Tuesday, April 7, 2009
You have doubtless heard of the atrocious displacement of animals from their natural habitat by encroaching development- development necessitated by population explosions caused by a lack of proper birth control. It's an outrage that these poor helpless animals, who were clearly on the land first, are being displaced by irrational and selfish parasites. It has to end. We must realize that we humans are members of nature as much as any other animal. It's time we finally come to see that the mountain lions have no right to continue to take our land away. Our cities have been here long before those lions were born. We were here first.
A couple blocks from us, there have been several dozens of mountain lion sightings over the last few months (as in one every couple days). This is quite frightening to me as a father, and angering as a citizen given the ridiculous stance the animal rights groups are taking. Santa Paula is not growing. There is no human development encroaching on the territory of established cats in the Santa Paula/Ojai/Ventura Triangle. The cats are moving into our territory because their population is exploding, thanks in large part to the idiotic prop 117 of 1990 that ended sport hunting of large cats in California--sport hunting needed to control the population of animals. But 'animal rights' activists HATE the idea of humans controling animal populations.
I have some experience in this subject. I grew up in Wyoming in a family of hunting and fishing guides. We were constantly in contact with the Bureau of Land Management and other civic entities that controls the population of large animals. The issue of population control was as front and center in my household as cartalk in a family of mechanics. And Wyoming has the largest population of lions in the country.
We have 4 good couple friends who have seen a lion in their backyard in the last month--all of whom have small children, one of whom is at the center of the big controversy of the Feb. 17th KILLING OF A LION CUB by Santa Paula police. Don't forget that this 30lb. cub was going to grow into a 150lb. killing machine. And it's being taught by its mother to kill in your backyard. Read some of the comments of that article for 'fun'. It's amazing just how irrational rational animals can be. These people bitch and moan about large families and how they're a drain on society, yet scream against population control for predatory animals in the midst of our children?
Now for a ranting interlude: There's a little book I want you to read. Please. It's called "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" In it this man named "Charles Darwin" (that's no coincidence-it's really the same man that you have as your prophet, your idol) makes the argument that the primary mode of 'fitness' in natural selection, or 'survival of the fittest', as it was later called, is the ability to procreate. 'Procreate' is a big word, and one you're probably not familiar with, but it means to 'conceive, carry to term, and bear offspring'. And if you bear many offspring, then obviously the more 'fit' you are, and worthy of survival. So you see, Mrs. Anti-Large-Family, we are more 'fit' than you, mainly because you fill yourself with unnatural chemicals so that you cannot conceive and procreate. By your own naturalist principles, you must concede that parents of big families are more worthy of survival than you, because they propagate our species. Don't like what I say? Who cares. Their ideologies will win by the attrition of yours.
The frequency with which we are having sightings is alarming, and the news even caught the eye of Jay Leno (only the last 30 seconds is pertinent)
Funny and cute. But it's not going to be that way when a kid gets mauled because some 'animal rights' jerks put a greater value on a predatory cat than an innocent child, or more generally, on the procreative rights of a beast rather than a member of their own species. Where are the animal rights for human animals? When will our territory be protected? Are we not a member of 'Nature' like the mountain lion, and just as worthy of our own territory?
Monday, March 23, 2009
This wasn't actually my hobby (no pun intended) until 3 1/2 minutes ago.
Friday, February 27, 2009
So, here I am, 10 days since a post and there's almost too much to choose from for topics. Baseball and steroids. Or maybe the stimulus. Maybe I should post a couple of the drawings I finished with all of the free time I had without a computer to suck me in. It's like trying to begin Thanksgiving dinner. So much good stuff you can't choose where to begin.
So I choose the lima beans.
FR. BARRY has recently written about 'Lost in Austen', a NEW FLICK about a Jane Austen fan who time travels to get swap lives with Austen's fictional character Elizabeth Bennett...
