June 29, 2004

Free Ice Cream Deliveries Suspended

Speaking of slipping the surly bonds, I am getting away for a bit of a summer vacation from blogging. After I have rested and recharged, I'll be back.

I still owe you OPERATION COFFEECUP -- a tribute to Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Adios amigos.

Posted by JohnL at 10:05 PM | Comments (3) |

Slipping the Surly Bonds

Excellent article at TechCentralStation on the long-term importance of SpaceShipOne (and others like it).

Posted by JohnL at 10:01 PM | Comments (2) |

June 28, 2004

Silly Recipes

This one looks just right:

How to make a John
5 parts success
3 parts humour
5 parts ego
Layer ingredients in a shot glass. Top it off with a sprinkle of fitness and enjoy!

Not so sure about this one, though:

How to make a texasbestgrok
3 parts anger
1 part silliness
1 part energy
Layer ingredients in a shot glass. Add lovability to taste! Do not overindulge!

I mean, really. Three parts anger?!!!? THREE PARTS ANGER!!! WTF???


Personality cocktail
From Go-Quiz.com

First found at The Cheese Stands Alone.

Posted by JohnL at 11:40 PM | Comments (4) |

Hollywood Escape Velocities

Alan Brain links to a convenient quick-reference chart comparing the fastest human sprinter to the average speeds of hazards faced in the movies (Killer Bees, T-Rexes, dogs, elephants, tornadoes, etc.)

Posted by JohnL at 11:38 PM | Comments (2) |

June 24, 2004

Animated Music

Via Geekpress, a very cool, Rube Goldberg-esque animated music video. Who would have anticipated that this calculating device would be applied in such creative and fun ways.

Posted by JohnL at 09:12 PM | Comments (2) |

Rush at 30

Well, last night I took my two boys (9 and 7) to see Rush in downtown Dallas. I was happy to see that most of the rest of the crowd was about my age, similarly dressed, and that many also had their kids out. Lots of generational torch-passing going on. The Dallas Morning News reviewer noted this too, in a back-handed way:

When you do something as long as Rush has and have a following as rabid, then you deliver the expected. It transcends mere concert; it is a ritual to be shared with like-minded comrades – in this case, approximately 11,000 other white guys, average age 38. You haven't seen rock devotion until you've scanned an arena filled with beefy dudes in polo shirts, their elbows darting in the air like symphony conductors, each executing his own personal session of frenzied air drumming.

Despite the family-friendly environs (for a rock concert, that is), Rush still put on a posterior-kicking show, working their way through the more than 30 years of music in their catalogue (setlist in the extended entry below). Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart were in top form, playing an almost note-perfect show that included some nice surprises (such as a reggae ending to their pre-Peart classic, "Working Man," and a guitar solo at the end of "One Little Victory," absent from the studio version).

The visuals, while somewhat understated compared to other pop and rock acts, were effective, including lasers, smoke, pyrotechnics, and videos. Despite the gravity of many of their lyrics and their dedication to musicianship, Lee, Lifeson, and Peart always show a strong sense of humor and refuse to take themselves as seriously as their fans do. This was reflected in the humorous videos that opened and closed the show, featuring Jerry Stiller at his cranky, funny best. The Intermission video also starred bobble-head dolls in the likeness of the 70s-era Rush fighting a 3D animated dragon. My sons loved it.

There was even a nice little moment of synchronicity when Rush began to play Earthshine. When I looked up, the sky had darkened just enough that the dark side of the crescent moon was illuminated by some real earthshine. And I noticed the Jupiter - Moon conjunction, too.

June 23, 2004 Setlist for Rush, Dallas, Texas:

Posted by JohnL at 07:51 PM | Comments (3) |

June 22, 2004

More Remodeling

Spurred by the new look in my house, I am thinking about a new look for the blog.

One persistent constructive criticism I have received is that there's not enough Heinlein content here, given the blog title. Well, I have fixed that in the process of editing my blogroll. Check out the new categories for my blogroll (if you're familiar with Heinlein and think I've got you under the wrong book title, please let me know why, and which one you think you belong under).

I'm also working on my CSS and trying to think of a layout that works in each of the main browsers (this site still doesn't look right in Opera. Grr.) As always, please feel free to comment or send an email with constructive criticisms. Thanks for your continued support and patronage.

