Thursday, April 30, 2015
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
- Everyone must lay in the middle of the floor, face up, with their hands at their sides.
- The dog(s) must be loose in the room.
- No one is allowed to move except to get up.
- The last one to get up is the winner.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Here are some odds and ends that have occurred to me on the topic.
|These folks live somewhere, just not near us. Image source.|
- The people you see on your TV or on YouTube vandalizing and looting in Baltimore are not vampires. They do not emerge from coffins in a faraway castle whenever there's a shooting of a black man by a white cop and then return to their coffins to sleep for months once the looting is done. They are all someone's neighbors every day. Just as we only sling #blacklivesmatter around on Twitter if there's a white guy involved in a shooting, we only worry about these looters when there's a riot. It doesn't seem to occur to us that they're always out there, stealing, smashing and hurting.
- Things the rioters probably never hear: "You were out doing what?!? You just wait until your father gets home! He's going to tan your hide!" See also: tweet embedded below.
- What's it like to live amidst these people? What's it like to grow up among them? When I was, say, 8, I used to think that teenagers were demigods. Everything they did was cool and I wanted to be just like them, even more than I wanted to be an astronaut, cowboy, train engineer or French existentialist. How can we expect kids to grow up with any moral sense at all when their idols come home laughing and joking, arms full of booty? How about when their idols come home with the goodies and there are no responsible, adult men who beat some respect for property into them?
- This reminds me of the Geronimo book I blogged about yesterday. Geronimo spent years murdering and looting and then whined about how the white man didn't keep his word. I dunno, Geronimo, I'm not sure that anyone was really all that interested in keeping a treaty with a unpredictable, amoral thug. In the end, US troopers tracked him and his tribe down and mopped the floor with them. The outnumbered and outgunned Apaches did their best to make everyone mad and then were shocked when they were wiped out. There's a lesson for the Baltimore rioters here somewhere, I'm sure.
- Expecting the parents to take responsibility for their vandal-children seems to me to be the act of pure optimism and / or cultural ignorance:
.@BaltimorePolice issues statement to parents, urging them to please bring their children home amid #BaltimoreRiots. pic.twitter.com/mL97hmqdC4
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 27, 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
First off, Geronimo was a menace to everyone around him. Everyone associated with him ends up dead except him. After his tribe suffered a massacre at the hands of the Mexican army, no doubt in retaliation for something of which Geronimo was unaware, he dedicates his life to fighting and killing Mexicans. His first several forays were disasters. Almost everyone in his command is killed and they brought back nothing. His tribe was nonplussed, but he kept at it, albeit with fewer and fewer volunteers for his raids each time.
After a while, he had some success, mostly against mule trains and villagers. Here's one such described in his own words.
Early the next summer (1866) I took thirty mounted warriors and invaded Mexican territory. We went south through Chihuahua as far as Santa Cruz, Sonora, then crossed over the Sierra Madre Mountains, following the river course at the south end of the range. We kept on westward from the Sierra Madre Mountains to the Sierra de Sahuripa Mountains, and followed that range northward. We collected all the horses, mules, and cattle we wanted, and drove them northward through Sonora into Arizona. Mexicans saw us at many times and in many places, but they did not attack us at any time, nor did any troops attempt to follow us. When we arrived at our homes we gave presents to all, and the tribe feasted and danced. During this raid we had killed about fifty Mexicans.Along with the booty came Mexican troops. Several times they followed him back to his camp and attacked, but the Apaches were too much for the Mexican army and managed to drive them off each time. At no time did Geronimo figure out that by constantly raiding Mexico, he was getting everyone ticked off at him. He had no comprehension of a larger Mexican government or the size of the Mexican population. He saw each town as its own tribe and the concept of Mexico as a nation that went from the border to the Yucatan was beyond him.
His soldiers fought with bows and arrows and spears. The Mexicans had guns, which the Apaches captured and used until the ammunition would run out. Superior technology and improving technology didn't seem to register with the Apaches. Year after year, they kept hitting the Mexican hornet's nest as hard as they could.
