Fear of Clowns

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

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Right-wingers freak out over David Addington's appearance before a congressional hearing, claiming the hearing revealed his persona which has never been a secret to anyone. This, from the same folks that tried their best to defend the leaking of an actual covert CIA agent.

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Quite a trip 

Interesting pointlesness.


Friday, June 27, 2008

An unusual lack of understanding of what has been considered cruel 

Those right-wingers who congratulate themselves as the keepers of the Constitution in the end have superficial and wrong ideas about our nation's history. David Limbaugh offers a pile of slop for our consumption,

The Supreme Court's barring of the death penalty for child rapists in Kennedy v. Louisiana underscores the hazards in the court's abandonment of moral absolutes in favor of "evolving standards of decency" and the court's unbridled arrogance in substituting its subjective judgment for the legislatively enacted will of the people.

A United States Supreme Court with a majority of Constitution-respecting justices would have evaluated the Louisiana statute in light of the originally understood meaning of the cruel and unusual punishment clause.

I'll pick evolving standards of decency over static moral absolutes any day:

No cruel and unusual punishment is to be inflicted; it is sometimes necessary to hang a man, villains often deserve whipping, and perhaps having their ears cut off; but are we in future to be prevented from inflicting these punishments because they are cruel?

Rep. Samuel Livermore
House of Representatives debate on Amendments to the Constitution
August 17, 1789

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More frogs 

Sunday, I bought 3 D. imitator standards from Steve, who is a vet student at the U of MN.

Forgot to record I got six D. auratus "green and black" tadpoles from Kristi - also a vet student - June 13. I kept them in the same water until one of the tads got eaten by the others.


Is that baby blood going to or from a baby? 

Demetri Martin,

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Elephant truely amok 

Kill, kill, kill!

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Enter the elephant borg 

Zacharias Mathew, 59, may have dropped out of school after the sixth grade, but that has not stopped him from inventing and patenting products that range from mid-hinged poles to a Cashew nut remover. He has many patents in the field of machine designing to his credit, and his latest patent is a device that can supposedly calm a raging elephant without causing the animal any harm.

By means of a small device fixed to one of the legs of the elephant with an elastic belt attached to the other leg, Mathew claims that one can calm a violent elephant. The moment the animal turns wild, the mahout - with the help of a remote - can lock the elephant's legs from a distance of about 25 metrs.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

I heard the songs I didn't write 


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Mob sets killer elephant on fire 

Leaping out of a Luis Buñuel film into reality,

On Tuesday evening, when the elephant raided the area for fruits, a mob doused it with petrol and set it on fire. Its entire body in flames, the elephant ran wildly in all directions looking for water.


The elephant was on the verge of collapse when a downpour put out the flames.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blackwater wants US Courts to apply Islamic law 

Via TPM .... well, just go get the link from Josh's introduction.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reagan vs McCain 

Reagan on meeting with adversaries,

"We had quite a meeting there with [Gorbachev] and his people. I can remember a few things about that because of the oddity of it. We decided that the subject of the summit meeting would be mutual reduction of armaments and he agreed on that ...

"Then the first meeting with him, real meeting, it was going to be the first meeting in a big home along Lake Geneva and at a table like this only a little longer he and his team on one side and me and my team on the other to deal with the weapons.

"I told my people what I was going to do so they wouldn't be surprised. As everybody started to sit down, I looked across the table at him and I said, 'Why don't we let our two teams start this discussion about the reduction of the weaponry and all, and why don't you and I get some fresh air? He was out of his chair before I finished that sentence, and there he was. So, he and I left and we walked about a 150 yards down across the lawn to the lake where there was a beach house, and again I had told our people about this.

"It was cold, a real wintry day and that beach house had a big roaring fire going in the fireplace. We entered and in there were the two translators. I stopped him before we even sat down and looked right at him and I said, 'I'm going to give you a quotation that's not mine. Someone else has said that we mistrust each other because we're armed.' I said, 'I believe we're armed because we mistrust each other.'

"Then I said, ... 'wouldn't it be fine if we would spend just as much time trying to find out the reasons for our mistrust?'… I said to him that we should do this and I said, 'The only alternative to this is we resume the arms race.' Then, looking him right in the eye, I said, 'That is a race you can't win. There is no way we're going to permit you to be superior to us in weaponry.'

"So he took that and we sat down and the meeting went under way for an hour and a half. Then, I figured that we'd better get back up to the rest of our people, so we got up and we started back up the hill."

