Jun 30, 2009
I was studying the Genesis story the other day. Alas, I find that version of the story is incomplete, as it didn't have the ancient Hebrew version - you know, where Adam means "Mankind" and that part about Lilith. So to get the real dirt on Adam & Eve, I had to turn to the Rabbinical literature. Or, more realistically, I turned to the internets and just copied the work of vorjack.
The best part of looking this all up, was that if you think the apple was the worst part of the story? No. It gets even better.
Here's vorjack's post:
Rabbinical interpretation is a strange thing to most modern Christians. The ancient scribes and Rabbis assumed that their sacred literature held cryptic meanings placed there by God. If fact, there were sometimes multiple hidden meanings within a single section.
Biblical contradictions are an embarrassment to modern fundamentalists, but to the ancient scholars they acted a keyholes through which a hidden meaning might be glimpsed. Holes in the story could be used to tell new stories, and thereby wring a little more meaning out of the text. The most famous of these stories is probably the story of Lilith.
Lilith, The Night Hag
Pullquote: “And wild beasts shall meet with hyenas, the satyr shall cry to his fellow; yea, there shall the night hag alight, and find for herself a resting place.”
Lilith began her literary existence as a Babylonian demoness. Her name roughly translated to “bad wind;” the ill wind that blows misfortune. She seemed to be part succubus and part night hag: she was stealing semen one moment, then killing infants the next. That’s where things sat for thousands of years.
Then some of the Rabbis began to look at the story of Genesis again. They noticed that the story has humanity being created twice, once in Genesis 1 and again in Genesis 2. In the first case, man and woman were created simultaneously. In the second case, the woman was created sometime later, drawn for the rib (or side) of Adam.
What could this contradiction mean? Someone decided that it must mean that woman had been created twice, or rather that two different women had been created. Since the story continues with Eve, she must have been the second. Looking around for a candidate for the first creation, their thoughts went to Lilith.
Exactly when this happened isn’t clear. Lilith still plays the traditional demoness role in the Talmud, compiled in the early 6th century. The first full version of her marriage to Adam appears in the Alphabet of Ben-Sira, which could have been written anywhere from the 8th century to the 10th century.
For Want of the Kama Sutra
Pullquote: It’s a fun story, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s just an ancient joke about first wives.
The Alphabet gives us a fairly advanced version of the story. The work itself is satirical, so the version we get is blunt and earthy. It seems that Adam and Lilith, both created from the earth at roughly the same time, cannot get along. Since they both come from the same source there is no way to establish precedence. So we find them squabbling over … well, I’ll let you read it:
Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, “I will not lie below,” and he said, “I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.” Lilith responded, “We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.” But they would not listen to one another.
If someone had told them that there are more than two possible positions, human history might be very different.
Apparently Lilith got fed up with this. She flies off and refuses to return, taking on her familiar role as the explanation for crib death. Later Jewish mystical works imply that Lilith is the mother of demons and the wife of Satan. If we link the stories (which was probably never the intent of the authors) we see that Lilith has entered into a rebound relationship with the devil. It’s a fun story, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s just an ancient joke about first wives.
Poor Adam is left alone in Eden while Lilith is off partying with Old Scratch himself, surely sufficient punishment for Adam’s insistence on the missionary position. So God tries again, this time creating a woman from a piece of Adam. Since this woman was created directly from man, she will be properly subservient … or will she? But that’s a story for next time.
Thanks Vorjack. I'll be looking to share your work and expand your readership.
Vorjack is a librarian/archivist and a public historian, living with his wife in history-soaked Albany, New York.
Jun 29, 2009
Lt. Raymond Geoffroy said the ICBM was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. He said it carried three unarmed re-entry vehicles that hit their targets near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, some 4,200 miles away.
The Air Force said the launch was an operational test to check the weapon system's reliability and accuracy, and to remind North Korea that ours work.
Ah, the Marshall Islands. The punching bag of the U.S. Military since 1946. Will you ever learn?
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that white firefighters in
New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of
their race, reversing a decision that , a
Supreme Court nominee, endorsed as an appeals court judge.
But the cops were called, and they had to arrest three people. A father, mother and son from Hayward, Wis. were taken away for trespassing.
For the last 11 festivals, Brian and Doris Johnson have passed out free Bibles at the festival. But this year, they were not allowed to have a booth. Pride paid to rent the whole park which gave them the right to choose which vendors they allowed in. I'm guessing the Johnsons weren't gay enough?
Well, the Johnsons said they are born-again Christians and they believe homosexuality is a sin.
Isn't Pride all about inclusion and not being intolerant? I don't know, I think they're both wrong.
Pride could have taken their money and put them in the worst spot in the park... that would be okay. It would have been inclusive, and would have shown that Pride will tolerate these ding-dongs. By having them arrested, it's bad p.r.
Sure the Johnsons could have hung out in the parking lot. Maybe they could have just stayed at home and been intolerant there? I'm really wondering why Brian has been going to the festival for 11 years... ?
"This email is addressed to some of the leading scientists actively involved in the study of the Global Warming (GW) issue.Here's the summary of "An Independent Analysis of Global Warming by Heinz Lycklama, PhD.
