Friday, December 30, 2005

Dennis Prager's Sad Announcement

My earlier post quoting radio talk show host Dennis Prager now has a certain poignance. Dennis broke the news today on his radio program that he and his wife were getting divorced. Normally, I would be tempted to make some wisecrack, but I have too much respect for Mr. Prager to even consider it. I know that he has very high regard for marriage and that this mutual decision they arrived at was not done casually.

I'm sure that many who dislike him or at least his message will try to use this painful time in his life to score political points. In fact, I heard one call in on another radio talk show just an hour or two after Dennis made his personal and emotionally painful announcement. The actions of these cretins tells you everything you need to know about their character and compassion (or lack thereof).

I have some personal experience in this area and I can attest that, no matter how amicable a divorce is, it is never painless. So, I wish Dennis and Fran well as they go through this difficult time.

(Since Dennis is a scholar of the Torah, I won't bother offering a passage of scripture for comfort. Besides, it has not escaped my notice that he is unlikely to be a regular reader of my blog.)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Feel Happy! I'm Getting Better

MORTICIAN: Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! [clang] Bring out your dead! [clang] Bring out your dead! [clang] Bring out your dead! [clang] Bring out your dead!
CUSTOMER: Here's one
MORTICIAN: Ninepence.
SOLA-MAN: I'm not dead!
CUSTOMER: Nothing -- here's your nine pence.
SOLA-MAN: I'm not dead!
MORTICIAN: Here -- he says he's not dead!
CUSTOMER: Yes, he is.
SOLA-MAN: I'm not!
MORTICIAN: He isn't.
CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
SOLA-MAN: I'm getting better!
CUSTOMER: No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment.
MORTICIAN: Oh, I can't take him like that -- it's against regulations.
SOLA-MAN: I don't want to go on the cart!
CUSTOMER: Oh, don't be such a baby.
MORTICIAN: I can't take him...
SOLA-MAN: I feel fine!
CUSTOMER: Oh, do us a favor...
CUSTOMER: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
MORTICIAN: Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson's -- they've lost nine today.
CUSTOMER: Well, when is your next round?
MORTICIAN: Thursday.
SOLA-MAN: I think I'll go for a walk.
CUSTOMER: You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something you can do?
SOLA-MAN: I feel happy... I feel happy.
[whop] Mortician hits Sola-man over the head.
CUSTOMER: Ah, thanks very much.
MORTICIAN: Not at all. See you on Thursday.

That bit, obviously borrowed from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, pretty much sums up how I spent my Christmas vacation. Like every other God-fearing man in America I put off too much of my Christmas shopping until the last minute. What can I say...I work better under pressure. Christmas Eve I made the annual trek to the Motherland (the land on which my mother lives). Unfortunately, I was at the beginning of an nasty illness which pretty much made me incapable of doing anything except sipping hot liquids and clicking the TV remote (another American male activity that can only be halted by paralysis or death). Since I am of hearty Scandinavian stock, I stoically put off seeking medical aid, my mom made me. Actually I think she was looking forward making to the 40 mile road trip. Fortunately, I didn't have anything life threatening, but I did get some pretty cool medications. No, I'm not sharing. I finally made it back to the Big Cities mid-afternoon today and went immediately to the office. I admit that I'm a workaholic, but it pays better than washing dishes and vacuuming. Well, I finally made time to blog but I'm too dang tired so this is all you're getting today. Good night and God bless.

Merry Belated Christmas
and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

That's What Families Are For

"Family forces us to associate with people we would normally have nothing to do with."

~~ Dennis Prager

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shelter From the Storm

Here is one heavily armoured meterological vehicle.

[HT: Limbic Nutrition Blog]

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Given Sufficient Dosage...

...anything can be a poison.

[HT: Muzzy]

The Sound of Silence

John Hinderaker of Powerline has a couple of nice posts on the NSA intercept program. In the first post, Hinderaker shows how it is entirely legal and constitutional. He also shares an email he sent to two of the New York Times reporters who were involved in the NSA stories. The second post contains and email exchange with one of the reporters.

What does a reporter say when he doesn't have a good answer to a criticism of his news story?
"You must not have read to the end of our original story last Friday."
What if the end of the original story doesn't address the criticism?
"I'd refer you again to our story."
And what if the criticism is further clarified and expanded?
* Crickets chirping *

i.e. France, Germany

"Wars teach us not to love our enemies, but to hate our allies."

