November 2007 - Posts
I watched the Republican CNN/Youtube and it was your typical ruse -- a ruse on the part of CNN, that is. There was a gay general in the audience that asked a question. But, as it turns out, he is on a steering committee for the Clinton campaign. And then there were two questioners who are declared Obama and Edwards voters.
But, for me, watching televised debates is like watching a train wreck. I wanted to turn away because it was so ugly, but I couldn't. One thing was obvious, though. Except for Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul, most questions went unanswered. And that is unsettling. Debate questions are like softball pitches -- soft and over the middle. All the candidates have to do is step up to the podium and knock the ball out of the park. Alas, no one did. So I will.
Here are the
31 34 questions, and my responses:
1. GOP debate song. The guy had something bad to say about everyone except Fred Thompson. Hmm.
2. Will you make America a 'sanctuary city' country? The Statue of Liberty stands with a lifted lamp in the New York Harbor with the inscription, "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." The Statue of Liberty stands at the gateway to America, Ellis Island. And to many in this country, the historic Ellis Island stands as a symbol of refuge from tyranny and persecution around the globe. But it also stands as a symbol of controlled immigration. America should continue to stand as a refuge, but only through controlled legal immigration.
3. Will you pledge to veto amnesty for illegal immigrants? Yes. Next question.
4. With immigration reform failing, will I have a job? Terrible question. You won't lose your job to an unskilled Mexican, but the Chinese and Asian threat is real. So, your question should have been, will America's public schools imploding, will my children be knowledgeable to compete in the world market?
5. Lower college tuition rates -- military families or illegals? Are you serious that you want the federal government to dictate tuition rates in Texas? Do you want me to chew your food, too?
6. Do you believe in a conspiracy to make a new union? This question was for Ron Paul. Notice how many of the kook questions he gets as the night wears on. We can all agree that Paul is a isolationist nutjob.
7. What measures will you take to tackle the national debt? Your really aren't concerned about the debt. Seriously. You aren't. To cut the debt, we'd have to cut entitlements. And, if I ran on cutting entitlements, very few of you would vote for me. See? You really aren't that concerned about it.
8. What are the top three federal programs you would cut? ::Sigh:: I hate to admit it, but I'll go with Ron Paul's answer: The Department of Education, the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security.
9. Do you support a 'Fair Tax'? I support no taxes. But since that isn't an option, I've always like what I've seen in Neil Boortz's plan. There has to be something better than penalizing the high achievers in this country.
10. Will you pledge never to raise taxes? Yes. With the three departments that I mentioned early gone and the cut to entitlements, I pledge to reduce taxes. But you want the departments and the entitlements, so you'll vote for Guiliani or Clinton and it'll be status quo.
11. Will you eliminate farm subsidies? On corn for ethanol? You betcha. The price of milk is outrageous and it's all the government's fault.
12. How will you keep lead-laced toys out of my home? Buy products made in the USA. Problem fixed. Oh, and if you meant toys for your dog or cat, get a life!
13. What is your opinion on gun control? Like my drill sergeant said, breathe, relax, aim, squeeze. Fire center-mass and continue firing until the target drops.
14. Do you believe in a required written exam for gun ownership? What kind of questions would you recommend? Seriously? Stupid question. Next.
15. How many guns do you own? Do you want to know how many the government knows about?
16. What will you do to reduce crime in the inner cities? I will rename every Martin Luther King, Jr. boulevards in the country. I will rename them "Gay Street", then the population density will decrease in those parts of the city and crime goes down.
17. If abortion is illegal, what should the punishment be? Good question from the John Edwards' supporter. Umm, let's see. If abortion was illegal, punishment would be somewhere between voluntary manslaughter and Old Sparky [link].
18. Would you sign a federal abortion ban? Yep.
19. On the death penalty, what would Jesus do? Well, it depends on which Jesus you're talking about. Are you talking about Jesus, the son of God, the Creator of the Universe who we read about in the Bible? Are you talking about the namby-pamby Jesus of liberal Christianity? If you're asking about the second Jesus, then you're talking about a fictional character and could've asked what Voltron thinks about the death penalty. But if you're talking about the real, historical Jesus, then he is for it. Read your Old Testament. There's also a handful in the New Testament, too. Check out Ananias and Saphira.
20. Do you believe every word of The Holy Bible? That was a poorly asked question. Really it was. I mean, how do you believe a word? Do you see me saying, well I wish the writer to the Hebrews would have left out the word "the". I don't quite believe that word. The question should have been something like this: Do I believe that the Bible is God's inspired and infallible word? Yes. Do I believe that I can use the Bible to live a holy, upright and righteous life, shaping daily decisions? Yes.
21. How would you repair the image of America? I think a tummy tuck, some Botox injections and a fanny lift would be all that we need. Sit down with your stupid question. Image. Pffft.
