21 December, 2009

Carol Of The Old Ones

This time of year, we're bombarded with intriguing parodies of ancient and/or beloved holiday music...

So why should I be any different.

Just remember, Jesus may save, but Miroslav Satan picks up the loose puck! He shoots! He scores! Pens win it in overtime! Pens win! Pens win! Oh God, what a finish!

28 November, 2009


For some reason, the stars seem to align themselves just in time to turn late November into a great big dose of bad experiences.

On Sunday, guess who started throwing up blood? If you guessed your friendly ZZ-List Blogger, give yourself 10 points. Insert one huge ulcer, which suddenly decided to start acting like Mount Vesuvius in my gastrointestinal tract. No warning whatsoever. Nada. Zippo.

Which means I'm on a very strict diet.

No heavy spices. No garlic. No coffee. No chocolate. No gravy. No fatty butter. No delicious frosting. No mulled cider. No cheese. No alcohol. No salt. No pepper. No tea. No cranberries. Essentially, this has carved my entire menu down to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, dry toast, plain rice, and chicken. And water. That's it, and I have to stick to it for another three weeks. Make that at least another three weeks, depending on how fast this literal hole in my stomach can heal.

This is not the kind of thing one wants to hear just before Thanksgiving. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't want to hear about it at ANY time, but for it to happen now is a perfect time to make me hate life.

Add on to this a fairly decent-sized bout of the flu. So now not only do I have a searing pain in my stomach, add on the full array of flu symptoms. Plus tack on another two weeks of hacking my lungs out, just as I have for every flu I've had since high school.

But I could still have the turkey, right? Right?

Well, possibly...

So with great anticipation, I wake up at 5 in the morning on Thursday to put the bird in the slow cooker. I go to the back corner of the kitchen counter, where I had left a nice, plump, juicy, delicious turkey to completely thaw. And there's no bird. Yet there is, for some reason, the sound of a very satisfied dog emanating from behind the recliner.

According to my amateur forensic analysis, my corgi suddenly decided that he actually DID have a vertical leap ability when properly motivated, one capable of clearing 3 feet with room to spare. Ein drags the bird off the counter, then across the living room carpet three times, and proceeds to eat his way into sheer bliss.

So instead of cooking turkey, I start cleaning turkey. And dogs. And carpets. And tile floors. And cats. And counters. And dogs again. Ever try to clean turkey fat off of dogs more than halfway passed out in a tryptophan coma? Not easy. However, it is a much easier task than cleaning up the same turkey fat ground into carpeting.

And to top it all off perfectly? It was my birthday on Thursday. So I lit a candle, stuck it in a peanut-butter and strawberry-jelly sandwich, and pretended it was a huge feast fit for a made-for-television holiday special. Unfortunately, my imagination was not quite up to that gargantuan of a task.

Take it away, Meat.

Back when I was a kid, I asked my father if I had come with a registration card and extended warranty. He looks straight in my eyes and says, "Yes, son. But we threw it out with the placenta."

Nobody ever keeps those damn things, do they.

15 November, 2009

Life In Retail

SCENE: A bookstore at Denver International Airport

Customer: Do you have the new Sarah Palin book?

Clerk: Which one? Going Rogue or The Persecution Of Sarah Palin?

Customer: I don't know. It's the new Sarah Palin book!

Clerk: Her own book, or the unauthorized yet still highly favorable account of her time on the presidential ticket?

Customer: HER! BOOK!

Clerk: No, not yet. The release date isn't until next week.

Clerk (sub voca): Even though it was written by a ghost writer.

Customer: Oh come on! Everybody has it!

Clerk: I'm sorry, sir. The official release date isn't until the 17th.

Customer: I know you have them! Sell me a copy right now!

Clerk: I'm sorry, sir. Even if I did have a copy in the store (which I do not), we are not allowed to sell books before their official release date.

Customer: You know what I think? I think you're just part-and-parcel of the left-wing conspiracy against Sarah Palin! You wouldn't even sell her book if you DID have copies!

Clerk (motioning to copies of The Persecution of Sarah Palin sitting behind him): I assure you, sir, that that is not the case.

