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Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

Dear Readers: The Young Prince and I want to wish you a very happy and safe Halloween!

I had the privilege of chatting with an Egyptologist who is an expert on mummies, with S.J. Wolfe, the author of “Mummies in 19th Century America: Ancient Egyptians as Artifacts”.   This was during Canto Talk’s special Halloween program:  (CLICK HERE FOR PROGRAM LINK).

So I thought it would make some sense to discuss one of my favorite topics:  Making Mummies.  This is my gift to all of you on the very special Halloween Day!
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MAKING MUMMIES, ANCIENT EGYPTIAN STYLE

I would like to begin by recommending anyone with a genuine interest in ancient Egyptian mummification watch Dr. Bob Brier discuss his project, “Making the Modern Mummy”. It will be an invaluable 45 minutes of information and entertainment. Interestingly, it is from Bob Brier that I took the handle “Mutnodjmet” (“Sweet Mama”), as he is my favorite Egyptologist and this is his favorite ancient Egyptian name.

Besides this incredible video, I would like to list the other sources for the material cited through this article”

1) Egyptian Mummies (Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art), Dr. Bob Brier, 1994 (ISBN 0-688-10272-7).

2) The Mummy in Ancient Egypt (Equipping the Dead for Eternity), Salima Ikram and Aidan Dodson, 1998 (ISBN 0-500-05088-0):

3) Tour Egypt: An Overview of Mummification in ancient Egypt

This piece will primarily focus on the actual process of mummification as practiced by the ancient Egyptians, as well as how we know this information.

EGYPTIAN MUMMIFICATION – THE DELUXE TREATMENT

The Egyptians believed that a fully preserved body was essential, as the spirit (“Ka”) required an intact home. Through centuries of experience and practice, the ancient Egyptians developed very worthy techniques. We are able to look upon the faces of some of the most prominent men in history (e.g., Ramses the Great, Amenhotep the Magnificent) as a result of the art and science they practiced.

Mummy of Ramses II (aka “Ramses the Great”)

The first step in producing a worthy mummy is to remove all traces of water. Water permits the bacteria, which are responsible for the process of decay, to thrive and multiply. Consider a raisin – it is essentially the mummy of a grape. Therefore, the primary goal of the ancient mummifier was extracting as much water as possible from the corpse — a human “raisentte”, as it were.

This total process of ancient Egyptian mummification included numerous religious and ritual aspects. However, two specific elements in the complex ceremony specifically addressed the need for water removal — evisceration and dehydration.

The first step in mummification, once a corpse arrived and was ritually cleansed, was eviseration. The first embalmer, a priest, would an incision line on the left side of the abdomen. Here is where the obsidian knife comes in. In most instances, a 4 inch slice was made in the lower-right portion of the abdomen, from which the internal organs could be removed. During is experiments, Dr. Bob Brier attempted to use a variety of knifes that were constructed in similar fashion to those available in the ancient world. Ultimately, he discovered that an obsidian blade (referred to in Greek literature as the “Ethiopian Knife”) was surgically sharp and the single most effective tool to begin the eviscerating procedure.

It is interesting to note that the “Slitter”, as this individual is termed in ancient Egyptian texts, was reviled for this act of desecration. The other members of the mummification crew would have tossed stones at him after the cut. Likely they missed, as the “Slitter” was most likely a brother or another member of the family engaging in the clan’s business. Also officiating at the ceremony was an embalmer wearing an Anubis mask, performing specific rituals during the mummification process.

The internal organs, called viscera, were normally removed from the thoracic and abdominal cavities through an abdominal incision in the left flank. In some instances, the viscera were not extracted at all, while in others they were removed through the anus. Typically, however, there will be a 4-inch incision though which even the largest abdominal organ (the liver) could be removed. Dr. Brier commented that the liver came out in two sections, but was able to be extracted though the small slit.

This organ tissue was then dehydrated with natron, and either placed in canopic jars or made into four packages and reinserted into the body cavities (especially during the 21st dynasty and after). Some were wrapped in one large packet that was placed on the legs of the mummy. Interestingly, the heart was considered to be the organ associated with the individual’s intelligence and life force and was therefore retained in place, while the brain was removed and discarded.

  • Imset (depicted as a human) was responsible for the liver;
  • Hapi (a baboon) for the lungs;
  • Duamutef (a jackal) for the stomach;
  • Kebechsenef (a falcon) for the viscera of the lower body.

