Sunday, December 31, 2006

My cats love me!

I just got in a couple of hours ago, and the kitties just won't leave me alone. It's not because of food. They still had plenty of food. They just missed me, I guess. Anyhow, they're trying to both cuddle with my hands at the same time as I try to type, so lemme go give them some quality time...

-- Badtux the Tired Penguin

Saturday, December 30, 2006

What did Saddam know?

What did Saddam know that required hanging him before his trials were finished? Did he threaten to talk? Is that what caused the Iraqi "government" to hang him so swiftly? Or is it simply that the Iraqi "government" knows that they are going to have a Saigon moment shortly, and hung Saddam in a panic that they might get overthrown before they got a chance to do so?

The latter, I suppose, is possible. But this picture keeps coming to mind...

Teh Donald may no longer be Secretary of Defense, but he wasn't the only former Reagan Administration official involved with Saddam during the 1980's. There's this other guy, for example. Guy by the name of "Dick Cheney". Wonder what dirt Saddam had on the Bigus Dickus? Oops, dead men can't sing like parrots, gosh darn, what a shame!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Friday, December 22, 2006

The problem of the poor

Bruce Western, author of Punishment and Inequality in America, discusses the fact that 2/3rds of young black male high school dropouts have prison records. Bruce notes the uneasy truth that the prison system has the sort of effect upon the lives of the poor here in America that the welfare state has upon the lives of the poor in Europe. But what Bruce doesn't do is go the next logical step: acknowledge that Prison State America has substituted prison for welfare as the solution for "what do we do about all those jobless young black males?".

Now, the question is, "why do we need to do something as a society about the poor anyhow?" Well, there is a basic problem: human beings will not voluntarily starve to death simply because there is no economic niche for them. Marie Antoinette found that out the hard way... the peasants who had been shoved off of the land by the lords of the manors as less labor-intensive methods of agriculture were developed were not going to voluntarily starve to death simply because there was no place for them in the new economy, and instead offed the heads of Marie Antoinette and all those lords who had said "Let them eat cake" when presented with the problem of a starving peasantry. Given that the poor are not going to voluntarily starve themselves to death, that leaves these alternatives:

  1. Extermination. Killing all of those who no longer have an economic niche in our new economy will eliminate the threat to those of wealth and power. Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot liked this one. But in the long term, it's hard to carry out, because economies are constantly changing and thus there will always be those who lack the skills or ability to compete in whatever the current economy is. Just ask the Shah of Iran just how the end game of this one works out.
  2. Imprisonment. There are two ways to imprison people. The first is to place them in actual physical prisons. The second is to place them into geographic locations from which it is difficult from them to transport themselves to the geographic locations where those of wealth and power live. Thus ghettos, credit check requirements for "better" apartments (i.e., those not in the ghetto) to keep out the "ghetto" people, and "mass transit" systems that, in most of the nation, will not take you anywhere that anybody in the upper income quartile lives. We're doing a lot of this.
  3. Welfare and television. This is the "bread and circuses" option -- feed and entertain the poor to keep them from rampaging and cutting off the heads of those of wealth and means. This is what LBJ and Richard Nixon put into place when the black ghettos exploded in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., they were afraid that the residents of those ghettos were going to go Marie Antoinette their constituency, and thus created a large number of welfare programs. This option is currently out of vogue, because it is not as profitable (for the men of wealth and power) as the imprisonment option, which gives many more opportunities to siphon taxpayer money into the pockets of the rich and powerful.
  4. Put them to work. You have idle men sitting around doing nothing in a threatening manner? Find them some jobs. If they lack the skills to contribute meaningfully to the economy, well, find them jobs doing things that need doing, but currently aren't being done because it'd require raising taxes to do them -- things like, say, cleaning all that f'ing trash out of the medians of our freeways (I swear, so many freeways look like trash dumps nowdays!). Or maintaining trails in parks, building park benches out of stones and mortar, whatever. Just keep'em busy. This was the option that FDR chose in the 1930's. It is currently out of vogue because it does not give profit to the rich and powerful, who would prefer to have government pay them to do this stuff.
Or, there is the 5th option: Do nothing, and find out that in Darwinian Libertopia, those who lack the skills to sustain themselves will not peaceably die -- they will come take what they need to survive. And those of us who do have property will end up dead.

One thing is clear: The prison option is horribly expensive and isn't going to be economically feasible in the long term, especially as the baby boomers retire and a sizeable chunk of the economy gets diverted to welfare for unproductive old farts. We can't both divert a huge portion of the economy to imprisoning poor people, and divert a huge part to sustaining unproductive old farts. Something is going to give. And the old farts will no more allow themselves to be starved to death than the poor will, they may not have the reflexes of young people, but they have something more important than that: an unwarranted sense of entitlement that would allow them to pull the trigger to take what they need to survive without a single moral qualm. There's a reason why old farts are the only unproductive people in America who are supported by a functioning welfare system. It is because old farts value what little remains of their life above all else, and if you get between them and what they need in order to finish out their lives comfortably, you are going to be dead.

The problem is that government as currently comprised in America is utterly incapable of taking any kind of actions. Paralysis is the norm. Excuses are the lingua franca. "It can't be done" is the chant. The days when a President could stand up, say "We will go to the moon by the end of the decade", and then *do* it, are gone. We are no longer "can-do America". We are, instead, "can't-do America". We can't provide health care to all our people because blah blah blah. We can't provide jobs rather than prison to young black men because blah blah blah. We can't do this, we can't do that, we can't do anything, because that would require us to, like, exert ourself or something.

But something is going to break if we don't change the current system. And when the economic collapse happens because so much of the economy has been diverted into prisons and supporting unproductive old farts... well, hopefully I will be rowing my iceberg far to sea by that time. Hey, a penguin can dream, eh?

-- Badtux the not-poor Penguin

Time Magazine wants to turn us all GAY!

They selected Alison Bechdel's autobiographical father-daughter graphic novel Fun Home as their #1 Book of the Year.

Bechdel is, of course, as butch as a lesbian can get. (puts on Bill O'Reilly's thinking cap) Why, obvoiusly Time Magazine wants to turn all our fine young girls into butch dikes, at which point they'll stop having babies and the American race will die! Err, of course, "American race" is an oxymoron, as the very name "O'Reilly" should suggest (he's freakin' IRISH, fer cryin' out loud! Not even an Anglo-Saxon!). And as Mary Cheney is proving, being a lesbian doesn't stop you from having babies, it just substitutes a couple of mechanical acts in the process. But hey, what's a few facts between bigots, eh?

I'm not sure which blogger on my blogroll blogged about the book. I thought it was our resident woman artist Idyllopus admiring the artwork, but I just checked out her blog and didn't see it there. Anyhow, whoever mentioned it, when I read their blog article I checked out the first few pages on, then I went out to my local Tractors and Peasants Big Box Bookstore and bought a copy of it (it's under "Biography"). Whether you're straight or gay, it's just plain good, and it's good that some folks outside of the gay ghetto have recognized that. Even if recognizing that good art is good art means they'll be accused of being in the pay of the mighty pastel "Gay Agenda", that rainbow-clad supervillain who goes around zapping fine outstanding preacher men with his Gay Laser of Gayness and, like, wants to destroy America by turning us all gay so we won't reproduce and the cockroachesMexicans will take over the empty ruins! Err, yeah. And pigs fly out of my butt every night too. Whatever.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Long Sun holiday plans

I will probably be heading out around noon tomorrow, not to return until January 2, exercising my new Jeep in the desert.

I got the oil pan skid plate on last night, BTW. Didn't need a die grinder, just a rubber mallet and a dremmel. There were some messy welds on the inside that I had to grind flat before it would lay flat against the oil pan, and a couple of the bolt holes needed a bit of modification with the dremmel too, but I got it on. I'm not mentioning the maker of this skid plate, but will say that I'm disappointed at their poor quality control. It's a good design (the best design for what their design goals were and for my current needs), but their manufacturing process leaves a lot to be desired.

One thing I'll note is that now I recall why I much prefer working on motorcycles to working on cars. My neck hurts and my ribs hurt (from rolling over onto some tools) and it's just a general pain working on the underbelly of a car without a lift. Tools seem to stray all over the place (I eventually used a white letter tray as a tool tray to keep tools and bolts together in one place), nuts and bolts stray all over the place and are never at hand, and it's just a pain in the neck (literally). With a motorcycle, on the other hand, take the plastic off and the gas tank and seat off and it's all just there.

If you see Bill O'Reilly, wish him a Happy Long Sun for me, okay? I love it when his nose turns red and steam comes out of his ears!

Anyhow, 'nuff for now. Have some packing to do...

-- Badtux the Celebratory Penguin

Happy LongSun!

Today is an important day. For you heretics, this is the winter solstice, and in a few days you will be celebrating Christmas or Holiday or Festivus or however else your religion celebrates the winter solstice. But for us Tuxologists, this marks the summer solstice in God's perfect land, Antarctica, and we celebrate the holiday LongSun on this day.

