Saturday, May 07, 2005

More on Political Correctness

Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna has this post:
As a public service, I have gathered together the ten basic principles of PC. You might call them the Ten Postulates of PC; or maybe they could be couched in the imperative as the Ten Commandments of Multiculturalism.

1. America is uniquely evil.
2. America is never justified in defending itself.
3. Illiterate people from poor societies are superior to Americans.
4. The Earth would be better off without human beings.
5. Making a profit is always immoral.
6. Differences between individuals or groups are unfair.
7. For Designated Victim Groups, strong feelings excuse all behavior.
8. Policies informed by Judæo-Christian principles are inherently suspect.
9. Conservatives are hypocrites; liberals are sincere.
10. There are no acts of God; there are only acts of Government.

He provides an explanation for each of the ten ‘Postulates’. Read the whole thing, I did.

Each and every one of these ‘Postulates’ deserves, no, BEGS, for a detailed post all by itself. Or a rant, if you will. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or energy for that at the moment.

However, I have been asking myself a question lately that dovetails into this anti-PC theme, and that is “Is all political correctness incorrect?” If you’ll grant me that what we of a conservative bent label the PC crowd is normally one and the same as the one we label liberals, and the anti-PC crowd is US, have we reached a point that we are ready and willing to toss ALL political correctness out the window? Are any of the concepts that we disparagingly label as PC good?

BlogNashville Best Quote

Best quote I heard at BlogNashville:

You can't call a son of a bitch a son of a bitch without calling him a son of a bitch
John Jay Hooker

At least that's as best as I remember it, but you surely get the idea. This was from the Respectful Disagreement session with Dave Winer

BlogNashville Unloaded

Just arrived home from a day WELL spent at , kissed the wife, kicked the dogs.... Nah, didn't really kick the dogs, just spoke to them as I dragged into the house. I didn't sign up for any of the afterwards dinner gatherings. It was not due to lack of desire, but rather to time and finances. After meeting many fellow bloggers, I would have liked nothing better than to spend more quality time with them.

Anyway, I had a really great time! The conference sessions seemed well organized, were interesting, and the participants were well informed, experienced for the most part, and very energized. I won’t even attempt to blog the details, as so many more capable (meaning they have done this before, and I haven’t) people have already done so, or will as soon as they complete the evening’s festivities. Some links here, here, here, here and here. More available with a Google search. Photos here.

I was disappointed in only two things from this conference. One, it was not long enough by far! I was forced to choose among offered sessions during each time slot, and I wanted to attend them all. I missed Henry Copeland's session on Making Money, Staci Kramer's on Journalism, Dan Gillmor's on Citizen Media, and Rebecca MacKinnon's on Global Blogging. And that was just in the morning! And at an hour and fifteen minutes each, the sessions I did attend were WAY too short! So much to see and do, so little time. Two, I missed meeting Chris Muir of Day by Day fame. I know he was there, and I was looking, but just never ran across him.

I did have one unexpected pleasure, though. I got to meet and speak with John Jay Hooker, a local Tennessee Attorney and Politician (former gubernatorial candidate a time or three) of no small reputation. 'Nuff said about that.

I want to offer many thanks to the Media Bloggers Association, to those individuals who worked so hard to sponsor, organize and run this event, and to Belmont University for the use of the facilities. Nice campus they have there.

To all the attendees, I offer a heartfelt "Y'all come back now! Heah?"

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Nashville's own Mr. Roboto has named Rebecca MacKinnon as Miss BlogNashville! Rats! I must have missed the swimsuit competition!

Friday, May 06, 2005

BlogNashville calls...

... and I answer. Will be spending the whole day Saturday at BlogNashville, so few if any posts.

Environmental Disconnect

Although this excerpt doesn’t say much about the subject of the post, I had a really good laugh from it:
How do these creatures (not the animals) do and say the things they do with absolutely no recognition of their hypocrisy and therefore shame? The most primitive manifestations of this condition can be seen daily on Jerry Springer with some toothless, 400lb freak adorned in spandex bouncing on stage chanting, “I look good!” No. You don’t. And if you had any shame you would not be flopping your rolls all over national TV.

This from Matthew Heidt over at Froggy Ruminations, in a nice post about the positional discrepancies of Environmentalists (with a capital ‘E’.

Read the whole thing, I have nothing to add, and will spend the night trying to eradicate that picture from my mind!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

PC Downsizing of IQ?

