Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lager vs. Ale 

Within the last year, I became aware of the differences between lagers and ales: since my enlightenment, my enjoyment of beers has greatly increased: I only buy ales. Mostly only.

The difference 'tween ales and lagers in a nutshell: lagers are brewed with bottom fermenting yeasts, ales are brewed with top fermenting yeasts. Ales tend to have more hops which in all beers serves as a preservative; India Pale Ale is an invention designed to withstand long trips from England to colonial India, thus a lot of hops and is brewed for a high alcohol content - 2-3% greater than typical lagers.

You know how you can pick up a glass of milk thinking it's orange juice and second later need to gasp upon realizing it's not OJ in your mouth? I believe my broadened knowledge and awareness of what I'm drinking has similarly made me a keener, more appreciative beer drinker.

While I'm on the personal here, I'd like to say I believe and can argue to no end that Yes' Close to the Edge must be among the greatest human creative works.

Seasons will pass you by - I get up, I get down.

The comedian vs. the leader of the free world: Monty Python actor beat Bush to the punch-lines 

I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running out of patience. And so am I!

For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street. Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what. I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is.

As for Mr Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one.

Some of my neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime with which to charge my neighbours.

They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be secretly murdering people. Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want!

And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us.

That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way ...

- Terry Jones, Comedian
January 26, 2003


It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

... The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving.

- George W. Bush, President of the United States
January 28, 2003

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New White House Press Secretary on President Bush 

George Bush has become something of an embarrassment ... George W. Bush and his colleagues have become not merely the custodians of the largest government in the history of humankind, but also exponents of its vigorous expansion ... On the policy side, he has become a classical dime-store Democrat.


Is it just me, or does a current FOX anchor and ex-frequent guest host of the Rush Limbaugh Show who has also voiced displeasure with the prez seem a reckless choice as spokesman for a regime having trouble holding itself together? If you try to please everyone ...

Rush on his own idiocy 

First, he pretends not to understand the question, "Do you believe there's a difference between something that is wrong and something that is illegal?" When given the example of cheating on one's wife, he feigns ignorance over whether cheating on one's wife is actually legal. Then he huffs and puffs a string of lies. Then the next caller gives him another whooping.

Josh Marshall on a couple important items 

Item 1: On the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006., AKA the Give the Internet to Huge Telcoms Act. (Be sure to read SaveTheInternet.com's FAQ)

Item 2: On Tyler Drumheller,

By now you've probably seen or heard about the 60 Minutes segment with the interview with Tyler Drumheller, the now-retired CIA officer who was head of covert operations in Europe during the lead up to the Iraq War.

...Drumheller's account is pretty probative evidence on the question of whether the White House politicized and cherry-picked the Iraq intelligence.

So why didn't we hear about any of this in the reports of those Iraq intel commissions that have given the White House a clean bill of health on distorting the intel and misleading the country about what we knew about Iraq's alleged WMD programs?

...Did the Robb-Silbermann Commission not hear about what Drumheller had to say? What about the Roberts Committee?

I asked Drumheller just those questions when I spoke to him early this evening. He was quite clear. He was interviewed by the Robb-Silbermann Commission. Three times apparently.

Did he tell them everything he revealed on tonight's 60 Minutes segment. Absolutely.

Drumheller was also interviewed twice by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (the Roberts Committee) but apparently only after they released their summer 2004 report.

... What Drumheller has to say adds quite a lot to our knowledge of what happened in the lead up to war. But what it shows even more clearly is that none of this stuff has yet been investigated by anyone whose principal goal is not covering for the White House.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Henny Penny 

Must watch.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The White Man's Burden 

Take up the White Man's burden -
Send forth the best ye breed -
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild -
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man's burden -
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden -
The savage wars of peace -
Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden -
No iron rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper -
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden,
And reap his old reward -
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard -
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light: -
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden -
Ye dare not stoop to less -
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.

Take up the White Man's burden!
Have done with childish days -
The lightly-proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise:
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

- Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, April 16, 2006

McCain, ugh 

Any respect I had for the guy just vanished. (scroll to the audio thingie.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Still waiting for an answer 

I'm still wondering why pro-lifers would be against aborting a child unable to survive outside the womb. Here's the original post with a picture of an anencephalic baby.

Who benefits when a baby with a life-span of hours is carried to term?

Exactly the point 

Equal treatment under law,

A Minneapolis church has voted to stop performing civil marriages for heterosexuals because civil marriage isn't offered to same-gender couples.

"I will officiate at only religious marriages for same- and opposite-gender couples alike," said the Rev. Don Portwood of the Lyndale United Church of Christ. "I will no longer sign marriage licenses as an agent of the state of Minnesota, until the state of Minnesota recognizes the loving commitment of all couples.">

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'd be pissed if I was a donor 

Following up on the last post, a DeLay staffer confirms DeLay held off resigning partly so he could convert campaign contributions to legal defense funds,

An additional impetus for putting off the resignation until now was suggested by John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). "He needed to raise money for the defense fund. That was the bottom line," Feehery said. "He wanted to make sure he could take care of himself in the court of law." Under federal campaign rules, any reelection money a lawmaker raises can be used to pay legal fees stemming from official duties.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

DeLay in the farewell 

I haven't written about DeLay much, but it only makes poetic sense that his parting act was collecting legal defense funds under the guise of campaign contributions. Josh Marshall also notes that "[T]he GOP candidate will be selected by party chairs." Convenient.

Myself, although I don't disparage partisans celebrating his self-immolation, I'm still bummed he wasn't (poetically) voted out of the district he helped gerrymander.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What would have been immoral about aborting this unborn child? 

Story here.

I'd like to see one example of an elective partial birth abortion.

I believe there are no recent examples in the US of a third-trimester abortion performed on a healthy fetus and woman.

Your thoughts?

Fighting with one hand behind the back 

"Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. Preserving the Rule of Law and recognition of an individual's liberty constitutes an important component in its understanding of security. At the end of the day, they strengthen its spirit and its strength and allow it to overcome its difficulties."

- Israeli Supreme Court

Your thoughts?

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