February 26, 2005

Canada reads . . .

Typically of a night I will tune into CBC Radio One to catch the six o'clock news, then follow that up with the public-affairs program As It Happens. This week AIH was truncated for the annual Canada Reads series. Surprisingly for a literary-minded person, this isn't the sort of thing that really turns me on. It has to do with an intense dislike of Canadian fiction, with the occasional exception. But on Tuesday night I was a little bit slow turning off the radio. Imagine my surprise to find out that one of this year's panelists was my friend Sherraine MacKay.

Needless to say, I paid closer attention this year. And I'm glad I did, too, because some of the books on the short list sound quite intriguing.

Canada Reads is a CBC project begun in 2002, a sort of literary "reality show," in which celebrity panelists promote a work of Canadian fiction that they think the whole country should read. Five books are shortlisted, and their advocates defend their choices in a panel discussion over five days. From the second round onward, one book is eliminated by ballot until only the winner remains.

Sherraine is a world-class fencer and an Olympic athlete, having competed in Sydney and Athens (and currently training in Budapest in anticipation of Beijing). I actually know her because she married a good friend of mine who attended my church when he lived in Ottawa (i.e. before getting married and moving to Europe).

Her Canada Reads pick was No Crystal Stair by Mairuth Sarsfield, a novel about members of a black community in Montréal during WW2. She defended it pretty well, too: it survived until Day 4.

The other panelists and their books included: novelist Donna Morissey, defending Rockbound by Frank Parker Day; pop artist Molly Johnson, who substituted for Rufus Wainwright to defend Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers; Toronto city councillor Olivia Chow, advocating Margaret Atwood's recent science fiction novel Oryx and Crake; and author and former National Librarian Roch Carrier, whose short story "The Hockey Sweater" is literally a national symbol (an excerpt is printed on the reverse of the $5 bill), stumped for Volkswagen Blues, a novel by French-Canadian author Jacques Poulin.

In the end, when the votes were all counted on Friday, Rockbound edged out Oryx and Crake as as the novel all of Canada should read. Maybe I will, too.

The Canada Reads site contains audio blurbs from the five panelists and RealAudio of all five days of debate.

February 25, 2005

Stupid Microsloth

Heaven forbid that Microsoft (hereafter Microsloth for reasons that will become apparent) should provide a Web browser that actually does what it's told.

My primary browser is Mozilla Firefox. It's small, it's fast, and best of all, it's compliant. If you write HTML according to spec (as I try to), it doesn't break it. As annoying as HTML purism can be to some designers, the fact is that it's one of the easiest ways to ensure that if a Web browser can't handle your design, at least it will probably devolve gracefully.

My other blog, Sacra Eloquia, consists mainly of lengthy theological posts. They are originally adapted from Sunday school lessons that took around 45 minutes to deliver, so they're pretty lengthy. That means lots of scrolling. More advanced blogging platforms than Blogger often offer excerpting: a post preview on the main page and a link to the full article. That kind of feature is perfect for what I'm doing on Sacra Eloquia. And while it's not built into Blogger, it can be hacked, and in fact they do provide instructions. Following those, basically, I followed their directions, like so:

Within the header of my template (i.e. between the <head> and </head> tags), I added this bit of style information:

div.fulltext { display: none; }

Next, I located the <$BlogItemBody$> tag in the template, and immediately after it, added:

<p>[<a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">Read more</a>]</p>

Basically, what all this means is that when you write a blog entry, enclose the part you don't want on your main page in <div class="fulltext"> and </div> tags. On the main page only , it will be hidden; also on the main page it will provide an explicit link to the full text at the bottom of the excerpt.

The disadvantage (which the Blogger people admit) is that the read-on link will always be visible on your main page whether you excerpt or not. No matter, I just made some modifications to their hack. In the style sheet, I added:

div.readmore { display: none; }
div.fulltext + div.readmore { display: block }

and wrapped the read-on link in <div class="readmore"> and </div> tags. Basically, what this does is make hiding the read-more link the default condition. However, if the last part of the blog post is hidden, then the link is visible. So in a standards-compliant browser like Firefox, it works as expected.

Enter Microsloth Internet Explorer.

I don't use it for regular browsing. In fact the only reason I keep it around is a) because it's too much hassle to extricate it from the operating system; and b) so many people are using it, that I have to design Web pages that don't break in it. It just happens that I looked at my blog in IE this evening, and much to my chagrin discovered that the read-more link doesn't show up. At all. It appears that IE doesnt' like adjacent selectors, so it ignores 'em.

No matter, I thought. If I can't work around this "feature," I'll just exploit it, adding this to my style sheet:

div.iereadmore { display: block }
div.readmore + div.iereadmore

And I added a second link, identical to the first, only this time wrapped in <div> tags of the iereadmore class. Essentially, Firefox now hides one and displays the other, and IE does the exact opposite.

The only problem remaining: We're back to square one as far as the original Blogger hack is concerned. Whether I excerpt the post or not, IE will always display the link. But at least the hack works properly now on one browser and it isn't exactly broken with respect to Microsloth anymore. Maybe I'll edit one to flash IE users a snarky message, as a reminder that Microsloth can't be bothered to provide a browser that respects Web designers or users.

Meanwhile, feel free to inspect my HTML source, and if you can suggest another workaround that will get both Mozilla and IE working identically, I'd love to hear about it.

And now . . . this - Feb. 25/05

What the . . . ?

Fire your dentist. Apparently if your teeth grow in unusual ways, it's an evil omen, and you have to marry a dog:

Two small boys and two girls were married off to four puppies by tribal villagers in the small northern Indian state of Jharkhand to ward off evil.

Local officials in Kuluptang village in Jharkhand said the "kukur vibaha" or dogs' marriages, were organised on the last day of a local tribal festival, the Press Trust of India (news - web sites) news agency said.

One of the tribals, 54-year-old Sonamuni, who blessed the marriage of her three-year-old grand-daughter Priya, said the wedding was no less important than other such ceremonies and all customs normally associated with marriage were followed.

The mother of "groom" Durga, aged one, said that if the first tooth of a baby came out in the upper jaw it was considered "inauspicious" for the child as well as the family and dog marriages had to be performed. (emphasis added)

[Full Story]

Is the marriage of an infant to a dog actually considered legally binding? If so, it's criminal. There's no other word for it. Sadly, there's no William Carey today to put an end to superstitious nonsense.

(H/T: The Great Separation.)

Dodge this

Does Condi Rice have poise, or what? No, I haven't turned into a fashion critic, but check out this Reuters photo of the American Secretary of State meeting the troops in a black opera trenchcoat. She's got sort of a "The Matrix meets Honor Blackman in her Avengers kinky boots" kind of thing going on. (Too bad the photog didn't catch her in a slightly less awkward pose, though.)

(H/T to Blaster's Blog.)

Friday in the wild - Feb. 25, 2005

It's Friday! Here's some of the stuff that really caught my eye around the blogosphere this week.

Michael King dug up a bit of interesting trivia about the narcotic heroin: the word used to be a trademark registered by the same people who brought us "aspirin."

<johnnycarson>I did not know that.</johnnycarson>

Catez at Allthings2all continues a friendly debate over the Quran:

A number of scholars are agreed that Mohammed was influenced by certain teachings on Christianity. It is evident that he had learned some of the Bible accounts from the way he has incorporated them into the Qu'ran. However his understanding was limited and he not only plagiarised the Bible but was also lacking in understanding sequences of events and the roles that certain people played.

