Camile Paglia gets it:

The tragic fate of so many innocent victims in Mumbai deserves our pity. But what should live in special infamy was the ruthless execution of the Lubavitcher rabbi, Gavriel Hertzberg, and his lovely wife, Rivka, who was 5 months pregnant. These were two idealistic young people of obvious warmth and humanity, who sought only to serve. The rescue by their Indian nanny of their orphaned 2-year-old son, Moshe, crying and smeared with his parents’ blood, is already legendary. Was this zeroing in on the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai about Israel, or was it simply a gruesome eruption of the medieval tradition of anti-Semitism? Why have Muslim organizations, very quick to protest insulting cartoons, been mostly silent about the atrocities in Mumbai?

The slaughter of the Hertzbergs and other Jews at Chabad House should be a wake-up call to Western liberals who believe that jihadism can be defeated through reason and happy talk. Only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out. But the events in Mumbai confirmed my opinion about the looming problem of a nuclear Iran: While I oppose all American military operations and bases in the Mideast, I continue to believe that Israel, whose security is directly threatened, has every right to take preemptive military action against Iran.

Plus you’ve gotta love someone in the same column when she says this, quotes Invader Zim approvingly.

The AP reports that Mass cities and towns should expect aid cuts:

House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi pushed Monday for legislation that would allow cities and towns to join the Massachusetts’ insurance plan despite objections by local unions, saying the move could save municipalities millions as they brace for possible cuts in state aid of up to 10 percent next year.

Well I have a Plan B to make up for my lost job. When I went to pay my water bill today I see the assessors office has a plan B too:
santa-ticket1

Multiply that by thousands of roofs and they may have a winner, but I think my plan is better

Well I have an interview lined up for next week and the first unemployment check in processing. It should be enough to keep me afloat but things being how they are it is time for plan B.

Thus I now have eBay listings for a virus cleaning here and a system tune-up here.

I’m already getting ready to license the software (runs a bit over a grand a year about $110 a month) for remote connection. Lets see if I can earn a living on my own.

I’m figuring if I use eBay I have a national reach, and if I can manage even a tiny volume it should be enough to keep me going, and if I find a job I can always do it on the side. Paypal gives me the ability to take credit cards and we used the LogMeIn software so I know it pretty well.

I’ll be adding services each day. I don’t expect many bites right now but you never know and you have to start somewhere. Plus its something to add to the Resume even if I get only one or two sales. True if I don’t make enough it will just deduct from my unemployment but I can’t say home all day watching Hogan’s Heroes and feeling sorry for myself.

UPDATE: Just added a setup service as well.

Here is a story you likely haven’t seen on the national news:

On Sept. 5, Robinson dropped his wife and two children off at the Burger King restaurant at 41st Street and Memorial Drive and was pulling into an auto dealership across the street for an oil change when his cell phone rang.

“My spouse told me there was a man inside with a gun, saying he was going to kill everybody,” said Robinson, an 11-year veteran of the highway patrol who is assigned to the Creek and Muskogee turnpikes.

The off duty officer managed to get in and subdue the armed man, a pretty piece of work but hardly national news right? I mean it wasn’t as if it was an attempted terror attack or something. Oh wait:

“It was one of those deals of being in the right place at the right time,” Robinson said. “I believe he would have loaded up that gun and gone to town because he was praying for Allah to help him carry out his mission.”

Gee, a person with a weapon praying to Allah getting ready to slaughter people in middle America. Must be those pesky Zoroastrians again.

“But tech guy” you say, “It was just a single guy in the midwest named Jerome that’s not an attempted Islamic attack. It’s not national news” Well lets see, a Muslim guy with a gun praying to Allah before preparing to complete his “mission”. I’d say it passes the walks like a duck test.

And believe me if it was a Catholic praying the Rosary or even Better a mormon with a Yes on Prop 8 sign it would have been at least the 3rd story on the news.

Via Gateway Pundit who notices stuff like this and knows a duck when he sees one.

This has been a tighter than usual year. Circumstances from the 20th anniversary Cruise to other stuff had eaten up a good chunk of the money I normally set aside for Christmas gifts.

When the job left that clinched it. I generally buy the gifts all during the year for friends and family but for some reason the nieces and the brothers and sisters got covered early but the nephews and friends didn’t. Usually it is much easier for me to shop for the guys and the boys but items jumped out at me early for the other crowd this year. So Violet has something but Jack is out of luck.

