August 31, 2003


OK, now my blog's not loading properly; the sidebar's at the bottom and the formatting's messed up... maybe posting some more will help (classic blogger's answer I guess)

Update: Now it looks fine, all of five seconds later. Must've been a fluke, even though I reloaded repeatedly. Weird.

Oh, and in forty-eight hours, I get access to highspeed Internet. Buh-bye, Dialup... and do let the door hit you on the way out. Hard.

Posted by Tim at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)

Blogwar Update

The Truth Laid Bear has a new page dedicated to the Great Blog War of 2003. It details how many links the Blogger's Simian Alliance combined has compared to the puppy blender (almost twice as much, due, the Bear notes, to linkage of incestous proportions) and how many hits (our man the P. B. leaves 'em in the dust). So basically, lots of people point to Alliance blogs, but lots of people actually go to Instapundit's. Who do you think is winning?

Oh, and I wonder how many links the Axis has? Bet we're beating the monkeys over there in Frnak Ethel's corner.

Posted by Tim at 12:10 AM | Comments (1)

T minus 48 hours and counting...

In forty-eight hours, I will be living 400 miles from home, not only out of state but out of the country I've lived in for more than 18 years. Am I packed? No. Have I started? Not really. Will I put it off 'till Monday morning and spend three hours rushing around trying to fit my whole life into one small Pontiac? Almost certainly. Woo. Hoo. Land of socialism, polar bears and "oot and aboot", here I come.

Actually, several branches of our family tree have emigrated here from Canada, though I bet that's true for lots of Michiganders. Even our governor, the Hillary Clinton-esque Jennifer Granholm, is from Canada. Not to mention half my friends and several high school teachers.

So you may not see much of me over the next couple days. I really don't know what my schedule is going to feel like: I somehow doubt I'll need huge amounts of time to do my homework, but I could be wrong. Worst comes to worst, I'll still try to hang out on Munuvia with the other cool kids. Don't worry though, the likelihood of the Michigander going away is something like Howard Dean's getting elected. Or some Canadian hockey team taking the Stanley Cup away from Detroit (ah, the Red Wings, one bright spot in the sorry tale of Detroit pro sports as the Lions and Tigers race to the bottom).

So yeah. Oh, and I'm up to Marauding Marsupial, having pretty much jumped over that whole rodent thing. As Mookie would undoubtedly say, "Woot!". I'l add my own "Woohoo!".

Ah, and the obligatory quiz, this one figuring out what pisses you off:

<looks at the current world's population> You must have a lot of frustration then. </looks>

What pisses you off?

Created by ptocheia

Yeah, and this is even after I tried to stack my answers so as not to get this result. What can I say, I'm an anti-Idiotarian warrior. "Moonbats, I'm gonna exfoliate you to the bone!" (Yeah, still lame. Oh well.)

Speaking of quizzes, Susie seems to have an addictive personality; the latest object of her, erm, affection seems to be the battle cry quiz.

Posted by Tim at 12:04 AM | Comments (6)

August 30, 2003

We're the problem, why can't we deal with it?

One of the favorite scapegoats for conservatives is the Evil Liberal Media. It is our symbol of All That Is Wrong with this nation. And admittedly, it gets a lot wrong. Coverage is, well, attention-deficitish. Fluffy.

But that's because the media have to make money. They have to put out product that sells. Rachel Lucas says this better than I do, by the way, and I'm mostly repeating her ideas here, though I'd like to post more about this sometime.

The issue is the American people. We who believe it's a civic duty to stay informed need to pass these values on to our children and whoever else we can influence. The future of the Republic depends on a well-educated citizenry.

Posted by Tim at 03:13 AM | Comments (2)

Assorted bits of bloggy goodness

There is a new blog on the block: Munuviana, a group blog consisting of all ten (currently) bloggers who reside on the server thanks to the amazing Pixy Misa. Woohoo, I've always wanted to be part of a group blog, and these guys are a lot of fun.

On a not-particularly-related note, I've been pinged by several bloggers who don't usually ping me (like Susie)... in the interests of reciprocity and in line with the general Axis of Evil Naughty motto of "gratuitous linkage for all", here are some links back:

Dean at Dean's World doesn't get nearly as recognition as he should; in his latest post he links my posting on the Ten Commandments brouhaha. Dean's insights are most always right, always interesting, and never mean-toned toward anyone (who doesn't deserve it that is; moonbat idiotarians of all kinds ought to fear the sort of reasoned debate they can find here). He's a guy everyone can respect.

Buck of The Buck Stops Here is another blogger I read; he's been posting infrequently of late but also linked to my Ten Commandments post.

Lastly, Eric, whose blog is entitled Classical Values, takes the Battle Cry quiz here and in the same post toasts me (and, um, I think that's toasts in a "toast bread" kinda way, not a "toast your health" kinda way...) and spreads an Unsubstantiated Possible Truism about my surveillance system. And there isn't even any poorly photoshopped evidence.

Interesting that I have huge differences with each of these bloggers. Dean (and Buck?) are (Actually, Buck's one of us weird religious folks) is a Bright agnostic, I'm a Calvinist. Eric's gay, I'm straight. All three are more or less classical liberal/libertarian -- I'm, well, a plain and simple conservative. But I respect each of them immensely.

Update: since I've gotten several links lately, I figured I'd better check my TTLB rankings like a good rank-obsessed little blogger. I'm a Flappy Bird. Six links away from... Rodent?!? Is it just me, or is rat a step down from eagle? Well I guess beaver would be a step up from sparrow so it could go either way. But still, would you really rather be a rodent than a bird?

Not that I don't want you to link me, of course. That would be... wrong. Everytime you don't link me, a star winks out. And one of these days, the star that goes to the big heaven in the sk... er, whatever, you know what I mean, kicks the bucket and all that... will be our Sun. So link now and link often.

Though if the Sun goes out, we won't have to worry about the anti-global-warming activists. Every cloud's got a silver lining.

Posted by Tim at 02:17 AM | Comments (2)

August 29, 2003

Dang, I have a wimpy battle cry

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Zang! Who is that, rampaging along the hotel lobby! It is the Michigander, hands clutching a bladed baseball bat! And with a vengeful grunt, his voice cometh:

"I'm going to exfoliate you to the bone!!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

(From DarthVOB, who got it from Michele and so on...)

But hey, a bladed baseball bat is cool enough, though I prefer to fight with pen rather than sword. Sometimes, though, a writing stick just don't do it for ya....

Posted by Tim at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2003

My thoughts on the Ten Commandments thing

I don't like either side here -- or more precisely, I agree with Judge Moore's claims that the Ten Commandments are important, but I think this is less about freedom of religion for him and more about winning popularity (and maybe higher office). It seems he has deliberately inflamed leftwing secularists and basically positioned himself to lose this so that he can get more support from the evangelical/fundamentalist base. Sadly, this will probably work; we tend to have, dare I say it, overly simplistic discrimination regarding politicians. Bush good, Democrats bad. Moore good, ACLU bad. It's the curse of decent people everywhere (not to say that evangelical=decent or non-Christian=mean by any means) that generally, all people of goodwill tend to impute their own good motives to others who may be more malevolent. Basically, the Judge is shooting us in the foot here for his own personal gain. He's reinforcing every stereotype of the Christian as anti-intellectual, overbearing and tending to the theocratic. Not helpful.

All the same, I do think that everyone who cares about the future of the rule of law and of the Republic ought actively to support things like prayer in schools, religious-themed mottoes, etc. Why? These things are symbols, true -- the morality of the nation does not depend on whether there's a stone monument in the courthouse of a backwater state. But symbols are important. They do shape our perceptions of reality.

Wait, you say. I'm an atheist/agnostic/bright/whatever. If symbols are as important as you say, well that makes it all the more important that sectarian, Judeo-Christian symbols be removed from the civil forum, so that all viewpoints can be treated equally in the marketplace of ideas.

Wrong. You've jumped to conclusions. The function of these symbols in the public square is not to promote Christianity or organized religion or even belief in God.

To tell the truth, these symbols don't do any substantial harm to secular ideas either. Note that the United Kingdom has no concept of separation of church and state, with prayer in schools, the whole bit (heck, they've still got an established, state-funded Church) but is more or less a secular nation. Unless all those reports of atheists being burned at the stake are being suppressed by the Puritan Theocracy, of course.

