The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Post of the Year

Wow, 2007 has been great. With our new addition Adele finally here I know 2008 will be even better. Sam has grown so much and surprising us every day with how fast he is learning and discovering the world around him. Thanks to all who have given us support, love, and prayers. I hope to stay in touch will all my old and new friends, thanks for reading all my crazy ranting, I know there will be more in the new year!

Rifftrax 2007

2007 was the year I discovered Mike Nelson and company of MST3K were back as Riffrax, a satirical commentary you can buy for your MP3 player and watch movies get made fun of. I rank them by how funny I found them to be, which is difficult because they are all funny. I was very happy to watch them with friends and family who appreciate cinema and making fun of it.

1. X-Men (2000)
2. Point Break (1991)
3. The Bourne Identity (2002)
4. Casino Royal (2006)
5. Transformers (2007)
6. Star Wars Ep 1 Phantom Menace (1999)
7. Battlefield Earth (2000)

Plan to watch Road House (1989) with Rifftrax in 2008.

Best Movies 2007

Being the family man that I am I don't get out much to see movies anymore. Used to be a weekend would not pass without going to the thetre or renting a video. Anne suprised my today by telling me she singed up for Netflix, I will have to add to our flick list or else I just be watching period peices with characters named Darcy in them. Below is Rotten Tomatoe'stop 50 movies of 2007. I have highlighted in bold the four movies I was somehow able to see. I also saw Grindhouse this year but it was only #94 on this list. Superbad did not make the list but I thought it was quite good for a comedy. Movies are ranked by the number of positive reviews. Check out all 100 here If you have seen any of these let me know if you recommend them

1. The Band's Visit
2. Life of Reilly
3. Once
4. Ten Canoes
5. Persepolis
6. Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams
7. The Devil Came On Horseback
8. Ratatouille
9. The King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
10. Deep Water
11. Triad Election
12. No Country for Old Men
13. Away From Her
14. No End in Sight
15. 12:08 East of Bucharest
16. For the Bible Tells Me So
17. Nanking
18. In the Shadow of the Moon
19. Lake of Fire
20. The Bourne Ultimatum
21. Sicko
22. Juno
23. Gone Baby Gone
24. Enchanted
25. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
26. This Is England
27. My Kid Could Paint That
28. Brand Upon The Brain!
29. Hairspray
30. The Host
31. An Unreasonable Man
32. Journey From The Fall
33. Rescue Dawn
34. The Savages
35. God Grew Tired of Us
36. Your Mommy Kills Animals
37. Knocked Up
38. Michael Clayton
39. The Italian
40. Colma: The Musical
41. Zodiac
42. Hot Fuzz
43. The Simpsons Movie
44 Waitress
45. Control
46. Red Road
47. Starter For
48. There Will Be Blood
49. Stephanie Daley
50. 3:10 to Yuma

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Most Loathsome of 2007

Sorry this isn't another baby post, but today is New Year's Eve and I want to post some retrospectives from the past year.
50 Most Loathsome People of 2007 From this month's issue of The Beast. My brother told me about this annual list, it may sound mean, but there is noone on this list that does not deserve. Here are just a few of my favorite rankings, but please be sure to check out the entire list, its a good one.

#33. John Hagee

Charges: A fat, submoronic pastor who is literally trying to bring about the end of the world, Hagee is the leader of the peculiar movement of Christian Zionism, whose basic plan is to get Israel full control of Jerusalem, setting the stage for world war and Armageddon, so Hagee and his flock can ascend to heaven while the Jews, Muslims (especially the Muslims) and everyone else can suffer and die in the wreckage. But lest you get the idea Hagee is an earnestly insane man of the cloth, it turns out he's also paid himself in the millions, first from his non-profit TV station, which he cleverly turned into a tax-exempt church. So maybe Hagee is just another charlatan, but his message is still the most dangerous he could possibly preach.

Exhibit A: "I deserve every dime I'm getting."

Sentence: Banished to hell for being a shitty tipper.

