Sunday, April 12, 2015

Twix: February 17, 2013 - April 11, 2015

We lost our big girl, Twix, yesterday morning. To be more precise, we had her put to sleep.
She was a very loving rattie, very forgiving and affectionate. Whenever she started licking you, she would carry on for several minutes. It's as if your hand was part of her body, something that had to be groomed!

Twix had several problems. One, she was very overweight. Despite our best efforts, she just ballooned to the point where she would even be comfortable on her back, not normally a position rats are fond of!
But, by the end, Twix had lost a lot of that weight, and, as such, she wasn't comfortable on her back anymore. She was able to rest like a normal rat, but had trouble eating or moving about.
Two, she was riddled with tumors. Lumps on her side, in her abdomen, and, most devastatingly, one in her pituitary gland. She could not eat nor drink. Steroidal medications helped for a week or two, but ultimately, it was clear to us that she would not survive the ten days required to try another steroid.
During the last couple of days that we had her, she would gently bite us whenever one of us held her up to clean her. Previously, she would've just forcefully licked us. The biting told us that she was in a bad way.
She needed us to do what all pet owners are called upon to do. Part of keeping and loving an animal is to have the bravery to euthanize them. Squirrel and I have been through this more times than we care to talk about, but we do not lack the courage to say good-bye for good.
The rat in the background of the photo is Twix's natural sister, Crunchie, who is doing fine. So is their step-sister Gwen. Both are over two years old and still very active, all thanks to God.
We will miss Twix though. She was a unique character. We're grateful to her Creator that she at least made it past the two-year mark.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gay bullies: The First Amendment is discriminatory

Bonjour, ladies and gents. Hope you had a pleasant Easter. And now the news:
Have you had enough of the gay mafia running this country yet?
Mike Pence, who is one of the stars of the true conservative class of Republicans and the Governor of Indiana, elected just this past November, has taken considerable heat for signing into law the state's Religious Freedom act. Twenty states already have religious freedom laws, including two New England states, Connecticut and Rhode Island (if you can believe it). Ten other states are proposing the same. It's been Federal policy since 1993 when Bill Clinton signed it into law. Futhermore, Indiana's act that Pence signed is the same version of that which Barack Obama voted for Illinois as a Senator for the state in 1998.
The religious freedom law simply emboldens and clarifies the First Amendment rights of religious Americans. According to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, supported by Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy, "ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected." The bill passed unanimously in the House and was opposed in the Senate by only three members and President Clinton signed it.
How did freedom of religion become in the space of only twenty years something the Left was happy to support to what they now believe is a poisonous charter? Because the law extends to businesses run by Christians or other people of faith the right to decline a service to someone based on any objections they may have, the Left is referring to it as an "LGBT discrimination law".
Predictably, the White House has registered its dissatisfaction, claiming that it is different than the Illinois law as Indiana's "seems to legitimize discrimination, it's important for everybody to stand up and speak out," according to spokesman ... spokesperson Josh Earnest, who answered the question of Obama's former support of similar legislation by announcing, "If you have to go back two decades to try to justify something that you're doing today, it may raise some questions about the wisdom of what you're doing."
Since the signing of the law, several organizations have protested including but not limited to Apple, Yelp, the NCAA, the NBA, including the Pacers, the city of Seattle, Twitter, GAP and Subaru.
"Is tolerance a two-way street or not?" Governor Pence parried. "There's a lot of talk about tolerance in this country having to do with people on the Left. But here Indiana steps forward to protect the constitutional rights and privileges of freedom of religion for people of faith and families of faith in our state, and this avalanche of intolerance that has been poured on our state is just outrageous."
Is this all about religion though? What about property rights? What about the right of a private business to establish what it will tolerate and what it won't? For those of you who believe I am a homophobe because I support Indiana and Governor Pence, I have something for you to consider.
In 2011, the Sircuit Bar in Melbourne, Australia won the right to ban females from its premises as they had a habit of harrassing its gay male clientele. According to the establishment's general manager, "predatory" females would try to turn homosexual men straight, making them feel uncomfortable. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found in Sircuit Bar's favor, finding that the business's proposal to ban women "is to ensure that gay men are not subject to attempts to change their sexuality, which reduce their comfort in the venue, which includes being fully accepted for who they are."
How do I feel about this decision? I am in full support of it. Sircuit Bar is a private business. Its customer base was unhappy. It did what it had to do and the law rightfully had their back. It was a refreshingly common-sense decision by the VCAT.
This furor over Indiana's religious freedom law is the worst sort of hokum. The gay militants and their Lefite masters are lying about it and convicing Americans that this is akin to a Jim Crow-style backlash against members of the LGBT community and lifestyle. They are so obsessed with discrimination against them that they cannot see that they are the proponents of discrimination themselves.
As proof, consider the recent experiment by comedian Steven Crowder in which he pretended to be a homosexual looking for a gay wedding cake at a Muslim-owned bakery in Dearborn, Michigan. They declined with one baker saying, "No, no, I don't want it." It, of course, referring to the job of baking the cake. Mr. Crowder was obviously attempting to show that it is not just Christian bakeries that are turning down gay wedding cake orders.
In response to Crowder's prank video, Blue Nation Review's John Paul Brammer said, "There are bigots in every religion and we gay people should just consider ourselves lucky that we're not being lynched for being gay. Even though plenty of gay people have been lynched in this country, it's swell that it's not happening everyday anymore."
I'm sorry, Mssr. Brammer, but do you have any examples of gay lynchings that occurred every day in America? Or even once? If you're going to tout that nonsense, do us the courtesy of providing examples. And don't give us Matthew Sheppard, who was tortured and killed by young men who already knew him, one of whom had even shared his bed as an occasional sexual partner. Sheppard's killing was about a drug deal gone wrong, not him being gay, despite what gays and progressives want you to believe because, golly gee, Sheppard's story and what you're expected to believe about it wouldn't involve an agenda, now would it?
Back to the point, gay people should feel lucky that they're not being picked up off the sidewalk, taken away and beaten or lynched? It used to happen every day and, apparently due to the unyielding militancy of the Pink brigade, it doesn't anymore? Talk about fictitious victimhood. Honestly.
It's such a shame that a good man, a man of principle, like Governor Mike Pence has to suffer the indignity of having his name tarnished forever due to the inane histrionics of the progressives.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Nightdragon's March-April news smörgåsbord