In the field, the Mexicans were no match for the Apaches. However, because Geronimo couldn't comprehend the notion of a larger government, he suffered a major defeat when he made a treaty with a Mexican village, thinking that would protect him from Mexican soldiers. The villagers gave the Indians tequila, got them drunk, whereupon the Mexican army showed up and shot his band of raiders to pieces.
Geronimo had no concept of morality outside of his own. It was perfectly honorable to raid and steal and murder as long as it was done the right way. He had no problem wiping out whole farmsteads if they resisted when he and his goons showed up to rob the place. When it happened to him under different circumstances, he was aghast and complained of treachery.
The reader has a major advantage over the author when reading this book. The Apache's world was tiny in all respects. They had no idea how big the United States and Mexico were in geography or population. They never understood anyone else's motivations nor did it occur to them that there could be other motivations. Technology was a given, not something developed by Man, continually advancing. Rather than understand it, they made use of simple things they could steal like guns, but left everything else.
Geronimo's end and the Apaches' end, for that matter, were utterly predictable. American and Mexican settlers finally had enough of the attacks and rather than engage in Indian-style warfare with endless tit-for-tat raids and pillaging, they decided to simply wipe them out.
Much like How I Found Livingstone In Africa, Geronimo's book leaves you with a much deeper sense of history than what our kids are learning in school these days with their perpetual repetitions of White Man Bad, Everyone Else Victim. There's a lot to be said for reading books by the people who lived at the time instead of distillations of them by people who want you to think a certain way.
This one is definitely going in the kids' reading pile.
|To Geronimo, Mexico was a couple of villages near the border.|
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
... with Christians and Catholics in particular.
Since the time of St. Thomas Aquinas, Catholicism has reconciled science and theology. That reconciliation is based upon a few simple precepts.
First, God does not create contradictions. Second, God has created a rational world, one that we can work out for ourselves through logical thought. This leads to the third - if established science conflicts with theology, then our understanding of theology must be revised.
In the case of marriage, not only do science and theology agree, they thoroughly reinforce each other. Biology is pretty clear on how babies are made. They come from one man and one woman. Since people are paramount in the faith, that relationship must be a special one. To say that two men or two women or two men, three women and eight parakeets are equal to one man and one woman, you have to dismiss God-given biology. In essence, you have to say that God was mistaken when He decided that all human life would come from that one relationship.
As far as I'm concerned, if the populace votes to redefine marriage, then that's the way it goes. If Bob and John in San Francisco get hitched and are recognized by the government as married, that's their issue. However, if the government somehow forces me to recognize all marriages and all relationships as equal, it's violating my first amendment rights to freedom of religion. It is forcing me to deny the biological facts given to us by God. There's no squaring that circle at all.
Just something to ponder as the weeks go by and more and more Christians end up in the tumbrel, carted off to the guillotine for not being sufficiently enlightened.
Friday, April 24, 2015
A Buddhist monk approaches a burger foodtruck and says, “Make me one with everything.”
The monk pays with a $20 bill, which the vendor takes, puts in his cash box, and closes the lid. “Where’s my change?” the monk asks.
The vendor replies, “Change comes from within.”
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Driving over to Mike Hess Brewing in North Park to hook up with @deanriehm yesterday, I passed a hookah lounge / smoke shop / adult book store. I also passed a protestant church. I thought, as I do these days, that the adult book store was above reproach while the church undoubtedly was a gathering place of people who required severe re-education.
We want more people in adult book stores and fewer people in church. Amazing.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Odd thought: I can't recall seeing a resting lizard with its tail straight out. They're always curved. I wonder if lizards are right-tailed and left-tailed with the dominant side being the direction of curve they most often choose.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
One of my Cursillo buddies* who's active in the prison ministry told me about an inmate who is about to be released from prison. The guy is 52 and has spent the last 36 years behind bars. At a recent meeting of their Kairos group, he told my friend that when he heard the authorities had decided to release him, he couldn't stop crying. He'd been in prison from age 16 to 52. Unreal.