The brain itself is a water-rich organ, and had to be removed for effective mummification. Reviewing the ancient literature, it was theorized that a hook was inserted into the nostril, and the brain removed in piecemeal fashion. However, during his 1994 mummification of a modern man, Dr. Brier ascertained the hook was used to scramble the brain matter, which would then ooze out once the head was tipped. Then, linen would be inserted and removed, extracting more residue. Only when the linen came out clean would this process be concluded. As mentioned before, the brain was discarded as useless.

After removal of the internal organs, the body cavities were washed out with spiced palm wine and then filled with a mixture of dry natron (a type of salt) gum resin and vegetable matter. An average sized human being requires 600 pounds of natron for dehydration. Once placed on special boards (which would permit the corpse to be completely surrounded by natron, so that the glutteal and back areas would be dried), the corpse was left to dehydrate for a period of approximately 35 days. At that point, the limbs were still mobile enough for movement (so that the mummy could be posed in classic funereal styles).

UK Team Mummy Making – Bed of Natron Step

It is interesting to note that natron, believed to be the main ingredient used to pack the body, is found in a dry desert valley called the Wadi Natrun, now famous for its monasteries. It is composed of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate and includes some natural impurities. Originally, there was some discussion in Egyptology circles concerning the use of natron, actual salt (sodium chloride), or lime (calcium carbonate) as the main dehydration agent in Egyptian mummification. There was also a question of whether the natron was used in a solution such as water, or in a solid state. However, assessment of the Greek texts that describes the process, together with modern experiments on mummification has led us to believe that dry natron provides the most satisfactory results and was probably used exclusively.

After the body was completely dehydrated, the temporary stuffing that was used to fill the body was removed from its cavities and replaced with the permanent stuffing and sometimes also with the viscera packages. Next the abdominal incision was closed, the nostrils were plugged with resin or wax, and the body was anointed with a variety of oils and gum resins, which may have also played some part in preventing or delaying insect attack and in masking the odors of decomposition that would have accompanied the mummification process. However, all of these later stages were essentially cosmetic and had little effect in preserving the tissues.

After the basic mummification process was completed, the embalmers then wrapped the mummy in layers of linen bandages, between which they inserted protected amulets to guard the deceased from evil and danger. A decomposing body will soon begin to swell and loose its recognizable human form. This swelling will effect all of the body, but is particularly apparent in the abdomen, where gasses being produced by bacteria inflate the intestines. Removal of the internal organs of course aids in preventing this process. However, bandaging of the body also prevents or at least restricts such swelling, as well as excluding air from direct contact with the corpse, thus slowing deterioration. Bandaging would also prevent the formation of blisters on the skin, caused by fluid within the body, which appear in the first stages of decomposition. It is thought that the bandages were derived from the bed-linens and clothing items the ancient Egyptians utilized during their lives.

Next, a liquid or semi-liquid resinous substance was then poured over the mummy and coffin. The mummy and coffin were then returned to the family of the deceased for the funeral and burial.

At the end of the embalming process the priest would conclude by repeating an embalming spell:

“You will live again, you will live forever. Behold, you are young again forever”.

Meritamun Sarcophagus: Cedarwood coffin masterpiece of Queen Ahmose Meritamun, daughter of Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari, and sister and wife of King Amenhotep. A personal favorite.

EGYPTIAN MUMMIFICATION – VALUE TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS

The sophisticated approach I described above was the premier treatment, reserved for the elite, nobility, and extremely wealthy. There were two less expensive processes that Herodotus mentions, neither of which involved the complete evisceration of the body. In the second method (also used for animal mummification) oil of cedar was injected into the anus, which was then plugged to prevent the liquid from escaping. The body was afterwards treated with natron. Next, the oil was drained off and the intestines and the stomach, which became liquefied by the natron, came away with the oil. All that remained was actually the skin and the skeleton. The body was returned to the family in this state for burial. However, this was even superior to the third and cheapest method, during which the body was purged so that the intestines came away. Afterwards, the body was treated with natron.

Over the long history of ancient Egyptian mummification, there were only two major additions to the basic procedure. From as early as the Middle Kingdom, the brain was removed in some mummies and by the New Kingdom, this procedure of excerebration had become widespread. This process involved the insertion of a metal hook by the embalmer into the cranial cavity through the nostril and ethmoid bone, and the brain was pulverized to fragments so that it could be removed with a spatula type instrument. However, at times, access was gained to the cranial cavity either through the base of the skull or an eye socket. Obviously, it would have been impossible to remove every small fragment of the brain through any of these methods. Before the mummification was complete, the emptied cranial cavity was packed with strips of linen that had been impregnated with resin, though at other times molten resin was poured into the skull. In fact, King Tutankhamen’s skull contains such resin residue.

