Southern Man

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What We Believe

What We Believe is a series of ten-minute videos by Bill Whittle. They're pretty good.
If you liked these, pretty much any of these links will lead you to Bill's other videos.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Every year Southern Man swears a mighty oath that he will not go anywhere near a shopping mall on Black Friday. And every year his daughters beg and plead and whine and cajole and carry on until he gives in. Well, this year it was only eleven-year-old daughter (teen daughter hit the stores with her friends at 3:00 am) but she's a convincing whiner and so we went, briefly, to the local mall. A few observations:
  • The mall was, of course, ridiculously crowded. We hopped a curb (easily done as we were in the big Nissan pickup) and parked in the grass at the very back of the (very large) parking lot with a bunch of other SUVs and pickups. We were glared at a bit by drivers of little city cars that couldn't negotiate the high curbs and were thus condemned to endless circling and hoping for a lucky break.

  • Virtually all of the shoppers were women. The few men in appearance were either pushing strollers or carrying armloads of shopping bags. None looked particularly happy.

  • The vendors were eager for business. Many called us over for free demos, hoping for a sale. In the food court we were treated to a few free samples while working our way to our desired eatery.
Eleven-year-old daughter spent her allowance on a stuffed animal and we ate at her favorite fast-food place. Now we're home for a Pirates of the Carribean marathon. It's a beautiful day outside - cold, but not windy - and Southern Man hopes to get out in it a bit more before nightfall.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Southern Man has lots to be thankful for, and hopes you do as well. Lord, you have heaped blessings upon me and my family that are beyond measure. Thank you and Amen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Maple Leaf Rag

Here's Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, as reproduced by a pianola roll cut by Joplin himself.

Isn't that fun?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Snake

On the way to The Land on Sunday Southern Man and his faithful companion found an injured snake in the road. It was alive but looked like its neck had been crushed. We released it on the other side of the fenceline.

Photo by Southern Man's Faithful Companion

Southern Man may use this as his photo on the dating sites. What do you think?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Loco over Four Loko

By now everyone knows that the caffienated alcoholic beverage Four Loko has been banned by the FDA (at least in its present form) citing "public health concerns."

For new readers, Southern Man will again list the three pillars of his political/social belief system:

  • You are responsible for your actions.
  • Your rights end where mine begin.
  • What consenting adults do in private is no one's business but theirs.
In other words, Southern Man is an individualist / anti-statist and votes for candidates that promise to reduce the broad scope and overreaching authority of the State. That doesn't mean he's an anarchist; he simply wants the State to be smaller, less expensive, and less intrusive. That said, the Four Loko saga opens an interesting question: to what extent do we need the State (in this case, the FDA) to watch over us?

The FDA, by and large, does a lot of good things. In part because of the FDA Southern Man is fairly confident that the canned green beans and boxed cereal and meat and such he buys at the neighborhood grocer Wal-Mart Super Center are reasonably safe to eat. He also realizes that business is profit driven and is careful about what he buys. FDA or not, once you know what really goes into canned tomato paste you'll never touch it again, but at least you probably won't die of botulism from canned tomato paste. In other words, one role of the FDA is to make sure our food is safe. Boring, for the most part, but safe.

Four Loko was banned because the FDA has not approved the combination of alcohol and caffiene. Southern Man doesn't care what adults pour down their throats and the makers of Four Loko are by no means concealing the contents or the nature of their products. One might also point out that Red Bull + vodka has more alcohol and caffeine than Four Loko. And, fortunately for the Brooklyn coffeeshop proprieter selling a drink he calls "diece" - ten shots of espresso, which is actually six more than four - the FDA cannot yet regulate what people choose to mix together. And that is the step that Southern Man would whole-heartedly fight. But does the FDA go too far in protecting us from ourselves? The neighbor down the road from The Land used to run a small dairy; they've long since given that up because of the enormous burden of well-intended regulations imposed upon them by the State. Oh, they still run their dairy, but not as a formal business; when Southern Man buys fresh eggs and raw milk from them we're both breaking the law. Another neighbor makes "farm gas" that he doesn't bother to denature; in other words, it doubles as moonshine whisky. Again, technically illegal. Should the FDA protect me from my neighbor's potentially unsafe eggs and whisky?

