Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Singer Tied to Post, Whipped 39 Times for Performing Before a Mixed Audience.

Guess the country.

No, Not Iran. Not Pakistan or Afghanistan.

It happened in Israel.

Religious nuts are all the same, all around the world. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Shinto, they are all the same. Who they pray to may differ, the rituals and languages differ, but they all are after the same thing: To coerce people to do it their way, to follow their rules, whether or not the people believe as the fanatics do.

The U.S. Army Will Never Leave Iraq

At least, not while Halliburton is drilling there.

Shell Oil is a Dutch company, I believe. Halliburton is now an Arab company, since they moved over to Abu Dhabi. So why don't we tell Shell and Halliburton that they are on their own?

I know. It was all about our blood for their oil. It always has been. No doubt that Dick Cheney is planning to move over there as soon as he can get an air ambulance to take him.

(H/T)

Real Live Right Wing Hypocrites

That would be the Koch brothers, two of the richest men in the world, the ones who spend millions of dollars to fight Democrats, who have astroturfed the teabaggers and other groups. They spent a ton of money fighting the health care bill, but that doesn't stop them from shamelessly moving right up to suckle at the Federal teat.

Just like all of those politicians from the Confederate party, who decry Federal spending, but turn right around and suck away at the Treasury teat for their own pork-laden pet projects.

Danger! Mall Ninjas At Work!

I'm going to bet that there is one mall cop who is going to be looking for a job.
MONTVILLE, NJ — Police say a pair of overzealous Willowbrook Mall security guards chased a carful of suspected shoplifters for six miles along Route 46, running at least one red light along the way, before both cars were stopped by Montville police.
Mall owners don't like it when the mall cops do that. If there had been any kind of an accident along the way, everyone involved would have sued the pants off of the Willowbrook Mall.

But hey, this guy was so overzealous, you just know that there has to be a job waiting for him at the TSA in the Rectal Probing Division.

Har!

I was reading a story about a production of Hamlet that will be performed in Klingon. The funniest thing, though, was a response to a comment:
js_edit wrote:
lipschitzantwon wrote:
Could some of this energy be put into finding a cure for cancer?
8/27/2010 2:17:21 PM
-----------------------
Yes, because the work of linguists and actors is vital in the field of medical research.
8/29/2010 1:32:06 PM
That is some fine snark.
(H/T for logo)

An Indication Why This Country is Doomed

Self-closing toilet seats and lids.



We have apparently become too lazy to even close the lids on our frakking toilets.[1]

It is becoming a national security issue:
Excess weight is the leading reason the Army rejects potential recruits. And while that has been true for years, the problem has worsened as the waistlines of America’s youth have expanded. This year, a group of retired generals and admirals released a report titled “Too Fat to Fight.”

“Between 1995 and 2008, the proportion of potential recruits who failed their physicals each year because they were overweight rose nearly 70 percent,” the report concluded.

There was a time when gym class was mandatory all the way through high school. But that was when public education was perceived to be a good thing, before the Confederate party began demonizing public education. Now no art, no PT, no music, little science, just whatever is necessary to pass the "No Child Left Untested" exams.

But to be fair, the problem with fat kids also has something to do with more and more junk foods, the introduction of video games and computers, as well as the fears that if the kids were allowed to just play outside, they would be snatched by some molester.

Still, the rising obesity rate in children is becoming a matter of national security. Fat chance, though, that it will be addressed in a meaningful way.

[1]The video touts that you don't have to touch the plague-ridden underside to close the lid. So I gather that self-lifting toilet lids will be the next invention?

Monday, August 30, 2010

"You Can Avoid Being Poisioned By Our Contaminated Eggs,
But Only If You Cook the Shit Out of Them,
And If You Don't, It's Your Damned Fault"

That, believe it or not, is the message of the egg industry:
"Consumers that were sickened reportedly all ate eggs that were not properly or thoroughly cooked. Eggs need to be cooked so that the whites and yolks are firm (not runny), which should kill any bacteria," says Mitch Head, spokesman for the United Egg Producers.
Right. Eggs are now "poisonous little bombs of death" because the United Egg Producers think it costs too damn much money to not cram hens into such close confinement.

Fuck it. I know of places where I can buy local eggs from truly free-range chickens, not from factory farms. I don't eat that many eggs that the cost difference will be that significant.

The "our eggs are poisonous" crap started with Wright Country Eggs, located in Galt, Iowa. So I gather now that "going Galt" means "shipping out eggs loaded with toxic bacteria because it is too costly to run a sanitary operation."
Federal inspections of the two Iowa egg farms at the heart of a nationwide recall and salmonella outbreak found widespread safety problems, including barns infested with flies, maggot and rodents, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday.
So some fucker decides that he can make more money by running filthy farms and now it is our fault?

Hey, you folks at the United Egg Producers? Go fuck yourselves.

(H/T)

The Fine Whine of those on Corporate Welfare

Senator Bernard Sanders inserted a provision requiring that substandard or fraudulent performance by defense contractors be made public knowledge.

Of course, the corrupt collectors of corporate welfare are resisting that. You can bet that most of them won't hire felons, but they want to keep their own criminal conduct secret.

Those fuckers.

One Second's Misattention

That's about all it takes sometimes to get killed.
A 30-year-old flight instructor from Weymouth was struck and killed [three days ago] by an airplane propeller at Beverly Municipal Airport when the man exited his aircraft to help another pilot, officials said.
Aircraft engines are dangerous. When viewed from the front, propellers have white bands on them so that you can see the blade disc as it spins.


But from behind, they are painted flat black so as to not distract the pilot.

If you want a hard rule for prop-driven airplanes, it is this: Never get out of a single-engined airplane with the engine running (other than maybe wintertime operations in Alaska.) For multi-engined airplanes with one engine running, never approach it on the side of the running engine. (The "no engine running" rule applies to Cessan Skymasters.) A prop is like having a brush-hog blade mounted vertically, it will, even at idle power, rip through you like you weren't even there.

Jets have their own dangers. Get too close to the front of them and they will cuisinart you. Get too close to the back and they will blow you about.



Complacency kills.

The North American Police State

We have become a place where a woman who is standing on her front porch, watching a cop stop a motorist, can be convicted of obstructing an officer.

