Saturday, December 10, 2011


A place holder...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

let's get one thing straight...

There are online posts of a specific genre that pop up like toadstools, the logic of which goes something like this:

"What? This person just spent (X dollars) on (Y item or activity) when there are (starving/dying/whatever people because of Z travesty) going on in (his/her) (country, neighborhood, state)?! That is disgraceful!"

Today I ran into one of these outbursts following someone's blog post about a Missouri woman buying 10,000 dollars worth of designer shoes, all at once, from an online store. One of the subsequent blog comments, predictably, opined it was disgraceful because of all the homeless tornado victims in Missouri. Actually, I take it back. She said it was eff-ing disgraceful.

Maybe it's because I'm having a terrible week, preparing to help the passing of my ailing geriatric cat who is very dear to me. Maybe it's because I read this kind of mindless Marxist crap every day and take it on the chin. For whatever reason, I got really hot about it and gave her a news flash:

OK, so it sounds excessive. But I would caution against making that kind of leap of logic. There are several things we can say about that. First of all, how would you know if this woman helped her homeless neighbors or not? The answer is, you don't. For all you know, she pays more a year in taxes than my annual income, and just wrote a 50,000 dollar check to the Red Cross. Maybe she's been saving for years for a fantasy shopping spree. Maybe she has cancer. How the hell would you know?

I'll bet you have more than one person in your town who's out on the street right now. But you're online on a computer, probably with a new flatscreen monitor, reading about shoes, and an iPhone in your purse and drycleaning to pick up. Who is to say you shouldn't live like you do, knowing there's even one starving person out there somewhere? Is that a "fucking" disgrace too? Same idea, different strata-- and it would be ridiculous to proclaim any assumptions or call you out. More importantly, i
t's wrong.

Are you willing to insist we all live by the statist rule your snide comment implies? Or just some people? And then who gets to decide and enforce that? Fifty years of USSR misery gives us a pretty good answer to how well that works.

PS By the way, since your comment infers resentment to those with discretionary income, I've never known a person with a high income who didn't make large contributions to charities on a regular basis. They may not issue press releases when they do it like moviestars do, but they definitely give back. Sorry, but holier-than-thou just isn't going to cut it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

royal wedding 2011

Congratulations to the royal couple. It was wonderful to see this old tradition come to life, an especially delightful event given the understated grace exhibited by the wedding party. I wish these young people long life and happiness together.

All the best to Catherine and William.

* * *


To those simple-minded people wringing their hands and wailing in chat rooms that the wedding money should have been spent on the poor instead:

Stop what you're doing, sell your computer, and give all the money directly to the next poor person you encounter.

Go ahead. I'm waiting.

* * *

Friday, April 15, 2011

whiskey tango foxtrot

snowy egret in flight

Monday, April 11, 2011

a short note about art

Poetry, drama, film, art—it just feels bigger and more powerful, and tons more rattles around in it. Fireworks go off in all that space, everything bounces off everything else. Liberal thinking has its roots in the arts, in feeling, in the idea of poetic inexactness, an expansive anything-is-possible-and-should-be-ness. It jumps tracks without consequence; it’s arguments go in big lazy worm Ouroboros circles and protagonists battle to the death with men of straw. It laughs at anything so small and constrained as a carefully constructed argument.

It’s the difference between giving the molecular structure of water, and writing a haiku about it. Because the haiku is poetic it feels more profound; all that allegorical space gives you room to fill in the blanks and conclude it’s the most truthful crazy genius stuff you’ve ever heard.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Update from Alec Rawls on Flight 93 Memorial

Thank you for stopping by. I am a very irregular blogger, but from time to time I like to share thoughts here about current events.

This is a copy of my friend Alec Rawls' latest article on the Flight 93 Memorial, reprinted here with permission. If you're interested in following this important story as it unfolds, the best thing is to contact Alec and get on his mailing list. If you have your own blog, Alec encourages people to reprint his updates. /b.

* * *

Alan Keyes against the Flight 93 memorial

Blogburst logo, petitionAlan Keyes, logo-size

Conservative hero Alan Keyes is asking whether there is a pattern of submission surrounding the nation's 9/11 sites. Apparently he has seen our video expose of Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the crescent memorial to Flight 93 (now called a broken circle). Like any straight-thinker, he doesn't like what he sees. The Flight 93 crash site is no place for a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, no matter what it is called.

On this point, Keyes cites Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo's 2005 objection to the newly unveiled Crescent of Embrace design:
Back in 2005, then-Rep. Tom Tancredo was reported to have sent a letter to the National Park Service "asking the Interior Department to reconsider the crescent-shaped design of the memorial to those aboard a plane hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, because some may think it honors the terrorists." Tancredo quite sensibly argues that "regardless of whether 'the invocation of a Muslim Symbol' was intentional, 'it seems that such a symbol is unsuitable for paying appropriate tribute to the heroes of Flight 93 or the ensuing American struggle against radical Islam.'"
Keyes notes our claim that the design is still replete with terrorist memorializing features and he seems to find it credible. Why shouldn't he? The damning features are all right there in architect Paul Murdoch's design drawings. Thank you Doctor Keyes!

"It’s not just embarrassing. It is a dangerous willful blindness, spurning the woken vigilance of Flight 93."

That's the last line of the full-page advertisement that Tom Burnett Senior and Alec Rawls will be running in the Somerset Daily American this Friday and Saturday (when the two first ladies will be in town for the 9/11 anniversary):

Click for legible image. Full ad-copy PDF here (large file warning).

We are hoping that visitors will hold onto our ad, maybe even tape it to their car windows, and most especially, show it to any press people they come across. Hey, if the Park Service can use 9/11 to plant the world's largest mosque on the Flight 93 crash site, we can use 9/11 to object.

To join our blogburst against the crescent mosque, just send your blog's url.