[Read The Qu'ran: Plagiarism of the Bible and Omissions]

Over on Manasclerk's Power Struggle, manasclerk has posted a tribute of sorts to one of my favourite musicians, the late Mark Heard:

He was an amazing songwriter and performer. A whole generation of Christians in popular and folk music were inspired by his craft. It's over a decade after he died and Buddy Miller just released a new cover of "Worry Too Much." You know, I hope when I die I leave just a tenth of how he affected folks.

[Read Mark Heard's Final Performance]

Yeah, me too. Mark Heard's influence is probably more keenly felt than seen, especially these days. But if you can find them, you owe it to yourself to acquire an album or two of his. I personally recommend Second Hand and Satellite Sky. And the compilation album Strong Hand of Love, featuring contributions from Bruce Cockburn, Randy Stonehill, Michael Tait, and Rich Mullins, among others, is probably the best tribute album ever recorded. No joke.

Tim Irvin tells a story about his adventures at the local Burger King that is almost as good as the classic Taco Bell adventure:

Our local Burger King used to be an excellent burger haven but it has hit the skids. Last Summer I pulled through the drive-thru and ordered like I usually do. Mustard Whopper, fries and coke. For years I could say, “Mustard Whopper” and it was understood that I wanted a standard Whopper with Mustard instead of Mayo. The girl taking my order wasn’t up on it.

[Read The Downfall of BK]

I can relate. I used to live around the corner from a BK where I am convinced the night staff were always on something.

Last but not least, Dawn Eden has been tearing the hide off Planned Parenthood this week. Yesterday she posted about an article in Teenwire, a teen-oriented sex-ed site, which linked to another site apparently run by pedophiles:

The article tells little girls that besides the possibility of an older man's being too "controlling," "a girl who's hooking up with an older guy needs to think about something else, too—the law....Check out Age of Consent for more about the laws in your state."

The words "Age of Consent" in the Teenwire piece link to a Web site which is very clearly run by pedophiles.

[Read "F--- the Children": Planned Parenthood's Teenwire Sends Kids to Pedophile Site]

By the time I read the article, PP had apparently removed an active link to the Age of Consent site (as one commenter posted, "How conveeenient"). But I did manage to track it down (not even slightly difficult, and yes, the site does contain editorials such as "Possesion [sic] of child porn should be legal" or "Is Adult/Child Sex always abuse?" I decline to multiply further examples. We all know there are plenty of sick freaks in the world, and apparently a number of them work for publicly-funded Planned Parenthood.

A few days ago Dawn also pointed out the sick inconsistency of Planned Parenthood celebrating supportive black politicians:

Brian Clowes, PhD, of Human Life International, has compiled a remarkable collection of nearly 1,200 quotes from the Birth Control Review, published between 1917 and 1940 by the American Birth Control League, forerunner of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The sheer breadth of the quotes from magazine, edited by Birth Control League/Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger until 1928 and continuing to represent the views of her organization thereafter, show that Planned Parenthood's philosophy is grounded in disgustingly obvious racism and eugenics. (Emphases in original)

[Read Planned Parenthood's Racist Roots]

Update: The iMonk gets one in under the wire, just because his tribute to Gene Scott manages to capture the man's essence perfectly:

I was visiting my friend Darrell back in 1988, and he wanted to show me his satellite TV system. This was back in the day when satellite dishes made your yard look like the Jordell Bank radio dish. We descended to the den in the basement, and Darrell was flipping through the channels, when we came upon a puzzling sight. A long haired old man, sitting in a lounge chair, books all around him, puffing a cigar, and talking about the Great Pyramid.

"Dr. Gene Scott," Darrell said with a smile. Thus was I introduced....and promptly addicted.

What the heck was this? This was the pastor of the University Cathedral, the host of the University Network, the most educated televangelist on the air and the absolute ruler of the universe that was Gene Scott's version of Christianity.

[Read I Just Couldn't Look Away: The Crazed, Cranky, Captivating Christianity of Dr. Gene Scott]

After disappearing into the netherworld, today if I type crusty into Google, I have returned to #4 in the rankings. But for some reason Google's lost my title. Well, whatever.

Interesting searches that brought people to the Crusty Curmudgeon this week:

I've made a couple of changes to the blogroll as well:

  • My friends Rand and Twinklemoose have moved blogs and can now be found at A Form of Sound Words. I'll keep both links up for a week or so.
  • Warren Kelly's View from the Pew has been languishing in my reciprocal links for some time, but I've moved him up to the main blogroll.

Go and give these worthy blogs a read.

Till next time.

February 24, 2005

So is it a hate crime or isn't it?

I've said it before. I love it when the loony left's sacred cows start butting heads for dominance of the herd.

Per The Dawn Patrol, a state representative in Maine has introduced a bill that would make it a hate crime to abort an unborn child because it carries homosexual genes. (Not that the "gay gene" has been discovered yet. It just might be someday.) [Full Story]

Meanwhile, however, the lesbian, pro-abortion, Planned Parenthood-sponsored blogger at Now What is having none of it. Little lesbian fetuses ought to have equal rights . . . to be vacuumed out of the uterus. [Full Post]

When the moonbats start feeding on their own, how are us unenlightened luddites in Jesusland supposed to know whose side to take? It's so confusing. Can we just put the two of 'em into a cage with a couple of chainsaws and let them duke it out?

Incidentally, Dawn has been tearing a strip off Planned Parenthood lately, and I'll have more to say about her in tomorrow's weekly roundup.

Postscript (Feb. 25): Thanks to Paradoxes and Problems for the hat tip.

February 23, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 23/05

Dear baby, welcome to Dumpsville. Population: you.

The delicate problem of how to dump a lover before moving on to the next one has been given a new twist by a Dutch Web site.

The site suggests women tell their partner they want a baby and men buy their girlfriend underwear that's too big. . . .

The site also provides two downloadable documents with blanks left for names -- one a curt business-style letter, the other a scathing poem -- to end relationships in writing.

[Full Story]

Nothing says "Dear John" quite like a form letter.

If a flaming bag of poop is cool, then . . .

It took nearly four months, but to the relief of neighbors miles around, a burning manure pile has been extinguished.

David Dickinson, owner and manager of Midwest Feeding Co., said Wednesday that several weeks of pulling the 2,000-ton pile apart proved effective by late last week.

[Full Story]

Some people can't be paid enough for what they do.

Oh, and for those wondering what a giant burning mound of cow crap looks like, Yahoo has pictures.

Apropos to the demise of Gene Scott

If you think like me, you've probably considered the possiblity that Gene Scott's church is a cult of personality more than anything else, and if so, then your dosage of Gene Scott will eventually dry up as his dwindling fans stop gettin' onna phones and coughing up the cash. And, as I said yesterday, "Brother Stair" is also teetering with one foot in the grave. Then, where will we turn for our regular fix of cranky religion?

Fear not.

There's still Gene Scott-wannabe E. C. Fulcher, pastor of Truth House MinistriesTM. Like Scott, Fulcher is a sailor-mouthed pastor who sits in front of a camera, sucks on a cigar while throwing out random tidbits about the Bible, occasionally berating his crew or audience, and telling viewers/listeners to call up and keep the cash coming. In other words, all the tawdry and tacky trappings of Gene Scott - only without the orthodoxy.