So where are the Teabaggers on this? Where are their protests for freedom and liberty?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Million Moron March

I had no real intention about writing about "Beckapalooza", otherwise known as "the Million Moron March"[1], but seems to me that there was a nation in Central Europe in the second quarter of the last century which had politicians screeching about "restoring our honor" and "reclaiming our sacred lands" and stuff like that. One of the screechers managed to amass a bit of political power, based on his message of blaming outsiders and suchlike.

Didn't end so well for them, as I recall. Or their neighbors.

But not all of the morons were marching in DC. Some were busy committing arson.

[1]Maybe about 8% of a million.

Stupid Cops With Guns

The Santa Barbara cops held two pilots at gunpoint because a DEA contractor told them that the airplane they were flying (on an IFR flight plan, no less) was stolen.

Turns out it wasn't. Turns out that since there are only a finite number of combinations of numbers and letters for aircraft registrations, that the FAA reuses them. Turns out the DEA is too ill-informed to know that.

And it turns out that the two pilots are among the best-known pilots in the country.

Bravo for the brain-dead boys in blue!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Afghanistan: Time to Go

I do not disagree with the premise that the Taliban are a bunch of mean fuckers. I do not disagree with the premise that if the Taliban leadership were all taking dirt naps, that the world would be a better place.

But consider, for a moment, the fact that the clown that we chose to run the country is running, with eyes open, one of the most corrupt and detested governments on the planet:
KABUL, Afghanistan — One of the country’s most senior prosecutors said Saturday that President Hamid Karzai fired him last week after he repeatedly refused to block corruption investigations at the highest levels of Mr. Karzai’s government.
Bribery. Extorting kickbacks. Colluding with the enemy. Kidnapping. Murder. Drug trafficking. These are among the crimes committed by officials in the Karzai regime, crimes of which Karzai is equally guilty of for protecting the criminals.

Karzai is nothing more than Thieu in Pashto.

April of 1975 is coming for this war.

Japanese Teabaggers

They seem to be even more cranky than our own. But the impulse is still the same: Foreigners are responsible for everything bad.

The Most Hated Man in American History, According to the Conservatives....

... was able to persuade the North Koreans to release an American who was stupid enough to go into North Korea without official permission to do so.

Smoke?

I don't want to discuss the latest doings of a certain bint who was a winner of the Lucky Sperm Lottery, but this part of the story had me wondering:
The 29-year-old Hilton was in a car driven by a friend that was stopped when officers noticed what they suspected to be marijuana smoke coming from it...
Does marijuana smoke look that different from tobacco smoke that it would be distinguishable as it emanated from a (presumably) moving car?

I'm thinking that this one isn't going to survive a motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause.

Caturday

Gracie was hiding pretty well. She stuck her head out of the bag as I was getting ready to go down to floor level to snap a shot of her inside of it.


Gracie does a bit of personal grooming. Sometimes she gets onto my bed at 3AM and does this with loud sound effects.


That black lump of fur on the back of the chair is George. He is napping.


This was one long-necked bird.  I have no idea what it was.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Privacy: Only for the Well-Off?

It would seem that in the West, the cops can slap a GPS tracker on your car in the middle of the night. No warrant, no reason required, just because they feel like doing so.

Unless you own your own home and at least put up a "no trespassing" sign.

If I remember correctly, some of those states are "castle doctrine" states, to the point that if you see somebody fucking with your car, you might be permitted to just shoot them.

Some of those gizmos are pretty small. If you do find one on your car, I'd suggest either gutting it for its components or toss it onto a semi-trailer at a rest stop. Or a UPS truck.

Could get interesting here in Soviet Amerika...

Are You Being Assaulted by the Feds?

I am defining an assault by the classic definition as "an unwelcome touching."

The "touching", in this case, is by X-rays. A company in Massachusetts is selling portable backscatter X-ray vans that will X-ray you in your car without your consent.
The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back.
Which means that those fuckers are irradiating you with X-rays. I don't give a fuck how low the dosage is, the point that I could be just minding my own business and some douchebag from a 3-letter agency gives me a covert X-ray is offensive.

This is how our privacy, liberties and freedom all die. Not because the government has an idea or an overarching conspiracy. We lose our freedoms because some greedheads in private industry come up with a more intrusive way to monitor us, all so they can make a pile of cash off of it. We lose the freedom to be left alone because clowns like American Science & Engineering will get rich in the process.

May everyone who works for American Science & Engineering rot in hell. If you want to tell them yourself, call them at 978-262-8700. The president and CEO is Anthony R. Fabiano. The chief mad scientist is Joseph Callerame, Ph.D. Their PR weasel is named Joe Reiss. Or you can write them at 829 Middlesex Turnpike, Billerica, MA 01821.

Does anyone know what thickness of lead it will take to defeat this gadget?

(H/T)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Perspective

Since 2001 (including that year), nearly 300,000 Americans have been killed in traffic accidents.

Since 2001, 130,000 Americans have been killed in falls. 30,000 have drowned.

Since 2001, roughly 3,000 Americans have died in terrorist attacks (most on one day).[1]

But guess which one of those causes of death have resulted in a huge Federal and state bureaucracies and guess which one has resulted in unprecedented governmental infringement on liberties.

[1]However, it must be pointed out that when white dudes go on shooting sprees and try to blow up police stations, that's not terrorism per se. It is apparently only terrorism if the perps are Muslim.

Fox News: In the Pocket of Monsanto

"Fair and balanced," only if it doesn't offend Monsanto.

Fox is a bunch of corrupt fuckers.



It's probably not terribly fair to blame Fox alone. I have little doubt that the same tale would have also played out at ABC, CBS and NBC.

And if you're drinking milk or eating yogurt that is not free from bovine growth hormone, you are risking your health so Monsanto can make more money.

Fiction

A second installment in the Carrington story line.

Oy.

A friend of mine is going to have her floors refinished.

I am going to have two guest cats. That will mean for a week or so, I will have five cats here.

I must be certifiable.

The Idiots of Tennessee

Are on full display:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Tennessee No Evil
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Of course, the haters will gloss over episodes like this or this.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is the Obama Administration Full of Chowderheads?

One might think so, for the brain-dead idiots at the EPA are considering essentially banning the manufacturing of gun ammunition and fishing sinkers in this country.

This is breathtakingly stupid on several levels.

First off, if you have ever looked at where most state and Federal conservation money comes from, it is from things such as the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and special taxes on the sale of firearms and ammunition. For just the first quarter of 2010 alone, the Feds alone took in over $100 million. That money is used for Federal conservation efforts and if you think that those funds would be replaced from the general tax revenues, I submit that you are badly mistaken.

