Check out the seismograph readings on Alexa.
"In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Andy Warhol, d. 1987
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Just got this email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe one of our readers could help her out.
Dear in Christ.
I am Mrs..grace michael an ageing widow suffering from long time illness. i am currently admitted in a privet hospital in Abidjan cote d' ivoire, I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr Patrick michael, the sum of US$5.500. 000 which he deposited in BANK Here and I need a very honest and God fearing Christian that can use this funds for God's work and 15% out of the total funds will be for your compasation for doing this work of God. I found your email address from the internet and decid to contact you.
Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord's work kindly reply me.
Your Sister In The Lord.
Mrs. grace michael
In the continuing saga of large-fonted conspiracy emails, we have some good news. My friend is down to 18-point Calibri which is 2 points lower than where he was at on October 10.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Here's the new number I'm using which allows you to bypass switchboard operators: 800-833-6354.
Of course, you can go here and get the direct numbers for any of the U.S. Senators.
Kudos to Wellpoint for tellling the truth. They'll probably get bitch-slapped by the White House now.
[T]he most important health-care questions continue to be about the policy substance—particularly those that Democrats don't want asked.
Foremost among them is: How will ObamaCare affect insurance premiums in the private health-care markets? Despite indignant Democratic denials, the near-certainty is that their plan will cause costs to rise across the board. The latest data on this score come from a series of state-level studies from the insurance company WellPoint Inc.
At the request of Congressional delegations worried about their constituents—call it a public service—WellPoint mined its own actuarial data to model ObamaCare in the 14 states where it runs Blue Cross plans. The study therefore takes into account market and demographic differences that other industry studies have not, such as the one from the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, which looked at aggregate national trends.
In all of the 14 states WellPoint scrutinized, ObamaCare would drive up premiums for the small businesses and individuals who are most of WellPoint's customers. (Other big insurers, like Aetna, focus on the market among large businesses.) Young and healthy consumers will see the largest increases—their premiums would more than triple in some states—though average middle-class buyers will pay more too.
This will affect everyone. It will affect my family directly.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Our friend, Tom @ Disputations, has some insightful thoughts on the brouhaha being raised in some quarters over the Vatican's outreach to Anglicans.
I do, though, have an opinion about the sort of reaction to yesterday's news exemplified in this comment by Michael Sean Winters:But, I worry, too, that some of these newcomers will also be nostalgists, anti-feminists, and anti-gay bigots.
Some have suggested this translates to worrying that some of these newcomers will profess Catholic doctrine. But even granting that some Anglicans may join the Catholic Church out of sheer cussedness, I say:
I joined the Catholic Church out of sheer helplessness. When I was baptized as an infant, I not only lacked a good reason to become Catholic, I lacked any reason; I flat lacked reason altogether.
A Church that practices infant baptism is not a Church with demanding membership requirements.
I thought that part was brilliant, and he anticipates the next objection and deftly answers it:
I get, of course, that someone who has reached the age of reason ought to join the Catholic Church if, and only if, he believes the whole of the Catholic Faith. By the same token, though, parent ought to have their children baptized if, and only if, they believe the whole of the Catholic Faith, and I've heard no one grumble about the children of nostalgists, anti-feminists, and anti-gay bigots joining the Church.
Full communion with Christ's Church is a big deal. Too big, I'd say, for us to screw with it much. Let the Church welcome those who demonstrate the wish to be a part of her, and leave the personal judging to God.
You see, this is the same problem as you see in the hate crimes legislation. People can't just look at intent by asking "is this person going to be a good Catholic?" they just have to suspiciously probe motives. So they put their suspects under a microscope and pick apart their entire thought processes. And this provides us with... what exactly?
I converted from a very "conservative" Protestant denomination, so I didn't have the same axe to grind as some of those now under Mr. Winters's microscope. But I can imagine someone thinking to himself the following in a completely sensible manner, without a hint of prejudice or yen for nostalgia: "I'm watching progressive types whack away at my traditions, I'm listening to angry feminists howl about male domination, I'm seeing gay bishops parade their sins for all to see and the head of my church is conceding to Islamic Sharia Law. I'm just not sure there is much continuity with the historical Christian church here anymore. Maybe I'll look into Roman Catholicism." Those last two sentences describe my journey to the bark of Saint Peter. And the fact that the first part was neither experienced by me as a 20-something, nor Tom as an infant, nor Michael Sean Winters as an open-minded guy with a middle-name is completely irrelevant.