Another of the Nightdragon's infamous news smörgåsbords! Away we go:

Curt Schilling's daughter and the trolls

This is a bit of old news—because it took place last month—but for those of you who have not heard about it: Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, he of the bloody sock, recently pursued two internet bullies who had abused his daughter Gabby on-line.
Soon after Schilling posted news on Twitter that Gabby was going to be a pitcher on Salve Regina University's softball team, a torrent of vile tweets ensued. It was revealed that two living test cases for the idea of selective breeding to be taken seriously, Adam Nagel and Sean MacDonald, were responsible for the sexually and violently explicit responses.
MacDonald was a ticket-seller for the New York Yankees. He lost his job upon being exposed by Schilling. Nagel was a student and DJ at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. He has been suspended from the school.
Please peruse the article that I linked to. All I'll say is that Adam Nagel is actually worth his considerable weight for something. He has shown me—and many others—that it is probably impossible for a human being to be more physically repulsive than him. I'm no oil painting myself, but day-uhm! The Cthulhu beats this guy hands down in the aestetically gifted department.

Only Adolf Hitler could love a face like this

After finding out who these two trolls were, Schilling exposed them. In a post in his "38 Pitches" blog, Curt Schilling wrote of Nagel, "how do you think that place feels about this stud representing their school?" On MacDonald, he opined that if anyone had a Montclair State University handbook, he would like to see it, "because I am pretty sure there are about 90 violations in this idiots [sic] tweets."
Predictably, many liberal-minded people got on Schilling's case, asking why he couldn't ignore the tweets. Did he really have to get someone fired and another suspended from college? They were just words, don'tcha know, and ain't they got freedom of speech?
When it comes to free speech, you can cross a line. Gabby Schilling is Curt's little girl and always will be. As a father, he has a duty to protect her. That's exactly what he did by exposing those two imbeciles. Good for him. The only way you could not cheer on Curt Schilling is if you don't agree with his conservative politics.
As for Nagel and MacDonald, they need to consider themselves very lucky that Schilling did not announce to his family the sudden need for some personal time on the road and take care of this situation in a considerably different way.

