Saturday, December 25, 2010


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Literally, "Danish tax", Dane-Geld refers to a tax used to pay off Viking raiders in order to avoid them destroying the land. [Wikipedia]. It is also often used to refer to any act blackmail

This poem by Rudyard Kipling describes what happens what nations think it's better to pay off evil than to stand and fight. It is quite appropriate for this day when nations routinely pay off other nations because they don't have the stomach to fight for what they know to be right.


by Rudyard Kipling

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
  To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
  Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
  And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
  And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
  To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
  We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
  But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
  You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
  For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
  You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
  No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
  And the nation that pays it is lost!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rationalist Judaism: The Prince of Egypt

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Rationalist Judaism: The Prince of Egypt
By Nathan Slifkin

... there is one major theme in the movie which, while it probably grates on the sensitivities of some Orthodox Jews, is an important part of the story ...

WTOP: Some Common Cold Remedies May Not Work

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From Dave Ross, commentator, WTOP Rado:

Some Common Cold Remedies May Not Work

A cold clears up in about 10 days no matter what remedies you take or don't take. So just save your money and admit that you're going to be sick for two weeks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

National Review Online: Merry Christmas to America’s Top 1 Percent

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National Review Online: Merry Christmas to America’s Top 1 Percent
By Deroy Murdock

... Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-styled socialist, who spent nearly nine hours on December 10 excoriating affluent Americans. Sanders complained to colleagues that “when the rich get richer ... they say: ‘I am not rich enough. I need to be richer.’ What motivates some of these people is greed and greed and more greed.”

How do the rich behave absent government coercion?

Among these multi-millionaires, 98.2 percent contributed to charity, versus just 64.6 percent of the general population. The wealthy typically gave away about 8 percent of their incomes in 2009. This figure has slipped as the economy has slid. In 2007’s survey, the rich donated between 9.3 percent and 16.1 percent of income.

In 2009, 26.8 percent of Americans volunteered with charitable organizations. However, 78.7 percent of wealthy people volunteered — nearly triple the national figure. The average rich respondent volunteered 307 hours. Rather than merely write checks, the average wealthy American last year gave to charity the equivalent of 38 eight-hour shifts.

The Center on Philanthropy researchers valued each hour of voluntarism at $20.85. So, the average rich American’s 307 volunteer hours equaled $6,400.95.

Read the linked article for the rest of the details.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The West, Islam and Sharia: WikiLeaks Cables Vindicate Israel

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The West, Islam and Sharia: WikiLeaks Cables Vindicate Israel

The U.S. and its allies are struggling to contain the damage caused by WikiLeaks, but there’s one country that needn’t worry much and can actually look at the disclosures as positive publicity: Israel.

The documents show that the threat from Iran is not an illusion conjured up by the Zionist lobby and that Israel is not the imperialistic aggressor seeking to dominate and brutalize Palestinians as the country is so often characterized.

HSUS’s Michael Vick Scandal Hits The New York Times

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HSUS’s Michael Vick Scandal Hits The New York Times

If you haven’t heard the shocking news, here it is: Last Wednesday Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that convicted dog-fighting kingpin Michael Vick "would do a good job as a pet owner." It was a slap in the face to animal-loving Americans from the president of a group whose very name suggests a deep and abiding concern about dogs and cats. (Why would Pacelle and HSUS side with a violent felon over his furry victims? A $50,000 check from Vick’s Philadelphia Eagles team might have something to do with it.)

I'm back

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After deciding once and for all that Facebook is far too much of a time-suck, and that their habit of removing stuff I like to use is making the site less and less fun, I've disabled my account. Maybe I'll turn it back on again someday. Or maybe not.

If you're interested in the serious stuff (mostly political rants, occasional bits of tech news) I've been posting there, you can find them here now.

If you're interested in reading my silly stuff (comics, humor articles, etc.) that I've been posting there, you can find them over at my LiveJournal page