|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Thursday, July 03, 2003
Posted 7:10 AM by WiN
I've won the lottery!
At least according to an email I received late last night:
We happily announce to you the draw of the Euro -Afro Asian Sweepstake Lottery International programs held on the 1st of march 2003 in Dakar Senegal. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 574 756005900 188 with Serial number 5388/02 drew the lucky numbers: 31-6-26-13-35-4550, which subsequently win you the lottery in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) in cheque credited to file KPC/9080118308/03. This is from a total cash prize of US$100 Million dollars, shared amongst the first hundred (100) lucky winners in this category.I am sooo excited!!! What should I spend my new-found wealth on? Helping the poor and needy? Supporting campaigns to roust sleazy leftists from Congress? A new car? A romantic trip with the sainted wife? Oh, and maybe a college account for the progeny...
Well, I better get cracking on collecting my cool Mil - now how do I do that again?
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 individuals and companies. This promotion takes place annually. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem it to claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements. Please be warned. To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agent: MR. Perry Omoh. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHmm, guess I messed up on that confidentiality thing. I'm sure they'll let it slide, though, since I am a winner, after all. All I gotta do is send them my full name, address, and telephone number. I suppose they'll want my bank account information, too, so they can deposit my winnings. I better get cracking on this. I'll let everyone know when I get my money.
OOOPS! Never mind.
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Posted 3:14 PM by WiN
The missing pieces
Posted 2:45 PM by WiN
When nature strikes back
"Don't try to fool me - I know there's a seal in there somewhere"
Posted 8:51 AM by WiN
Walter Williams on affirmative action
Posted 7:36 AM by WiN
Encouraging signs in the Holy Land
Nothing really to do with "Road Map" SNAFU, but highly encouraging - Mosque Foundations Razed in Nazareth; Tourists, Jews Allowed on Temple Mount.
I personally think that Muslim and Israeli authorities should have equal custody of the Temple Mount, and that all construction there should cease immediately pending mutual agreement between the two. Thousands of ancient Hebrew artifacts have already been destroyed by indiscriminate excavation of the Temple Mount site during Muslim building projects. This is 100 times the crime against humanity that the phony Iraqi museum looting was, yet you don't hear anything about it in the American or European media. At a bare minimum, people of all three monotheistic faiths should be allowed access to the area, which is in truth much more sacred ground to Jews and Christians than it ever has been to Muslims. In fact, some scholars believe that the Muslim "Dome of the Rock" is built directly over the site of the Holy of Holies of Solomon and Herod's Temples.
The resolution of the dispute over this sacred site, the most important piece of real estate on earth, is likely to be bloody, but I have no doubt as to its final disposition. In the end, the third (and last) temple will be built there, and the events described in Revelations will unfold. My advise to you is - be ready.
Posted 7:20 AM by WiN
Gibson "Hopes to evangelize"
I've read a few things already about Mel Gibson's groundbreaking movie project "The Passion", and I must admit that what I'm hearing is getting me excited about its release. This article makes me even more so.
Although (The Passion) won’t be released until March, Gibson brought it to Colorado Springs — a national hub of evangelical Christianity — for one day to make sure its depiction of the Gospel was acceptable to leaders at Focus on the Family and to hundreds of church leaders, including Ted Haggard, New Life’s pastor and president of the National Evangelical Association.If you are at all familiar with "evangelical Christianity", you realize how significant Gibson's gesture is, and how powerful an endorsement it is to have Haggard and Don Hodel, president of Focus on the Family, say things like, “It’s certainly the most powerful portrayal of the passion I’ve ever seen or heard about. The movie is historically and theologically accurate.” Very rare is the film that has attempted to portray even a small portion of Jesus' life with such devotion to historical accuracy. The only other one that I am aware of is the world-renowned "Jesus" film produced by Campus Crusade for Christ, but even it wasn't filmed in the original languages (Aramaic and Latin) of the day.
I honestly don't know how large an audience Gibson expects for his labor of love, but I'm sure most people believe it will be rather small. I'm not so sure I'd bet on that. I am beginning to believe that this film is truly being orchestrated by God's hand, and that He intends to use it for His purposes in a great and unexpected way, and that makes me even more anxious for its release. As Ted Haggard is quoted as saying, “You can’t help but be upset when you realize the gravity of what Jesus went through,” especially when you realize He did it for you. It could just change your life.