February 22, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 22/05

Something seems to be going around

A suspect with no pants or underwear on broke his ankles trying to flee from Ripon Police Wednesday.

Christopher M. Studer, 30, of Manteca, was apprehended on the roof of a shed and transported to San Joaquin County Hospital at around 9 p.m. Sergeant Steve Merchant said that the Ripon Police Department will be forwarding charges to the District Attorney's Office.

The entire affair began when Ripon police officer Scott King noticed a black Mazda Protege around 8 p.m. that had a defective headlamp and had made an illegal left turn.

[Full Story]

There can't be anything more embarrassing under the circumstances than being named clearly and unambiguously.

Meanwhile, across the continent in Philly:

Police chased a naked man through the city's slushy streets early Monday after he allegedly stripped off his bathrobe, bit an officer, then stole a police cruiser in an attempt to escape.

The man was captured after he smashed the cruiser into several parked cars, abandoned the vehicle and tried to get away in his bare feet.

[Ful Story]

And down in Florida, Mr. Tasker wins the trifecta:

A drunk Monroe County prosecutor thought it would be funny to run naked across a parking lot and hop into a friend's car, authorities said. But the joke was on him when he jumped into the wrong car and was arrested.

Albert Tasker, who works for the Monroe County State Attorney's Office, told authorities he had been drinking with friends and thought it would be funny to shed his clothes and run to a friend's car in the parking lot of a Key West motel, according to a police report.

But Tasker apparently got in the back seat of a car occupied by a woman waiting for her boyfriend. The woman screamed and her boyfriend appeared. After the woman called 911, a Key West police officer found Tasker in the middle of the parking lot.

[Full Story]

Fun with bookmarks

Per View from the Pew:

  1. Open the bookmark list in your favourite Web browser.
  2. Copy the title and URL of your bottommost bookmark into a post or comment.
  3. Count up four bookmarks, and do the same with that one.
  4. Repeat the prevous step until you've posted five.

My results:

The bottom of my bookmark file is like the junk drawer of a disused desk stored in the unfinished part of your basement.

Gene Scott dies

And so it goes:

Gene Scott, the shaggy-haired, cigar-smoking televangelist whose eccentric religious broadcasts were beamed around the world, has died, a family spokesman said. He was 75.

Scott died Monday after suffering a stroke, said the spokesman, Robert Emmers.

Full Story

I don't endorse a lot of what Scott taught, but in a way, this is too bad. For those of us who have spent a lot of time listening to shortwave radio, Scott was an Institution. Even when the most bizarre conspiracy theories started to dry up, you knew you could always tune into Gene Scott's 24/7 broadcast for some reliable wackiness, whether it was pyramidology, British-Israelism, or just him chewing out his phone operators or firing a cameraman live.

If nothing else, at least Scott was brutally honest. Asked what he did with the hundreds of thousands of dollars people sent him, he once answered: "I spend it!"

The only person still on the air who is even remotely as entertaining is "Brother Stair". Only he isn't long for the world either, nor is he half as fun as he was 10 years ago. When he knocks off, it will be the end of an era. I weep for my youth.

Postscript: Who'd a thunk it? Turns out Wil Wheaton is an SWL too. I don't generally pay his blog too much attention (I do make the point of scanning his titles), but I found myself resonating with his own reminiscence about Scott for some reason. Maybe it's just because we're about the same age. Who knows.

February 21, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 21/05

Some people will take anything that isn't tied down

A Norwegian family's swimming pool wasn't just bolted down, it was in the ground, but that was impediment to a band of determined thieves.

When the Nicolaysen family visited their mountain cabin over the weekend, they discovered a big hole in the yard in place of the swimming pool that had been installed 20 years ago. . . .

Police said they had never heard anything like it. They suspected the pool was taken for someone's private use, since there's not a market for 20-year stolen, in-ground pools.

Full Story]

Once again: Nothing gets by The Authorities.

Kabbalah: Hebrew for "Scientology"TM

"Material Girl" Madonna has been promoted to the highest level that can achieve without being ordained, at the Kabbalah Church.

According to Ratethemusic.com, the singer, who is a staunch follower of the mystical Jewish religion, was promoted to an upper category of Kabbalah followers in a ceremony conducted by the Kabbalah Centre founder Rabbi Berg.

"Her teachers think she has reached the pinnacle of spiritual understanding. To Madonna this is the best achievement of her life," a source said.

[Full Story]

Methinks her teachers have their standards set a lot too low.

Now here's something the world needs

Russian scientists have developed a product that can keep a person drunk, Britain’s Daily Telegraph wrote. . . .

If you take a tablet you need less alcohol to stay drunk, the scientists were quoted by the paper as saying. “RU-21 Red prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication,” the company co-founder, Emil Chiabery, born in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia said.

[Full Story]

Doesn't vodka do the same thing, and wouldn't it taste better?

Techie help needed

Do you have access to FrameMaker 7 or later? I don't at the moment.

A number of my old Sunday school lessons are in Frame 7 format, and I am getting right sick and tired of stripping out all the binary information in Emacs to get right to the text and HTML-ize it. To make matters worse, the Frame format doesn't save the text precisely in the order it appears in the document (perhaps in the order it was authored?), and I fear some parts are not in the clear at all.

If someone out there has the time and ability to convert about half a dozen Frame .fm files to something more manageable, like RTF, I would be very grateful. I can't promise you any great secrets, though - at best you get the scoop on some of my Galatians exposition in advance.

February 19, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 19/05

Reason #86,206 to nuke the Dutch

A DUTCHMAN has been accused of murdering his mother, flaying her and then cloaking himself in her skin during a street festival. . . .

He was said to be wearing a strange suit or draped in a flag and shouting quotations from the Bible. . . .

[Full Story]

Ed Gein: The Next Generation.

February 18, 2005

Friday in the wild - Feb. 18, 2005

Yep, it's that time of the week again . . .

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has restarted a weekend series on art. This week he critiqued the ubiquitous Thomas Kinkade - interestingly, treating him fairly as a talented and technically proficient artist who has allowed commercial ambition to trump his artistic integrity:

And yet the first [of two similarly-themed paintings] is unquestionably technically superior. The use of texture and shadow puts the viewer within the picture. You can almost feel the cold Chicago air and hear the sounds of the serene yet bustling city. The second painting, however, distances the viewer from the scene. Light is overused (notice the light coming from every window and the background lights that resemble a brushfire), presenting a faux golden glow that is unrealistic and dull. And the carriage, though more sharply drawn than in the other painting, is two-dimensional and distracting. While the first work is worthy of gracing a museum wall, the second is only worthy of garnishing a cheap greeting card.

As you could probably guess, the second painting is by Thomas Kinkade, circa 2004.

But what about the first painting, the more aesthetically superior rendition of the Water Tower? It too is by Thomas Kinkade. He painted it in 1998.

[Read Kinkade's Cottage Fantasy: The Dispiriting Art of Thomas Kinkade]

Here's a blogswarm I can really get behind. Dory of Wittenberg Gate is calling for Bloggers' Best for Terri Schiavo.