22. Is waterboarding torture? I guess it depends on perspective, huh? Let's say that some terrorist was going to fly a plane into the building where you work. Would you care about the slimy, sweaty terrorist if the plan was averted because the information was gleaned during a waterboarding session? Probably not. Or would you prefer the plane to be flown into the building just to ease your sensibilities?
23. Will you make a permanent commitment to the people of Iraq? A permanent commitment to continue to kill insurgents and terrorists? You betcha!
24. Is your campaign exploiting 9/11? A question for Guiliani. While you're at it, ask him about his mistress and his misuse of state fundings, too.
25. Should Vice-President *** Cheney have so much power? *** Cheney should be president, dadgum it. That little, one-initial pipsqueak from Texas should step aside. Cheney loves to kill terrorists only second to Fred Thompson.
26. A gay Brigadier General asks a question? I love "The Pirates of Penzance". "I am the very model of a modern major general..."
27. Do you accept the support of log cabin republicans? They're gay, you know. Not that there's anything wrong with that... [link]
28. Repay the $2 trillion borrowed from Social Security? No. Quit aborting little tax payers and Social Security will be swimming in funds.
29. What is your vision for human space exploration? It's somewhere between "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Pigs in Space".
30. Why don't many African Americans vote republican? Because many of them can't afford DirecTV or the expanded cable package. Therefore, they only see the Big Three news broadcasts or CNN on basic cable. Remember, FoxNews costs a bit more.
31. What does the "stars and bars" flag represent? Just two good ol' boys, never meanin' no harm. Beat all you've ever saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born...
32. How can we repair the infrastructure of America? We'll take volunteers from the community. Can we count you in?
33. Mr. Paul, are you going to run as an independent? He's running independent now -- he's certainly in an alternate universe. Can someone please ask him about the brothel that is supporting him? Please.
34. Yankees vs. Red Sox? What a wonderful way to wrap up this three-ring circus that CNN calls a debate. Someone should put more fluoride in your water.
Are the people voting for Ron Paul the same people that voted for Ross Perot? Now, be honest.
Saturday morning at 10 o'clock Eastern rain or shine, the guys, BJ and I will take the field for this year's first official flag football men's tournament. There'll be no sissies there. There'll be no kids on the field -- just manly, hairy warriors.
And this will be the downfall of the opposing team: TRIPS LEFT Y-ZOOM 219 H-SWING. And woe to those that think they can overcome the safety blitz!
Myopic - [mahy-op-ik, oh-pik]
- Ophthalmology. pertaining to or having myopia; nearsighted.
- unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.
- lacking tolerance or understanding; narrow-minded.
(Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2006)
Boy, do I love libraries. And this one was a treat to run across. Located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, sits the Folger Shakespeare Library. This research center and library houses the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials. It also home to other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts and art pieces.
Opened in 1932 as a gift from Henry Clay Folger and his wife, the library's architecture has earned it a place in the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, the Old Reading Room replicates an Elizabethan great hall. And on the east end of the building is an intimate theater, designed in the spirit of an Elizabethan Innyard Theatre.
Update: Apparently, I've lost my touch. As ":o)}" pointed out, I did not include a link. Try this one: [link]. You can click on the links-o-rama on the left side until you're content.
It is a rainy day in Knoxville. It is four and a half hours before the gladiators take the rain-soaked field -- BJ will be there, too. After the dust, or should I say mud, settles the victors will stand proud. BJ and his team will slump in defeat, wondering why the naked bootleg didn't work for the umpteenth time. Oh, the sweet smell of victory. It's in the air. Can you smell it?
Honestly, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. May words of praise and thanksgiving for the Lord's blessings and mercy be on your lips all day long.
At the Mother and Father Napalm's house will be about 30 or 40 people. We expect family, friends and acquaintances to begin arriving in about two hours. And as always, we will be ambassadors. Two or three Chinese students -- one is my Chinese sister who is in school in California -- will be there, as well as a Burundian refugee family who is learning English through an aunt. Please pray that we will effectively share Christ.
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV)
Have a great one!
Reform -- In the Hebrew, יסר. Transliterally, yacar. Pronouced, yaw-sar'. Many times it is translated into English as chasten, discipline, instruct, or admonish. It is used extensively in the Old Testament. See good examples in Jeremiah 6:8, 10:24 and 30:11. In Greek, the word translated as "reform" is pronounced a-nah-neh-aw-oh. In Ephesians 4:23, it means to renew (in the mind).
Transform -- I couldn't find "transform" in the Hebrew Old Testament. In New Testament Greek, however, the word we translate as "transform" is pronounced meh-tah-mor-fah-oh. Literally or figuratively, it is "metamorphose". The Greek word is used multiple times in the New Testament and means to change into another form, to change into a wholly different form or appearance, transfigured.
