25 June 2006

They want us all swimming, don't care if we drown

Tragedy struck twice yesterday in the greater Seattle area, as two men drown in separate incidents. Meanwhile not a single person yesterday died solely because of second hand smoke, in the in the greater Seattle area or anywhere else. It’s illegal in Seattle to smoke within 25 feet of doorways to prevent the slightest involuntary exposure to non-harmful second hand smoke, but it would be far more sensible to make it illegal to go within 25 feet of deadly water.

Things would be better if only things were better

Whenever I read about the situation in Darfur I think things would be better if only there were some way to convince the Janjaweed to attend a few sexual harassment workshops. I must remember to mention this to Kofi Annan the next time I see him.

22 June 2006

Inclusiveness, tolerance and opportunity - but not for Mr. Smith

"[Maryland] Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. [a Republican] fired one of his appointees to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority yesterday after the board member asserted on a local cable talk show that homosexuals lived a life of "sexual deviancy."

The termination came a few hours after Metro board member Robert J. Smith, an architect and unsuccessful Republican candidate for the General Assembly from Montgomery County, was publicly confronted by a transit board colleague. Board member Jim Graham, a District of Columbia councilman who is openly gay, called on Smith to disavow his remarks or resign during yesterday's regular meeting of the panel, which oversees Metro business.

Smith said that he stood by his beliefs, which he said stemmed from his Roman Catholic faith, and insisted that he would not resign unless ordered by the governor.

"Governor Ehrlich got it; Mr. Smith was clueless until the end," Graham said. "This is serious. To defend this point of view is beyond the pale. And so I think Governor Ehrlich got that very clearly, very quickly. So I appreciate his action."

Ehrlich said in a statement that Smith would be replaced immediately.

"Robert Smith's comments were highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable," the governor said. "They are in direct conflict to my administration's commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance and opportunity.[emphasis added]"
- Ehrlich appointee fired over remark. [via First Things]

The persecution of Mr. Smith brought to mind Jim Kalb’s essay The Tyranny of Liberalism:
“[Contemporary liberalism] is a comprehensive governing philosophy that determines the whole of public morality. While it sounds permissive, comprehensive solutions are usually intolerant in practice and liberalism is no exception. Contemporary liberalism sets forth categorical demands it calls “rights,” and rejects balancing principles such as respect for natural tendencies and settled understandings. Without balancing principles abstract demands expand without limit. As a result, liberal standards have become all-embracing to the point of tyranny. Liberal neutrality, which began as a patchwork of limitations on government power, has become applicable to social practices generally and thereby oppressive. If to be liberal is to be willing to accommodate other views, contemporary liberalism is no longer liberal.”

“Liberalism today denounces deviations from its principles as oppressive, no matter how long-established and widely-accepted, and insists that they be eradicated.”

“In spite of claims of neutrality, liberalism establishes an enforceable official morality that supports a definite way of life. It makes demands for moral reconstruction that are necessarily intolerant”

“The development of liberalism has reversed its original principles. Rather than let society control the state, a more ambitious liberalism now makes the state control society. Freedom of speech and opinion have therefore become suspect. Religious people are felt to be a threat, because ways of life have public implications and public action that relies on nonliberal moral understandings violates neutrality. Simple assertion of traditional sexual morality is treated as oppressive because it creates informal obstacles, if only the force of opinion, to the satisfaction of personal tastes.”

“The actual function of the liberal insistence on neutrality is to stifle debate. To the extent they have concrete implications, moral objections to liberalism are rejected out of hand as intolerant and divisive, so resistance becomes impossible. Distortion of language complements suppression of speech. “Hatred” and “intolerance” now include all serious opposition to liberalism. “Inclusiveness” insists that others be tolerant to the point of abandoning their principles and even identity while rejecting accommodation in its own case.”

20 June 2006

Imaginary Conversations with Michael Bolton

[All statements by Michael Bolton are real and courtesy of Virgin Records]

C. Van Carter: What advice would you give to someone purchasing your new album, Bolton Swings Sinatra?

Michael Bolton: You're really setting yourself up for disappointment.

CVC: If you were singing a song, and in the middle of the song someone pinched your balls with a pair of pliers, would the song sound any different?

MB: It's a question that I've asked myself a few times.

CVC: Because I’m convinced the song would sound exactly the same.

MB: I'd have tears running from my eyes.

CVC: Deservedly so.

MB: But I love that!

CVC: Would it be fair to describe you as the King of Crap?

MB: That's my domain.

CVC: And you don’t feel any guilt for inflicting your awful songs on the public?

MB: I just feel like the best I can do is step up to the microphone

CVC: Is the song Can I Touch You...There? about fisting accidentally, or on purpose?

MB: I don't know WHAT that is, but I love that!