If you have written on this subject and would like to submit a link, Dory provides instructions in the above blog post. The deadline is Saturday noon EST.

Defending Terri is fully in line with my own pro-life views, but alas, I have not yet blogged anything on the subject. So the next best thing is to make sure other interested parties are aware of Dory's project (if they are not already).

For those who may not be aware, Terri Schiavo is a severely brain damaged and disabled woman in Florida who must be fed via a feeding tube. Her husband Michael has petitioned the courts, thus far successfully, to have her feeding tube removed and allow her to die. On the other hand, her family argues that Terri is not, as is supposed, in a vegetative state; she is able to interact with visitors although she cannot speak. They say that condition could be reversed, at least in part, if treated appropriately, but Michael Schiavo has thus far refused to allow the treatments. Terri's parents allege that he is attempting to murder her. Other advocates for the disabled, such as Joni Eareckson Tada, have also spoken out on her behalf.

No fun on the playground: I have a small scar under my lower lip, the result of nearly biting it off after a see-saw caught me in the chin when I was 8. Kimberly at Number 2 Pencil posts excerpts from a brochure outlining the idiotic lengths some school boards go these days to to prevent that kind of mishap. "Organized games of tag may be played in the field, if supervised." Boring. "The large rocks . . . are to be sat on only and are not part of the playground to be played on." What other good are big rocks? "All snow, mulch, rocks, and dirt are to remain on the ground." No snowmen, please. (H/T: Joanne Jacobs.)

The Jollyblogger serves up an excellent critique of the inerrancy debate that went on this week at BHT:

[Confusing inerrancy with hermeneutics] creates a straw man in assuming that, if you don't hold to my view on this particular subject then you deny inerrancy. It's akin to reasoning that if you don't like baseball or apple pie, you must be a communist. In such a way of thinking, even the earliest proponents and formulators of the doctrine of inerrancy like Hodge and Warfield would not be considered inerrantists because of their openness to non-literal views of creation. Or, take Roger Nicole from RTS-Orlando. He is one of the leading defenders of inerrancy in our day and he believes that women can be ordained. On all of these issues I take the more conservative position, but I would never question these folks view of inerrancy.

[Read Inerrancy Again]

Tim Challies writes as good an explanation of inherited sin as I've read:

We see that Adam was more than the father of the human race, but was also the representative head of the human race. God had determined this from before the time Adam sinned. Thus Adam's actions directly effected us. Consider the metaphor of the President of a nation. When the President of the United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, every citizen of the nation was also at war with Japan. Acting as the head of all those who he represented, the President made a decision that effected each one of them. It is, of course, an imperfect analogy, but sheds some light on how one man can represent others. Adam made the decision to wage war against God, and this affected every aspect of his being.

[Read Feedback Files - Inherited Sin]

A new blog in my bookmarks: Steve Hays of Triablogue weighs in on the White-Holding debate over Romans 9. Mr. Holding is getting his clock cleaned so thoroughly from two fronts right now that he will never have an excuse for missing his bus:

10. [Hays quoting Holding] "Sorry, but White clearly does not have his exegetical ducks in a row. I recommend he read Kasemann, Fitzmyer, Esler, and Witherington. That should run the gauntlet for him, and maybe throw in a healthy dose of Cranfield for the grammar."

Well, it would be quite a trick for Dr. White to line up all these ducks in a row. Kasemann is a liberal Lutheran duck, Fitzmyer is a liberal Catholic duck, Witherington is an Evangelical Arminian duck, Esler is another liberal duck (subspecies: Anatidae Sanders), while Cranfield is a Barthian duck.

In addition, only two of the five (Esler, Witherington) belong to the sociorhetorical school of criticism. So it would, indeed, be no small feat to point all these ducks in the same direction. However, a quack like Holding may have just the right birdcall to make it happen.

[Read Holding v. White]

For whatever reason, I appear to have dropped off the Googlesphere again this week. Oh well. Interesting searches that apparently do get me attention:

Till next week, take care.

February 17, 2005

Watch that left turn at Albequerque

Tonight's laugh-till-you-soil-yourself moment comes from Robin Good, with Belief Seeking Understanding getting the nod for the assist.

I'm reminded of an old joke about a helicopter lost near Seattle.

February 16, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 16/05

Gay penguin update

I love it when sacred cows - in this case, gay rights vs. environmentalism - start butting heads:

A German zoo has abandoned a plan to break up homosexual penguin couples after protests from gay rights groups.

The Bremerhaven Zoo in northern Germany had earlier flown in four female Humboldt penguins in an attempt to encourage three all-male couples to reproduce.

The zoo originally defended the experiment on the grounds that the birds were an endangered species. But after protests from gay rights groups, director Heike Kueck said the zoo was abandoning the plan. . . .

Gay groups had protested against "the organised and forced harassment through female seductresses" in an open letter to Bremerhaven Mayor Joerg Schulz and called on him to stop the program.

[Full Story]

"Female seductresses"! Ha! I love it. Curse those succubi!

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the animal kingdom:

Panda poo excites experts

That's the actual headline of this story, and it's just wrong. But the story is good news:

A study of giant panda poo in China has proved the endangered animals are expanding their horizons, Xinhua news agency says.

The faeces were found in Fengxian county, in northwest China's Shaanxi province, where giant pandas hadn't been seen since before the 1970s, it said.

[Full Story]

Good news for the pandas, but I cannot for the life of me know why I would want to be able to distinguish panda poo from any other form.


A New Jersey man has filed a false advertising lawsuit against a maker of herbal penis enlargement pills, alleging the medicine does not fulfill its promises, the plaintiff's lawyer said on Monday. . . .

Coluzzi's attorney, Stephen DeNittis, said many men had been taken in by dubious claims that the product would add up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) to their penises by "very, very convincing" advertising, such as infomercials featuring doctors and porn stars.

[Full Story]

Hey, I'd believe it if a porn star told me.

February 14, 2005

Bah. Humbug.

I just got back from the Church History course I am taking through the extension program of a nearby seminary. Tonight we discussed Irenæus' Against Heresies, his counterblast against the contemporary heresies of Gnosticism and Marcionism.

Coincidentally, the most significant figure in the history of Christian Gnosticism, the man most responsible for taking the intellectual and philosophical ramblings of earlier Gnostics and making them accessible to simpler folk, was a man named Valentinus.

Happy February 14.

The real Five Points of Calvinism

If you were to believe the critics of the doctrines of grace, what Calvinists really believe is this:

  1. Evangelism is unnecessary because God will save his elect whether they like it or not and drag them kicking and screaming into heaven.
  2. God created a race of mindless robots to do his will.
  3. God has created thousands of innocent little babies just so he can send them to hell.
  4. Heretics should be burned at the stake, just as Calvin murdered Servetus.
  5. You don't need your Bible as long as you have your cold intellectualism and the Institutes of the Christian Religion on your desk.

(Tongue squarely in cheek, of course. Just for fun, does anyone want to try to map these to a corresponding component of TULIP?)

February 11, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 11/05

A good reason why light beer sucks

A man may have found out firsthand just how nasty the competition is between the world's two biggest beermakers.

Isac Aguero, 24, said he was fired from his job with a Miller Brewing distributor, the same day a picture appeared in The Journal Times of Racine of him drinking a Bud Light, which is brewed by Anheuser-Busch Co.

