Friday, September 30, 2011

To loosely quote Carla from "Cheers", Christianity isn't a religion for wimps.

Some of its doctrines are pretty difficult, like the one about Christ wanting to bring all men to salvation.

If you're like me and most other human beings, your gut reaction to this news might be to hope that Clifford Olson is suffering the worst torments hell can possibly offer. But this also entails the hope that God is not infinitely merciful, and the hope that another person persisted, to the very end of his life, in the profound and damnable wickedness that resulted in his murdering eleven people. No one would hope for either of those things.

God help and comfort those eleven families.
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Morlocks announce world tour

First stop, La Loche, Saskatchewan.

After America , Volume II.
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I'm going to say "No,"

Nicolas Cage is not a vampire. It's just his movies that suck.

(Except, of course, for the Greatest Movie Ever Made.)


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

This is why, if I were an idolater, I would idolize Mark Shea

So whether it's a PETA idolator fawning over the big brown eyes of a puppy (while wishing humans and their Judeo-Christian God of Dominion over nature would all die), a lover of one's country putting the glory of the Fatherland above all, or, in our case, prolifers who love babies as the most important things in the universe, the problem is the same: Second things are put first. 
Even adorable innocent babies? Yes. Especially adorable innocent babies if that happens to be your weak spot and the place you can be tempted to place the creature before the Creator. And for a significant number of people in our particular time and place, it is the weak spot, precisely because our culture is so hostile to the unborn babe. We start out defending babies for the sake of Christ and wind up worshipping babies instead of Christ.
here's the rest. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's a Flannery kind of evening

It's considered an absolute necessity these days for writers to have compassion. Compassion is a word that sounds good in anybody's mouth and which no book jacket can do without. It is a quality which no one can put his finger on in any exact critical sense, so it is always safe for anybody to use. Usually I think what is meant by it is that the writer excuses all human weakness because human weakness is human. The kind of hazy compassion demanded of the writer now makes it difficult to be anti-anything.
 Mystery and Manners
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Anti-bullying programs gone amuck

From the ongoing Adventures in Unnamed Town. (You know you need to get out more when you find yourself reading the police blotter in your local paper.)

A youth in Unnamed Town called alleging an assault after he had his arm scratched and was chased by an associate. RCMP investigated the matter and it was determined charges were inappropriate in the circumstances.


Ahem, it seems sad to have to point this out, but in my day, getting scratched and chased was called "rough and tumble" play. I hope my house never gets broken into or anything, cuz if I call the cops they might all be out responding to an alleged game of Kick the Can.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beyond the Chick Flick

An insightful discussion of the ongoing appeal of Jane Eyre, by the brilliant Carolyn Moynihan at MercatorNet. (And I'm not just kissing up cuz, like, she's my editor, or anything. I had actually read the whole thing before I realized she'd written it.)

I must admit that when I heard there was yet another film version of this book, I literally groaned. Really? Does this story need to be done 24 times? But after reading this review  by Ronan Wright (also on Merc), I very much want to see it.

One of the film's strengths is the pacing. Not too rushed but slow, steady and patient. As the tempo and intensity of the story quickens and the secret that haunts Thornfield Manor is revealed, the film maintains its rhythm. Built on the suspense created by the script, never allowing the exchanges to be rushed or to feel forced, the dialogue has a very natural feel to it. It draws you in so that you want to inhabit the scene with the characters, to lose yourself in the quietness of Thornfield's shadowy corners, to embrace the film's rich and textured austerity. The stillness of the moors and the difficulty of Jane's situation at Thornfield echoes the restlessness of her conscience as she struggles against her feelings to do the right thing. This tension within Jane and between herself and Rochester is almost tangible throughout.
"There's a temptation nowadays to want to sex things up", says [director] Fukunaga, "to make it cutting edge and somehow be different just to be different. It's harder to be simple, it's much harder, much more challenging. In some of the longer dialogue scenes, the fireside chats, which are really the centrepiece of the story, I found myself doubting my original goal which was to be simple; 'just put the camera down and let these great actors do these scenes'. It almost didn't feel naturalistic just to sit still, our attention spans these days are so short, it's so hard just to let things be and that's what I wanted to do."
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Another one of those "Why didn't I think of it first?" ideas

"Savage Chickens": Cartoons on sticky notes by Doug Savage. He's got a book, merchandise, and READERS.