As far as the immediate family this is where cheap has really paid off. All year I’ve been paying for everything with my Amazon.com gift card, then writing a check the following month to the card company. All the electric bills, all the oil bills, the 20th anniversary trip, Catholic School tuition, groceries et-al. The kids put their wish lists on Amazon and I had a stack of $25 coupons to use for them.

Additionally instead of ordering everything together I made each order separately. That way I was able to check the daily deals and jump on a thing or two while qualifying for the free super shipping.

My final order is being placed today. This will complete my Christmas shopping except for the the 12 guys who are out of luck unless I find something in the next two weeks. It will still be a thin Christmas but this really paid off this year.

It occurs to me that with the combination of cell phones and facebook that this kind of thing likely happens a lot more than we think:

At the exact moment Jon Favreau is receiving high praise in pre-inaugural media puff pieces, the 27-year-old chief speechwriter for President-elect Barack Obama (not Jon Favreau, the Hollywood actor/ director) finds himself in a minor mess over a photo from a recent private party showing him groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Rodham Clinton as an unnamed pal wearing an “Obama staff” T-shirt kisses and feeds her beer.

Instead of the liberal world where the press will protect an important Obama fellow from this stuff. (I’ll leave that argument for Violet and friends who won’t be surprised) today lets look at it in the real world.

First of all drunken idiots have been doing things since mead (which tastes awful in my opinion but these guys would disagree) was first created. It’s one of the reasons besides the fact that I’m cheap; I avoid drinking in public places. When you are drunk or stoned you are going to act like an idiot, when I act like an idiot I want to know I’m doing it.

Second of all in the age of the Cell phone and Facebook and e-mail a picture of you being a drunken idiot can not only be spread around the world in moments but might be on youtube forever (just do a search for star wars kid if you don’t believe me). The data may sit but it will be there.

Now imagine you are a HR person, if a candidate passes the first round of interviews I suspect a strong online search will take place. In this age of mandatory “sensitivity” and “sexual harassment” training, growing unemployment and lawsuits on demand are you going to risk a callback to the fellow in that drunken picture mooning the camera or that lady in that web video showing off her thong no matter how good their interview was? I think not.

And PLEASE don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. The 14 year old daughter of one of my oldest friends was talking to me a few days ago. She works in a local supermarket and the discussion of “Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays” came up. She was told if she said “Merry Christmas” and someone complained, she would be fired. She also said that if she said “Happy Holidays” and someone complained, she would be fired. It was the complaint that mattered and with 100+ teens waiting to take her job she will wisely keep her mouth shut. If she can lose her job for that what do you think a nasty chat log or e-mailed photo will do?

And what if you ever are on the verge of fame of greatness? People will be looking for those photos and blogs will be looking for the hits, just ask Ace.

In the end the internet is like a tattoo it can be expensive and unavailing to try to get off once you are on. This guy has the right idea:

The only real solution, argues a hacker and security researcher who calls himself “Dead Addict,” is to not reveal your personal information in the first place.

That whole article is worth a read but remember this. Unless you were there you will likely never see your grandparents drunk, wild and idiotic even if they were party animals, but your grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to watch you play “pull my finger” in a continuous loop forever.

Tight times or no da wife decided to give take me to see Mannheim Steamroller in Lowell Mass. My impressions follow:

The Memorial auditorium in Lowell is a great place to watch a concert, we had the “nosebleed” seats literally with our backs to the back wall and they were great for the concert its like watching a game at Fenway without breaking the bank.

Before the concert began the guy in charge of the place plugged gift cards for the place, and then very foolishly wished everyone a “happy holiday” (arbor day perhaps?) Considering the group and the concert and the demographics of the audience I can’t think of anything he could have said that would retard sales to this crowd more.

For some unknown reason the air conditioning was on in the place during the first act. It was freezing so we kept our winter coats , muffs, hats and scarfs on. Somebody took care of it at halftime.

They had a list of war dead in the auditorium, the amount of Civil war deaths from a city the size of Lowell was staggering to see as was the long list of Lowell men who apparently died on the USS Maine in 1898.

The list of 8 medal of honor winners was kinda large too.

I never thought I would see a bust of Gen Ben Butler in a place of high honor, he’s not a guy in history that you think of that way.

In the packed auditorium I noticed something right away:

There was nobody with a visible Tattoo.

There was nobody with a visible piercing.

There was nobody with any kind of shirt with a loud slogan

I didn’t see a single man with an earring

Nobody had hair dyed odd colors or with weird cuts

It has been decades since i saw a crowd composed of totally normal and average people. I suspect that the fact that Steamroller’s music gets a lot of it publicity from the Rush Limbaugh show had something to do with it. It was so striking I kept my eye’s open to see if I could find anyone odd during intermission and when we left. Other than a pair of really odd looking silver boots on a lady not a thing.

