Thursday, March 30, 2006

Las Vegas And Isaac Newton

Two rules, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and an object at rest stays at rest until external force is applied to it, intersect neatly in this news story. It seems during the last six months emergency crews in Las Vegas had to transport 75 people who weighed more than 500 pounds, each. Who knew there were so many people of such gravitas in Vegas? Odd that obese people would choose a hot environment like Nevada. I'm pretty famine resistant too and I can't stand the heat, although Nevada is much less humid that Connecticut. Maybe it's the cheap breakfasts or the sedentary lifestyle of the gaming tables or the proximity of institutions like the Mustang Ranch where anyone with a credit card can get lucky.

Good News In Hartford

The Colt exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum has found a sponsor. Melinda and Paul Sullivan (not Pumpkinhead Paul) of West Hartford came through with the $300,000.00 needed to present "Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention" in Hartford, Samuel Colt's home town. Well done Mr. And Mrs. Sullivan, well done.
Earlier in the month I speculated that potential sponsors balked because, if you excuse the expression, they were a little gun shy. Fortunately our benefactors have a greater sense of history and proportion.
The Sullivans said they reject the rationale of potential sponsors in Connecticut who shunned the exhibit because of its focus on guns."This is truly about a lot more than guns," Paul Sullivan said. "It's really about what made America great."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Only In Connecticut

A cat has been terrorizing the august citizens of Fairfield Connecticut. For the record, it's not a Mountain lion, Tiger, Liger or Panther but a plain old pussy cat. Can you imagine a bunch of Houstonians being assailed by a common house cat? Even if they were, they would be so ashamed, they would keep quiet about it. I guess the more money you make, the wussier you get.

Abdul Rahman Flees To Italy

The Afghan Christian Abdul Rahman has found safe haven in Italy thanks to Pope Benedict XVI , Hamid Karzai, Silvio Berlusconi , and the UN. If I lived in Afghanistan I would convert to almost anything to get the hell out of there, I wonder how many Afghans feel the same way. I hope they set him up in nifty little apartment in Florence, because any guy who doesn't immediately recant his faith in the face of such violent oppression deserves some nice digs.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Who Knew Easter Could Be So Dangerous

Of all the lousy, messed up ways to go, this has got to be up there.


I like the idea of giving up something for lent, although it drives my wife crazy because the last time we were in a church, I wore a tuxedo and she wore white. I've always been taught that you should give up something that hinders your progress as a Christian, something like Robert DeNiro's character in The Mission when Jeremy Irons cuts away his old armor. Giving up chocolate may be a worthwhile exercise for an eighth grader, but how many adults are held back by Lindt Mozart Kugels? Try to go 40 days without finding fault or fast for one day a week and you may have more compassion for the hungry. Refrain from spending money on non-essentials and you may come to understand what it means to be poor in this country. Refrain from living indoors, health care, education and eating altogether and you may come to understand how many of the world’s poor people live their entire lives. Are any of these guaranteed to make you a better person and a better Christian? No, but it won’t hurt you.
Disclaimer: While I really do believe all of what I just wrote, I am perhaps the least likely to follow it. Hypocritical? Probably. But that doesn't mean it isn't true.

Perhaps I Was Wrong

I'm no fan of Ann Coulter, I think she's needlessly obnoxious and offensive. But if Sean Penn hates her so much that he has a voodoo doll of her, maybe she can't be all bad?

Monday, March 27, 2006

I'm Sick Of This

Are you tired of news stories that portray Arabs and Muslims as angry or offended? I am. You can't swing a dead cat without hearing that this group or that is offended, angered, enraged or burning down embassies and beheading the hapless. Guess what? Animists, Americans, Christians, Jews, Indians, Native Americans, Peruvians, Wiccans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and New Zealanders get angry or offended too, it's just that none of these groups make anger the center of their public expression. Try this, make seeking progress and harmony among your countrymen and your neighbors the prime locus of your lives and see how much better you feel. I'd be pissed off 24/7 too if I had to live with a bunch of morose, dead enders in a 7th century theocracy.
It could be that the press loves exaggerating the stories of those who would criticize the U.S. and their interests. Or it could be that the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims live quiet ordinary lives just like everybody else, but that doesn't make much of a news story.