What religious gestures by the government do do is focus our attention on this fact: that there is a higher authority than Congress or the Supreme Court or the President or even the Constitution. Some call it "Natural Law". I call it God, and I'd rather you believed in a personal, omnipotent God -- but that's not the point for this discussion. The important thing is that every lawyer and scholar and politician acknowledge that the Law is not a social construct. Things are not wrong because they are criminalized; things are criminalized because they are wrong. We can argue over whether certain things ought to come within the purview of the state (like legalization of drugs) but that is, again, beside the point. What needs to be clear is that there is an objective morality outside ourselves and outside the society as a whole. The Law needs to reflect that morality; when it does not, as it did not for blacks until 1863 and 1964, for women until 1920 and later, and still, argue proponents for gay rights, today -- the Law must be changed not to suit the whims of public majorities or the Supreme Court, but to come more in line with what is just.

We disagree about some points of the natural law, but on most, Americans are in full agreement:
-Human life is sacred. Everyone has a basic, inherent right to live.
-Everyone must be free to follow his own conscience and beliefs. Everyone has a basic, inherent right to liberty.
-Private property exists. Everyone has a basic, inherent right to do with his own property what he feels will make him happiest.

Sound familiar?

We hold these truths to be self-evident
(Not subjective -- clear to all who care to look)
That all men are created equal;
(The rights that follow are inherent to every man, not just a special class or race)
That they are endowed by their Creator
(again, this is not subjective in any way; there is a Law outside of ourselves and our society that makes these rights inherent)
with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The important thing is not the symbols themselves; it is that seeing these symbols everywhere ought to remind us constantly that there is a Natural Law, a yardstick by which we should measure our actions as well as those of our society and government. When you see "In God we Trust" on a dollar bill, you should remember to spend your money wisely. When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you need not believe in a higher power to recognize that the government or the Constitution or the People can and have been horribly wrong; how would we know that if morality were merely what the government or the Constitution or the People said it was? Or, on another tack: which would you feel safer under, a government that acknowledged it was not the source of its own authority, or a government that believed itself to be self-perpetuating and ultimately sovereign?

Posted by Tim at 11:53 PM | Comments (14)

Tim 1, Bureaucracy 0! (or, how Tim almost becomes a socialist)

Any longtime readers of this blog who have photographic memories will recall that several weeks ago (two weeks from yesterday to be exact) I went downtown to apply for a passport so I can get across the border to go to university without a huge hassle. I paid sixty bucks extra to have it expedited (which meant I was guaranteed to get it in two weeks.) Yesterday I checked the mail. Wasn't there. Today I checked the mail. Wasn't there. I went back downtown to talk to the people in the city clerk's office. They were very nice about it, made some phone calls and took my phone number. I left rather worried; I had to send in papers that I'll need to cross the border and get my visa, so if it were to come late I'd be stuck here.

But then the lady from the City Clerk's office called my house. The INS people or whoever it is that handles passports said they would FedEx the passport and documents to me. I'll get them tomorrow or Saturday.

I started to rethink my thoughts about bureaucrats and government employees. Hey, the mailman does a decent job, and these people were really nice. I began to enter a sort of happy delusion wherein the government always made things better when they stepped in, wherein federal funds helped fix problems... but then I saw an MDOT (Mich. Department of Transportation) guy leaning on his shovel, watching cars go around a lane that was closed because of a huge hole they'd dug for no apparent reason. The bubble popped; my good old American antipathy toward government returned. Good thing, too -- I was headed straight for Frenchlike government-philia (shudder).

Posted by Tim at 04:49 PM | Comments (2)

Wow, Pixy's really at it today

And in another act of random generosity, Blogphilanthropist extraordinare Pixy Misa has aided another blogger, Ted (formerly of Blogspot and new immigrant to Munuvia.

I refuse to update my template more than once a day (influence of Susie*. Plus, who knows? maybe Pixy'll strike again (may I suggest Mookie)?

*Speaking of Susie, I got to Ted's new blog and commented before she did. I don't think I've ever done that before. Yay me.

Update: in my hurry to get this up before Susie posted (which she did twenty minutes later) I left out a crucial quote which screwed up my post (Thanks for the note, Pixy). Also, my hunch happened; Mookie is now a Munuvian. Yay us! No one can stop us now (maybe we ought to form our own alliance against everybody else?) Anyway, I think Mookie ought to make us a banner.

Posted by Tim at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)

What. The. Heck.

OK, so TTLB's Ecosystem had to be revamped due to the fact that it was running efficiently. So I go check my new position ('cos I'm a blogger and links are life to me) and what is Instapundit (may his puppy ever be well-blended)'s position? Number freakin' two! The #1 slot: some random guy. Instapundit is listed with 1918 links: this random blogger has 9766. What the heck?

Oh, and I'm a Flappy Bird, no. 783. Yay.

Posted by Tim at 11:22 AM | Comments (1)

And the amazing Pixy Misa does it again...

Jen of Jennifer's History & Stuff (and more famously, the leader of the Axis of Evil Naughty has moved to That's right our fearless leader is now a Munuvian!

Update your blogroll! (Sorry, Susie.)

Hey, I think I've beaten Susie to the punch on this! I'll have to check...

Update: Well, Susie got to Jen's comments first but I blogged about it before she has. (As of 11:14 EST she hasn't posted yet.) If she does; maybe she doesn't want to throw any links to the leader of the Axis... or wait, isn't Susie on everyone's side in this crazy war? She's like the AntiTiger, er Switzerblogger™. Analogy, analogy... like France? (ouch, that was harsh)

Posted by Tim at 10:53 AM | Comments (2)

Mozilla vs. IE

A couple weeks ago I downloaded the open-source Internet browser Mozilla. I really like the fact that it allows you to open pages in new tabs within the same window; you don't have to deal with your computer slowing down when you've got 18 browser windows open, and it's just much easier to navigate. Also, you can bookmark groups of pages -- for instance, my default/home setting opens about 8 tabs roughly corresponding to the blogfriends section of my blogroll, and I have several other bookmarks for the other sections. Every little time-saving measure helps, especially when you're lazy (me) or on dialup (me again, until (woohoo!) Monday...).

But there's one frustrating thing about Mozilla -- when you right-click your mouse, the first option is to 'close this tab' but the option just below it is 'close all other tabs'. I use a laptop with a touchpad so it's really easy to hit the wrong thing. And it's ever so frustrating to close 10 tabs which take about 2 minutes, maybe more, to load. Grrr.

The interface also took a bit of getting used to, since the model for Mozilla is Netscape Navigator. If they would design a skin that mimics IE, I bet a more people would use it. Then again, maybe Microsoft would get mad. IE is a elegant browser, but Mozilla lets you do more. There's a built-in mail application too, but I haven't been able to figure out how to configure it yet. I think it asks for a pop3 server and the MSN Help only gives me some other thing. Whatever, I'll just use Outlook.

Posted by Tim at 03:56 AM | Comments (10)

Quizilla, laziness, ascii characters and Spanish word order... all in one post

I think I'll stop blogging on matters substantive and just do about five Quizilla quizzes a day. You'll still love me, right?


Which Personality Disorder Do You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

<pedant>The text says I may "loose" my grip on reality altogether. Is the lose/loose distinction so difficult for people to grasp? Arrgh. Actually it sort of works in this context, but it still jars.</pedant>

Oh, and by the way did you notice my lovely angle quotes? Google is my friend; I found this lovely site which gives you the ascii codes for characters like &amp;, the ampersand; &lt;, the left bracket and &gt;, the right bracket. Because it's so nice (and somewhat lazy, yes) to be able to explicitly set the tone of your writing (as "pedant", above), since

mood this interferes with parsing of a sentence /mood
(this) looks dumb (/this).

Question: why does "matters substantive" sound better (more elegant, possibly more ironic) than "substantive matters"? Is there a rule allowing post-nounal adjectives under certain conditions in English or have I just studied Spanish too long (most Spanish adjectives follow the noun, as in "casa blanca" but some go before, like "buenos dias". I've internalized the rule, I guess, since I can't tell you why they're different.)