Now, what does celebration of LongSun entail? Well, barbecues and beach parties. You are required, if you are an orthodox Tuxologist, to don flip-flops, Bermuda shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt, repair to your back yard or patio, and barbecue meat over hot coals to serve with potato salad and barbecue beans and bread for your noon meal. After this repass, an orthodox Tuxologist is required to lounge in a lounge chair for the remainder of the afternoon while basking in the sun and sipping pina coladas out of glasses with tiny little hats on toothpicks sticking out of them (or at least a slice of fresh lime). Like this: Now, obviously this presents some logistical problems for those Tuxologists who live in the Rust Belt. Every year, hospitals in Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis are swamped with Tuxologists suffering hypothermia or who became stuck to their barbecue grills while attempting to place meat on the grill while their hands were wet. Not every Tuxologist is wealthy enough to repair to Miami or places further south in order to celebrate LongSun. Thus only Orthodox Tuxology (the Rawists) require the full celebration complete with the ritual vestments of Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirt. Kipperists allow LongSun participants to ritually fire up the barbecue grill while wearing the ritual vestments, then once the ceremonial Firing of the Grill is accomplished, repair to the warm interior of their home to cook their food and recline on lounge chairs while sipping pina coladas. And Wholists, those dastardly liberals, don't even require the ceremonial Firing of the Grill, though even that heretical offshoot of Tuxology does not dare do away with the ritual Sipping of the Pina Coladas.

Anyhow, I must go. While it is raining and 45 degrees outside, the ceremonial Firing of the Grill must be accomplished, or I will forever be condemned to Hell (Norway) to be flogged in perepetuity with limp herring. So have a happy LongSun. Or Christmas. Or Holiday. Or whatever. And if you see Bill O'Reilly, stick your tongue out at him for me! (Just not too close to a light pole if you're in the frost belt, okay? That's really embarassing, having the EMT's come out for that!).

-- Badtux the Partying Penguin

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Holiday

It has been brought to my attention that the Pastafarians celebrate the winter solstice with a holiday that they call, simply, Holiday.

So, just to make Bill O'Reilly blow a few more fuses: Happy Holiday! And may His noodly appendage touch your heart. Ramen!

- Badtux the not-Pastafarian Penguin

Note: Penguins celebrate the winter solstice in late June, so Tuxologists don't celebrate this time of year the same way as everybody else... Tuxologists believe in celebrating the December summer solstice with beach parties and barbecues. Tuxologists who live in Detroit or Chicago are encouraged to NOT use their barbecue grill at this time of year, though, after several instances where followers of Tuxology had to be removed from their grills by EMT's after wet hands stuck to the controls...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cheney's latest victim quietly rots on the lawn

This deer was spotted on the lawn of Vice President Cheney's 'undisclosed location'. Speculation is rampant. Did the Bigus Dickus manage to club it to death with his big swinging dick? Did he chase it down and strangle it with his bare hands in a rage over Dear Leader firing his buddy Rumsfeld? Or maybe he was aiming for a lawyer and hit a deer instead? Curious penguins want to know!

-- Badtux the Curious Penguin

What a loon

World Nut Daily reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that Iran's "two big missions are constructing the country and introducing a model for humanity."

Whoa! What a dangerous dude! Why, next thing you know, he could be sayin' that peace on earth and good will toward man are the two most important things around. Do you know what that would do to Carlysle Group and Halliburton profits?! (Shudder).

According to World Nut Daily, Crazy Mahmoud also says "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom."

That is *obviously* a call for the extermination of all the Jews of Israel via force of rams, just as the Soviet Union being wiped out resulted in the extermination of all the Soviets in the Soviet Union via force of arms. Genocide, genocide I say!

Meanwhile, back in Mississippi, there's a town that has a problem. Some of their local landlords are renting to (shudder) NIGGERS! And, get this... some of the local girls are going out on *dates* with these niggers! Local social service agencies say that they're giving counselling to these local girls and trying to get to root causes, because any girl who goes out with niggers obviously has some problems. These social service agencies are quick to say that they don't have a problem with niggers as a whole, it's just that the young ones are so violent, and landlords need to quit renting to them.

Oops, sorry, was the above shocking to you? The above paragraph is actually a summary of an article from an Israeli newspaper, with a few little strategic edits to disguise its origin. It's not a town in Mississippi. It's a town in Israel. And it's not African-Americans that they have a problem with. It's Arabs. The local rabbis in the town of Bnei Brak are circulating a petition calling for local landlords to quit renting to Arabs, because, of course, Arabs are just lazy and violent and have the sex drive of rabbits and are corrupting our good white Jewish girls (who are being counselled by local social service agencies because, of course, any good white Jewish girl who'd want to go out with one of those lazy and violent niggersArabs obviously has problems...).

You know the funny part? My paragraph substituting "Mississippi" may have been true 40 years ago, but nowdays Mississippi is far more racially tolerant than Israel. Progress. Slow progress, but progress.

Too bad other nations are going backwards at the same time. Maybe there's a law of conservation of bigotry that applies here. Less bigotry in country A means more bigotry in country B, and vice-versa. Hmm...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Monday, December 18, 2006

Myth #54232: Israel is a democracy

No. Israel is a Jewish state.

There is a difference. If you do not know the difference, then you need to go back to high school Civics class and read up on it.

In a representative democracy, the majority, other than a small number convicted of "high crimes and treason", vote for whom amongst the various candidates will rule them.

In a Jewish state, the minority who have been granted Israeli citizenship vote for who shall rule the Palestinian Arab majority on the West Bank and Gaza Strip that outnumbers them and that would vote out a Jewish state and vote in a multicultural democracy if allowed to do so.

See the difference?

"But," you cry, "the Palestinians have their own government!" Really? Creating a South Africa style "Bantu-stan" on the West Bank and Gaza Strip does not eliminate the reality that Israel rules them, that Israeli soldiers go into those areas at will, that Israel completely and entirely controls access to those areas via checkpoints, fences, and walls. A "nation" that lacks territorial integrity is a contradiction in terms. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are nothing more than territorial possessions of Israel, and the denial of Israeli citizenship to them is no different than the denial of South African citizenship to the Bantu and other blacks who were relegated to Bantu-stans there.

"But", you cry, "democracy in Israel would mean the end of the Jewish state."

Exactly. You can have democracy, or you can have a Jewish state. You cannot have both. Any system of government that allows only a minority of the population to vote for who rules the majority is not a democracy, and should not be confused with such.

Israel is a Jewish state, not a democracy. That is reality. Deal with it. Just quit lying and saying that Israel is "the only Middle Eastern democracy". It is not. That honor lies with Lebanon.

-- Badtux the Geo-political Penguin

Constitution? Just a piece of toilet paper

One night in mid-April, the steel door clanked shut on detainee No. 200343 at Camp Cropper, the United States military's maximum-security detention site in Baghdad.

American guards arrived at the man's cell periodically over the next several days, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation, the detainee said. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep.

The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared.

[...] The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the FBI about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.

But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents.

"Even Saddam Hussein had more legal counsel than I ever had," said Vance, who said he planned to sue the former defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld, on grounds that his constitutional rights had been violated. "While we were detained, we wrote a letter to the camp commandant stating that the same democratic ideals we are trying to instill in the fledgling democratic country of Iraq, from simple due process to the Magna Carta, we are absolutely, positively refusing to follow ourselves."

Remember, boys and girls. The terrorists want to destroy our freedoms, so we must destroy our freedoms first, or the terrorists have won!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Escape from Wal-Mart

All I needed was some brake fluid. And some cat food. Is that too much to ask for?

Apparently, well, yes. Because it was nuts in there. Utterly insane. After ten minutes of waiting in line to check out my brake fluid and cat food, I finally said "this is bullshit", abandoned my cart, and walked out.

I got brake fluid at an auto parts store. I got cat food at the grocery store when I bought some people food. In neither place did I have to wait in line. I'm not going near any kind of store selling toys until after Christmas. This is just nuts, how so many people are waiting until the last moment to go shopping for junk to give other people that will just get thrown away...

- Badtux the "Flippers ain't good fer standin'" Penguin

John Prine - Flag Decal

John wrote this song in 1971. As he notes, he hung it up on the mantle for some years because it was no longer relevant. Unfortunately, now it is...

Doesn't anybody ever learn? Ever?

- Badtux the Reminiscing Penguin

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Drunken Angel

Lucinda Williams - Austin City Limits
Lucinda's tribute to Austin songwriter Blaze Foley, the "Duct Tape Messiah", an old drinking buddy of Townes van Zandt who was even crazier than Townes (and Townes was certified crazy, official diagnosis and all) who lived in dumpsters and passed out under pool tables and borrowed guitars to play gigs.

I'd post a link to my interpretation of Blaze's song "Cold Cold World", but I'm not sure of the legality of that so I won't.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Random ramblings...

Got a new capo. A Shubb. Simple, compact, accurate, doesn't get in the way (much). That's the way good engineering is supposed to look, not like some mad scientist's labaratory with springs and levers and crap. Immediately got the inspiration to compose a couple of songs (well, between the capo and getting some Townes van Zandt albums in the mail from, and played'em through a couple of times. Didn't write them down before I forgot them though. Pity.

Got an oil pan skid plate in the mail Friday for the Jeep. The directions promise that you can work the driver's side "ear" between the oil pan and the exhaust pipe. Maybe on some Jeeps, but not on mine (there is no such thing as a "standard" exhaust pipe on a Jeep, those things are hand-made on the assembly line by gnomes with big tubing benders who tweak'em to fit). Looks like I'll have to take a die grinder to the ear and cut down the weld a bit to make the teensy amount of room needed to slide it into place. Bummer. Means I'll need to track down someone with a die grinder, since obviously, living in an apartment, I don't have one. While under there, I noticed that Daimler-Chrysler is continuing AMC's tradition of shipping their cars pre-rusted. Plenty of rust under there. Plenty of primitive (but very sturdy!) engineering on display too.

