Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm Sick of Obama, But In A Good Way

Not that I ever believed a word out of his pretty little mouth, but Barack Obama has gotten on my last long-suffering, its-fun-to-watch-them-implode nerve. There is a reason why he is doing so well against Hillary's machine: he's as cynical, jaded, ruthless and callous as the Clintons.

That people even attribute any doe-eyed optimism to the hope-change man baffles me. Obama just strikes me as hard and smooth--like the head of a hammer.

So rather than blab endlessly about this Chicago phenom, I'll just link to what other, smarter people are saying and everyone is saying something. Oh! And that's something else that bugs me. Do you notice how the whole Reverend Wright blab-fest keeps one name on everyone's lips? Obama. Obama. Obama. It's like musack to Obama's ears. It doesn't matter that what's being said is bad--it just freaking great that everyone is talking about him. Makes me wonder if he'll trump up a love child or past crack buddy just to keep his name front and center.

Ace's opinion is morphing. He smells conspiracy.

The Anchoress smells the Clintons. And did you know that Hillary is going to have to testify in a fraud case? Sigh. Obama and Clinton are the best the Dems can do.

Dan Collins is writing teh ghey love sonnets to Barack. It's really quite sweet.

Rachel has the best headline. Duh! "Obama snaps his fingers and says,"Oh no you didn't!" Oh yes, she did.

John Hawkins notes that the Kos Kidz are kalling Kobama (ok, that just got old) an Uncle Tom. Maybe I'm not so sick of Obama. This is fun!

Jim Hoft reports that Obama has turned to another suspicious character for love and wisdom. It all feels so Oprah. But hey, the new guy is white. Is Obama building his white cred, now?

Michelle Malkin on jive talkin'. Money quote, "It’s not Wright who has changed his loony tune." I just thought it was time for some musical entertainment.

Yes, Beth, Obama does think we're that stupid. He has from the beginning, though. And damn, if he hasn't been right so far.

Ann Althouse reads the whole thing this way:

Surely, we'll have a movie someday that will flesh all this out. Jeremiah and Barack. In my screenplay, Jeremiah the main character. He's the one with the fire and the complex problems and emotions, the jealousy that turns him to villainous betrayal.
I don't know. How betrayed can you feel when your bud's stock in trade is vile venom? It seems to me to display an ignorance of human nature.

Enough for now. Update later.

Chloe Marshall Bares....A lot

Remember Chloe Marshall, the plus-sized chick going for the beauty pageant in England? Yes, well, there was a swimsuit competition. What do you think?

Chloe is.....
NOT free polls

Welcome to the Frakking Dark Side, Wachel

You guys have known, for some time, that my blog husband is Brendan Loy. Yes, yes, we've discussed the minor detail that he's married and spawned a cute little turnip with his wife, Becky. But whatever! Oh, and there's the small issue that he's jones'n for Obama. And oh yeah, he likes some Catholic team that sucks...can't. place. the. team. Ah well, we have our minor differences and I ignore them, because, otherwise, Brendan is super fantastic and shares so many of my arcane interests it's like we're twins, but then, we couldn't be blog married. That would just be nasty.

Watch out, Brendan, you have competition. I'm officially in love with Rachel Lucas. I'm shocked, too. Men have always been my thing, but sometimes, you just are caught unawares. You guys saw it coming, probably. The crash helmets for safety. The ebullient use of the word "fuck". The insightful opinions on everything political. The crush became too much to hide when she made it first on my list of lady bloggers. Rachel is so much more than a super awesome blogger: she's a super awesome TV watcher. She binge watches TV. She hears about good shows, ignores them and then gulps them down in a spasm of gluttony. All my life, I've traversed this little blue marble thinking I was the only, only one. And today I found my TV soul sister and I just feel....complete somehow.

I've binged watched TV shows multiple times. Only one show gave me gastronomic distress: Sex and the City. Like chocolates, the SATC episodes are meant to be taken one at a time over time. Watching them altogether made me physically ill, killed some IQ points and basically turned me into a cynic about all things women and single, but I digress. Back to Rachel and her awesomeness. She has finally decided to imbibe in the perfection that is Serenity and Firefly. She knows now, like Adam knew Eve, the sublime, frakking fantasticalness of Battlestar Galactica. And yes, she learned the way it's best to learn (the way I learned, so of course it's the best), by gulping them down whole. Here's what she says:

So I decided to post about it, because I know some of you nerds watch that show and maybe sometimes you want a nice, safe place to go to where you can talk about Cylons and Lords of Kobol and frack and how intriguingly sexy President Roslin is. So here you go. You’re welcome.

UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot to mention this, but guess what is driving me completely fucking bonkers? Check it out. About a year ago, I watched one episode of Firefly. Loved it, then got busy. At birthday time last week, I remembered it and how bad I NEED to see the whole series (one season! it’s a travesty!) and the Serenity movie, so I put them both on my Amazon Wish List. Both were bought (thank you, givers - you will be getting a personal card in the mail), and the Serenity disc has arrived, but not the Firefly disc!

Do you see my agonizing dilemma? It takes ALL MY WILL not to go ahead and watch the Serenity movie just to get my fill of Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau and Jewel Staite (I have serious borderline lesbionic crushes on those last two). But I know it will be better if I wait and watch Firefly first. So I am waiting, and it hurts. Hurts so bad.

You know, Rupert, I don't want to frighten you, but you really picked a horrible time to decide to be called up by Uncle Sam and go serve in Iraq. I hear that you get a long weekend with Rachel coming up. You better make it count, buddy. I hope it's comforting, to know that she'll be well cared for--at least in cyber fantasy land.

Hey, don't judge the love.

Plus, just to remind you guys of my dork cred:
Tigerhawk asks, "Is John McCain a cylon?" My only thing is this: Why'd they go and make a cylon with a faulty arm? Does it have some special fighting capability? Is the arm actually weaponized? That's my theory. It's not just an arm, it's a diversion and a weapon. Makes him look old, but he could kill you. I believe that anyway. McCain scares me.
And there's this about Joss Whedon's possible misogyny. And if you're not a big enough nerd to know who Whedon is, I guess I'll just have to tell you. He's the writer/director of Firefly and also of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I'm sorry, mom. I really am sorry. Why couldn't I be like other girls and watch Desperate Housewives? It's a relief to be out of the closet.

Roger Clemens: Typical Baseball Player

Key word: player. I know a couple women who were baseball groupies. That is, they knew the players and carried on with certain men of certain teams. Two things seem to be par for the course, or is that home run for the field, in baseball: drugs and women.

I know, shocking. Athletes will do anything to get an edge and like living on the edge. It is the rare athlete who doesn't do those things. It now seems like Roger Clemens wasn't all that rare.

By the way, the woman pictured at left isn't the woman he supposedly carried on with since she was 15. The woman pictured is his wife.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol Liveblogging--UPDATED

Do Neil Diamond's songs not translate well? Simon was right about the first five. Ew to all of them.

Jason Castro's soulful eyes cannot overcome his sucky, sappy vocals. Bleh.

David Cook. First, who does his hair because so splattered on the side of his head it's distracting. But he does a great job with this song. He's a rock star. Period.

Brooke needs to go. I'm sick of her. She has pretty blond hair and blue eyes that look they'll cry all the time.

David Archuleta--Blech! And everyone loved him. Why? I don't get it. I realize who he reminds me of: Rick Astly. Oh yeah, that's him. Weird voice going with a little body.

Syesha needs to go too. She's beautiful. She has a nice voice. She doesn't stand out.

Here's the order as I see it: 1) David Cook 2) David Archuleta 3) Jason Castro 4) Brooke White 5) Syesha Mercado.

UPDATE: Sister has some good stuff about AI.

I think I'm sick of American Idol again. (But Sister Honeybunch is in love.)

President McCain

I told you peeps this a month ago, but you know it's official when Dilbert agrees with you.

Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Cover--UPDATED

This was my thought exactly when I saw the Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana cover for Vanity Fair:

Last night, I decided to show the Vanity Fair photo to my daughter, because I knew she’d eventually hear about it from friends. Her reaction was what I expected from a third grader. “Mom, she doesn’t look that good,'’ she told me.

I agree, but for different reasons. To my daughter, Ms. Cyrus just looks unkempt without the trademark cute clothes and hair she sports on the Disney show “Hannah Montana.” But to me, the photo of a 15-year-old wrapped in a bed sheet with tousled hair has a disturbing Lolita quality.

She looks like she's just recovering post-sex from a vigorous romp in the bed. I think that image is exactly what Ms. Cyrus and probably her parents, too, were going for. They want Miley to grow up and growing up in Hollywood land means morphing from childlike innocence into slut.

At fifteen, fifteen!, Miley isn't a little girl anymore, but is she this image? It just feels wrong.

UPDATE: Commenter Jeff sees this:

Bloggers Are People Too!

Even as a blogger, I tend to view them as mythical creatures. Bloggers are these special species of humans that think deeper thoughts, know more knowledge, and have secret access to cryptic information.

Today I met a real. live. blogger. Turns out that we live near one another, have very similar political philosophies and feel the same way about Jeremiah Wright. Of course, at this point, I'm pretty sure Barack Obama feels the same way about Jeremiah Wright as I do.

Will Obama's backpedaling work? Kathleen says yes. Regrettably, after that delightful lunch, I'd like to agree with Ms. Sparkle, but I just can't. Obama's tap dancing is a little too little too late. Jeremiah Wright damaged him before and he hung in. Now, Wright has taken his narcissistic, hate-filled rants and pointed them at Obama. Obama can throw the "crazy uncle" under the bus, but it's too late. Crazy Uncle did some major damage. It won't hurt Obama in the primary. It will hurt him in the general.

By the way, do you think Hillary is paying Jeremiah Wright?

Mumps Outbreak In Highly Immunized Population

Yep. I got mumps. My husband and his brothers got mumps and we were all immunized. Here's the study showing the biggest outbreak of mumps in recent American history and most of the people were immunized:

In a study reported in last week's New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several Midwestern state health departments examined the 6,584 cases in the Midwestern outbreak. They found that the incidence was four times higher among people 18 to 24 years old than in all other age groups combined. This was despite the fact that 84% of the mumps patients in that age group (and 63% of the patients overall) had received the recommended two doses of mumps vaccine.
Immunization does not confer 100% immunity. And the problem with this outbreak is that mumps is relatively harmless in children. Uncomfortable, yes. Miserable, yes. Deadly? No. But in young adults, it can cause sterilization and reproductive problems.

McCain's Mania

John McCain's personality quirks (aka his explosive temper and small man's complex) will be ameliorated by the separation of powers. So says Christopher Hitchens. I don't know. Will the separation of powers diminish Hillary's paranoia or Barack's passive aggression? Doubtful.

The president's personality does affect the tenor and vibe of America's image in the world. No separation of powers can help that.

Sex Is Sacred

I should be in bed, but a rant is bubbling and I want to post it before heading to the land of nod. This is what currently disturbs me in our Sex In The City society: Sex is treated with contempt.

The change occurred back when birth control became ubiquitous. Women could have sex as easily and without consequence as men and so women took on the behavior of the most hound-doggish men. It has not been good for either men or women.

Oh, usually, when this topic comes up, the discussion turns toward STDs or unwanted pregnancies or abortion. And those are important discussions and a terrible side-effect of sexual promiscuity. But there is a more day-to-day effect of promiscuity: the devaluing of sex itself to the point that it's purpose beyond reproduction is distorted beyond recognition.

Sex is not just to make babies. Sex is not just for physical pleasure. Sex is a sacred gift between two people.

Here's an irony that I've noticed: the women who put out the most seem to like sex the least. You read that right. Because sex matters so little to them, they use sex as a tool to get a man to like them or they use sex to have physical touch or they use sex for attention. The point is, they use sex. And then, when there is no more use for sex, they stop giving it up. That's right. They don't like it or value it that much anyway. They give it to anyone and everyone. And, imagine their eventual husband's shock when it stops being given. "But we had so much sex before we got married!" Uh huh. I have a newsflash. She didn't like it then, either. She was using sex to use you. And, it worked.

No one values anything that comes cheap. Why do men and women give away the gift of their body and soul as if it is worth nothing?

Sexual intercourse is more than a physical coupling. It is a powerful union, a special gift. DNA is exchanged during sex. Both people are literally changed by the experience. And this is awesome. When someone has multiple partners, gives the gift too soon and to a stranger even, a barrier goes up emotionally. How can it not? A person has to divest himself of emotional vulnerability in an act that succeeds based on making oneself vulnerable. Long term, I believe that this behavior is incredibly damaging to the heart and spirit of a person. The emotional distance becomes a habit. This is not so easy to turn off once in a loving, committed relationship.

A guy friend of mine told me that he couldn't understand why a woman would give up sex soon. He could see absolutely no benefit to her by doing that. And yet, women do this all the time these days. They are lonely or horny or believe that to "get" or "keep" a man, that's what is necessary. But what kind of man does this woman want to "get" or "keep"?

Maybe it seems like I'm being too hard on women and not holding men responsible. Maybe. But let's face it, women are the gatekeepers. And when they keep the gates swung wide open for anyone and everyone, it devalues the commodity. And that's where were at societally. When something becomes cheap and ubiquitous, it loses it's value. Loose women are a dime a dozen. Why do women complain about men not committing again?

Men are responsible, too. By treating every woman as a two-bit whore, they value all women less. And eventually, they bring that attitude to the woman they eventually commit to. How can they not? It used to be that hound dog men were looked down upon. But now, a man who views sex as something special and is choosy about how he shares it is scorned as prudish and backward. Or, his sexuality is questioned.

The gender wars keep waging in part because sex is so misused and abused. A lifetime of intimate betrayals causes a man or woman to distrust and despise the opposite sex. These hurts and wounds scar a person's soul. And like a physical scar, the person's heart becomes less flexible, less functional and rather ugly. A person may even get to the point of forgiveness for past sexual hurts, but the memories will affect the present. And very often, the person saddles his or her true love with side-effects of those memories.

I guess I just wish, very much, that people would consider their ways and keep, ever present in their minds, the partner of the future that they will love with their whole heart. Eventually, hopefully, a soul mate will come along. This person will be so special and wonderful and incredible that anything less than everything will feel like not enough. The problem will be that along the way, too much was given away, treated with contempt and diminished. A tentative, self-protective barrier will have to be either broken down or navigated around in the relationship. Sex will have been a tool used by and against a person instead of being a sacred gift to give someone.

Does this sound old-fashioned? Probably so. It certainly isn't third-wave feminist ideology. And it certainly isn't a modern notion. That's really too bad. Sex can be used as a sacred power to bind. Today, too often, it's being used as a power to destroy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Conservative Women Who Date Weirdos...Evidently

When John interviewed me about dating, I shared my story about List Man. Well, that's nuthin'..... But of course, that was before online dating. Part II of the dating story is up.

Now, one of my favorite bloggers is Megan McCardle. She has to have a 180 I.Q., her takes are just so smart. Or maybe I'm just intimidated by statistics and economics. It's probably both. Anyway, she is interviewed by John. I was the only woman last time who didn't really care so much about whether a guy considered himself conservative or not. Megan encapsulates my feelings here:

Have you dated liberals before? If so, any difference you can tell between liberal and conservative guys -- or liberal and libertarian guys in your case, either or?

I have dated all three...No, I wouldn't say that there is a difference. It sort of depends on the conservative guy. I haven't dated a lot of hardcore social conservatives for obvious reasons, but I think that the danger with the liberals and conservatives is that if they are living in an area where they're dominant, they can be quite set and unimaginative about their political ideas.