Posted by JohnL at 10:42 PM | Comments (5) |

Why We Fight

As the media work themselves into a lather about <straw man alert> no link between 9/11 and Iraq </straw man alert>, it's nice to run across some sanity from one of the men on the ground.

Posted by JohnL at 09:19 PM | Comments (2) |

Leave a Message for the First Private Astronaut

Via Hobbyspace, a link to a website where you can leave a congratulatory message to the earth's first truly private astronaut, Mike Melvill.

Posted by JohnL at 09:14 PM | Comments (2) |

More Wordplay

I just found a new blog that kindly linked to the neologisms I posted a week or so ago.

Even better, Point2Point put up his own list of neologisms. Favorites are:

Posted by JohnL at 09:09 PM | Comments (2) |

June 21, 2004

SpaceShipOne Recap


I hesitate to use breathless hyperbole, but today was really the dawning of a new space age, the age of private exploration and development of outer space. As Dale Amon describes it, we are now moving away from linear-growth government programs to exponential-growth entrepreneurialism. Maybe I will get to space sometime in my life, after all.

I don't have cable or satellite TV, and I couldn't get Real Player to work worth a flip on my work computer, so I missed the live video coverage of the event. Based on my morning channel-surfing, the three network morning "news" programs were asleep at the switch, reporting on Bill Clinton's post-affair sleeping arrangements instead of this. Kudos to the local Fox affiliate for carrying a substantial amount of live pre-launch coverage (and though I didn't see it, they were promising to bring live footage of the flight, too).

From what I've seen and read, the flight was successful though not flawless. There were some kinks to work out, but overall this was a momentous occasion.

For web coverage of space issues, it's always a great idea to start with Rand Simberg, and today was no exception. In a later post, he links to this great play-by-play from Kevin Murphy.

One of my favorite Australians, Alan Brain, also has a good account of the flight, along with some coverage of the difficulties alluded to above.

Spaceflight Now also has a nice play-by-play status log of the flight.

The mainstream media also did a fine job covering the event on the Internet in more detail than I expected based on the lack of interest by the major broadcast media in the US.

Whether or not they win the X-Prize, Scaled Composites have broken down the "giggle factor" barrier to private investment in space. What a great feeling - a "magic day when super-science mingles with the bright stuff of dreams" as described in the Rush song Countdown (lyrics in the extended entry):

Words by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Dedicated with thanks to astronauts Young & Crippen and all the people of NASA for their inspiration and cooperation (RUSH were present at the maiden liftoff of Columbia in 1981).

Lit up with anticipation
We arrive at the launching site
The sky is still dark, nearing dawn
On the Florida coastline

Circling choppers slash the night
With roving searchlight beams
This magic day when super-science
Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams

Floodlit in the hazy distance
The star of this unearthly show
Venting vapours, like the breath
Of a sleeping white dragon

Crackling speakers, voices tense
Resume the final count
All systems check, T minus nine
As the sun and the drama start to mount

The air is charged --- a humid, motionless mass
The crowds and the cameras,
The cars full of spectators pass
Excitement so thick --- you could cut it with a knife
Technology --- high, on the leading edge of life

The earth beneath us starts to tremble
With the spreading of a low black cloud
A thunderous roar shakes the air
Like the whole world exploding

Scorching blast of golden fire
As it slowly leaves the ground
Tears away with a mighty force
The air is shattered by the awesome sound

Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers
High in the air
In fascination --- with the eyes of the world
We stare...

Posted by JohnL at 11:53 PM | Comments (2) |

Movie Meme Propagation

I saw this first at The Llamabutchers. It goes like this. Take this list of the 100 top-grossing movies of all time and bold the titles of the ones you have seen. I am following the lead of others and bolding the ones I remember mainly from having seen them in the theater, and italicizing the ones I primarily remember having seen on the small screen (VHS/DVD/Cable, etc.):

