Silflay Hraka

10/12/2002




Think-Tank Application

Ok Laurence, here's my fez.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




The Banana Dolt Song

I just posted this in the comments section over at the Daily Pundit, but I thought I'd put it here for my posterity as well.

The Banana Dolt song

Slave-o, slave-ay-ay-vo
The lights are on but there's nobody home.
Slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave-ay-ay-vo
His mouth opens up and it keeps running on.

Talk all the time, after too much rum!
Reporters they come when he bitch and moan.
Slander and curse till the morning come!
Reporters they come when he bitch and moan.

Please, Mr. Colin, send him to Havana!
Castro wants to have a sing-a-long.
Please, Mr. Colin, him and Arianna.
Castro wants to dress her in a thong.

He lift foot, turn foot, eat foot, LUNCH!
Reporters leave and he sad and all alone.
He lift foot, turn foot, eat foot, LUNCH!
Reporters leave and he sad and all alone.

slave-o, slave-ay-ay-vo
The lights are on but there's nobody home.
Slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave-ay-ay-vo

The lights are on but there's nobody home.

A beautiful voice, a vox humana!
Shoulda stuck to singing little songs.
You'll regret it one day, perhaps manana!
Shoulda stuck to singing little songs.

He lift foot, turn foot, eat foot, LUNCH!
Reporters leave and he sad and all alone.
He lift foot, turn foot, eat foot, LUNCH!
Reporters leave and he sad and all alone.

slave-o, slave-ay-ay-vo.
The lights are on but there's nobody home.
Slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave, he say slave-ay-ay-vo

The lights are on but there's nobody home.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Some Fine Bitchery

You were a little girl in the 1970's if.....

Notes:

#10. The sainted wife still has a Holly Hobbie comforter. We sleep under it and the nice decoy comforter every night. Ok, technically she sleeps under it. I toss all the blankets onto her and use the entire assemblage as a body pillow.

#12. I had a Simon

#26. My high school picked the unicorn as its mascot, which is the lamest mascot in the history of the planet.

#31. We still have our Shrinky Dinks. We hang them on the tree each Christmas

#34. Are you there God? It's me, Margaret made me hot. But not as hot as Wifey did. I still like Beezus and Ramona best.

#39 Ngnat sat on her mother's Sit-n-Spin at the grandparent's house a while back. It was a very special episode of Blossom all round.

Update: Laurence also grew up in the Seventies. He has the scars to prove it.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

10/11/2002




The Flood of Ought-Two

Ought-two what?
Ought two go outside and take a look at the flood.


Kyle has hit the state a bit harder than expected. A high school teacher friend who lives Down East called tonight to say that he had confirmed that a 1990 Wagoneer can take three and half feet of water without cutting off. For those of you counting at home, that's water up to the top of the front grill, without the Matttracks, of course. I told him he'd just signed his death warrant for the time when he decides he can take four foot water. I can understand why he decided to push it, though. he'd just spent two hours under a tornado warning in a girl's locker room with 180 kids and their teachers, and the man needed to be away from that school.

The flooding in the Triangle was pretty bad as well. Certainly not the worst we've ever seen, though Here's some pics. I knew it was bad when I saw someone inspecting the bridge over Crooked Creek just outside the neighborhood. Two more inches, and they'd of had to close it. The bottomland behind my house was covered. I could have thrown a biscuit off the back porch and hit river. Normally even when it is in flood that would take a golf ball and a heavy slingshot, but it was lapping at the bottom of the hill behind the house. It would have to rise about 8 more feet before it threatened us, so seeing it was a pleasing diversion rather than a worrisome event. I threw corn shucks into it from the top of the hill before Ngnat and the wife returned from daycare and watched them float away.

"Boat!" I said for her. "Water!"

Then I went in and made dinner. Steak, corn on the cob and Parker House rolls, the thank god the week is finally over dinner, with pineapple fruit pie from what the wife calls the "Nicely browned" cookbook. It's a printout my mother made of family recipes, almost none of which have actual baking times recorded. It's always' "bake until nicely browned", as if the recipe was secretly a sorority girl in search of a tan.

Corn bread - Bake in an cast-iron skillet until bread is nicely browned on top and very brown on bottom and sides.

Not to Fisk my own mother here, but how does one tell if the bottom is very brown when you have to look through a quarter inch of metal that's been heated to 425 degrees to tell?

Macaroni and Cheese - bake at 350 degrees until mixture is bubbly and bread crumbs are nicely browned.

But what if you started with brown bread, you might ask? Well, we don't. I didn't even know there was such a thing as brown bread until I was approaching my teenage years, and we refused to eat it then.

Salad - leave out on counter while everyone eats the cornbread, macaroni and cheese and fruit pie. Throw away once it turns nicely brown.

The fruit pie is the oldest recipe, handed down from my great grandmother, Jolee Harris, who must have been a woman ahead of her time, as it calls for a Pyrex baking dish. (That statement is demonstrably false, as a quick Google on "Pyrex history" informs me that Pyrex glassware has been around for 80+ years. Given that Jolee was having kids about the same time Pyrex was born, she could have easily come into contact with a dish of the necessary type.) It was one of my favorites as a kid, so I've started to make it more often, in the hope that Ngnat will continue the tradition if and when she begins to cook one day. This is done it the face of fair to middling opposition from the wife, who breaks out into a cold sweat when she sees me starting off the recipe with an entire stick of butter. Her family has genetic cholesterol issues. My family could each lard and bacon sandwiches with extra mayo three times and day and not go above 170 on our LDL count. It kind of pisses her off. Hopefully Ngnat will inherit our low cholesterol genes, without getting tagged with the ones for baldness, pot bellies and crazy teeth. And when I say crazy teeth, I don't mean crooked teeth. I mean teeth that start to develop offshoots, like small elephant tusks, yearning to break free. We're a pretty bunch to have around.

Jolee Harris' Fruit Pie

1. Use about 2 cups of any fresh or canned fruit. If necessary, sweeten the fruit. Some of the fruits we have used are;

Fresh peaches, peeled, slice and and sweetened to taste, (You can tell Jolee picked her own fruit. It's all fresh this and fresh that. I use a can, it's much quicker. I start attempting to peel peaches, and before you know it there's blood everywhere.)
Blackberries (Tastes good, but the seeds will drive you insane)
Sour pitted cherries, mixed with 1/2 cup sugar

I like pineapple the best, but I assume that that might have been hard to get in Alabama in the 1920's.

2. Place one stick of butter into a small rectangular Pyrex baking dish and place it into an 350 degree oven and let it melt. I don't know why you have to do this. I do it religiously anyway.

3. Mix 1 cup each of sugar, milk and sifted self-rising flour together. Mom included directions on how to make your own self-rising flour should you not have any, or in my case, when I first started making this, even know what it was. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the flour.