There's a fine line here. Southern Man may be repelled by the secret ingredients of canned tomato paste but at least it's safe. He's glad that the FDA regulates the production of canned food. On the other hand, the makers of Four Loko don't pretend that their beverage is anything other than what it is. Southern Man may advocate a warning label for such (he's a big fan of content labeling as opposed to content restrictions) and it is his opinion that the FDA should reverse their ban on alcohol-caffeine beverages.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Saga of the Stolen Hyundai

Southern Man and eleven-year-old daughter parked The Hyundai late last Friday night and went to bed; the next morning it was gone - along with checkbooks, book bags, prescription sunglasses, and most of daughter's weekend luggage.

The chronology, to this point is:
Saturday Morning: car missing
Monday Morning: dealt with banks (closing / reopening checking accounts) and insurance
Wednesday Morning: first forged checks appear
Wednesday Evening: car recovered in a town about fifty miles away; damaged and stripped
Southern Man can't go look at the car yet as the police still have a "hold" on it until they finish their investigation. This post will be updated as events unfold.

Southern Man is trying to work through the Five Stages of Grief but is pretty much stuck at "anger" for the time being. He is reminded of the wisdom of the Old Testament and "an eye for an eye," which was a law meant to restrict punishments. If Southern Man had his way he'd chain a cinderblock to the thief's ankles and toss him in the lake, which is perhaps a bit harsh for property crime. But these thoughts do make Southern Man realize he is finally beginning to understand what Paul was saying in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Lord, grant me the wisdom to accept this loss and rather than seek vengance, forgive as I have been forgiven. Amen.

[updated 1 Dec:] The Hyundai is finally at a local collision shop. The thieves took everything that was in the car - every scrap of paper, every pen and pencil in the glovebox, even the trash in the back seat. The factory XM radio is gone and they cut the catalytic converter out as well. Then they apparently went muddin' in it, so it's filthy inside and out and theres a lot of minor body damage - but it runs. A little wrangling with the insurance company and it should be back in service next week. Most disturbing is that the ignition is fine, indicating that the thieves must have had a key, so Southern Man will have a hidden kill switch installed as well.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Recipes for Men: Oven-Baked Chicken

Prep time is about fifteen minutes; cook time, two hours. Feeds four, or two people twice, or Southern Man alone four times. Well, perhaps three. You'll need

  • one 3-lb fryer hen
  • several potatoes, carrots, and onions
  • assorted spices, rubs, and sauces
Preheat the oven to 350o. Clean the hen, then place in a large roasting pan. Mist the bird with olive oil and rub in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, sage, and whatever. Add carrots, potatoes (sliced or whole), and onions (again, sliced or whole; they'll fall apart nicely in the end). Mix two ounces each of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and cooking wine (feel free to experiment here) then pour this marinade over the chicken and veggies. Cover and bake for two hours. If you've a girl over this makes a good romantic dinner, and she will be impressed with the value of a man who can actually cook; serve with small Caesar salads and wine (for her) and beer (for him), and dark chocolate mints for dessert.

Hat tip to

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mike Wazoski Goes To Washington

From an official working with the write-in ballots in the Alaska Senate race:
“We’ve seen every possible permutation and even ones we didn’t know were possible. Basically, if you take Lisa Murkowski’s name and make an anagram out of it, we’ve seen it.”
Hat tip to Fark.

Veteran's Day 2010

Southern Man salutes all of those who stood on the wall that we might sleep in peace and live in freedom.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Professor's Fantasy

Southern Man is seeing more and more of these xtra normal videos. Most are lame. This one is both hilarious and true.

What's really funny is that the opening dialog actually happened in class last week. A student wandered up to the front desk to pick up handouts he had missed and asked (with a dramatic flourish) "Did I miss anything important?" The other students chuckled and one called out "NO! We noticed that you were absent and cancelled class!" Of course everyone there just roared.

Hat tip to Tad, who posted this one on his Facebook page.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Milton Friedman on Money

A while back Southern Man posted the results of a political-placement quiz that mapped him into the same grid as economist Milton Friedman. So here's a somewhat old and fuzzy video of Friedman on the different ways people spend money (hat tip to Cafe Hayek):

Friedman's analysis is spot-on. It's only a few minutes long; listen and learn.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Passing Blogs

A number of blogs followed by Southern Man have fallen by the wayside in recent days. Or months.