[Full Story]

For the record, I prefer Upper Canada ales, and I don't work for Labatt's or Molson.

Moosehead, on the other hand . . .

The former girlfriend of a truck driver charged with stealing more than 50,000 cans of Moosehead beer says he sent her a birthday card signed "the beer bandit." . . .

Police told the court most of the beer was not recovered, although several stashes of the stolen suds turned up at various locations in the province. The beer cans were distinctive because of Spanish labeling.

[Full Story]

Party at my place. Bring your own cerveza. 8-)

Riots are unböring, aren't they?

A man was stabbed and five other people were taken to hospital after thousands of customers caused a stampede at the midnight opening of a new IKEA furniture store in north London, British authorities said Thursday.

[Full Story]

Sounds like a typical weekend at IKEA. Who knew people would be so passionate about semi-disposable Scandinavian furniture?

Gay rights for penguins?

A plan by a German zoo to test the sexual appetites of a group of suspected homosexual penguins has sparked outrage among gay and lesbian groups, who fear zookeepers might force them to turn straight. . . .

[A zoo spokesman] said the zoo concluded the penguins might be gay after seeing male penguins trying to mate with other males and trying to hatch offspring out of stones.

German media reported that female Swedish penguins would be brought to the zoo to test the theory, but when word got out about the plan, the phones started ringing.

[Full Story]

[Big Gay Al]

That's just super, thanks for asking!

Happy Cædmon's Day

I generally don't pay much attention to the traditional Christian liturgical calendar, apart from Christmas and Easter. I make two exceptions: as a musician, I make note of St. Cecelia's Day, the feast day of the patron saint of music; and as an English graduate, I pause briefly to observe the feast day of Cædmon, the earliest known English poet.

Cædmon was an 8th century cowherd at a monastery in Yorkshire. According to the traditional story, in a day when popular entertainment consisted of spontaneously composing and singing songs, he was untalented in this respect. Embarrassed, he would excuse himself from the fire when his turn came.

One night as he left his companions to tend to the herds, he was confronted by an angel.

"Sing for me," the angel said. Cædman protested that he could not.

"You must sing," the angel replied. "Sing about creation." Miraculously, Cædmon discovered himself spontaneously composing the following hymn to the Creator:

Now we should praise the heaven-kingdom's guardian,
The measurer's might and His mind-conception,
Work of the glorious Father, as He each wonder,
Eternal Lord, instilled at the origin.
He first created for men's sons
Heaven as a roof, holy Creator;
Then, middle-earth, mankind's guardian,
Eternal Lord, afterward made
The earth for men, Father Almighty.

(Adapted slightly from the translation given on Wikipedia.)

Tradition has it he was tested at the monastery, where it was indeed determined that he had received the gift of hymnody miraculously. He was encouraged to use his gifts and join the monastery. Many ancient Anglo-Saxon poems on Biblical themes are attrbuted to Cædmon.

One of the better Christian musical groups, Caedmon's Call, is named after the story of this early English Christian artist.

Death of a playwright

Arthur Miller, the playwright who brought us the modern dramatic classics Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, died yesterday at the age of 90:

Miller died yesterday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, of heart failure, Reuters said, citing his assistant Julia Bolus.

Miller, who was married to screen legend Marilyn Monroe, also wrote "The Crucible," "All My Sons" and "A View from the Bridge." Miller has been called one of the 20th century's three great American dramatists, along with Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams.

[Full Story]

Friday in the wild - Feb. 11, 2005

It's Friday! Let's see what sort of blog-o-riffic blogosity has been served up by the blogosphere this week.

Dory over at Wittenberg Gate has written an excellent imaginary conversation about choice and the reproductive rights of women versus men and fetuses.

I love Quiznos subs. A bit pricey, but they're just so tasty. The View from the Nest has a great story about

a Quiznos manager who managed to keep her place going after the owners bugged out, pay checks bounced, and suppliers refused credit.

[Read I Love Quiznos]

The hot topic of discussion around the God-blogosphere this week: Total depravity and testimonies. Start here, then go here, and here.

On the search engine front, for some reason the Crusty Curmudgeon has dropped completely off of Google's radar. No idea why. But it hasn't stopped some pretty unusual search strings leading people in my direction:


The provincial government, which instituted a new photo ID for the provincial health insurance plan ten years ago, has apparently finally made it up to the M's. Some time ago I received an official request to replace my old red-and-white card with the nifty green one. So last Friday I made an appointment, went to the OHIP office downtown, and was promptly ushered to the head of the line for all the paperwork. (Woohoo!)

Exactly one week later, I have receivd the card in the mail. It's beautiful. It's shiny. It's got a colour photo of me. I look like a thug.

Fortunately, I have a less thuggish countenance about me than my last driver's licence renewal, so maybe that's something.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go about some thuggery now.

February 10, 2005

It's official: Prince Charles to remarry

Breaking news:

Prince Charles will marry his long-time companion Camilla Parker Bowles in a private civil ceremony on April 8, the prince's office announced Thursday.

She will use the title Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall after the marriage, since one of Charles' titles is the Duke of Cornwall.

Bowing to public opinion in Britain, Parker Bowles will not be known as Queen Camilla when Charles becomes king. She will be referred to as the Princess Consort.

[Full Story]

The times they are a-changin'. While Charles is technically a widow, Parker-Bowles is divorced. Wasn't it the love of a twice-divorced Wallis Simpson that ended the reign of Edward VIII? Something tells me that Elizabeth II is the last British monarch to be taken seriously as head of state.

Are you held hostage by the Wally Duncaster Entity?

Once again, the Fightin' Fundamentalist Forum is under seige by the net.abuser I call the Wally Duncaster Entity, of whom I blogged a few months ago.

Duncaster, a notorious spammer and troll of many Christian forums, is immediately recognizable by his posting style, his sometimes hilarious misspellings, and his misuse of punctuation. He usually posts massive articles he has cut and pasted from someone else's Web site (and if he gives them credit, it's probably by accident). Often his sources contradict one another, suggesting that he is a little on the clueless side. Subject matter generally includes missives about Billy Graham (whom Duncaster hates with a special passion), Baptist pastors getting themselves in hot water, or the apostle Paul's alleged chauvinism.

Responses to the Duncaster Entity are frequently met with more verbiage, which doesn't really seem to have anything to do with your own point, suggesting it, too, is simply another cut-and-paste macro. If you continue to press him on a point, he will become belligerent and abusive and may resort to profanity. Worst of all, he simply never goes away. Eventually someone with admin privileges will kick him off, but soon he will return under a different userid. I have noted his use of the following aliases on various boards, blog comments, etc. There may be more:

  • alex brant
  • cheerful
  • David meyer
  • eaglewings
  • GMTaylor
  • great grace 2
  • Josephine Melrose
  • lava rock
  • New Day
  • Pastor Truth
  • redeem
  • Rick Meyers
  • sound of heaven
  • Susan Davies
  • tellall
  • True Grey
  • wally
  • Wally Duncaster
  • wise guy
  • wise seeker

Note, of course, that some of these names are quite common. If you're not sure, a little googling on "wally duncaster" might help you.

If you are a board admin, and you see the Entity bothering you, my suggestion is that you exercise the nuclear option immediately. Ban the userid. Make note of the poster's IP address (it usually belongs to an ISP somewhere in southwestern Ontario). Ban that too; it will at least prevent him from returning immediately.

