Sunday, May 31, 2015

Never Blog Hungry

Some mornings, after reading articles and blogs posts I could have written in my sleep, I regret that I didn't spend the time cooking something incredible, new and delicious for breakfast. Well, new, anyway. It all seems like such a waste of time, this Internet thingy. Instead, I could be experimenting in the kitchen, photographing and blogging later. The rest of the rubbish - Hillary Clinton as the denouement of America, for example - is so trite and obvious that it's hardly worth the time when I could be creating yummy things to eat.

You do get that, don't you? That Hillary is such an over-the-top fascist looter that it's not worth blogging about?

Hmm. I might have to mix things up. Still, there's something to be said for fried grits with bacon in the morning...

Everything Old Is New Again

Asia for the Asians!

Q: That's the slogan for: Imperial Japan (ca 1940) or Fascist China (ca 2015)?

A: Yes!

Dig this:
Japan frequently referred to their expansionist program as the creation of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and along with that went the phrase "Asia for the Asians". It was meant to portray a vision of Japan leading Asian nations in looking out for Asia.
And this:
SINGAPORE—A senior Chinese naval commander has claimed new islands his country is building in the South China Sea will benefit the region, while stressing that such activities “fall well within the scope of China’s sovereignty.”

Noting the military usefulness of the islets China is constructing in the disputed Spratly Islands, Adm. Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army’s general staff, said they would mainly enable China to provide “international public services,” including maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, and scientific research.
There's that weasel word, "mainly" again. I guess if the islands provide China the ability to claim territorial waters way out to sea, that's an unexpected bonus for them.

I also like the "scientific research" part. For a country who has taken pollution to a whole new level, the phrase, "scientific research," brings up images of them constructing the Island of Dr. Moreau out there.

Asia for the Asians!
Err, Asian animals.
Err, mutant Asian animals.
Oh, never mind.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Work Has No Value

... or at least that's what we seem to be saying with the $15 minimum wage in Los Angeles and similar crazy increases elsewhere. It's all false.

Many times at Catholic Charities I ran into people, almost all men, who just wanted a job. They didn't care if it paid $7 an hour, they just wanted to work and be useful and have a purpose. They would have been willing to live 10-to-an-apartment if only they could show that they were earning their own way.

Here's my prediction for the future in LA: As the minimum wage rises, low-income workers will be laid off, perhaps to be replaced by machines, perhaps to be replaced by sheets of plywood nailed to the outside of shuttered businesses. The progressives who dominate LA will want to help and will create make-work public jobs programs. In order to fund these, the government will borrow money. After a while, the city will go bankrupt.

All through this process, a basic, masculine need will go unfulfilled - the need to work at something meaningful.

We'd be much better off reducing the minimum wage than increasing it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Otto Von Bismark, Please Call Your Office

Back when the Russians first started gobbling up the Ukraine, I recall Secretary of State Botox and his cronies flapping their gums about how this wasn't the 19th Century any more and that modern* nations no longer engaged in war with guns and bombs. It was all very gauche and got in the way of eating gluten-free, sustainable arugula. No, leaders of modern nations sat down together and talked.

And talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked.

Or maybe not.
U.S. surveillance imagery shows China has positioned weaponry on one of the artificial islands it is developing in the South China Sea, American officials said, supporting their suspicions that Beijing has been building up reefs for military purposes.

The U.S. imagery detected two Chinese motorized artillery pieces on one of the artificial islands built by China about one month ago. While the artillery wouldn’t pose a threat to U.S. planes or ships, U.S. officials said it could reach neighboring islands and that its presence was at odds with China’s public statements that the reclaimed islands are mainly** for civilian use.
For those graduates of Harvard and Columbia who need trigger warnings when they read children's stories about Roman gods, here's what artillery looks like when it's doing those things artillery was meant to do.

* - Read: Nations ruled by people who graduated from Ivy League universities.

