Smile and say cheese

April 17, 2013

Folks have been wondering just how Boston Massacre II will be used to curtail our liberties. It certainly will be, as the Chicago Gang will never let a good crisis go to waste.  This one has messed with the gun control agenda a bit, so it needs to work overtime. (indeed, the bad timing is evidence against it being a false flag operation). We’ve been joking around at home about “assault style pressure cookers” with “black tactical grips.”. But I think this time they will mandate rather than ban something.

As I was reading at Ace that they had a suspect, it came to me. There’s been a crapload of video to work with in this case, as everybody has been capturing their loved ones at the finish line. And there’s been amazing crowdsourced analysis. Really, video is the hero of this case… which means that Sgt. Video will get a promotion.  The degree of video surveillance common to the UK is coming to every major city in America.  The Federal government will fund it, and conservatives will cheer.

UPDATE 4/20: The Boston Globe validates the comments above.

4/23 And Gauleiter Bloomberg weighs in.


Well, yesterday sucked

April 16, 2013

…less for me than for a bunch of people on Boylston St., but for me too. And for you. Anything that makes our world feel less safe is a Bad Thing. I had just finished a batch of CD cataloging and thought I’d take a break via Twitter. Whoops… the rest of the day wasn’t so productive. I have a Facebook friend who lives on Boylston. She heard an explosion, later on saw blood all down the street. And then Barnhardt stuck up a picture of a person in a wheelchair with a soup bone where her leg should have been. Yes, she’s into Truth. And Beauty. And that Truth Who is Beauty. So, Ann, could you please go back to the pictures of angels and saints carrying assault weapons?

The most offensive thing about this is that here we have an event celebrating the achievements of the human body. And right where those bodies achieved their goal, they were damaged beyond repair. It seems blasphemous, a punishment for excellence. I don’t know who among the injured were athletes, if any, but in a sense it doesn’t matter; the crowd united its thought to those who struggled to finish. Well, then, say “Νενικήκαμεν” and die; we will overcome the Persians and their neighbors, or whoever was responsible for this.

On the last morning of free America

September 11, 2012

A repost from the old CWRU blog, so that maybe I’ll find it next year. This was written on the 5th anniversary.

I got to work just before 8:30, as usual, opened up the library, got my email and dealt with it, opened Netscape, around 9…and there on the home page was something about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Shrug. Tragedies happen all the time, and I don’t pay much attention to them. A few people die, life goes on. Some drunk or crazy private pilot, probably. I didn’t click on the headline; I did whatever I’d opened the browser for.

I don’t recall who called first, whether it was my girlfriend (now wife) Rusty, or Mary Burns from Special Collections (who I think had the day off). But they both let me know that this was not your typical tragedy, that something very big was happening. And I wanted to know more. So I hit the Net, just like every other person in every other office in America. And I learned that broadband avails not when every news server in the country is being bombarded. Web sites took hours to load, or so it seemed. So I tried broadcast. No TV in Kulas (we had a straight video monitor for tapes and DVDs). We had a room full of receivers, but none had antennas, and none brought in anything but static. Mary and Rusty kept calling, people coming through to the music department were pumped for details and provided with what I had. I’m a librarian, damnit, let me do my job of transmitting information. Work keeps me sane. Yes, I’ll show you how to find Rite of Spring, if you really care today. Nobody did.

German class at 11:30, was it? And that bastard Benseler dropped the lesson plan and had us talking about it, in English yet. Nein. Fick das. Ich kann die Wörter für dies auf Englisch kaum finden. Wie schwerer konnte es auf Deutsch sein? Lass uns über Flugzeuge und grosse Gebaüde reden, ja, selbst über das Turkenproblem (and I note that my old German-English dictionary has no entries for Moslems or Islam). Es klingt ferner, wie Dresden oder Auschwitz oder der Heimatssicherheitsdienst (Ach! Das war nicht in der Vergangenheit, sondern in der Zukunft.)