Give 'Em Enough Rope

Didn't The Clash say this with their second album in 1978? Well, it neatly sums up my attitude concerning prison suicides.
I stumbled across this charming story earlier this week. Notice how it tries to convince you to feel sorry for the Nigerian prisoner, Boniface Umale? A man on trial for rape and three counts of sexual assault. But, of course, what seems to matter most, according to the story, is that he was recently a Masters student at Northumbria University and failed to pick up anti-depressants prescribed to him by prison health workers.
Sorry, you jour-whore-nalistic twits, but it didn't work. I don't feel sorry for Boniface Umale. Any sympathies I have with the depressed are offered to innocent, law-abiding people only. Good riddance, Boniface. One less foreign rapist to have to pay for with my tax money. It's only one, but at least it's a start.
Talk-show host Avi Nelson has said that if word was to filter down to prison authorities that a rapist, murderer or other violent criminal intends to take their life, then the response to that ought to be an immediate supply of rope to the prisoner concerned. I couldn't agree more.

No sunset for the threat posed by "liquid" food

Consider the following, dear reader:
Passengers at airports are falling foul of the fact that food can count as a banned liquid. Airports are reporting that items such as jam, Marmite and baked beans are being confiscated from unwary travellers who attempt to take them through security checks. London City Airport said items seized in the last 12 months included food jars from London stores Harrods and Fortnum & Mason. Stansted Airport in Essex said litter bins in the security area were regularly filled twice a day with surrendered items. LCY said that in the last 12 months its top five confiscated food items were jam/marmalade, marmite, Lyle's golden syrup, Nutella chocolate spread and Heinz baked beans. It said it had donated 300 items collected between January and March to NewhamFoodbank in London. These included 34 jars of Fortnum & Mason jam, marmalade and lemon curd and 22 jars from Harrods.
Normally, any chance I get to pick on people for ignorance I will enthusiastically take. But not in this instance. I actually feel sorry for these travelers. Items from Harrods or Fortnum & Mason are not cheap. They were looking forward to taking these quirky British foodstuffs home to show to friends and family. You have to feel for them.
However, to touch upon the larger issue, it makes you wonder—when is this madness of banning liquids, even water for Cripes' sake, going to end? I understand the initial reasoning behind it, but it was supposed to be temporary. This ban demonstrates all too well that when a government agency comes up with an excuse to further bully and inconvenience people, it will not let go.
People who believe that government edicts and enactments can, once implemented, ever be temporary are the same fools who believe politicians when they say that revenues from such-and-such a tax will be "earmarked" for a specific purpose (for instance, "for the children").
If liquids are such a threat to the security of air travel, then how come airlines serve little plastic containers of water or orange juice, or little plastic cups of tea or coffee? How come you can buy beer or wine on most flights? Why is it that passengers are not expected to choke down what they are expected to believe is eggs au gratin and chicken fricassee on a dry throat because, you know, fluids are verboten? Anyone? Bueller?
Don't be further fooled that there is a "sunset provision" for this inane no-liquids policy on the airlines. It makes regular people's lives all the tougher while putting idiots in the workforce, e.g., the TSA, which of course stands for "The Stupid Apply". Ergo, there is no chance in hell that this policy will ever go away.
Just remember, baked beans can be lethal. LETHAL, I tell you!

Mad Mullahs say 'thanks for making your demise much easier to achieve'