Ronald Kessler penned this damning piece on the failings of the Obama Administration and shows how they all in some way come to light in his war on FOX news. Here are a few of his bullet points:
* Obama is a whiner. At almost every chance he gets, the President whines about the previous administration and how it is responsible for every problem he faces. He neglects to point out that in the examples he cites — as with deficit spending — he has made the problems worse.
People used to complain that Bush was too gracious toward Bill Clinton. Well, I'll take his graciousness over Obama's assholishness any day.
* Obama is fixated on spin rather than substance. Why else would he and his aides become so agitated about what a network is reporting? Obama’s decision to outsource drafting of healthcare legislation to Congress shows his lack of interest in performing the basic functions of his job.
* Obama is ineffective. The spectacle of refusing to let Fox participate in a pool filming, then backing down when the other networks objected, shows that Obama is over his head. That same ineffectiveness prompted him to announce the closing of the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay without having any idea where he would send its prisoners.
* Obama has no appreciation for the profit motive and its importance in America’s success. In warning networks not to follow Fox, Obama adviser David Axelrod said, “Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch has a talent for making money, and I understand that their programming is geared toward making money.” Never mind that Obama is making millions in profits from book royalties.
Yes, and never mind that MSNBC, NBC et al exist to make money as well.
* Obama is weak. The press ganged up on the Bush administration, but Bush never tried to isolate a news outlet. By showing how thin-skinned he is, Obama reveals his fragility. That is symbolized by his constant need to apologize to the world for imagined failings and by his hand-wringing, while finding time to play golf, about making a decision on his own commander’s request last August for more troops to fight the war in Afghanistan.
I read and re-read this article several times and thought about why someone would still support the guy. I decided that although these failings and weaknesses are there for all to see, only those who are really looking will see them. Those who are really looking do not include those still enamoured of him, but they do include America's enemies, unfortunately, who have been smelling his weaknesses for months now.
The next step for anyone who signed the Free Our Health Care Now petition is to go to this website and fill out all the fields to send an automated email blast to your Congress person and Senators.
Normally I don't bother doing this because I don't think emails have that big an effect on elected officials. However, these people are well organized and have 1.34 million email addresses to which they are emailing a notice advising this action. So if everyone who signed the petition filled out and submitted the form--which takes about 2 minutes--you're talking about Senators and Reps getting hit with somewhere between 15,000 and 50,000 emails per office, depending what state their in (my estimate). That's a lot of emails.
Then after you do this, call the capitol switchboard toll-free at 866-220-0044 and ask for your Senator. When the staffer gets on, say "Please tell the Senator to vote no on government health care." Then repeat this for the other senator. I've been doing this now for awhile. I usually add something scary to the Democrat Senator call, my new one is "Passing this bill will destroy the Democratic Party." Remember, some people think this would be a bad thing.
Finally, it's probably a good idea to send some snail mail to your legislators sharing your concerns on the Obamacare bills, especially the Public Option. I highly recommend using the text from the aforementioned Free Our Health Care site as a guide and template, here it is:
Government-run health care will increase cost, decrease quality, and limit access. As taxpayers and as patients, Americans simply can’t afford government-run health care. The Free Our Health Care NOW! Action Army needs YOU to fight for responsible reform and against government-run health care.
On September 9, the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition was delivered to Congress. Signed by more than 1.3 million Americans, the petition was not only the largest public declaration of opposition to government-run health care, it was the largest policy petition ever assembled . Despite the incredible size and historic importance of the Free Our Health Care NOW! petition, President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress ignored the petition and the voice of the 1.3 million Americans who support it.
Today, the fight to stop government-run health care legislation continues and we need your help! Join the fight! Register with The Free Our Health Care NOW! Action Army and send a letter to your Representatives in Congress. Tell them you oppose government-run health care because you value:
* Choice. The right to choose your own doctor and your own health insurance plan.