1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
2. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
4. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) $431,065,444 - Darth Vader is nicknamed "Annie?" Aw c'mon! (Cue music: "When I'm stuck a day, That's gray, And lonely, I just stick out my chin, And Grin, And Say, Oh! Tomorrow, Tomorrow. . . ")
5. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
6. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003) $377,019,252 - I reserve final judgment until the extended edition comes out on DVD.
7. Passion of the Christ, The (2004) $370,025,697
8. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
9. Shrek 2 (2004) $356,211,000 - Worth it just to see the Fairy Godmother's musical number. Top-notch satire of the Mouse-house.
10. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) $340,478,898 - Ditto Robert the Llamabutcher here - "Evidently the Cliffnotes didn't cover Farimir very well."
11. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
12. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
13. Lion King, The (1994) $328,423,001
14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $317,557,891 - You don't have to be a wizard or a kid to enjoy the magical world of Harry Potter!
15. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) $313,837,577 - truest of the three to the original works.
16. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) $310,675,583
17. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) $309,125,409 - Again, echoing Robert the Llamabutcher here: "Die, Ewoks! Die!"
18. Independence Day (1996) $306,124,059
19. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) $305,411,224
20. Sixth Sense, The (1999) $293,501,675
21. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) $290,158,751
22. Home Alone (1990) $285,761,243
23. Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) $281,492,479
24. Shrek (2001) $267,652,016
25. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) $261,970,615
26. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) $260,031,035
27. Jaws (1975) $260,000,000
28. Monsters, Inc. (2001) $255,870,172
29. Batman (1989) $251,188,924
30. Men in Black (1997) $250,147,615
31. Toy Story 2 (1999) $245,823,397
32. Bruce Almighty (2003) $242,589,580
33. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $242,374,454
34. Twister (1996) $241,700,000
35. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) $241,437,427
36. Ghost Busters (1984) $238,600,000
37. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) $234,760,500
38. Cast Away (2000) $233,630,478
39. Lost World: Jurassic Park, The (1997) $229,074,524
40. Signs (2002) $227,965,690
41. Rush Hour 2 (2001) $226,138,454
42. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) $219,200,000
43. Ghost (1990) $217,631,306
44. Aladdin (1992) $217,350,219
45. Saving Private Ryan (1998) $216,119,491
46. Mission: Impossible II (2000) $215,397,307
47. X2 (2003) $214,948,780
48. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) $213,079,163
49. Back to the Future (1985) $210,609,762
50. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) $205,399,422
51. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) $204,843,350
52. Exorcist, The (1973) $204,565,000
53. Mummy Returns, The (2001) $202,007,640
54. Armageddon (1998) $201,573,391 - One of the worst space-themed movies of all time, and it got the stamp of approval from NASA. Typical. (Deep Impact, while slower and sappier, was the better of the asteroid movies that year).
55. Gone with the Wind (1939) $198,655,278 - Believe it or not, I have never seen this entire movie, despite the efforts of many to convince me to see it. Sorry, but subjecting myself to the perpetuation of the myth of the "noble" southern aristocracy and their happy darkies is a colossal waste of my time.
56. Pearl Harbor (2001) $198,539,855
57. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) $197,171,806
58. Toy Story (1995) $191,800,000 - Love the simple perfection of this movie.
59. Men in Black II (2002) $190,418,803
60. Gladiator (2000) $187,670,866
61. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) $184,925,485 - Only seen parts of this. The ear-splitting singing in the woods led to the wonderful spoof in Shrek of Princess Fiona singing until the songbird blew up.
62. Dances with Wolves (1990) $184,208,848
63. Batman Forever (1995) $184,031,112
64. Fugitive, The (1993) $183,875,760
65. Ocean's Eleven (2001) $183,405,771
66. What Women Want (2000) $182,805,123
67. Perfect Storm, The (2000) $182,618,434
68. Liar Liar (1997) $181,395,380 - The "my dad's a liar/lawyer" line is one of my favorites.
69. Grease (1978) $181,360,000
70. Jurassic Park III (2001) $181,166,115
71. Mission: Impossible (1996) $180,965,237
72. Planet of the Apes (2001) $180,011,740 - I don't know why.
73. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) $179,870,271 - I haven't seen this and don't really plan to. I've heard it's mostly an extended scream by Kate Capshaw.
74. Pretty Woman (1990) $178,406,268
75. Tootsie (1982) $177,200,000
76. Top Gun (1986) $176,781,728
77. There's Something About Mary (1998) $176,483,808
78. Ice Age (2002) $176,387,405
79. Crocodile Dundee (1986) $174,635,000
80. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) $173,585,516
81. Elf (2003) $173,381,405 - If you missed this last year, be sure to catch it this Christmas. Very warm-hearted with several knowing nods to its influences (esp. the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials many of us grew up with).
82. Air Force One (1997) $172,888,056
83. Rain Man (1988) $172,825,435
84. Apollo 13 (1995) $172,071,312
85. Matrix, The (1999) $171,383,253
86. Beauty and the Beast (1991) $171,301,428
87. Tarzan (1999) $171,085,177 - Eh. Better than a lot of the recent Disney dreck, but not by much.
88. Beautiful Mind, A (2001) $170,708,996
89. Chicago (2002) $170,684,505
90. Three Men and a Baby (1987) $167,780,960
91. Meet the Parents (2000) $166,225,040 - Funny, but I couldn't figure out why he would marry into that family after the abuse he took. The sequel looks funny.
92. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)$165,500,000
93. Hannibal (2001) $165,091,464
94. Catch Me If You Can (2002) $164,435,221
95. Big Daddy (1999) $163,479,795
96. Sound of Music, The (1965) $163,214,286
97. Batman Returns (1992) $162,831,698
98. Bug's Life, A (1998) $162,792,677
99. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) $161,963,000
100. Waterboy, The (1998) $161,487,252

