Monday, February 28, 2005

Waaaaaay Too Much Information

You learn the weirdest things when you check your Sitemeter. Apparently I'm the #1 result ( or at least one of my posts is) if you google "american folklore about farting".

Good News, Bad News

The good news:
The Lad was just at the pediatrician's today, and tipped the scales at 9 lbs. 4 oz. Per the doc, we can now let him sleep until he wakes up instead of waking him to eat every 3-4 hours.

The bad news: She's checking his blood for anemia because he continues to have apneas. However, she suspects it's caused by the quick, shallow breaths he makes when he's hungry and isn't even apnea.

The WORSE news:
I am unable to comply with requests for pictures as I have managed to damage our digital video camera (I use it for stills too). I have a service contract for it, so I'm hoping Circuit City can repair it, but for now it means I don't get to play "Papa"-razzi.
Thanks for the Memory to NW Republican.

If you thought that Washington had cornered the market on election corruption in the Pacific Northwest, you thought wrong:

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury was the recipient of thirteen letters from the state GOP detailing alleged election laws violations, including two candidates, Senator Joanne Verger and Senator Laurie Monnes-Anderson, who spent tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations not reported until after the election.
Other campaign in - kind donations received by a number of legislators, including Ryan Deckert, also violated election laws, according to the Oregon GOP.
Laundered campaign money was received by Judy Steigler ($12,300) and others.
Representative Chuck Riley neglected to report $2,000 of media buy expenditures.

The same Bill Bradbury (D) who obstructed the efforts to put Nader on Oregon's ballot.

Oh, I'm sure he'll get right on this.

The Consent of the Governed

Thanks for the Memory to a member of my church for forwarding the following link to me.

On the 17th, William Federer presented an excellent essay over at TownHall regarding the Terry Schiavo case. I commend it to you now. Usually I try to avoid Nazi comparisons when discussing politics (I think the rhetorical tendency to equate ones opponents with the Nazis is usually a cop-out), but in this case, I can see the parallels, especially since Federer actually compares the current situation to attitudes in the Pre-Nazi Weimar Republic. He argues, I believe rightly, that the precendent set erodes further our society's belief in the sanctity of life, and esptablishes a precedent by which those in power can determine who should and shouldn't live based on some esoteric scale of their relative worth as a human.

Terry's case isn't about letting someone who is already dead be removed from life support. It isn't about letting a teminal patient "die with dignity". It's about someone deciding she should die because her life isn't "worth living" anymore. And that is a frightening precedent to set. Furthermore, it flies in the face of the philosophy on which our nation is founded:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(Bold added)


Do these words no longer mean anything to us? If we decide that Terry is better off dead because she has suffered brain damage, because her mental capacity is diminished, we have refuted the "truth" that she is our equal, and that her right to life is inalienable. If we deny these truths in her case, what's to stop us from denying them in other cases? And once we've gone there, how long will it be until these truths are no longer self-evident whatsoever? What protection do any of us have under the law at that point?

Electric Sheep

(A Movie Review -- SPOILER)

TFR and I rented and Watched I, Robot this weekend. I had avoided it because I had heard it plays pretty loose with Aasimov's original story, and assumed this meant it wasn't very good. I tend to be a purist when it comes to such matters (I'm still trying to forgive myself for enjoying LOtR), but I have never actually read the original novel, so I gave in and we watched it.

Altogether a pretty entertaining movie. It's morte of an action flick set in a sci fi background than a true SF movie. The issues raised by the Three Laws are actually, within the context of this movie, little more than a vehicle for delivering the car chases, gun battles, super-gee-wiz FX. The "villain" is supposedly taking over as a logical extension of the Three Laws, yet is blithely violating them in her willingness to eliminate those who stand in her way. And the ending was predictable, since the moment they introduced "VIKI" I knew they'd have to destroy her. There's a fine line between foreshadowing and telegraphic the plot.

All in all, it's a diverting movie and lots of fun to watch, but don't expect it to make you think as much as it tries to.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Not Alone

As luck would have it, I've found another conservative Blogger here in Eugene. He's been kind enough to link me, fair's fair. Go give Gullyborg a read.

My Butt is Sore...

Time to get off the fence.

