Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's Not How Well They Bowl Or Drink

My little sister, Dr. Amy Cooper, has once again made it onto the Fort Wort Star-Telegram's editorial page.

Click here to go to the Star-Telegram's site, and read "It's Not How Well They Bowl Or Drink".
Or you can click here, just in case they ever take the link down, like they did with her previous one.

In this wonderfully written editorial, Amy marvels that the next leader of the free world might be chosen because of his bowling ability or lack thereof. Hillary's barroom shot of Crown Royal is also ridiculed.

I'd give almost anything for our (now deceased) father to be able to read this essay.

I can't remember which of her "two white grandmothers" used to iron out used aluminum foil to reuse it, but I don't doubt the story. I don't remember seeing an Obama sign in her yard, but it apparently didn't last very long.

If they put a Hillary sign in their yard, I'll make sure that one doesn't last long either.

Amy also displays an impressive knowledge of Brazilian and Argentine iron ore pricing. You'd think she married someone in the metal business.

It's all good stuff. Since I started blogging, she's been on the editorial page twice and I've only made it once. (She's on the Community Columnist Panel.) Not that we're competitive or anything.

I can beat her at Bowling and Drinking.

Big Brown Wins The Kentucky Derby

Big Brown, the racehorse named for UPS, just won the Kentucky Derby.

In honor of this glorious event, here's a link to the complete text of "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" by Hunter S. Thompson. I think it's one of the greatest pieces of weirdo jounalism ever written.


Friday, May 2, 2008

The Empire Strikes Barack Obama

I love this video.
I repeat, I love this video.
If you don't laugh out loud at least three times during this video, you're beyond hope.
If you don't laugh when Howard Dean makes an appearance, you probably voted for him.
I love being alive these days.

Obama is the only viable candidate who isn't pandering with the idea of a tax cutback on gasoline for the summer months. The Clintons and my homeboy John McCain claim to be in favor of it.
I'm generally in favor of lower taxes on just about everything. But if the idea is for us to consume less because the supply is dwindling....aren't McCain and the Hildebeast being illogical?

This has taken some courage on Obama's part. But not nearly as much courage as was required to face Lord Vapid in this movie trailer.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Things To Write About

I'm generally amazed when, during my websurfing, I find Blog Posts lamenting that there isn't much going on to write about.
Yes, those statements are out there. Put the phrases "not much to write about" or "nothing to write about" into Google, and you'll find them.

It's the Year Of Our Lord 2008. China's got Olympics problems with Tibet. A former P.O.W. who was tortured for years by the Vietnamese is running for president against either a black man with serious preacher problems or a white woman with more hidden and lost baggage than Heathrow Airport. Our government has checks in the mail in a Keynesian effort to end a recession that we can't be in yet (recessions require two consecutive quarters of negative growth.) There are millions of people online, just waiting to read what you have to say about all this. But sometimes we all need a kick start.

So as a service to our Republic, here are my suggestions for what to do when you think there's nothing to write about.

1) Somewhere near you is a newspaper with an online presence. In my case, there's my beloved Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Just looking through the first page of the site, there's an article about the Methodists having a "negotiated disruption", whatever that is, about same-sex unions, gay clergy, and the like. The Star-T also has more info on John Peter Smith Hospital, our local government funded charity health care center, which is underfunded but has $72,000,000 in the bank. Plus, the Top Dawg was pulling in $700,000 per year. Eminent Domain abuser Jerry Jones has signed Bad Boy Pacman Jones. If you don't have something to bring to the table on any of these issues, you need to turn off your computer and go watch American Idol.