Good luck. You're gonna need it.

February 09, 2005

Happy Year of the Rooster . . .

. . . to my Chinese friends.


In honour of Boar's Head Tavern's third anniversary, the iMonk has added a T-shirt to the store that I can definitely see myself wearing.

(though what I really want is Calvin's hat.)

And now . . . this - Feb. 9/05

This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby!

Jurors and others in Judge Donald Thompson's courtroom kept hearing a strange whooshing noise, like a bicycle pump or maybe a blood pressure cuff. During one trial, Thompson seemed so distracted that some jurors thought he was playing a hand-held video game or tying fly-fishing lures behind the bench.

Wrong! Read on.

Beware the Thong Police!

Lawmakers in Virginia appear to have too much time on their hands:

By a 60-34 vote, House members passed a bill yesterday that would fine people up to $50 for intentionally exposing their underwear in a way that is "lewd or indecent" in public.

Norfolk Democratic Del. Algie T. Howell's bill has attracted attention from supporters all over the country who dislike the low-riding baggy-pants style favored by some rap-music entertainers and copied by youths everywhere.

While I agree that public displays of butt cleavage are the fashion disaster of the last few years and merit cruel and unusual punishment from the Taste Police, I don't know whether it merits a fine.

But wouldn't you believe some lefty would actually want to pull out the Race CardTM on this?

Some of Howell's fellow Democrats have said privately that the bill is ridiculous and would be labeled as racist if a white House member had introduced it. Howell, who is in his second year in the legislature, is black. . . .

"This is going to be a bill that targets blacks," [Lionell Spruill, D-Chesapeake] said. "You know who they are going to stop."

[Full Story]

Tacky fashion blunders have no skin colour, Del. Spruill.

So it's come to this

A Perth couple is attempting to sell the 'naming, advertising and promotional' rights to their unborn daughter for at least $1 million via an internet auction site.

In an advertisement on eBay Australia under the item title Truman Baby, the unnamed Perth couple invite individuals and companies to make bids on the right to name the baby girl, due on March 1. . . .

"For a period of FIVE YEARS from the date of birth, we are offering the exclusive naming rights (first name only) to my unborn baby due March 1, 2005."

[Full Story]

No question. "GoldenPalace.com" Jones.

Blog comments

Seems to be a bit of metatalk going around right now about blog commenting, and why certain high-profile bloggers don't enable comments on their blogs.

James White, for example, writes:: "a comments section would be the equivalent of the main street of an old western town: everytime I'd sit down to get some serious work done, I'd hear some new young gun calling me out, ready to try his hand. When I was young, that would have been attractive. It lost its attraction a long time ago."

On the other hand, Michelle Malkin comes right out and shows us why: the lefties just love to stand by their burning crosses and shout racist obscenities at her.

Since I'm not a public figure and still a small fish in the blogging ocean,of course, I can keep my comments turned on. It's not a career-limiting move for me to laugh at idiots, yet.

February 08, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 8/05

Now not to support the home team

At this point, dozens of Crusty Curmudgeon readers will cross their legs in sympathy:

A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles after his team beat England, police confirmed today. . . .

It was reported that the man told his friends: "If Wales win I'll cut my own balls off." . . .

A local was reported as saying that the man was on medication and should not have been drinking.

[Full Story]

You think? Talk about being off his nut.

Reason #2,549 why Internet romance is a bad idea

Then there's the one about the guy who wouldn't date his wife when he found out she was married:

A budding romance between a Jordanian man and woman turned into an ugly public divorce when the couple found out that they were in fact man and wife, state media reported. . . .

The shock of finding out their true identities was too much for the pair. Upon seeing Sanaa-alias-Jamila, Bakr-alias-Adnan turned white and screamed at the top of his lungs: “You are divorced, divorced, divorced” — the traditional manner of officially ending a marriage in Islam. “You are a liar,” Sanaa retorted before fainting, the agency said.

[Full Story]

A must for every modern kitchen

Here's a technological marvel from Japan:

[Woman holding up "Winnie-the-Pooh" toast]

[Full Story]

Well, at least they resisted the urge to do a Virgin Mary toaster.

"The era of the celebrity pardon"

This is too good to hold onto until next Friday. Ambra Nykol made the announcement today that her first guest op-ed with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was published.

This is some hot stuff:

We have entered the era of the celebrity pardon. An undiscerning group of Americans has thrown standards out the window and passively declared the only requirement for grace is that you're like, popular or whatever.

Now more than ever, being a superstar is a "get-out-of-jail-free pass," or perhaps in Jackson's case, a "never-have-to-go-to-jail pass." This new era of celebrity favor is fueled by a culture far too willing to dismiss illegal and morally questionable behavior on the part of its superstars. From athletes to movie stars, pop culture worships at the altar of regular people who still pass gas, take showers and most important, break the law.

[Read Celebrity a get-out-of-jail-free card]

Congrats Ambra!

February 06, 2005

League of Reformed Bloggers 2.0

The lovely and talented Jollyblogger has just announced the New and Improved League of Reformed Bloggers aggregator:

This is an announcement for all of you who are members of the League of Reformed Bloggers. We have moved the aggregator to a new server that now accomodates atom feeds.

Good news for those of us on Blogger, which only supports Atom feeds natively and requires us to roll our own RSS feed or use some sort of conversion tool, like FeedBurner. Plus, the new site looks nicer as well.

I've updated the link in the blogroll, but if you want instant gratification, go here.

Canada to send troops to Iraq (finally)?

According to yesterday's Toronto [Red] Star:

If Ottawa agrees, an estimated 40 Canadians would join a NATO force of about 300 now helping train Iraqi troops in Baghdad. Their mandate is to stabilize Iraq and help it prepare for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from a war that since the invasion in March, 2003, has claimed 1,446 American lives.

According to the sources, Canada's new openness to contributing troops is due to changing circumstance. They cite Sunday's surprisingly successful elections in Iraq and the urgent need to bring peace to the region as important considerations.

[Full Story]

Well, it's about time. But now it feels more like the Little Red Hen has baked the bread and we're just angling for a slice. Of course, the Star's sources are careful to point out that they are supporting Iraq, not the U.S. <sigh>

I feel dumber just for watching

this parody video: Baby Got Book.

This clip, on the other hand, was this week's laugh-until-I-plotzed moment. (Credit where due: EJB dot com, though I completely disclaim the risqué advertising and subject matter.)

February 05, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 5/05

Heck, bad art should offend everyone

A Swedish museum dedicated to world culture has removed an erotic painting plastered with verses from the Muslim holy book, the Koran, from an exhibition about AIDS after Muslims complained it was obscene.

Jette Sandahl, director of the World Culture Museum, which opened in Gothenburg a month ago, said on Wednesday that the painting by an Arab artist living in France was replaced by another less offensive one.

[Full Story]

Yeah, but if it were a picture of the Virgin Mary plastered with elephant crap, it would be high art and censoring it would be a crime against humanity. (No, wait, divine intervention took care of that already.)

Here's the "art" in question (Sexual imagery warning). I'm with the Muslims on taste grounds alone.

(H/T: Michelle Malkin.)

Life imitates the movies

Anyone remember the movie Crazy People?