For some time, I have remained silent regarding the Terri Schiavo situation on this Blog. My reason for doing so was that I knew too little about the specifics of her condition to feel qualified to speak. I am a firm believer in the right to make the NHM decision, to specify that if I am ever brain dead and on a machine, TFR is to make damned sure they unplug that machine, since I'll already be home by then. But over the last few days, reading up on the situation, I have reached the conclusion that Terri is not brain dead, she is not in a coma, she is not on life support -- she is still there, in her body, alive, and it is wrong to kill her. Then I came across this post at the rightwing nuthouse, which, along with several others, convinced me it's time to throw in with Terri's Supporters. I know, I know, that carries as much weght as a pigeon in a tornado, but I believe it's the right thing to do. So I am going to apply to join Blogs for Terri. I encourage my fellow bloggers to do the same.

Quote of the Week

Thanks for the Memory to Darth Apathy.

Also unlike Raines, Rather and Jordan, Gannon has appeared on TV and given a series of creditable interviews in his own defense, proving our gays are more macho than their straights.

-- Ann Coulter

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Top Ten List for Thursday, February 23, 2005

Inspired by a comment by my good friend Darth Apathy in response to my post from earlier today. He suggests I should move to Texas. In response, I humbly submit, in pictorial form (except for # 10, it's a hypertext link),












My Ears Are Bleeding!

Yesterday while staying home with the lad (Who is just fine, by the way. His pediatrician thinks we may have a faulty monitor), I watched the History Channel program Wild West Tech. Yesterday's episode was "Massacre Tech", and covered several famous/infamous massacres in the old west. It was quite interesting.

And then it happened.

David Carradine was talking about a massacre that happened in Hells Canyon, and made reference to it as "Eastern Ora-gone"


I know, I know, that's how it's pronounced on every old western movie. And occasionally in the modern media. But it's not how it's pronounced by those of us who live here. I'm not sure quite how to convey to non-Oregonians how much we hate this pronunciation of our state's name, but I'll try.

Imagine if you will a giant chalkboard laying flat on the ground. Now imagine that Susan Esterich and Alanis Morissette, both wearing ice skates, are having a cat fight in the middle of this chalkboard, as Celine Dion sings and a thousand band saws cut into the edges of the chalkboard.

This scenario is only mildly irritating compared to the average Oregonian's reaction to "Ora-gone". So please, remember: Say it like "organ" or "Orygun".

Ora's still here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Light Posting Day

This will be my last post for the day. The Lad had five apnea episodes yesterday, so we spent all night in the hospital. I'm taking the day off to rest and help care for him.

A Thrilla of a Grilla, or I've a Beef

Outside of the Larger cities of the Willamette Valley (namely Eugene, Salem, and the Portland Metro Area), Oregon is suprisingly Red State, and culturally closer to the Mountain West than to California. That's reflected in one of the annual promotionals run by Les Schwab Tires, a regional tire store chain. It's Free Beef Time at Les Schwab! A couple of years ago here in Eugene, a local bike shop tried to lampoon it with Fre Tofu Days. It flopped.

So this year, with the tires on the Moronmobile going bald, I decided to buy their replacements at Les Schwab, both because of the free beef and because I like supporting local and regional businesses. But there was a bonus. They're having a drawing to give away a bunch of these:

It's a Traeger Lil' Tex barbecue. It's not gas, it's not charcoal -- it uses wood. Wood pellets, to be precise. They're made right here in Oregon, and apparently they're quite popular even in traditional barbecueing regions. It's a true barbecue, not just a grill -- you can smoke, slow barbecue, or grill on it.

And I want it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Oxymoron of the Day

'Miss America' May Become Reality Show




I don't even know where to start.

Your Weekly Dose of Baby Stuff

Wow. TFR just called, and in the last 5 days The Lad has gone from 7 lbs. 12 oz. to 8 Lbs 5.8 oz.

That's my lad!

It really is a trip being a father, but it's the coolest trip I could ever take. TFR has been wonderful, taking the graveyard shift feedings so I can sleep, while I take the morning feeding before leaving for work, and the evening feedings (Except the one during which I'm cooking). Teamwork definitely is a must for raising a kid.

He's still not quite getting the hang of nursing, so we are supplementing with a bottle using a mixture of formula and breast milk. Interesting consequence: Family trips are limited to distances with a round trip travel time that fits between scheduled pumpings, unless there is a destination or place to stop which can accomodate said pumping.

The other night, The Lad and His Dad had a moment. He was snigglued in my arms, staring up at me, and the moment seemed to warrant a lullaby. So Dear Old Dad sang to Chay the most beautiful song he could think of on the fly. It's a song he hopes his son grows up to love as dearly. It goes like this:

O! Say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there. O! Say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

That Thumping Sound

Is my head banging against my desk.

