Saturday, April 28, 2012

Helping Out a Blogger Buddy

My friend Rick Darby at "Reflecting Light" had a blogging catastrophe yesteday; he accidentally trashed his blog template and had to restore his blog from a very old template he had retained (moral:  backup your template often).  He asked me to help restore the original look of the blog, and I spent most of today doing that (I wasn't doing anything anyway and it was fun to do).

Anyway, I restored the blog with a blogger standard template, then used html code to get back the right colors and layout.  It still needs some minor tweaking, but Rick can handle that easily enough.

The original look of the blog can be seen in this cache copy.  The restored version is here.

One thing I didn't do was restore the rounded corners, but I think I can do that as well.  Maybe later.  Time for a cigar!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The French Ship of State Is Leaking, French Leftists Drill Holes to Let the Water Out

The French Have Decided to Go Down With the Ship
Ah, les Français!  Leur char de l'état se coule vite, mais l'on a la solution!

Yes, their ship of state is sinking fast, but they have the solution!  Drill holes in the bottom of the boat to let the water out!  Brilliant!

Feeling a little sick? Swallow arsenic!

It appears that France, suffering from economic woes that can only come from high government spending, a huge welfare roll, and lots of socialism, knows how to fix it!  Vote for a socialist for president!  Yes, that will do the trick!

French logic:  when your house is burning down, throw some gasoline on it!

Brilliant logic, French people.  Que vous êtes tellement intelligents!

Media Slant in Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman Case

The media slant couldn't be more obvious in the Martin-Zimmerman case.  Just look at the photos they carry of Martin and Zimmerman.  See below.  This one came from the New York Times (I think -- maybe it was the Washington Post).  It's obvious that picture of Martin is several years old and he wasn't that young when he was beating Zimmerman's head into the ground.

The photo of Zimmerman was obviously taken when he was experiencing a severe breakout of acne.  He doesn't normally look that way.

We have found a much more accurate representation of the two figures in this case.  We present it below as a counter-weight to the anti-Zimmerman propaganda featured above.  Both men are expressing their true religious beliefs in these undoctored photographs.  Note the suspicious bag of white powder Martin is holding.  What's up with that?  It is a bag of flour, perhaps?  Perhaps Martin's hobby was baking croissants.

Photo credits:  The top graphic is from Sad Hill News, a conservative and satirical site.  (Add it to your link list).  The graphic below is mine, created from photos taken from the web.  Martin's bag of white powder is indeed flour (what did you think??).

Note:  This is satire only and not intended to represent the true nature of either Martin or Zimmerman.  It does, however, represent the true nature of the media.

Update:  Great minds think alike.  Lawrence Auster of View From the Right discusses the Trayvon photos and media bias today at this link.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Photo Supports Zimmerman's Claims of Self Defense

ABC has released the photo at the left of George Zimmerman's head, taken three minutes after Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.

The photo supports Zimmerman's claim that he shot Martin while in fear of his life.

Since Martin was black, Zimmerman is now on trial for murder, because our hyper-racially sensitive society makes any offense to a black person a "hate crime" no matter how justified the offense.

The ABC news commentators where this photo is shown are busy repeating the leftist propaganda now being used to justify Zimmerman's coming show trial and subsequent crucifixion.

Hat tip View From the Right

I Find Myself Defending the Democratic Party. What's Up With That??

Lately I have had to defend the Democratic Party against brazen falsehood by some folks on the right.  Ann Coulter, PaganTemple, and some guy at Human Events have decided to push a big lie in order to make the Republican Party seem enlightened and virtuous, and the Democratic Party "the Party of Slavery."

Today, in the here and now, the Republican Party supports individual freedom to a much greater extent than the modern Democratic Party.  But casting the Democrats as "the Party of Slavery" is unethical, inaccurate and unfair.  Slavery was an American institution, not a Southern one, one in which the North was both foundational and highly responsible.  The Republican Party was a sectional party, representing the interests of the North; as such, they were highly antagonistic to the South and anxious to keep their high tariffs in place, which fell most heavily on the South, for the benefit of the North.

The early Republican Party was against allowing slavery to enter the new territories, those areas that had not yet become states.  They did so because (1) they did not want to compete with slave labor for jobs (a reasonable position) and (2) they hated blacks.  The early Republicans called themselves "the White Peoples' Party."  They were not the eternally virtuous and enlightened society that Ann Coulter pretends.

