Archive for November, 2004

End of NaNoBlogMo

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

I wanted to write an entry per day for the month of November with a minimum of 15,000 words. Sadly, not counting this entry or titles, I only wrote 12,489 words, some of which were actually other articles. I did make 30 (now 31) posts. Still I will give myself 10,000 words for the month, meaning that at this pace, I could write a novel in 5 to 6 months. Good to know. Maybe I’ll do it for real next year. Yes. Yes, I will.

10 Rules of a Southern Belle

Monday, November 29th, 2004

I found this link in my referrer logs (an artifact of Blogger’s odd “Next Blog” feature, I imagine) and read it and dear god, this is brilliant. These 10 items are more guidelines than rules, but this woman so completely understands men that her code of behaviour will lead to the utter and willing domination of all men. I think this woman should give classes in how to completely subvert the will of any man you choose to be with.

She doesn’t do it by overtly controlling any aspect of the relationship, only by so controlling her own behaviour that any man would willingly do anything she asked. Ladies, this is how you get your man to behave himself. Be a woman and treat him like a man. The core precept of this list is “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar,” and it ends with one of the truest statements I have ever heard:

“Women judge love by how the man makes them feel. If he makes us feel all mushy and giddy with butterflies the size of rabbits in our tummy, it’s love. For a man, it’s not how he feels about you that grabs his attention…it’s how he feels about himself when he’s around you. If being around you makes him feel like the man he wants to be, then he will love you forever.”

Well, that’s one more addition to my blogroll.

November 29, 1947 – November 29, 2004

Monday, November 29th, 2004

This BlogBurst piece is cross-posted by participating websites, to commemorate a milestone in Israel’s history. The list of the participating sites is appended at israpundit’s original post.

November 29, 2004:

Anniversary of the UN vote on Resolution 181

Today is the anniversary of the UN vote on resolution 181, which approved the partition of the western part Palestine into a predominately Jewish state and a predominately Arab state. (It is vital to recall that the UN partition plan referred to western Palestine, to underscore that in 1921 the eastern part was ripped off the Jewish National Home by the British Government and handed over to the then Emir Abdullah.)

The partition plan was approved by 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.

The 33 countries that cast the “Yes” vote were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, USSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. (Among other countries, the list includes the US, the three British Dominions, all the European countries except for Greece and the UK, but including all the Soviet-block countries.)

The 13 countries that chose the Hall of Shame and voted “No” were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen. (Ten of these are Moslem countries; Greece has the special distinction of being the only European country to have joined the Hall of Shame.)

The ten countries that abstained are: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

On November 30, 1947, the day following the vote, the Palestinian Arabs murdered six Jews in a bus making its way to Jerusalem, and proceeded to murder another Jew in the Tel-Aviv – Jaffa area. This was a prelude to a war that claimed the lives of 6,000 Jews, or 1% of the total Jewish population in 1948. This toll is the per capita equivalent of today’s Canada losing 300,000 lives, or the US losing 3,000,000.

The object of the war, launched by the Arabs in the former Palestine and the armies of Egypt, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon (with help from other Arab countries), was to “throw the Jews into the sea”. As the partition map indicates, however, rather than annihilate the Jewish population, the Arabs ended up with less territory than they would have gained by peaceful means.

In addition to the bloodshed in nascent Israel, immediately after the UN vote, Arabs attacks their Jewish neighbours in a number of Arab countries, the murders in Syria’s Aleppo being the best known.

Bruised and bleeding, Israel prevailed nonetheless. May our sister-democracy thrive and flourish.


I post this because Israel is the one nation truly beset on all sides by terrorism and is daily shown her enemies’ desire to eradicate her from the face of the earth. Israelis understand that choosing not to fight in the face of evil is a choice to die. Ending Islamofascist terrorism is not easy or pretty, but it is necessary. America has been a steadfast ally of Israel, even though we were at times misguided enough to believe a peaceful resolution was possible with Arafat (we were wrong). I hope that America is ever the beacon of hope for Israel to cling to. I hope that our efforts to protect her are as steady and strong as our efforts to protect ourselves.

Navel-Gazing

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

Thanksgiving is on Thursday (how unusual) and I was feeling reflective as a result. So since blogs are vanity publishing I thought I’d turn away from the politics of this blog (in which my interest has temporarily ebbed as I scramble hither and yon in preparation for the holidays and end-of-year at work) and focus instead on what I have to be thankful for.

