Thursday, June 28, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

Although it might be good news for some, I really haven't dropped off the face of the Earth. I've just been very summer busy with the kids and so on. Been picking lots and lots of blackberries and juicing them for jelly. Started painting the dining room, but I'm not sure I like the color though I have a fix for that. I've been piddling with a new sermonette that I hope to finish this week. As usually happens in the summer I'm the go-to woman for child care and am providing free babysitting to various kids for various amounts of time. This really isn't a problem. I consider it a form of volunteerism. ;-) It's very hot and dry here so keeping the gardens and plants watered is a job too. I'm very much enjoying home and home-centered activities these days. I hope everyone else is having a good summer so far.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Very Cute Car


Photo from Business Week.

I've been seeing these incredibly cute little roadsters lately and was very surprised to learn that they are made by Saturn. They are the Saturn SKY. Well, actually, the really cute ones are the Red Line series.



I have to say it's about 89% as cute as my Corvette. Maybe that's because it looks a little to me like baby Corvette. ;-)

It has an Ecotec engine and is supposed to be pretty peppy, but from the information on the webpages it doesn't outperform a Corvette in either fuel efficiency or power (260 hp vs. 345 hp). And even though a new SKY is about half the price of a new Corvette, I'm not about to go trade my vette for a SKY. But dang, they sure are cute little head-turners. And I'm not usually so easily impressed with new cars anymore.

Well, kudos to General Motors. Some American cars are still pretty cool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two Scoop Sundae

You Are The Godfather Ice Cream

Someone crosses you, and they'll end up with a scoop of this in their bed


You Are Karamel Sutra

Plain on the outside, but once someone gets in, they're stuck

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What the World Needs Now

"... is love, sweet love..." Uh, nope. That's not really what I was going to say. I was going to say, "What the world needs now is a conservative female dictator."

That's right. ;-)

Today I've been told that fascism is an inherently leftist philosophy. When did they change that definition? I hate this postmodern crap. My pre-postmodern education which ended 21 years ago told me that fascism isn't necessarily "left" or "right". It can be either. But apparently because recent fascists have been socialists of some variety it has been decided that fascism is necessarily "leftist." Whoda thunk it?

Well, let's play that postmodern game for a minute. Let's give them some new evidence so they can change their definition again, back to its orginal, non-"handed" meaning.

I would be a perfect conservative, "rightist," fascist dictator. Give me that power and I'll prove it. ;-) I could easily crush that notion that fascism is inherently "leftist" or socialist. And actually, I think that is exactly what the world needs about right now. A conservative female fascist. A Vicious Momma to rule the world. ;-) I could whip, scold, scorn, reprimand, and time-out (imprison) everyone into better behavior. There are too many people running around these days who have never known real punishment. That's what's wrong with the world. I could change that. Yes, I do think that is what the world needs now.



"Ironman" by Black Sabbath as played on the game Guitar Hero. My eleven year old has this game and has played this song for me, but this isn't his video.

The other day AOL had a poll asking what Hillary's campaign theme song should be. I didn't look or think about it because I didn't have time and then got sick. Maybe she should use this song. It's pretty catchy. ;-)

Dear Paris Hilton,

You are the ultimate example of a spoiled rotten moron. You mother should be given at least 50 lashes for producing such a bad offspring. I just saw a "Hilton family" (of hotels) commercial that spouts, "Be Hospitable." What kind of propagandacrap is that? Sometimes I'm tempted to believe that people should have to pass some sort of intelligence test to be allowed to have a certain amount of money. You are such a poor example of humanity that it turns me into a semi-fascist!

Unfortunately, people in other parts of the world see you and your ridiculous antics and assume that all Americans are that way. You are such a bad representative of Americans that you should be imprisoned just for that alone. And your mother (and father) should be held up as example of How Not To Be Parents. It's sickening. Almost more so than the bad chicken nuggets from Chik-Fil-A than have knocked me out for several days.

Honestly, I think you are some kind of subhuman species. You should be sterilized before you reproduce.

Sincerely,

Vicious Momma

Saturday, June 09, 2007

This Is Good

DuPont and agricultural processor Tate & Lyle have started production in a new $100 million corn polymer processing plant in Loudon, TN, near Knoxville.

The clear liquid compound can replace, and the companies say can improve upon, petroleum-based ingredients. The results could be fabrics that can take dyes more brilliantly, carpets that are naturally stain resistant, face creams that are gentler to the skin and airplane de-icers that are biodegradable.

The companies tell The Associated Press they'll use 40% less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by producing the polymer from corn sugar instead of petroleum-based feedstocks.

Customers already lining up include carmaker Toyota and carpet manufacturer Mohawk.