The second innovation in mummification was probably not introduced until as late as the 21st Dynasty. Then the embalmers sought to develop a technique that originally had been used during the 18th Dynasty mummification of King Amenhotep III. His embalmers had attempted to recreate the plumpness of the king’s appearance by introducing packing under the skin of his mummy though incisions made in his legs, neck and arms. The priests of the 21st Dynasty began to use this subcutaneous packing for anyone who could afford such an expensive technique. Now, the body cavities were packed through a flank incision with sawdust, butter, linen and mud, and the four individually wrapped packages of viscera were also inserted into these cavities, rather than being placed in canopic jars.

Mummy of Amenhotep III

Subcutaneous material was also inserted through mall incisions into the skin, the neck and the face was packed through the mouth. Hence, the embalmers attempted to retain the original body contours at least to some extent in order to give the mummy a more lifelike appearance. In fact, artificial eyes were often placed in the eye sockets and the skin was sometimes painted with red ocher (for men) or yellow ocher (for women). False plaits and curls were even woven into the natural hair. However, these very expensive and time consuming processes were not retained beyond the 23rd Dynasty.

The following is an example of the high-point in Mummification: the mummy of 21st Dynasty Queen Nodjmet. Prepared with subcutaneous stuffing, false hair, and inlaid eyes, she is extremely well preserved and almost looks asleep. Nodjmet was the wife of the Priest-King, Herihor. Recent research indicates that the ancient Egyptians used a fat-based gel that kept their hair in place through eternity!

Queen Nodjmet

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS

One can readily assume the entire mummification process was an odoriferous one. Bob Brier noted that one of the titles Anubis (the ancient Egyptian god devoted to mummification) was “He Who Is Upon His Hill” or “He Who Is In His Tent”. Therefore, it is theorized that most mummification was conducted within tents, outside the borders of the city/village on nearby hills.

During the Graeco-Roman period, records indicate it would cost about 450 drachmae (about $5000) to prepare a mummy. The most costly item was linen, as so much was used. Addional charges included an Anubis mask (probably worn during specific ceremonies by one of the embalmers), mourners, and carriage by donkey.

THE OVERALL HISTORY OF EGYPTIAN MUMMIFICATION

The history of Egyptian mummifcation can be summarized based on the kingdom divisions of the Egypt’s history.

· Old-Kingdom (initial experimentation; mummies made mainly of royal persons; mummies essentially consist of wrapped corpses poorly preserved).

· Middle-Kingdom (moderate progress; mummies made of nobles and royals; better dehydration and preservation techniques.)

· New Kingdom (High-Mark; mummies made of nobles, royals, and the wealthy; brain removal and subcutaneous padding).

· Late Kingdom (Generally good, and mummification services offered to more and more citizens; explosion in the number of animal mummies produced).

· Graeco-Roman Period (Generally poor preservation, but the bandaging is precise and is an artform in itself; mummification is available to all who can afford it; cartonage and gold-covered masks cover the mummies).

The history in full starts with an understanding that in Egypt, a combination of climate and environment, as well as the people’s religious beliefs and practices, led first to unintentional natural mummification and then to true mummification. In Egypt, and particularly ancient Egypt, there was a lack of cultivatable land and so the early Egyptians chose to bury their dead in shallow pit-graves on the edges of the desert, where the heat of the sun and the dryness of the sand created the natural mummification process. Even this natural process produced remarkably well preserved bodies. Often, these early natural mummified bodies retained skin tissue and hair, along with a likeness of the person’s appearance when alive.

Prior to about 3400 BC, all Egyptians were buried in pit graves, whether rich or poor, royal or common. Later however, as prosperity and the advance in building techniques improved, more elaborate tombs for those of high social status were constructed. Yet at the same time, these brick lined underground burial chambers no longer provided the conditions which led to natural mummification in the older pit graves. Now however, mummification had been established in the religious belief system so that the deceased’s ka, or spirit, could return to and recognize the body, reenter it, and thus gain spiritual sustenance from the food offerings. Hence, a method was sought to artificially preserve the bodies of the highest classes. However, preservation of the body was probably also required due to the longer period that it took to actually inter the body, as grave goods and even the tomb itself received final preparations.

What we sometimes called true mummification involves a sophisticated process that was developed from experimentation. The best example of this process is Egyptian mummification, which involved the use of chemical and other agents. The experimentation that led to true mummification probably lasted several hundred years. Such efforts may have begun as early as the 2nd Dynasty. J. E. Quibell, an Egyptologist who worked in some primitive Egyptian necropolises, found a large mass of corroded linen between the bandages and bones of a body interred in a cemetery at Saqqara that perhaps evidences an attempt to use natron or another agent as a preservative by applying it to the surface of the skin.

