Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Icky Thump

Jack White is a genius.

My favorite line is "Well, you can't be a pimp and a prostitute too."

I enjoyed the irony of Spanish subtitles in this.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Some have called the song sappy or lame, but I think that it's beautiful, poetic, and tragic. Had I made the following presentation, I would have changed the timing of some of the slides differently, and I would have included a few different ones here and there. However, it's still a nice sample of Van Gogh's work.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Ron Paul and a Rant

Good Lord, I wish that more readers read this blog. I wish that I could reach out and embrace people and tell them that we can accomplish something good. I wish that I had the power to introduce everyone to Ron Paul.

Unless you are a bandit who wants government to redistribute wealth from the producers to the non-producers, unless you are a tyrant who wants government to tell people what to produce and what to consume (and how much to consume), unless you are a fool who thinks that the government is an instrument of socio-economic change, then you should support Mr. Paul.

All other Republicans are socialists in facists' clothing. All Democrats are socialists in communists' clothing. All together, with Mr. Paul as the exception, are demagogues who play upon your fears.

Mr. Paul is the only major candidate for president who not only knows the constitution but adores it. His record as a congressman shows that he doesn't just preach limited government. He practices it. He believes that human beings are born with natural rights. These are not rights granted to us by the state. We are born with these rights. As Jefferson said, all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." And the only purpose of government is, as Jefferson also said, "to secure these Rights."

Look at the other candidates. To them, the government exists for far more. Consider what happens to your liberty when you grant the government that much more power. Power to the government is paid by your liberties.

You are not better off less free. What separates man from the beasts is our ability to think freely and abstractly. Defer this right to the state, and you are by definition less of a man (or woman--I must make room, after all, for Surrealist!).

I belong to no one else. I am myself, and I am my own. If I could hold Locke's so-called "Social Contract" in my hands, I would tear it to pieces because I have yet to experience a government with true respect for my rights. How am I held to this so-called contract if I never signed it?

What's mine is mine, and I'll take it and keep it and covet it. Unless I wrongfully take what is yours, then leave me alone and call your government off, for it has no right to my life, my liberty, or my property.

Vote Ron Paul

Monday, October 22, 2007

St. Natalie

Before you read this post, I'll introduce you to a new term. "Eddie" is my mother's new husband. I won't call him my step-father because a). he didn't raise me, and b). he's only nine years older than me. While my mom wants the kids to call him "Grandpa Eddie," I tell them to call him "Mr. Ed" (of course, of course). It's not that I hate the guy, it's just...well, that's another post for another day when I've had too many fermented beverages.

The story begins after mom and Eddie left following Robbie's christening. They had purchased gifts for Mark and Robbie, but had not done so for Natalie due to not knowing exactly which Hannah Montana DVD's she already had. However, they departed with a promise to send her a gift.

Here's the story, which takes place a few days later (about a week ago).

Natalie, my dear, sweet daughter just the other day looked down in the dumps. My wife asked, "What's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing," Natalie replied." It's just that I broke one of the ten commandments."

"What did you do?" my wife asked.

"Oh, I was jealous because Mark and Robbie got gifts from Eddie, and I didn't," she confessed.

The next time that I get angry with her for whining and such, I hope that I remember her sorrow at having envied. "The faith of a child," indeed. Of course, she ended up receiving a Hannah Montana DVD in the mail shortly thereafter. And, of course, I have at least reminded her three or four times that "Honor thy father" is also a commandment...

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Nobel" Gas That's Not Inert

So Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize, even though his work has neither promoted nor secured world peace. In fact, Gore's plan for us would lead to widespread global poverty, to such an extent that tensions would almost certainly increase, making war between nations and civil wars much more likely if not extremely probable. Ladies and gentlemen, that's called irony.