But, it's the personality of the guy. I've dated generous, bleeding heart libertarians and conservatives and sexist, annoying liberals. It's really the person, not the ideology.
There are some funny as heck stories about weird dates. Go read them. Sometimes I really wonder what men are thinking. Good grief! Also, these women are gorgeous. Don't tell me there aren't good, smart, beautiful women out there guys.

You find what you're looking for.....

Happiness Is....

Two kinds of ice cream, ala Charlie Brown? See if you can follow these findings:

Larsen and McKibban then calculated the extent to which people want what they have and have what they want. Their findings show that wanting what you have is not the same as having what you want. While people who have what they want tend to desire those items, the correlation between the two was far from perfect.

The researchers found that people who want more of what they have tend to be happier than those who want less of what they have. However, people who have more of what they want tend to be happier than those who have less of what they want.

So, happiness is two things: wanting what you have and having what you want.

Being happy means knowing yourself well enough to know what you want. Hold on. That's not as easy as it sounds. Too many people have no idea what they want and are dissatisfied all the time. It is far easier to articulate what you don't want than it is to articulate what you do want.

And then, when a person gets what he wants, what he really, really wants, the key to happiness is being appreciative of what he has so that the happiness doesn't wane. Or, he can just sell what he doesn't want anymore and buy what he does want.

Happiness is about being authentic and about being grateful. Which brings to mind one of my favorite books which I haven't shared for a while, but is worth bringing to your attention again.

H/T Hotair

I'm Not Japing You

This link goes out to a reader, you know who you are, who loves the word "jape" and has just been waiting to see it actually used in the real world. Gotta love the BBC! Those Brits know a good word when they look it up in their thesaurus.

Spinning Dancer

Sort of related to right and left brain, but more fun. You know that image of the spinning dancer? Well, here's an explanation about it. Pretty cool.

Wanna Vote? Bring A Picture I.D.--UPDATED

The Supreme Court upheld Indiana's law requiring voters to bring a photo ID. It makes no sense not to have this law. Sheesh! You can't buy a six pack of bud without an ID but you can vote?

This finding is a major blow to the Democrats intent on having all those illegal immigrants and dead people vote for them. It's been a bad day for the Lefties. Aw.....

UPDATE: Ann Althouse has more on the breakdown of the decision.

Black People Are Right Brained, White People Are Left Brained: So Says Jeremiah Wright UPDATED

Now, ponder if you will, what would happen if a prominent white pastor made this statement. We don't even have to think too hard. Remember the hew and cry over Lawrence Summers' statement that men and women are different? That seems to be stating the obvious. But for a white person to say that a black person's brain is different, when there is zero evidence to support this assertion would smack of, what is the word I'm searching for? Oh yeah, racism. It's okay, though. The racist in question is black.

Michelle Malkin says:

If he’s this comfortable mocking black/white differences in front of media cameras, I can only imagine what he says in private to his faithful black liberation ideology adherents.
Michelle has a great round-up as usual with all the accompanying video of Pastor Right Brain. He also says that white people clap differently than black people. So, does Barack Obama clap like a white person or a black person?

And for those of you thinking that this isn't relevant, keep in mind Obama calls Wright his "spiritual mentor". For twenty years he's been letting this nonsense soak into his soul. I find it difficult to believe that the ideology he sought out weekly didn't affect him. We choose our churches and pastors, who they are and what they preach reflects who we are and what we believe.

UPDATED: Glenn Reynolds thinks that Jeremiah Wright is sabotaging Obama. Sure looks that way. The only other explanation is that he's a fame whore and doesn't mind killing Obama's chances so he gets to be the center of the media universe for a while. If that's the case, Obama must be ruing his excellent judgment about friends and associates. And I wonder. Does he now regret not booting the "crazy uncle" to the curb?

A reader asked what I make of the Bill Moyers nonsense. Well, I linked to the best piece on the whole debacle yesterday, but I'll link to it again today. Jeff Goldstein followed up with his own thoughts, which are precisely mine on the subject. He just says it better. So go read it.

Studying the Abnormal to Understand the Normal--UPDATED

I never bought the premise of abnormal psychology--that to understand the normal you have to understand the abnormal. The problem with this educational focus is that psychologists tend to put everyone in the abnormal category. It's a changed point of view. Instead of normal people with a few weird things about them, people are abnormal and it's a surprise when they're normal.

Anyway, here's an example of bizarrely weird behavior. But it's not the incestuous, kidnapping freak that I'm interested in. It's the wife who "didn't see" the behavior for over twenty years. How do you have a daughter go missing, not report it to the police, and not notice that your husband is going to a hidden room a lot at the precise time your daughter disappears. Oh and you are not given access to the room? How the hell does that happen?

There are always going to be people at the end of the freak spectrum, but so many of them survive there because other people don't step in and stop them. It's the people who see and ignore who fascinate me.

UPDATE: More information and pictures about this craziness. Again, how does a mother not know?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shameless Plug and Organic Stuff

Just a quick note, here. Have you noticed that I have an advertiser right now? That big block with natural skin care products is paying me actual money to advertise here. How cool is that?

A reader asked if I had used their products. The answer is no, I have not. That being said, I will talk about buying organic, natural products for a minute. This is something that I try to do anyway--but organic. Even my dog gets organic food even and he deserves a swift kick in the ribs not the super excellent dog food. I'm still irritated over his apparent passive-aggression. This morning, the cute fluffy white cotton ball of a dog jumped up on our bed and peed in the middle of it. Not a little spot mind you. Oh no! He emptied his pint-sized bladder on the white comforter cover. And yes, he'd been let out already. And yes, he's now generally potty-trained. It was purposeful.

For those who believe that dogs and cats don't have free will, I'm here to tell you, you're wrong. My friend's big, fat, irritating cat pees and poops on her pillow whenever he's mad at her for not giving him enough attention. If she goes out of town, the pillow gets it. For some reason, she thinks it's funny. I, on the other hand, do not find any sort of pet excrement on my bed amusing.

So even this rage inducing canine gets organic food and I'm here to tell you he doesn't deserve it. But my kids do. Now, I'm not super mega anal about the organic thing, but I try, as much as possible to buy organic food. Certain things seem to make a huge difference when they're organic, taste wise. Chicken is the most dramatic. I don't know, nor do I want to know, what happens to regular chickens, but the difference with organic chicken is so obvious it's a tad disturbing. Other things like fruits and veggies make a difference when fresh and organic. There is even an organic vodka I like called Rain. Good stuff. Great packaging.

Anyway, I do think it is valuable, when at all possible, to buy organic. It is just one more way to minimize your intake of antibiotics and if the animals and ground are treated better, that's a bonus, too.

So, take a look at NaturOli's products and buy some, too! You'll be supporting me and you'll also be buying some products that are natural and plant based. They look really good. Also, if you would like to advertise here, let me know. You guys know you're smart and there's more of you reading this than I ever imagined would care about what I have to say, which actually calls into question the first assertion. Nah, I stick by it. You're smart.

Republicans Redeeming This Election Any Way We Can

Does anyone love John McCain besides his family and Joe Lieberman and certain segments of the press? I've pondered before that moderates get no love because they tend to piss everyone off--kinda like countries claiming to be neutral. Pick a side and stay on it. McCain claims to transcend politics, to be motivated to do what is "right" no matter the issue. He isn't political, he's principled.

Bull and shit.

John McCain's overarching principle is John McCain. As far as I can tell, he's the only one he's interested in serving. And that makes him different from other politicians, how? What is unique about John McCain is that he doesn't go to the trouble of even attempting to pander to his constituents. He's balls off about making it clear that he will do things his own damn way. North Carolina can suck his butt. Conservatives can bite his hiney. He just doesn't care.

On this delightful backdrop, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama duke it out for their party's nomination. Democrats kvetch that Republicans are too smug. Or "smiling too much", whatever. At this point, Republicans are looking for something, anything, that is remotely encouraging about this election. We're settling for entertainment.

