Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Defending Christmas
by Lee

Here’s the text of an email I sent to some coworkers today where I defended Christmas and Christians against their secular liberalism and blatant attacks on Christianity.

Here’s the deal.  I’m totally on the same side as you guys.  Yes, Christmas is based on a pagan holiday.  Yes, there’s no biblical mandate that Christians observe it.  So in that respect I’m right there with you.

Where I totally disagree is in how Christmas is presented in public. This is what I was saying the other day, that the system is gamed so that your personal likes and dislikes are considered appropriate and legal.  Regardless of Christmas’ true origins, the fact is that it’s been celebrated as a Christian holiday for long enough that it has historical significance for that reason alone.  Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle from Christkindl (Christ Child), and so on. Many of the “secular” images that you guys will decorate your house with this Christmas all come from non-secular backgrounds.

It’s a religious holiday.

This doesn’t mean that it’s to the exclusion of secular people who wish to observe it as a secular holiday.  I’m not a religious guy, I know some devoutly religious people, and not once have they ever looked down on me for celebrating Christmas in my own way.

The difference is that I’m not trying to secularize their holiday.  I don’t tell them that only the secular interpretation is acceptable in polite society.  I don’t tell them that wishing someone a Merry Christmas is offensive.  I still call it Christmas and not the Winter Festival.  I’m not an anti-Christian militant.

This is my third Christmas at this company.  The last two years we’ve had a Christmas tree in the lobby, but when the email was sent out about it the tree was referred to, literally, as a “Non-Denominational Holiday Tree.” I mean, come on, it’s a fucking Christmas tree.  Nobody called the Menorah which was right next to it a “Non-Denominational Holiday Candelabra,” it was a Menorah, and rightly so.

I’m not religious in any sense of the word.  I think all religion is completely ridiculous.  I’m probably more fervent in that belief than many of you.  The difference is that I don’t whine like a whipped puppy when I’m subjected to religious messages or iconography.  Christmas is a Christian holiday, and if more of you actually respected that then there wouldn’t be anywhere near the level of animosity that we see between the two sides.

About what you’d expect from your average Christ-hater, isn’t it?

Posted by Lee on 11/30/06 at 07:44 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Immoral Authority
by Lee

As the liberals never tire of telling us, only the UN has the moral authority to undertake international operations.

Children have been subjected to rape and prostitution by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia, a BBC investigation has found.

Girls have told of regular encounters with soldiers where sex is demanded in return for food or money.

A senior official with the organisation has accepted the claims are credible.

The UN has faced several scandals involving its troops in recent years, including a DR Congo paedophile ring and prostitute trafficking in Kosovo.

The assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations acknowledges that sexual abuse is widespread.

“We’ve had a problem probably since the inception of peacekeeping - problems of this kind of exploitation of vulnerable populations,” Jane Holl Lute told the BBC.

“My operating presumption is that this is either a problem or a potential problem in every single one of our missions.”

If the US ever wants to invade another country so we can rape and sell its children, we know who to turn to for help.

Posted by Lee on 11/30/06 at 12:19 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

There’s Something About Iran
by Lee

Iran’s lunatic president wrote a letter to the American people yesterday, which is really nothing more than a laundry list of liberal talking points.  Here’s a couple of juicy snippets.

Let’s take a look at Iraq. Since the commencement of the US military presence in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced. Terrorism in Iraq has grown exponentially. With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty.  … In Iraq, about one hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers, separated from their families and loved ones, are operating under the command of the current US administration. A substantial number of them have been killed or wounded and their presence in Iraq has tarnished the image of the American people and government.

Now, consider those statements in light of this.

U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

This suggests, say the sources, that the material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias, rather than taking a roundabout path through the black market. “There is no way this could be done without (Iranian) government approval,” says a senior official.

Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq’s growing Shia militias from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.