** - Why is this a problem? The weasel word "mainly" gives it away. You'd think that this crowd with their "living" Constitution as a weasel word for seizing dictatorial powers for El Presidente would have figured this out.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fie Upon The Purists, Let's Hear It For Butts!

I'm taking the week off, trying to finish wiring my MGB. In the course of doing so, I need to create wiring junctions. For example, there are about 10 different circuits in the cockpit that need a wire run to ground. Up to now, I've been making these junctions according to the wiring snobs, soldering and shrink-tubing them. I'm getting better at it, but it's a pain in the neck and it takes some time.

Today, at the auto parts store to get something else, I picked up a package of 10-12 ga butt connectors. Since my wires are about 16 ga, I can easily get two in per side, giving me a four-wire splice with no more work than stripping the wires, sticking them in and crimping the butt connector tight. It works like a champ.

Behold the power of this fully operational butt splice!
I pulled at the wires and they didn't move and then I tested the circuit. Perfect connectivity across all leads.

Forget that soldering nonsense, I'm a butt man from now on!

Err, wait, I didn't mean it that other way...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Classical Mythology = Multiverse + Jersey Shore

At the prompting of some trigger-warning coed at Columbia, a school where I would decline to send even a dog, I am currently listening to Ovid's Metamorphoses, a source book of Roman mythology.

If you ever had to take a comparative religions class and this was offered in contrast to Judaism or Christianity, consider retaining a lawyer and suing. This stuff is nothing more than Jersey Shore with some magic and a slap-dash creation myth thrown in. Everyone is banging everyone else, husbands and wives are yelling at each other and once in a while someone gets turned into a cow or a tree. There's no moral theme to the whole thing other than to let you know that the gods exist and they're not much different from you except that if you tick them off, they can make your life a mess.

They're the Gaystapo (or maybe the Clintons), but with a little more class.

These are your gods, citizens. Worship them!
As I listen to the stories, all I can think of is how retro we are these days. As in paleo-retro. Functionally, there's no difference between the ancient Romans listening to these stories and modern secular society watching reality shows. Remove our Judeo-Christian foundation, which we are doing at breakneck speed, and you end up here, idolizing creatures that seem a lot like you, do whatever they want and are a topic of gossip around the water cooler or ox cart.

If you look at the stars at night and need a creation myth to help you sleep, we can tell you about Saturn and the Titans or the Multiverse. Take your pick. It's all the same since it has no impact on your life at all. Somebody, somewhere knows something or other about those sparkly dots up above and that's good enough. Let's hit the clubs on Friday and see if we can bag some chicks, OK? After all, everyone from Jupiter to Vinny are doing it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cheezburger of the Day

... and it's right on the money! Our Maximum Leader and I have had an understanding for over ten years now. She gets one snack per night at a time of her choosing. She finds a way to make noise, I get up and give her some crunchies and then go back to bed. Any more noise and she gets a pillow thrown at her. It seems to work pretty well.

Until about 6:30AM. If I sleep in past that, she declares the agreement null and void and makes a ton of racket until I get up and the morning breakfast ritual begins. Since I like to get up early anyway, it's usually not a problem.

In any case, here's the Cheezburger. Enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

I usually don't do blog posts for holidays, but this one is special. My dad graduated from West Point and spent his career in the Air Force. He was a B-26 pilot in Korea, preserving freedom for others, just as all of our veterans have done.

Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all veterans for their service.

A South Korean attraction, made possible by American veterans who fought to keep it from being conquered by the communists.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This Is Why We Watch Sports

My man Jonas Gutierrez, my favorite soccer player, cancer survivor, scored the clinching goal in the last game of the season, a game that ensured Newcastle would stay in the Premier League next year.

Listen to the roar of the crowd as the ball goes in. Awesome.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Everyone Everywhere Is Religious

Because they have to be in order to function.

By "religious," I mean that they believe in things not supported by evidence or science.

In pondering what might be the larger themes in the gay marriage wars, the evangelism of the new atheists and even the campus trigger warning craze, I keep coming back to the same thought: these are religious wars, not political ones. I'm becoming convinced that politics follows culture which itself is founded on a dominant religious belief.

