Vote for America's future. Vote Green.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Flagellants and modern discourse

Earlier today, I remembered European history from the days when the bubonic plague ran unchecked across Europe, cutting huge swathes of death across the continent. Specifically, I remembered the Flagellants. I'm sure you may be asking yourself what a bunch of crazed religious zealots have to do with modern American political discourse, since the former were people who flogged themselves in penance, and the most prominent voices in American politics on both sides of the aisle can barely spell the word. The parallels become obvious, however, when you realize that they both, either figuratively or literally, have a fondness for beating themselves up over things that they could either resolve in a better manner or are not responsible for. Knowing what I know now, I would be extremely annoyed with the Flagellants, especially since their spirit lives on today. I've about had enough of people whining about how we're a plague on the earth, or how we've allowed are kids to become a bunch of degenerates, or how life isn't fair because they didn't get the Playstation 2 game, two big fucking SUVs, a $500,000 house with a three-car garage and a bathroom for each bedroom and a home theatre that belongs at a cinema, and their kids are running all over them and are in the local "youth center" or whatever the local euphemism for the juvenile detention facility for the third time in six months. Get the fuck over it!!! Support companies that are doing the vital basic research into alternative fuels, support the makers of the alternative fuels and greener technologies, be glad you're alive and that you don't have to pay as much in taxes as the rich, and DISCIPLINE YOUR GODDAMNED KIDS BEFORE THEY BECOME DELINQUENTS!!! Jesus H. Christ. And above all, remember that shit happens, and if people seem to be teaming up against you, the reason may be that you have something they want, but the reality is you're probably being an asshole. Jesus H. Christ!

Who gives a flying fuck why problems took place, or at least, who should give a good goddamn until the problem is resolved? The best advice is to sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and then start working on a solution to the problem, whatever the problem is. Leave history for the historians. Look to see what solutions may have worked in the past, and if they don't work today, toss them out and come up with something new. Analysis can always wait. The same is not always true of problemsolving.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Question to all readers: Martian Calendar

I'm looking for a free website hosting site now that I've completed the easiest, by far, of the tasks surrounding the creation of the Martian calendar and clock software I mentioned a couple of posts ago. In short, I've created the calendar. It's based largely on the Darian Mars Calendar, but while his is more logical, I took issue with the fact that 3-4 weeks in his Martian year would be shortened by a day. I realize the value of a weekend, and while his method is far easier to deal with from a mathematical standpoint, it just wasn't me. So, instead of his 24-month calendar, I have condensed it to 22 months, while keeping his month names, omitting the last two. Regardless of how this was accomplished, however, the Martian year is 668.59... sols (Martian days) long, which works out to 95 weeks and 3-4 days. My calendar, instead of removing a day from a week, adds days to the end of 3-4 weeks out of the Martian year, essentially creating three-day weekends. Since I had chosen to go with Esperanto names (Unua, Dua, Tria, Kvara, Kvina, Sesa, and Sepa) for the days of the Martian week, I chose the Esperanto word for return, "Reveni," as the name of these extra days.

The HTML coding of this was made far easier with the use of the software reviewed below.

So, any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Freeware review

Sun Microsystems has released an open source office suite called OpenOffice, or for those of you of Mac persuasions, NeoOffice. Considering the fact that the last computer I've worked with built by Apple was the Apple ii-e (and some of you younger readers, assuming there are any, may want to look for an online museum to find out what it was), and considering that NeoOffice is based on an earlier build of OpenOffice than the current version which I'm using, I have no useful commentary to provide on that program. However, I have played with the OpenOffice software for Windows, and it's an impressive suite, comprised of six office programs: Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calc, and Base. Writer is, as its name would suggest, a word-processing program capable of saving and reading documents in a wide variety of formats, including compatibility with three different types of Word, three types of StarWriter and StarWriter templates, Palm documents, Pocket Word, .txt, .html, .xml, the archaic RealText format, and can even export files in .pdf format, though to read or use any of the other functionalities of Adobe Acrobat, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader or greater. Similar or greater versatility can be found in Calc, the spreadsheet program, along with the ability to export as a .pdf file. Frankly, I haven't figured out what to do with Math, though I understand it's more of something to do with statistics. Draw is great for creating logos, org charts, and more. I haven't really played much with Database, the database portion of this suite, or Impress, the slideshow portion of this suite, but the transition from one portion of this suite to another is very clean. Of the programs with whose analogs I was already familiar, it was almost identical to that with which I was already familiar, though there were slight differences. Overall, I'm very impressed with this suite, and would recommend it to anyone with a sufficiently fast internet connection or with a friend who has one and is willing to download it for you. This is a large download in the 90 meg neighborhood.

