March 26, 2006

Sunday Photos: Baby Zoe

These are pictures of my Zoë, now 14, at 8 months and about a year.
As you can see, she wasn't tall, but was quite charming. I love babies, and wish I had half a dozen or some such third-world number. In Brazil they say, "A man from Minas Gerais with less then 10 children is a bachelor."

At 9 months we took her to see the 4th of July fireworks. She noticed the moon, and said her first word. Kept repeating it with great excitement, the whole way home, "Moon! Moon! Moon!"

At just about the age in the second picture, she took off walking from that very coffee table. A very methodical, very determined child. She had been standing with support from early infancy, constantly pushing up. Later, she was equally determined to learn to tie her shoes. Worked on it for two days almost without stopping. By Saturday morning, when we were in a furniture store, she tied and untied her shoes about 20 times. That afternoon she annnounced she wanted to learn to read, which she did. She hasn't stopped since.

March 25, 2006

Steyn on Point

Mark Steyn, as ever, not PC, but on point, with respect to Abdur Rahman, who faces execution in Afghanistan for the crime of converting to Christianity:
I can understand why the president and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would rather deal with this through back channels, private assurances from their Afghan counterparts, etc. But the public rhetoric is critical, too. At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies. Abdul Rahman embodies the question at the heart of this struggle: If Islam is a religion one can only convert to, not from, then in the long run it is a threat to every free person on the planet.

What can we do? Should governments with troops in Afghanistan pass joint emergency legislation conferring their citizenship on this poor man and declaring him, as much as Karzai, under their protection?

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" - the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
Ah yes, public rhetoric. Taking a stand. What a concept!

Gerard Takes on Ginsberg

I SAW the second-best minds of my not-so-Great Generation destroyed by Bush Derangement Syndrome, pasty, paunchy, tenured, unelectable, and not looking too sharp naked,

bullshitting themselves through the African-American streets at cocktail hour looking for a Prozac refill,

aging hair-plugged hipsters burning for their ancient political connection to the White House through the machinations of moonbats,

who warred on poverty and Halliburton's Wal-Mart and bulbous-eyed and still high from some bad acid in 1968 set up no-smoking zones on tobacco farms in the unnatural darkness of Darwinistic delusions floating a few more half-baked secular notions like "Let's all worship zero!",

* * * *

who got bombed at public wine-tastings by chugging the slops bin and referencing Sideways, returning to their summer house in the Hamptons where they ate smoked salmon, smoked $200 marijuana, wore $250 denims, and bitched about how the economy was a mess but did not really, as they claimed, send their $36,000 tax cut back to the government, and continued to suffer the secret shame of Affluenza,

who breathed fire and bile about "that crooked administration" among their friends and shut up around people with real jobs and drank turpentine to get through "A Night with Gloria Steinem", claimed bogus ego-death, and Ab-busted their torsos night after night,

with dreams of real electoral victory without elections, with seven different mood-soothing drugs, with waking Birkenstock nightmares of Bush, Bush, Bush, alcohol Jello shots and the soon to be sanctified Holy Matrimony of cock and endless balls,

who blathered continuously about the Florida "theft" for the entire ninety-six months of the two Bush terms while the Evil One put one, two, maybe three or even four justices on the Supreme Court, causing a million fatal air-embolisms during consenting acts of mutual humm-jobs,

a lost battalion of a multi-million man and mom marching platonic conversationalists jumping to conclusions about WMD off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon, yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering "BUSH LIEEEEEEEEED!" and moronic memories and false anecdotes and eyeball kicks and yearning for the electroshocks of hospitals and the briefness of jails and the endless Bush wars .... oh my sorry little schmos.... ,
Read the whole thing, to coin a phrase.

All power to Acerbity!

March 23, 2006

An Adolescent's Thoughts On Adolescence


But, Does He Wear White Shoes?

This fellow, Abdur Rashid, is shown here engaged in the extracurricular acitivity of inventorying Christian materials he seized when he was a Taliban official in Afghanistan.