Shortly thereafter, the University sent us all home. And the RTA made us leave the Rapid at E. 34th, to get on busses to sit on Public Square forever so that, in that hypothetical moment when the plane hit the Terminal Tower, only half of it would fall on our heads. And finally home, to the deafening silence of an nearby airport with no planes (and the stark terror three days later when I heard the first one fly over), to the TV that I couldn’t watch and couldn’t turn off.

In days after, I checked friends in NYC. The composer Jeff Harrington saw the smoke from his office. My old love Beth Marker was working as a toxicologist for NYC, and was stressed. As I later learned, baritone Stephen Poulos, a schoolmate at University of Michigan (though I didn’t know him) had decided there was more money in computers than in singing, and was in one of the towers.

It hasn’t happened again. Does this mean the government has done a good job? I haven’t flown since then either, since I don’t care to be treated as a criminal. On 9/10/01, we weren’t discussing NAIS, or Real ID, or a hundred other assaults on liberty only tangentially connected to radicals hot for their 72 Virginians. It was the day that we as a culture learned how to fear, and we ran towards anything that would promise safety. Judged by that, it was the most successful terrorist act in history.

My colleague Mano Singham sees all the commemoration as false sentimentality. Not here. I don’t, can’t in any real sense mourn 3000 people I never knew. The only difference between them and any other random sample of people is that they died earlier and more unpleasantly. I mourn the free country I grew up in, freedom that has been going downhill for years but which was given a good kick downward 5 years ago today.

Piss on ’em!

January 16, 2012

There’s been a fair bit of outrage from the usual nancy-boys about Marines urinating on Taliban corpses.

Piss on’em, I say… at least the nancy-boys.

Pissing on a corpse is to corpse desecration as waterboarding is to torture: it leaves no physical damage, and it gets the point across. As far as I know, being doused with bodily fluids does not impact a Muslim’s chances of getting to Paradise, as would dumping a Neti pot full of lard into his nostrils. So the corpse wouldn’t care, being dead and all. As for the corpse’s kin, it’s argued that marking the metaphorical yellow streak down the corpse’s back with a literal yellow streak will cause them to hate us. Given their kind and thoughtful gifts of RPGs (not role-playing games) and IEDs, that’s certainly to be avoided at all costs. If it hurts their poor widdle feelings, piss on ’em.

Vanderbeogh offers some perspective. Radical I-slammers have been known to desecrate American corpses while they were still alive. And there were a number of pictures taken during WW II of creative uses for used heads that Japanese no longer had a use for. And mind you, this was an enemy more worthy of honor, who showed more courage and who didn’t have to be bribed with a post-mortal harem in order to fight. Where was the outrage? Why didn’t we cede Hawaii to the Japanese to expiate our shame at our horrible actions? Might it have been because the Japs were whappin’ heads too? In the present conflicts, we haven’t been leaving heads around, or taking scalps or scrotums. That the lowest we’ve gone is urination shows that we’ve come a long way by historical standards. We even gave their late boss a Muslim burial at sea, instead of turning him into a sideshow exhibit. Consider it a step towards nation-buiding, the Marines symbolically saying “Ur-a-nation”.

My wife points out that just about every pickemup truck has a window decal of a little boy pissing on something or other. Why aren’t the folks who think this is My Lai agitating for a law to ban such an influence on impressionable youth?

OK, I know what the Church teaches about the dignity of all humans, that this may tactically have been a bad move, that allowing the scene to be captured visually is an act of stupidity. Yeah, OK, it shouldn’t have happened. But in a world where folks are more excited about warm urine than hot lead, I’m going to save my outrage for something worthwhile.

UPDATE: Says the faithful if intermperate Ann Barnhardt:

I have little sympathy for men who live their lives wiping their anuses with their bare hands after bowel movements, and who view as the pinnacle of human pleasure inserting their genitals and depositing their semen into the feces-laden rectums of boys and other men, who suddenly get squeamish about dead bodies being sprinkled with a bit of urine – which is sterile by the way. Those dead Taliban were probably the cleanest they had ever been in their adult lives after being showered with the righteous tinkles of those Marines.

