Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pop Quiz
Quick! Which was of greater historical importance, the Siege of Malta in 1565 or the Battle of Lepanto in 1571?

Monday, May 29, 2006

"I have riden the mighty Moon worm!"

Once again, the annual Memorial Day weekend camping trip - also known as the 4th Annual Memorial Day Camping BONANZA - was spendiferous. A good time was had by all... except for the Mountain of Love and the Buckeye, who were so disgusted with the non-houselike features of the camping life that they left before dinner on Sunday. Then again, if anyone - specifically either the Guy or the Mountain - had asked me, I could have told them that the Mountain would not have enjoyed camping. Still, it is always nice to see him for whatever time is possible.

The Camping Bonanza gang are an often infuriating group of people, but I absolutely love these weekends and each of them is integral to the experience. To quote Less Than Jake, "I wouldn't have it any other way." I'm so glad the Guy invited me to go camping that first time two years ago.

Coming soon to the Secret base, a new feature, "Deep in the Heart." What's it all about? It's coming soon; so, you'll have to wait to find out until "soon" becomes "now." Cue the Spaceballs discussion on the nature of "now" and "then."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Too Lazy to Bloggy Blog, So Here Are Some Links
Hyperlink! One clear sign the situation has, shall we say, "deteriorated" is when the drug-running Somali warlords are the good guys (or at least the less bad guys).

Hyperlink II! Feast your heretical eyes on this, you Protestant bastards. The Roman Catholic Church: we've got 100% more Pope than any other religion.

Hyperlink III! My favorite part of the Enron trial was Lay's defense, "I was an executive for a Fortune 500 company. Why would you expect me to know anything about how to run a business?"

Hyperdrivelink! Science! Or at least quasi-science!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Oath of Narwhal Day
The narwhal is a noble, pitiable creature.
A magnificent, monstrous visage.
An asymmetrical tooth for a horn,
Or sometimes two, or sometimes none,
Half again as long as the beast.

I swear my sympathy for the narwhal.
I will not lie and convince it all is well,
But I will be a friend to the narwhal.
The mocking dolphins and snobby manatees
Will get their well-earned comeuppance,
And the narwhal will froic all day.

I dream this dream of the narwhal
And celebrate it in all its improbable, oddball glory,
On this the sixth Narwhal Day.

The narwhal (Monodon monoceros), alternately spelled narwal or narwhale, is nature's most gloriously ill-conceived creatures. Here is a hyperlink to the Wikipedia entry on these fantabulous beasts and here is a hyperlink to an image of the wicked cool coat-of-arms of the autonomous Canadian Inuit territory of Nunavut.

I'm wearing my gray "narwhal" T-shirt, I've recited the Oath of Narwhal Day, and I'm listening to "Sympathy for the Narwhal" by DJ Seaghost. For the rest of the day, I'm going to try to keep the narwhal in mind, contemplating the plight of these majestic monsters. Happy Narwhal Day!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hitler's Victory
Hyperlink! Given the active participation of the West German government in aiding the "escape" of the surviving Palestinian terrorists in the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics, I don't think one can overstate the danger the German populace poses to non-whites and non-Christians. The Germans are as hateful and anti-Semitic today as they've ever been, except during the Nazi period, they've just gotten better at hiding it in the last sixty years.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Remembers, kids, in the midst of enlightened discourse it is important to not confuse the Jacobites with the Jacobins. Feel free to confuse the issue whilest in unenlightened discourse since your fellows will have heard of neither the Jacobins nor the Jacobites.

That sound you hear is Bonnie Prince Charlie rolling in his grave.
The Kings of England
Sweet mercy, I love making lists. Courtesy of the fine folks at Netflix, I have been watching a British documentary series titled A History of Britain. Thusly inspired, I have deigned to learn the order of the monarchs of England (and later Great Britain, later still the British Empire, and even later yet back to just Great Britain) from the Norman Conquest in A.D. 1066 to the present day (and beyond). I've been able to list the Presidents of the United States since eighth grade; so, we shall see if my remembrance of the kings and queens shall have such longevity.