Back during the first days after the birth of The Lad, my good friend Vulture 6 exhorted me not to turn Memento Moron into a Daddy Blog. Alas, according to Sobek, I have failed. I suppose Seppuku is in order? Yet not one to wallow in my "sin", I've made an effort to cut through the sleep deprivation fog and blog about other stuff. Yet since I returned to work and to blogging about other issues, my traffic has dropped, my comments have dropped, and at least once a week I get, "So when are you gonna blog about the kid more?"

So howsabout a compromise: I'll post a weekly update on the progress of the Lad, and you folks comment at least once a week on something other than how darn cute he is.


S is for Sedition

Thanks for the Memory to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

This is truly sad. Apparently a young soldier (the brother of one of Emperor Misha's readers, as it turns out), serving currently in Korea, received apackage of letters from an elementarty school in New York. I've been told there are few things more bolstering to morale than receiving letters from home. Unfortunately, these letters were not all of a supportive nature:

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

This is utterly shameful. I know that the left argues repeatedly that they support the troops but oppose the war. And I'm sure there are many who truly believe that. But they need to be made aware of the fact that there is an undercurrent within their political stream that does NOT truly support the troops. Incidents like the harassment of a recruiter at Seattle Community College, the Pearsalls, and this, indicate that there are plenty of people willing to direct their anger and disapproval directly at the troops.

The school from which the letters were sent has tried to distance itself from the controversy:

The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:

"While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation."

This is a cop-out. These are schoolchildren in a classroom, not adults exercizing their free speech. This was an ASSIGNMENT. If the teacher had the authority to assign these children to write the letters, he had the authority to ensure they were appropriate to the stated intent of the assignment. Since he obviously did not, I can only reach one of two conclusions: Either he shirked his duty to review the letters, or he himself approved of their content.

In either case, he's not conveying the kind of message I hope my child learns some day.

Do's and Don'ts

An excellent Blog has come to my attention by merit of the Blogger's comments here. I commend to you The Chairman's Corner. Thanks for the Memory to the Chairman for sharing an excellent editorial written by Charles Colson for Breakpoint, Moral Equivalency: The Religious Left Gets It Wrong.

Colson addresses the Sanctity of Life Vs. Social Justice argument. To explain this argument, Colson makes reference to Jim Wallis, editor of the left-leaning Christian magazine Sojourners:

Wallis’s favorite argument, as reported in the Times and elsewhere, is that the Bible makes more than three thousand references to poverty—far more than abortion or homosexuality—and yet religious conservatives, in his opinion, are obsessed with the abortion issue. So, says Wallis, the religious left is more in tune with the Bible than are conservatives.

Colson's counter-argument is that the issue of abortion has a higher moral priority, and that furthermore, from a Christian viewpoint, support of abortion removes the moral authority from which to speak concerning the poor. It's a well-made and compelling argument, and one with which I am inclined to agree. However, I must admit it is a point I had previously failed to note in my own rationale for becoming a political conservative.

Interesting note: Back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, at the time in my life when I was the most active in religious pursuits (I was aspiring to become a missionary, in fact), I was also the furthest to the left politically I've ever been -- for much the same reason as Wallis. I remember marching in an anti-abortion rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1987, piously holding up a sign which read "Totally Pro-Life", proclaiming that I opposed abortion, war, the death penalty, nuclear proliferation, and eating grapes picked by oppressed migrant workers. I read Sojourners and the Door and World Christian, attended Ubana in 1987, and even wrote in Tony Campolo for president in 1992.

So what changed my mind? What led me to the "Dark Side", to reject the liberal emphasis on social programs while still opposing abortion? Unlike Colson, I never thought through the issue of varying degrees of morality between the issues. For me, it had to do with the difference between making people do the right thing and preventing them from doing the wrong thing. I fully believe in helping the poor, and do so actively, to the degree that I am able. But I don't believe it's proper for the government to decide who is or isn't poor enough to merit my help, and I am skeptical regarding the efficacy of their methods of providing that help. That's what I mean by making others do right -- the essence of Socialism. On the other hand, abortion is an active wrong -- one living being killing another living being. I am not making someone extend themselves to do good, I am preventing them from doing bad.

Men's hearts may be dark, and that is their own business. When it becomes my business, nay, our business, is when they try to snuff out another's light.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The DNC: Only MOSTLY Dead

Thanks for the Memory to Wizbang! via the Llama Butchers.

Why, oh WHY am I completely unsurprised that this happened here in Oregon?

Protester Throws Shoe at Richard Perle

Apparently, during a debate in Portland between Howard Dean and Richard Perle, a protestor had to be forcibly removed from the event after throwing a shoe at Perle.