4. Pour batter into Pyrex dish over melted butter. Add fruit over batter. I always mix it up at this point, as I don't like the way the fruit just sits there in the middle of the dish, smugly refusing to spread out.

5. Bake at 350 until nicely browned. In my experience, nicely browned here is between 30 and 45 minutes.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Something less than The Truth

Pravda is turning into the Weekly World News. Among the highlights in this story on the moon;

Is there any form of life on the Moon? The Moon’s surface is not inhabitable. Maybe, there are some creatures living under the thick layers of moon soil?
...
Most likely, there is no life on the Moon. If there is, then the Moon is something like a space station. The few people that had the chance to walk on the moon’s surface saw very strange things, such as traces of tanks and little orange glass figures.
...
NASA has a lot of impressive photographs on the subject. They are all secret photos, but even the few that have been released prove that the moon’s landscape is very different from the desolated landscape of a cold, uninhabited planet. It turns out that there are constructions on the Moon: bridges, towers, buildings, and huge domes.


Speaking of the WWN, they seem to have gotten a camera into Laurence's bedroom.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Punctuated Equilibrium

Spam has mutated once again. A large number of people signed onto their computers here Wednesday and had what appeared to be a system message waiting for them. It must have been a test, as most of the messages were fairly nonsensical. Today we found their source.

These messages are completely anonymous and virtually untraceable. Bulk email will cause you trouble with your ISP if you are not using special software to hide your IP address. With this program your IP address never shows up anywhere.

It's similar to IM spam, but it appears as if Windows is sending you the messages. We've prevented most of them from showing up by blocking port 445.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Cracking Open the Vent

You know what's annoying? Having flesh out vague ideas into posts is annoying. Take the post below about the presumable U.S. occupation of Iraq after the war. I'm reading the NYT article about it, and I'm thinking "That's nice, that's pretty exactly what I want, something along the lines of what we did post WW II."

I've already read about the "golden age" of the Kurds living under the no-fly zone, so I figure the economy at a minimum will look like that after a few years, and would look even better if we put a little effort in it. Thinking about the economy reminds me that Turkey has been bitch-slapped by the E.U. once again, and there ought to be a way we can turn that to our advantage. I pull up a map of the Near East and figure that, if Glenn Frazier is right and Iran is about erupt into revolution, then in about three years we will have effectively flanked Saudi Arabia geographically, especially if you count Oman. That would be nice if we were worried about them militarily, but we're not. The only force projection S.A. has is via religion. The only way to counter that is with freedom and prosperity, neither of which we can guarantee with military force, even if we do have to use military force to establish a base in the region first.

The problem is that I can't just say "Hey, look at the map!. Ten years from now this will be fastest growing economic area on the planet if we have half a brain!" I've gotta explain it and find links that support my position, and put it in some sort of structure that makes sense, and of of this interrupts the flow of words every minute or so, and I do occasionally have work to do. The whole damned process turns whatever voice I have into sand. It reads like someone put Charlie Rose on sedatives, and he then dictated the entire thing to a zombie typist. I look at it and hate it, because the interesting idea that I had is now buried by all the buttressing I put in to address potential arguments, even though it says pretty much what I want it to say. So I publish it and bitch at it, and wonder if another hour's tweaking would help it even though I am almighty sick of it and want to read the rest of the news, and maybe write something about the kid, even though all she's done today is get up and choose an outfit to wear before I drove her to daycare.

I need a beer and a weekend.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




The New Fertile Crescent

So it appears that the structure of post-war Iraq is going to be one modeled on the post WW II occupation of Japan and Germany. Time to pull out the books* on MacArthur and .......Lucius Dubignon Clay? Learn something new everyday, I suppose.

*Here's one ;
The U.S. Occupation of Germany: Educational Reform, 1945–1949

In Germany, the U.S. military government faced serious shortages of qualified teachers, textbooks, and school buildings. It also encountered educational traditions rooted in a class-based social structure and firm church control. For the United States, educational reform was vital to denazification, to the development of a democratic political culture, and to Germany’s reintegration as a peaceful partner into Europe’s intellectual and cultural life.

Fortunately Iraq already has a tradition of secular education, so we shouldn't have to do much other than infrastructure repair and funding for the educational system. Other than that, the most important thing we can promote is trade. There's a democratic Turkey to the north, newly snubbed by the E.U., and a friendly monarchy to the south in Jordan. We don't have to set up a free trade zone in order for the Iraqis to benefit. As the Kurds in Northern Iraq have shown, just removing Saddam is a great impetus for trade, but we're interested in more than just removing Saddam. Unless America suffers through another 9/11, we're probably not going to launch another major military effort any time soon. We'll have shot our wad politically and diplomatically for a good while.

It's time for containment. We're good at that, it doesn't require active continuous military effort, and we've got 50 years of experience at it. It's a different kind of containment, in that militarily we're not facing off with an equal or near-equal opponent, but the principle is the same. Isolate the source by building up the countries around it. In 1960 that was the U.S.S.R. Today it's Saudi Arabia, with maybe Egypt, Syria and Iran thrown in for good measure. I would have added Afghanistan and Pakistan to the list if I were making it a year ago. There are certainly elements within each country that oppose us, but I sincerely doubt we'll stand idly by while they regain power. We're not going to let the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal take control of the Pakistani nuclear bombs, no matter how many seats they are elected to, and a modicum of support from us for the Afghani people will keep the Taliban from regaining power.

Iran will probably come off the list next, as it already has a population in ferment, with the fundie Muslim leadership slowly losing their grip on the country. A U.S. force basically sitting on their border ought to go a long way towards restricting the movements of the Iranian military, so their use in population control will be increasingly limited. If the population of Iran can break the hold of the mullahs, we will be sitting in the middle of a swath of territory stretching from Turkey to India where we have more influence than we have had in decades.

All prosperity needs to flourish in the Near East is a lack of oppression, a market supported by us rather than strangled, as it has been for the past few centuries, by autocratic government. We deliver that, and improve the infrastructure in the area, and we won't need to spend trillions to bring these countries into the modern age. They'll be able to do it themsleves. A single four lane highway from Istanbul to New Dehli would be the biggest boom to the economies of the region since the Spice Trade vanished. Ten or twenty years of free trade in that area and the Fertile Crescent would bloom again. This time, instead of wheat, it will grow a viable alternative to the hatred spread by the Wahabists and their ilk.

Containtment in the coming cold war with the Islamists will not come because of our might at arms in the front line of nations we set against it, but it can come by making the citizens of those nations prosperous and free.