Those in parentheses never actually ruled over anything.

William the Conqueror (I)
William II
Henry I
Henry II
Richard the Lionheart (I)
Henry III
Edward I
Edward II
Edward III
Richard II
Henry IV
Henry V
Henry VI
Edward IV
(Edward V)
Richard III
Henry VII
Henry VIII
Edward VI
Mary I
Elizabeth I
James I
Charles I
Charles II
James II
William III & Mary II
George I
George II
George III
George IV
William IV
Edward VII
George V
Edward VIII
George VI
Elizabeth II
~Charles III (His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales)
~William V (His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Five hundred years ago today, the Admiral of the Ocean Sea died. As I and almost all of my friends are Americans of European ancestry, citizens of a country that should debatably be called the United States of Columbia, we owe an eternal debt to Christopher Columbus. No matter how lost he may have been, regardless of where he thought he had landed, for all practical intents and purposes the Admiral discovered this glorious New World in which we reside. There would be no America without Columbus's journeys.

Thank you, Admiral, and may you rest in peace with the Lord.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Force Will Be With You... Always
Today is the first anniversary of the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Thank you so very much Mr. Lucas.

Not coincidentally, today is also the seventh anniversary of the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It is so difficult now to imagine a world without the prequel trilogy. Tempus fugit.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vindication for Arsenal!
Aresenal didn't lose the Champions League final, the ref threw the game! I call shenanigans! Barcelona didn't beat Arsenal, the referee handed them the match on a silver platter! I knew it. I think I would have preferred it if the douchebag had refused to admit his mistake. It's kicking a man when he's down, "Oh, by the way, you were right, I made a mistake. But the mistake stands and you guys still lost. Ha!" At least if he had steadfastly refused to admit the error we Arsenal supporters would have been able to point to the unrecognized injustice for decades to come. He robbed us of first the title and now our righteous bitterness. Rat bastard.

Arsenal: the true champions of the Champions League. Go Gunners!

The Hyper Bowl of Hyperbole?
Rcently, I descended for the first time into the dark and shameful world of internet message boards. I joined the boards of the comic book site Newsarama to respond to a story about an upcoming travesty from DC Comics, the twelve-issue limited series The Trials of Shazam!, written by hack extraordinaire Judd Winick (Boo! Hiss! Get the hook!). Here is my post:

From Green Lantern (Kyle's series) to Green Arrow to Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day to the utter wastes of time that were "Lightning Strikes Twice" and Superman/Shazam: First Thunder, Judd Winick has never failed to disappoint. The only good news is that The Trials of Shazam! is a limited series; so, in August '07 a competent writer can start thinking of ways to rehabilitate Captain Marvel and undo all of the damage Winick is going to do.

Thank the comic gods Marvel Family fans will have Jeff Smith's forthcoming Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil to get us through the long night of Winick's reign of terror.

To my surprise, the site administrator soon felt it necessary to us my post as an example of an inappropriate comment. Here are his two cents on the matter, including a quoted passage from my post:

Originally Posted by Mike Wilson
....undo all of the damage Winick is going to do.

Thank the comic gods Marvel Family fans will have Jeff Smith's forthcoming
Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil to get us through the long night of Winick's reign of terror.

alright - it's been going along fine, but can we keep the hyperbole far beow this level?


I can only presume he meant to write "...keep the hyperbole far below this level?"

My brother introduces me to his friends by saying, "This is The Last Angry Man." And 'tis true. I make no apologies for being right when so many others are so completely and obviously wrong. I make no apologies for being certain when others doubt. I do apologize, quite often, for hurting my friends, both unintentionally and, though less frequent, intentionally, as I have regrettably been known to do. (Thanks for putting up with me, gang!) I am now going to compare myself to God by saying I am what I am, though like the Bard's Iago, it could also be said of me that I am not what I am.