If you have heard cd’s and I have several it can’t compare to the visuals of the lights and film used in the performance. It is really something to see. The wife thought the cd’s were ok but decided the performance made her appreciate the Cd’s much more. She thought it was awesome.

It is a shame that the founder Davis is laid up, the idea of dividing the group into two, adding members and splitting them into east and west coast tours is great for the audience to expand the number of people who can see it, but I think I would have liked to see the original group at least once.

The videos and film were really classy. Apparently in larger stadiums they have live dancers and performers either instead of and in addition to the film. I find myself wanting to see it in that setting as well.

It never struck me but when they talked about medieval music and how many carols came from it their music does sound like it comes straight out of the 12-14th century sometimes.

I would really like to be able to buy tickets for an event for the actual face value of the tickets.

I never get sick of Christmas music, if the PC crowd manages to chase the word Christmas out of every other venue the music will keep it alive.

In his book America Alone Mark Steyn sets up the warning of the dangers of militant Islam and the west’s repeated state of denial.

He continues on this meme in his column today Silence=Acceptance and proves that he doesn’t have any claim on a Nelson:

He deals with the denial of Islam’s involvement first:

The veteran British TV anchor Jon Snow, on the other hand, opted for the more cryptic locution “practitioners.” “Practitioners” of what, exactly?

Hard to say. And getting harder. Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New York Times a serene befuddlement: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

Hmm. Greater Bombay forms one of the world’s five biggest cities. It has a population of nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An “accidental hostage scene” that one of the “practitioners” just happened to stumble upon? “I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?”

The rhetorical circles that those in denial are in would tie any person in a knot. He then skews the Muslims are feeling vulnerable” meme:

Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that Muslims feel “vulnerable.” Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural confidence, as well they might:

They’re the world’s fastest-growing population. A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia identifying them as infidels. If he’s feeling “vulnerable,” he’s doing a terrific job of covering it up.

We are told that the “vast majority” of the 1.6-1.8 billion Muslims (in Deepak Chopra’s estimate) are “moderate.” Maybe so, but they’re also quiet. And, as the AIDs activists used to say, “Silence=Acceptance.”

Deepak Chopra earns a Nelson almost every time he opens his mouth. Islam is not feeling vulnerable its feeling powerful. he concludes echoing Tom Freeman who came much later to the conclusion Stein reached years ago:

I wrote in my book, America Alone, that “reforming” Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there’ll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there’ll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that’s just business as usual. And, if it is somehow “understandable” that for the first time in history it’s no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline informs us, “worry about image.” Not enough

It is understandable in two ways that Muslims are not anxious to speak out. They are even more afraid of getting not only their throats cut but their relatives then the others. Even if they don’t It’s basically tribal, like a Mafia family and even if one doesn’t risk death in a face society you don’t go against the tribe.

There is also the feeling of power, as one of Sicilian decent I see it in people eyes on occasion when my nationality comes up. Don’t forget this moment:

The combination of liberal cultural guilt and raw fear is a source of strength.

In the end it comes to this, Militant Islam is going to have to be either stopped, submitted to or changed from within.

The current president and our military have made a good effort at the first particularly going on offense, but it will take time, effort and treasure.

As far as submitting goes laws in the west have already headed in that direction even to the point where Sharia law is gaining in England and Canada. I hate to say it but frankly I suspect that those who cry loudest at the “Oppression” of the current administration would find a reason and excuse to submit if Sharia comes to call.

As far as change goes it can either be from within or imposed. There are men and woman with a whole hell of a lot more courage than me such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat trying to make the case at the risk of their lives but unless the avg Muslim supports them they can’t do it alone. It still remains to be seen if they are the William Lloyd Garrisons of their times.

If they don’t its up to us. The late Oriana Fallaci sounded the warning and was on the front lines. If this doesn’t change then eventually it will come down to the William Tecumsea Sherman’s solution. He came to the following conclusion concerning the south:

We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people in the south but we can make war so terrible and make them so sick of war that generations will pass before they would again appeal to it.

And least anyone thinks I am calling for that sort of thing a 2nd quote of Sherman bears repeating as well:

I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers … it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. May 1865

It is going to be totally up to us as westerners and the Muslim people everywhere how this will end.

I can’t believe I spent over an hour writing this on a weekend but then again I unfortunately have a bit of free time.