Customer: I want to talk to your manager! Right now!

Clerk: Certainly, sir. Here is my General Manager's business card. She is available for all customers to speak with at any time.

Customer: Good! I want you fired for this!

[Insert 5-minutes of Customer yelling at General Manager]

Customer (putting away his phone): I'm reporting you to the BBB! And FOX News!

Customer exeunt.

[Phone rings. General Manager is calling the store.]

General Manager: What. The. Hell.

Clerk: Don't worry. That pretty much sums it all up.

[Clerk facedesks repeatedly. In front of customers. Repeat facedesk until fractured skull.]

24 October, 2009

Henry Jones Syndrome

Professor Henry Jones: Well, he who finds the Grail must face the final challenge.
Indiana Jones: What final challenge?
Professor Henry Jones: Three devices of such lethal cunning.
Indiana Jones: Booby traps?
Professor Henry Jones: Oh yes. But I found the clues that will safely take us through, in the Chronicles of St. Anselm.
Indiana Jones: But what are they?
Indiana Jones: Can't you remember?
Professor Henry Jones: I wrote them down in my Diary so that I wouldn't *have* to remember.
~~~ from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

It's been two weeks since the world trembled before the power of this FULLY OPERATIONAL computer of mine...

Okay. I'm not fully operational still. The reason is that I can't remember all of what I was doing way back before I had a special-effects sequence in the middle of my computer. I can't remember where all of my little e-mail caches were, scattered to the winds on various servers. I can't remember all of the sites I went to. I can't remember how many of the vast multitude of Shoutcast stations I had bookmarked in Winamp. (For that matter, I'm missing about half of my former media library.)

So if you know me, and you are wondering why the hell I haven't been participating in whatever discussion/project/whatever-the-hell that I used to be doing, drop me a note here in the comments. (Not like I actually expect one will actually turn up, mind you. Hope beyond home and all that good rot.)

And you want to know the real bugger of it all?

I have a backup of my entire history, bookmarks, usernames, passwords, and all the other pieces of information that would let me completely resume my old presence... But I can't find the physical memo pad that I used to write down the location of said backup.

le sigh

09 October, 2009

A Minor Technical Malfunction

Unusually, this latest delay in my posting schedule has been due to some rather significant computer problems. Most of the time, my lack of blogging is solely due to a PEBE scenario. (Problem Exists Between Ears, a variation of the PEBKAC difficulty: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.) [Minor Edit: This acronym is now officially in the Urban Dictionary.]

Yet this time...

Facedesk. Serious, undiluted, without hesitation, repeated facedesk.

In mid-August, my hard drive decides to retroactively join the Heaven's Gate cult and commits suicide. Great, huge gngngnaaaarch-ch-ch-ch sounds as it gives up the ghost, magic smoke, flames, sparks, the ghost of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"... While my computer never exactly stopped on a dime and gave me a nickel change, it at least could plod along with the better of them. Yet without that magical operating system, it suddenly became a paperweight bigger than my dog.

Okay. Fine. Not that big. But definitely bigger than my cat.

So. Fast forward 1 week until I have my paycheck in hand so I can buy a new hard drive. Install hard drive, install XP, install frequently-used programs, start installing infrequently-used programs...



And now magic smoke comes from my CPU. Friendly happy magic smoke. We all love that magic smoke, don't we? (No. Not that magic smoke, you drug-addled freaks.) Closer examination also reveals a deep-fried mobo as well as a dead power supply.

*headWALL* and repeat ad infinitum.

No computer. At all. Period.

By the fourth hour, I'm starting to go into significant withdrawal symptoms. Shaking hands, nervous glances over my shoulder, constantly muttering at my dead box, saying things like "Just one more website, man! That's all I need!", extreme paranoia, a tendency to try to click on top of people's faces to try to get them to expand on whatever they had just told me... It was pure misery. Suffering. Frustrated, Incorporated. Yet instead of getting murdered in my sleep for my insanity, we came up with a much better plan.

Between myself and my roommate, we gather about $700 over the next 6 weeks in order to buy a whole new computer. For us, that's a fairly significant chunk of change, and not one that can be taken lightly. So I started sniffing around and found the very nice folks at Micro Center, who then, after hearing my tale of woe, decided not to laugh at my pitiful existence.

Instead, they sold me this.

Don't tell my roommate how little I paid for it. I used the spare cash to get a new monitor, a better keyboard and trackball, a few stacks of DVD-R, some Flash keys... Well, you get the hint.

And after everything was done, then I went for a beer or few. I needed them.

And now, to eat something besides meatless and sauceless spaghetti for the first time in a month.

03 August, 2009

