Christmas Is Sanook!

Bangkok Gets Into the Christmas Spirit – TIME

There may not be much by way of snow to carry Santa’s sleigh in Thailand, and the ubiquitous saffron-robed monks and golden-spired temples are a reminder that this a predominantly Buddhist country. But any visitor to Bangkok between October and January would have reason to be confused over the country’s spiritual orientation, because the Thai capital embraces Christmas with a fervor that belies its reverence for Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. For Thais, of course, December 25 isn’t a moment to celebrate the birth of Christ; it’s simply a tinsel-festooned season to shop, set cellphone rings to “Deck the Halls” and feast on red-and-green hued sticky rice with coconut cream.

If you walk into the Thai Buddhist Temple that I go to here in Oregon, you will be greeted not only by the ubiquitous Buddha statue but also a Christmas tree and a musical Santa Claus.

This might seem strange to you, but it makes perfect sense if you have spent any time around Thai people.

Thais love all things “sanook.” That means things that are funny, pleasurable, and make you feel good. Sanook encompasses many more things as well. Basically, if you enjoy doing it and suffer no ill effects, it’s Sanook.

Thais love any excuse for a celebration. For example, they celebrate three different New Years. The western New Year, the Lunar or Chinese New Year and the traditional Thai New Year which is based on something that I have no idea of. Every little village has their own celebrations as well. Koh Samui, a resort island, has their Full Moon parties, though that is a western invention that was adopted by Thais for business reasons.

But Thais celebrate as well.

I have often said that Thais would celebrate Tuesday if it meant a party. It’s sanook.

The Hottest New “Collectible.”

This is bigger than Barbie

Last week, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson issued what may be the first legal opinion ever to interest America’s 8-year-old girls. He ordered a halt to all sales of Bratz dolls.

What this means is the Bratz dolls are on the road to becoming next years hot collectible.

So head for your daughter’s room and grab all her Bratz dolls now. Stick them in a box somewhere and wait for the priced to skyrocket. People may not have money for the mortgage or their credit cards. But theyre’s always money for “collectibles.”

Today He Would Have To Be Satisfied With A Use-Of-Force Authorization

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”: FDR Asks for a Declaration of War

Even then he would have to limit his targets to the officers and crew of the Task Force (the Kido Butai, or Striking Force) and insure that all the rights due an American citizen were accorded them.

There would have been no reason for attacking in places like Guadalcanal because none of those crewmen were there, much less an island hopping campaign. After all, America had provoked the Japanese by cutting of their oil. Why would we consider engaging in a “war for oil.”

When Hitler declared war on us there was no reason to start shipping soldiers all around the world. Hawaii was a territory, not a State. They were not actually part of the United States. Japan, Germany and the rest posed no imminent danger to us. They might be bad people, and judging by their actions in Europe and China, they probably were. But we can’t be the world’s policeman. These regional differences have to worked out among the people that live there.

Think of the thousands of lives we might have saved. Not only our own soldiers and seamen, but the civilians that we bombed.

People have thought that FDR did the right thing by declaring war for more than sixty years. But the reaction to the Iraq War shows that FDR may not have.

Politically Required Training.

The sham of sex harassment training – Los Angeles Times

The imposition of training that has a political cast violates my academic freedom and my rights as a tenured professor. The university has already nullified my right to supervise my laboratory and the students I teach. It has threatened my livelihood and, ultimately, my position at the university. This for failing to submit to mock training in sexual harassment, a requirement that was never a condition of my employment at the University of California 30 years ago, nor when I came to UCI 11 years ago.Interestingly, I have received many letters of encouragement — about 25% of them from women. The comments have been rich with words like “demeaning,” “oppressive,” “politically driven” and “indoctrination.” Other phrases included “unctuous twaddle” and “sanctimonious half-wits.”

Sexual harassment is a politically charged issue. The people of California have granted no authority to the state to impose narrow political and cultural opinions on individual citizens.

Since I work for a government agency and before that was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, I have been forced to participate in a number of training classes that I thought were a waste of time.

Like the Professor, I resented the implication that I was guilty of whatever, and needed such training.

But I was wrong. I have come to realize that my view of such things was skewed. Like most people, I supposed that the purpose of such training was to instruct me in some area where I was deficient. But that is not the case.

The purpose of these training sessions is political. Some interest group or another, in the case of Sexual Harassment Training it would be militant feminists, but it could be the NAACP, had made a lot of noise and convinced some politicians that it was imperative that they “do something.” So they made such training mandatory for government employees. Then the fact that it was embraced by the government meant it spread into the private sector.

The purpose of the training is twofold. First, it gives an appearance of “doing something” which can mollify vocal critics. Secondly, in many cases, but not all, the training requirement has generated demand for people to give the training. In the case of Sexual Harassment it would be militant feminists. But in any case the ones who pushed for the “training” are the same group which ends up giving the “training.”