This issue has become of much interest to people who would be impacted by any resulting recommendations made by policy makers and politicians if/when enacted.
As an independent scientist I have become concerned by the apparent lack of scientific consensus on the extent and cause(s)of GW among those scientists who have diligently studied this issue - therefore my independent research and analysis of the science behind the GW issue."
Here's another one for you ...
Download the PDF of Keith Rattie, Chairman and CEO of Questar Corporation. "Energy Myth's and Realities"
Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief.
Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history."
Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries ClimateFaith (TM) as the "new religion." I do believe, faithful readers, that I called that in 2006, and coined the term for it? How about a little credit, Ivan?
Jun 27, 2009
Quick question - The Gay and lesbian community uses the rainbow as their symbol. Okay, that's nice. So does Jessie Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition.
I had to look it up...
The Rainbow (or Gay Pride) Flag was created by artist and vexillographer [a person who designs or makes flags. I had to look THAT up too!] Gilbert Baker, in 1978. The flag debuted at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. It has since been used around the world as a symbol of LGBT unity in many variations.Sex and magic were sold off to the HyperGlobalSuper Corporation in the mid nineties, apparently. But you didn't answer my question. Why use a rainbow as your symbol?
The original flag had eight stripes from top to bottom: pink (sexuality), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (magic), indigo/blue (serenity), and violet (spirit). Within a year, the flag had shed two of its stripes—pink and violet. According to Gilbert, they "ran out of pink dye." The violet stripe was later taken out to create an even number of stripes on the flag.
I understand the pink triangle. That makes sense and once you understand that the triangle IS the symbol of gay oppression in Nazi Germany. A bit harsh, but a powerful symbol. No one is going to question that, and you own it. That's super branding.
But, the dispersion of light as it travels through a triangular prism? Really? Why that?
What's worse, the rainbow was a symbol from God to after he wiped out all of humanity save one family, off the face of his earth ever again. God is kind of funny like that. At least, that's what I remember from my original teaching of the Genesis story in pre-K Sunday school.
What doesn't make sense here is why would the gay and lesbian community take that symbol? If you're going to take things out of the bible - why not salt? You know, Sodom and Gomorrah? All that jazz? That is infinitely more fun than a rainbow. And the story kind of goes with the lifestyle. It's in your face. Well, okay, I agree that a salt shaker would look really stupid on a Honda Fit, but you know what? So does a rainbow sticker.
Why not use a butterfly? Think about that for a moment. Wouldn't a butterfly, with the whole chrysalis and 'coming out' of the cocoon make a hell of a lot more sense than a rainbow?
It's iconic. It's the least creepy of all the insects out there. It's a good brand an no one is using it.
And if you don't like that, how about a Rainbow Butterfly?
Jun 26, 2009
"You know, Farrah. That poster... yeah, that brought a lot of joy to the world. (Especially to young men...) Look, we know you'll never be given Sainthood or recognized for all your hard work *ahem* but, as a reward, the Big Guy, also a fan by the way, has decided to grant you a wish before you enter the gates."
"Wow, thank you, well, I can't be selfish after the life I have lived." Farrah replied, "I simply wish that all the children in the world would be safe."
And, well, you know what happened next...
Jun 25, 2009
I think this is my new favorite song!
Jun 24, 2009
Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the United States just seven months after it launched.
Gov. Linda Lingle's [R] administration cited budget shortfalls and other available health care options for eliminating funding for the program.
A state official said families were dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan.
"People who were already able to afford health care began to stop paying for it so they could get it for free," said Dr. Kenny Fink, the administrator for Med-QUEST at the Department of Human Services. "I don't believe that was the intent of the program."
It's never the intent of a government program, but it is a consequence of the action. State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is another example of this.
The program, created by Republicans in 1997, [What?! That's impossible!? Heartless Republicans giving away free health care to children?? Well, it's okay, because now they're taking it away.] has a tendency to crowd out private insurance. A study by the Bureau of Economic Research shows that 6 out of every 10 kids enrolled in SCHIP already had private insurance coverage prior to the creation of the program. That number jumps with the expansion passed earlier this year. People were dropping coverage to go with the cheaper, government run program. One could draw a similar conclusion directly to the health care proposal being pushed by Democrats in Congress for the National plan.
As John Stossel (ABC News) points out, "Of course it’s popular. People love getting free stuff." He also warns of the collapse of the system due to the unfunded liabilities.
Swearengen and his twin brother, Lemuel, were two of ten children. Guess they never got to show that part since the show was cancelled? He left home well into adulthood and arrived in Deadwood in May, 1876 with his wife, Nettie Swearengen. Nettie would later divorce him on the grounds of spousal abuse, and Swearengen would marry two more times, both marriages ending as the first. I don't remember her on the show either.
Swearengen was not a prospector. Instead, he figured he'd get rich off offering services to those who were. His first saloon was called the Cricket Saloon, which featured "prize fights", although it seems no prizes were actually awarded. Within one year, Swearengen had enough cash to build the much larger and more opulent Gem Variety Theater, which opened on April 7, 1877.
He still featured "prize fights" in addition to stage shows, and, mainly, prostitution. Lilly Von Shtupp?
