A little girl explains why her mother is the best of mothers.

Via my father, for reasons best known to him.

ST II-II Q 158 S.C., CO.

Phil at Brandywine Books links to a piece on the decline of religious liberty, which warns Christians to ponder the beam in their eye.
I suspect that within my lifetime American Christians, at least those who hold traditional theological and more views, will be faced with a number of situations in which they will have to choose between compromising their consciences and civil disobedience. In such a situation there are multiple temptations. The most obvious is to silence the voice of conscience in order to get along. But there are also the temptations of responding in anger, in resentment, in bitterness, in vengeance. It might be a good exercise in self-examination for each of us to figure out which temptation is most likely for us.
I think the temptation for me is to anger. But I consult the wise, and find that anger is not always a sin.
On the contrary, Chrysostom [Hom. xi in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says: "He that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked." Therefore to be angry is not always an evil....

[E]vil may be found in anger, when, to wit, one is angry, more or less than right reason demands. But if one is angry in accordance with right reason, one's anger is deserving of praise.

Hobbit doors

"Never make anything simple and efficient if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful."

One man

Hal Douglas, who narrated a big chunk of all the movie trailers you've ever watched, died recently at the age of 89.  Here he is in a trailer for a Jerry Seinfeld movie, playing a guy who narrates movie trailers.  I understand the movie didn't do that well, but the trailer has been watched on YouTube over 700,000 times.

Monopoly German-style

As it would be played by Freud, Marx, Carnap, and Nietszche.

Win with Obamacare

The New Republic has the real scoop on the effect of Obamacare on the Democrats' recent loss of a special election in Florida.   It was not, as the conventional wisdom suggests, a question of popular revulsion against Obamacare taking down a well-known and well-funded Democrat.  The real problem is that Chief Justice Roberts struck a more deadly blow than we knew when he prevented the feds from bullying the states into taking on an expensive expansion of Medicaid.  Many voters below 138% of the poverty line now find themselves ineligible both for Medicaid and for subsidized Obamacare exchange policies, which is--you guessed it--the Republicans' fault.  So all Democrats have to do is explain this, and reap a zillion grateful votes in November.

You may not have noticed that the President waffled on another promise this week (who can keep track?), concerning your ability to keep your doctor. What he meant to say, and what we were too dumb to understand, is that you would have to give up your doctor in order to save money on your new, much higher premiums.


Friday Night AMV

Her Kung-fu is pretty good.

Interestingly, this is a US written and produced show for Nickelodeon.

What you sound like to foreigners

This woman is a good mimic.  You have to wait through her impressions of several languages before she gets to UK English and then to American English, but they're both convincing despite being gibberish.

It Is Very Important To Let Yourself Love Only Women Of Character

For example, the kind of stand-up girls who will confess to dad that you were invited into their bedroom at 2:20 AM.

Nonsense, Its Arcane and Irrelevant

I suppose I ought to be surprised to find myself in agreement with NPR, but I suppose it can happen now and again.
Philosophical progress is invisible because it is incorporated into our points of view. What was tortuously secured by complex argument becomes widely shared by intuition, so obvious that we forget its provenance. We don't see it, because we see with it.
Unfortunately, that also goes for philosophical error.

A Psychologist Diagnoses Humanity

Inventing a new and universal mental disorder -- 'juvenioa' -- out of whole cloth, psychologist Chris Ferguson writes:
Every generation believes that the generation before was too rigid and conservative—and the generation after too wild and out-of-control.
Speaking as a member of the generation after the Baby Boom, let me assure you that this generalization does not hold true. Any criticisms I would field toward nearby generations are, if anything, wholly reversed -- except that the 'rigidity' exhibited by the Millenials tends to be left-leaning rather than 'conservative.'

Insofar as it is useful to criticize a 'generation,' that is. There were, and are, lots of good folks in both.

The blueberry in the tomato soup

It's too bad Rick Perry crashed and burned in the last presidential election cycle, because he's a solid guy.  I enjoyed his interview with Jimmy Kimmel at Austin's SXSW festival, where he shrugged off boos from the crowd by observing that Austin was "the blueberry in the tomato soup" of Texas.  Kimmel asked him about reports that he'd shot a coyote while jogging.  "You carry a gun while you're jogging?" he asked, amazed.  "I carry a gun to interviews," Perry replied.

It's probably hard to imagine, if you don't live in one of Texas's larger cities, how utterly the polite classes here loathe the Governor.  "Governor Good-Hair," they usually call him, appalled by the bad name he gives to the state.  He does have pretty good hair.


I'm getting ready for a 5-day, 50 mile hike on the AT early next month. One of the irritating things about the AT authorities is that they do not permit open fires anywhere on the trail. As a result, you have to either haul a stove (or some alternative heat source), or do without.

This time I'm thinking of doing without, but I need to figure out good meals with plenty of calories, protein, and carbs, but which never need to be heated. Obviously sealed, hard-cured sausages and nuts are good protein sources. I could take pre-baked cakes of various kinds (perhaps aiming for something like lembas), as long as they were baked hard enough that they won't go bad over a few days. Dried fruits, maybe.

Actually, on reflection, maybe I should just go back through the Hobbit and Fellowship of the Rings to see what they are given at their various waystations. Tolkien seems to have known a lot about trekking.

Do any of you have suggestions?