Apparently the Yale admissions office thinks this sort of thing qualifies as an extracurricular activity that earns an applicant points toward admission, because the fellow is now studying at Yale, which rejected almost 20,000 applicants last year. They, of course, didn't think to engage in book-burning as an extracurric.

Yale is the premier college of the "old money" American ruling class (e.g., both Bush Presidents) as well as those who aspire to climb the greasy pole (e.g., Bill Clinton).
Yalie Taliban
Known in my time as a "white shoe" college, it now seems infatuated with a bizarre notion of inclusiveness.

You'd think the monied class would make its donations elsewhere, except that many of them are equally left-oriented (e.g. George Soros). And to think my youngest wants to go there!

And who, precisely, gave Mr. Taliban a visa? Prediction: alas, no heads will roll.

HT: Michelle. See also John Fund.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION: The Taliban Yalie is Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi. Abdur Rahman is the Christian convert who is threatened with execution in Afghanistan. My face is red.

March 22, 2006

Will We Soon Be All Out of Badgers?

Road workers in England did this, leaving perfectly good meat on the edge of the asphalt. Does this mean they are overpaid?

Ask Carl Hiaasen.

HT: Free Republic.

March 19, 2006

Sunday Photo: The Beards of Yesteryear

This photo shows me several decades ago with the inevitable beard and Andy Capp cap. Although the curly beard has a certain charm, the truth was that I was always more bourgeois than Bohemian. A good thing, too. I raised a daughter, now 39, for much of the time without a mother, avoided drugs, and mangaged to be singularly ineffective in my misguided lefty political adventures.

Not to say I wasn't bad in certain ways, but my elder daughter's good sense suggest that the discipline and common sense my parents inculcated in me were sufficient to keep me from total irreponsibility. That I have not contributed to the world what I could have done, is a riff for another time.

But every young man should try growing a beard. If you wait too long, it will be white, which is another thing altogether.

March 12, 2006

Photo Sunday: Descent Into Respectability?

These two shots both show my maternal grandparents. The first either during courtship or early in marriage. Note the painted background, the phallic lighthouse, the risqué bathing attire (for 100 years ago), and the somewhat randy and possessive phiz of my grandfather.

The second was taken from a time in my childhood, perhaps 40 or 50 years later. They went on a bus trip across the country, that included, I believe, the Grand Canyon, where I think this photo was taken. Note the attire, ultra-formal in our time, but informal in theirs (light-colored suit) chosen for the touristy occasion, for which a Hawaiian shirt might be too formal today.

My grandfather spent some time in England, after leaving what is today Poland at 14, with his 12-year-old brother in tow. He apprenticed as a barber, spent some time in Minneapolis, but ended up in New York City in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge. My grandfather went to night school and became a C.P.A. They raised two daughters, one of whom was my mother.

In his early eighties, my grandfather took a daily constitutional, complete with fedora, coat, tie, and cane. As a child, I didn't enjoy visiting them very much. My grandmother was very fearful, there wasn't much for a kid to do in their apartment, other than crack walnuts and mess with the treadle on the old sewing machine, and their food was very bland. I remember eating boiled hens, and getting the hard-boiled, unlaid egg as a sort of prize, like sheep's eyes at an Arab feast.

My father used to say that when he announced his intention to marry my mother, my grandfather proved to them that they could not possibly survive on my father's salary.

In his old age, however, I came to appreciate my grandfather, including his penchant for argument as recreation.

I remember my last serious conversation with him.

"You know," he said, "I've known people in my life who lived for God. Others lived for their families, for the love of women, for the revolution." He paused. "In the end," he said, "it doesn't matter." Although I think the remark was insightful and challenging, like many things he would say just to get a debate going, I hope he was wrong.

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds


The French government just raided the Sorbonne to evict protesters. The Chiraqis claimed the protesters were guilty of "odious acts" like defacting property.

On the other hand, when it came to immigrant ruffians burning cars (thousands) and nursery schools in the Paris suburbs, the authorities were slow to move.