The Gem brought in an average of $5,000 a night, sometimes as much as $10,000 (between $140,000 and $280,000 inflation adjusted for 2009). When it burned down along with much of the town on September 26, 1879, Swearengen rebuilt it even larger and more opulent than ever, to great public acclaim.
Swearengen's talent for canny alliances and financial payoffs kept him insulated from the general drive to clean up the town, including the otherwise successful work of Seth Bullock. Reportedly, Sheriff Seth Bullock and Swearengen agreed to draw an imaginary line on Main Street that marked what was referred to as the “Badlands” and the rest of the town. From then on, Swearengen controlled lower Main Street, and Sheriff Bullock controlled upper Main Street. That is until the Gem burned down, again, in 1899. He called it quits after that final fire. He remarried the same year to Odelia Turgeon.
There are conflicting obituaries, but Albert Swearengen was found dead in the middle of a suburban Denver street in late 1904. He apparently died of a massive head wound and was not hopping a freight train as is often reported. The original report of his death found him penniless.
He's in the picture of the Gem, outside, in the buggy. He's the third guy on the left in the bar. The color picture up top is of Ian McShane who immortalized the c+@%sucker.
That's right. Death to Iran! That's how I begin all my prayers.
Well, if the Iranians can do it, why can't I?
The President was celebrated for not taking sides on Iran. Yesterday, after a press conference he's celebrated for condemning the regime's violence.
It's kind of a damned if you do-damned if you don't situation, right?
Not so fast.
There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran's internal affairs. The Iranians have a rich tradition of blaming absolutely everything that goes wrong —especially anything in English— on the West. There was even a hit sitcom about the absurdity of blaming the British for everything, My Uncle Napoleon, that is, until it was banned by the clerics.
Also, like assuming that Milton Bradley will play well for the Cubs -all year- it's faulty logic to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally.
Another thing, our own media, which seems to be blindsided with the events in Iran, seems to be falling all over itself to understand what's going on. Perhaps they wouldn't have been if they had they paid attention to the events going on there before the election? A strong majority of Iran's population is young and unemployed... and don't remember or weren't old enough for the revolution. They're the Gen X of Iran. There's a lot of them. And they're pissed off.
What's Obama, or any other so-called leader in this country going to say to the people of Iran when this is over? What are they going to say to those people who are standing up and getting their skulls cracked and tear gassed, when America doesn't come to their aid? Hey kids, you should have read your history books. America, land of the free, didn't stand up for the protesters in Tiananmen Square either. And don't bother Googling that event if you're in China. It didn't even happen.
But there's one other minor issue that no one else seems to have brought up...
It's not okay for America to meddle in Iranian affairs, but it's perfectly okay for Iran to meddle in American affairs? It's okay for Iran to act completely innocent when there is a slaughterhouse of blood and guilt on their hands?
Iran was the most active player trying to thwart American efforts in Iraq. Iran exports violence, guns and influence to Lebanon and Palestine. And they stick their middle fingers up and wave them in the face of the UN, the EU and Hans Blick on the nuclear issue.
Look, they're not just everyone's misunderstood neighbors. They're a totalitarian nuclear theocracy that begins their prayers with 'Death to America.' I sincerely hope that they get the Change they're looking for.
Jun 23, 2009
Has Soderbergh's Moneyball Movie Been Canned?
One of the best modern accounts of baseball put down into book form apparently was under pre-production by no less than Steven Soderbergh and Brad Pitt... that's an automatic greenlight.
The "story" is that of how GM Billy Bean used math [specifically, On Base Percentage metrics] to evaluate players that the traditional scouts refused to grasp.
The story is that just 96 hours before shooting was to start, the production was shut down!
The story from Columbia Pictures was that there were some serious last minute script changes, and they pulled the plug.
One unusual element in the planned film? Soderbergh intended to drop "interviews with such ballplayers as Beane's former Mets teammates Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson and Darryl Strawberry" throughout the show. Could have been cute. Kind of 'When Harry Met Sally' ish... not so good for a baseball picture.
So there's two chances that this is made - one, they're able to take it to another studio, and two, it'll get made, but it might suck?
Pitt was going to be Beane, comedian Demitri Martin as number-cruncher Paul De Podesta, and charming ballplayer Scott Hatteberg as himself sticking it to the smug baseball establishment.
Oh, you haven't read the book?! Well, get on it!
Jun 22, 2009
The new law, an anti-smoking bill that will give the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented authority to regulate tobacco, allows the FDA to reduce nicotine in tobacco products, ban candy flavorings and block labels such "low tar" and "light." Tobacco companies also will be required to cover their cartons with large graphic warnings.
Obama has spoken publicly of his own struggles to quit cigarettes.
Although, this writer wonders, how will the FDA - an agency that has been as effective as the Detroit Lion's offense - possibly be up to the challenge of regulating Big Tobacco? My guess is that Big Tobacco has already thought that one out and it is why they've allowed these new regulations.
If there were any statues made to George, it would either involve 7 dirty words on a courthouse lawn, or a giant middle finger pointing at all of us.
Miss you, George.
I'm a bit partial to the line, "Technically this unit doesn't exist."
I wonder, is that in my mind... or because of all the over the top CGI?
"To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men."