The Republicans changing party affiliation get the pleasure of irritating Democrats while not-so-subtly flipping McCain the bird. Yeah, we'll end up voting for him because we actually care about our soldiers and it is somewhat satisfying that McCain's craziness will frighten would be terrorist states. But it's not all that comforting. We know McCain. He actually has a record, unlike the no-talent-ass-clown Democratic contenders. He wasn't a community activist. He put his activist pet ideas into practice as a Senator. Lucky us!

Conservatives, libertarians and Republicans know the press will manipulate things to favor their Anointed One no matter his Black Liberation Theology. It's more than guilt by association. It's guilt--Obama is embarrassed to be American. Obama has some work to do to convince America about the content of his character and worthiness of his ideas.

The Right also know that Hillary will schlep on until the very end. She's not a quitter, no siree. So why not her help her in her quest? It's something fun to do while waiting for the inevitable.

And what is the inevitable? Well, one of these three is going to win the presidency and none of them are particularly impressive. For conservatives, it's choosing someone who will do the least damage. It is hoped that that person is John McCain.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cult Week

They're all the same, cults, I mean. At the foundation, it's about money. The methods are exclusionary, paranoid and totalitarian. Agent Bedhead has a post about a couple escapees from Scientology, one the niece of cult leader David Miscavage. It's interesting watching.

Here's the thing: no one currently in a cult believes they are in a cult. They are brainwashed. It is impossible to have a rational conversation with cultists because they are irrational. You have to be irrational (not stupid, mind you, because many, if not most of those enticed by cults are very intelligent--the "secret" or "special" knowledge is what is so appealing) to embrace the beliefs. Each cult has it's own brand of crazy. For Scientologists it's thetans (can you say Satan, with a lithp?). For other groups it's something else just left of weird. It can't be too crazy, just unique enough to make the believer feel special.

But the beliefs piece ignores what cults are really about and that's money. Having a vast following of dedicated believers has its perks--usually big houses, big private jets, big buildings, big lifestyles. Big is expensive and followers paying through the nose fund the leaders. And it is all justified because if more people believe, more people will be saved so it's very important to Send. Your. Money. Now!

Traits of cults here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Der Commissar

More on the Canadian Human Rights garbage. Mark Steyn says:

I don't have as low an opinion of Canadians as Barbara Hall and Jennifer Lynch do. I don't believe your liberty is the conditional discretionary gift of hack bureaucrats advised by Marxist theorists. You defeat bad ideas — whether Nazism, Marxism, jihadism, Steynism or Trudeaupian pseudo-"human rights" mumbo-jumbo — in the bracing air and light of day, in vigorous open debate, not in the fetid corridors of power policed by ahistorical nitwits.
You know, I feel the same way about this as I feel about the dull-witted security screeners at the airport: There is no way in hell that bureaucrats are keeping the delicate ears and sensibilities of Canadians safe any more than the totalitarian nitwits at the airport keep us safe from terrorists. And they are all just doing their job.

Meanwhile, freedom ebbs away.....

The End Is Nigh

Jeff Goldstein laments the state of the world: Amanda Marcotte wins a book deal and is on a book tour? The Apocalypse is upon us.


This is just disturbing on so many levels. Who says knobby Leftist MSM editors don't have a sense of humor?

More Teenage Mothers From Polygamist Compound

Twenty-five more women under the age of 18 are baby factories in service to the polygamist FLDS cult. I mean they are mothers of children who have been taken custody by the great state of Texas. The notion of children being yanked from parents who love them is repugnant. The notion that children are being used to serve pedophiles disguised as religious leaders is also repugnant. I wonder how old these girls are and how old they were when they were "taken" as wives.

By the way, I continue to cover this topic, not because it is salacious, but because it has serious implications all the way around. This is a church-state issue. Civil liberties of all Americans are at stake here. Casting judgment on polygamy is studiously being avoided by the press (substitute Muslim polygamists anywhere you see Morman and then you'll know why no one dares say anything). The behavior of Child Protective Services is coming to light. In short, this case touches many American sacred cows and it's worth paying attention to them.

Girls and Sex and How What Goes Around Comes Around....

How is it that our culture is over sexed and at the same time, no one is getting laid? What is the deal? And why do people have such exciting premarital sex lives and then it comes to a screeching halt once marriage hits? Do women feel like they have "bought" the relationship with their bodies and now associate bad feelings with doing that? I wonder.....

John Hawkins has an interview with Carol Platt Liebau who wrote the book Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!)". It's worthwhile to read and I thought this bit about side-effects of sex too young was particularly important:

They include regret, anxiety, shame, the inability to trust men, and trouble forming permanent committed relationships later. You know, John, it all makes sense. If you're the kind of young woman who doesn't understand why it's important not just to have sex with any guy that wants you to, you're probably going to be prone to seeing some of the less attractive sides of male behavior. If you see that over and over's going to be difficult to learn how to trust men because you've never gotten to see the finer or noble side of men. Of course, it's going to be difficult to forge long term relationships later, because if you don't trust men, then on what basis are you building when you finally find a man you'd like to spend your life with?
And this goes both ways. When men habitually treat women like objects to be used, and then decide to finally settle down, they shouldn't be surprised that they meet up with a woman who has been treated just the way he's treated other women. Suddenly, it bothers him, though. He loves this woman and doesn't like the idea that other men treated her so poorly and then he has to pay the consequences. What goes around, comes around and all that.....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quityerbitchin'.....Every Once In A While, At Least

Oh wah! Life. Is. Not. Fair. Get used to it and be thankful it's not.

Today, I was reminded of this simple truth when I bid farewell to my dear sister as she moves to the next phase of her life in another hemisphere on another continent and just when I was starting to like her, too. Not fair!

Today, I was reminded of this simple truth when I read Rachel Lucas' rant about tax credits for parents when she, a responsible, single, pay-through-the-nose, employed woman is getting oppressed by the man just because she chooses to leave her womb barren. Not fair! (Kinda, read the comments. Personally, I think it's not fair that Rachel isn't writing me a check for actually producing progeny who will be wiping her ass in her old age, but whatever. It's all a matter of perspective.)

Today, I was reminded about this simple truth when I read the men commenting about their wives never ever ever ever having sex or desiring it ever again. They are stuck in a sexless, seemingly hostile, relationships. Well, they're as stuck as anyone is who lives in a country where a divorce is relatively easy to come by. Not fair!

Today, I was reminded about this simple truth when the Wall Street Journal writer Brett Arends suggested stock piling staples in the face of fierce inflation. I was still smarting from filling up my glorious gas-hog of a Suburban. It's going to get worse. Not. Fair.

In fact, if I let myself think about it, I have a great bloody list of grievances. Life is not frigging fair! I'm sure you can do the same thing. That's one of the allures of blogging actually. Every day, I can spend bitching about some injustice and there are plenty of them. And the stupid government and Leftists create more daily, so I have multitudinous ways to complain.

Still, most of us have it pretty damn good and need to stop once in a while and remember that. Gratitude is a great elixir for what ails us. Let's face it. We Americans are spoiled rotten. We have more stuff than we need. We have more ways to communicate and stay in touch. I was considering this recently. I have a couple deaf friends. Not too many years ago, communicating with them would be a challenge, but now, between texting and IMing and webcams, I can stay in touch. Ditto military personnel. Ditto my friend in Australia. Ditto my sister half-way around the globe. So far away isn't so far. That's a huge change. Consider soldiers in WWII waiting, waiting for mail at the front. Now, soldiers can stay relatively connected. Isn't that awesome?

Not that life is easy. Shit. We all have huge burdens that we carry. I have yet to see anyone who is spared difficulty. Right now, a friend's son is literally pulling out his hair. He has cancer, like I told you guys before, and now, his hair is falling out. He is six. Thankfully, he thinks it's cool to pull out chunks at a time. Another friend's baby needs cranial surgery and the surgery has been postponed twice. And then there are the hundreds of children being ripped from their mother's and the only life they've only known. This is a big deal here, locally, and service groups are at the ready to help these poor children.

