Monday, July 30, 2007
One can only imagine the screams of "Bushitler fascism" that would come down if his commentors -- or Kos commentors, for that matter -- were subjected to the same level of investigation and scrutiny that he is demanding the Secret Service do for O'Reilly.
What makes it even funnier is that he is chortling about supposedly affecting Bill O'Reilly's advertising revenue.....but begging at the top of the page that he needs money because "ad sales have fallen dramatically the past few months".
Gee, one wonders why.......really.
As posited before, this blogger is no fan of editing or deleting comments, but there are certain lines.
O'Reilly's commentors crossed them and justly deserved said scrutiny; Aravosis and company, given their long and storied track record of encouraging same, deserve even worse.
Friday, July 27, 2007
“I’ve worked plenty of arson cases, but never one as bizarre as this one,” (McClellan County Detective James) Pack said. “Most are committed for money or getting back at somebody. This one he blames on the computer. Tavares said if it wasn’t for the computer, this wouldn’t have happened."
Oh, it would have happened; it just wouldn't have been this guy's trailer. There's a big difference between causing bad behavior and simply being the means by which it was precipitated.
And hence the usual problem with democratization of power; it falls to both those who use it wisely and those who do the 180-degree opposite.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Add to that the fact that, if Wisconsin employees are anything like my Canadian, British, and other employees, they will still demand that employers provide health insurance -- once they find out that the promise of "everything covered" depends on you defining "everything" as "only on certain things using very conventional treatment, and only if you can find a doctor to do it at our fixed price, provided s/he can fit you in within the next year or so".
As I have said elsewhere, the fastest and best way to ensure universal coverage in this country would be to make insurance premiums tax-deductible -- for both businesses and individuals -- either directly, or through tax-deferral mechanisms on incomes like health savings accounts (HSAs).
Better yet, if you grouse about having to go to bat with and even sue your health insurance provider to get them to pay for things now, imagine what it'll be like when the same people who run such paragons of accuracy and customer service as the IRS and DMV are the ones you have to convince -- and how far your lawsuit against them is going to go.
But again, the point is not insurance coverage; it's using an emotional issue to allow governments to set up yet another program where they tax you today for benefits that they may or may not pay tomorrow, depending on how they feel about it, and which are subject to change at their moment's notice, especially if actually paying you back might cost them with another constituency.
Just like Social Security.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Obviously, this is not something with which VoteYesMarriage.com is extraordinarily familiar -- as becomes apparent when one reads the wording of their proposed California marriage amendment.
Take a deep breath.
Only marriage between one man and one woman is valid or recognized in California, whether contracted in this state or elsewhere. A man is an adult male human being who possesses at least one inherited Y chromosome, and a woman is an adult female human being who does not possess an inherited Y chromosome. Neither the Legislature nor any court, government institution, government agency, initiative statute, local government, or government official shall abolish the civil institution of marriage between one man and one woman, or decrease statutory rights, incidents, or employee benefits of marriage shared by one man and one woman, or require private entities to offer or provide rights, incidents, or benefits of marriage to unmarried individuals, or bestow statutory rights, incidents, or employee benefits of marriage on unmarried individuals. Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding, from within this state or another jurisdiction, that violates this section is void and unenforceable.
Yes, these people have entirely too much time on their hands. And you read it right; they are out to ban domestic partnerships.
That fact becomes far more apparent in their preamble (emphasis mine):
The People of California have a compelling responsibility to protect the essence of marriage by ensuring that the civil institution of marriage between one man and one woman is not redefined, abolished, or diminished. The People find that marriage between one man and one woman is diminished when government decreases statutory rights, incidents, or employee benefits of marriage shared by one man and one woman, or when government requires private entities to offer or provide rights, incidents, or benefits of marriage to unmarried individuals, or when government bestows statutory rights, incidents, or employee benefits of marriage on unmarried individuals.
Now, one could grant some reasonable logic in this, if the point is to say that the incentive to marry is lost when one can get its benefits without taking on the full responsibility of it. Since the commitment and structure of marriage is good for society as a whole, it does provide strong argument that there should be some incentive for couples to enter into it that goes above and beyond what they can access on their own.
However, when applied to abolish California's domestic-partnership law, that argument makes zero sense. Registered domestic partners do in fact have all the same rights and benefits as a spouse under state law, but they also have exactly the same responsibilities -- including the fact that they are subject to divorce law, versus simply being able to dissolve the partnership. Furthermore, all the state laws this group cites as "requiring" this or that for domestic partners apply only to registered domestic partners.