Orly? RLY!

With the more-than-odd LOLcat-esque name of Orly Taitz, it would only be a matter of time until she would do something that would feature her picture on FailBlog. And this is the moment.

What is the current listing status for www.orlytaitzesq.com/blog1?

Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.

Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 17 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 8 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-08-02, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-08-02.

Malicious software includes 10 scripting exploit(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 2 new process(es) on the target machine.

Malicious software is hosted on 3 domain(s), including cybercrime-protection.cn/, security-alerts.cn/, mcafee-malware.com/.

1 domain(s) appear to be functioning as intermediaries for distributing malware to visitors of this site, including security-alerts.cn/.

This site was hosted on 1 network(s) including AS6245 (NETWORK).

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

Over the past 90 days, www.orlytaitzesq.com/blog1 appeared to function as an intermediary for the infection of 1 site(s) including zillr.com/.

Has this site hosted malware?

No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

How did this happen?

In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.

Next steps:

Updated 3 hours ago
Now, what exactly does this mean? Is she an evil hacker who desperately wants to crash the computers of all Americans so she can take over Walt Disney World? Nope. What this means is that she's been too busy desperately monetizing her blog and cashing in on her 15 minutes of fame that she got a wee bit careless as to who wanted to run scripts on her website.

Seriously. This woman has earned a whole bunch of snark.

05 July, 2009

Meta Tags

I've been sitting here and doing some serious questioning of myself recently. It has not been for anything that I have done, but how the world around me seems to have altered perceptibly. Which then begs the question: has the world itself been altered, or has my perception been altered?

For lack of better terms to describe it, the world itself seems to be chugging along at the same rate. Another day, another 78 cents after taxes. Same crap, different administration. Gravity still sucks, and the only thing in the universe that is truly boundless is human stupidity. Extremists are still extremely powerful, and being a moderate is only acceptable in moderation. LOLcats are still funny, and Dennis Miller hasn't been funny in years. Three lefts make a right, and two wrongs don't make a right. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and a body at rest remains at rest even when acted upon by an outside force unless said force also pulls the blinds, turns the radio up loud, and takes away all the covers.

Or, in my particular case, threatens to poop in my shoe again.

So no. The fundamental rules of reality remain the same.

So what about my perception has changed? I'm not entirely certain, yet there is one factor that I cannot discount.

Certain blogs are no longer fun to read. Admittedly, we all came to fruition during the Bush Administration. With a new team in the the White House, it would obviously bring about some form of change in how we public diarists would act and react to world events. Yet my reaction has been the same for certain writers on both sides of the political divide, and it can't be a mere coincidence.

Glenn Reynolds was once a staid and determined defender of the status quo. He was able to defuse progressive arguments with a single quip, post a three-word review of a gadget, and support the Administration with his full voice within three posts that would flow seamlessly together with the same voice, intelligence, and wit that has made him one of the hallmarks of the 'sphere. Yet now it appears he has changed into an all-snark-all-the-time format, determined to win as many argumentative points as possible against as many people as humanly possible.

Duncan Black was once a determined outsider, pseudonymously speaking truth to power as frequently as possible, gathering strength to where it was needed and dispersing weakness where it gathered. And now he is part and parcel of the status quo, and I see in him the same qualities I did in the gang at RedState: defend the principles of your political philosophy at all costs. Your side can do no wrong, and if they do wrong then they weren't on your side to begin with.

Everybody at Protein Wisdom? The only reason to have read that blog was for Jeff Goldstein. And now that Goldstein only posts sporatically (A bit of the pot and the kettle coming from me, yes?), with those rare occasions consisting of mostly fundraising pitches? It is no longer the land of the drunk and the home of the armadillo that I came to love when I was first reading blogs and thinking to myself "Dude, if you could be half as good as this guy, you'd be famous the world over!" For want of an inspiration, a great thought was lost...