New Addition To The Family

While watching Saturday morning television, which has become a half hour long advertisements for toys, I saw a commercial for the Fur Real Friends Cuddle Chimp. It's an animatronic baby monkey that laughs, burps, hiccups, snores etc. depending on how you hold it. Our one year old, Bea, is always acting like a monkey, so I thought she would like it. Off I went to buy one. Surprise, surprise Bea's scared of the thing, because it moves and makes noise unexpectedly. Desmond our 3 year old loves it. He always hugging it, feeding it and interpreting it's monkey talk. Des has always been a cuddly little monkey himself but he never showed much interest in dolls or stuffed animals. Bea, on the other hand, from day one, was very much into baby dolls and little stuffed creatures, viva la difference.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Chirac Throws A Hissy Fit

French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac left a meeting in huff because a fellow Frenchman had the de-gall to speak English. There are those in France, and presumably elsewhere, who feel the hegemony of English needs to be opposed. Perhaps, but is ossified French culture the David that can defeat the English/American Goliath? I doubt it. My advice to the French would be to learn Arabic and practice being second class citizens in their own country, the later should come naturally to them.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Clerics Demand Death

Senior clerics in Afghanistan are "demanding" that Abdul Rahman, the Muslim who converted to Christianity be put to death. What disturbs me is not the senior poobah's intolerance, but the average Afghan seems still more blood thirsty. Can we coexist on this planet with people who believe that it's required of them to kill those of different faiths?
It's their country they can do as they please, but what if a bunch of European Nobleman get all pissed off over this, and some Roman prince tells them that God wills them to avenge Rahman's martyrdom? What then? How can those who call for this man's death object to being attacked for their faith when murder is a central tenet of theirs?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Where's The Outrage?

Abdul Rahman a man in Afghanistan faces death for converting from Islam to Christianity. This brings up a lot of questions. In the words of Glen Reynolds at Instapudit:
Civilized countries permit freedom of religion. Uncivilized countries kill people for their beliefs. This will simply provide more ammunition for those who believe that Islam is incompatible with civilization.

How would you describe a religion that sentences people to death for apostasy? Civilized? Why isn't every progressive person, news outlet and organization calling a gigantic bullshit on this nonsense? A man faces death for his beliefs, where are our ethical betters to tell us to be outraged?

Sounds Like Heaven

According to a doctor who defected, there are no people with physical disabilities in North Korea. No, there is no ancient medical secret in this amazing medical miracle, they manage this earthly paradise by plain old infanticide, children with any apparent defect never leave the delivery room.
When I was at Assumption Junior High, the nuns warned that, euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and even seemingly affirmative things like in vitro fertilization are symptoms of a culture of death. I thought they were just uptight, which undoubtedly they were, but they were also prescient.
In vitro fertilization is the last best hope for many couples hoping to conceive, but what is not so broadly known is the fate of the embryos that are not implanted. Or worse yet, doctors will implant many embryos hoping one will attach, then selectively harvest any surplus embryos that attached. Selectively harvest means kill one or more of the children a childless couple hoped and prayed for.
If the promise of stem cells or any other human based technology is fulfilled and a host of ailments can be cured, ageing can be prevented and death can be delayed for the those with the means and influence to get the treatment, do you think our culture would defend the weak and voiceless who might be harmed in the process? The nuns were right.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gays Want To Marry In Connecticut

So what? I don't see what the big deal is. If equal protection under the law has any meaning, any two consenting adults ought to be able to marry. What compelling interest does government have in preventing gays from marrying? I'd like to hear the arguments.
Some say that if gays are allowed to marry, polygamists, polyandrists and every other Jerry Springer wannabee will demand to marry as well. Again so what? If someone wants to marry a spangle of consenting starfish, go ahead - let me know where they registered. The only caveat to my live and let live theory is that religious institutions should not be compelled to perform marriages that defy their beliefs. Because as we've seen it's not enough to be tolerated, it's not enough to be accepted, everyone and everything must be celebrated equally.

Happy Birthday J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was born today March 21 in 1685. It's hard to overstate how great and important Bach and his music is to Western Civilisation, but I'll try. In my opinion he's the greatest and most important composer who ever lived. There that should do it.
Some find Bach too mathematical, too Apollonian. I can hear what they mean, but we have been on a Dionysistic bender since Elvis, maybe since Byron, so a little left brain activity can be bracing. Listen to Bach's Prelude and Fugue for keyboard No. 8 in E flat minor from The Well Tempered Clavier. Mathematical to a fault, but it's also short, sad and beautiful - a lot like life. If any piece of music ever justified a $30,000.00 audio system, Bach's Toccata And Fugue In D Minor is just the thing. My favorite is Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, don't let the name fool you it's a lot of fun. I think it's the most joyful piece of music I know.
Few things are as enriching as good literature and good music. I owe a debt of gratitude to whoever introduced me to the music of J.S. Bach.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Nice shirt numbnuts. Do I sound sound intolerant? I am only a dhimmi after all.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Conservatives I'd Rather Not Drink With