Update: Tonecluster also posits a economic rebirth along the fertile crescent, anchored by Israel, India, Iran and Turkey.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Thoughts on the D.C. Sniper

So I am just discussing the D.C. sniper with a fellow employee. He agrees with Bigwig and thinks it's teenagers. I don't believe this. I believe that after one day or two days, your average teenager would become remorseful and cease. Most of your teen shooters are doing it as a cry for help as much as anything else. Maybe the Columbine shooters were different. I dunno.

I do have some thoughts about the case, however. It seems to me that there are a lot of comparisons being made between the killer(s) and the Son of Sam killings. I begin to wonder if maybe the killer(s) haven't done some research on David Berkowitz at some point. Maybe it would be useful to go back a month or two in the D.C. area bookstores to see if any Son of Sam books might have been sold to this individual? Just a thought. Probably difficult or impossible and maybe not useful, but a thought. A lot of bookstores also sell Tarot cards. Maybe this individual purchased both decks and books through the same store?

Also, I suspect I would stakeout most gas stations in the future. Especially those close to an Interstate or major throughway. Maybe especially in the surrounding counties that haven't been struck as of yet. Maybe Northeast or Southeast. I also suspect that I would drive miles out of the way to get gas which is a long way away from the Interstate.

For my money, I still think it's terrorists.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

10/10/2002

Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




What Have We Become?

There comes a time in the life of every blog when we must look at ourselves and ask, "What have we become?" That moment came for me today when I realized that one person googled their way to our site by looking for "Penis Amputation Vietnam War." That should put us on the literary equivalent of what you might find by googling with "Tonya Harding Monster Trucks" or "Beastiality Kitchen Appliances."

I have seen what we have become.................and it ain't pretty.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




The Color of Fear

I am tired of hearing about new threats towards the United States. The government is now analyzing new videotapes which have caused them to issue new warnings for the citizens of the U.S., yet the warning code has remained the same. Personally, I am tired of hearing this over and over. I don't care if the warning label is green, blue, orange, yellow, red or damn polka dots.

America, here is our warning: People want to hurt us, be alert and be careful while noticing your surroundings.

Other than that what good do these warnings serve other than to scare us? Tell us when and where an attack is planned and we can do something about it, until then EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION.....................let's be careful out there.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Is Anyone Asking These Questions?

So far the majority of thought on the Maryland shootings have assumed that choice of victims has been random. That's maybe correct, but is anyone asking questions under the assumption that it might not be? I think the evidence as it is now points to a pair of disaffected loners, not one.

There are persistent reports of two men involved in the shootings. What we know of serial murderers and spree killers argue against this, since they tend to be loners. This may be why profiling experts are having such trouble with the case. However, there are at least two cases of spree killings committed by pairs of murderers, those of Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. In each case, some murders were random, but others were not.

What if it's not terrorists, or a older loner with respect issues. What if this is a pair of teenagers who looked at Columbine and thought "We can do better than that."

James Martin, the first victim of the apparent Maryland spree killer, was a Vietnam vet and a Boy Scout troop leader. I don't know the # of the troop he led, nor have I been able to determine how long he had been involved in scouting. At least one troop in the are of Silver Spring, where he lived, has a hunting program. Could he have taught the shooter, or shooters?

He lived about 23 miles from Benjamin Tasker Middle School. Why would the shooter pick that particular school? Could he have attended? Was any student there ever a member of James Martin's Boy Scout Troop? Has anyone asked the staff at Benjamin Tasker, "If you had to pick two kids who would return here and shoot up the place, who would you pick?"

James Buchanan was an volunteer at the local Boys and Girls Club. He also lived about 23 miles from Benjamin Tasker Middle School. Did any alumni of that school ever attend that club?

Lots of comic book stores sell tarot cards. Has anyone called them?

The above story on the profiling difficulties also talks about the hours of the killings;

Except for a nighttime slaying of an elderly man on a Washington street corner and, if it is linked, this latest shooting, the killer has kept banker's hours—a shooting spree in the mornings and afternoons late last week, off for the weekend, then back at 8:09 Monday morning.

Most of the white vans one sees are worker's vans. Could it be that the killings take place at the times the do because the van is being used for legitimate purposes from 9 to 5? Does someone need to get it back before one of his parents goes out to do maintenance or construction work?

I think the evidence points not to one disaffected loner, but to two disaffected youths, from a lower middle or working class background, former scouts and possible high school dropouts. Certainly they exist on the fringes of the social mainstream in whatever school they attend or did attend.

I've been wrong before, though. Wouldn't mind being wrong this time either, as at least that would mean we've caught someone.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Astray Cliche of the Day

When life gives you lemons, make contraceptives.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Update on the Jennifer Short case

This ran in today's paper, making me glad that I have not posted the "evidence" which may implicate Bowman, if only circumstantially. If I were authorities, I might start looking at the landlord, however. One thing strikes me from the above story. The story suggests that the landlord could have planted the Virginia maps in Bowman's trailer. The story also states that police seized marked maps, but not from the trailer. They seized maps from a home that Bowman owned in another area of the county. So I don't know if Bowman is exonerated just yet. Plus, I don't know how much weight to give to the information that I have second hand.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

10/09/2002




I Do This All The Time

Ellen at AMCGLTD (no, I don't know what it means, and I have the sinking feeling that I ought to, too. I keep trying to figure it out, but the American Movie Channel Gives Lesbian Thirty Dollars acronym is stuck in my head and refuses to leave.) writes about bed farts.

One of the disadvantages of being a short chick is that when you spoon your husband, his ass is way too fucking close to your head. It's not like you get this great ripping whomp noise, like a Mexican riceburner on a bad day after Paco's brother forgot to tighten up the muffler brackets on that "gives you extra 50 horsepower" coffee can muffler. It's more of this silent, yet deadly, effect, like the hiss of a mustard gas canister into a muddy trench after you've loaned your gasmask to the guy who went over the side and never came back.

Yes, it's a subject close to my soul. I once woke a girlfriend up in the middle of the night by throwing the covers over her head and screaming "Gas Attack!"

God, I'm a quality individual. Not my fault, entirely. I learned it from Woundwort.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Miss World 2002 - Moral Division

Look! A beauty contestant with a brain! And, um...other assets!

And as long as we're handing out awards

Miss World 2002 Official Title Whore, First Runner Up - Pamela Camassa, Miss Italy!
Miss World 2002 Official Title Whore - Sofia Hedmark, Miss Sweden!


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




When dreidels are outlawed, only outlaws will have dreidels.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




A Bug’s Life

Being a dad is pretty awesome. Being the dad of a little girl is somewhat frightening. I know it is stereotypical to think that girls need to be protected, and that guys can engage in certain behaviors and get away with it while girls can’t do the same things with an equal amount of freedom. I know that the genders should be raised similarly and that girls should be treated equally………….but I have my doubts that it is going to happen. That is fine for other girls, but this one is MY GIRL.