Posted by Tim at 12:54 AM | Comments (2)

Horoscopes are dumb but funny

From the website of the Kalabarian Philosophy (which I've never heard of before today) comes this (apparently, Kalabarians believe your name reveals who you are:

The name of Timothy has made you serious-minded, responsible, and stable. You love the security of a home and family, you are fond of children, and, as a parent you would be fair and understanding. Although you have good business judgment, you are not aggressive in your dealings because you do not like to create issues. You would be successful in any position dealing with the public as you have a diplomatic and tactful manner and possess a charming, easy-going nature which puts people at ease. People are drawn to you because they feel that you are patient, kind, understanding, and responsive. You would be effective in a career or in volunteer work where you are handling people and serving in a humanitarian way. While you are honest and responsible, one weakness that is paramount in your life is your lack of self-confidence and initiative, which causes you to put things off and avoid facing issues.
As is usual with horoscope-like things, some of this stuff is dead-on (I'm responsible, enjoy volunteer work, am fond of children) and most of it's vague enough to apply to everyone anyway. Who doesn't like to put stuff off?

But come on. Stable? Serious-minded? Lack of self-confidence? Surely not I.

Posted by Tim at 12:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2003

Urgent Biological Blog War Update

I am officially sick.

Again, you vote, I decide. I may be swayed by the democratic process -- or I may not. It's sort of like voting for the Soviet legislature, back in the day.

Posted by Tim at 11:46 PM | Comments (4)

Al wins -- my link of the day

Several days ago at someone's site I accidentally wrote "let a thousand puppies bloom" instead of "let a thousand puppies blend". Never one to try to cover up my mistakes, I offered a prize (maybe) to the first person to tell me where I'd messed up. Anyway, Al of You Can Call Me Al was the first (and only) to email me so he gets to be my link of the day. Which is slightly better than it sounds since I never update my link of the day, so it's more like link of the week. Still kinda sucks but there's not much more I can do for ya, I'm a poor college student (woohoo! eight days and I'll be a legal alien in Canada!).

Posted by Tim at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2003

Is Arnold really a good idea?

I'm not sure about this whole Arnold as Governor thing. Admittedly, it's way cool. But is he really going to be able to turn this thing around? Leave off the fact that socially, he's a liberal. Economically, he seems to be sort of middle-of-the-road go-for-whatever-works. Fresh face, fresh ideas, fresh appeal to the pissed-off California electorate. If he wins, though, I don't think he can do it. He'll be fighting a Democratic legislature tooth-and-nail. They've already demonstrated that they are willing to sacrifice the good of the state to score political points, and there's no way one political novice can stand up against the California Democratic Party. Even if he is governor.

Then when the next election comes around, nothing much will have changed, and they'll blame it on Arnold.

So I'm sort of hoping for a Bustamante win. From what I see, California's pretty much a statist hellhole already, so maybe after a little more socialism-induced depression, Reality™ will kick in, and the prodigal will come back to its senses.

I'd love to see a Republican win, but Arnold I fear is a RINO on economic issues as well. Just like a Democrat, only the Dems can blame the Repubs for him. This does not smell good.

Posted by Tim at 11:06 PM | Comments (2)

Where are the jackboots when you need them?

Via The Corner, this link to the website of the Earth Liberation Front, a domestic eco-terrorist organization. On the front page are news articles about ELF 'actions' against homes under construction in (I assume) formerly undeveloped land or against SUVs. On the sidebar is a link to a .pdf document entitled "Setting Fires With Electrical Timers - An Earth Liberation Front Guide"; it's blurbed "The politics and practicalities of arson. Down-to-earth advice and comprehensive how-to's about devices, fuel requirements, timers, security and more."

This website makes me angry, annoyed and prideful. Angry, because these people are terrorists -- not nearly as bad as Bin Laden & Co. or Hamas, but terrorists nonetheless. Annoyed, because the gummint is probably too busy frisking six-year-olds in airports to keep an eye on these terrorists. Proud, because I live in a country where thinking and speaking are not crimes, where even the most vile are free to spew their vomit.

I hope the FBI is watching these goons very carefully, though. Maybe if the Feds stopped worrying about education, art and housing projects, they'd be able to protect us better -- you know, fulfill their actual constitutional mandate. What can I say, I'm an idealist.

Posted by Tim at 10:50 PM | Comments (2)

Funniest thing since Collins broke his nose

Go. Read. Now.

Posted by Tim at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

In the interests of simplification...

Some people who don't really pay attention or are jumping in midstream might not get the connection between monkeys, puppysipping and linkage. I present you with a Completely Unbiased History of Blog War (insert whatever number here).

It all started when His Magnificent Highness, Lord of Linkage, Baron of the Blogosphere, Prince of Pithyness (ok, and that's it for the alliteration) Glenn Reynolds (may his puppyshake be ever well-blended) didn't link Frnak J., who runs a humour blog popular in certain blogging circles. Now the reader may say to himself, "Isn't that kind of a flimsy reason to go to war? I mean, the US went into World War II only after Pearl Harbor, and even World War I began with some guy getting shot; isn't a non-linking an insufficient causus bellius, especially when the supposedly offending blog has a permalink to the offended one?" And indeed the reader who surmised such a thing would be correct. Frnak J. knew it too and thus began to formulate poorly photoshopped "evidence" to stir the populace against the benevolent and merciful Great White Father Glenn (may his puppyshake be ever well-blended.

At the same time, Frnak was hosting a Super Happy Fun Lucky Permalink Contest which lasted longer than the lifespans of several trillion fly generations and involved more rules than the Federal Tax Code. Everyone lost but one (since there was only one permalink spot up for grabs) but all the other contestants got permalinked anyway under a 'Losers' heading. Understandably, some got upset and one (Jennifer, who is talented, knowledgeable and sexy), declared war on Frnak. Others quickly piled on either because they also lost the Permalink Contest or, like me, saw a way to pick up some quick links enjoy inciting violence acted out of sheer altruism. Jen's new army was named the Axis of Evil Naughty.

In retaliation, Frnak formed his own, much inferior force. It has crappy banners and a really dumb name (The Blogger Alliance). The Alliance is technically anti-Glenn Reynolds (may his puppyshake be ever well-blended) but is obviously not fond of the Axis. It does have its own weblog, however the blog is run by Susie who is seriously confused, being a member of both the Axis and the Alliance. Sort of like Switzerland during World War II (and pretty much every other war), only completely the opposite. So if (hint, hint) Susie ever severs her Frnak ties, he's going to be in for a world of hurt.

So basically there are five different sides or perspectives in this war:

1. You are Frank J.. Because you are envious of Glenn Reynolds' (may his puppyshake be ever well-blended) links and stature in the blogosphere (and that he won't link you) you decide to start a war.

2. You are a minion of Frank J., a member of the Blogger Simian Alliance.

3. You are a member of the Axis of Evil Naughty led by Jennifer and opposed to Frank/wanting links from Frank/pro-Instapundit/neutral on Instapundit/wanting links from Instapundit/just wanting links.

4. You are part of the Axis of Evil Naughty but support Frank J. in his war against Glenn Reynolds (may his puppyshake be ever well-blended). Basically if you're in this position, your name is Susie.

5. You sip blended puppies and sit in your dark throne, searching for a few links that will not threaten your power. (Ooh, ooh! Pick me!)

Let a thousand puppies blend.

Posted by Tim at 01:24 AM | Comments (7)

August 21, 2003

You learn something new every day, I guess

eating people

what's YOUR deepest secret?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmm. I think on the question about cooking, you weren't supposed to say you'd invite your friends over.

Oh, and wow, I've had like three posts in the last four days. Don't worry, I'm still here but I just haven't wanted to blog. It's not blogger's block exactly -- I have rants to rant and inane points to point out -- but somewhere between where I plan my postings and type them, I lose interest. I haven't even changed my Link of the Day since I put it up Monday (lucky you, Susie). Oh and why is Glenn Reynolds instalinking everyone but me? It's not fair I tell you; of course, it can't be related to the fact that I am boring and never post :).

Posted by Tim at 02:40 PM | Comments (2)

August 19, 2003

Gratuitous Linkage

OK, so here's the updated Official Axis of Evil Naughty anthem, with anti-monkery and gratuitous linkage for all (but first, maybe a pledge?)