A little background. Growing up, I was utterly and completely convinced that I was going to die at 22. Part of this stems from the fact that my mother died when she was 22 (I was 3 and half, barely older than my elder daughter) and that she reportedly knew that she was going to die very young and in a fire, both of which happened. At any rate, I presume that was a contributing factor in my paranoia, but there are others, I’m sure, but I don’t want to get into speculation on that. This put quite a damper on any future plans I made, since, after all, I wouldn’t really be around to enjoy them. I met the woman who is now my wife when I was 16 (she was 17) and we were in high school. We dated for nearly two years and even after breaking up, were still quite close. We did eventually get married (otherwise she wouldn’t be my wife, eh?) two days after I turned 22. She knew of my paranoia, but decided she would rather have one year as my wife than never be married to me at all.

At 22 I married the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I swore my love for her that day could never be eclipsed, and then it was, time after time, day after day. I am thankful for Carrie, for her deigning to share her life with me.

At 23, I first became a father to Audrey Koren. She has brought more joy and purpose to my life than any self-help book. Watching her learn and grow has been an experience unlike any other. She has given me a new pair of eyes to view the world. Everything she learns, I learn anew. I love her and I am thankful that she is ours.

At 24, I was hired by the company I was under contract to and began my first non-contract work in over a year. Permanent employment was a blessing I had hoped for, but could not ask for (under the terms of my contract). It provided the stability and confidence I needed to be the father and husband I needed to be. I am thankful to be employed in such a vibrant economy.

At 25, I became a father again, to Madelyn Rose. She is now a year old and much to my surprise, everything I learned with Audrey, I have again learned through Madelyn’s very different perspective. She has been a wonder and sheer pleasure. She is as different in disposition from Audrey as she is alike her in appearance. She is far more exploratory and brave than Audrey was, taking more risks and getting into more than her big sister did, which only complicates her mother and father’s lives since they now have a 3 year old and a more curious one year old with contend with at the same time. I mean that in the very best way. I am thankful for Madelyn, for her spirit and her curiosity.

I have watched the two of them lay the groundwork for the tight bond they will share later. I have observed that there are few more iron-clad but confounding relationships than sisterhood. They fight, argue, love, play and learn together. I am thankful for their love in each other.

At 26, my big event hasn’t happened yet (I don’t think – geez, I hope it wasn’t the election, there’s still 9 months to go), but fatherhood has taught me patience, and the year is still young, so I am ready.

These last four years are years I never expected to have. They have been the best years of my life and there aren’t any indications of it letting up. I am thankful for the gifts I have, the people who surrounded, the family who loves me, the country I live in, the brave men and women who fight and die that me and mine can live as we wish, for the opportunities I am daily given, even if I don’t always take advantage of them. I am the luckiest man in the world and I defy you to prove otherwise.

This Thanksgiving, take the time to be thankful for all of your gifts and blessings. If, unlike me, you are religious, then pay special thanks to your deity for allowing you to live here and now.

Happy Thanksgiving and may your next year be a Catastrophic Success (with the emphasis on the Success).

New addition to bookmarks

Friday, November 19th, 2004

I just added Billiken’s Bluff to my feed list. They have an interesting little group over there. There are multiple posters, and I tend to agree with N-Dot more often than not, but the other posters seem to have good heads on their shoulders too.

N-Dot’s Most recent entry is quite good and gives a new perspective on the way Jaques Chirac views international relations, in light of his remarks to Tony Blair that: “Well, Britain gave its support, but I did not see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors systematically.”

The point is that Chirac can not understand why any country would support any other country unless they were receiving tangible favors in return. A shared value system and protection of a shared way of life are beyond his ken.

N-Dot then goes on to show how that crazy isolationist George Washington kind of knew what he was talking about way back when. (You mean the wisdom of the past may apply to the present? Shut up!)

Recommended reading.

EU Values

Friday, November 19th, 2004

European Union justice and interior ministers agreed Friday that new immigrants to the 25-nation bloc should be required to learn local languages, and to adhere to general “European values” that will guide them toward better integration.

European Values? Like this?

Other interesting tidbits today:

Missing link found?

A nearly 13 million-year-old ape discovered in Spain is the last probable common ancestor to all living humans and great apes, a research team says in Friday’s issue of Science magazine.

A husband-and-wife team of fossil sleuths unearthed an animal with a body like an ape, fingers like a chimp and the upright posture of humans. The ancient ape bridges the gap between earlier, primitive animals and later, modern creatures.

Matchmaker Liable for Bad Marriage. In other news, Cupid Hangs up Bow and Arrow and Santa Sued for Giving Boring Toy.

UN staff to vote on no-confidence motion against Annan. They’ve got my vote! Seriously, though, I don’t understand if a No-Confidence vote from the UN Staff can actually remove him from office. I think the General Assembly would have to do so, but this at least shows his unpopularity amongst those who work for him.