So Dear Leader is talking about sending more troops to Iraq? Armed with what weapons? Every single operational Humvee, Bradley, and M1 tank are currently in Iraq or Afghanistan, as is pretty much near every operational M-16. Everything else is broke down in repair shops from Kuwait to Texas. Hell, we have troubles providing enough fuel and ammo for the troops that are already there. What'er we gonna arm these new troops with -- AK-47's and RPG's? I got a suggestion. There's already a buncha folks armed with AK-47's and RPG's over there in Iraq, they don't need more, just let the current folks runnin' 'round with AK-47's and RPG's run the place instead of some new folks. Hear that, Georgie? (No, of course not, Georgie only hears what he wants to hear).

The cats (remember them?) are wandering around howling at me to feed them. They don't get fed until this evening. The Mighty Fang currently is at 16 pounds, Mencken is at 12 pounds. That's good weights for them. Means I'm feeding them the right amount of food every night before I go to bed. Fat cats are like fat kids. The cat don't feed itself, y'know? And the kid don't cook for for himself, y'know? So why is obesity amongst kids such an epidemic nowdays? Other than lazy, indulgent parents who give in to the yowling rather than making sure their kids eat right?

Anyhow, enough meanderings from this penguin, time to clean house a bit (this place is looking embarrasingly messy, with all these new open boxes all over)...

-- Badtux the Ramblin' Penguin

Friday, December 15, 2006

The natural order of things

That is all.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Next up: Blind hunters

Aim for the nose...
Call it the Dick Cheney protection act. The Texas Legislature is talking about passing a law making it legal for blind people to hunt.

Hmm, somehow this doesn't sound like the best of ideas to this penguin... blind people shooting guns. Hmm. Of course, Texas during hunting season isn't a very safe place to begin with, what with all the gunfire and all the crazed deer with eyes rolling running all over the place chased by Elmer Fudd look-alikes firing their rifles and shotguns all over the place. Last time I was in Texas during deer season, I got me a deer all right... and a $800 bill from the body shop (luckily li'l Bambi went under the car, rather than over it). And my buddy's van got two bullet holes in it.

Welcome to Texas. Y'all don't come back now, y'hear?!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Name the source of this quote...

Life comes from God and returns to God. All life and all races follow God's ordinances. No people and no race can ignore them. We want the ... youth to again recognize the religious nature of life. They must realize that God wants the individual as well as the whole people, and that they lose contact with life when they lose contact with God! God and nation are the two foundations of the life of the individual and the community. We want no shallow and superficial piety, but rather a deep faith that God guides the world, that he controls it, and a consciousness of the relationship between God and each individual, and between God and the life of the people and the [nation].

Okay, was that Judge Roy Moore, who claims the Ten Commandments are the fundamental law of America? Becky Fischer describing why her "Kids on Fire" camp for bringing kids to Christ (as shown in the film Jesus Camp) is so important?

How about this:

The [Muslim] spiritual leaders of today, the [imans], have ensured that to this day the [Muslim] people is educated in this hatred which the God [Allah] ordained through [Mohammed] [at Mecca]. The [imans] have made this hatred the foundation of what the [Muslims] call their religion. The [Koran] ... page 715, includes this prayer that the [Muslims] in their [mosques] have used to call down the curse of their God [Allah] on [Christian] humanity:

"Bring the worst wars to the homes of the [Christians]. Infect then with smallpox and punish them in your anger and fury. . . . Destroy their kings through war and take revenge upon them. Drive their heads to the ground in your fury!"

Is this Joseph Farrah over at World Nut Daily describing how Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims?

How about this:

The cause of the world's misfortune, however, will be forever eliminated only when [non-Christians] in [their] entirety [are] destroyed.

Tim LaHaye applauding his new video game?

Err, no. All the quotations above are directly from Nazi propaganda, with slight changes (in square brackets or ... for omissions) to disguise the immediate source.

1. "Die Erziehungsgrundsätze des neuen Deutschlands", Frauen-Warte, #22 (1936/37), pp. 692-693.
2. September 1941 article from Julius Streicher's Der Stürmer
3. September 1941 editorial from Der Stürmer

We've seen this shit before, folks. Why do people keep falling for it?!

- Badtux the History Penguin

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gay soybeans

So World Nut Daily (no linky, sorry!) sez gay-ness isn't anything to do with being born gay, it's 'cause we feed so much soy products to our kids and this femenizes them 'cause of all the estrogens in soy.

Guess that explains gay penguins. It's all the soy products they eat!

Err... oops, sorry. Penguins eat herring, not soy. Next!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bubba goes to a china shop

Howdy, Bubba the Suthern Penguin here, with more tales from the big city of Cooterville, Tennessee. Now, my ole' cat-killin' buddy Bill Frist showed up at my doorstep the other day, and I was purty durn near overjoyed. Y'see, Darlene has been harpin' on me to get her some more money so she can buy more purty things and shoes and stuff for Christmas, and she was bein' right scarce under the bed sheets, if ya get my gist. Billy Boy is usually always good fer some dough, though I must admit findin' cats fer him ain't been easy the last couple of years, them cats is just plain gettin' scarce 'round these here parts and I done been run off from a couple of barns 'cause folks ain't wantin' their barnyard cats taken off fer Billy ta cut open. But that's just let me raise my price, y'know?

So anyhow, ole' cat killer Bill shows up at my doorstep, but huh... he ain't got that crazed look ta him anymore! And he ain't carryin' one of them thare doctor knife thingies and waving it around and hollerin' "cats! I need cats!" either. Hmm. So I open the door anyhows, and sez, "how many cats ya need, Bill?"

Then he says the worst words I ever done heard: "Cats? I don't need no cats, cause I done retard!" He goes on ta say that the stress was just a gettin' to him, bein caught out in that beltway thing, and even the magical ability to diagnose illnesses from photos that he'd inheretid from his witch grandma had disappeared, why, he'd diagnosed some poor brain-dead girl as havin' a hangnail even! So he was retard, and was gonna just hang 'round the Frist mansion fer a while and let himself get back on an evil keel and stuff, and oh, wanna go out fer some beers?

Well, there goes my plans ta get Darlene some more money fer Christmas. Now, frankly, my friends, Billy is a bit creepy even when he's feelin' jolly, so I figgered out how ta git rid of him then set down fer some serious thinkin'. Man, that thare "thinkin'" stuff is hard work, folks! After a while my head hurt so durn much that even though it was my day off, I went down to the garage where I done been werkin' as the fetchit boy fer the past twenty years fer minimum wage, and asked some of them smarter fixer folks down thare what I should do.

Now Bob, he's like this big ole' ex-Marine dude who is the second-oldest mechanic there, sez "well, y'know, you're purty good at fixin little things like lightbulbs and such, why don't you go on down to Main Street with our spare ladder and ask folks if they need lightbulbs changed fer spare change?" Now that was a plan, so I grabbed the ladder and headed out to get Darlene her bling bling money (hey, see, I can use that cool talk too! I'm pretty hip, I'm not all square, dig?).

At the grocery store I walk in with my ladder and asks to see the manager, and when he comes out, asks if he needs any light bulbs changed. There was some commotion behind me, I turned around ta see what it was but there wasn't nothin' there 'cept a bunch of ice coolers all scattered all over the floor, man that was sloppy house keepin' on the part of this grocery store, don't ya think? So anyhow I turn back around and that thare manager is just plain passed out on the floor in front of me! Got a big red gash on his head that was oozin' blood, and I'm thinkin', man, he art to see a doctor 'bout that. I say "Sir? Sir? Are you okay, sir?" and folks are rushin' over to him and anyhow it was just too crowded and it was obvious he wasn't hirin' me anytime soon so I turned around and left. Funny, the front winder of the store broke just as I was turnin' round, go figger!

So next shop I walk to is a sandwich shop, and I walk in with my ladder and asks, "do ya needs some light bulbs changed?" and that thare brown feller behind the counter sez "no sa!" so I turn arounds and leave. There's a bit of a ruckus behind me as I'm goin' out the door, I can't turn around in the door 'cause I'm carryin' the ladder so I go on out and look back in the shop and, why, everything that had been on the counter had somehow managed to fall on the floor and that thare brown feller was standin' there wringin' his hands and talkin' some things in that funny furriner lingo of his that didn't sound so polite, so I head on out.

So anyhow, next shop down the street is one of them thare fancy dishes shops. The manager meets me at the front door, and I asks him, "do ya have any light bulbs that needs fixin'?" and he says "Yes indeed! I have two near the back corner, I'll give you two bucks to change them for me." Two bucks! Man, Darlene would be so proud! So I says "Well, if you throw in the light bulbs, that's a deal, sir!" and he sez "Very good, sir!" and hussles down the aisle to the back of the store to get the bulbs.

So I walk on in and start walkin' towards the corner he'd pointed out, and heared a crash behind me. I looked back and, uh-oh, I'd managed to clip a corner of one of the counters with the end of my ladder and sent some fancy servin' bowl right down on the ground! Now, that thare thing looked expensive, but luckily I never go anywheres without some of that thare Super Glue in my pocket. So I turned around and went and started puttin' that thare servin' bowl back together, until I had it all purty much lookin' okay, I mean, yeah, it was a little lopsided, but would anybody really notice? Then I turned back around ta go set up my ladder to fix the lights, and noticed that I'd managed to clip another counter and shove a whole display of china to tha ground and it was, like, just shattered all over the place!