I pledge allegiance to the banner
And to the Axis of Naughty against Frnak J.,
United in purpose under Jennifer,
With anti-monkery and gratuitous linkage for all.

Remember, it's to the tune of Beethoven's Ninth, the Ode to Joy).

Axis naughty, bloggers many

Join as one to fight the foe:

Forward, onward, we will conquer

Frnak J. of I. M. A. O.

Never ceasing, never falling

We will blog, link, ping and read.

Join to mock them, loyal reader,

As the cowards French-like flee.

Against Susie, noted Pinger,

what brave blogger dares to stand?

Witness Jen, our valiant leader,

Take on Frnak, woman-to-man.

See how Ted the Minister speaketh

All that's needful to confuse:

Others, others, many others

Join our banner, fight the fools.

No gaunt warriors among us,
Tuning Spork will see to that:
As the Minister of Steak he'll
give us three squares -- and a snack.
Call Me Al will fly o'er the enemy, Incommunicado's unafraid;
IT Wizards, Pixy Misa:
Fight us and you'll need first aid.

Posted by Tim at 12:26 PM | Comments (7)

August 17, 2003

Long live the Puppy Blender

Kevin should know that I've supported the Instapundit from the beginning. So I'm linking to his post so I can get blogrolled as a Supporter of the Puppy Blender.

Posted by Tim at 08:31 PM | Comments (3)

August 15, 2003

We need an anthem

Monkeyboy Frnak and his little friends have one. It is pathetic as are all their works (they shall soon be crushed, fear not) yet since we don't yet possess one ourselves I take it upon myself to compose one:

(to the tune of Beethoven's Ninth, the Ode to Joy)

Axis naughty, bloggers many
Join as one to fight the foe:
Forward, onward, we will conquer
Frnak J. of I. M. A. O.
Never ceasing, never falling
We will blog, link, ping and read.
Join to mock them, loyal reader,
As the cowards French-like flee.

Against Susie, noted Pinger,
what brave blogger dares to stand?
Witness Jen, our valiant leader,
Take on Frnak, woman-to-man.
See how Ted the Minister speaketh
All that's needful to confuse:
Others, others, many others
Join our banner, fight the fools.

(If you're fighting with us and leave me a note in the comments I'll link you in the song too. See if you get that kind of treatment with Frnak, he'll just toss you a banana or something. What a cheese-eating surrender monkey.)

Posted by Tim at 09:04 AM | Comments (7)

Ignore that neutrality thing

I've decided to declare for Instapundit. It pains me to do this knowing I'll have to fight against my beloved blogsister Susie but I must do what I think is right.

Plus that means I can say things like this (I posted it in the comments at Samizdata):

All hail, all hail, the Instapundit! He sitteth on his dark throne; though foes do cry, he conquereth them with a single server-killing link! His minions report to him from near and far; he gets in every newspaper story about "web logs".

Let a thousand puppies blend.


Posted by Tim at 08:00 AM | Comments (5)

Morning news roundup; war update

OK well let's do the important news first. In the Frnak. J - Instapundit War I am officially staying neutral. I'm kind of like Switzerland. I have slight Instaleanings because I a) think Frnak is dangerous, b) think Glenn Reynolds is going to win (look at the stats so far, he's co-opted or immobilized every attack Frnak's made so far and still manages to post eighteen thousand times per seconnd) and most importantly, c) I don't like puppies anyway (except for Rachel Lucas, I'm not getting between her and Sunny or Digger. But I'm going to stay out of that fight.

The Alliance/Frnak war is a different story. I've declared for the (what exactly are we calling ourselves again?) Axis of EvilNaughty and will gladly fight along side such luminaries as Susie, our Official Pinger; Jennifer, our noble leader; Ted. I elected to be Minister of Simian Affairs but Jennifer didn't think that would be a good idea. So I'm vice-(dis)Information Minister or something. I've also appointed myself Axis Ambassador to Canada (like the war will last long enough for me to get there (16 days, woo woo!)) but that's kind of a do-nothing job since Canada is basically America-lite with a bigger Louisiana and fewer Mexicans. (You could call it France-lite with a large Anglo contigent, or British-lite as well). But basically the country is 'profoundly unserious' (I don't remember who said that, but it's a lovely phrase).

Oh and I had that lovely image off the Axis of Evil Naughty site appended to my sidebar for about two seconds. Then I tried to make it bigger in the template (my original code was the flag on Bill the Bloviator's site) which is kind of small; even though all I changed was the height and width dimensions it now doesn't work and just shows the link. Arrgh. Could someone (a href="">Pixy Misa? give a little help here? We need an Imperial (Axial?) Minister of Coding and General Tech Support so we know what we're doing.

Posted by Tim at 07:47 AM | Comments (5)

Before i lay me down to sleep

i must choose a name for the war against the one who must not be named but who has a netflix ad on his blog. note that i will not be using capitals (the romans built an empire without lowercase letters, we can survive without uppercase) nor will i in this post do links since that involves more work than i can deal with at the moment. anyhow if you want to know more the war began with the call from jennifer of jennifers history and stuff, google it if you want more info.

so in order to become part of the alliance i must choose a name/position for myself. i would say ambassador to canada... in fact i think i will but only as an auxillary (read: second choice in case they hate the first) position. i really would like to be information minister but some lucky bastard already got that one, don't remember who it is and am too lazy to look. ok so i want to be the official looker-out for monkeys. call it the "minister of defence and anti-simian affairs" unless our official position is that monkeys are good since frnak hates them, in which case i will be "minister of defence and outreach to the simian community". i guess its kinda like how in the harry potter books dumbledore is talking about the need to get the giants on the good side before they get completely pissed off and go join voldemort. i think frnak fulfills voldemort pretty well in this analogy since he is known as he who will not be named (at least not correctly). and then the monkeys = the giants and we re the good guys. i think dumbledore would be instapundit because voldemort (frnak) hates him more than anyone but is secretly afraid of him because he has more power than anything.

but again i dont want to stretch the analogy too far since ill probably end up being like freakin ron or something. that character pisses me off.

good grief im writing like collins. im even using words like piss off and bastard. none of the christian bloggers will ever link to me again. damn it. dang it.

Posted by Tim at 01:11 AM | Comments (3)

August 14, 2003

Power of the Internet...

Our relatives in Detroit called to tell us that their power was out but they were fine; we thought this was kind of weird until we were told by another caller that there were power outages across the Northeast. I'd seen online that NY was having some problems but hadn't been back to Instapundit since people needed to use the phone (darn dialup).

Anyway I went back to Instapundit and via him to news sites and the Command Post. I had the basic gist of the story with option to go deeper into any aspect (like terrorism fears, how it happened, estimated restoration time, etc.) within a minute (would have been seconds if, again, I didn't have dialup...). Meanwhile Grandma and Mom are watching the talking heads yammer on.

Behold the power of the Internet. It's truly revolutionary. And amazing how much more I know about issues and current events from reading blogs than I did when I read the paper every day. (I only read the editorial and local sections and the cartoons now, the rest I've already heard and just pisses me off since they leave out important information).

Problem is, 98% of the electorate get their minds shaped by the conventional media. That's a scary thought.

Posted by Tim at 06:46 PM | Comments (3)

More blogrolliage, blogwarring

Somehow Jennifer's History and Stuff has climbed out of my blogroll. Or maybe I forgot to add her... no, that can't be. Anyway I'm putting her permalink [back?] in; this all by way of introduction that

I'm stepping into the war against the Frnakian Menace, that guy with the Netflix ad. Longtime readers of the blog (and by that I mean you've been here at least twice) will know that I harbour vague animosity towards Frnak because he's got more links than me let loose an Dfilmania epidemic in the Blogosphere.

Unfortunately since I have almost no readers my evidence was pretty much buried. I have no doubt the Netflix people in conjunction with Frnak suppressed me. I'll be surprised if that link still works, as a matter of fact. But now the aforementioned Jennifer, who has actual readers, has sounded the trumpet call.

Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé! Contre nous de la tyrannie l'étendard sanglant est levé!

O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on.