A family member's blog ended with a terrific post back in April and hasn't been updated since. Too bad, as YankeeMel is a good writer - as is her SO (Southern Man's sister) whose old blog has been similarly abandoned. They're both insanely busy, which is probably why. Two globe-trotting cousins, Neighbors Man and Neighbors Grll, have left their blogs in favor of Facebook and Twitter. And Southern Man just can't bear to de-link a couple of his childern's first blogs even though they've been abandoned for years. One is his teen daughter's first blog on blogspot, and another is her first blog on Xanga. How long ago was Xanga in Internet years? Sadly, teen son's first blog on Myspace is a classic example of why one shouldn't let children edit their templates. And now that they're safely linked for posterity they will probably vanish from the bottom of the blogroll where they've languished for years. Oh, and just so the link isn't lost - Southern Man's MySpace.

The always-hilarious
Exploding Unicorn, which Southern Man reads just for the sheer pleasure of how the author puts words together, hasn't been updated in months. The new baby may have something to do with that. Eject! Eject! Eject!, a political blog on Pajamas Media, hasn't been updated in some time. The Future Speaks, an exciting new student-driven political blog, has also fallen by the wayside - no doubt a victim of assignemnts and homework and other pesky school stuff.

The author of
Panzramic has closed his site, without explanation. It hadn't been updated in a while, but, still, a bit unusual to simply pull it like that. The Man Who Is Thursday has also vanished without explanation. He had some good posts and Southern Man may have to Google for some of the "Thursday Maxims" before they vanish down the memory hole for good.

The Obsidian Files was apparently suspended due to TOS violations. Gucci Little Piggy has a discussion thread on this and the author himself gives this account at The Spearhead. Southern Man didn't have Obsidian in his blogroll - he's a bit on the rascist side - but still read it from time to time. Word is that he'll resurrect his work on a non-Wordpress site.

On the other hand, Rachel Lucas is back after a lengthy hiatus and a few new blogs have been added to the roll - Adventures of a Girl Programmer is a former co-worker who relocated to the Great White North and Southern Man first referenced Conservative Lesbian in this post. This weekend may see some reorganization and additions (and, sadly, some deletions) from the blogroll.

But only if the weather's bad. The Land is calling!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Dance With The Ones Who Brought You

OK, House Republicans, big wins yesterday. Now don't forget who brought you - small-government, independent-minded Tea Partiers. You couldn't have won without us. Disappoint us again, and out you will go - again.

State winners, you've a chance to lead the way. Now get to work and do it. Show the nation the benefits of less government and more freedom. It's not a coincidence that the Red States (particularly Texas, which gets credit for roughly half of the new jobs in recent months) are leading the nation in economic recovery, and the Blue States are dragging us down.

And don't worry about a couple of high-profile losses. The slim Democrat majority in the Senate will prevent the First Dude from blaming us for everything and Harry Reid as the voice of the Senate Democrats will be a gift that keeps on giving. We're not done with the Senate yet - the Dems must defend even more seats in 2012. And two years of Governor Moonbeam may be just what California needs to set up a conservative backlash there come next election.

We've turned a corner. Now stay the course.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Phil says it best:
Today I voted to refudiate. To refudiate the idea that this is a fringe or extremist movement. To refudiate the idea that America wants this health care bill, this increase in government size, this movement further toward the nanny state. I voted to refudiate the idea that "We Are All Socialists Now."
Southern Man voted against anything and anyone that would take more of his money and reduce more of his freedom. Southern Man voted against the notion of fixing broken systems by granting even more funds and power to the folks that broke them in the first place. Southern Man voted for those who promised to put the good of the individual before the tyranny of the State.

It isn't Republican against Democrat anymore, or even conservative against liberal. Today will be a shot heard 'round the world in the war against statism. That war will be long and difficult. But today could turn out to be the turning point. Let us hope and pray that it is.

Monday, November 01, 2010

What Is Fiscal Conservatism?

Cynthia Yockley hits the nail on the head:
Conservatives don’t keep emphasizing that fiscal conservatism is about creating and preserving a system where individuals can make their dreams come true — a system where individuals get to keep and control the majority of the financial rewards they have earned through their creativity, courage, thrift, wise choices, hard work and ambition.
The article from which this paragraph is taken is well worth reading. In particular, her views of the two fundamental pillars of modern liberalism may open your eyes.