The Sorbonne types, by the way, were protesting a law that allows a few small firms to lay off young workers without explanation--so they would be less fearful about hiring them at all. Employment "at will" such as we have here in the States (you can fire a worker for any reason, except for a few illegal reasons) would be almost impossible to achieve in Europe.

We have periodic economic revolutions, such as the newspapers are undergoing at the moment, but the reduced friction of economic change in this country is probably one reason we are so much more prosperous than the Europeans.

March 11, 2006


One kid is sick with stomach flu, poor thing.

Kid no. 2 had a friend over. To keep things quiet at home, took no. 2 and friend to the mall, dropping them off (with money in hand). Picked 'em up two hours later. The trip was a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Consumerism. Amazing and scary.

I don't attend the Cathedral, but have been known to visit the nonconformist chapel of St. Costco of Mass Quantities.

While at the C of C, no. 2 complained some creep was ogling her 85-lb. body. I told her to emit a blood-curdling scream at the top of her lungs if she ever felt threatened. Her mother told her to approach a woman with children and tell her that a man was bothering her.

At what age is it legal to teach girls to shoot?

March 10, 2006

A Social Worker Snaps

She lets it all hang out. WARNING: Highly explicit and upsetting stuff, of which this is perhaps the tamest:
The meth addict with Borderline Personality Disorder: Sweetie, here's a word of advice. When you are in the midst of a legal battle in which your parental rights are at stake, it is BAD for your case if you show up for your weekly supervised visits with your children spun out of your f***ing mind. Also, if you're going to have fresh track marks all over your arms, you should at least wear a long sleeve shirt so I can't see them. We talked about this before, remember? I have to write a report to the judge in a few months, and I can't in good conscience recommend that the court return your children to you when you insist on showing up to your weekly visits high as a kite, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and a toothless grin. Also, it does not help your case if you assault me after I inform you that no, you can't see your kids today due to your inebriated state and your exposed vulva. I know you grew up in poverty, and I sympathize with your plight. Hell, I was poor as f** growing up. My family was broke as a m*****r. We lived in the projects and never had no cheese for our hamburgers or nuthin. Somehow, though, we still managed to find ourselves some f***ing PANTS when we went out IN PUBLIC!
And then there's the famous Anne Frank quote: "I still believe that people are really good at heart." To which I say, "Horseshit!"

Best Ephemeral Art In a Month of Sundays

Here. Amazing.

March 7, 2006

YAM (Yet Another Meme)

This one of fives from Dr. Serani:

5 snacks I enjoy--Tapioca pudding, Oreo cookies, clementines, Snyders of Hanover old fashioned pretzels, golden raisins.

5 songs to which I know all the lyrics--"Amazing Grace," "Abdul Abulbul Amir," "Frankie and Johnnie," "The Lumberjack Song" and "The Wreck of the Old 97."

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire--Learn more languages, ride my bike 300 miles a week, build an office under my house, take my children traveling, give money away to certain charities.

5 bad habits: Leaving my clothes in piles, not cleaning out my car, selective listening, not returning phone calls, falling asleep when I shouldn't.

5 things I like doing: Bike riding, taking walks, singing, reading, blogging.

5 things I would never wear, buy or get new again: Oversized pants, sleeveless T-shirts, golf clubs, the Los Angeles Times, white briefs.

5 favorite toys- My iBook, my Serotta bicycle, Garmin GPS, my monkey mind, GoMoku on my cellphone.

People I'm tagging to do this--you know who you are.

March 6, 2006

Sanity Hearing Time For Cindy Sheehan?

Cindy Sheehan got herself arrested again, this time at the UN in New York. She's had her 15 minutes. They committed Ezra Pound, another anti-Semite who gave aid and comfort to the enemy, and he at least wrote some decent poetry. Cindy's just a nutter, with no redeeming social importance that I can see.

And somebody buy the woman a camisole. Please.