When I was 16, I had a paper route. I was in high school and had an innocent crush on a little cutie named Louise. When my friends and I got out of school, we'd go to one of our houses and watch Monkees reruns and do goofy things. It's simply mind-boggling to think that if I had been that guy, I'd have gone from that point to age 52 in jail.
Say a prayer or two for the fellow. I can't imagine how he's going to be able to adjust to life as a free man. It's for people like him that some of my Cursillo friends started Rise Up Industries.
* - Cursillo is a Catholic group whose primary aim is to hoard wedding cakes and only give them out to people who meet our strict, judgmental standards.
Monday, April 20, 2015
|Look, the numbers are going up! Yay! Oh, wait. That's the interest they're paying on their ginormous debt. Uh oh. |
So the Greeks borrowed and borrowed and borrowed. Every time it looked like they were going to go bankrupt, the Euros found a new way to slip them more money. Lots and lots of meetings were held in which Ivy League types (or Euro equivalents) in expensive suits talked with each other about credit extensions, quantitative easing, debt restructuring and economic reforms. No money was ever actually paid back. More borrowing took place.
Now we're at the point where even the dimmest Peronist fascist is starting to recognize that the Greeks are never going to be able to pay their debts and icky words from the Real World like default, bankruptcy and liquidation are starting to be used about Greece. (Those are words a good post-modernist should never have to hear without a ton of Trigger Warnings.)
To top it all off, the finance minister from Europe's fiscal clown car country, Italy, decided to take to the airwaves to say this.
Italy’s finance minister on Thursday warned that Greece’s worsening cash crisis could push the country into an accidental exit from the eurozone as time runs out for Athens to reach a financing deal.That's game over right there. When the Italians start dunking on you over your debt, you're finished.
“Negotiations are difficult, liquidity is getting short, so under pressure it’s more likely that an accident can happen,” the finance minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, said in an interview.
* - Said geniuses are too busy right now worrying about grown men having access to the widest possible array of cakes to sweat trivial things like the international banking system blowing up.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
I've got a Gilette Fusion Pro Glide Homotopic Mapping Triceratops Hegemonic 5-Bladed Razor*. The cartridges for it are expensive, something like $4-5 or so a pop. Recently, I also bought a bag of cheap, disposable 2-bladed razors to do a comparison. Here's my take so far.
First off, the whole reason we men shave is so that daddy can get some sugar. We want to be smooth and soft, not raspy and scratchy. However, we shave in the morning, not at night, so by the time the smoothness is required, the beard has partially grown back. No matter which razor we use, there's going to be a little stubble. From my experience, a new, 5-bladed razor gives a slightly better shave, so by 9 PM, the stubble is a 1.3 on the Wife Owie Scale instead of the 1.8 with a new, 2-bladed one.
Shaving hurts when the blades get dull. More accurately, it hurts when the front blade gets dull. The thing then pulls on the whiskers instead of slicing them off cleanly like Robespierre on a good day. The front blade has no idea how many blades are behind it. Therefore, the front blades in both the Super Atomic Storm Chaser 5-Blade Razor will dull just as fast as the ones in the Goodwill Thrift Store Bargain Bin 2-Blade Razor. No difference there.
If the front blade's dull, the razors don't give nearly as close a shave. For one thing, you stop shaving sooner, leaving some stubble behind because you're tired of getting your whiskers yanked. However, because the Superstar Pro Glide 5-Blade Razor cartridges cost and arm and a leg, you'll let the dull ones go a few days longer than you will the Homeless Harry 2-Bladed ones. At that point, the 2-bladed razor gives a better shave than the 5-bladed ones.
Conclusion: 2-bladed razors are better. They cost less, give almost the same shave when both are new and will be replaced sooner than the more expensive 5-bladed ones.
* - Well, I think it's called something like that. The name's really impressive and it's got 5 blades.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
I needed some Chayote for a pickle dressing and since I've never bought it before, I wasn't sure if the Albertsons near my house (my planned last stop) would carry it. I went into Windmill Farms and before you knew it, I was picking up a lot of the fruits and vegetables on my list, fearing Albertsons wouldn't have them or would have unripe ones.
