Last 2004 sunset . . .

Happy New Year everyone! Here are two views of Higbee’s Beach, on the West Coast of Cape May, New Jersey at sunset. That’s all for this year, and thanks for coming!

A few unoriginal, unnatural, and Undeclarational thoughts . . .

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s to think something that you think is a new, original thought only to discover that some equally original (in this case, more original) asshole has thought it first! The other day, I was thinking along the lines of original intent behind the original intent of the original […]

Idiot Award

There are no jokes or set-ups to this one. This week’s idiot is just offensive: “Poor Phuket got a tsunami, and we got Paris Hilton,” ever-insensitive Taki Theodoracopulos quipped. “It’s an outrage.”

God Still Hates You

I caught a lot of flak for my last post, but now we hear the faithful crying out: Traditionalists of diverse faiths described the destruction as part of god’s plan, proof of his power and punishment for human sins. “This is an expression of God’s great ire with the world,” Israeli chief rabbi Shlomo Amar […]

Reminder of worse

It’s hard to believe, but it appears that the tsunami toll is much higher than previously expected — 400,000 or more from Indonesia alone: KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 (Bernama) — The death toll in Acheh, the region worst hit by last Sunday’s tsunami, may exceed 400,000 as many affected areas could still not be reached […]

‘God still loves me.’

I read comments like these all too often — when a tornado tears the roof off of a church, or a manaic opens fire on schoolchildren — but it never fails to stick in my craw: As Riza was drifting, she saw her neighbors, two girls — twins — and their mother. Riza, who can […]

Not a good time

I just returned from a funeral of a lifelong friend who died suddenly on Christmas Eve. A hell of a time to die, especially for such a good man, who happened to be a devoutly religious man. I’ve been to a lot of funerals, but the suffering of this man’s family was very painful to […]

Start the New Year with a well centered Carnival !

The 119th Carnival of the Vanities is up at The Radical Centrist. First of all, I love the blog name, and it would have been an excellent name for this blog but I went with “Classical Values” because I’m a sort of political dropout “loser” type — only in the center by a process of […]

Hero strikes again

Straight from Aljazeera, Ramsey Clark is up to his old tricks: he’s joined Saddam’s legal team. And you thought representing Slobodan Milosevic or the PLO was questionable.

Swords and Sandals Round-up

Classicist David Larsen (UC Extension) has a piece on the year in classical cinema: THE “sword-and-sandals” film comes in three generic flavors: barbarian, biblical, and Greco-Roman, each envisioning the martial values of a bygone “time before gunpowder” in its own fashion. While the first category may be counted on to support a heavy admixture of […]

Environmentalism, from Zeus to Zaius

Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he […]

What if they gave a Culture War and nobody, um, came?

Via Rhetorica (who finds wrap-ups annoying), I found an interesting WaPo take on 2004: In 2004, the New Republic ran a cover story called “God Bless Atheism.” Rolling Stone ran an editorial that proclaimed: “Janet Jackson’s breast is the 9/11 of the new culture war.” Archaeology Odyssey published an article titled “Roman Latrines: How the […]

God didn’t do it (and nature sometimes sucks) . . .

. . . it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own . . . — James Wolcott 24,000 dead and counting is pretty damned horrible to contemplate. There’s nothing I can report about the quake and tsunami that hasn’t been […]

Which Christmas Carol is more in tune with today’s altruism?

Ebenezer Scrooge is lucky he’s not alive today, because things are so complicated that once he’d reformed and decided to do good, he’d never be able to figure out which form of altruism is the truest and the purest. I’ll give a couple of examples which have been simultaneously thrown at me, (although seemingly in […]

On The Slopes Of Vesuvius

Woke up this morning and turned on the tv. Saw the horror in coastal Asia. Richter 8.9. Dear sweet Jesus. What could people have done? Can we ever hope to forestall this kind of catastrophe? Today, sadly, no. It would take a lot more technological moxie than we can muster to tsunami-proof a coast. Twenty […]

Braving the cold

I saw this lion roaring as if in protest from an otherwise neglected Philadelphia wall, in the freezing cold today: My hands froze while I took the picture, and my friends looked at me while rolling their eyes indulgently as if I was a bit of a kook, but I couldn’t ignore the opportunity. The […]

May Orange defeat political terror!

Blogging is subject to my limited time right now, but there’s one important event today which I hope everyone keeps in mind, and that is the Ukrainian election. Yushchenko (his face scarred by an attempt to kill him by poison) is favored to win, and I’m hoping the Ukrainian people hand him a decisive victory […]

Merry Christmas!

I’m busy with festivities….. And Puff hasn’t opened his gifts. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ! UPDATE: I have been having fun with the most useful gift anyone has given me in years: a heavy duty paper shredder! All these years, I never had one. Worse yet, I have problems throwing away paper, and I allow […]

Between states

Not much time at home today (on the road, so I couldn’t blog) but I tried out the camera built into my new cell phone (a Sidekick II). This is a view of sunset on the Delaware River, looking upstream while standing on the middle of the bridge between New Hope, Pennsylvania, and Lambertville, New […]

Allah hates Christmas, so feel free to celebrate!

An Islamic scholar (the elusive Misha’al Ibn Abdullah Al-Kadhi) believes that Christianity is pagan. Christmas: Let us now move on to the “birthday of Jesus,” Christmas. Jesus (pbuh) is commonly considered to have been born on the 25th of December. However, it is common knowledge among Christian scholars that he was not born on this […]