March 5, 2006

YASP (Yet Another Sunday Photo)

This is a "candid" shot from about 60 years ago. The ladies are my Aunt Lucille and her older sister, my mother Beatrice. The man is Marvin, Lucille's late husband. The skinny waif is me. Judging by my apparent age of 3, the war was over. Perhaps my father was taking the picture.

As you can see, my mother was quite elegant, but didn't like having her picture taken. In this shot, Lucille is quite vivacious, as was (and is) her wont, Marvin's shirt is too bright and his expession noncommital.

I'd be outa there if I could have managed it, but it was safer to cling to Mother.

An interesting picture that could use some Photoshopping, as was well done with this one.

Five bucks to anyone who can tell where this was taken, and prove it.

Zoning for BoBos

Read the post on my law blog, here.

How "preserving the environment" preserves property values for them as has.

"God bless the child that has his own."

The Love Song of J. Alfred Kerry

Here's an excerpt from this piece of delightful mockery:
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the votes, the vichyssois, and tea,
To go this far and not get the presidency?
Would it have been worth while,
Pretending to be great and then to smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Kerry, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”
To vote for heroes, yes; but not for me",
But that is not what he meant at all.
That is not it at all.

No! he is not John Kennedy, nor was meant to be;
He's an emptiness within a nothing it is true
Capable of playing out a scene or two,
Teresa's prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

HT: Gerard. I, too, shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled, and walk upon the beach.

A Muslim Demostration Against Sectarianism And Terror

In Bahrain.

A good beginning. They're not about to take my advice.

Chan'ad Bahraini translates the sign as "“No Sunni, No Shia, We are all against exclusivists.“ The last word is "at-takfirah", which is related to the word kafir, meaning unbeliever or apostate. It refers to denouncing someone as a kafir. In short, "against anathematizers."

It took Christianity hundreds of years and millions of dead to learn this lesson. Let's hope Muslims learn it sooner.

March 4, 2006

Ways of Thinking

My 14 year old writes:
So anyway, we were talking at dinner, and I revealed that I didn't see pictures in my head. Mommy and Sissy were shocked. It was really interesting to watch them as they asked questions about it. I really don't though, I don't see things, I know them. I just have different currents of thought running through my head at all times. When I think about it, that's probably why I pick concepts and ideas up pretty quickly, I'm used to picking up the concept of something. Would a rose by any other name not smell as sweet? I pick up the essence of something, what it actually is, instead of attaching it to an image.

Daddy kind of does this too, I think. When I need the information, I just draw it up again. I remember things long term, but my short term memory sucks. I don't really remember what happened earlier in the week unless I am reminded of some specific event or conversation. When I close my eyes, I see black. I also tend to pick up on feelings, just because I'm here. I think that's pretty interesting.
Claims not to be visual. She's amblyopic. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

I can evoke images, but I don't usually think in visual images, more in the chatter of the monkey mind, and kinesthetic sensations--recollections of movement.

I also dream in text, sometimes, as well as movies.

How do blind people dream? Does anyone else think like my 14-year old?

Inquiring minds, and all that.

Try Pandora

I happened upon this website, It's a music site, and completely free if you can put up with some innocuous ads. Just enter the name of a singer or song you like, and Pandora will creatre a "radio" channel with similar music. You can add additional songs or singers and refine your choices, and can create additional channels. In one evening, I've discovered a number of new artists that I like very much.

It's worth trying.

March 3, 2006

The Truth About Saddam

Read and see Michael Totten's photo essay on just one of Saddam Hussein's torture centers:
The hardest thing to see was the cell used to hold children before they were murdered. My translator Alan read some of the messages carved into the wall.

“I was ten years old. But they changed my age to 18 for execution.”

“Dear Mom and Dad. I am going to be executed by the Baath. I will not see you again.”
Yes, I know all about the mistakes that were made during and after the invasion of Iraq. I know all the arguments against Bushian Wilsionianism.

But can it be other than a good thing that this insect has been deposed and captured, and is on trial for his life?