesbian liberals like Burroway who are endorsing this are demanding that businesses make a choice: violate the law, or have your customers hassled and harassed with hateful remarks.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Doesn't that make her selfish?
Doesn't that make her unpatriotic?
And, since California law grants all the state tax benefits of marriage to registered domestic partners, doesn't that make her really stupid?
As a gay man, as an American, as an HIV physician and academician at one of the more conservative medical institutions in the U.S, I can say without hesitation that your views remind me of the sad duplicity that arises in gay men who grow up in the Bible Belt. I was born and raised in Dallas, and still reside here, and I face constant personal and professional challenges due to the indoctrinated bigotry, Red State "values" and religious and cultural philistinism that plagues this town. You seem to cling to those philistine principles, but hypocritically deny the aspects that aren't compatible with your sexuality or your chosen family. As I kept reading your blog, I felt like I was being enclosed in a progressive, suffocating hysteria that was like being trapped in a housefire with the smoke rising to my nose. I was crawling on the ceiling, desperately looking for the chimney. Your repressed shame and self-doubt was so obvious beneath the grandstanding and stident lectures that you made Mary Tyler Moore in "Ordinary People" look like Robert Mapplethorpe.Which is, of course, why they keep sending these letters telling us how they know exactly why we do what we do and how wrong our views are, how very awful of persons we are, how no one else cares about, respects, or loves us, how anyone else who says they do is just lying, and how our only hope is to do exactly what they say and be grateful that they're still willing to forgive scum like us.
What staggers me is that you abandoned the struggle for progress here in the South in favor of the tolerant comforts of San Francisco--a city whose inhabitants bled for the acceptance you enjoy there--and with staggering condescension and arrogance, you trash and condemn those who still fight for your freedom. It must be intensely empowering to write your judgmental blog--which is essentially a courtroom with a jury of one--with the city without a priori rejections right at your doorstep. You, sir, are guilty of the worst form of Uncle Tomism, and belong to a small, infuriating sect of gay men who make life exponentially harder for the rest of us.
I have some unfortunate news for you: your political party only approves of you until the election is over--after that they're embarrassed by you. Your church may "hate the sin and love the sinner", but most of them think you represent the sickest form of pathology and evil, and if it were socially-acceptable and legal, you and your partner would be hanging from a tree. Meanwhile, those idiot liberals you so hatefully condemn elected a mayor who is fighting for your right to have the love between you and your partner recognized in the eyes of society, the government, and God. There is true spirituality in that fight--if Jesus is your thing, he'd be standing by your mayor, not by the privileged polish and sanctimony of Sarah Palin.
I can only theorize that you're wearing Republicanism and Christianity and Conservatism as a facade to convince yourself that you can be gay and "normal" at the same time--and honestly, I think that's why the majority of Republicans cling to that party. For men at least, it's a form a hormone replacement therapy--it's all about guns and Biblical patriarchy and the expensive suit that hides the paunch. For both sexes, having that Bush '08 sticker on the minivan is an excuse to behave with reprehensible hypocrisy and still keep the membership in the country club. I know one thing--if Palin had won (McCain won't be around much longer, so let's dispense with the fiction), my partner of four years, who is from Germany and working to get a green card, would be sent home in a rowboat, and you and I would be tattooed and sweeping floors in a concentration camp. She's the political equivalent of Nurse Ratched, and when you're dealing with the company woman incarnate, the only way to keep order in the commune is to silence those that don't play by the rules. This means you, no matter how many quaint homilies you post on your blog. There's no room for gay couples on the Ark, big guy. You can try to outsmart them with the khakis and top siders and the short haircut, but they know how to smell a fox.
Of course you're entitled to your views. The liberals out there will make sure you always will be.
Please. I've seen too many Lifetime Original Movies to fall for that one.
In response, I would state the following:
It seems odd that Aravosis is only attacking the Mormons, rather than going after Democrat Party-trending groups like blacks and Catholics who voted in equal or larger percentages for Proposition 8 and contributed millions of dollars as well.
It seems even more odd that Aravosis is attacking anyone at all for supporting state constitutional amendments, given his gushing support for those who brag about how they would vote for them.