So anyhow, out came my Super Glue again, and I started fixin' it up, and then the li'l feller came back from the behind with his bulbs and stared at me gluin' them dishes back together and turned real pale and sez, "Get out. Get out now! Go!".

Now I tole him, "I ain't one of them thare cut and run fellers, I broke it, so I'm gonna fix it!" and he turned red and tole me "You moron! You just broke some more of my dishes when you knelt down to do a poor job of fixing these!"

"Wha?" I said, and I turned around, and there was a lot of smashing and crashing and broken glass tinklin' to the ground, and the lil dude shouted "Idiot! You can't fix things while you're thrashing around with a ladder! Get out! Get out! Now! Or I call the police and you go to jail!"

Now, 'bout this time I'm thinkin' maybe jail ain't so bad an idear. I mean, Darlene is going to be pissed. But the li'l dude is headin' fer his counter, and y'know, 'round these parts that means only one thing and I ain't keen on pickin' birdshot out of my buns agin, so I do skedaddle 'bout the time he manages to clear his scattergun over the counter and hey, all he got was a li'l bit of my left elbow, okay?

Now, this here plan don't seem ta be workin' out fer me, so I go on back to the garage with my ladder and tell the boys down there what done happened, and by the time they finished laughin', they was all on the ground blue in the face. Finally ole' Buck gets up and takes the ladder from me and puts it away, and sez "boy, you done made our day," and he turns around and takes up a collection and gives me a few dollars and sez "Here, you take this on down to Darlene and tell her Merry Christmas from the boys down at the garage." So I do.

And that is the story of me and the ladder and the china shop, and I guess the moral of the story is, if your breakin' somethin', the best thing to do is just to skedaddle so you ain't breakin' stuff no more, and let the feller whose stuff you broke fix it 'cause he knows better how to fix his stuff. Well, and it'd be nice to pay him fer the stuff ya broke, and I'm kinda 'shamed that I didn't stick around ta do that, but Darlene did need her bling, y'know?

-- Bubba the Suthern Penguin

Monday, December 11, 2006

Chrys Floyd nails it: U.S. Iraq policy is driven by racism

Says Chris:

Listen, if you start listening to actual Iraqis, you might as well hang it up right now. Because poll after poll shows that actual Iraqis overwhelmingly favor a single option for the U.S. military forces in their country: cut and run, the sooner the better. That's what they want; but of course, they're just like children, aren't they, the precious little primitive critters. And everybody knows you can't give children everything they want. It's not good for them. So we have to hold the Iraqis' hands until they can toddle on their own -- and we have to slap their hands if they don't do what we know is best for them.

The whole notion that we here in the United States can somehow "fix" Iraq is one born inherently of racism. Those ingrateful little brown children over in Iraq are just too dumb and too stupid to figure out a way to keep their country together without the Great White Father to tell them what to do. Why, we removed Saddam for them. Nevermind that events afterwards show that they could have removed Saddam themselves at any time if they'd so desired, it seems that every single one of them has an AK-47 and a RPG launcher and knows how to use it, but they didn't so desire because apparently they hadn't figured out how to replace him yet, but ooooh, we knew better 'cause, we're, like, WHITE, and they're, like, BROWN, so there! They just need to buck up and take their medicine!

This notion that Big Brother Knows Best does not apply solely to darkies overseas, of course. It applies to any Americans (or anybody, actually) who don't agree with the notion that Big Brother knows best also. For example, the organizers of a folk festival in New York State were approached by the State Police, who wished to examine the grounds for evidence of illegal activity. The organizers politely requested that the State Police get a search warrant or buy a ticket if they wished to enter the premesis. Here is what happened next:

If you would, gentlemen, here is a Canadian's perspective: Over the last 20 years, I have enjoyed coming down to the US to see folk festivals, and have always enjoyed myself, but stopped for some years after 911 for reasons not related to that trajedy. In 2005 I did so again, catching an event in NY state, and camping out at the state park, a favourite spot from my youth. I had not only reserved a site in advance, but had already set up my tent & accessories, having registered. Upon my return from the festival quite late, all of the cars returning were stopped by the NY state police, who were apparently upset that the organizers of said event had not allowed them on the property during it. Unfortunately, the teenaged camp clerk had neglected to add my 18 year old nephew to my camping list, although I did pay for him. So, on a warm July night, my forty year old self, my arthritic wife, my nephew and his girlfiend were removed from our vehicle, our belongings searched, made to provide ID, and yelled and cursed at by black leather uniformed, crew cut 20 somethings who, after making us wait an hour, grudgingly allowed us into our digs for the night. I was informed by said officers that "this is how things are done now" and "welcome to the US". I will not be coming back to your country, and my experience speaks for itself concerning your topic.

There is a name for this kind of thing. Look it up someday. Hint: Starts with an "f". 'Nuff said.

-- Badtux the Anti-fascist Penguin

Cross-posted over at the Mockingbird's place

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Why is it that when it's raining outside, all you feel like doing is sleeping? Even blogging is too much energy...

-- Badtux the Rained-in Penguin

Friday, December 08, 2006

The wonders of modern technology

The curmudgeonly Mencken dismissingly sneers at the wonders of modern clothes processing technology...

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Needs repeating...

Commenting on a story about how Iraq veterans with PTSD are being abused by the military, Da Fixer gets irate:

The thing that gets me about the whole thing is that we shoulda learned from the "use 'em up and toss 'em out" mindset of Vietnam. A lotta guys brought that war home and it took years for them to get the help they needed. Not just the guys with PTSD but the whole Agent Orange fiasco. We're doing that all over again too with the depleted uranium ammunition, fucking up a generation of youngsters with poisonous shit.

They all can come out to wave the flag when they send you off to war (far be it any of them go along). When you come back fucked up, they don't want to know you.

The Repukes ain't spittin' on our soldiers like liberals supposedly did after Vietnam (albeit said stories are completely apocrophical,backed up by no contemporary accounts of said event happening), but they might as well be.

-- Badtux the Ain't Spittin' Penguin

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For the record....

I am not a Christian. I am a Tuxologist. As in, a worshipper of the Great Penguin who created the Earth and penguins and lesser animals, participant in the Sacrament of the Herring, and so forth. And furthermore, like most penguins, I'm both black AND white. So when I talk about "good god-fearin' Christian white Americans", well, get your sarcasm meter adjusted if you think I'm talking about myself... I'm a penguin-American, not a meat-and-potatos American!

That is all.

-- Badtux the Black and White Penguin

Die, spammers, die!

We're losing. And my groaning mail server agrees whole-heartedly.

My solution is simple: The death penalty for spammers. Each spammer who is caught should be forced to stand in a pit that is twenty feet deep and twenty feet wide, then buried in a pile of his own printed spams until dead.

The Russians have the right idea about what to do to spammers, but aren't executing it well enough. We're Americans, we can do better!

-- Badtux the Techie Penguin


Usually, it's a missing dumb blond white girl that sets off all sorts of media storms. Now, it's a missing dumb ChineseKorean man who's got the media all abuzz and search parties frantically searching to save him from his stupidity (taking a turn into the mountains? In the snow? Without tire chains? Then leaving your vehicle? Too bad he already reproduced, or we could nominate him for a Darwin Award once we find his frozen body in a few days).

Now, if this isn't a sign that racial relations are easing in the United States, I don't know what is. They're pulling out all the stops for one of them furrin darkies! Of course, Asians are the "good" minority -- quiet, hard working, not uppity like those pesky Negros who keep insisting on equal rights and such -- so maybe we still have a long ways to go. Somehow I don't see a missing black man getting this kind of attention, for example, unless he is a deathrow prisoner at San Quentin or something. But hey, we'll take what we can get, huh?

-- Badtux the (somewhat) hopeful Penguin

Postscript: His body was found. The Darwin Awards committee has been notified, though the fact that he already reproduced may disqualify him from that prestigious honor. Meanwhile, Shelton Sanders' body has never been found. But hey, at least we're getting closer to the day when somebody might get interested in the case of a missing black man...

And they call *left-wingers* moonbats!

Yet another moonbeam. NASA announces plan to put a man on the moon by 2020, 16 years from now. And, predictably, the real batty moon people over at Free Republic just love it. (Sorry, no linkity link, I don't link to demented neo-nazi ravings).

Now, some of you might wonder, hey, didn't it take only six years the first time between JFK announcing the moon program, and Neil Armstrong bouncing around on the Moon? But see, that was when we had actual rockets. Nowdays only the Russians have rockets, which is why they're the ones keeping the Space Station up in the sky.

And that, my friends, explains why it is going to take 16 years to get back to the moon: the astronauts are going to have to walk. And it's a LOOOONG walk...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

The Slippery Slope

This is my first modification to my Jeep. This is the restrictor that was in the factory fog lamps to prevent putting out more light than USDOT allows for fog lights in America (because USDOT thinks Americans have better eyes than the Europeans, apparently -- the fog lights were made by Hella in Europe and are sold without the restrictors there). The fog lights are still fog lights even without the restrictors -- the light pattern is low and broad, when I shine them on a wall they hit the wall about six inches above the ground -- but now they put out more light on the ground rather than being dim as fireflies.

Jeeps are sort of like my KLR motorcycle (the one I added the cruise control to!) in that they're made to be modified. This is a slippery slope, of course. An endless money pit. A perfect example of American consumerism in action. And this trip to the poor house all starts with popping the fog lights open and removing a stupid little piece of metal. Sigh...

- Badtux the soon-to-be-poorer Penguin

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

America is color blind, y'know?