Dymphna at Gates of Vienna has an interesting post about Political Correctness driving IQ to the ‘lowest common denominator’ condition.
Political correctness has made us so stupid that some of us demand conversation with vaginas.

She cites Walter E. Williams in this article as demonstration. Read the whole thing.

Also be sure to access the post immediately prior to this for her take on the Shi’ia practice of Muta’a. Also a good read.

Descano: A Roadside Memorial


Well, I certainly feel stupid! I misread Neil's post. Goin back over it, it turns out that he was offering an opportunity to comment on an EARLIER STORY by Victoria Hansen and Jeff Davidson aired at 10PM on the 4th. That's OK, go read it, too.

Neil Orne of Nashville's Channel 2 News has been working on a story on roadside memorials. Not having seen it yet, I don't know where he is headed with it. However, from some of the comments on his blog it appears that there are many people opposed to them for a variety of reasons, and some supportive of them.

The reason that I find this interesting is that several years ago I had a strange experience. Driving along a secondary road in northern California while on vacation, I came across an unusual sight. On the road surface was the outline of a human form, reminiscent of the chalk outline of a body at a crime scene. A bit further down the road, I came across another! This time I stopped and investigated. There on the road surface, in green paint, was the outline of a human body. Over the course of about thirty miles of road I observed more of these. Later I questioned several local residents, and all denied any knowledge of the images. To this day I do not know if these were simply unusual roadside memorials, or a prank. However, it set me to thinking about roadside memorials, and I came up with what I thought was a new and fascinating idea: a book about roadside memorials. My intention was to find and photograph these memorials, then track down survivors of the deceased for interviews about their reasoning and motives for creating and maintaining the memorials. These stories and photographs were then going to be published in a large format hardcover book.

After mulling over this project for about a year, one day I had the bright idea (picture very large light bulb over my head) of doing a Google search to see if any relevant information was available. To my surprise and chagrin, this idea was far from new. It turns out that not only were there many more memorials than I had imagined (examples here, here, here, and here), but that many people had already posted photographs and stories on the internet. It also turned out that these roadside memorials and Internet sites dedicated to them were not an American phenomenon. Examples are found from Ireland, Mexico, Australia, and many others.


Roadside memorials are frequently associated with Latino cultures. This excerpt from DESCANSOS: ROADSIDE MEMORIALS ON THE AMERICAN HIGHWAY explains the term:

"THE FIRST DESCANSOS were resting places where those who carried the coffin from the church to the camposanto paused to rest. In the old villages of New Mexico, high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains or along the river valleys, the coffin was shouldered by four or six men.
"Led by the priest or preacher and followed by mourning women dressed in black, the procession made its way from the church to the cemetery. The rough hewn pine of the coffin cut into the shoulders of the men. If the camposanto was far from the church, the men grew tired and they paused to rest, lowering the coffin and placing it on the ground. The place where they rested was the descanso.

In the United States, some states attempt to regulate roadside memorials, with West Virginia as an example. Poynteronline published a column in 2003 dealing with the issue, stating that:

Stateline.org has this list of state laws on roadside memorials. "Here's a sampling of roadside memorial rules across the states:

· Colorado, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin (new law) regulate/prohibit roadside memorials.
· West Virginia allows roadside memorials, but permits transportation officials to remove them without notice if the markers are deemed a safety hazard or interfere with regular highway maintenance. The state of West Virginia posts its guidelines online.
· New York leaves it up to municipalities to implement rules.
· In California, roadside memorials are allowed for victims killed in a crash involving alcohol or drugs, and victims' families must pay the state a fee of $1,000.
· Missouri does not allow roadside memorials but encourages victims' families to participate in the state's adopt-a-highway program, which recognizes victims with a sign. The families sign a three-year agreement to clean litter from and maintain the landscape at their adopted site.
· Texas and Florida allow only state-funded uniform memorials that can be applied for by contacting the departments of Transportation. Florida memorials are plain white, bear the victim's name and read 'Drive Safely.'
· And New Mexico residents can purchase a sign from the state for $200 that will remain in place for one year. But officials also said crosses and personal markers that inevitably dot the roads are permitted 'as long as they don't pose a nuisance' to highway workers.


Although I can only offer anecdotal evidence here, there is/was at least one individual who carried his roadside memorial antipathy to what I consider extremes. This individual offered to destroy/remove any roadside memorial that was submitted to his website. I distinctly remember reading the website when I was doing my research, but cannot find any reference to it at the moment.