#27. Britney Spears

Charges: Never was talented; now she's not even pretty. Look, it's okay to say someone's getting chunky when the only reason she was ever famous was her ability to make people horny. Let's face it: fat Britney don't sell units. In the end, it doesn't bother us that Britney is human wreckage, what bothers us is that she is always, always on television being wreckage. What the hell is with this media trend of hounding the sickly until they finally expire? It's not interesting; it's not informative; what it is is a sick shot in the arm for people who hate themselves and revel in the misfortune of others -- and, ahem, that's just not our thing. We don't care if she shaves her head, or shows her snatch, or turns up in a dumpster. It's just too easy to kick this rapidly frumping swamp slut while she's on the nod and not even pretending to care that her kids are being taken from her. In the immortal words of that fucked up youtube queen, Leave Britney alone!

Exhibit A: And this goes for all you fucked up superstar bimbos: You're rich, bitch! Get a fucking driver! Then you can knock back all the oxy you want and wash it down with Grey Goose, and nobody will arrest you. Get it? Sheesh!

Sentence: Obscurity, children returned.

#9. You

Charges: You believe in freedom of speech, until someone says something that offends you. You suddenly give a damn about border integrity, because the automated voice system at your pharmacy asked you to press 9 for Spanish. You cling to every scrap of bullshit you can find to support your ludicrous belief system, and reject all empirical evidence to the contrary. You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism -- it's nationalism when foreigners do it. You hate anyone who seems smarter than you. You care more about zygotes than actual people. You love to blame people for their misfortunes, even if it means screwing yourself over. You still think Republicans favor limited government. Your knowledge of politics and government are dwarfed by your concern for Britney Spears' children. You think buying Chinese goods stimulates our economy. You think you're going to get universal health care. You tolerate the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques." You think the government is actually trying to improve education. You think watching CNN makes you smarter. You think two parties is enough. You can't spell. You think $9 trillion in debt is manageable. You believe in an afterlife for the sole reason that you don't want to die. You think lowering taxes raises revenue. You think the economy's doing well. You're an idiot.

Exhibit A: You couldn't get enough Anna Nicole Smith coverage.

Sentence: A gradual decline into abject poverty as you continue to vote against your own self-interest. Death by an easily treated disorder that your health insurance doesn't cover. You deserve it, chump.

I wish I could post all 50, but it would take up too much space. I will be posting more 2007 ranking lists and of corse more baby Adele pictures!

Sam meets Adele

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Adele Photos part II

Took a long time to upload these, but they are worth it. Anne and Adele are scheduled to come home tomorrow!

Children from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, 'Speak to us of Children.'

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I know I have posted this before but I love this poem, and I think it is so fitting. And so true.

Baby Adele Photos part I

Here is our beautiful little girl, just moments after she was born last night. Sorry no pics of Anne with the Baby, yet. Those are on another roll. Will post them hopefully, tonight! We are so happy, she is finally here!!!

We Had Our Baby!!!

Adele Caroline Barna

Born 12/28/2007 (our fifth anniversary)
at 8:25pm
Anne and Adele are doing great. Taking Sam to see his little sister this morning. Send me your address if I don't have it yet so I can send you a birth announcement.
I have an old fashion camera so Photos will be forthcoming, hope to post again soon!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Bill

Instead of focusing on frivolous issues, like Iraq and our national debt, congress got serious about the real threat to our country. The dreaded, and not at all phony, "War on Christmas." With Democrats in charge of the House schedule how did this bill even come up for vote? Are the Democrats that frightened of Fox News that they can not stand up against this worthless waste of time and tax payer money. Do the Republicans have more to offer than revisionist history and a push for union of church and state? Oh yeah, tax cuts for the rich.

Iowa Representative Passes Pro-Christian Legislation, Urges Americans to "Worship Christ"

By DonByrd
Talk To Action

On Tuesday, our brave US House passed HR 847 by a count of 327-9 recognizing "the importance of Christmas and the Christian Faith", because - really, these days - what else possibly deserves more of their attention?
The sponsor was Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who - as Think Progress reported - voted against similar legislation honoring holidays of other faiths. He then appeared on Fox News to explain the real reasoning behind this - I suppose - innocuous, if annoying bill. His actual intentions are of course far more expansive.