Another early technique involved the covering of the body in fine linen and then coating this with plaster to carefully preserve the deceased’s body shape and features, in particular the head. In 1891, W. M. Flinders Petrie discovered a body at Meidum dating to the 5th Dynasty in which there had been some attempt to preserve the body tissue as well as to recreate the body form. Bandages were carefully molded to reproduce the shape of the torso. Arms and legs were separately wrapped and the breasts and genitals were modeled in resin-soaked linen. Nevertheless, decomposition had taken the body beneath the bandages, and only the skeleton remained.

Only as early as the 4th Dynasty do we actually find convincing evidence of successful, true mummification. The mother of Khufu (i.e., Hetepheres), the king who built the Great Pyramid at Giza, also had a tomb at Giza. Though her body has not been found, in her tomb was discovered preserved viscera which could probably be attributed to this queen. An analysis of these viscera packets proved that they had been treated with natron, the agent that was successfully used in later times to dehydrate the body tissue. Hence, this find demonstrates that the two most important components of mummification, evisceration of the body and dehydration of the tissues, was already in use by royalty. Afterwards, mummification continued to be practiced in Egypt for some three thousand years, lasting until the end of the Christian era.

As Egyptian history progressed, mummification became available to people of the upper and even the middle classes. During the Middle Kingdom, the political and economic growth of the middle classes and the increased importance of religious beliefs and practices among all Egyptian social classes resulted in the spread of mummification to new sections of the population. More mummies have survived from that period than from the Old Kingdom, but it is also evident that less care was taken in their preparations. Mummification was actually most widespread during the Greco-Roman period. It was then that foreign immigrants who settled in Egypt began to adopt Egyptian funerary beliefs and customs. Mummification at that time became an increasingly prosperous commercial venture, and it tended to indicate the decease’s social status rather than any religious conviction. This resulted in a further decline in the quality of the mummification process. At that time, bodies were elaborately bandaged and encased in covers made of cartonnage (a mixture of plaster and papyrus or linen). However, modern radiographic analysis confirms that these bodies were frequently poorly preserved inside their wrappings. Mummification was never generally available to the common classes of people. Yet, since they could not afford the sophisticated funerary structures, they continued to be interred in simple desert graves where their bodies were naturally preserved.

KEYS TO MUMMY IDENTIFICATION

The following section summarizes important things to look for, so that you can readily identify the general period of time during which an Egyptian mummy was prepared. This list is not all inclusive, but should give ACOC members an idea of the basic trends and identification clues that can be used in determining the age of a specific mummy.

Old Kingdom (Mummies of Royals. Very rare; never usually seen outside of Egypt or the oldest European Collections).

· Plastered-Shaped Mummy

· Plain Wooden Coffins, Box-Shaped.

· When used, stone or pottery Canopic jars were plain.

One of the less than half-dozen Old Kingdom mummies known.

Middle Kingdom (Mummies of Royals and Nobles).

· Plaster Masks (called Cartonnage), generally of simple design, but usually of high quality and beauty.

· Wooden Coffins, Box-Shaped.

· Coffins have elaborate hieroglyphics, and eyes on the side of the box.

· Mummy buried on its side.

· Stone or pottery Canopic jars were plain or had human heads.

Middle Kingdom Mummy and Sarcophagus

New Kingdom – Late Kingdom (Mummies of Royals, Nobles, and Wealthy).

· Plaster Masks (called Cartonnage), of more complex design (e.g., feathered headdresses). These tend to be more colorful and garish then Middle Kingdom.

· The Royal Mummies would have gold or silver masks (e.g., the famous one of King Tutankhamen).

· Arthropoid Coffins, Human-Shaped.

· Coffins have elaborate hieroglyphics.

· Richer burials utilize box-shaped wood or stone sarcophagus, which can be highly decorated (either with paintings or reliefs)

· Canopic jars were generally had human heads or those of the Four Sons of Horus.

· Papyrus “Book of the Dead” are buried with the mummy.

Howard Carter and assistant examine King Tutankhamen

Ptolemaic-Graeco-Roman (Mummies of all who can afford the price).

· Plaster Masks (called Cartonnage), were used/ However, there was a wide variety of types, and many were highly influenced by Greek art (which focused on producing more realistic results). Plaster or gold-foil masks with very Greek characteristics are noted.

· Some of the wealthier mummies (especially in later history) have encaustic mummy portraits instead of masks. These portraits are as close to a snap-shot of what the actual individual looked like as could be achieved during this period of history.