The gang at Shakeville? From way back in October, when it became clear to everybody but the most dedicated GOP loyalists that Obama was going to stroll through Election Day untouched and unscathed, the underlying attitude shifted. It became less of a simple "I'm mad as hell.", instead becoming, "I'm mad as hell, so why isn't someone doing something about it!" The sense of entitlement has grown immensely and, as said entitlement grows unfulfilled, the sense of anger and resentment and petulance has grown accordingly. Oddly enough, one of the contributors over there is named Petulant, which only goes to reinforce the opinion.

Even the four folks at Balloon Juice are starting to sound more than a bit off axis these days. Fortunately for them, they're still willing to beat the verbal crap out of the Powers-That-Be for their errors, regardless of the meaningless letter beside their name. For that alone, they remain on my reading list.

As for the rest of the blogs I've listed? I haven't read Instapundit or Eschaton in over a month, and only peek into PW and SV on rare occasion to see what they are getting up in arms over. It is getting to the point to where I am having trouble justifying their continued presence in my bookmarks.

So instead of trying to find more big names, I will be looking for lower-tier bloggers to read. To use the Ecosystem as a scale, nothing higher than a Flippery Fish, and the lower on the food chain, the better I'll appreciate it.

Leave suggestions in the comments. No restrictions regarding D, R, L, C, or P. I'll read just about anyone at least once just as long as they blog mostly about politics. (Sorry, Jed. I'm just not that into guns.)

30 June, 2009

So Right And Yet So Wrong

This tribute to the fallen pitchman:

Appropriate, a nice tribute, and really friggin' funny, all at the same time.

21 June, 2009

Not In The Job Description

There seems to be a minor error in logic rotating around the progressive blogs these days.

First comes a diatribe from The McEwan:
Instead, the brief justified the law, using the same tired old chestnuts we came to expect from Obama's predecessor, including the despicable comparison of states' right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages with their right to refuse to recognize incestuous marriages and unions that would be considered statutory rape under state law, as well as the pathetic contention that a union between one man and one woman is "the traditional, and universally recognized, version of marriage." Blah blah yawn.
And second from The Drum:
[Copy/paste from three articles regarding the Obama Administration's legal briefs]

Hope and change, baby, hope and change.
Now let us enter back to our high school Civics classes and state the division of powers within the Federal Government. The Judiciary Branch judges based upon the laws. The Legislative Branch passes legislation which become laws. The Executive Branch executes the laws. Remember those concepts?

Over the last 8 years, we have had an activist Executive, more than willing to enact his own legislation from the Resolute Desk. Whether by the use of signing statements that ran contrary to the legislation as passed by Congress, or by the issuance of permanent Executive Orders, the second Bush Administration ran roughshod over the Constitutional division of powers and performed as a second source of national law. And we of the blogosphere are used to this style of performance, with the Oval Office running roughshod over established law whenever it became inconvenient to the stated goals of the Administration.

Yet not the Obama Administration. They are recognizing that their duty to the country as a whole is to follow the laws of the country as a whole, whether they may agree with them or not. That is the task of the Executive Branch: to execute the laws as they exist. Not to ignore laws they find inconvenient, or disregard laws they campaigned against, or force new laws to be made outside of the division of powers; their task is to perform under the laws of these United States.

And to see an Oval Office that holds to the laws of this nation?

That is hope and change I can believe in.

10 May, 2009

The Old Generation

I couldn't help myself.

I simply had to see the new Star Trek movie. I know. I heard all the nasty things the most hardcore of Trekkers were saying about it. Yet I could not keep myself away from the theater on opening day.

My verdict?

For the casual movie-goer, it's a fun little romp through the Alpha Quadrant. Even if you don't know any more about Star Trek than it has someone making gang signs with one hand while saying "Live long and prosper", you can figure most of it out before the end of the first half hour. Simply put, they reintroduce bloody well every character. Every single one of them. You start fresh and new, with only the plot standing in the way, just like any brand-new movie out there.

For the hardcore, I have only one thing to say: A violation of the Temporal Prime Directive is the cheesiest way of doing what J.J. Abrahms did, but it was also the easiest way. And let that be the only plot point that I give away during this review, which makes it very bloody short indeed.

Final score: Shields at 92% and holding, phasers locked and photon torpedoes armed.

21 April, 2009

I Have A Headache THIIIIIIS Big...

... and it has the Congressional Democrats written all over it.






Over and over and over and over and over...

So much for the most ethical Congress. So much for clean politics.

