Archive for the 'Culture' Category

“XMas” Origins

Jon Henke posts an interesting history lesson concerning the origins of the well-known abbreviation for Christmas:
Growing up, I sometimes heard - in church and from various religious scolds - that XMas was a secular attempt to “take Christ out of Christmas”, rather than, say, an attempt to save valuable space on signs.
Jon then links to […]

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the the ASHC crew. We’ll be taking a bit of a break from the blogging, but be sure to check back after the New Year.
Until then, best wishes to you and yours.

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Blast From The Fashion Past

The linked post is a couple of months old, but the thoughts are yours to treasure for a lifetime.
Remembering the ’70’s:
Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife’s grandfather. After a bunch of hours spent in The Hottest Attic In The Universe, he had a ceiling fan that […]

Happy Repeal Day!

For information on Repeal Day you can visit
The turn of the twentieth century was a dark time in America. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which had been promoting Prohibition for many years, believed alcohol was the cause of many, if not all, social ills. Mistruths like this were spread. Lines were drawn. Bars […]

Terror in Our Backyard - UPDATED

These are the headlines on the drudgereport right now.
Now, it may just be me, but doesn’t these seem to be a very strong reaction […]

Feminism vs Multiculturalism - UPDATED

The radicals over at N.O.W. continue to be in a pickle over their support or at least their inaction over a case where one set of values conflicts with another set of values. How can you defend womens rights, and not condemn the treatment some cultures or some people, give towards women.
Why […]


Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Eat well and be merry.
From the Staff at ASHC

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Ron Paul on Racism

I don’t think Ron Paul is a racist, or rather I don’t claim to have any evidence he is, and that is enough to hold from suggesting he is. However, his view of racism and its history is rather bizarre and, dare I say it, wholly focused on “right wing” critiques of racial thinking in […]

Cracked Toys

Hat Tip: Tyler
Please run through this list of baffling toys. Please leave responses. People who understand Japan are especially encouraged to leave comments. I need to understand the fascination with poop.
This is a practice stripper poll, that was yanked from toy store shelves in the U.K. last year when some fussy killjoys questioned whether […]

Oh, To Be a Fat Cat

The New York Times has a nice piece on the latest health research on the impact of weight on health. Of course, like most nutrition and weight related research we should approach it with some caution as John Tierney has discussed at great length (or breadth?)
I actually enjoy the social history in it the best. […]

Zero Tolerance Idiocy

Hugging friends is equal to sexual harassment? What has replaced commonsense in school administrators these days? Risk aversion is one thing, defining a problem down to a list of “must not do” activities isn’t the way of solving it.

A 13-year-old junior high school student was given two days of detention after school officials […]

Closed Minded Bigots

I found this post very apt to a situation we’ve highlighted here on this blog. I’ve noticed this time and time again, and have shut off even trying to change minds when I encounter this behavior. Best to point it out, and move on. You know, really move on, not moving on […]

Global Warming = California Wildfires

So says Harry Reid and other environmentalists, so it must be true. No doubt they have checked with everyone who agrees with them and they have a consensus about it.
So, what caused them way back when…
If there was a “worst fire season” in the last century or so, Berlant said, it would probably be […]

Oy - of mice and men

How can anyone read Glenn Greenwald prattling on about how picked on he feels by the VRWC?? And remain so slavishly loyal to him as to defend his own behavior.
If his point is the supposed politicization of the military, then he’s certainly getting off the track by making the issue about Boylan and his […]

Not Your Grandfather’s Hollywood

Movies from the 40’s about WWII while America was engaged in WWII:
Action in the North Atlantic (1943) (”Warner Bros. thunderous story of the men of the merchant marine!”)
Air Force (1943)
Back to Bataan (1945)
Bataan (1943) (”THE STORY OF A PATROL OF 13 HEROES”)
La Bataille du rail (1945)
Captains of the Clouds (1942)
Casablanca (1941) [Ed.: One of my […]

Items To Save During A House Fire

Self - Check
Spouse - Check
Kids - Check
Pets - Check
Important Papers - Checks
Satellite Receiver - WTF
The nerve of some corporations!
When this Azola couple got back from their honeymoon, they had about an hour of matrimonial bliss before being forced to flee as their house was engulfed in flames. So you can understand they had some things […]

Shift Happens

Sometimes information like this makes me sit back and think “whoa” (sounding to much like neo in the matrix.) Not only is this a small world (which we often forget,) but it is becoming an exponentially complex and interconnected one.

glumbert - Shift Happens
The Singularity is Near.
Heck, I read sci-fi, and try to keep up […]

News Brief, Work = Busy So No More Briefings ‘Till Lundi

Still posted first over at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

More on the internal battle over imperial anthropology.

