FREE! An Idea Worth $1,000,000

Okay so here's my latest million dollar idea:
Kitchen Floor Air Hockey.
All you have to do is come up with a battery-operated hover-puck.  How hard could it be?!  Some kind of little fan that sits in/on a little disk thing.  So you don't need a special dedicated pneumatic playing surface, just the HoverPuck®. Turn that baby on and -- boom! -- your kitchen or patio becomes an air hockey rink. Bat that sucker around!  Hilarity ensues!


In which I brush the cobwebs off an old poem that has no punctuation

Your Eyes
   written May, 1998

Our house so seldom empty
Greets me only with the sound of settling
A ticking a whirring
So rarely filled with silence
Are there echoes even now
The clamor laughter angry ardor
I can almost see them
But what I see is what I miss
Your eyes
You there in the house
All the years the love your eyes
All the ways and times
Even you there in the dark
How can I know when your eyes are on me
Dizzies me
How your eyes know mine
I kiss your neck
Your closed eyelids
There have been times your tears have wet my lips
Then what comfort can I give
Solace to settle your nerves
When like as not I am the cause of tears
Downcast I wander past
Your eyes meet me before my eyes meet yours
I know your eyes
Sinking creaking in next to you
Settling down to your lips
My closed eyes blink open to meet
Yours searching
My eyebrow curve of temple
My heart
Always looking to me
Even when I am away
Or when you are away
How do I know
I know I feel your love your gaze
Your inward eyes are turned toward me
Me the one who does not know the worth of anything
Doesn't know the value of a dollar
Ah but you
You are the treasure in that field
Yes all that and more
Some day
The dust settling over my dead years
Dead artifacts and personal effects
Among them a photo of your eyes
Perhaps our great-to-the-Nth grandchildren
One can only hope
May be taken by your eyes too
The wonder of such love
So you can see
This is not finished


Diver Dan - Hard Water

Speaking of puppet shows:

Scoff all you want -- I was probably watching this at the tender age of 3 or 4 years old when it first came out in 1961!  There was this thing called "TV", see?  And there were THREE channels.  There would have been four but Dad didn't put up a UHF antenna. 

Anyway, it seems pretty s-l-o-w now.  Wow. 

Baron Barracuda still creeps me out!


It does sort of widen your horizons

"The communion and sharing that are part of everyday life in the home, at times of joy and at times of difficulty, are the most concrete and effective pedagogy for the active, responsible, and fruitful inclusion of children into the wider horizon of society."
 -- Saint Pope John Paul II, "Familiaris Consortio", 1981.
Of course, when I was a kid the communion and sharing at times of difficulty largely consisted of hearing my parents yelling at each other.


Benedict Arnold - Star Trek Connection

It turns out that the original ship named Enterprise was a British sloop captured by I-was-for-America-before-I-was-against-it Benedict Arnold on this day ( 18 May ) in 1775.

The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was decomissioned in 2013.

Another USS Enterprise (she will be CVN-80) is under construction, due to be operational around 2025.  I like to think that the reason it is going to take so long is that they are working out the kinks on the warp drive.  It's hard to get qualified Shaw-Fujikawa Reactor mechanics nowadays -- and that will probably only get worse, what with Common Core and all that.


U.S. Navy Nurses

13 May 1908 is the date of the official establishment of the U. S. Navy Nurse Corps.

President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill that created the Corps by act of Congress.

So Teddy not only brought us the Great White Fleet, but also some Great White Dress Uniforms.

The original Navy Nurses became known as "The Sacred Twenty"
[wikimedia photo]


It's almost like they want anarchy

The headline:

California judge refuses to revoke release of serial rapist

This may be sufficient evidence to make a prudent judgment that it is now impossible to safeguard the public safety without the death penalty.

The Catechism says:
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
"If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's." [St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,64,7, corp. art.]
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.
2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party. [Cf. Lk 23:40-43]2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." [John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56]
Sorry for the long quote.  But if the justice system is so broken that a known, convicted serial rapist who has violated terms of release is left out in society, what hope is there for "...non-lethal means... sufficient to defend and protect people's safety..." ?

