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Dave Hill
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Dave Hill

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Kill them all and let God sort them out

What would Jesus do about ISIL? Clearly he'd go for those fuel-air bombs, because they're the best! 

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I don't know why the author here would even want to give Beck a voice. Some ideas and people just need to be left alone in their crazy corner.
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Reliant Robins of Fire

A lovely Assetto Corsa simulation of an automobile race using Reliant Robins, and what inevitably happens at the first curve ...

Which, in turn, reminds me of my favorite Top Gear episode: 

(h/t +Asbjørn Grandt)
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+Stan Pedzick Kubelwagens should perform pretty well. And they have four wheels, so ...
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Proper daily toasts, per Royal Navy tradition.  I sort of feel like I should make a note and keep it on hand for appropriate home toasting.

Though I might skip the (now-unofficial) "To wives and sweet-hearts [may they never meet]" Saturday edition.
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Movie Review: "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)

It's an odd-numbered Star Trek movie. What more can you expect than a 2.5/5 score?
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The movie does have a ton of great lines -- a lot of them from McCoy. (

But my favorite is from Captain Esteban, when Saavik tells him straightforwardly from the planet that the Genesis device has apparently regenerated Spock: "Saavik, uh, that's extraordinary. What would you like to do next?"  

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Movie Review: "Citizen Kane" (1941)

For once, a movie I can't comment on by saying, "Well, it's no Citizen Kane."

A damned good movie, despite everyone saying it's an artistic masterpiece.
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+Brittany Constable I don't know that I can completely agree -- it's a different sort of script and narrative than usual, certainly. It has a (overly long) newsreel at the beginning that gives all the story away, and then a series of personal narratives that fill in the details -- but it never quite gets to a Rashomon type of duelling realities or even a story in conventional terms. It's just about a progressive and repeated train wreck of a life, with unpleasant characters all the way down. There are also some tonal variations -- bits of near-slapstick adjacent to operatic drama.

But overall, it's still fascinating, both for its (sometimes consciously) groundbreaking visuals and the acting (by the excellent Mercury players), and for an interesting biography (even if a pseudo-biography).
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DC Heroes with Style

Here's a lovely collection of house style sheets from DC in the early 80s, drawn by the inestimable José Luis García-López. These served as reference samples for other DC artists, and they are all gorgeous.

(With the notable exception of Supergirl's horrific headband outfit, for which sin she eventually died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Supergirl has always had a lot of problems with costuming. But I digress.)

In some ways, it's remarkable looking at something like this, to see some classic designs that still resonate today, but also for body forms that haven't yet gone off the deep end (look at Wonder Woman's waist, her bust size, her overall definition; this is not an anorexic waif with a boob job and steroid addiction).

The mid-80s and later saw a lot of changes in comic book art to a more idiosyncratic series of styles, from Miller to Simonson to Sienkiewicz to McFarland and beyond -- some of them good, some of them not. Seeing this collection fills me with a lot of nostalgia.

Which is also ironic, because at the time I didn't collect any DC other than New Teen Titans -- but that had George Perez on art, so no problems there.
If you’re a fan of classic DC comics, then it’s probably the artwork of the ‘80s that is burned into your memory—more specifically it might be the art featured in the rare, never-released-for-sale 1982 style guide. While bits and pieces have made their way online in the past, we’ve never had a chance to see the entirety of it... until now.
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Have him in circles
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Dave Hill

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So what's the "Anti-Christian Bigotry" news for the week?

Courtesy of the zanies at OneNewsNow, we present their weekly top four ways that Christians are being persecuted, persecuted I tell you, just for being worshipers of Christ in this Christian nation of ours.

1. Police departments harassed over 'In God We Trust' motto

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has complained to some police departments about patrol cars with "In God We Trust" on the side. While Christian groups say that using the national motto is a matter of "showing patriotism" and celebrating "religious heritage," I do have to wonder how someone who doesn't worship the Christian deity celebrated by that motto would feel having a police car sporting it rolling up to (presumably) help them. Or how a non-Christian police officer would feel carrying around that theistic advertisement.

(The phrase only became the national motto in 1956, though it did appear in money briefly in the late 1800s, and again starting in 1938.)

At any rate, are police cars intended to proclaim the patriotism and religious heritage of the officers or police department officials involved? If that's the goal, are other religious heritage phrases allowable, too -- maybe a bumper sticker that says, "Allahu akbar"?