SWM seeking responsible political party for voter registration. (D)/(R) need not apply.

16 April, 2009

Snowball Fight In Hell

What ever happened to the phrase "My country, right or wrong!"? Or "America: Love It Or Leave It!"?

These were always two of the most prominent cries of the modern American Conservative. Yet today, with nary a conservative in power in the Federal government, some of them not only want to leave the country, but take the entire country with them. In my last post, I referred to the Texas Legislature and their prominent effort to undermine the sanctity of our Constitution. And now, I refer to yet another member of the Several States that not only seeks to undermine the Constitution, but to singlehandedly declare it null and void.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America. Acts which would cause such a nullification include, but are not limited to:
I. Establishing martial law or a state of emergency within one of the States comprising the United States of America without the consent of the legislature of that State.
II. Requiring involuntary servitude, or governmental service other than a draft during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.
III. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.
IV. Surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government.
V. Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press.
VI. Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition; and
That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government.
It has long been a conservative talking point that all liberals are actively seeking to destroy this country, that their every action and desire is designed to tear apart the Constitution and render it null and void. These words from the Georgia State Senate, as well as those from Texas, put that talking point to a final rest. For when all is said and done, no liberal has passed through any resolution, whether binding or non-binding, calling for the dissolution of our country as a whole. No liberal has ever called for the wholesale abandonment of the ties of liberty and fraternity that bind our civilization together.

Yet now that there are no conservatives within the top echelons of the Federal government, it is the conservatives that are seeking to dissolve the United States of America.

They justify it in many ways. Here are two:
  • A 3% tax increase to an income level that will only ever apply to a very few of them is the equivalent of socialism.
  • A refusal to allow the religious beliefs of a single religion to control the public education is a violation of the free exercise of religion.
While this list could continue indefinitely, yet my ability to refrain from slamming my head through the monitor screen is not infinite.

Yet where was this concern for the sanctity of the Constitution over the past few years? The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus? The restrictions of the free press? Signing statements that nullify, or even reverse, a bill as it is signed into law? The right to a fair and speedy trial? To confront witnesses and seek the assistance of council? The uses of cruel and unusual punishments? The uses of government funds without a clear statement and account of those funds? The denial of the full faith and credit between the rules and laws of other states? All of these things have been railed against by liberals. Yet not once have they threatened to dissolve this country, this Constitution, and this great nation.

Not once.

Conservatives claim that liberals hate America.

Liberals are not the ones seeking to destroy her.

14 April, 2009

To Dissolve An Imperfect Union

Today, the State of Texas, with the due complicity of Governor Rick Perry, has put forth the beginnings of their second secession from this Union.

Doesn't sound very pretty when I state it like that, does it? Yet by a straight reading of the Resolution in question leaves little doubt of which direction they are steering towards. Salient points bolded for easy reference:
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the
Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.
Please note that this resolution is citing the 10th Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
I cite in rebuttal Article 6 of the Constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Legislature of the State of Texas is, on the face of it, in clear violation of the National Supremacy Clause as printed above. By unilaterally declaring that the national government must "cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope" of the Constitution, they attempt to place the Republic of Texas over the Republic of these United States. Yet under the same Constitution, the laws of the Federal Government lie supreme over the laws of the several States.

Therefore, by placing the will of a single State above that of the United States, the logical conclusion of this action would be to secede completely from the will of the United States in specific, and from membership of the United States as a whole.