* Access. The right to receive the treatment you need when you need it.
* Fairness. The right to enjoy equal status under the tax code.
* Portability. The right to keep your insurance plan even if you change jobs.
You have a voice! By joining the ranks of The Free Our Health Care NOW! Action Army, you can let your voice be heard!
I like the style of the group running this, the NCPA. They are not alarmist nor caustic in their rhetoric, but they state the case against the government takeover of our health care system accurately, boldly and concisely. If you want to contribute funds to them in support of this effort, go here.
Now Last Day Report, a "prophecy" site, has linked to Est Quod Est with the title "Jews laugh at urinating on picture of Jesus". I feel like a kindergarten teacher 'splaining this, but here I go.
Let's take the core of it, subject-verb, "Jews laugh". As far as I know, plenty of people initially laughed about this scene in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and they weren't all Jews. I'm sure they were of many religious backgrounds, some were Catholics without a doubt, some certainly had no faith at all. I think most people watching a show like this experience a "cuing effect" which is predominantly responsible for the laughter. The audience expects to laugh and does so on cue. I say this because honestly, the actual "peeing" part of the scene--which you can see on Youtube now if you want to--is so embarrassingly puerile that most "big dick jokes" seem mature in comparison. If the camcorder kiddies next door filmed it at the mall and showed it to you, you wouldn't laugh.
As a side note, but one which might help me to explain what I mean, a lot of people pointed to this effect being responsible for all the awkward-sounding audience laughter at David Letterman's revelation of sexual misconduct on his show recently. One person laughs and everyone around thinks "This must be funny, I'm supposed to be laughing." This phenomenon was been known for years and many comedians seed audiences with "laughers" to make sure their jokes don't bomb. If you still don't know what I mean, go read the text of what Letterman said and ask yourself if that material is in the least bit funny.
Back to "Jews laugh": with regard to my link and the subsequent comments, I don't think any commenters were Jewish, laughing or not. It might be a bit unfortunate that Donohue mentioned the fact that Larry David is Jewish, but it was still a remark made only in passing, as were mentions of his being Jewish in the comments. No one focused on a Jewish aspect to this until the Rense Front Party members arrived beginning yesterday afternoon.
So to conclude, the "Jews laugh" wording in both links is fundamentally inaccurate and misleading whether it applies to the scene being discussed or our discussion of the scene. The only excuse I can offer is that the originator at Jeff Rense's site mistook my obvious sarcasm in calling the pee scene "funny" as seriousness. This speaks to his own basic unseriousness due to the blurred vision caused by obsession and bigotry. If I thought it was funny, why would I even refernce Bill Donohue's take on the subject?
Op-ed in yesterday's Chicago Tribune, excerpt:
Over the summer and fall, Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced six -- yes, six -- health care reform proposals. You didn't hear? Well, those plans didn't produce much of a ripple because Democrats dominate the Congress.
But now Republicans are weighing a shift in strategy. Instead of taking more potshots, some Republicans say their party should present a coherent alternative to whatever final Democratic plans emerge in the House and Senate. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee reportedly are drafting legislation the GOP could introduce when Democrats bring their proposals to the floor.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Obviously this is yesterday's news, but I wanted to link to it for my oh! so clever title.
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill.
Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid has said the Senate bill will.
"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. "To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."
It's funny reading the libs on this. One site I went to had enraged commenters saying they were going to hit him with a two-by-four and throttle him. One person called him a whore. I was going going to point out that the politically-correct word is "sex-worker", but didn't have the heart.
Marisa made a comment on my first post on Mr. David's problem with dribbling on the Curb:
Write to all the head figures, this blog is not enough, go to fox, go to all the important networks, write to HBO. There is a great article on FOX and the comments are at least made to the point and with intellect. This attack on Christianity has to stop. It's true NO OTHER RELIGION WOULD ALLOW THIS in fact I am certain Larry David would be scared to DEATH to make fun of Islam.
The line "this blog [Est Quod Est] is not enough" cracked me up. Baby, I get 60 visits a day on average.