After their totalitarian crushing of the independence of the Southern people, the Republicans then got busy mass-murdering American Indians, appropriating Hawaii by deposing its queen, and acting like the gun-boat thugs they were in fact.

I am a Republican today because it is the best choice among two evils.  However, I resolve to be a friend of the truth before I am a friend to the Republicans.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name.....

View from the Right quotes an article from "The Smoking Gun" today that is both tragic and humorous.  A woman named Fellony hit another woman with a glass, in a bar, after the latter bumped into her while dancing.  The victim was taken to the hospital with her noggin bleeding.

Her assailant, "Fellony," was arrested.  It appears that Fellony has a long record of arrests and crimes.  Now readers at "The Smoking Gun" are having a field day thinking of names for Fellony's relatives:  her little sister must be "Miss Demeanor."  Her mom must be "Syphilis."

Here are my contributions:  her uncle must be Hittenrun.  Her brother must be Driveby.  Her cousin must be Nicklebag.  Her father can only be Absent.

All  kidding aside, her parents did a terrible thing to name her "Fellony."  Perhaps that somehow influenced her to take the wrong road in life.  They should have named her "Charity" or "Grace" or even "Tolerance."  Or how about "Paix" for peace?

One wag noted that at least they didn't name her "Sh*thead."  He has a point.

On Eating Dogs: Obama and the Politics of Pooch

"Try It, MO-FO!"
The Obamabots thought they would besmirch Romney with a tale of how Romney once put his dog in a crate, strapped the crate to the top of the car, and took off on vacation (or something).  The poor pooch was subjected to a confined space and maybe wind blew in its face; omigod, I am so (not) appalled.

Now it has come to light that Obama, as a young child, ate dog in Indonesia when it was served to him by his parents at suppertime.  It this an important factoid in the 2012 Presidential Elections?  Not on your life.  Such silly arguments reduce the campaign to childish taunts and counter-taunts.  Grow up.

Lots of cultures have eaten, or still eat, dog meat.  In one region of the Philippines the locals eat dog.  American Indians are said to have eaten dog (remember "Little Big Man"?).  I once played in a Hawaiian band and one of the band members told me he had attended a luau in Hawaii one night, and when he went behind a shed to relieve himself, he found the heads of four dogs.  Then  he realized what he had been eating.

Just for the record, I don't eat dogs.  I love dogs, would never bite one just to get my picture in the papers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last Day for Taxes - Also, the Little Boy of the Titanic

Ah, the tax season officially ends today.  I go into work at 1 PM and work until 9 PM, but then it's all done, except for some mopping up through the rest of the month.

I'm tired!  I must get ready, but first a cigar in the spring-like weather in my backyard, where the lawn is a brilliant green and the persimmon tree is filled with new, yellow-green foliage.

One hundred years ago today the Mackay-Bennett funeral ship set sail for the site of the Titanic's sinking.  It arrived at the scene early in the morning of April 20.  The sailors, looking over the side, were appalled at what they saw:  dozens of bodies, bobbing about in the waves, upright in their white life vests, heads bowed in death.  Then began the grim task of recovering the bodies. 337 were found, 309 by the Mackay-Bennett.    One was a two year old boy.

The Mackay-Bennett sailors were deeply touched by the recovery of the little boy's body.  They took up a collection among themselves and the public, and gave him a grand funeral in Nova Scotia.  He was buried beneath a large grave marker (right).  In a sense, his grave marker became a monument to all of the children who died on the Titanic.  He was one of only three children whose bodies were recovered, and his little shoes were kept as an artifact of the Titanic.

The child's identity was finally made known more than 90 years later, thanks to modern  DNA analysis. The little boy --  Sidney Leslie Goodwin, of England -- is unknown no longer.

 Sidney Leslie Goodwin

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Walk Through a Graveyard

Yesterday, upon reading about memorials and monuments to the Titanic, I got the same feeling I do when walking through the older sections of a graveyard.  Marble statues of angels, tombstones covered with moss or lichens, the inscriptions wearing away until they are almost unreadable.  You get the impression of other times, of spats on men, horse-drawn buggies, large Victorian hats on women, wrought iron gates, the Gilded Age.  Bones and sepulchers.  Dead people.

