by the Minfidel
With Heath Ledger’s death after a virtuoso performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, who could possibly take his place?
by the Minfidel
With Heath Ledger’s death after a virtuoso performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, who could possibly take his place?
Al Gore has an inconvenient light bill, twenty times higher than the national average.
As the Night Writer is fond of saying, “Everything is illuminated…”
The Minfidel is now back from hiatus, if that’s what you call being locked in a trunk for over a year. Anyway, I’ve been trying to get caught up on current events, and it’s nice to see that nothing’s really changed. The big news this week is that a bunch of murdering jihadists have been murdering – or threatening to murder – people because someone called them, well, a bunch of murdering jihadists. This all sounded strangely familiar; I know I’ve seen this somewhere before. I’ve got it! It was a scene from one of my all-time favorite movies, “Animal Mosque.”
Pope Wormer: Greg, what is the worst religious sect in this world?
Cardinal Greg Marmalard: Well that would be hard to say, sir. They’re each outstanding in their own way.
Pope Wormer: Cut the horse***, son. I’ve got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.
Cardinal Marmalard: You’re talking about radical islamofascists, sir.
Pope Wormer: Of course I’m talking about radical islamofascists, you TWERP!
Later…inside Animal Mosque:
Al D-Day: War’s over, man. Wormer’s dropped the big one.
bin-Bluto: Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Saddam Otter: Germans?
bin-Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.
bin-Bluto: And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough… [thinks hard] … the tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go! [runs out, alone; then returns]
bin-Bluto: What happened to the jihadis I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you bin-Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my *** from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…
Saddam Otter: Dead! bin-Bluto’s right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
bin-Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.
Al D-Day: Let’s do it.
bin-Bluto: LET’S DO IT!
Is the Democratic Party in a persistent vegetative state? (And are “blue” states blue due to a lack of oxygen?) One might wonder about that if the presence of intelligent thought – as opposed to pure mulishness – is one of the requirements for meaningful life.
I’ve been meaning to comment on the the inconsistency of the media’s reaction to Howard Dean’s promise to use Terri Schiavo’s case as a political football, but Tim Blair has already framed it perfectly:
CASE ONE: The fight over removing Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube “is a great political issue … and a tough issue for Democrats … This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.” —Republican legal counsel Brian Darling in a memo first reported on March 18.
Result: Much left-wing rage, many on the right embarrassed, Darling resigns.
CASE TWO: “We’re going to use Terri Schiavo later on. This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it’s going to be an issue in 2008.” —Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, April 15.
Result: (sound of crickets chirping) is more like it. I don’t think the Dems could survive without the “life support” provided by the Mainstream Media.
Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, you may have already heard about the article in today’s Boston Globe where an intrepid reporter was sent into the wilds of an evangelical enclave in Ohio to explore the mysteries of a family that tries to live out its faith.
The article is actually pretty good and it doesn’t appear the reporter set out to try and make the family look foolish. Globe readers may find some of the revelations shocking but the family sounded pretty normal to me. Then again, I don’t live in Massachusetts.
Still, I do kind of wonder why the Globe sought out this story. It really had the feel of a National Geographic exploration of a foreign culture. I half-expected some Jane Goodall type of narration along the lines of “I carefully approached the alpha male, my head bowed in biblical submission…” or Marlin Perkins saying “I waited in the boat while Jim wrestled with the family over the Theory of Evolution.”
And now I’m picturing some Bostonian putting down his newspaper and saying, “Good heavens, Muffy, these primitives care more about what the Bible says than what Jacques Chirac thinks of us.”
Actually, the Globe wasn’t that original in this approach. I remember the Night Writer had this post earlier about an interview the Strib did with an author by the name of James Ault, Jr. who spent three years observing an evangelical community and made it back alive.
If this keeps up, people are going to start thinking Christians are nice people.
The Night Writer is busy working on something…I think he’s filling out his “Quality of Living” Will, so I’m going to take this opportunity to look around and see what else is making news in the world.