Evidence is mounting, too, that the most powerful militia in Iraq, Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army, is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

But remember, Bush is the eeeeeeeevil one here, right liberals?

Posted by Lee on 11/30/06 at 09:36 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Making Movies Fun Again
by Lee

I have been saying for years that the reason attendance at movies is down is not because of piracy but because going to the movies isn’t as enjoyable an experience as it used to be because people don’t shut the fuck up any more.  There’s nothing that throws me into a rage faster than someone who talks during a movie.  Now we have cellphones and people getting up and down and up and down during the show… it’s infuriating, and with DVD and HDTV and home theater, a lot of people are just choosing to stay home.  I’ve always said that we should go back to the days when ushers regularly walked through theaters, a job I did when I was 16.  So it is with great pleasure that I read that one theater chain is actually doing something about the problem.

Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. movie theater chain, is arming moviegoers with a new gadget that allows them to call in the ushers and remove unruly audience members with the press of a button.

“Cellphones drive us crazy,” Regal Chief Executive Michael Campbell told the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.

“We had gotten to the point ... where we have had people getting into physical battles in theaters. One customer will say to another ‘Shut off your cellphone’ or ‘Shut up’ ... We’ve had people assaulted with bats, knives, guns.”

Regal is testing devices at 25 of its theater locations, handing them out to frequent customers and may roll it out nationwide in the next year if it proves successful, Campbell said. Regal operates 6,400 screens nationwide.

About the size of a pager, the gadget has four buttons. One alerts theater managers about a disruption in the audience, such as a fight over a cellphone.

A second button gives notice of faulty movie projection, a third button can be pressed if the room temperature is off and a fourth button, marked “Other” covers any other problem.

The device is part of Regal’s efforts to keep fans coming back to the box office by making sure they still enjoy the experience, even as the movie industry faces greater competition from other media such as the Internet or video games.

There isn’t a Regal theater near my house, but if this becomes widespread it will soon be implemented by other theaters.  I can’t wait, it’s been a long time coming.  It would be nice to be able to go to a movie and not have to turn around and tell someone to shut the fuck up.

Posted by Lee on 11/30/06 at 09:28 AM in Life & Culture  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Hard Drive
by Lee

If only more people were this honest.

Not so with Bill Watkins, the mercurial, salty-mouthed Texan who runs the $15 billion hard-drive king Seagate Technology. At a San Francisco dinner on Tuesday evening, he was candid about his company’s ultimate mission: “Let’s face it, we’re not changing the world. We’re building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn.”

It’s true.

Posted by Lee on 11/30/06 at 09:17 AM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Southern Pole
by Lee

Jesus H. Christ it’s cold here!  I got home from work, and I actually had to put on pajama bottoms, leave my socks on, and close my sliding glass door!  It’s like 51 degrees out there!  I was almost able to see my breath!

LA has great summers, but the winters are BRUTAL!

Posted by Lee on 11/29/06 at 11:27 PM in Cullyforneah  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Put Away That Boner
by Lee

The inmates have taken over the asylum.  Or, in this case, the fundamentalist Christians have taken over the public health system in the United States.

The federal government’s “no sex without marriage” message isn’t just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it’s a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

“They’ve stepped over the line of common sense,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. “To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It’s an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health.”

He’s absolutely right.  This is nothing to do with public health and everything to do with enforcing Christian morality at the point of a sword.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/06 at 12:40 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Double Shocker
by Lee

Gee, it’s almost like everything America said would happen is happening.

Electricity prices could double in Europe if power firms are to meet emissions reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol, says a report.

Carbon prices are set to surge, and firms might pass this rise on to the wholesale market, says a report by consultancy Global Energy Decision.

The report said European nations, such as France and Germany, will find it ever harder to meet emissions targets.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but…

Posted by Lee on 11/29/06 at 11:26 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Licking Fire
by Lee

And speaking of liberal cities, this is what happens when you hire someone for a supervisory position based on their PC-ness rather than on their skills and experience.

