A Swift Friday Linkage

Started a new job that has required me to adjust my sleeping patterns, hence we roll out a Lilliputian Friday linkage:

Because Jerr-o just oozes credibility.

A relegated story about the fall of Saigon reaches a new generation, thanks NPR.

Stephen Hawking believes in something far more incredible than spontaneous generation. Takes some serious “wisdom” to make that leap… On a related note, the last sentence of this piece is as sad as it is erroneous.

Your Texas Longhorns kick off the season tomorrow, to quote Dietrich, “I’m as happy as a little girl”.

Et tu, Brute?

A very sensible take on Glenn Beck’s farcical gathering.  Albert Pujols, what were you thinking?

Man encourages 8-year-old to cuss and thus is charged for “impairing the morals of a child”. Not shocked that this happened but I am shocked that the authorities of the Connecticut town have such a charge available to them.

That’s right, he said it. lt had to be said. Somebody got to say it. The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson took a swipe at Taylor Swift’s talent or lack thereof. Here’s a picture of her from the archives, Kanye is fark’d in, Toth’s son is not,

Japanese Politicians Take Over Friday Linkage

Ichiro Ozawa, possible Prime Minister of Japan, thinks Americans are “simple-minded”. His words reminded me of a description of Americans given by a fictitious Japanese Prime Minister,

They have the most violent culture in the world, yet they worship justice. They venerate making money, but their roots are found in ideals.

While we’re talking about Japanese politicos (real or imagined), Kazutaka Sangen, mayor of Taiji, has spoken out against certain people whose sole desire is to see Japanese whale hunts (like Taiji’s dolphin hunts) end.  His words seem to eliminate any room for discussion,

We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this. So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners.

Game. Set. Match. Way to stick up for multiculturalism Mayor Kazutaka.  Though “foreigners” doesn’t quite do justice to the word which you probably said:  gaijin.

On to the linkage…

About as a heart-warming story as you’re going to read…I understood why Bengals wideout Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco (Chad Eight Five), 85 is his number after all. You’d think with how tech-savvy Chad is, he could have plugged in “eighty-five” into Google Translate and found out that the correct Spanish translation is ochenta y cinco, not ochocinco. Oh well, at least he has his own cereal, mistranslated name and all… Mohler demolishes so-called theistic evolution…Jennifer Aniston’s latest offering flops at the box office, big surprise since she seems to want to resurrect the chest-clutching Rachel Green character in every one of her movies… Jim Furyk gets DQ’d from a PGA tournament because his cell phone alarm doesn’t go off, oops…Ever watch that Tea Party Scene in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? The masterminds who orchestrated it were the March Hare and the Mad Hatter (below). Perhaps that’s what we can call these 2 billionaires who are the masterminds behind the populist Tea Party movement…

[Photo credit:  Disney]

What To Do “When Creationism Threatens”

Well if you were to ask Antoine Dodson, he’d probably tell you to “hide yo kids, hide yo wives”, but of course the NCSE (National Center for Science Education) simply wants a bit of your personal info.

Here’s a tidbit from one of their mailers:

Incidents of antievolutionary activity often require swift coordinated local action, and the fastest and most efficient way for NCSE to get in touch with its members when creationism threatens is by e-mail.

I wonder if the NCSE has considered implementing their own version of the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory System (right).

Judging by the paranoia-laced paragraph in their mailer (“antievolutionary activity” etc.), it might not be a bad idea. What does “swift coordinated local action” entail anyway? S.W.A.T. teams armed with copies of PBS’ “Evolution” series?  A burnt offering consisting of creationist material?  A Blackhawk helicopter dispersing hundreds of anti-creationist leaflets over areas afflicted with Biblical literacy?

Then again, after the construction of AiG’s “unsettling” Creation Museum, I’m sure the terror level would perpetually reside in wavelengths greater than approx. 585 nm.