- Abraham Lincoln
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Powerlessness and silence go together. We...should use our privileged positions not as a shelter from the world's reality, but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift. It should be cherished and used."
– Margaret Atwood
"There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that [nothing] cannot suppress."
- Howard Zinn (historian)
"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent"
- Thomas Jefferson
Jun 20, 2009
More folks are eating at home and starting to avoid 'junk' food to save money and their health. The largest player in the pizza junk food is trying to win back pizza fans with a new image and menu items like all-natural multigrain pizza, lasagna, and wings. But they're doing it by re-branding rather than... lasagna? Who in their right mind is buying lasagna from Pizza Hut?
What I'm reading here - and feel free to correct me - is that some marketing guru told Pizza Hut executives that Hut is easier to type on Twitter or Facebook. And that's why Pizza Hut has been losing customers and market share? Yeah, that's how I read it.
There's a big trend in general around having confidence in the foods that you eat. People over the age of 35, whose frequency with pizza is declining, said one of the big things that would reignite their passion with the category is to have a pizza made with multigrain crust and an all natural tomato sauce...
Design is a great way to create an emotional expression for your brand. But the pizza category has been a real laggard in doing that. Our red box is a game changer in packaging and design. And yes, we're also introducing another vocabulary word with Pizza Hut, which is 'The Hut.' That ties in nicely with (today's) texting generation. We wanted to make sure that Pizza Hut and 'The Hut' become common vernacular for our brand. Red is our mark and when you see that red roof, people will refer to it as 'The Hut' or 'Pizza Hut.' As we expand our online and mobile businesses, 'The Hut' is the perfect icon for our mobile generation.
- Brian Niccol, Pizza Hut CMO on BrandWeek
While 'The Hut' branded pizza boxes are already in use and several restaurants have already been converted, it has not been decided whether Pizza Hut will be rebranding all of its restaurants.
We think that 'The Hut' is to Pizza Hut as Coke is to Coca-Cola. We have begun using the term in conjunction with Pizza Hut in our advertising, pizza boxes and some restaurants.Nice box. Full of red dyes and probably can't be recycled. Yeah, that's a good way to attract new 'green' customers. I guess there aren't a whole lot of ClimateFaithers eating Pizza Hut anyway?
- Christopher Fuller, Pizza Hut spokesman on WalletPop
The newly converted 'The Hut' restaurants have been seen popping up across the United States, including this one spotted in Florida:
They've included the old 'red roof' in their graphic. It's a hold over from the last rebranding effort - and it represnts the iconic buildings from two generations ago. How does that make sense? If they're so intent on attracting the new texting demographic, why would your logo represent a building that no longer exists, and hasn't since those kids were born?
Pizza Hut spokesman Chris Fuller has said that 'The Hut' is just a marketing effort and not a permanent name change. MSN reports: "The boxes and some store signs will say 'The Hut.' Others will retain the Pizza Hut name." In related news, Pizza Hut is launching Hut TV, an in-store video network which will allow customers to watch TV show... yeah, that will get me back into their store.
Try cleaning the place and turning OFF the TV... oh, and work on the pizza, not the branding. That might help.
Or - go the opposite direction. If you're trying to get the over 35 crowd: Go all-out Retro. Build red roofed buildings again. Don't install air conditioning. Only hire one waiter/waitress. Put Atari cocktail games as half the tables, pitchers of watered down Pepsi in sticky booths on even stickier checkerboard table cloths. Sponsor some little league teams and women's volleyball, and make them eat at the restaurant on off nights.
Well guess who stole and ruined and lied to his business partners, and then swooped in and bought them all out at a massive loss to the investors? Yeah, it's the kind of thing Christ would have done.
Kinkade and other company officials used terms like "partner," "trust," "Christian" and "God" to create "a certain religious environment designed to instill a special relationship of trust" to the tune os $860,000 in damages to the former gallery owners, Karen Hazlewood and Jeff Spinello, and more than $1.2 million in attorneys' fees and arbitration expenses.
Here's how it went down. What Kinkade's company didn't tell them, (said their attorney) was that they would have to sell Kinkade's works at minimum retail prices while the artist undercut them with discount sales, some of which he made himself on cable television.
The value of their galleries were undercut, and closed in 2003. Here's the best part...
It was all part of a plan, (the gallery owners claimed) to lower the value of the publicly traded company before Kinkade bought it in 2004, at steep losses to many investors.
This is all according the San Francisco Chronicle, (Link)
The award by the arbitration judge won't put Kinkade out of business, but hopefully his fraudulent and shady business practices will. I would think that as word of his hypocrisy of specifically hiding behind religion to dupe his customers and business partners as a good Christian, that he'll soon be out of work. I would think that as more people who hear about this, the less likely his work will be seen... except for lining the walls of the Goodwill and Salvation Army. Spread the word.
And is that a stream of urine coming from that house, or is it gold? Just wondering.
Jun 19, 2009
The U.S. is/was planning to intercept a North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution 1874.
The USS John McCain [Eat that irony, and that would be for the Admiral. John McCain Sr.], a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution has as many teeth as Abe Simpson.
The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board. That ought'a work. Maybe they can offer a Snickers bar to the crew?
North Korea has said that any attempt to board its ships would be viewed as an act of war and promised “100- or 1,000-fold” retaliation if provoked.
