Monthly Archives: November 2012

November 30, 2012 – 21 Days Until Baktun 12

solar-boat-solarsailor

Survivalist Tip:  If you live near the ocean, buy a boat.  Not a raft, a canoe, or one of those inflatable things – an actual tough, sturdy boat!  The abrupt shift in the Earth’s axes will cause the seas to rise and inundate coastal areas.  If your neighbors laugh at you, just remind them that people laughed at Noah.  If they don’t believe in the story of Noah, start talking about global warming.  If they don’t believe in global warming, it’s probably best if they drown.  They’ll just take up too much room on your boat anyway.

Image.

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Flexing Your Eyes

Courtesy Brusspup.

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Confucius Says…

John Martinez

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November 30, 2012 · 10:42 PM

United Hamlets of Texas

texas-secession

Once again, my beloved home state of Texas is in the news for all the wrong reasons.  We used to make headlines for our space program and oil patch revenues.  Now, it’s the glaring call for “Secession.”  Two years ago Governor Rick Perry publicly toyed with the idea of secession; claiming he didn’t want Washington elitists interfering with our business – especially any half-blooded Negroes who might occupy the White House.  After he won a third term that fall, he denied rumors he would seek the presidency, again stating, in effect, that would betray his anti-Washington stance.  Then, he went back on his word and jumped into the presidential race last year; ultimately embarrassing the crap out of the Lone Star State.  We moderates didn’t like him much anyway, but now, he’s our version of the anti-Christ.

But, the “S” word has reared its ugly head again; this time in the form of a petition a group of Texans actually have submitted to the White House.  The petition reads, in part:

“Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s [sic] citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”

As of now, more than 118,000 people have signed it.  If I had my way, I’d secede them and any subsequent followers to a boat in the middle of the Atlantic.  Unfortunately, though, the White House – by federal law – now has to take this mess seriously.  We’re in the midst of an economic crisis, and our troops still haven’t left that oversized latrine known as Afghanistan.  But, the Obama Administration will have to spend precious time and resources giving a pack of disgruntled moonshining acolytes the attention they didn’t get from their own trailer park families.

Never mind that, should Texas actually manage to secede, we’d lose tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for highway infrastructure, education and our slew of military bases.  But, if Texas does become its own nation, I have to wonder how our constitution and “Bill of Rights” would read.  From El Paso to Texarkana and Amarillo to Brownsville, what would become of all of us?

Would our currency have a picture of Rick Perry holding a gun or a pair of fallopian tubes?

Would we have to build an electrified fence along our border with New México?  I can understand Louisiana and Arkansas, but New México?!

Will our national history begin with David Crockett and Jim Bowie, instead of c. 9,000 B.C.?

Will everyone above the age of 10 months be required to carry a gun?

Will there be a border crossing bridge into Oklahoma?

What will we bomb after we’ve destroyed all the Planned Parenthood offices?

Will Ann Richards’ body be disinterred and reburied at sea?

Will the Bush clan be declared our royal family?

Will everyone with Spanish surnames have to get branded?

Will Chuck Norris be our ambassador to the United States?  Or, will it be Ted Nugent?

Will legitimate rape be included in the “Texas Bill of Rights”?

Will the Civil War be renamed “The Great Freedom Battle”?

Will the term “slavery” be replaced with “low-skilled labor”?

Will chicken fried steak be considered a delicacy?

What will be the official national religion – Southern Baptist or Smith & Wesson?

Will art museums be considered communist propaganda?

When will open season on Muslims, Jews and Wiccans begin?

Will foot-binding become fashionable again?

Will Texas Supreme Court justices still wear black robes, or switch to leather chaps?

So the death penalty will only apply to retarded people now, right?

Will shooting and killing any non-White person be classified as a misdemeanor?

Will rap music be outlawed?

If Lady Gaga tries to make it into Texas, will she be shot on sight?

Will TV shows like 20/20 and Dancing with the Stars be subtitled?

Will FOX News become our state-run news station?

Will every home have speakers installed through which “God Bless Texas” can be blared 5 times a day?

Will red become the official national hair color?  I’d go for that!

Will people from California and Massachusetts have to step aside at the airport for extra pat-downs?  Or, will they just be jailed as soon as they step off the plane?