Kerry blames Osama. For stealing the election from him. Honestly, what does it say about the confidence the American people have in you when they entered the voting booth with national security on their mind, as you say, and chose your opponent? UPDATE: Best of the Web used the same headline for this story as me! It’s not at all a big deal. They surely got the story from Drudge like me, and how many ways can you headline this story? It’s just neat is all. And LGF uses the exact same headline! Squee!

Greeks say Alexander was NOT bi-sexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Really? Are you kidding me with this?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

“Comparing pornography to heroin, researchers on Thursday called on Congress to finance studies on “porn addiction” and launch a public health campaign about the dangers.

“Internet pornography is corrupting children and hooking adults into an addiction that threatens their jobs and families, a panel of anti-porn advocates told the hearing organized by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on science.”

Just say no to Pr0n!

“Mary Anne Layden, co-director of a sexual trauma program at the University of Pennsylvania, said pornography’s effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. She told of one patient, a business executive, who arrived at his office at 9 a.m. each day, logged onto Internet porn sites, and didn’t log off until 5 p.m.

Layden called for billboards and bus ads warning people to avoid pornography, strip clubs and prostitutes.”

There is not a single reference to personal responsibility in this entire article. Instead, just like foul-language and violence on television, this image is purveyed of Cheney-esque fatcats in a smoky room plotting and planning the best way to “corrupt the children” and turn them into mindless zombies incapable of resisting the allure of the “evil, vile pronographers!” There is not a single moment given to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, a rational adult can chance across a pornographic advertisement or spam and NOT be reduced to a drooling puddle of testosterone ready to rip, rape and tear through society. “The titties told me to rape!” Bullshit.

Personally, I am not a big porn guy. I could take it or leave, but I have seen it, and I do come across it in my travels through cyberspace, and I don’t objectify women any more than any other sexually healthy male. I don’t run rampant at night sexually assaulting any woman I see. I have sexual urges, of course, and those are satisfied by my wife, myself or my imagination. It is ridiculous to assume that a chance porn-sighting will forever corrupt our children and irreversibly turn our culture into a cesspool incapable of decency and subjugating base instincts. We are rational beings. Passionate, yes, but rational all the same. We use the power of our minds to make decisions every single day. Just as I can watch football and not tackle the first person I see, play Halo or Grand Theft Auto and not shoot the first person I see, I can see a picture of a naked woman and not screw the first person I see.

I understand that a boundary must be erected between adult material and children. I agree. It is, however, the responsibility of the parents to guard that wall, not society. Every brick of that wall that is assumed by society absolves parents of that responsibility. And its a cumulative process. The more responsibility for rearing children that is taken by society, the easier it is to justify removing more and more responsibility from parents. I have two young daughters and I monitor closely what they see and hear. That is my job as their father. I also encourage an environment of learning and questioning. When my elder daughter (3 years old tomorrow) wants to know something, or doesn’t understand something, she asks. So far, the subject matter has been pretty tame, but tricky stuff does come up (“What is heaven?” after hearing the word in the “Knick-Knack Paddy-Whack” song) and stronger questions will come up in the future. I’m sure that the issue of sex and porn will come up. When it does, it is my responsibility to explain it in ways that allow her to assimilate the information in such a way that she can healthily deal with porn-spam if she should ever see it.

As parents, our ONLY job is to prepare our children to be functional (at least) and productive (we hope) members of society. That means instilling the mores and values that continue that society. It also means preparing them for the times they encounter the less pleasing or less visible elements of society. That means everything from how to avoid being a victim to self-defense to how to safely own and operate a gun, car and computer to seeing violence and sexual content in the media. If we accept as true that our children can be corrupted by a salacious image they may only see for a moment, we might as well give up on parenting and turn our children over to state-run indoctrination centers that will program them to be happy little robotic servants of the state subject to the whims and desire of their basest instincts and just hand in the keys to the kingdom we have guarded these past 229 years. At that point society can no longer function because there is no one to run it. There will be those who can use their brains and it is they who will become the rulers deciding what will be programmed into our little child-bots.

Beware the path of protection in the name of the children. To quote Terry Goodkind, “lightning awaits you down that path.” When you remove the expectation of personal responsibility, then no one is accountable for their own actions and that only benefits the natural dictatorial tendencies of the government, because who else will make those moral decisions you don’t want to bother yourself with?

Friday Funnies

Friday, November 19th, 2004

http://zattevrienden.realroot.be/depanneren.htm
Bad day to be a crane operator

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2004/11/searskmart_acqu.html
Newest Member of the Sears/K-Mart merger: France

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/11/exit_strategy_f.html
Viable Exit Strategy from Iraq and Afghanistan.

http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2004/11/pirates-of-un.html
With most sincere apologies to Gilberts and Sullivan

http://freeikicks.com/
Apple’s new internet offer

http://www.mit.edu/~mikeho/media/mac.mpg
And speaking of Macs, a classic anit-Mac movie made on a Mac.