OK, I like Jane Austen. The books, that is. I don't like watching the silver screen versions. At all. Let alone the bazillion take-offs. I'd much rather watch something based on Flannery O'Conner. You know, they weirdness, the freakishness. I'm thinking 'Temple of the Holy Ghost'.
But alas, somebody is trying! I wander what Fr. Barry will think of 'Pride and Predator'. Yes, that's right. Elton John's production company is doing a version of 'Pride and Prejudice', except that the main protagonist isn't Mr. Darcy, it's our favorite 7 foot tall alien armed with a nuclear warhead:
It might prove something of a boon to those who reach for the remote control when yet another costume drama comes on television: Elton John's Rocket Pictures is developing a new spin on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this time featuring a nefarious seven-foot extraterrestrial with hideous mandibles and a penchant for human blood. Yes, it's Pride and Predator.That sounds...awesome. Finally an Austen movie with something men can enjoy. Why wasn't this thought of before? Maybe the sequel should be Charles Mansonfield Park.
"It felt like a fresh and funny way to blow apart the done-to-death Jane Austen genre by literally dropping this alien into the middle of a costume drama, where he stalks and slashes to horrific effect..."
Of course, if you can't stand watching the Predator for the images it conjures of Arnold (and as a conservative Republican in California, I'm constantly trying to distance myself from thoughts of him), you can always pick up A COPY of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'. Because, well, the author of the article put it best:
Monday, February 16, 2009
"After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway. Obama arrived at his home in Chicago on Friday, and treated wife Michelle to a Valentine's Day dinner downtown last night...
...The president plans to spend the Presidents' Day weekend in the Windy City, and is not expected to sign the bill until Tuesday, when he travels to Denver to discuss his economic plan."
I'm so glad to know our President spent the weekend getting laid, while Americans spent their weekend fearing they might get laid off.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Think things are bad now? Just you wait. In about 15-20 years, when current teenagers have reached 35-40 years old, there's going to be a huge number of new pedophiles and general sex offenders out there.
Thanks, technology! And a special thanks goes out to you, parents who don't know how to, or don't wish to, supervise.
Monday, February 9, 2009
People fall within a range of proportions. Men can range from 7:1 on the squat and robust end, to 9:1 on the attenuated end (this proportion is reserved for adolescent boys and delicately proportioned men) Women can range from 8:1 on the more full-figured side of the scale to 10:1 for adolescents and very ethereally proportioned girls. Why the importance? Because if you're trying to draw a matronly lady you'd proportion her at 8:1. A barrel chested farmer who has spent his life working in the fields would be 7:1. A vestal virgin would be 9 1/2 or 10:1, while the effeminate and lisping Alcibiades would probably be well represented by an epicene body that is 8 1/2 or even 9 heads high--it all depends on what you're trying to represent to the audience. One thing is clear... Alcibiades at 7:1 wouldn't be right.
All this doesn't take into account the proportion of children which never meet the mark of adults--a phenomenon found in the higher mammals known as allometric growth--they start out in life with a head 25% or more of their body length, and then gradually stretch, becoming overly attenuated at adolescence before they elastically snap back to the overall proportion of maturity they'll maintain until old age, at which time they head back to, well, 0:1.
What is being set up here is a set of 'keys' for architectural design. There are 5 basic keys in the ordering of architecture. In fact, they are called the 5 'Orders', and many of you just call them the different kinds of classical columns. They are, in order of robust and non-sculptural to attenuated and highly ornamented, Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Roman (sometimes called Composite). Above is a parallel of the orders I drew comparing the orders to each other, keeping the height static and the lower diameter, or modulus, variable. How are they related to the human figure? Because the classical orders, anthropomorphic in origin and symbol, share the same basic proportions as the range of human figures. The Tuscan is 7:1, the Doric 8:1, Ionic 9:1, while Corinthian and Roman are 10:1, but differ in the amount and delicateness of ornamentation. Note that along the scale there is no ornamentation on the Tuscan (who's heard of a country farmer wearing jewelry?) All the way up to highly ornamented in the effeminate range of Corinthian and Composite.