In more of a speech than an interview, King explained that his motivation was to uphold America's status as a "Christian nation."
It's time we stood up and said so, and said to the rest of America, Be who you are and be confident. And let's worship Christ and let's celebrate Christmas for the right reasons.
This is, of course, outrageous behavior from a sitting US Congressman. For one thing, it shows that his token recognition bill was really an attempt to encourage Americans - through legislation - to embrace the Christian faith. Second, it belies efforts to hide the common "Christian nation" remark behind claims of mere historicism. "We only mean that America was founded on Christian principles", they like to say, when called on it. But, what's obvious here is that when Rep. King says "America is a Christian nation", he's not making a statement about the past, or even really the present. He's prescribing an idyllic future, and trying to do his part as a Congressman to make it happen.
Rep. King wants America to worship Christ. And he's willing to underwrite that desire by sponsoring legislation. From his appearance on Fox News, it's clear that is his understanding of being "a Christian nation." It's not just a (faulty) view of history; it's a plan.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Obama '08

Obama continues to be my favorite candidate for '08, even-though I find all the hoopla with Oprah to be a little too nauseating. However, Barack Obama is the most honest in regards to what needs to be done to fix the mess we are in. I am not comfortable with Hillary because I don't think she will fix our broken trade policies and 20+ years of Bush Clinton Bush Clinton does not sound like a democracy at all. I also like Obama's idea to remove the social security tax cap. People who make more than one million a year only pay social security tax on first 90 thousand. Corporations only share seven percent of the tax burden, before the Reagan era they payed 50%. Most of that load has been shifted on the middle and lower classes. People who make their money from stock dividends only pay 15% taxes while those who work for a living have the highest tax rate. I would like to hear more from Obama on securing the middle class and breaking up the huge monopolies that have risen over the past thirty years. The fact that only five companies control 90% of media in this country is scary. Obama does not need to make appearances with Oprah. Although right-wingers do the same kind of showboating with radical religious leaders and organizations, we do not need the Democratic party doing the same with celebrities.
I believe Obama's message can stand on its own.

From Raw Story

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has lost a twenty-point lead in New Hampshire and is in a statistical dead-heat with Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in two new polls.

A joint poll between New Hampshire station WMUR and CNN has Clinton and Obama in a statistical tie at 31 and 30 percent respectively.

"According to the latest WMUR/CNN poll, Hillary Clinton's 20-point lead has vanished. She now has 31 percent support, with Barack Obama in a statistical tie at 30 percent," the writers said. "John Edwards is third with 16 percent, and Bill Richardson has slipped slightly to 7 percent.

"The poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center over the weekend, the poll added. "Oprah Winfrey held a rally for Obama on Sunday, and it might have given him a bounce, analysts said."

In a second poll released Wednesday, Obama leads by three percent, a statistical tie.

Rasmussen: "The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone poll in the state finds Barack Obama with support from 31% of Likely Primary Voters while Hillary Clinton has earned the vote from 28%. Two weeks ago, Clinton had a seven-point lead in New Hampshire. A month ago, she was up by ten percentage points.

In Iowa, a third Rasmussen poll released today shows Clinton up by just three points over Obama.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baby Update 4

Anne has been placed on bed rest until delievery. I will keep you all posted. Thanks for all of your support. I hope to have more news soon.

I Don't Heart Huckabee

Mike Huckabee is moving up in many of the primary poles. I find him to be one of the more shallow and backward thinking candidates. In 1992 he made some written statements about AIDS that displayed a surprising lack of knowledge on the disease and fostered damaging mythes about the virus that were, at the time, a decade old. The statements were just as medically and historically incorrect in 1992 as they are now. I was a sophomore in high school in 1992 and based on Governor Huckabee's own words, my peers and I had a better understanding of the AIDs virus. I imagine this is still true today. Huckabee has close ties the the Southern Baptist Convention with which he shares faulty views on evolution and women's rights aswell. I say no thank you.

FromMedia Matters:

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Maternity Benefits

One of the many things I love about my wife, is that when she decides to do something she really invests in it. That is why you will find many books on pregnancy, child development and knitting all over the house. Because we have so many books I always learn something when I am picking up around the house. An interesting collection of baby facts can be found in Crib Notes: A Random Reference for the Modern Parent by Amy Maniatis and Elizabeth Weil. I found some thing very telling on page 54 & 55; a list of countries and their Maternity Benefits. Here is a sample.

