October 31, 2008

Halloween, Indeed.

So, I come back from seeing a play, and when I opened the gate, I see a black cat sitting in the middle of the walkway. He came right up to me for a scritch. No collar, he's very skinny, but no fleas or anything. He followed me up to my door, maiowing. He looked into my apartment, but made no move to come in (although he did peer in). I scritched him some more, then went inside. I peeked out, he was still there.

So I fed him. He launched right into the tuna. Very hungry cat. He came back for a scritch, then sat with his back to the building, looking out. He seems to be waiting for someone, although no one in the building has a cat.

I said good night, and he looked mildly disappointed.

I have no idea if he'll be there in the morning: the people at either end of the building have dogs.

Happy halloween!

John McCain: Just call him "Tovarisch!"

According to CNN:
At the first stop on the tour, McCain touted his plan to use a portion of the $700 billion financial bailout package passed by Congress to buy up the mortgages of distressed homeowners so they can "stay in their homes."
"That's the American dream, and I'm going to protect it," McCain told supporters in Hanoverton, Ohio. "This administration isn't doing enough."
OK, first he's mad that Obama isn't using federal handouts to run for President, and now he wants to put Americans into state-owned homes.

And he's calling Obama a socialist?

I thought it was an accident that the Republicans are the "red" party; turns out they really are the Red Party!

Privyet, Tovarisch McCain!

October 30, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

John McCain has made a career of fighting against unnecessary government funding. He has long tried to get rid of "pork barrel spending," where federal dollars are spent on projects that benefit only a few people.

So I find it ironic that he is accusing Barack Obama of not taking federal money to fund his campaign. The affront of it: Obama has found willing citizens to give him money to run for president, instead of taking a government handout!

I'm not saying that McCain is wrong about Obama's promise. He's right. Obama did say that he would use public financing, which would have severely limited his campaign budget. It's unlikely he'd be in the lead if he'd followed through on that promise.

McCain, on the other hand, DID apply for funding, and he's already exceeded the spending limits it imposed. Or maybe he withdrew from the program that he also promised to use; that's what his lawyers are saying, anyway.

In other words, McCain also promised to use public funding, actually applied for and was accepted, and now doesn't want to be limited by the rules that were imposed upon that acceptance.

McCain is accusing Obama of not getting involved in the program that he, McCain, is trying to get out of.

Obama Rally; pictures from Pablo

My friend Pablo Urquilla was at the Obama rally at the BankAtlantic center yesterday-

- and he wasn't alone.

A Musical Interlude

October 29, 2008

Literary Corner: A Poem by John Cleese

Ode to Sean Hannity
by John Cleese

Aping urbanity
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Faking humanity
Journalistic calamity
Intellectual inanity
Fox Noise insanity
You’re a profanity

October 27, 2008


That's what the weather is.  It was a perfect morning to ride my bicycle into work along the New River, so that's what I did. 

Riding home tonight, the air was alive with the songs of birds: it seems that they are celebrating the weather, too.  Everytime I turned a corner, I could hear another chorus.

Sorry, no pictures, nothing witty.  It's just a gorgeous day, and I hope you have had time to stop and smell the flowers while listening to the birds.

October 26, 2008

Geek to geek: why I gave up iGoogle

As those of you who read this blog know, I really totally despise one of the changes Google made to their customizable homepage, iGoogle; the sidebar. It's the stupidest addition ever made to anything anywhere.

For reasons unexplained and unexplainable, some pin-headed moron at Google decided that it wasn't enough that we could SEE everything on our homepage, this dweeb decided we need to have a constantly displayed LIST of everything on our homepage taking up a sizable percentage of the left hand side of the screen.

Now, I don't know about you, but I read LEFT to RIGHT. That means everytime I start a new line, my eyes dart back to the left, where I see again the list of things on the page including the thing I just finished reading. It's distracting to the point that I actually get nauseous trying to use the "improved" iGoogle.

No stranger to software (having been a beta-tester on the early precursors of Mozilla and Firefox), I dug around and found two solutions; one that let me use the GOOD version of iGoogle, and the other that broke it so I didn't have to look at the fricking sidebar, but didn't display the other tabs of goodies.

And after a couple of days, I realized something: Google would see that I was still using iGoogle, even though I have been complaining bitterly about it. In fact, because of the work-arounds, the most experienced users who are the target demographic for iGoogle will continue using it.