From WBIRTV


I wish that WBIR had the video of their news story on this from yesterday because it explained very well how this stuff is made and how it makes better than petroleum-based plastics and other materials. Also, from the economic point of view, this kind of development is GOOD for everyone. It helps the consumers and the farmers and the investors and the environment. Even if we aren't too concerned about global warming it is always good to improve the way we do things for many other reasons. And I think that instead of using scare tactics to force government mandates to "control greenhouse emissions" we should let the market do its job of evolving and improving as this example illustrates.

Dupont and Tate & Lyle's website has more information about their BioProducts.

See Google for more articles.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feminist Indulgence

I'm feeling a little spunky, so I'm gonna share a comment I made over at CIP's a little while ago. The liberal boys were arguing that States should be allowed to secede from the United States. Apparently, some people in Vermont are wanting to secede. You might like to read all of the other comments to get the context.

You people didn't read the Constitution did you? Bad boys, not doing your homework!

It's rather ironic that I, as a "pure-bred" American Southerner, am the one who's defending the strength of the Union. But actually, my roots are split, technically. But of course, there are parts of the Constitution that are intended to deal with the States' Rights and the Federal Rights so that there shouldn't be a need or desire for a state to secede. But if you'd done your homework you'd have learned that already. :-)

And no, it's not correct to think of the States as "little countries." This is a common error in perception, but the correct view is a much more *liberal* approach to things. Irony, again. ;-)

How is it liberal, you ask because you're too narrow-minded to be able to know without help and/or didn't do your homework. Well, the Union of the States was agreed upon for many reasons. One was strength in numbers. Another was that the States had economies that depended upon each other and they wanted to "keep it simple" instead of having the complications of "international" relations. And yet another (and this is the "liberal" part) was because it was philosophically (and morally) correct to gather resources and have easy exchanges among the States so that the less prosperous States could benefit from some of the wealthier States.

"United we stand, divided we fall." Wow, didn't that Unionist propaganda sink in deep into those roots?

And call me dumb or stupid or a purple fairy, I don't care because I know that I'm correct. And the only reason you call me stupid is because you're too intimidated to admit that I make you uncomfortable because I can rattle your foundation. :-) I can emasculate you and that's pretty scary isn't it?

So how's that for a feminist indulgence? How you liking feminism now? ;-) (Hey! More irony!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Boogie Nights: Star Wars Edition

Freedom of Religion and Thought

Article I (First Amendment)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


We have to remember that our founding fathers were reacting to England's struggles with the establishment of an 'official' religion. There was tremendous persecution done on behalf of religious differences. This was one of the main reasons that the colonists came here. This is why this issue is put first in the First Amendment. It was that important. It still is.

Let's look at what it says exactly. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." What that means is that there will be no law that establishes a National Religion of any kind. What it does not mean is that there can't be laws that respect religious establishments. But to hear some people talk you'd think that's what they think it means. They are totally misreading it. They want to think it means that the government can't have any religious expressions. But that's NOT what it says. People who object to "In God We Trust" on our money and "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and any other phrase that mentions God or any other religious concept are actually VIOLATING the First Amendment. They want to conveniently forget that "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part. Hello? Free exercise thereof. That means that I have every right to say Christmas, and so does my kids' school and the courthouse and any other person or place that wants to. Calling a decorated tree in a government building a 'Christmas tree' is NOT establishing a religion. It is only the free exercise thereof.

I know some people will say, "Oh, but what about other religions? Why can't they have whatever to celebrate their holidays? If you have a Christmas tree then you should have a Hanukkah tree or whatever too." Well, no one is stopping someone from doing that if they really want it. If you have a town that is mostly Jewish then they would probably focus on their own traditions. If a Christian minority there felt left out then they could do something of their own. Big deal. With freedom comes the responsibility to respect other views. That's what the whole First Amendment is about anyway. And that applies equally to atheists, fundamentalists, and everyone else. If someone is offended by a Christmas tree then they need to reread their history and the Constitution.

Our founding fathers were very spiritual people. They believed in God, and they believed that Divine Providence guided them in creating our nation. People need to go back and reread the Declaration of Independence. For your convenience here are the first two and the last paragraphs:

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

...

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

There is a lot of mention of God in there. In today's political environment if we were trying to establish our Independence from Britain it would never happen because of all the dumbasses who can't understand plain English and who refuse to try. That really scares me and bothers me.

The previous was copied from a December 2005 posting.

Today I'd like to extend the discussion a bit. In the months since that posting it seems this issue has only gotten bigger and more serious. It not only affects holiday expressions but everyday issues.

Recently I've gone 'round and 'round with some angry atheists. They insist that Religion is the source of all evil in the world. Is that not the stupidest thing you've ever heard? Of course, no one denies that wars have been fought with Religion closely related to the conflicts. But to say that Religion is evil and has done no good for humanity is just plain dumb. Many wars have been fought over other basic needs, so should we also condemn those needs as well?