Country/Length of Leave/% of Wages

Argentina/90 Days/100

Australia/1 year/0.00

Canada/17-18 weeks/55 for 15 weeks

Cuba/18 weeks/100

Egypt/50 days/100

India/12 weeks/100

Iran/90 Days/66.7 for 16 weeks

Israel/12 weeks/75

Russia/140 days/100

Rwanda/12 weeks/ 67

South Africa/12 weeks/45

United Kingdom/14-18 weeks/90 for six weeks flat rate after

Friday, December 07, 2007

Max Blumenthal at Value Voter Summit.

Max Blumenthal is my hero.

A Load of Mitt

There is not suppose to be a religious test for individuals seeking public office. I have watched many of the debates this year, both Democratic and Republican and instead of focusing on real issues, time is often wasted on identifying each candidates religious beliefs. It is inappropriate for an employer to inquire about a potential employee's religious beliefs, and the same should be said for anyone seeking any public office. I do not like Mitt Romney because of his political views and the fact the he is not above bashing his own state of Massachusetts in order to win the GOP primary. He has shed the more moderate or 'liberal" ideals to appeal to the Christian conservatives, most who do not view Mormonism as a Christian religion. Anyone who votes should be more concerned about an candidates interpretation of the Constitution then there understanding of any religious text. Mitt will never receive the evangelical vote because he does not believe in "Jesus" the "right way." In fact most evangelical leaders will tell you Mitt Romney and all Mormons do not even believe in the "real Jesus". I can feel for Mitt in this regard, as an Orthodox Christian I was told many times that my faith in Christ was false too, even-though it predated any protestant version by about fifteen hundred years. But what a bunch of malarky that we are giving any time to this debate about faith in politics. How often I heard people state they voted for Bush because he is a "Christian" if not "he is someone I would like to have a beer with." If Bush is the model, this country can not afford another "man of faith".
In his speech yesterday, Romney inferred that all religions are relevant in America and his only mention of non-believers was "It is as if they're intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They're wrong." Bill Bennett was spewing this same lie on CNN today as well. The truth is our government is secular and must continue to be so if real democracy and freedom is to survive. The religious conservatives love to tout that Christians, and by Christians they mean fundamentalist Christians, are being persecuted. If its true that "Secular Humanism" rules our land, how come an Atheist does not have a snowball's chance in Hell if he or she ran for President. Non-believers have just as much a role, a part, and a right in our country as anyone else who believes or pretends too. Despite any shallow slogan, there are atheists in the foxholes, but Mitt makes it sound as if only those of faith are significant Americans.
I will be voting for a President next November, not a Pastor.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Comic Book Day #2

This is the cover of today's issue of Uncanny X-men. Anne is beginning to have contractions. Coincidence? Yes, but it is still cool. I think we might be getting close. I will keep you all posted.

News from Kentucky

My friend Tiffany sent me some sad news about our favorite place to eat in Richmond, Kentucky. Punjab had the best indian food. I have not been able to find a compairable resturant in Lansing, although we have not had the chance to look.

Bill Robinson
Richmond Register
A fire that began around 2 p.m. Sunday destroyed the Punjab restaurant
on Berea Road.The Richmond Fire Department received a 911 call
from the restaurant at 2:02, said RFD spokesman Corey Lewis. Four
engine and two ladder companies responded to the call, with the first
units on the scene by 2:09."Flames and heavy smoke were visible
when the first firefighters arrived," Lewis said.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Baby Update 3

Anne is now full term, and we expect our little girl any day now. I am also happy to report that the baby adjusted and is now in the correct position. She was breech at last week's check up. That was quite a day, Anne was sent to the Hospital the same day friends from Seattle (Rachel and Brandon) were visiting.
Hilary and Emily also came with Emily's little girl, Sam played well together and even shared his trains. I hope to get some photos soon to post. Had Thanksgiving at Anne's parents and mine visited the day after, my brothers came too. We are so thankful to have such a supportive family and many many close friends. It is too bad that not everyone lives near, but that is what makes the internet so much fun you can find and keep in touch with just about anyone. These next few weeks might be busy, so we will not be sending out Christmas cards, instead we will be sending birth announcements.
If you do not think we have your address, Please send us your address if you would like one.