Second, this petition has no chance of doing anything other than inflaming the roughly 100 million gun owners in an election year.

Third, any such ban would not have any effect on all-up ammunition, which is exempt from the Toxic Substances Control Act. It would destroy reloading, though.

Fourth, even if the petition came anywhere near close to being enacted as a rule, Congress would fix that in a jiffy, as there are, between the Democrats in the West and Midwest and the GOP, more than enough votes to modify the TSCA to deprive the EPA of rule-making power over ammunition components.

The one thing that the gunnie community will overlook, though, is that it seems that under the TSCA, the EPA has no choice but to consider a petition to ban or control something. The EPA does not have to, however, open the floor on a petition to public comment.

I suspect that the EPA may be doing this, now, in order to kill off the petition. Maybe they are playing a nuanced game of using the public comments to kill it.

But maybe not, maybe they are indeed stupid enough to have this out there in the runup to the Fall elections.

Either way, I suggest that you read the first link and then comment on the petition. It wouldn't hurt to drop a letter to your congresscritter (unless your congresscriter is a rabid 2nd Amendment foe like Chuck Schumer or Carolyn McCarthy).

(H/T)

Out of Power, Out of the Closet

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.
Of course he comes out after the party of the Confederacy is out of power (and he's safely in the private sector and working in the second-most gay friendly city in the nation). When Melman was working for Chimpy and when he was head of the RNC, if he had said "hey, folks, I'm gay," they would have run him out of DC faster than Bob Irsay yanked the Colts out of Baltimore.

Time Magazine: A New Edition for Adults

Heh. Heh. Heh.


TIME Announces New Version Of Magazine Aimed At Adults

(From the Onion, of course.)

Katrina Aid

After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush Administration and the Congress got an incentive program going to award tax-free bonds and other benefits to help businesses recover. Care to guess who has been raking in the money from that?

Here's a hint: It hasn't been the businesses around New Orleans.
But five years after Congress passed the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, more of the tax-free benefits have gone to the state’s powerful oil industry than to development in hard-hit areas. New Orleans has so far received a total of $55 million in bonds shared between eight projects—or less than 1 percent of the more than $5.9 billion issued statewide. None of the bonds issued for New Orleans projects went to development in hard-hit and still-struggling areas like the Lower Ninth Ward.
Louisiana is a corrupt state that would be a joke even in the Third World. That the state's politicians have siphoned off those redevelopment funds to benefit an already rich and powerful industry, while screwing the people of New Orleans in the process, just reeks of graft and payoffs.

But you won't see a single politician from the Confederate party even raise a hint of outrage at this. Because, after all, Louisiana Governor Bobby "Anchor Baby" Jindall is from that party.

WikiLeaks' Latest

You'll probably see something about WikiLeaks releasing a CIA memorandum about US exporting terrorism.

I just read it. It is here, in PDF format. About all I can say is: "Big Whoop." It's a "what-if, then" document. As in the "if your momma had wheels, she'd be a wagon" kind.

Anyone who thinks that this is some big expose of the CIA or anything along those lines is probably a Sarah-Palin-level retard.

The Inadvertent Humor of the Conservatives

When you think about it, they can be really funny. For instance, they are all concerned whether or not Social Security will be insolvent in 2037. They worry about what the Federal deficit will look like in 2050.

But they don't seem to give a frak about climate change, the Sargasso Seas of Garbage or the acidification of the oceans. They don't give a damn about the point that a warming planet will mean a growing scarcity of fresh water as the glaciers melt away. They could care less about the fact that petroleum is becoming harder and harder to obtain and what that may mean for the global economy. The rosy predictions of the coal advocates that there is enough for the next few hundred years is likely bullshit, as well, as we may hit the peak of coal production by the middle of this century, if not sooner.[1] Nor do they seem to worry about the fact that in the last sixty years, the human population has more than doubled.[2].

We have a lot of major problems staring us in the face. Compared to them, the long-term Federal debt is like a pimple on the ass of an elephant.

[2]To even do that, the coal companies will transform much of Appalachia into a lunar landscape.
[2]Tom Lehrer, in his song We Will All Go Together When We Go, mentioned "nearly three billion chunks of well-done steak. It took from the dawn of humanity until 1800 for human population to climb to a billion, over 100 years to add a second billion, few decades to add a third billion, and now we add a billion every 12 to 14 years.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Poisoning the Seas

In essence, it is what we are doing by allowing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to increase. Much of the CO2 humanity has pumped into the atmosphere has been absorbed by the oceans and, as a result the oceans are acidifying.

In case it hasn't occurred to you yet, the plankton in the oceans produce much of the oxygen in the atmosphere. If the oceans continue to acidify and the life forms in the ocean die off, the result will not be very good, to say the least.

Nothing will be done, of course. Between the "junk science" propaganda of the extraction industries, the paranoia of the conservatives ("it's all a plot to get us back to living in mud huts") and the Chinese/Indian complaints of "we didn't cause this, why do we have to suffer", nothing will be done until we are on the brink of a mass extinction event. But by then, it will be far too late.

This is a global problem and as much as individual efforts to reduce their carbon footprint may be laudable, they will have all of the effect of farting during a hurricane.

Either humanity does something with all dispatch to stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere or our civilization will die and, possibly, so will our species.[1]

[1]I'd bet on extinction as the likely outcome, if there was any way to collect on the bet.

Whitewashing the Crime Scene; Indianapolis Edition

As Tam has noted today, the Indianapolis cops are well on their way towards making sure that Officer Drunkie isn't successfully prosecuted for anything.

That's what the cops call "professional courtesy", they can break the law, on duty or off duty, and their badge means that they skate.

Fox News Hates America

So why is one of Rupert Murdoch's investors, Alwaleed bin Talal, an alleged funder of terrorism? And why won't Fox News mention that little fact?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Reason #37,563 to Avoid Flying the Airlines

Because they may end up giving you a full-body X-ray scan in order to match your bones against a terrorist skeletal database.
The Wright State Research Institute is developing a ground-breaking system that would scan the skeletal structures of people at airports, sports stadiums, theme parks and other public places that could be vulnerable to terrorist attacks, child abductions or other crimes. The images would then quickly be matched with potential suspects using a database of previously scanned skeletons.
Just when you might have thought that things could not get any creepier in the Game of Security Theater, the mad scientists surprise you. I only hope that this is some scheme to convince the fools at DBP to pour several tens of millions of dollars down a rathole that will basically only end up with a bunch of researchers driving new Beemers.

