Friday, January 25, 2008

Best Movie I've Seen This Year

I Found My Presidential Candidate

So I guess I will be voting Republican.

The Drowsy Chaperone

We very much enjoyed the show. There's something about a live performance that enthralls and captivates.

Sex and Money

Our government is planning to give us all more money. Sounds lovely doesn't it? There is a problem though. Under our current system our money has a very small intrinsic value. It's worth basically what you would pay to buy pretty green paper. In other words, next to nothing. US currency currently does have a great deal of nominal value. Money represents, among other things, a handy way of comparing the value of differing objects. We call that price. So when we go to Target and see that toilet paper costs $3.99 for a four pack and the Bourne Ultimatum costs $15.99, then we can quickly determine that in a barter system, we would have to trade sixteen rolls of toilet paper for an action movie.

There are two ways to alter the price of something. Change the supply of the item or change the supply of the medium of exchange. If the studios decide to flood the market with DVD's then the price of the Bourne Ultimatum would drop. If they quit manufacturing them, then the price will rise. That is supply and demand. The same rule applies to money.

There are three ways for the government to get money. First is they can tax us for it. That is not going to happen with this rebate. Second is they can borrow it. Likewise, not happening. Third is, they can print it. That is where the 'rebate' is coming from.

If money is rare, then it is like Kate Beckinsale. Every man wants her, and few can have her,

Print more of the stuff and it becomes much like Sarah Michelle Gellar: Attractive, lovely to behold, but not a 'must have.

Print even more and you get a Paris Hilton analogy. Symmetrical features, but not really desirable in and of herself

Print a lot of money and you get Britney Spears: Ubiquitous, over available and totally undesirable

The US dollar used to be at Kate Beckinsale levels until recently. Now it's at Sarah Michelle Gellar. Most people of my generation remember the Ford/Carter years. That was Paris Hilton. That is what may be next. Beyond that lies what's been going on in Zimbabwe and most of the Third World. Money no one in their right mind really wants.

So when you hear about getting money from the government, don't be fooled. Our leaders want you to think you'll be getting Kate Beckinsale or at least Sarah Michelle Gellar. In reality, at best you'll get Paris Hilton or at worst Britney Spears. And they won't be just spending one night. Oh no, they're moving in for the long term with iron-clad pre-nuptial agreements.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's a mystery

Sally has suggested that I start discussing the books I read more often. Since I don't have a good reason for not doing so, I thought I'd start mentioning books that I've read and enjoyed.

First up is a murder mystery that I finished just today: The Alto Wore Tweed by Mark Schweizer. As a mystery it isn't much, vital clues are withheld until a deus ex machina at the end. But the characters are delightful, there are lot of good choir jokes (the author is a choir director) and lots of good natured snark directed at various churchy types.

Obscure Abuse

If the next diocese to leave the Episcopal Church used the following language in their departure amendment, I'd laugh myself silly.

"The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Rome, have erred; so also the Episcopal Church hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith."

Paraphrase of Article XIX.

I know no one else probably finds it funny........

Clinton Running For President

Bill Clinton, that is. The Onion once again scoops the competition.


My brother and his wife, Sally and I, and my sister in law are all going to see the Drowsy Chaperone tonight. Sally and I saw it last year on Broadway and loved it. So we're pretty thrilled to see it again in a road production.

"Mix ups, mayhem and a gay wedding!"

Of course gay wedding has a different meaning today........

The Face of Populism

Ignore the conclusions at the end. This is what a country looks like after its people give up ruling and after the rulers try to buy the people.

No rule of law, expropriation of the means of production and fiat rule, and a civilized nation is living on water in buckets and candle light.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

An Experiment in Theological Comprehension

I was reading this. By chance my winamp randomizer played two different versions of Don't Fear the Reaper back to back, one without cowbell and then one with.

I found that my comprehension was lowest without any music. Add in the straight version of the song, and I was aided tremendously. Throw in cowbell and I'm understanding stuff on the first reading.

I gotta fever and the cure is more cowbell.

Frank J

is indescribable.

I'm currently reading Liberal Fascism by the way. Interesting stuff.

My Three Issues

Years ago I read an essay that argued that every voter ought to isolate the three issues that they feel to be most important and then determine which candidate best fits those issues. The idea of limiting yourself to three issues is that it forces you to prioritize which ones matter the most.

In the interest of full disclosure, here are mine. They all rank about equally for me.

First is the preservation of our rights as established by the US Constitution. Some people favour the First Amendment, some the Second, but I love them all. Any candidate that I support will have to show a working knowledge of the Bill of Rights and some level of commitment to not test their limits.

Second is the elimination or at least radical reduction of earmarks. There is a climate of corruption in Washington these days and neither party and none of the candidates really want to address it. The reason for that apathy is simple. To battle earmarks, they have to fight their colleagues. The logic of Washington is equally simple, the people loathe earmarks and the politicians love them. Currently the politicans are winning on this issue.