Though this is speculation, I think this was an excellent bit of strategy by Sun. In short, I think this could help drive demand for their proprietary software by showing people exactly what they're capable of creating. Also, it allows for the use of files in their format for people who may not have their StarOffice software. All in all, very good work.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Music Review: Matisyahu

I was flipping through channels recently, and I happened across Matisyahu's video to his song "King Without a Crown." For those unfamiliar with him, Matisyahu is a reggae/hip hop artist whose lyrics, from what I can tell so far, are actually spiritual and uplifting. Matisyahu (born Matthew) Miller is a Lubavitch Hasidic Jew, and a highly talented vocalist. I'm not sure if I would go out and buy one of his CD's or not, but that one single reminded me of something I once had a long time ago: A deep, abiding hope for the future, though truth be told, I can't remember when I last had that. So, for that, I salute him and wish him well.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I find myself haunted...

How can one man be this deeply in love with a planet he knows he will never visit in person? This is the question I find haunts me again. This love, this obsession is nothing new. It occurs periodically, and I don't know if I should be thanking or cursing the inspiration and be frustrated with whose website sparked it, no matter how inadvertently. Just kidding, Sheryl, on the last part. :) Besides, this love, this disease of mine is my creation, my curse, alone, though at least I'm not the only or the first to be infected. I'll get into the reason for the inspiration later.

The planet in question is Mars, and while I also love Earth, it's like one loves his family, his home. I love Mars like I would a beautiful woman I want to take to bed. I was raised on Star Trek, 2001, Babylon 5, and a slew of other books, films, television series and miniseries, and even comic strips. This perhaps made me more susceptible, but that which tipped the balance is the human nature to explore new frontiers. The priority this is given in my heart waxes and wanes, but it's been there, lurking in the background, for longer than I can remember at this point, and at this point, I don't want a cure. I relish this disease, and the cure would be like a part of me dying.

Sheryl, the inspiration your blog gave me was something simple: that clock you have on your sidebar. I figured that if someone could create a clock that you could just link to and have as a simple image on your blog, the same should be possible with Martian time. However, search as I might, I couldn't find it, so I have been inspired to create my own. The more I researched it, however, the more I realized that I would have to delve into the Martian calendar, which means determining how many days in each month, how many months, what the months and the days of the week are named, and a slew of other questions that I would need to answer. In short, I have a shitload of work ahead of me, and my only hope is that I'm motivated enough to see it through.

I'm diving headfirst into a deep pool of geekdom. Wish me luck and sturdy SCUBA gear. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Some good news for environmentalists:

I'm not an environmentalist, at least, not in the current meaning of the term, because I actually prefer science over alarmism. That isn't to say that I don't believe that we should be looking for ways to be better stewards of the earth and using cleaner fuels more efficiently, because nothing could be further from the truth. I also support the use of reason and science to determine policy, and it is on that score that my grievances lie with the current environmentalist movement. In that vein, I have added some new sites to my Cool Blogs and Cool Links listings on the sidebar, and encourage everyone to visit those, as well as some older sites you may not have seen. Some of these sites have not been updated in a very long time, but still have some interesting information. The sites are as follows: EnviroSpin Watch, Greenie Watch, the Hybrid Diesel blog, Mark Humphrys' website, the California Cars Initiative, Journey To Forever biodiesel, the Alternative Energy blog, The Scientific Alliance, CNE Environment, and the Diesel Technology Forum. The last six are sites that I haven't gotten around to adding to the sidebar, but that may have changed by the time you read this. This brings forth a completely unrelated question to Snave about obsessive-compulsive disorder, but I digress.

