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Maytag is my middle name; I'm an agitator.


Professor Howdy said...

I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.

Professor Howdy said...

"Did you sleep well?" "No, I made a couple of mistakes."

Professor Howdy said...


1) maunder mawn der (intransitive verb)
: to talk or say something in a vague, rambling, or
incoherent way

Early 17th century. Origin uncertain; perhaps formed
from earlier maund "to beg" in the literal sense of "to
keep on begging," or perhaps an imitation of the sound
of muttering.

The man had consumed so much liquor that he began to
maunder about politics but nobody could understand a
word he was saying.

2) boondoggle boon dawggl (noun)
: an activity or project that is trivial and wasteful of
time or money

Mid 20th century. Coined by the U.S. scoutmaster R.H.
Link for a braided leather cord made by Scouts.

The basketball team, after winning almost every game of
the season, felt that the practice was a boondoggle
since they were sure to win the championship game.

Professor Howdy said...

Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to 'Religious Belief' [Excerpts]

An MIT meteorologist dismissed alarmist fears about human induced global
warming as nothing more than 'religious beliefs.'

"Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is
the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts
Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about
100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all
scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You
simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief," Lindzen
said. His speech was titled, "Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of 'Science'"
and was sponsored by the free market George C. Marshall Institute.
Lindzen is a professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and
Planetary Sciences.

Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, "you never have to
defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all
scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics," Lindzen added.

According to Lindzen, climate "alarmists" have been trying to push the
idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change.

"With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus
is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with
the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a
source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry
and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is
foreign," Lindzen said.

Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea
levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another
ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said.

"It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when
there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do
what they want," Lindzen said.

Recent reports of a melting polar ice cap were dismissed by Lindzen as
an example of the media taking advantage of the public's "scientific

"The thing you have to remember about the Arctic is that it is an
extremely variable part of the world," Lindzen said. "Although there is
melting going [on] now, there has been a lot of melting that went on in
the [19]30s and then there was freezing. So by isolating a section ...
they are essentially taking people's ignorance of the past," he added.

The only consensus that Lindzen said exists on the issue of climate
change is the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to
limit greenhouse gases, which the U.S. does not support.

Kyoto itself will have no discernible effect on global warming
regardless of what one believes about climate change," Lindzen said.

"Claims to the contrary generally assume Kyoto is only the beginning of
an ever more restrictive regime. However this is hardly ever mentioned,"
he added.

The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to
1990 levels by the year 2010. But Lindzen claims global warming
proponents ultimately want to see a 60 to 80 percent reduction in
greenhouse gasses from the 1990 levels. Such reductions would be
economically disastrous, he said.

"If you are hearing Kyoto will cost billions and trillions," then a
further reduction will ultimately result in "a shutdown" of the economy,
Lindzen said.

Anonymous said...

Bono, Who Preaches Charity, Profits From Buyouts, Tax Breaks [Excepts]

During the final concert of U2's world tour on Dec. 9, Bono, the Irish rock
band's lead singer, launched into "One," a song about a love affair gone
sour. "Did I disappoint you or leave a bad taste in your mouth?" he sang to
47,000 U2 fans at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

At Bono's command, some of the fans held aloft their cell phones and sent
text messages of support to ONE, the U.S.-based group that's lobbying the
U.S. government to donate an additional 1 percent of the federal budget to
ending poverty.

Bono made the same tie-in for the lobbying group during most of the 131
concerts on the Vertigo tour, which began in March 2005 and was seen by 4.6
million fans in Europe, North America and Asia. They sent about 500,000 text
messages of support to ONE, according to the group.

While Bono was making his appeal, U2 was racking up $389 million in gross
ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time,
according to Billboard magazine. No. 1 is the Rolling Stones' current tour,
which by the end of 2006 had received $425 million.

Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funneled through companies that are mostly
registered in Ireland and structured to minimize taxes. "U2 are
arch-capitalists -- arch-capitalists -- but it looks as if they're not,"
says Jim Aiken, a music promoter who helped stage U2 concerts in Ireland
during the 1980s and 1990s.

U2 has sold about 9 million copies of the album linked to the Vertigo tour,
"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," for which it owns all rights. In
addition, U2 sells merchandise at the concerts, such as a $30 T-shirt with a
photo of the band on the front.

With his trademark wraparound sunglasses and cowboy hat, Bono is as famous
for exhorting world leaders -- from U.S. President George W. Bush to
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern --
to give money to Africa as he is for his music.

The 46-year-old Dublin native, born Paul Hewson, is also focusing on his
investments. Bono declined to be interviewed for this article.

Bono's own dealings haven't always followed the altruistic ideals he
espouses, says Richard Murphy, a Downham Market, U.K.- based adviser to the
Tax Justice Network, an international lobbying group.

