Thursday Open Comments

I wasn’t feeling well last night, so I didn’t prepare ahead. So sorry. I’m such a slacker!

On the topic, “The Buck Sure as Heck Doesn’t Stop Here,” we have this little gem.

And then there’s the “Pot/Kettle Diatribe” here.

And the “I don’t Give TIME my Time Anymore” reason #158.

That should be enough grist for the mill. I must water what’s left of my garden and start my overly full day.

Carry on.

Wednesday Nanny Open Comments

People on the left have accused those on the right of trying to control their lives through intrusive laws for years. On closer examination, it is obvious the reverse is much more accurate.

A prime example of this is the city of San Francisco. The city’s board of supervisors is entertaining a motion to ban sales of all live animals inside the city except those used for human food except fish. For example, you could buy goldfish, but not a puppy; you could go down to the market and buy a live crab, as long as you promise to eat it and not put it into a fish tank; left unclear is whether it would be ok to buy a fluffy bunny to feed your python.



This follows on the heels of a failed effort to ban male circumcision (even if for religious reasons as in the cases of Jews & Muslims), and successful bans on Happy Meals containing toys, plastic grocery bags, and sugary drinks, among other nannyish laws.

These efforts are similar to the mandates for low-flow toilets and shower heads and the upcoming ban on incandescent light bulbs (in favor of toxic chemicals in a glass corkscrew).




Dennis Prager suggested sending additional nannying suggestions to the SF board of supervisors.  I’m sure we could come up with some of our own.  One suggestion was to mention that wedding photographers should be required to post equal numbers of man-man and womyn-womyn pictures as “traditional unions in their shop windows.  The idea was to sound serious enough that it would make sense to a collection of loons such as they.

I don’t know where to send these; I’m sure an enterprising sort could find out.


Tuesday TSA Grope Open Comments

The “TSA bill” passed out of the Texas House last night. The Senate will vote on it, then I think it has to go back to the House. By midnight tomorrow.

The bill passed despite resistance from House Speaker Joe Straus, who dismissed it as “an ill-advised publicity stunt,” saying he wanted to “send a message without actually harming commercial aviation in Texas” (a reference to U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy’s warning that the TSA might be forced to shut down Texas airports) and “without making the Texas Legislature a laughingstock.” The ball is now back in the state Senate’s court, with two more days to go in the special legislative session.

“I am the Bread of Life”

Today Catholics observe the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ:

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.” — John 6:51-58

The Latin Rite Churches use the word “transubstantiation” to describe the miracle in which bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Eastern Orthodox Churches teach that this consecration occurs but do not use the word “transubstantiation”. Both Churches acknowledge the solemnity of this consecration. Most other Christian groups observe the Eucharist as a symbolic event.

The mystery of the Eucharist, and how it becomes Jesus’ Body and Blood, is perhaps the most difficult belief to explain. Perhaps that is why it’s a mystery. Or as St. John of Damascus explains:

If you inquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it is through the Holy Spirit … We know nothing more than this, that the word of God is true, active, and omnipotent, but in its manner of operation unsearchable.


Weekend “Gather ’em Up” Open Comments

I have a memory from about my tenth year or so, standing in our backyard with a few of my siblings, watching several “V”s of geese flying overhead. I remember the sun was setting, and the sky was that dark blue that signals that the stars will be arriving soon. We still had enough time to play a while longer before the summer sun finished painting the clouds pink, rose, and purple and took its rest beyond the horizon.

We watched the geese, and heard their calls filtering down to us mere land-locked human beings. I heard my visiting uncle ask out loud if anyone knew what a flock of geese was called. “A gaggle,” I said out loud. “That’s exactly right!” he replied, the surprise in his voice obvious. I guess he didn’t realize how much reading I used to do. It was no big deal to me, however, and as the geese’s calls faded away and the V formations disappeared from sight, my brothers and sisters and I finished up whatever we were doing and retired inside for the night, just as the sun did the same.

That memory came to mind as I recently came across a listing of names for groups of things, or collective nouns, as they are properly called. For example:

