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Archive for January, 2009

Looking Glass News 1-26-09

Posted by Lissa on January 26, 2009

Within the first week of President-Select McCain’s term, he has proved that his aggressive, unilateral policies will follow in the footsteps of former President Bush.  Like his predecessor, President McCain seems to have little concern for world opinion; he looks to squander international goodwill at a record-setting pace.  The Times of London reports:

“Missiles fired from suspected US drones killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan today, the first such strikes since John McCain became president and a clear sign that the controversial military policy begun by George W Bush has not changed.

Security officials said the strikes, which saw up to five missiles slam into houses in separate villages, killed seven “foreigners” – a term that usually means al-Qaeda – but locals also said that three children lost their lives. ”

Naturally, Op-Eds condemning President McCain as a warmonger have appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post; McCain was excoriated on Hardball by Chris Matthews and declared the “Worst Person in the World” by Keith Olbermann. 

 . . . no?  That’s not how it happened?

Welcome to Through the Looking Glass News. 

Are there legitimate complaints to be made about the Obama government?  Sure.   Will there be impotent kvetching and whining regarding actions by the Obama White House that aren’t really important?  Absolutely!

But what really chaps my ass (besides the fifteen degree weather) is that McCain would not receive one iota of the understanding, the perspective, the nuance that the Obama government enjoys.  Can you imagine that McCain would have gotten an article like this from Reuters?

The News wrote that the ‘rather optimistic assurance” given by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani earlier on that the Predator drone attacks would stop once Obama took charge had been dashed. And it added that it wasn’t clear why or how Gilani made such a statement when he was in no position to issue a guarantee on behalf of the Americans.

The missile attacks, and there have been around 30 over the past year, have caused both physical and psychological damage in Pakistan, it said. But what is the way out? Islamabad must somehow persuade the Americans that fighting the militants on its soil was something best left to Pakistani forces. ”The U.S. decision-makers need to be persuaded of the damage caused by the drone attacks and how they contribute to the growth of militancy,” it said.

Somehow, I don’t think McCain’s treatment for the EXACT SAME ACTIONS would have been as favorable.

(In other news, I think the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, and set in the West.)

(h/t Michelle)

UPDATE: Teapot Tantrums linked.  Thanks!

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And I didn’t even like Homer

Posted by Lissa on January 23, 2009

The Illiad — er, Odyssey — oh, the Idiossey!

True to the prophesy of the Doritos, wily Crustius had a secret trick up his toga.
From his rock-strewn shipwreck he summoned Palina, huntress of Wasilla,
Whose fertile loins had many odd-named children bore,
Bristol and Trig, Dakota and Algebra, Calculus and Physed,
And yet she retained the visage and figure of a goddess.

Palina emerged from the sea, springing fully formed from a clamshell,
Brandishing the spear that had slain a thousand antlered beasts.
Once mutinous, the Crustonauts were instantly heartened,
For now they and sensed a chance at victory.

Although his pollsters warned of danger, Obamacles was stalwart
For he knew just how he got here. “Attack,” he beckoned very calmly,
And from across the land of Soros, a thousand score of demons answered;
HuffPo nutjobs, New York Kronos, the shrieking hags of talk TV,
Couric, Fey, Oprah, Behar, the hermaphrodites of NBC.

Palina was undaunted by the minions and thus she battled gamely on.
But at last she was attacked by Crustius himself;
For so addled and contrary was the wizened sailor
That he had forgotten which side he was on.
Vanquished Palina returned to Wasilla to fight another day,
While Crustius sails again, forever seeking the elusive Sirens of Media.

As all other eighteen million links have instructed — RTWT.

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A celebration of bacon

Posted by Lissa on January 23, 2009

During Iron Chef last night, one of the judges stated his firm belief that “Bacon is nature’s perfect food; even vegans know that.”  According to Iowahawk, even PIGS know that:  “Pigs eat other pigs! And can you blame them? Even pigs themselves know that pigs are delicious!”  And since it’s Friday (hooray!!), what better way to celebrate the coming weekend than with a celebration of the perfect food?

First comes Bruce’s post from yesterday, featuring a peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwich.  He claims a Guinness is the perfect drink with which to wash this down, but I’d probably opt for bacon-flavored bourbon, myself.

Next up comes Breda’s famous pig candy.  I’ve actually made this one, so I can attest personally to its deliciousness.  (Note to self — less cayenne next time!)  Breda also gets a nod for bacon apple pie!  (Psst, Breda — how can you have 24 blog-posts tagged “beer” and not have a “bacon” tag??)

If Bruce’s sandwich doesn’t do it for you, what’s better than a nice burger topped with bacon?  Glad you asked!  Why, that would be the burger MADE OF ground bacon.  Served with a side of heart attack.