In short, this amendment isn't about the dilution or diminishment of marriage. It's about a tragically-misinformed belief system that has convinced itself that the essence of marriage -- the commitment expressed by two people to spend a lifetime together and in support of each other -- is somehow conferred by government mandate and is somehow lessened when anyone else is allowed anything even remotely similar.
I am of the mind that the gay community, perhaps more than any other, has had the opportunity to demonstrate that the essence of marriage works quite independently of the legalese. And I think it horribly ironic that both sides in this debate -- the "Equality" California versus VoteYesMarriage.com -- are making the same mistake; they confuse that legalese with that essence.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
In my case, it's four wheels and an engine.
Ever since moving to California, I've wanted a convertible; however, buying a new car when your current one is barely broken in makes zero sense unless you run in circles far more prone to alcoholism and eating disorders than do I.
The solution: a second car. But not just any second car; a convertible that can climb hills like a mountain goat, is reliable, can get into our downhill garage without leaving its exhaust pipe on the berm, and that doesn't cost enough to require a car payment. And, while we're dreaming, it has to be fuel-efficient, parkable in a postage-stamp space, and not look like Skipper should be sitting in it waiting for Barbie to come out of the dress shop.
Ergo, my new baby.
A Geo Tracker, to be teddibly precise.
Yes, as you might expect, it's noisy, it's as fast as eighty horsepower gasping through a California emissions system cannot be, and at 2,189 lbs, it has only slightly more resistance to wind gusts than Nicole Richie. But it hauls up Twin Peaks like a trouper, it glides into the garage with ease, and at 142.5 inches -- a full three inches shorter than a Mini Cooper -- it fits anywhere.
And there's the fleet. With the Tracker to pull around-town and fun duty, the Mazda3 gets all rested up, ready to be turned loose for some serious speed on the open road (or as euphemistically "open" as the 101 ever gets). Best of all, since the Geo is more efficient in the city and the Mazda on the highway, I have actually increased my net gas efficiency as a whole, thus doing my part for Mother Gaia and Manbearpig.
But the jury is still out on the whole Skipper thing.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Of course, you could save about forty-five minutes, a whole set of salad bowls, and the energy of running the oven if you were just to serve this hot out of the skillet over the tortillas and top it with the lettuce and tomatoes you were going to use for the green salad.
Therein lies the difference between the haute set and cooking Philistines like myself.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
With that in mind, here are a few truisms.
1. The Republican candidates are not coming -- nor should they.
"Why" should be patently obvious to anyone who saw a) saw HRC's advertisements for the 2004 Presidential campaign , b) has ever heard Melissa Etheridge or Joe Solmonese, who cannot finish a paragraph without bashing Republicans, or c) noticed HRC's own admittance that their primary goal is "to become a steady source of funds and grass-roots support for Democrats -- more akin to a labor union than a single-issue activist group".
The Swift Boat Veterans should not be surprised when John Kerry turns down an invitation to their Veteran's Day picnic; neither should HRC be surprised that Republicans view them like pimples on prom night.
2. The event is fifteen months prior to the elections.
As our mothers used to advise us, when you are invited to someone else's house for supper, it is polite to clean your plate. Rather than offending your hostess by refusing to touch her liver-flavored Brussels Sprouts Surprise, eat it first and get it over with; your hostess will be happy, and you can enjoy the rest of the meal with a clear conscience, knowing that you can refuse seconds without offending her.
The same theory applies here. The candidates are showing up to eat their broccoli, as it were, knowing full well that they can say anything they want from this point forward and the "LGBT community" will still be happy.
But it has to be quick or they'll be late for their 700 Club appearance.
3. There was a reason the "little people" weren't invited.
Mommie and Daddy didn't want it.
Now that HRC has apparently reversed itself and decided to allow even those with less chance than Krusty the Clown of being nominated, let alone elected, to come to its
That, and if they did, Mommie would get really angry with Joey and Mel.
4. The final nail will be driven in the coffin of HRC's relevance.
People, we're talking about an organization whose leaders endorse and support FMA supporters and who drop tens of millions of dollars on candidates who push state constitutional amendments that it allegedly opposes. They have already stated their only use for gay issues is as a means to channel funds and support to Democrats. They insist that we squander time and effort on things like abortion, opposing Social Security reform, raising taxes, antiwar protests, bashing the religious, and innumerable other things which are not only beyond the ability of even the worst cosmopolitan-and magic-mushroom trip to link to "gay rights", but on which gays can and do legitimately hold multiple positions.