The reason I think everyone is religious is simple. Chemistry does not allow for the self. I know this is an old argument of mine, but it keeps jumping out at me in the context of finding the bigger themes. Here is the argument again in case you missed it before.

From a Gonzaga website, Gonzaga itself being a Jesuit university and as such, like the Jesuits, could be considered either Catholic or secular depending on which fad the Jesuits are following today, offers up this web page for one of their chemistry classes containing the diagram below.

This is an energy state diagram for a chemical reaction. The reaction is well-understood. Subject to the caveats of statistical chemistry, this is the way it always behaves. The same reactions are constantly occurring in your body, governed by similar rules. "You" have nothing to do with them. They simply happen.

There is no evidence for "you." There is no science that supports free will. There is nothing in anything we understand, and what we understand increases every day, that suggests anything other than nihilism. I've heard plenty of counter-arguments in the comments of this blog, but none of them undermine the diagram above and the diagram above and ones just like it are the basis for everything in the Universe.

Game over.

If you argue, if you cajole, if you hold "beliefs," if you take positions, if you talk about "individuals" or "people," you are religious because you believe in things that are not supported by evidence or science. Everyone, everywhere must be religious in order to function. You have to believe that "you" exist and "you" are making decisions, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Secularists are not devoid of religion, they are devoid of a coherent cosmology. That is, they wave their hands about when discussing Creation, the meaning of life, the purpose of existence and so forth. They're religious, but in a primitive sense like the Apaches. The Apaches had a vague creation myth which secularists replace with the Multiverse, repetitive Big Bangs, or whatever hip creation myth they heard on NPR last week. It doesn't have much of an effect on them other than to release them to do whatever they want, which is the key to the post-modernist belief system.

That's the key. Attacks on Christianity or Islam or Judaism are not attacks on religion itself because we are all religious. They are attacks on particular cosmology by people who want to replace it with their own, their own being essentially a retreat back in time to something closer to the creation myths of the most primitive humans.

The Great Spirit forming the world out of the foam at the bottom of her tub after washing her hair isn't substantially different from the sparkly unicorns of the Multiverse. The important thing is to get all that out of the way so you can get on with the important tasks of robbing and killing the Navajo or worshiping your crotch, whichever tickles your fancy.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eat Your Hearts Out, Christian Rock Fans!

For her high school graduation, I'm taking my daughter and a friend to Fishfest. Headliners include the Newsboys and Toby Mac.

It's going to be awesome.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Can We Hire Enough Police?

@AskACatholicNun turned me on to this excellent, short video.

It meshes well with BDaddy's post on Gay Marriage and craft beer which contains this tidbit.
Destroying traditional pillars of culture and morality results in the need for more government control to make up for the lack of self-control in the population. This is a feature, not a bug, of the process of destroying the culture and is embraced by the left. For example, rampant sex between undergraduates on college campuses is the norm today, or so we are led to believe. While perhaps that has always happened to some extent; it was far less in degree and done with far greater discretion in times past. But since this behavior gives rise to sex under questionable circumstances, we have the California have the California State Legislature considering how to regulate sex on campus.
It's kind of what I was driving at in my snarky mock-caption of a photo of rioters in Baltimore.

The whole sexual assault prevention craze is another symptom of this problem. We did away with religion-based objective morality, but not the need for it. Now we're trying to derive that same morality from first principles when those first principles are suffused with total individual freedom.

That doesn't seem to be working out so well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Come To Florida And Get Eaten!

That's the first thing I thought when I saw the great white shark on the specialized Florida license plate on a car in front of me. It looked like this.

I think the Florida Tourism Board ought to have a say in next year's design.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Photo Caption You'll Never See

BDaddy and I have been speaking truth to power on Twitter lately with a pair of defenders of the dominant, secular orthodoxy. These members of the Establishment are telling us that ultimate, personal, sexual freedom is full of teh awesome. As a counter-culture, revolutionary prude, I offer you the following photo with incongruous caption.

