Monday, November 12, 2007

What Century is This????
Now, when I was a kid, I thought that thunder was caused by angels bowling (see what you get from a Catholic education?). Of course, I eventually grew up and learned what really caused that natural phenomenon. Let's take a trip to Georgia, where it apparently is still the 12th Century:

Governor seeks divine intervention to get some rain
Invitations going out for prayer service at Capitol on Tuesday
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With no rain in sight, Gov. Sonny Perdue is looking for a little spiritual help to get North Georgia out of its drought.

Perdue's office has begun sending out invitations to a prayer service for rain at the Capitol next week.


Heather Teilhet, his spokeswoman, said the governor began talking about wanting to host a service to pray for rain on his way back from Washington D.C. last week. He was in D.C. meeting with federal officials and the governors of Alabama and Florida to discuss the region's water crisis.

Perdue, whose son is a Baptist preacher, has had similar prayer services in the past.

"Georgia needs rain. The issue at the heart of our drought problems is a lack of rain," Teilhet said. "And there is nothing the government can do to make that happen.

"The governor recognizes that the request has got to be made to a higher power."

Teilhet said the governor's office has invited spiritual leaders from several faiths and dominations to participate in the service.

You have GOT to be kidding............now, I can understand if church congregations arrange a "prayer-in" for rain, but the Governor?? "There is nothing the government can do to make that happen." How about growth regulation? Looking at how much golf courses suck your water supplies down? How about realizinig that we all live in a dynamic environment with occasional droughts/fires/hurricanes/earthquakes and planning for that instead of thinking we all live under a hunky-dory benevolent invisible entity that (if we're good!) will give us some water? How child-like can you get???

Monday, November 05, 2007

How Many of You do This??

From the great xkcd webcomic:

I know this is a common event in my head, whether it is the Post Office or waiting in line at the grocery..........

Friday, October 26, 2007

Great Video!
Check out this well-done monologue on the "positive" aspects of religion:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pretty Cool Rocketry Experiment
Check out the almost half-scale X-Wing that launched but then broke apart....looks just like the models used on the deathstar run!

http://view.break.com/378238 - Watch more free videos

Friday, October 05, 2007

Back to Blogging
Ok folks, it's been a while, but I'm back to writing.....and I've updated the "Links" section as well, discarding old links and adding a few (check out The Nietzsche Family Circus) for a surreal experience.......

When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Empire Falls Flat
For one of the best bits on the decline and fall of the current empire, this essay by Bernard Chazelle in Candide's Notebooks is a must-read (complete with footnotes):

Westerners fondly remember Gorbachev for finishing off an ailing Soviet empire left bleeding from its Afghan travails. Defusing half a century of nuclear tension can leave a mark on impressionable minds. On Cheney's—not so much. The former Defense Secretary had a tender spot for the Cold War and never forgave Gorbachev for ending it with not even a kind word for defense contractors. Cheney is the quintessential warrior, with plenty of dead quails and birdshot-peppered lawyers to prove it. He is the gallant hussar—one day greenlighting “Shock and Awe” to give Guernica a second chance; the next day apprising US Senator Pat Leahy of his favorite sexual technique: “Fuck yourself ! ” Quite the martial wag, the man Maureen Dowd calls Big-Time Dick saluted the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 by persuading his boss to invade Panama (for reasons no one seems able to remember). And today it is anybody's guess which Caribbean island the United States will invade to celebrate its victory in Iraq.

Dick Cheney is a man of war, and a man on a mission: a crusader who won't rest until the name Bush Jr is etched in the history books—not lost in the microscopic print of the endnotes section, mind you, as is destined to be Senior's fate, but glowing in the radiant typeface of a chapter heading. That mission, for once, is all but accomplished. In January of 2001, George W. Bush took—er, grabbed—the reins of an American Empire at its zenith. He will soon hand back a smoldering wreckage of broken lives, enduring hatred, and vanished influence. Michael Ignatieff has called Pax Americana Empire Lite. A better phrase would be Empire Short-Lived, or, if you're William F. Buckley Jr and the vernacular ruffles your literary feathers, Imperium Brevissimum. At a recent ceremony for his son Jeb, George H. W. Bush was caught on national television sobbing uncontrollably. Pity the man who stands one short letter away from the worst president in US history. The letter is H, as in H for hubris.