This shit has to stop sometime. "Now" seems like as good a time as any.

(H/T)

Did You Buy a House, Hoping to Cash Out in the Future?

If so, you are probably screwed.
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimates that it will take 20 years to recoup the $6 trillion of housing wealth that has been lost since 2005. After adjusting for inflation, values will never catch up.

“People shouldn’t look at a home as a way to make money because it won’t,” Mr. Baker said.
If you bought a house at the height of the boom, say 2004-2007, depending on where you live, you might be screwed forever.

The housing boom began in the late 1990s and despite ample evidence by 2003 (at the very latest) that the housing market had become a bubble market, the Federal Reserve (Alan Greenspan) and the Administration (George W. Bush) not only sat on their hands, they cheered on the expansion of the bubble.[1]

The warning flags were not terribly subtle for anyone who cared to study on the matter. What was going on with the subprime mortgage market was rather blatant. But they did nothing to rein in the banksters and cool down the housing market, they just let it go. After all, the banksters and the muckety-mucks in the Federal Reserve and the Bush Administration are not suffering.

It's the American people who were left holding the bag.

[1]Chimpy was a cheerleader in college, at least on the odd days that he was sober.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Confederate Freeloaders

Republicans are freeloaders: They want government services, but they don't want to pay for them.

Modoc County in California is a prime example. There is a good chance that the spoiled children in the Confederate party will destroy the county rather than pay the taxes necessary to keep it going.

(H/T)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bomb Islamabad?

If the Taliban are indeed the puppets of Pakistan, as this article implies, then why the hell are we messing around in a place where our so-called friends are the masters of our enemies? Why are we at least not bombing the shit out of the ISI?

Why are we helping the masters of our enemies? Why are we giving them modern weapons and aid?

The Christian Taliban in the U.S. Army

80 to 100 soldiers were confined to their barracks because they refused to attend a Christian concert.

Freedom of religion, last time I checked, was one of the freedoms that soldiers retained. Bravo to the soldiers who stood up to the religious bullying of their commander.

(H/Tvia here)

Road Craziness

Look at the signs in this photo:

(Click to enlarge if you need to.)

While it would seem to be really stupid to have a 35 MPH speed sign 100' before a 45 MPH speed sign, one might think that the language on the first sign of "unless otherwise posted" saves things.

Except it doesn't. What you can't see there is that a town line is between the two signs. Why the first town felt a need to put up a speed limit sign that governs the next 50 feet of road is a good question. But as far as I know, those signs have been there for over 20 years.

Bangity, Cont.

On my way home yesterday, I detoured to a gun shop to see if they had a 1" recoil pad to increase the length of pull for my Savage Mk II. They did, a LimbSavr slip-on pad. The salesman asked if I had the rifle with me, I said it was out in the car, so I retrieved it and he found one that fitted.

We put it on:


I picked up the rifle, dropped down to the floor, slinged up and went into the prone position. The pad moved me back enough, though I might have to get a longer sling, now, as it was down near my elbow. "It works," I said and paid for it. I asked them to toss the box the pad came in, as I have no intention of removing it from the rifle.

The First Serviceman Ever to Win the NRA Long Range Rifle Championship...

... is a woman. Sgt. Sherri Gallagher also won this year's high-power championship with a score that may not be beatable.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Have To Wonder How the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy is Playing on al-Jazeera

Really. Think about how it must be playing. Think of how it must play across the Arabic language media when they air translated rants against Islam by former Speaker Gingrich, former Mayor Giuliani and former 1/2-term Governor Palin, to mention just a few. Think about how it is playing across the Muslim nations from Morocco to Indonesia.

All those politicians from the Confederate party ranting about Islam and taking positions on mosque locations from "not here" to "not nowhere". All of those politicians from the Democratic party who are lacking the courage to stand up for a basic core American principle: Freedom of religion.

Think of how that plays into the hands of our enemies. Think of how they must be saying: "The Americans tell you that `we respect all religions', but look at their actions. Muslims across America are being told that they cannot have mosques where American law says that they have a right to have a mosque. It is all an American lie, for they truly hate you, my brothers and sisters."

So then ask yourself why the Confederate party so hates this country that they are eager to run the risk of creating many more enemies and further souring the view of America held by a billion people, all so that they can gain some illusory short-term political benefit.

The Internet has destroyed the notion that one can talk to one's supporters alone. The Confederate party's xenophobia is playing out on a world stage, as is the Democratic party's cowardice.

We will reap a bitter harvest from what the politicians of the Confederacy are sowing today. You can bet on it.

Something Smells Spoiled in Sweden

This has a funny smell to it:
Julian Assange, the founder of the Web site WikiLeaks who has been embroiled in a fight with the Pentagon over the recent release of classified Afghan war documents, became the focus of new attention on Saturday when Swedish prosecutors sought him for questioning on allegations of rape and molestation — and then withdrew the rape allegation.
Sort of like the wafting foul stench of a dirty tricks operation.

War Criminal News; Blackwater Edition

Xx, formerly Blackwater Worldwide (and soon to be the Sunny Day Security Corp.) has agreed to pay a $42 million dollar penalty in order to stave off criminal charges, and to keep their current Federal contracts.
In June, the State Department awarded Blackwater a $120 million contract to provide security at its regional offices in Afghanistan, while the C.I.A. renewed the firm’s $100 million security contract for its station in Kabul. At the time, the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, defended the decision, saying that the company had offered the lowest bid and had “cleaned up its act.”
Ah, horseshit.

I think it's a very telling point that ol' patriotic Erik Prince fled the country to Dubai, most likely to avoid prosecution.

Some Christians Are Terrorists, So Ban Construction of All Churches

That sounds insane, doesn't it? But given that Christians have tried to blow up a police station, shot people at a family planning clinic, shot and killed doctors who performed abortions, shot up the Holocaust Museum, shot and killed minorities, bombed the 1996 Olympics, molested childen and blew up a Federal office building, there are obviously Christians who feel that they can justify killing innocent people. Many of the perpetrators of the above crimes used their faith to justify killing people.

So why not consider banning the construction of churches, or at least, keep them at least 1,000 feet from all playgrounds and schools. "Because that would be crazy" or "it would be unfair to blame a religion for the misdeeds of a few".

