Sunday, August 4, 2013

Three Good Things (weekend edition)

1. Baked sweet potatoes loaded with butter.
2. Secretariat, the horse AND 2010 movie (I have deemed that this counts as only one).
3. Driving the long way home so we could enjoy the rest of this song in the convertible.

Yes, I'm going to totally ignore the fact that my blog has been languishing for many months and post what I want, when I want, and not you, nor any of your dismissive non-comments can stop me.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Colorblind Man's Bluff

Object of the Game:  To remove green dots from the field before they randomly eat the other dots. Remove all green dots from the field before they eat the other dots and you win.

How to play: In the field of colorful dots, it is your job to protect all other color dots from the destructive green dots. Once you spot a green dot, you have two options of play: you may either destroy it or immobilize it by separating it from the other dots.  

Immobilize: Place marker on top of dot and drag to the perimeter.

Destroy: Place marker on top of dot and click once.

Hazards: It is sometimes necessary or desirable to immobilize non-green dots if they are preventing further pursuit of the green dots.  If you immobilize more than five non-green dots without destroying any green dots you lose your turn.

At any time, any of the dots may change to any other color. While the chance that any particular dot will turn green is small, the pool of green dots comes primarily from the blue dots.  Among the other color dots, any dot that has been immobilized is also more likely to become green.

There are already other dots at the perimeter. These have been immobilized for other threats against the general dot population.

If you should destroy a dot that is not green, you lose.

Professional Level of Play:

Remove all factors that may aid in identifying the green dots. Cast a wide net and wait until they start eating the other dots.


Extended play: If the green dots begin eating the other dots at an alarming rate, you may immediately begin to drag all the other dots to the perimeter (immobilize them) so that you can more readily spot the green dot activities. Although you are immobilizing the other color dots, this is considered “protecting” them.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mass Data Dis-Integration Bureau

Welcome to a tiny glimpse into your future, the rest of America.

Here in Massachusetts, we've been lucky enough to beta-test the individual mandate of Obamacare. Unlike what you've been told, however, it isn't simply a matter of carrying insurance, or even of proving that you carry minimal creditable coverage; that proof needs to be transferred from the government-mandated form you receive from your insurance provider -- at what cost, I can only imagine -- to the government-mandated IRS form. It's just a little exercise in toleration for you.

So, what's the problem with a little more paperwork if it means that everyone in this wealthiest of nations gets access to excellent healthcare, right? Oh. Then, that everyone gets access to decent healthcare? Oh. Then, that everyone gets access to a company that bargains with providers for mandated services? Oh, I mean, then . . . who gets what for my hassle, exactly?

But it's simple enough, right? I mean, we're not trying to get away with anything here. We appreciate the fact that we can pay oodles of money to hedge against the possibility of going bankrupt over potential health issues. We really do. But we did before Obamacare was an epithet.

So why does the IRS need to know? Well, the magic of universal healthcare only works through government force, and the IRS is the agency through which government forces everyone. Equally. Right?

What's worse than being forced to pay for everyone's misnamed "health care" coverage? As we recently discovered, the IRS needs to know not only about the existence of your coverage, but also that you can repeat this information wherever and whenever asked by them. But say you're a dependent and the people who claimed you as such already provided the IRS with your SS# and your proof of your coverage? So what! Before your tax return is processed "you will be assessed a Health Care penalty which could be as much as $1260.00 per taxpayer" if you don't resubmit that same information already submitted to them within 30 days of the IRS receiving your request for a return of your money that you overpaid to the government according to their own inscrutable formulas.

Now breathe.

Inasmuch as I enjoy reading a threatening letter from the IRS to my first-time filer teenage daughter, the fact that this was from the Data Integration Bureau of the Massachusetts IRS, and my daughter's data was already filed (by SS#) as having MMC (oh yes, I can use that acronym now because after much upset including research and yelling, we've learned how to be fucking financial forensic attorneys in order to understand what my daughter did wrong in reporting her $6K of earnings), is simply the icing on this bureaucratic shit cake. (I am still also free to say that. The last time I checked, anyway.)

So, there is a lesson in there, people.

Be careful what you ask the government for, because you, your children, their children, and so on, will reap the benefits of your institutionalizing government power grabs for the foreseeable future.

And then some.

Oh, and while I may be able to sleep better at night knowing my daughter is financially covered for catastrophic health problems, no one benefits from twice-tracking her coverage except maybe the bureaucrats who spend their days threatening teenagers with the force of the federal government behind them.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Life of Why

As we continue to ask why, to look for some small amount of justice to the heinous, random murder of innocents at the Boston Marathon, we seem to want to skip the initial act as if it were an accident or metaphysically given. By striving to ignore the overwhelming evidential link between terrorism and the religious choice of Islam we do ourselves a grave disservice. We prefer to think there is a magical tale of why behind each horrific act done to glorify the name of Mohammed rather than because it is prescribed in the Koran and fomented among its adherents within and without mosques.    