So we don't need to worry about de-segregating our schools, because blacks and whites are equal, dig?

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security knowingly let one of their informants participate in the murder of over a half dozen people, with the full knowledge of a top Bush-appointed Justice Department official, but hey, it wasn't REALLY people who were being murdered, it was just darkies. Darkies aren't people, right? I mean, c'mon, darkies are just vermin, so it's fine and dandy to kill them, right?

Yessiree, America is color blind, boy howdy!

- Badtux the Snarky People

There ain't no hippies in San Francisco

So I'm reading this right-winger's ranting, and he starts whanging on about "San Francisco hippies". Sheesh. What a moran. There aren't any hippies in San Francisco -- it's gotten too expensive to live there. What there are in San Francisco are a different breed entirely: the YUPPIE. This SUV-driving breed has entirely displaced the former hippie class.

And they're BREEDING, as you'd find out if you tried walking down a sidewalk in the Marina District and got caught in the traffic jam... of SUV-sized baby strollers, each costing more than a typical small car, hauling the precious progeny and enough educational toys, diapers, cleaning supplies, baby foods (fully natural from Whole Foods of course) etc. to supply a small city. Each one of these ginormous baby SUV's is pushed by a smug insufferable latte-sippin' six-figured-salary yuppie secure in their sense of unwarranted entitlement and astounded if you don't actually get out of the way of their ginormous baby SUV because you feel you have just as much of a right to walk on the sidewalk as they do...

Any hippies in San Francisco are day tripping there from Oakland (where there are still some decrepit industrial facilities to squat in)... San Fran is totally Disney-fied nowdays. And right-wingers who still rant about San Francisco "hippies" are just showing how ignorant they really are. Not that we really needed any reminder of that!

-- Badtux the "Sometimes I visit San Francisco" Penguin

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm so ashamed :-(

The Silver Demon.

Utterly impractical. The bottom of the door frame hits me at mid-thigh. The insides has plenty of bare metal, some around the passenger footwell sharp enough to chew up your shoes. While it rides better than the bucking-bronco short wheelbase Wrangler, it's still definitely a truck ride, not a car ride. But it has 30" tires and 10" of ground clearance and says 'Jeep' on the side. I am but a mindless consumerist sheeple buying things I don't need :-(.

-- Badtux the Abashed Penguin

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just doin' my part to keep the economy rollin'...

One thing that occurred to me, as I drove around Death Valley, is just how much fun it would have been in a Jeep. Less adventure, certainly. But I'd have been able to haul a laptop with me rather than rely on a teensy little PDA, I'd have been able to haul more emergency supplies with me in case I got stranded somehow, I'd have been able to charge up my camera batteries from the cigarette lighter as I drove around, I'd have real headlights and real windshield wipers for when the weather turned nasty, and I'd have been able to stop in various places without worrying about falling over because Jeeps have four wheels (duh!). And while a motorcycle will go places that a Jeep can't go, those motorcycles are ones that aren't loaded down like the Beverly Hillbillies' truck, I frankly would not take my fully-loaded KLR anywhere that a Jeep can't go, because it's just too darned heavy and too much work.

I looked at Craigslist and there are lots of Jeep XJ's (Cherokees) for sale for reasonable price. Add 30" tires to the little beasty and it's pretty good at getting into difficult places.

But then someone mentioned the 2006 Jeep Wranger Unlimited. Dimension-wise, it's similar to the Cherokee, but has better off-road capabilities out of the box than the old Cherokee did mod'ed with 30" tires and a mild lift. And it's more comfortable and more practical than the regular Jeep TJ short-wheelbase model.

A quick inventory search on's site shows that Normandin Chrysler Jeep here in San Jose CA has a couple of nicely appointed silver 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimiteds with the 6-speed manual transmissions and some nice amenities (like the hardtop, much more pleasant for commuting in nasty weather!). I also find out that Chrysler is offering 0% financing on these 2006 leftovers. I check to get my FICO score, and it looks like I'd qualify handily for the 0% financing.

But dammit, I don't need a new car! Grr...

Okay, here's the deal I'm making with myself:

I go in. I check out whether they still have those two silver Jeep Unlimiteds. If so, I take a test drive. Then I say okay, I'll take it if: you give me invoice price on the Jeep, you give me Blue Book tradein value on my S-10 as tradein, and you give me the 0% financing. Otherwise it's no deal.

Then they either take it, or not. If they don't, I save money. If they do, I get a good deal.

At least, that's what I tell myself.

Hopefully they won't accept my offer, and sanity will return to the penguin's iceberg :-).

-- Badtux the Shopaholic Penguin

The war on everything pleasurable

Once again, a heavily-armed gang dressed in paramilitary regalia has broken into an innocent citizen's home and shot her dead. One of the things I missed last week while on my annual migration was the death of Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta, who managed to injure three of her paramilitary attackers before being herself shot dead.

Of course, the masked paramilitary gangsters turned out to be Atlanta police officers, so they will, of course, walk away, even though it turns out they asked an informant to lie on their behalf.

Some people ask me if I'm anti-police. I have to say, I'm not seeing anything that the police in America do today that would not be done just as well by issuing a .38 caliber revolver to each and every adult American along with a choice of holsters to carry it concealed or non-concealed (whoa, how Libertarian of me!). Muggings? All the cops do is take reports, they don't do anything about it. Burglaries? All the cops do is take reports, they don't do anything about it. Accidents? All the cops do is take reports after the accident is over, they can't prevent it. Frankly, I am in far more danger from the police than I am from anybody they're supposedly "protecting" me and my shotgun from. When it comes to the current role of the cops in the community -- i.e., to arrive after all the fireworks are over and take reports for the use of the insurance companies -- might as well just have insurance company investigators take the reports directly and eliminate the middle-man.

The .38 would be cheaper too -- we currently spend over $40 billion dollars *PER YEAR* on the 'War on Drugs' alone. Two year's worth of that would buy a good-quality .38 and box of bullets for each and every adult American, not that we'd need to do that since many Americans already own their own weapons. And that's just a small fraction of the law enforcement budget in America...

Of course, there's one big Achilles heel here, and one which I'll address in a seperate post. I'll just ask you the one pressing question that nobody, NOBODY ever asks except a few of us loony toons Libertarians: Why do we need cops anyhow, given that they seem to be as dangerous to innocents as they are to criminals?

Other than, that is, to fight an ongoing "war on everything pleasurable" (of which the War on Drugs is a small part) on behalf of the small percentage of religious zealots who would love to impose a theocratic dictatorship over us but, lacking the power to do so, instead satisfy themselves with trying to make everybody else as miserable as they are?

This is especially true of the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. The United States existed just fine for the half of its existence that there were no federal law enforcement agencies. We have hundreds of thousands of armed local cops who serve just fine at enforcing local laws regarding murder and whatfor. FBI, ATF, DEA, whatever -- why do we need them, other than to enforce the theocratic agenda of making pleasure illegal?!

- Badtux the Questioning Penguin

Thursday, November 30, 2006

World's best athlete

Okay, so she's 100 pounds, can't throw a ball, and has never run a race. But she strikes terror into the hearts of her opponents: Sonya Thomas, "The Black Widow", is one of the world's best competitive eaters.

It's amazing, how it's always these little weedy types who always manage to do things like down 12 tubs of popcorn or 40 hotdogs or whatever... and I don't think it's an accident that she's Korean. As I mentioned before, those Koreans are nuts.

-- Badtux the Amazed Penguin

That $2M ought to come out of Bush's pocket...

instead, it's coming out of yours and mine. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield $2 million as part of a settlement for wrongfully arresting him in connection with the 2004 Madrid terror attacks. The FBI even apologized, which I thought was against the law for any government official or agency to do ("we're the government, we don't NEED to apologize!").

Under Bush's "omnipotent unitary executive" theory of power, he has the power to arrest anybody anywhere for any reason as a 'terrorist', and the FBI arrested Mayfield under that principle. Maybe if the Chimperor got whinged in his pocket... awe no, he'd just expect Poppy to bail him out of that one too, just like with the Iraq Study Group. Well, given that the Chimperor has said he's going to ignore the ISG's "cut and shuffle off" strategy (as vs. "cut and run"), maybe that's a bad comparison...

-- Badtux the "Hit'em where it hurts" Penguin

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jim Webb: One-term Senator

So Jim was tempted to slug the liar-in-chief when the Liar-in-Chief tried to make political hay out of Jim's son, and refused to do a photo-op with the President or go through a reception line to shake the President's hand. Jim, apparently, doesn't suffer fools gladly, and doesn't pretend to. He treats fools the same way he treated the Viet Cong.

This is why I predict Jim will be a one-term Senator. Our electorate has little patience for straight talkers and straight shooters. They want lies, soothing lies, lies that they are a good people, God's chosen people, Americans, and thus they need not care, need not strive for anything beyond their pathetic little useless lives of fornicating and defecating and masticating and accumulating shiny baubles of no import...

In a kingdom of liars, an honest man may be elected, but he will then either become as corrupt as those who preceded him, or be forced out of office, for honesty is the *LAST* thing the American electorate wants. Because honestly, we as a people are selfish, self-interested, ignorant, and possessed of an unwarranted sense of entitlement that would be laughable if it did not lead to such deadly results for the rest of the world. And a little bit stupid, too. Thus why we as a people elect fellow stupid people like George W. Bush to office, or people like John McCain who pretend to be "straight shooters" but in reality are as corrupt as any, and decry "dome-heads" like Al Gore and John Kerry as "boring" because they use these big multi-syllable words 'n stuff, y'know...