Or would that be bigotry, too?

2. Halftime hymn-players hogtied

Already dealt with this one ( Apparently it's bigotry against Christians to not let a public school play Christian hymns at football games.

3. 'Free thinkers' continue hassling team chaplains

Well, not exactly. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has issued a report ( condemning 25 public universities for spending tax dollars on sports team chaplains, on their travel, and for apparently all such chaplains being Christian when a large percentage of college students (including, presumably, some of the athletes) are not.

So should tax dollars be spent by public schools to preach to school athletes? If so, would the folk at ONN be willing to see some "good, godly" Muslim chaplains hired to give those kids "structure and good Islamic encouragement"? How about Buddhists? Or even Jews?

If the comeback answers is that, no, only Christian chaplains can provide such a service, then I think the FFRF's point is proven, and the "bigotry" involved is not theirs.

4. CA councilman 'purged' for views on marriage

A Newport Beach city councilman sent out a religious letter to his constituents, critical of the SCOTUS Obergefell decision. Said constituents (and constituents elsewhere in the city) complained, and the city council voted 4-3 to "disassociated" the city council from his remarks.

Ooooh. That's one hell of a "'purge,'" isn't it?

So apparently, according to ONN, it's not bigotry to spend taxpayer dollars to send out a letter to every household in a council district that God might be going to smite the world again because of the "homosexual movement," but it is bigotry to complain about it. Got it!
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"What I think God meant to say..."
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On discrimination against gays (and, in some circumstances, lobsters)

John Oliver's long-form screeds run longer than Jon Stewart's, but they're just as pointed.
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Guns? Madness? No, mass shootings are clearly about secular-progressivism

Bill's banner is emblematic of this country's gun problem:

1. Not all crazy people can be stopped, therefore no crazy people can be stopped, therefore gun deaths must be accepted as inevitable.

2. Firearms can't be banned [under current Supreme Court interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, as understood by the NRA], therefore gun deaths must be accepted as inevitable.

... thus ...

3. Since some gun deaths are inevitable, all gun deaths are inevitable, therefore there is no justification in trying to stop any gun deaths. Because madness / liberty.

4. Gun deaths cannot be the responsibility of gun-available craziness, thus they are caused by ... um ... secularists and progressives. Because religious fanatics and anti-government conservatives are never involved in gun shootings.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly argued on Thursday that secularism was a contributing factor to the shooting deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, as well as other mass shooting attacks. "Individuals in this country now, I believe, are tending away f
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This is going to be difficult to correct as long as a significant portion of the country's population cannot distinguish between facts and opinions presented as facts.
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Movie Review: "Kung Fu Panda" (2008)

Damn. I like this more now than when it came out seven years ago. Humor, Hero's Journey, and still-beautiful Wuxia. I'd watch this again, soon.
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It was really well done and Jack Black was a perfect casting.
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The Camels of the Wild West

Our family used to stop at Ft Tejon in California on an annual basis, so I knew a bit about the Army's abortive use of camels. What I didn't know were the factors behind the demise of the experiment: the railroads, and the Mule Lobby.
Initially seen as the Army's answer to how to settle the frontier, the camels eventually became a literal beast of burden, with no home on the range
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Now I have to go watch Hawmps.

Well... Maybe not.
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Margaret Sanger, eugenics, and the crusade against Planned Parenthood

The latest maneuver in the war against Planned Parenthood (and its services around abortion, contraception, and women's health services) is a move to have a bust of Sanger removed from the National Portrait Gallery.

A group of ministers lead by former Republican politician E.W. Jackson and the conservative non-profit ForAmerica say their opposition to the bust is based on Sanger’s support of eugenics, a social movement that sought to remove undesirable traits from the gene pool through sterilization and selective breeding. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, told the AP that Sanger believed eugenics could be used to “sterilize out of existence the poor, the blacks.”

Republican politicians have echoed these claims. Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas have written a letter to lawmakers that calls the sculpture’s display by the museum “an affront both to basic human decency and the very meaning of justice.”'

It's important to remember that eugenics was, in the  early 20th century, widespread among the intelligentsia and upper class of the US (and Europe, for that matter).  The idea of encouraging procreation amongst the "most fit" (based on various fuzzy criteria) and discouraging (or even preventing) procreation among the "least fit" (ditto) was practically taken for granted by policy-makers and pundits alike.