So what we have here is an antireligious lunatic who is not only going after people for exercising their right to vote and contribute to political campaigns, but is doing so in a fashion that makes it obvious that he doesn't care if the "right" people do the same thing as those he's attacking.
And remember, it's all because he's gay and that's what gay folks do.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Help for these funks sometimes comes from unexpected places, and in this case, it was from Turner Classic Movies -- or, more precisely, their showing of The Mortal Storm. Not for the movie itself, which is more than a bit disquieting on numerous levels, but for the poem with which it ends, "The Gate of the Year" by Minnie Louise Haskins.
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied, "Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"
So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.
So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read 'Vote Obama, I need the money.' I laughed. Once in the restaurant my server had on a 'Obama 08' tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference -- just imagine the coincidence.
When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need -- the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.
I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
h/t to John in IL
Friday, October 24, 2008
Yesterday, donors and supporters of Equality California began receiving threatening letters from the "Yes on 8" campaign leadership.
These letters threatened to "expose" the donors listed on our website if they don't donate to the "Yes on 8" campaign and refrain from supporting Equality California in the future.
That's how low the other side is willing to go. They are willing to threaten organizations and other donors who support efforts to protect youth and seniors, as a way to raise money in their effort to eliminate our right to marry.
Now keep in mind that these are the same people who:
-- Sent out donor lists from their opponents encouraging people to go find "dirt".
-- Organized publicity campaigns and boycotts against businesses that gave money to their opponents and not to them.
-- Set up websites publicizing the names and addresses of those who had signed voter petitions that they opposed in the name of "exposing" them.
But of course, when other people do the same to them, it's called "threats and blackmail".
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Therefore, the obviously intelligent and well-thought-out response by gay liberals has been.....to personally harass those religious people who express their beliefs about homosexuality.
So what am I asking you to do?
Some distributed research.
There is a list of a bunch of Mormon donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign (in case that one goes down, here's a mirror with slightly worse formatting.
Here's what I'm asking for:
This list contains information about those who are big donors to the Yes on 8 campaign--donors to the tune of at least $1,000 dollars. And, as you can see, there are a lot of them. It also indicates if they're Mormon or not.
If you're interested in defeating the religious right and preserving marriage equality, here's how you can help:
Find us some ammo.
Interestingly enough, this is no garden-variety gay idiot; turns out he's a supporter of Barack Obama and rather well-connected in the California Democrat Party. It seems he's even been going door-to-door in Nevada telling people all about how the Democrat Party and Barack Obama respect their religious beliefs and their right to express them as they see fit.
All while he's calling for his fellow Obama supporters to carry out jihad against Mormons and the LDS Church.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
New statistics from the Internal Revenue Service show that the highest-earning 1% of taxpayers in America make 22.06% of all income reported to the government. That's almost twice the 12.51% of total income earned collectively by the lowest-earning 50% of workers. Yes, 1.4 million taxpayers claim 22% of income earned while 68 million share just 12.5%.
But get this: When it comes to taxes paid, an even wider discrepancy shows itself, in reverse. Those earners in the top 1% pay 39.89% of all federal individual income taxes. The bottom 50% of earners pay just 2.99% of those taxes.
Friday, October 03, 2008
"Number two, with regard to bankruptcy now, Gwen, what we should be doing now -- and Barack Obama and I support it -- we should be allowing bankruptcy courts to be able to re-adjust not just the interest rate you're paying on your mortgage to be able to stay in your home, but be able to adjust the principal that you owe, the principal that you owe."
Or, put differently, Obama supports people taking out mortgages they can't pay, then having a judge arbitrarily cancel the debt and force the bank to take a loss.
Aside from the ludicrousness of this from a financial standpoint -- as in, the reason why secured debt like mortgages and car loans from which you can't just walk away in bankruptcy have lower interest rates than do unsecured loans from which you can -- there's this whole other matter of what kind of behavior you're rewarding.
In other words, go buy that $400k house you can't afford; you can declare bankruptcy, ask a judge to reduce it to $200k so you can "afford" it, and have instant equity of $200k.