Now, back to why they're called 'Orders'. They are given this name because they give order, they modulate the style, proportion and ornamentation of, the architecture. This is most clearly understood when it comes to building typologies. While it would be fitting for a Theater, the function of which is delicate, entertaining and frivolous to be in the 'key' of Corinthian or Composite, it would be an altogether misleading impropriety for a bank to be of such an order, given that it needs to project the ideas of sturdiness, lastingness, and impenetrability. So too, when choosing the order for a certain church dedication: It would be fitting for a church dedicated to St. Paul to be ordered with the Doric order, as he was a strong, princely figure. But to choose Doric rather than Composite for a church dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux would be to represent the girl rather not as a little flower but as a douglas fir.
Granted, this is modulation 101, and while architects can most certainly change 'keys' within one piece of art in the same way as Bach does in his music, we nevertheless have to learn the basics first, or you designers out there will totally screw up your façade, also known as façadomy. This is often why I'm so frequently losing my temper at idiotic uses of columnar elements in McMansions and the like. Contemporary architects are ruining a perfectly good and clear symbology when they slap up a Tuscan column here, a Corinthian there, an Ionic around the bathtub, just for the 'look at me I'm wealthy factor'. Heck, in the majority of designs, you don't even NEED a column for the Order to be present, but rather the proportional and ornamental principles ought be present in all features and done in a commodius manner, and never for a Mannerist commode, as one would find at Mike's Marbleopolis:
Friday, February 6, 2009
No, this is not a eulogy for Dr. Wiker. He's still alive and well. But I'm compelled to write about him because I JUST READ A POST OVER AT SALVO by the post-Darwinian warrior Denyse O'Leary, about a book Dr. Wiker has recently written: 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help. Learning that Mrs. O'Leary is a fan of Dr. Wiker makes me an even bigger fan of both.
Trust me when I say that Dr. Wiker writes like he leads a seminar: unpresuming but unrelenting, humble but confident, funny but quite serious.
While, without a thorough grounding in political theory beginning with Aristotle and carried through de Toqueville, it may be a little difficult to see all the reasons why Marx & Engels' Manifesto screwed up our world, but Dr. Wiker will quite simply explain, in the language of common sense and without pre-fabricated vocabulary, why it is so. And so it will be with his dissection of the other evil books of Western Civilization, whether their subject is natural philosophy, scientific method, psychoanalysis, or political theory.
If you are still requiring a little push to drop the whopping Twenty Bucks on the book, I recall a line from Dorothy Sayer's FANTASTIC ESSAY (Seriously. Print this out and read it) entitled "The Lost Tools of Learning":
"We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of "subjects"; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotized by the arts of the spell binder, we have the impudence to be astonished"So please, pick up a copy now. Read it. Learn from it. Absorb it. Share it. Then go read the original texts yourself. That is how we will destroy the beast that has become intellectual apathy rampant in American society.
You owe me a beer, Ben.
Actually, I owe a good deal of my intellectual life, and a great deal of my sense of wonder, to you.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Thanks, ladies, for LEGALIZING DIVORCE for a whole new demographic. Good job. I'm so glad the true love you had for eachother that couldn't be expressed in any way other than 'matrimony' has lasted the test of...time.
Monday, February 2, 2009
And I am saddened to see interesting and rare words senesce, which is happening at a much more rapid and alarming rate now that instant messaging and texting has become the choice method for communication by adolescent foppatees. Gone are the days of veteratorian differences in intended meaning understood through greater vocabulary, in large part because so many of those great words of the past are dying out through lack of use.
That's why it's so important to keep those words alive and leeftail. We inveterate pedants must do our part!
Oh, sure, I've RECENTLY RECOMMENDED that we'd be better off if we used simple, short words to more felicitously get our point across, but there still are those times when good old-fashioned sesquipedalianism is needed to maintain an air of omniregency.
