Friday, January 30, 2009

Man of Steele

Nerves of Steele

Way to go Mike Steele! I have liked him sine clear back in 2003. This is really cool-the RNC needs a good media guy at the top-espeically one as intelligent and likeable as Mike.

Of course, missing from this AP article is a word that starts with 'h' and ends with 'istoric.' Racial progress only counts if you're a Democrat, apparently.

Still, yay Mike. See, minorities? We have NOTHING against you. I would have happily pulled the level for Mike Steele last November.

So the leaders of both political parties is an African American-that's really something. To quote Dennis Miller: "In New York City this week, whites officially became the minority of the ethnic groups. And I, for one, am SICK AND TIRED of being hassled by the man!"

I hope he goes far. This is a great day for bald Republicans who wear corrective lenses! Now we finally have someone on the inside!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daily Winwood

It's good to be back to my normal, hope-less self. Welcome back.

I was pondering a childhood memory the other day. I could have swore that in the Steve Winwood video for "Valerie," at one of the later iterations of the chorus Steve struck kind of a rock em' sock em' robots pose with both his arms. Hillary thought it was like this as well. But when we YouTube'd the video, there was nary a robot pose in the entire thing. In fact the whole affair is just tremendously boring, with Steve standing around while a girl who looks like Mallory from Family Ties spins around in the background.

My memory is starting to slip. Soon I will forget who I am. In case I forget all of you, know that you are in my heart. Goodbye.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intelligent life

NPR once asked William F. Buckley to comment about the existence of God. His response was a bit intellectual, but basically he had this to say:

This I believe: that it is intellectually easier to credit a divine intelligence than to submit dumbly to felicitous congeries about nature. As a child, I was struck by the short story. It told of a man at a bar who boasted of his rootlessness, derisively dismissing the jingoistic patrons to his left and to his right. But later in the evening, one man speaks an animadversion on a little principality in the Balkans and is met with the clenched fist of the man without a country, who would not endure this insult to the place where he was born.

So I believe that it is as likely that there should be a man without a country, as a world without a creator.

Not exactly a ringing testimony but nevertheless there's the take from an intellectual, and a good man.

A great many people think that the 'intellectual' route is to not believe in something as 'unlikely' as God. But people like the William F. Buckleys and the Neal A. Maxwells of the world showed that, even though the best way to know God is spiritually, it is clearly intellectually feasible as well.

Said Maxwell:
C. S. Lewis pointed out that some people are angry with God for His not existing, and others for His existing but for failing to do as mortals would have Him do. Instead of such childishness, we are urged to know God and to learn of His attributes.

All of this is not to say that discovering God intellectually is the best way or the preferred way-it isn't. But I know of a great many people who, if they're going to arrive at a belief in God at all, will only open the door from an intellectual angle. That's probably where I was about back in high school or college for a time. I certainly firmly believed in God, but I had a know-it-all desire to have it all make intellectual sense.

The funny thing is that the force of will required to blot out evidence of God all around us is almost overwhelming. It's sheer idiocy to think this all happened by accident. I see the Lord in everything, everywhere, every day, every minute of the day.

My brother gave my wife a bowl of flower bulbs for Christmas, and they bloomed this week. I stared at the blooms for a while and was very much taken in by how they could have only been created by an intelligent being. So deliberate-totally crazy. And that's just flowers-don't get me started about mountains or outer space or dogs or minerals or the ocean or, well, every person on the planet.

This is just the first in a series of posts I'll have about the intellectual angle to the gospel. Stay tuned for post #2.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eerily relevant

For some reason, this scene at the 1:44 mark is coming to mind today:

What? No comments on the Grease dog video?

You people think you're better than me or something?

Hope for the change of the hope of the change!

Greetings comrades!

I trust you are all happy and hopeful today! My wife and I are truly happy and thankful for the day our Leader has provided unto us, and are equally happy and grateful for the beautiful unicorn that arrived in the mail! (pictured below) Thank you President Obama (peace be upon him)!