On the other hand, if Gore can win a Nobel Peace Prize, then there's really nothing stopping me from winning the Nobel Prize for Literature--the award being based upon this blog, of course. Sure, this blog isn't really literature, but it's pretty clear that the Nobel crew doesn't really give a darn about truth or merit.

Click on the following link to read an interesting article that mentions, among other things, the potential and likely benefits of global warming.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Now?

When will the maddness stop? When can we get on with our lives as we intend to live them?

When you turn out for Ron Paul, that's when. Everyone else is the same old trash: a little socialism, a little fascism, a little mercantilism, a lot of tyranny.

Don't say that I didn't warn you. Go for anyone else, and you'll get more of the same but worse.

Universal Soldier

Forget the video. Just listen to the song.

A Pretty Good Guitarist

I just happened by this on youtube. It's not bad (for an understatement)

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

A simple but awesome video backed by a mindlessly cool song.


We lost our first football game in over two seasons by a score of 14-18. Alas!

Why did we lose?

Reason #1: Three fumble losses.
Reason #2: 50 yards in penalties.
Reason #3: Scant downfield blocking.
Reason #4: Defensive Ends did not contain (All three opposing TD's came from sweeps).

I told the boys that we would go undefeated this season IF we played with our heads. We did not play with our heads. Therefore, we are not undefeated. Alas!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Christ or Hitler?

Here's a false dilemma for you.

T.S. Eliot wrote that any nation unwilling to be Christian can pay its respects to Hitler or Stalin. As much as I like Christianity and loathe Hitler and Stalin, Eliot's statement is a logical error.

Making the alternatives to Christ as bad as Hitler and Stalin is a dishonest comparison. Especially when other alternatives may be no better than George W. Bush.

Am I a Hater?

I was on a tirade about people whom I hate (e.g. Hugo Chavez, Al Gore, George W. Bush, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Abraham Lincoln, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Rudi Giuliani, Vladimir Putin, Osama bin Laden, Scott Baio, etc.), and a friend quipped that I seem to hate everyone.

My response was simple. I hate everyone who presumes that I am an idiot. I hate everyone who thinks that he or she can make my life better by telling me what to do with it. I hate everyone who's hands are in my pockets. I hate everyone who thinks and acts as if the world exists to serve her (e.g. Hillary) or him. And I hate Scott Baio for the same reason that I hate Ben Affleck (I take it that I don't have to explain this).

I do not hate everyone. I do not hate anyone who leaves me alone to live as I choose and to enjoy the fruits of my own labor. I do not hate anyone who strives for justice truly. In short, I do not hate Ron Paul. Vote for him. I've never had faith in the electoral process, but if Ron Paul makes it, then I will convert! Do it for me, but do it moreso for America and humanity in general.

But I hate Scott Baio, and there's nothing that can shake me of that. Al Gore and the rest can admit publicly that they are liars and demagogues, and I'll let them slip away into obscurity. But not Scott Baio. Damn him. Damn him forever. I cannot forgive Charles in Charge. Besides, we all know that Buddy was the heart and soul of that show.

Bad Day

I coach 7th grade football. We've not lost a game in three years, but that's not my point (the point of that was to brag).

Today, as my team suited up, the assistant principal of the school at which I coach came into the locker room and asked for a particular boy. He--the assistant principal--was there because this boy's mother and uncle were waiting in the office to tell the boy that his dad had just died.

I asked what happened, but the AP didn't know. All he knew was that the kid's dad was dead.

On more than one occasion, I recall uttering "Jesus," to myself.

We located the boy, and he was just about finished donning his equipment. I saw that he was happy. The only care that he had in the world was whether or not he would play second or third string in tomorrow's game.

I pointed him out, and the AP asked him to come with him to the office. The boy said, "OK," and waited to go. The AP asked him to change back into his clothes, and the boy complied. However, I noted a distinct confusion in his face, as if he was thinking, why am I going to the office? After changing into his regular clothes, he said, "OK," and the AP told him to grab all of his stuff (e.g. his backpack). "OK," the kid said, and I could see that he was baffled.