a BANK of swans (also BEVY)
a BASK of crocodiles
a BARREN of mules
a BENCH of bishops
a BLOAT of hippopotamuses (hippopotami?)
a BUSINESS of flies – or ferrets
a CHARM or GRIST of bees – or a CHARM finches
a CLOWDER of cats (not “chowder”!) – or CLUSTER – or GLARING
a CLUTTER of spiders
a CRASH of rhinoceroseseses
a DESCENSION of woodpeckers
a DRUNKENSHIP of cobblers (why just cobblers, I wonder?)
a FLUSH of ducks
a GAM of whales – or whaling ships, POD of whales
a HASTINESS of crooks (makes sense, I guess)
a LEAP of leopards (made me smile)
a LOUNGE of lizards (made me smile more)
a MURDER of crows
a NEVERTHRIVING of jugglers (makes sense, too, I guess!)
an OBSTINANCY of buffalo (not mules?)
an OSTENTATION/PRIDE of peacocks (yep, that fits.)
a PARLIAMENT of owls
a PARTY of jays – or a SCOLD
a RABBLE of butterflies (that’s new – I always called them “flocks”)
a RAFFLE of turkeys (well, at Thanksgiving, and for a good cause, I suppose) – or maybe they meant RAFTER
Lots of RAFTS – coots, auks, ducks, penguins
A RICHES of matrons
a ROOKERY of penguins
a SCREECH of gulls (makes sense, too)
a SCULL of friars (named for their tonsure, maybe?)
a SLITHER of snakes (definitely makes sense)
a STARE of owls
a STUD of mares????
a SUPERFLUITY of nuns? They are never superfluous!
a TUMULT of tuba players (from the tuba players I knew – right on)
a TURN of turtles (on a fence post!)
an UGLY of walruses 😀
an UNBREWING of carvers (I guess they never drank and carved)
a WAKE of buzzards (they’d keep ME awake!)
WEDGES – of flying geese or swan

There were many more. Many animals had several different collective nouns (ducks and water fowl in general were very popular, for example). It makes me wonder – what do you call a collection of:

Really stupid liberals
Really weak Republicans
Staffers for the above
Doormen at the Senate cafeteria
Presidential cabinet – Obama
Presidential cabinet – Palin (should she ever become President)
Protestors – liberal
Protestors – conservative
MSNBC talk show hosts
FOX News hosts
Friday night crowd after a high school football game
Thursday night bowling leaguers
I’m sure this crowd can come up with some good ones. Your mission, should you decide to stay out of the heat this weekend with nothing else to do, is to come up with creative names for certain collections.

The winner gets a prize to be determined by Hammy’s Grammy.

Keep it clean. Well, as clean as you can.

Friday Pick Your Battles Open Comments

Married couples enjoy all sorts of benefits to their relationship. There are also some strange difficulties one does not fully comprehend when standing next to their beloved in front of the priest.

There’s the issue of how one squeezes the toothpaste tube: from the bottom carefully or just squeeze that b@stard in the middle for all you’re worth? Pick up your clothes immediately upon changing or let them “relax” for a while? Hang towels up to dry or fire them into a pile somewhere? Whatever the case, arguing about every simple disagreement is a sure recipe for marital discord. One must choose one’s battles carefully.

This morning I had a fight with Victor about towels. I can’t tell you the details because it wasn’t interesting enough to document at the time, but it was basically me telling Victor I needed to buy new bath towels, and Victor insisting that I NOT buy towels because I “just bought new towels“. Then I pointed out that the last towels I’d bought were hot pink beach towels, and he was all “EXACTLY” and then I hit my head against the wall for an hour.

Unlike our faithful protagonist Victor, I’ve learned that arguing over towels or something similar can bring the law of unintended consequences into play.

And not in an exactly good way.

…as Victor gave me a kiss goodbye he lovingly whispered, “You are not allowed to bring any more *&^%$# towels in this house or I will strangle you“. And that was exactly what I was still echoing through my head an hour later, when Laura and I stopped our shopping carts and stared up in confused, silent awe at a display of enormous metal chickens, made from rusted oil drums.

One must learn to carefully negotiate and calmly and politely state one’s case. Otherwise, one just might end up with a huge steel chicken on one’s porch.

Pick your battles carefully. And be careful what you demand; someone may just give it to you.

Thursday A-10 Open Comments

Sometimes ugly is pretty. Take this fine aircraft for example.

It was designed to do one thing and do it really well. It was designed to kill Soviet tanks. To do that, the entire front half of the airframe excluding the actual cockpit is a really big machine gun. That shoots really big bullets. This will give you an idea:

The upper left-hand cartridge is used in the M-16. The third from the right on the bottom is a 50 caliber round, which is about 5″ or so long from base to tip. The round the A-10 fires is the one in the lower right-hand corner. It’s about the size of an old-fashioned Coke bottle, the kind you used to return to the store to get your deposit back for.

One more picture to get an idea of how big the gun is:

Tuesday Open Comments

The Left is already outlining who to blame for Obama’s 2012 defeat. Looks like it’s gonna be redneck whitey’s fault:

Each election cycle there occurs a tired ritual, in which pundits and reporters rediscover that yes, indeed, there are still a lot of white working class voters in America, and they represent a serious vulnerability for the Democrats. But just this once, let’s skip the period where everyone initially ignores this group and cut straight to the chase: There will be a lot of white working class voters showing up at the polls next November, and the degree to which they support (or abandon) President Obama could very well make or break his reelection.

I guess it couldn’t be because unemployment is 9.1% (actually it’s much higher, but that’s another story) or that the anemic growth in the economy shows no signs of improvement in the foreseeable future. So much for “post-racial” America.