· The quality of preservation techniques deteriorated. However, the bandaging became quite elaborate to make up for it. Therefore, a mummy with diamond-shaped patterns of bandages will always be from this period.

· Canopic jars may or may not be associated with a burial

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Dear Readers: I want to start with a big shout-out to Legal Insurrection’s Professor Jacobson, who featured a selection of bumper sticker shots I took at the jousting tournament I went to Sunday: Let my people go

Here is my favorite of the series:

And to the Professor, I want to add this:

And since the topic is Egypt, I wanted to hit two key points:

As an extra bonus, we are going to talk to one of my favorite Romanian-born pundit, Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, on the country’s most famous ruler: Dracula. She has an excellent post on Bran’s Castle and the Legend of Vlad the Impaler Her description focuses on Bran Castle:

The inspirational castle of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” was strategically located on a rocky bluff, difficult to conquer, tiny by any definition of a castle, and surrounded by stone turrets. The savage nature of the landscape surrounded it with mystique.

To Westerners, Vlad Tepes was Vlad the Impaler, a ruthless ruler demonized in many German writings of the 15th century. To Bram Stoker’s novel fans, he was the inspiration for Count Dracula.

Bran Castle was built more than 600 years ago. In 1377, King Louis gave the citizens of Brasov the right to build a fort at Bran at their expense. A citadel was erected by 1382. In early 1400s, the fortress was entrusted to Mircea cel Batrin to help the Wallachian ruler to continue his anti-Ottoman policy.

The one and only reference to Vlad Tepes was in 1459 when his troops passed through Bran, attacked and looted Brasov, following the disputes between the Wallachian ruler and the Brasov traders. Perhaps for commercial reasons, the legend of Bran Castle as Vlad’s property stuck.

Finally, I want to share a photo of the Young Prince. At the jousting tournament on Sunday, we were treated to a demonstration from Legio IX Hispana, a group of Roman Legion reenactors. My son was cheering them on, as they defeated a band of unorganized Celtic barbarians. He has decided he wants to join the Legion, and for is 18th birthday, he has requested a full set of Roman armor. Being ancient Egyptian in my views, I have to admit some of those soldiers were very handsome, indeed. :)

One of the best moments for both the Young Prince and myself was when we had one of the soldiers explain the shield design. As Legion IX Hispana has the sea-god Neptune as its patron, the shield elements included eagle wings (Rome), lightening bolts (Jupiter Optimums Maximus) and the trident for Neptune.

Reading the Percy Jackson/Jason Grace series that features teen children of Greek/Roman divinities, Blake decided that is he were a son of an Olympian, it would be Poseidon — and as he favors Camp Jupiter and Rome, this translates to Neptune.

I will let my readers guess as which Greek/Roman divinity who is my “parent” based on the Rick Riordan book series. You can place your guesses in the comments section. This post contains several clues, so choose wisely.

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Dear Readers:  I am feeling a bit rantish today.  So, before I take a deeply impassioned analysis of the crappy current events, I wanted to take care of some programming business.  I will be hosting a game-show style CANTO TALK Program today (7 pm Pacific Time/9 pm Central Time).  The focus will be on ‘WE THE PEOPLE FIGHT TYRANNY” (Facebook page HERE). See item post-rant for my daily question and fun details.

Last night, I went to bed after reading:  I don’t consider Egypt an ally, says Obama 

Via HotAir.com

WTF X 1,000,000. Damn. I knew Obama was going to be a toxic president — but he has been an  offensive amalgam of radioactivity and carcinogencity on both domestic AND foreign policy. Now, that’s quite an achievement! And it seems the press people, who went all Journolist to defend him yesterday, are recognizing how potently poisonous the man is, too: NBC chief foreign correspondent blasts Obama’s “Egypt not an ally” statement

OBAMA: HITS ROCK BOTTOM, THEN GRABS A JACKHAMMER.

TAMMY BRUCE ALSO WENT ON A RANT now ON PUBLIC PODCAST, DO PLEASE LISTEN TO HERS AS WELL!!!

Long-time readers recall that I have long said the ancient gods have fled Egypt. A friend of the Shrine reminds me that the new Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt is none too brotherly, either: “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”

For Egyptians and Obama, who seem to think making Israel and the Jews a target is a fantastic game plan, I offer them a reminder that such an approach has been historically FULL OF FAIL.

The Professor at Legal Insurrection has a great post summarizing events as they now stand: Middle East and Journalism in flames.

Obama’s Middle East policy is in flames. Literally, at multiple U.S. diplomatic locations which are sovereign U.S. territory. The latest is the storming of the Embassy in Yemen, which is ongoing as of this writing.