Even with an unfair life, is it possible to not get everything we want and be happy? I think it is. In fact, it is my recommendation that you try to find happiness before things go well. For many years, I thought that I'd wait to get happy until certain things happened. That gave a lot of power to people and circumstances that didn't seem to give a hot damn whether I was happy or not. So, I spent a lot of time waiting and being miserable. An interesting thing happened, though, when I decided, fuck it! I'm going to be happy whether fill-in-the-blank happens or not. For me, this was the beginning of a life change.

Now, I still bitch and complain, a lot. I mean, I don't have to tell you this. You come here (hopefully multiple times a day) and you know this. So, I'm not trying to be all pollyannish. It's just that, having gone through some really, really shitty times, it's beneficial to back up and take stock and be grateful when things are pretty decent. Things could be worse.

You know, "fair" would be my kid having cancer too, right? "Fair" would be lacking food to feed my kids. If this world were fair, if life were fair, many of the great things in my life wouldn't happen either. Fairness is overrated. It's just better to be grateful and happy here and now, while working to fix the injustices.

And don't worry, I'll still be bitchin'. I just wanted to take a break for a minute and acknowledge that life is pretty good.

Polygamists Consent to DNA Testing To Get Kids Back

I wonder what will happen with this:

A man who identified himself as Rulon said he has six children who have been taken by the state.

"I think it's an embarrassment for the state to require this. We have broken no laws. It makes me feel like a criminal," Rulon said as he left the Schleicher County Memorial Building in Eldorado.

About a dozen women also submitted themselves for fingerprinting, photographing and DNA testing to be compared with the children seized from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

State District Judge Barbara Walther on Friday ordered all 437 children in state custody, and their parents, to submit to DNA testing so authorities could establish identities and family ties.

Well, establishing paternity and maternal age and the ages of the kids should get his kids back pronto, right? Where is the state going with this?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mom's Diet Can Determine Sex of the Baby?

Well, I've heard about other techniques and used them myself. Curious? Well, for a boy, have sex right at ovulation and make sure the woman has an orgasm to help the weak male spermies get to the egg. For a girl, make the baby a few days before ovulation, no orgasm (sorry ladies). I don't know if this was how I got my boys and girl or not, but there was some intent there with the first kids. The latest kid, we just wanted one. And we got one.

So, to up your odds of the boy or girl or whatever you'd like, change your diet too. Make sure to eat your breakfast if you want a boy. Oh, and eat bananas.

Why Your Sex Drive Sucks

There are many reasons people have low sex drive. Guy friends find this amazing, but there are men who don't have any sex drive either. This makes for frustration all the way around. There are solutions to low sex drive, but behavior will have to change:

  1. Hormone imbalance--There are many causes for hormones to be off. Low fat diets, either too much body fat (increases estrogen production) or too little body fat, sluggish thyroid function, perimenopause for women, low testosterone for men, etc. It is one of the first places a person should look for low sex drive. Daily exercise where a person works up a sweat and a diet changes can make a huge difference here.
  2. Medication--Blood pressure, cholesterol lowering, birth control pills, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds and many, many other medications can kill sex drive. For those of you with blood pressure problems or cholesterol issues, know that you are trading sexual function for the luxury of eating your macaroni and cheese without stopping your heart. There are trade-offs. I've had a diabetic tell me with a straight face, "I'd rather die than stop drinking Coke." Well, okay, some of you are trading your sex life for the pleasure of eating junk. Just be aware that that's what you're doing.
  3. Messed Up Priorities--Do you really have to watch Sports Center again at 11:00 p.m.? You had a window and it slammed shut with your wife's tired eye lids. Get the kids to bed before your own bedtime. Putting kids to bed at 10 or 10:30 makes for sexual frustration. You're just too tired to do it. Turn off the TV, the computer, the book, the phone calls, the kids, the housework, whatever, and get in bed in time to have sex.
  4. Body Discomfort--Or, for men, you hate your wife's body. Rarely do men not indulge in sex because they're ashamed of their body, but women are often ashamed of their flaws and avoid sex just so they don't have to get naked in front of a guy. Men, you can go a long way to making your woman feel sexier. Tell her how hot she is. Touch her. Make it clear that you like her body the way it is and she'll be more likely to give it to you. Women, get over it. He doesn't care. He just wants it.
  5. You Hate Your Lover--Oh, you don't want to admit it, but there it is. Sex requires a certain amount emotional engagement. Some men and women find themselves nearly impotent because they cannot imagine having sex with him/her. Their drive is gone. Men are as prone to psychological impotence as women, here. It's called unresolved anger. Find a therapist and resolve it.
  6. Masturbation substitutes for the real deal--It's faster. It's easier. It's less demanding. It can be fit in to the routine. It's convenient for the emotionally stunted who have trouble in a mutual relationship. Whatever the issue, it's a substitute. Maybe it's not no sex drive, maybe it's misapplied sex drive. If you're in a relationship, it's unfair to divert the attention away from your mate.
  7. Busy-ness--This is related to messed up priorities. A packed schedule demands rescheduling. Sex is important to the contentedness of a relationship. Put it on the schedule. The fatigue that comes from stress and running around must be dealt with for there to be enough energy to even want sex.
  8. Physical or mental illness--Depression kills desire....for anything. Anemia causes fatigue that interferes with any activity. There are many illnesses that cause problems with blood flow and energy. The underlying sickness needs to be dealt with first. The low sex drive is secondary.
Sex drive is a complicated thing. The most important thing to bringing it back is the desire to have it. There are many women and men who just don't care about it, which might be fine for them. But a relationship means trusting the other person to be there for you in this way. If you're not willing to get thing straightened around for you, how about trying to for your partner?

A healthy sex life can make life a lot more fun for everyone.

Zoo Pictures

What the heck! Thought I'd share a good Zoo day with you folks. Oh and one cool Astros picture for good measure.

Babies with their mamas and bodily functions seem to hold everyone's interest. The elephant is 18 months old and was stomping through the food and trying to get out of the fence to the people. They seem so social.

Even a fearsome beast like a Bengal tiger seems less imposing when in disposed.

The bear responding to our cooing and baby talk, just like a dog. His ears perked up. He turned and watched us as we left and seemed genuinely sad to see us go.

I know, I'm anthropomorphizing, but isn't that what everyone does at the Zoo?

For the record, the Astros won.

"I Hate Secretaries Day"

I think this sentiment speaks for lots of people--bosses and secretaries:

Perhaps my impatience with Secretaries Day springs from job dissatisfaction, as an executive assistant at a New York-based magazine suggested when we mused about why the holiday creates bitterness. True—in my mind, I should be the boss. And I resent being reminded of my slow progress up the chain of command every year.* Those of us who yearn to be professionals, not administrative professionals, tend to bristle at the idea that we're just boosters for the big boys and girls. (Don't get me started on the perversity of National Boss Day, Oct. 16.)
Just a heads up, bosses. Administrative Professionals Day is like any other Hallmark created moment. You might be tempted to ignore it, but I wouldn't suggest it.

Obama: Excusing Violence

It just occurred to me, after reading James Lileks excellent piece about Obama buddy, and former terrorist, Bill Ayers, that the reason todays Leftists sympathize with al Qaeda and Hamas and any other nefarious regime bent on suppressing their people, is because today's Leftists are or would like to be the regime. They never stopped being those people who, while rebelling against the regime, now find themselves with the delicious possibility of enacting their revenge as the regime.

Lilek's juxtaposition of a Chicago Trib editorialist, who writes with the objective nostalgia of grandma recalling porches and lemonade, with his own interpretation, says it all. Here's just one example, but you need to read the whole thing. It's sickening, really:

Second, you have to wonder why Stephanopoulos, who has been resurrected as a television commentator, thought to ask Obama about . . . Bill Ayers.