The point being, I'm so used to be so right so much of the time that I'm a terrible judge of when I have or have not gone too far. So, I ask you to come to my aid, my friends. Am I in the wrong in this instance? Were my remarks unacceptably intemperant? Or is the moderator, Matt "MattB" Brady, the prig I initially assumed him to be? I will be most grateful to any and all who leave their most frank assessments in the comments section. Thank you.

As a separate issue, why is it that people are allowed to make wildly, hopelessly, indefensibly positive claims about those things they support, but negative remarks are so often censored and supressed in the name of decorum? Aren't ridiculously uncritical endorsements just as offensive as ridiculously unjust condemnations?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Magic of Shazam!
I've been thinking of introducing a good Venusian worm in the aftermath of Mr. Mind's massive invasion (using zombie Venusian worms) in "The Conqueror Worm" (MOS! nos. 75-79), but I never had an appealing name for a character who is, essentially, Mr. Mind's good twin. Ms. Mind? No, the worms of Venus appear to be asexual. Mr. Mental? Mr. Brain? Master Mind? And then I had it! Mr. Mind versus... Doctor Worm! Bog below, how did I not think of that sooner? Thanks, They Might Be Giants!

"I'm interested in things..."
Dead Nazi
The weekend before last, the Mountain of Love arrived home while I was watching Downfall, a German film about life inside Hitler's bunker in Berlin during the very last days of the Third Reich. He remarked that I watched a lot of films about the Nazis and the Holocaust. He was in no way criticizing, merely making an observation. And he was right. Here then is a list of the movies I have seen about the Nazis and the Holocaust courtesy of Netflix.

Of all the movies I've seen about the Second World War - such as The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far, Stalag 17, and The Young Lions - many include the Wehrmacht and the SS, but I am only including those that specifically deal with the Holocaust or the inner workings of the Nazi state. I am also including The Believer, a movie about a contemporary Jewish Neo-Nazi.

Even if based on actual events, all films are fictional unless otherwise noted.

Swing Kids
Triumph of the Will
(propaganda documentary)
Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary
Out of the Ashes
Europa Europa
The Grey Zone
The Boys From Brazil
The Desert Fox
The Believer

This past weekend, my parents and I saw a film at the Flint Institute of Arts, Sophie Scholl: The Last Days, about the White Rose non-violent resistance "movement" (though really it was the size of a gang, not a movement) in wartime Germany.

Spy Smasher
One of my favorite recurring characters from The Magic of Shazam! is Spy Smasher (Avi Ducret), an Israeli mystery man on a lifelong globetrotting battle against the forces of violent anti-Semitism, specifically the underground Nazi terrorist network, ODESSA. Captain Marvel, and the audience, are first introduced to Spy Smasher in "The ODESSA File" (MOS! nos. 14-17) when Avi comes to Fawcett City to thwart an ODESSA operation to liberate Captain Nazi, imprisoned since the sobering events of "Kristallnacht" (MOS! nos. 11-12). Cap and Spy Smasher will forge an alliance, assisting each other in "Man of Science" (MOS! nos. 22-25), "V for Vengeance" (or "V for Vergeltungswaffe," in either event MOS! nos. 38-40), and the just-over-a-year-long saga of "The Red and the Black" and "From Here to the Rock of Eternity" (MOS! nos. 45-50 and 53-58), and beyond.

I've also got a couple of ideas for Spy Smasher miniseries, encompassing further battles against the superpowered agents of ODESSA; the Israeli terrorist group the Zealots, of which Avi was a member before he became the Spy Smasher; a fanatical Russian Neo-Nazi who calls himself The Amalekite; and even some "run-of-the-mill" jihadist al-Qaeda-type terrorists. (If he spends all of his time fighting terrorists, why is he called Spy Smasher? Why not Terrorist Smasher? Because Spy Smasher was a Golden Age superhero and "Terrorist Smasher" is stupid.) I have ideas, in various stages of development, for the following miniseries:

Spy Smasher: Operation Paperclip
Spy Smasher: Goliath
Spy Smasher: The Boys From Brazil

And the more lighthearted one-shot The Spy Smasher Christmas Special, featuring Avi in costume scolding, "I'm Jewish, you #&*@!," on the cover.