Sorry again for what I'm going to say, but:  Given a choice between Thomas Aquinas and thousands of years of scripture and natural law on one side, and John Paul II and a century of pious liberal sentiment on the other side, I would pick St. Thomas, citizen ownership of arms, and efficient punishment including the death penalty.

The people who say that yes, the death penalty is not excluded by faith and reason, and yet go on to make its application impossible -- these are the same people who have never met a just war (and set up impossible conditions for concluding it could ever be possible), the same people who nod to the Second Amendment and then regulate to the point of practical impossibility of its individual utilization, the same people who say that yes of course Pam Geller has a First Amendment right to free speech BUT...

That way lies madness, ovens, mass graves.


Nun testifies in Boston bomber trial - FOR the bomber

Sister Helen Prejean (Congregation of St. Joseph) testified Monday 11 May 2015 in defense of Boston Marathon bombing "suspect" Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

The blood-dancing nun believes the death penalty is always wrong.

The press identify Prejean in a way that would make her seem a legitimate spokesperson for the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.  She is rather a one-nun show than a Vatican envoy.  She has run her anti-death-penalty lobby business sisterjean.org since 2004 (and in other forms before her internet presence).

Using her position as a Catholic woman religious for political traction is one of the things meant in the commandment about taking God's name in vain.

If nothing else, she continues to insult the unborn and other innocents whose lives are taken, when she conflates abortion / war / self-defense / death-penalty.

Here's a thought:  Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate and was crucified.  He spoke from the cross. One of the things He did NOT say was, "Oh, and by the way, this thing they are doing here? This death-penalty thing?  It's always wrong."

I think honest people come to the conclusion that war, the death penalty, and the use of lethal force in self-defense are sometimes the PRO-LIFE thing to do.

UPDATE:  Appeals court had struck down the death penalty for Tsarnaev. The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty for the 2013 murders in March of 2022. 


IRS Scandal: Two Years On, No Rolling Heads

This weekend (10 May 2015) marks the two year anniversary of the admission by IRS chief Lois Lerner that tax auditors had particularly targeted conservatives prior to the 2012 election.

Lerner subsequently stepped down.  The ongoing clown-car runaround and stonewalling of the past two years is shameful and infuriating.

Of the people, by the people, and for the people indeed!  By "people" Mr. Lincoln did not mean "the people in charge."  Civil service is corrupt and civil service labor law is broken.

Until tar-and-feathers becomes an acceptable citizen activity, and until we are able to bring back the pillory, it is up to Congress (God help us!) to sort out the incompetent from the corrupt from the criminal.  I will be holding my breath.  Yeah, sure.

The Internal Revenue Service is not alone.  These kinds of things happen to everybody.  As Jake said:
It wasn't my fault! ...Honest, I ran out of gas. I - I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!


The Sinking of the Lusitania

One hundred years ago today, 7 May 1915, German Untersee Boot U-20 torpedoed and sank the ocean liner Lusitania.  [photo]

Wikimedia image from the London Illustrated News
Terrorist attack?

A weak America does seem to invite ill treatment from enemies.

I blame President Woodrow Wilson.  And I'm not the only one.

On 21 June 1915, former president Theodore Roosevelt wrote in a letter to John H. Lorimer of the Union League Club in Philadelphia:  "Personally I do not believe that Wilson was right on the Lusitania matter.  Had he acted with reasonable firmness in the Gulflight business the thousand men, women and children who were murdered on the Lusitania on the high seas would be alive today."

The Gulflight tanker bound for France had been torpedoed by German U-Boat U-30 on 1 May 1915, in spite of America's neutrality.  When Germany announced its sink-all-shipping policy, Wilson did not protest.  When Gulflight was sunk, Wilson did not protest.  In true progressive style, he put his best people on it to gather information.  A week later they were gathering more than information -- they were recovering bodies.
"Had he acted with reasonable firmness..."

"To forgive and forget is to surrender dearly bought experience."
  -- Shopenhauer