The U.S. military may also request that the host country not provide fuel to the ship when it enters its port.
The Kang Nam is known to be a ship that has been involved in proliferation activities in the past — it is “a repeat offender,” according to one military source. The ship was detained in October 2006 by authorities in Hong Kong after the North Koreans tested their first nuclear device and the U.N. imposed a subsequent round of sanctions.
And North Korea has detained two American journalists...
And that's after finding out about Kim Jong-Il's 4th of July festivities.
The bombs bursting in air’ this Fourth of July, might be from North Korea. Leading ding-dong Kim Jong-Il, has been shaking his fist and scaring the piss out of Hawaiians planning their Independence Day Luau. A report in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper says Pyongyang is planning to fire a long-range ballistic missile at Hawaii on July 4. Any shot aimed at the U.S. would be an act of war, but perhaps Kim has taken measure of Obama?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the military is “watching” that situation “very closely,” and would have “some concerns” if North Korea launched a missile in the direction of Hawaii. But he expressed confidence in U.S. ability to handle such a launch.
Gates said he’s directed the deployment of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense, a mobile missile defense system used for knocking down long- and medium-range missiles. Remember that expensive system that no body wanted, and blamed Bush for wasting millions on? Yeah, that one.
“The ground-based interceptors are clearly in a position to take action. So, without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say … I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect the American territory.”
What might be seen as the ultimate 'dumb move' off the bat, might also be the best hope for North Korea.
Let me explain.
A shot goes out over Hawaii. The missile doesn't even get close, but it is enough for America to have to save face and punch the little guy in the nose.
The Korean War cease fire is officially ended.
There's a scuffle for about a week.
Then the U.S. is on the hook to clean the whole mess up. The humanitarian needs would be solely on the back of the United States.
It's the classic 'Bananas' scenario. You see, Woody Allen had this figured out in the '60s. The best thing you could do as a dictator would be to pick a fight with the United States, and then lose. That way the American taxpayer would have to rebuild your entire infrastructure and feed all your people.
Because you have to ask, why didn't Bush do anything about him? Other than the humanitarian expense - the U.S. also has to deal with China's wishes. It's always been my opinion that China has been using North Korea as their trump card to keep the region agitated for the SEATO and allies. Especially the U.S. If North Korea wasn't there to piss everyone off, like a wasp nest at a picnic, the U.S. wouldn't be involved (spending money) in the area. China uses North Korea to hide behind. Whether it is to hide behind their own activities in Tibet, or to use their divine intervention as a bargaining chip to get Taiwan back in the fold.
And what's a more rational move to let North Korea to keep playing their silly games? Back to the original contention, the massive human aid and refugee situation. The sudden collapse of the North Korean state would mean millions of refugees, many of them armed soldiers, crossing into China.
That would increase instability in some of China’s major industrial and population centers. Finally, it would result in a loss of control over North Korea’s stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium, as well as chemical and biological weapons.
The longer-term consequences of a North Korean implosion are also unwelcome to Beijing. It would probably lead to the unification of the country under Seoul, depriving China of a strategic buffer and, even worse, creating a large US ally. The alternative—military intervention — is a costly and risky option that Beijing would probably prefer to avoid.
Like any rational player, China prefers to stick with a lesser evil.
Wait, that's a girl? Well she does look like a boy. And I mean a male child... not 'boy.' That alone would have been fairly offensive....
Why did they have to throw the race card into the mix? A 'Black' Boy. Yes, a girl who has a bad perm and also dresses like a boy - will get mocked and made fun of. She will then (probably) grow up to be an untalented bitter bull dyke lesbian who hosts awards shows. But that's more about attire than hair styles.
Why didn't the mother put her in a dress? Sue the hairstylist for that awful soul crushing perm? Maybe wear a nice hat to cover up that offending ball of hair?
But back to the 'black' part of it...
What's wrong with that?! Consider that this informative After School special for bad perms and 'your mom shops in the boy section at JC Penny' was made after the Emancipation Proclamation and probably after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. This is so wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to start.
My first thoughts are who produced this thing? Did it air on television, or was it handed out at the beauty parlor after the stylist knew she hosed the perm?
And then there's the double racial slur of 'Black' and 'Boy' merged together... you could have a field day just with that one.
"It's not like you're really black."
Someone somewhere wrote that down on paper, gave it to some one to approve, and then the actor and director rehearsed the line, someone shot it, someone edited it, then it was shown - somewhere. No where in the process was a line like that considered offensive?
My research shows that it's from the PBS show Many Voices, Many Visions that originated from TV Ontario in the 80's. It gets a pass because - why, they didn't have slavery or something? Oh, oops. They DID. (granted it wasn't Southern Plantations, but Canadians DID engage in slavery)
I reserve the rest of my judgement until I can view the entire program.
Spielberg Puts Indiana's Hat Back In Shia's Hands
Are you ready to hear the Indiana Jones theme song one more time? Indy's co-star from the Crystal Skulls says Spielberg is gearing up for another Indy — which explains why they changed Crystal Skull's original ending. We explain below. More »
Caption to the photo might read, "You ready to take more money from idiot geeks, Mutt?"