And that would be true.

But it does not stop people from making the same argument about mosques and Islam.

Caturday in the Sun

The cats are getting a bit of sun on them, but only a bit.

George:


Gracie:


Jake:


I had to use the flash to take these photos, otherwise they would tend to look like this:


Which is fine, but only if that is the effect that you are going for.

Friday, August 20, 2010

AARGH!

Mom had the McLaughlin Report on the TV.

If I had to routinely listen to that pack of jabbering douchebags, including the World's Oldest Hitler Youth,[1] I'd hve to seriously consider eating one of my guns.

[1]Pat Buchanan

Bangity, Bangity.

One of the problems I have with rifle practice is all of the public ranges in my area are benchrest-only.

I'm visiting my mother today. She lives up north in a rural area, so I brought my .22 Savage rifle, measured off a 25 yard range, threw down a beach blanket and got to shooting. One issue surfaced: I have the scope mounts as far forward as they will go and the scope is as far forward in the mounts as it will go and when I snugged up into the prone position, I was too close to the scope. So I'll get a 1" recoil pad to lengthen the pull of the stock.

It'll look goofy as hell, no doubt, but it will work.

I found an old box from a wine store. I found a chunk of log that would fit inside, so I put dirt in the box to keep the log roughly on the centerline, put the log in, then filled the box with dirt. I shot into the box lengthwise and not a round escaped.

The box after shooting was done:


Then I wrapped a little duct tape around it to reinforce it for the next time:

Is Fox News a Terrorist Command Center?

It is indeed a crazy world when the Daily Show closes a segment by endorsing the point of view of the National Rifle Association.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

And a few seconds more from Charlton Heston:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Charlton Heston's NRA Speech
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Really, Folks, Are All Conservatives Idiots?

Before they go blathering on about the First Amendment, you would think that they would take the time to learn something about it. Sadly, no.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Don't Shoot the Schlessinger
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

I'll leave the point alone, for now, about how conservatives are screaming about how people need to be less sensitive when it comes to Schlessinger's rant, but they are all sensitivity queens about the Ground Zero Mosque manufactured kerfuffle.

The First Amendment does not guarantee that anyone will listen. It does not guarantee that advertisers will support someone who is being offensive on a radio show. The First Amendment does not mean that a publisher must print or radio network is bound to air what insane drivel passes through the lips of some crackpot. If a columnist for a newspaper is told "you're too far out there, you're costing us readers and advertisers, so you're fired", that's a business decision of the publisher. It might arguably be cowardly, but it is not a constitutional violation.

Now if the publisher is forced by government to pull the columns or cease publishing, that is another thing. If a good rabble-rouses a mob to burn out the paper's offices, that's also another thing. Neither is going on here.

Schlessiner's First Amendment rights have not been violated because people are not happy with what she said, no more than Target's or Best Buy's First Amendment rights have been violated because people are unhappy that those companies have given money to a gay-bashing troll who is running for the governor of Minnesota. I suspect that some conservatives know this, including Schlessinger, and they are merely engaging in their routine practice of cynical manipulation.

Except, of course, for Sarah Palin, who likely is truly stupid enough or uninformed enough to understand what the First Amendment is about.

Killer Zombie Genes!

It sounds like the title of one of those lame "SyFy Original Movies", doesn't it?

But it is not. Dead genes apparently get switched back on and if so, bad things happen:
Some of those genes, surprised geneticists reported Thursday, can rise from the dead like zombies, waking up to cause one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy. This is the first time, geneticists say, that they have seen a dead gene come back to life and cause a disease.
"The Zombies Inside Us!" Saturday at 9 on the SyFy Channel!

Abolish the TSA, Now!

It is time to abolish the TSA and send all of the screeners back to their earlier jobs of cleaning out the fryolators and bathrooms at fast-food joints. You might wonder why, in the name of your Deity of Choice, would the idiot TSA screeners go through a passenger's checkbook. It's not like they're going to find evidence of dues payments to the Friends of Osama bin Ladin.

But they did indeed rifle through a woman's checkbook.

I don't see how we would be worse off if we just did away with the TSA and told people "y'all bring a gun with you, hear".

Why a Zombie Apocalypse Won't Be an Apocalypse

Seven reasons.

I do have to quibble a little with #7. At least in World War Z, it was mentioned that zombie flesh is toxic and animals learned quickly to not try to eat them.

Reason #1 is why the U.S. would probably not be overrun by zombies (and why the United Kingdom would become Zombie Island).

(H/T)

Connie!!

Watch the takeoff closely (about 4 minutes into the clip). You'll see the exhaust flames from those R-3350s.



Constellations were elegant airplanes. It is a good thing that there are people who have found a way to keep a couple flying.

Follow the Money

Jon Stewart channels Glenn Beck, except the money trail is a lot shorter:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
News Corp. Gives Money to Republicans
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: A Viper's Nest of Misogynistic Asshats

The principle of "equal pay for equal work" is a "fetish", according to the Chamber of Commerce. If women want to have more more money, we should marry better and support our deer huzbins.

What the hell? Did they flash-freeze those clowns in the 1950s and they just got around to thawing them out?

Tell you what, fellers: Go home and tell your wives that. It'll make the divorce attorneys very happy to hear that.

The Next Time That I Want to Order New Services From Comcast......

..... I will just smash my thumb with a hammer.

I thought I was done yesterday. But then a couple of hours ago, the Dude in the Brown Uniform delivered the cable modem that wasn't supposed to be overnighted to me because it wouldn't have arrived until tomorrow.

Back on the phone to Comcast. I have called Comcast enough over the last two days that I don't let the automatic routing program get two syllables out before I choose the option. The first time, the call went dead. The second time, when it put me to a service representative, it gave me the triple trouble tone and said "you must first dial a 1 and then the area code to make a call. Fairpoint Communications." and hung up.

Third time around, I got to talk to somebody. 20 minutes later (including waiting because Comcast's computer system crashed), an appointment was made so that a cable guy will to come by and pick up the damned UPS box, because I'm sure as hell not going to take it to the Comcast place (which is not nearby). They can't send me a USPS return box or even a return label, well, they just can't, that's all.

I know, Verizon's DSL would be a lot slower and cost as much, if not more. But damn, could they have been any more fucked up?

A Novel Way of Meeting St. Peter

It probably would not surprise a regular reader of this blog to learn that I don't believe in the whole "St. Peter With the Book at the Pearly Gates" bit.