W. L. George (1882 – 1926)

Oh, So THAT'S Where They Went

Cap'n Ed of Captain's Quarters has a post regarding a possible WMD attack in Chechnya. If it proves to be a nerve gas attack, there are only so many possible origins for the WMD. Cap'n Ed gives us the short list:
One likely source, of course, would be from the Russians themselves, or at least from stocks left over from Cold War production. Another possibility could be Syria or Iran, but that also leaves open the possibility that the weapons themselves originated in Iraq first.
Easy prediction of the week: This story will only be reported in the Left-Wing-Media if it proves to be something other than WMD deployed by Muslim terrorists.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

That Was Then, This Is Irresponsible

While I'm on the subject of media bias, Thomas Sowell has an excellent article at titled The Media's War. Dr. Sowell compares the behavior of the media in previous wars with their behavior in the GWOT (Global War on Terror).
We have lost more men than that in our most overwhelming and one-sided victories in previous wars. During an aerial battle over the Mariannas islands in World War II, Americans shot down hundreds of Japanese planes while losing about 30 of their own.

 If the media of that era had been reporting the way the media report today, all we would have heard about would have been that more than two dozen Americans were killed that day.
Follow the above link to read the rest of Thomas Sowell's case against the media of today.

NEWS FLASH! There IS Media Bias

A UCLA-led study has found that, there is indeed a left-leaning bias in the media. Here's a taste:
"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

"Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left," said co‑author Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri economist and public policy scholar.

I recommend you read the entire UCLA news release. Some of their findings may surprise you.

Hark! This Explains My Previous Post

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
You are 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. You take
Christmas very seriously. For you, it is a
religious festival, celebrating the birth of
the Saviour, and its current secularisation
really irritates you. You enjoy the period of
Advent leading up to Christmas, and attend any
local carol services you can find, as well as
the more contemplative Advent church services
each Sunday. You may be involved in Christmas
food collections or similar charity work. The
midnight service at your church, with candles
and carols, is one you look forward to all
year, and you also look forward to the family
get together on Christmas Day.

What Christmas Carol are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

[HT: The Bogus One]

Christmas Origins: Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds examines the conventional wisdom that Christianity "borrowed" December 25th from paganism's worship of the winter solstice. He cites articles two articles (William Tighe's Calculating Christmas, and Gene Veith's summary of Tighe's article, entitled Why December 25?) which challenge the "urban legend" of Christmas' pagan origins.

One of the comments also links a post by Bob Kauflin which addresses the question of whether Christians should celebrate Christmas at all. Something to think about.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Jackson's Kong: Not Just Another Pretty Face

A funny thing happened on the way to see Narnia. I stumbled on a 12:01 AM showing of Peter Jackson's King Kong.

My original plan was to see a late showing of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. My plan was to avoid the noisy hordes of little ones by staying up way past their bedtime. Unfortunately, there was something missing from my plan . . . PLANNING. I arrived at the theatre about 40 minutes after the last showing had started. After kicking myself three or four times for my stupidity, I noticed that they had a midnight showing of Peter Jackson's new film, King Kong. Since I intended to go see this movie, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

The first thing that struck me was that fact that I was the only one in the theatre. This would change as midnight approached. By the time the movie started, there were about 20 high school and college kids -- and me. After a few minutes of overhearing innane and self-absorbed conversation, I was more than ready to put up with the dancing popcorn in the concession ad.

I won't bother to give a synopsis of the story, because most people know the story and it can be easily found elsewhere. I think it is safe to say that John Guillermin's *tongue-in-cheek* classic 1976 remake of Kong starring Jessica Lange, can now be placed on the ash-heap of Hollywood remakes and remembered no more. Sure, PJ's Kong has a huge technological advantage over Guillermin's Kong. However, Lange's performance as a skinnier and dumber version of Anna Nicole Smith was dreadful. Then, in an apparent move to attract teenage boys to his film, Guillermin cheapened the story by having Kong de-blouse Lange. Thirty years ago it may have seemd like a good idea. Now, it seems crass and sophmoric.

Jackson, on the other hand, avoids such cynical Hollywood puerility. (Although, in a scene that caused me to laugh out loud, PJ, through Jack Black's character, does take a not-so-veiled swipe at the bosomed 1976 remake. Not surprisingly, I was the only one in the theatre who got the joke.) The beauty-beast relationship in PJ's film has an innocent, natural quality. Thanks to the work of virtu-actor Andy Serkis and some amazing CG work, Kong is realistic enough to fool Jane Goodall. As he did in the Lord of the Rings films, PJ takes a fictional story and makes you believe that it really could have happened. PJ's Kong isn't a pristine primate. His face and body bear scars from previous battles giving a backstory to Kong. His lair also shows the same attention to historical detail that is typical of Jackson's work.

Jack Black is perfect as the manipulative, truth-challenged film maker, Carl Denham. Adrien Brody is a very good actor and does a good job, but for some reason he seems miscast. Naomi Watts turns in an amazing performance as Ann Darrow, Kong's femme fatale.