Wizbang has some video footage of the debate, but they're not sure if it contains the shoe incident. However, based on information contained in the AP article, I think I have discovered the identity of the assailant:

Perle had just started his comments Thursday when a protester threw a shoe at him before being dragged away, screaming, "Liar! Liar!"


One of the things I like about the little church TFR and I attend is the fact that the pastor, who also leads worship, likes to mix a few old hymns in with the newer praise and worship tunes. Yesterday, we sang one of my favorites, My Hope is Built. So I decided I'd share a list of my 10 favorite (non-Christmas) hymns, in no particular order:

Doxology (Old Hundred)
All Hail The Power of Jesus Name
A Mighty Fortress
Amazing Grace
Be Still My Soul
O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus
It is Well
The Old Rugged Cross
Standing on the Promises
My Hope is Built

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

Last week I posted a soup recipe which Maximum Leader of Naked Villainy agreed to try and review. I'm hoping he didn't get around to it, since I left out a key ingredient, a can of stewed tomatoes. The recipe has been corrected.

Friday, February 18, 2005


I take the bus to work every day (aka the Petri Dish on Wheels). This morning as I arrived at the bus stop down the street from the Moron Cave, another rider was already at the stop. She apparently didn't feel well, because she was coughing. She was coughing hard. She was coughing one of those coughs that manages to be phlegmy and yet harsh and raspy at the same time. She was coughing so hard that tears were streaming down her face, and eventually she coughed so hard she puked, right there at the bus stop. So what did dhe do after she got the coughing to stop? You guessed it. She lit up a cigarette. I'm so freaking glad I never started smoking.

So I climb onto the bus, and find a seat. Across the aisle from me is a young couple, and the woman is coughing almost as badly as the passengert at the stop was. All up and down the bus, people were coughing with various degrees of intensity. I immediately thought of my new son and his health and all the yummy germs I probably bring home to him.

I can't wait until the weather permits me to climb back on my bicycle every morning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Miles to Go Before I Pay

Thanks for the Memory to Vodkapundit via The Wheat Rye Guy.

Cross-Posted at Head West, Turn Right.

Yesterday I added my Widow's Mite of opinion to a discussion over at Vodkapundit's Blog regarding a proposal by the state of California to tax people based on the number of miles driven, a proposal inspired (ironically enough) by decreases in gasoline tax revenues caused in turn by an increase in the fuel efficiency of newer vehicles. I not only expressed my misgivings regarding such a concept, and furthermore, my dismay that my own home state of Oregon is experimenting with such a tax. However, after reading an article in the Seattle Times (which one of VP's readers provided) regarding Oregon's experiment with the concept, I am forced to admit that for once Oregon's normally wacky state government may be on the right track. If I may be permitted to explain?

I preface my explanation by saying that in concept, road tolls or a mileage tax like this make more sense to me, and seem far fairer, than a gas tax. This is because tolls and mileage taxes charge the users of roads specifically, and charge them based on how much they use the roads. Those who benefit directly are charged directly, and in direct proportion to the amount of benefit they receive. My objections to, or rather my concerns over, such a mileage tax, have more to do with practical considerations regarding its implementation and unintended consequences that need to be addressed. The Devil is, after all, in the details. The article addressed some of those concerns, and my own reflection on the issue caused a further shift.

My first concern is that if such a tax is implemented, it would be a tax in addition to gas taxes, rather than a replacement. I'm all for re-applying a necessary tax with a more equitable form of taxation, but I'm hesitant to increase taxes unless absolutely necessary. However, the article clearly points out that in the case of Oregon's experiment with the tax, it would be a replacement for the gas tax, not an additional tax.

My second concern has to do with the unintended result such a tax might have of discouraging the use of more fuel efficient vehicles. But upon further reflection, I realized two things. First of all, if the mileage tax is a replacement tax and not in addition to a gas tax, this is not so much of an issue. Secondly, I came to the realization that opposing such a tax based on this objection would be intellectually inconsistent on my part, and here is the reason why:

I don't beleive a tax should intentionally be engineered to specifically encourage or discourage a given behavior. If by engaging in a given behavior individuals create a material burden on the general public, I have no problem with taxing that behavior in order to mitigate that burden. And if such legitimate taxation happens to have the side effect of causing the individual to reconsider the behavior, that's a bonus. But taxing the behavior JUST to discourage it, that smacks of stateism to me. If I am to be consistent, then I cannot oppose a tax simply because implementing it fails to reward GOOD behavior.

My final concern was regarding the practicality of implementing such a tax, particularly for drivers of older cars. The article addresses that as well, stating that if implemented, it would only apply to new vehicles, while older vehicles would still pay a Gas tax.