"Can I have a hat this time?"
He's said that his country's disputed presidential vote had NOT been rigged, and warned protesters of a skull crackdown if they continue their demonstrations demanding a new election.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sided with hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offered no concessions to the opposition. Chances for a new vote have been shut down by him calling the June 12 election an "absolute victory."
"If the difference was 100,000 or 500,000 or 1 million, well, one may say fraud could have happened. But how can one rig 11 million votes?"That's easy! You rig the vote by not bothering to COUNT the votes. How else do you think the election was decided by a hand count in two hours? Not even Chicago does that!
The best part in Ali's rant was this little jem...
"It must be determined at the ballot box what the people want and what they don't want, not in the streets," he said. "I call on all to put an end to this method. ... If they don't, they will be held responsible for the chaos and the consequences."What?
Look, the people of Iran are protesting because they voted and the election was blatantly rigged - not stealthfully. But the best part was that the theocracy that he leads came to power through a violent revolution that began with people taking to the streets!. Now he's rejecting that “method.” Awesome hypocrisy Ayatollah!
Jun 18, 2009
Leonso somehow convinced the Kleberg County commissioners to unanimously designate "heaven-o" as the county's official greeting. The reason: "hello" contains the word "hell."
"When you go to school and church, they tell you 'hell' is negative and 'heaven' is positive,'" said the 56-year-old Canales, who owns the Kingsville Flea Market. "I think it's time that we set a new precedent, to tell our kids that we are positive adults."
The new salutation, according to the county resolution, is a "symbol of peace, friendship and welcome" in this "age of anxiety." And, in my opinion, opening them up to mocking and ridicule. I wonder out loud how dangerous this [potentially] is, and what sort of theocracy precedent the folks in Kleberg have unwittingly set up.
Courthouse employees are already answering the phones, "heaven-o." And the chamber of commerce was working on a campaign promoting Kingsville, a Rio Grande Valley town of 25,000, as a "heavenly" place to visit. You have to ask, what kind of people they're really going to attract, and the type of people who will be repelled.
"People seem to think that it might catch on," said county Judge Pete De La Garza. Sure, Pete. Aren't you a Judge?
Madolyn Musick, who runs the town bookstore - and therefore the voice of all the opposition and atheism representative, insisted, and linguists would agree, that "hello" has nothing to do with "hell." Besides, she added, "What's wrong with, 'Howdy, y'all?'" Well, maybe they can get Janeane Garofalo to play her in the Lifetime TV Movie of the week?
But back to the main character, Canales, a Catholic but not a regular churchgoer, has been as serious as heck about "hello" since 1988, when he told his brother he might start greeting people with "God-o." His brother suggested "heaven-o" instead. Wow.
David Sabrio, a professor of English at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, noted that the Oxford English Dictionary says "hello" stems from an old German greeting for hailing a boat.
"Linguistically and historically, the word 'hello' has no connection at all with what we associate with the underworld," he said. "People may make that connection in their own mind. I certainly don't."
Me? I feel sorry for Hello Kitty - who's going to have to be killed to become an angel, and will forever be known as Heaven-o Kitty.
What's really got me upset is that no one seems to think, or even bother to notice, that there is an obvious violation of the separation of church and state that was voted on by the County Board. If the Canales Brothers want to speak to everyone in tongues, God Bless - pass the ammo, boys. But to force the County to do so as well, heck, that's downright un-American, right there.
Sounds like the kind of thing they're trying to do in... the Swat region of Pakistan?
That was the case for one person who applied for employment with the City. An anonymous source expressed concern the city's background check policy, which states, "to be considered for a job applicants must provide log-in information and passwords for social network sites in which they participate." Uh, that's not good.
The requirement is included on a waiver statement applicants must sign, giving the City permission to conduct an investigation into the person's "background, references, character, past employment, education, credit history, criminal or police records."
"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.," the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords.... only three? Meanwhile - NO.
The requirement raises more than one question and an eyebrow concerning applicants' privacy rights.
Well, that kind of sounds like a violation of the Montana Constitution, doesn't it?
Article 2, Section 10 of the Montana Constitution reads "the right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest."
The City takes privacy rights very seriously, but this request balances those rights with the City's need to ensure employees will protect the public trust, according to city attorney Greg Sullivan. Greg... you're not doing it right.
"So, we have positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here. So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City," Sullivan said.
Another concern the applicant raised was that by providing the City with a Facebook user name and password the City not only has access to the applicant's page but also to the pages belonging to all of the applicant's Facebook "friends."
"You know, I can understand that concern. One thing that's important for folks to understand about what we look for is none of the things that the federal constitution lists as protected things, we don't use those. We're not putting out this broad brush stroke of trying to find out all kinds of information about the person that we're not able to use or shouldn't use in the hiring process," Sullivan said.
When asked by the local news about creating a separate Bozeman Facebook page, then asking applicants to add the City as "friend," thus allowing the City to view the applicant's profile, Sullivan said officials could explore the option. [Meaning they hadn't thought of that...] This would limit the city to only view the page of the applicant.
No one has ever removed his or her name from consideration for a job due to the request, Sullivan added. But more likely, those folks are either not plugged in - or are willing to give up their security and surrendering personal civil liberties just to get a crummy city job. I wonder if anyone will stand up to fight against the policy?