In my last post I listed several people I'd like to have a drink with, most were center-right. Oddly enough some conservatives I'd rather meet in an academic setting or not at all:
1. George Will
I love him to death but I just can't see him letting his hair down. I bet that he either doesn't drink, or doesn't change the slightest when he does, creepy. Or worse yet Imagine if he's the sort who drinks every five years or so and gets really silly, lampshade silly. I couldn't be a part of that.
2. Thomas Sowell
Again another great mind, but he would probably chastise me for wasting $700 on two bottles of whiskey. He just seems so no nonsense it's hard to imagine him asking George Will to pull his finger.
3. Ann Coulter
I just don't like her. If she's that strident when she's sober can you imagine what's she's like with a few belts in her?
4.Pat Buchanan
Pat is the sort of conservative that gives conservatism a bad name. I can't imagine him having fun and enjoying the give and take of lively discussion.
5. William F. Buckley
I can barely understand him when I'm sober and after a few stiff ones he might actually start speaking Greek and recite the Iliad in your choice of Attic, Ionic or Koine, while everyone nods politely while looking at their feet.

People I'd Like To Have A Drink With

Preferably a live person with whom you could meet and spend an evening chewing the proverbial fat in your local pub. If I could get all these people together I would even spring for a couple of bottles of the good stuff, 33 year old Glendronach.
1. Christopher Hitchens
Love him or hate him, Hitch seems like a guy you might enjoy a pint or two with. You may have to argue with him if you want to pick up the tab.
2. Victor Davis Hanson
If your a fan of Western Civ, Hanson would be the man to bend an elbow with. If you want to know if Thermopylae predicted Samara somehow, Hanson would know.
3. Andrew Sullivan
Many, including me, think that Andrew Sullivan has gone all wobbly of late. He seemed to lose his mind when GWB didn't endorse same sex marriage, I'm not sure what he was thinking. Perhaps I could ask him over a few beers.
4. Camille Paglia
Always provocative Paglia would be an interesting addition to any bender. I know next to nothing about feminism it would be cool to hear her take on it.
5. Mark Steyn
Do you want informed opinion with humor? Few can deliver so much of both, plus he's Canadian which is like so exotic.
6. John McCain
I admire John McCain and would probably vote for him if given the chance. I'd love to tell him how much respect I have for him and then ask him what the hell he was thinking with McCain/Feingold, probably the worst legislation in my lifetime.
7&8 John Kerry and Al Gore
Not because I like them, but because it would be fun to get them both all liquored up and then goad them into crying about how close they both came and how they both lost to that stupid/evil/chimp/etc. GWB, then pants them and ditch them in a bad part of town. Good times, good times.

Freakonomics And Abortion

I finally got around to reading Freakonomics. It's a fun, quick read with some interesting theories, best described as a collection of fattened up magazine articles.
The most controversial theory is that Roe Vs. Wade had the unintended benefit of crime reduction in the late 1990s. Steven Levitt's theory goes something like this, for one reason or another these women would have been marginal parents to marginal children many of whom would have ended up being criminals. By aborting them they never lived to be criminals. I for one don't buy it. Primarily because the reduction in crime was so drastic, in some cases reduced by 50%, abortion alone couldn't account for all of it. In fairness I do believe that abortion on demand probably did reduce crime somewhat. This is because a lot of victims of abortion are disproportionately poor and/or black and many criminals tend to be disproportionately poor and/or black as well. Levitt is aware of the moral bankruptcy of this relationship, pointing out that economics are the way people actually behave, morality is the way they should behave. I think we've been down that road before with eugenics at the beginning of the last century and in Germany in the 1930s.
Crime in my opinion was reduced by three things: better policing, new prisons filled with repeat offenders, and the decline in the crack epidemic.
Let's say in a city of 100,000 people there are 300 habitual criminals some of whom sell crack, some of whom use crack. The crack users need to support their habit so on average they commit 3 crimes a day, the dealers in the course of business kill 35 people a year in their drug wars. By arresting and putting them away these 300 people to how much crime is prevented? One whole hell of a lot.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Death of Slobodan Milosevic

Question: Do you know what killed Slobodan Milosevic?
Answer: Who cares as long as he remains dead.
Highlight to see answer.