Posted by JohnL at 07:08 PM | Comments (4) |

June 20, 2004

Happy Fathers' Day

Today was a happy Fathers' Day in the Lanius household.

The kids let me sleep in late and read the paper in bed with coffee. I got a couple of nice shirts, a gift card for Best Buy (with a note, "For the New Rush CD"), and, best of all, several lovely homemade cards from the kids.

I played Xbox with the boys for a couple of hours, bathed the dog, and began some repairs on my deck (I like yardwork, unlike some) before we headed over to my sister's for a cookout with my parents and some swimming.

In all, a great day. I've been neglecting the blog recently, but hope to have some quality postings this week to make up for the lack of quantity around here.

On deck this week:

More later.

Posted by JohnL at 10:28 PM | Comments (2) |

June 18, 2004

Bride of Frankenst---, er, Lurch

Grabbed this off Drudge:

Tootsie Heinz Kerry.bmp

And got this via a Google images search:

Kerry Lurch.bmp

Posted by JohnL at 07:41 PM | Comments (3) |

June 16, 2004

Home Improvements

OK, I'm back. That was fairly painless as far as home improvements and contractors go. If you live in the Dallas area and need the name of a great flooring guy, send me an email. Take a gander at the pix in the extended entry (I apologize for the low-light graininess; I'm still working with the 1 megapixel digital camera built into my camcorder, although we hope to be getting a dedicated 3+ megapixel still camera soon).

Here's our living area before, with the original 20+ year old carpet:

Living Room Carpet Before.jpg

Entry Way Carpet Tile Before.jpg

Office Carpet Before.jpg

After they ripped out the carpet, we were happy to see no major cracks in the foundation (a common problem in this part of Texas):

Living Room During.jpg

And the finished product:

Living Room After.jpg

Living Room After 2.jpg

Living Room After 3.jpg

This is a new kind of Pergo that has a very realistic wood grain and texture. I've seen real hardwoods (i.e., termite bait) that look more like stereotypical "Pergo" than this product. We are happy, although I have the sinking feeling that this is the first domino to fall, and my pocketbook will be getting progressively lighter as we start to update the rest of the house to match the beautiful new floors.

Posted by JohnL at 09:56 PM | Comments (3) |

June 13, 2004


We're about to embark on some home improvements.

Long story short, we have to completely empty the office (which has the only cable modem outlet in the house) and I will be offline for the next few days. When I return, I'll post some nifty before-and-after pics like Stephen Green.

Bis spaeter, hasta luego, etc.

Posted by JohnL at 08:30 PM | Comments (2) |

June 10, 2004


Got this a while back from a co-worker.

(Mild language warning -- see extended entry).

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration: The act of buying a house,which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

and my favorite;

18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Posted by JohnL at 10:21 PM | Comments (2) |

Ray Charles, RIP

More sad news this week, as another American legend passes away.