I would spoon-feed more, but take time and research.
It is my belief that my some of my readers believe that to transform America into a godly nation, we need to do this and don't do that. We need to elect the right leadership and America will be transformed. If that's the case, many of you are misinformed. Man does not transform man. The Law does not transform man. Christ transforms people. And when Christ transforms people, social structures are reformed, morality and ethics are transformed. If the Law could transform lives, then Christ's death on the cross is meaningless.
Like I said yesterday, I was excited to find this word. I don't love it necessarily because of the definition, but because of the story behind it. First of all, "nauscopy" is defined in Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary as such: "n. -- the alleged ability to spot land or ships at sea from far away." Now, the history.
Bottineau's private life was as mysterious as his talent. We do not even know his first name, but he was born somewhere in France around 1740. [Joe's note: Etienne Bottineau was born in Champtoceaux in 1739.] In 1762, after signing on as a sailor "in an inferior situation" in the French navy, it occurred to him that "a vessel approaching land must produce a certain effect on the atmosphere, and cause the approach to be discovered by a practiced eye even before the vessel itself was visible."
In 1764 his job took him to the Ile de France (now Mauritius), and he found himself with considerable free time to investigate his theory more thoroughly. The conditions on the island were ideal for his purpose. Due to a clear sky, a pure atmosphere, and fewer passing vessels than along the coast of France, there was less chance of error. After six months of intensive experimentation, he found the secret of seeing beyond the horizon and called his science nauscopy.
At first Bottineau used his newly developed skill to acquire considerable sums of money by betting the other crew members that he could predict the arrival of one or more vessels and also name the day those vessels would appear. He refined his talent to such a degree that he could accurately "see" a ship three sailing days away beyond the horizon. Because of his uncanny success, he soon had trouble finding someone who would gamble with him, but he did gain a considerable reputation for having astounding vision.
He made no secret of how he discovered ships when they were still below the horizon. He could "see" the effect their movement had on the atmosphere. He reasoned quite logically that all movement by an object must disturb the air and leave telltale fingerprints in the sky. What he had done was learn how to detect and interpret them with the naked eye. Unfortunately, he did not teach his technique to others.
Between 1778 and 1782, Bottineau correctly forecast the arrival of 575 ships to the island; some of them he predicted as much as four days before they actually were sighted. Occasionally, it was thought that he had lost his skill when ships he said would be arriving failed to turn up. Invariably, it was found that at the last moment the ships had changed course and gone to another port.
On May 15, 1782, the minister of marine instructed the governor of the Ile de France to record Bottineau's predictions of ship arrivals in a register. For two years Bottineau successfully sighted ships two or three days before they arrived in port, and all this was recorded. At the end of the experiment, he was offered a lump sum of 10,000 livres and a pension of 1,200 livres a year for life in exchange for his secret. He rejected the offer.
The full military application of his mysterious talent was first recognized when he informed the governor of the approach of 11 foreign vessels. In the uneasy political climate of the day, the governor dispatched a warship as a lookout, but after it left, Bottineau observed that the atmosphere had changed; it was therefore obvious that the foreign fleet had set course for another destination. On its return, the French warship confirmed Bottineau's theory.
Bottineau was convinced that he had discovered a real science that would do "honor to the 18th century." He said that although he had discovered a science known to no one else, it was not difficult to learn, and it would not take him very long to teach aspiring nauscopists the techniques of his art. As a loyal patriot, he decided to return to France with his discovery. When he announced his intention, the entire island applauded his decision, and he was given several highly enthusiastic references by respected islanders. The governor's letter said, "However incredible this discovery may appear... we cannot treat him as an impostor, or as a visionary. We have had ocular demonstrations for so many years (15) and in no instance has any vessel reached the island, the approach of which he has not predicted...."
During his voyage back to France, Bottineau became the captain's most reliable lookout; he correctly announced the approach of 27 vessels. The sea journey also proved to him that his theories worked equally well from sea to land, and on several occasions he informed the captain that the ship was either too close to or too far from the coast.
On June 13, 1784, Bottineau landed in France and went straight to Paris to request an audience with the minister of marine. But like most men ahead of their times, he was met with crushing civil-service indifference. After weeks of pressing for a hearing, the only acknowledgment that he received was a curt letter from the minister of marine saying his offer had been taken under consideration. When, finally, his offer to share his discovery did receive a brief review, the Abbe Fontenay, editor of the Mercure de France--without even looking at the countless testimonials Bottineau presented--ridiculed nauscopy, saying that Bottineau's vessels were not "ships at sea but castles in the air."
Bottineau had long been ignored, then finally rejected. Now he disappeared from sight, and just before the French Revolution, in June, 1789, The Scots Magazine wrote that "A Monsieur Bottineau, the inventor of a method by which the approach of ships at sea may be discovered... died lately in great misery at Pondicherry." However, revolutionary leader Jean Paul Marat considered Bottineau's death sufficiently interesting to mention it briefly in a letter to a friend.