The Other Dead Nazi
The Official Beer of The Last Angry Man: Guinness
The Official Summer Beer of The Last Angry Man: Red Stripe
The Official Shot of The Last Angry Man: Dead Nazi
The Official Cocktail of The Last Angry Man: I don't drink that fruity garbage. Cowboy the hell up and have a pint.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Anti-Americanism: Lies, Damned Lies, and the News
There's no excuse for the booing of "O Canada" by San Jose Sharks fans before Sunday's loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-final series. I wish we could locate the jingoistic bastards who booed so that they might be tarred and feathered and left for dead in the wilderness of the Yukon Territory.

But until we can catch them and tar and feather them, what I want to know is this: on Friday, before Game 4 in Edmonton, Oilers fans booed during "The Star-Spangled Banner." Why did ESPN and the Flint Journal only mention this as a sidenote to the story about San Jose fans booing "O Canada"? I read the sports section of the admittedly awful Flint Journal every single day of the week; so, why nothing about the Edmonton booing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Saturday's paper? Or Sunday's? Why did Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption, the former being a subsidiary of the latter, not even mention the booing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during their coverage of the "O Canada" booing? Why wasn't the despicable Canadian booing of the American national anthem given equal time with the despicable American booing of the Canadian national anthem?

Because reporters hates America, that's why. Probably not, actually, but it would certainly explain the lackadaisical attitude of the American press toward the abuse of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

What the Fuck?
Also, seriously, what the fuck is going on in Brazil? WTF? The largest city in Brazil is being overrun by criminal gangs? Not political rebels, but a criminal gang? This is like something out of a movie. Specifically an '80s action movie set in a fictional dystopian 1990s, like RoboCop or Escape From New York.
"Neutrality has increasingly become an obsolete and, except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception."
--John Foster Dulles, June 9, 1955

"What makes a man turn neutral?"
--Zapp Brannigan, "Brannigan, Begin Again"

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Let the universe howl in despair for I have returned."

--Darkseid, "Alive!" Justice League Unlimited episode no. 38

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I meant to mention this at the beginning of the week, but it continually slipped my mind until I harnessed the mnemonic power of the 3M sticky note: one sure sign that summertime, if not yet Summer itself, is upon us is the transition of the beer advertisements during Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption from Guinness to Red Stripe. I have long extolled the virtues of Guinness, but it is an undeniable truth that it is not a warm weather beer. Where would we be as a civilization without the yellow sticky note?

"Revenge" of the Dead Wings
More good news out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, or at least as good as any news can be since the noble Detroit Red Wings were unceremoniously defeated by the upstart Edmonton Oilers, the hated Colorado Avalanche(s) were swept by the formerly laughable Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. At this hour, the villainous New Jersey Devils appear to be well on the road to victory over the annoying but not loathesome Carolina Hurricanes, thereby avoiding a four-game sweep. Yet, National Hockey League history suggests that the Devils' chances of overcoming the Hurricanes' 3-1 series lead are quite slim. Bwa ha ha ha ha!

As you may have gleaned, I subscribe to the Ambrose Bierce theory of happiness.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Red Star Over India*
Comrade Hyperlinkov! Capitalist communists doing well in Indian state elections... Maoist rebels in Nepal... in the name of John Foster Dulles, are the people in South Asia even paying attention? The Cold War is over! And guess what? Communism (as original flavor Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, and whatever -ism the Khmer Rouge used to justify their crimes against humanity) lost! The Soviet Union is kaput, consigned to the dustbin of history along with Nazism, Fascism, and the notion that France is a global power. North Korea has been reduced to bullying the aid workers who are trying to feed its starving people. China and Vietnam are increasingly less poor (not yet wealthy) only because they've enthusiastically embraced the Japanese/South Korean model of export-based economic growth. Communism is, was, and forevermore shall remain a bad idea. You chumps are arguing on the wrong side of history. Of course, I guess that's what chumps do, isn't it? That's what makes them chumps. *scoff* Chumps.