Please Stop Helping

Over at Cass', I've been arguing that conservatives should pay more attention to the difficulties of the working man. By the same token, it would be really helpful if the Obama administration would pay much less.
On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as “executive or professional” employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.
So the geniuses who came up with Obamacare -- to force evil corporations to provide their workers with health insurance -- ended up creating the following effects:

1) Part time workers, who used to carry fewer than 40 hours a week, now carry fewer than 29 hours a week to stay under the mandates.

2) Full time jobs largely ceased being created, because they come with the mandate.

3) Part time jobs were increasingly likely to be classified as 'temporary' or 'seasonal,' which means they can be paid less than minimum wage.

4) Businesses close to the mandatory lines either shrank to get under the line, or stopped expanding to avoid getting over it.

5) Regulatory uncertainty prevented job creation and new business formation.

Now you're going to 'force evil corporations to pay overtime.' What that means is:

A) Reduced hours, and,

B) Pay cuts.

Stop it. I agree that we should be giving more attention to the misery afflicting the lower-middle and working classes in America, because this recession has been brutal on them. The Right needs to develop its own discussion about how to address those problems, though, because the Left's solutions invariably make things worse.

Attention Womyn!

A buried bomb lies within this enjoyable little piece about linguistic drift:
Borrowing from other languages can give rise to an entirely understandable and utterly charming kind of mistake. With little or no knowledge of the foreign tongue, we go for an approximation that makes some kind of sense in terms of both sound and meaning. This is folk etymology. Examples include crayfish, from the French écrevisse (not a fish but a kind of lobster); sparrow grass as a variant for asparagus in some English dialects; muskrat (conveniently musky, and a rodent, but named because of the Algonquin word muscascus meaning red); and female, which isn't a derivative of male at all, but comes from old French femelle meaning woman.
"Woman" has an interesting etymology too, in terms of drifts of the type the article is talking about. The use of '-man' is a drift of that sort, with the original word having a non-masculine form of 'human being,' "quean." (A related word: "English is one of the few Indo-European languages to have a word for "queen" that is not a feminine derivative of a word for 'king.'")

Not that it matters, of course, because the folk etymology is true in the minds of the folk. Still, it's interesting given how many times I've heard the charge brought up over the years.

Visual feasts

I started clicking links at the joke site Grim linked to.

Maybe They're Both Wrong

I have some sympathy for the judge in the BG Sinclair case. On the one hand, the general is clearly in the wrong to some degree, and has already plead guilty to some charges that would have resulted in serious punishment for an enlisted man or NCO. On the other hand, the command influence problem seems to be real -- real enough that the judge has dismissed the jury over it, and has to reconsider how to proceed.

The judge has decided not to dismiss the charges entirely, though that option existed.

More Jokes

Since you all enjoyed the last set, here's a similar set of jokes. There's a small amount of overlap, but mostly they are different.

Field Hospital

We're going somewhere interesting with this, I guess. But this is exactly right.
Pope Francis told an interviewer last year that the church should be a, “field hospital after battle.” He added, “The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity.”

Foreign Policy

Regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for example, there is little difference among most Republicans on what to do. All of us believe we should stand up to Putin's aggression. Virtually no one believes we should intervene militarily. So we are then faced with a finite menu of diplomatic measures to isolate Russia, on most of which we all agree, such as sanctions and increased economic pressure.

Yet, some politicians have used this time to beat their chest. What we don't need right now is politicians who have never seen war talking tough for the sake of their political careers.

America deserves better than that. So do our soldiers.
What our soldiers deserve is victory. It doesn't make sense to deploy them where they cannot win. Nor where we will not let them.

For T99

But here’s the most important thing she told me: Despite the fact that the middle-school principal herself told me I had a legal right to opt out (and none of the players in this morality play ever told us otherwise, whether explicitly or implicitly), that’s not actually true. In Colorado, kids are required by law to test. The “refuse testing” option on the enrollment forms? It’s “being phased out” because it’s “confusing.” If kids don’t show up for school on testing days? Zurkowski told me that some districts have sent truant officers to their homes.
The author is a law professor. I'm surprised by how many people go into the law with a hatred for institutional discipline. Maybe it's the same reason that the most messed up people on earth are the ones who choose to pursue psychology?

An Author Writes to Vladimir Putin

The author is a fan. Huge fan.

Follow-up Advice

Back in January I asked for some advice on all kinds of stuff -- camping, horsemanship, hunting, martial arts, etc. And I got some really good feedback from the Hall. This is a follow-up post with some results & more requests for advice.

I ended up buying a surplus 'Military Sleep System' and am looking forward to trying it out on a trip in a couple of weeks.

I asked for suggestions on boots for hiking & hunting. Some of my reading since then suggests that, especially when you're packing light, running or trail-running shoes are a good choice. I also remember Grim talking about his sister, I believe, running barefoot. I'm looking at hiking in low hills carrying less than 30 lbs, only in decent weather -- no extreme cold or heat, no snow hiking, no real mountains, no monsoon trekking. Anyone have experience with or thoughts on this?

Along with that, I've been reading about feet a lot lately, and am thinking about getting some Vibram FiveFingers. Any thoughts on the whole FiveFingers / barefoot running movement? Would any of you hike in these things? UPDATE: These boots also look interesting.

Once I get out and start using gear, I'll post reports and pics.

Thanks in advance!

A Little Sunday Morning Celtic Punk

Flatfoot 56 is a Celtic punk band out of Chicago. They also happen to be openly Christian. Here's one even those who don't like any kind of punk might like.