One of my favourites (so far): "All of Chewbacca's dialogue from Star Wars."

And I just know that some of DOH's readers will appreciate this one: "Life in Eight Easy Steps"

And, in what surely describes my life most of the time: "Hallucinations"

I might get this guy to design the cover of my forthcoming novel about Unnamed Town!

Oh, and I think I need this mug.

Must. Stop. Now. I can see this is going to be a dangerous addiction.
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I love this blog

Coffee and Canticles. I only discovered it a few days ago, thanks to The Shea. Its mandate is to help sinful Dummköpfe  like me to make sense out of the Divine Office (aka Liturgy of the Hours), and to be more faithful in praying it. It's going to be a daily stop.


Oh, and I must get into the habit of wearing my reading glasses more often. I went to this page and read: "But My Soul Isn't Filled With Elvis!" and of course, that's not what it actually says. (If you want your soul to be filled with The King, you have to move to my diocese, which offers--I kid you not--a "Theology of Elvis" workshop.)
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

In honour of our Fourth Follower

I think Daria (as a homeschool mom) will appreciate this one. Flannery, of course. But I'm not sure which non-fiction work this came from. Must find out. 

"The high-school English teacher will be fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. He will teach literature, not social studies or little lessons in democracy or the customs of many lands. And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed."Flannery O'Connor
I chuckled when I read this on Daria's blog, in a post where she lamented her lack of followers (--hey, we can relate!): "And I promise I'll never call you as "minions".
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

CTV: Blather, mince, repeat.

Please watch Fiery Cat's video. It must be seen to be believed.



h/t Small Dead Animals

Not unusual for that network, however.
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I am tired of mere metaphors

Could some of these forecasters just tell us what we might realistically expect to see when the global economy implodes (and what we can do to prepare for it)?

The success of the West in establishing a solid set of social, political and economic institutions and policies after World War Two was so durable that we came to believe that the arrangements made then would last forever, and that further change would be slow and evolutionary rather than quick and disruptive.
The success of central banks and governments at reining in inflation, easing recessions and achieving soft landings in the 1980s and 1990s further reassured us that while there were some problems and dangers here and there, our house stood on firm foundations and was structurally sound.
I still hope the old house can weather one more storm, but it is clear that we can no longer take that for granted.  The ground under the foundations is washing away; the wind threatens to rip off the roof, and cracks are appearing in load bearing walls. Sooner rather than later we are going to have to redesign and rebuild. [...] 
Ok. Foundations, storm, ground, wind, rain, roof. Got it... not. Anyway, here's the advice: 

 some of our most fundamental institutions and social policies are going to have to change.

Sure.  But um, could you be a teeny bit more specific?
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Go outside and play tag, kids.

For an older generation of Japanese the defining occupational hazard was karoshi -- the salaryman’s death from overwork. For the post-1970 generation, however, it’s hikikomori -- severe social withdrawal, often linked with addiction to the internet and video games and marked by a strong aversion to work.
MercatorNet

Autumn is here.

I never, ever get tired of this song.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

River City Ladies Auxiliary for the Dance does "Swan Lake"

Go ahead and pause it at 0:46. Doesn't that look like One Grecian Urn to you?



This is a magnificent display of acrobatics, but I am with the Anchoress and Deborah Gyapong on this one. Not my kind of ballet, unless you want to laugh out loud at "Swan Lake".

Mrs. P weighs in: Please, oh please can we add a new category: "Just Stupid"?
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Fifty years and sixteen million YouTube views later...

This "Corner" post from Steyn cracked me up.

It also put me in mind of the time I was listening to Ben E. King's 1961 gem, "Stand By Me". Someone scoffed at my taste in music and told me condescendingly that "No one will be listening to this 25 years from now." Ironically, the year was 1986.

Well, another quarter century has passed since that day, and here we still are. "Stand By Me" is still one of my favorite songs.

