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Posts from — November 2015


Today is the First Sunday of Advent which means you should have made your Christmas Pudding so it would have time to age, and the Gävlebocken is standing tall in Castle Square.

November 29, 2015   4 Comments

Radical Pro-Life Terrorists

The assault on a Planned Parenthood facility

A gunman burst into a Planned Parenthood clinic and opened fire, launching several gunbattles and an hours-long standoff with police as patients and staff took cover under furniture and inside locked rooms.

By the time the shooter surrendered, three people were killed — including a police officer — and nine others were wounded, authorities said.

Colorado Springs police on Saturday identified the gunman as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, of North Carolina.

He drives over 1400 miles from western North Carolina to Colorado Springs to shoot up a Planned Parenthood clinic because he was lied to by a heavily edited video created by people who believe they have the right to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them. They look at the death of people who aren’t involved with their targets as ‘collateral damage’. For these people the ends justify the means, including arson, acid attacks, bombs, murder.

November 28, 2015   8 Comments


Evergreen Yes, it’s the time of year when the Sun dies and must be re-born through an elaborate ceremony that involves some form or type of sacrifice, such as finding gifts for people you can’t stand and smiling brightly as you receive yet another gift based on an urban legend that you actually like truly stomach-wrenching color combinations.

Of course there was a time when the Solstice sacrifices were more visceral and the evergreen was covered in things that pleased only ravens and such, but we have put all that behind us by opting for the possibility of electrocuting one another and causing chaos on the power grid.

What a brilliant idea: moving a large supply of pre-kindling soaked with highly flammable resins into your house, loading it down with petrochemical-based ornaments, lacing it with heat-producing electrical devices, and surrounding the base with cardboard boxes and tissue paper. You just can’t have a traditional celebration without a proto-bonfire in your living room.

I do think that followers of Mithras might want to curtail their typical birthday service in light of Mad-Cow Disease, but global warming will certainly make the services in the oak wood in traditional druidic robes more comfortable.

When you put up your stocking on the mantel and put out the turnips for Gouger, Rooter, Tusker, and Snouter as well as the pork pie and sherry for the Hogfather, you can rest assured the Sun will come up, because it just slipped around back to return the lager it rented.

Enjoy! You have nothing to fear, except that sniveling little creep with the camera/phone at the office party or the eggnog that was put out rather early causing you to suspect that the bits on top aren’t nutmeg. [The pictures probably won’t appear on the ‘Net and the brandy will surely take care of the salmonella.]

A Calendar of Coming Events

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November 27, 2015   Comments Off on Happy NODWISH™

Friday Not Cat Blogging

The local cats are apparently still sleeping off yesterday’s turkey and today’s left overs, so I’ll just plug in Cats in the media.

Belgians tweet cat pictures during #BrusselsLockdown. The police asked people to refrain from providing information on social media as to where they were operating, and people decided to fill in with cat pictures.

In a strange citrus fruit commercial, you have a boy using a large orange tabby guided by a laser pointer to threaten his father about eating the last orange.

The Sun tabloid ran a misleading story about Muslims supporting radicals. People responded by tweeting their on version of “1 in 5 Muslims” headlines (the cats are at the end of the article).

In Australia a red-bellied black snake (poisonous) bit a woman, and the snake was then bitten and killed by the woman’s cat. If you avoid the heads, venomous snakes taste just like turkey. (They have pictures of the woman and the snake, but no picture of the cat.)

November 27, 2015   2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving

TurkeyIf your celebration involved the death of a turkey, thank you.

Apparently today is officially Charcoal Grey Thursday or stores have adopted the Jewish practice of changing days at sunset rather than midnight.

I will leave it to y’all to find the WKRP Thanksgiving episode, which I understand the President referenced in the ritual pardoning of the ‘Presidential turkey’.

November 26, 2015   10 Comments

More On The Shootdown

The Turks say they attempted to contact the aircraft and warned it about violating Turkish airspace. The Russians say they didn’t hear any warnings.

They are both probably telling the truth. The US has confirmed that Turkey broadcast the warnings. The US heard it, because US aircraft monitor the international ‘guard channels’on which such warnings are issued. Russian aircraft don’t monitor those frequencies, and couldn’t hear the warnings.

The Turks claim that the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace. They were using ground-based radar to track aircraft and are very aware of their border with Syria.

The Russians don’t have a sterling track record when it comes to knowing where they are.

November 25, 2015   Comments Off on More On The Shootdown

They Know Better

The ABC version has maps: Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft. After warnings two Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 for a claimed violation of Turkish airspace. While the crew of the Su-24 ejected, they were killed by local forces on the ground in Syria.

First you should know that Syria shot down a Turkish aircraft for a claimed violation of Syrian airspace year or so ago, and Turkey altered its rules of engagement to deal harshly with aircraft entering Turkish airspace from Syria.