We join each of you in welcoming in the glorious dawn of the new age! An age of peace, and of prosperity. Unless you're Israel and unless you are a small business owner or an employee of a corporation or a recipient of anything produced by a corporation. We are certain it will be hopey, as well as changey! And if you need anything more specific than that, then why not go to Alaska and vote for the silly Sarah Palin, who is not as wise as the President of our union of 57 states! Ha ha!

Anyway, now is not the time to focus on the past, but to move foward into the future! Together, we will sing our daily mantra unto the One. On to the Mantra!

Play ball!

The best thing that has happened today...

is this video:

My favorite part is at 2:07

Thanking President Bush

From National Review today:

Among the things President Bush's fellow citizens should thank him for:

* Defeating Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

* Keeping America safe in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when virtually no one thought such a thing was possible. In achieving this, President Bush fulfilled the first duty of his office.

* Correcting earlier (and significant) mistakes in Iraq and supporting the surge when almost everyone — the American people, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the commanding general in Iraq, all Democrats, and many Republicans — opposed his efforts. This was a textbook example of leadership and wise decision-making in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

* Leading efforts that led to a humiliating defeat for al-Qaeda in Iraq and, more broadly, to militant Islam being on the defensive throughout much of the world, including the Arab world.

* Liberating more than 50 million people from two of the most malevolent regimes in modern history.

* Standing with Israel against its enemies and having the wisdom to declare he would not deal with Yasir Arafat.

* Adding two outstanding Justices to the Supreme Court and appointing first-rate federal judges.

* Championing a culture of life and the global AIDS initiative.

* Cutting taxes several times and never, not even once, raising them.

* Putting in place the most far-reaching reforms in education in generations, which insisted on accountabilty, high standards, and produced positive results.

* Restoring dignity to the Oval Office, acting with civility and grace, loving his country, and serving her well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The only change that matters

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums.
The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."

-Ezra Taft Benson

I also really like this quote:
"God loves us. He's watching us, he wants us to succeed, and we'll know someday that he has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, there are heavenly hosts pulling for us -- friends in heaven that we can't rememer now, who yearn for our victory."

And this is pretty flippin pure as well:

"The tenth plank in Karl Marx's Manifesto for destroying our kind of civilization advocated the establishment of "free education for all children in public schools." There were several reasons why Marx wanted government to run the schools.…one of them [was that] ‘It is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or agnostics may be.’

It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen."

I didn't really realize it at the time, because he was often very sick and was unable to attend conference just as I was coming of an age to have an interest in conference, but what an inspired leader he was. People like the prophets are a living testament to the truth of the exaltation and amplification of the weak things of the world. There wasn't anything particular amazing about any of these people-they were just normal guys from different backgrounds with modest education. But they had a testimony and quiet strength of character, and the Lord turned them into mountains. Some of the most dynamic and intelligent and inspired men who ever walked the earth, and yet who knows about it other than less than 1% of the world's population?

Home Shows

We spent the majority of yesterday afternoon watching home shows on HGTV. These are shows either about realtors selling homes for you, or people trying to buy homes, or people who redecorate homes, or people who renovate homes, or about people who live in castles.

There was one about a girl who was moving to New Orleans from Las Vegas. She was this whiny 20-something girl who was going to law school, and her realtor showed her these two super impractical and super trendy condos with like exposed ductwork and fancy kitchens and stuff. She hated them. She then showed her this massively practical townhome that was within walking distance from law school and had an attached garage and tons of space and a big back yard. She hated it, though, because it didn't have the 'New Orleans atmosphere' and it had country-ish wallpaper. She chose one of the condos instead.

However, they put in a part where the girl explains how her realtor talked her out of it by explaining how massively impractical it was (didn't have a laundry room, was in the middle of a massive tourist district, no parking, etc) and so, against her better judgment, she took the townhome and would somehow make do.