2) Because God loves us, She has given us a world that includes an internet search engine called Google. You have information at your fingertips that, just twenty years ago, was inaccesible to all but the most privileged academics. As further proof of Divine Blessing: a feature called "Google Trends". This lists the top 100 search terms put into Google over the last hour.
By the time you read this, Google Trends will have changedfrom these topics, but.... I have an interest in one called Paul vs Hillary, which is a court case involving the baggage lady mentioned above.
Another term in the top Google Trends Top 100: May Day. May 1st. The traditional holiday for socialist labor. Following the links provided led me to this article in the Guardian (UK), about Raul Castro having to lead Cuba's May Day ceremonies in place of ailing brother Fidel. I LOVED the last line of the article....Marches were held simultaneously in other Cuban cities; several million people were expected to attend. As if the poor bastards had a choice.
If you can't spend five minutes on Google Trends and find a topic to type about, give up, get up, turn off your computer, and go watch "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?".
(FYI... As soon as "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" goes off the air, an embarrassing number of the show's questions show up on the Google Trends site. I fear for my country.)

3) Do you ever wish that you had a subscription to Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, and every other major magazine? Well, those are the links. It doesn't matter if you're into dogs, kites, coffin-handle manufacturing, cars, or the life and career of Millard Fillmore, somewhere out there is a magazine or site devoted to that interest. I probably write more about politics than anything else, so from far left to far right, there are websites for The Nation, Mother Jones, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, and National Review. On the libertarian side of things (different continuum) you have Reason and Liberty magazines. (I can never sign onto the New Republic site. I've either ripped them to shreds so many times that they've blocked my URL, or they're going through a financial crisis, or they just can't keep their site running.)
If you can go into those and not find something to make your blood boil, then give up. Go watch Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olbermann. Let tell you what to think. I apologize for the snarky tone toward bloggers who have nothing to write about. I've seen so many great topics in these links.... I could type for days.

4) There are other sites called "Aggregators". They simply collect links on a given topic. Republicans generally like Instapundit or Little Green Footballs. There's one called Real Clear Politics that covers the entire political spectrum. Alan K. Henderson's Weblog and Libertarian Blog Place are the best ones for libertarians. Whatever interests you, simply type "Blog" "aggregator" and _____ into Google. Chances are, you'll come up with something. I just tried it with the word "Decorating" in the blank, and came up with this. It has all sorts of stuff on Decorating, House, Home and relationships. I tried it again with Macroeconomics in the blank, and got this.
Surely you will find something to love, link to, and discuss.

5) Then there's YouTube. Lord, have mercy. I was looking today for something for my next safety meeting and discovered this:

Youtube has enough video of forklift accidents to give me bad dreams for months. Whatever floats your boat, they've got movies of it. Type in the keywords, you'll find it. Amazing. I might do an entire post of "Worst Forklift Accident Videos" sometime soon.

6) How many jokes, funny pictures, photoshops, and email chains are you forwarded every day? Copy them. Post them.

7) What cool places and things are in your city or neighborhood? I once gave online directions to Lee Harvey Oswald's grave, and that thing still gets about a dozen hits a week.

8) You can put together lists of new sites that you've discovered and enjoyed.

I'm tired and going to bed. Hope this has been useful.

This has been a public service of The Whited Sepulchre Outreach Ministry.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Barack Obama & Jeremiah Wright Conspiracy Theory

Take a look at this, this, and this. They're all editorials that ask why Barack Obama took so long to disown Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I believe they all come to the wrong conclusions.

Consider this as a conspiracy theory. Nothing more than a theory. How well do you think it holds up?

1) Obama has been a member of Jeremiah Wright's church for two decades. Wright is, by all accounts, the reason Obama became a Christian. Wright baptized both of the Obama daughters. They're buddies. They're both very smart men. But they have a problem. See #2.

2) Jeremiah Wright occasionally went off on anti-American, anti-White, and anti-Semitic diatribes from the pulpit. It's part of the expected liturgy in some black churches. This wasn't a big deal for a local Chicago politician, an Illinois state senator, or even a Senator from Illinois. It's a huge problem for a potential President Of The United States. But Obama can't disown Wright. They've known each other for too long.

3) Obama begins distancing himself from Jeremiah Wright at the very beginning of the election, and won't let Wright appear on the platform during the announcement of his candidacy. Obama can distance himself from Wright, but he can't disown him.