Posted by Tim at 02:06 PM | Comments (1)

August 13, 2003

Dean hits the nail on the head again

Dean gets it pretty much right in this post:

I suggest that gay marriage should be coupled with laws which move us back toward more traditional, less destructive notions of marriage: that marriage should be somewhat difficult to enter into, and should involve penalties for people who leave a marriage lighly. Not by putting people in prison, but by ending no-fault divorce as an option for couples with children. Once you have kids, No-Fault goes out the door, and cause has to be proven to justify a breakup, such as abuse or adultery.

No-Fault's fine if there aren't kids. But if there are, you should have to document strong reasons for a breakup--with strong financial penalties in the divorce settlement for the aggrieved party. Because breaking up such a marriage doesn't just hurt those individual kids, or the person who is being abandoned. It hurts society as a whole.

I had only a small quibble -- from Dean's comments:
One quibble, which has already been mentioned above: I think the term 'marriage' should be reserved for heterosexual lifetime unions like it has been for thousands of years, and made a lot stricter (bans on no-fault divorces, etc.) And if a couple in a civil union has (or adopts) children, that union should be indissolvable until the children are 18 (except for the obvious like abandonment, infidelity, etc.)
But I'll probably end up writing another essay on this; I agree with his conclusions but I bet I got there a bit differently than he did seeing as he's an (ugh!) Bright (wince) and I'm a raving Calvinist.

Posted by Tim at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)

And the plague spreads...

Dfilmania has found a new host in this post by Alice Cimino. The feature film, entitled "Unemployment blues" can be accessed directly right here and stars Alice and yours truly. I won't give away the plot except to say that Taco Bell pays shit. Well, fifty cents less than shit to be exact.

It is instructive to note that for her first Dfilm, Alice plays opposite a guy who is not her husband Bill. Wonder if this whole controversy or maybe some of this attitude have anything to do with it....

In conclusion™, maybe Bill should be nicer to his wife. Not that it's any of my business but like that ever stopped a blogger.

Posted by Tim at 02:54 PM | Comments (2)

Waiting for Lileks

You know you're in trouble when you've got a headache from being tired and having read blogs all evening, and it's 12:45 AM but you can't. go. to. bed. until having read the Bleat, posted at midnight Central Time....

Posted by Tim at 12:44 AM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2003

Another problem with no solution

Not foreign policy zero-sum games or domestic social snarls.

I'm sitting on my couch. On my lap is my laptop; on my right, a carton of food (ok, it's donuts). I have to sneeze. Now. My head is back and to the right, so a vote for left is basically a vote for center as I turn my neck. I can't put my hands up because they're on the keyboard. Right or center?

I ended up holding my breath and scrunching my nose. Worked. It was a close one, though.

(Hey, why are you all mocking me? Why the laughter? Last I checked you all were whining about not having anything to blog. Not only have I done some actual, serious blogging these last couple days, I also have to get my Bonfire entry in for the week. And this is definitely it.

Posted by Tim at 08:46 PM | Comments (3)

Now that's something ya' don't see every day...

GO, GEPHARDT! [Rich Lowry]

Yes, That Rich Lowry. In the Corner today:

I'm told by a C-SPAN junkie that last night at a labor candidates' forum in Philly Gephardt defended his vote on Iraq war--THEN went after administration for being too soft on the Saudis. He said--don't quote me on these quotes, but they give you the flavor--said they must be "confronted" because they fund terrorists and "this administraiton will never do that." It apparently got a lot of applause. Thank goodness that someone is willing to lead on what should be the next battle in the war on terror. Who knows? Maybe the Bush administration will eventually catch up...
Let's hope so.
Well hey, my admiration level for Mr. Gephardt just went up a couple points. Unfortunately for him (well as if he cares), the aforementioned admiration levels go down every time he opens his big, idiotic, socialist mouth.

Posted by Tim at 08:37 PM | Comments (1)

Media, Arnold and WsMD: Why Instapundit is wrong

Glenn Reynolds says that the media hoopla over Kobe/Arnold/California is good because it keeps the ritalin-needy media from digging into the WsMD issue until this fall when the Administration will be able to make the case.

He's wrong. The media will bounce from these to some other issue, which will either be inane like Kobe or the child kidnapping 'epidemic' last summer or serious but hopelessly biased against authority, against the truth when truth-telling will lose viewers. News is not about straight talk. It never was, I don't think; but no doubt it's worse now and continually worsening, that's the way things usually develop without vigilant action. And when you've got 4 twenty-four hour news channels, you don't have time to get the real story; a lovely irony.

I think "Problems of the Media" is another issue I'd like to in-depth blog sometime. I'm going to be living in Canada beginning Sept. 1, and one of the things I'm looking forward to is the different approach they have to media control. I'll try to get back to this later.

Posted by Tim at 06:36 PM | Comments (0)

Another victory for traditional morality...

And once again, the world discovers something the church's been harping on for two millenia. (Via Last Man Dancing).

This time, it's the fact that cohabitatin' is not a good idea. Quite apart from the social repercussions of having sex (and children) outside of wedlock, there's some... logistical issues as well....

Posted by Tim at 11:27 AM | Comments (1)

August 11, 2003

Will famine or driving while asleep get me first?

If it's 11:30 on Monday morning and you haven't slept since Sunday morning at 10 and you realize that since there's almost nothing to eat in the house and you have no money and your mom's sleeping because she worked twelve hours last night and you realize all you had to eat all day yesterday was an ice cream float, some grapes and a piece of pizza because again, that's all there was, amazingly the hunger and the tiredness will cancel each other out and you'll be left feeling vaguely tired, not really hungry and only slightly to moderately nauseauted.

On another note, I went shopping for pants and shoes at Kohl's this morning. I paid for the pants, put the cart next to the door and went out to my car. Woohoo, I thought to myself, two pairs of pants and a pair of shoes for 50 bucks. I rock. Wait, I don't have any shoes. Left them in the bottom of the cart. Had to go back in; saleslady was friendly but bemused. Explained that I'd been awake for 23 hours.

Then there was construction at about three different spots on the way home. It is not easy to deal with new things when you are as sleep deprived as I am. A newspaper truck guy flicked me off at a four-way-stop. I swear I was there before he was but maybe not. So out-of-it that my favorite song came on and I couldn't muster up the willpower to sing along.

My body isn't tired at all. My brain feels like the eggs on those '80s anti-drug commercials.

Eight hours till this self-inflicted blogathon is over. Then I can go to sleep at the same time as all the little kids. I can't wait.

What's left on my list to do today?
-Pick up little brother, J., from Driver's Ed
-Go to City Hall to apply for passport
-Go to Police Station to get letter of reference for visa
-Not fall asleep
-Go to bed as soon as allowed

I'm betting I'll fall asleep after I bring J. home from Drv. Ed.

Posted by Tim at 12:12 PM | Comments (3)

Health insurance: no good solutions in sight

Tiger (note that he has changed paths from /blog/tiger-rant.html to /blog in order to debug some Blogrolling issues) posts about health insurance in response to a post by Silver Blue on the same. Money graf: "That's all fine and dandy, but there are some places that profits should not take a front seat. Medicine is one of them."

I agree, I think. But this issue is pretty complicated. Yes, USD100+ is an insane amount of money for a week's supply of medicine. I don't know how much price-gouging goes on, but I do assume that the cost of years of R&D is much higher than the actual cost of the meds once they're refined. The companies have to recoup that somehow, in the form of higher prices. But this causes a dilemma for the insurance companies, who have to charge higher premiums or set less-inclusive requirements. So both insured and (obviously) noninsured people get the short end of the stick.

What do we do about this? I'm suspicious of this whole Canadian importation thing: as far as I can see that's taking advantage of the low cost of meds in Canada, artificially held down by government subsidization. Do we really want the Federal Government okaying what amounts to an additional tax burden on Canadians? That doesn't seem very ethical to me. One might even call it taxation without representation.

Maybe the Government should subsidize certain prescription meds altogether. Or pour even more money into R&D. Or give tax credit for insurance. My fiscally conservative side is not very happy about this, but really we're dealing with a situation above and beyond what the Founding Fathers imagined when they wrote the Constitution. Our ability to extend human life grows greater every year; as a result, the numbers (and thus the expense of things like complex day-long surgeries and high-tech scientific research) go up too. Is it moral to deny a longer or healthier life to those who cannot pay for it? I do not know the answer.