There are a number of things I have noticed since becoming a dad that I did not take note of before. First, you receive absolutely NO TRAINING at all for the role. For some reason, all my years of drinking heavily and abusing my body did not prepare me for the role of being a parent. I am amazed that I walked into the hospital an ordinary guy, and walked out with another dependent. They don’t ask questions or do any type of background check. I was grilled more when I went to get a new driver’s license than I was when I became a dad. I am not suggesting that this procedure (or lack thereof) be changed, I guess I was just hoping that I would magically become smarter or better prepared to take care of someone else. I needed instructions to be included, but could find none.

I also find it fascinating how children get nicknames from parents. There must be a rule that I have not heard of which states that all parents must give their kid a nickname that somehow relates to nature. Bigwig’s kid is Ngnat, relating to nature, while ours is Bug, or more formally, The Bug. We spent so much time thinking over names for the child, yet I call her by this name (which just came out as an extension of her own name) more than the one we worked on so diligently.

One the best things about having a kid is that they literally provide an endless supply of things to laugh about. Ours is talking now……….A LOT, and what comes out of her mouth at times give me a window into my own personality, since I am being confronted with my own words as she repeats what I have said. I was changing her diaper a number of months ago when it was obvious that she was aware of her…………..femaleness.

“Wha dis da-da?,” she asked.

I didn’t know what to say. There is a lot of pressure to think that I am about to give her the name she will forever use when talking about her………..region.

I smiled and replied, “That’s your coochie.”

It just came out. Perhaps I should have given it more thought, but I was pressured and came out with a name that certainly is better than some of my options. That got the ball rolling.

“Dat’s my cooch,” she said.

“Yes baby, that’s your cooch.”

“Mama’s cooch,” she continued.

“Okay,” I said, seeing that she was understanding and wanting the conversation to end.

“Da-da’s cooch,” she offered.

What the hell should I do? Do I try to explain the differences between males and females to a 14 month old? I did what I thought was best………

“Yes babe, da-da’s cooch.”

Each time the subject came up I confessed to having a cooch. It is quite possible that she will paying for therapy when she gets older because she thinks that her dad has a cooch, and she is too nervous to ask me about it. I can hear the conversations with her friends as she gets older.

“What,” she will say, “your dad doesn’t have a coochie?”

Dear God, spare me the humiliation. I may become known as the Crying Game Father”, or the Sleepaway Camp Dad” (did anyone see that?). Perhaps it would be easier if I would go ahead and actually get one surgically placed there………….on second thought, that would cause all sorts of problems (my friends might be calling me all the time asking to come visit).

Now the Bug likes to tell me, “Good job” for everything I do. I get her juice, “Good job.” I change her diaper, “Good job.” I take a leak in the other room, “Good job, da-da.”

The other day I saw her standing with her finger up her nose. I asked, "What are you doing?"

"Geh booga, da-da." Damn, when did I say booger?

Last night she said, “I poo-poo, da-da.” So I went into the other room, took off her diaper to find……….nothing.

A bit irritated for going to the trouble I said, “You didn’t poop. There isn’t anything here.”

“Yep,” she said, “jus gas.”

Kids rock.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Somebody is telling a fib. Can you guess who?

The New York Times
Investigators are likely to focus on security procedures surrounding the exercises, Pentagon officials said. Mr. Mezrem, the Kuwaiti spokesman, said the Kuwaiti government was responsible for securing Failaka, a 7-mile-by-4- mile thumb-shaped island about 20 miles east of Kuwait City.

"They must have sneaked on," Mr. Mezrem said, referring to the gunmen. "It's strictly off limits. You need licenses to get clearances."


Kuwait's Top List
The island of Failaka is of special interest to Kuwaitis. Apart from its historical importance as a land of relics and ancient civilizations, it has become a modern tourist attraction, keeping abreast with all aspects of modern progress. Everyday visitors are carried from the mainland at Ras Al Ardh (Salmiya) to the island by ferry boats to relax and swim in its clear waters. Much of their leisure time is spent at its huge Touristic complex, located in the southern part of Failaka, which contains a good number of swimming pools, sports playgrounds and restaurants, as well as hundreds of conveniently furnished chalets with all amenities.

IslamicQ
Failaka Island is the home of Kuwait's main archaeological site with a history going back to the Bronze Age. The Greeks came to Failaka in the 4th Century BC as part of a Greek Garrison commanded by Nearchus an admiral in the army of Alexander the Great. Failaka is about 20 miles from Kuwait City. A convenient ferry service plies the route several times a day.

The Ornithological Society of the Middle East
I spent a full day, on my own, on a return boat trip to Failaka Island, in the hope of connecting with any seabirds of note. The ferry travels from Salmiya Port (leaving times depend on tides) – go through a small barrier and security into the port area. The cost is 2.5KD and exact money is recommended. You will also need to take a passport for identification on arrival at Failaka Island (journey time about 1.5 hours) Due to lack of change at the "booking office" I offered to pay for another daily traveller (a Bangladeshi called Waheed), which turned out to be a good move. Waheed was an agricultural scientist who was making his monthly visit to check a small plantation. On arrival, we toured the plantation (15 minutes) after which we had the free use of a vehicle and Waheed gladly acted as tour guide – showing me the "sights" of the island.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Imagine There Were No Prison Bars

All we are saying, is don't give him a chance.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




On the Highway to Hooking

The so-called "Highway Hooker" was executed today in Florida. She fired her lawyers and dropped all appeals, but she is someone who will undoubtedly bring up questions again as to whether or not we should execute those persons with mental illness. She did not have a professional diagnosis, but the consensus was that she was loopy. Still, she admitted that she was capable of killing again if given the opportunity.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Taking the Candelabra to Mother

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
Who's yellow and porous and likes Dorothy?
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
If gay icon status be somethin' ya wish;
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
Live under the sea,hang out with odd fish!
Sponge Bob Square Pants!


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Most Livable States

Where does your state rank? Aren't you glad there is a Mississippi so your state won't be last?


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Greetings to our vistors from Manila , who came hence looking for a "Saudi orgasm". I wish to offer him our deepest apologies, as we have absolutely no dismemberment or torture photos to offer.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




The Randomness of Death

The killings by the sniper during this past week have stirred up my curiosity regarding society’s approach to fear and/or terrorism. There are horrific stories of death and murder which litter our news channels each night, yet we are able to create a certain amount of distance from these occurrences because they happened to “those people”, or they “were asking for it” with their previous behaviors. Our armor of safety was at least cracked by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, but even that has a sense of reason to it.