It's only by reading accounts, well-written by those who lived though those times, that the imagined odors of must and dust and decay disappear.  Flesh and blood men and women arise in their place in the mind, the dead past takes on the vibrant immediacy of a heart beat.

Reading great books about events like the Titanic, one can feel the engine vibrations beneath his feet, the smell of the smokestacks, the sway of the decks, the chill wind of the Atlantic, the pleasant smell of salt air, the screech of seagulls.

Not to mention the taste of corn from this corny description.  But you get the idea.

Off to work.  I have to get through today and tomorrow and this tax season will be history too.  One that I don't want to come back to life, rhetorically or otherwise.

I Finish "Berlin Diary"

I finished William L. Shirer's "Berlin Diary" last night.  My immediate emotion upon reading the last few lines was regret.  Regret that the book was finished.  It was that good.

I have now waded into the Shirer's more difficult tome, "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Heroes of the Titanic: Isidor and Ida Strauss

Isidor and Ida Strauss
Lawrence Auster of View From the Right is one of the few bloggers I know who remembered the Titanic today, 100 years to the day after the great ship sank.  He mentions the statue in New York that memorializes two of the brave:  Isidor and Ida Strauss.  This married couple were Jews from Georgia.  Isidor had volunteered for the Confederate Army at the outset of the Civil War, but was refused due to his young age of sixteen.  Later he became co-owner of Macy's Department Store with his brother.

The Strausses had been together since their marriage in 1871.  An officer of the Titanic offered a seat in a half-filled lifeboat to Isidor and Ida, but Isidor refused to go ahead of younger men than himself.  Ida opted to stay with him, and is reported as telling the officer:  "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together."  Another account that I read in the book "A Night to Remember" says that Ida refused Isidor's plea for her to go into the lifeboat without him.  She said, "We have lived together for many years.  Where you go, I go."  Wikipedia says the couple was last seen sitting in deck chairs when they were washed overboard by a huge wave.

A ship called the Mackay-Bennett was sent to the location of the sinking to recover bodies, and Isidor's body was recovered.  Unfortunately, Ida's was not.

Isidor was buried in the Bronx, New York.  His tomb (and the Strauss statue in Strauss Park) can be viewed here.

The video clip (from James Cameron's movie "Titanic") below shows Isidor and Ida in their bed as their room fills with water.  This is fictional and does not line up with eye witness accounts of their demise.  However, I did enjoy the portrayal of Wallace Hartley's string quartet playing "Nearer My God to Thee" on the rapidly flooding deck.  Hartley's body was recovered and he was buried in his hometown in England.  More people attended his funeral than there were residents of the small town.

100 Years Ago Today: The Tragedy of the Titanic (Photos, Videos)

RMS Titanic as She Appeared in 1912 (Colorized by Stogie)
I have been hearing about the Titanic since I saw a movie about it (as a wee child) in 1953.  A great British ocean liner, on its maiden voyage from Southampton  to New York, touted to be "unsinkable," hit an iceberg near Newfoundland and sank two hours later.  There weren't enough lifeboats -- only enough for a third of the 2,223 people on board.  About 1,500 of those people went into the freezing water of the North Atlantic, where they quickly died of hypothermia.  That terrible event happened 100 years ago today, early in the morning of April 15, 1912.

The Titanic story is one of incredible arrogance, lack of foresight, bravery and cowardice, heroism and tragedy.  The Titanic was a beautiful ship, fitted out in luxury and the highest technology of its day.  It had luxury cafes, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a library, and a wireless telegraph and remotely controlled watertight doors.  Some fool reportedly told the press before the voyage that "God himself couldn't sink this ship."  Apparently, God took that as some kind of challenge.

Titanic Today
Only 710 survivors made it into the lifeboats.  Many of the lifeboats were lowered into the sea half full, because the Titanic didn't seem to be sinking at first, and passengers preferred the warmth of their cabins to what seemed a false threat.  When the ship began to sink at the bow and the list became increasingly steep, pandemonium reigned as many tried to crowd into the remaining lifeboats.  Since it was "women and children first," some men survived only by accident -- by jumping into the water where they were picked up by the half-filled lifeboats.  Two men went over the rail together; one survived and the other did not.  A priest prayed with some passengers on the steeply listing deck; members of the ship's orchestra, led by band leader Wallace Hartley, played music to calm the crowd.  Some say their final song was "Nearer My God to Thee."  Others say it was "Autumn."