Lies, Damned Lies, and the News
*A reference of course to Edgar Snow's infamous Red Star Over China, another fine piece of objective journalism from the American press. Supposedly, the book is a journalistic account of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party in the years of the Yan'an Period following the Long March. In actuality, it is a hack job by the leftist fellow-traveller Snow, a fawning love-letter to Mao and the Communists, adoringly praising their virtues and downplaying or outright denying the horrific and arbitrary violence they inflicted on anyone who didn't want to be a Communist. Egdar Snow, may he rot in hell, made Dan Rather and Bill O'Reilly look like newsmen of the highest integrity. I can't think of anything more insulting than saying someone is lower than Bill fucking O'Reilly, yet even that is better than Edgar Snow deserves.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ink Anniversary
Four years ago today, a cocksure twenty-two-year-old The Last Angry Man and Never Girl (soon to be Mrs. Sacramento) walked into Ann Arbor's S&C Tattoo, uninked for the last time. A few hours later, my left forearm was sporting a black skull-and-crossbones. Every once in a while I still look down and marvel, "Holy wow, I've got a tattoo! Neat." I love my tattoo. My one regret is that I waited so long past the one-year tattoo/piercing prohibition before I started making regular blood donations. But, I don't have a time machine; so, all I can do is donate every fifty-six days when the ARC calls me. But I disgress.

I love my tattoo.

Comrade Hyperlinkov! In Soviet Russia... (***insert your own procreation joke here***)!
U.S.A! U.S.A!
Hyperlink! What better way to accept a compliment than with some good old-fashioned chest thumping? Another thing I like about Matt Frei: dear Bog, that man looks angry.
The Mountain of Love gave me Less Than Jake's new Absolution for Idiots and Addicts EP. It's only eleven minutes long (it is an EP, after all); so, I've been listening to it over and over and over and over again. At the risk of sounding like Daddy Dylweed during his long wait for Pearl Jam's latest p.o.s., you may consider my appetite for LTJ's forthcoming album, In With the Out Crowd, thoroughly whetted.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Hyperlink! Among the member-states of the UN's shiny new Human Rights Council: Cuba (undemocratic), where there is only one political party and those with HIV/AIDS are locked away without any due process; China (undemocratic), where there is only one political party and countless tens of thousands of politicla prisoners have simply disappeared from the face of the earth; Pakistan (undemocratic), where Osama bin Laden makes his home and A.Q. Khan is a national hero; Saudi Arabia (undemocratic), where women can be imprisoned for leaving the house unescorted by a male relative and Filipino guest workers are forbidden from practicing Christianity even while they form the backbone of the Saudi economy; and Russia (democratic!), whose population never met a Serbian war crime they didn't applaud and whose army has been unspeakably brutal in Chechnya. The new and "improved" Human Rights Council, just as sick a joke as the old Human Rights Commission.

From the Earth to the Moon
Hyperlink 2! India is the world's most populous democracy, America is the world's most powerful democracy. There is absolutely no reason why the Republic of India and the United States of America should not become the best of friends. On top of producing nifty devices to ease everyday living and revealing mind-blowing truths about the world around us, science also creates camaraderie. Science!

Monday, May 8, 2006

The Magic of Shazam!
I have a story in which Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher once again join forces to thwart ODESSA's latest scheme, this time a direct attack on Israel. They have precious few details when they begin, save that a latter day V-weapon is to be used to destroy the Jewish State. All along, I've been calling this story, which is scheduled to run after "Manhunters Are From Mars, Worms Are From Venus" in the late 30s, "V for Vengeance," but now I kind of want to go whole hog and call it "V for Vergeltungswaffe" (the "V" in the V1 buzz bomb and V2 proto-ICBM). I love "V for Vengeance," but I kind of really want to use "V for Vergeltungswaffe."