One thing's for sure, the Heavenly Host are singing with more rhythm and soul tonight.

Posted by JohnL at 10:19 PM | Comments (2) |

June 09, 2004

P.J. O'Rourke on Talk Radio

Well, actually, not on the radio, but in the Atlantic, covering current conservative commentary.

I really need to get a P.J. O'Rourke book to take on vacation this Summer. Any suggestions?

(Yet another hat tip to one of my favorite Australians).

Posted by JohnL at 08:54 PM | Comments (4) |

GR8 G-8 Pix

Via Tim Blair, I found Florida Cracker's entertaining sequence of pictures and captions from the G-8 summit in Georgia.

Favorite pic: the "Dubya and Tony are pals" one.

Posted by JohnL at 08:53 PM | Comments (2) |

A Well-Endowed Sense of Humor

Maintaining the recent standard of high-quality commentary, I pass along to you in the Extended Entry a funny story posted by the Physics Geek yesterday.

(Heh heh heh, Beavis . . . he said extended entry).

The Smiths were unable to conceive children, and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife and said, "I'm off. The man should be here soon".

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good morning, madam. I've come to...."

"Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you," Mrs. Smith cut in.

"Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good ! I've made a specialty of babies."

"That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat."

After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"

"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is fun too; you can really spread out!"

"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for Harry and me."

"Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results."

"My, that's a lot of ..." gasped Mrs. Smith.

"Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure."

"Don't I know it.", Mrs. Smith said quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus in downtown London."

"Oh my god!!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief.

"And these twins turned out exceptionally well, when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with."

"She was difficult ?" asked Mrs. Smith.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Hyde Park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look."

"Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in amazement.

"Yes", the photographer said. "And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate. Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in."

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "You mean they actually chewed on your, um, ... equipment?"

"That's right. Well madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so that we can get to work."


"Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold very long. Madam?.... Madam?..... Good Lord, she's fainted!"

Posted by JohnL at 08:46 PM | Comments (3) |

Quality Commentary on SF Babes

Go to Google. Type in "SF Babes." Hit return.

Can I get a yip y'all?

Posted by JohnL at 08:40 PM | Comments (2) |

More Trek Tunes

A few months back, I linked to a trio of Lileks' Trek tunes (Lileks keeps these and other original tunes here).

Recent commenter Stiiv points me to his own collection of ALL ORIGINAL Trek music.

I like Legal Lizard and Acts of War.

Posted by JohnL at 08:30 PM | Comments (3) |

June 08, 2004

Excuses and Eulogies

I'm sorry for the recent radio silence. Life happens.

And life ends. Ronald Wilson Reagan, requiescat in pacem.

We owe a huge debt to this man. He, along with Margaret Thatcher, turned the tide of Marxism and put the lie to the notion that socialism was inevitable and could never be reversed.

At this point, I can't possibly add much to what has already been written elsewhere. And I don't want to generate any more "purple prose" than has been generated. Two of my favorite bloggers, Virginia Postrel and Timothy Sandefur, have done a great job covering Reagan. (Just click on each link and keep scrolling).

Posted by JohnL at 11:51 PM | Comments (2) |

June 03, 2004

Futures Imagined

An interesting site (via Gravity Lens) with loads of golden-age pulp-fiction Sci Fi artwork interleaved with photographs of real futuristic designs, some built, others not.

Posted by JohnL at 10:51 PM | Comments (2) |


I found out yesterday that I have a blog child -- an old friend from high school days. Very similar background to mine, but as should be apparent from a reading of his site, quite a different adult life.

He is very smart with a really dry sense of humor, so I look forward to checking out his observations on things. Here's the money quote from one of his first posts:

"I didn't start my own blog because I thought I didn't have anything to say. Finally realizing neither does anyone else, I decided to go for it."

That's the spirit!

Posted by JohnL at 10:35 PM | Comments (2) |

June 02, 2004

Yet Another Quiz

Life's been busy, and my muse has been mute recently, so you get more filler:

The Honest Bloggers Quiz (or, making my biases clear)

Q&A in the extended entry.

1. Which political party do you typically agree with?

Republicans by a slim margin -- I'm libertarian but not Libertarian (mainly because of their appalling alliance with the Buchanan brigade, loony left, and Islamonazis in the current war)

2. Which political party do you typically vote for?

My votes in the last couple of elections broke down to 80% Republican, 10% Democrat, 10% Libertarian.