McCain on meeting with adversaries,

Republican presidential contender John McCain on Friday said he would meet with leaders of Iran and North Korea only if the encounter would guarantee a U.S. win.

"The logic is, you don't want to do something that enhances the image and prestige of someone who is your adversary, OK?" McCain told reporters traveling with him on a four-day campaign trip to New Hampshire's northern regions.

The Arizona senator said there could be disastrous results if the outcome of meetings with any hostile leaders were not predetermined.

"Are you going to accomplish something? That's the key. If you're going to go in and you're confident you are going to accomplish something, fine, do it," he said. "Know what the outcome is going to be so you're not embarrassed by the person you're taking to walking out and embarrassing (you) and enhancing their own prestige."

The further irony is that the Reagan quote is from a deposition he gave regarding his administration's effort to improve US-Iranian relations by arming them with US weapons.

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New blogs 

I started a couple special purpose blogs recently, The Imaginary Liberal and McCain Senility Watch.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

There's oil in them there bugs 

Crude oil from bacteria.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rabbi Elchonon Kirshentaun 

"We're here to share in the pain of Lebanese people and to express our belief that authentic Jews have been against the State of Israel since day one and has no right to exist and it's against the Jewish faith ... Judaism is a religion of peace, Jews have been loyal citizens of whichever country they have lived in over the years and have lived in peace with Arabs in the Arab lands for thousands of years, we would like to continue to do so. The only problem is Zionism and Zionists. It's neither Jews nor Arabs, it's not Judiasm or Islam ... [Zionism] is only 50 to 100 years [old]."

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Obama is not a Christian, but a "false prophet" 

Cal Thomas told me so.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I read the IAEA reports 

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, I read the IAEA and UNMOVIC reports. That is how I came to know Iraq had no WMD. Those only reading the US press - or more likely only listening to Bill O'Reilly had a different opinion.

It baffles me that most of those pushing the obviously unfounded Iraqi WMD lies still have the same jobs.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

McCain senility watch 

His co-opting of Obama's campaign slogan and imagery is quite bizarre. And he says a lot of things that sound like what they just might be: ramblings of a senile geezer.

Today, he referenced Reagan when speaking of reducing deficits. McCain was in the House of Representatives for the last six years of Reagan's terms. Whatever the reason he mentioned Reagan - forgotten about the huge deficits, hoping everybody else forgot or just pulling Reagan out of his ass - it is not the sort of statement one with the aptitude to lead the country would say.

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The eggs hatched today. As D. auratus tadpoles are cannibalistic, it's best to keep them in separate containers.

D. auratus tadpoles

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Elephant invasion" 


The range officer of Bankadaha, Bishnupur was seen making a tough attempt to rescue a forest guard from the clutches of the villagers on Tuesday. The aggrieved villagers had detained the guard who was patrolling in the Kulupur village.

The cause of resentment was that the forest department had remained indifferent to the recurring problem of elephant invasion. ... A herd of six residential elephants have been wreaking havoc in the villages surrounding the Bishnupur town for the last week.

The herd killed a villager, Lashkar Murmu in the tribal-dominated Joygoria village on Monday. Another villager Noor Mondal fractured his leg while trying to flee the area after the six-member herd invaded the village.

Mr Balai Ghosh, the range officer of Bankadaha finally managed to rescue his man after making sure that the villages under the range would be continously patrolled by two guards together. Mr Ghosh said: "The elephants are wreaking havoc. It is astonishing that a part of the residential herd have turned hostile and are attacking the villages. This behaviour is abnormal.",


A circus elephant trampled its mahout to death in southeastern Banglaesh and then ran around a highway, scaring off people, police said on Thursday.

Police said trouble began when the mahout hit the elephant on its head with an iron bar after the animal resisted walking through a river bridge near Barishal city, 280 km (175 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on Wednesday.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

bin Laden shot dead 

Found and killed in India,

Ranchi, May 31 (IANS) A rogue tusker, which had killed 11 people and was called Osama bin Laden by villagers, was shot by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in Jharkhand Friday night, officials said here. ... According to forest officials, the tusker had trampled to death 11 people and injured 22 in the last two months. ... According to forest department figures, over 400 people have been killed in the last six years and over 700 were injured in confrontation with elephants. In Jharkhand, the population of elephants has declined from 772 in the last census to 622 in the one conducted this May.


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