Friday, July 29, 2011


"It was as touching as the glow of contentment in the eyes of the foreign immigrants in the United States during the good old days before 1929, who were entranced to find themselves where there was an abundance of food, no matter what the weather might be, warm and cheap clothing, comfortable footwear, water-tight housing, and, not easily to be acquired but within the possibility of acquirement as never in Polish Galicia or Portugal, radios, refrigerators, and automobiles. They had not realized that in this new industrialized world there are seasons other than those determined by the course of the sun, which are both crueller and longer; and that the urban versions of blizzard and drought are more terrible because they must be suffered in an absolute destitution, unknown to communities where each owns or has the right of access to at least a strip of land, and where all are joined by ties of blood or friendship cultivated through generations...

The English manufacturers of the nineteenth century had appeared as redeemers to the downtrodden agricultural labourers who were dying rather than living under a land system which would have shocked the Balkans, and who found food and warmth such as they had never known in the towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire and the Midlands; but they have no such reputations among the vast unhappy army of the unemployed. My instinct therefore was to warn the miners who were coming in at the door, grinning with happy appetite, 'Do not be deceived. Whom you suppose to be your benefactor is in fact your enemy, and will enslave you and take from your children what you never lost even under the Turk, the right to work.'"

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I found this gratuitous at first, as the beauty of smoking lay in understatement, but we all like to be preached to once in a while, don't we? 

Really gets going ~2:40. Highly recommended viewing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Abortive debt ceiling plans don't burn

“Obama is not the new FDR, but the new Gorbachev.” - Richard Miniter

As to the political sagacity of such a comparison, I couldn't possibly comment, but it it rather curious that Begemot has apparently taken up residence in the Capitol: 
“According to legend, the cat is seen before presidential elections and tragedies in Washington DC, allegedly being spotted by White House security guards the nights before the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. The cat is described as fully black and the size of an average house cat; but witnesses report that the cat swells to “the size of a giant tiger”, 10 feet by 10 feet,when alerted. The cat would then either explode or pounce at the witness, disappearing before it managed to catch its ‘victim’."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today we are all two-headed monstrosities

The heads think and eat separately.
"The Skazka Zoo in Yalta said Wednesday that the albino California Kingsnake has two heads that think, react and eat separately, though one is more passive than the other.

Dmytro Tkachov, a zoo worker taking care of the snake, said he puts a barrier between the heads when feeding the snake lest one eats the other. The snake will be on display until mid-September. The zoo would not provide further details." - The Moscow Times
- - - - -
"He was glad that most of his charges were where they were, out of mischief, neatly stuffed, preserved for eternity by camphor balls in highly polished glass cases; but over one he mourned. This was a two-headed calf which was strangely lovely in form, it was like a design made for a bracket by the Adam brothers; its body had the modest sacrificial grace of all calves, and it was a shock to find that of the two heads which branched like candelabra one was lovely, but one was hideous, as that other seen in a distorting glass.

'It was perfectly made,' lamented the old man, 'it was perfectly made.'
'Did it live after its birth?' asked my husband.
'Did it live!' he exclaimed. 'It lived for two days, and it should be alive today had it not been for its nature.'
'For its nature?' repeated my husband.
'Yes, its nature. For the peasant who owned it brought it here to our great doctors as soon as it was born, and here it did well. I tell you, it was perfectly made. But for two days did the beautiful head open its mouth and drink the milk we gave it, and when it came to the throat, then did the ugly head hawk and spit it out. Not one drop got down to its poor stomach, and so it died.'" - BLGF


"Often I wonder whether I would be able to suffer for my principles if the need came, and it strikes me as a matter of the highest importance. That should not be so. I should ask myself with far greater urgency whether I have done everything possible to carry those principles into effect, and how I can attain power to make them absolutely victorious. But those questions I put only with my mind. They do not excite my guts, which wait anxiously while I ponder my gift for martyrdom."

Happy hump day!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


One more thing about the Christian/Atheist Turing Test I mentioned here-- y'all free to speculate as to which entry is mine, though please do so in comments here and not at Leah's blog, as she doesn't want "too much homogenization of beliefs". For what it's worth there was a significant period of my life when I was an atheist, and an agnostic, and back and forth between the two, and my answers were written based on how I remember thinking about things then, and actual conversations I've had with atheists.

All told, however, it was a very eye-opening experience. More once the experiment is done. Will be writing my sincere answers today-- that entry will be pretty easily identifiable, I imagine!

Remember, voting ends Sunday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Unequally Yoked's Turing Test

I'm one of the 15 participants in Leah's ideological Turing Test, in which each of us answers two sets of questions-- one as an atheist, and the other as a Christian. All of the answers are posted anonymously, and now you, dear readers, can vote for which entries you think were written by actual atheists. 

Vote here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


(Explanation here.)

So, my ten day beer fast now over (yes, I refrained from beer even on Independence Day, though I did have some whiskey), things I noticed:

1. I've lost weight
2. I've spent less money on alcohol
3. I've spent almost no time in bars
4. The few times I was in a bar, I ordered diet cola as a mixer, and it was less mortifying than I'd assumed it would be

These results have prompted me to continue my fast indefinitely. Why on earth did I ever develop a taste for the stuff in the first place? Heavens. This, my friends, is why I will never care to make myself enjoy wine, or expensive food; there's simply no sense in such things.

Now I'm faced with the challenge of picking my next trial, and I must say this will be more daunting than the first two. I love Google reader and beer dearly, but in fact my quality of life increased upon giving them up. What remains on my original list (make-up, non-liturgical music, swearing, all alcohol [haha, that's a joke!...], significantly cutting back on smoking) would all actually be rather difficult. Giving up jewelry for a bit, while a tragic pain, would be more on par with the two previous challenges. What do you lot think? Anything more creative I can tackle? Considering sleeping on my floor for ten days, but, in all seriousness, that would be a false ascesis; I can sleep anywhere with no discomfort when I choose to, and am not overfond of sleep to begin with. Giving up film and television strikes me as a potential option (by which I mean giving up Hulu and Youtube, as I don't own a television and Netflix doesn't work with my OS).

On a much more sincere and somber note, my grandmother greatly appreciates all those of you who've prayed for her have done. Thank you, truly.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A request

We all of us are terrible people, we all of us make trade offs, and we all of us ask for mercy in the end. My grandmother (above, in 1948, and her late husband, my grandfather, who died before I was born) has severe lung cancer. Please pray for her.

If you have any prayer recommendations, or suggestions as to how to help the bedridden, please pass them along. You can email me here. Thank you.