They're celebrating on the streets of Tehran. The leaders of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the halal nuclear scientists, are ecstatic. They can, quite rightly, claim a victory over the "Great Satan".
I don't have to tell you what you already know and what's already been written about in volumes. You already know that Barack Obama and John Kerry gave away the store to the Iranians. It is only a matter of time now until Iran gets the Bomb. Israel's survival is at stake; the Sunni powers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey are furious. Yet the Dear Leader thinks his legacy will be a peaceful new dawn of positive relations with Iran and that this will somehow stabilize the Middle East.
It is just a rumor, but I heard that Michelle Obama has to practically drag Barack to bed at night because he stays up talking to the portraits of past presidents. One, why would he want to converse with them? They were typical white people. Two, it only confirms what we already realize. We have an absolute madman in the White House.
The Prez, who is incapable of accepting defeat, is making it his mission to vilify Bibi Netanyahu at every turn and endanger the lives of Israelis for having the nerve to vote him back into power and ignore his efforts to meddle in their election. He wants to embroil America further into the madness of the Middle East by tying our fortunes with that of Iran. Once Iran has taken care of Israel, and most likely Saudi Arabia along with it, they will come for America. Goodbye Los Angeles, farewell Chicago, bon voyage New York City.
And talk about cleaning up Washington, D.C.? The average American citizen and voter has proven ineffective at doing that job, but the Iranians will absolutely take care of that chore for us. In fact, once they're through, voting will be the least of any American's concern.
I say, focus on survival techniques. You'll need them.  Take advantage of your Second Amendment right to self-defense while you still have it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The future of English in America?

I have thought long and hard over the years about what I believe will be the national American language by 2050. If I'm deeply cynical, I'd say Spanish.
But, if I want to be level-headed, it'll be a form of English that will have changed deeply from what we currently know, with a lot more Spanish influence. What happened to English when the Normans mass emigrated to England, settled and became the ruling class will happen to American English, only with Spanish tweaking the tongue instead of French. This might actually cause the much-predicted rift between American English and British or Commonwealth English spoken by the rest of the world.
The most popular language, in a time when Hispanic family names like Gomez, Gonzalez or Hernandez will have completely overtaken Anglo, Irish, Italian or other surnames in phonebooks everywhere, will be the interaction between Spanish and English known as Spanglish. That will be a major, unavoidable dialect that will form the basis of much talk—and slang—among the majority of under 50s in the United States thirty-five years from now (if not sooner).
I believe most first-generation Latinos, even the offspring of illegal aliens, will learn English. But the case in which most offspring of Spanish-speaking migrants once were encouraged to learn and accept English only, the current—and certainly future—generations will have fluency in Spanish in their lexical arsenals as well.
Spanish-language media, such as Univision and Telemundo, aren't going anywhere and the market for Spanish-language news and entertainment grows stronger every year.
Now, don't misunderstand me: I don't appreciate this shift in culture and if I had my way, English would be forced upon Hispanics, the same way past immigrants had to be immersed in English and learn the language because there was no other option open to them.  And I also don't wish any American citizen to be told that they must learn Spanish as a foreign language.  I don't want the response to any American student who would like to study French, German, Russian or Chinese be: "No, that's stupid. Spanish is the language you should be learning."
However, to be practical, no other immigrant group in American history was poised to completely overrun the country the way that Mexican, Central American, South American and Caribbean speakers of Spanish are.
There will always be an incentive to learn English in America. At least that's what I want to believe. There will even be a sizeable portion of the Hispanic community that will defend English, just as there is today. But, to acknowledge reality, I think time will eventually come when the issue will be forced on us to go bilingual. Certainly the job market may dictate that.
Here's how I suggest we settle this matter once and for all:
The United States should establish Spanish as an auxiliary language. By doing that, we will not be declaring it equal to English. Español (or castiliano, if you will) will not be set up to be the majority or native tongue of Americans. It will simply exist as a recognized language of a particular community that speaks it, as it is in The Philippines. In order to bestow auxiliary status on Spanish, though, the country at some point soon will have to give English official status; English needs to be formally established as the primary language of the American nation.
This is an issue that has been forced on us by the sheer ineptitude of past administrations to admit to a burgeoning immigration and culture problem and effectively deal with it. There is no turning back, I fear. Let's just give Spanish its due with the auxiliary status fig-leaf and thusly prevent Canadian- or Belgian-style bilingualism that will polarize the country.
I assure you, the Nightdragon will continue to write in English, no matter what.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time to scrap the Air Passenger Duty

