Friday, November 30, 2007

Loyalty Oaths

It was bad enough during the Truman and Eisenhower years. During the Red Scare University professors and anyone else the government deemed insufficiently patriotic and "soft on Communism" could be forced to take a loyalty oath. Not the Pledge of Allegiance but an affirmation that you weren't now, never had been and wouldn't be part of any subversive organization. The Supremes went back and forth on their constitutionality but finally came down against them. Colleges that refused to demand the oath lost government funding and even broke tenure for professors who refused to sign them.

In recent years the Republicans have revived the idea. If you want to attend an event where Bush is speaking you have to sign a pledge of personal loyalty to the Decider. Don't sign the Oath, don't go. This even includes active duty Servicemen and Servicewomen when he visits the troops. I suppose that billboards proclaiming him "Our Leader" were only logical.

Now it seems that the GOP has taken the next step.

Vote Virginia who want to vote in the presidential primary are now forced to sign an oath pledging that they will support the Party's nominee in next year's election. It doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter if you prefer the Democrats' choice. You can't vote your conscience and cast a ballot for the Libertarians. If you want to be part of the selection process you must either lie or sign away one of your most sacred civil rights to The Party.

The stated reason is that Democrats don't care who their Party throws up for the general election. They'll come in droves to vote for the Republican they believe will lose. It's a stupid solution to a non-problem. It won't survive the inevitable court challenge. But it does show the GOP's true values - rigid Party Loyalty, strict adherence to the Party Line and devotion to the Person of the Unitary Executive.

Even conservative papers like Reason and The Spectator are shocked at this one. The Weekly Standard barely raised an eyebrow saying that there's no evidence that voters cross over this way.

Me? I threw up in my mouth a little.

Quiz - How Insane Are You?

My favorite Internet Personality Quiz courtesy of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, creators of the musical A Shoggoth on the Roof as well as movies, Elder Signs and many fine products for Eldritch Investigations.

Your score is: 155

For easier understanding, the HPLHS SaniTest assessment algorithm converts your raw score to a scale of 1 to 10. This number is your INSANITY INDEX.

INSANITY INDEX 9.11 Well, that's a pretty high score. Science lacks an official term for your condition, but around the lunch table psychiatrists would doubtless say you're very dangerously mad. Other notable people who scored this high include noted horror film director John Carpenter and the conceptual engineer R. Buckminster Fuller.

Animal Styles

Animal styles have always been big in martial arts. In some ways it's a lot like the furry subculture. There are lots of tigers and dragons and praying mantises. Precious few moles or pangolins. In response to a thread on another forum here are my martial animal inspirations:

Martial inspirations from animals....
To start with, since I'm actually a large amphibian Here are some important lessons from The Way of the Toad
  • Kill and eat anyone smaller than you
  • Run away or hide from anyone larger
  • If you get into a fight with someone larger, poison them
  • Praying Mantis is over-rated
  • White Crane is terrifying
From my cats
  • You'll never stay in fighting shape if you don't get your 16 hours of sleep a day
  • Kill from ambush
  • Killing goes better with torture
  • Eat what you kill but leave the not-so-tasty bits all over the house
  • Learn knife fighting first
  • If you're not afraid of a German Shepherd you must be as big as a German Shepherd. If you know it, so will everyone else
From sloths
  • The best defense is being so still and covered with moss that nobody sees you
  • Haste makes waste
  • The most vulnerable time of day is when you climb out of bed to defecate.
From bonobos
  • Make love, not war
  • Make more love, not war
  • Make really inventive love with your friends and neighbors, not war
  • Make love swinging from trees, in large groups and with everyone except your mother, not war
From bees
  • Only the Queen uses her sex organs for sex
  • The rest of us fight with them
  • And then we die (bee stings are modified ovipositors)
From elephants
  • Size is everything
From amoebae
  • Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious creature on the planet
  • Eat your enemies
From plants
  • Plants give amoebae a run for their money
  • If you're not using it to eat, build, or have sex use it to kill something
  • Strangle your enemies
  • Starve your enemies
  • Poison the ground that they live on
  • Once you kill them, eat them
From skunks
  • If you have chemical weapons you don't need to be smart, strong or tough
From ants
  • Mindless ferocity and large numbers beat everything

Monday, November 05, 2007