Classic Simcha

Heh. 


Now let’s switch gears for a minute and imagine a day in the life of Barack Obama.  All the poor guy wanted to do was to play president for a while so he could gather material for his third autobiography.  But people keep knocking on his office door ALL DAY LONG, pestering and harrassing him about the stupid economy, the stupid budget, the stupid hundreds of thousands of troops deployed, the unemployment rate, the national debt, blah blah blah.  Why can’t they just give him some more awards and then leave him alone so can get his lousy daily minimum four hours of fresh air?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Proof positive that I'm getting old

Or I just don't get out enough. Not only did I watch this entire video segment from the Congressional hearings on the U.S. economy (specifically examining stimulus thus far, and the new jobs bill in particular), but I was enthralled, and when it ended, wished it could go on longer. I blame Steyn. This was serious stuff and Peter Schiff was very well-spoken. I can't believe one congressman (had to be Democrat) pulled the "children are our future" card--in defense of further spending. (These people just. Don't. Get. It.) Future? What future, when we're spending them into the grave with debt. I loved Peter Schiff's response: "We're already spending too much on education." That must have had Democrats crossing themselves and pulling out the garlic talismans.



h/t ">Hillbuzz

Hilarious mock ad

For the commie let's-take-over-Wall Street "Day of Rage."



h/t Hillbuzz

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Or, he can move to my town

I would trade some of my fellow townsfolk for him in a hurry. This guy's crime? Growing vegetables. In my town, we have idiots who pop wheelies on their dirt bikes going 100 km an hour down the street, and driving their trucks backwards nearly as fast.  Chapter 2: Dawn of the Brain-dead...

h/t Steyn
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Apparently the 'C' in CTV

stands for "craven-squish". The Ez says what CTV didn't have the guts to.

Brilliant

Mrs. B, why didn't we think of this before? We could get some awesome publicity for DOH if we reported on OURSELVES at AttackWatch! (Do you think we would look good in red?)

This guy was lucky enough to get noticed by AW, and now he's blogging about the experience: Attacking Attack Watch’s Attack on my Attack on the Auto Bailouts


Obama: most. Pathetic. President. Of. All. Time.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

A reader writes

Regarding DOH's fondness for Bluegrass. "Your high position in my esteem has now gone to new heights!!!"


And having a fan that appreciates anything about us, anything at all, sends our happiness levels to new heights. Thank you, sir! 


Browsing YouTube t'other day, I came across these folks, Kickin Grass. Love the lead gal's voice. (Update: all three songs on this clip are on their album "On the Short Rows" which I think I will have to buy very soon.)


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Fingers crossed

That this will turn out not-disastrously in any way. It's a bit beyond the sadness I feel at the multiple ironies taking place.
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Does video game's make you smarter? Huh?

Even the expert researchers (were they also long-time gamers?) don't really know--cuz their scientific studies were fatally flawed. (How do you spell irony?) My latest at MercatorNet. Note to self: file under "brain-bleedingly obvious."
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lord, deliver us

From whatever or whomever (I think we know) is causing priests to lose (or temporarily misplace) their minds. Not another one...

I once recall asking our priest why he hadn't joined "Priests for Life", and he answered tongue in cheek: "I'm a member of Priests for Eternal Life." Now I understand.

Repeat after me: "I am for Paul; I am for Apollos--NOT" and please note: sometimes Paul or Apollos can be a cause (even a very worthy one), not a person. Saving babies from death is very very very very very very important, but it's not as important as saving immortal souls from hell. If any believer, ordained or layperson, has lost sight of this, then it's time for a rethink.
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For your Sunday listening pleasure...

and deeper contemplation. Yet more Avetts.

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Extreme (Right-Winger) Makeover

SteynOnline has a new look. I'm sure we'll all get used to it in time, and that it will be just as effective in making the left's "But...!" look small and ridiculous. The "Demon Sheep"- type portrait from Attack Watch is a nice touch, too.