Meanwhile, that sucker next door to you with a similar house who pays his debts, well.....that's his fault for being responsible.
Update: Corrupt leftist Democrat Maxine Waters confirms even worse.
"When we buy up this toxic paper, we're in charge. We can do the kind of loan modifications we've been urging [the industry coalition] Hope Now to get done. ... We'll be able to set some standards," Waters said during the floor debate.
Put bluntly, what Maxine wants to do is to buy the mortgage the homeowner took out that they couldn't afford for $400k and reduce it to $200k so the homeowner can "afford" it -- meaning you, the taxpayer, eats that remaining $200k.
Again. You didn't overestimate your capabilities. You didn't take out the mortgage. You didn't start skipping payments. You didn't get in over your head.
But as a taxpayer, you are going to pay for all the people who did. They are going to get free equity, and you are going to get stuck with the bill.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Fortunately, John over at GayPatriot covers my reaction to the news quite nicely, and Famous Author Rob Byrnes manages the rejoinder with both style and flair.
Blogging by outsourcing. It's the new wave.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
At the Broward Democratic Party's monthly meeting Tuesday night, it started right at the beginning — with the invocation, delivered by Mike Moskowitz, the state committeeman for the county.
He called for a "blessing on the elk and moose in Alaska who have been decimated by Sarah Barracuda" and included a prayer that Palin doesn't turn her sights on the squirrels in Washington, D.C.
"We pray that her journey takes her across the bridge to nowhere," he said.
One wonders if they're familiar with Matthew 6:5.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The policy allowing failed test scores to be thrown out is just one of several changes to the grading policy that went into effect at the start of this school year.
Other grading policies include:
• For elementary and middle school students, only homework grades "that raise a student's average" will be recorded.
• Students must be given one opportunity to turn in homework assignments that weren't finished on time.
• Parents must be contacted before a teacher records a zero in the grade book.
Of course, this is all done with what could be loosely termed "good intentions".
The new policies were put in place because Dallas has one of the highest dropout rates in the state of Texas.
A small committee of administrators and teachers wrote the new grading policy. The goal, they say, is to keep kids in school and prevent them from getting discouraged and dropping out.
"What we're really interested in is 'Are the children learning?' and if they're not, we need intervention immediately. This system does that," said Jerome Garza, a district school board trustee.
Evidently under the theory that children will get smarter merely by your inflating their grades and ignoring their bad work.
Basic rule of thumb, Mr. Garza: mistakes that are ignored invariably are repeated. When your poor dear cherubs reach the working world, people are not going to be amused by their belief that, if they are late to work, it means that the starting time is wrong and needs to be moved backwards.
If someone does not have the skills or education to receive a high school diploma, they should not get one. When it comes to educational standards, you should be raising the students to them, instead of the exact opposite.
But then again, what can we expect, when you and yours on the committee who drafted this abomination think that 48% attendance constitutes full participation?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The Harvey Milk Club political action committee held its endorsement meeting at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center on Market Street the other day - and from the sound of things, it was a real head spinner.
The lemony cake on the snack table was laced with marijuana, courtesy of the Access of Love cannabis collective.
It wasn't long before a number of unsuspecting attendees began feeling the effects. When finally told of the secret ingredient, one gentleman angrily demanded an explanation from club leaders.
"It's my birthday," shouted the guest who had brought the cannabis confection.
Oh really? So for your birthday you get to give people drugs without telling them? Ever think that might, you know, cause a problem?
Added irony: why did they leave off the "LGBT Democratic" that lies between "Harvey Milk" and "Club"?
Monday, September 08, 2008
No worries, people; as you notice farther down in the article, that's not going to stop him from doing it or anything.
That's the sort of thing that justifies the description "religious wingnut". There are grounds to argue that the ban on churches that claim tax-exempt status carrying out political advocacy is very, very selectively-applied, but to challenge the ban itself is stupid, for a very simple reason: the Constitution guarantees religious freedom, not governmental endorsement.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
For example, one of the headlines in today's Chronicle:
Palin's Record On Race a Blank SheetYeah, it's not like her husband is of Native descent or anything.