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Posted 2:44 PM by WiN
Reading my mail
Pietro's been reading my mail over at The SmarterCop. Seems he's already covered most of the stuff I blogged today, and came up with a few doozys I hadn't seen, like this one on 'distracted driver personality' and this one on a recent ruling concerning bloggers' libel liability. He also makes this interesting observation on the results of the recent MoveON.com poll.
Just a random thought - I wonder how Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice would fare in a Republican primary?Guess I'll have to add him to the blogroll, filed under "Conservatives" with all the rest of the right-wing loonys.
Posted 2:33 PM by WiN
Regime change in Iran
Right now there's a lull, but the storm is coming. Michael Ledeen looks at what has happened, what is happening, and what's next in this article on NRO.
And am I the only person to smell a connection between Tony Blair's call for the civilized world to support the democracy demonstrators one day, and the murder of seven English soldiers the next?Whether we have to eventually send American troops into Iran, or simply support regime change by supporting pro-democracy activists, America needs to be on the right side of history on this one. Mr. Bush, Mr. Powell, time is running out to make a stand. Make us all proud, and do the right thing.
Posted 1:02 PM by WiN
This is the kind of thing that could make one very, very angry, if you thought about it too much:
Posted 12:17 PM by WiN
Cheney of lies
... in any event, Rumsfeld's and Cheney's critics are making a far greater error: Though they are literally correct when they quote Cheney as saying Saddam had nuclear weapons, they don't even hint to their readers that instead of "recklessly exaggerat[ing]," Cheney quite likely simply misspoke — and that rather than trying to mislead people into thinking that Saddam had nuclear weapons, Cheney repeatedly suggested the contrary several times in the very interview that they're quoting.Pat of Judicial Asininity asks, "Is it too much to ask NYT columnists to quote Bush administration representatives honestly? That seems to be the case." Indeed it does.
Posted 11:10 AM by WiN
Inside baseball blog stuff
CAUTION: This post contains only boring blog-related information.
As most blogging cognoscente are probably aware, the market for blogging-related tools/software/hosting is really heating up lately. A while back, Slate launched a for-pay blog hosting site which, from what I've read, didn't exactly go off like gangbusters. Even as the 800-lb gorilla of the blogging world, Blogger, announced its acquisition by the white knight Google, the quality of its (free) services continued to deteriorate. The most persistent (and annoying) problem seems to have been related to the archiving function, whereby each post is automatically relegated to an 'archive' page which is segregated by week, month, year - whatever the blogger designates - and which theoretically assigns it a unique URL which can be linked to on other sites. This functionality totally crapped out at some point, the workaround being that users of free Blogger services (like yr obdnt srvnt) had to do a little song and dance called "republishing archives" every time we posted, if we wanted other folks to be able to reference it on their page. People who weren't aware of this little trick (or were too lazy to do it every time - it takes 1-3 minutes) pretty much stopped getting linked to because other bloggers tired of putting "go to this page and scroll down to post X" instead of giving a direct link. Some folks hung onto Blogger, hoping against hope that the Google marriage would bring a technology infusion that would, at a minimum, get things working again like they were intended to. Others, encouraged by the ever-growing ranks of Bloggers Who Wouldn't Use Blogger If You Paid Them, began a mass migration to Movable Type or some other blogging software, hosted by a Real Web Host (read: one you pay money to). Others hung on, knowing that the Movable Type folks were themselves working on a combination blogging tool/web hosting solution.
Well, the day has finally come for those of us, um, thrifty souls (I'm part Scot) who hung on with Blogger/BlogSpot. Late last week, I was unable to post anything, seeing only a message saying "your blog software is being updated" or some such where I would normally have seen my editing page. Eventually, there was a slightly different interface, that seemed to work about the same way as the old one, only faster (and with Google at the reigns, you would expect blazing speed would be part of the package if nothing else). But the piece de resistance is - ta da! - archiving is (or seems to be) fixed!
