And Now, For My Next Impression

According to the Washington Times, some Muslim groups are complaining that freezing the assets of the “Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development,” will create an impression of “an attack on Islam.”

Well, boo hoo…

On September 11, some folks who claimed to be Islamic leveled two skyscrapers with all contents, ostensibly “for Islam.” Islam doesn’t seem to made any great effort to dispel the notion that Islam approves of such actions.

Sorry, folks, but given the reality of thousands of bodies (including those of the Muslim faith) intermingled with concrete and steel, we’re more interested in reality right now, than “impressions.”

Why aren’t you?

Holy Leaping Lords, Batman!

I know, I said I was done until I get to Puerto Rico, but I decided not to pass this one up. Also, it seems appropriate since, where I’m going, Christmas isn’t that big a deal, but they take a couple weeks off to celebrate Three Kings Day (i.e., the whole friggin’ twelve days). Of course, in Puerto Rico, almost anything is an excuse for a holiday–they celebrate both theirs and ours…

Chris Pellerito astutely notes that:

MSNBC cites a PNC Advisors’ study suggesting that the cost of purchasing all the items in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has risen 4.36% in the previous year. (This assumes that your true love gave you a partridge in a pear tree on each of twelve days, two turtle doves on each of eleven days, or twenty-two turtle doves total, etc.)

A couple of interesting observations — first, the goods (five golden rings, etc.) increased in price faster than the services (maids-a-milking and the like.) This suggests that real wages, vis-a-vis the goods they can purchase, are falling. This is exactly how the economy “wrings out” a recession. Second, the golden rings increased the most in price — beware of rising gold prices!

My question has always been: is “Lords-a-leaping” a good or a service? Not that it would seem to have a lot of value, at least to me, unlike maids-a-milking, which at least provides milk and ultimately other dairy products (though perhaps the cows are extra and not included, like batteries, or the wardrobe for Barbie or Jihad Joe…).

What I mean is, do you get to keep them and watch them leap in perpetuity (or until they get old and crippled, and you’ve fully depreciated them, and retired them or had them shot out of mercy or revolutionary vim), or do they just come in and leap for you until the Epiphany, and then go back to their various manor houses? Inquiring accountants and sales tax authorities are dying to know.

I’m also wondering if this can serve as a new surrogate for true inflation and as a general index of the economy. It could turn out to be as useful as the Economist’s use of the Big Mac as a benchmark for exchange rates (as representative of purchasing power parity between different countries)…

Ahh, one of the evils of computers–they make it all too easy to do pointless statistics.


I’m packing tonight, and I’ll be on planes all day tomorrow from LA to San Juan, so I won’t be posting until Friday (from the Atlantic time zone) unless something truly urgent strikes me.

This message is only to the three people who regularly read this weblog (likely all family members). Everyone else can ignore it…

Some Airline Security Common Sense

Bob Poole has published a little reality check about the recent airline security travesty passed by Congress and signed by the President. I’m still trying to finish up my magnum opus on this subject, but until then, this is highly-recommended reading by someone who has been following these issues for many years.

Congress acted in haste, under intense public pressure to “do something.” But what’s needed now is a more careful look at which “somethings” will actually make flying safer.

Not only that, but “somethings” that will make flying a tolerable experience…

Annoying != Safe

Nuts To Me

In his comments about bloggers vs “professional web writers” (like some of the hacks at Salon), Professor Reynolds notes:

Look at most of the pages under “recommended” on the left and you’ll see people doing just as well, for peanuts.

Peanuts?! I wish! I must not be included in the “most.”

I do all this in furtherance of my eventual unrealizable fantasy of getting peanuts (maybe even shelled and roasted–one can always dream). Right now, I have to shuck my own sunflower seeds.

Of course, I’m hoping to move into a cardboard box any day, too…

What do you do to get peanuts? Whose hiney do you have to kiss?

(BTW, there’s a little button over there to the left for anyone who wants to contribute to my legume fund…)

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!