Friday, September 05, 2008
It comes in two lovely parts.
1) Six paragraphs excoriating Wachovia for allegedly not working with distressed buyers to modify their mortgages by Obama money-laundering organization ACORN and others, only to be undone by the seventh:
No group or individual, however, could point to any statistical evidence that Wachovia was less likely to modify troubled mortgages than any other large lender.
2) A profile of one of the "typical borrowers" to whom Wachovia is allegedly being so mean.
Susan Fallis, a communications professor at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, so far seems to fall into the "get the loans off the books" camp of Wachovia customers. In 2004, she sold the Santa Cruz parking lot her father bought in the 1960s for his mobile home business. She reinvested the approximately $3 million into 20 single-family houses in and around Reno, with a 40 percent down payment on each one.
Sixteen of the loans were Pick-a-Payment mortgages from Wachovia. Because Reno rents dropped as her minimum payments climbed, she is now losing about $7,000 per month. She has asked Wachovia to temporarily lower the interest rate on her loans by less than two percentage points, without asking for any adjustment on the loan principal. The change would enable her to break even, but company representatives have told her allowing it "would require a complete reversal in corporate policy," she said.
If Wachovia doesn't allow any modifications, Fallis expects she will have no choice but to default in the next few months. She said everyone loses in that scenario: Wachovia has to sell 16 homes at a loss, 16 families have to vacate their rental properties and her family loses wealth accrued over more than a generation.
"It's absolutely insane," she said. "I'm about ready to become the Cindy Sheehan of real estate; this is just making me so angry."
Lady, if you want to know the freaking problem, look in the mirror. You bought not one, not two, but twenty houses, leveraged yourself to the hilt to do it, and did so without even thinking that, "Oh, if I can't rent these houses for full price, I'll not be able to pay for them".
So let's see; we have "community organizations" who use taxpayer dollars to pay for political campaigns trying to keep people who leveraged themselves to the hilt to pay for a small village worth of houses from taking any kind of loss for making what can only be described as very risky decisions.
What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Existentialism|
Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.
I think the key, though, is in looking at the distribution of the other philosophies within that.
(h/t Brother QJ and Brother His Majesty, Queen of East Whitetrashistan and South Ossetia)
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Personally, I've always thought she was quite witty and clever, and certainly smart and capable enough to run for office, but if she wants to tear her own intelligence and competence down for the sake of her party's attacks, that's her business.
It's a shame that such a bright woman can be so browbeaten down that she would be willing to do this to herself, though.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Exhibit A: their front-page handwringing article about how John McCain did not "thoroughly vet" Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his vice-presidential nominee, quoting several Alaska political figures who claim that they and their "contacts" knew nothing about it.
When you look deeper, though, these local luminaries include:
1) Lyda Green, a Republican and current President of the state Senate -- who has regularly butted heads with Palin and is in the process of "retiring", both because one of Palin's allies is set to kick her butt in the November election AND because she was receiving campaign contributions from VECO -- the same company connected with indicted Senator Ted Stevens.
2) Representative Gail Phillips, who Palin also has butted heads with and ran against in Palin's unsuccessful 2002 bid for lieutenant governor.
3) State Senator Hollis French, the Democrat who is pushing the ethics investigation against Palin
And last, but certainly not least:
4) Randy Ruederich, the Republican Party state chair for Alaska, who was required to pay $12,000 in fines for ethics violations after Palin blew the whistle on him.
Gee, wonder why McCain didn't bother calling any of them or their supporters?
The reason the Times thinks they can get away with this is, of course, their Obama-esque belief that everyone outside their circle is ignorant and stupid; therefore, a little media spin, and away goes Palin.
In particular, take note of this.
SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said the union "is going to be looking very closely" into allegations this week that the local leadership retaliated against some staff members when they refused to sign a letter in support of Freeman.
A small number of staffers were transferred to positions far from their homes, and about 10 had their union cellphone service terminated after balking at signing the letter, according to three workers who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisal.
To think, people were wondering why the unions were so eager to get rid of secret ballot elections.