The specific targets for eugenics were all over the map. Sometimes it was overtly (or covertly) racial. Sometimes it was focused on poverty (again, often with ethnic and racial overtones), as material success was clearly a sign of "fitness"; this sometimes included sterilizing orphans / wards of the state. Sometimes it was couched as being about preventing "mental idiocy" -- many US states (led by California and North Carolina, and supported by the Supreme Court) had laws for the forced sterilization of men and women who were mentally ill or learning disabled -- the "epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded," and organizations promoted institutions for such people that were intentionally segregated by sex to avoid any furthering of their bloodlines.

Physical disabilities were also targeted, such as deafness. Forced sterilization of aggressive criminals, sex offenders, deviants, and other "moral delinquents" was not uncommon. Immigration reform started including various tests to keep out the illiterate (especially from "inferior stock" non-Anglo-Saxon countries) and mentally deficient.

You can still hear its echoes today amongst those folk who complain about how Those People breed like rabbits, are creating generations of dependency, are threatening to overwhelm good American culture by sheer numbers.

While most of the eugenics activity we condemn today was negative, there were "positive" eugenics movements, seeking to "improve the breed" -- promoting more births among "desirable" groups (racial, economic), and establishing "better baby" and "fitter family" criteria.

As noted, this was a pretty popular sentiment of the era. Americans who expressed support for eugenics principles included Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., WEB DuBois, Alexander Graham Bell, Luther Burbank, John D. Rockefeller, John Kellogg, Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller (!), Herbert Hoover, Linus Pauling, and numerous scientists, academics, and politicians (over in the UK, folk like Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, William Inge, H G Wells, Havelock Ellis, Bertrand Russell, John Maynard Keynes were supporters in their own country for various eugenics concepts).  Funding for eugenics movements came from organizations like the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune. Respected universities taught courses in it. Various civil rights groups also supported eugenics of one sort or another at various times, including the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the NAACP, and the National League of Women Voters.

So what, then, about Margaret Sanger in this context.

While Sanger, like so many of others of the era, sought to "assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit," she was determined that this was to be a personal choice, no something imposed by law, noting "eugenists imply or insist that a woman's first duty is to the state; we contend that her duty to herself is her duty to the state." Her focus was on preventing unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life -- preferably through free access to birth control methods. (The "don't have kids if you can't afford them" is, except in Catholic circles, not all that radical of a concept, even among conservatives when welfare checks are at stake.)

But where that wasn't practical, she saw voluntary sterilization as a worthwhile tool, and for the "profoundly retarded" and "undeniably feeble-minded" she supported compulsory sterilization, along with those. Regarding immigration, she urged exclusion of those "whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feeble-minded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924." She also suggested that those with incurable, hereditary disabilities be encouraged (with a pension) to be sterilized, or else be given farmland to segregate them from the rest of the population. (She also felt life on segregated farms would be helpful to improve the "moral conduct" of "illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends.")
[See also,]

Unlike some eugenics supporters, Sanger condemned euthanisia, and denounced Nazi eugenics programs. 

Were these ideas all cool things? Certainly not by modern standards, though they were completely in line with the mores of the time. But Sanger's emphasis on voluntary birth control as a means for individual women to manage the economic disruption of children strikes me as both laudable and sane, and is generally accepted today as much as it was controversial during her lifetime.  Her emphasis on health measures as a basis for domestic and international peace are also noteworthy.

To suggest that Margaret Sanger was out to "sterilize out of existence the poor, the blacks" is completely unfounded; her closest goal, and one I think most would applaud, was to remove poverty through providing family planning options to the poor. Suggesting that she should be dropped from the National Portrait Gallery, when other eugenics supporters like Holmes, Bell, Roosevelt, Pauling, and Churchill remain make it clear that there's an agenda beyond outrage over eugenics at work here. 
A bust of Margaret Sanger in the National Portrait Gallery has drawn controversy
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Dave's Collections
Mr. Nice Guy
Husband, father, writer, gamer, diplomat, theist, civil libertarian, techie, pointy-haired manager, traditionalist, Coloradoan, wordsmith, reader, blogger, magpie, nice guy.