I wanted to reach out to him and give him a hug, but I knew that I would only add to his confusion. Instead, I watched him leave: confused but still happy. He had no idea that he was living the final moments of his life in which he thought that he still had a dad.

I was, by this time, somewhat nauseous. I was five years old when my own father passed away, but my father died of cancer, and it was not a surprise even for a five year old. This kid, however, had no idea that his dad had just hours earlier keeled over with an apparent heart attack.

The next time that you think you're having a bad day, try to think of this kid who was getting ready for football practice, smiling and talking to his buddies, and then led away to be told that his father was a corpse.

Al Gore and Another Note

I enjoyed the following article, forwarded to me by Golf Guy. It's about the whole Al Gore getting the Nobel Peace Prize. Perhaps George W. Bush is next, since he has helped so many rest in peace.


Also, my dear old aunt (great-aunt), actually, took my advice and went to see 3:10 to Yuma. She disliked it. One of her primary complaints was that the pistolship of the antagonist was too accurate, and that much of the violence was unrealistic (especially the marksmanship).

Of course she is correct in noting that the skills necessary to do what is done in the film exceeds likelihood, if not reality. However, I decline to accept that as a real reason to dislike the film.

There's a difference between reality and realism in movies. A good movie can take something utterly unreal and make it realistic, in that you accept what is happening without complaining. Based on Russel Crowe's portrayal of Ben Wade, the film's antagonist, I, at least, was able to believe him capable of such fast and accurate shooting. The desperateness of Christian Bale's protagonist, Dan Evans's, situation allowed me to excuse the fact that a man with a Civil-War era prosthesis was able to leap from rooftop to rooftop.

If I let reality interfere with my entertainment, then I would dislike some of the greatest movies ever made, including Star Wars because things can't explode in flames with great noises in space. I would hate Disney/Pixar's Toy Story because toys aren't alive with personalities, and I would despise The Chronicles of Narnia because it is just plain silly to think of talking beavers and all of the other utter nonsense.

I suppose it's a matter of being able to suspend disbelief. It's why were're able to say, "It's just a movie." If we couldn't do that, then movies would be pretty dull.

On the other hand, this criticism came from the same woman who urged me to see Victor/Victoria...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two Mark Quotes

Today I trimmed my beard a bit. While I was doing so, Mark looked up and asked, "Why are you doing that? Are you trying to look like me?"

A few days ago, Mark found Natalie's school ID. "How did Natalie get a driving license?" he asked in disbelief.

Ron Paul is Bill Maher's New Hero

Just in case you don't click the link in the article below.

Ron Paul Article

I took the liberty of lifting this article, written by a friend. It is originally posted at lewrockwell.com.

FAQ on Ron Paul
by Bob Murphy

In the interest of providing a one-stop introduction to Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy, I offer the following list of Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Who’s this Ron Paul guy I keep hearing about?
A: Ron Paul is a 10th term U.S. Congressman from Texas. He held office from 1976–1977, then from 1979–1985, and then again from 1997 until the present. He ran for president on the Libertarian ticket in 1988. In his private life he was an ob-gyn, who received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine.

Q: What are Ron Paul’s political views?
A: Ron Paul is a strict constructionist of the U.S. Constitution. Because he votes against any Congressional bill that is not authorized under a commonsense reading of the Constitution, people call him "Dr. No." Lobbyists learned long ago not to bother taking Ron Paul out to dinner or a baseball game.

Dr. Paul is dedicated to liberty and limited government, in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson. As such he opposes the welfare state, but he also opposes the warfare state. To him, this is not an eclectic blend of "conservative" and "liberal," but rather the only consistent position that is very distrustful of the central government in D.C. After all, conservative Republicans know only too well that efforts to fix the economy and help the poor – through taxes and regulations – always backfire and end up hurting the very groups whom the compassionate Democrats want to help. But by the very same token, why should we trust the same government to send bombers and tanks across the ocean in order to liberate entire countries and give them peace and democratic government?