3. List the last five presidents that you voted for.

(Too young for 5 elections): 1988 - Ron Paul(L); 1992 - Andre Marrou(L); 1996 - Bob Dole(R); 2000 - GW Bush(R)

4. Which party do you think is smarter about the economy?

Libertarians - hands off by the government

5. Which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs?

Libertarians - hands off means hands off!

6. Do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out?

Keep them there until their mission is accomplished - think Japan after WWII.

7. Who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11?

Osama Bin Laden and Saudi Arabia.

8. Do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Umm, we already have, just not in large quantities yet. That's a straw man anyway: Paul Wolfowitz laid out the Bush doctrine quite clearly on September 13, 2001 as lower Manhattan still burned -- we must end states that sponsor terrorism to keep this from happening again.

9. Yes or no, should the U.S. legalize marijuana?

Yes, along with most other currently-illegal drugs. Didn't we learn anything in the 1930s?

10. Do you think the Republicans stole the last presidental election?

Hell no, although I am convinced that Al Gore was determined to win at all costs, including undermining the legitimacy of our institutions. A man with more class would have done like Nixon did when he conceded to Kennedy in a close election.

11. Do you think Bill Clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with Monica Lewinsky?

No, but he should have been impeached and convicted for perjuring himself about it.

12. Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?

Depends on your definition of good. I probably disagree with all her policies, but if she could be matched with a Republican congress, she might not be too bad, much like Bill Clinton after the 1994 midterm elections - welfare reform and NAFTA were two fine accomplishments.

13. Name a current Democrat who would make a great president.

Sam Nunn, Joe Lieberman.

14. Name a current Republican who would make a great president.

For our current circumstances? The one we have - GWB.

15. Do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion?

Poorly phrased question, since they already do. My position on abortion - I think that the fetus is not human until it exhibits a steady human brainwave (alpha-wave?) pattern. At that point, it becomes a person, and is entitled to protection under the law (meaning some balancing of its rights versus the mother's).

16. What religion are you?

Methodist by background and practice, Deist in my theology.

17. Have you read the Bible all the way through?

Yes, including some of the original Greek (along with Latin and German).

18. What's your favorite book?

It's a toss-up among The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien -- all books that I re-read fairly regularly.

19. Who is your favorite band?

Need you ask? Rush.

20. Who do you think you'll vote for president in the next election?


21. What website did you see this on first?

Jennifer's History and Stuff.

Posted by JohnL at 10:14 PM | Comments (2) |

Welcome to 1984

While I'm on the topic of fascism, I have to confess that tonight I'm feeling like a member of the Ministry of Truth, going back and changing the history to show that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia instead of Eurasia.

You see, I've been re-categorizing my old Blogspot posts into their proper subjects. In the process, of course, I am re-writing history so that it appears that I have always been a Munuvian. For some reason, I feel vaguely guilty. Should I?

Posted by JohnL at 09:46 PM | Comments (2) |

Ominous Parallels?

When I was a real Randroid back in college, I slogged my way through Leonard Peikoff's 1982 book, Ominous Parallels. The thesis of the book is that America was (is?) vulnerable to a fascist takeover in much the same way the Weimar Republic was susceptible to takeover by the Nazis as a result of our worship of unreason, demand for self-sacrifice, and elevation of society above the individual.

These days, I am much more optimistic, and think that external fascism is a greater threat than any sort of rot from within. And I think our dynamic culture is much less susceptible to authoritarianism than it was in, say, the 1930s.

When I read this (I presume the picture is of the American Idol stage, but am not sure since I haven't ever seen the show), I couldn't help thinking of Peikoff's thesis again.

Posted by JohnL at 09:37 PM | Comments (2) |

Sleestak Art

I loved the old (70s) Land of the Lost show. Not surprising, despite the cheesy special effects, since many of the episodes were written by hard-SF authors such as Larry Niven, David Gerrold, and Theodore Sturgeon.

So it was fun to stumble across this clever art website the other day: Monet meets the Sleestaks. (Hat tip: Gravity Lens).

Posted by JohnL at 08:53 PM | Comments (3) |