So, I'm asking anyone who has any inkling of linking to one of my posts to check it out and let me know if it's still not working. It seems to work for me but it may be because I'm on the PC that created the post. Otherwise, I guess I'll hold out at least long enough to give TypePad a close look when it gets out of Beta testing.</boring blogging minutia>
Posted 10:22 AM by WiN
Liberals - Blacks' worst enemies
As the result of a lengthy and highly successful propaganda campaign, most Americans today "know" that conservative policy is designed to keep the black man down, while compassionate, understanding, caring liberals do everything they can to help blacks escape the consequences of the racist hell that is life in the United States circa 2000. Only those who study the facts with complete objectivity, ignoring leftist platitudes and faulty logic, will come to the realization that liberal policies have in fact done far more damage than good to the cause of true equality under the law and equal opportunity in education and the job market. Although many conservatives know this, few are willing to point this out as Dennis Prager does in his column today. His thoughts on affirmative action track very closely with mine, although more eloquently:
The first and most important reason affirmative action hurts blacks is that it renders black achievement suspect. Every campus that practices race-based affirmative action places every black student and professor there under a cloud: Did this individual really merit getting in? Or did the university lower its standards?How insulting is it to be told that you flat don't have the ability to make it on your own, so "we're going to have to help you, you poor thing"? How discouraging is it to hard work and maximum effort on the part of black students to be told, "Well, we know you people don't do as well in school, so we'll make allowances for that when you apply for college"? Or that "We know you single mothers don't have any marketable skills or abilities that would allow you to get and keep a job, so we'll just continue to support you poor things without requiring any effort on your part"?
I've been around conservative thought long enough to say without fear of contradiction that the overwhelming majority of conservatives believe heart and soul in equal opportunity and the total elimination of racial discrimination, in all areas of public life. As for private businesses, if they don't want to hire a particular person for whatever reason, well, that's their loss. Someone else might just get an excellent employee because they don't restrict their hiring by external appearances, or beliefs or whatever. The free market will take care of that. But continuing to treat blacks as a "special case", nearly a century and a half after the end of slavery, is demeaning, discouraging, destructive and downright vicious. The question is, how much longer can the left keep an ever more prosperous and well-informed black population "down on the plantation"? Hopeful signs, like the willingness of black officials in Washington D.C. to buck the party line on vouchers because they're tired of seeing black children herded through a worthless public education system, indicate that it won't be too much longer. The "soft bigotry of low expectations" is, and desperately need to be, coming to an end. Only when blacks are truly "(not) judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" can this nation fully realize its enormous potential and divine destiny as a beacon to the world, and I am believing that I will see that day come in my lifetime. On that day, the descendants of American slaves will truly be "free at last".
...the most spirited applause came when (Party leader Minister) Quanell X described Democrats as "pimps" who often trick blacks into supporting them, only to betray them once elected.BTW, that applause was coming from a meeting of Young Republicans, who invited him to speak.
Posted 9:37 AM by WiN
Splattering bugs for science
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you - The Splatometer.
Scientists at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, fearing that a decline in insect numbers has contributed to a drop in bird populations, have devised a simple way to count insects: a post-card-sized piece of plastic film that attaches to the front of a car to collect splattering insects.I could have given them a truely massive sampling from my trip to San Antonio - somehow I don't think Texas has quite the insect shortage that the UK has.
Monday, June 30, 2003
Posted 12:42 PM by WiN
The birth of the Palestinian "nation"
How did a tiny subset of mostly nomadic Arabs manage to re-form themselves into a pseudo national identity known as "Palestinian"? And what is the unique characteristic of this "nation"? Cynthia Ozick takes a look at the dark culture of death that is the Palestinian identity in this Featured Article on WSJ OpinionJournal.
No one can refute the truth that the Palestinians have fashioned a culture peculiarly their own--but one so steeped in the negative as to have been turned into a kind of anti-history. In order to deprive Jews of their patrimony, Palestinians have fabricated a sectarian narrative alien to commonplace knowledge.A fascinating essay on the brief history of this "nation" invented from whole cloth - go take a look.
Posted 8:06 AM by WiN
The race is on
Richard Bennett explains what the opinions from the Texas sodomy case really mean:
This wasn't a case about law, it was the kick-off event in the race to replace the retiring Rehnquist as chief justice.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.