Oh, here’s a headline on CNN: “As Killer Gunman Approached, Teacher Prayed.” What? Guns and prayer in schools? I bet somebody’s going to get sued.
BEMIDJI, Minnesota (AP) — English teacher Neva Rogers finally had found a place where she felt needed, where she could give opportunities to poverty-stricken children who struggled with teen pregnancies, drugs and alcohol.
That place was Red Lake High School, where she died in a school shooting last week. While students crouched under their desks in a corner, Rogers stood out in the open and began to pray.
“God be with us. God help us,” 15-year-old Ashley Lajeunesse heard Rogers say after she told students to hide as gunman Jeff Weise fired through a window and marched into the room.
Hmmm, just a thought, but I wonder what might have happened if there had been more guns and more prayer in the school that day? I’m not saying, but I’m just saying, you know? I’m sure the Supreme Court knows Rights from what’s right and wouldn’t needlessly put defenseless people at risk of death.
I see Time magazine has an article about the Red Lake shootings as well: “The Devil in Red Lake.”
The teacher spoke up. “God be with us,” said Rogers. Provoked, the gunman shot her. He then aimed at another student, Chon’gai’la Morris, and asked, “Do you believe in God?”
“No,” came the answer. The gunman turned away and found other targets, shooting and killing Dewayne Lewis, Thurlene Stillday, Chanelle Rosebear and Alicia White as they huddled on the floor. He left the room and exchanged fire with police officers, who were advancing down the hallway. Retreating into Rogers’ classroom, he yelled, “I have hostages!” Then he turned a gun on himself and pulled the trigger. Silent throughout the ordeal, the surviving students began to scream.
A little bit later on, the article cites some of the killer’s writings…
He also wrote of strange tingly feelings that woke him out of a sound sleep and dark visions of small creatures sitting by his bed that he would reach out to touch before falling unconscious. But whatever demon finally compelled Weise to act also made him plan his assault.
The Devil? Demons? Is Time saying they exist? Is the creeping theocracy taking over the media? I mean, they couldn’t print it if it wasn’t true, could they? Naah, let’s move on.
Now this looks grim. CNN has picked up this story from Reuters:
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) — Animal rights groups have begun fresh public campaigns timed for the start of the annual seal hunt off the coast of Canada this week and suggestions that South Africa may kill elephants for population control…
Canada said last week it would allow hunters to kill 320,000 young seals on the ice floes off its Atlantic coast from Tuesday and earlier this month a South African official told Reuters that national parks were leaning towards an elephant cull.
Anti-hunt activists held protests earlier this month in 50 cities around the world. Groups like the Humane Society International (HSI) said they would press ahead with calls for a boycott of Canadian seafood.
“We are joining in a specific boycott of Canadian seafood products, focusing on snow crabs, and starting on Tuesday, the day the first seal is killed,” HSI vice-president John Grandy told Reuters by phone from the eastern Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.
Big beasts strike a chord with the public, making them the perfect “poster animals” for conservationists who have branded Canada and South Africa as outposts of wildlife tyranny.
“The things that seem to attract the layman the most is the big animals. I think people… connect to them,” said Chris Hails, the Global programs director for WWF International…
Meanwhile, in South Africa…
…national park authorities say the burgeoning elephant population in the flag-ship Kruger National Park has made culling a necessity. The park has an estimated 12,000 ponderous pachyderms, well above the estimated “carrying capacity” of around 7,000.
Animal rights activists are horrified at the prospect of a return to culling elephants, which involves the herding and shooting of entire family groups.
The NFL has released the following transcript of the phone call from an unknown tipster accusing Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice of scalping Super Bowl tickets:
NFL: Hello, NFL Security Office, how may I help you?
Caller: Howdy! I mean, hi. Say, y’all know that head coach you’ve got up there in Minnesota?
NFL: Mike Tice, sir?