4) The Youtube videos (Wright Goddaming America, stating that our government infected blacks with Aids, etc.) hit a nationwide audience. Obama probably wishes he'd become a suburban Episcopalian. He can't disown Wright.

5) Damage control begins. Wright is referred to as an "eccentric uncle".

6) Damage control fails. Obama gives his "Race In America" speech, to wide acclaim. Obama says he can't disown Wright any more than he can disown the Black Community. At this point, he really can't.

7) The issue still won't go away. Jeremiah Wright isn't heard from. Obama still won't disown Wright. It would make him look like a flip-flopper.

8) Talk Radio and The Clintons see to it that Jeremiah Wright stays in the discussion. Something must be done. But Obama can't possibly disown Wright. He's waited too long, and it would make him look weak. Especially after that great speech.

7) Obama's people meet with Wright's people in some smoke-filled room. Strategies are discussed. Deals are made. (We're now into serious conspiracy theory territory....)

8) Wright is then brought forth from the cave where he's been hidden from public view. They wind him up. They take off the sackcloth and ashes and put him back in his regular clothes. Wright, knowingly or unknowingly, aggrees to cooperate by giving speeches that make Al Sharpton look like Thomas Sowell. Obama, along with everyone else, is now able to be publicly appalled. The media breaks out into polite operatic applause as Obama starts clearing his throat to totally disown, condemn, and slap down Jeremiah Wright.

9) Wright starts working the cameras, screaming at the microphones, and breaking out in stigmata. He's so over the top that most people think he's obviously gone insane.

10) Obama is finally able to sadly shake his head, make some tsk tsk tsk noises, say "this isn't the Jeremiah Wright I knew".

11) And now he's finally disowned Jeremiah Wright. It took about a year. By the time it comes down to Obama vs. McCain, Jeremiah Wright's sad decline into a full blown rabies victim will be perceived as a process that began about 5-6 years ago, instead of a pre-existing condition from 25 years ago.

12) Obama will then be adequately inocculated from criticism over his past relationship with the sad, delusional, rabid Jeremiah Wright.

Please discuss amongst yourselves.

Carnival Of The Libertarians, #8 & #9, send posts to Hell's Handmaiden and Dodgeblogium

I run something called "Carnival Of The Libertarians". It's a blog carnival, which is a travelling collection of blog posts on a particular topic. People from all over submit their favorite posts to the host sites. Mine started at this site, gained some steam, and now I've sent it off to make its way in the world.

When I hosted it, the end result looked like this.

Here's what they did with it for the current issue at Wench Wisdom.

Judy at Consent Of The Governed did a double-back-flip, triple-spiral somersault with a perfect landing. Judy gave us additional commentary. She threw in pictures and logos. Judy is an over-achiever.

John at Hell's Handmaiden will be hosting the next edition May 11th, but there haven't been many submissions yet. I can promise you he's going to post anything you send him on seperation of church and state, or freedom of religion, or freedom from religion, or freedom and religion.

And if you have anything else for John on the subject of smaller government, human rights, 2nd amendment issues, free markets, or anything else that fits underneath the libertarian umbrella, submit a link to your post by clicking here.

After that, on May 25th COTL travels to the site of Mr. Andrew Ian Dodge - Dodgeblogium - where Mr. Dodge "combines a taste for heavy metal music with heavy metal politics". Mr. Dodge apparently jumps back and forth between the U.S. and London. If he's in London when the Carnival posts, we will have gone international.

Back in January, I wrote an admiring post about a British politician named Boris Johnson, a semi-libertarian candidate for Mayor of London. Turns out, Mr. Andrew Ian Dodge knows Mr. Boris Johnson, and has spent quite a bit of time with him. Click here for the Dodgeblogium dissection of Mr. Johnson's opponent. Worth reading, even if you can't vote there. Final results of this mayoral election to be announced this Friday, I believe.

You can use the same link (above) to submit your posts when Dodgeblogium is the host site. You'll have to wait until after May 11th. But you've got at least a dozen things you'd like to see linked on these sites, don't you? So send John a batch to read now, and send Andrew a batch after the 11th. These are good people and good writers. Can't wait to see what they do with it.