Postscript. On Mauritius, as late as 1818, there lived an old man who claimed he had learned the art of nauscopy from Bottineau. This disciple continued to impress British seamen with his unvarying success at predicting the arrival of ships. Another report, in 1935, claimed that a man named Peter Green, of the island of Tristan da Cunha, had also developed Bottineau's mysterious talent. (David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, The People's Alamanc, Doubleday, 1975)
For more reading, check out this website translated by Google: [link].
I have been remiss in my duties. The word of the day a few days ago was "deosculate". From Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary: "Deosculate, v.t., to kiss affectionately." I guess we won't see that word in a Hallmark card, huh? What's interesting, though, is that the definitions many of you submitted had to do with the mouth (e.g. drooling, babbling, sucking with the lips, et al). So, except for the non-mouth-related definitions, virtual pistol winks coming your way!
Oh, boy, do I have a good one for you today. Today's word is "nauscopy". The Patrick O'Brian, C. S. Forester and, possibly, G. A. Henty fans should be all over this one.
Self-proclaimed geniuses crack me up. Where else except under the heading of brilliance can you make up the most far-fetched imaginations and have people fall at your feet and worship your unnaturally large brain? I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Check this out from "Quirks and Quarks" on CBC Radio in Canada [link]:
The Big Bang theory of the origin of our universe is widely accepted by the physics community. The idea that our universe started out as some infinitesimally small point, which expanded out to what we see today, makes a lot of sense. Except for one small thing. That initial point, called a singularity by physicists, is a physical impossibility. According to the models we have today, the temperature of the universe at that first moment would have had to be infinite, which mathematically makes no sense. Also, the singularity doesn't do a good job of explaining where all the matter and energy we see today in the universe came from. So, physicists are increasingly starting to look at other branches of physics to see what they can do to replace the singularity with a more reasonable proposition, one which can actually be explained by existing science.
So, where are they looking? Well, I'll save you the trouble of having to read the article at the referenced website. They are looking at three "theories" (The word is in quotation marks because science of late is disingenuous when using the term):
String gas cosmology - Miniscule, sub-atomic, undetectable strings grew into what we see today.
"Our universe has been around forever, trapped in a multi-dimensional structure called a brane. This brane occasionally bumps into another brane, and when that happens, there's a giant explosion of energy and matter inside the brane itself. This causes the brane to expand, which, from inside, looks just like the Big Bang."
This universe is an offspring of another older universe. "Tiny quantum fluctuations in space-time of old universes cause the spontaneous beginning of rapid expansion, called inflation, and the birth of a new entire cosmos."
And while we're ejoying this laugh at others' expense, you might be interested to know that your local PBS station will air an episode of Nova tomorrow night at 8 PM Eastern entitled "Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial". While it may not be as funny as a rerun of "Hee-Haw," there is sure to be some head scratching and knee-slapping hilarity.
Ah, smart people, how do I love thee.
Yesterday's word was "fenks". From Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary: "Fenks, n. pl. -- leftover whale blubber used as manure." That's obscure, huh?
So, check yesterday's comments and you'll see that no one gets a virtual pistol wink. Too tough? Maybe. Although, you do find out quickly who the cheaters are -- *cough*Fluffy Cow*cough*.
Today's word is a bit more pleasant: Deosculate.
Update: Star Dust's mom gets major props for her definition of yesterday's word. Man, she would be tough at a game of Balderdash. I was sold.
Many years ago I was introduced to an incredible dictionary. In Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words [link], you will find over 6,000 words, the likes of which should definitely be in today's street talk. Ah, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were sitting in the living room discussing the implications of "turducken" -- the stuffing of one bird inside another inside another (e.g., a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey).
I digress. So you want a word of the day, huh? I'll share a word from Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary and the first to know -- or guess -- the definition gets a virtual pistol wink. I'll post the winner's name and correct definition the following day. Although, I suspect it'll just end up being an online game of Balderdash. Alas, let the game begin!
Today's word: Fenks.
Unless it is from a very, very respectable and righteous source, the next person to say to me, Let me tell you what is wrong with the church today, loses all ear time. I don't want to hear it. Got it? Good.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Reformation Day celebration. The protest or treating went well. The only anxious moment was when one of the Catholics beheaded a fellow "monk". But, afterwards, we divided his spoils and had a rather jolly time eating his circus peanuts.
Today, we will commemorate our outing with a healthy diet of worms.
Next year will be a blast. We'll all dress as Calvin, have a ceremonial burning of the witches and then we'll be off to protest or treat at the homes of well-to-do doctors. No one ever suspects the Spanish Inquisition!