Consequences

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Carolyn Parrish has been thrown out of the Liberal caucus by Prime Minister Paul Martin, who said Thursday that her behaviour had become “unacceptable.”

According to the one Canadian with whom I am familiar, the government is perilously close to falling because the Liberal Party and New Democratic Party Coalition’s now two vote deficit. A straight-party no-confidence vote would bring a 153 to 153 vote tie leaving two independents (Parrish being one of them) to determine the outcome. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. President Bush is scheduled to visit Ottawa later this year. I wonder if a new government will arise in the meantime.

Paul Wells makees a point in his post about her that makes my earlier whining about the left just more indicative of my Americentrism (hey, I own it!). She does drink the Left’s kool-aid though.

(It is, though, odd to call her and some other Bush critics “anti-American”; she never had a cross word to say about the Yankees until the Democrats lost the White House. She has a party she prefers when it comes to forming the government of the U.S., just as Mr. Bush has a party he prefers when it comes to forming the government of, say, Spain. He stated his own preference; she stated hers. It is a measure of her perverse genius that she managed to make Bush look elegant by comparison.)

To be honest, she was probably dismissed more for her outright flouting of Prime Minister Paul Martin’s authority than for her statements and actions against the President. Still, I take a little pleasure in seeing her taken to task for her insubordination if nothing else.

Wells again:

And now we come to day’s most richly entertaining lesson. No prime minister can tolerate a display of open contempt from somebody who is supposed to be a member of his team. The proper response to such behaviour is dismissal. Paul Martin reached that inevitable conclusion today.

Also, for my American readers, a good resource on how the Westminster System of Parliament works can be found here and here. This is the system of governance used in most of the Commonwealth countries and/or the Anglosphere members.

Canadian MP Teaches Love and Understanding

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Outspokenly Liberal Canadian MP Stomps Bush.

“OTTAWA – Renegade Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish has once again enraged members of the opposition and her own caucus after tossing a George W. Bush doll on the floor and grinding it under her heel on a satirical television show.

Incensed Conservative MPs demanded that Ms. Parrish — who last year referred to Americans as “bastards” and more recently likened the U.S. war effort in Iraq to “a coalition of the idiots” — be banished from the Liberal caucus for her anti-American outburst.”

If only we would listen to the liberals in both of our countries and just let go of our hate!

It appears to have caused a stir though, so perhaps, not all Canadians have bought into this liberal mentality of “Hate is bad. Unless you hate Conservatives and GW Bush.”

Ontario Liberal MP Roger Gallaway called the stunt “bizarre and stupid,” and lamented Ms. Parrish’s theatrics as “a rather perverse joke.”

“It’s a pathetic spectacle that someone would behave in this fashion. I would expect more from infants. It’s rotten timing … and I would hope that she would consider mending her ways,” said Mr. Gallaway, who nonetheless argued against bouncing Ms. Parrish, a four-term MP who represents the Toronto-area constituency of Mississauga-Erindale.

“I have a fundamental problem with removing someone from caucus because they’re being bizarre and stupid. This place allows all kinds of bizarre and stupid behaviour. Stupidity is a defence here,” he said.

Stupidity may be a defense, but it should also be painful.

I know that what is going to happen is that there will be an outcry from the left about how everyone’s making “such a big deal out of nothing” because they find it funny. Its always OK to pick on Republicans and fat people. Because its funny. What would the hue and cry be like if a Tory had ground a Bill Clinton Doll or a Paul Martin Doll (can anyone find me a link for this)?

I’m a little sick of the measure of your hipness being determined by how wittily you can besmirch the President of the United States. Do you remember how the Left cried out for respect of the President of the United States when they were valiantly struggling against the Clinton-hater members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy? Where is that respect today?

The Left has never cared about the office of the President, only that they controlled it. Heaven forbid a Republican get in the White House, and even worse, makes effective use of the bully pulpit! The only use the Left has for the Presidency is the ability to make appointments in the bureaucracy and the judiciary. They have no understanding of the necessity for the Commander-in-Chief powers and woe betide the President who exercises them.

It’s sad that it doesn’t matter what George Bush does, he is going to be villified. I admire his efforts to reach across the aisle when possible, and I have to admit that I don’t think I could continue to do so in the face of such hatred. I don’t know that I am man enough to face that fray every single day. I am glad that George W. Bush is man enough and that he continues to try. I am glad he’s our President and I hope that he can withstand the hatred for four more years. The mid-term elections of ’06 could go a long way toward reinforcing his bulwarks, so its time to start looking ahead. Maybe we can increase the conservative majority in both Houses again, and further confound the Canadians and Europeans. I can’t wait.