-P.S. Go Boris. Defeat the socialist.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Scared To Death

It was just this Saturday I was lamenting that Christopher Booker and Richard North's "Scared To Death" was not yet in print in the U.S.

My need brought it forth, like a burning bush in the wilderness. I got the last copy that Border's Books had on the shelf. (see link above) is temporarily out of stock. One of the authors, Dr. Richard North, is co-blogger of the EU Referendum blog to your right. He's a retired food safety consultant, and is freakin' brilliant.
Remember when all your friends and relatives were dying from Mad Cow Disease? That's funny....I don't either.

Remember when the computers all went nuts on New Year's Eve of the new millenium because of the date change and the electrical grid shut down and all the airliners crashed into the oceans? You don't remember that happening during Y2K? I don't either.
How about all the kids in your neighborhood who were subjected to Satanic Ritual Abuse? I know that my streets aren't full of them.
So how are we supposed to act when Saint Albert, The Goracle of Music City, stands atop the mountain and threatens to bring us darkness at noonday and fill the moon with blood and give Waco, Texas, some beachfront property unless the government contributes to his Kleiner Perkins /Al Gore pension fund? (Counting Cats, I gave you the link....)
Now that this book has entered the world, we have no excuse. We are obliged to laugh.
This book lists about two dozen of our Chicken Little moments, what caused them, how the media, lobbyists, and governments reacted, and the embarrased silence that followed their exposure. I've just recently started it, and wanted to help these guys out as much as possible. Here's a link to the only review written on the American Amazon site so far.
You can't imagine what I went through in China, trying to avoid Asian Bird Flu.
If I'd only known then what I know now....I would've eaten a lot more duck.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Confederate Memorial Day ! ! !

Just Joking.

But it really is Confederate Memorial Day in a few places. Wikipedia has the best chart of Confederate Memorial Days, state by state.

Question: Why isn't Confederate Memorial Day celebrated on the same day in all the Southern States ?

Answer: That's what happens with a confederation, unlike a nation, and it's part of the reason why Confederate money was eventually used as wallpaper. Rebels aren't known for being cooperative.

When I saw a web posting about Alabama's Confederate Memorial Day observance, it made me remember a few things..... and I have no idea where I'm going with this.

I went to a Mississippi school that had grades K-12 under one roof. I played snare drum in the 5th grade band, and stuck with it through the 12th. Our fight song (it was a segregationist academy) was "Dixie". I played that song in every parade, pep rally, pregame and halftime. I played "Dixie" after every field goal and touchdown for eight years.

Then I went to The University of Mississippi - a.k.a. Ole Miss.

At Ole Miss, I was also in the marching band (triple drums), and the fight song was, of course, "Dixie. I played that song for all of the occasions listed above plus blocked punts, 3-pointers, fourth-down completions, and coin-tosses. After two years, I transferred to a much smaller college. It had a different fight song, but the college was in the middle of the Mississippi Delta, immortalized in at least one book as "The Most Southern Place on Earth".

We didn't have to play "Dixie" quite as often there. Just before, during, and after the games. So from 5th grade until college graduation (10 years), I played Daniel Emmett's minstrel ballad "Dixie" more than anyone should ever have to.

Shortly after I graduated, African-American athletes wisely decided that schools which played Slaveholder Anthems should be avoided. The song fell out of favor, and I haven't heard it in years.

Therefore, since I got such a head start, I can make the case that I've played "Dixie" more than anyone else alive. I don't know where I'm going with any of this, in case you're wondering. Stop reading now if you're expecting me to make a point.

I had a "maiden" great aunt, to use a Southern euphemism for unmarried female relative, who we called Libba. Libba had seemed ancient for as long as I could remember. The day eventually came when she had to move into a nursing home in Jackson, Mississippi. Her mind was as sharp as ever, but her body was betraying her.

It was a nice enough nursing home. Ross Barnett - the infamous Mississippi governor who stood in the doorway of the University of Mississippi administration building to prevent James Meredith from integrating Ole Miss - had spent his last days at the same facility.