Lileks: Because of Mr. Ayers’ illustrious past as a domestic bomb-planter, perhaps. Strange as it may seem some people have a few questions.

Obama knows Ayers, a former radical and member of the Weather Underground who is now an academic in Chicago. They met years ago. They served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which provides money for anti-poverty efforts.

Lileks: These are magic words, meant to inoculate: Academic. Anti-poverty efforts. You may believe that an “academic” is someone devoted to a disinterested pursuit of truth bravely following logic down the harrowing corridors where ideology is the first casualty; you may also be a freshman in college with your tuition paid by your parents. There’s a touching na├»vete about the description of Ayers as a college professor, as if that means he has entered a realm of pipe-smoking rumination about Truth and Beauty. Doesn’t that make him an Authority? Aren’t we supposed to question Authority? Note to Dick Cheney: get yourself to the Department of Political Science at the U of Wyoming, and watch those calls for war-crime prosecutions melt away. The editorial also notes that it's difficult to move in Chicago academic circles and not encounter Ayers, and no doubt truck drivers and housewives and guys heading to the office on the train nodded in agreement: boy, true dat.

Mayor Daly says,"I don't condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over.”

It was a difficult time. What a wonderful absolution. Oh, we all went a little mad. Some of us listened to Steppenwolf, some of us bombed government buildings and plotted robberies that killed people, some of us were rotting in Vietnamese prisons having our teeth bashed out by torture experts. Those days are behind us now, best forgotten. (Unlike the McCarthy era, which will be the subject of 163 movies about the blacklist next year, bringing the total to 45,203.)

You know, it may be hard to find a candidate who doesn’t belong to a church whose leader delivers eyebrow-singing speeches on the evils of America and also built a house Jim Bakker would approve, and it may be hard to find a candidate who doesn’t move with ease in the same social circles as some people who bombed the Pentagon, but it can’t be that hard to find one who doesn’t do both.

The premise of the editorial is about how the press was mean to Obama, after ten days of not talking to the press at all, mind you, and daring to ask him marginally challenging questions. How dare they question? Don't they know who they're talking to? Don't they realize that by bringing up tough subjects they could be standing in the way of history? Don't the journalists, bloggers and pundits see how historic Barack Obama is? Don't they realize that their nit-picking will undo the future of the greatest leader the world has ever known? Don't they realize how unfair it is to pick on Obama's pals?

The Leftists who support Obama and his merry band of former terrorist (Powerline link on the terrorism of Ayers, go read it), America-hating thuggish "academic" friends can do so because they were of the same ilk. They are the same ilk. The rebellion, the rhetoric, the murder, the mayhem is like sweet music to their ears. Obama's subtle turning of phrases, his willingness to tap into the well of resentment bears the mark of a true fearless leader.

But the leader has to have support. The leader has to have minions to excuse his bad judgment and encourage and justify the rhetoric and oppression. He has no shortage of those. Paul Auster writing in the New York Times recalls, fondly, his youth where he was a nascient protester and reluctant rebel, yet still believes the ideology today:
I hesitate to draw any comparisons with the present — and therefore will not end this memory-piece with the word “Iraq.” I am 61 now, but my thinking has not changed much since that year of fire and blood, and as I sit alone in this room with a pen in my hand, I realize that I am still crazy, perhaps crazier than ever.
At least Auster admits it, because there is zip that is rational coming from the Leftists today. Their ideology is as fraught and inherently contradictory as ever. Maybe that's where the crazy comes from. Glenn Reynolds says:
It was the poison of Vietnam that made people crazy. And, apparently, has kept them that way ever since.
People uncomfortable with authority figures tend to be the worst authority figures. Rather than wear the mantle of leadership responsibly they overcompensate and in so doing rule ruthlessly. Anyone who disagrees with the ideology is suspect. Paranoia, delusion and crazy reign. There is no shortage of crazy surrounding Barack Obama.

Cult Kids Sent To Group Homes

The polygamist kids are being sent to group homes:

Child welfare authorities have said the children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints likely will not go to traditional foster care families, but to larger residential settings so groups of up to 20 siblings can remain together.

They will be going to public schools and have "house moms", but not their own mothers.

Your Boring Job Is Shrinking Your Brain

Now there is proof of what you feared all along: that your boring job is killing you--or maybe other people--one brain function at a time:

Monotonous duties switch our brain to "rest mode", whether we like it or not, the researchers report in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

They found mistakes can be predicted up to 30 seconds before we make them, by patterns in our brain activity.

Scientists are working on a device that would amplify the brain sound of a mistake about to be made, but I think an old fashioned system works best. Rewards for few mistakes, punishments for when they happen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

White Men Can't Jump and They Just Can't Win

Nora Ephron has her granny panties in a bundle. I'll nutshell it for you (pardon the pun): white men suck. They are what is wrong with the world. Women, on the other hand, are awesome. Just ask Nora. Bleh.

Cassy Fiano rants:

And what's interesting is how Ephron sneers at the "suffering" white men receive at the hands of mean women, and points out how these white men are "somehow" able to rise above affirmative action, feminism, and the myriad of benefits handed to minorities simply for... being a minority. The difference, my dear Nora, is that most white men don't see themselves as victims. A lot -- but not all -- of minorities, feminists, and liberals do. Therefore, when white men are presented with overwhelming obstacles, they find a way to overcome them. A lot of people who are women and/or minorities do this, too, but it doesn't fit into the "WHITE MEN IN POWER!!" screed.
Women are angry, because men are stooopid and they still get all the power. Really? Rachel Lucas has another winner of a lady bitching about men, specifically her husband, which is so nice. I'm sure that's helping their marital relations.

You know, men don't talk about this bullshit much. I mean, what can they do? If they are white and own testes, that pretty much disqualifies them from noting that these women are resentful shrews intent on gaining power by making sure someone loses power.

The last thing we need is another class of victim, but sometimes I can see why men would want to band together and form a group to fight the matriarchy. Damn, they're annoying.

H/T Dr. Helen

How Much Do We Really Change?

Sorry to wax philosophical, but I really wonder what your opinion is about this. Do you think people can change? I mean, really, truly change.

Here's my perspective: People are born with certain traits. It is their essential self and personality. Layered on that is the environment we're brought up in--the beliefs, ideals and thinking patterns that we're taught. Layered on that are the "life changing" traumas that redirect us.

It is my opinion that we spend our life trying to get back to our essential selves, our true self.

A friend of mine totally disagrees. He feels that people can change everything about their personality. That we are malleable. Shy, sociable, assertive, passive, etc. are all traits that can be changed.

Who is right?

People can change any part of their personality.
Strongly Agree
I don't know, Maybe
Strongly Disagree free polls

Being Green: Why Try?

Does anyone feel like littering, leaving a mess, chopping down trees for sport or eating chemicals is a good thing? No on feels that way, do they? And yet Americans are being treated like apathetic no-minds most days.

But really, what can be done about the environment other than caring for our own little patch of land the best way possible? That question is explored nicely in this article.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Evidence China Is Trying To Kill Us?

Contaminated heparin from China has killed 81 Americans and been found in 11 countries. Is this accidental, sloppy, malicious? China needs to focus on quality control otherwise, their humming engine for economic growth is going to slow down.

The Zoo

Hey folks, leaving the political zoo today, to go to the real zoo.

Here's a look at the animals before I go, though:

Jimmy Carter--what do you think? A squirrel? He definitely likes hoarding nuts.

There's a pain in Spain. What's the greediest animal you can think of? Do loan officers count?

The Press bring clucking hens to my mind and when contained create a pecking order. They have one, but not for themselves.

What animals eat their own again? Oh yeah, hyenas. That's a Leftist for ya.

Making laws to outlaw what is already outlawed that no one abides anyway make sense. Chicagoans are Do Do birds.