Posted by Tim at 08:37 AM | Comments (60)

My own personal blogathon, hooray! well not really.

You may notice that while I usually post at about 2 in the morning, it is currently 7:45ish EST and I'm blogging. The reason is that I'm having my own personal Blogathon.

Well, ok. Not really. I don't have any sponsors, I don't have a charity, I have no PayPal button. Also I'm not posting every half hour.

But I am staying up, and not just until 8. I intend to be awake for at least another 12 hours. Y'see, thanks to the Blogosphere, the fact that I have very few responsibilities that must be fulfilled during the day and my normal teenagerly penchant for staying up late, I've gotten my days and nights almost completely switched around. I can't get to sleep until five AM; I can't get up until noon. Usually when this happens I just wait untill the weekend, when I have to get up early and go to church (9ish on Saturday for a coffee-and-doughnuts ministry, 8:45ish on Sunday for services at 9:30.) Problem: my alarm clock isn't going off. I have everything set right, I'm not 12 hours ahead or anything, but it won't go off. So I've slept in both mornings. This leaves me no option but to stay up all day, all night and all day again.

Hopefully that explains why the last post, although it started off quite serious, descended into random stream-of-conscioblogging. I'm tired now. Twelve more hours (any earlier and I'll fall asleep for a couple hours only, which will make me stay up really late again.)

Oh boy, and today I have to go downtown to apply for my passport and go to the police station to get certification that I'm not a bad person so Canadian Immigration will let me have a student visa so I can go to college, er university, that's what they call it (plus it makes me sound 23) this fall. Hopefully I'm not acting drunk by this afternoon when I go down there, that's one thing I've been compared to when extremely tired. The angry kind of drunk, too. Ick. Well if anything, um, interesting happens (like my being incarcerated for disorderly conduct at City Hall) I'll tell y'all about it tonight. I can get out, too; I've got this lovely AAA bond card which pays my bond up to 1000 bucks. Lovely, I guess.

Posted by Tim at 08:00 AM | Comments (4)

More on the Episcopal Question

In my earlier 'Episcopal Bishops' post I gave two basic arguments against the whole gay bishop thing. I was clearly against it but not really emotionally committed.

Now I am. I've been reading a bit on both sides -- the weblogs of conservative Episcopalians and of gays -- and I'm starting to feel some of the pain my fellow believers like John Derbyshire and others are feeling.

I'm a conservative Reformed Protestant. If you don't know your theology, well that's about as far away from the Episcopal Church as you can get, 'cept for maybe Pentecostalism. But being rather unorthodox (not theologically, but temperamentally) I feel quite attracted to the whole Anglican thing -- the idea of a big umbrella church, worldwide and fairly theologically conservative, willing to accept opposing views within the denomination but also willing to condemn clearly unbiblical shit like this recent ECUSA decision. If I could find a Calvinist-minded parish I'd be quite tempted to jump ship. I see the depths of love these persons have for their Church. They're debating with themselves whether to stay or leave. On the one hand, God's Word says not to associate with those who claim to be Christian yet whose words and actions spit on orthodoxy like these actions have. But on the other hand, they'll be turning their backs on their Church.

The gay blogs are almost uniformly jeering. About time. With a few exceptions, no thought is given to the fact that they might be horribly wrong -- and that even if they're right, they're forcing their views of sexuality on an ignored minority. Who's being oppressed here anyway? It doesn't take an evangelical to figure out that something's wrong here. Collins smelled a rat, as did James Lileks. Then again Collins is a proved genius and Lileks is the closest thing the Blogosphere has to a pope. I mean, Instaman's good for news and all, but when Lileks speaks ex Bleatam*....**

*I looked up latin declensions for authenticity's sake. 'Bleat' is accusative case (the object, "from the Bleat) so I had the choices of -am, -um, -em or -û. Went with the first-declension feminine. It's pronounced bl... well never mind that, I'm sure I'd get it wrong. Whenever I see something in a for'n (apologies, Buck the Marine) language I just pronounce it como si fuera español, except for French which I don't even try to guess at anymore. I mean they pronounce 'oui' like we pronounce 'wee' when it clearly's trying to say 'owie' as in "Owie Mommy these French people can't pronounce me, and I'm pretty important considering that I mean yes in this stupid language so in conclusion**** these French people are idiots"

**I think ellipses "..." are my trademark blogging eccentricity (compare Tiger's footnoting, Susie's hyper (in the ADD sense) linking, Glenn Reynolds' pithy one-worders....**

***Dangit, there I go again. Since I started blogging I can't seem to end a post with a period like everyone else in the free world does.

****I use 'so in conclusion' a lot too. It's an ironic gesture hat-tipping to the fact that teachers always make you write a conclusion to your papers, but don't give students any ideas on how to begin it. Since most high schoolers are raving idiots, they don't have any Clue about making transitions. They just tack a restatement of the thesis behind an 'In conclusion'. And here is a good place for me to stop.

Posted by Tim at 07:43 AM | Comments (2)

August 10, 2003

What is Bush doing? a long-term strategy analysis

Over at the Washington Post (via The Corner on NRO), Rich Lowry has a column about President Bush's unwillingness to enter the culture wars. Basically, he says that it's a bad thing for conservatives.

I'm not so sure. I wonder if there isn't more behind the President's actions than meets the eye.

Dubya campaigned on a solid, staid conservative platform. Yeah, he had a few new ideas (faith-based social programs) but on the whole he ran an unremarkable populist-conservative campaign. After winning by a nose, he more-or-less stuck to a moderate conservative policy. The government was split (Senate was 50-50, then 50-49 for the Dems; Republicans had the House and 1600 Penn. Ave.)

Then the September 11 attacks occurred. Bush's numbers went through the roof. What did he do with his new-found political capital? He spent almost all of it on foreign policies, enunciating a bold new plan to basically democratize the Middle East. Yes, he passed a tax cut, but it was chopped almost in half by Democratic congressional leaders.

The midterm elections of 2002 showed overwhelming support for Bush and his party, as the Republicans actually gained seats in both houses, which virtually never happens to the party controlling the White House. They now have thin majorities in both houses.

All right, conservatives said, now we've finally got Congress and the White House for the first time in maybe half a century. It's time to get some real work done. But the President continues to play from the center. As Rich Lowry points out above, the rhetoric from the Administration has been very mild and appeasing to both sides. He continues to compromise with Democratic leadership on domestic issues, a stance that is being increasingly criticized by fiscal and social conservatives. He's wishy-washy and pandering; this isn't the straight-talking man-of-the-people we elected. What is George W. doing?

First off, I think he realizes that more important than stopping a prescription-drug benefit or denouncing gay marriage is the ongoing war on terrorism. Culture wars simply take a back seat to the defense of Western civilization.

But secondly, by yielding to the Left on these issues, he's pushing the Democrats further and further leftward. He's co-opting the middle and sending the opposition so far out of the mainstream that, he hopes, they will become a permanent minority party, a regional power in New England and on the Left Coast but hopelessly crippled in the South, the Midwest and the rest of the West. If he wins 2004 (which I think is a reasonably safe bet) and adds onto his Congressional majorities... I think he will have won, and will be able to slide right a little.

I don't know if we'll see a return to firm conservatism in Republican Party leadership, though, and here's why: It's a political assumption that about 40% of voters will almost always vote Republican, 40% Democrat and the remaining 20% could go either way. Bush is basically appealing to those 20% moderate voters by moving towards the center and getting his base to be quiet so the moderates can hear the Democrats' squawking from the far left. If his ploy works, the spread will look more like 50-15-35 or so. The Republicans will have to continue to play to the center or the Democrats will bounce back.

However... according to my rule in the post below, 30%ish is the minimum a political party can garner and remain viable. If the Dems go below this they might as well all join the Republican Party. Don't think that will happen but if it did, the fighting would basically take place in the primaries, and the general election would be pretty much a formality. But another possibility -- and one that has happened several times in our nation's history -- is that a third party might emerge, in this case from the Republican base and having a strong libertarian bent. The Republican Party would end up being center-left (pretty much where Clinton was) and (we'll call it the) Conservative Party would be fiscally conservative, socially, um, confused at best.