As I was traipsing through the internet, I found the good news, an article based on information provided by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. They have released their Greenest Vehicles of 2006 list. As expected, hybrids ruled the day, though the Honda Civic GX, which runs on compressed natural gas snuck in at second on the list despite fuel efficiency comparable to autos much lower on the list. This happened because natural gas burns far more cleanly and completely than gasoline. I found this of particular interest because of the sheer number of vehicles on the road. While I would be interested in finding out the methodology they used to arrive at their scores, I think it's very good that someone is at least making the attempt.

Another bit of good news is this news item about buses in India. Apparently, hybrid buses may rule the road in India if one company has its way. And it isn't just India that's researching large hybrid vehicles. The Detroit auto manufacturers have been seriously looking at hybrids, but instead of focusing on smaller vehicles first, they took a different route and started with larger vehicles, such as large buses.

BusinessWeek recently wrote an article about the top 10 myths of hybrid cars, and the points are sound. Also, Ford has announced its Reflex concept car, which, barring major design modifications to the back seat, I would never buy unless I only wanted one passenger at a time. However, it scores major points for being innovative, and the car looks cool to this geek who was raised on Star Trek, Knight Rider, and other science fiction classics. Finally, IC Corporation and Enova Systems are collaborating to create the first hybrid school bus, a move they estimate will allow for a 40% increase in fuel efficiency and drastically reduce emissions. As someone who has to dodge enough of the bastards during my morning commute, I cannot see this as being anything other than a good thing.

The loudest voices in the environmentalist movement have been braying for years that the sky is falling. I have a hard time believing that based on the science. Instead, I think we're just getting taller and growing up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Vice President Cheney

In keeping with my recent trend of copying stuff I wrote on other people's sites and reposting it here, I am, with some modest modifications, reposting something I said on Snave's site, Various Miseries.

"In response to those who, even jokingly, have broached the possibility that this was an intentional shooting, I find it difficult to believe that if Cheney really wanted Mr. Whittington dead, he would never have been found, and he certainly would not have begun receiving some of the best medical care available in the area as soon as was possible after the incident.

"As far as hunting accidents go, getting peppered with buckshot is not an uncommon one, especially when hunting small game. Similar accidents have happened in the San Diego area in recent years, and probably in virtually every area where small game is hunted. While this is a serious accident, that article outlines two incidents where the outcome was far worse. Furthermore, what I find absolutely shocking about those two incidents is that a high-ranking government official was not involved in them and that the world news media were not all over them. In the final analysis, how important is this to the daily life of the average American? Not much."

I have to admit that I feel very bad for not only Mr. Whittington, but also for Vice President Cheney, and both men's families. This must be a very difficult time for all parties concerned. It isn't just hunting where little accidents can have huge, sometimes tragic, consequences. From everything I've seen thusfar, the evidence points to just that: an accident. I wish Mr. Whittington a speedy and full recovery, and I wish Vice President Cheney a long, happy life, and one far where he's far away from wherever I am at the time if he decides to go hunting.

Just for fun, and I think this answer kicks ass

Who Should Paint You: M.C. Escher

Open and raw, you would let your true self show for your portrait.
And even if your painting turned out a bit dark, it would be honest.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

New banner ad: Support Denmark

Yesterday, when I was doing my update of the template on this site, I added a new banner ad expressing my support of Denmark and encouraging others to do so. However, it just occurred to me that adding that banner without backing it up with at least a post would not be unlike Christians who wear crosses and other Christian paraphernalia and only actually behave like Christians should behave when they're at church on Sunday. Even when I was a Christian, such people pissed me off to no end. I know I'm a bit late getting involved in this, but then again, I usually am. My tendency is to bitch about and agree or disagree with various positions on other sites before finally getting around to posting my opinions on my own. In this case in particular, I offer my deepest apologies to the people of Denmark, and will strive to correct that personality flaw.