Is there an animal that is a cross between a chameleon and a peacock? I know, it would be freakish union, but maybe I can talk to some of those geneticists and make it so. H/T Conservative Grapevine

Okay, that should keep you voyeurs busy for now. I'll see you on the other side of a family experience.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Michael Yon's Book

Hey, ya'll (I never say that in real life, but it sounds endearing doesn't it?)! Anyway, I got the Micheal Yon's signed book Moment of Truth in Iraq. Yo, Michael! Looks good, so far. If you want the real story of what is going on in Iraq, read this.

Go Danica Go!

Does it make me sexist that I'm psyched that a woman won an Indy race?

Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.
And yet, I wouldn't feel psyched if Hillary Clinton won the presidency. So, maybe not.

Polygamy, Cults, and The Constitution

Over four hundred children have been parted from their parents, the second mothers, their third mothers and their cousins who may also be their sisters and brothers. Good luck to the authorities trying to figure it all out. The case is a colossal mess. What to do?

Reading excerpts from a former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints member, Carolyn Jessup is truly disturbing reading. As time has progressed, the church seems to have descended more into madness--but that's what happens when one man's inclinations are taken as gospel. Whether it be a dictatorship or a cult leader, totalitarian regimes take villainous turns. Mugabe, Castro, Hitler, Mussolini, Hussein, Stalin, Chavez, Jessup, name the man, pick apart his particular psychotic tendencies and you'll see his paranoia, brute force, sexual deviance and whatever other perversion he prefers become encouraged and enforced with either the state's or God's authority Himself behind the tyrant.

What to do, though, when the dictator claims religion as his cloak? In America, this is sticky business because none of us are much interested in the state poking their over enlarging noses into our religious and family business. This case is disturbing, in this respect. Hundreds of children, over 100 of them babies, have been parted from their mothers when there is no indication of abuse or neglect. Coupled with this, the women are brainwashed victims themselves. Some of whom had children as young teens themselves. They know no different.

The children and adults have been taught to mistrust the state authorities and lie. So, the only way around this is paternity testing which will no doubt reveal egregious cases of incest and abuse. Then what? There are two directions this will go and I think this will be the ultimate result, but I'm not sure it's right:

But this isn't just about sexual abuse. There is a whiff of cultural imperialism here. This is about further marginalizing an already-marginalized way of life - one person's religion, another's cult. Texas is taking on polygamy itself, FLDS polygamy specifically - its pervasive oppression of women, all-powerful patriarchy and molding of children's minds.

The Rangers didn't round up just the potential victims of sexual abuse (12- to 18-year-old girls). They didn't stop at criminal behavior. With reluctant and sometimes subversive victims, Texas child advocates have shown no consideration for different family groups, distinct styles of discipline or actual proof of specific abuse. Paternity testing will clear up some but not all of those questions.
Okay, let's start with the first assertion--cultural imperialism. Do we all become "wards of the state" when the state draws the line here and there? Polygamy is objectively wrong. I have many reasons for believing this, but it's a diversion to go into right now. I wonder. Does the author believe that to outlaw incest is cultural imperialism? How about statutory rape? I mean the ages are arbitrary and who is she or anyone else to say that a pubescent girl of 12 who is menstruating isn't ready for marriage and children? How about bestiality? This case will ultimately forward the idea no lines should be anywhere.

The crimes are what I'm concerned about. Welfare fraud. Statutory rape. Incest. And, if polygamy is against the law, polygamy. That's the only thing the state can address. And since everyone will lie or be confused, DNA testing is the only way to get to the bottom of it. And families will be split up. For now, though, the children who aren't being abused, should be with their mothers and sent back to the compound. The boys and girls who are "married" or are otherwise victims need to be kept safe and sound until this is sorted out.

Ultimately, I worry for the average family's rights. But children deserve a chance to be safe until they have consent. Consent is impossible under a dictatorial regime and even more so under a cult regime.

Cross-posted at RightWingNews.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Knowing When To Hold 'Em & Fold 'Em

Part of growing up is discarding foolish notions. Maybe you thought you'd be a pro baseball player or maybe, a calendar model. Some dreams, you just have to let go of....some actually have a chance. It's knowing the difference.

As an aside, Kenny Rogers looks good!

Flu Vaccine Works For Shit

How many times do I have to tell you peeps that the Flu vaccine is utterly worthless? To reiterate: the flu virus mutates constantly. As in, the flu that your buddy gets three months from now is not the same exact flu you suffer with today. Furthermore, the vaccine for this year's flu is made from LAST year's flu virus. Researchers guess what strains will predominate and make the vaccine based on that.

This year, as in last year, they guessed wrong. Again.

Each year, health officials - making essentially an educated guess - formulate a vaccine against three viruses they think will be circulating. They guess well most of the time, and the vaccine is often between 70 and 90 percent effective.

But this year, two of the three strains were not good matches and the vaccine was only 44 percent effective, according to a study done in Marshfield, Wis.
The only people who benefit from the flu vaccine are the pharmaceutical companies. Now, I do not give a rats rump if they make money on other legitimate products. More power to them. But the flu vaccine is a complete fraud.

What does 44% protection mean? Does that mean that of the viri out there, you'll be covered almost half the time? According to the CDC, about 3-20% of the population gets the flu each year. How much money goes into vaccinating the 97-80% of the people who don't get the flu? In addition, how many people in the hospital were vaccinated, but got sick anyway? Remember 56% of the viri are not covered. So a vaccinated person will likely be vulnerable to the majority of the viruses that cause the flu. Nice. And it is possible that 1.5% to 9% of the population will be the ones covered effectively by getting the vaccine. Is that worth it? Is the expense every, single year, worth it? Is the trouble worth it? Would you have a surgery if it had a 1.5% to 9% effective rate?

Here's the deal: Every couple years, you're going to get the flu. It will make you miserable. It will boost your immune system. And you'll likely be safe for a couple years. The flu sucks. If you're a sick or weak person, it could kill you. But there are risks in life and the flu vaccine doesn't cover enough of them to make it worth it.

Ever Just Want To Start Over?

Some people want to, and then do it.

Earthquakes In Mid-America

God must be mad at Madison and St. Louis. Earthquakes hit there and people are a little shocked. I, however, am not shocked, because I watched the most terrifying National Geographic special ever not too long ago that predicts a cataclysmic earthquake in that region that would flood hundreds of miles and reroute the Mississippi. So, it could get worse up there people. Don't say you haven't been warned.

I lived through a 6.2 magnitude, I think it was, in California back in the day. The epicenter was about five miles away, maybe less, and it was disturbing, to say the least. I was actually underground, working in a building as a janitor, essentially, and had no escape. So, I stood in a door frame, waited for it to pass, and then came the aftershocks. But the mot distressing thing was the reaction of some people. A friend of mine continued to work. He just couldn't fathom the danger or what happened. I had to guide him out of the building. He was completely checked out. Another friend, sat, bug-eyed for about three hours and shook. He could not integrate the experience.

A weird thing: While walking to work that morning, I didn't notice but later realized that it was deathly quite. No animals were singing. No usual sounds. And it was quiet for some time afterward, too, as the aftershocks rolled through.

Another weird thing: When I lived in Michigan, a tornado ripped through our town, skipped our house, but not our neighbors houses. Typical weird stuff, like furniture being pulled through windows. Anyway, the sounds from that tornado and the sound, underground, from the earthquake were exactly the same. Both sounded like a huge herd of horses or a train rumbling toward you. It was the sound of massive, unchecked power and it was terrifying and humbling. All you can do is hope you live and surrender to it, because there is nothing you can do besides try to get to safety. And many people were too overwhelmed to do even that.

Obama Flips Off Hillary

Yes. He. Does. See for yourself (h/t Ace):

Here's another angle:

Over at StoptheACLU, the theory is that it was just a scratch. Looking at it both ways, I don't think so. Looks intentional to me.

Imagine....the President of the United States, the leader of the free world. What in the hell?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Art Baby

Three horrendous art stories in one day, so I'm including them altogether. First, about me.