Probably because, in a secret ballot, no one really knows who voted which way -- versus cards, which the union itself collects and thus can use to determine who still needs "convincing".
But then again, how else could the unions channel millions of dollars annually to Democrat candidates, especially when they're doing that instead of funding the worker pensions they promised?
Sunday, August 31, 2008
San Francisco is protesting against immigration raids and blocking all cooperation with the Federal government.
San Francisco has been flying drug dealers out of the country rather than handing them over to the Feds -- because doing so would hurt their immigration status.
When that was stopped by the Feds, San Francisco proceeded to send them to long-term youth rehabilitation centers, which they promptly left.
And now, to the city's complete surprise, they've caught one of them -- back in San Francisco, selling drugs, and admitting he lied about his age because he knew he'd get leniency.
Add to this the pile of whipped topping that is the murder of a father and his two sons by one of the people sprung under this twisted policy, and top it off with a cherry of San Francisco submitting a fradulent bill to the Federal government for prosecuting border-related crimes.
Keep in mind that the two people most responsible for this fiasco -- Mayor Gavin Newsom and District Attorney Kamala Harris -- are leading Democrat candidates for, respectively, 1) governor of California and 2) Barack Obama's attorney general.
Then ask yourself what kind of law and border enforcement the United States would have with either of them in charge.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
While the United States today gets barely 1 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, many experts are starting to think that figure could hit 20 percent.
Achieving that would require moving large amounts of power over long distances, from the windy, lightly populated plains in the middle of the country to the coasts where many people live. Builders are also contemplating immense solar-power stations in the nation’s deserts that would pose the same transmission problems.
The grid’s limitations are putting a damper on such projects already. Gabriel Alonso, chief development officer of Horizon Wind Energy, the company that operates Maple Ridge, said that in parts of Wyoming, a turbine could make 50 percent more electricity than the identical model built in New York or Texas.
“The windiest sites have not been built, because there is no way to move that electricity from there to the load centers,” he said.
Of course, this being
Only last week, Duke Energy and American Electric Power announced a $1 billion joint venture to build a mere 240 miles of transmission line in Indiana necessary to accommodate new wind farms. Yet the utilities don't expect to be able to complete the lines for six long years -- until 2014, at the earliest, because of the time necessary to obtain regulatory approval and rights-of-way, plus the obligatory lawsuits.
In California, hundreds turned out at the end of July to protest a connection between the solar and geothermal fields of the Imperial Valley to Los Angeles and Orange County. The environmental class is likewise lobbying state commissioners to kill a 150-mile link between San Diego and solar panels because it would entail a 20-mile jaunt through Anza-Borrego state park. "It's kind of schizophrenic behavior," Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. "They say that we want renewable energy, but we don't want you to put it anywhere."
So what we have here is a case in which the Democrat Party is blocking gas and oil drilling in favor of "renewable energy" -- and then blocking the primary means of getting said "renewable energy" to where it can be used.
End result: billions of dollars in "tax credits" spent on building generators and turbines that are producing power that can't be moved effectively or stored, and is thus utterly useless.
Insane, you say? Not in a world where natural gas a) is not a fossil fuel and b) can be produced without drilling.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Especially this little gem from the Saddleback debate.
How different was Obama’s response. What he was looking for, he said, was “a sense of balance, and fairness in our tax code. It is time for folks like me who make more than $250,000 to pay our fair share.”
Question: if it's so important to him that he pay his "fair share", which is presumably more than he has been paying......why hasn't he been doing so without the government telling him to do it?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Evidently they've been listening to American media and Obama speeches.
In that case, let me predict the new stump speech.
Vote for Obama! I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man!
It makes one wonder if the Obama campaign is believing their own propaganda -- and thinking that bringing on Biden will attract all those white people who, since they haven't embraced Obama yet, must have concerns that are solely skin color-related.
As a female friend of mine once tartly put it to another who was complaining about how men were always ogling her body, "Honey, if you don't want them staring while you shower, don't leave the curtain open."