This also has the side effect of giving these groups access to a captive audience for their message. Whatever that might be.

So you see. The purpose of these mandatory classes is not to correct deficiencies in the conduct of employees, it is to protect the management and buy off critics.

Commenters

On the KGW Channel 8 in Portland’s website there is a comment who recently started showing up in the comments section to various news stories. He is very good.

He writes in the style of the extreme left commenter but if you read his comments closely they resemble Frank J’s “In My World” series which is one of the great satirical series of the Internet.

For example, here is the comment he left on a story regarding the protests againsst Prop 8 in Portland.

Once again this site is overloaded with the Reich-Wing hate from the Judaic/Christian playbook sponsored by the RepubliKKKan monsters who were thankfully cashiered by the enlightened electorate on November 4th.

But then the joyous celebration stopped.

With the exception of Massachusetts and Connecticut, the rest of the country continues to elect the right people, but then does a 180 degree turn and rolls back the clock to the dark days of Jim Crow, Poll taxes, separate toilets and water fountains, and jingoistic patriotic Irving Berlin songs.

What will it take for these homophobic parasites to realize that marriage, as well as morality, is an individual choice fully recognized in our once beloved Constitution?

Only when we can stand proudly before the bar of United Nations approval,and realize that the institution of marriage,like every other racist and deluded idea held so highly by the Neo-Cons who regulate Christianity,is meant to be defined and shared among any person or group that wishes to partake,

If a transgendered person wants to marry him/herself- then who are these brutal Bush/Reagan plutocrats who dare attempt to force their bestial pious will on such a lovely person?

If three, four or eleven people regardless of sexual orientation, want to collectively marry each other, then the Newt Gingrich/Sean Hannity warped view of monogamy must stand aside and make room for the peaceful and beautiful future designed to be shared under the large and colorful rainbow tent of tolerance and diversity.

As I previously stated in other similar posts on this subject, the Courts of California once addressed this travesty by invalidating the RepubliKKKan forced ballot of 2000 where these myopic, merciless and bigoted citizens shamelessly voted 3-1 to cruelly define marriage as between one man and one woman.

I personally would think that such archaic and totalitarian ideas would have disappeared from our culture at the same time that JFK freed the slaves.

Now, covering itself again with disgrace, California, like their progressive brothers and sisters in Florida, pulled the lever once again to ban gay marriage and totally overturn what the Courts had once deemed unconstitutional.

Are we somehow to think that because the majority of voters choose something as immoral as banning gay marriage,that our courts are now rendered prostate and impotent?

It is the duty of the courts to legislate from the bench when the majority has clearly taken a pigheaded path that the members of the minority community don’t agree.

I can only continue to offer my daily chants to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his retreat in far away Dharamsala, that he will provide the wisdom to President Obama to issue an Executive Order on January 20, 2009 which immediately terminates these notorious and discriminatory ballot measure such as we saw with California’s Measure 8.

What is really hilarious is how many other commenters take him at face value. It’s hard to satirze a bunch of nuts.

Here’s a link to his comments. I think Frank J ought to get him to write a column.

That Explains A Lot

Eating veggies shrinks the brain

MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87.

Steyn Is Right. By Midcentury It Really Will Be “America Alone”.

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

The United Nations publishes population projections for Russia up to 2050, and I have extended these to 2100. If the UN demographers are correct, Russia’s adult population will fall from about 90 million today to only 20 million by the end of the century. Russia is the only country where abortions are more numerous than live births, a devastating gauge of national despair.

Under Putin, the Russian government introduced an ambitious natalist program to encourage Russian women to have children. As he warned in his 2006 state of the union address, “You know that our country’s population is declining by an average of almost 700,000 people a year. We have raised this issue on many occasions but have for the most part done very little to address it … First, we need to lower the death rate. Second, we need an effective migration policy. And third, we need to increase the birth rate.”

The Russians are going to be overwhelmed by their Muslim population just as Europe will be.

The Russians are trying to stave off this collapse by trying to bring ethnic Russians living in the “Near Abroad” into the Russian Federation. But it is too late.

Russia’s birth rate has risen slightly during the past several years, perhaps in response to Putin’s natalism, but demographers observe that the number of Russian women of childbearing age is about to fall off a cliff. No matter how much the birth rate improves, the sharp fall in the number of prospective mothers will depress the number of births. UN forecasts show the number of Russians aged 20-29 falling from 25 million today to only 10 million by 2040.

Russia, in other words, has passed the point of no return in terms of fertility. Although roughly four-fifths of the population of the Russian Federation is considered ethnic Russians, fertility is much higher among the Muslim minorities in Central Asia. Some demographers predict a Muslim majority in Russia by 2040, and by mid-century at the latest.

By that time, America will have a white European/Hispanic majority who will carry no guilt for the excess of their ancestors.

It really will be “America Alone.”