The recent election doesn't change that reality. People weren't mad at the Republicans because of the Iraq invasion, corruption, or spending like drunken sailors on liberty while borrowing money from our nation's enemies to pay the bills. They were mad at the Republicans because we're *losing* in Iraq, and that is incompatible with that unwarranted sense of entitlement that says that we're *entitled* to win wars. It's, like, *un-American* to lose a war.

Yessirree, proud to be an American...

- Badtux the Cynical Penguin

Freedom of religion and speech...

is only for good God-fearin' Christians, not for evil heathen darkies.

Welcome to the United States of AmeriKKKa, where we might as well all go around wearing this attire nowdays:

Remember, if you're brown, or non-Christian, or simply have views to the left of Ghenghis Khan, you're just a nigger in today's America, and it's only right that you have fewer civil rights than good white God-fearin' Christians. Why, you ought to be just glad that good God-fearin' Americans don't lynch ya, yessiree!

I am soooo proud to be an American....

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sucker bet: An engineering degree

Did you know that the majority of engineers graduating from college here in the United States never manage to find an engineering job?

The big companies are only hiring Indians and Chinese on H1B's, and ya gotta know the right person at a small company to get a job there 'cause else it goes to the second cousin of the wife of the Vice President of marketing. While overall unemployment is low for college-educated people, there's a helluva lot of kids with college degrees delivering pizzas and driving taxis or saying "do you want fries with that order, sir?".

Meanwhile, a good fixer is never out of work, whether he fixes cars, motorcycles, plumbing, or electrical wiring. Frankly, it makes me wish I'd stuck with that whole electrician thing, a good electrician is never out of work...

No, I'm not unemployed right now. Was just reading an article about an "engineering shortage" and how there wasn't enough engineers graduating to fill all the available jobs, and snorting "Bullshit!". If there wasn't enough engineers graduating, companies would be swarming even the smallest engineering schools looking for engineers. They're not. The big companies only look at the "top twenty" engineering schools, and otherwise hire from Tata and its ilk. The small companies don't look, period.

- Badtux the Bushit-smellin' Penguin

Monday, November 27, 2006

So what happened while I was away?


New York city cops blow away unarmed dude by putting a couple dozen bullets into him.

Iraq is a mess.

Penguin movie is a big hit.

Dear Leader sez that, despite all evidence to contrary, Iraq is just peachy keen and is not, not I say, in the midst of a bloody civil war.

Hmm, I go on vacation and the same old same old happens. I should have just queued up a half dozen "news" articles and posted them while I was gone, nobody would have ever noticed I was gone. I could have reused some of my headlines from anytime in the past two years... doesn't anybody learn? Anybody? Hello? Hellooooo?!

-- Badtux the Dejavu Penguin


are being posted at ImageShack

- Badtux the Migrating Penguin

Bumped to put it on top

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's a mugging...

So I stagger back onto my iceberg after riding for six hours in the rain at 15mph (yes that's right it took me SIX HOURS to cover NINETY MILES because #$%@! Californicators don't know how to drive in the rain (they're almost as bad as the Zonies when it comes to rainy weather, they screech all over and drive 5mph and smash into each other left and right)), err, I'm getting Lispy on you guys here sorry, but I'm tired. But the cats have other ideas. I walk through the door they both start talking to me and rubbing up against me. A short trip into the kitchen showed why -- they'd managed to eat five pounds of food in seven days. EEEP!

Anyhow, I'm tired, so I'm going to bed, if the cats will let me...

-- Badtux the Tired Penguin

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Back to civilization

I am now in Ridgecrest after an amazing two day trip into the most remote valley in California, with a stop at an amazing oasis reachable only via an unmaintained road that is only barely on any map (and not accurately at that). But I will say no more than that. I cannot even post pictures because my camera broke during the trip.

I leave for home in the morning, migration at end. It was an adventure. Especially the parts that involved sending 700 pounds of motorcycle, luggage, and penguin hurtling across deep sand at 30mph...

Now to get some rest!

-- Badtux the Tired Penguin

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Up a canyon without a garage

Warm Spring Camp was built in the 40's by a woman. It shows. This is the only desert camp I have ever seen that has a swimming pool. Empty now, of course, but only a woman would have thought of something like that to get workers into a very desolate place for what was the most profitable mine in.Death Valley -- producing talc!. Photos coming!

So in the last installment my KLR had started running like crap, overheating and sputtering above 5000 rpm. There obviously was no garage available at the abandoned Warm Spring Camp, so I made a diagnosis - dust-clogged air filter - cleaned the filter with wd-40 then soap and water all of went on the fire pit, set it out to dry overnite along with my washing (hey I had lots of water available thanks to Warm Spring and my soap was out so I washed clothes too!). Then I tossed out groundsheet and sleeping pad and bag and slept under the stars.

The next day I used the last of my wd40 oiling the filter. WD-40 is life to a motorbike so this was trouble. I was also still tired. So after breakfast of Caf? Mocha and a breakfast bar I set off back down the canyon to go to the next town, Shoshone, determined to stay on pavement and end up in Beatty and sleep in a nice comfy hotel room. Thanks to my new mastery of the Banzai Theory of keeping the rubber side down I.e. when facing deep sand, gravel, or a steep rocky upgrade on a big fat dirtbike the correct answer is always shout banzai! and give it more gas, I swiftly got back to pavement, then to Shoshone. The bike ran great. My diagnosis of a clogged air filter was apparently correct. I filled up with gas, bought a can of wd40, and went across the street to the only cafe in 'town'.

The burger was good. The fries were only average but still better than the stringy things at Panamint City Resort. There was not, alas, any desert. The pie maker apparently was on extended leave (!).

I then headed north to Death Valley Junction. The roadbed of the old Mojave to Rhyolite railroad paralleled the road for most of the way. At Death Valley Junction a narrow gauge spur once led off to the company town of Ryan, which still sits up atop its mountain of almost pure borax like a gleaming citadel, waiting for the Boron deposits to play out (the mines at Ryan could not compete with the more accessible Boron deposits and the mines went bankrupt, were bought by the same company that owns Boron, and shut down to keep the price of borax up... but the old company town has been kept ready to resume production.for over 70 years now!). At Death Valley Junction the mining company had once maintained a small hotel and community rec hall for railroad workers and visitors to the mines. This is now owned by an eccentric old lady who fancies herself a ballet dancer, although since she is well past 80 you can imagine that she isn't very good. Yet she dances, and the former rec hall is reborn as the Armagosa Opera House.

At Death Valley Junction I turned west towards Death Valley again. I was going to Dante's Overlook, a standard tourist thing that had been closed last time I was there. The old Ryan railbed parallels the route for most of the way. Just short of the Death Valley boundary I saw something strange to my left... a sequence of roads and slabs in the middle of nowhere. The slabs were perhaps cabin sized, no bigger. A former resort or hotel? I guess I will have to google and find out...

Ryan gleams like a citadel upon an enormous ledge cut into a mountain of borax. They have apparently applied white roof sealent to the roofs asw part of the program of keeping the world's oddest ghost town ready to be reoccupied whenever Boron gives out. You can't get near it of course, it is private property and fenced and guarded by a full time caretaker. So I headed up to a spectacular view of the lowest point in the United States...

Then I went to Beatty, checked into a motel, and started hacking these tomes out on the tiny keypad of a pda fone...

Monday, November 20, 2006

In which a penguin learns about sand

Sunday was spent mostly in deep sand and gravel. I left the campground at around 8am and filled up on gas at Stovepipe Wells and paid my park fee. Behind the airstrip is Cottonwood Canyon Road. So I dutifully aired down my TKC-80 knobby tires, put on my rib protector armor, and pushed 400 pounds of bike and 100 pounds of tools and water and luggage down this sandy "road".

This was hard work, and a couple of times I almost lost it, but I didn't. Finally I arrived in Cottonwood Wash. Which is your typical gravel and rock filled desert wash. Which meant occasionally pointing the KLR's nose at a particularly rugged piece, shouting "banzai!" at the top of my lungs, feeding the beast gas, and praying because speed is the only way to scramble thru some things and you just have to trust your bike. Then stopping at the next decent stretch to catch my breath - wrestling 700 pounds of bike and penguin over this terrain is *work*.

At one point I realized that I must have turned up Marble Canyon rather than Cottonwood Canyon. I managed to get my GPS into topo map mode rather than city streets mode and yep, missed my turn. And had lost my paper map too at my prior map check. Plus it was already past 10am and I wanted to be at Furnace Creek by noon to get my official lunch err map and permit. (Hmm... ever notice how penguin conversations swiftly turn to food?). So I turned around and left. When I hit pavement again I dutifully pulled out my teensy air compressor, aired back up, and hit the road to Furnace Creek.

So I got a replacement map at the ranger station's gift shop. The burger at Furnace Creek Ranch Cafe was bigger than the one at PSR and the fries were hand-cut and meaty (but not as plentiful as at PSR). Fifteen bucks ought ta get ya a good burger and fries, eh? Anyhow about 1:15 I filled up with gas and set out for Warm Spring Canyon and Butte Valley.