Vergeltungswaffe, panzerkampfwagon... what I hate about German is exactly what I love about German.

Wonder Woman
You know I love science and I know I love science, but I've noticed a recurring theme in my stories: evil scientists who attempt to destroy magic-based heroes to demonstrate the supremacy of science over magic. Along these lines, I've been thinking about a foe to go toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman, every bit her physical and mental equal, Nike (after the Greek goddess of victory, whose name is pronounced NEE-kuh, not Ni-KEE like the show company). And at present the vile Jack Ajax is a completely science-based villain. I've working on a couple different angles for Nike's origin; so, nothing is set in stone.

Just to balance the science versus magic scales, I'll have to have an MOS! character, Dexter Knox - Boy Scientist, defeat a few sorcerers and such to reaffirm my loyalty to science. Science!

Saturday, May 6, 2006

My Time Among the Vampires
It was a rather unremarkable old time at the American Red Cross, I'd just like to take this opportunity to urge each fo you to go donate blood... now! Run, don't walk!

Mission Impossible III
Well, it's official. J.J. Abrams is in charge of Star Trek XI ergo Star Trek XI is going to suck my assballs.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

"Revenge" of the Dead Wings
So far, the only good news to come out of the NHL playoffs is that the hated Calgary Flames have been eliminated by the *snicker* Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. I would have counted the elimination/humiliation of the New York Rangers as a plus, except that it meant the advancement of the equally loathesome New Jersey Devils; so, it's a wash. It would take a better man than me to resist saying that the Flames were extinguished by the Ducks. Can I get a rimshot?

The Vatican and the Great Wall
Hyperlink. Of course, given the puppetish nature of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, all it's members are out of communion with the Holy Mother Church, but official excommunication is still a punishment rightly to be feared. Denial of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments? I hate to even think about it.

Of course, that ties in to what I've never understood about Protestantism. What is the point of sacrificial bread if it is just bread and not the Body of Christ? What is the point of Sunday "services" if the minister is just another married guy with a mortgage and bratty kids and not an ordained priest of the one true Church?

But, we can re-fight the Reformation another day. For now the point remains that, just like those heretical "Catholics," Mel Gibson being the most famous example, who deny the authority of the Second Vatican Council, the "Catholics" in the PRC-sponsored church aren't really Catholic, anyway, since they don't acknowledge the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. So, in their case excommunication seems more a recognition of reality than a sanction.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

And the World Cried "Never Again!" Again
Hyperlink. "Stark warning"? "Pressure"? What in the hell does that mean? The United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union have all proven themselves unwilling to take any action to actually stop the genocide; so, what, exactly, is Khartoum's motive to rein in their lackeys in the janjaweed? And make no mistake, the jihadist janjaweed are exactly as beholden to the Sudanese government as the Bosnian Serb rape brigades and death squads were beholden to the late, unlamented Slobodan Milosevic during the Bosnian civil war. The only thing that will stop the slaughter in Darfur is U.S. military intervention or an African Union force (primarily Nigerian) with some teeth and a U.N. mandate to use them.

African Crime Blotter
Hyperlink 2. Hee hee, they slipped away during lunch. I guess the South African judicial system is based on the honor system? That would certainly explain a lot of what I saw in the film Stander.

Countdown to Sympathy
One item I neglected to note yesterday: May 2 means that we are only three weeks away from everyone's favorite cetacean-based holiday, Narwhal Day. This Narwhal Day promises to be the biggest and bestest yet; so, take care to make your Narwhal Day reservations today. May 23 is coming!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Nauts and Naught II
Now that I have studied the etymology of the word "juggernaut," I am pleased that I did not include it alongside Argonauts, astronaut, cosmonaut, psychonaut, aeronaut, and Reaganaut. Juggernaut is derived not from some kind of sailors on a Jugger (or a ship, the Jugger), but from the Sanskirt word "Jagannath," which has an altogether different meaning than the English suffix -naut.