If you’d like something fancier, you could always try the fru-fru version of a BLT:

Danish Bacon Focaccia

Danish Bacon Focaccia

Or you could go back to simple, delicious basics:

bacon-wrapped-scallops

By way of BorePatch, I’d like to officially add this to my Christmas wish list:

wake-and-bacon

Because last but certainly not least, there’s nothing like a savory breakfast of eggs-over-easy, buttered toast and bacon.  (And if you don’t dip the bacon in the egg yolk, I just can’t help you.)

dennys-classic

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a pig.

What’s your favorite way to eat bacon?

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Conversations from home

Posted by Lissa on January 22, 2009

LilBro2 had a birthday recently. Among his presents was a copy of this:

Mom: “What IS it?”

Stepdad: “Some robot-guy.  Look, the other dude’s only got one eye!”

Mom (peering at it): “Huh.  Wait, it’s a girl!”

Stepdad: “Huh?”

Mom:  “Look, it’s got BOOBS!”

A rule of thumb that dates back to the dawn of time, no doubt. 

My mom is AWESOME 🙂

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A joke so bad it’s . . . well, still kind of bad.

Posted by Lissa on January 22, 2009

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (though not as far as Endor, to be sure) there lived a king and three knights. (There were actually more than three knights, but those knights do not concern us. We shall therefore ignore their existence.) The king was a good and happy king, save for one problem — he had no son. (Alas, in those days upon this time of which we speak, there were no enlightened womens-rights activists to whack the king over the head until he saw that his daughter, lovely and charming though she was, had also a first-class brain. Which was lucky for the princess, for she planned to be the power behind the throne; her first-class brain reasoned that if the knights ever revolted, they were likely to chop off her husband’s head and leave her pretty neck intact.)

Anyway, as the tale goes, the king declared that the three bravest, most successful, most powerful, richest — well, you get the picture; they wuz the shiznit! — knights were to battle each other for the right to wed the princess. Being brave, strong, powerful knights, they immediately informed their squires that they (the squires) would be battling on behalf of the knights. “Go forth, brave squires,” said each, “and fight for glory! Fight for honor! Fight for my right to hop into the sack with that pretty princess! And, um, I’ll give you a raise or something.”

Unfortunately for some of the squires (but fortunately for our story), the knights were not equally rich and powerful; they did not have equal amounts of squires. In fact, the numbers were rather unequal; while the first knight had something like twenty squires, the second had only ten or so, and the third lowly knight had only one single squire.

Undaunted, the knights ordered their squires to meet in the forest glen, for upon the next dawn they would battle to the death. The last squire alive would win victory on behalf of his knight (and then probably expire from wounds, but, like the extra knights, that does not concern us at this time).

Luckily for one of the squires (and this, indeed, makes the gist of our tale), he had both a strong survival instinct and the ability to think creatively. This single squire — as a matter of accuracy, I will specify that this squire was the single squire belonging to the third knight — hied himself to the glen at midnight. Then, in darkness, he twisted a strong rope into a noose, hoisted a large iron cauldron up into the treetops and crept into the vessel, concealing himself.

At daybreak, the squires of the first knight and second knight met with a great and bloody clash. They fought, and slashed, and parried. They punched and kicked and bit. They bled and twisted and died. (Which surprises no one. War ain’t pretty, you know.)

And when at last the battle dust had settled, it was seen that not a single squire on the field of battle was left alive. But high above the field of battle, the single squire stood up in his cauldron and claimed victory.

The third knight therefore won the right to marry the princess. And he did, indeed; and the old king died peacefully; and the new queen (who used to be the princess) used her first-class brain to run the kingdom without ever hurting the pride of the new king (who used to be the third knight), and they all lived happily ever after. Not that we really care about that, because there was a lesson to our story. And that lesson is . . .

. . .

. . .

that the squire of the high pot and noose was equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.

P.S. Got this joke from Mike, who got it from his dad, who used to tell MATH JOKES when he was a kid. I admit to embellishing it just a bit.

UPDATE: Doubletrouble linked with his own version, thanks!  Also, I made Jay’s head hurt *snigger*

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Karma in Action

Posted by Lissa on January 21, 2009

A word to potential shoplifters out there:

1) Don’t do it. 

2) If you decide to be a criminal and shoplift, make sure you and the person driving your super-getaway-car don’t get your wires crossed, mmmmkay?

A report said the shoplifter tried to get into the vehicle but fell out and was run over by the car. She then got up and jumped onto the hood of the car. As the car was driving away, the report said the woman fell off and was run over again. On her third attempt, she finally made it into the vehicle.

Police are using the car’s license plate and a check the woman dropped to track her down.