The funny/painful part is when they returned to her house 1 year later and found she had turned the entire home into a Mickey Mouse palace. The walls were red, black, and blue. There was Mickey memorabilia everywhere. Mirrors in the shape of Mickey. Toys. Posters. Clocks. Topiary outside in the shrubs shaped like Mickey. Mickey copper plates on the ceiling. Chair rail custom made with Mickey shapes on them. Everywhere, hundreds of Mickeys. Even in the back yard, a trellis with Mickey shapes, a picnic table with Mickey ears on it. Said Jan: "It's like at Disneyland where you have to find all the hidden Mickeys."

I would draw a picture of it but I can't draw that many Mickeys at once. So instead I've drawn a picture of a guy from a different home show who lived in a small apartment and moved into a very ordinary and sensible house. I don't know the point of the show whatsoever or why someone would think it would be interesting. There was no hook-he didn't like have to renovate the new home or anything. It was as if there was a show about people who wanted to go grocery shopping, so their realtor takes them to Harmons and Albertsons and Smiths and they decide to go with Albertsons but they buy some milk at Smiths because it was on sale.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to make a conservative

I had a horrible college class today. It's called "Media and the Marginalized" and no, it's not about the liberal bias that excludes conservatives from all mainstream news outlets. It's about, of course, 'diversity.'

But in the class, I was able to have my own blood-red conservatism bolstered that much further. Liberals like to live in an insulated bubble and never, ever, have their beliefs challenged. That's not possible for conservatives, and no true conservative would ever wish for such a thing.

The professor of the class was a walking liberal stereotype, but maybe a little more extreme. Within the first 5 minutes of the class she showed herself to be as narrow minded and intolerant as she seems to think everyone else but her is.

She talked about how discrimination is still rampant, such as with "Proposition 8" in California. She talked about how, even though Obama was elected, hate crimes have 'skyrocketed' since the election and 'reactionaries' are 'buying up as many guns as they can, as fast as they can' (the insinuation: so we can commit more hate crimes, right?). She smiled when a student referred to Republicans as "cousin-humping rednecks."

The thing that really got to me, though, was when a girl (Caucasian) asked if she could add the class. The teacher said no-the class was completely full, above and beyond. The girl, in front of everyone, somewhat begged. She is a graduating senior and this is her very last class that she needs. The teacher berated her in front of the class for not being prepared or adding it earlier and what a burden it will be to grade even another paper. Finally, the teacher said 'fine' with a huff and told her to see her after class. The thing that really bothered me: a girl (African American) walks in about 20 minutes later and asks the teacher if she can add the class. The teacher smiles and says "yes" and tells her to get the code after class. I understood we'd be learning about discrimination in the class-I didn't think we'd be learning about it first-hand.

Greg Gutfeld was talking about the University of Colorado establishing a chair for 'Conservative Thought.' He said: "I`m against this chair, for a number of reasons. First off...we don`t need it. Conservative ideas don`t require affirmative action – they`re good enough to stand on their own. If anything, we thrive off the intense liberal brain-washing that occurs on campus. For many of us – that`s what drained us of our own liberalism – being around liberals."

That right there is one of the reasons why I'm a Republican-because you would NEVER, ever, ever, ever, hear a Democrat say something like that. If there was such thing as a conservative university, liberals would petition far and wide for a 'liberal chair' and would applaud loudly if one was created, saying it was a major step towards making the university more diversified. No liberal on the planet would say 'thanks but no thanks-why not just teach things straight instead, regardless of the ideology that comes out further ahead.'

The majority of liberals-maybe the vast majority, would eliminate Fox News and Rush Limbaugh if it were put to a vote. Just take them off the air, and add in Ann Coulter, too, if you can. They are 'mean-spirited', they are 'liars', they 'coarsen the political dialogue,' the engage in 'hate speech.' There are limits to free speech after all, right?