Did I tell you guys the story about the artist I briefly dated in college? No? Well, I might have and I'm retelling it here because it's relevant. He and I worked together in college publications. He did the art. I, along with some talented writers, did the copy and editing and some design here and there. We got along great professionally and dated a bit. During the dating time, he thought it would be fun to do an experiment for a speech he had to give about appreciating art. So, one day, we went to a local well-known gallery and Jon brought the drop cloths he used for his painting. He presented them to the gallery owner as "art". They were just canvases filled with pain splatter. The gallery owner was enthusiastic, ebullient even. Jon and I just looked at each other trying not to laugh out loud. It was ridiculous. The "art" had no form or structure, no beauty and it was a dirty mess, besides. That passed for art. And that was the point of Jon's speech.

These days, all sorts of crap passes for art. It can be brutal, base, degrading, formless, and empty and be called art. Here are a few examples:

John Hawkins notes how a starving dog was tortured and it was called art. John says it's "shockingly cruel". Only if you have a moral compass:

A Costa Rican artist - Guilermo Vargas Habacuc - has generated international outrage with this work of "art".

He took a starving dog off the streets of San Jose, Costa Rica and tied it up in an art gallery. Food was placed where the dog could smell it - but the poor creature could not reach the food. The dog starving to death was Habacuc's work of art.

You want an example of the slippery slope of an art world where anything goes? This is just an extension of the moral depravity of artists like Robert Mapplethorpe with his bullwhip in the anus... of Andrew Serrano with "Piss Christ"... when you have acceptance of works like those, it is not a tremendous moral leap to starving a dog. It's all a matter of degree.

And I told you about the girl who (supposedly) got pregnant and caused abortions for art. Now, Allah says that it can't possibly be true. And that was my first instinct--that it was all a hoax, but in this day and age, you can't be sure. Still, I was wondering what "herbal" concoction she was taking to induce abortion and why she wouldn't have thought it important to visit her doctor after creating "multiple" abortions. Allah says:
Via Gateway Pundit, it can’t be real. It’s too broadly parodic of too many things: the trivialization of abortion, modern art’s fascination with effluvium, amoral academic culture justified as a form of faux-profound “consciousness-raising,” etc etc etc. All that’s missing is some sort of representation of Christ as a gay Nazi.
Right. The problem these days is that, how do you know for sure?

And finally, the piece d'resistance: Stomping on the flag. It's like, so totally, edgy, man. Rachel Lucas says:
Assholes. Well, if the right to put flags on the floor and walk on them is protected by the First Amendment, then so should be the right to pick those flags up off the floor out of respect. College kids and liberals never do seem to grasp that, eh?

She has the video and lots of comments, too.

Art, my ass. This is about personal notoriety at the expense of others. This is also known as exploitation.

More on exploitation as art here and here. In these cases it's children.

Stuff You Should Know

Did you know that if things don't change you'll be required to use fluorescent light bulbs? Did you know that because so much corn and other grains are being used in biofuels that people in third world countries are starving? There are consequences to "feel good" policies that are economically and ultimately, morally, stupid.

Remember Ollie Johnson, dead at 95. I do. He's the guy who poured his soul into my favorite Disney film: Jungle Book.

If, you're so inclined.....a round-up from last nights stupid Democratic debate. Okay, I had to come back to this. Harrumph. Ann Althouse said the only quotable thing I've read, here it is:

2. Obama has always had a blandness about him. When you're feeling good about him, you project your hopes onto that blandness and he seems wonderful. When you're anxious about him, you think he's effete and ennervated. He's always the same.

A reader chastised me for leaving Neo-Neocon off of my list of favorite bloggers with ovaries. Dude, I'm including a link here, but that kinda proves my point. There are lots of awesome female bloggers. Am I misogynist to forget her? And, by the way, I had forgotten that Neo was a girl. So there. I'm gender blind....or at least stupid.

I listened to the President's and the Pope's address yesterday and was profoundly moved by both. I considered blogging about it, but knew the Anchoress would do a better job and so I just lazily waited for her to get her posts up. Hell, I do the same thing with weather and Brendan Loy or Maxed Out Mama and economics (she says to hold the mass suicide) or Ann Althouse and law (the Supreme court considers the death penalty for child rapists). I know my limitations and they are myriad.

The Kos kids threaten a revolution if Obama doesn't get the nomination. They fatigue me.

I talked about abortion before and the topic just won't die. And, it shouldn't. This link goes to one of the most disturbing things I have read yet, about the subject. But you should know. Can you imagine a college girl inseminating herself over and over, inducing abortions and then using the dead embryos and fetal tissue in an art project? Guess the college....Yale. Money quote:
"I hope it inspires some sort of discourse," Shvarts said. "Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it's not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone."

And on that happy note, I'll got teach my kiddos something rational. We're learning division.

An Obama Win In Pennsylvania

At least Brendan Loy hopes so:

Perhaps I'm being a pollyanna-ish member of the Cult of Obama here, but I think there is a real chance the voters of Pennsylvania will rise up and, once and for all, reject the endless, party-destroying "gotcha" tactics of Hillary Clinton, and choose the candidate of "change." It would be the backlash to end all backlashes. I'm not predicting it. But I think it could happen.

And it would be so sweet if it did.

Brendan, I think you might be smoking some of that fine sleep-deprivation dope all of us parents smoke. Here's the thing, if Obama seals the deal and actually wins over those he insulted in Pennsylvania, he's losing in the general election. And that's my prediction. Want to put down a friendly wager? With your track record, I think I might actually have a chance.

P.S. I loath Hillary, too. Just want to let you know we have something besides Tolkien and basketball in common.

Do Parents Even Like Their Kids?

According to this childless married man and writer at Reason, Ronald Bailey, the answer is no:

"Economists have modeled the impact of many variables on people's overall happiness and have consistently found that children have only a small impact. A small negative impact," reports Harvard psychologist and happiness researcher Daniel Gilbert. In addition, the more children a person has the less happy they are. According to Gilbert, researchers have found that people derive more satisfaction from eating, exercising, shopping, napping, or watching television than taking care of their kids. "Indeed, looking after the kids appears to be only slightly more pleasant than doing housework," asserts Gilbert in his bestselling, Stumbling on Happiness (2006).

How about this theory? When society was agrarian and people needed kids as workers and companions, there was more enjoyment inherent in having children. Now, have a big family doesn't facilitate work, it can inhibit it. So, for parents who are high achievers, having a big family conflicts with the goal of self-actualization. In a sense, parents are forced to serve two masters.

Working takes a parent away from children and that causes guilt. The parents associate guilt with their children which they don't like. They try to devote their free time to their kids. They live polarized lives. But to not work, to stay home and exclusively raise children, can be isolating and unfullfilling especially when a woman has educated herself and imagined a career.

And yet, people have kids. Why? And they claim to love them. And when I look around at the park, I see demonstrations of devotion and happiness and love. One of the best things about having kids is reliving childhood. Getting on the floor and playing with them. Teaching them and watching the light-bulb moments as they learn. Having one climb into your lap and hug you and say, "Kiss, Mama. Kiss!" (That actually happened to me today.)

Children help their parents grow up. Children encourage parents to plan for the future. Parents become more optimistic because they see growth and they desire the future to be better and work to make it so.

Parenting is self-sacrificial, if done even remotely right. And yet, while blissful happiness might not be the result, there does come a satisfaction with serving someone and being a part of something greater than this moment. And as proud as we are at our own accomplishments, nothing, absolutely nothing is more satisfying than seeing our kids succeed.

I'll grant that having children is not all sunshine and daisies. Parents know fear and loss and anxiety like they never experienced as childless people. Parents feel the pull of self-fulfillment verses serving their child's needs. Parents trade some of what life has to offer to give time, money and resources to their children.

This whole discussion seems like a justification for childless couples to explain away their life choices. No one should have kids if they don't want them. But why does it seem necessary to find data to support childlessness or having fewer children? This seems to be straining, given the data used.

H/T Maggie's Farm