Incidentally, Attack Watch, your red and white script on a black background is not so easy on the eyes. I can hardly believe you'd pick Nazi colors on purpose, so I'll just assume that everyone working on your website is as color-blind as the Obama administration is tone-deaf.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

As I said, deluge

Don't look now, but we have a THIRD follower. And I'm pretty sure we're not even related to this person. Welcome, Cookie!

And so, the requisite Flannery quotation to celebrate the event:


“Living had got to be such a habit with him that he couldn’t conceive of any other condition.”

A Late Encounter with the Enemy (short story)


Except that in DOH's case, it's blogging. Furthermore, unlike some bloggers, we will never call our followers "shuffling lickspittles."
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Fresh MILK (for the Mrs. Blurns of this world)

Who are currently in the throes.

An old article of mine, first published...well, so long ago that I can't even remember the year. Between 1996 and 1998, in Nazareth Journal (may the magazine Rest In Peace). Note: this is the unedited version. There was no online version available to cut and paste, and I wasn't about to manually retype the print version.



The School of Love
                                                               
“I hate you!” Celeste’s shrill voice rings out. A  moment later she storms out of the bedroom.  “Mom, Geneva has all the blue blocks and she won’t give me any.” I tell Geneva she has to share, and Celeste, that she must not hate anyone.

"Mom...I just don’t  get this.” moans Christine, her forehead banging despondently on the table. We have started a new unit in math, and the concept still hasn’t clicked. I glance at the clock: 11:30--time to make lunch, and we haven’t even begun working on Language Arts. I was hoping we’d be finished school by noon today. Another shriek  comes from the girls’ room. This time it’s Geneva.

“Katherine’s wrecking my house!” I fetch my toddler, who in turn begins to scream because she’s being banished from Lego Land. The blue block dispute, still unresolved, comes to blows. Now three children are crying, and the fourth is asking plaintively who invented school anyway. We still haven’t started Language Arts. Maybe we’ll do it this afternoon when Katherine goes down for a nap. If Katherine goes down for a nap.

After lunch, we finish school and Katherine sleeps. Needing some time alone, I allow the girls to go downstairs and watch a movie.  I brew some tea and collapse into a chair, burying my nose in the latest issue of Nazareth Journal. But the unswept floor, dirty dishes, and baskets of unfolded laundry are burning a hole in the cover of my magazine. Suddenly I feel so tired...am I getting a  sore throat? (Sigh...this is only Monday).

I'm posting this letter


To assure myself that I'm not the only one on the planet who feels this way. I don't know this woman, but it's like she's almost sharing my brain. I disagree with her contention that there's no one else worth watching (I get a huge kick out of Levant and Lilley), but I agree that Theo is sorely missed. So smart, so funny, so cuuuuute.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but maybe part of the problem (besides the inability to spell) is that SUN is hiring executives named "Kory"? 


Subject: Letter to Kory Teneycke

Dear Mr. Teneycke,
I tuned in to Sun News  last night - a rarity these days - and thought once again how much I miss The Caldwell Account with Theo Caldwell.
I wasn’t a much of a news watcher before Sun News, and Theo made me a faithful viewer. Because of his presentation, I was willing and even interested to see a couple of the other prime time shows as well, to hear the slightly different takes on the news stories of the day. 

Chicks dig the banjo

I had to check out the blog of our first bona fide follower, and found lots of very cool and funny stuff there, including a video clip of three young brothers who comprise a mean bluegrass trio, The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys. This clip is from an appearance on Letterman last May.



Letterman seems to enjoy their performance, but can't help being a teeny bit of a left-lib jackass (gotta make fun of them plaid-wearing hillbillies!). He takes a little dig at (how brave of him) the youngest of the three. Which kind of shows how clueless the increasingly decrepit Letterman is getting. First of all, Dave, don't presume to give anyone advice about girls. Ever.

And secondly: yes, by gum, chicks dig the banjo.

 





Friday, September 16, 2011

For your cartoon viewing pleasure

"Brünhilde Bugs" as you've rarely seen him. Oh, for the days...


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The Challenge of 9/11

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, or Mark Steyn in disguise? You decide.

