The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, February 27, 2015

It's A Myth!

I was minding my own business, casually watching the USA channel after watching one of my favorite shows: "Suits".That show was recorded on my DVR ...and my thanks to whoever invented that... which meant that the cable box was still on that channel the next day (yesterday). What I was watching were reruns of Law & Order: SVU. Not a big deal... but what caught my eye was short interviews by some woman sitting on a stoop somewhere. On one of these she interviewed Gina Torres, the "managing partner" of the Suits' fictitious law firm on the show. A gorgeous woman I first saw on Xena playing the part of Cleopatra. The next interview I saw was of Sarah Rafferty, who plays "Donna Paulson" on Suits. "Donna" is a beautiful and smart red-haired legal secretary.

The interview was short and centered on her hair color. In it, she spoke of her father blaming her hair color for her temperament from time to time.

It's a common belief that redheads have quick tempers but it is, of course, a myth. I wonder just how that myth started. I have known many redheads in my life, even married two of them, and they do not have those quick tempers. In fact, I am of the opinion that blondes do not have more fun either. I have noticed, over the years, that a large number of actors and actresses are redheads and wondered about that... especially during the period when most movies were in black and white. I also noticed that actors (of both sexes) were often left-handed... far out of proportion to their percentage of the actual population. I have a theory as to why that is so but I will write of it another time.

I came up with thea theory of why there were so many redheads in film: they tend to look better under the harsh lights on a movie set.

Still, I wonder about the myth of the fiery-tempered redhead and where it came from. We, as parents, are behind it. We believe the myth and treat our redheaded children accordingly. That is, we treat them as if they are hot tempered from their earliest days and then, they tend to live up to that reputation. But how did it start? I have no idea.

I am of the mind that few of our cherished beliefs about personalities are true.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Whiny Woman

(I want you to know that is what Faye said I should use for a title)
The other night, at the Oscars, Patricia Arquette caused a stir by calling for parity in pay between men and women. An admirable plea, you might say, but one suspects that's because she apparently wasn't paid very much for the movie "Boyhood."

I like her acting but, according to her own words, she did the movie for personal reasons: "Patricia Arquette revealed that 'Boyhood' was more of a passion project than a lucrative gig."

In other words, she played in the movie out of a personal desire to be a part of it. She also claimed she "paid more money to my babysitter and my dog walker than I made on 'Boyhood'"

I suspect that's an exaggeration but I don't know for sure.

I may not be qualified to comment on pay disparity because the important places I've worked had no disparity. The Navy paid you according to rank/rate and AT&T paid the same as others (male or female) in the same job. I was a communications technician ("comm-tech" for short) and we were all paid the same. Now, management may have had a disparity but I cannot say because I was not management. I refused to become management precisely because my pay would have been in the hands (or at the whim) of my superior.

When I was 9 or 10, I thought I had a good idea how a fair and equitable economic system might look. My proposal was that everyone be paid exactly the same hourly rate regardless of what they did. Yeah, I was that naive. Later, when I learned about socialism and communism, I realized why that wouldn't work. I suspect, however, that Ms Arquette is still at that stage... or she is just disgruntled that she isn't sharing in the unexpected success of the film.

She even said, "we didn’t even know if people would even accept this movie."

So, she participated in it because she thought it was an important project, took low pay because of that, and now complains about the choice she made.

And people wonder why I think Hollywood people are idiots.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Off And On

Just in case you noticed, I only posted once last week. I had a reason other than mere laziness or indifference, I went on a trip to Biloxi, MS with my lovely wife.We hadn't been there for almost a year and the Lincoln needed a trip. After all, it only had about a 1000 miles on it and it was begging to be taken for a ride.

The journey was almost routine, we had made it a number of times in tyhe past few years. But it turned out to have its quirks. The first was the maybe 5 mile traffic jam because a pickup truck collided with a semi just south of Gainesville. It took us about two hours to get through it, just creeping along... car length by car length... for two hours. Eventually, of course, we reached the end of the tie-up. It was smooth sailing from there until Chipley where we spent the night before moving on to Biloxi in the morning.

The Lincoln performed well throughout. As one would expect of a luxury car. Until the return trip...

The first problem was that the USB flash drive (it can play MP3 music copied to such a device) and had happily done it on the way out. On the return trip, however, it got locked into the "shuffle" mode and we could not change it easily or permanently. Each time I shut the engine down, it reverted to "shuffle" mode again on start-up. Additionally, the climate settings failed. For some unknown reason, it would not turn on the AC even after the interior got up above 72 (which I had set earlier). If I lowered it to 71, the AC would kick in but it seemed to get colder than that. Also, if I changed the teperature setting (say to 73 after I got chilly), the "auto" and the "AC" lights would go off and have to be reset. We eventually just kept one side (Faye's) set at 71 and the other at 72.

Faye will be taking the Lincoln in to the dealership this morning. Not to be outdone, my Mercedes decided to be ornery today when I went out to pick up a pizza Sunday afternoon. The MB has an "Eco" mode wherein the engine shuts off while stopped for more than a second or so and then restarts when I remove my foot from the brake. It's a nice feature that just did not work on Sunday but had worked before.

I cannot win!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Freakin' Morons

In Copenhagen there was an attempt to kill an artist named Lars Vilks a couple of days ago. The attempt resulted in the death of one man and the injury of 3 others (police officers guarding Mr. Vilks). The gunman then went to a synagogue and killed another man and wounded two police officers. More information here.

Mr. Vilks' "crime" was a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Mohammad wherein his head was pictured on a dog back in 2007. Al Qaeda offered a $100,000 reward for his death.

I could be wrong but I seem to be unable to recall any attempts by Catholics to kill someone over the "blasphemy" of depicting the Pope in a derogatory manner. This is the main difference between adherents to Islam and every other religious following.

