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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Comment/Trackback Policy

NOTE: None of the outline below is written in stone. It's my blog, and like N.Z. bear and his ecosystem game, Ireserve the right to play favorites, change the rules in midstream or anything else i wanna do.


That said, I'm generally pretty lenient about comments and trackbacks. I'm not offended by vulgarity or even by most obscenity (cos I don't find most obscenity meets the "titillation" criterion; most of it is trite, boring and altogether stale). I do find profanity (that which defames the Holy) to be offensive and will delete or edit to near oblivion any such.

Other than that? You wanna disagree with me or even flame me, feel free, but you better have your ducks in a row, cos I do not promise not to brutalize your arguments.


Flattery, praise and outright sucking up is always welcome.



Generally, the only times I delete trackbacks or comments are when

1.) they seriously abuse reason or are comments demonstrating the posters are wacko, crackpot lying bastards.
2.) It's a SPAM trackback/comment (pr0n or promo for a busniess/product, etc., although I'd allow even a SPAM promo for a business or product if it were related to the topic of a post :-)
3.) A trackback to a NON Open Post that is unrelated to the subject. If it's someone who simply linked to the wrong post thinking it was an Open Post, I'll usually either let it stand or bring the link onto the front page with other trackbacks, then delete it.
4.) Comments that are too bizarrely unrelated to the subject matter, show severely subliterate lack of reasoning ability or are twisted, convoluted disingenuous piles of crap may be brought out onto the front page for mocking and open ridicule, at my sole discretion.

So there.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

An ACLU Thanksgiving... Extended information

The True members of the Pennsylvania delegation to the 1777 Continental Congress:

William Clingan
George Clymer
Robert Morris
Daniel Roberdeau
George Ross
Benjamin Rush
James Smith
Jonathan B. Smith
James Wilson

Other Washington quotes:

1783, at the close of the Revolutionary War, in declaration disbanding the Continental Army:

"I have thus freely declared what I wished to make known, before I surrendered up my public trust to those who committed it to me. The task is now accomplished. I now bid adieu to your Excellency, as the chief magistrate of your State, at the same time I bid a last farewell to the cares of office and all the employments of public life.

It remains, then, to be my final and only request that your Excellency will communicate these sentiments to your legislature at their next meeting, and that they may be considered the legacy of one, who has ardently wished, on all occasions, to be useful to his country, and who, even in the shade of retirement, will not fail to implore the divine benediction on it.

I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation."
"Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven in pity and compassion upon me Thy servant, who humbly prostrates myself before Thee."

"Bless O Lord the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus. "Of all dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."

[emphsis added to last paragraph]

The full text of the Thanksgiving Proclamation of the Continental Congress of 1777, as used by Washington:

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also to smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defence and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favour, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessing on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labour of the husbandman, that our land may yet yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth "in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."[Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Saturday, November 1, 1777, pp. 854-855]

And, Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

More Thanksgiving-related documents here

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Special Note for IE Users...

Not even Microsoft's "latest and greatest" Internet Explorer 7 is standards-compliant.

But, due to more than a few emails from people still stuck using a Model T browser (Internet Exploder), I'll continue to work as time permits to make this blog present itself a little more readably for folks who refuse to get a decent browser.

From IEBlog (a Microsoft Developer Network site),

We fully recognize that IE is behind the game today in CSS support.... we’ve made sure the bugs and features are on our list - however, there are some fairly large and difficult features to implement, and they will not all sort to the top of the stack in IE7....

Oh. "...large and difficult features..." that a tiny lil company in Norway and an organization of volunteer coders have separately implemented pretty darned well in Opera and Firefox.

Pull the other one. "Difficult to implement" because they're having to work within the constraints of Internet Exploder, of course!

Months and months of posts on trying to kludge proper CSS support into IE's bloated code...

And this post points out the problems caused for even IE7's partial CSS implementation for users by web designers attempting to hack CSS workarounds for the various versions if IE in use.

Microsoft's code is such a mess, even MSDN developers are pulling their hair out trying to bring things up to standards.

I'll do what I can, but everything I've done so far to improve presentation in Internet Exploder has screwed things up worse for properly standards-compliant browsers...

Meanwhile, may I suggest

Opera: simply the best internet experience

Download Opera

Here's a site with plenty of info.

And Firefox is a fine browser, as well. Less elegant than Opera, but a feisty lil bugger.

Internet Exloder is simply the "overweight St Bernard thinking it's a lapdog" browser. Fine if one is tolerant of such, I suppose.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


You may have heard the phrase "Here I raise mine Ebeneezer" in the song sung during the Flash presentation, "Honor, Sacrifice, Duty" and wondered, "What the heck does that mean?"

Here's the simplest explanation I could glean off the net:

The word help (Hebrew ezer) refers to someone who surrounds, supports, and strengthens another. Many people sing the words of the great hymn, “Here I raise mine Ebeneezer; Hither by Thy help I’m come,” without having the slightest idea what it means. It is a reference to a time when Israel conquered the Philistines and subdued them by the power of God. Samuel, the prophet, erected a stone and called it “Ebenezer,” or “Hitherto has the Lord helped us,” for indeed God had come to the rescue. _1_

Linked from If this doesn't move you... (you need a heart and soul transplant) at third world county

Hmm... a thought. Anyone who clicks through to this explanation would be the kind of person I might want an opinion on this question:

Should I consider posting an occasional "hymn story" at third world county, here or at Whistling in the Light (or all three?)?

Your comments are welcome.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Still Under Construction

I think I'll keep this up top and include a slug in posts for a bit until I get these template adjustments finished. Internet Exploder is still not displaying correctly (but then, it's not fully CSS-compliant, is it, hmmm?) and Firefox doesn't understand the post page coding. Opera, of course, diplays everything very well. Please leave constructive criticism and helpful advice here or in comments to this post. Or email me with any advice you have.