Around the World

Also have you seen the possibly-NSFW Shaolin balls conditioning video? Basically, they are the world’s greatest fighting force—well beyond the ninja. I already knew this from David Carradine. Now I know this from YouTube.
Barnett Rubin asks if […]

Ann Coulter is a Nazi

Or at least, according to what Michael Savage implied last night, she is the harbinger of nasty things to come, if all righteous people don’t rhetorically smite her down. So, what is up with Ann Coulter???
PJ Media has a roundup of blogger reaction.
As for me,
Yeah, what Ann Coulter said was outrageous, rude, and […]

The Real Culture War

Doesn’t this sound familiar…
Islamist radicals in Pakistan have attempted to destroy an ancient carving of Buddha by drilling holes in the rock and filling them with dynamite.
The Buddha, in the Swat district of north-west Pakistan, is thought to date from the seventh century AD and was considered the largest in Asia, after the two Bamiyan […]

A Pox On Both Their Houses

So, who do you trust these days??? Polls indicate that confidence in politicians and the media are pretty low. Of course, you have to trust polls in order to believe in that to begin with.
Frankly, I don’t trust most politicians farther then I can throw them, and assume, if their lips are moving, […]

Housing and the Red State-Blue State Divide

Virginia Postrel makes a point I will be exploring in more detail over the next few months in her latest essay at The Atlantic, the reasons behind the vast disparities in housing prices in our country. More interestingly she notices something I hadn’t really considered, at least not in the way she does. The cultural […]

Security In Iraq

With all the hub-bub in the last month over the Petraeus report, I hadn’t noticed that the DOD has released the quarterly progress report.
Haven’t read the whole thing yet, but this graphic did jump out at me, which shows that Iraqis are just as prone to local optimism and national pessimism as Americans.

So, like many […]

Conservatives Gone Wild

David Brooks offers up some opinions on the state of conservatism in the US. Can’t say I disagree with to much.
To put it bluntly, over the past several years, the G.O.P. has made ideological choices that offend conservatism’s Burkean roots. This may seem like an airy-fairy thing that does nothing more than provoke a […]

What Phony Soldiers???

One expects a certain amount of BS from anyone about things they may have done in the past. The fish was THIIIIIIIIS big, etc…
But at some point you cross the line from white lie, to lie.
The federal government is currently conducting more than 60 “stolen valor” investigations of individuals suspected of making false claims […]

Left Wing Attacks on Right Wing Punditry

So, how low can they go?
An Air America producer just sent over some transcript from an interview their Richard Greene (not our Richard Greene) conducted with Elizabeth Edwards, in which she questioned Rush Limbaugh’s Vietnam exemption:
” My classmates went to Vietnam, he did not. He was 4F. He had a medical disability, […]

The Disparities around Jena

A thoughtful look at the story of the Jena Six and the controversy surrounding the case by Steve Coll. The criticisms of Reed Walters are reasonable. Of more interest to me is his point about problems of incarceration rates in general:
It might be of some comfort to politicians, then, if the Jena case, like the […]

Self Improvement

There’s an entire micro-economy based on the pursuit of betterment. The author—58, full-figured, and ferocious in his consumption of cigarettes and scotch—agreed to test its limits, starting with the Executive De-Stress Treatment at a high-end spa.
The heading for Christopher Hitchens’ exploration of the self improvement industry.

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Just When You Thought He Couldn’t Get Stranger

Hollywood star Tom Cruise is planning to build a bunker at his Colorado home to protect his family in the event of an intergalactic alien attack, according to new reports.
The Mission Impossible actor, who is a dedicated follower of Scientology, is reportedly fearful that deposed galactic ruler ‘Xenu’ is plotting an evil revenge attack on […]

“Universal” Health Care Failing in Japan

Some interesting observations about universal health care in Japan. I suppose limiting the amount of care the government provides for is one way to hold down health care costs, but I doubt that is what people have in mind when they hear about plans for instituting such a thing here.
If universal care were the […]