Second you should know that Turkey and Russia have been on less than friendly terms since the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in the middle of the 15th century. The most recent examples are the Crimean War and World War I.

The Soviets established a pattern of violating other peoples’ airspace while shooting down anyone who wanders into their claimed airspace. The Russians have continued that practice. Having chosen to support the Assad government, Russian personnel are considered enemies by all of the various opposition groups.

I will not go for a cheap laugh about Turkey and Thanksgiving, I’ll leave that for Steve Bates.

Update: The media is now reporting that the Russian pilot was killed, but the navigator/weapons officer was rescued.

November 24, 2015   7 Comments

The Only Thing Worth Your Time

This was on the CBC, a rant on curling by Stephen Colbert.

Curling is a winter sport that almost no one in the US plays, and it was imported from Scotland. Mr Cobert covers the basics in his wonderful way.

November 23, 2015   Comments Off on The Only Thing Worth Your Time

Eleven Years

I have been writing this ‘on-line opinion magazine’ for a day more than 11 years. Yesterday was my blogiversary, but I was involved with ‘real life’ and couldn’t post.

Things haven’t changed much during that time. For example, we are still dealing with blow-back from Ronnie Raygun’s funding of ‘freedom fighters’ in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation and the Shrubbery’s invasion of Iraq.

Rather than admitting they were wrong, the media are still ignoring and/or attacking the people who told them this would happen, and giving airtime to the people who screwed up.

I don’t see any reason to believe that things will change in the near term.

November 22, 2015   12 Comments


It was afternoon and I was on my way to a chemistry class. I had stopped for a drink of water when the news came over the speakers in the classrooms.

For those who weren’t alive at the time: remember what you felt on September 11, 2001 for a taste of November 22, 1963. It was a massive change for the worldview of my generation and it marked the beginning of a period of disruption and decline in the civility of American society. Arthur had died and Camelot fell.

At his inauguration John Kennedy made the point: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The colors of my world will never be as bright as they were on November 21, 1963.

November 22, 2015   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Drying Out

Cat Blogging

I’m not moving!

[Editor: The Great Pumpkin is resting on the on the highest, driest spot he could find after the thunderstorm on Wednesday.]

Friday Ark

Bonus Cat News: From the CBC = Cucumbers terrorize cats, and Hasbro is selling robot cats.

November 20, 2015   2 Comments


I have had it with US politicians and talking heads creating recruitment ads for ISIS by verbally attacking Muslims as terrorists.

Pandering to xenophobics: “The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that tightens restrictions on the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, amid security concerns.”

In his latest advocacy for the unconstitutional: ‘Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he would be open to having a “Muslim database” in the US in the wake of the Paris attacks.’

I must have missed all of the restrictions placed on Scottish Christians following the Oklahoma City bombing. It’s stranger still that Cuban refugees aren’t subjected to extensive screening following the Mariel Boastlift after it was the discovered that many of the Cuban refugees had been criminals put on the boats by the Cuban government.

Just a little extra reading for all of the so-called Christians:

Deuteronomy 10:19 – Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9 – Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Ephesians 2:19 – Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Colossians 3:11 – Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.

If the government of France still accepts Syrian refugees, and it does, US politicians are really beginning to look like wimps, not ‘world leaders’.

November 19, 2015   8 Comments

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

After a Belgian official made the statement that the terrorists who attacked Paris were communicating with Sony Playstations, every media outlet reported it and Sony started issuing statements about its willingness to cooperate with officials in the investigations of PS4 users.

Cue Emily Litella. The official had apparently seen the evidence inventory of another raid, not any of the raids associated with the terrorist attack on Paris.

All of the claims about how ISIS communicates are flat out guesses, not based on actual intel. If they are using ‘Net communications, which isn’t certain, there are any number of free, open source applications that can be used, and that would be more difficult to intercept and decrypt than any of the popular programs. I’m not claiming that the less popular programs are better than the big name programs, only that fewer people are attempting to break them, so there are fewer tools available for the effort.

The intel/security people are using the Paris incident to lobby for larger budgets and more power.

November 17, 2015   10 Comments

Quick Hits

OK, what programming genius thought it would be a good idea to feature the Donner Party on Thanksgiving weekend? I wonder who got cast as ‘the turkey’?

Has anyone informed the governors of states who say they won’t accept Syrian refugees, that they don’t have the power to accept or reject refugees. Making silly statements like this should have stopped when they made it high school, assuming they actually did make it to high school.

Steve Bates noted that Donald Trump thinks that the government can shut down mosques if it wants to. Maybe people should be required to pass the standard citizenship test on the Constitution before running for Federal office … oh, I’m sorry, that would be just as unconstitutional as closing houses of worship.

November 16, 2015   34 Comments