There is a simple choice before us. Will we continue to act in ignorance of this other narrative? If so, we will replicate the fate of Greece in the second pre-Christian century as described by Polybius (“the people of Hellas had entered on the false path of ostentation, avarice and laziness”), and that of Rome two centuries later, when Livy wrote about “how, with the gradual relaxation of discipline, morals first subsided, as it were, then sank lower and lower, and finally began the downward plunge which has brought us to our present time, when we can endure neither our vices nor their cure.” If we carry on as we are going, the West will decline and fall.
There is, to my mind, only one sane alternative. That is to do what England and America did in the 1820s. Those two societies, deeply secularised after the rationalist eighteenth century, scarred and fractured by the problems of industrialisation, calmly set about remoralising themselves, thereby renewing themselves. 
Read it all. 
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Why the west is bankrupt



Fiscally, morally, intellectually: governments pay universities to research whether or not TV cartoons will affect children for whom they (the shows) were not intended. Gone is all common sense when taxpayer-funded PhDs spend time dissecting SpongeBob. My latest at MercatorNet.

A humble suggestion for SUN News

The other night I was watching Brian Lilley on the Byline.  Love the show, love the hair, love the guy (in a chaste, intellectual, journalistic way, of course). And the topic was deadly serious. But I was disappointed to see some woefully wonky spelling on those subtitle thingys (sorry, I'm not a TV geek; don't know the terminology) on his program the other night. I could not find the video on SUN's site, so you'll have to take my word for it. (Come to think of it, I could not remember whether the noun in question was "choice" or "body", so I'm leaving a blank. Too distracted by the spelling/usage errors, I guess.)

Instead of saying (correctly) "Whose ________ is it anyway?"

it said this: "Who's ________ is it anyways?"

My goodness. Powers at SUN, if you don't want left-lib Canadians to think your station is run by a bunch of dumb redneck asshats with a grade 6 education, then for pity's sake, don't give them ammunition! Hire staff members who know how to spell. FYI:


1) "Who's" is a contraction for "who is" or "who has"
2) "Whose" is a possessive pronoun 
3) "Anyway" vs "Anyways" (Courtesy Daily Writing Tips)"
“Anyway” is an adverb, and it means regardless or in any event.  
“Any way” is a paired adjective and noun meaning any particular course, direction, or manner. 
Then we have “anyways,” a colloquial corruption of “anyway.” It’s universally considered nonstandard and should be avoided altogether. It might help to remember that “anyway” is an adverb, and adverbs can’t be plural.
(Still not sure I'll actually subscribe to this channel. I haven't yet recovered from the absence of Theo.)

Lukewarm MILK (Mommy's Little Helpers)

I was running late after music lessons and grocery shopping today and scrambling to get dinner ready (ie. supper). In the bustle of the kitchen, I called out, "Would anyone like to wash some lettuce?" Not one, but TWO of my daughters piped up immediately with a reply. Feeling bested, the older one scowled at the younger, who shouted triumphantly, "I said No first!"
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Got MILK?

The votes have been cast! Actually, not, but I've used my psychic mind powers to try to deduce what our readers would wish us to call the new mommy blog feature, if they had an opinion on the matter, or, for that matter, if there were readers... and the verdict is... MILK. (Mothers I'd Like to Komfort.) There is just so much more, metaphorically and literally, that you can do with MILK than with MILTH, which isn't a word, and moreover, rhymes with filth. (We get enough hits from kinky porn-seekers as it is.)

So Motherhood, bring us your poor, your tired, your barfed-on, and we will try to offer some words of Komfort and Konsolation--indeed, the Milk of human kindness. Or maybe just a smile.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not quite "Sir Fonzie", but still not too shabby.

Exactamundo.

In honor of our second follower.

"I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it."
Flannery O'Connor

In honour of our first Follower

A Flannery quotation. Because a good Follower is hard to find.

“In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.”

A Good Man is Hard to Find (short story)
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Another new feature: MILTH... or MILK?

Got this idea yesterday from this PWPL post (which in turn links to another article on One More Soul).