Third is space exploration. I am one of those nutty guys who loves science fiction and watched star wars a couple of zillion times. But I also think that of all the things the federal government can do, opening up space for exploration and settlement is the most worthwhile. It would give us back the frontier. We haven't had one for a while and I think we are paying the price for it in the malaise that is affecting the varied worldwide cultures. Thats the metaphysical reason.

The other is that the challenges that are before us currently have no simple solution. For example, if we commit to helping the homeless then we rapidly find that an awful lot of the homeless do not wish to be helped. They are homeless for a reason, be it insanity, drug abuse or alcoholism. And there are no simple solutions to those problems.

If we commit to fight global warming, then we are committing to damning future generations to poverty. Good luck with that one. That's the real reason why no country has actually done anything about global warming.

Space exploration is different. For one thing, if we export our polluting industries to space, there's a really big incinerator down the gravity well from us. Also solar energy, which is generally not practical inside the atmosphere, becomes the optimal energy source in the vacuum of space.

Space exploration and settlement will not be cheap. There are significant technical problems. But the problems that remain are just that, technical. They are solvable.

Those are my three issues. What are yours?


I love invective. When I was in college I learned an awful lot of vulgar Latin (which I have since forgotten) just by reading diatribes by William of Ockham against the pope. Luther later cribbed a lot of the choicer phrases and translated them into German. One of the founders of Anglicanism, Thomas Cranmer, was an excellent writer of invective. When I was an acolyte, I'd amuse myself by reading and rereading the Thirty Nine Articles. Article XXII has always been especial favourite of mine:
"The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God."

That's the work of someone who knows how to say what they mean.

Jesus wasn't too shabby either

"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Back when I was in college and was up late studying, I'd head to the commons room and watch Dr. Gene Scott. I was never really sure what he was going on about, but it was fun listening to him rant.

On the modern front, perhaps the best writer of invective today is probably Ann Coulter. If you read her and ignore the issues (which can be hard for some people), you'll find she is rather good at what she does.

What sad is how few of our leaders can use invective. The common reason given for so not doing is that they are too mature. I think that's nonsense. It's not that they will not, it is because they can not.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bishop Jefferts-Schori's Personal Hymn

Not sure if I've posted this before.

I've discovered what is missing in my life

And they're only 10 cents!

If you want to hear more of the incomparable Edie Adams, listen here.

Elsie Joins Cowmintern

If you are planning on visiting Venezuela any time soon, don't plan on being able to drink milk, or eat anything with butter, eat ice cream or cheese. Hugo Chavez is so put out with farmers looking to get fair market value for their dairy products that he is threatening to seize their cattle.

I predict that the price of Venezuelan beef is going to drop sharply in the near future. And all dairy products will be almost totally unavailable.

Because price supports always, always work. Except when farmers get greedy.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Three blogs, three hankies

If this story doesn't leave you misty, then nothing will.

Start here, then go here and finish up here.

H/T Robb

More Beef-Aging Information

Just watch. I'm buying his cook book when it comes out this summer.

Still Glad I Am Not Canadian

More on hate speech and Human Rights Commissions from Dr. Mabuse.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why I am Glad I Am Not Dutch

Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament is set to show an 'anti-Muslim' film. The money quote is "It is difficult to anticipate the content of the film, but freedom of expression doesn't mean the right to offend," said Maxime Verhagen, the Foreign Minister.

I do not like our government especially much. But part of freedom of speech is, and should be, the expectation that you will be offended. The right not to be offended is the right to muzzle those who disagree with you. Ingsoc is alive and well in the Netherlands.

H/T Jammie Wearing Fool

Where Once There Was Only One

There are apparently two Standing Committees in the Diocese of San Joaquin. Assuming the Rev. Dan Martins is correct, of course. Of course all of this begs the question of what, exactly, is going on in San Joaquin?

Wiki Proposal

In the comments to my Abandonment post, Cathy Lou proposed that a Web page of all Episcopal litigation be created. I'm game to try. I've never set up a wiki before, but the scant reading I've done on it suggests that that might be the way to go. To get things rolling, I'm just going to list the Episcopal church lawsuits that I know of:

1. Rochester NY, currently in appeal
2. Pawley's Island, SC, currently being appealed
3. Peachtree City, GA. Decided. No appeal as yet.
4. San Diego, CA. Three suits, all on appeal.
5. Virginia. One consolidated suit, litigation pending.
6. Connecticut. No information
7. Pittsburgh, PA. I believe the trial is over. I don't know if it has been appealed.
8. Florida. I've heard rumours of litigation, but have no knowledge.
9. Savannah, GA. Suit has been filed. I have no other information.

If anyone has any information about these or other lawsuits, please post in the comments here or email me at mousestalker {at} (replace the '{at}' with '@').

Assuming all this can get fleshed out, I'll consolidate the information into a wiki so that everyone can contribute.

What inquiring minds would like to know is who are the parties, who are their attorneys, what is the status of the litigation, where is the suit being brought and how much is it costing everyone?