I suppose we’ll add 3) Don’t drop a freaking CHECK on your way out the door.  (shaking head)

Makes me think of something LawDog once wrote (in a post appropriately titled “Surely they’re not that dumb”):

We’ve got a dealer who’s sold meth to the same undercover officer driving the same vehicle six times in a row. Which isn’t so bad, except that the last time the dealer walked up to the truck, he says “Hey! I know you! You busted me before!”

To which the undercover cop responds, “Yeah, but I didn’t mean it.”

Critter pouts, “Man, you really hurt me with some of those things you said when you testified against me the last time.”

Cop says, “Hey, man, sorry about that, but you know my bosses — they get kind of single-minded about this kind of thing. Got twenty dollars worth?”

Critter digs around his BVDs, “Yeah, hang on. Here you go … oh, [deleted] you’re going to bust me again, aren’t you?”

I swear to Shiva sometimes I think the State of Texas needs a “Not Guilty By Reason of Stupidity” verdict.

Oh, well, if they were smart, I’d be out of a job.

LOL.  Read this one too, while you’re at it.

P.S.  TOTWTYTR, job security indeed!

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I love me some Ambulance Driver

Posted by Lissa on January 21, 2009

Because he can write things like this:

“And that nasty bastard supposedly has a girlfriend? I ask you, AD, if you were a chick, would you sleep with that dude?”

“I wouldn’t sleep with that dude if I was that dude,” I answer. “I’d be masturbating, and thinking the whole time ‘geez, I gotta set some higher standards for myself.'”

LOL, sir.  LOL indeed.

(Guess I WILL have to clear my wedding-planning schedule for Saturday, March 21st.  I’m a sucker for a good story.)

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Day 1 of a Brave New World

Posted by Lissa on January 21, 2009

Or is it Day 2?  Has it been a full twenty-four hours yet?  I woke up this morning and I was still tired and my hair is frizzy, so apparently the magical marshmallow-pooping unicorns have not yet come up to full power.  (Of course, as an Evil Conservative, perhaps I don’t get access to magical marshmallow-pooping unicorns.  Hmph.)

No, I did not watch the inauguration festivities yesterday; my gag reflex is often triggered by politicians being all politician-y.  I wouldn’t have watched if it were McCain, either, in case you’re wondering.  Anyway, it’s not like my boss gave me the day off.  I wonder how many college professors dismissed classes yesterday?

It’s interesting to think how the political climate will affect the “yoot’ vote” bloc.  There are a number of us who politically came of age in the era of 9/11; what will it be like to come of age in The Age of Obama?  I touched on the idea in this post:

The young college folks who turned out just to vote for Obama will actually watch the news for the next four years and become disillusioned with politics.  The sooner that disillusionment happens, the better.  There is no Santa Claus and politicians are, in large part, closely related to microbes.

 It might happen.  The libertarian in me certainly hopes it will; the idea that government can efficiently fix anything important (let alone EVERYTHING, both important and microscopic) is what’s responsible for nanny-statism.  Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero faith in a fair press to hold Obama’s feet to the fire when he makes a mistake.  I think that even if Obama makes a rather serious miscalculation (and BTW I hope he does NOT; I hope his presidency goes very smoothly) the reaction will not be, “Our Guy isn’t perfect; look how he has screwed up.”  I think the more likely reaction from the press will be, “Well, he’s not a Republican, and one of those cockroaches would have done something far worse, so I don’t care.  Me against my brother; my brother and I against my cousin; my cousins and I against a different tribe; and everyone together against Republicans and Sarah Palin.  God I hate that b*tch.” 

Wait and see, I suppose.

President Obama, lots of good luck to you.  I hope that our country remains free from foreign attack, that our economy recovers quickly, and that you grow the size of government less than President Bush did in the last eight years.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed — but I won’t hold my breath.

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Shoothouse Barbie made a friend!!!

Posted by Lissa on January 18, 2009

Awwww, how sweet!  Shoothouse Barbie has her first blog-hater!  (That I’m aware of, of course; it’s possible there are whole reams of hate out there that have passed me by.)  There’s some interesting back-and-forth in the comments of that blog-post (you can find the link at SLOS), but here’s the best one I think:

You think sharing my cake with someone who lacks cake is such a great idea that you send the police to my house to cut my cake and take a slice to the needy. And then you claim that makes you a better person and makes the world seem like a better place. In my eyes, it makes you seem like a tyrant and makes the government more oppressive, and the world a worse place. You are so amoral that you think stealing is OK as long as it is for cause [sic] you personally approve of and if you can get government to take money by force to fund it, from people who may not agree with the cause. You don’t even realize it’s stealing to take money against someone’s will even when it’s done by vote! And then you think yourself a better person because of it. I find it appalling, and I bet this is what makes James’ head explode.

