atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3046: Choir practice cancelled. :(

The choir director has bronchitis, which means no singing for him, and if he's down with a respiratory infection it means he's not going to be functioning all that well. So no singing in church for me tonight, and regular singing as part of the congregation on Sunday.

The pastor asked me if I would be willing to answer, verbally, some questions that were given out in church a while ago, with a microphone in my hand. Oh, geeze....

Well, I'm not afraid of public speaking. I'm picking up the questions this afternoon and I'll probably go ahead and do it, because the church has helped me an awful lot since the debacle in May. I know that it's all part of the big end-of-year funding drive.

In general we've been trained by televangelists to be highly suspicious of the holy man that asks for money. But where does the church get the money it needs to keep the lights on, much less do things like help the needy? Ministry takes money; prayer can only fill the soul, not the stomach. And the power company, they're not going to accept "I'll pray for you!" as payment for all the kilowatts the place consumes. The county won't accept communion and fellowship in lieu of property taxes on the church and the parsonage. You know?

So my head understands the need for this kind of thing; my heart doesn't like it.

It won't hurt for me to answer the questions in a public forum, and considering my fiscal situation my own tithing to the church will be sorely limited, so I suppose I ought to do what I can to help other ways.

* * *

I ended up napping yesterday afternoon; and when I woke up from my nap it hit me that I hadn't made chili in a very long time; so I got up and did my grocery shopping, then came home and made a big pot of chili.

Somehow I hit the bulls-eye with it: I got enough spice in it that it has some bite, but not an overwhelming amount. I ate two bowls of it for dinner, with a big slab of ginzo* bread; and I still ended up freezing about half the batch. At that, there was enough left after packaging for the freezer that I was able to have another bowl around 11-ish last night, and a bowl for breakfast.

One of the good things about my recipe is that--even with the addition of kidney beans--the flatulence quotient is remarkably low.

*Marconi's Italian bread. Ingredients: flour, water, yeast, salt, shortening.

* * *

That picture is a link to the article. (Man, HTML is powerful stuff, isn't it?) I wanted to replicate exactly what I saw over at and that seemed the best way.

* * *

Talk about an entitlement mentality!
A man who lives in the city east of Toronto says a letter left in his mailbox the day after Halloween took him to task for failing to shell out.

Tom Ibbitson, 26, who wasn't home on Halloween night, says the letter signed by "Children of the Hood" left him feeling "pretty upset and angry."

The letter complains that the previous resident made candy apples for neighbourhood trick-or-treaters but this year there was sweet nothing.

It suggests he "rectify this for next year" by giving out chocolate bars and warns that unpackaged apples or chips aren't welcome.
My response to that would approximate


in large, friendly letters.

Earth to entitled shitheads: it doesn't matter what the previous owner of that house did. If this guy does not choose to celebrate Halloween you have no right to expect him to do so in spite of his wishes.

* * *

Ann Coulter lays out the problems with the "Cain's a sexual harasser!" stuff.

Chicago Democrats engaging in dirty politics? NAWW!!

Cain never lived and worked in Chicago. Hmm.

Francis Porretto comments on Coulter's article, and concludes thus:
The only thing that stands in the way of that counterplay is Republican power-brokers' fear of the Legacy Media, which would be certain to take the Democrats' side at every turn. To this very day, the powers that be in the GOP continue to value favorable air time and column-inches above truth, justice, and victory itself. It is that pusillanimity that poses the greatest threat to the conservative movement, even as it swells to its greatest postwar height.
That last pair of sentences is dead on.

But I don't think the GOP is interested in bucking the legacy media, anyway. Bucking the legacy media means doing things that would upset their own apple cart, reduce their own power and influence. They don't want that.

The GOP leadership has demonstrated that it just doesn't want to do any of the things that the rank-and-file want done. If the GOP leadership gave a rat's ass about what the rest of the party wanted, Sarah Palin wouldn't have been marginalized and we wouldn't be seeing a shitton of "Democrat Lite" candidates for the GOP nomination this time around.

* * *

Speaking of which: "What if we're stuck with President Romney?" If Romney ends up being President it's not going to happen because I voted for him, that's for f-ing sure.

* * *

Take a look at this image:

The five largest categories are, in order:
Social Security
Taken as an aggregate you've got 75% of the federal budget right there. (75.48%, to be precise.) If you remove defense spending from there, it turns out that it's some 56.74% of the federal budget.