They were picked up hours later by the Carpathia, a freighter who sped towards the disaster site in a heroic attempt to save the lives of the Titanic's passengers.  Alas, it was too far away to save anyone but the lifeboat passengers.  The S.S. Californian, within easy reach of the Titanic, could have saved many.  Its crew was puzzled over the meaning of the flares being set off from the Titanic (they were a cry for help), but took no action.  They turned off their wireless and went to bed, totally oblivious to the unfolding disaster.

Today the wreck of the Titanic rests 12,415 feet down on the seabed, slowly rusting away.  Plans are underway to commemorate the tragedy and pray for its victims -- now 100 years after they disappeared into the cold waters of the North Atlantic, along with the luxury ship that will sail on in legend and imagination.

Here is a fairly short video showing scenes from the sunken Titanic, overlayed with images of Victorian era, ghost-like figures walking about the scene, which then clarifies into actual photos of the locations as they looked in 1912.  The film ends with a string ensemble playing "Nearer My God to Thee," very much as it must have sounded when Wallace Hartley's string ensemble played it as the Titanic sank into the sea.  Highly recommended.

Here is a film showing underwater views of the Titanic, with some unusual perspectives.


 From the Discovery Channel: Deep Inside the Sunken Titanic:   Part 1 of 2

 Deep Inside The Sunken Titanic, Part 2 of 2

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Berlin Diary

Colorized Photo of Hitler Accepting Surrender of French
in Marshall Foch's Rail Car, 1940
In the evenings, ensconced in my motel room in San Bruno, I have continued reading "Berlin Diary" by William L. Shirer.  Shirer was a radio correspondent for CBS in the early days of World War II, before the US was involved.  As a journalist, the Nazis gave him interviews and tours of battlefields and he was able to witness the events of 1938 - 1940 first hand.  He witnesses speeches by Hitler and  other top Nazis in person, and is in a constant fight with Nazi censors over the contents of his broadcasts.

The book makes well-known historic events seem very here and now.  I am disgusted with the Nazis rationalizations and excuses and propaganda.  They invaded Holland and Denmark "to preserve the freedom and independence" of those countries (from the Allies), even as their invasion was destroying those two things.  Shirer describes scenes in Poland, Belgium and France; destroyed houses, dead soldiers, masses of homeless refugees, dead horses bloating and stinking up roadways.

Shirer is disgusted at how easily the Nazis march into Holland and France, how quickly they defeat the allies (including the British).  In those early days, the allies were woefully unprepared for war.  Their airforces were very weak; they had no war strategy, and their early attacks on Germany were tepid.  They appeared to be a disorganized mob, while the Nazis were highly disciplined, motivated, innovative, well equipped and bold.  Shirer notes that France didn't fight the Nazi invasion, they just kept retreating until there was no more rear.  At least the Brits fought like devils at Dunkirk, before most escaped to sea in a flotilla of small boats, to fight again another day.

After defeating France, Hitler takes his revenge for Germany's defeat in 1918.  He orders the French commanders to sign an armistice in the very same rail car where Germans signed one, in defeat, 22 years earlier.  The rail car was the private car of Marshall Foch, preserved in a museum as a national shrine for France.  The Nazis took out a wall of the museum so the car could be taken out and placed in the exact same spot in the woods where the 1918 armistice was signed.  Hitler will occupy the very same chair where Marshall Foch sat, at the very same table in 1918, while the French sign the peace terms dictated to them.  It is Hitler's revenge for Germany's previous humiliation.  Shirer describes Hitler's approach to the car as it happened:
Then he strode slowly towards us, towards the little clearing in the woods. I observed his face. It was grave, solemn, yet brimming with revenge. There was also in it, as in his springy step, a note of the triumphant conqueror, the defier of the world. There was something else, difficult to describe, in his expression, a sort of scornful, inner joy at being present at this great reversal of fate—a reversal he himself had wrought.