All that said, of course, I fully encourage people to buy products from Denmark and from companies headquartered there. I can't personally recommend any of the shoes manufactured in Denmark, but that's only because my feet are too damned fat to fit into shoes made by most manufacturers, and besides, I haven't ever tried to wear any of them. However, I will say that at least Ecco shoes look very nice and are probably very comfortable for those of you blessed with normal feet. For a more complete list of Danish companies, I very much recommend visiting the following websites:

End the Boycott, the most complete list I've found thusfar of companies from Denmark

And finally, just as a way to yell "FUCK YOU!" at those in favor of the boycott, here's a link to an easy way to figure out which products are made in Denmark.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A special edition of new links:

I'm writing this post to explain the new links that can be found in my Cool Links section and my reasons for including them. The thing all four have in common is that they are devoted to exposing one or more group of activists who are all-but defrauding their less wary members and advancing a radical agenda that is every bit as divorced from reality as any other form of radicalism or extremism. To clarify my position, I fully support the right of organizations to advance any cause they so choose, as long as they do so in a reasoned and intelligent manner. I probably hold positions that are contrary to these legitimate groups, but I can respect them because they are reasonable people who are, in their opinion, working to imrpove the world. My problem is when it crosses over into extremism, and at that point, a group or individual will draw my ire. Just to be different, I've decided to put them in this post in reverse-alphabetical order. is a website devoted to exposing the lies and other misinformation spread by "physicians" with ties to PETA. They have, to a person, shown that they have about as much respect for actual science as the Bush administration has for the environmental lobby. is, as the name suggests, a site devoted to the hypocrisy of the PETA animal shelter and its execrable record regarding advancing the welfare of companion animals. They also do a fair job of exposing other forms of hypocrisy exercised by PETA, as well as exposing some of their misinformation. All in all, this is a very good site, and I highly recommend visiting their site and seeing what they have to say. This site is also linked via a banner ad on the sidebar.

The Center for Consumer Freedom is excellent about exposing flawed logic and misinformation on food issues and those who would profit from bogus lawsuits. Also, they're quite good at exposing other forms of bullshit. is a site devoted to exposing the flaws, hypocrisies, glaring contradictions, and frequent lies of the "animal rights" movement in general and discusses in depth the problems with the extremist member organizations of this movement, partially by linking to other sites who have collected this information. This is another site I highly recommend.

Finally, is much like the above sites, except they don't restrict their targeting of radical groups to just the animal rights movement. That said, they do an excellent job of exposing these organizations for what they are. Like the above sites, I highly recommend this site as a resource for both members and foes of these organizations alike.

Reasoned debate is vital to a thriving culture, even more than the freedom to write, say, or depict something that may offend. That right, however, ends with any attempt to force those views on people and their children, and becomes illegal when violent force is used. Furthermore, just because an organization once expressed your views does not mean that they will continue to do so. Organizations, like people, change, and when these mutations occur in manners you don't like, leave. Don't support them with your time, effort, money, or other resources, and if so inspired, inform others of your reasons for leaving.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blog War against Peta, Part II

The following was my response to a lame call for a truce by a PETA member with whom Snave has friendly relations, though for the record, he's the type of guy who can still be friends with someone whose views he detests. I'm not saying that's the case in this instance. I'm merely saying that I don't know his stance, and that his stance should not be inferred from his correspondence with this individual. Once again, I have redacted the name of PETA member.

"I think I actually managed to both provide compelling arguments and be snippy at the same time. Their "Holocaust On Your Plate" ad campaign was one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen, and was quickly pulled after complaints from Jewish groups.

"I thoroughly detest the leadership of PETA, and with good reason. I furthermore have serious ethical concerns with the way they go about achieving their stated mission, as well as their actions and statements that often are in direct contrast with that which they claim to believe. I truly wish they lacked wit and ability. Instead, I find myself echoing the words of William Butler Yeats in one of my favorite poems, The Second Coming: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity."

"I find myself unsurprised that you failed to address my rebuttal of your interpretation of the Silver Springs monkey case or the other links I provided that addressed concerns with PETA and other "animal rights" groups. It is, after all, difficult to defend the indefensible.