For some time I've been reading (in various publications and sites) about how old mature and experienced moms ought to "give back" and do some comforting and mentoring to the younger moms going through stressful times. Experienced, yes (23 years, 7 kids); mature, not so much. One would think mentoring would come naturally, and I suppose at one point in history, it did. But I'm a Baby Boomer, and generally not given to thinking of anyone but myself.

So to atone for this and to take one more step toward becoming "an active, useful sort of person" (Pride and Prejudice, Ch. XIX), I thought I might start a mommy blog. But then I thought, "Hey, I already have two blogs, and I don't even use one of them," so that idea seemed a bit redundant. Instead, I thought it made more sense to begin a new feature on this blog and call it MILTH (Mothers I'd Like To Hug)--or perhaps even more appropriately (on multiple levels), MILK: Mothers I'd Like to Komfort, with the added feature of consoling moms who--like me-- are homeschooling and often feel they're not doing a very good job of it. (Hey! Why not let DOH's legions of readers decide! Vote now in the Comments Section on which name you'd like to see.)


[crickets chirping...]


Once when I spoke at a conference, I was (grossly undeservedly) described as "Erma Bombeck for the 21st Century" but since virtually no one under 50 knows who Erma Bombeck is, maybe I'll just aspire to "The Canadian Pre-Menopausal Simcha Fisher" (even though that's undeserved too. I am not worthy to peel the linty lollipop from underneath her wool socks).

So here's the first installment, which is not really mine (I don't have time, because I'm LATE FOR SCHOOL), but boy, is it ever worth reading. Fr. Dwight Longenecker, on how a devotion to the Sorrowful Mother* can help suffering moms. Beautiful.

h/t Shea

* In the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, Sept. 15 is the Memorial of "Our Lady of Sorrows", one of the many titles by which we honour Mary.

Should you leave money to your adult children?

Many Boomers say no. 
"My goal is when they carry me away in that box that my bank account is going to say zero," Willison said. "I'm going to spoil myself now." 
My latest post on MercatorNet. 

h/t Shea
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Potato, tomato!

Was mocked by my children today for calling a Blackberry (newfangled communication device) a "Blueberry".

There's a difference?
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Methinks DOH needs a new category

"Killer Headlines" which are so diverting, you don't even need to read the accompanying story.

Today on Yahoo News:
Nicolas Cage awoken by naked man with Fudgesicle

And who can forget:

*Chopper rescues Frenchwoman trapped in tree by wild pigs


DOH has its first follower!

See the sidebar.

Look out, Mark Shea. We are coming for you and your minions, and we are going to take. you. down.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And "receiving an education" is a role students used to play.

But now, apparently, they gather to throw foodstuffs at one another and then complain about being disciplined for it. Do watch the video (some real unbiased reportage there) where a journalist and a university perfesser collaborate to provide an enlightened explanation of hazing.

Mrs. P., you will be glad to know you're off the hook for all those volunteer hours teaching Confirmation classes. All you need to learn them kids is how to huck an egg.

“She had observed that the more education they got, the less they could do. Their father had gone to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and he could do anything.”
Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge 
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"Every zodiac sign a wanted zodiac sign!"

Barbara Kay in the National Post:

In fact, abortion for any reason has become banalized amongst elites: Some Indian women abort over such trivial matters as an unwanted zodiacal sign.
Worth reading.  h/t PWPL
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Why Obama is painful to watch

By Ron Ross, American Spectator. Just two of many reasons:


Recently in the debt limit negotiations Mr. Obama warned the Republicans, "don't call my bluff." That's just weird. Anyone with half a brain knows that a basic requirement of a bluff is that you don't let it be known that you're bluffing. Admitting that you're bluffing cancels its effect. If you admit that you're bluffing, you are sure to be called on it. 
Mr. Obama is often cloyingly folksy. One obvious example is his insincere and frequent use of the word "folks." A similar lame attempt at sounding like a down-home good-old-boy is the dropping of the g in words like going, doing, etc. It just makes him sound phony. Mr. Obama is attempting to act a part, but he's not a very good actor. Watching bad acting is no fun.
As Mr. Ross concludes, let's hope we don't have to watch it for another 4 years.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just sayin

"Non-partisan" study: homeschooling gives students an academic edge.  LSN


Participants were between 5 and 10 years old and each child was asked to complete standardized tests, under supervision of the research team, to assess their reading, writing, arithmetic skills, etc.
“Although public school children we assessed were performing at or above expected levels for their ages, children who received structured homeschooling had superior test results compared to their peers: From a half-grade advantage in math to 2.2 grade levels in reading,” says Martin-Chang.


Thankfully, the study differentiated between homeschoolers and unschoolers (who, surprise, surprise! scored quite a bit lower than the public school kids. Sheesh, why do people do that to their kids?)

And while we're on the subject, score one for Mom! My first-year university daughter THANKED ME yesterday for teaching her grammar. She's already got a leg up on some fellow freshmen in her English class. I asked what (literature) they are now studying. She laughed. "The prof is teaching the class how to write a paragraph."

God help us. Kids should learn that by grade 4. 

In her German class, some of her classmates don't know how to find the nouns and verbs in a sentence. Not because they don't understand German, but because they don't know what nouns and verbs are. 
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Now that Corner Gas is no longer in production

I'll have to include these in my forthcoming novel about how bizarre life can be in small-town Saskatchewan. From my local paper:


An assault occurred in the (unnamed town) area after a dispute between grain bin builders. The victim was allegedly written on with magic marker and then struck in the face. A suspect has been identified by RCMP and charges are pending.

Just "allegedly" written on? I mean, couldn't they see the ink marks? Or how about this one:


A theft of mail was reported in (unnamed town), however there was no evidence of any criminal activity or that anything was stolen.

"But constable, I just know they took my Walmart flyer!"

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Standup Steyn

Worth the 9:40, if only to see Mark Steyn wearing plaid and singing "Kung Fu Fighting" (though--alas--not at the same time).


Impersonator extraordinaire

Not only is it a great makeup job, but he's got the Big O's (or is that zero?) speechifying down cold.

h/t Deborah Gyapong
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Should Ernie and Bert come out of the closet?

...and participate in a 'gay marriage'? A recent  post on MercatorNet's Family Edge.













Hey, maybe the Change.org petition to Sesame Street doesn't go far enough. Maybe we should retrofit all children's literature to reflect the LGBT worldview. Here are just a few possibilities:

Frog and Toad Are Friends...with Benefits
Anne of Green Gaybles
Hot Arabian Nights
Little Bath-house on the Prairie
"Peter" Pan
Fun with Dick and Dane
More Fun with Dick and Dane...and Spot
Horatio "Horn"blower
Tipping the National Velvet
The First Nations Guy in the Cupboard...er Closet
Hanging a "Goodnight Moon"
Little Lord Fondleroy
What Katy Did (When No One was Watching)
The Hard Boys Mystery series
*uck Everlasting


Well, you get the picture.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Nothing gold can stay.

Oh, well, it was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Improve Education? Yes, we Khan!

As Syndrome would say, "This is just tooooooooooo good!" Geeky American single-handedly undertakes to transform education in the U.S. (At least he was single-handed, until Bill Gates offered him a cool $1.6 million. We should all be so lucky). A great story by Margaret Wente (my bolds): 

“This has the potential to supercharge what happens in the classroom,” says Mr. Khan, who is attractive, amiable and just a little geeky. His vision is to recreate the environment of a one-room schoolhouse, where students of all ages and levels learn independently but together, and have plenty of time left over to express their creativity through music or art.
Gee, that sounds oddly familiar. It's just like, oh wait, I know! HOMESCHOOLING! And, as the good folks at SDA point out, just watch and wait as teachers' unions try to destroy him. And sure enough, here's Ms. Wente again:
Not everyone, needless to say, is thrilled about the prospect. The education industry is extremely slow to change and fiercely protective of its traditional monopoly. Teachers are terrified they might be replaced by technology. And some of them think the Khan approach to learning – which focuses on incremental, progressive mastery of skills – is all wrong. Rather than concentrating on mechanics, one critic writes, “teachers should be inspiring them to figure things out on their own.” 
Yah, cuz kids just naturally and effortlessly discover how to do quadratic functions if pumped up with enough self-esteem propaganda. Why waste time on "teaching" and "mechanics" when you can be bullying children about how their lunches are packed instead?

h/t for the Khan story to SDA
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The Commencement Speech Mark Steyn never gave

But he'd sure like to, if given the chance. (I just don't think he'd come to our homeschool grad to do it, and if he would, I couldn't afford his speaking fee.)