In your face, Ki-El! ^_-
The Vatican and the Great Wall
Why does the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) still hold an iron grip on power in the People's Republic of China (PRC) despite the wildly capitalistic reality of the PRC's economy? Why is the CCP secure in its imperium a decade and a half after the grandpappy of them all, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), went the way of the dodo? Because the CCP is wily, as in this case: hyperlink! Hmmm, who can we oppress the practice of Christianity in China yet largely deflect international criticism? I know, we'll co-opt "Catholicism" for our own purposes! Thus was born the Patriotic Chinese Catholic Association. To the bitter end, the CPSU believed that religion was the opiate of the people and thwarted, terrorized, and interdicted the Russian Orthodox Church accordingly. One would think that, given China's history on the subject, the CCP would be more sensitve to "opium" allusions, but loyal reds though Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, and Deng Xioaping were, a proper reading of the history of the PRC requires an understanding that the CCP was always Chinese first and foremost, and Communist a distant second. Thus, while the rigidly dogmatic CPSU is now a memory the more adroit CCP has found religion and lived to fight another day. I wonder what specifically it is about Falun Gong that boils the blood of the technocrats of the CCP when they have shown such great willingness to "accommodate" the Catholic Church? Huh.

The heretical sham of the Patriotic Chinese Catholic Association is quite ingenious, but the Chinese Communist Party, for all it's wiles and cleverness, would do well to remember that the Roman Catholic Church is not without cunning.

Also, the Bishop of Hong Kong is properly addressed not as "Cardinal Joseph Zen," as in the BBC article, but as Joseph Cardinal Zen. (Lousy anti-Catholic Brits.) Cardinal Zen's name is not quite as much fun as that of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, but it's close.

The Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free
As a statist and a law and order type, I am absolutely opposed to giving all the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. an automatic amnesty. But the idea of deporting 12,000,000 people is ludicrous. Surely, a symbolically substantial but not overly burdensome fine and a waiting period before becoming eligible for citizenship are viable solutions to the late unpleasantness. But as pro-immigrant as I am, yesterday's May Day "boycott" perturbed me greatly. The whole enterprise reeks of economic blackmail, and no one likes to be blackmailed. I cannot see any way these massive demonstrations don't play directly into the hands of the conservatives who support the most draconian immigration reforms.

Gay marriage is the right and moral way to go, but in 2004 Mayor Gavin Newsome of San Francisco undoubtedly aided President Bush's reelection (a good end achieved through less than ideal means). Massive demonstrations by illegal immigrants can only help enact the wrong kind of immigration reform.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Mayday! Mayday!
Happy May Day, you commie bastards! For those of you who celebrated May Day as the traditional rite of spring, I wish you loveliness and joy. For those of you who celebrated May Day as the festival of international socialist and labor solidarity, I wish you failure and misery. Death to the "dictatorship of the proletariate"! Long live the free market! Long live capitalism!

No Oracle at Delphi
My father, the Goldbricker, work for Delphi Corporation, the bankrupt auto parts supplier that, as AC, used to be a division of General Motors. As Delphi reduces its workforce through attrition and early retirement/buyout packages, there is a potential need for temporary workers to help the company transition to its leaner future self. As a Delphi employee, the Goldbricker has the opportunity to recommend two individuals to fill those temporary positions. Among the employments requirements is a drug test. As I am applying to be amongthe temporary workers, the Goldbricker asked me if I'd pass the drug test. Seriously. He wasn't kidding.

Once I recovered from the shock of even being asked, I was filled with a warm and fuzzy sensation. In a way, it's kind of nice to know that the Goldbricker knows so very little about me. To even ask if I'm a pothead/crackhead/meth freak/drug fiend-of-any-stripe, my father must not know me at all. Given the racist, sexist monster he has devolved into these past few years, I'm quite pleased to be such a mystery to him. Three cheers for family.