Meanwhile, to denizens and demagogues of the district....remember this the next time you and yours are complaining about the lack of traffic and empty storefronts.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
You Are an Alien
You're so strange, people occasionally wonder if you're from another world.
You don't try to be different, but you see most things from a very unique, very offbeat perspective.
Brilliant to the point of genius, you definitely have some advanced intelligence going on.
No matter what circles you travel in, you always feel like a stranger. And it's a feeling you've learned to like.
Your greatest power: Your superhuman brain
Your greatest weakness: Your lack of empathy - you just don't get humans
You play well with: Zombies
(h/t His Majesty, Queen of East Whitetrashistan)
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
My take: given our recent bout of typical San Francisco summertime weather, the dancing is to keep from freezing to death and the shopping bags are full of anything that even looks like it might slow down the bone-chilling ocean breath that turns Market Street into a wind tunnel.
Say what one will about this city, it punishes those who treat it as a midyear fling and pampers those of us who stick with it until September.
Put bluntly, the one in South of Market has twice the space, four times the shower flow, and sixteen times the eye candy.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
If, in my absence, you find yourself unable to live without blogs, Jamie, QuakerJono, John, Matt and Robbie (and Rob), Rob a la carte, GayPatriot and GayPatriotWest, Army of Mom, and LabKat will be happy to satiate your urges.
That is all. Carry on.
UPDATE: And Jimbo. Never under any circumstances can we forget Jimbo. Aside from being extraordinarily erudite and sweet, he is SO dadgum cute......
And Chuck, who is also all three of those, but quite taken.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Now, it seems, the same is taking place on the national level.
Too often, when stories like these come up, people of my ideological stripe are claimed to be "lacking in compassion".
To which, as these examples point out, the response should be, "For whom?"
Particularly interesting is this quote.
In areas such as Detroit, Washington D.C. and the Deep South, HIV rates among segments of the black community approach those of countries in Africa.
And yet, as I pointed out last year, the Democrat Party's leading lights deliberately blocked and eliminated the change to the funding formula for the Ryan White CARE Act that would have sent more Federal money to those areas based on their actual incidence rates and lack of existing resources. Instead, the formula previously used, which provides a disproportionate amount of money to coastal metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City, was left in place.
After all, which is more important; providing education, prophylactics, and medication to poorer and predominantly-black areas, or providing Grey Goose, caviar, and linen tablecloths for white gay liberals' fundraising galas?
My favorite line, from pro-life blogger Jill Stanek: "Were Tom Coburn aborting babies free instead of delivering them free, there would be no investigation; there would be an awards ceremony."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Adding to domestic oil production in Russell, Kansas. Hometown boys Bob Dole and Arlen Specter would be proud.
My grandparents' backyard. You can almost smell the roast beef and mashed potatoes cooking.
Final stop: NDT's folks' house, 9:31 PM -- twelve hours, seventeen minutes (although only eight hours and two minutes of actual driving, with the rest being eating, visiting, and eating some more), and 547 miles later.
(and oh yes, I flew back yesterday - with four hours of my life I will never get back again lost in LAX).
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Of course there was a photo op.
Vail Pass, Colorado -- 10,662 feet above sea level. Stay there long enough and John Denver suddenly starts to make sense.
Fortunately, it was downhill (literally) the rest of the way.
Final stop: Denver, 5:29 PM Mountain -- eight hours, twenty-five minutes, and 513 miles later.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Problem is, it has to get to Kansas to do it.
Which is why, first thing this morning (7:20 AM Pacific), I piled a few changes of clothes, some snacks, and enough Muscle Milk Lites to fuel a small health club into the 3 and pointed it east.
First rest stop -- Truckee, California. Ten points for historic value.
Third rest stop -- Elko, Nevada. Minus fifteen points for aesthetics.
(Before you ask, yes, there was a second rest and fuel stop outside Reno, but really -- how many more slot machine and tour bus pictures does the Internet need?)
Final stop: Salt Lake City, 7:22 PM Mountain -- eleven hours, two minutes, and 738 miles later.
Tomorrow: destination Denver.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Now, for a few from more recent times.