So I keleusmatically implore you to get off your pigritudinous buttocks and ADOPT A WORD!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected
them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
Printed above is the first paragraph of the U.S. Declaration
of Independence. Select any one of the first 20 words. Count
the number of letters in that word and call that number n. Move ahead n words,
beginning with the word after your selected word. When you reach
that nth word, count its letters and move ahead as many words as
the new letter count. Continue in this manner, counting letters
and moving ahead words, until you stop on a word that's beyond
the fourth line.
On what word did you stop?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In a bizarre twist of historical artifacts which will surely generate interest in fields as varied as psychoanalysis to genetic biology, it's been determined that the father of President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was the authentic author of a letter written to President Andrew Jackson, threatening to kill him. Truly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree:
'London-born Junius Brutus Booth was a famous Shakespearean actor and a manic public figure. He had three sons in the theater, including John Wilkes Booth, who later would murder President Lincoln in April 1865 at Ford's Theatre in Washington.
"(Junius) Booth was well-known for acting up, acting out, as well as acting," Feller said.'Whoa! Check that... His middle name was Brutus? How fitting is that? That my friends, is called an 'aptronym'- when a person's occupation matches his name. Some other noteworthy (and very real!!) aptronyms:
Dr. Richard Madden (Hudson, N.Y.)
Alan Heavens (University of Edinburgh)
Margaret Spellings (Secretary of Education)
Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin, former archbishop of Manila
Ngoc Quang Chu, DDS (Bethesda, Md.)
Dalbert Fear, Jr., DDS (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Ken Hurt, DDS (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Kenneth Krowne, DDS (Brookline, Mass.)
Les Plack, DDS (San Francisco, Calif.)
Anthony J. Puller, DDS (Richmond, Va.)
Randall Toothaker, DDS (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Barth, Lacy, and Craig Toothman (Columbus, Ohio)
Jamie Maw (Vancouver magazine)
Brian Baldinger (former defensive lineman, Dallas Cowboys, Indiana Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles)
Joey Goodspeed (former running back, St. Louis Rams)
Quentin Jammer (cornerback for the San Diego Chargers)
Angel Colon (Annapolis, Md.)
Dr. Bonnie Beaver (West Hills, Calif.)
Dr. Harry Beaver, retired (Fairfax, Va.)
Sheldon H. Cherry (New York, N.Y.)
Dr. Hyman Meltzer, deceased (Chicago) Too bad it's not Metzger-German for 'butcher'.
Jack Christ (Ripon College, Ripon, Wis.)
Linda Toote (Flautist, Boston, Mass.)
Francine Prose (New York, N.Y.)
Office Supplies and Equipment
Dean Boring, president, Boring Office Supplies (Lakeland, Fla.)
Dr. Kevin Blinder (Washington University)
Dr. Allen Korn (Washington, D.C.)
John Lawless (Haverstraw, N.Y.)
Robert Raper (Boston, Mass.)
Ann Greathouse (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Religion, Professors of
Terry Godlove (Hofstra University)
John C. Chicken (author, The Philosophy of Risk)
Sexual Misconduct Researcher
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Whatever the case, it's certainly 'amusing' that the non-denominational Barack Obama is, in this isolated scenario, acting more in accord with Catholic principles than the Catholic Nancy Pelosi.
House Democrats are likely to jettison family planning funds for the low-income from an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, officials said late Monday, following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation.
Several officials said a final decision was expected on Tuesday, coinciding with Obama's scheduled visit to the Capitol for separate meetings with House and Senate Republicans.
The provision has emerged as a point of contention among Republicans, who criticize it as an example of wasteful spending that would neither create jobs nor otherwise improve the economy.
God surely works in mysterious ways.
Monday, January 26, 2009
A more concrete example might be that the best form of musical instrument, the violin, is the absolute worst when played poorly, as can be attested by anyone who's had to patiently wait through an hour long violin lesson with their 5 year old.
This is the idea behind the title of this post. The privation of the best is the worst.