A bit of advice before we begin: If you've never had a wisdom tooth out, ladies and gents, let me warn you. It hurts. This is a pain that will be with you for over a week. After the first few days, when you stop spitting blood, it will be just a dull ache that aspirin or acetaminophen can take care of, but it will still be difficult to eat solid food. Or any food, for that matter.
OK? On with the show:
Here in the U.K., and in England especially, an excise tax called the Air Passenger Duty (APD) is charged to travelers flying out of a U.K. airport. It was arranged in bands labelled A, B, C and D. As of next month, travelers to the U.S. or Caribbean will be paying an extra £142 ($212), in band B, for the privilege. Do you understand now why I haven't been home for over three years?
The Government instituted the APD in 2007, citing the environmental impact of the airline industry, but the APD does not take into account the efficiency of a plane. Assuming I was to fly to Boston on an old 747-200 or a DC-10, the duty I would pay would be the same as if I was flying on a new plane using up-to-date, carbon-cutting technology like the 747-8, the 787 or the A350.
Besides which, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has admitted, in a letter to the Airport Council International that was leaked to The Daily Mail in 2011, that the bogus duty is there just to finance the Treasury, meaning that any environmental concerns expressed to justify it are complete hokum.
So the Government admits that APD raises revenue, but expects us to believe that this is not simply a cash cow, and that money raised for them is good for us.  When was the last time you trusted any Government tax to be fair and just and to have a reason for existing? 
PricewaterhouseCoopers, inasmuch as they may have encouraged corporate tax cheats, helping to set up tax shelters in Luxembourg for them, and may have been exposed as the largest donor to "Red" Ed Miliband and his Labour campaign, have some credibility for number-crunching.  Their 2013 study of the APD determined that tourism revenue would go up with the abolishment of the APD, sparking a rise in economic output, investment and exports.
The Treasury would get more in its coffers by abolishing the APD.   So why is the Chancellor clinging to it like Aesop's dog with the bone? Why is David Cameron letting him continue with this tax which is setting the U.K. apart from the rest of Europe?
In fact, in 2011, Continental Airlines threatened to cease its Belfast to Newark flight if Northern Ireland did not scrap its APD—which, golly gee, it soon did.
Why should a North American come to London? Far better to fly to Paris, base yourself there, and take the Eurostar to London for a day or two. You might still pay the equivalent of the APD or more in train and hotel costs, but at least you'll get more bang for your bucks. The French won't slap you with a three-figure duty just for flying out of their country.
Last year, Osborne announced the removal of bands C and D from the APD, effective next month, so that the highest charge now will be the £142 of band B. That is not enough. It is still an unfair charge at a time when flying is expensive enough. Why, suddenly, are people being punished for flying up to 4,000 miles but not beyond that?  I cannot imagine on what grounds anyone can defend this cynical ruse. (Bonus points if you can do it with a straight face.)
Please sign this petition (just click on the purple words "this petition") and be counted, dear reader, as one who is fed up with punitive, nonsensical government taxes.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I should have known better ...

I think there could be nothing more indicative of rip-off Britain, and which serves perfectly as the embodiment of the disappointment with which so many people live on this murky island, than the recent solar eclipse.
We'd heard about it for weeks. Solar eclipse on March 20.  Then, solar eclipse this Friday. Don't miss it, folks. It'll be decades till you may or may not see another one. Be there or be square.  The solar eclipse is coming. Solar eclipse! SOLAR ECLIPSE! Holy squishy squirrel shit, SOLAR ECLIPSE EVERYONE!
There's me thinking, when this week began, that since I usually stay up Friday mornings after work to get a little pre-weekend housecleaning done, then I can step outdoors at 9:36 a.m. to view the 85 percent eclipse and observe how dark it would get. Even though there have been other solar eclipses that occurred during the course my current 45-year lifespan, I had no chance to see them. This one I would not, could not, miss.
Ah, but yes. Leave it to nature.
I left work Friday morning at 6:35 a.m. Looked at the sheet of impenetrable steel-grey mylar covering the entire sky and thought, "This is not good." Fast forward three hours. It got a bit darker. But it was not possible to tell if that was due to the eclipse taking place behind the cloud cover or if it was darker storm clouds arriving. It looked like it does during the tense minute just before a thunderstorm.
Then I went to bed. Boo-yah!
At least I wasn't alone in my frustration and seething resentment of nimbostratus. Forty million others across the country could not see it either. As The Daily Telegraph's Sarah Knapton writes, "It was a very British eclipse". And how!
The real kick in the ass? It had been sunny for mornings on end. It has been the sunniest British winter since Methuselah was a young boy performing cartwheels in the desert sand. The morning when we really needed the sky to be clear? That would be a no-go, ladies and gentlemen.
Just goes to show, as every resident of this land knows, the necessity in taking any news that could indicate genuine excitement with a liberal dose of salt. That way,  at least the bitter taste in your mouth that you will be left with will not come as a surprise.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Please, no more hand-wringing over so-called humanitarians