But I'd still love to eavesdrop on St. Peter's intake interview for this recent decedent, who offed himself by driving off a cliff while Twittering.

Heidi Montag's gonna have to find herself a new cutter...

(H/T)

Dead-Tree Papers, Or:
Have I Told You the Story of Free Milk and the Cow?

Based on some conversations and random readings of newspaper articles and blog posts, it seems that a lot of newspapers are in financial trouble. Some of that is due to declining circulation, some because idiot owners used their papers as cash cows in the 1990s and now the bills are coming due. But I have a few ideas to help save some of them:

1) What is your beat? Here is a general rule: Concentrate on covering the areas where your paper is circulated. If you have reporters assigned outside of your circulation area, then they should cover those subjects which impact your area. This probably means that you have a couple of reporters in the state capitol and maybe Washington, D.C., who are tasked to cover that stuff. Get your national and world news from the wire services.

2) If you can get it from the wire services, you don't need anyone on your staff covering it. You don't need a TV critic or a movie critic, period. If you have one or more of those critters, reassign them or get rid of them. (Of course, if the TV critic is the no-account offspring of the publisher's idiot sibling, then never mind.)

3) Fuck the local symphony. Those who have season tickets will go regardless. Find a local classic music buff and link to his or her blog, or pay the buff as a stringer. If you are the publisher of a newspaper and your editor sends the classic music critic along with the symphony for a concert series in Beijing, think about finding another editor. The only times you should be reporting on the local symphony is when there has been felonious conduct or there is a juicy litigation underway.

4) You probably don't need a theatre critic, for that matter. Send a general assignment reporter to cover the opening of the local high school extravaganza, if you must.

5) Cover local government thoroughly. Yes, it can be boring to go to evening meetings of the planning and zoning board or the school board or the various meetings of the town board or the town selectmen, but suck it up and send your reporters. They don't want to go, find new ones. I am serious about this one. Local government is full of fuckery that directly effects your readers and the only time that those clowns will ever clean up their acts is when they have to read about their shenanigans in print. No local politician likes the idea of his or her neighbors reading the paper over morning coffee and laughing at them. The politicians won't like it, tell them to go read NY Times v. Sullivan.

6) Cover the courts and the cops. Have somebody skim through the complaints and answers filed. Those are public documents, as is the police blotter.

7) The Internet is largely your enemy. (Would you buy gasoline if you got it for free?) Sure, have a website, but put your local content behind a paid-subscriber-only wall (an "online" subscriber fee", not just a benefit for a print subscription). Put up the headlines, if you must ("Local County Commissioner Arrested in Sex Sting"), but not the frigging stories!

Your advertisers in the paper are your real customers; they're the ones whose ad monies pay for the paper's production. You need to deliver what they want, which is people reading the frakking newspaper. To do that, you need to give your readership what they cannot easily get elsewhere on the Internet, and that means what, Gentle Reader?

That's right: Local news. Local content.

Otherwise, you guys are going to become obsolete. And then I'd have to buy mats for the cat food dishes and use paper towels for lining the floor prior to cleaning weapons.

Actually, This Would Be More Interesting Than 98% of the Real Facebook "Status Updates"

(From here:)


I quit Facebook months ago. I don't give a crap who is at Grand Union buying cereal for their varmints or whether some guy has gotten on the Acela from Penn Station to D.C.

And the Pearls Will Be Clutched, Oh My; WaPo Edition

It actually wasn't too terrible a story about gun ownership, when one considers that it ran in the Washington Post, a rag that would probably be fine with repealing Amendments 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 17, 19, 20, 22, 26 and 27.

But whoever came up with the headline, whether it was the reporter or an editor, probably deserves a flogging:
Gun-toting soccer moms a scary thought in D.C. area, but not out west
You have to wonder about the sick mindset of someone who thinks that it is "scary" that law-abiding citizens are legally practicing and carrying firearms. But then again, the WaPo probably feels the same way bout bloggers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What the Fuck?

Does anyone know why the government is objecting to the Koreans selling their old Garands on the US market?

You have to wonder if any of the numbskulls objecting have ever held, much less fired, a Garand. It is a big, heavy, obsolete rifle. You can't saw down the barrel, the gas port is right at the end. It only holds eight rounds and there is no way, absent the attention of a really skilled machinist, to modify it to hold any more than that.  They're "terrorist rifles" only in the minds of the liberal-analogue of the typical Fox News viewer.  Your self-respecting terrorist would laugh at being handed a Garand, not when he could buy an AK-47 semi-auto knock-off for $500 or so and also buy a boatload of 30-round magazines.  Hell, they could buy an  SKS for $300 or so.

This crap about not importing Garands back makes no sense whatsoever; importers can bring in a few hundred thousand Mosin-Nagants with no requirement to do anything other than to deface them with some huge-ass ugly import stamp on them, but they can't bring back our own rifles of the same era?  Of course, since it makes no sense, this is probably a decision from the chowderheads of the ATF.

(If they do come on the market at $220 per unit, they'd have to be completely trashed to not be worth at least that.)

(H/T)

Bubbified, But...

On last week's Covert Affairs, one of the good guys had a rifle that I've never seen on a TV show: A Mosin-Nagant with an ATI stock and screwed-on turn-down bolt handle:


I'm not big on bubbifying old military rifles, but given the point that you can buy them for $100 or less, another hundred bucks or so buys the mounts, bolt mod and the stock (and $50 for a scope), for $250, you've got a rifle that's ready to go. You can probably do even better at a pawn shop, which probably makes it a decent rifle for a prop guy to buy for a cable TV show on a budget.

Comcast, Still Again
(May the FSM Damn Their Eyes)

(The story so far.)

I called the folks at Comcast and asked: "Dude, where is my frakking self-install kit?" After a lot of time on hold, the answer was: "Um, we never sent it. We can overnight it to you, no charge, but it won't go out to tomorrow."

Bzzt! No good. So the deal was that I'd pry my recumbent ass from the couch and go to the local Comcast place and get one. In return, they'd give me a bribe credit to make me not as pissed off at them.

So I get the thing. It wouldn't install the software needed to unlock the modem. According to the installation software, for a Winders OS, it has to be Windows 98, ME, `00, XP, Vista or 7, and what it thinks I have is Windows NT6.1.

Which, in case you don't know, is another name for Windows 7.