In conclusion, I still have some concerns regarding the implementation of such a concept. And while the article allayed some of those concerns, it raised others. If all of those concerns can be and are addressed, I believe that such a tax, if implemented AS A REPLACEMENT FOR a gasoline tax, is not so bad an idea.


Sorry for the lack of posts lately, folks. Still not 100% accustomed to operating in New-Father-Sleep-Deprivation-Zombie-Mode, and I just can't quite figure out what I want to say or what sunbject I want to pursue.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Question Regarding the Civil War

The Following Post was originally posted way back on September 14, 2004. Soon after I posted it, Naked Villainy's Smallholder emailed a response to me which I thought was very thoughtful response, which I chose to add to the post. At the end of this post you'll see today's update.

This post is going to be a bit different for me. I want to ask a question of those who read my blog, and let the real meat of this post be in the comments.

As anyone who read my post on books will know, my interest in the American Civil War has been piqued only in the past ten years or so. Growing up in a portion of the country where no battles were fought, from which no regiments were sent to fight, a part of the country that was in its infancy when the war was being fought, it never had the personal impact on my heritage it does for easterners, not until you start learning about it on your own.

One of the issues that interests me most is the issue of the causes of the war. This is a source of great debate anmong historians, I do not as of yet have a concrete opinion on this. I am aware of the issues of Federal power vs. States rights, the sanctity of the Union, and slavery. I am aware of how ones regional heritage affects ones views of these issues (if you live back east especially).

What I'm curious about is this: Let us assume for the moment that the issue of slavery was secondary, and that it only served to bring to a head the other issues. If that is the case, what, if any, domestic issue would have served to bring those issues to a head if the issue of slavery had not existed. In other words, if you are of the opinion that the country was a powder keg, and slavery was merely the fuse, then what other fuse could have touched off the powder keg if slavery had not?

I wait to be taught.


Smallholder of Naked Villainy had quite a bit to say, and my comment section wouldn't hold it, so I have posted it here (as usual, I have a few replies to it of my own, in italics):

First of all, the issue is NOT a source of great debate between historians. I am unaware of a single professional, peer-reviewed historian working today who challenges the contention that the war was against slavery.

Granted. Most of the people I hear spouting the "States Rights" issue today are southerners and amateur historians (nothing wrong with that, that's the best I can claim for myself, as well).

There were some historians writing after the war -- “The Lost Cause” school who focused on other issues and there were several historians who wrote about the provocations of the North when viewing the world in a post-World War One light.

Many Sons of the Confederacy would like to obscure the issue because it is hard to realize that grandpappy fought for an evil cause. But the circumlocutions of the amateurs don’t unmake the reality of history.

The states rights issue is not the real issue; states rights, except perhaps for George Mason, has rarely been an end in itself; American history is replete with examples of the states’ relationship to the federal government being used as a fig-leaf to hide real motivations.

James Madison and the other framers of the Constitution insisted on ratification by conventions of the PEOPLE of the states rather than ratification by state legislatures precisely to avoid the use of state prerogative to void the will of the national government – they met in Philadelphia to replace a government rendered impotent by state prerogative.

But James Madison and his mentor Tom Jefferson were more than willing to revive the corpse of states’ rights when the Alien and Sedition Acts threatened their political party. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, which awakened states rights, were very much a partisan political calculation. That partisanship can also be seen as sectional since the South heavily supported the Democratic Republicans and the Federalists were heavily supported by Northern mercantile interests.

The Democratic-Republican support of states’ rights bit them in the rear when the Northern states came to believe that they had nothing to gain and everything to lose from the war of 1812 and threatened (vaguely) secession at the Hartford Convention.

The issue of states rights popped up again when Georgia (with a wink and a nod from President Jackson) refused to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision on Cherokee removal. President Jackson wasn’t so indulgent when South Carolina nullified the Tariff of 1832, threatening military enforcement.

As the calls for abolition began to gather momentum in the North and the South’s peculiar institution became more and more entrenched socially, politically, and religiously, the South did try to use the concept of state’s rights to protect African enslavement. But it was a means, not an end. When federal power seemed likely to promote slavery, the South was eager to renounce the concept of states rights.

Examples of Southern support of federal supremacy can be seen at the outrage generated when Northern governors were reluctant to send funds and state militiamen to prosecute the Slavocracy’s land grab against Mexico in 1846.

I'm not the only one who noticed that, eh?

Southerners certainly supported federal supremacy when Roger Taney ruled that states did not have the right to outlaw slavery within their own boundaries, opening the entire union to legal slavery in the Dred Scott decision.