Journalism also is in flames. It’s back to 2008, with the media openly siding with Obama and colluding to damage Romney.

As Hillaryis44 notes, Team Romney needs to only repeat this message: OBAMA IS GOING TO GET US ALL KILLED.

Any person who thinks Romney hurt his campaign with his critique is being dangerously deceptive and/or willfully ignorant.

More from my good friends, here:

In terms of Libya, this comes from Canto Talk freind Humberto Fontova on his Babalu blog! Advice from a Genuine Libya

In conclusion:

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WE THE PEOPLE FIGHT TYRANNY SHOW TONIGHT

Switching gears a bit, this is a reminder that several Canto Talk favorites from the SLOBS will be representing Team California tonight: Barry Jacobson/Word Warrior, Dawn Wildman/Blogger-in-Chief, and Charles Fettinger/DooDoo Economics.

There are six categories of questions, as noted below:

In light of my rant, this question seems apt:

 Which progressive asserted the following:

“Consider the “fairness doctrine,” now largely abandoned but once requiring radio and television broadcasters: …[I]n light of astonishing economic and technological changes, we must doubt whether, as interpreted, the constitutional guarantee of free speech is adequately serving democratic goals. It is past time for a large-scale reassessment of the appropriate role of the First Amendment in the democratic process.”

A. MICHAEL MORE
B. JOE BIDEN
C. THEODORE ROOSEVELT
D. CASS SUNSTEIN

Click HERE for Answer.

There will be even more CANTO TALK fun:

Noted screenwriter/director/producer and Cuban dynamo Orestes Matacena will be calling in, and he has kindly donated copies of his hilarious political thriller: TWO DE FORCE!It’s now available on-line and on DVD!

MUT NOTE: I totally adore JESSE WANG as the Chinese Chairman.

Powerhouse American music man Karl Brunig has also donated two CDs, when they are released. Silvio is an extremely generous game-show host, so it should be a ton of fun.

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MUT FUN ITEMS

Two items that helped return me to sanity and serenity:

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Happy Halloween!

Dear Readers: It was very silent in the shrine last week. The reason? Horemheb and I had a major, life-changing decision to make and we had to talk and research to make the best possible choice. Horemheb was blessed to receive 2 job offers — one in Santa Barbara, CA and the other in Houston, TX.

Now, long time readers may thing that free market spirits such as my husband and myself might automatically pick Texas — like so many other Californians. And, the temptation was there. However, between 300 days of sunshine, moderate Mediterranean climate, and the fact the school district is getting Halloween off, we are going to suck up the higher taxes and blue state blues and stay in California. As a bonus — I get to stay teamed-up with the SLOBs. I have just over 1 year to start converting some of the bluest of the blue!

So, I want to sign off today wishing everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN. Here is a picture of the Young Prince and I at the Halloween parade. He went with a ninja, because the weapons were so cool. Me? I am a Slytherin Professor of Dark Arts, channeling Harry Potter. And, seriously, I will need some potent magic to counteract the liberal voodoo of Central Coastal California!

And, a little music to add to the ambiance:

HALLOWEEN LINKS:

Eight Great Songs for Halloween

From B-Daddy: Weekend Music Chill Halloween Edition

From The Anchoress: Yep, I still love Halloween!

From Gateway Pundit: Scary Halloween Movie 2011 – Obama and the Zombie 99%ers (Video)


Happy Halloween! Do giant pumpkins have a size limit?

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Check below for updates!

Dear Friends: Getting into the spirit of the season, I have been listening to some of my favorite Halloween-oriented songs. Here is one of my favorites:

Speaking of which, the San Diego cohort of the Great Zombie Invasion has been busy! Courtesy of Gateway Pundit: OUTRAGE… Occupy San Diego Goons Use US Flag as Dog Chew Toy. Mut’s Money Quote! “USA Flag Dog Chew Toy: Best Use of Old Glory to date!”.

In fact, since my zombie post, Instapudit’s Glenn Reynolds notes that NJ students are celebrating the Zombie Apocalypse!And the zombies are beginning to riot!

Team Obama must be so proud of all their little zombies!It looks like some of the undead are awakening to the money scam that OWS finance is becoming.

And speaking of scary news: Did You Know Feds Will Temporarily Cut Off All TV and Radio Broadcasts on Nov. 9?No television. No radio. And timed to silence Rush Limbaugh. The STORY is that the a new national emergency broadcast system is being tested. If Obama’s voice is on the first national Emergency Alert System (EAS), I will be ill. And I am sure there are tons of advertisers, TV viewers, and radio listeners that are not going to appreciate the heavy-handed disruption. As Charles Caesar notes: Caution – Tyranny Ahead.