The Wings, Gustavo Santaolalla (Gabriel & Dresden Mix)
Children, Robert Miles
And of course, who could forget....
Top Gun Anthem, Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens
Monday, July 07, 2008
The first was a 1985 Mercury Lynx, aka Ford Escort, with four on the floor and featuring one option -- FM. The car had a double-size heater, but no air conditioning -- perfect for Minnesota, from whence it had come, but exactly the opposite of what was needed in the Southwest. The perfect car for a fourteen-year-old (farm kids get special license privileges); practical, plenty of space for fertilizer bags, and as much speed as 65 horsepower can summon.
Next upsize: 1985 Ford Tempo GLS, this time with five speeds AND a cassette player -- which did nothing to make up for its similar lack of A/C. This car holds the record for most unbreakable; one of my cousins is STILL driving it.
1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra. I swapped the Tempo for this to stop my grandfather in ice-prone Missouri from giving it to my grandmother to drive. Long story. Dumb luck winner; of the 5,000 of these that Ford made, only 500 had factory T-tops, and mine was one of them.
Which did nothing to lessen the sting of the $5,000 in restoration work I put into it (at a rice-paddy minimum wage charge for my labor).
1991 Ford Explorer Sport (only in silver and black trim). My first new car, purchased because the King Cobra on ice was roughly akin to a hockey puck. It lasted twelve months before I got sick of it and its twitchy winter driving and went to a.....
1992 Mercury Topaz XR5. This was an incredible car; phenomenal on snow and ice and with everyday bodywork hiding an engine, transmission, and suspension lifted straight from the Ford Probe. It could even dust the gaspy Camaros and Mustangs that haunted our little college town -- while carrying four people and their luggage.
1996 Ford F-150 Eddie Bauer. Hands down winner for the Pretty, but Useless Award; my father, bless his good intentions, traded off my Topaz for this (without telling me), but the combination of a Ford inline 6 coupled to a 2.73 rear end meant that the only horse trailer it could pull was a mini. Hence, it quickly was replaced by a......
1992 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4 diesel, which, 250,000 rodeoing miles later, was replaced by a......
1996 Ford F-350 Powerstroke dually. Are you sensing a trend?
The 2001 Ford
2001 Ford Mustang GT convertible. Oh yeah.
2003 Ford F-150 XLT -- the end result of my then-boyfriend persuading me that a butch cowboy type like myself looked better in an F-150.
Three weeks later, of course, we broke up.
This is where y'all came in.
My poor little 2005 Saab 9-2x Aero. It lasted a little over a month.
And you know the rest of the story.
Although, as it turns out, given my new BART-only commute, the Mazda3 is going to my parents, and the Geo will be the new standard-bearer for the once every two weeks I actually drive something somewhere.
I look forward to the simplicity.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Just wait, there's more.
When federal law enforcement authorities demanded that San Francisco halt the flights and began a criminal investigation, the city decided to house some of the dealers in long-term youth rehabilitation centers. Some of those centers are run by a nonprofitcompany called Silverlake Youth Services in mountain towns southeast of San Bernardino.
Eight Honduran juveniles who had been convicted of dealing drugs in San Francisco were sent within the past few weeks to the company's group homes, where one month's placement costs $7,000 per youth - an expense borne by San Francisco taxpayers.
Within 10 days of being sent to the unlocked group homes, however, all eight youths ran away, said Bill Siffermann, head of juvenile probation in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Mayor Gavin Newsom insisted that he doesn't "have the authority" to order around the head of the Juvenile Probation Authority and its oversight commission, instead claiming that "the courts" were the ones forcing these methods.
Interesting, when you consider that Newsom appointed the head and the entire seven-member commission, neither of which report to the San Francisco court system and both of which report to him.
On the other hand, District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is responsible for prosecuting the criminals in question, could not be reached for comment -- probably because she's too busy trying to ensure that San Francisco's policies go national.
It makes one feel so good to know in a time in which the City is slashing services for law-abiding taxpayers left and right because of a ballooning deficit that it can not only afford punishment-free, expensive trips and vacations for its illegal-immigrant drug dealers and gang members, it can advertise for more of them.