Big mistake. Not only did Albertsons have them all, they had them at much lower prices. For example, I bought mangoes at 2 for $4 at Windmill Farms, only to find them at Albertsons at 2 for $1. Argh! That was almost $10 thrown away right there.
If you shop at the cheap place first, you guarantee spending the least amount. If, by chance, they have everything you need, you won't end up having to go anywhere else. If I was doing it again, I'd have gone in this order:
- Puerto Rican Specialty Market
Thursday, April 16, 2015
The problem with that comparison is that it's not apt. The magnitudes are all wrong. The video below has picked up more than 43,000,000 views in a month or two. Memories Pizza probably doesn't serve more than 100 people a night. 200 tops, if it's crazy busy.
The video below is a marker of society. Memories Pizza is just some couple trying to make a living running a little restaurant. It's not an apples and oranges comparison, it's a comparison of the annual apple harvest of the state of Washington vs. a single orange.
In any case, watch the video and ask yourself what it says about the country when the thing has 43,000,000+ hits.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
That seems to be our current attitude towards Iran. Success is defined as slowing down their progress towards the Bomb. I don't get it. 10 years might as well be tomorrow. In fact, 9 years and 364 days from now, it will be tomorrow. About that time, our grandchildren will be in grade school.
And it's OK to have my grandchildren blasted into ash on their way to Ms. McGillicuddy's English class by a pack of apocalyptic loons because ... what?
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Second, if you're raising that kind of cash after picking up lots of $200K to $300K speaking fees for cookie-cutter speeches, how can you campaign as someone who's in touch with ordinary Americans?
The whole thing is rife with cynicism.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015
... the kind you want to imitate.
I'm working the men's retreat weekend again and it's been a lovely experience so far. Possibly my favorite one ever. I said that 6 months ago on the last one, so who knows, I'll probably be saying it again 6 months from now.
I'm working in the kitchen this time, mostly doing dishes. I'm learning professional cooking techniques from the chefs and restaurant owners who are also working the weekend. Lots of jokes, lots of great food, excellent meditations, all while we serve the candidates - men here for their first Cursillo weekend.
Chatting yesterday with my roommate, we talked about our lives before we started this spiritual journey. We had friends, but in many cases, they weren't helping us lead happier lives. Some of us drank too much, some slept around, some pursued money and status. We chased pleasure, but didn't find the happiness we have now.
One of the keys has been surrounding ourselves with Godly men. Up here with over a hundred guys, we talk about the things that affect every guy - wives, kids, jobs, money, pleasures - but we're all helping each other be better Christians so we can adore our wives, support our children and enjoy those pleasures the way God wants us to.
One of the guys talked about how he used to discuss women with his old friends. It was all about getting laid without love or commitment. He saw how empty his life was, but it wasn't until he had friends like the ones on this retreat that he saw how rich and beautiful life could be.
I pray you have or find friends like this.
Friday, April 10, 2015
With Christians facing death without succor in other countries and under legal (and worse) attack here, it's worth noting what happened to a certain American community that used to live in a far more Christian way than any American communities do now.
Back in the day, they produced art like this.
Now they produce music praising prostitution, drugs and raw greed. If that's too subtle for you, try this one. Both are top 10 hits right now.
Art is an indicator of the culture and of society as well. Before we go and do our best to destroy orthodox, American Christianity, we might want to ask what will replace it a few generations from now.
Thursday, April 09, 2015
Apple's Tim Cook would demand LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia, but then he'd be dead Rob Lowe watching cable. Not alive Rob Lowe with DirecTV.
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) April 9, 2015
Plus, a bonus tweet!
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Do we have them live in situations where they have some freedom of movement, but people are there to supervise them and help them as needed? That might be best, but that sort of thing is labor-intensive and crazily expensive (basically the same situation as a nursing home or assisted living, which costs around $200/day), so who's going to pay for it?Allow me to share a graphic that partially answers this question.
|Our prison population, dominated by people from non-traditional families, has increased by a factor of 7 since the 1950s.|
If you cut that prison population in half, say, and said that each mentally ill homeless person cost four times as much to house a prisoner, you'd have the resources to care for 100,000 of them. Pick the 50 largest cities and pull 2,000 mentally ill people off the streets in each one and you'd make a huge dent.