Murphy points to the band's decision to move its music publishing company to
the Netherlands from Ireland in June 2006 in order to minimize taxes. The
move came six months before Ireland ended an exemption on musicians' royalty
income, which is generally untaxed in the Netherlands.

"This is somebody who's exceptionally rich taking the opportunity to shift
his tax burden to somebody else, but then asking governments around the
world to spend that tax take in the way that he would like," Murphy says.

In addition, Bono shares three homes with his wife and four children,
including a house near Nice in the south of France, a duplex apartment
overlooking New York's Central Park that he bought from Apple Inc.'s Steve
Jobs, and a gated estate in Killiney, 10 miles south of Dublin, with a
panoramic view of the Irish Sea.

"We don't think this fits with Bono's image, and we're trying to get him to
recognize this fact," says Chuck Kaufman, a Washington-based spokesman for
the international Venezuela Solidarity Network, which supports the
government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

While Bono promotes charitable causes, he doesn't disclose whether he
personally gives any money to them and, if so, how much. These include
Amnesty International, the Burma Campaign U.K., DATA, which stands for Debt,
AIDS, Trade and Africa, the environmental group Greenpeace and ONE.

"It's actually, I think, more honest to say we're rock stars, we're havin'
it large, we're havin' a great time and don't focus on charity too much --
that's private; justice is public,'' he told the Dublin-based Sunday
Independent newspaper in June 2005.

Professor Howdy said...

My Messy House
Jill Carattini

Kathleen Norris tells a story of a little boy who wrote a poem called "The
Monster Who Was Sorry." The poem begins with a confession: he doesn't
like it when his father yells at him. The monster's response is to throw
his sister down the stairs, then to destroy his room, and finally to
destroy the whole town. The poem concludes: "Then I sit in my messy house
and say to myself, 'I shouldn't have done all that.'"(1)

The confession of Saint Paul bears a fine resemblance: "I do not
understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but I do what I
hate" (Romans 15:7). Norris further expounds the faithful candor of a
child: "'My messy house' says it all: with more honesty than most adults
could have mustered, the boy made a metaphor for himself that admitted the
depth of his rage and also gave him a way out. If that boy had been a
novice in the fourth-century monastic desert, his elders might have told
him that he was well on the way toward repentance."

The journey of Lent posits an opportunity to peer at the monster within.
There are days in the life of faith when I question whether I am living up
to the title of Christian or disciple--or even casual pilgrim. In Lent I
find there is no question; I am not. "I have found only one religion"
wrote G.K. Chesterton "that dares to go down with me into the depth of
myself." For forty self-reflective days, this is what Lent asks of us.
What we find are messy houses, filled with hidden staircases built of
excuses, idols of good deeds atop mantels of false security, the home of
Christ in disarray at our own hands.

If we were to remain shut up in this place alone, we might begin to wonder
why we should ever hope for anything other than mess and wreckage. Paul's
confession marks the futility of our own efforts to clean the house. But
we do not make such a journey alone. In fact we should not have
discovered the mess had it not been shown to us. We are guided to these
places in our consciences, to images of ourselves unadorned, and finally
to broken and contrite hearts. Lent is our opportunity to be searched by
the Spirit of Truth, the Breathe of Holiness, God who maneuvers us through
messy rooms and sin stained walls and exposes our monstrous ways. It would
indeed be a futile journey if we walked this path alone.

Instead, the very Spirit that shows us the monster in a messy house shows
us the one who removes the masks and clears the wreckage. In a scene from
C.S. Lewis's Narnia, the great Aslan is seen tearing the costume off the
child in front of him. The child writhes in pain from the razor sharp
claws that feel as though they pierce his very being. With mounting
intensity, Aslan rips away layer after layer, until the child is
absolutely certain he will die from the agony. But when it is all over
and every last layer has been removed, the child delights in the freedom,
having long forgotten the weight of the costume he carried.

The journey of Lent does not merely show us the depths of our sin and our
need for repentance. We are shown the weight of our masks and the extent
of our messes; we are handed the yoke of our own failures. And we are
shown again the one who asks to take them all from us. "Surely he took up
our infirmities and carried our sorrows... But he was pierced for our
transgressions, crushed for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:4-5). Through the
dingy windows of a messy house one has the clearest view of the Cross.

Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace (New York: Riverhead, 1998),

Professor Howdy said...

A man is playing the piano softly one night in a downtown bar. In walks
an elephant (told you it was silly) who goes over to the pianist, and
suddenly the elephant starts to cry. "There, there", says the pianist
"Do you recognize the song?" "No, no," says the elephant " I recognize
the white keys."

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