We, the People, as citizens of these United States, cannot simply pick and choose which laws we will follow, which laws we will break with impunity, and which laws we can be punished for violating. Likewise, neither can the several States participate in the same process. It is part and parcel of our current national identity, our pledge of "Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands" that we recited every day in childhood, that the will and the power of the national government supersedes that of the individual just as much as it does that of the several states.

The question must come into our heads whether or not I disagree with the intent and the spirit of the Legislature in regard to this resolution. The simple answer is that I do not disagree, and entirely concur with their spirit. I disagree primarily with their method, which bypasses the one significant safeguard designed to protect the will and desires of the several states, and the citizens of these United States, established at the same time as the 10th Amendment:

The First Amendment, specifically the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

It has long been the complaint of the Antifederalists, as well as their spiritual descendants in the current Republican Party, that the Supreme Court has usurped the primary power of judicial review without specific authorization under the Constitution, dating all the way back to the Marshall Court in Marbury v Madison. Yet given the 1st Amendment right to petition, who else could bell the cat, could enforce a ruling that the government is in violation of its own rules and regulations, but the judges of the Federal Bench? Would we petition to Congress that the laws they pass are unconstitutional? Would we petition to the President, and his Executive Branch, that the laws he is sworn to uphold and enforce are against the document that he is sworn to protect and defend? And, more importantly, how would we enforce those petitions against a government unwilling to view the validity of our petitions and arguments against their already established laws?

We cannot do so. The Constitution is clear in that regard, that the laws and regulations of the Federal Government supersede all others. Yet it is the Court that does have that capacity, that power, and that ability. I find myself citing John Marshall again: "Should Congress, in the execution of its powers, adopt measures which are prohibited by the Constitution, or should Congress, under the pretext of executing its powers, pass laws for the accomplishment of objects not intrusted to the Government, it would become the painful duty of this tribunal, should a case requiring such a decision come before it, to say that such an act was not the law of the land."

Just as we cannot pick and choose the laws we accept as valid, we cannot also pick and choose the parts of the Constitution we accept as valid. We cannot claim 10th Amendment rights without using 1st Amendment rights. We cannot protect 2nd Amendment rights without protecting 5th Amendment rights. We cannot rule based on the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause without holding them against Limitation Clauses.

And we cannot "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity," by violating the Constitution that contains those same words. To do otherwise is against the letter of the Constitution, and against spirit of these United States.

31 March, 2009

To The Curb

I read this just before I had to go and walk the dogs tonight. And there is very little to do but think while walking dogs. So my conclusion?

With the new information about his former aide's lobbying firm, I'm finally convinced.

All the conservatives who have been railing against John Murtha's corruption over these long years were right. Those who were only railing against him since he stood up on the floor of the House and called Bush43's Iraq plans for what they were, which could only be summarized by a long string of four-letter words, will unfortunately feel the most justified out of them all. They would be the ones that are prominently mentioning his opposition to the AUMF.

The first sort will be the ones that stood more on principle. The second sort will be the ones who stand on partisan politics, and principles be damned.

I'm not much for solely being for partisan politics.

Let the investigations be opened, and let the sunshine in.

26 March, 2009

Vulgarity Ensues

There are times when I really wish I didn't have my self-imposed ban on cussin' and swearin' on this blog, for I would be saying very little, aside from quite a few choice four-letter words, after reading this.
A police officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday over a traffic stop involving an NFL player whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law died inside the building.

Officer Robert Powell also drew his gun during the March 18 incident involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.

Seriously, folk. Where the heck did this cop think they were going? No one does a pleasure jaunt to a hospital at night. If someone is in a hurry to get to a hospital, then they obviously will have a damn serious reason to do so. Therefore, it should be an automatic conclusion that something very wrong was in progress, even to a ticked-off cop wanting to prove that his unit was bigger than that of anyone else. And he was in such desperate need to prove it, he even drew his weapon.