And thus, since they claim to represent all gays, we will inextricably be linked with the loony left.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
All right; hopefully, that was semi-intellectual enough to justify QuakerJono blessing me with his latest "Thinking Bloggers" whatever (thank you, sir; you will be receiving a package from "Plagues2Go.com" shortly).
I don’t agree with NDT all the time. In fact, it’s rare enough that I remark on it mentally whenever it happens. That’s not a bad thing, though, because even though we disagree, I know his positions are well thought out and rarely simple knee-jerk reactions. Occasionally he descends into shameful partisan hackery, but who among us is 100% not-guilty of that? Plus, he’s like the one person I know who’s been banned from multiple blogs for ideas and not just pointless trolling. Part of me thinks if you’re pissing off people that much, you gotta have a viewpoint worth considering.
I'd say that's a pretty accurate and reasonable way of putting it -- and it avoided the use of the term "stubborn jackass", so I suppose we're getting somewhere.
I still think the best description of me came from a previous job, where I was compared to our ancient, donated, retired-from-Southwestern-Bell, not-maintained, and mystically-cursed-by-untold-numbers-of-malevolent-disgruntled-customers food transport van: "Hard to get going, but even harder to stop".
Since I must serve the meme once again and give you five blogs that qualify as Thinking, here goes.
1. Army of Mom. Brutal, wonderful testimony from a bright and talented woman with a wonderful family, a gorgeous husband, and huge.....ummm, tracts of land. The best of solid American family values for which you could ever ask.
2. Lab Kat. Simply the best phrase-turner on the planet. Kat has a take on life that is either completely and inhumanly brilliant or the result of an out-of-control glue sniffing habit. Your call.
3. See Jane Mom. To say she "tells it like it is" ranks right up there in understatement with Noah's weather report calling for light showers and drizzle.
4. Jimbo.info . Likely he won't answer this meme either, but he's one of the sweetest, most uniquely-balanced individuals I have ever met; merely being in his presence makes you feel more intelligent and meaningful. I thought it impossible that dinner with someone could rescue a business trip to the steambath that is DC in late summer for a client who redefined "surly", but he somehow managed it. WOOF!
5. Jack Malebranche. Read and prepare to be annoyed, insulted, amused, provoked, and forced into highest dudgeon. And that's just his introductory paragraph.
(Yes, they DO look almost identical to my last meme. Sorry; brain cells are taking a while to regenerate from the megadoses of Advil I've been taking this week.)
Friday, July 13, 2007
Now can he do the same for baseball's most loveable losers?
Add Internet billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to the list of potential Chicago Cubs buyers.
"I submitted an app," Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Interested parties must submit an application to Major League Baseball to examine the team's finances. Cuban told the Chicago Tribune he sent in the application last week, although he wasn't sure of the date.
Honestly, this sounds right up his alley. Buy a team that languishes on the field, but has brand cachet and support, pump some serious cash into it, bid for the best players, and then work on getting thrown out of games.
Unfortunately, Major League Baseball already has one of those, and his name is "Steinbrenner".
Many people are saying that MLB would never let this go through because of its fanatical devotion to revenue-sharing and salary caps, neither of which are likely to bother Cuban much (or Steinbrenner, once Cuban gets going).
But given the number of online petitions that have already sprung up begging Cuban to do it and lobbying for him to be allowed to do it....people really, really like the idea.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
To me, what Richardson says is irrelevant; I expect nothing but the worst from him, and quite obviously, we got it. But, in my opinion, the real issue exposed by this incident lies elsewhere.
Sixteen months ago, Richardson’s Imus appearance flew under the media
radar, and the Democrat has never publicly acknowledged or apologized for using
the word. That has bothered Denver, Colo.-based Christopher Hubble, a member of the spiritual activist group Soulforce and a blogger.
Hubble was listening to the Imus show that morning, and afterward
alerted Shana Naomi Krochmal, then GLAAD’s media strategist for the Southwest
“I was shocked that an elected official would think he could use a
derogatory epithet simply because he is speaking Spanish and is perhaps assuming
we don’t understand what he is saying,” Hubble wrote later in an email
describing his reaction at the time.
Krochmal told Hubble she would pass the email along to Monica Taher and
Carlos Macias, GLAAD’s “excellent Spanish-language media advocates.” Taher would
say later in an interview for this story that another GLAAD employee decided
instead to go to Equality New Mexico with the information.
“The statewide organization [in New Mexico] asked us not to contact
[Richardson] because that would jeopardize the domestic partnership bill that
the governor was supporting and working on at that time,” Taher said.