What's never spoken in this crazed mob action against the bigoted Christians who want to keep cake from the mouths of innocent gays is what we've done to ourselves through a steady string of attacks on the traditional family. All family constructs aren't equal, not no way not no how. The fewer traditional families you have, the more opportunities you sacrifice. Caring for the homeless is one such.
You can't have it all. We've chosen to be libertines.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Halfway through Mass, she started causing a scene. I asked her what was wrong and she told me the woman in front of her was making fun of her. It was a middle-aged Hispanic woman who looked shocked and confused at the accusation. The girl took her stuff and left and the woman and I spoke. She told me she kept things in the car - snacks, water, information about homeless shelters - for people like this girl. Neither of us could figure out what was going on.
The girl came back in and loudly accused the woman of laughing at her. The girl then left and we could hear her shouting outside the church that she was going to kill the woman for laughing at her. She was clearly delusional. Schizophrenic, perhaps? You could hear her ranting all through the rest of Mass.
A friend and I walked the woman out of church to her car where she was again confronted by the disturbed girl. We kept them apart and the woman drove away. The girl continued to rant and I noticed her right arm was missing from the elbow on down.
There's not much an untrained citizen can do for such people. You pray for them and offer them assistance if they're sane, but in this case, all you could do is make sure she didn't get herself in trouble by hurting herself, something or someone.
I guess I don't understand how important cake is. It just seems to me like the top civil rights issue of the day isn't whether or not two grown men have access to the widest possible array of cakes. I'd suggest that mentally ill people living on the streets until they die is slightly higher on the scale of civil rights issues. Dittos for the 685,000 black babies lost to abortion this year and the 460,000 more born to unwed mothers.
Then again, I was never a big fan of cake.
|Maybe it's because I don't have much of a sweet tooth.|
Monday, April 06, 2015
Why do so many young adults paint absurd caricatures of Christians who request government protection of their religious freedoms, arguing their true goal is to ban gay men from sitting at the local lunch counter? Why do they spread falsehoods about legislation, insisting that bills like the one recently signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will unleash a Republican-led Jim Crow revival aimed at the LGBT community? Why do so many people, Gen Xers and younger, invent a monster of anti-gay bigotry and keep screaming the monster is real despite a mountain of contrary facts standing before them?Read the whole thing.
The answer is “social studies.” My generation engages in straw men, misinformation, and lies because, in every year of social studies class, we studied the civil-rights movement not as history, but as hagiography. We didn’t just learn what events happened on American soil, we were encouraged to mimic the segregation-defeating holy ones and merit for ourselves a place alongside them in glory. Combining that admonition with our general aversion to hard work, we concluded that the only thing necessary to be as righteous as the saints who fought racial injustice was to decry an injustice that no one else was. And we became so desperate to find that injustice, we lost our minds in the process.
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Friday, April 03, 2015
Memories Pizza was forced to close because of death threats the business received in response to its owners' statements regarding RFRA and service to gay customers (they said they would serve anyone but could not in good conscience cater a gay wedding)...The owners of Memories Pizza, the O'Connor family, did not willingly seek out controversy, deny service to a gay person or couple, or even go out on a limb to suggest that they would. No, they merely responded to a question from Alyssa Marino, a local reporter for ABC 57 News who had come to their shop in search of a story.
|Raus hier, Christen!|
|Artist's conception of Eugene Robinson.|
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
We've got a couple dozen favorite recipes. We've got a cabinet full of spices, so we don't have to worry about those. What I frequently forget, however, are the main ingredients for the recipes. If I want to make Gulf Fish Eugenie, for example, I can't remember if it takes shallots or not.
The solution is simple. Create a Google document for your recipes. Go through your favorites and record only those main ingredients. That way, when you stop at the store on the way home, you know exactly what you need for any one of dozens of great dinners just by looking at the document on your smart phone. No muss, no fuss, no guessing!