Like it or not, Religion is one of the pillars of civilization. It is one of those things that truly separated/separates us from the lower primates. To call for Religion to be abolished is about as silly as calling for architecture to be abolished.

Architecture is another pillar of civilization that has separated us from lower primates. It varies by culture and location, but it is always necessary for humans to survive. Physical shelter is one of our most basic needs, and the architecture that humans have developed and evolved over our history is evidence of our creativity in fulfilling our basic needs.

Religion is a kind of shelter too. It is a shelter for humanity to help it survive the social, emotional, and spiritual hardships that life entails. Religion is involved with fulfilling the basic need for social security (not at all the same as the government program called "Social Security"). Religion has given order and purpose to our lives. It has also varied according to culture and location, and it is evolving as our human society continues to grow. Without Religion humans would still be acting like wild animals with no "higher" attributes. To deny this fact is the same as a child thinking that because a ball is out of his sight, then it must not exist anymore.

Of course, anyone is free to disagree with me, but he would be wrong. ;-) I know my history and my psychology and my sociology and all those other "inferior" aspects of existence. But without them there would be no universities for those high falutin atheists to occupy and exercise their own freedoms. It is so very disturbing to me that these same atheists who claim that Religion is evil are the first ones to turn hateful and vengeful when they are questioned or confronted. Do they really "believe" in Freedom or anything else? I think not. Or at least, I see no evidence of it.

Hey, if someone wants to be an atheist I don't give two shits about it as long as they leave me and my religion alone. Freedom of Speech does not guarantee that atheists have to right to relentlessly criticize, belittle, or otherwise verbally abuse others with whom they disagree. But even I am susceptible to returning fire when attacked. I realize that some religious people are just as guilty of condemning people with whom they disagree, and that is unfortunate and this message is intended for them too.

While Religion is an essential pillar of civilization and will continue to be even though some will always try to destroy it, we all must learn to accept differences in thought and belief if our civilization is to continue evolving in a positive direction. Destroying any of the pillars of our shelters (of whatever kind) will only weaken the entire construction of our human civilization.*

And that is this week's sermonette.


* A note about Science: I love science and generally take a 'scientific' view of the world, but I am also aware that Science cannot yet answer ALL questions and fulfill ALL needs. It could be argued that the atheists who place all of their faith and belief in Science are basically worshipping it, just like the religious people who place all of their faith and belief in God to provide the ultimate and final answers. On a certain level there is no distinction between these approaches. Science is as much a human creation as religion. Oh, I know that's really going to prickle the sensitivities of some, but if they could only remove their emotional attachments to certain thoughts then they would be able to see it that way too.

Family News

Yesterday my father had surgery to remove his gall bladder. He'd been feeling sick for a long time and finally went to the doctor about it a couple of weeks ago. They discovered a 4 cm (about 1.5 inches) gall stone and scheduled surgery. He is doing okay but is in pain today. Even with the less invasive laproscopic techniques they haven't figured out how to do completely painless surgery. But it is kind of amazing that they do this now, on an outpatient basis, what used to put people in the hospital for a week. The surgeon told us that in addition to the large stone there were several smaller ones too. My dad will probably be feeling much better within a week. And his 70th birthday is this Friday.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Serious Conjunction


To the right of Leo's front leg the smaller dot is Saturn atop the larger one, Venus. Click picture for larger view.

On June 30 Saturn and Venus will be very closely conjuncted. Allow me to indulge in a bit of hokey astrological interpretation. After all, all work and no play makes Rae a dull girl. ;-)

I'm not an astrologer by any stretch of the imagination, but I am aware enough of the basics to create my own interpretation of this celestial event. Venus is the planet ruling love and sensuality. Saturn is the planet ruling responsibility and discipline. A conjunction may indicate auspicious, difficult, or some combination of, events depending upon the nature of the planets involved and the extent of the conjunction. This conjunction is very intense (close) in between the signs of Leo and Cancer. I'm not sure in which sign 'real' astrologers would put place this conjunction, but to me it looks on the edge of Leo. Leo is the sign of confidence, leadership, and open expression. Cancer is the sign of sensitivity, nurturing, and protectiveness.

So what do I think it all means? Well, it seems to say that cold, analytical Saturn is in a collision course with warm, emotional Venus, and the results will be intense and possibly daunting, kind of like the immovable object meeting the irresistible force. ;-) But not to say that this will not be beneficial in many ways. This kind of conjunction might be seen as a catalyst (beginning) or a culmination (ending) of unavoidable events. Of course, this isn't meant as any kind of prediction, but more as advice to be prepared to deal with some big happening (internal or external).

Personally, I find this whole thing rather interesting and surprisingly relevant to my own life. Coincidence? Probably, but it is kind of fun to look at the similarities.