And being a too-big-to-give-a-crap corporation, Google will see that there is no reason to fix the vomitous mess they've made of iGoogle. "Fuck'em," their president and CEO will say. "They're still using it, so it can't be worth the effort."

The only way Google will fix its mistake is if it sees a decline in traffic.

Here's a way to make them listen:
  1. do not use iGoogle, period, until Google fixes the sidebar issue. They pay attention to webtraffic.
  2. As often as it occurs to you, search Google with variants of "how to remove iGoogle sidebar." If that search string becomes the #1 search on Google, it will touch them where they live.
In the meantime, slug through MyYahoo or NetVibes or ProtoPage.

Fushu Daiko

Fushu Daiko just arrived to start setting up. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy having them here. They carry their own cloud of karmic balance with them. Mellowness unfolds when they walk through the door.

Today they're performing with a number of South American artists; Roberto Perera, Juan Blanco, Los Latigos Santiaguenos, Soledad Centurion, & Richard Scofano.

Two concerts today: 3:00 and 7:30. The weather outside sucks: come in and hear some great music.

You can hear selection of their music on their MySpace page.

October 25, 2008

Lake Lanier, One Year Later

Every now and then I look back, just to gain perspective on where we are now.

Back in October of 2007, Georgia was in the middle of a drought: one of its largest reserves, Lake Lanier, had dropped dangerously low.

The thing that was striking about this shortage was that the Army Corps of Engineers seemed totally oblivious to the problem, much like John McCain and his Sara Palin problem.

Here's a relevant snip of the post:

Major Daren Payne of the Army Corps of Engineers wrote a letter to the Governor, stating that Georgia was "not going to run out [of water] any time soon." He's the deputy commander for the district that oversees the lake and the dams in the area. And he seems to be some kind of idiot.

Hey, Major Moron, here's a reality check for you:

On the left is a picture of the East Point Reservoir, taken about a year ago.

On the right is a picture of the SAME reservoir, taken last week.
Notice something? Like the LACK of WATER? I'd certainly classify it as "running out of water."

Major Daren "Moron" Payne actually responded to this post! I'm going to interperse his comments with my responses:
Major Daren Payne said...

Just to clear the record and make sure everyone has the correct information I'd like to point out several indisputable facts regarding the drought situation and Lake Lanier water supplies:

1. There are over 280 days of water left in Lake Lanier assuming no change in current consumption levels and that we get NO precipitation whatsover during that time period.

Bragging that you have a supply that won't last even as long as the current drought has run isn't very reassuring. And with the rainfall record over the last two years, counting on rain isn't the smartest thing I've heard. Assume the rain fall continues the same rate for the next year: how long will it take to replenish the lake? Hmm, NEVER, that's how long, under the current trend.

2008: the water level has risen four feet since this post: but that is after it fell four feet. which leaves the lake where it was a year ago.

2. Lake water below the conservation pool (i.e. the dreaded "dead pool") has been tested by local labs and is within normal drinking water quality specifications.
Did I address water quality in my post? I did NOT. Not sure why you're bringing it up.

2008: I now realize it's a "talking point" he was instructed to introduce. Kinda like Sara Palin does anytime she's asked a question about anything relevant to her qualifications as VP.
3. Lake Lanier has not yet hit it's historic low. In fact, although this drought is the worst in history in terms of intensity and duration, we are still four feet above the all time low for Lake Lanier recorded in 1981 when the population drawing water from the lake was about 1/3 of what it is today.
I stand corrected about the historical low. I guess I'm about four months early.

2008: Actually, I was only four weeks early. It beat the 1981 record (1,052.7) on November 19, 2007 when the lake dropped to a depth of 1,051.98. It continued to drop until February, at a final record low of 1,051.79 feet.
4. The pictures in this article, while alarming to say the least, are pictures of a small, shallow cove in one area and certainly not indicative of the overall situation at Lake Lanier. In fact, over 65% of the total volume of water that the Corps can retain in Lake Lanier is still in the lake.
So, the lake is at 65% of its capacity? Hmm, that's 35% empty or less than 2/3 of its volume. This is supposed to reassure anyone? The guy who's walking cross his old fishing hole should sleep much better tonight, huh?

