Saturday, November 17, 2007

Alien law

I really like this proposal. It's never going to pass. But I still think it's a great idea.

On this day #3

The finale

Hat tip to Samizdata


Little brother, don't sob, it is not a banshee
Don't be frightened, it is only soldiers,
Who arrived in sharp-edged metal caravans

Through tears caught on eyelashes we look at each other
Come with me little brother, I fear for you
On the uneven roads, little brother, in children's shoes

It rains and it is getting dark
This night will not be short
The wolf has a yen for the lamb
Little brother, have you closed the gate?

Little brother, please do not sob
Do not waste your tears
Hold back the curses and save your strength
You mustn't blame me if we do not make it

Learn the song, it is not so hard
Lean on me, little brother, the road is rough
We will stumble forth, we cannot turn back

It rains and it is getting dark
This night will not be short
The wolf has a yen for the lamb
Little brother, do close the gate!
Please close the gate!

On this day #2

On this day #1

Prague began to be free

I love technology

I blew a fuse late last night. No big deal, except that we were out of the kind of fuse it was (20 amp TL) and Home Depot had just closed. The circuit that it was on was not a major circuit (mostly the microwave and our powered litter boxes) so I thought getting a new fuse could wait until morning.

When I woke up this morning, I did a little web surfing to check prices and I discovered these bad boys. Holy cow! As the owner of an older home, I am seriously in love. I only wish they made a 30 amp version as that is what most of our fuses are.

So one quick trip to the big orange box and I have two shiny new circuit breakers where fuses used to be.

To any corporate executives out there, I would have gone to Lowe's, but according to the website, Lowe's didn't carry them.

Disclosure: We are very minor stockholders in both Lowe's and Home Depot.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Fun With Church Statistics

I had a wild hair today and thought I'd do some quick comparisons of structure between various churches and the Episcopal Church. I crunched the numbers for the Methodists and the Roman Catholics before I ran out of steam. All numbers come either from the denomination itself or from Wikipedia. They are all for 2005.

Episcopalians had 100 dioceses, each with a bishop.

16,493 clergy which yields 165 clergy per bishop.

2,205,376 members which yields 22,053 members per bishop and 133 members per clergy.

787,271 ASA which yields 7,873 attendees per bishop and 48 attendees per clergy.

There are actually a fair number of additional bishops, but 100 gave me a nice round number to play with.

Methodists had 68 bishops

44,987 clergy which yields 660 clergy per bishop.

8,251,175 members which yields 121,340 members per bishop and 183 members per clergy.

I know the Methodist structure isn't really analogous, but it is a point of comparison. I couldn't find anything that would yield ASA for the Methodists.

Roman Catholics had 208 bishops.

42,839 priests which yields 205 clergy per bishop.

64,800,000 members which yields 311,538 members per bishop and 1,512 members per clergy.

22,680,000 ASA which yields 109,038 attendees per bishop and 529 attendees per clergy.

This confirmed my suspicion. The Episcopal Church is ludicrously over-staffed. I derived ASA by taking membership and multiplying by the percentage of Catholics who reported attending church in a given week (Gallup).

The real eye opener for me was comparing members per clergy between the Methodists and the Episcopalians. Why on earth do we need or even have 100 dioceses?

I Have No Comment

John Podoretz on Sally Quinn, an post about the press and religion. Be sure to read the comments. I'm gobsmacked, quite frankly.

Car Geekery

This is probably old news to some of my readers (possibly most), but there's a guy in Wichita that rebuilds cars to achieve absurd levels of fuel efficiency. If it's true, I'm in serious auto-lust.

Hat tip to Daily Kos of all places

Legal Geekery

It's probably not of general interest, but I found Chief Judge Easterbrook's decision highly entertaining.

In even more legal geekery, the ADL has a website with rebuttal citations for 'idiot legal arguments'. It has the usual laundry list of tax protester gibberish, but my personal favourite has to be "objections to fringe on flag".

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Absolutely amazing

Why can't more football games be like this?

hat tip: Micah Snell

We were wonderful back then

The Rev Irene Monroe has an op ed piece on a gay website that discusses how progressive the Episcopal Church has been over the years, all the way back to the Civil War. I guess no one has ever told her about Bishop Leonidas Polk.


I think this essay sums up nicely why I'll never conform to the Spirit of the Age. For those of my readers who are not as rabid an Anglophile as I am, George Monbiot is the English writer who inspired the epithet "moonbat", or "barking moonbat" to give it its full glory.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I've been thinking about assembling a backpack of needed items for emergencies. In the process of doing that I've been intrigued by who recommends what. I found the Smith and Wesson kit somewhat amusing, but not particularly useful (a book about bear attacks?). On the other hand Kim du Toit had some useful ideas, even if he is strangely silent on the subject of fishing line and fishing hooks. The US Army has a great, free manual. But the Red Cross has the most common sense approach.

What it boils down to is the purpose of the bag. If you're looking to fend off ravening zombie hordes then you need the ever popular chainsaw and shotgun. But what I'm anticipating are ice storms, possibly a flood, car wrecks and assorted power outages. Which means less on the long term and more for the short term.

Where I stand convicted on this is how few real medical supplies we have in the house. I do have a one person supply of general use antibiotics. But we are sadly lacking in bandages and antiseptic items.

What I'm going to do is make a bag for each car with some general utility tools, a flare or two, a can of tire inflator (is that stuff great or what), jumper cables, a space blanket, some cord, a couple of power bars and a bottle of water. And then assemble a box full of stuff for the house. Distilled water, first aid supplies, a back up cell phone with charger, a hand crank charger, capacitor flash light or two, candles, jewelers loupe, magnesium flint, rope, etc.

My long term survival will depend upon my trusty .22 and the bricks of ammo I bought for cheap at Wal-Mart. If civilization breaks down and society collapses, I reckon squirrels will start to get mighty scarce in these parts. I hear they taste like chicken.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again

I posted below about the Presiding Bishop's correspondence with the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Well, she sent the same exact letter to the Bishop of Fort Worth. He sent his reply today. And unlike the last exchange, noted below, Pisky Pravda hasn't as of this moment formulated a spin to it. It's almost as though they're ignoring it......

Update: Ask and ye shall receive. ENS has posted a news story with a minimum (for them) of spin.

Fun with Statistics

I ran the Episcopal Church stats through some tables provided by the NCHS. If things continue as they are, and barring any members actually leaving, the Episcopal Church will dwindle by 33% over the next twenty years. The numbers and percentage will likely be much higher than that.

The bottom line is a church of less than a half a million people. The future of the Episcopal Church is that of church closures and property sales.

Bishop Spong was right. The present Diocese of Newark is the future of the Episcopal Church.

I never claimed to be an artist....

But here is my first cartoon on this blog.