This is not saying that it was an excusable act, I’m simply suggesting that the WTC was an obvious target simply because of what it represented, in the same way the Statue of Liberty and the White House represent more to this country than just structures. It is a fact that the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were more likely than an attack of a gas station in the small town of Alexandria, Indiana.

There are a number of upsetting facts about the sniper in Maryland and the D.C. area, not the least of which is the horrific nature of executions that he/she is conducting. But what I think is really affecting members of our society is the apparent randomness of these killings. Normally, when a serial killer is on the loose we can feel comfortable knowing that “he is only after women in their 30’s who attend art class,” or “he is particularly drawn to Asian homosexual males,” and are satisfied that we are not going to be on the list of potential targets. These killings are changing all of the rules. There is not a pattern of victims that has been recognized as of yet, and the people being killed are doing a variety of different tasks (cutting the lawn, getting out of school, pumping gas, etc.).

These deaths are frightening so many people because it is likely that EVERYONE is a potential target, including children, and that has been against the rules in previous serial killings. Doesn’t this guy understand that we need for him to follow the rules if he is going to continue to kill and remain on the loose? Now it appears that he (yes, I am assuming it is a male) has started the game of playing cat and mouse with the police by leaving them a message referring to himself as God, yet this might be good news. Typically, when a killer begins to leave messages he is only a few steps away from leaving evidence that will lead police to discover his identity. We can only hope.

Until then, hug your children twice, tell them you love them, and close your curtains when reading them a story. This killer is not playing by the rules.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Prior Art

Silflay Hraka - Silflay Hraka is like a normal computer monitor, but it glows with an eerie green light.

Bigwig - Bigwig is a toaster that lasts for up to a week!

Kehaar - Kehaar is a fax machine that rotates at high speed, tells you when people are lying and smells a bit funny.

Woundwort - Woundwort is a genetically-modified sheep! It plugs into your carpet!

The Bush Doctrine - The Bush Doctrine is a newly-discovered breed of fish that's powered by clockwork, knows what you want before you do and is made of rubber.

The mole on my ass that I make the wife shave - The mole on my ass that I make the wife shave is a riot shield that cuts through stone as if it were butter! It irons your shirts.

Link via a small victory


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.





The Daily Pundit has gotten a bulletin from stratfor.com talking about an imminent coup in Venezuela. If true, you'll probably be able to get a lot of first hand information from The Devil's Excrement, which is the only Venezuelan blog I know of. If you know of others, drop me a line or toss a link into the comments section, and I'll add them. My guess is that if there is a coup attempt, it will happen on October 10th or the days closely following it.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Ethical Dilemma

Okay, I have a hypothetical dilemma. Suppose that I heard a bit of circumstantially damning evidence about this case (Jennifer Short) from a highly-trusted friend who got it from a friend of hers who happens to be a law officer involved in the investigation of the case. Sharing it could spread information that either a.) was withheld from the media in order to obtain extradition of the prime suspect from Canada, the spreading of which may complicate the matter or b.) falsely implicates someone who may be innocent and, of course, c.) was heard second hand, so it may not actually be true. Would it be ethical to share the information, or would that just be poor journalism. If it is correct, it would scoop every paper in the country.

What should I do?

Update: I think I should include tentative plan on what I might do. I think that if Bowman is extradited from Canada, I'll post what I've heard with strong cautions. The law officer involved is actually one of four in Canada now to retrieve Bowman. He left last Friday to bring the guy back. I'll see if I can get more info between now and then as well. I will not post until the matter of extradition has been resolved. My personal opinion, however, is that authorities do not want Bowman as a witness. They want him as a suspect. I just don't think they have enough non-circumstantial evidence to bring it to trial yet and declaring him a suspect would prevent extradition from Canada without a deal to forgo the death penalty. I think the best thing this guy could do, IF indeed he did kill the short family (notice I said IF, please. I am not convicting anyone without trial and more evidence than has been offered publicly so far.), the best thing he could do for himself is confess. If he confesses, he'll never leave Canada as long as the death penalty is in play in the case.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Carnival of the Vanities #3

The first newspaper in America, Benjamin Harris's Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick, was published in 1690. It contained gossip about the immoral King of France, an account of recent events of the French and Indian War partnered with a denunciation of the treatment of French captives by the Indian allies of the English, and an op-ed column written by Mr Harris in which he wrote descriptively and at great length on the lives of his cats; Scrofula, Plumb-Bob and Poor Benighted Erasmus.*

It lasted one issue. The first successful American newspaper, which didn't come out until 14 years later, was the Boston News-Letter, published weekly. At the height of its popularity, it had about 300 readers.

Feel better about your traffic yet?

Depending on who you ask, blogging has been around for 5 or perhaps 10 years. There's no way to know what's going to happen with the form. The chance that one of us can predict what's ahead in just the next five years is about as likely as Benjamin Harris foreseeing both the National Enquirer and USA Today the day he printed Publick Occurrences.

I'll give him the Enquirer. All that would take is the assumption that humanity will always be interested in the shady doings of the famous, which, now that I think about it, would be perfect thing to blog about if you really wanted to be popular. Gossip Blog! Gossip about Bloggers for Bloggers! All Day, Every Day!

Tempting, but...no. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel. I'll pepper my posts with references more and less arcane, because in the end that's a lot more fun that striving endlessly after the numbers. In any case, that arcana paints a more accurate portrait of me. A portrait that, thanks to the Net, will likely last a long, long time.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to me.

Barring the collapse of civilization, words written on the Net last essentially forever. If blogs reduce the price of publishing down to almost nothing, they do the same for Shakespeare's metaphorical immortality. What we write now is just as likely to be read in the future as it is now. More likely, if blogging continues to grow in popularity. After all, we're the pioneers. Years from now, someone one will look at my words, see me in them and think;

"Man, that guy was a dumbass."

This week's immortals;

Culture Medium
Ipse Dixit - What We Have Here...

The Road to Surfdom - Public Intellectuals Or Public As Intellectuals

Fragments From Floyd - Old MacDonald Had a Coronary

Ravenwood's Universe - Do Tougher Laws Really Help?

Whigging Out - Salute to the WASP

Dirty When It's Done Right
Sour Bob - I Am Nowhere Near As Cool As I Thought I Was

The Dogs of War
TANSTAAFL - Question for the Day

The Safety Valve - The A-10 Rocks

Silent Running - Anti-War Blogburst?

mtpolitics.net - Golden Pen, Indeed!