Personally, I’m very supportive of roadside memorials. I feel that any possible hazard associated with them, and problems caused to roadside maintenance crews, is inconsequential. Obviously, there are many strongly held and expressed opinions here, and I am curious to see where Neil goes with his story. Another very obvious point is that my idea for a book project was a day late and a dollar short.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Do You Know Your Neighbors?

This is sad, and OH!, So close to home...

Peg at Blessed Beyond Belief writes:
Do you know yours?

We have lived in our current house for almost nine years. That whole time we have had the same neighbors to our left. An older couple with grown children. I don't ever remember a formal introduction, just lot's of waves and hellos. For eight years we have just waved and said hello. The majority of the time we would see the man going to and from work, mowing his yard, or washing his Corvette. We very rarely saw the woman come out of the house and when she did it was never alone, always with him.

Read the whole thing.

I have lived in my present house for thirty years. Neighbors on the left are no problem, as it is my sister-in-laws (wife's sister) house. Across the street from her is my nephew. However, directly across the street from me lives a woman and her... hmmm... used to be her two sons, then one son, now I think it's grand kids. In other words, I have watched her children grow and leave the nest, and I couldn't for the life of me tell you her name! Of course by the same token she has watched mine grow, leave home, and return. But we're talking about me, not her.

This might be because we have nothing except dwelling locations in common. Our kids went to different schools, and living in a semi-rural area there were not any local community gathering areas that we might have in common. Or it might be because the family had (still does!) a habit of honking their car horns each and every time they left the driveway, which annoyed me (still does!) mightily, and may have left me with little desire to gain their acquaintance. Or it might be the fact that she had a pair of little yapping dogs that she parked in the front yard every day that precluded any friendship. I don't know the answer, but the fact remains that we have lived in close proximity for years with no attempts at socializing. Peg's story brought this home to me, and I don't feel too good about the situation at the moment.

Whack A Mole!

Generally any property owner in the Eastern half of the US will at one time or another have to deal with infestations of moles. I'm not talking about this Mole, but about these litte critters. And I am VERY thankful that the population of the latter has nothing to do with Avogadro's number!

As the mole tunnels about searching for his latest meal, he displaces a lot of dirt. In his normal habitat this causes few problems, and is rarely noticed. But, when my lawn is being used as a mole larder, it is a different story altogether. The resulting tunnels and mounds are unsightly, muddy during rains, and play havoc with lawnmower blades if you're not careful. Even when you are being careful, it is a pain to continually maneuver around these areas. So it's me or the moles. There's not room enough on these lawns for all of us.

First, what am I dealing with here? Checking the distribution maps for mole species, I find that my adversary is the Eastern Mole. Now, I have my own tried and true method of mole eradication, which I'll get to in a bit, but I decided to check with the professionals for the preferred methods. Checking with the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, I find that:

Conservation Status

The eastern mole is not endangered but has suffered persecution by avid gardeners and farmers who are displeased by the mounds of earth left behind and by the root damage caused by this animal.

Persecution? I'll show 'em persecution!

Searching further, I find a true professional (not that the UM people aren't, but I was looking for a different profession) in The MoleMan! Yes, he has what I'm looking for, and more. Mole biology, Mole Control, and even the MoleMan News. But no mention of my favorite method, probably because of some silly local regulations.

Even more searching revealed that the University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources had a bit to say on the subject. They generally support the ideas that the MoleMan asserts, or vice versa. Same thing from Ohio State University.

All in all, I did not find a single mention of my preferred method of mole control. "So," you ask, "What DO you use to get rid of those pesky moles?" Simply, I use this:

Winchester Model 12 Shotgun

As stated by the MoleMan here:
Subjective misconceptions are also the root of such remedies as lye, Drano, pickle juice, broken glass, red pepper, razor blades, bleach, moth balls, rose branches, human hair balls, vibrators, ultrasonic contraptions, castor bean derivatives (Mole Med), gasoline and explosives. Although this fun and games approach may relieve frustrations, these and other home remedies have little if any value in controlling moles.

My method is a fun and games approach, and does tend to relieve frustrations.

First, I will walk the lawn, and compress any and all mole tunnels that I find. Then I go do something else for an hour or so. Checking back, I can easily determine if any moles are active. At that point I retrieve my trusty Winchester Model 12, take up a position about five feet from the most recent activity, and wait. Usually within a short time I will see the dirt moving, and will fire into the ground about two inches in front of the moving dirt. Nine times out of ten, this will kill the mole, and blow him out of the ground. The remaining one time out of ten the shot still kills the mole, but due to mole depth or shot placement, will not blow him out of the ground. Then it's simply a matter of kicking the dirt back into the hole made by the shotgun, and disposing of the mole corpse.