From After America:

You can't always be anything you want to be. I wanted to be a great tap-dancer. Instead I’m a mediocre tap-dancer. But that’s my problem. Your problem is that my generation and your teachers’ generation have put a huge obstacle in the way of your being anything you want to be: We’ve spent your future. Generationally speaking, yours truly, the principal, the guidance counsellor, the school board, the old, the late middle-aged and the early middle-aged have cleaned you out before you got going.

It's Boycott China month

From Sept.1 - Oct.1, many North Americans (including myself) will be attempting to boycott products made in China. Yes, it's darn near impossible, but every effort counts. Have at it.

And ask (nay, pressure and demand!) retailers to sell fewer (or none at all) goods made in China. Last July, I was shopping in Walmart and saw some large colorful plastic tote bins. Assuming they were made in China, I decided not to buy any, but had a closer look anyway. They were made in Israel! So I bought two, but now I wish I'd bought five, and thanked the manager (though I realize he probably doesn't make any of the buying decisions). Still, if you don't speak up, who will?
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Theo Caldwell, alive and well

Though it totally rots that he is no longer with SUN, he's still working his sharp punditry and scathing wit. This guy never, ever fails to crack me up--add him to the list of people you don't dare read or watch whilst eating, lest the guffaws splatter the page, screen or monitor...


Or, if you are reading in some bucolic meadow and there are no other humans about, that tree stump or rabid gopher you spied would be a superior choice to occupy the Oval Office
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Lie back and think of Armageddon

I believe that we in the west (specifically media, government and academe) do not give sufficient attention or  respect to The Prophet (peace be upon him). I speak, of course, of Mark Steyn (may he live forever--or at least long enough to avoid the CIA-jihadi assassin coalition-- in order to write a few more books and inspire a few more souls). This is not a review (cuz I'm not really smart enough to write one) of his latest: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, but boy, do you ever have to read this book. Unless, of course you are a Morlock, in which case you probably can't read anyway, at least (like the president of the Detroit Public School Board) not beyond a grade 3 level. But if you are an average Joe (an active, useful sort of person, which apparently is becoming more exceptional all the time), and might like to think about saving western civilization, it's worth a gander and a ponder.

I was in a bit of a spiritual torpor this summer and needed something to perk me up, so I read this book.

Bits and Pieces

Welcome, Pundit & Pundette readers! And thank you, P&P, for adding us to your "Steynettes" blog roll. (Mrs. P and I are third and fourth from the right in the accompanying photograph.)

I now have Steyn's book. If you can be said to "enjoy" a description of civilization's grave being dug, filled in and danced upon (With the Stars, of course) then I am enjoying it...when I can get it away from Mr. B.

I also now have Sun tv, through the miracle of digital television.   I must say, when Mr. B. told me he'd seen Ezra Levant in an orange wig last week, I was expecting something a bit more masculine.

Summer holidays have kept me off the blogging trail, but this article did catch my eye. We can all breathe easier now - the CBSC has declared that we are allowed to hear the word "faggot", as long as it's in the right context and being used by the right person. Then, and only then, does it lose its mysterious destructive power. So, for instance, if you have a craving for the faggots and peas you saw on Letterman 20 odd years ago, you can now ask for it at your local Loblaws without fear of reprisal.




However, all other uses should be run by the CBSC first. They will let you know where you fall on the "valid in context-insensitive-uncharitable-boorish-cruel-illegal" scale. They are thorough. Check out their parsing of this "Twelve Days of Christmas" parody, and ask yourself if these folks are not exactly suited to decide what words you may or may not hear and use. As I said before, it's probably safest to Ban 'em All.

P.S. Attention, Checked Shirt Wearing Workmen: are you aware of how you're being portrayed in the media? Who can we report this to?