A Norwegian real estate investor tired of glowing but inaccurate property advertisements opted for blunt honesty in offering an apartment for sale.

"Gruesome two-room apartment with balcony," said the advertisement posted on the Finn.no Internet portal this week. "A very worn-out apartment."

[Full Story]

It's in Revelations, people!

MOURNERS at a funeral were left terrified when a massive block of frozen urine fell from the sky.

People ducked for cover when iced toilet waste the size of a portable television hurtled down as they were leaving the church.

The lump of ice smashed into the building as around 50 mourners were standing outside and narrowly missed them as it scattered across the ground.

It is believed to have come from an aeroplane that was passing overhead.

[Full Story]

Somebody isn't tithing.

Mighty white of 'em

A high-profile white supremacist record company appears to have gone out of business after one co-owner accused the other of having a Hispanic mother. . . .

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, reports that co-owners Byron Calvert, 33, and Anthony A. Pierpont, 38, had a falling out after Calvert saw a copy of Pierpont's birth certificate.

The document, which is posted on the center's Web site, indicates that Pierpont's mother was named Maria Marcola del Prado and she was born in Mexico. Also, Calvert claimed in an online posting that Pierpont had sex with Thai prostitutes.

[Full Story]

"Wait a minute...you's miscegenated! All you boys! Miscegenated! Get me a mike-a-phone!

"These boys is not white! These boys is not white! Hell, they ain't even old-timey! I happen to know, ladies an' gentlemen, this band uh miscreants here, this very evening, they interfered with a lynch mob in the performance of its duties! It's true! I belong to a certain secret society, I don't believe I gotta mention its name, heh-heh. . . Ahem. And these boys here trampled all over our venerated observances an' rituals! Now this here music is over! I aim to - I aim to hand these boys over to - listen to me, folks! Listen to me! These boys desecrated a fiery cross! And they convicts! Fugitives, folks, escaped off the farm! Folks, these boys gotta be remanded to the 'thorities! Criminals! And I happen to have it from the highest authority that that Nigra sold his soul to the devil!

"Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Is you is or is you ain't my constichuency?"

- Homer Stokes, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

February 04, 2005

Friday in the wild - Feb. 4, 2005

Once again, Friday has come and it's time to do my weekly round-up of eye-catching blogginess.

One of my favourite "techie" blogs is the design-oriented Heal Your Church Web Site, which documents, and occasionally makes over, common design gaffes committed by church Web sites. Or, in this case, chruch Web sites, noting that there are literally thousands of Baptist "chruches" and those of other denominations who simply don't bother to spell-check the title of their pages.

Joni Eareckson Tada is a solid thinker, not merely an inspiring story of faith and courage. Cindy Swanson recently had the opportunity to interview her. Joni chimes in on the euthanasia debate and the movie Million Dollar Baby:

[P]eople with severe injuries like mine--It's expected that we need to go through a little depression, my goodness! My problem really wasn't my quadriplegia so much as it was the clinical depression, and that's what most people with disabilities, when they first get a bad medical report or first are injured, all people with severe injuries go through a time of grief and loss and depression. . . .

It concerns me deeply that now we live in a culture which capitalizes on that depression and reinforces to people like myself that "you're better off dead than disabled." That's unfortunate, that's sad, that is evil.

[Read My interview with Joni Eareckson Tada: The danger of "Million Dollar Baby"]

Remember the story I relayed about the German woman who, due to the unintended consequences of a legal loophole, might face termination of her unemployment benefits if she refused a job in a brothel?

According to the venerable Snopes, its voracity [sic] can't be determined:

We suspect this is another case where, like a game of "telephone," a story has been garbled as it has passed from one news source to the next, and somewhere in the rewriting and translating process what was originally discussed as a mere hypothetical possibility has now been reported as a factual occurrence.

[Full Story]

In addition, the most interesting thing that has gone on this week is the explosion of posts about televangelist Joel Osteen that started with Michael Spencer's challenge to the evangelical blogosphere to out Osteen. There's been a lot of interesting material posted on this subject since last Sunday. My own post on the subject was linked early from Boar's Head Tavern, my daily hits have doubled.

No amusing search results brought readers to the Crusty Curmudgeon this week., but I actually peaked at #2 yesterday on searches for crusty before settling back down today at #4, again.

And now . . . this - Feb. 4/05

"Kind of like Jesus, but not in a sacrilegious way"

A Sacramento moonbat finds new and interesting way to protest the war:

Hoping to be carried around the Capitol while nailed to a cross, a 43-year-old Oroville man lay down at 11th and N streets while a friend drove a nail through his left hand, officials said.

[Full Story]

Oddly enough, neither Michael Newdow nor the ACLU were on hand to show the appropriate outrage at this public display of religion.

(H/T: Boar's Head Tavern.)

First, let's kill all the lawyers

I think we've found a new poster child for tort reform, in a character that could have come directly out of a Flannery O'Connor story:

Two teenage girls decided one summer's evening to skip a dance where there might be cursing and drinking to stay home and bake cookies for their neighbors.

Those delinquents!

Inside one of the nine scattered rural homes south of Durango that got cookies that night, a 49-year-old woman became so terrified by the knocks on her door around 10:30 p.m. that she called the sheriff's department. Deputies determined that no crime had been committed.

But Wanita Renea Young ended up in the hospital emergency room the next day after suffering a severe anxiety attack she thought might be a heart attack.

A Durango judge Thursday awarded Young almost $900 to recoup her medical bills. She received nothing for pain and suffering.

"The victory wasn't sweet," Young said Thursday afternoon. "I'm not gloating about it. I just hope the girls learned a lesson."

Like, "No good deed goes unpunished," for example?

The families had offered to pay Young's medical bills if she would agree to indemnify the families against future claims.

Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person. The matter went to court.

Er, yeah, well, look at what happened the last time they knocked on her door.

Young said she believes that the girls should not have been running from door to door late at night.

"Something bad could have happened to them," she said.

[Full Story]

Something bad did happen to them, you litigious cow.

February 03, 2005

And now . . . this - Feb. 3/05

There must be a quota system

An over-zealous policeman slapped a parking ticket on the windshield of a fellow officer's squad car while his colleagues were setting a radar trap to catch speeding motorists in a town in eastern Germany.

[Full Story]

I'll bet he was one of those kids who got beat up a lot in school, too.

Canada: Made in China

It's not often I'll agree with one of the N-dippies, but:

The Liberal government was condemned yesterday for hocking Canada's national emblem and buying plastic Maple Leaf lapel pins from China.

NDP MP Charlie Angus said it is unconscionable that Ottawa is purchasing six million flag lapel pins from China, accusing the Liberals of turning their backs on the Canadian-invented pin, which had been manufactured in Canada for 35 years until the government began to buy them abroad in 2003.

"Disney has the Mounties. They gave the Remembrance Day coin to Tim Hortons. Now they are giving the flag to China," Mr. Angus told the Commons. "They are selling off our cultural heritage like a bunch of roadside hucksters selling off hubcaps and velvet Elvis paintings."

[Full Story]

Hey, don't be dissing Tim Horton's. They're a Canadian institution, even if they are owned by an American hamburger company. (But seriously, whoever thought of giving them the distribution rights to the poppy quarters was a brilliant, since arguably more Canadians will step into a Timmy's in a day for their double-double than into a bank.)