Usually the mole is killed by the concussion of the shot rather than by direct contact with the pellets. I have experimented over the years with other types of firearms, but found that the 12 guage shotgun is the most effective. A 22 caliber weapon does not create enough concussion as the bullet strikes the ground, and only a direct hit will work. A .45 ACP will work OK, but bullet placement must be much closer to the target. Neither will simultaneously kill and extract the mole from the ground. I have also tried Hoffman charges, but that's kind of overkill, and who knows where the mole corpse will end up, and the neighbors don't care for the big boom.

I decided to post this today since as of about two hours ago the score is 1 to 0, and I'm ahead.

LOL UPDATE: Just figured out how to convert to three columns, and installed my Google AdSense code. Reloaded page, Google ads pop up, FIVE, count 'em, FIVE ads for mole control... and NOT ONE MENTION of a shotgun!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Universal Health Care, Secure Retirement, Fair Taxes?

My son is 26 years old, and a graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University. He is in one of the Psychology programs. He was home this past weekend, and as the family sat around the dinner table Saturday night, we were treated to the sound of words that had not been heard in the house all during the week. Halliburton. Bush's cronies. Fat cat oil barons. Stupid war. Money-grubbing insurance companies. Ad nauseum.

Now, don't get me wrong... my son is very intelligent, working towards a good education, is dependable, holds two part time jobs besides school, and I love him dearly. But he also has to spend most of his time at school. I have found it difficult to keep him thinking properly when the ratio is 5/2 for being exposed to that type of thinking versus being around me. The point of this information is to indicate that we frequently hold very spirited 'discussions' concerning areas that are of great concern to all of us, him in particular. Health care, or rather lack thereof. Taxation (always a hot topic around this time of the year.) Health care. A living wage anent current gasoline prices. Health care. Did I mention health care? Health care.

So a couple of weeks ago we were heavily into one of these discussions, about health care in particular. I asked him pointedly "And what are YOU going to do?". He kept parrying with some lame answer, ranging from "I'm not going to get sick" to "We can do it like Canada, where EVERYBODY has good medical care". Each parry from him elicited the same response from me... "And what are YOU going to do?". Finally he realized that I was looking for a specific answer, and asked what I meant.

At that point I told him that HE , personally, needed to do something to alleviate the problem. That constantly griping about the situation and having absolutely NO proposal for a solution was not an effective strategy. So at least he's now thinking about answers instead of just griping, although the griping continues unabated. I know he's thinking about it because each time I talk to him I ask again... "And what are YOU going to do?".

So tonight I emailed a link to him of Dan Morgan's post at NoSpeedBumps that DOES make some concrete proposals. Not only about health care, but also taxation and retirement.

According to President Bush, everything should be on the table. Maybe this will push my son along the right path. I certainly hope so!

(Hat tip to Joe Katzman at Winds of Change for the link, and he has some good commentary, too.)

How long before something breaks?

This Business Week Online report seems to tie in closely with the efforts of the Pajamas Media
The Newspaper Association of America, a Vienna, Va.-based industry group, reported that average daily paid circulation declined 1.9 percent in the most recent reporting period for the 814 newspapers reporting comparable data to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Average Sunday circulation for the 643 newspapers reporting those figures fell 2.5 percent.

Probably too soon to call it 'circling the drain', but the pace seems to be accelerating rapidly.

There are several good posts concerning the 'why' of this decline, at PressThink , Jenny D. (hat tip to Jeff Jarvis for those links)
Also, items like this and this don't help.

Personally, I have not subscribed to a newspaper in years, getting my news from network and cable TV. Fox was a real boon. Then about a year and a half ago I discovered BLOGS! What an eye opener that was.

On a side note... although I don't subscribe to a newspaper, my wife brings home a copy of the Nashville Tennesean from her work several times a week, and I DO read it.

Since this blog is so new and unknown, it may be a little premature on my part, but I DID send in an application to join Pajamas Media today. (join@pajamasmedia.com)

Great Advice!!

WOW! The advice offered on Mudville Gazette by Greyhawk is just what I was looking for last week when I started blogging. Had he been a few days earlier on his post, it would have saved me several hours of hard labor. As it is, there are several items still remaining that I will be applying to this blog, and his post is perfect!