2008: It's a small, shallow cove if it's got water in it. If it's got no water, it's a dried-up lake bed.
Thus, while we have a serious drought and a very serious long term water management problem for the entire Southeast, I'd say the Corps has done a pretty good job of managing a scarce resource in the face of exceptional drought, massive urban growth and in the face of no less than a dozen lawsuits from three different states.
You've got a problem looking at reality, Major. Fending off a dozen lawsuits isn't a sign of success. Particularly when it is STATE GOVERNMENTS doing the suing. If you're successful, why would anyone sue?

So for know, I'm afraid you're still "Major Moron" to me. But at least you got balls. I may question your wisdom, but you got the courage to stand for your convictions. I wish I found that reassuring. I do not, and neither, apparently, do the people in three states who've filed a dozen lawsuits.

2008: Since this post, the water level has risen above the record lows of February 2008, but the lake hasn't risen above 1,055 feet. And in the face of Sara Palin, I no longer credit Payne with having balls: He's an idiot.

The Army Corps of Engineers was removing water from the lake faster than it was coming in, and doing this during one of the worst droughts in the region's history. I can only hope that he has been removed from public service as the incompetent hack he is.

That's because she's a MAVERICK, stupid.

You gotta love this CNN story:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday.

Apparently Sara Palin, no one's favorite pick for VP, isn't marching to the party line.
Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue."
Oh, really?  Tell me more!
McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate.http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j99/mocowboysfan/Sarah-Palin-Vogue-1.jpg
You don't say....
"She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else."
Hmm.  Something sounds familiar about this: she won't follow the rules, she makes her own way no matter what she's told to do....what does this remind me of?

Oh, wait! I remember!


2: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

You wanted a maverick, you got one.  Dumbass.

After weeks of decrying America's unhappiness with Palin, the chicken has finally come home to roost, and it turns out, to no one's surprise, that she's an albatross around McCain's neck.
"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in
No shit, Sherlock. We guessed that the first time one of the GOP's bright lights tried to bolster her completely inadequate understanding of foreign affairs by stating "Alaska's right next to Russia!" followed by the totally inane claim that she is "The Commander-In-Chief of the Alaskan National Guard!"

Only an idiot could have thought she was a good choice to begin with, and only an idiot would be surprised that this dismally bad choice is coming back to bite you on the ass

If John McCain had an ounce of integrity left, he'd withdraw from the race. It's obvious he screwed the pooch by choosing Palin, and continues to go back for sloppy seconds by standing by his total lapse of common sense.

ACORN: the truth behind who's nuts for them.

During a recent discussion on the upcoming religion, one of the arguments being offered up by my Republican adversary was that "Obama was trying to steal the election through ACORN."

His source? The McCain Campaign, of course. They claim that Obama is connected to ACORN.

But is he?

McCain Campaign claim: Obama directed Project Vote, "an arm of ACORN that also encouraged voter registration," back in 1992

The Truth: False! Project Vote is a separate organization from ACORN. Obama did direct project vote, but since it is a separate organization from ACORN, it is a lie to claim that Obama was working for ACORN based on his work on Project Vote.

McCain Campaign claim: Obama was a trial lawyer for ACORN.

The Truth: Not Quite. This one's a little gray; he did represent them in one case, but he was working for the firm Miner, Barnhill and Galland. And who were they working for? ACORN - and a bunch of other groups - hired the civil rights law firm to sue the state of Michigan to make them enforce a federal "motor voter" law. The way McCain tells it, you'd think Obama was on retainer to ACORN, and that's just a whopping lie.

McCain Campaign claim: the Obama campaign directed campaign money to ACORN in the amount of $832,000.

The Truth: False! They hired a group called Citizens' Services to assist with setting up various engagments (including arranging for sound and lights), and to do some "get out the vote" efforts. Citizens' Services sub-contracted the latter job to ACORN, and paid them considerable less than $832,000 for their work.

But there is someone in this election who DOES have connections to ACORN. Someone who has actively campaigned on their behalf:

John McCain. Here is is attending a March 2006 ACORN event with Florida Representative Kendrick Meek, courtesy of Politico.com, who got it from ACORN.

Need more proof? Conservative shill Michelle Malkin has a copy of the press release up on her site. I've been hard on Michelle in the past, but I have to give her credit: she did not want this to be true, but she found the evidence, and she put it up anyway.

It's originally from the Miami-Dade College website.