Shirer, William (2011-10-23). Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 418-419). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.
"Berlin Diary" is a very intriguing book, and I am only halfway through it.  There will be many more days and nights following Shirer through the Third Reich.  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

North Korean Long Range Rocket Kills Capitalist Fish; Kim Jong Un Says "We Meant to Do That!"

Among much ballyhoo and fanfare, the leaders of North Korea launched a new long-range missile today, capable (they claim) of hitting the United States.  The rocket took off from its launch pad, headed out to sea where it broke into pieces and fell into the water.

North Korean leaders were quick to announce that they had been aiming at capitalist fish and that their launch was entirely successful.  Kim Jong Un noted that the launch was merely a warning shot should Godzilla decide to leave Japan alone and attack North Korea instead.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Political Show Trial for George Zimmerman?

George Zimmerman has been arrested and will stand trial for second degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin in self-defense.  I cannot help but believe that his arrest and the charges against him are politically motivated.

The leftist/liberal forces that control this society will make an example of Zimmerman.  He will be given a show trial and, if possible, a phony conviction.  His life will be sacrificed so Democrats can hang on to a key constituency.

When  civil war finally comes to these United States, for me it will feel like relief.  Then we can all stop pretending this thin veneer of civilization is anything but an illusion.

Update:  Thanks to Lawrence Auster at View From the Right for linking and commenting on this post.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Miami Marlins Muzzle Manager

Well once again we see free speech in America is a disappearing phenomenon.  Miami Marlins baseball manager Ozzie Guillen remarked that he "loves Fidel Castro."  For exercising his First Amendment rights, Guillen has been suspended for five games.

Making such a statement in Miami, with a heavy Cuban population of refugees from Castro's Commie Cuba, was a dumb thing to do.  I can't imagine how anyone with a functioning brain could claim to love Castro.  However, that's not the point.

Guillen has the right to love whomever he wants.  His affections take no skin from my nose or yours.  Hell, I love Nathan Bedford Forrest, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jeb Stuart.  There are others in this country who would be appalled at my affection for these historical figures.  However, it's none of their damn business.

I really despise the growing intolerance in this country for unpopular opinions.  Either we all  have free speech or none of us do, fires in crowded theaters notwithstanding.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

John Derbyshire and RAAACISM

John Derbyshire, lately of National Review Online and currently a writer for, has stirred up a firestorm of protest with an allegedly "racist" article.  Now myriads of conservatives (so-called) are posting, posing and posturing just like liberals in their rush to condemn him.

I read Derbyshire's comments and was not offended in the least.  Basically, all he said was that whites and Asians should caution their children to avoid violence from blacks.  Did he lie about anything?  Distort the truth?  No.

Blacks are more violent than any other racial group, a fact supported by decades of crime statistics as well as recent events.  I don't like this terrible truth and would change it if I could; however, reality has a way of ignoring my wishes, even when they spring from enlightenment and tolerance.

What Derbyshire was arguing for was what Dinesh D'Souza once described as "rational discrimination."  If you're a taxi driver interested in staying alive, you don't pick up seedy-looking black males in rough sections of town at night.  (Black taxi drivers also tend to follow this rule.)  If you're white, you don't wander through black neighborhoods in the middle of the night.  Many blacks hate white people and many blacks are violent.

Of course, many blacks are also good, decent people, but you have to play the odds if you are interested in your physical survival.  That's why Derbyshire advised his kids to avoid large concentrations of blacks that they do not know.  I assume the reader has heard of the recent "wildings" of black youths in many places, like the Wisconsin State Fair where mobs of blacks attacked whites for no reason other than their race.  Those beaten white kids would have been better off if their parents had warned them as Derbyshire suggests.

It amazes me at how thoroughly brainwashed the American public is on the subject of race, and conservatives are not immune to the social pressures, ostracism, job loss and public condemnation that comes from telling the unvarnished truth.  The term "racist" in its current meaning refers to anyone who is unwilling to continue advancing polite fictions about race in America.

I was reading Red State today and was mildly disgusted at the opprobrium that site heaped on Derbyshire.  Of course, National Review Online isn't terribly conservative anymore, preferring to present a socially correct image to the world rather than deal with unpleasant facts.

Black violence is a problem, one that is unlikely to be solved without honest discussion.  Now listen to the crickets chirping in the comments section as fellow conservatives run in terror from a topic they have been conditioned to avoid at all costs.