The Pot Calling The Kettle White

There is so much wrong with this story, I'm not sure where to begin. Eduardo V. Genao a principle of a magnet school in Hartford has been accused of changing the racial designations of at least six biracial students to conform with state guidelines. Apparently there are not enough white students at his Sport & Medical Sciences Academy so he created some by changing the races on student records, without the parent's consent. An anonymous letter accused Genao of asking students directly if he could make the change:
"Mr. Genao called our children into his office one at a time and spoke to each of them of how the school will get `millions of dollars' if the child would just let him change their ethnic background in the computer from minority to white," said the letter, which was sent to Mayor Eddie A. Perez, the city school board and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. "He did not call the parents to get permission. He thought he could just change these facts with the permission of 14 and 15 year old children."

What the hell was he thinking? That 14 and 15 year olds are particularly apt at keeping racial skulldudgery on the Q.T.?

Mumps Hit Iowa City

A rare strain of the mumps virus is responsible for a mumps outbreak in Iowa City, Iowa where so far 60 people have become infected. Make that 61.

Note: This picture represents this blogger's conception of what an Iowa City man might look like with the mumps. Though the picture is doctored I believe that it is accurate nonetheless. Wow, now I feel like a real journalist!

My New Ride

I finally got rid of my 1995 Honda Accord EX which has served us so well since 2000. When we were married in 1998 I had a Toyota 4X4 pickup which I liked a lot. When we knew Aidan was coming, I had to get something a little more family friendly so we looked around for a dependable car with four doors. It was kind of sad to see it go since we brought all three children home from the hospital in that one car, but then again it's just a car. Now with three kids, we needed something a little bit larger to haul them around with all their stuff. Mini vans are the most practical choice, but I just couldn't see myself waiting in front of Aidan's or Desmond's school with all the other "moms" in a damn mini van.
Mercury has this super lease deal going on, but I called 5 dealerships and either I got some gum snapping bimbo telling me "Tony's on break, YOU'RE GUNNA HAVE TO call back later" or some Gill like guy, desperate for this months vig, who knew nothing about it or anything else. This or something equally irksome happened at all 5 dealerships. I then went online to the Lincoln/Mercury website to inquire, where they assured me someone would contact me within the hour. No one did. No one ever did. A day later I got an email from Lincoln/Mercury asking how long it took to hear from somebody and if I was still interested. It must be frustrating for the marketing gurus who wonder why their cars are not selling. Here's a tip, tell your people about your promotions and then get them to answer the frigging phone.
I ended up buying a used 1997 Lexus LX450, which is just a posh version of the venerable Toyota Landcruiser. In my mind a used Lexus at less than half the price of a new Mercury is a better deal. Besides like the saying goes, everyone drives a used car.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Much Ado About Nothing?

Avian Flu is coming, what to do? Considering that there are 6.6 billion people in the world and in the last two years less than 100 people have died of this disease and most of them had direct contact with birds, I can only be so worried. But still, this seems to have many people at the CDC concerned. If they're concerned, I think it only prudent to take some simple precautions. If there is some sort of pandemic, or any other natural disaster, you should be prepared to care for yourself and your immediate family for a minimum of three days anywhere and two weeks at home. What does that mean? It means having enough food, water, medicine, diapers and anything else that makes reasonably civilised life possible on hand and in sufficient supply to last two weeks. If you need to bug out in the case of a hurricane, earthquake or Hillary book signing, you need to be able to take three days worth of that stuff and your family on the road to safety. Imagine yourself sleeping in a high school gym with your whole family and everybody else in your town and plan accordingly. Books have been written about "bug out bags" i.e. stuff to keep at the ready in case you need to bug out. These bags are usually used in parts of the world where people need to bug out regularly, forest fire country, flood zones, Westchester County. I think if nothing else hurricane Katrina showed us that when the doodoo hits the fan, you are on your own for at least 72 hours. Could you go without eating or drinking for that long. Probably. Could a six month old baby? It's your job, if you have one, to make sure we don't find out.
In the case of flu, the last thing the authorities would likely do is group everybody together in one spot. A. because there is no need, and B. because it would only spread the virus. What will happen, if anything, is your local health authority might ask you refrain from non essential trips to public places. Then it would be a good time to sit things out at home, watch some DVDs and eat your canned beefaroni that you put up for just such a moment.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Robots And Doughnuts

Eric Joyner is a guy who likes to paint tin toys and robots. How do you think this sort of stuff would go over in my office?

Man, That's A Hair Don't!