What s/he said 🙂

I’m curious, sometimes — what would it be like if you could pick the causes you fund with your taxes?  I know a lot of liberals would be pleased and feel better if they could know their taxes did not contribute towards aggressive foreign policy and the defense budget.  On the other hand, how many libertarians would refuse to pay for anything BUT that in taxes?  What if you could choose whether your Social Security taxes went towards private charities instead?  Would we see a resurgence of the Elks’ Clubs and other organizations that used to do the job of SS? 

Liberals — would you trade the ability to de-fund the military for conservatives’ ability to cut Great Society type programs?

Conservatives — would you let liberals opt out of paying for national defense in return for de-funding the United Nations?

It’s a fun mental exercise 🙂

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Bingo

Posted by Lissa on January 16, 2009

It’s not hateful or intolerant to vote that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. Tolerant isn’t a position, it’s how you treat people who hold positions you hate.  [emphasis mine]

What he said.  That’s pithy and sound enough for a blogpost in and of itself, so feel free to stop reading here if you like.

He continues,

It also isn’t tolerant to believe that all ideas have equal merit. This is an irrational position I’m embarrassed to even bring up. But there are those who have claimed that if I judge a position as bad that I’m being intolerant. Can we agree that eating cute kittens alive for the fun of it doesn’t have as much merit as cuddling them? But to say that all ideas have equal merit is self-refuting because I could propose this idea “all ideas have unequal merit” and you couldn’t judge the statement as false if the first idea were true.

There’s are three conversational rules at Ye Olde Financial Company (and much of the financial world):

1. Don’t talk about politics
2. Don’t talk about religion
3. Don’t talk about sex

Obviously the rules get bent sometimes, especially around big events like elections or inaugurations.  (Or Christmas parties with an open bar.)

I hate to think of being in a profession where a) your political orthodoxy is assumed to be on one particular side of the spectrum, b) if your politics aren’t on that side of the spectrum, you either have to lie or risk an adverse consequence to your career.  But it does seem to be that way in Hollywood; check the author of Seraphic Secret, for example.  (Gunnies — you check this post.)

I wonder what the equivalent would be for the liberal side of the spectrum.  The military, perhaps?  I have a harder time thinking of job sectors where being pro-choice, pro-Obama and pro-nanny-statism would be risky to divulge.  Hell, I can’t even list the church, since apparently you can be a bishop, be gay, say that  he had been reading inaugural prayers through history and was “horrified” at how “specifically and aggressively Christian they were” and still be invited to do an Inaugural Address.  (Note — I’ve stated my views on gay marriage before — see number 8 — but I see merit in the views on both sides of the aisle.)

There are, of course, views for which I have little-to-no sympathy.  I don’t care what culture you come from, if you think your wife is your property, to beat and abuse as you see fit, I want nothing to do with you.  If you think modern medicines are evil and it’s better to treat your pneumonia-ridden child with prayer, I think you’re a bloody moron.  Hell, if you’re such an asshat you see nothing wrong with naming your kid Adolf Hitler, I don’t want you within a hundred feet of me.

But that doesn’t mean I would scream abuse into your face, or post your home residence on the ‘Net, or protest outside your business, or try to get you fired.  I have no tolerance for your VIEWS, but I will tolerate you as a person.

Easy enough, right?  Here’s the difficult part, though.  I would never want the government to try and regulate people’s views.  (Actions, of course, are another matter — it’s one thing to think it’s okay to beat your wife, but you actually give her a shiner and it’s off to the pokey with you, lad.)  I would prefer to leave it to common folks to speak with their feet.  If your business has practices that I think are distasteful, I will take my checkbook (well, debit card) elsewhere.

But that exact philosophy — taken a little further — is what spurs artists and customers to protest until a Theater Artistic Director resigns and a restaurant risks going out of business.

How do you speak with your feet, but at the same time be tolerant of other people’s views?  When is another person’s views unappealing enough that you avoid their business, as opposed to reprehensible enough to boycott or protest their shopfront?  Where do we draw the line between using market forces to make your preferences known, and political forces to try and change someone’s behavior?  Is it as simple as speaking with your checkbook versus speaking with a megaphone?

Damned if I know.  Luckily for me, I never claimed to have all (any?) of the answers.  Thankfully, it looks as though that message has gotten through:

search-engine-1-15-09

Smart people, have at it in the comments.  (Brad, I’m looking at you!)  In the meantime, I shall drink hot tea and nosh on a hard-boiled egg (and perhaps a cute kitten) while I wait for enlightenment.

(h/t for the original quote goes to Michelle)

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