Caller: Yeah, that’s him. Well I can guaran-damn-tee you that old boy’s playing with the odometer, if you know what I mean, with his team’s Super Bowl tickets.
NFL: What do you mean, sir?
Caller: I mean he’s scalping those tickets and puttin’ the money in his saddlebags, that’s what I mean!
NFL: Why would a head coach want to do something like that, sir?
Caller: Because he’s paid diddly-sq… I mean, how should I know? He’s the criminal mastermind, not me. Say, you don’t suppose that something like this could be grounds for terminatin’ his contract, do you? You know, without having to pay fer it I mean?
NFL: We’ll look into it, sir. Could you give me your name so we can get back in touch with you?
Caller: It’s Re… I mean, you can call me “Deep Threat.”
NFL: Hmmm, didn’t you already trade that guy?
Caller: Oh, right. Well then, call me Tex. No, no, that’s not it…shootfire! Charlene, what’s that word when you don’t want anyone to know who you are? Animal what? Oh, right, right. I’m Anonymous.
I admit that pointing out the liberal bias of the Minneapolis StarTribune and its columnists isn’t exactly the scoop of the year. One could even say this news is of the “dog bites man” variety, except the paper’s newest columnist would take the position that the man had it coming and the dog is a higher being that should consider running for public office.
The Strib has started featuring a weekly syndicated column in the Sunday Variety section by Dr. Michael W. Fox called “Ask the Doctor.” (I’ve noticed the column because it’s usually on the way to the Lileks jump page.) It’s a pretty standard looking advice column where each week letter-writers ask questions about pet care. Dr. Fox’s answers start off with a pet-centered response that then often veers off into global commentary. This last Sunday, for example, someone asked whether it’s a good idea to turn a pet into a vegetarian. The answer quickly swerved (to the left) to decry the environmental abuses and animal degradation brought about because humans tend to prefer a juicy steak or nice ham sandwich to a bowl of tofu.
Really, it’s almost as funny as Lileks and I wish I could cite more examples but the Strib doesn’t archive these columns. From what I’ve read in the past few weeks, however, I think some future columns could sound like this:
My dog, Brutus, has flunked out of obedience school three times now. What can I do? First, congratulations on being an involved guardian for your pet. Due to your commitment I’m sure the fault lies with our chronically underfunded obedience schools. Really, how can we expect our dogs to learn how to sit, stay and use a condom when we only commit 60% of our budget to education? We simply have to raise taxes.
My German Shepherd is constantly licking his paw to the point it’s almost raw. What is going on? What you describe is a classic stress reaction. And who wouldn’t be stressed given that we’ve got four more years of George Bush? Iraq’s a quagmire, we aren’t any safer, and I’ve heard that Bush wants to reinstitute drafting German Shepherds into the military police. I suggest giving your pet some herbal tea, trying aromatherapy, and contributing to Moveon.org.
I think my guinea pig is gay. Is there anything I can do? Why do you think you should “do” anything? Animals have been around longer than humans and have evolved to a higher level that doesn’t worry about who you share your pigloo with. It’s only your own ignorance that makes homosexuality appear anti-evolutionary, and you shouldn’t be so judgmental. Unless your guinea pig also has a White House press pass, of course.
While I couldn’t find other “Ask the Doctor” columns in the Strib online archive, I did find the original article introducing Dr. Fox to readers, which included the following:
“Animals are more finished than we are,” Fox wrote in his book “The Boundless Circle,” which is critical of our human-centered world view. “We are the unfinished animal. We are the newest mammal on the planet, and we have an awful lot of growing to do.”
Umm, so let’s see – we’re the youngest and, by inference, the dumbest animals on the planet – yet its fate is in our hands? Cool. But wait, let’s get a second opinion and ask one of the smartest mammals, and the King of Sea, what he thinks. Hey, Flipper – do you think Dr. Fox has it right?
“Eh-eh! Eh-eh! Eh-eh, eh-eh!”