I write about politics, religion, my particular geeky pop culture kinks (SF, Fantasy, Comic Books), and whatever other shiny objects attract my attention from moment to moment.
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A great marriage and a lovely teen daughter. But I can't take the majority of credit for either.
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Dave Hill's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Put Down the Acai Juice: Antioxidants Are Not a Miracle Cure

Antioxidants are the master of the health halo: put them in a yogurt, and that yogurt is now a health food. Marketers took that idea and ran

That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket

Stop thinking of Silicon Valley as an engineer's paradise. There's far more work for liberal arts majors -- who know how to sell and humaniz

America's Top Colleges Ranking 2015

The No. 1 FORBES Top College 2015 is Pomona College, followed by Williams College and Stanford University. The highest rated public school i

In big move, Accenture will get rid of annual performance reviews and ra...

The firm tells The Washington Post that it will abandon its old system for all 330,000 employees, starting in September.

Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling, July 10, 2015 Via @GoComics

One of the many great comics you can read for free at! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.

You’ll get through this. | The Bloggess

It might just be me but it seems like the last few weeks have been more hellish than usual regarding mental imbalances. Friends and family w

Why Are Republican Presidential Candidates More Afraid of ISIS Than Chin...

The greatest potential threat to America’s national security involves Beijing, not Iran or “radical Islam.”

Coil Your Extension Cords Like a Roadie with the Over-Under Method

No one understands the value of a properly wound cable more than concert roadies and TV crew professionals, who wrap and unwrap hundreds of

The Newsbox: Some of the news. A few days later.

Ahhhh…Powergirl. Probably one of the most recognizable, and most controversial, characters in the DCU. You may know all about that boob wind

Is motorcycle lane-splitting safe? New report says it can be

A new report by UC Berkeley researchers finds that motorcyclists passing other vehicles in the same lane, a practice called lane-splitting,

Selling Off Apache Holy Land

What motivated Congress to give Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site, to a mining company that will certainly destroy it?

Holy Crop: How Federal Dollars Have Made America’s Drought Crisis Worse

The federal subsidies that prop up cotton farming in Arizona are just one of myriad ways policymakers have refused to reshape laws to reflec

Morning People Vs. Night Owls: 9 Insights Backed By Science | Co.Design ...

Night owls are drunker, smarter, and get more bootybut morning types may be happier.

Google researchers create amazing timelapses from public photos

There are a zillion digital photos in the public domain and scientists have just figured out something very cool to do with them. A team fro

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex

An exceedingly amusing story by Larry Niven about the Superman's procreative challenges.

Court rules search of businessman's laptop at border 'unreasonable'

A federal court has ruled that the government's search of a traveling businessman's laptop at the California border was unreasonable and vio

Many lovely items, esp. the cinerary urns. But it's all organized very poorly (and there's an excess of cinerary urns on display). The display cards are all in Italian, but of wildly varying styles. Worth a visit while in Volterra, but maybe not the key thing to see there.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Decent "diner" fare. Good shakes, passable chili fries. Could use with a bit more cleaning attention to the dining room.
Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Entrees were very good, but a simple off-menu drink was bungled and the caesar salad was too deconstructed for its own good. Service was nice but not as helpful as it should have been.
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Food was excellent, as it has been on previous visits. It, and the extensive wine list, are pricey, but worth it. The service was good for the first 2/3 of the meal. We'd come in at 5:15 (we had 6p reservations but made it into town early). While the restaurant was mostly empty, the service was nicely attentive. As our meal was wrapping up, though, some larger parties came in and the restaurant filled up -- at which point it took about 25 minutes, from ordering, for our after-dinner coffees to appear, etc. So, definitely worth visiting, but try to avoid crowded times.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
11 reviews
Tasty (if overpriced) margaritas, and good (if not spectacular) carne asada and appetizer sampler. You could definitely do worse than to dine here, but I suspect you could probably do better, even if it truly is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles.
Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
We were a large dinner group, most of us there for the first time. The waitstaff was very helpful and supportive. The food selection was broad, and everyone seemed to enjoy what they got. I'd go back again.
Food: Very GoodDecor: GoodService: Very Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
The wine was good (if not fabulous); the service was friendly (if not knowledgable), the shareable food platters were excellent; the ambiance was terribly noisy (wish we'd eaten on the front porch). Like Randy, we found the wine flights (reds) were overchilled. They were much better once they'd warmed up.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago