Friday, May 29, 2009

I found out today that a guy I used to work with

died in a car crash. The funeral was tonight.

The reason we were no longer working together was actually a fairly strong reason not to go, though it had nothing to do with how he and I had gotten along. I decided that, since I had liked and admired him I had to go.

The service was beautiful, though very modern. They called it a celebration of his life and they did it well. The church band played brilliantly executed Christian rock songs and the pastor preached a moving sermon based on Isaiah 61, of all things. He explained how, in the verse which says, "I will give you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" the words for "ashes" and "beauty" in Hebrew are nearly the same three letter word with the second and third letters transposed, so we could get a sense of how rhetorically powerful that must have been for the hearers of Isaiah's prophecy. Particularly since, when the Israelites mourned, they threw ashes on their heads and the word for "beauty" more literally means 'a beautiful turban' or other head covering, such as a crown.

All the eulogists spoke about how much he had grown since I last saw him... which made me very sad that I hadn't been there for that. They told stories showing how he'd gained great self-esteem from helping others in the church's ministries.

It was all deeply moving, and, as you may imagine, troubling to me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I replaced the screen door on the back porch today

We've been making do with an old, bare aluminum thing that I dug out of the neighbor's garbage. It was the right width but the wrong height, so I had to go buy a metal cutting disk for my circular saw and adjust it. But it's been going to hell for the last couple years, since you-know-who couldn't get it open one day and kicked the hell out of it. Then the daughter followed that example after I fixed it that time. Just so you know, I never did get the lock to work right. I could get it open... but I have seventeen and a half inch biceps.

Anyway, Menard's had a door that sounded good to the shopper-lady on sale for $99. Naturally, they were out by the time we got there, so we offered to take the floor model off their hands. Since it didn't have any hinges or the latch and they considered it a little dinged up, they gave it to us for fifteen bucks. The missing hardware was about another fifteen.

Well, this one is the right height for the doorway, but it's two inches wider. So I had to scab a new frame on top of the old one. I got the happy child to help me prime it. We were going to paint it together too, but as we were getting all ready to do it, I found out I'd grabbed a can of red off the shelf, instead of white. Boy, did I wish I could think of a way to make that work. But I couldn't, so I just nailed it on, hung the door and we'll paint it later.

I'd show you a picture, but the new door makes the rest of the porch look crappier. So now I'll have to buy enough paint to do the whole thing.

See: the benefits of bitching about your wife. [I won't talk about the little scene we had this morning. Really it was over too fast to make much of a story, but I won.] It loosens up the blockage so you can get things done.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tipping my hand

His basic point in the title is absolutely true. I gave up atheism before because...when you proclaim yourself an atheist, you suddenly discover that all those people you thought were godless heathens before turn out to be devout Christians, who will dismiss everything you say thereafter. It was too lonely for me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Maybe I'll get away with this if I just put filler in the title.

It probably shouldn't be too entertaining filler, though.

Here's my question: how do I stop my wife from being a screechy, bullying, nagging nutjob shrew? See, I figure the problem is that there is no God.

When I asked my mother about it, damn near 20 years ago, she said, "Well, she's a teacher and she's had a hard day..."

Bullshit! Mom, you didn't behave that way. What the f*** position do you expect me to occupy in this world?! Well, whatever it was, I sure as f*** haven't! Unless you expected me to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!!

There. That's what my mother did to me. And, by the way, nobody's asked her for any advice since, I'll tell you that. When it was offered it's been ignored.

Pretty G--D--- funny that one of the strongest fundamentalists Christians I ever met (that's Mom) didn't tell me that I'm the man of my house and I've got to lay down the law! It wouldn't have worked, but that's what the Bible says.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More importantly, let me post this

from Alice Miller (I'm going to just start in the middle. You can get the context by reading the whole thing):
The tormenting feelings of guilt triggered by this failure are unrelenting and implacable. What have I done wrong? These people ask themselves. Why have I failed to free my parents from their misery? I try the best I can. And it's the same with my therapists. They tell me to enjoy the good things in life, but I can't, and that makes me feel guilty too. They tell me to grow up, to stop seeing myself as a victim; my childhood is a thing of the past, I should turn over a new leaf and stop agonizing. They tell me not to put the blame on others; otherwise my hatred will kill me. I should forgive and forget, and live in the present; otherwise I'll turn into a "borderline patient," whatever that is. But how can I do that? Of course I don't want to put the blame on my parents, I love them, and I owe my life to them. They had trouble enough with me. But how can I banish my guilt feelings? They get even more overpowering when I hit my children. It's awful, but I can't stop doing it, it's driving me to despair. I hate myself for this compulsive violence; I disgust myself when I fly into an uncontrollable rage. What can I do to stop it? Why must I hate myself all the time and feel guilty? Why were all those therapists unable to help me? For years I've been trying to follow their advice, but I still can't manage to dispel my feelings of guilt and love myself as I should.