What I found out is that Death Valley is *big*. By the time I got past Badwater to the southenmost intersection with West Side Road, it was past 2pm! Going up West Side Road and Warm Springs Canyon road, I eventually realized that the best way to get thru deep sand and gravel on a 700 pound bike+penguin was, oddly enuf, to go FAST. As in at least 25mph. This took serious nerve when every bone in your body is cringing in potential pain as the bike squirms under you, but it works - gyroscopic procession, if you want the fancy term. In the process of doing this, I realized two things: a) my bike was overheating, and b) my bike was sputtering above 4500 rpm. I decided my air filter was clogged with the fine dust we'd been walloping thru, as well as me being totally exhausted. So at Warm Springs Camp, I stopped for the day.

The spring was running, and yes it is warm. Supposedly it is drinkable but I only used it to wash - my air filter, then some clothes, then my hair. (the waste water went into the fire pit not the spring btw - do not contaminate water in the desert!).

I was so tired I couldn't even think about cooking. So I choked down some flavored pouch tuna and pretzle, tossed my ground sheet and air mattress and sleeping bag down on the ground, and went to sleep under the stars.

Death! Valley!

November 18:

Kern River canyon: there is a winding road between Bakersfield and Lake Isabella that hugs the river. Great motorcycling when the road is dry, and it was this time. Odd thing tho. There were cop cars all over the place, and the cops were out of their cars looking down at the river, which btw is pretty low at the moment. One set of cops even had climbing gear that they were setting up...

Ridgecrest: this town exists for one reason: China Lake Naval Weapons Center, where naval aviators learn how to bomb precious cultural artifacts into rubble... perfect prep for their Iraqi duty. more on that later. It is your typical small military town, complete with brand new gigantic Wal-Mart. All I wanted was gas tho. I found it, and moved on.

Trona: armpit of California. Smells like it too. I set the cruise control so I wouldn't get a ticket, and didn't stop.

Panamint Valley: the Navy is bombing the old road from Panamint Valley, which went down past Wingate Pass to go around the south end of the Slate Range, but the feds helpfully chipped a new road into the north end of the Slate Range to take the low road's place. I didn't go down to Balarat to chat with Rock(y) this time -- it was getting late, I was getting hungry, and the burgers at Panamint Springs "Resort" awaited. So I took a few pictures of the dry lakebed, and pushed on up Panamint Valley Road.

The PSR restaurant was uncrowded, perhaps because it wasn't quite 5pm. I ordered my burger and fries. Good burger. Lousy fries - stringy store-bought frozen things, not fresh-cut like you would expect for a 10 dollar burger(!). An old desert rat on an old BMW airhead (R80) pulled in a few secs later. He spotted my KLR and my helmet and wandered over. "You friendly?" he asked. "Sure", and pointed at the next chair. He was, alas, hard of hearing, so we mostly talked past one another. After a while he looked at the darkness outside, said "I have to go set up camp before it gets dark!", and left. In the dark.

I paid and similarly left. And cursed my KLR's feeble headlamp all the way to Emigrant Campground, where I pitched my tent in the dark and settled in for the night.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


The world's stinkiest town? Stockyards gah! 150 miles of fog are over with anyhow, time to get gas...

Funniest question of the day: "is that a BMW?" Err, no....

11:30 AM -- Bakersfield. Rdneck capital of California. Haven't seen so many fat rednecks since my last trip back to Louisiana, but I was hungry...

Badtux The Migratory Penguin

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sad kitty

This isn't my kitty, but I was impressed by how sad he looks about taking a shower. Poor baby!

- Badtux the Bemused Penguin

Why did the salamander cross the road?

Yes, boys and girls, still recycling old photos. This is a Northern California salamander. Temporarily un-flattened, but many of his brethren on that particular road were not so lucky.

-- Badtux the not-flat Penguin

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spammers suck...

Got a couple of comment spams, so now only registered Blogger users can post comments. Hopefully the comment spammers will go away in a bit and I can open comments back up, but it's too hard to clean up while I don't have good access to the Internets...

Badtux the "Are you SURE it's illegal to kill spammers?" Penguin

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lord of the Realm

The Mighty Fang surveys all that he rules (click the thumbnail for the big picture).

-- Badtux the "Okay, so Blogger photo uploads ain't workin'" Penguin

Sunday, November 12, 2006


As I try to get everything packed for my annual migration, the Mighty Fang, unhappy at his sofa being used for something besides sleeping, settles down amidst the chaos and takes a nap.

From left to right: Large waterproof duffel bag. Fanny pack (straps to number plate on the front of the bike). Large cat. Fender tool pouch (straps to front fender). Large top box (mounts on luggage rack on back of bike). Needless to say, the cats are not happy with having their sofa preempted for motorcycle luggage packing purposes...

I will be posting sporadically or not at all over the next couple of weeks. You might check from time to time anyhow just to see if I've managed to upload some photos...

- Badtux the Migratory Penguin

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's official: Google is a terrorist organization!

At least, that's what World Nut Daily tells me. They solemnly inform me that: Google hates America's veterans but loves Canada's, Britain's, and Australia's veterans. Google employees donate money to evil terrorists like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry and Hilary Clinton who want to KILL US ALL! Google accepts ads pointing out that Tom Delay accepted bribes, but won't accept World Nut Daily's ads pointing out that Nancy Pelosi eats raw babies when she isn't defecating upon flags!

It's clear, we must all quit using Google RIGHT THIS MOMENT or... or... THE TERRORISTS WIN!

Hold on, Blogger is owned by Google? Err, never mind... -- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Fact or fiction - anonymous phones?

And the answer appears to be 'yes!'. Just bought a $15 SIM from Cingular for an unlocked HTC Wizard (what I am using to post this message). Could have bought the fone too at the same time. 'Could you give me your name and address? No? I'll just put the store name and address then.' No problem.

This plays a role in 'Dead Children' btw. Kathy drops off the map and uses these 'disposable' fones when some cops in the pay of corrupt politicians are looking to kill her while 'resisting arrest'...

Badtux the Researching Penguin

Friday, November 10, 2006


The educated Mencken poses underneath his college diploma. This cat has more dignity in his left forepaw than the entire modern sordid Republican Party has in its entire collective body.

-- Badtux the almost-as-dignified Penguin

Conspiracy spam

I got comment spam! A comment spammer left this in my comments:

Speaking of impeachment, our new majority should actually USE its subpeona power to launch a REAL independent investigation into 9/11. One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases.

He then proceeded to post about 500 lines of stuff without any line breaks or paragraph breaks. I deleted it, of course, because 500 lines of stuff that has no relation to the posting is just plain spam.

Anyhow, here's my opinion on that: There have been too many whistleblowers come forward and say that the Bush Administration dropped the ball on the 9/11 terrorists for me to believe that there was anything other than willful blindness (at most) involved. Richard Clarke, for example, says that the FBI already knew that several of the hijackers were al Qaeda. And there's the famous Phoenix memo where a frustrated FBI agent tries to get permission to tap the phones of hijackers doing flight training there. In other words, there's just too much paper trail here from people who do NOT like the Bush Administration. It may be that the Bushies deliberately turned their head at the preparations for the attack, and deliberately let the hijackers get on the planes. But the notion that the hijackings were an "inside job", so to speak, just don't fly.

As for the "controlled demolition" of the WTC towers, I talked to a very anti-government architect, and he says that "pancaking" as was seen here is exactly what he would expect in the situation, where the fireproofing was displaced by the impact and the building's core served as a stack to turn the vaporized fuel into a blast furnace capable of melting steel. Remember, steel is melted at the foundary that creates it using nothing other than natural gas and air. And jet fuel has even more energy than natural gas.

As for the notion that devout Muslims surely would not engage in behavior that contradicts their religion: Ted Haggard. Ted apparently devoutly believes all that crap he spews about how homos are evil and stuff. Yet he did the dirty with another dude anyhow. Human nature isn't changed by the fact that one has adopted a religion, and seemingly "moral" Muslims go off the tracks just as often as seemingly "moral" Christians.

In short: Two jet airliners piloted by hijackers ran into the WTC towers and brought'em down. That's the facts, jack. A jet airliner piloted by hijackers ran into the Pentagon. That's the facts, jack. We might quibble whether the Bushies knew and turned their heads to make sure that they got their "Pearl Harbor" event that they wanted, but the fact that there were hijackers and jets and that this is what caused everything to happen... well, that's off the table.

-- Badtux the Conspiracy Penguin

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Impeach Bush!

Err, maybe not.

Now that the Democrats have taken both houses of Congress, what does it mean? President Bush is going to continue doing exactly whatever he wants to do, regardless of what Congress says. Bush holds to President Andrew Jackson's view of the powers of the Presidency. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Jackson had no authority to remove the Cherokee to Oklahoma, Jackson said "Mr. Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it" and removed them anyhow. If Congress passes a law that says that Bush can't do this, that, or the other, Bush will shrug and say "Congress has made their law, now let them enforce it." After all, he is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military, which, as ole Governor Earl K. Long of Louisiana pointed out when telling the Louisiana legislature why he wasn't going to defy a desegregation ruling, "they got the goddamned atomic bomb!"

Thus why I haven't exactly been jumping up and down for joy, because the only resort that Congress has, in that case, is to impeach Bush. And as Nancy Pelosi noted, that ain't happening. Impeachment is off the table for the simple reason that the Democrats don't have the 60 votes in the Senate. They could create a circus, but that's about it.

So what about Nixon, you ask? But that was a different Republican Party. That was the Republican Party of Barry Goldwater -- dignified men of principle in pinstriped suits. Nixon resigned because his own Republican Party bolted from lock-step support of Nixon and Barry Goldwater went to Nixon, with several members of the congressional Republican leadership behind him, and told Nixon rather bluntly to either resign or we're going to vote with the Democrats to impeach you. I don't see any leader in the modern-day Republican party with that sort of integrity or that willingness to pitch Bush II over the rails of the sinking ship of state.