What would you do?
Jun 17, 2009
And El Pollo Loco is having a field day in the hole in the KFC armor, making fun of the "beef powder" and "rendered beef fat" in their new "grilled" chicken. [LA TIMES]
The use of beef ingredients in grilled chicken just seems wrong to me, and we believe most consumers would agree," said Steve Carley, CEO of El Pollo Loco.
KFC doesn't see what the big deal is. "Small amounts of beef flavors are commonly used in seasonings for many food products, for both restaurant and retail use," a spokesperson for the chain told the LA Times.
"For Kentucky Grilled Chicken's topical seasoning, beef flavors account for only 0.2% of the total seasoning," he added.
Still, El Pollo Loco thinks people will want beef-free chicken. You can check out their new ad campaign at their new website: Beefychicken.comI wonder if any Hindi people know this... ? Let the lawsuits fly.
Iranian state media photoshops pro-Ahmadinejad rally to make it look like there's more people.
They really need to upgrade to CS4 or something, maybe take a class at the Learning Annex?
Jun 16, 2009
[Stop right there - It should read -- "The Federal Reserve, an international banking cartel charted by the US Federal Government through the1913 Federal Reserve Act and arguably the most powerful entity in the U.S., will get sweeping new authority to regulate any company whose failure could endanger the U.S. economy and markets under the Obama administration's regulatory overhaul plan.]
...will get sweeping new authority to regulate any company whose failure could endanger the U.S. economy and markets under the Obama administration's regulatory overhaul plan.
The FED is as much a part of the Federal Government as Fed Ex. Okay?!
But back to the plan... The final plan due to be released on Wednesday -- which originally aimed to streamline and consolidate banking and securities regulation in one or two agencies -- now is expected to sidestep most jurisdictional disputes and simply impose across the board standards to be applied by all financial regulators, according to administration and industry sources. Awesome. Soak it in.
Imagine if Halliburton had been handed THIS much power over the Defense budget under Bush? They would have impeached Bush in a heartbeat. Now, the Democrats wouldn't have been able to - but I stand by the analogy.
Audit the Fed, then END THE FED.
The rumor surfaced in a post by someone called "EndTimes" on the posting board of producer Don Murphy.
"After a test screening wherein the film tested the lowest score ever from an audience in the history of Paramount, the executive who pushed for the movie Brad Weston had Stephen Sommers, the super hack director of the film fired. Removed. Locked out of the editing room."
According to the rumor, the studio brought in Stuart Baird to edit the film into releasable shape, with Paramount's input. Super notes from suits to save the film!
"It's very unfair to Steve, it's completely untrue. He was never asked to leave or been fired or any of that," di Bonaventura told Latino Review. "That's ridiculous. The movie tested very well." Sure. Then how come this comes from the producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and not from Stephen? And the source is Latino Review???
He added: "It hurts a guy's career when people go around talking about that he was fired or he didn't do a good job, and truth is he did a really good job. People are going to enjoy the movie, and the test audiences enjoyed the movie."
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: The Epic Fail is slated for release on Aug. 7.
Mostly Cutn'Pasted from the Chicago Tribune,
Obama's Air Force One flight to Chicago and back Monday to cost $236,000
Secret Service protection, motorcades and helicopter transports not included in the price tag.
The round trip on Air Force One will run about $236,000.
Obama spent about 2 1/2 hours in Chicago. To avoid snarling traffic on the Kennedy Expressway, he took a helicopter escort to a location near the Hyatt Regency Chicago. What a pal.
A Government Accounting Office report in 2000 showed Air Force One cost $54,100 to operate each flight hour, or almost $67,000 in today's dollars. It is a tough number to estimate, however, because of so many variables and fixed costs that could be included in or excluded from the calculation.
Ah - as expected my cutn'paste source can't help but find a way to bash Bushy:
"As expensive as that trip was, it is still roughly half the distance President George W. Bush routinely flew to visit his ranch near Crawford, Texas."
Well, let's just tack on the obligatory "how many children could have had health care with the 'wasted' $236,000?" statement for good measure.
And he didn't even drop silver dollars from Marine One.
It's over. Is that a fiddle being played in the background?
BTW, what was the the biggest revolution in toilet paper since the 1880's?
Jun 15, 2009
Or, more efficiently, you could just get the RSS feed which lets you know when Blasphemes is updated.
I think we should change the term "See a man about a horse" to "I'm going to post on the blog ...because of all that Tweeting I was doing."
Oh man, now the Bandwidth is all clogged up...
Looking back to the Al Gore/George Bush contest I remember the chaos and bloodshed that followed. Now if you want to see how to steal an election badly I simply encourage you to look to Iran.
Today candidates and clerics requested an annulment of the election, but Mr. Ahmadinejad hinted that his challenger risks punishment for questioning the result.
Ah, the 'free' elections in 'democratic' Iran.
There is no actual transparency or accountability in Iran. However, if it looks like fraud, smells like fraud, well my guess is fraud. Transparency by default. And given the government’s even more than usually thuggish reaction, it certainly points to fraud. As long as you remember that the religious Mullahs run everything behind the curtain, you know that the election is meaningless, and is simply a fun activity to give the folks something to pretend means something. I'm getting pretty cynical, and I'm sure you're waiting for me to say that 'Hey, just like the States, right?' No, more like Chicago....