FLASHBACK: Mike Huckabee’s Phone Call From God

Last night at the CNN/YouTube debate, a questioner asked the candidates — “who would call yourselves Christian conservatives” — to answer what would Jesus do about the death penalty. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee jokingly responded, “Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office. That’s what Jesus would do.”

From Think Progress

It was fitting that Huckabee be asked what Jesus thinks because, in the past, the former Baptist minister has asserted an ability to talk directly to God.

At a Republican Governors Association Dinner in 2004, Huckabee took the stage and began to deliver remarks when his cell phone rang. He took the phone out of his pocket and proceeded to have a conversation with God about President Bush’s reelection:

HUCKABEE: Hello? I’m sorry. I’m right in the middle of an event. It’s who? It’s God? On the phone for me? How did he get my number? Oh, God has everybody’s number. OK? Yes, I’ll hold.

Huckabee then engaged in a 3-minute back-and-forth exchange with God, in which Huckabee asserted that God was with the Republicans and President Bush:

We’re behind [Bush], yes, sir, we sure are. Yes, sir, we know you don’t take sides in the election. But, if you did, we kind of think you’d hang in there with us, Lord, we really do.

Huckabee then ended his conversation and walked off the stage to roaring applause. ThinkProgress has obtained the video from this 2004 GOP fundraiser. Watch it:

As Matt Taibbi wrote in Rolling Stone, Huckabee’s religious zealotry has potentially serious consequences:

This God stuff isn’t just talk with Huck. One of his first acts as governor was to block Medicaid from funding an abortion for a mentally retarded teen-ager who had been raped by her stepfather — an act in direct violation of federal law, which requires states to pay for abortions in cases of rape. “The state didn’t fund a single such abortion while Huckabee was governor,” says Dr. William Harrison of the Fayetteville Women’s Clinic. “Zero.”

As president, Huck would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion and would give science a back seat to religion. “Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn’t,” he says. “So I’ll stick with God if the two are in conflict.” Huckabee’s well-documented disdain for science was reflected in the performance of the Arkansas school system when he was governor; one independent survey gave the state an F for its science standards in schools, a grade that among other things reflected Huckabee’s hostility toward the teaching of evolution.

Well before Rudy was taking calls from his wife, Huckabee was answering direct dials from God.


GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE (R-AK): We are so very glad that all of you could join us here tonight as we get under way to hear the president…


HUCKABEE: Oh, my gosh. Excuse me.


HUCKABEE: Hello? I’m sorry. I’m right in the middle of an event.

It’s who? It’s God?


HUCKABEE: On the phone for me? How did he get my number? Oh, God has everybody’s number. OK? Yes, I’ll hold.


HUCKABEE: Yes, God? Yes, sir, I’m right in the middle of–the president’s coming. Yes, sir, he sure is. Oh, yes, sir, he’s here, too. He is.


HUCKABEE: You see, you say you want–you need an autograph. Oh, for Sampson. I understand, yes, lord.


HUCKABEE: And, you know, God, this is a pretty big event. We’ve got a lot of people and I’ve only got a very short time here. Oh, you’ve got all the time in the world. I understand. Yes, lord. And you want me to deliver a message. And that would be?
Yes, sir. Well, we want–yes, sir. We want to do what’s right. And our president does. And we’re behind him, yes, sir, we sure are. Yes, sir, we know you don’t take sides in the election.


HUCKABEE: But, if you did, we kind of think you’d hang in there with us, lord, we really do. So…


HUCKABEE: Yes, sir. We’ll pass those good words on. I see. You talked to the president and he talks to you anyway. And we know that. And we know that–yes, sir. Take care of the family and marriage and the people of America and all the people and the children.
And, yes, sir, I can tell you, every one of us are committed to doing that and a whole army of people out here, and we pledge we’ll do our very best to do that, sir. Yes, sir. Well, thank you for blessing me, and we’ll bless you, too. Thank you. And thank you.