Pelosi can change this by investigating, investigating, investigating, pounding at the corruption in the Bush administration (and lord knows there's plenty of corruption to pound at). But short of Bush doing something stupid like hiring thugs to break into Pelosi's psychiatrist's office to dig up dirt on her and said thugs getting caught by the cops, I don't know if even that is enough to break the Republicans away from Bush enough that they'd vote to impeach him.

Not to mention that impeaching Bush means... President Dick Cheney. Somehow I doubt that Darth Cheney would be an improvement!!

-- Badtux the Skeptical Penguin

Expanded from a comment I made at Spontaneous Arising, crossposted in slightly revised form over at the Mockingbird's Place.

President Darth Cheney prepares to bite the head off of a cute kitten for his mid-day meal, shortly after taking his daily restorative bath in the blood of nubile young virgin girls.

Gearing up....

Sierra Trading Post has darn good prices on closeouts for hiking/backpacking/traveling clothing. Like, $20 for nylon zip-off pants that would normally cost you $60 if bought at REI or etc...

Mountain Sports has great prices and free shipping on most stuff for orders over $50.

Campmor has even better prices, but not quite as big a selection of things like drybags and map pouches and such.

I'm about to start packing the bike for my annual migration... I'll try to post a picture of it when it's all packed, just your basic two-wheeled pack mule :-).

- Badtux the Campin' Penguin

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Priorities, priorities...

I understand we had an election yester... oh look! Over there! It's a Britney Spears white trash divorce!

Hey, a penguin has to keep his priorities straight, right? I mean, c'mon. What's an election, when there's white trash to make fun of?!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Some like it hot

The quart bottle of hot sauce above is 2 weeks old.

One experiment I want to try: Hot sauce as salad dressing. Hmm...

-- Badtux the Hot Penguin

Syncing Windows Mobile and Palm on same system?

I managed to get it working by switching the Treo 700P to Bluetooth syncing, which actually works with the Palm (it doesn't work with the HTC Wizard, because Microsoft Activesync can't seem to keep track of where the Windows XP Bluetooth stack is plopping the pseudo-serial-port... pitiful, just pitiful). So I sync the HTC with the USB tether, and the Palm with Bluetooth. But boy, it sure would be nice to be able to sync the Palm using the USB tether again... anybody got both to sync while tethered? Curious penguins want to know!

- Badtux the Technogeek Penguin


This is being posted from my wifi-enabled Windows Mobile PDA talking via Bluetooth to the modem on my Treo 700p cell phone. Wicked!

Badtux The Wireless Penguin

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Bleh. Penguins were not designed to eat lettuce. Penguins were designed to eat pizzas. With anchovies.

Alas, health says no :-(. Weight bumped up a bit above what's healthy for me, so it's back to low-cal chow for a couple of weeks... bleh. Just bleh.

-- Badtux the Calorie-restricted Penguin

Democracy in America: It'd be a good idea

40% of Californians voted via absentee ballot this year. I'm one of them. Breaking away from work to find my polling place, stand in line, yada yada yada... who needs that hassle?

Democrats want people to vote and pass laws making it easy to vote. Republicans pass laws discouraging people from voting and indeed the most widely syndicated Republican comic strip author (Bruce Tinsley) has spent the last week encouraging people NOT to vote. So who really believes in democracy? (Hint: It ain't Republicans!).

Personally, I think we ought to just do the whole purple finger thing and just let anybody vote who shows up at the polling place. Fuck all this voter registration shit. If you're in America, you get to vote, because that's what democracy is all about. But what's good enough for Afghanistan and Iraq is, apparently, not good enough for the good ole U.S. of A... we gotta make sure all our voters are numbered and classified and that only "our" kind of people vote (not "those" kind of people... you know, THOSE people wink wink?) and so forth...

Democracy in America. It'd be a good idea.

-- Badtux the Votin' Penguin

Predict the size of the "Diebold Bounce"

Yes, it's election day, though I voted two weeks ago (via paper absentee ballot) so I get to stay at work. Just curious: how big do you think the Diebold Bounce will be today? Will the Republicans gain 3%, 5%, 7% from the Diebold Bounce?

Meanwhile, I'm going to be boning up on my Spanish... como se dice, "expatriate" en espanol?

-- Badtux the Bouncy Penguin

Microsoft ActiveSync kills Palm Desktop

Now that I have ActiveSync going for my Windows Mobile PDA, Palm Desktop suddenly refuses to sync my Treo 700p. GAH! The Evil Microsoft strikes again! (Unfortunately the Treo 700p doesn't do WIFI, so I need the PDA too if I wish to guarantee connectivity on the road...).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Death Vengeance

So now Saddam Hussein has been condemned to die. No tears for Saddam here. But it does raise the question: What's the point?

It's not as if killing Saddam is going to bring back any of his victims, after all. It's not going to protect any future victims from Saddam either. That would be quite well taken care of by simply putting him into a new version of the Spandau Prison somewhere outside of Iraq for the remainder of his natural life (which is not likely to be long anyhow). So what's the point?

Well, that's clear. The point of the death penalty is vengeance. Period. Otherwise Death Row prisoners would not be on automatic suicide watch (can't have the prisoners off themselves and deny us our petty vengeance, after all!). And the Bible is pretty clear on vengeance -- it be agin' it. "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord" and all that jazz, y'know.

And death by hanging is especially vengeful, its whole point being cruelty and vengeance. Yet the right-wing psychos insist it's a great thing for someone like Saddam, despite the fact that it's vengeance, not necessity. I suspect these psychos claim to be Christian. Pathetic. Simply pathetic. Anybody who claims to follow a certain philosophy, yet so obviously has never read the holy book of said philosophy, is... hmm... how shall I put it? Deluded? Demented? Word just ain't comin' to me...

Now, there's one more argument used in support of the death penalty: That it would have some sort of "deterrent effect", i.e., prevent other people from committing crimes. Let's put an end to that one altogether. Texas, Florida, and Louisiana are among the leaders nationwide in executions -- and lead the nation in murders per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, that "sinful" state of Massachusetts, with no death penalty, has close to the lowest murder rate in the nation. If you look through the list in the Uniform Crime Report of cities with populations over 10 thousand, you rarely see a city in Mississippi or Texas without at least one murder. The large majority of cities in Massachusetts have no murders. Anybody who thinks the death penalty deters murder is either an ignorant fool too stupid to look up the actual numbers, or a liar. Or willfully ignorant, just pulling bullshit out of his ass in order to justify vengeance.

And the notion that hanging someone like Saddam is going to ddeter some other evil dictator from offing his own people... well, that one doesn't even pass the laugh test. I mean, c'mon. That whole "Evil Dictator" thing just sorta requires offing bunches of your own people... somehow I doubt that any evil dictators elsewhere are going to lose sleep because Saddam is hanging from a tree in the middle of Baghdad! I mean, c'mon. can you see Kim Jong-Il losing any sleep because Saddam is getting hung? No? Didn't think so...

So it's clear. Hanging Saddam isn't Christian, and all those people gloating over how Saddam is going to be hung aren't Christians. If they claim to be Christians, they're lying. Perhaps, most importantly, to themselves. Somehow I suspect they'll get a real awakening when they close their eyes the last time and get a whiff of the brimstone awaiting them...

-Badtux the non-vengeful Penguin

Cross-posted over at the Mockingbird's place

Blogging from my cell phone

Yes, it works!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Where'd the penguin go?!

Preparing for my annual migration. Got a Panasonic ES4815 Travel Shaver yesterday, tried a couple of stores, finally found it at The Sharper Image in the mall. Thing runs on two AA batteries (runs fine on the rechargables), and is more compact than a regular razor and a small can of shaving soap, while not requiring water (important, since my annual migration ends up in the middle of a desert). It doesn't shave as well as a blade, but shaves fine for when I'm migrating. I also got a new baklava, one designed with a helmet liner built in and a nice fleece neck muff. This will feel nice on my head when the weather is cold! Also got a Fog City shield for my helmet to keep it from fogging up, and some velcro and double-sided tape for making a neck gaiter out of the heavy-duty vinyl-coated fabric from a cut-up cheap Sierra Trading Post dry bag (that costed me a whole $10 on clearance).

For some reason, motorcycle rain gear doesn't seem to include protection for the neck area, and on multi-hour trips in the rain water ends up running down one's neck and back. Ick. In the past I've made ad-hoc neck gaiters out of plastic garbage bags as required to stay dry in the rain, but they are noisy and difficult to deal with (not to mention that the duct tape is messy!). The vinyl-coated fabric is too heavy to flap, and the velcro closure will make it much easier to put on and take off. (The double-sided tape is for making the "U" bend at the top to a) keep water from being pushed over the top by the wind, and b) keep the top from cutting into the skin).

I'm still deciding what to do about the blog while I'm off on my migration. While I'll be hauling along my WIFI Win-CE PDA which is capable of using the Blogger API to blog, there really isn't going to be much to blog about during the trip, since I have no way of getting photos from my camera to the PDA (my travel camera doesn't do Bluetooth). Carrying a laptop while migrating via motorcycle doesn't work too well, unfortunately, because of limited space and too much vibration.... sigh.

Anyhow, I should be back on a regular posting schedule tomorrow. Which has been way TOO regular lately, but...

-- Badtux the Verbose Penguin