But the FOX link she provided is a good place to go. FOX links to a youtube video of the scene, but if you go there now you see "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by HOME BOX OFFICE, INC." Oh, yeah, HBO is a real stickler about copyright infringement. That's why they've allowed this clip of the Sopranos finale to get almost 1.5 million hits in over 2 years.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Going here is the best way to buy my wife's handmade, 60% beeswax advent candles. These are really beautiful, trust me. And since they contain more than 51% beeswax you can have them blessed by a priest.
York shows how Obama's left liberal policies seem to be pushing Americans toward Republicans and making them more conservative. Excerpt:
They still call themselves independents, but they're worried by the left-leaning policies of President Obama and the Democratic Congress, especially on the economy. "The middle, which wanted to move away from George W. Bush, did not want to move this far left," says a Republican pollster who is tracking the shift. "They are tending to agree with what Republicans are saying more and more, despite the previous eight years."
For example, in a private poll done recently for the House GOP leadership, voters were asked whether they think the economic stimulus package is working. The two parties were on opposite sides of the question -- 60 percent of Democrats said the stimulus is working, and 79 percent of Republicans said it's not. But among independents, 57 percent said the stimulus is not working -- a number much closer to the Republican than the Democratic position.
When you look at public attitudes toward the budget, health care, the environment, and other top issues, you see a similar picture: Republicans and Democrats are on either end of the spectrum, but independents aren't exactly in the middle. They're leaning a little bit right. And even though Republicans remain unpopular, voters seem willing to take a new look at them, if only by default.
Heck, it's change I can believe in.
I laughed at the very last line of this article where Creigh Deeds, Democrat candidate for Virginia Governor, states "I don't think they're throwing me under the bus," they being the Obama Administration. That's not the best rhetoric to inspire confidence in the undecided voter, dude. I'm guessing the Creigh-ster is busy packing the ol' parachute.
Monday, October 26, 2009
At one point in the show, David goes to the bathroom in a Catholic home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus; he doesn’t clean it off. Then a Catholic woman goes to the bathroom, sees the picture and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her equally stupid mother and the two of them fall to their knees in prayer. When David and Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) are asked if they ever experienced a miracle, David answers, “every erection is a miracle.” That’s what passes for creativity these days.
Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother? This might be fun to watch, but since HBO only likes to dump on Catholics (it was just a couple of weeks ago that Sarah Silverman insulted Catholics on “Real Time with Bill Maher”), and David is Jewish, we’ll never know.
That's so frickin' funny. Really.
UPDATE: I think a few who have stumbled onto this post, not being regular readers, haven't realized that I'm being utterly sarcastic when I said the bit was funny. It's not funny at all from my perspective.
UPDATE, 10/29/2009: Here are my new thoughts on the "Jews laugh" links.
Thanks for reading my blog. For current commentary and what-not, visit the Est Quod Est homepage
I liked this Douthat piece very much. Excerpt:
Here Catholicism and Anglicanism share two fronts. In Europe, both are weakened players, caught between a secular majority and an expanding Muslim population. In Africa, increasingly the real heart of the Anglican Communion, both are facing an entrenched Islamic presence across a fault line running from Nigeria to Sudan.
Where the European encounter is concerned, Pope Benedict has opted for public confrontation. In a controversial 2006 address in Regensburg, Germany, he explicitly challenged Islam’s compatibility with the Western way of reason — and sparked, as if in vindication of his point, a wave of Muslim riots around the world.
By contrast, the Church of England’s leadership has opted for conciliation (some would say appeasement), with the Archbishop of Canterbury going so far as to speculate about the inevitability of some kind of sharia law in Britain.
There are an awful lot of Anglicans, in England and Africa alike, who would prefer a leader who takes Benedict’s approach to the Islamic challenge. Now they can have one, if they want him.
This could be the real significance of last week’s invitation. What’s being interpreted, for now, as an intra-Christian skirmish may eventually be remembered as the first step toward a united Anglican-Catholic front — not against liberalism or atheism, but against Christianity’s most enduring and impressive foe.
Earlier he makes the point that this Benedict's move is not "good manners". But what are good manners going to buy you when your head is being sawed off?