I do not think claiming that we are "not at war with Islam" matters much to the fanatics. That would be the equivalent of saying we were not at war with Germany in WWII. Islam must clean up its problem of radical fundamentalism and it likely will only do that if it thinks we are truly at war with it. Faye thinks we should nuke Mecca and then threaten other Islamic holy places. That this will "get their attention." I am certain it would but I suggest we just threaten it instead.

If I were a Christian, I might think that Mohammad was the anti-christ and oppose Islam on those grounds.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What Is Wrong With Blogger????

The following are my settings for comments on this blog:

Comment Location ? Popup window  
Who can comment? Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
Comment Moderation
? Never 
Show word verification ? No

As you can see, I do not ask for, or want, any kind of verification. Yet, I get it... every time. At one time, I used it but it never required me to do it (presumably because I was the owner of the blog). However, in Blogger's meddling with the structure, the Powers-That-Be decided to not only make it mandatory but replaced the Word Verification scheme with a Captcha function. I cannot turn it off, I cannot get around it. And, yes, I must also do it.

Please... complain to Google (they own Blogger)... if you can find a way to do it. I have a little box on most of my internal pages that reads "Send Feedback" but that stopped working. Possibly because I complained... often.

I am seriously thinking of shutting down this blog because of the stupid and pointless changes they have made since introducing the new blog editor.


Friday, February 13, 2015

In Defense Of Atheism

By now, you have heard or read about the shootings of 3 Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since the guy was an outspoken atheist, there is much talk of this being a hate crime. And I have no doubt that it was, in a sense (his hate of religion was definitely a factor). His wife (she is allegedly filing for divorce) claimed it was over a long-standing parking dispute. And that he had disputes with other neighbors. Having living in condo and townhouse communities, I can understand both the parking and neighbor disputes. That the victims were Muslim probably aggravated the dispute and made it more intolerable to the killer.

So I find myself trying to understand this purported atheist. Because, as you know, I am atheist. This guy was angry, troubled, and hateful. I do not understand why. A someone commented on an op/ed article, he came across as an "anti-theist." An anti-theist is someone who simply hates, and possibly, fears religion. I cannot comprehend that. The atheists who try to get "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance or "in God we trust" from our money are really anti-theist; they want to prevent others from believing and delete all reference to religion from public view, to drive religion underground, so to speak. I oppose those efforts. What others believe is unimportant to me unless they want to force me to believe and I have never met anyone who did that. Urge, yes. Proselytize, yes. But force? No. I  was even made to sit through recitations of The Lord's Prayer for a number of years in school but I was never forced to pray. I was only asked not to speak or move about while others prayed. And I complied... because it was the right thing to do. It was respectful.

There are many atheists who choose not to be respectful of those who believe yet demand that the believers respect them. That is certainly illogical, as Spock might say, but quite understandable when you look at human nature. I wonder if many of these anti-theists get as upset by stories about things like "Friday the Thirteenth" or someone refusing to walk under a ladder? I wonder if they fret over spilled salt or broken mirrors?

But parking disputes? That is something I can relate to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Few Thoughts On Kayla

I didn't know her, of course, but I knew a few like her. They are the ones everyone liked, the ones who would offer to help when you needed that so badly. The ones who would cheer you when you were down, who knew that you needed a hug just by the look on your face. The ones who wanted to hug everyone in the world, the ones who had no enemies, just friends. Yes, there are people like that. They are the ones we call "indomitable spirits", special people, and there are not enough of them.

They do not understand why others suffer, they do not understand why there are wars, or atrocities, or heartache. And they want to alleviate, in some way, the pain in those things.

But the world is full of woe and the Kaylas of the world cannot put an end to the suffering. I sometimes think they suffer for the rest of us, that they suffer from the fact that others suffer.

Instead of ending the suffering, she was murdered. IS claimed it was in a Jordanian attack. It is extremely unlikely that this was true, she probably had been dead for months. The IS is responsible for her death because they held her captive and had the responsibility to keep her safe.We will probably never know the real story of her death but it is likely we will learn the story of her life.

She has captured our hearts and our imaginations. And we will mourn her as if she were our own child.

But we cannot view the world as she did, we cannot forgive her killers. We shouldn't be able to, we should be vengeful, we should hate them, and we should want to kill them. Because this world needs Kaylas and it needs those who are outraged and angry at the scum who would kill those like her.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Somebody Stop Me!

But no one did... Some of you may have noticed that I didn't post anything on Wednesday. You are astute. I have a good excuse... really. And here it is...

Yes, a new car. A beautiful new car. I spent the most of the day up in Lakeland at the dealership. I didn't intend to buy the car... until I drove it... then I was hooked. It's hard not to get hooked on a Mercedes. This is the CLA 250 they have been advertising so much. It's tiny compared to most of their line but it has a good ride and great mileage (claims "up to" 26 in town and "up to" 38 on the highway. We'll see).

In my defense, this is the "stripped" model, no extra packages, just all the standard stuff. Well, plus a sun/moon roof (retractable).

I didn't fool Faye for a second, she knew that I would come back with a new car and, as usual, she was right.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I'm Confused...

I'm often confused but this is unique in my confusedness. When did they start naming the winter storms? Having spent my more formative years in south Florida, I am used to storms having names... but they were summer storms mostly, some in the Fall, maybe, but mostly summer storms... they called them hurricanes (and, in those years, they were female names only... sigh).
But I opened up Google News yesterday to find this headline:
Winter Storm Darius Headed To CT

It, the storm, is going to hit the midwest before the name takes effect, I guess... since that headline is for Connecticutt... but the storm is already causing problems for the Chicago area. I should write about it in the past tense since it will have blown through by the time you read this.

But, c'mon, named storms in winter?