Major Rally in Miami to Support Comprehensive
Immigration Reform

Senator John McCain and many others to speak at the rally at
Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus

Miami, Florida – February 20, 2006 ― Leaders from a diverse array of sectors will hold a rally in Miami on Thursday, February 23, 2006, in support of comprehensive immigration reform in an effort to keep immigration reform at the forefront of the public debate. Leaders from both political parties, immigrant communities, labor, business, and religious organizations will gather to call on Washington to enact workable reform.

The rally will feature Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the headline speaker along with elected officials, immigrants and key local and national leaders. Sen. McCain is one of the chief sponsors of the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act; bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation introduced last Congress and scheduled for consideration by the Senate in the coming weeks. A similar rally with Sen. McCain is planned for New York City on February 27.

WHO: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL.), and immigrant, religious, community, business and labor leaders.

WHAT: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Rally

WHEN: Thursday, February 23, at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus

Chapman Conference Center

Bldg 3000

300 NE 2nd Avenue

EDITOR’S NOTE: Miami Press Availability: Sen. McCain will be available for interviews starting at 4:15 p.m. on location, Feb. 23.

The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) and in the House by Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). It addresses border security and illegal immigration while bringing the 11 million undocumented immigrants out from the shadows and onto a path to legal permanent status; setting up legal channels and realistic caps for workers and family members to enter in the future; providing for tough enforcement; and enabling more immigrants to learn English and prepare for citizenship. (More)

The rally in Miami is being sponsored by the New American Opportunity campaign (NAOC) in partnership with ACORN, Catholic Legal Services - Archdiocese of Miami, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Dade College, People for the American Way/Mi Familia Vota en Acción, Service Employees International Union, and UNITE HERE.

For more information call 202-383-5984 or visit www.cirnow.org http://www.cirnow.org/

Media contacts: Juan C. Mendieta, Communications Director (305)
237-7611 or Beverly Counts Rodrigues, Director of Media Relations (305)
# # #

This and other news releases from MDC’s Media Relations Department are available on the web at www.mdc.edu.


Senator John McCain (R-AZ)Leaders from a diverse array of sectors will hold a rally in Miami on Thursday, February 23, 2006, in support of comprehensive immigration reform in an effort to keep immigration reform at the forefront of the public debate. Leaders from both political parties, immigrant communities, labor, business, and religious organizations will gather to call on Washington to enact workable reform.

Someone might want to let John McCain know that we know he's lying to us. It's embarrassing, really. Like catching a little kid in a bag of candy with chocolate smeared all over his face, and having him say "I dint eat no candy, honest!"

October 24, 2008

John McCain and - Al Qaeda

John McCain may be losing support from his fellow Republicans, but that's OK, terrorists are stepping up to fill the gap.

According to Fox News:
Al Qaeda-Linked Web SiteBacks McCain for President
"If Al Qaeda carries out a big operation against American interests," the message said, "this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it."

For those of you who keep track of these things:

Barack Obama
John McCain

Me and My "Whacko Far Left Liberal Cohorts"

I received an email from a relative. It's entitled "I'm voting Democrat" and is a document that basically equates voting for Barack Obama with being hopelessly naive and irresponsible.

In short, they claim that because I support Obama, I "have my head up my ass."

But I am in good company: Elizabeth Drew (McCain's biographer), Andrew Sullivan (editor of The Atlantic), Jeffery Hart (editor of the "far-left rag" the National Review).

Oh, those are just "journalists?" You want something of more substance? OK, here are men and women who served on Republican administrations:

THIS JUST IN: the latest far-lefty socialist nutcase is Charles Fried. He is one of JohnMcCain's advisors. He's on the freakin' campaign website!! Twice!!!

Douglas Kmiec, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan & Bush 41

Jackson M. Andrews, Republican Counsel to the U.S. Senate

Francis Fukuyama, Advisor to President Reagan

Rita Hauser, Former White House intelligence advisor under George W. Bush

Larry Hunter, Former President Reagan Policy Advisor

Bill Ruckelshaus, served in the Nixon and Reagan administrations

Ken Adelman, served in the Ford administra

And here are some other "radically liberal" supporters of Barack Obama: I have appended the comments from that recent email sent to me by a relative. Do the comments fit? You be the judge.

Image:GEN Colin Powell.JPG

Colin Powell,
Secretary of State
for George W. Bush
"I believe the bad guys will behave
if we pull out of Iraq."

George Will,
life-long conservative pundit
"I believe the government
can do a better job
of spending (my) money
than (I) can"


Christopher Hitchens,
conservative journalist
"freedom of speech is fine
as long as nobody
is offended by it."

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley,
Conservative Journalist
"I believe liberal judges need
to rewrite the Constitution
every few days"

October 23, 2008

Sara Palin: Sleeping with the Enemy

The man was, until recently, a life-long member of a Separatist Movement. What's that, you ask? What's a "separatist" and what's wrong with it anyway?

The last great separatist movement in this country was the Confederate States of America. They bombed major military installations, and caused a war between the states that resulted in more American casualties of war than every war since combined. That's right: the last go around with a radical separatist movement killed and injured more soldiers than the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the current conflict combined.

The leader of this group has stated "the fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government" and also "I won't be buried under their damn flag..."

The leader of this group has even gone so far as to renounce his allegiance to the United States.

The group in question is the Alaskan Independence Movement. Their goal: to break away from the United States.

So who is this man that Palin slept with? A former boyfriend, a college fling? No, it's her husband, Todd Palin. For most of his adult life, Todd Palin belonged to a group that existed solely to pull Alaska away from the United States.

Sara Palin claims that Obama is "pals" with a radical, but she's MARRIED to one. Is that who you want one heartbeat from the Presidency? The wife of a known radical?

Talk about hating America: Todd Palin has openly supported ending his affiliation with it!

Isn't it time for Governor Palin to explain how she can be married to someone who hates America so much that he belonged to a group striving to pull away from it?

John McCain and..Hezbollah?

While people are assailing Senator Barack Obama for serving on a board with William Ayers, I thought I'd return the favor to the GOP and post some stuff about John McCain's "associations."

Associations like Ali Jawad, who served on the McCain Campaign in Michigan on the campaign's Michigan Finance Committee.
"Apparently he is a well known member of the Arab-American community in Dearborn," a McCain staffer tells ABC News. "He is also a known Republican donor and former Bush finance committee member."
Jawad is president of Armada Oil & Gas Company and founder of the Lebanese American Heritage Club.

Back in 2002, Ali Jawad argued that Hezbollah is NOT a terrorist organization.

Here is a quote from an Arab-American newsletter:
Jawad, 45, rejects talk that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that should be shunned by the United States and other governments.

"Killing innocent people -- we reject that," he said. "Hezbollah does not fit this category. It has protected its people."
Debbie Schlussel did some digging, and here's what she learned about Ali Jawad:
Jawad is known as one of the most important agents of Hezbollah in the U.S. He is related (through his brother's marriage into the Safieddine family) to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and the man Iran has designated as Nasrallah's heir apparent, Hachem Safieddine (currently a member of the 7-member Hezbollah ruling council, the Shurah Al-Karar). The Jawad and Safieddine families have many business dealings together. Both Ali Jawad and the Safieddines own many gas stations throughout the Detroit area. Armada Oil--of which Jawad is CEO--also distributes gas to gas stations throughout the Detroit area.

Jawad isn't shy about his support for Hezbollah. He defended Ali and Mohamed "Mike" Boumelhem, when they were caught by U.S. Customs agents trying to smuggle weapons to Canada and ultimately to Hezbollah. And he told The Detroit News that the terrorist group, which murdered more Americans than any other besides Al-Qaeda, isn't a terrorist group.

I think that John McCain needs to explain his association with Ali Jawad in greater detail. After all, Obama only served on a board with Ayers because someone else asked each of them to serve; they had no direct connection to each other.

But Ali Jawad served on McCain's campaign: he was working for McCain. Don't we deserve to know how a Presidential candidate came to have someone supporting a known terrorist organization working on his campaign?


In the interests of full disclosure, and because I'm not a lying weasel like anyone working on the McCain campaign, I am here appending the fact that the McCaign Campaign dumped Jawad from the campaign when Schlussel published her article. But even though I'm being more fair than Obama's detractors, I'm using this insanely small font to piss you off. And I'm using this stupid low-contrast color to make it even more difficult to read. But it's here, and that's more than you'll get from lying weasels like Hannity or O'Reilly.

The perfectly valid question remains: why was Jawad permitted to serve in the first place? Is this another facet of McCain's "maverick" tendencies? I find this reminicent of the way he selected his vice-presidential candidate: a poorly researched selection intended to curry favor with a minority of the total population. As much as Obama's detractors insist he will make inappropriate appointments, one has to look at McCain's records and ponder what bone-headed selections he'll make. And un-make. And make again.

October 16, 2008

Public Service Announcment: how to un-fuck iGoogle

I found a solution that will make iGoogle usable again, at least until Google finishes fucking up its interface world wide. (or until they fire the asshole who fucked it up and fix it.)
If you have the new version, but you prefer the previous interface, go to the settings page and select English (UK) from the list of languages. Please note that this is just a temporary fix.

- googlesystem.blogspot.com
But according to a Google help group, to make it stick, you have to change the URL you use to access it:
Someone posted earlier that if you change the extension on your
google url from .com to .ie then google thinks you're in Ireland and
they haven't been victimized by the "improvement" yet.
Apparently .uk works as well, maybe others. It works.
So I'm back to using iGoogle, because without the sidebars, it's the best thing out there.

But with side bars? Fucking unreadable.

(Do you think it shows how much I utterly despise the side tabs?)

Google Screws The Pooch.

I get home, and my homepage comes up, and it's all fucked up. Apparently some idiot at Google decided I need to waste the two inches on the left hand side of my iGoogle page.

So Google is no longer my homepage. I'm back to Yahoo. It's still a piece of shit compared to the original Yahoo page I had, but nothing could suck as bad as iGoogle's fucking awful sidebar.

The worst part? Google knew people were going to absolutely loathe it months ago. When they tested it, virtually everyone hated it, and the majority of responses was about how much they hated it, and asking for directions on how to re-set the page to its PROPER setting: with the tabs at the TOP. Where they BELONG.

Google finally figured out how to lose market share; I guess they're emulating John McCain.

Congratulations, Google, for the worst business decision since New Coke.

October 14, 2008

Jesus: 0, Evil Priesthood: 6

Six people tried to attend services at the chapel of Palm Beach Atlantic University on Sunday. But because they were members of a group promoting equality for homosexual men and women, the pastor called in the police to arrest them for trespassing.Duccio di Buoninsegna: Jesus Captured (detail)

Not very Christian of him, if you ask me. Or maybe I missed the part in the Bible where Jesus, enraged that some outsider dared to try to sit in on a sermon, called in the Roman Centurions to haul them away in irons.

Jesus preached love, acceptance, and forgiveness. He taught that it's up to you be offended, so if someone does something that offends you, simply refuse to take offense.
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. - Matthew 5:39, King James Bible
But Terry "Pontius Pilate" Wheeler, Director of Campus Security, had a different message for these six wayward souls:
"You are an unwanted guest. We have asked the Police Department to enforce the trespassing law."
Or as PBAU spokeswoman Becky "Caiphus" Peeling explained:
"We were hoping they would heed our warnings and remain off campus."
The fact is that the actions of Palm Beach Atlantic University do not square with the teachings of their proclaimed Savior. But they match the actions of the Jewish priesthood who conspired against him almost perfectly.

So Palm Beach Atlantic University, a college dedicated to teaching the finer points of the ministry of Jesus Christ (who they believe is the Son of God), reacts to a crisis of Faith by completely turning their backs on those teachings.

Jesus held that we teach best by example; lead the kind of life you want others to emulate. Well, PBAU has a lesson for us, and it's not the one they claim they're teaching. But it is the one they are actually teaching.

Sorry, Jesus. I guess you got nailed to that tree for nothing.

October 10, 2008

Gluten-Free South Florida; Sun-Sentinel got news for you

I've mentioned this once or twice: I have a condition known as Celiac Disease.  What it all boils down to is that i can't ingest foods with a specific type of gluten; a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

This means I have to read a lot of labels, and going out for dinner can be a hazard; even if the food doesn't contain gluten, it can become contaminated if cooked with the same pots and pans and utensils used for gluten-bearing foods.

This past week, the Sun-Sentinel has run not one, but TWO, articles about gluten-free food.

The first is about finding GF foods.  It's actually something they picked up from the LA Times, and it's not even advanced enough to be "gluten-free 101."  It informs you that there's thing called the internet, and you can find GF food vendors on it. There is a link to the Celiac Disease Foundation.  And they mention that "More conventional supermarkets — including some Wal-Marts and Sam's Clubs — are getting into the gluten-free act as well."