CVC: Agree or disagree: Your joining forces with Kenny G to record an album is not unlike the Hitler-Stalin pact?

MB: I think that's how it winds up.

CVC: Is that a carpet sample on your head?

MB: Thank you!

CVC: Thank you.

Why so blue panda bear?

The United States and Japan are upset with North Korea’s plans to test fire a long range missile. The missile, called the Taepodong-2, is believed to have a range of up to 9,300 miles. Little good can come from this, unless the missile lands on top of Nancy Grace.

Meanwhile Australia, Britain and the United States are mad at Japan for wanting to end the moratorium on the great sport of whaling:
With a majority vote for a declaration to return the International Whaling Commission to its original mission as a body that regulates whaling, Japan and other pro-whaling countries finally have gained the upper hand in a battle over a two-decade-old commercial whaling moratorium…The declaration approved at an IWC annual meeting in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis says the whaling moratorium is no longer necessary, and that whales, which consume a large number of fish, have posed a threat to food security for coastal countries. The declaration calls on the IWC to form policies and regulations based on scientific grounds.
Members of the International Whaling Commission supporting Japan include Togo, Iceland, and Mongolia (which has more whales in it than most people realize, I'm told). Fun loving countries all, I wish them the best of luck against the Coalition of the Busybodies (I try not to imagine what would happen if the Taepodong-2 landed on some whales).

In other news involving Orientals and flabby animals, new research reveals China’s giant pandas are more numerous than previously thought. I’ve long suspected these effete gluttons were pretending to be close to extinction as a ploy for sympathy, and now there's proof.

In domestic news, economist Donald J. Boudreaux thinks the sale of human kidneys should be legal, and who can disagree? When sautéed properly, human kidneys taste even better than whale meat.

12 June 2006

Zé Gotinha: Brazillian Bigfoot?

I studied Portuguese in college, so I occasionally look at Brazilian news to remind myself what a waste of time and money that was, and to unearth under reported gems like Zé Gotinha, an hideous creature currently terrorizing the Brazilian countryside.1 Recently a photograph was taken of Zé Gotinha attempting to abduct a child.2 The little child (or 'criança pequena', as those of us who took Portuguese in college like to say) escaped physically unharmed, but mentally was severely traumatized, and now the poor thing screams at the sight of marshmallows.

1Someone notify the fellows at Cryptomundo.

2Don't confuse this Brazilian Bigfoot, who is a smooth skinned albino with small feet bearing no resemblance to the North American Bigfoot, with the other Brazilian Bigfoot known as the Mapinguary, who is dark and furry and also in no way resmebles a Bigfoot, instead being similar in description to the genus of extinct giant gound-sloths called mylodontids.

08 June 2006

The desecration of a delicate art

Michael Bolton has recorded an album of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Bolton Swings Sinatra (“swings” being a euphemism for “craps upon”). It would have been easy enough to record a set of new songs, but for a certain type of mediocrity the realization he’s incapable of producing art gives rise, not to modesty, but an urge to destroy the art produced by others. Bolton is of this type, as were the Talibanis who blew-up those giant Buddha statues. So too are the misshapen amateurs who desecrate the art of pole dancing with their clumsy gyrations. Please ladies, leave the stripping to the skilled professionals. If, for example, it's hard to tell if you're preganant or just fat (i.e. the woman on the right), stay off the pole, your ruining a beautiful thing for everybody.

Speaking of strippers: from the ADC archives, Actual Conversations With Strippers.

Cabinet of Mysterioso

From the files of Professor Glen Morangie:

Giant Olmec Head

Miami Heat Forward Antoine Walker Head

Were the Olmecs from Africa?

Day of the Lapham

Harper’s Magazine literary editor Ben Metcalf writes:

"I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands." [On Simple Human Decency, Harper's Magazine, June 2006]

We all have our dreams, but given Metcalf is your typically puny New York literati, it’s doubtful he could take Barbara Bush mano y mano. A more effective assassination method would be to finagle a White House dinner invitation for Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham who could then bore the President to death with his tedious and interminable blatherings.

05 June 2006

The fumes of sighs

According to the Washington Post, “teen smoking has dropped by almost 50 percent since the late '90s”. I’m not surprised, from what I’ve observed of modern youth they only open their maws to babble on cell phones or to shove in another McWhopper Doublejackburger™. Smoking is a civilized pastime, and civilized pastimes hold little appeal for our pudgy pubescents.

Everyone should have a hobby, don't you think?

01 June 2006

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Decent, hardworking American families are uprooted and a lovely American neighborhood is abandoned to lawless foreign newcomers, in exchange for cheap labor and the minor and temporary alleviation of the sentimental qualms of guilty whites: Changes in Orange bring exodus [via Larry Auster].

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?