I wonder if he's married and if so if his wife ever nags him about his dubious achievement.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Rebuilding The Big Easy

It seems to me there is an element of the ant and the grasshopper in this whole New Orleans debacle. For many, many years experts of various disciplines warned that a big hurricane could prove disastrous to the below sea level Crescent City. How did the governor and mayor respond? Graft, indolence, business as usual in the Big Easy. In fact they used the potential of imminent disaster to get federal funds to shore up the levy system and then did a half assed job of it. Why do I lump the responsibility on the local and state governments? Because they fiddled while storm clouds gathered, and who is more responsible to the citizens most affected than the mayor and the governor they alone elected?. Now that the inevitable has happened the grasshopper class in The Big Easy want the ants of America to rebuild their city. We should, but to accept a benefit is to sell ones freedom, in this case the freedom to piss away tens of millions of dollars on local patronage as is their normal way of doing business. The string attached to any money to rebuild New Orleans should be a super strict accounting of every last cent and any weasel caught with his/her hand in the till should be tossed into that delightful Louisiana institution, Angola prison, until they are old and grey.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Roe Vs. Wade For Men

A 25 year old man is suing over the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause. Interesting. I don't know if he is some irresponsible jerk weed trying to weasel out of his responsibilities or if this is some clever ploy to highlight the tortured logic of abortion on demand. Think about it, if some guy complains about having to pay child support for the next 20 years your immediate reaction might be to tell him that he should of kept his zipper zipped. If a woman has the same complaint, i.e. an unintended pregnancy, she has other options and no "right thinking" person would tell her she should have kept her knees together. Double standard? You bet your sweet aspercreme.
I don't believe for a second that this case has a bon bon's chance in Star Jone's dressing room. Imagine how more irresponsible some men would become if they could just say "Sorry I was just having some fun, I never intended to father that little bastard, let someone else pay for him." I can't wait to hear abortionist try to explain why this is bad and abortion on demand is good. At least in this man's case he desires to be a cheap skate not a murderer.

Way To Go Hartford

The Wadsworth Atheneum has cancelled "Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention" for lack of $300,000.00.
As many of you may know Colt's factory is but a stones throw from the Atheneum. It's sad that Hartford the city that made Colt famous can't find $300,000.00 to display this exhibition, some of which was donated to the Atheneum by his widow, Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt in 1905. I can't help but think that if this were some politically correct exhibition, such as "Transgendered Whales: How Men With Harpoons Drove Them To Extinction" the paltry $300,000.00 would have found a corporate donor. But in a city where gun violence is endemic there is, perhaps, an understandable reticence to affiliate oneself with any sort of gun no matter how beautiful, historic or groundbreaking. Still what a bunch of namby pambies.

What A Stupid Dumbass

Justin Levy a Southington Connecticut police officer was arrested for selling stolen computers to members of his own police department:

The theft of the laptops was entered into a national database, and DePalma said a dispatcher in his department noticed the listing. The dispatcher also knew that two other employees in the department had recently bought used laptops from Levy and suggested that the serial numbers be checked. DePalma said the serial numbers on those computers indicated they had been stolen from SYSCO."[The dispatcher] thought it was an interesting coincidence that two people in the department bought laptops from Levy and then we got this alert about laptops stolen in Rocky Hill," DePalma said.

The funny part about this whole thing is that Levy met the inside guy Michael Gaffney in college. I guess they were both sick the day they covered the dos and don'ts of selling stolen merchandise.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

First Publish March, 7 1923 In The New Republic

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep

Why am I reminded of Charles Bronson? Be the first to answer and you win a set of fondue forks.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Cindy Sheehan Vows Hunger Strike

Anti war mom Cindy Sheehan was arrested today leading to this most unflattering picture. In response to which a horrified Cindy Sheehan declared "Jesus is that me? I really let myself go. That's it, from here on out I'm on hunger strike until that imperialist chimp Nazi Bush ends the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or until I lose 30 pounds, whichever comes first."

I'm kidding of course. I kid because I love. Much has been made of Sheehan's opposition to the war. Contrary to what some others might think, I feel that losing a son in war does give you a perspective others might not appreciate. It doesn't mean she's right, in fact I think she's wrong on most every issue, but in honor of her dead soldier son Casey Sheehan I felt obliged to give her the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, there is no longer any doubt, this woman is as whacked as a Tiger Woods golf ball. I may have disagreed with Bill Clinton on various issues but that didn't mean I went out of my way to cozy up to every two bit despot in the Western Hemisphere as means to poke him in the eye.
Few things are more sacred than the sacrifice of a gold star mother. Sheehan has squandered this moral capital, and then some with her crazed conspiracy theories:

"Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel."
"My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel."
"Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11."