So I called Comcast. I kept getting disconnected. Now, if I were truly paranoid, I'd think that what was going on was that the Verizon landline was saying "oh, you want to talk to the competition? Fuck you" and hanging up on me. But that can't be true, for I called on my cell phone.

Some nice male geek helped me out, got everything set up (though I had to politely listen to the sales pitches of All of the Great Things That Comcast Offers On the Web [and which I'll never use]). He said that Comcast's installation disk wants to put on a Comcast toolbar and Windows 7 won't let it, so I should throw the Comcast disk away (good enough).

So it works. And I have a wireless router working on it, as well.

Only wasted a good part of the day, but it's all good. Now.

You Guys Are the Best!

I'm pretty overwhelmed by the response to my "done lost my job" post of last Friday.

Thank you. It does help to know that folks do care. (And that is as far as I care to go towards channeling Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech.)

Comcast, Again
(May the FSM Damn Their Eyes)

I checked around to see who had good deals on broadband in my area. There are two providers, Comcast and Verizon. Verizon is DSL only; Comcast offered nearly three times the bandwidth for a better price.

So a week ago on Monday, I called Comcast and placed an order for a self-install kit. The nice lady on the phone said it would take "three to five business days" for it to arrive via the Dudes in the Brown Uniforms.

A week ago today was Business Day #1. If you count them off, you will see that yesterday was Business Day #5.

No Dude driving a Big Brown Van has shown up at my door. If I need to do anything serious on the Intertubes, it will be off to the local library.

You would think that I would have known better than to trust Comcast's cracked residential service team. By Grabthar's Hammer, those people could fuck up screwing a 20 watt bulb into a socket.

But I already knew that. And yet, I chose to give my business to ComBastards (may vermin infest their bowels).

They can screw that up, but you just know, Gentle Reader, that they will have no trouble billing me for it.

Fuckers. May they all bleed from the eyes.

(Since I am on dial-up, I'm not going to take the time to surf the `tubes for news and snark today, so you'll have to entertain yourselves with the blogrolls.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pay Up, Orly

The Supreme Court has upheld the $20,000 fine levied against Orly Taitz for frivolous litigation.

It probably won't cost her a cent, though, as some right Swift-Boating, Teabagging Birthers will cover it for her.

A Good Question for the Confederate Party

Paul Krugman wants to know why no Republicans are concerned with an actual 1.2% increase in the GDP devoted to defense spending in the `00s, but they freak out over a projected 1.2% increase in the GDP for Social Security by 2030.

The answer, of course, is patently obvious: Increased Social Security spending benefits few rich people. On the other hand, there are legions of defense contractors who have made a boatload of money on Bush's War on Terrah. Those rich defense contractors pump millions of dollars back into the Confederate party's politicians' campaign coffers.

Ike was right.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Star Wars Began to Suck

Here's some history: I saw the first three Star Wars movies in their original first runs. I saw the first one twice the first week that it was released.

Star Wars was fun. The Empire Strikes Back was seriously dark, and Return of the Jedi sucked. It felt all wrong, it was forced cheery and the whole "the cute little Stone-Age teddy bears defeat the Evil Empire" finale just seriously blew.

Now it turns out that there was a reason for it: George Lucas fucked with the story of the third movie in order to protect the merchandising of toys and other crap to sell to the fans.

In short, Mel Brooks had it right in his satire "Spaceballs", probably righter than he knew at the time:



(H/T)

Buh-Bye, Hal

Looks like Hal Turner is going to be taking a ten-year vacation in the Federal Crossbar Resort.

(H/T)

Obama, the First Amendent and Ramadan

From the full text of President Obama's remarks at the Ramadan dinner at the White House.
Our Founders understood that the best way to honor the place of faith in the lives of our people was to protect their freedom to practice religion. In the Virginia Act for Establishing Religion Freedom, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.” The First Amendment of our Constitution established the freedom of religion as the law of the land. And that right has been upheld ever since.

Indeed, over the course of our history, religion has flourished within our borders precisely because Americans have had the right to worship as they choose - including the right to believe in no religion at all. And it is a testament to the wisdom of our Founders that America remains deeply religious - a nation where the ability of peoples of different faiths to coexist peacefully and with mutual respect for one another stands in contrast to the religious conflict that persists around the globe.

That is not to say that religion is without controversy. Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities - particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
No doubt that the Confederate Party is lambasting the President for hosting this dinner as I type this. It probably escaped their notice that the first president to host such a meal was Thomas Jefferson. Even their beloved Bush II hosted such dinners for every year he was in power.

The Confederate party is full of Summer Constitutionalists who blithely ignore the Constitution whenever the Constitution can be read to protect poor folk, minorities, and those that the Confederates despise.

The Morning Cup of Coffee

was brewing.
I had ordered this mug and another one from Zazzle with that quote from Burn Notice. I placed the order the day before I was told that I was going to be hitting the bricks. When the box arrived, I took it home, as it probably was not a good idea to have people at wok seeing me drinking coffee from a mug with the word "shoot" on it.

Sky Stuff

This is a Rutan Defiant, a homebuilt experimental airplane. That vertical surface projecting down behind the nosewheel is a rudder.



Two bridges over the Hudson River. The furthest one is the Mid-Hudson Bridge (U.S.44). The closest one is the bridge that the Central New England Railroad (later part of the New Haven Railroad) built in the 1880s. I think it may have been the first railroad bridge over the Hudson River. It was in use until a fire in 1974. By then, freight traffic was on the decline and most freight was going down the Northeast Corridor anyway, so it was abandoned. After decades of planning, the bridge was renovated into a walkway and it is now a part of the New York state park system.



Old money at work. Someone built that house and then cut down a few thousand feet of trees in order to have a river view.

Caturday

Jake gets in one of his many naps.



Rocky knows that he is not supposed to lie there. He doesn't care.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Do We Really Need Armed TSA Goons?

The new head of the TSA, a former FBI agent named "John Pistole", apparently is having feelings of bureaucratic inadequacy because his agency has no armed employees. So what he wants to do is have armed TSA cops.

This is not just a bad idea, it is a horrible idea. The TSA is a pit of fuckery and arrogance as it is and now he wants to give those asswipes weapons?

I presume that when Administrator Pistole says that one of his priorities is "engaging its customers", he means that he wants to shoot at them. This plan to arm the TSA baggage thieves is supposedly "not completely baked." "Half-baked" would be a better description. He has to have been sniffing glue to have come up with this idea.

