Wednesday, September 17, 2008


What can I say about Harriet Wheeler, singer/songwriter of The Sundays. Beautiful girl, beautiful voice, beautiful sense of life. Here is a YouTube video of her singing Summertime:


Do some people wind up with the one that they adore
in a heart-shaped hotel room it's what a heart is for
the bubble floats so madly will it stay sky-high?
Hello partner, kiss your name bye-bye

ooh sometimes...

romantic piscean seeks angel in disguise
chinese-speaking girlfriend big brown eyes
liverpudlian lady, sophisticated male
hello partner, tell me love can't fail

& it's you and me in the summertime
we'll be hand in hand down in the park
with a squeeze & a sigh & that twinkle in your eye
& all the sunshine banishes the dark

do some people wind up with the one that they abhor
in a distant hell-hole room, the third world war
but all I see is films where colourless despair
meant angry young men with immaculate hair

ooh sometimes...

Get up a voice inside says there's no time for looking down
only a pound a word & you're talking to the town
but how do you coin the phrase though
that will set your soul apart
just to touch a lonely heart

& it's you & me in the summertime
we'll be hand in hand down in the park
with a squeeze & a sigh & that twinkle in your eye
& all the sunshine banishes the dark
& it's you I need in the summertime
as I turn my white skin red
two peas from the same pod yes we are
or have I read too much fiction?
Is this how it happens?

How does it happen?
Is this how it happens?
Now, right now

The Silver Lining

One good thing the worldwide economic slowdown is achieving is the reduction in the price of oil - and the consequent trouble this causes for the governments of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of dictators.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No Apologies

(Russian RT-2PM Topol ICBM, on display at the 2008 Victory Parade in Moscow)

The Bush Administration insists that the missile defense systems being stationed in Poland and the Czech Republic are

"designed to protect against what it says are threats from rogue countries, such as Iran"
They make these claims in order not to "provoke" Russia. If the missile defense system isn't designed to protect against Russian missiles, it ought to be.

Russia is as unstable and rogue a nation as Iran or North Korea. There is no rule of law under Putin, no property rights, no free speech. There is only the law of Putin, ex of the KGB. As Russia's recent invasion of Georgia and virtual annexation of two of Georgia's provinces demonstrates, the country is hungry to reassemble its broken empire, even if it has to do it one little piece at a time.

Russia has potential conflicts brewing all over the place, from the Baltic Republics ( ) to the naval port of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula ( ). Putin is a loose canon who knows only one law: the lust for power.

If we aren't taking active measures to protect ourselves from this lunatic, there's something wrong with us. Putin's Russia is helping the Iranian theocracy develop nuclear technology, and strengthening Iran's air defense system
( ).

Putin's Russia has resumed long range bomber patrols over the Atlantic, their bombers are buzzing our aircraft carriers, and their joint naval and air exercises are targeting NATO countries
( and ).

Now Putin's Russia is scheduling joint naval exercises with Venezuela, the country headed by the militantly anti-American Hugo Chavez ( ).

Why aren't we deploying a missile shield against Putin's Russia? We should do so asap, with apologies to no one.

Monday, September 8, 2008



by Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads - you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Analysis of this great poem would be superfluous. It is not complicated, merely beautiful, heroic, and inspirational. They don't write them like this anymore.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Nail in the Coffin of Free Speech

Europe can always be counted on to provide leadership - on the road to the nanny state. In an article ( ) today, reported that
MEPs want TV regulators in the EU to set guidelines which would see the end of anything deemed to portray women as sex objects or reinforce gender stereotypes.

And furthermore:

Swedish MEP Eva-Britt Svensson . . . said: "Gender stereotyping in advertising straitjackets women, men, girls and boys by restricting individuals to predetermined and artificial roles that are often degrading, humiliating and dumbed down for both sexes."

These assertions are obviously false. Advertising is incapable of restricting anyone from doing anything. Only the government has the power to restrict people's actions. Advertisers can only try to persuade.

How does an advertisement of a woman wearing lingerie, for example, restrict any woman from becoming an engineer? It doesn't. Eva-Britt Svensson and her fellow EU busybodies simply don't like what some women do, and therefore wants to restrict them by law from doing such things. It is the government, as always, that is "restricting" women and men alike by curtailing their right to decide for themselves what to do with their own lives.

It's been said before, and it bears repeating: the road to totalitarianism is paved with good intentions.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Black and White Movies

This is a still frame, or a publicity photo, from the movie Laura, starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price, among others. I love this photograph because it exemplifies the elegance and stylishness of black and white movies of the 1940s.

Also the photograph tells a story in itself, with these two beautiful people sizing each other up, the man looking suave and a little too relaxed, the woman, Laura, sure of herself but still unsure of the man she's with, trying to penetrate the facade he seems to present to the world.

At least the photograph suggests all of this to someone who has seen the movie.