And that was my first thought when I READ THIS ARTICLE about Nancy Pelosi's adamant defense of using more than $200,000,000 of the new economic stimulus package to subsidize birth control.
Yeah. That's right. Your federal government is about to hand out contraceptives to the poor (and even those that aren't so poor) because the burden on the government to help pay for all the prenatal care, those births and post-natal child well-being visits is not worth the cost. So rather than tighten the fiscal belt and help real American families, Pelosi the "Catholic" is advocating eliminating the problem by oppressing impoverished Americanss ability to reproduce. Here's a woman who's religious claim is to an institution who never has and never will allow contraception, and yet she's one of the staunchest supporters of such policy. The privation of the best (Catholicism) is the worst (amoral justification)
This is insane on so many levels I can't even get my mind around them all. But, just because I really need to vent about this, let's assume for the moment that you and I don't agree on the point that contraception is a moral evil. So in order to discuss this, let's leave faith out of it, and take a cue from our new President: he mentioned in his inaugural address that practicality will trump ideology in his administration. OK, so let's apply that.
To promote birth control as a way to stimulate the economy might have a short term positive effect on spending. Less poor people seeking medicaid for paying for births, the less money spent by the government. But what does this do long term? It removes from society a potential taxpayer. Which, if you were a democrat, you should realize is a bad thing since you tax the hell out of everyone and every lost taxpayer is a lost point of income. The initial $10,000 expenditure to generate the new taxpayer yields a net loss of what will be hundreds of thousands of dollars over his or her lifetime in income tax, property tax, and sales tax revenues, etc., and maybe millions if they become an economic success. Penny wise and pound foolish, Nancy Pelosi. Not very practical at all. The privation of the best is the worst.
What about voter bases? Madam Speaker Pelosi gets elected on a voter demographic that is highly weighted on the poor and undereducated side, especially minorities. These are the people that will be most effected by the influx of free contraceptives (and abortions and abortificants). Thus she is eliminating future voters. Not very practical for the continued success of your party, Madam Speaker.
I am truly mystified by this, but mostly I am angry that a woman who dares call herself a Catholic would slap her bishop, Rome, and Christ in the face with such bold-faced axe-grinding. This is a shame on all of us Catholics because she has become, by virtue of being so visible and audible through office and media, the voice of Catholic faith to many Americans and world citizens who just don't know any better. She is taking something that is so beautiful, so true, so good, and turning it into something so ugly, so false, and so bad.
Interestingly enough, not all politicians or governments agree that reducing births will help a sagging economy. Japan is actually ASKING WORKERS to take time off to go home and conceive future workers.
Friday, January 23, 2009
On Inauguration Day, I OPINED that Obama would symbolically rescind the Mexico City Policy on his first full day in office, or perhaps on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
But no. Mr. Obama showed restraint. He waited a whole day. And apparently, SOME IN THE MEDIA view this as a hat tip to pro-life moderates and conservatives:
Instead, he’s planning to do it Friday – and aides suggest he’s choosing a different kind of symbolism, to show that he’s not always going to do the usual Washington thing, even though his staunch supporters in the abortion rights community were pressing him to do it quickly.Just reread that last line. This spin assumes his 'virtuous restraint' of hyper liberalism is the most important part of this act. And let me spell out exactly what that act is...he's waited a whole day to promote the murder of millions of innocent babies, and the misleading destruction of the souls of millions of suffering mothers, and is trying to use that to appeal to the pro-life community.
It might seem like a small thing – the difference of a day – but it’s a sign of how Obama at times seems to almost delight in keeping supporters just a bit off-balance.
It’s also a way to send an subtle message to moderate and conservative voters that he isn’t going to wear his support for abortion rights on his sleeve.
Wow. Thinking that it's more newsworthy and valuable to keep your adoring media and staff "off-balance" than to keep your campaign promise to "work tirelessly to reduce the number of abortions" sounds more like "Politics as usual" than "Change".
The only thing President Obama has or will change is redefining "Change" as "Politics as usual". And there's no hope in that.