More than half of the federal budget is nothing more than transfer payments: taking money from producers and giving it to non-producers.

(As it turns out, that's a bit more than 100 times the total budget of NASA, which is 0.53% of the total federal budget.)

Now, think about this: diagrams like this never lump all the social spending into one chunk. They take all defense spending and combine it into a lump sum; but the social spending totals nearly three times what we spend on defense.

Karl Denninger apparently watched the GOP debates last night and comments on it.

Even if you realized the liberal fantasy of eliminating the military budget in its entirety, the federal budget would not be balanced. If you have to balance the budget and can eliminate only two line items, you'd have to cut the military and Social Security in their entirety to have any hope whatsoever of coming anywhere close to a balanced budget.

The thing to understand is that social spending is where almost all the money goes. Include interest on national debt, which must be paid, and you're talking about 60% of the total budget right there.

(There's a little tiny chunk way down in the list, "Social Security Administration" which is something like 0.14% of the total budget. Include that in "Social Security" because administrative costs shouldn't be seperate.)

This has always been the case--well, it's been the case since 1965, anyway. The US is broke because of all its social spending, just like Europe.

* * *

Denninger also points out that the jobs numbers are not exactly impressive.

I would be interested to know what "minimum" employment is in this country. That is to say, what's the smallest number of jobs that can keep our economy functioning at current levels? There has to be one; the same way that 95% employment is considered "full employment" just because of the statistical factors involved, there must be a similar "full UNemployment" figure. I would figure it to be something on the order of 75% or perhaps 80%, but I have no idea how one would even go about looking for that number much less what it should actually be. 75% is a WAG, PDOOMA, pick your acronym.

It's harder to pin down, I'd wager, just because it's tied to economic output. See, a $10 trillion economy needs more workers than a $1 trillion economy does, so you can't just say "The United States is at full unemployment when xx% of its workers are unemployed," because that number would have to depend on the economic output of the country.

What I do know is that there is probably a function that describes that number, into which you could plug the current GDP figure, crank the handle, and get a usable estimate out the other side.

* * *



I wonder how big Tom Dickinson's paycheck is? A lot of the richest 1% of Americans are liberal Democrats, not Republicans.

* * *

The only Woody Allen movie I ever liked was Sleeper. In that movie, there's this wonderful scene where he's just been awakened, and the doctor gives him a cigarette: "No, this is tobacco! It's the best thing for you!"

While there are specific cases in which a person should be careful of how much salt he takes in, cholesterol, etc, I don't think a blanket condemnation of salt and fat is necessary or healthy. We evolved by eating this stuff; it tastes good to us because our instincts say eating this is how you stay alive.

The thing with margerine is the perfect example. First we were told that butter was no good for you because it had saturated fat, and you needed to avoid that. So people started using margerine--which used to be something only poor people used, because it was cheaper than butter--and now there are all kinds of low-fat-no-fat butter substitutes out there.

But margerine is vegetable oil that's been hydrogenated...and hydrogenation creates fats and fatty acids that are much worse for you than saturated fat is. (I don't even know what's in the no-fat-WTF fake butter stuff. Probably nothing good.) So suddenly butter is better for you than margerine, but IF YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU, YOU'LL STOP EATING ANY FAT AT ALL AND HAVE KALE JUICE AND RICE CRACKERS AND VITAMIN PILLS FOR EVERY MEAL!'ll live an extra five years if you do! You'll hate every single minute between now and the time they put you in that box, but you'll be healthy!

You know, regardless of what you eat and how careful you are, you're going to die. Something is going to kill you; if you don't have a heart attack, cancer will get you, and if cancer doesn't you'll die by being hit by a falling anvil, or islamic terrorism will get you, or you'll slip on a banana peel and crack your head open on the dog's water dish, or you'll be in a plane crash or car wreck, or-or-or-or SOMETHING WILL KILL YOU.

So you know what? To hell with all these diet nazis. I don't give a fuck what they think I should eat. I'm going to eat what makes me happy, and when I'm 67 and in the hospital for a bypass, then I will think about changing my diet to something that they approve of. (By then it'll all be different anyway: "Why, you've got to eat bread fried in bacon grease with every meal! If you don't, you'll die of...!")

I will think about it.

* * *

Therapy in 45 minutes, and I still haven't gotten a shower. I guess I'd better get off the computer and move like I've got a purpose.

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