You'd be hard-pressed to find many conservatives who would wish to do away with the New York Times or the network news. We just want them to do their jobs and be objective. Stop relentlessly spinning if things don't go they way they want them to, and stop omitting details, context, or stories altogether. Treat Republicans and Democrats equally. Apply a little intellectual and philosophical consistency.

For example, if you come out appalled at President Bush for throwing a $40 million dollar inauguration party in 2005, fine. But if you were fair and consistent, you'd be about 4x more outraged about Obama's $160 million dollar inauguration party in 2009. Because you're not, conservatives don't trust or respect you, and people who don't pay that close attention to the news don't get the full story.

All of this just reinforces my point-conservatives aren't made by hanging out with other conservatives-they're made by hanging out with liberals.

Maybe it's just me, but shouldn't the point of this whole thing be to get to as close to the objective truth as you can get? It doesn't help Democrats in the long run to cover up Barney Frank and Chris Dodd's involvement in the financial crash. Sure, you might obscure the facts enough to win an election, but if you keep doing the same thing, you'll just worsen the economy further. The goal should be to find what works the best and then do it.

Most people agree to an extent about things that should be done-where we differ is on the how. People want to have charity for the poor. Democrats say 'take away all the money from people who make more than them.' Republicans say 'so donate privately to whatever person or group you choose.' And wouldn't you know, we put our money where our mouth is. If you don't feel like clicking through to that, the money quote is this:
It turns out that this idea that liberals give more…is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above average percent of their income, 24 were red states in the last presidential election.

Anyway, that's it for my little diatribe tonight. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Catching up with Hutch

The best version of Private Eyes you'll see all day: (skip ahead to 2:45 if you want to miss all the 'banter,' which you probably would)

As a side-note to this, I think it's interesting to note the 'Neil Diamonding' of Daryl Hall. For those who don't know-Neil Diamonding is the process whereby artists from the 70s and 80s gain additional band members as the years go on so that by 2009 their bands consist of no less than about 37 middle-aged men, 35 of whom are all on back-up vocals, and 33 of whom will look homeless. Invariably, there is a bongo player in there and a full brass section. See also: James Taylor.


Speaking of Bobby Jindal, you've got to love a guy of Indian descent who speaks with a strong Southern accent. Plus he's just an awesome guy anyway, but still.


I remember a few things I was going to mention. My Dad and I were talking today about things like this, about how ridiculously inept Obama has been at vetting his appointments (Eric Holder, Rahm Emanuel, Bill Richardson, Jon Favreau, and now Tim Geithner). It was agreed that such picks are going to turn out to come back to haunt Obama, regarless of a state-controlled press.

Basically, you reap what you sow. If you continue to hire people with lousy character, you're going to experience scandal after lousy scandal wherein your entire staff lies, cheats, or otherwise slums their way out of a job. For Obama, partisan affinity trumps character.

Um, I guess that's about it about that. Obama is a very poor judge of character and will make some huge mistakes domestically as well as internationally because he's not going to read a situation or a person correctly.

Am I worried that he wouldn't respond with strength to an international incident? No. Most Democrats, because they have a built-in perception to be weak on crime and on national security, will go pretty far in the opposite direction to prove their opponents wrong. It's like how Republicans like President Bush were so involved in things like the perscription drug bill thing and crappy programs like No Child Left Behind-they perceive that they are thought of as being weak on 'social issues.'

Ug, I just hope Palin or Jindal have it in them to be able to articlate that the conservative platform is the best cure for 'social issues' as-is, and why. I can, so why shouldn't they? We'll see. It's going to be a long 4 years.


...It's been a while. School started this week and I've been deeply embroiled in the inner workings of life at the Socialist utopia that is the U, where you are free to build as many offices for professors as you want, but not student parking lots or parking garages.


So what's new with you guys? I've seen many newsworthy things in the last few days but as time passes, so does the clever things I was going to say about them.