Here's the offending lapel pin, at considerably larger than actual size. I have several; they're given away by MPs as goodwill tokens.

[Maple leaf lapel pin]

And on the topic of same-sex "marriage"

I've recently had my own say on this subject, so if I repeated myself it would just be redundant.

But my friend Rand, in his typical fashion, has pulled no punches on the way this government is leading this nation.

February 02, 2005

Lame and lamer

When the SkyDome stadium was opened in Toronto in 1989, a contest was held to determine the name. Out of the thousands of entries they received, the best name they could come up with was "SkyDome." Lame, lame, lame.

It was announced today that the new owner, Rogers Communications, has renamed the stadium the Rogers Centre. Lamer, lamer, lamer.

Although, one other name change I can think of that resulted in a bigger net increase of lameness was the renaming of Ottawa's hockey arena, the coolly-named Palladium, renamed the Corel Centre less than two months after its opening. Fortunately, unlike the former SkyDome, the Corel Centre isn't owned by its namesake; Corel only purchased the naming rights for 20 years, which are now nearly half over. The Palladium may rise again.

[Full Story]

Who says the slippery slope is a fallacy?

A few weeks ago, while in Quebec, Canadian Conservative leader (and leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition) Stephen Harper made a slippery-slope argument about same-sex "marriage": "As soon as they've got to attack one traditional idea, the next one is down the road. I don't want to get into the polygamy debate but I fear if we do this, the next thing on the Liberal agenda will be polygamy and who knows what else."

This was, of course, immediately jumped on by the Liberals, in particular Prime Minister Martin and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, who are spearheading the fast-tracking of same-sex "marriage" legislation through the House this week.

Well, guess what dominated the front page of yesterday's Ottawa Citizen? This story.

Bahig Skaik, according to the article, is a Kuwaiti who wishes to immigrate to Canada. Only problem is, he has two wives, and because he was honest about this particular fact in the paperwork, he is not being allowed into Canada because he would be a bigamist.

The story reads quite sympathetically to Mr. Skaik's plight. Nor was it the only polygamy-related article in that paper. Inside the front section was another news story about Cranbrook, B.C. MP Jim Abbott. His riding contains a commune called Bountiful, populated by members of a Mormon breakaway sect. Abbott argues that they have a "democratic right" to practice polygamy.

This is an awful lot of sympathetic press on an issue that supposedly isn't even close to the legislative radar, methinks. The same-sex "marriage" bill isn't even through the House and the agenda-setters in the media are already softening us up for the next round.

Mr. Harper doesn't want to tell you he told you so, but . . .

And now . . . this - Feb. 2/05

Bottoms up!

OK, this is just bizarre:

Investigators say a Lake Jackson woman caused her husband's death by giving him a sherry enema, causing his blood alcohol level to surge to 0.47 percent - almost six times the legal intoxication limit.

Tammy Jean Warner, 42, was indicted on a charge of negligent homicide. She is also charged with burning the will of her late husband, Michael Warner, a month before his death in May.

Full Story]

Sounds like premeditation rather than negligence to me. Well, I suppose the truth will come out in the end.

Just a good ol' boy, never meanin' no harm

Sutter County supervisors have removed from office a planning commissioner appointed just a month ago, the same day he attended his first meeting. Gabrial Singh's offense?

He called Sutter County "Hazzard County" from the "Dukes of Hazzard" television show last year while running against two of the supervisors, who voted 4-1 to remove him Tuesday.

[Full Story]

Heck, he was just fightin' the system like a modern-day Robin Hood.

Hee hee! Monkey.

Supposedly, this has something to do with autism research. I find myself strangely skeptical.

A new study found that male monkeys will give up their juice rewards in order to ogle pictures of female monkey's bottoms. The way the experiment was set up, the act is akin to paying for the images, the researchers say.

The rhesus macaque monkeys also splurged on photos of top-dog counterparts, the high-ranking primates. Maybe that's like you or me buying People magazine. . . .

The scientists actually had to pay these guys, in the form of extra juice, to get them to look at images of lower-ranking monkeys.

[Full Story]

Now, every day when I wake up, I will thank God that I don't have to make my living shooting monkey porn.


The official Canadian groundhog, Wiarton Willie, did not see his shadow today, indicating a hopeful soon return to a sane climate.

Nuts to you, Punxsutawney Phil. Who knows about winter better than a Canadian?

[Full Story]

February 01, 2005

Fake, but accurate (bwahahahaha!)

The schadenfreude from Rathergate continues:

Iraqi militants claimed in a Web statement Tuesday to have taken an American soldier hostage and threatened to behead him in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners.

The posting, on a Web site that frequently carried militants' statements, included a photo of what appeared to be an American soldier in desert fatigues seated with his hands tied behind his back.

[Full Story]

Only problem is, it's a fake. The indomitable Freepers have come through again and discovered "John Adams'" true identity: he's a doll.

Well, at least now we know the truth. The moonbats can no longer deny the reality of an Iraq-C.O.B.R.A. connection. And if they're targeting our action figures for hostages, we can always send in Optimus Prime to drop a train on 'em.

Dan Rather has stated that although the photo is clearly a fake, he stands behind the story of the kidnapping.

Intelligence officials say they know who betrayed the soldier to the insurgents.

And now . . . this - Feb. 1/05

And it's been a hefty weekend for news.

We only ever got Forrest Gump

A bus driver shuttling pupils to school in northern Greece shocked their parents when he put on a porn tape, say officials. . . .

"The driver said 'kids we've got porn, do you want to watch it,'" one of the pupils told reporters on Thursday. "Everyone started shouting yes, yes and he just put in a tape and we watched it on the small TV screens on the bus."

The children were aged 12 to 15

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Okay, everybody, take a Valium!

A bored 12-year-old boy passing time by trying out his new balaclava triggered a terrorism alert at a southern Norway airport.

Glen Tommy Hvorup was waiting in a car for a delayed passenger at the Sandefjord Airport, about 60 miles south of Oslo, when he got fidgety, the local newspaper reported Monday. . . .

Police in the small city sent all available personnel, which at the time of the incident Thursday were two patrols. They searched the airport and the surrounding area for the black Volvo and its "terrorist" without success, because Glen Tommy had just left.

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It's a good thing he didn't decide to play guns with his little G.I. Joes. They'd have taken him down.

How to distract tennis players

Tennis fans could send messages to players via screens on court if plans by mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson (news - web sites) come to fruition. . . .

The deal could pave the way for a variety of interactive options for fans at tennis tournaments, including the ability to communicate with players by posting messages on digital billboards using wireless technology.

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Yeah, this'll fly, at least until the first "U SUX0RZ" messages start showing up.

Hey, this looks like a clue

A Swedish police officer has confessed that he robbed a bank and later investigated the crime himself, telling reporters at the time police had no clues. . . .

Colleagues became suspicious in mid-November when he bought a new car, paying 219,000 Swedish crowns (16,700 pounds) in cash using banknotes from the robbery, the court said.

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I think they might be on to something.

He's got legs, and knows how to use them

A hospital that accidentally placed the amputated leg of a deceased patient in a plastic bag with the personal belongings of another patient apologized Tuesday and a spokeswoman said officials were trying to determine how the error may have occurred.

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He should sue. The hospital doesn't have a leg to stand on.