They ran a much better story on Thursday; one of my co-workers left a clipping on my desk.  This article describes how GF baking requires mixing different flours together to get the same kinds of results found using wheat flour.

And they had links to a couple of recipes:
I'm always quick to point out their errors; it's only fair that I give them props for reaching out.

October 8, 2008

More Dictionary Fun with Sarah Palin

She uses words. And words have definitions. Definitions are, by definition, definitive; that is they define the meaning at its absolute value. Even when you mis-use the words, they have meanings that can be derived with a little patient study.

For example, the McCain/Palin campaign (or, as Sarah likes to call it, the Palin/McCain campaign) has been using a phrase that on the surface makes no sense, if you take the words they are using at their face value.

Palin has said it several times; it caught my ear during her debate. Amidst all the nonsense she was gibbering, she blurted out this line:
"...I've joined this team that is a team of mavericks..."
- see transcript via CNN
If you recall, I discussed the word "maverick" last month. And since I don't think they are claiming to be a team of lost calves, they are using this definition of maverick:
MAVERICK: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
Now, since a maverick is an individual who does not go along with a group, it is not possible to have a team of mavericks.

Unless, of course, you are talking about a racing team comprised of the compact Ford of the 1970s.

But since we're talking about the Presidential race, and not a stock-car race, I think it's clear that neither McCain nor Palin are claiming to be a Pinto's brawnier cousin.

They may feel free to correct me on this.

It's clear that they can not have a team of mavericks, because that is a term that negates itself, since maverick means someone who acts alone. What they have is a group that doesn't follow the rules.

Oh, wait, there's a word that fits this! This must be what they really mean!
GANG: a group of persons working to unlawful or antisocial ends
And what do you call a member of a gang?
GANGSTER: a member of a gang of criminals
See? If you spend a little time with a dictionary, you too can learn what people are really trying to tell you!

October 4, 2008

Miami Chamber of Commerce presents A Puppet Show

Respected journalist Michael Putney has withdrawn from an upcoming debate because he discovered the participants would receive the questions in advance. And while the Chamber hasn't referred to the luncheon as a debate, they are implying as strongly as they are denying that's what it is.

How are they implying it? By having a moderator, and by collecting questions from the public for the forum members to answer; that implies a give-and-take discussion. Those are things you find in a debate. The moderator asks questions of the participants, and they do their best to answer those questions.

The sleazy weasels respected members of the Chamber are trying to eel their way out of it by claiming "The forum format is not a debate."

Let's turn to the dictionary, shall we?
Forum: 1. a public meeting or lecture involving audience discussion

: a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides, the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure

As you can plainly see, "debate" is much closer to what the Chamber claims it is trying to do. In a debate, issues to be discussed are decided in advance, which fits with collecting the questions. If the Chamber was honestly

In neither case do you give a cheat sheet to the participants.

What the chamber is actually presenting is a scripted event: it's a play. There is no "moderator," and there are no "questions;" there is an actor who reads his lines. The other players already know what the moderator is going to say, because they have a copy of the script. They've had days to prepare, to learn their lines.

There will be no glimpses into the beliefs or abilities of the candidates, because this event is essentially one of their paid commercials. The only difference between this and their commercial is that the suckers viewers are being charged to watch it.

Michael Putney was justifiable outraged when he found out that he was being brought in not as a moderator, but a ventriloquist's dummy.
"That reduces the moderator to some kind of puppet and if that's what they wanted, they can hire an actor.''

He stepped down from the event. But not to worry, they found a replacement: WTVJ's Nick Bogert apparently doesn't mind being a mindless puppet shilling for dime.

Hey, didn't Mike Wallace pitch cars back in the 50's?

I guess that tells us everything we need to know about the Chamber; they're stuck in the 1950s, while the rest of us are in the 21st century.

October 2, 2008

Deja Vu all over again

Merck abandons fat-fighting pill

She's a housewife, a mother, a troop leader, and a nuclear physicist.  She's raising a family, running a household, going to night school, and juggling a career.  How does she do it?

She takes...speed. 

Speed...the little blue pill you don't need to be overweight to take.

Ask your doctor for a presciption.  Or your friend's doctor.  Or that guy at the health club.  Or that gang banger who hangs out near your children's school.

Speed...the little blue pill you don't need to be overweight to take.

Firefighter who took foot gets the boot.