"If George Bush truly listened to God and read the words of the Christ, Iraq and the devastation in New Orleans would have never happened. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power."
"9/11 was Pearl Harbor for the neo-conservatives’ agenda."

And her questionable views on geo politics:

"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism."
"So it is official, Casey had his blood shed in Iraq for OIL. He died so we could pay over 3.00/gallon for gas. Like I suspected all along, my dear, sweet son: almost 1900 others; and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis died so the oil fields wouldn’t "fall into the hands of terrorists" and so George and his immoral band of greedy robber barons could become wealthier. Like I have said all along: how can these people sleep at night and how can they choke down their food knowing it is purchased off of the flesh and blood of others? We have found our "Noble Cause." And it is OIL."

Reality itself:

"Why does Terry Schiavo deserve to live more than my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan?"

Mrs. Sheehan I am sorry for loss, but I feel that grief has unhinged you and you have been taken advantage of by people who hate this country and everything it stands for. Madam, your son did not die in vain, hopefully we will all see the day when his sacrifice bears fruit.

The Death of Aeschylus

How cruel is fate when the Father of Tragedy, Aeschylus (C. 525 - 456 B.C.), is killed by an eagle who mistakes his bald head for a rock and drops a turtle on it? I'm sure it wasn't pleasant for the turtle either. Oddly enough I think Aeschylus himself would probably enjoy the irony if not for the excruciating pain and humiliation of being killed by near sighted bird famous for it's eyesight and a fast moving tortoise infamous for it's sloth. Still he was a gifted poet and playwright:

Now do our eyes behold
The tidings which were told:
Twin fallen kings, twin perished hopes to mourn,
The slayer, the slain,
The entangled doom forlorn
And ruinous end of twain.
Say, is not sorrow, is not sorrow's sum
On home and hearthstone come?
Oh, waft with sighs the sail from shore,
Oh, smite the bosom, cadencing the oar
That rows beyond the rueful stream for aye
To the far strand,
The ship of souls, the dark,
The unreturning bark
Whereon light never falls nor foot of Day,
Even to the bourne of all, to the unbeholden land.

Translated By A.E. Housman

The Last Thing I See Before I Sleep

No one tells you, but somehow you learn, that to look upon your children as they sleep is oddly gratifying.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Crime Deters Exercise

The pointy headed experts are at it again and have determined that crime or the perception that crime is possible keeps people indoors, preventing them from getting the exercise they need. Do you think? Pretty soon they'll tell us that cold weather keeps people indoors during the winter or that rain causes picnickers to eat inside. Man I hope they didn't spend my tax dollars on this horse hockey, but somehow I fear that anyone who would conduct a study this obvious and useless has to be supping at the public teat.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

How Lame Is This?

In an attempt to get rid of crime in a Hartford park the local brain trust came up with the idea of blasting the thieves, murderers, pimps, whores, drug dealers and addicts in the park with classical music. As if these criminals are some sort of cultural vampires who are so vulgar that anything classical burns them like holy water. Here's a tip Chachi: how about enforcing the law? Arrest criminals and make their lives a living hell so that decent law abiding folks can go about their lives in peace. Or is that too confrontational? If so too bad. This isn't A Clockwork Orange and the bompies in the park haven't undergone the Ludovico Method. If it works, great for the park but where do you think these low lifes go? Away to sin no more? I doubt it. They move on to the next park or corner. It is the first responsibility of government is to maintain law and order. Does this plan sound like the authorities in the capital city, of the richest state, in the greatest nation the world has ever known, have abdicated their responsibility? The sounds of Ludwig Van wafting through Barnard Park are your answer.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jimmy! Jimmy!

Jack Wild the actor has died at age 53. You may remember him from the movie Oliver! and the T.V. show H.R. Puffnstuff. Or if you were a really big fan of H.R. Puffnstuff you may not remember much at all from the seventies. What the hell were they smoking there in Lidsville anyway? All I can remember from the show is Freddie the Flute's little gold lips saying "Jimmy! Jimmy!" and Witchie Poo. Frankly, even as a kid the whole thing looked like a bad trip without the benefit of drugs.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Everyone Is An Art Critic

A 12 year old miscreant damaged Helen Frankenthaler's "The Bay" a painting estimated to be worth $1.5 million by sticking a piece of Wrigley's Extra Polar Ice gum on it. It's a shame caning is out of fashion.