Here, a group of married men who go to church every Sunday destroy a police car.
Yep, that's the problem alright. Too many people adhering to traditional, Christian morality.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't Blame Heather Gillers

... she's been honestly reporting the fiscal problems of Chicago, particularly the school district. Here's a sample.

By my calculations, each man, woman and child in Chicago owes about $2500 on the school debt. The debt is about $6.7B and the population is about 2.7M. That debt, by the way, is independent of the rest of Chicago's government debt, Illinois' government debt or the Federal government debt.

I discovered Heather by searching and clicking around the Chicago Tribune's site. Her Twitter feed was easy to find and scrolling down through time, she's produced one honest report of the school finances after another.

If you think awareness of government debt would make much of a difference in the fiscal trajectory of cities, states or the nation in general, her tweets and articles should give you pause.

Glenn Reynolds had a series a while back with the theme, wealth and income are markers of behavior. I'd suggest that debt and borrowing are markers of culture.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What If Chicago Went Bankrupt And Nobody Cared?

I'm currently reading* Charles Murray's excellent book, By the People.

In it, he describes the systemic corruption of the American government that has arisen as a result of the government regulating and managing more and more of the economy. For example, if a business objects to interpretations of regulations by a part of the government, its primary recourse is to go before the regulatory agency itself. That's highly unlikely to have any effect and the fallback position is to get the intervention of elected officials. That intervention comes at the price of campaign contributions and other paybacks.

The more the government regulates and manages, the more opportunities there are for graft by elected officials, their staffs, lobbyists and the like. It's independent of political party. When everyone in Washington and the state capitals know this, they naturally seek to regulate more and more of the economy so more people can take a cut.

Chicago is going bankrupt. Over many years, they've spent more than they could afford, building up massive debts until their bonds have now been reduced to junk status. It's not racism, sexism, homophobia or greed, it's just math. Everyone knew it was coming and no one tried to stop it. Instead, they all kept grabbing all the money they could while peddling absolute rubbish to the rubes that voted for more government goodies.

The bankruptcy is going to have real consequences to real people. Retirees, with names and addresses and families and everything, are going to find themselves without income. Services to citizens will be cut so infrastructure will decay, business dealing with required regulatory agencies will find themselves delayed and much more.

At the very least, anyone who received briefings from the Chicago comptroller's office has known this was coming for years. Despite that, they all kept grabbing.

In the press, there are plenty of lapdogs of the current political overlords who continue to parrot the party line about needed services, compassion, sexism, racism, homophobia and whatever else the talking points of the day might be. I'm less clear on what they're getting out of the whole situation. Two possibilities come to my mind.
  1. They are true believers in the progressive secular-religion nonsense about the benefits of an all-powerful State.
  2. They desire to maintain access to elected officials who feed them stories and make the task of filling column-inches in the newspaper trivially easy.
Nowhere in any of this, outside of whatever Chicago Tea Party there might be and the poor, dimwitted, Chicago-machine-voting slobs who are now going to suffer, does anyone seem to care that the city has been looted.

* - Actually, I'm listening to it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May Showers Bring

... a huge uptick in the San Diego percent-of-normal graph.

From now until October 1, San Diego typically gets about a third of an inch of rain. In the last two days, we've gotten more than an inch and a half. Very unusual, but very welcome.

We're now at 88% of normal.
San Diego is a coastal desert. A coastal desert with a population over 2 million. We get very little of our water locally, so while this storm was a welcome relief for the local flora and fauna, it won't have much of an impact on our water restrictions.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Maybe Pamela Geller Had A Point

From the "KT is slow on the uptake sometimes" file:

Over at there's an excellent blog post entitled, 6 Reasons Pamela Geller's Muhammad Cartoon Contest Is No Different From Selma. It's the first thing I've read on the topic that made me think that Geller was something other than an attention-seeking, narcissistic bonehead. The grabber for me was the first reason: The Oppressor Chooses the Form of Protest, Not the Protester.