Going to the nursing home was traumatic enough for Libba. One of the many things she found to gripe about: the nursing home, as an integrated care center, didn't observe Confederate Memorial Day. OMG.

Ok, I know where I'm going with this post. It'll be worthwhile.

Libba eventually adjusted, and spent her time watching Jeopardy and writing hate mail to Alex Trebek for not agreeing with everything she'd learned at Yazoo City Consolidated High School. I don't remember the name of Libba's first roommate, because that lady was white.

You know what happens next, don't you? The white roommate went on to the place where you go after you leave the nursing home.

Libba's next roommate, Mrs. Mackey, was black. There was major trauma for all involved. We're talking about people who grew up in the Jim Crow south.

Mrs. Mackey was in her early sixties, totally blind, but otherwise healthy. She was one of the most genuinely kind and caring people I've ever known.

Libba was outraged over being assigned a black roommate. Worked herself into a devout Methodist fury. She was too polite to say anything to Mrs. Mackey, of course. I think part of the problem was that Libba could see that Mrs. Mackey was black. But Libba had know way of knowing if Mrs. Mackey, being blind, really knew that Libba was white. (I know, I know, this is almost like a Henry James novel....)

Libba made phone calls to the family whenever Mrs. Mackey shuffled outside the room. Plots were plotted. Whispers were whispered. The nursing home wouldn't budge. They were an integrated facility, and Libba and Mrs. Mackey were going to be roommates unless one of them could come up with the money for a private room.

And then, it they always say before the crucial moments in episodes of "The Wonder Years".

Libba's electric wheelchair stopped working.

The electric wheelchair had been Libba's status symbol, giving her a level of mobility denied to most of the others on her floor. The electric wheelchair got her to the cafeteria before all the red jello was gone. Not only that, but the electric wheelchair said "My nieces are married to guys who are RICH !"

The tragic wheelchair malfunction brought Libba down to the commoner level. She knew more than Alex Trebek, and could work the New York Times Crossword with a permanent marker, but she wasn't strong enough to push her wheelchair to the cafeteria.

That's when the two roommates finally bonded. Libba could see, but couldn't walk. Mrs. Mackey could walk, but couldn't see. Unless they started cooperating, lesser beings would beat them into the cafeteria, and there would only be nasty green jello left. So Mrs. Mackey started pushing Libba and the wheelchair while Libba navigated. I think they eventually ditched the heavy electric contraption for a more streamlined manual model.

They learned about each others' relatives. They worked out a joint custody schedule for the radio and television programs. Theological debates took place in their room that would've left Martin Luther and John Calvin scratching their heads in wonder, wondering "just who is this Jimmy Swaggart person, anyway?" Libba and Mrs. Mackey spent a lot of time wandering around the nursing home in a symbiotic relationship, stopping in various rooms to show off their mobility and say "howdy".

Somewhere in that relationship is a good screenplay. Sort of a cross between "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Defiant Ones", where Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier are chained together but still escape from the chain gang.

In fact, I hereby copyright this movie idea: Imagine mixed race nursing home roommates who aren't allowed to leave for the black grandson's graduation or the white granddaughter's wedding. Something like that.... So they escape in the middle of the night in order to attend both events. They have road trip adventures. They get the wheelchair onto a Greyhound bus. They bond together. They go into a redneck bar in the middle of the night to earn meal money by singing Jimmy Swaggart songs for tips. The crowd goes wild over them, and many of the bar patrons resolve to live a better life. Everyone learns important life lessons, like in The Wonder Years or Grey's Anatomy.
They float the wheelchair down the Mississippi River on a barge, with Huck Finn overtones. They're given up for dead, and watch their own funerals from the church balcony, in a Tom Sawyer homage. They eventually get back to the nursing home cafeteria in time for the red jello, and discover that the white half of the duo has forgotten all about Confederate Memorial Day.

As we all should. It was a hundred and forty years ago.
Let's give up Dixie too. I hate that damn song.