"In closing, you asked my opinion of Paul McCartney, Ed Asner, Bill Maher, Oliver Stone, Joaquin Phoenix, Alec Baldwin Loretta Lynn, Trent Reznor, James Cromwell, and the late Richard Pryor. Well, in order, I hated the Beatles; Ed Asner hasn't been funny in decades; Bill Maher is someone who routinely substitutes wit for substance, and has very little of either; Oliver Stone is a paranoid director of questionable talent who confuses shock with valid points and logic, and would make an excellent case study of several personality disorders; Joaquin Phoenix, I honestly don't know much about, but at least he can act; Alec Baldwin, I wish he'd've followed through on his threat to leave America if Bush were elected; Loretta Lynn has an extremely annoying voice that gets in the way of my evaluation of her talent; Trent Reznor, great musician who's better when he lays off the antidepressants; James Cromwell is an excellent actor; and Richard Pryor was a great comedian and actor. I hope the way they got sucked into PETA was akin to the same way other celebrities get sucked into Scientology, and I would not be surprised if at least one parallel holds true: That celebrities' experience with PETA is very different from that which the average member sees. But if you want a celebrity, I find it interesting that Melissa Etheridge made the decision to distance herself from them years ago. I wonder what she saw that you don't, or at least, I would wonder if I didn't already have a decent idea."

And later, after a half-hearted attempt at a truce when the PETA member continued to press on Silver Springs, I responded thusly. In this, I have redacted the PETA member's name and a paragraph about music preferences defending my distaste/hatred of the Beatles, the latter of which because it really adds nothing to the debate.

"I agree to disagree with organizations I find abhorrent and choose to exercise my right to express that abhorrence and the reasoning behind it. I support the concept of animals being treated more humanely, but rather than re-cover the same ground, will stand on my previous comments. But if I were to join any such group, it would probably be the National Animal Interest Alliance.

"Finally, in re Silver Springs and Dr. Edward Taub, exactly how many of the 119 charges stuck, and what was the reasoning behind that outcome? Please feel free to trust Mr. Pacheco and Ms. Newkirk. That is your right. However, I choose to trust our legal system, the National Institutes of Health, various peer-review organizations, and the thousands of people whose lives have been dramatically improved as a result of Dr. Taub's work. Your opinion of Dr. Taub is that he's a villain of the lowest order. My opinion is that he's one of a huge number of heroes whose names few know but whose work has improved the lives of their fellow man, and I proudly salute him."

The debate, warts and all, is available here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Blogwar against PETA (the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

This has been inspired by Snave's great misfortune to get one of their members to spread misinformation on his website. The problems with that organization are too numerous to name here, but can be easily found. On Snave's site, I outlined in small part PETA's lies and hypocrisy. His is a truly good site, and I respect him immensely. However, if you don't feel like following this link and scrolling down, I will copy my comments about PETA, but will redact any comments directed towards a specific individual.

"How many people arrested for ecoterrorist arson are hailed as honored guest speakers by PETA?? What was the mortality rate at the PETA animal shelter, and how did it differ from that of standard animal shelters? Why does PETA insist on the absurdist comparison of the deaths of the chickens that end up on many of our plates to the Holocaust?

"I have no problem at all with legitimate groups whose purposes are, as they state, to reduce unnecessary cruelty to animals. However, PETA more than crosses that line on a regular basis. Why did Dan Mathews of PETA express admiration for Andrew Cunanan for getting Gianni Versace to give up fur, and why has PETA neither disavowed nor apologized for his comments? And don't even get me started on the Silver Springs Monkey case. The only lasting precedent that set was PETA's eminence in the ecoradical movement, and the obviation of their willingness to go to any depths of depravity to achieve their goals.

"A good generic link to the problems with the radical "animal rights" movement is here. For information specific to PETA, this is better. I found the section on "Killing Animals to Save Them" to be particularly riveting.