Pamela didn't seek to blaspheme Islam, she blasphemed Islam because Jihadists told her, through threats of violence, that she was not permitted to do this. Had they told her she was not allowed to paint her house pink, she would have painted her house pink.

The other part that got me was this:
The 1965 Democrats and today’s Democrats are also bigots. The same CNN that protects Islam from offense by blurring the Muhammad cartoons, does not blur the Piss Christ.
Dear progressives - if you didn't want us to blaspheme Islam, maybe you should have avoiding blaspheming other religions in the first place. Whereas I laid the fault (and I still do, to some extent) at the feet of Pam Geller for organizing a blasphemy party, really, she was just playing by the rules set by the progressives in the first place when they lionized that no-talent cretin Serrano and his juvenile Piss Christ. They doubled down on it with their patronage and critical acclaim of The Book of Mormon. You made the rules, punks, we're just living by them.

I guess what I'm objecting to is this. The problem isn't Jihadists, it's the culture that thinks blasphemy is some kind of badge of honor. When this is performed at a major cultural awards event, blasphemy is no longer speaking truth to power, blasphemy is the power. Pamela Geller jumped in and joined the powerful in attacking what's left of the sub-culture that still believes in honor and respect for symbols of faith and nation.

When a conservative rebel like Geller allies herself with the forces of cultural entropy, the results will be good in the short run (publicity for the fight against Jihadists), but bad in the long run (one more voice saying that anything goes). In a way, she strengthened their hand.

Jihadists are strong because they stand for something against an American culture that stands for nothing. If we are united only in our desire for the freedom to do whatever we want, we stand for cultural chaos. They stand for something positive. We cannot rally to the flag because we've burned the flag. We can't stand for America because we've dissolved the nation by opening our borders. We can't stand for a moral code because morality is now utterly personal. They've got solid alternatives to all of that, ones their side can rally around.

Yes, Pamela Geller followed in the footsteps of great revolutionaries of freedom. Unfortunately, she allied herself with great enemies of civilization.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Human Brain Didn't Evolve To Cope With Drugs

One of my buddies who does prison ministry was talking about an inmate he met recently. The prisoner is mid-30s with wife and kids. He was about to get out after doing his time. A two-time felon, he was terrified that he was going to fall down again and get sent in for life. Drugs were is Achilles heel, meth and crack.

Just as the human brain didn't evolve to cope with Internet porn, it didn't evolve to cope with drugs, either. For the next 40-50 years, this guy is going to have to find a way to keep out of the clutches of chemicals designed to ensnare him with a brain that has been warped to crave them.

Everyone doing their own thing and discarding objective morality in favor of ultimate personal freedom sounds good until you watch human lives thrown into the meat grinder of drugs and porn. Secular humanist theory falls apart in the face of biological reality.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mountains Of Byzantine Regulations Aggressively Enforced Is The Price Of Freedom

We're free! At last, we're finally free of the shackles of the Old Order. No more sexism, no more theism, no more oppressive traditional family structures and their implicit moral judgment! With every day, we move closer to that Edenic state of true and total personal freedom.

Of course, as we all know, freedom isn't free. No, there's a price to be paid for freedom. We must maintain eternal vigilance lest the dark powers of Christian morality and its wretched partner, chivalry, attempt to come back.

Well, vigilance and affirmative consent rules ruthlessly enforced by the State, that is. After all, we need something to do the job of a national culture based on Judeo-Christian objective morality.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

And we celebrate by lumping them all together because, apparently, we can't tell them apart*!

Of course, the problem works both ways.

* - They, however, can tell each other apart. Don't believe me? Go tell a Korean that you think he's Japanese. Let me know how that goes.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Catholic Church And Illegal Aliens

Our new bishop in San Diego, Bishop McElroy, is a Jesuit from Berkeley, so we're not going to be able to expect him to talk sense on a lot of issues.