No, not every mosque is a hotbed of Islamic totalitarianism through violent jihad, just as not every fundamentalist Christian church lays out plans to kill abortion providers. But it is those who fully attend to their medieval religious duties, those who are fed the idea that liberalism and individual freedom are evil, those who see themselves as soldiers of mystical, murderous rot who are urged – no, entitled – to kill innocents in what they see as their fight to spread their religious zeal among those who reject it.

It is these murderers who must be excised by their own religions.

And so it goes with God.

And so it shall continue to go until this religion of peace—or any religion which inspires organized murder of innocents in its name—is understood and identified as the enemy of civilization it continues to reveal itself to be. 

Don’t ask why they do it -- they do it by choice; ask why we choose to ignore what inspires that choice over and over again.

Monday, April 22, 2013

MSM Connects the Dots

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lean Forward and Twist

Melissa Harris Perry wants us to know that our children belong to the whole community. When her MSNBC Lean Forward ad got some flack, Ms. Harris Perry went on to explain what she really meant.

She wants you to know that your Tulane student belongs to her because she does her job of correcting their papers (for which she is paid handsomely, no doubt) and does not send the papers back to you to correct. Of course, she jests about this part, but she further explores where she got the idea that everyone’s children belong to everyone – beyond that antiquated notion that their parents are responsible for them.  Because her parents volunteered for a non-profit daycare center and spent time as a community basketball league coach while her third grade teacher went that extra mile for her, Ms. Harris Perry reports that they taught her about collective responsibility.  All she wants is for all kids to grow up without fear and she feels we can do that through a collective responsibility for them. No apologies.

What she neglects to address is what her parent’s volunteerism, her job performance, and her third grade teacher’s extra efforts has to do with the force of government. She doesn’t explain why state intervention is necessary in order to help children achieve success in life. She does drop this gem – that she also learned collective responsibility from her elderly neighbors who pay their taxes without complaint.

The best twist in this most heinous of all collectivist ideas occurs when she leans forward to mind-meld with her anti-abortion colleagues:

Those people who truly believe that the potential life inherent in a fetus is equivalent to the actualized life of an infant have argued that the community has a distinct interest in children no matter what the mother’s and father’s interests or needs. So while we come down on different sides of the choice issue, we agree that kids are not the property of their parents. Their lives matter to all of us.

In this connection she has identified the problems with both the right and the left: statism. Both parties act as if individuals are unable to make their own choices from reproduction, through the education of their children, to what to eat, who to marry, and how to die without government intervention. Both group vie for the protection of their favored voting blocks always at the expense of individual rights.

And as far as frightening thought goes, Ms. Harris Perry well knows that government control of the lives of children is not a progressive idea, but an ancient one espoused by the most murderous tyrants in history.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Welcome to Europe!

So many tools under one dome.

Wistful Pop

It’s been a while since I've obsessed over a song; released in January 2006, this song is over seven years old and yet new to me.  From a little black-berrying by my husband regarding the singer Neil Hannon, of the Divine Comedy, to God Help the Girl, a story set to music project by Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian, a Scottish indie-pop group, Funny Little Frog is a little bit of musical magic.  

Okay, I'm a sucker for its particular mix of nostalgia, romance, innocence, and sweet sensuality.

First of all, it sounds like it's out of the early seventies with its string orchestration and simple, but sing-a-along-compelling arpeggio chorus. Then there are the words – clearly written for a man to sing, but the singer (in the video) works it well.  In fact, maybe that's why it works.

Honey, lovin' you is the greatest thing,
I get to be myself and I get to sing,
I get to play at being irresponsible,
I come home late and love your soul,
I never forget you in my prayers,
I never have a bad thing to report.

You're my picture on the wall.
You're my vision in the hall,
You're the one I'm talking to,
When I get in from my work,
You are my girl, and you don't even know it,
And you're the funny little frog in my throat.

My eyesight's fading, my hearing's dim,
I can't get insured for the state I'm in,
I'm a danger to myself I've been starting fights,
At the party at the club on a Saturday night,
But I don't get disapproving from my girl,
She gets all the highlights wrapped in pearls.

You're my picture on the wall.
You're my vision in the hall,
You're the one I'm talking to,
When I get in from my work,
You are my girl, and you don't even know it,
I am living out the life of a poet,
I am the jester in the ancient court,
And you're the funny little frog in my throat.

Had a conversation with you last night,
It was a little one-sided but that's alright,
I tell you in the kitchen about my day,
You sit on the bed in the dark changing places,
With the ghost that was there before you came,
You've come to save my life again.

I don't dare to touch your hand,
I don't dare to think of you,
In a physical way,
And I don't know how you smell,
You are the cover of a magazine,
You're my fashion tip, a living museum,
I'd pay to visit you on rainy Sundays,
And maybe tell you all about it, someday.

Past the Victorian mind-body dichotomy expressed, I think this song is a tiny condensation of the inspirational power and real hope offered to the lover in an unrequited love because the singer acknowledges it for what it is.

And because it's tough to be dark against that melody.