"At the end of the day, if it comes down to a researcher performing research on an animal and finding a cure for, as an example, Alzheimer's or improved treatments for heart disease, I will choose people over animals any time, without hesitation or moral qualms whatsoever."

As a bonus, here's a link to an article about various lawsuits against PETA for their decidedly unethical behavior. This last link is hosted on the website of the National Animal Interest Alliance, a group that actually cares about animals and advocates sensible laws, policies, and regulations, as opposed to the radicalism that has so infested the "animal rights" movement. The more people know about PETA and likeminded groups, the better everyone will be.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Thoughts about tonight's episode of Dateline on NBC:

I watched small pieces of tonight's episode, which was, even at that, more than I could stomach. The episode was "To Catch A Predator III", and was footage of a sting operation to confront and capture sexual predators online. The demographics and soon-to-be-terminated jobs of those caught in this sting were all across the board. The one thing these "men" had in common was that these were all grown men, at least one in his 60s, who were going to a house to have sex with who they thought were children between the ages of 12 and 14. According to the blog relating to this special on MSNBC, and I have absolutely no doubt that they were being accurate, the bits of the transcripts they aired weren't even close to the worst these "men" said.

I have family and friends with children who are close to this age bracket, as well as other friends with teenaged kids and parents with younger kids who will soon be in this age bracket. At some point in the future, I also hope to have a family of my own. I've also met victims of abuse and seen what they had to overcome as adults. I mention this to give full weight to what I'm about to say. My reaction to this episode of Dateline was, probably like most viewers, a combination of extreme disgust at these men; a deep, abiding anger at them for behaving in a predatory manner towards who they thought was someone's young kid; sorrow and compassion for any of their past victims; and a deep gratitude to the producers and staff at Dateline, the volunteers at Perverted Justice, and the Riverside County, California, Sheriff's Deputies who arrested, and in many cases, caught, the accused. I know this didn't even put a real dent in the number of those who prey on children, but it was a start, and more people were behind bars after this special was taped than there were before this sting. We may never know the number of children this one sting saved, but we know that number is at least as large as the number of thos arrested, and probably many, many more.

Parents, friends, cousins, teachers, family members, teach your children to be safe, not only online, but in real life. This special was a perfect example of why this is so critical.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The State of the Union, Post # 101

I, like so many of my fellow Americans, found something else to do when President George W. Bush gave his State of the Union address, so, today, I've been forced to rely on the reactions of others. According to this link, it seems that, regardless of their position on the political spectrum, the pundits at MSNBC didn't like at least some of what he had to say. Reading their analysis and its consistency with his statements in the past, I can certainly agree with some of the concerns expressed therein. To the statements of the MSNBC columnists, the main thing I would like to add is an offer to Tucker Carlson to select some new and better ties for him, and to find a hairstylist to give him a real haircut instead of that Problem Child ragtop he insists on wearing. I know someone in my area who can fix his hair up very nicely, and for a very reasonable price. But all kidding aside... Wait, was I just joking then? His hair and bowties are truly awful, and I keep hoping to see Mr. Blackwell coming out of the closet, er, jumping from around a corner to ambush Mr. Carlson. Fate has thusfar not been that kind to the world.

Back to the point, I did find merit in what Mr. Carlson had to say about the original method of delivering the State of the Union report and its reasoning. The first paragraph I found especially accurate for not only this president, but his immediate predecessor: "For most of America’s history the State of the Union address was not read aloud, but delivered in written form to Congress. The Founders and the early presidents understood that there’s a fine line between a chief executive and an emperor. A spoken address, they thought, would be an invitation to demagoguery. They were right."

To me, this and other statements by Mr. Carlson, an unabashed conservative as opposed to President Bush's neoconservativism, may be yet another signal of growing dissatisfaction among the President's conservative base. All in all, my response to the State of the Union can best be summed up by one of my favorite poems, a work by William Butler Yeats. I will leave it to you, the readers, to determine whether this is meant as simply another expression of my festering cynicism and undying pessimism about the future, as an expression of deeper grievances against the current administration, or as simply an expression that I just really like this poem.

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats

"TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

"Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"