Having said all that, the film is not without its flaws. There were a couple spots that were obviously green-screen shots. The most noticible was during the dinosaur stampede. In fact, it is so obvious I wonder if they ran out of time and didn't finish "touching up" the shot. There was also a "Koko the gorilla" moment which, I'm sure, others will view as a positive but I found corny. On the other hand, some may think the closing line of the film is corny, but I actually think it works.

As you may have guessed already, I highly recommend Peter Jackson's King Kong and award it 4 of 5 Fingers - one short of a "high five".

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vote for Yon at

Michael Yon's moving photograph of an American soldier cradling an Iraqi child who was fatally wounded by a homicide bomber is up for top viewer pick on Time's website. Go and vote for Michael's photo.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Purple Finger for Freedom

Pamela of Atlas Shrugs encourages us to join the cause of by dying our right index fingers purple in solidarity with the Iraqi people as they elect their first government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Praise God and pass the inkwell. (Actually, my purple finger was never lowered.)

Took Took Tookie, Goodbye

Clemency denied.

Although this may sound casual and heartless, it is far less casual or heartless than Stanley "Tookie" Williams was when he murdered Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, and Yu-Chin Yang Lin, at their Los Angeles motel, or when he executed 7-Eleven clerk Albert Owens.

Of course, the main difference is that I won't deny authoring this post.

Metaphysics for Dummies

In an effort to continue my verbal spanking of George Will and Charles Krauthammer which I began in my post ID vs. Ego on Solablog, I refer you to this National Review article by Tom Bethell, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science. The final paragraph, I think, hits on why Darwinian evolution is vulnerable to the challenge of ID:
The underlying problem, rarely discussed, is that the conclusions of evolutionism are based not on science, but on a philosophy: the philosophy of materialism, or naturalism. Living creatures, including human beings, are here on Earth, and we got here somehow. If atoms and molecules in motion are all that exist, then their random interactions must account for everything that exists, including us. That is the true underpinning of Darwinism. What needs to be examined in detail is not so much the religion behind intelligent design as the philosophy behind evolution.
Until Darwinian evolutionists acknowledge and honestly deal with their own metaphysical assumptions, they will continue to be open to charges of hypocrisy in their criticism of ID. I doubt they will do so because they would have to do something that caused them to deny their metaphysical assumptions in the first place. They would have to face the implications of those assumptions.

Will Kill For Food

Muzzy of Blogizdat found an unusual news story in which a woman pays for a murder-for-hire with a block of cheese. No worries, though. There is a happy ending.

Friday, December 09, 2005

You'll Put Your Eye Out, Kid

My favorite Christmas movie is, by far, the holiday classic A Christmas Story. The main character, Ralphie, is a young boy who desperately wants a Red Rider B-B Gun for Christmas. The difficulty he faces is overcoming the oft repeated grown-up objection "You'll shoot your eye out".

With that in mind, Walmart's website has Peter's Sword (see my previous post, Not a Laughing Matter) listed for sale. What makes this relevent is the following description taken from Walmart's product page:
Age Range: 8 and up

An exact replica of the original prop supplied by Weta Workshop, Peter's Sword features a blade made from durable hand-forged steel with elegant acid-etched lettering. It has a full tang for sturdy construction with a nickel-chromed steel hand guard. A leather grip with gold-plated cast metal details features a detailed brass lion head on the end of the handle, capturing the magic of Narnia. [emphasis mine - Solaman]
Maybe it's just me, but 8 years old? What Walmart lawyer let that slip by? "Merry Christmas, Billy. Here's your sturdily constructed, durable hand-forged steel sword. No, no. Not in the house. Take it outside if you want to recklessly swing it around." That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Not A Laughing Matter

You, too, can own Peter's Sword from the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It Must Be Opposite Day

Your Hidden Talent

You are a great communicator. You have a real way with words.
You're never at a loss to explain what you mean or how you feel.
People find it easy to empathize with you, no matter what your situation.
When you're up, you make everyone happy. But when you're down, everyone suffers.

[HT: BG]

Friday, December 02, 2005

War Footing

We are at war. We've been directly involved in this war since 1979, though we only started to realize that fact on September 11, 2001. Winning this war will not be easy or inexpensive, but losing this war means losing everything. The war we are fighting is the war for the Free World.

Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy has a new book, website and blog which addresses what we need to do to win the war for the Free World.

[If you are unfamiliar with the EMP threat that we face, check out the video on the War Footing website.]

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Heaping Burning Coals

Hugh Hewitt linked to THIS really good idea by Kevin McCullough. In a nutshell, he suggests sending a religiously themed Christmas card to the ACLU. Here's their address:

"Wishing You Merry Christmas"
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Romans 12:20