What Iran hasn't figured out is that they need to emulate Chicago - Don't get me wrong, they're extremely close. They have the first part down perfectly. Iran is close as they have the policy of giving back to one class of people and having them vote. It's the other class, the middle class who are having to deal with huge taxation and inflation because of those bribes - er - government assistance programs to the under served - and the middle class has no chance of relief.
So when they bring it up for a vote, there's a chance for 'Change'. But there isn't any real chance for opposition. Iran is Chicago.
But let's review what happened with the election...
Many Iranians found that impossible to believe. Mr. Moussavi had drawn hugely enthusiastic crowds to his campaign rallies, and opposition polls suggested that he, not Mr. Ahmadinejad, was the one with the commanding lead. Even more improbably, and cynically, authorities claimed that Mr. Ahmadinejad carried all of his opponents’ hometowns — including Mr. Moussavi’s — by large margins. My guess is that the polling data was incorrect. Imagine, for a second, if the Conservatives hadn't thrown in the towel and showed up to elect McCain. Impossible! Well, Mock-Mood Im'aDinnerJacket contends that's exactly what happened. Can you imagine how pissed the Obama crowd would have been?
When protesters took to the streets in the fiercest demonstrations in a decade, the police beat them with batons. The government also closed universities in Tehran, blocked cellphones and text messaging and cut access to Web sites. That's not totalitarian or draconian, is it? Again, imagine an Obama fanatic without their Facebook or Twitter for an hour, let alone a couple days?
As the protests continued, authorities detained more than 100 prominent opposition members and ordered some foreign journalists to leave the country. According to news reports, Mr. Moussavi remained in his home but was being closely watched. In a triumphalist press conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad seemed to threaten his rival, declaring that the former prime minister “ran a red light, and he got a traffic ticket.”
Look, if the election were truly “real and free” as Mr. Ahmadinejad insisted, the results would be accepted by the voters and the government would not have to resort to threats, detentions and baton wielding skull crushers.
So - they dropped the ball at the ballot box phase. What Richie and the Toddler know, is that you keep it closer, or just have no opponents. I am not suggesting the Richie and Todd would lock down the city or county and have Chicago police beating the hell out of the mobs of Republicans or folks who want to get rid of the 10.25% sales tax -- what I'm suggesting is that they won't ever have to.
Oh, and the best part, the Nation elected Chicago.
One final note - at least the Iranian people are standing up to their tyranny. I wish them a prayer and the best of luck.
Jun 12, 2009
"The tremendous grass-roots and bipartisan support in Congress for H.R. 1207 is an indicator of how mainstream America is fed up with Fed secrecy," Paul said shortly after U.S. Rep Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, became the 218th cosponsor, giving the plan, technically, majority support in the 435-member House.
"I look forward to this issue receiving greater public exposure," Paul said.
A spokeswoman in Paul's offfice said by the end of the business day in Washington, D.C., the plan had attracted 221 cosponsors. She said hearings on the transparency of the Federal Reserve are expected over the next month as part of the Financial Services Committee's series of hearings on regulatory reform.
From Paul Cassell
A driver told a blind cancer sufferer to get off his bus when a woman and her children became hysterical at the sight of his guide dog.
George Herridge, 71, told how the lady went into a rage and shouted at him in a foreign language. A passenger explained she wanted him to get off the bus.
Mr Herridge, said: “Her child was kicking and screaming and someone off the bus told me her child was frightened of my dog. The driver said, ‘Look mate, can’t you get off?’
“I stood my ground. I had not done anything, my dog had not done anything and I was getting off the bus for no one.”
The retired NHS worker claimed he was forced off a bus by a driver after a similar encounter last summer.
And a day after the latest bus incident an lady began screaming “I don’t like dirty dogs” at Mr Herridge at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
A week earlier he faced further animosity from a couple at Asda in The Meadway, he said.
He is unsure what has provoked outbursts but said he thinks some have come from Asian people and that it may be due to religious or cultural differences.
If the people who were upset were Muslim, they consider dogs to be ritually unclean.
Some may have them as pets but keep them in a separate living area. Anything coming into contact with its saliva, such as clothes, must be washed seven times if they intend to pray in those clothes.
Mr Herridge said: “I do not expect any special treatment but just to be left in peace and live my life the best I can.”
Reading Buses accepted the driver was wrong but had been placed in an “impossible situation”. No, he COULD have asked the freaked out people to get off the bus instead. That's not impossible.
Drivers have been re-instructed to convey the blind and the bus company has sought advice from the Royal National Institute for the Blind and hopes to speak with Muslim leaders.
As part of a Muslim Council of Britain project, Mufti Zubair Butt, Shar’ia advisor to Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS, admitted Muslims “require some education” on guide dogs.
In response to concerns raised about guide dogs in mid-2008, he said: “It is important that one does not impose one’s own understanding upon others, but one shows understanding and compassion for others, their needs and their views, especially in an open communal space and in a country where Muslims are living as a minority.” Translation: try to blend and mingle better.