The Minneapolis City Executive Committee went behind closed doors at noon on Tuesday to discuss the future of embattled Fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek. As they left the council chambers for the smaller conference room , Bleskachek’s lawyer, Jerry Berg, had high expectations for an agreement he had worked out for his client.

“The Mayor was going to request that she be removed. The Executive Committee would approve that request and then the next step would be the City Council would approve the agreement I made with the City Attorney’s office.”

But after four hours of tense “deal or no deal” discussions, the answer from the Mayor and four council members was “no deal.”

So, what’s the charge against this flame-fighting k. d. lang?

t would be a sad end to a fire fighting career that peaked as Bleskachek became the first openly lesbian fire chief in America. Four lawsuits alleging favoritism and/or retaliation with sexual overtones have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now the allegations may cost Bleskachek any job in the fire department.

I’m sure you’re as shocked, shocked as I am.  The replacement chief will probably be a gay Vietnamese prostitute who has a lot of experience stubbing out cigarettes.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/06 at 09:29 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Magnificent Waste
by Lee

Seattle, one of the most liberal cities in America, is slowly coming to grips with the fact that its gleaming new library is nothing more than a place for smelly, disgusting bums to hang out and stay warm.

Every year, as the weather turns nastier, more people seek refuge inside the celebrated, $165 million, glass-and-metal tourist attraction.

In the old library, patrons who were homeless, addicted and mentally ill had generated loud complaints. There were such common-sense rules as no sleeping, drinking alcohol or bathing in the sinks, but they were inconsistently enforced. Staffers and patrons complained of assaults and drug deals, and of smelly men hogging up chairs to doze.

When the new Central Library opened two years ago, many people wondered if it would simply become a more expensive homeless hangout.

But today, the library is doing more to accommodate both rich and poor. There are more programs for a wider audience, from noontime lectures to children’s events to writing workshops for homeless people.

“I feel really proud of our staff and our commitment to making sure the building is user-friendly, safe and diverse,” city librarian Deborah Jacobs said.

See?  This is why I just buy books, and why I drive a car.  Because otherwise you’re forced to interact with bums.  The part of LA where I work is full of bums, it’s disgusting, I don’t want to sit in a room with them or share furniture with someone who has been wearing the same clothes after sleeping in a garbage dumpster.  I might be a heartless prick but it’s the truth.  Libraries are not shelters for bums, that’s what shelters are for.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/06 at 09:23 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

They Just Don’t Get It
by Lee

The once great blog PowerLine shows, once again, that it has devolved into nothing but a ragtag bunch of boot-licking Bush-worshipping lapdogs.

Some conservatives argue that the Republicans struggled this year because they strayed too far from Reagan’s small government conservatism (see the responses in the link above, for example). I doubt that this is true either. Apart from fatigue with the party in power, the war was the biggest factor in the decline of Bush’s popularity and that of his party. The Republicans also suffered with moderates/independents/swing voters (or whatever you want to call the group of voters most responsible for the thumping) because they got no credit for their acknowledgement of government’s alleged positive capabiliites. I think this occurred in part because the war tended to blot out much of the rest of the landscape and in part because of MSM bias. For example, as I noted a few days ago, Bush got no credit for his big government prescription drug benefit plan. Key elements of the MSM (including the Washington Post and the New York Times) believe it is working well and, indeed, exceeding expectations. However, they chose to wait until after the election to report this. In fact, as Mickey Kaus points out, during the election, the Post told the opposite story.

Look, this is quite simple to figure out.  Why was Reagan popular?

1) Limited government, free market politics.
2) Support of religious people without being ruled by them.
3) Able to articulate a position.
4) Earned the trust of the American people.
5) Competent wartime leadership.

Bush exhibits none of these things. 