On February 10, U.S. authorities confirmed that Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old American aid worker who was serving with Doctors Without Borders in Aleppo, Syria, had been killed by ISIS, who had captured her in August 2013. It is not known how Mueller died, just that her death has been confirmed.
Accounts paint Mueller as a humanitarian with strong Christian beliefs. She had a boyfriend in Syria, who was released by ISIS but attempted to rescue her. Mueller wrote in a letter to her family dated November 2, 2014 that she had faith in God to put things right, admitted that she caused her family suffering by having gone to a war zone, that she didn't seek forgiveness from them and that she absolutely did not want to burden her family with the negotations for her release as it was not their duty.
The Muellers, Carl and Marsha, have criticized President Obama for waiting too long and preventing them from doing more to save her. Special forces had informed Obama of a window that had opened in the spring of 2014 in which to get her back, but the President waited too long and didn't give the rescue order until July, by which time, the militants—with Kayla in tow—had disappeared. Carl Mueller also said that the administration's policy of swapping prisoners for captured Americans, as it did with the deserter, traitor, Muslim convert and best buddy with the Taliban, Bowe Bergdahl, allowed ISIS to up the ante. They were not allowed to pay ransom, even if they could have gotten the $6.2 million that ISIS demanded for her release.
What you probably have not been told, at least not by the so-called mainstream media, is that Kayla Mueller was quite the anti-Semite. Just like Rachel Corrie before her, Mueller was not just pro-Muslim, but stood avidly against the Israeli state and people.
You remember Rachel Corrie, right? She was an American protestor, active with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group founded by Palestinian activist Ghassan Andoni. In 2003, she was attempting to stop a bulldozer from destroying a Palestinian neighborhood in the Gaza town of Rafah and was run over by said bulldozer. (Cue comic laugh track.)
The driver of the bulldozer, an Israeli of Russian extraction, said that it is difficult to see or hear very well when operating those vehicles and that all he saw was some earth being scooped up. He claimed to have no idea that Corrie was on the pile of rubble that the bulldozer was heading toward. Even the Left-wing Mother Jones opined that the driver's account of not being able to see Corrie was credible. Two weeks ago, Israel rejected an appeal of their 2012 ruling that upheld the findings of the 2003 investigation.
Back to Mueller. She too was a supporter of ISM. She wrote in one of her letters that she did not hate her captors. Was she being a good Christian by claiming that, or was it because she sympathized with them? It is known that she spent time in Palestine itself and was vocal in her support for Hamas. She was involved in protests concerning the Israeli West Bank barrier, a high-tech electronic border fence that has kept almost to zero the number of Palestinian suicide bombers that have gotten into the country since its construction. A charity that has been set up in the wake of Mueller's death, Kayla's Hands, includes a link to a page that describes her work for ISM and the radical Palestinian campaign.
So, dear reader, wish the Mueller family well in getting over their grief, but do not mourn the loss of Kayla. Who knows how she acquired her anti-Semitic convictions, but she could have been exposed to anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish sentiment in college, which would not be surprising. All I can do is mirror blogger Debbie Schlussel: "Buh-bye, Kayla. Have fun with your 72 Yasser Arafats."
The lesson here, dear reader, is this: Do not trust any MSF or other assorted "aid workers" who are in Palestine or Syria or Iraq. They are almost always exposed as pawns in ISM's terror-abetting game. I don't want to hear any more about any Americans captured by ISIS or al-Qaeda. I'm done with that. They are on their own and if they get captured, so be it.
Kayla Mueller wrote that even in the darkest places, God's light shines through. So let these "humanitarians" be satisfied with that when they're being led around on a leash by Islamic militants.