Why am I here?

January 2, 2012

WordPress shuts down controversial anti-Islamic site.

Show me the pictures!

May 2, 2011

I woke up this morning and was as shocked as anyone by the news about the late Mr. bin Ladin.  It was particularly ironic that it was announced on Doubting Thomas Sunday. Now, I’m not saying that I need to put my fingers in the bullet holes before I’ll believe. But as a general rule, if this government says, “The sky is blue”, I’m going to look up.  And we’d already had one major revelation this week, the birth certificate. So, “We got Osama” was not particularly evidentiary.  Matters were complicated by the fact that the military, out of deference to the Muslims, made sure he was buried at sea before 24 hrs were up. Now, I can see the wisdom of “make him go away completely”; you don’t want a shrine. And there’s certainly a limit to how far you want to rub their noses in it.  If we were 19th-c Americans, his body would be plasticized and he’d be on tour with the Barnum and Bailey Circus, who would doubtless charge a silver quarter per throw to pelt him with raw sausage. But we’re not that, for better or worse. The man does merit a Christian burial (note: not a Muslim one necessarily; we’re not obligated to perform another religion’s rituals)

Now, I don’t have any grand conspiracy theory about how the government just made it up.  That might explain parts of the hinky dance we’ve been doing with Pakistan. But really, it’s not credible that the government would make up something that could be so easily falsified, though Al Qaeda couldn’t falsify it without a major cover-blow. Still, We the People have no independent confirmation that what happened,  happened. Asking for that doesn’t make us “deathers” or any other kind of loon; it’s just asking for what we got for the Nazis and the Iraqi Baathists

We’ve had pics of Osama’s sugar shack, complete with blood stains. But nothing of the O-man himself, except for a 2 year old Photoshop.  Now it turns out that, as you would expect, the government has pictures. They are hesitant to release them because, well, they aren’t pretty; they involve brains leaking out. And if they pretty them up for public consumtion like they did those of the Saddam boys, they’ll get the same criticism.

So they’re gross? ‘Scuse me, but I remember one whole day when all you could see on the TV was people diving out of burning towers; are they grosser than that? I think that every one of us who lived through that day have a right to see Osama in his gore (particularly if we knew somebody who didn’t live through that day). Yeah, maybe the creeps will put the pics on their shrines. But they’ll do that anyway; if they see Bloody Obama instead of vigorous young Obama, it might make them think twice about the wages of jihad. I’m willing to keep the kiddies out of it; save them for the 11 o’clock news if you must. But we adults have a right to know he is really and truly gone.

Even ECUSA has some standards

March 13, 2011

Carl Olson gets a good rant-on (via Fr. Z.) over this guy:

Instead, Lawler, of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson, decided to adopt the rituals of Islam for 40 days to gain a deeper understanding of the faith.

On Friday, he faced being defrocked if he continued in those endeavors.

I guess I’m not quite that exercised, as long as it was purely his private practice (in which case, how is it that anyone knew?) It’s shallow: it implies that religion is something you can “put on” and seems a bit like play-acting. But maybe that’s where Lawler’s Christianity is at (seems like it). I wouldn’t yank his livelihood over just that…not when there may be other just reasons.

Key point in the article: “Speaking to a reporter that afternoon, he had no problem reconciling his Episcopalian views with those of Islam…” ‘Nuf said….

Surprisingly, no Muslims have yet expressed their belief that their Islamic views can be reconciled with Episcopalianism…

The Muzzies actually expect something from their adherents. If I ever saw an Episcopalian pray 5 times a day (to the Trinity, not Allah), I’d be dumbfounded. And let’s not even contemplate Episcopalian suicide bombers. I see no problem reconciling Islam to Episcopalianism, as long as the jizyah is paid.