Thaks Thanks, Greyhawk

Oops! Forgot to put this in original: Hat tip to Instapundit for link to Greyhawk)

UPDATE: Thanks to this advice, and service provided by NZBear I am now an Insignificant Microbe in The TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem!

I also signed up for an account with OneStat. It appears that I cannot block hits from my own site without upgrading to the paid services, but I am still looking at options there.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

David Gibbs III on Living Wills


On Saturday, May 21, 2005, at 6:00PM, Attorney David Gibbs III will be holding a seminar on Living Wills in the cafeteria of Hendersonville Christian Academy, 355 Old Shackle Island Road, Hendersonville, Tennessee, 37075. This event is sponsored by Bible Baptist Church, 260 New Shackle Island Road, Hendersonville, Tennessee, and is free of charge. Call (615) 824-1550 to reserve a space.

For those that haven't been paying attention, Mr. Gibbs served as lead counsel for Mr. and Mrs. Bob Schindler, the parents of Teri Schiavo.

Several areas will be addressed, such as:

What is a living will?
Who will make medical decisions for me if I can't?

Do I need a living will?
Is refusing medical treatment a legal right?

Mr. Gibbs will be ready to answer these and other legal questions.

Space is limited, so be sure to call (615) 824-1550 to reserve one.

Tagboard addon deleted...

The Tagboard that I installed yesterday is now gone. Besides for not providing any wanted functionality for me, I was also getting a number of time outs on the auto updates. It sure didn't last very long.

Are ALL Democrats Bigots?

Captain Ed has some observations, questions and commentary over at Captain's Quarters that make me wonder:

Are ALL Democrats bigots? Or just the rabid far-Left?

From the Merriam-Webster site:

Main Entry: big·ot
Pronunciation: 'bi-g&t
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices
- big·ot·ed /-g&-t&d/ adjective
- big·ot·ed·ly adverb

Hmmm, shoe seems to fit.

Getting in the mood for sex...

All I can say is...


Follow the link to CNN for the complete story!


This has fascinated me... How could anyone make a drink from a blended frog?

No, let me re-phrase that question... How could anyone DRINK a drink made from a blended frog?

So I do some research, and now know more about amphibious life in the Andes Mountains than I really needed to know. All in all, I found exactly ONE source, the Peruvian strange travelogue. Availing myself of Google's translate service, it became readable, kind of.

The store first, there is a tank and the frog which the among those size of various patterns lives has wriggled. With the counter the girl it is young had ordered the juice. I the bowl ゃ of the store am order the frog juice timidly fully. Distantly the bowl which it does ゃ it is removing one frog from the tank, hitting with the stick, it started peeling the skin. (Seeing as expected with カワイソウ, and others there is no れ) the frog which tears off the skin is inserted by the pot of the soup which was heated and the グツグツ starts boiling and the white bubble floats from the pot, in the mixer at that time the soup like the milk was being inserted from another pot. When it does a little, you inserted the frog of the pot which was boiled in the mixer, started pouring the liquid and the powder of various colors suitably. Doing the cover of the mixer lastly, 30 seconds those which it turns 濾 with the basket, it is possible and it is rising. Already, the form of the frog it is not everywhere, in some ま when it has pouring that juice which has become pink color to the glass of the plastic, receives it is a little warm, putting out courage, you try drinking little by little, taste of the just a little alcohol does, but the strange taste which does not have the fact that also sweet taste it is, tasted until now has crossed in the mouth. Half drinking, when it advances to the friend, " you cannot drink, " you say, (making to person drink, saying what whether) thinking.

Thanks to GromBlog for the link.)

Here is the critter mentioned in the original Reuters story, I believe:

I'm still left with my original reaction:

So now I'm left with the question: What if they get one of these instead?

Add-on experimentations

Been having fun with setting things up the way I think they should work. Added a hit counter through Sitemeter, enhanced commenting and trackback functionality through Haloscan, and a Tagboard through NVNCBL.Chat. All free of charge, so far, except for the time to sign up for their services. I think the hit counter and the trackbacks/enhanced commenting are a good thing, and probably very useful. I'll need some hits and comments first so that I can make a good judgment.

The Tagboard, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. I put it in mainly because I could, but I'm not sure if this is something that is useful, or that I even want. For one thing I probably have the auto update set at too high a rate, and that seems to slow things down a bit more than I'd find acceptable. But what would be the point of having the chat ability if updating was not automatic, and rapid? But it is free, after all, even if it'll probably be gone within a few days.

So, now to generate some traffic so I can check out these features...