Feel the Beat
Kalyr.com - Favourite Guitar Solos

Humor
Raving Atheist - Vatican Certifies Mother Teresa's Coin Slide, Ball & Vase Miracles

Raising Hell - The Baby Eater

Sour Bob - For Good Health: Please Wash Your Hands

South Knox Bubba - Glossary of Real Estate Terms

Solonor's Ink Well - Opening Lines

Politicking
Amish Tech Support - AP: Television Live Coverage of President Bush's Monday Night Speech

Philosoblog - The Profound Goodness of Some Idiotarianism

Ripping on the Media
The Road to Surfdom - Talking And Chewing Gum At The Same Time

skippy the bush kangaroo - art imitates congress

School Daze
The Kitchen Cabinet - College Admissions Silliness

Smarting Off
Norwegian Blogger - The Amazing El Bloggo Norwego!

Geeblie Blog - Eric Roberts is an Idiot

Tech and the Net
Cognocentric - Memo from Department of Strategery

Heretical Ideas - Random Thoughts on Robots


*No, not really

The Carnival of the Vanities is published every Wednesday at Silflay Hraka and Blog Critics. Information on how to join the Carnival is available here.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

10/08/2002




Bombing on General Principles

From The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, 6 December 1904

It is not merely unwise, it is contemptible, for a nation, as for an individual, to use high-sounding language to proclaim its purposes, or to take positions which are ridiculous if unsupported by potential force, and then to refuse to provide this force. If there is no intention of providing and keeping the force necessary to back up a strong attitude, then it is far better not to assume such an attitude.

The steady aim of this Nation, as of all enlightened nations, should be to strive to bring ever nearer the day when there shall prevail throughout the world the peace of justice. There are kinds of peace which are highly undesirable, which are in the long run as destructive as any war. Tyrants and oppressors have many times made a wilderness and called it peace. Many times peoples who were slothful or timid or shortsighted, who had been enervated by ease or by luxury, or misled by false teachings, have shrunk in unmanly fashion from doing duty that was stern and that needed self-sacrifice, and have sought to hide from their own minds their shortcomings, their ignoble motives, by calling them love of peace. The peace of tyrannous terror, the peace of craven weakness, the peace of injustice, all these should be shunned as we shun unrighteous war. The goal to set before us as a nation, the goal which should be set before all mankind, is the attainment of the peace of justice, of the peace which comes when each nation is not merely safe-guarded in its own rights, but scrupulously recognizes and performs its duty toward others. Generally peace tells for righteousness; but if there is conflict between the two, then our fealty is due first to the cause of righteousness. Unrighteous wars are common, and unrighteous peace is rare; but both should be shunned. The right of freedom and the responsibility for the exercise of that right can not be divorced. One of our great poets has well and finely said that freedom is not a gift that tarries long in the hands of cowards. Neither does it tarry long in the hands of those too slothful, too dishonest, or too unintelligent to exercise it. The eternal vigilance which is the price of liberty must be exercised, sometimes to guard against outside foes; although of course far more often to guard against our own selfish or thoughtless shortcomings.


Yep, it's an Imperialist statement, made by an Imperialist president just after the birth of the American empire. So what? Many on the Left seem to think that the obvious and most convincing argument against a war on Iraq is call it Imperialism and let it go at that. For the Left, "Imperialism" is a convenient shorthand that encapsulates everything bad that America has ever done, an argument which saves them from actually learning the messy details of history. It's rattled off without thinking by the same people who claim that Bush is a moron, and that the whole goal of our presence in the Middle East for the Moron-in-chief's administration is a continued supply of cheap oil.

Are they right? It is true? I don't give a shit if it is right or true.

I don't give a shit if Bush is a drooling moron run by corporate interests or a puppet with Dick Cheney's hand stuck up his ass, wiggling his fingers to make George's mouth move. I don't care if the only reason we invade Iraq is to ensure Exxon's corporate profits. That's not the point.

I don't care what France has to say, or China, or Russia, or Germany. That's not the point either.

I don't care if Saddam is a threat to us or not. I don't care if Saddam has nuclear weapons, anthrax, smallpox, or just a largish pointy stick in his arsenal. We should be bombing him on general principles, those general principles being the ones at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence;

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.

The Left opposes that bombing because when it boils down to it the Left doesn't give two shits about the little brown people of the world. It's all very well and good to talk the talk about universal human rights, but in actual practice the Left would rather innocents die than to take the actions needed to prevent those deaths. That is why so many would rather see five innocent Iraqis slain at the hand of Saddam Hussein than to have one accidently killed by U.S.armaments. The Left opposes a war on Iraq because the Right proposes it, regardless of the fact that this is the best chance we've had for generations at inserting the ideals the Left claims to value the most into a region of the world known mainly for the oppression of its peoples in the name of religion, where women are second class citizens and where freedom of speech is limited to demonizing the opponents of the government. If the regimes in Iran and Iraq were run respectively by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, then Wiccans for Peace, Lesbian Atheists United and Vegans Against Illiteracy would be lining up to go free the poor benighted Iraqis from the shackles of Christendom. They don't do it now, of course, because they'll be shot, just like the people they purport to champion.

Opponents of a war on Iraq feel that because no actor on this stage has a pure enough motive, then no one should be allowed to act. Our motives for bombing Iraq may well be racist and immoral. This bothers me not one whit. Opposing the bombing is more racist and immoral. I don't care if you think your ideals are as pure as the driven snow, the end result of them would be to extend the suffering of the Iraqi people. Saddam is evil. Even people who go out in search of a less evil Saddam fail to find him. Saddam is a scourge, a murderous cancer on the Iraqi people. He has killed thousands, if not millions. He will go on spreading death until stopped, and heretofore nothing has stopped him.

The arguments made against action in Iraq now are identical to the those made against action in Afghanistan last year, and are just as likely to stop action now as they did then. Now that they have proven to be spurious, now that we have a chance to promote American Ideals in a poor and benighted country, where is the Left? Where are the people organizing concerts for Afghanistan? Where are the activists demanding free medicine for Afghani children, or demonstrating for relaxed trade controls on Afghani goods? Where are the people demanding that the U.S. work toward democratic rule in that nation? Where in the mainstream of the Left are the people who should in good conscience be demanding that now that we control Afghanistan, we take steps to ensure the inalienable rights of the Afghanis?

They can't be bothered. The Left makes moral demands but lacks a moral compass, and so lacks direction and consistency, and I say this as a person who has leaned Left more often than not. They have shrunk in unmanly fashion from doing duty that was stern and that needed self-sacrifice, and have sought to hide from their own minds their shortcomings, their ignoble motives, by calling them love of peace. In choosing not to fight for their principles, the Left has inadvertently exposed the fact that they have no principles worth fighting for. This can only mean one thing.

The Left is dead.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




The U.S. Map of Hate Groups

North Carolina has 23

North Dakota has 1

Texas has 50

Maine and Vermont have none. Congrats to the flinty Yankees of those states.

You can see the entire map here.