Alexis Blizman, executive director of Equality New Mexico (EQNM),
acknowledged that she asked GLAAD not to “go after” Richardson because of his
strong gay rights record, but said the domestic partnership bill was not under
consideration at the time.........
Hubble also asked a friend to inform Media Matters for America about the Imus appearance, and although Media Matters located an MSNBC clip of the exchange between Richardson and Imus and posted it online, the watchdog group took no additional action.
Now, keep in mind that GLAAD, for one, was throwing hissy fits over the use of the word in question and applauding people who called it out as hateful back in 1999 and providing helpful guidebooks on what it actually meant in 2002. Obviously they knew what it meant, and they weren't shy about calling out public figures on such statements -- a statement which I am certain can be said about Equality New Mexico as well.
Not in this case, though.
What is most amazing is that I have never once heard of GLAAD, Media Matters, or any of the innumerable "Equality X" groups refraining from public tantrums, handling the matter in private consultation, and constructing elaborate apologia blaming culture, upbringing, and Santa Claus when a Republican does something they construe to be antigay. Indeed, it's invariably the opposite; no matter how obscure the person or oblique the statement, their reactions to it make the Spanish Inquisition look understanding and tolerant.
But, it seems, let a Democrat use words on a national radio program that they have previously had aneurysms over, and they not only ignore it, but do their best to deep-six it completely. Indeed, had Christopher Hubble not had the courage (and it is courage) to come forward and keep coming forward, what Richardson gleefully replied to Imus would still be on the back shelf of some moldy closet, half past the Nehru jacket and to the right of the mothballs.
Pity we can't put Hubble in charge of GLAAD or "Equality" New Mexico -- and tell the folks who work there now that, if they want to kiss politico ass, they can do it on the politico's dollar.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
There is indeed a very fine line between celebrities who do charity for charitable reasons and those who do it for self-aggrandizement.
Bono and Sharon Stone, in spades, are the former.
Al Gore and his entourage are clearly the latter.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I am marking the occasion of our nation's 231st birthday by a symbolic protest against out-of-control and unsafe exports from and unfair trade practices by China.
Translation: We're killing and rooting out the bamboo that is trying to tear down our back fence.
But apparently the little electron-burners do have some top end.
Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.Given that even a Prius is polluting a relatively-enormous amount at that speed, that may be what constitutes rebellion among a Gore child.
Bet he was listening to sexually-explicit music, too.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Anyway, Matt Foreman, of NGLTF fame, whining (as we reported last week) about the possibility of un-gaying babies in utero:
As Matt Foreman from the Task Force put it, “It’s not playing with the number of toes you have; it’s really manipulating your very essence. So many people see gay people only in terms of sexual behavior, as opposed to what sexual orientation is really about, which is how you fit into the world. I don’t want to get mushy, but it’s about your soul.”
Uh huh. But a few weeks before that:
Any woman needs to be able to terminate a pregnancy when her life will be degraded on account of it, no matter her sexual orientation, no matter how she became pregnant.
This is about much more than access to abortion, as important as that is. It is about who controls our bodies and our sexualities. Reproductive freedom and gay rights are inextricably intertwined.
So, to summarize:
- Babies in utero are beings with souls
- It is awful and evil to change the sexual orientation of those babies, as it is an affront to their souls.
- Killing these babies, however, is no affront to their souls at all, and is actually a good thing, an expression of "freedom" that supports "gay rights".
Unless, of course, one's being gay is really the only thing they have going for them.....
Monday, July 02, 2007
At the same time, on my interminable Caltrain trek, I was reading this.
And people wonder why healthcare costs so much today.
Believe me, I do understand. My genetics are prone to storing fat (badly). My belly grows when I don't get enough sleep or when I have an impending deadline at work. And especially when you're in a hurry, for one of as parsimonious ways as I, that $1 double cheeseburger looks quick, filling, and to be a good value.
But at some point, people, we gotta say....you can blame genetics, environment, and George Bush for the fact that you can't see your feet without a mirror, but the simple fact of the matter is that the biggest influence on you being fat is your own behavior.
That's not a PC stance to take, but it's God's own truth.
Human beings should be able to fit in an MRI with a 350-lb weight limit. People should be able to contain their ass within one airline seat (or folding chair). Seatbelt extenders should be something car dealers order from Detroit, not stocked in quantities of 100 in the parts department.
Unless you are a pregnant woman (for whom all is forgiven) or an NFL lineman, these should be as inexorably written as the Ten Commandments. And if you are outside the boundary lines, you don't NEED an MRI or CT scan to tell you what your health problem is.
Eat less and exercise. As Twatty McGee might put it, "Honey, there just ain't another way."