Southerners certainly supported federal supremacy when many Northern states sought to nullify the Fugitive Slave Law.

So states’ rights, while certainly discussed – and I know the Southern partisans are turning to old Army of Northern Virginia Newsletters to find quotes about their hero’s dedication to abstract legal principle – were used only with the intent of advancing the South’s real cause: the protection of perpetual bondage.

In other words, the rank and file soldiers of the Confederacy may have believed that State's Rights is what they were fighting for, but the real root cause really was slavery?

But I’m unlikely to convince anyone who proudly flies the Confederate flag with these examples. They will say a resident of Wisconsin is only trying to blacken the reputation of the noble antebellum South.

To which I respond:

Perhaps we should ask the leaders of the noble antebellum and South – and the secession movement -- what they thought was the cause of the war. A quick review of the primary sources created by the state legislatures of the time finds that the people who led the Confederacy had a very clear idea of what they were fighting for.

South Carolina’s Secession Ordinance is one long litany about the wrongs of the abolitionists – a conscious emulation of the Declaration of Independence’s indictment of the George III. Read it yourself at:

South Carolina was not unique. Other ordinances of secession, while not as longwinded, also indicate that slavery was the central cause of the war. Georgia’s declaration of the reasons for secession says:

“The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.”

Mississippi concurred:

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world.”

Texas also knew what the war was about, starting their diatribe against abolitionist “incitement” with:

“She (Texas) was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?”

If the primary documents are so clear, why are we still having this discussion?

1) I like to stir up trouble.

2) I was curious to see if any of the people who discount the role of slavery could come up with anything.

Update 2/15/05:

While Libertarian Girl has never read my post, she seems to agree with Smallholder. Her Readers do not. Especially not Old Blind Dog or The Unabrewer or the LCD.

I'm still just watching. :-)

Yet Another Update:

Back on Sunday, Merc's Place had yet another take on the same issue.

Update on the Vulturette

I just got off the phone with Vulture 6, who's at the hospital with the Vulturette. Tanya got out of surgery at 3am this morning, and she's doing well. Her femur was pretty much shattered right above her knee. There were ten large bone fragments and numerous smaller fragments that had to be repaired. She now has several pins holding the bones together, and a steel plate running up the length of her femur.

Brian and I will try to post updates as we get them.

-Darth Apathy

Recipe of the Week

While I was off for a week, I did manage to develop a good recipe. I thought I'd share it with all of you.

A bit of background is in order. A week or so before TFR went into the hospital, we had made homemade pizza. One of my favorite pizza toppings is linguicia, a spicy, cooked Portuguese sausage that is sliced or shredded and compliments pepperoni well. Unfortunately, it doesn't like me as well as I like it, especially on pizza, so I have to be sparing with it. I had purchased some for the pizza, but was only able to use half of it. Here's what I did with the extra link. I'm sure you could also use anadouille or Italian Sausage, maybe even kielbasa:


I had to correct one part of the recipe. After the herbs and broth are added, bring to a boil, reduce heat, THEN simmer, THEN salt and pepper to taste.

Brian's Sausage Soup

1/2 lb Linguicia, sliced or shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced baby carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery, leaves included
1 12 oz beer (I used a Hefeweizen, any blonde or amber colored beer should do)
1 large or 2 medium russet potato(s), diced but not peeled (usually I rinse potatoes when I dice them. DO NOT RINSE the potato for this recipe!*)
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. oregano

in a small soup pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Brown the sausage, then remove to drain on a plate covered with a paper towel. Sautee the onions, celery, and carrots until the onions are clear and the vegetables are sweating. Remove and drain over the top of the sausage. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot, cook the potatoes until brown. Remove the potatoes and drain with the sausage and vegetables. Deglaze the pot with the beer. Add the cooked ingredients back to the pot, along with the broth, tomatoes, and herbs. bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. makes 4-6 servings.

*The reason I don't rinse the potatoes for this recipe is because the excess starch makes an excellent thickening agent.

Monday, February 14, 2005


So I go off-radar for a week, and miss an entire Blog firestorm, and am left asking just one question:

Who the Hell is Jeff Gannon?????

Friend in Need

Please keep in prayer my friend Scott, AKA Vulture 6 of Vultures Row. Yesterday he and Mrs. Vulture were involved in an 8-car pileup in Houston. V6 is sore but otherwise OK. Mrs. Vulture suffered a broken leg and is undergoing surgery today. Please remember them both in your prayers and best wishes.

If That Ain't Love I Don't Know What Is

A few thoughts percolated to the surface as I watched the Grammies last night.