What a lightweight punk.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
'Geez Doc, I just can't seem to remember anything from the last 24 hours', Tom said lackadaisically.
I'm glad I now have this one, because I had previously not been able to decide which of the following Swifties were my fav:
'Elvis is dead', Tom said expressly.
'The doctor had to remove my left ventricle', Tom half-heartedly announced.
Tough choices, I know. But you can't have two superlatives at the same time in the same respect, as I'm constantly trying to explain to my daughter. And now all is right with the world...
...except that Jim Svejda comes to mind.
Caroline Kennedy DECIDED to take her name out of the hat for the New York Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.
"I informed Governor Paterson today that for personal reasons I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the United States Senate," Kennedy said.Translated to layman's speak:
'I found out that stuff I've done in the past is now known. I'm avoiding the embarassment surely due to me if I take on public office.'As for what Hillary thinks of all this, Fr. Barry points out that her mind is preoccupied with OTHER THINGS:
"Network news cameras covering Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony Tuesday captured Hillary Clinton silently moving her lips along with each word of the minute-long presidential oath of office..."And because that's from the Onion, you know it's more likely to be true than if it were from MSNBC.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
George W. Bush began his presidency with a prolife act. His VERY FIRST ACT as president was to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which denied US funds for use outside the U.S. for the purpose of promoting abortion. (Which was originally instituted by Ronald the Great in 1984 and was rescinded by William the Concupiscent on his very first full day in office. If you don't think the abortion issue is the key issue in the United States, then just take a look at the history of the Mexico City Policy).
As I listened to the inauguration of Barack Obama, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia for Mr. Bush. As Fr. Barry points out, one of Mr. Bush's very last acts as president was to TO INSTITUTE the National Sanctity of Human Life Day, which will forever be January 18th, and clearly instituted on that day to underline the impending anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
What is less obvious, but yet just as symbolic, is Mr. Bush's preference to honor the sanctity of life rather than spend his last few days pardoning cronies and business associates as was occuring the last few weeks of the Clinton administration, at a furious pace. Among Clinton's last acts were the absolution of MARK RICH, as well as other questionable pardons and sentence commutations that clearly lined the Clinton coffers--very ignoble acts indeed.
Of course, this difference in symbolic act is punctuated by the fact that Mr. Bush chose not to pardon Lewis Scooter Libby, which was, in the democrats' minds these last few months, a sure thing.
I wonder what Mr. Obama's first act will be. FOCA? God help us. He'll probably start by re-rescinding the Mexico City Policy. Oh wait. He's already CONFIRMED THAT:
"Officials with the incoming administration of Barack Obama have confirmed that he will indeed overturn a pro-life policy of President Bush on his first day in office. Despite campaigning on the rhetoric of wanting to reduce abortions, Obama will make one of his first actions promoting them globally."So it begins the way it will end. And so begins the end.
Monday, January 12, 2009
But 2008's word of the year from the AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY is: bailout. Which of course means this:
Friday, January 9, 2009
It's tempting to pretend you know your professors' own jargon to be considered in the know, but you only succeed in convincing others you're either full of shit or don't want to actually communicate ideas. While your tenured professors are hopelessly long lost and like Gulliver's flappers can only communicate with eachother, please do not try to partake in the isolation of the audience, because you'll just become another one of those jerks that speaks a lot but doesn't say anything. As George Bernard Shaw put it: "every profession is a conspiracy against the layman".
Sorry Kant. This is reason 618 why I hate you.
If you're interested in reading the original paper by Mr. Oppenheimer on the importance of using small, easily understood words, it can be found under this very clearly stated title:
Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday they have brought civil charges againstSeriously, I wonder if there's any distant relation, because almost all my Philly Phorte's are Joseph as a first name and we go by our middle.
Joseph S. Forteof Pennsylvania, who is accused of running a $50 millionPonzi scheme.
Oh, wait. I just ruined the plan. Shoot.