If elected, Ron Paul pledges to bring the troops home immediately, abolish the IRS, and end the failed War on Drugs. He is personally pro-life (having delivered many babies) but believes abortion is a matter left to the states – this is again a reflection of his principled belief in the federalist design of our government. (It’s not the federal government’s job to punish adult homicide, either.)

Q: I personally agree with most of these positions, but c’mon, isn’t Ron Paul just a fringe candidate? Doesn’t his support basically consist of about 3,000 people on the Internet?
A: This was actually my opinion, about six months ago. I thought Ron Paul was great but that nobody outside of small libertarian circles would even hear about him. But then I was shocked to see him on Bill Maher’s show, where he was received as a rock star. (Look at this clip about 7:00 into it, to see fellow guest Ben Affleck clapping along with the crowd at Paul’s statement.)
There are plenty of other indicators that Ron Paul has widespread – and exponentially growing – support. As is well known, he either wins or places in all of the televised debates. (Watch this hilarious clip to see the disbelief and goofy excuses from people at Fox News over this.) In the third quarter, he raised over $5 million, and in fact got $1.2 million of it in one week alone. (See this short but very flattering ABC story about this impressive fundraising feat.)

Ron Paul is also a star among college students and young people generally. Have you seen Ron Paul signs hanging on overpasses while on a road trip? I sure have. (And I haven’t seen any signs from other candidates.) On a recent trip to New York City, my wife and I were approached by his supporters in Union Square, who said, "Have you heard about the antiwar candidate Ron Paul?" I didn’t see anybody trying to convince the cool West Village passersby about the "anti-terrorist candidate Rudy Giuliani."

Another fact that might surprise you: Among the GOP candidates, Ron Paul has raised the most money from military personnel. Isn’t that odd, since he is supposedly the cut-and-run traitor? The people who are actually over there in Iraq winning hearts and minds apparently support his pledge to bring the troops home and to stop meddling in foreign affairs.
Finally, just look at how Ron Paul is making mincemeat of everyone else at the various straw polls so far. (If you don’t really know what a straw poll is, you might want to consult this Wikipedia explanation.) To summarize the results as of this writing: Of the 31 straw polls, Ron Paul placed first in 14 of them, he placed second in 6 of them, and he placed third in 5 of them. In each of his three most overwhelming victories, he received more than seventy percent of the total votes cast! (His best performance was in the West Alabama straw poll on August 18, where he garnered an amazing 81.2 percent of the votes.) Incidentally, these straw polls are from various regions of the country, too – it’s not that Ron Paul does well in the Deep South but nowhere else.

Q: OK you’ve made a good case that there are certain pockets of American society that heavily favor Ron Paul. But he’s still only getting a few percentage points in general surveys, right?
A: It’s true that Ron Paul still polls in the single digits in scientifically conducted random surveys. However, that’s not necessarily the best gauge of how someone will do in the primaries. After all, the Republican Party isn’t going to pick its nominee by calling random telephone numbers. Supporters have to care enough to register and vote for their preferred candidate. So if I’m telling you that Ron Paul is absolutely blowing people away – sometimes receiving over 80 percent of the votes cast – amongst people who watch the Republican debates and care enough to cast a cell phone vote, or who care enough to drive out to a Republican straw poll and plunk down the $35 to cast a vote, while people who receive random phone calls might not have heard about Ron Paul… Which bit of information is more relevant to how the primary votes will go?

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s an interesting analysis of why Ron Paul could conceivably win the Iowa caucuses, and note that this analyst isn’t saying, "Oh Ron just has to win for the future of this country!" No, this writer is bringing up the fact that evangelicals can’t unite behind Rudy, Ron Paul has a great organization, etc.