I am an unabashed fan of the Late Janis Joplin. I know, I know, her music was intimately connected to a culture with which I have quite a few issues. Nonetheless, she was a soulful singer who ripped open her chest and exposed her heart to all of us with every song she sung. Having said that, I must say that last night's tribute to her was, at least for me, a mixed bag. Joss Stone is a talented young artist, and she tried valiantly to recreate the Joplin feel with the unkempt hair, bare feet, and facial expressions. But her vocals lacked the conviction and raw power of Janis. It was disappointing. On the other hand, Melissa Etheridge really did "Take Another Piece of My Heart" justice, with her growly, passionate belting out of the song.

I was pleased that Loretta Lynn won Best Country Album of the year. Least of all because the #1 hit from her album is about my home state. Most of all because she's lived the life, and sings from her own experience. That's the beauty of the singer-songwriter. Furthermore, I was amused to watch theinteraction between her and her collaborator on the Album, Jack White of the White Stripes. I don't know if it was his own upbringing or training gained working on the album, but the Detroit punk rocker sounded like a real country boy, his entire vocabulary in response to her consisteing of two words: "Yes Ma'am".

Despite the fact I'm glad he lost to Lynn, I was moved by the message of Tim McGraw's song "Live like you were dying". It's good advice for all of us.

I loved the focus on jazz, and Queen Latifah's performance was great, but her backup dancers' moves seemed a little ummm.... "modern" for the song she sang.

Again, with regards to tributes, Ray Charles definitely deserved it. If he hadn't already been one of my all time favorites, his place in my heart would have been sealed when TFR and I went and saw Ray the night her water broke.

After watching Green Day's acceptance speech for Best Rock Album (or something), I've decided that the title of their album definitely backfired on them.

Kanye West's acceptance speech, on the other hand, was quite refreshing. That's a lot of wisdom for such a young man.

I stopped watching the awards after hour 1.75 or so of 3, some entertaining performances, but after a while you reach sensory overload.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Filling in for Brian

In the absence of Brian, who's away taking care of his wife and newborn child, Im posting this story. Reading this makes me want to rip someone's heart out and have them see me feed it to a dog just before they die.

Mother Who Tossed Newborn Out of Car Found

Feb 11, 12:39 PM (ET)

NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The mother of a newborn boy who survived being tossed out of a moving car has been identified and interviewed by investigators, authorities said Friday.

"It is my belief ... that this person is the birth mother of the child," Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne told reporters.

The sheriff also said that the interview with the unidentified woman "puts a whole new light on this story" but he gave no specifics. A news conference was planned for later in the day to provide more details.

"We do believe at this point ... that we will soon have an admission to the birth of the child," Jenne said.

The boy, believed to be less than an hour old, was thrown out of a car alongside a busy street Thursday afternoon, police said.

The 8-pound, 2-ounce boy, whose umbilical cord was still attached, survived with minor injuries and was hospitalized in good condition Friday. Nurses at the hospital have nicknamed the child Johnny.

State law lets a mother leave a baby at any medical facility or fire station within three days of birth without any questions asked.

"That provides parents or women with an option. You don't have to just abandon your child in way that would endanger his or her life," said Veda Coleman-Wright, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.

A woman stopped and found the baby inside a small plastic bag. She scooped him up and took him to a nearby sheriff's office, and he was transferred to Broward General Medical Center.

The good Samaritan, who originally thought the couple had thrown a puppy out the window, was "very distraught, very upset," Jenne said. The woman's name was not released.

Investigators had been searching for a white, older-model large sedan that witnesses observed leaving the scene. The baby's rescuer told investigators she observed a man and woman arguing inside the vehicle. But she saw only the back of their heads, Jenne said, and could not provide a good description.

North Lauderdale is about 15 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale.


Looks like the baby wasn't tossed after all. The "witness" is actually the baby's mother who made up the story because she didn't want to keep the child.

A Voice From Out of the Haze

Just to let everyone know, I'm still alive. This past week has been just me, TFR, and The Lad. It's been an adventure.

I don't know if this is just The Lad, or astandard for preemies, but all those dire warnings I received about a new baby waking you up every four hours demanding to be fed? Well, that never happened.

Oh, no, this is much worse. You see, because he's a preemie, he needs to be fed ever 2-3 hours. And he'd much rather sleep. This means we have to reset our alarm after every feeding, then get HIM to wake up, then spend an hour getting him to eat (we were taught a new bottle-feeding poisition that has cut that time drastically, and he's right on the cusp of getting the hang of breastfeeding, so things are looking up there).