Will opera and symphony companies have to shut down and be replaced by NASCAR gift shops?

If Chris Matthews tries to make it into Texas, will he be shot on sight?

Tea klux Klan_secdee

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November 29, 2012 – 22 Days Until Baktun 12

Survivalist Tip:  Since power and utility infrastructures most likely will collapse on or immediately after December 21, it’s imperative to have some light source besides matches, sunlight and a full moon.  Therefore, stock up on some battery-operated lanterns.  And, I certainly don’t mean those decorative types you hang outside your patio during cozy outdoor dinner parties.  They may look nice on cool summer nights, but they’re not practical.  Sturdy lanterns can withstand heavy winds, rain and being used as a defense weapon.  Have at least 3 available.  Besides, there are few things more frustrating than trying to find chocolate in the darkness.

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Jeepers!

Just when you thought we twenty-first century types had invented everything, comes an announcement that one particular item is not so new.  In 1917, British Admiral Lord John “Jackie” Fisher sent a letter to Minister of Munitions Winston Churchill describing the German navy and ending it with the term “OMG.”  Yes!  That ubiquitous little trifecta of letters – which makes its rounds across emails, text messages, instant message and occasionally into verbal speech because some people are too damn lazy to talk right – is not as fresh off the keyboard as we’ve led ourselves to believe.  Damn!  Next thing we know we’ll find out someone had the idea for flying before the Wright Brothers!

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Gmail to Support Its First Native American Language

Gmail announced recently that it has integrated the Cherokee language into its system, a first for any of Indian languages indigenous to the U.S.  They worked with the Cherokee Nation to make it a reality.

“We are constantly trying to find ways to ensure our Cherokee language lives on and thrives, and being able to converse via email is a vital part of that,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

In the 19th century, Cherokee became the first Native American language to be developed into a syllabary, which is a list of symbols, each representing a syllable.  This is different from an alphabet, in which each symbol represents a particular sound.  The Japanese language is syllabary-based, while English and other Indo-European languages are alphabet-based.  The ancient Mayans developed a syllabary-style written language in central México, starting around 600 B.C.; the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.  The Iroquois had something similar; a pictograph arrangement in which they carved images into large wooden cylinders called “Condolence Canes.”

The 19th Cherokee syllabary was created primarily by Sequoyah, who was born of a Cherokee mother and a White father in Tennessee in the 1770s.  Sequoyah was also known by the name George Gist, a legacy of his father.  He grew up with his mother, however, and acquired the traditional Cherokee ways and customs.  He was a hunter, fur trader and skilled silver craftsman who never learned to speak, read, or write English.  But, he was still fascinated by the ability of some Whites to read written words.  His obsession led him to begin work on a written Cherokee language, which often earned him the ire and mockery of his Indian contemporaries; some of whom accused him of practicing witchcraft.

Sequoyah persisted, however, and eventually developed 85 characters that represent all the combination of vowel and consonant sounds that form the Cherokee language.  In 1812, he first demonstrated his system before a group of Cherokee tribal elders.  Despite previous trepidation, the elders approved of Sequoyah’s results and formally authorized the syllabary.

In 1827, the Cherokee Council appropriated funding for the establishment of a national newspaper.  Early the following year, the hand press and syllabary characters in type were shipped to the capital of the Cherokee Nation, New Echota.  The inaugural issue of the newspaper, “Tsa la gi Tsu lehisanunhi,” or “Cherokee Phoenix,” printed in parallel columns in Cherokee and English appeared on February 21, 1828.  It was the first Indian newspaper published in the United States.

One of the challenges of integrating Cherokee into Gmail was translating more modern words that did not exist when the Cherokee Syllabary was composed.

“When Google decides to support a language, it’s not just about which ones have the largest number of speakers,” said Craig Cornelius, a Google software engineer.  “In order to do business around the world, we need to support languages with millions of speakers, such as Japanese, French or Arabic.”

This is a significant advancement, considering that – less than 100 years ago – many Native American children were taken from their birth homes and forbidden to speak their native languages in a futile attempt to “civilize,” or as I call it, “Europeanize” them.  Many Indigenous American languages either have gone extinct or are in danger of being obliterated.  Linguists estimate that 155 indigenous languages are still spoken in the United States, but that nearly 90% are moribund.

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