Among the hate groups, obviously judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character;

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
The World Church of the Creator
Hammerskin Nation
The League of the South
The Jewish Defense League
And The Nation of Islam


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Something Fishy on Failaka

US marine killed in Kuwait shootout

US Department of Defense spokesman David Lapan said the marines were taking part in a live fire exercise at about 1130 (0830 GMT) when they came under attack.

It was unclear who the men were, Mr Lapan said.

"The information we have now is that they were civilians," he said. "They appear not to be Kuwaiti military."

He added: "Nobody is ready to say who these guys are."

Failaka island had now been sealed off and the BBC's Heba Saleh in Cairo says US investigators will be keen to see whether the attackers had any links with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.


The island the exercises were taking place on, Failaka, has been uninhabited since 1990. Why wasn't the island sealed off before the exercise? You would think that if no one finds a civilian boat, then someone dropped these guys off, so there could be more where they came from, but the Lonely Planet claims that one can take a ferry there.

Also, I recognize that the term "civilians" is meant to distinguish the attackers from military personnel, but it seems to me that it's kind of innocuous term for two guys who came to an uninhabited island and started shooting at Marines. "Enemy combatants" would seem to fit. Given the general environment of the Middle East, perhaps we should borrow a term from golf and call these guys "natural hazards."


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

10/07/2002




Twisting the Knife in Woundwort's Belly

The Top Ten Moments In Yankee Hating History. Now if only the new BonJovi album happens to suck, my October will be off to a pretty damn good start.

Yankee link via Kyle Still Free Press


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




My next birthday will fall on 21 Urime, according to the Numenorean calendar.

Link via Chris Ruzin


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Not Opera Fans

I usually surf my blogroll with Opera, a little known, less used but fairly well respected browser. I like it for its ability to open numerous windows all at once to different sites. One click of a button and 30 seconds later all my daily web comics are available, or 30 different blogs. Every now and then I run across a site that just refuses to work with it. I can read everything, but the links simply don't function. Clicking on them produces nothing. I have to load the site into IE to get it to function. Doc Weevil is one example, as is the new site for the Rottweiler. Has anyone else run across this?


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Journalism Strikes Again

Apology and Retraction

The Daily Evergreen would like to sincerely apologize for an injustice served to the Filipino-American, Spanish-speaking and Catholic communities on the front page of Thursday's Evergreen.

The story "Filipino-American history recognized" stated that the "Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza," the galleon on which the first Filipinos landed at Morro, Bay, Calif., loosely translates to "The Big Ass Spanish Boat." It actually translates to "Our Lady of Good Peace."


Dumbasses. Everyone knows that "El Barco de La Senora Lopez" is what "The Big Ass Spanish Boat" translates to.

Link via The Country Store


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Unhealthy Fascinations.

I've discovered two things that bother me a great deal. One, potty training the Ngnat is affecting my mind. Two, I know way more Broadway songs than is normal for a heterosexual male.

West Side Potty - Song Two - Urea

TODDLER
(spoken)
Urea . . .
(sings)
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Urea, urea, urea, urea . . .
All the bountiful pee in me to the bowl transferred . .
Urea, urea, urea, urea . . .
Urea!
I've just filled a pot with urea!
And suddenly my aim
Is winning great acclaim
for me.
Urea!
I've just pissed away my urea,
And suddenly I've found
A bug that has been drowned
By me!
Urea!
Squeeze out hard and there's lots of spraying,
Let it drip and it's almost like playing.

Urea,
I'll never stop making urea!

The most beautiful sound I ever heard.
Urea.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




No, it's not my ego

Biggest object since Pluto found in solar system

The scientific duo named the object Quaoar, pronounced KWAH-o-ar, after the creation god of the Tongva people, a Native American tribe in Southern California.

My apologies to the Tongva, but good god that is a stupid name. Besides, KWAH-o-ar is how Alabamians pronounce "homosexual".

With all the trouble there is getting grants these days, you'd think they would have sold the naming rights.

"Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the newest discovery in our solar family, 'Pepsi Blue!'"


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




The NYT needs a spellcheck

Another four people were injured, Palestinians said, when the Israelis fired at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, where most of the wounded had been taken. The military said the shots were in response to mortar gire.



Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Those kids with the laser pointers aren't annoying little bastards after all. They're annoying little civil libertarians.

The report the NYT mentions on blinding video surveillance cameras is available here.

Ok, so you can blind a camera, temporarily. First you have to find it, and cameras are getting less and less obtrusive every day. Secondly, there's no technological reason why cameras couldn't be networked so that if one records a image bloom, two others immediately film the area the first one had been pointed at. People need to get over the fact that they're going to get filmed and start agitating to make sure everyone else does, as well.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Gay Scandal at Liberty University???

A report of a scandal involving a pastor and students at Liberty University has surfaced on the net, and yes, I do realize that it comes from the National Enquirer. Perhaps it is not true, but it did get me thinking about the topic. I have to admit that part of me smiled when I read it, and almost wished it were true. This is not to suggest that I like reading stories well-suited for gay porn or for religious figures to be toppled, but Falwell is a little different.

For so long Jerry Falwell has preached that homosexuality is a sin, the message being that we can be kind to gay people, but they will inevitably burn for eternity for this choice in lifestyle. Part of me wishes Falwell would have to worry about cleaning up his own backyard instead of trying to tackle the gay issues of the world. If this story were true, he would have bigger problems to worry about than Tinky Winky.

Falwell’s stance on homosexuality is that it is a sin and that we should love the sinner but not the sin. If I was gay, I would be inclined to tell Falwell to kiss my flaming ass!!! Perhaps now I have also unintentionally offended the gay population. I would think that homosexuals would not care to be loved by him or the religious right who adhere to the same beliefs. People are so quick to point to others and say, “This is a sin,” as if they are free of problems and somehow better than those whom they criticize.

I am not gay and do not assume that I know what it is like to be attacked by Falwell or the religious right, but the God I believe in loves ALL people, not just some of us, and I expect, if allowed to join heaven (for which I have quite a lot to apologize for first), that I will be sitting amongst those who were gay here on Earth. The only difference being that up there they will not have to lie about who they are in order to avoid harassment and prejudice. I will not be putting a rainbow sticker on my car anytime soon, nor will I pick up a flag and march in the next parade, but I do get tired of hearing in the same breath how we are supposed to love our gay neighbor yet view him/her as a sinner traveling quickly on the highway to hell.

Yes, I smiled when I read the story (true or not) that Falwell is having to deal with this crisis at his university. I imagine somewhere little Tinky Winky was also laughing his ass off.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




There's been another shooting in Maryland, at a school. The teen shot is in critical condition There's a strong indication in the news stories that the sniper is back. This would seem to rule out most scenarios other than a spree killer or terrorism, if the shooting is tied to the 7 previous ones.