He caught his first cold this week, right at the same time that Yours Truly did, so you can imagine how THAT made me feel about my quality of dadhood. I had to be reassured by the medical professionals that I wasn't to blame. Thankfully, the cold turned out negative for RSV, but we had a nervous night waiting for the test results.

In response to those of you who pointed out my conspicuous absence from the photos posted, this was in YOUR best interest. Trust me.

There's been so much happening politically in the week I've been gone, and I've wanted to post oin it, but, wel,, you know how that goes.

Monday I'm back to work, and hopefully, at that point I'll have more non-baby topics on which to post. Until then, thank you all again for your prayers, your support, and your friendship. It's been more than I deserve.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

More Pictures!

Enjoy. Coo. Marvel at the frighteningly high levels of cuteness.

Go ahead, you know you want to:


Ready to Go!

Free at Last!

Home is Where the Baby Is:

Little Big Dog Meets the Newest Pack Member:

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Won't You Come Home, Chay Baron!


TFR just called, and the horsepistol is releasing The Lad today! He has displayed a bit of apnea, so we have to take a respiration monitor with us, but he'll be HOME where he freaking BELONGS!!!!!!

Oh, thank you all for your prayers and love and support and all the kind words and encouragement! Please keep praying, as this is as frightening as his birth was for me! I can't say when I'll blog again, but in the meantime, Vulture Six has the helm.

Charlie Is My Darlin'

I've never been much of a Beatles or John Lennon fan, but today I think I get John a little better in a small way. Let me explain.

I was restless all night last night, worrying about things I suppose every new father worries about, especially the father of a surprise preemie. Mostly worries about how our already tight budget is going to survive the month early loss of TFR's income, how the hell I'm going to provide for my wife and son, how long until he comes home, will I be a good father. The fears, like the freaks, come out at night.

I couldn't sleep past a certain time this morning,so I left the house arly and stopped at the hospital on the way to work. I took Chay out of his crib abd "Kangaroo Care" held him -- skin to skin against my chest. He fussed for just a minute and then snuggled right in. After I was done "Having something in my eye", I looked down and just watched him sleeping against my chest. It was the sweetest, most reassuring thing I'd ever experienced, and it made me feel better. No, it made me feel wonderful.

You got it right, John.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful Boy.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dads Unite!

Today I was both honored by a compliment I received and heartened by the theme of the Blog from whence the compliment came.

The Inner Dad is dedicated to all things fatherhood-related. Capital idea, and one I had a bit late (last night). Thank you again for the honor of being blogrolled and note I have returned the favor.

One request of you and of Cameron. When you link to me, Trackback so I can give YOU proper thanks.

Sign of the Times

Thanks for the Memory to The Urban Grind via The Unabrewer.


Feel The Burn

Blogmother Da Goddess has apparently had enough. Today she tears into her archnemesis Carl Muhammed, leader of the Communist Party in San Diego. It's a post chock full of ranty goodness, and by God, it had to be said.


Apparently, 'Tis the season to be angry. Ace also has some ranting to do, this time aimed at Ward Churchill and Eason Jordan.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Random Thought of the Day

Ironic, isn't it?

The one item that is currently my most prized possession is also the one I am most eager to finally be rid of. It's the badge that lets me in to the NICU.

Sorry if I'm dwelling on this a lot, and I know that there are others in far worse straits, but dammit, I miss my kid. I was sick and in the hospital a LOT as a child, I now have a much deeper appreciation for what my parents went through.

Quote of the Week

Vinegar tastes sweeter to the Free Man than does honey to the Slave.

- A commenter on the Blog Free Iraq, reflecting on the elections


A Little Advice

If you're a new father, and your child is in the NICU, and your wife sends you to the pharmacy tp fill a prescription, do NOT kill time waiting for the medecine by perusing the Children's Books section of the store and reading Love You Forever.

Just saying, is all.

A Wee Bit of Doggerell

The following poem was written several years ago, long before The Lad (I like that better than The Wee Bairn) was even a twinkle. At the time, I fancied myself quite the poet. This poem was written in an attempt to be "influenced" by a more famous poet (I'll let you guess who), but soon took on a life of its own. It's a reflection on the how each of us, as a descendant of our ancestors, both receives and passes on their lineage. It seemed appropriate to post it now in honor of the biurth of my son. The original is stored away in a box somewhere, so this is from memory. It may not be as polished as I had it. In any case, enjoy:


I dwell within the cirle of the existence of my ancestors
and am both their heir and their heirloom.
I am the recipient of their legacy,
and I am the legacy received.
And some day, I will bequeath this inheritance to my son,
even as I bequeath my son to the world.