I have no clue if this scenario is possible or likely. Maybe Bush's strategy has been totally misread here. Still, it's something for Bush-bashers from the right to consider. Including me.

Update: Via NRO's Corner, this blogger disagrees with Lowry's column as well but attributes personal motives to Bush (basically that he feels the need to win re-election for his father's sake) instead of the political ones I give here. Entirely possible alternative as well. But if it's true I and, I suspect, large portions of his base, be quite angry with him. You don't play games with federal politics for your own peace of mind or personal wants.

Posted by Tim at 03:05 PM | Comments (4)

August 09, 2003

OK, link away... (linkwhoring bleg post)

I've added my new blog (finally!) to the TTLB Ecosystem. I had 18 links on the 31st right around the time I moved. Right now I'm off the charts (and not in the good direction.) So I need some linkage. Think of all the links you've given me over the past week that haven't gone through (admittedly because of my own laziness). I did try to change my blog path thingy or whatever on TTLBE site but it didn't work right or something. So in conclusion, please link to me.

Yeah, I know this post represents everything wrong about blogging. You've got the link-whoring, the blegging, the whining. Plus it's starting to go on and on...

So in conclusion #2, do it For The Children. Or whatever.

Posted by Tim at 07:42 PM | Comments (26)

Back from the template...

I have added extended entries. Let's see if they work.

Woohoo! It works! Let us kill the fatted calf....

Update: I was sitting there reading Tiger's blog (no really, I was!) when an email comes notifying me that Susie points out in the comments to this post that I don't have Tiger on my blogroll. Surely a mistake on her part, I said to myself as I checked... What! No Tiger! Tiger, you're definitely on my 'roll now. My goodness. Sorry, Tiger.

Wow, I've got almost as much gratuitous linkage as Susie usually has....

Posted by Tim at 04:23 PM | Comments (27)

A stunning discovery

During an innocuous interview with Frnak J., I stumbled across a stunning fact, the key to a mysterious disease -- and its cure. Fortunately, the camera was rolling, so I proudly present to you:

Dfilmania: Uncovered.

Blurb: "Now with more facts than Bowling for Columbine."

Posted by Tim at 03:55 AM | Comments (27)

August 08, 2003

Random Notes

I just wrote an eight-hundred-word post, and it took me an hour to think through and do. Y'all better discuss this good :)

On a completely different note (hey, this post is my Random Notes for the day): I tried to make a D-film movie twice last night (ok, wee-hours this morning) and each time I sent the email to myself and nothing happened. Was there something else I was supposed to do? It's like the movie has vanished into the cyberether. Come to think of it, it was an expose of the dastardly actions of a certain person highly esteemed in blogcircles, with much power to cover up said exposes, and a proclivity towards violence....

Posted by Tim at 11:26 PM | Comments (23)

Is politics really about liberal vs. conservative?

Was reading a post at Little Tiny Lies (which is going on my blogroll Right. Now.) It's about the whole gay thing, an excellent and interesting post: but what piqued my interest the most was this disclaimer:

I've covered gay topics from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to the recent decision that it's okay for Episcopal bishops to be gay, so I figure I might as well go on, get myself in real trouble, and discuss the morality itself of gayness.

I start with the premises that the God of the Bible is real, and that the Bible, while not perfect, is the best guide we have to His thoughts and intentions. That's where the trouble starts. If you're an atheist, gay sex is very, very hard to condemn. It's consensual (except in prisons, boarding schools, fraternities, certain Catholic churches, and at Neverland Ranch), people seem to enjoy it, and it's good aerobic exercise. I think a rational person can only criticize it from a religious perspective, because outside of that context, it's just something you do with your body, and it shouldn't concern other people unless it harms them in some way.

If you're not religious and you say gay sex is swell, I say, "Fine and dandy," because you and I necessarily discuss things in a secular context. Me telling you gay sex is wrong is like a rabbi telling me I can't have cheeseburgers.

That interests me because I've had the same struggle while doing this blog: I have justifications for some things that are purely religious, and I don't expect non-Christians to agree at all. For instance, Dean at Dean's World has a thread going on Calvinism which as a debate-lover and a Calvinist you would expect me to jump into headfirst. But I haven't; not because I'm afraid of being proved wrong or offending or being offended, but because I'm almost certain that the medium wouldn't let me justify my beliefs. If I sat down with Dean (who is by the way a self-described Bright and whom I do think is quite bright although I hate the term) I'd probably be able to explain my beliefs; possibly through email. But this isn't what I really want to get to.

The Little Tiny Lies posting started me thinking about something else I read recently about how the Democrats are becoming the secular party. That makes a lot of sense, and explains a lot of things that the liberal/conservative division can't.

My thesis is that the Democratic Party is being taken over by those who hold to a fairly strict utilitarian, secular view of morality, while the Republican Party stands as a place for those who adhere to traditional morality (they need not be Christians, but clearly believe in a Christian-based morality.) There's also of course a libertarian wing, but it's not that powerful and is generally more concerned with fiscal conservatism and so is able to remain under the Republican tent.

The only major group for whom this doesn't fit at all is Catholics. For whatever reason (I'm not really up on my political history) Catholics have tended toward the Democratic Party. Socially liberal Catholics have pretty much spurned the Church's teachings on abortion and homosexuality, and the Church is beginning to call them on this, the Pope calling Catholics to make political decisions informed by their religious views. See, because one side of the political spectrum has begun to base its morality outside of Christianity on purely rational grounds, traditional religious institutions have gravitated to the other. The first picture of this might be the rise of the Religious Right (vastly over-rated but definitely real) in the 80s and early 90s. The second is going on right now and in the next few years and, I think, will involve a shift in orthodox Catholics (and possibly Orthodox Jews, I don't know much about their political affiliations) to the Republican tent.

If this polarization continues -- and I see no reason for it not to -- we'll end up with two parties which base their morality (and by extension, their laws) on completely different grounds. This will not be church vs. secular. The nation has been based on Christian principles since its founding; we are not a theocracy, or anywhere near it. But we have held that certain things (prostitution, sodomy, pretty much everything that conservatives and libertarians argue about) should be illegal, and that many other practices should receive social disapproval, like extramarital and premarital sex, lying, etc.

We are beginning to move away from that foundation and build a new one based purely on self-interest, with the government banning only that which directly harms another. The positions are clear; the battle lines are being drawn. You thought the Culture Wars were over?

You ain't seen nothing yet. Have a great decade.

*I have no formal learning about any of this stuff. This is all a thought experiment, I'm probably horribly wrong. Please tell me how I've messed up. Comment. Link. I'm really interested in what you have to say, both Christian readers and non-.

Update: I realized I left out another important religious group with conservative morals aligned with the Democratic Party -- Black Protestants. But their affiliations are not really relevant here, because they don't really base their allegiance on self-interest or morality as much as the race issue. It's a whole 'nother ball game, an important one that I'll maybe address in the future but which I think is not tied to the issue at hand.

Hmm, maybe I should do an Anticipatory Retaliation-type poll on what to write about. Topics would probably deal with the interplay of religion and politics, or just religion (lots of people write much more intelligently than I about straight politics). What do you think?

Posted by Tim at 11:19 PM | Comments (35)

August 07, 2003

Lileks is Back! and he's pissed...

(Apologies to Michele for the title: I typed "Lileks is back" and the rest came forth... must spend less time blogreading....

Anyhow, he's got a Bleat that's worth two whole days without The Bleat -- and that's saying a lot. I must quote:

This story has irritated me from the start, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Robinson’s sexual orientation. The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else: that’s what it’s all about, at least for me. Marriages founder for a variety of reasons, and ofttimes they’re valid reasons, sad and inescapable. But “I want to have sex with other people” is not a valid reason for depriving two little girls of a daddy who lives with them, gets up at night when they're sick, kisses them in the morning when they wake. There's a word for people who leave their children because they don't want to have sex with Mommy anymore: selfish. I'm not a praying man, but I cannot possibly imagine asking God if that would be okay. Send them another Dad, okay? Until you do I'll keep my cellphone on 24/7, I promise.