There are cops all over airports as it is. Why the TSA now wants to have its own armed goon squad makes no sense to me. For you know that once the TSA gets guns, then they are going to have "SWAT" envy and they'll form those groups and then you'll have TSA goons swaggering around the airport in full SS gear.

The TSA screeners should not have access to any weapon more hazardous than a pair of plastic round-tipped scissors, such as pre-schoolers get to use.

The time to stop this stupid idea is now.

14,600,000 Americans Are Unemployed

That number crept up by one today, as I've been laid off. I was notified of this last week, which is why the lobster lunch last Sunday was so appreciated as a sweet gesture.

I have no idea what I'll do from here. I have resources to draw on, so I don't plan on living in a tent off in the woods anytime soon. But I would be lying through my coffee-stained teeth if I were to say that I am not a little bit scared of where I find myself at this stage in my life.

Normally when I write in this blog about myself, it's because of the cats, I've gone to the range or I've gone flying. I try to stay away from the "life is drama" stuff because I tend to think that sharing is over-rated. I don't imagine that there are legions of people hanging on in anticipation that I'll write personal stuff.

I am, in my soul, a New Englander who believes that in the main, private life details are meant to be private. I believe that what happens at home should stay there and what happens at work should also stay there. I try not to mix the two up.

It is not my intent to turn this blog into a Chronicle of My Job Hunt. But this is sort of a big deal, at least for me. It's been a long time since I was last involuntarily out of work and I thought I should at least mention it.

(And yes, I believe that religion is something that is between a god-fearing individual, the variety of the Dear and Fluffy Lord that they fear, and those in the the congregation where they go a-fearin'. So I tend to be wary of those who jabber on and try to "witness" about their faith to me.)

UPDATE: And then there are those whose full-time jobs went to part-time.

Shut the Frak Up About the Courts, OK?

Whether on the liberal side of the matter, ie, McDonald, Heller and Citizens United or on the conservative side, ie, the Proposition 8 case, you will find no shortage of wholly ignorant pundits moaning about judges who overturn laws.

And yes, even I've done it from time to time.

Still, we should all just shut the fuck up about it.

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) set forth the principle that it is the job of judges to review the laws.
It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.
The judges get to say whether a law is constitutional or not. That is the system in this country. A politician who blathers on and on about how wrong it is that an "activist judge" can overturn a law only betrays his or her own ignorance about the principles underlying the rule of law in this nation or, worse, a total lack of honesty covered over by a veneer of cynicism and a desire to manipulate the idiots in his or her own base.

(Yes, I am thinking of Sarah Palin as I type this, a politician who has mixed ignorance and cynicism into a modern political smoothie.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What the Indianapolis Police Brass Did Not Want to Admit, But They Had To

One of their cops was drunk on duty. He ran over three motorcyclists with his cruiser, killing one and injuring the other two. They did a blood-alcohol test on him and the result was 0.19 BAC, which is damn near 2.5 times the legal limit.

The brass said that nobody noticed that he was drunk after the accident. SOP in Indy, though, is to do a blood draw for BAC when a cop is involved in an on-duty crash and that is what has the cop looking at a lot of prison time.

What they really don't like admitting is that someone who can have a 0.19 BAC and act completely normal is a really serious drinker. There is no way that he could have been drinking like that without other cops knowing about it. This guy was soused on the job, driving a heavy Crown Vic, carrying a gun, and the Blue Curtain descended to make sure that nobody saw nothing, nobody said nothing and nobody did nothing about it.

Until he killed somebody.

The Blue Wall of Silence claims another dead bystander. Nothing ever changes.

(H/T)

I Love It When Snark Comes Together

Two days ago, I said that I was going to start to refer to the GOP as the party of the Confederacy. Then today, I read on TPM that one of the denizens of the Right is advocating rounding up all Muslims in this country, whether or not they are Americans, and deporting the lot of them to the Middle East.

Uh-huh. The Right has been beating this drum for centuries, except up until fairly recently, it was about repatriating Black people to Africa. The people who didn't like the idea of free Black people were lining up to support that idea, even to the point of ponying up cash to help fund Liberia. If you go back and read some of the justification for repatriating slaves to Africa, it is stunningly similar to the rationale for forcing all Muslims to leave the country.

Same old shit, different target group. The party of the Confederacy marches on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's Like the Internet. Only Slower. A Lot Slower.

Until some pieces-parts arrive, I am back to dial-up.

"So how slow can it be," you ask? Glaciers move faster than the modern Internet through dial-up.

Click on a bookmark, go read a magazine article. Read the web page, click on a link, go cook dinner. Read second web page, click on a third, go wash dishes. Click on a fourth web page, teach yourself calculus. And so on.

You have to do it that way, for if you actually sat in front of the computer and watched web pages load as fast as a slug moves, you'd open up your veins.

Jail to the Police

A South Carolina cop repeatedly hit a man in handcuffs with his baton. Once the guy in cuffs was on the ground, the cop continued to beat him and broke his leg. Two other cops just sat there, chewing their cuds and with their thumbs up their asses while the beating went on.

Kershaw County had better warm up its checkbook. This one is going to cost them.

(H/T)

How Low Can ICE Go?

Very, very low, it seems.
Customs officers at Newark Airport used a 12-year-old Polish girl as bait to capture her illegal immigrant brother, her family claimed Wednesday.

Ewelina Krzywda was held 10 hours by officers who threatened to send her to a juvenile jail in Chicago and a foster family in Texas if her brother didn't collect her in person, relatives charge.
Never go bear-hunting with a Customs official, for they will douse you with scent and tie you to a tree as bait.

You have to wonder at the cluelessness of the Feds in the DBP sometimes. Did they not think that this sort of fuckery would escape public attention?

Now Hear This: Stand By for Terminology Change

For the foreseeable future, I plan to stop referring to the GOP as "the party of Hoover".

Calling the GOP the "party of Hoover" slanders Herbert Hoover. Hoover may have been an economic putz who did little more than wring his hands (and grease the skids) as the nation slid from the Crash of `29 into the Great Depression, but I have not seen anything that would imply that he was, in his soul, as viciously mean-spirited as the modern GOP.

So I will refer to them as "the party of the Confederacy" or the "Confederate Party" from here on out.[1]

That is all.

[1]Only because writing "the party of vicious sheet-wearing, pants-wetting, heartless, homophobic, pervy, xenophobic, know-nothing racists" would take too long to type.