But to celebrate the return of Battlestar Galactica tonight, here is a picture:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hooray for the penguin!

I know it's lame to post Youtube stuff rather than original things but this was too enjoyable to keep to myself:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm not even sure that's a crime anymore.

"If you shoot me, you're liable to lose a lot of those humanitarian awards."

This is flippin adorable

It apparently won an Australian film festival:

Stay through the end credits.

It's probably just me...

but Orlando Bloom might want to reconsider his official picture.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Long time no see

Apologies for the light posting this week. Just soaking up some quality time at home before I have to return to school next week. There's not much going on in the news and the movies we've been watching have been horrid. We made it through the first 10 minutes of Barefoot in the Park before ejecting it due to excessive Jane Fonda-ness and haven't yet finished Seems like Old Times with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn.

I did read "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, however, and can highly recommend it. If you liked Harry Potter or the movie Stardust you would probably really enjoy this book. I love Gaiman because he always invents his own mythology and doesn't rely on the boring goblins/vampires/fairies/blah stuff everyone else uses.

This is Neil Gaiman:

Friday, January 2, 2009


From Haaretz:
The IDF has made frequent use of what is known as "knocking on the roof": Militants are warned by phone when a residential building used to store arms will be bombed, and told to vacate the premised together with their neighbors. The weapons caches are hit only after the residents leave.

Hamas has tried placing civilians on the roofs of such buildings when the phone call warning comes in. In these cases, the IDF fired antitank missiles near the building, and in a few cases the residents left.

If that's not living proof that sometimes morality is a clear choice between good and evil, I don't know what is. Keep it in mind the next time you hear about how 'disproportionate' Israel's response to Hamas is.

There's a lengthy post in my brain on the whole Israel/Palestine situation, but I'll save it for another day. For now it can pretty much be summed up that there would be lasting peace forever in the Middle East if Palestine decided to just stop attacking Israel. Surprising that some of the best Christians in the world aren't Christians (or at least don't realize it).


From IMDB for the new Star Trek movie:
The first teaser trailer and posters for this film showed its original release date, December 25, 2008. On February 13, 2008 Paramount Pictures pushed the film to May 8, 2009 so it would have less competition and be a summer blockbuster contender. The teaser trailer has now been amended to show Summer 2009.

Boy, good thing they moved that out of the way or they'd have been clobbered by box office blockbusters like Marley and Me and Revolutionary Road.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I was amused to no end by the 3rd paragraph from this article:

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced this morning that the city will reverse its decade-old policy and use road salt to melt ice in future storms.

The mayor set certain conditions for using salt: on hills, arterials or snow bus routes, and on routes to hospitals and other emergency facilities when at least 4 inches of snow is predicted, if ice is predicted, or if extreme cold is expected to last more than three days.

The city earlier refused to use salt, saying it's bad for the environment, and instead spread sand over the roads.

I lived in Seattle and back in 1995/96, they still weren't using salt on the roads. They just used minor amounts of dirt, which had the effect of making for slightly dirtier ice. I'm not sure what the intention of the dirt was beyond that goal.

Maybe this is just my ignorance talking, but isn't salt from the environment? And I might be totally wrong, but wouldn't it not be much of a stretch to think that nothing that comes from the environment could possibly be bad for the environment-at least not once you really think about it? For example, lava burns down forests and stuff and kills hillbillies who refuse to leave their trailers when forest rangers say 'You should probably leave your trailer because there is a a river of molten magma coming straight for you,' but lava deposits extremely rich minerals into the soil, and like 10 years later bunnies and flowers and trees and rainbows return to the area.

So if that's true, and man comes from the environment, along with cars, stereos, and lightsabers, couldn't you argue that in the long run that it would be impossible for man to be bad for the environment because man is part of the environment? I submit that you can. It's not as if man doesn't have dominion over the earth or anything.