Let me quote my answer to a letter that contained all these elements:

"In your first letter you said you had never been cruelly treated as a child. In this one you tell me that when you were young you were cruel to your dog because you were a naughty child. Who taught you to see things that way? The point is that no single child anywhere on earth will be cruel to his/her dog without having been severely maltreated. But there are a whole lot of people who see themselves as you do and whose guilt feelings drive them to despair. Their sole concern is not to see their parents' guilt because they fear the punishment they would incur for putting the blame where it belongs. If my books have not helped you to understand this, there is nothing more I can do for you. You can only help yourself by no longer protecting your parents from your own justified feelings. Then you will be free of the compulsive urge to imitate them by hating yourself, blaming yourself, and describing yourself as a monster."

I was spared a lot of trouble by being the fifth of five kids, all born in the space of 4 and a half years. I learned how to get along with my parents by watching the troubles my older siblings got into. Out of ignorance, not evil. How can a kid see an unwritten rule?

What evidence do we have for God again?

Or gods, spirits, angels, demons... Sprites, pixies, nixies, elves, brownies, fairies, UFOs... Leprechauns...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I dunno, maybe it's a little inflamatory

to say, as Jim Davidson does,
Obama also took huge contributions from the defense contractors, or baby killer companies as I prefer to call them. Of course GE, a baby killer company, has NBC networks (which it owns) play cuddly with Obama and his family. Of course Westinghouse, a baby killer company, which owns CBS, has nothing but bubbly kindness for Obama. They want to continue to build bombs to be exploded over foreign cities to slaughter children, because that is how these evil men and women get money for their "work."

Working evil pays well, that's why there is so much of it.

Obama is a mass murdering thug. He has slaughtered thousands of women and children, non-combatants, enemy troops, and American soldiers in his time in office, and he loves it. He relishes every death and wants more. He wants to paint his face with blood the way Stephen Colbert painted his face with gold on a recent episode. Obama loves the taste and smell of blood, which is why he supports torture, which is why he loves the military for torturing its captives to death.

Who the h--l is Stephen Colbert? Am I out of touch with popular culture? Son of a b___h.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I ran the TC 1 Mile last night.

Instead of going to my meeting, I might add.

My lungs are feeling a bit raw this morning. I'm coughing a lot, which scares the hell out of everyone I meet. I wasn't able to train for the run, because I've been on the Shigella Diet for the past week. Lost seven pounds! [Yay! icon]

Hey, if people get away with calling that "stomach flu" I can call it The Shigella Diet. I doubt it was Shigella. More likely Salmonella.

I ran it in 8:41. Eh. It'd be nice, some time, to be able to run a race that I don't have to make excuses for.

I've developed a fascination with Mark Skousen

and his wife Joanne. He's Cleon Skousen's nephew.

Mark said this, back in '91:
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Taxation is the price we pay for civilization." But isn't the opposite really the case? Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success.

Let's dump that "we" business. Every time you use force, you raise everybody's taxes. And even parents, when they use force, create children who will use and justify the use of force (and/or fraud).

I'm working on that.

Actually, what I came here to say was: the Skousen's casually mention, here and there, the fact that they teach a class on entrepreneurship at Sing Sing prison that has been extremely successful in reducing recidivism rates. Somebody's gotta do a movie on that! Molyneux? Masterson?

It kind of seems the Skousens aren't interested, so maybe it's up to an investigative journalist. Stossel?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I think I can work with this

Who knows?

I'd like to get my HaloScan comments back. I really like the sidebar widget. It looks like I can...uh...

Sorry, several thoughts just crashed together in my brain. No survivors.

From today's FEE In Brief

Unlike Chrysler’s, Banks’ Bondholders to Get Government Protection

“There will be one sure group of winners in the aftermath of the government’s ’stress testing’ of 19 major U.S. banks: The investors who own the banks’ bonds. That fact won’t be lost on Chrysler’s dissident debtholders — the ones who balked at the Obama administration’s restructuring offer for the company last week, only to be labeled as villains. Debt holders of the 19 banks already have been reassured that the administration won’t allow the institutions to fail. If the banks need more capital, and private investors won’t provide it, the government will.” (Los Angeles Times, Thursday)

Governmment discretion is poison to an economy.

FEE Timely Classic
“Rent-Seeking: A Primer” by Sanford Ikeda

Mussolini and his American cousins, the Progressives, liked to call it Corporatism.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Looks like I need to find the code for my header

and move it over to Blogger. I'm sure I have it saved on a CD around here somewhere.

Then I've gotta figure out how to do that...move it over, I mean.

My buddy Sean was hosting it... he probably got a new server and erased that file accidentally. Notice I'm not calling him Smichael.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It may be that I wouldn't like everything

Andrew Bacevich has to say, but I agree with everything he says here. I would add Lenin and Stalin to his list of people to thank for the end of the Cold War and recommend that he read Mises' Socialism.