“We're winning! ” exulted Bush last October. (3) Well... actually, “We're not winning,” he clarified a few weeks later, but “We're not losing” either. (4) So “We're wosing,” quipped the Guardian's cartoonist Steve Bell. Indeed, we are; and for you, Mr President, I shall count the wosing ways.


The words Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, detainee bill, and extraordinary rendition are seared in the world's consciousness as the badges of shame of a democracy gone mad. According to Pew's most recent “Global Opinion” survey, “anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than at any time in modern history.” (7) The war effort's claim on the US treasury will soon exceed $600 billion: more than Vietnam; (4) more than all the money ever spent on cancer research; (8) more than enough to “race for the cure” all the way to Alpha Centauri. We're wosing big, Mr President.

Historians will ponder how one gangly caveman and nineteen scrawny associates turned America into the land of the kind-of-free (53rd freest press in the world, tied with Botswana (9)) and the home of the petrified. The sons and daughters of the nation that stood up to Hitler and Tojo now file through airport security barefoot, much as they would walk, shoeless, into a mosque—a mosque, they pray, empty of Muslims.

Cravenness is bigotry's favorite nourishment, and cynics might expect the political class to gorge on it by blaming our imperial agony on the natives. In America, today, cynics rarely go wrong; and the air, indeed, is thick with talk of fainthearted hordes of Mesopotamian ingrates, who quail at the latest bombing and wail at the moon in exotic garb.


Whose fault? (The wrong question for a moral perspective—starting the war was the sin, not losing it—but the right one here.) Breathtaking as they were, the majestic vistas of Rumsfeld's ineptitude were little more than a convenient excuse for war advocates with egg on their faces. The grand whining parade has already begun, and mealy-mouthed apologists are being wheeled in on bloated floats to proffer lame excuses about inadequate troop levels, insufficient 4GW training, political fecklessness, etc. Eventually, the chest beating will die down as it always does, with the blame for the debacle pinned on the dirty antiwar hippies.


Lebanon and Somalia notwithstanding, the United States rarely cuts and runs. It did not in Vietnam. It fought to the death—of the other guy—and then cut and walked when victory proved elusive. Iraq is too central to US hegemonic fantasies to allow a speedy retreat: it'll be done cut-and-crawl style, with enough pit stops to admire the fireworks over Iran. Bush's playbook: (1) run out the clock; (2) anoint successor as “the dope who snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory and handed Iran the victor's crown”; (3) let the etching in the history books begin.

Could the invasion have succeeded? Not a chance. All the grousing about incompetent planning is the age-old excuse-making prattle of losers. Leave aside the not-so-trifling fact that the United States never had the proper DNA for empire (lite or otherwise). It is the incontrovertible reality of the 21st century that the time for the White Man's Burden has passed. Not only is the era of empire gone, but the days of the so-called liberal hegemonic order are numbered. Even before 9/11, the cumulative impact of European integration, the rise of Asian powers, and the resurgence of Muslim identity sounded the death knell for American hegemony. To hasten the burial will be one of Bush's legacies. Alas, incalculable misery in the Middle East, enduring anti-American hatred, and future terrorist attacks in London, Paris, and Seattle will be another one.

Go to the link and read the rest........

Monday, December 25, 2006

True Leadership
Once again, Dubya shows us that these times are tough, we need to sacrifice, call upon ourselves to.......do more shopping????

As we work with Congress in the coming year to chart a new course in Iraq and strengthen our military to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must also work together to achieve important goals for the American people here at home. This work begins with keeping our economy growing. … And I encourage you all to go shopping more.

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