Q: Fair enough, Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas and a lot more support than I had realized. But still, I’m a conservative Republican who is practical. Isn’t a vote for Ron Paul basically a vote for Hillary Clinton?
A: There are two levels to this question. First, if we’re talking about voting in the primaries, then no, a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Ron Paul. If you think (say) Rudy Giuliani is the best person to face off against Hillary Clinton, then you don’t need to worry about "wasting" your primary vote. You can go ahead and vote your conscience for Ron Paul in the primary. If (as you suspect) he only gets 5 percent, then no harm; Rudy or Mitt or Fred wins the GOP nomination, and then you can go vote for him against Hillary Clinton (assuming that is how you rank things).

But let me push the question deeper. I challenge the premise that Rudy or Mitt or Fred is a stronger GOP candidate in the general election against Hillary Clinton. Like it or not, the general public is fed up with George Bush and his war. Even though she won’t pull the troops out, Hillary Clinton will have a huge edge just on that ground alone. But she loses this edge completely against Ron Paul. Ron Paul actually voted against the Iraq invasion (and against the Patriot Act). He is the one GOP candidate who can neutralize the baggage of the war for the Republicans. On top of that, he can beat Hillary on socialized medicine because he is an actual medical doctor, and so he can credibly talk about the dangers of bringing more government into the equation.

In conclusion, if you will vote in the Republican primaries and the only thing holding you back from voting for Ron Paul is the fear of President Clinton, then I think you need to carefully reevaluate that strategy. Ron Paul is the one GOP candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton in the general election. And on top of that pragmatic edge, Ron Paul is also the only true conservative running.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ron Paul Resonds to Union Leader Editorial

*Note: I accessed the following text dated 10/8/07 from Mr. Paul's own website.*

Any response to this paper's Friday editorial on my foreign policy position must rest on two fundamental assertions: first, that the Founding Fathers were not isolationists; and second, that their political philosophy -- the wisdom of the Constitution, the Declaration, and our Revolution itself -- is not just a primitive cultural relic.

If I understand the editors' concerns, I have not been accused of deviating from the Founders' logic; if anything I have been accused of adhering to it too strictly. The question, therefore, before readers -- and soon voters -- is the same question I have asked for almost 20 years in Congress: by what superior wisdom have we now declared Jefferson, Washington, and Madison to be "unrealistic and dangerous"? Why do we insist on throwing away their most considered warnings?

A non-interventionist foreign policy is not an isolationist foreign policy. It is quite the opposite. Under a Paul administration, the United States would trade freely with any nation that seeks to engage with us. American citizens would be encouraged to visit other countries and interact with other peoples rather than be told by their own government that certain countries are off limits to them.

American citizens would be allowed to spend their hard-earned money wherever they wish across the globe, not told that certain countries are under embargo and thus off limits. An American trade policy would encourage private American businesses to seek partners overseas and engage them in trade. The hostility toward American citizens overseas in the wake of our current foreign policy has actually made it difficult if not dangerous for Americans to travel abroad. Is this not an isolationist consequence from a policy of aggressive foreign interventionism?

It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationsists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example.

I do not believe that ideas have an expiration date, or that their value can be gauged by their novelty. The test for new and old is that of wisdom and experience, or as the editors wrote "historical reality," which argues passionately now against the course of anti-Constitutional interventionism.

A Paul administration would see Americans engaged overseas like never before, in business and cultural activities. But a Paul administration would never attempt to export democracy or other values at the barrel of a gun, as we have seen over and over again that this is a counterproductive approach that actually leads the United States to be resented and more isolated in the world.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

At the Christening

Today, at Robbie's baptism, I showed Mark how to daub his fingers in holy water and make the sign of the cross on his forehead, abdomen, and both shoulders.

"Why do I do this? Mark asked.

"Because it makes God happy," I replied.

"Why does God want my shirt to get wet?" he responded.

I had no answer. Add that to the other slew of theological dilemmas.

Bill of Rights