Good boy! Here’s a fish! All of this does, however, give me an idea. See, my pet moonbat has stopped barking lately, and I want to write to the Dr. and see if I should have Mikey put down.
I was thinking more Nigel Tufnel than Nihilist in Golf Pants when I extended my list of reasons for conservative blogging in Minnesota to 11. It was, because, you know, 11 is more than 10.
Perusing the NIGP’s blog today, however, I see that he has pretty much staked out the whole top 11 list concept. Oh well, great minds and all that. I apologize to him for unintentional poaching.
You know, the concept of a nihilist golfer conjures quite an image. Do golf pants even come in Goth? Are they black plaid? Golfing with him could be interesting, but with that name I’m not letting him keep score.
OK, the Night Writer is a nice guy, but he worries too much about hurting people’s feelings. I, the Minfidel, agreed to post here from time to time on Minnesota issues because too much “Minnesota Nice” has seeped into NW and somebody’s got to be able to tell it like it is. Wimp. And that’s me, the Minfidel – a non-believer when it comes to the Minnesota legislature being God.
Anyway, Shot in the Dark posted earlier this month about the day he realized he was far from being the lone conservative blogger in Minnesota. He wondered why this state produces so many right-leaning blogs. Well, duh. I typed the first seven things that came into my head into his comment box. Now that I’ve elbowed my way onto this blog, I’d like to repeat those reasons, plus a few more now that I’ve had time to think. I was going to do a “Top 10” but that’s overdone. You see, mine goes to 11.
Reasons for Right Thinking MN Blogs:
1.Plagues. Minnesota is plagued by mosquitos and liberals. While slapping a mosquito brings some satisfaction, slapping a liberal gets you sent to Anger Management. Therefore we blog.
2. The need for an outlet. The StarTribune and Pioneer Press only publish one of our letters to the editor for every 8 or 10 from the left.
3. Familiarity breeds contempt. No one knows better that socialism doesn’t work than someone who has experienced it up close.
4. Perspective. Transplants such as myself know that Republicans in Minnesota sound like Democrats in at least 46 other states.
5. A target-rich environment. If you can’t find an example of mushy thinking or stubborn wrong-headedness every day, your body may have assumed room temperature (if it has, don’t worry, you can still vote in Washington State).
6. Size of Audience. Each year you can be fairly certain that at least 50% of Minnesota high school graduates are able to read.
7. Frustration. “Conservative” leaders here are often as elusive as our walleye – and put up about as much fight.
8. Hope. Hubert Humphrey ran the Communists out of the Democratic Party here once; maybe it can happen again.
9. Wildlife management. We love the sound of a loon calling across the lake, but not from the editorial offices of the Strib.
10. Because ice fishing isn’t as exciting as you might think.
11. Because it’s not Nice.
Think I’m joking? Further proof of #5 above appeared in Thursday’s Pioneer Press. Two groups from the religious left – Churches United in Ministry from the Duluth area and the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition – are planning to lobby the legislature to raise taxes for “social and economic justice,” saying that it would be “immoral” not to.
“Much has been made of moral values during and since the presidential election,” said the Rev. David Tryggestad of Duluth’s Concordia Lutheran Church. “One moral value that has not been talked about much is poverty and homelessness. As long as we live in a society that tolerates such monumental disregard for the least of these among us, we are an immoral society, regardless of what we might say about other moral issues.”
So, apparently, taking from others is the only “moral” solution. Let’s see, I think it is the seventh commandment that says “don’t steal” and the 10th that says “don’t covet,” but I’m not sure. Maybe this group could go look at the 10 Commandments monument in front of the Duluth City Hall and get back to me. Oops, too late for that.
I do know the fifth commandment is that “do not kill” one. Since they are concerned about “the least of these among us” I assume Churches United in Ministry and Joint Religious Legislative Coalition will next lobby the Legislature to stop abortion, although it doesn’t appear to be a priority on the JRLC web site.