I hope I have given you enough information to enter B-daddy’s Caption Contest. Here is the OWS-related item. WARNING: TOXIC LEVELS OF IRONY!

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SLOB News:

I would officially like to welcome KT of The Scratching Post to our hallowed institution, the SAN DIEGO LOCAL ORDER OF BLOGGERS! His OWS Post is here: Dear OWS, Rhode Island Is Bankrupt

Beers with Demo has a video of the day that ties in with Mad Men, a TV series we have been missing.My current favorite of the new crop of shows is “Once Upon a Time”, which centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real.Two big thumbs up!

UPDATE – via Instapundit Glenn Reynolds: OCCUPY WALL STREET: A Zombie ACORN Production? “Sources said NYCC has hired about 100 former ACORN-affiliated staff members from other cities – paying some of them $100 a day – to attend and support Occupy Wall Street. Dozens of New York homeless people recruited from shelters are also being paid to support the protests, at the rate of $10 an hour, the sources said.”

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Star Wars Pumpkins

Dear Readers: Halloween is my favorite holiday, and this is my favorite time of year. Over the next week, I may be posting a few seasonal items instead of opining on scary world events.

I give you Star Wars Alderan (thanks to Shrine friend Alvin):

From the photographer: It was as if a million pumpkin seeds cried out and were suddenly silenced.

UPDATE: Team Obama has another Twitter Hashtag that has been hijacked by savvy citizen activists. Check out #WeCantWait. Here is my pumpkin-based tweet:

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! A quote from my favorite scary movie, The Omen, to get us started today. I offer a selection of links and essential pre-election reading for all my Tea Party Friends today. Toward the end of the post, I will list the favorite scary movies of my fellow SLOBs!

Biggest horror alert so far: It has been brought to our attention that hundreds of thousands of ballots printed in Fresno County used an incorrect ballot label to describe Proposition 23 (a critical measure to pass, as it will save California’s economy).

Phone-bank efforts on behalf of Prop. 23 are continuing. Site friend and physicist Martin Fricke sends this report from the front lines:

So far, my phone calls that have contacted people seem to fall into 3 categories:

1. Persons who had already made up their minds to vote Yes on 23 (these are slightly ahead now, but the statistical sample is too small to be meaningful).
2. Persons who are so fed up with everything that they’re not even going to vote (an ominous signal if prevalent).
3. People who say thanks but they don’t want to hear about anything that would delay implementing AB32 (nor want to hear any arguments opposing it).

Now for some scary stories involving “the beautiful people” and their Tea Party Challengers!

* Bob Filner: Zombie Candidate vs American Hero. In this episode, Zombie Filner attacks opponent Nick Popaditch with distortions. Filner’s inept team thought that tainting Popaditch with the accusation that Nick hadn’t voted in 11 years, that smear would go unchallenged. My beloved husband Horemheb indicates that an in-depth search of the facts shows that Nick has regularly voted since 2003. Like most regular Americans — as he got older, he got responsible about doing his civic duty. Intrepid grassroots supporter, Cheryl Perez of Chula Vista Patriots, files this report: HOT TOPIC IN THE SOUTH BAY

The constituents of the 51st Congressional district have also received a Halloween trick from Filner. For the first time in his 18 years as Congressman, Filner has an opponent that he has to put some effort into campaigning against. Everyone I have talked to is saying for the first time they are seeing Filner campaign signs and TV ads. … Politics as usual with ads attacking opponents has to stop. I don’t know the answer to getting rid of negative campaign ads, but I know that I am going to make my voice heard to the TV stations that are running the misleading campaign ads. We have to start somewhere, and cleaning up our own backyard is the best place to start. We need to let local stations and the candidates know that we don’t appreciate our intelligence being insulted in this manner. And let the candidates who have run a clean campaign (Popaditch true to his nature, has run a very clean, positive campaign) know that we appreciate that too. (Check out this CALIFORNIA BELONGS TO MEXICO bonus feature!)

* Boxer: Casino Royale. Left Coast Rebel reports on this stoy: Babs Boxer’s Family Profit from Fake Indian Tribe She Helped Create!.I hope Californians understand she has been working more for her own interest than ours during her tenure as Senator. She must be defeated this Nov. 2nd. The money quotes:

In 1998, Lynn Woolsey introduced legislation reinstating an Indian tribe in the wine country of Northern California that had been declared defunct by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1958. None of the Indians of the tribe objected at that time; they received a payment and went about their lives. The Woolsey bill would reinstate the tribe but specifically prohibited them from starting a casino. The legislation ran into trouble when the Bureau of Indian Affairs opposed the legislation because it had not seen any evidence that the tribe was significantly tied to the terminated tribe. In 2000, Boxer helpfully picked up the Woolsey bill, but changed the prohibition against gaming, and designated any land that the group owned to be considered as a reservation….