Interesting aside: The Jesuits are the priestly order having the hardest time with vocations. That probably comes from being so open-minded that their brains have fallen out*. Having a reputation for questioning Church teaching in favor of whatever's hip at the moment doesn't help when the faithful are faithful because the Church stands as a bulwark against the idiocies of the modern world.

In any case, Bishop McElroy has spoken about the need for the Church to care for immigrants, even those here illegally. I'm in favor of a border fence, border control and repatriation of illegals. I'm in favor of an enforced, deliberate, immigration process. Having said that, I completely agree with the Jesuit from Berkeley when it comes to caring for illegal aliens.

Immigration control is a political issue. Once the speeches, blog posts and voting is over, the people have spoken. If the rest of you are stupid enough to dissolve the border and let illegals come streaming in, I've rendered all I can to Caesar and he's decided to ignore me. Now it's time to render unto God.

In the eyes of God, illegal aliens are no less valuable than I am. Illegals who come hungry to Catholic Charities, I'm happy to feed. Illegals who live in crude encampments, I'm happy to support through donations to Church charities. Illegals who have medical bills, I'm happy to pay with my tax dollars. I don't want them here at all, but if the politicians are going let them in, the question changes from one of border policy to one of Matthew 25.
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Just as it is with gay marriage, unfettered sex, rampant drug use and the rest of the glories of the libertine world we live in, our job as Catholics is to speak out against it, but once that's done, we're called to clean up the mess as best we can.

It's not OK for them to be here. It's also not OK to let them live like this,
* - That, of course, is a snarky generalization. The Pope, chosen after much prayer and contemplation by cardinals who aren't all radicals, is a Jesuit. Our former, long-time Cursillo pastor was a Jesuit as well and he was about as down-to-Earth as you could get. They're not all crazy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A San Diego Rainstorm

... gives us a tiny uptick in our percent-of-normal rainfall graph. After a little more than half an inch of rain, we went from 65% of normal to 70% for the year. Yay!

Finally! We can take long showers again and water our lawns until they drown!
Odd factoid: We had rainstorms on 1 March 2014 and 1 March 2015.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Sometimes The Simplest Questions Are Best

I was having a rare political / social discussion with a friend at work when he threw the "women only make 73% as much as men" stat at me. I said it was debunked and he wasn't sure about the whole thing. Then I asked the question that made him actually wonder about his own assumptions.

If women do the same work for 73% of the cost, why don't companies hire nothing but women?

Ah. So easy.

Friday, May 08, 2015

More Action Than A Floyd Mayweather Fight

Watch this one to the end.

Orange cat: "CUT. IT. OUT!"

England's National Health Service Runs On Profits

On Twitter, one of the sports writers from England I follow led me to a tweet I can no longer find* wherein a fellow bemoaning yesterday's Tory election victory said something like, "Well, there goes the National Health Service. It was nice knowing you!"

The response tweets were instructive. People who had good experiences weighed in - "NHS saved my eyesight!" "NHS saved my mum's life!" and so on. Then there were the anti-business responses wailing that at some time in the future, the health care system might become profitable for someone through the horrors of privatization. "Profiteers" were attacked and "business" lambasted.

After my emotional reaction subsided, I thought that the reasoned response would be to point out that the entire government runs on profits. Without someone making a profit, there are no taxes. Ergo, if the government services are good, profits are good.

I wonder what the replies would be to something like that.

* - How's that for an unsourced story?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Slouching Towards Gomorrah

... holds up rather well after 20 years. I'm listening to Robert Bork's warning about cultural decline after having read it when it was first published in 1996. I'm not too far in yet, but so far he looks fairly prescient.

Especially when you read things like this.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Pam Geller And The Progressives: A Pox On Both Their Houses

Well, Pam Geller did what she planned all along. She provided a catalyst for violence and argument. By sponsoring an anti-Islam blasphemy party, she guaranteed that there would be outrage, blame and conflict. In the end, all she did was pour more cement over everyone's opinions.