Rule number one: You don't draw unless you plan to use it. Period. This was not a hostile situation on the parts of Mr. Moats and his family, but of the officer's own creation. His attitude and belligerence was the entire reason for any possible escalation that Officer Powell could have cited, and the police commanders of Dallas have the intestinal fortitude to be embarrassed and ashamed about it.

This is not a cop that should be on the streets, whether Denver or Dallas or Detroit or Dachau. If his atrocious behavior was not a clear indication of this fact, than his obvious failure to possess basic intelligence and analytical skills should be enough of a hint.

Pray that the Dallas Police Department fires him and runs him out of the city on a rail, if only to raise the average intelligence level in the city.

03 March, 2009

Could Someone Explain This?

Without using buzzwords, unprovable innuendo, or excessive talking points...

How the bloody hell is the economic stimulus package considered socialism?

Because until someone shows me why, I'm going to continue thinking of it as just about enough of a good thing. Taxes cut significantly, spending on long-tern infrastructure construction... It's got the whole ball of wax, the whole nine yards, and butters both sides of the bread at the same time, plus saws through nails and still can cut a tomato just like this.

Is it perfect? Not by a long shot, and not even if Senator McCain can carve some of the pure pork out of the bill in conference. Is it better than doing absolutely nothing? Arguably, absolutely nothing is what we should have done to a good chunk of the financial corporations we've bailed out, who should have been forced to sleep in the beds they made.

Various CEOs, CFOs, hedge fund operators, and their like-minded cohorts have caused this mess while drinking themselves under the table while yelling and screaming obscenities at the top of their lungs. And the average American taxpayer is picking up the tab, including breakage, as well as tipping the bartender very heavily in apology for our extremely drunk friend. (Those who are local attendees of the Blogger Bashes might draw a parallel to a certain night at Breckenridge Brewery during that big ice storm... Just saying.)

So why don't Mr. and Mrs. Average American Tax Payer deserve a break?

Please show your work.

13 February, 2009

See Your Gypsy

You know, the more I think about it, the more I feel like I was missing something with this post...

And now I remember what it was.

Popular culture reference secured. So the Gypsy that remains.

31 January, 2009

Ein Zwei Drei Beer

Hmmm... Must be February already. Because it is now time for...


See David for details.

But in the meantime, unless you thought I wrote that title for the completely obvious reason, let me introduce the latest party animal...


And yes. His name really is a reference to Cowboy Bebop. We're all dorks over here. It's completely natural.

He's pretty much a classic herding dog when it comes to his behavior. If you are, Heaven forbid, attempting to leave his domain, he will sound the alarm and charge. If you are, Heaven forbid, trying to enter his domain, he will sound the alarm and charge.

I swear that he'd be the world's best guard dog if he would only grow a bit more. But, yet again, he's a corgi. Low, lean, fast, and able to get into amazingly difficult places. I know this for certain, as I still have the claw marks on my chest from when he crawled into my bed and slipped under the covers just so he could wash Alice's back. Alice was not amused. Violently so. And her claws were already aimed at me, so... Yeah.

(Oh. And a PSA for folks out there: Bactine is not meant to be applied to nipples. Not even male ones. You have been warned.)

(And you may laugh now.)

His most endearing quality? His addiction to belly rubs. That and he really wants to be a lap dog, even though he is far too big to fit in my lap.

28 January, 2009

John Galt Wept

This. Quoted in full.

This just can’t be true:

Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community’s top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call—including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG —were urged to persuade their clients to send “large contributions” to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

If this is true, not another damned dime. Let everyone of them fail. Not one more tax cut to businesses with over 50 people, and in fact, raise their damned taxes. Send the money to unemployment benefits funds, because corporate America simply can not be trusted with anything. In the most serious economic crisis in decades, and these folks are spending the money to organize to crush labor.

Seriously, if this is accurate, these people are sick.

We gave them money. All of us gave them money. A great big heaping crapload of money. They begged for it. They plead for it. They crawled on hands and knees over deep-pile carpeting and broken-glass tales of woe. And this is how they want to do things? Beg and plead for financial assistance and then play politics as usual immediately afterwards?

Yeah. Right. I personally say this.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

And now, we the American people are no longer able.

Then there's this little gem from the original article:
"This is the demise of a civilization," said Marcus. "This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it."


"This bill may be one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life," he said, explaining that he could have been on "a 350-foot boat out in the Mediterranean," but felt it was more important to engage on this fight.
Preserve us from retail magnates with Darcy Taggart complexes, excessive ego inflation, and one of the most overbearing and insensate self-martyrdoms in recorded history. Abandoning his personal Atlantis to try and salvage his civilization...

Not even Ayn Rand would have supported this double-standard existence.

Even if it winds up tossing us further into a depression, Atlas has got to shrug.

08 January, 2009

On A Personal Note

I now have a dog.

Literally. I have a dog. A 7-year old purebred Welsh corgi. A very overweight corgi, as you could probably tell from the above photo, so she is on a diet and exercise regimen until we can get her back down to a healthier weight.

Gypsy here has attached herself to me with such strength that not even duct tape could equal. From the first time she laid eyes on me, she determined that I was going to be her owner. The only other time I have seen this happen is when Alice came home for the first time.

And yes. It is weird having a dog. For one thing, scooping poop in public isn't exactly the most suave thing in the world. On the other hand, I now get plenty of attention at Starbucks when I go for my venti whole milk white mocha. Well, okay. SHE gets plenty of attention. I just sit and bask in her glow.

I'm not too certain about the name Gypsy, however. It goes against the naming tradition I've built. Buffy the Miller Moth Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, and Wendy Goes To Neverland. I should change it to Buttercup for a Princess Bride reference.

Don't ask me what the cats think about this. The response would be unprintable.

07 January, 2009

First Horse, THEN Cart

Ryan Grim of the HuffPo:
The organization will be dedicated to finding progressive candidates who might have an outside shot at winning and "take them under our wing," in Green's words. The group's name -- the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, or the P-triple-C -- is a reference to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which financially backs Democratic candidates it thinks have a shot to win but does not prioritize progressive Democrats over conservative Democrats. The DCCC has had a patchy relationship with the liberal blogosphere, which charges it with relying too heavily on old-school expensive Democratic consultants and not being willing to take chances on progressive candidates.
How about maybe we instead work on getting Democrats with intestinal fortitude, personal integrity, and a basic comprehension of ethics and morality? You know, so we don't have to deal with more episodes of Reid being spineless, Rangel being crooked, Blago being evil, Murtha being clueless, Caroline Kennedy being... Well, a self-serving entitlement-burdened Kennedy, basically.

We have the opportunity to start cleaning up the trash in this party. And what are the progressives wanting to do instead? Score political points and increase their market share.

And, of course, everyone is also playing their favorite game known as What Digby Said:
This is an essential component of progressive politics. The stale CW of the village Democrats gets passed on to congressional candidates by simple osmosis --- there's no creativity, no use of modern methods and no real progressive message and the progressive ends up losing.
Regretfully for the progressive wing of the party, they end up losing not because of the ever-dreadful conventional wisdom and less-than-full-throated support from the DCCC but because those particular politics don't always play well in Peoria, much less any given congressional district. Or, as in one of the races referenced in the HuffPo article, they can run such a poor campaign that they couldn't even get elected for the Berkeley City Council.

As a party, we need to run smarter, not simply run outside the lines for the sake of intra-partisan squabbles. Given how the DCCC has become an old-boys network of mostly self-serving snake-oil salesmen and seems to be mostly interested in pandering to J Street consultancies, it would be better if someone were to revamp the national party's networks along these lines rather than doing it only for those particular politicos that follow their own agendas.

After all, it worked out oh so well for the Club For Growth, the Christian Coalition, Heritage Foundation and the National Center For Public Policy Research... In the limelight for a few short years, and all geared up to be on the descendant for a while.

I have to wonder if the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party would rather just blow everything in a blaze of glory, just like the GOP did over the first 6 years of the Bush43 Administration, rather than strive for something more lasting. If so, they're certainly on the right track with this ever-present push for allegedly "better" Democrats.

If these folks have their way, I predict that not only will the Dem majority only last 4 years, but they will be lucky to not pull Obama down with them and keep him from a second term.