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I thought it was the smugness

You’ve seen the bumper sticker icon for evolution—the fish symbol with feet. As a graphic, it’s great. It conveys a concise message and is easily recognizable. Quite a feat to get that much communication from a handful of lines.

I have come to find it annoying. It seems to be a proud profession of close-mindedness about the origin of man. Evolution is the answer, and if your fish symbol doesn’t have feet coming out of it, you’re some kind of simpleton who isn’t cool enough to laugh at the Bible.

Yes, there are some assumptions prejudices in my description. But it seems apt. Smug people who think they know it all bug me.

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Come Look at Both of Our Buildings!

Detroit gets all the attention as America’s signature urban failure. But let’s not forget Cleveland:

H/T: Maggie’s Farm

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9/15

It’s four days after the 11th. Is anyone still remembering? If they are, how would we know? Do we need to know? Maybe not.

We took the attacks personally. We can also remember intimately, without sharing or blaring. Just a moment of consciousness, to be aware that some small act today is an exercise liberty.

Following is what I mean by taking the attacks personally. We felt it. It wasn't just a movie. This video was shot from someone's living room in Manhattan. It is hard to watch, but sometimes harder to listen to.

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9/14

Neo-neocon suggests that the harsh division and partisanship in our politics and culture is a result of 9/11:

It’s not unusual for a trauma—and make no doubt about it, 9/11 was a national trauma—to end up causing divisions. This isn’t just politics, it’s human nature.

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9/12

I read many excellent commentaries regarding September 11th, eight years after. Over at Daily Excuse, the chief procrastinator set aside excuses and called us to action:

Time flies and life goes on but we must always remember what happened that day. No longer did America remain safe from terrorism. Freedom is wonderful and precious but can be very expensive. So while we are out there wondering how we can retain our "natural beauty" or chose what church or movie theater or restaurant we want to go to remember that we here are very lucky and we need to protect and cherish that freedom. And we need to honor all those people who have died for the cause of freedom here and elsewhere.

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Bastards.

Man falling beside WTC on 9/11/01

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Adult Beverages

Drinks that don't taste of alcohol were developed for coeds and the saps who try to get them drunk.

Quoted from: The Weekly Standard

H/T: Maggie’s Farm

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Rick Steves’ Guide to Government Cheese

Thinking up this introduction, I was amazed to find that PBS is not on the list of Stuff White People Like. Public Radio, however, is #44.

Now, on to the point. Art Carden starts from common ground and has a suggestion to shave a wisp off the Federal budget:

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Compliments to One Big Media Outlet

Roger Simon (founder of righty Pajamas Media) discovers why I offer Al-Jazeera in the NRR news rack:

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Barry’s Lost His Own Brand

Cobb’s right. The powerful iconography of the Obama campaign has been turned.

Epic FAIL O-bomb

Choose Ideology of Obama in Hitler moustache


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Eulogy for a Greenie

Captain Capitalism rants about Prius drivers with vanity plates:

"Skyler McFairtradecoffeedrinker was a great man. He only bought organic, fairtrade coffee from small, locally owned coffee stores that gave back to the community 30% of their pre-tax profits. He volunteered his time at the local minimalist-crapo-art museum where he lobbied the government for more taxpayer money for art nobody wanted. He wasn't a rich man, but he was rich in that his footprint was minimal on this planet. He lived in a small house with environmentally friendly insultation and spent only 79% of the US average on heating and air conditioning. He drove a moped and a Prius and emitted 56% less than the average American in carbon emissions."

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Ranking Required

To forbid me from saying that one culture is better than another necessarily forbids me from having opinions about human behavior, and the meaning of life.

Quoted from: TJIC

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Unresolved

This fact, from a 2003 New York Times story, struck me:

To date, 208 of the 343 firefighters killed on Sept. 11 have been positively identified.

135 FDNY had no earthly remains even after two years of digging and sifting. That’s total sacrifice.

The story covered a debate about how to honor rescuers in a 9-11 memorial. Should they be considered equal with the other victims? Should their rescuer status be acknowledged? If so, would that be fair to the civilians who stayed in the flaming towers to help others escape?

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Same to Rather, Couric and that little dog Blitzer, too

TJIC’s opinion on Cronkite is indistinguishable from my own:

I never got the veneration that some people feel for news anchors.

They’re stuffed shirts, selected for and paid for their ability to project an air of portentiousness and seriousness while they read crappy fourth-rate, low-depth, low-bandwidth news aloud to an audience of admiring monkeys.

Why, exactly, should I care that another one of these hair-gelled used-car-salesmen has passed on?

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Tattooed Absolution

An apt description of today’s urban culture is “post-modern”. All meaning is derived from context, without anchor to history and tradition. Tradition is merely fuel for irony, where the past is never faced honestly.

We knit and bake and work on motorcycles just like people did last century, but now the tone is different. The past has been deconstructed and rebuilt in terms of exploitation and degradation. The only acceptable way to embrace tradition is by mocking it. An implicit conflict between the experienced value and the learned negative regard remains unresolved.

The Only Game in Town

I now understand the hysteria and obsession over Michael Jackson’s death:

achewood comic

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Unseen Dangers

When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.

Quoted from: Frédéric Bastiat

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Are We All Narcissists Now?

McMahon, Fawcett, and Jackson. Icons:

Even though the term sounds neutral, it isn’t. An icon, technically speaking, is a religious symbol deserving of reverence and adoration. The networks may not have intended to use the word that way, but they certainly showed an unseemly amount of reverence and adoration for the man [Jackson].

I think part of it is the narcissism of our celebrity culture. Here was a guy so many of “us” read about in People magazine for so long. His passing, therefore, isn’t a loss in the sorrowful sense of the word, but in the selfish one. It’s a loss of an interesting subject, a creature to gossip about and to fill a few minutes on E! or Entertainment Tonight.

MJ dominates the news cycle because we feel something. He touched our lives. (And, perhaps, one or two of our childen) Are our emotional priorities out of order?

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NSFI

You know how certain combinations of words strike you as making a good band name or book title? I’ve just surfed across a phrase that would be an awesome name for a blog:

Not Safe for Idiots

The .com is available. Who wants to do it justice?

It could also be a webonym, or a sticker on books.

NSFI
Warning—Content harmful to slack thinkers.

 

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Woven from Fire

Flag Day is underappreciated. Although I have hesitations about idolatry and getting too wrapped up in the symbol instead of revering what is represented, the Flag Day observance is held mostly by people who are worthy of respect. Really good, solid folks honor the US flag, and by sharing their ritual, we honor them.

I guess I take it as an opportunity to note my place in the lineage of the American community. And, as national observance, Flag Day hasn’t had its patriotism obscured by picnics and beach blankets.

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