Just like Charlie Hebdo's trash publications, there was nothing substantive to her event. She was simply out to hurt people. It wasn't a positive evangelism, it was the equivalent of a schizophrenic screaming obscenities at passers-by. In the end, people died and the country was divided yet again.

The progressives and Islamic fundamentalists Pam sought to provoke learned nothing at all from the exercise. The Islamic faithful now have one more reason to feel besieged and pay a little more attention to the voices in their midst telling them how awful the West is. The progressives now have one more reason to sneer at conservatives for being knuckle-dragging, hateful morons.

You can shout "FIRST AMMENDMENT!" all you want and no one's mind is going to change. If I'm wrong, point it out. Twitter has been intolerable with hate since the Pam Geller event. Convincing people of the need for freedom of speech is a sales job and you don't make sales by publicly defiling your prospects' most treasured icons.

If you want to move public opinion and affect the way people vote, political leaders talk and the direction laws take, you're not going to do it through deliberate acts of angry blasphemy. It was a total waste of time, money and effort, cloaked in self-righteousness.

The sooner the whole thing fades away, the better.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Hummingbird Fledgling

Yesterday, while taking a walk at work, I came across this hummingbird fledgling on the sidewalk.

It couldn't get more than 2" off the ground when it tried to fly and I didn't see any parents around. The sidewalk was reasonably well traveled, so someone else would eventually come across the little guy. I called a friend who takes in raptor chicks for Project Wildlife and she recommended I take it in to the local office.

In retrospect, that might have been a mistake. While I was at the Project Wildlife office, I found that bird parents will frequently kick fledglings out of the nest to teach them to fly. They will feed their children while they are on the ground trying to work things out. In all likelihood, I had gotten in the way of the natural progression of things.

The folks at Project Wildlife took in the tiny dude and will raise him to flight (probably about a week) and then will release him near where I found him. In the end, no permanent harm was done, but I'm sure I made a couple of hummingbird parents very unhappy.

The moral of the story is that fledglings on the ground aren't always in trouble. Your best bet is to back off and watch for a while to see if the parents are around.

Monday, May 04, 2015

A Better Use For Twitter

... is to share things like this instead of screaming at each other. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Is It Possible To Be A Good Chemist If You Don't Support Gay Marriage?

How about a weightlifter? A Beekeeper? Anything?

Dig this.

Aside: We've got friends who recently attended a lesbian wedding. They'd known the, err, bride (?) for years and had seen her have many boyfriends, including one particularly serious relationship that lasted for 4 years. When she announced her engagement, they were shocked to find it was to a woman. Two thoughts leaped into my mind almost immediately.
  1. So much for being born gay.
  2. It reeked of surrender. When they guy didn't commit, she found commitment wherever she could.
The wedding was a wacky, costumed, themed thing. Neither of the brides (?) were in any way connected to the theme, so I guess they picked it because the Star Trek uniforms were all rented out at the costume shop. As they described it, I just felt like it was a cheap mockery of the institution of marriage. There weren't going to be any kids, there wasn't any real point other than to throw a crazy party and get attention. I know, I wasn't there, I don't know the people, blah blah blah, but that's what it sounded like.

And yes, I know that hetero couples who can't conceive get married, too. But those ceremonies are a cultural nod to the primacy of the one man - one woman relationship that is the source of all human life. That's got to count for something, right?

Well, maybe not. It probably counts about as much as the whole #blacklivesmatter thing. 

We don't really care about people, we only care about being hip.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Saturday Night Open Thread

I'm getting ready for a dinner party and spent the day elsewhere so I didn't have time to blog. I've never done an open thread, in part because I don't have many commenters. With that said, have at it in the comments here. Diatribes, requests, conundrums, accusations, whatever turns you on.


Friday, May 01, 2015

A Tiny Dinosaur

This fellow was resting on the sidewalk outside of our house. He let me get very close to take this photo which suggests he wasn't feeling very good. In any case, I got a great shot with the camera on my Galaxy S5 and left it large so it might be worth a click. Enjoy!