Other coverage;
Police fear Maryland sniper has struck again
Schoolboy Shot in Wash Suburb, Sniper Link Mulled
Child shot in Maryland suburb in same general area where sniper killed 5

Update: I imagine this will shut the schools down for the day, if not longer. If this is tied to the other murders, I figure at least some parents will refuse to send their kids back to school until this guy is caught. I blogged about a terrorist attack on daycare centers a while back, and some of the economic consequences that might occur. Michelle, of a small victory, pointed out that the same thing could happen if schools were attacked. The only bright side to this is, if it is determined to be a terrorist attack, it's not coordinated at all, which would indicate that we have put a hurting on in-country AL-Qaeda. Three or four of theses guys around the country would wreak damage all out out of proportion to their actual numbers.

Update: Yahoo says the shooter is being profiled as a thrill seeker. Cut on the Bias developed a profile last week. I haven't compared them yet

CNN is updating this story about every 5 minutes. There are reports of shots fired at a nearby shopping center.

Update: Newsday talks about geographic profiling in its coverage of the shootings.

Police have begun to use a geographic profile submitted by investigators that uses crime locations to determine where the killer feels comfortable traveling and may live. Moose said police also were awaiting an FBI psychological profile of the shooter.

Geographic profiling is a fairly new investigative tool, used first in 1990 in Canada, said Kim Rossmo, who compiled the latest profile and is director of research for the Police Foundation, a nonprofit research organization.

If a series of rapes, for example, occurs over a 10-square-mile area, geographic profiling can often narrow the area in which the attacker is likely to live to within half a square mile, Rossmo said.

The purpose of the tool is to determine "if there is a pattern there," Rossmo said. "If we can understand the pattern, we can decode it."


No one has mentioned that it might be a copycat killer as well. There's no evidence for that theory, of course, but there is precious little evidence of anything.

Update: The Star-Tribune reports that the reported shootings at a shopping center were in fact at a Wal-Mart, but that police have not found any victims.
Police also investigated a report of a shooting this morning at a Wal-Mart near the school. But Cpl. Robert Clark of the Prince George's County police department said officers could not find anyone who had been shot and there was no evidence of a shooting there. Officers remained at the scene and were still investigating, he said.

Update: Fox News has a map with the new incident added. I've been looking at it, in case the shooter is trying to draw a picture on a wide scale, something akin to what the smiley-face bomber did. So far it looks like it could be either a "W" (political) or a pyramid (just plain nuts). Yes, I realize I'm reaching.

Update: The Sky Blog also posts about the economic consequences of an terrorist attack on schools

Think about it - a major goal of the attacks of 9/11 were to cripple our economy. They did some damage, but Americans have been resolute and recovery has been slow but sure. Think about what would happen if these types of "urban warfare" attacks started happening in major cities simultaneously. Parents would not send their children to schools, meaning they would not go to work. Many people wouldn't go to work in places that could be considered "easy targets." People wouldn't be going to malls, Wal-Marts, gas stations, etc. Think about what that would do to the economies of those cities. They could achieve a virtual work stoppage and a virtual stop to consumption of goods and services. What would it take for you to keep your kid home from school and call into work?

Instapundit agrees with him that it feels like terrorism. I dunno. I'm still leaning towards spree killing nutjob, if only because I would expect a terrorist attack to be better coordinated. Either way, this will continue until someone catches this guy in the act. Both types aren't going to leave much in the way of a trail of clues.

Update: I don't know how long it will last, but Google news has a thumbnail picture of what looks like it might be a picture of the teenage victim, linked to a story on the shooting from WMAR. The picture on Google doesn't appear in the story, which makes me wonder if someone yanked it from the site after they realized that they had identified the victim before they are allowed to. Since he is a minor, that could lead to all kinds of repercussions.

Update: The thumbnail has been removed from the Google news site, though it still exists on the Google servers. After considerable thought, compressed into about a 30 second timespan, I'm not going to link to it.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

10/06/2002

Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Fun with Acronyms

Hey, Matt! Rahowa? Retarded Assholes Having Orgies With Animals.

Of course, there are a lot of people out there who agree with him, among them Noam Chomsky and Edward Said.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Lacking Metaphor

It's been kind of a disjointed weekend, full of odds and ends that don't fit together particularly well. It's annoying. I end up with bits and pieces that, despite repeated pounding on the keyboard, resolutely refuse to come together into some coherent whole. It must be because we ended up stuffing more into this particular weekend than normal, so instead of having one big highlight that I can distort and filigree into something remotely interesting, I have odds and ends that will probably be hammered into barely adequate posts.

Ngnat's maternal grandparents, Nana and Gdaddy showed up Friday, with the excuse that Nana was going into the grandbaby DT's and couldn't be held responsible for her actions if she wasn't allowed in. Since she works as a guidance counselor for a middle school, and is thus by definition is doing full reverse handsprings on the balance beam of crazy to start off with, we decided to let them in. Not that I minded. It's always nice when they show up, as I can completely abandon all normal parental chores for the duration of the visit.

"Hey, how are ya'll doing? Here's the kid. Come up and say goodbye before you leave."

Well, I'm not allowed to be quite that free, but I'm within hailing distance. It's not like they're real interested in me, or even their daughter, when the proof of their continued success in the genetic lottery is squatting there on the potty, head between her legs, grunting and showing an intense interest in watching the pee pee come out.

I decided a while back that the only way to decide that a couple has successfully raised their kids is if those kids can also rear offspring successfully. Basically, that means that you can't really decide that you've been a adequate parent until you're a great-grandparent. The best way to ensure this is that same way to best ensure that your genes have a good chance of propagating, by having lots of kids. The problem with this argument is that the absolute best way to have lots of kids is to donate sperm, and like the cowbird or the cuckoo, leave the parenting to others. Of course, some of the sperm recipients will likely be better parents than the donator, especially if the donator happens to be a wino or college kid wanking for beer money so in a weird way, they're being the best parent they can be by letting people with superior skills handle the actual raising of the child.

You could also argue that having and raising lots of kids means that on the average, a parent has less interaction with each particular child and is thus measurably a worse parent, but...

Okay, I've spent way too much time analyzing what is essentially a random, vaguely held idea not really worth the time already spent on it. Time for an abrupt segue, which is of course different from an abrupt Segway, which is something of an oxymoron.

When I did see Ngnat on Saturday, it was because she was demanding to see the online trailer for Spirited Away for the 3000th time. It's rated PG for "some scary moments", so I normally wouldn't consider taking a two year old to see it, but I thought the trailer was spooky, and it doesn't seem to bother her at all. It's got the same look as the other two Miyazaki films we own, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, and she absolutely loves them. I'm pretty sure Princess Mononoke would scare the crap out her, though, and this looks a lot darker than that movie did.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

Home