Advisory system or not, every responsible citizen should make sure to report any suspicious “antievolutionary activity” to their nearest public school. That way, they can put you in contact with the NCSE and you can file your report. Constant vigilance!

Pretty soon we’re going to have to redo the old joke: Pentecostals believe there is a demon under every rock, Baptists believe there is a Pentecostal under every rock and the NCSE believes there is a creationist under every rock.

Confessions Of An Edward Teamster

Disclaimer: This post is written by someone who has had an unnaturally obsession with the most popular products of George Lucas’ mind and as a result knows more about that ancient and distant galaxy than anyone outside of Skywalker Ranch has any business knowing.

Straight up, I have never read or watched anything from the Twilight franchise. Therefore I am singularly unqualified to critique the merits of said franchise. I do know that the young people eat this stuff up as if the antidote was in it.

Based on the few interactions I’ve had with the Twilight, it seems to be a love story about a whiny vampire and the even whinier heroine who loves him. A saga so shiny and happy that it makes Sylvia Plath’s work read like the complete and unabridged works of Barney the Dinosaur. (right)

But in this story, there is a wrinkle in the form a fellow who doesn’t seem so whiny, a ripped werewolf who in a past life constituted one half of the dynamic duo that was Shark Boy and Lava Girl.

Our whiny heroine can’t decide between the whiny vampire or the heavy-browed werewolf or as this writer put it,

Bella must choose between Ed the Undead and Jake the Pecs, a decision that seems to be, if you think about it, a straightforward choice between necrophilia and bestiality.

And you’ll never see this love story the same way ever again…

Read more of this post

A Hapsburg, LeBron and Martha Stewart Walk Into A Bar…

Carles Puyol (right) who looks like he just stepped out of a Hapsburg family portrait, heads Spain into the World Cup Final. As a descendant of the Hapsburg’s, Puyol will be looking for some payback by cracking some skulls against the Netherlands on Sunday

My guess is that since LeBron James missed not having a signing day presser coming out of high school, he’s making up for lost time with “The Decision”. Great column on the LeBron “saga” that  mercifully ends tonight.

When the folks at NASA aren’t trying to reach out to the Muslim world, they’re conducting valuable research.

Forget Wife Swap, how ’bout an old-fashioned spy swap? Makes me want to re-read The Cardinal of the Kremlin.

So now these “elites” will become embittered and “cling to martini glasses or environmentalism or antipathy towards people who don’t think like them or anti-American sentiment or anti-capitalism sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Right POTUS?

Unbelievable pictures of Monterrey in the aftermath of Hurricane Alex.

Holy poncho Batman! Martha Stewart had lengua, easily the most underrated “cut” of beef.

Caught this on PBS last night, I might or might not have almost shed a tear because of Jackie’s courage in the face of such bitter hatred.

[Photo Credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Europe]

Totalitarian Democracy

I became fascinated by the small island nation of Iceland in large part to Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising. A tome which probably doesn’t resonate with people who didn’t live during the Cold War, but which is a captivating and thrilling read.

I hope to visit the country at some point in my life, at least to see how they do Mexican food there…


Tabasco’s, a Mexican restaurant in Reykjavik (Photo Credit: Funofthefair)

One of Clancy’s subplots focuses on Iceland, it’s takeover by a Soviet Air Guards division and inevitable (Clancy is American after all) liberation by NATO forces led by U.S. Marines aided by a scrawny Air Force weatherman and his merry band.

So naturally, when I ran across the following article, Is Iceland a Totalitarian State?, I decided to check it out,

  1. Because it’s about Iceland
  2. Totalitarian __________ and Iceland seem incongruous

Needless to say, the article was eye-opening for it’s description of how a seemingly free, liberal even and democratic society can be anything but. And also for its relevancy to the way America is governed.

An excerpt,

Totalitarianism is a political system in which the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life. J.L. Talmon used the term “totalitarian democracy” to refer to a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government.

It has a certain ring of familiarity to it, no?

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