1) Big government, quasi-socialist politics.
2) Lapdog to the evangelical fundamentalist Christian right.
3) Totally unable to articulate a position.
4) Completely lost the trust of the people granted him after 9/11.
5) Astonishingly incompetent leadership.

That’s it, end of story.  The problem isn’t conservatism, it’s fundamentalist religion, incompetent leadership, and monumental levels of corruption.  End of story.  The second we get an actual conservative in office who can speak two sentences in a coherent manner, who can clearly explain to the American people why they need to sacrifice and take risks, who believes that government is not the solution and can explain why, you’re going to see a GOP landslide.

It’s not difficult to see, unless you’re a boot-licking Bush lackey.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/06 at 09:26 PM in Politics  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

He’s the Devil
by Lee

Writing in that paragon of journalistic excellence, the Tehran Times, John Connor sums up George W. Bush.

George W. Bush surely must know what he and his crime family are involved in. George W. Bush surely must know he is a puppet for the Illuminati and the New World Order. George W. Bush surely must agree with this Luciferian agenda. George W. Bush surely must be a Satanist.

I guess running from the Terminator his whole life must have addled his brain.  Strange, isn’t it, that the rhetoric of extreme leftists is virtually indistinguishable from that emanating from Venezuela or the Islamofascist Middle East.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/06 at 06:43 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thin Is In
by Lee

Let’s hear it for behavioral problems!

For an emerging number of weight-loss surgery patients, giving up comfort food means guzzling Southern Comfort.

Or hitting the mall instead of McDonald’s, even though creditors are calling.

Researchers call this behavioral shift “addiction transfer,” which means swapping one compulsive act, such as overeating, with another in an attempt to numb emotions or fill an inner void. And mental-health experts say that because bariatric procedures have become more common — and patients more candid — they’re seeing increased cases of alcoholism, obsessive shopping, gambling and promiscuity.

See, I headed this problem off at the pass.  Before I had my weight loss surgery I made sure that I was already a promiscuous alcoholic drug addict.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/06 at 05:00 PM in Science and Technology  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Oil Forces
by Lee

There’s been a flurry of expansion in refining capacity in the Texas Gulf by those eeeeeevil Big Oil companies.  Why?

The flurry of activity has been fueled by high crude prices, rising energy demands and strong refining profit margins. This confluence of favorable trends led one Wall Street analyst to dub the 2004-to-2006 period the “Golden Age of Refining.”

A provision in the 2005 Energy Bill, which allows refiners to reduce their tax bills by deducting equipment costs over a shorter period, has also spurred expansions.

Wow, it’s almost like a free market and lower regulation takes care of these things on its own!  And who could oppose such a thing?

But that may change next year. The Democrats, who recently won control of Congress, have said they plan to eliminate those tax breaks. They describe them as a sweetheart deal for Big Oil during a time of high profits.

Of course they do.  They have to pander to the socialist lunatics who vote for them.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/06 at 09:45 AM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Liberal Petulance
by Lee

This is pretty typical of liberals.

Glass windows and doors at the Ohio Republican Party’s headquarters Downtown have been shattered five times this month by thrown objects, which included rocks, bricks and a padlock, officials said.

The latest vandalism occurred last week on Thursday and Friday, when rocks were thrown through the front glass doors of the two-story building at 211 S. 5th St. Last week’s attack caused an estimated $3,200 damage, according to a police report.

Someone also smashed a total of seven windows on Nov. 1, Nov. 3 and Nov. 17, police reports show.

Ohio GOP spokesman John McClelland said Monday that video has been taken of a suspect.

Police spokeswoman Amanda Ford said she had no information beyond the police reports.

McClelland said the GOP believes the vandalism is politically motivated. The police report from Thursday calls the suspect “a known protester that has been seen damaging one of the windows this month.”

Which, of course, prompted this.

Ohio Democrats hope police make an arrest, party spokesman Randy Borntrager said.

Of course they do.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/06 at 09:41 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (6) TrackbacksPermalink
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