Who are you to judge? is the standard response, and I quote Captain James T. Kirk when asked the same question by Kodos the Executioner: who do I have to be? I’ll tell you this: my nightmare is losing my daughter. The idea of leaving her on purpose is inconceivable, and I don’t care if Adriana Lima drove up the driveway in a '57 BelAir convertible, tossed me the keys and asked me to drive her to Rio, it ain’t gonna happen. I made a promise when I married my wife, and I made another when we had our daughter. It's made me rather cranky on the subject of men who don't stick around. They're letting down the side. They're reverting to type. They're talking from their trousers.

Now go read the rest.

That is marriage. One man, one woman, one lifetime. I don't know about this whole civil union thing, I'm leaning towards it: but marriage is what it is, and no politicizing should change it. We've done enough danger to the institution already -- no-fault divorce, the Clinton-type open marriage -- and we're already reaping the consequences. Or do you think the children growing up without a father are just as well off? Well, I've grown up without a father, and although I'm fairly well-adjusted, believe me, it's hell sometimes. Don't dare tell me that children don't need a mommy and a daddy.

Posted by Tim at 02:34 AM | Comments (24)

August 06, 2003

Episcopal Bishops... and other thoughts

The Episcopal Church has elected an openly homosexual man to the bishopric of New Hampshire.

The denomination has committed two serious errors. Firstly, it has repudiated the clear Biblical command not to be in fellowship who claims to be a Christian but does not follow Christian teachings. Note that the Bible doesn't say that we shouldn't hang out with nonbelievers; but those who claim to follow the teachings of the Bible but don't are to be lovingly disciplined. And the Bible clearly teaches that homosexual practice is a sin.

Secondly, even if one claimed that passages pertaining to homosexuality are misinterpreted (which is a valid claim, if one I don't agree with), the denomination is still wrong. The Bible clearly teaches that those who feel free to do a certain thing (the biblical example is the eating of food sacrificed to idols) should forgo that freedom when around other believers who believe it's sinful. The stronger Christian should not offend others by his actions. Thus even if gays are right, they shouldn't continue to push the issue but should work to change the hearts and minds of their brethren in loving ways.

No matter your views on whether gay marriage should be legal, the Christian faith has always held homosexual practice a sin and it's disheartening to see liberals fleeing so quickly from orthodox doctrine.

As an aside, it's interesting how down-to-earth the Bible is. Even if you believe it's only a human document you must concede that it is a marvelous testimony to human nature. On the surface, it seems to support slavery and the subordination of women, but if you read deeper you find that it makes radical pronouncements of the equality of all men (men in the inclusive sense :)). But the Bible recognizes the perils of power; far from advocating seemingly justified revolution in light of the injustices of the ancient world, it advises its adherents to live blameless and pure lives -- to be an example, changing societal and institutional evils by non-violent, passive means. Its political philosophy is "moderation in all things". That's a good reminder in a time when government, the free market, unrestricted freedoms and theocratic law are alternately held up as the magic cure for today's problems.

Posted by Tim at 01:58 AM | Comments (36)

August 04, 2003

Definitive Proof that John Collins is an Evil Pinko Commie Scum

Over at Sanity's Edge Paul makes a seemingly innocuous post:

Much like Collins, I like football. I played football. I was good at football. I understand football. I watch football.

But I don’t understand baseball. I know it’s a complex game, but I don’t understand the subtleties. I have a hard time watching it. It seems like nothing ever happens. It’s over my head.

Help me understand. For instance, why does the catcher give signals to the pitcher? What does he know that the pitcher doesn’t?

But in the comments, lurking like a tiger 'midst the shadows, quickly springs Collins with the obviously precrafted, ready-to-go response. Fortunately, like Don Luskin and the Krugman Truth Squad on a new NYT column, I quickly sifted through the lies and propaganda of the Commies in my quest for the truth:

Note how smarmy and detailed are Collins' lies:

It's not that he knows something the pitcher doesn't, Paul. But the catcher has to know what pitch is coming. If you're expecting a 95 mph fastball and you get a curveball in the dirt, you aren't going to be able to catch it. So the catcher signals the pitch he thinks the pitcher wants to throw, and the pitcher will either throw that pitch or shake his head no and the catcher will give him the sign for another pitch. That's why its also important for catchers and pitchers to be well acquainted; if they aren't on the same page you will see alot of passed balls, and the catcher won't be set up in the right place to catch the ball.
Umpires also use the catcher as part of their judgement when calling balls and strikes. If a pitch is close, and the ump isn't sure, he will notice the way the catcher catches it. If he doesn't have to move his glove, he's gonna call it a strike. If he has to stretch his arm out and go get the ball, he's gonna call it a ball. That's what is known as "framing the pitch".
Fortunately, I was able to counter his deceiving Commie ways:
Collins is a liar, don't believe him.
The truth is, the catcher is really a evil pinko commie. He's passing top secret government info to his commie friends who are watching TV. Proving me right is the fact that both "Commie" and "Catcher" begin with a "C". Clearly a plot, eh?

Other Commie things that start with C:

Collins (you see why he made up all that crap above, he doesn't want you to know he's a pinko fellow-traveller)
"K"entucky (they disguised it but I see through their evil Communist propaganda)
California (duh)
crayons (real Americans use markers)
Paul Krugman (another disguised one)

I said it there and I'll say it again: "Collins, I hope you know I'm on to you and your nefarious leftist schemes. Ils ne passaront pa... er, they won't get through to us."

The truth always wins in the end.

Posted by Tim at 09:27 PM | Comments (25)


It's been a rather boring day. I've been cooped up in the house all day, not because I'm grounded or anything but there's just nothing to do. I went to pick my little bro up from Driver's Ed (!) and went out to eat with my family but other than that I've just been wandering aimlessly around the house all day. I blame it on the fact that, as the saintly Pixy Misa so well puts it, "The Bleat has gone blat".

Woe is us.

I'm really not consciously angling for a Bonfire of the Vanities posting here but this whole stream-of-consciousness thing does seem to be, um, flowing in that direction....

I'm so excited about my new site that I, um, haven't posted anything. Um. In my defense I've been following the new epics Pixy Misa's been directing. By my count there are now five thousand fourteen hundred and eighty-five clips lasting an average of sixty-nine minutes each and taking me, on my Crappy Dialup Connection, fifteen hours each to download. So you see I'm a bit preoccupied.

Hmm, a couple other notes: Our family's computer is pretending it doesn't know how to connect to the Internet anymore, resulting in enormous pressure on me to let others use my laptop. I'm leery to do so because I know what happens when my family gets ahold of stuff, but I may not be able to hold out much longer. Kudos to my little brother who is able to make really sad faces (making up for his occasionally deficient logic).

It's been stormy and icky all weekend. I like storms but I don't like the whole dismal grey foggy wet scene that comes afterward. Weather really affects me, I get all down and stuff when it's like this. But I see blue skies to the north and west so I guess it'll be nicer tomorrow.

Oops -- looking out the front door, I see that the "wet" I mentioned in the last paragraph is actually the neighbor's sprinkler. Except for their sidewalk and our driveway (the only things I can see from the window from where I am) everything's dry. Well that makes my mood happier, I suppose, but I feel stupider too. Meh, it all evens out. It is still sorta dank and grey, so don't think I'm a complete idiot (based on this posting, anyway).

OK, is this worth a Bonfire Entry? I've reported: now you vote in the comments, then I'll decide. That's the Michigander way. This isn't a democracy you know.

Posted by Tim at 08:54 PM | Comments (30)

August 02, 2003

The future is now

Via Donald Sensing, X-ray glasses have been developed by the British Army.


Posted by Tim at 02:03 AM | Comments (32)

August 01, 2003

Welcome to my new bloghome

Thanks to the amazing Pixy Misa, I'm leaving Blogspot for a nice shiny new MT home! Woohoo! (Sorry, Susie: you'll have to update your template (but here's some link-love to steel you...)

My new bloghome is here. I haven't gotten all the furniture in yet (wow, there's boxes all over the place) but I should be all done by the end of the weekend. You'll have to stop by... maybe I'll make some chocolate chip cookies....)

Update: If you're seeing this, you've obviously gotten to my new bloghome okay. Settle in, have some pop or cookies, find a comfy chair... Bill, what are you doing with that beer? No alcohol for you here! I'm under 21, don't you know. And Collins, you aren't allowed to have any weapons.

Posted by Tim at 02:22 PM | Comments (42)