The tribe turned its fortunes over to two firms to make its dreams of wealth come true — Platinum Advisers, a political consulting/lobbying firm, and Kenwood Investments 2. Amazingly, and I’m certain quite coincidentally, Barbara Boxer’s son, Doug, was a partner in each firm.

* “Restoring Sanity (?), Ground Reports: Demon Seed Does DC.Watching a few clips of this rally, I was sickened. The Beck Rally was an inspirational event, devoted to the best in this country. While I think a joke or two about aspects of the “Restoring Honor” were probably warranted, 2 plus hours of a mean-spirited, small-hearted, America-demeaning mock-a-thon was petty. And, from the comments I read, not terribly entertaining. A thorough and scientific analysis of the crowd size is HERE. A HillBuzz Reader had a ground Report from the event (click HERE).

I exited the Metro Center to meet my group for orientation just as the rally was breaking up. The first thing that I noticed was how loud and rude most of the participants leaving the rally were. The only way I can describe it is to state there was an atmosphere of imperial smugness in the air. Lots of people wearing Ivy league T-shirts and caps (Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, etc) and T-shirts stating “Educated, Not Ignorant” (ha-ha, take THAT peasants!) …

The third thought which pointed out the difference between the Beck rally and the Stewart rally, besides the mood, tenor and trash, were the signs. The signs I saw at the Stewart rally were rude, obnoxious and accusatory. Lots of foul language, and demonizing of Republicans and Tea Party members, using language and imagery I won’t repeat here. There were also a lot of signs demanding the legalization of marijuana, and demanding that people learn to love muslims. Several signs, “So what if Obama’s muslim”, and “I’m muslim, so you better learn to love me”., and many, “America isn’t just white and Christian”. And “f&ck h8ters” with pictures of Palin, Cantor, etc. ???? Not only were there many signs demanding legalization of marijuana, I can assure you there was a great amount of usage of the “special herb” as well. Again – a definite contrast to the quiet, respectful crowd of 8-28. (For A PHOTO ESSAY ON THOSE SIGNS, PLEASE CLICK HERE).

* Press Sabotage of Joe Miller: Attack of the Mama Grizzly Bear!Two Alaska reporters from a cBS affiliate were making plans to smear Republican Candidate Joe Miller by associating him with a child molester. Needless to say, former Governor Sarah Palin had a few choice words for this cretins.

* Christine O’Donnell: Bewitched. Gawker pays cash for a sex-based smear story focused on the Delaware GOP Senate Candidate (MUT Note — I am not so sure it wasn’t the Republican elites under Rove who is responsible for the story; it is similar to the tactic they used in South Carolina’s primary with Nicky Hailey.) Because, nothing says “detailed platform based on the issues” than pulling out a fake sex story on the Thursday before election day.

* Barney Frank: The Curse of Frank-enstein. Barney turns to Michael Dukakis for rally support.

* Mr. and Mrs. Barak Hussein Obama: Night of the Living Dead. Obama is sending down thugs to intimidate poll-watchers in critical districts in Arizona and Hillbuzz reports the Michelle Obama costumes are now popping-up.

SAN DIEGO LOCAL ORDER OF BLOGGERS “SCARY MOVIE” FAVS!

* Temple of Mut: The Omen. My parents, not one for kids films, took my brother and I (aged 9 and 10) to a showing. I went to bed with a glow-in-the-dark virgin Mary for a month afterwards. And we weren’t even Catholic (though the movie may be a reason I became one).

* Doo Doo Economics’ Charles Caesar: ALIEN.

* The Liberator Today: “I would have to say the Korean film “The Host.” It’s realism really sucks you in.” (MUT Note: The Liberator Today offers an essential roundup of ballot recommendations; CLICK HERE FOR A GOOD VOTING GUIDE). \

* W.C. Varones: Jacob’s Ladder. Super scary psychological thriller/horror. It stars Timothy Robbins, who’s a commie wacko, but in some of the best movies of all time: Bull Durham, Shawshank Redemption, Arlington Road, Mystic River. And did you see him as a right-wing populist in Bob Roberts? I totally would have voted for that guy.

* Lipstick Underground: You mean besides anything staring Barbara Streisand? I vote for the 80′s classic “Motel Hell“…terrible name, and supposed to be a comedy/satire, but still UBER creepy.

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