Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dumbest. Invention. Ever.

Well, either that or it's not real and just a hoax. If it is true, then the Germans have invented their worst contribution to both the world of beer and to the world of gadgetry: a beer coaster that signals the bartender when the mug needs a refill.

Here is an example of their competition:

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Braves Win. . .UPDATED

The Atlanta Braves won their 14th consecutive title tonight, with one of the worst pitching staffs they've had in a long time (I mean, once upon a time, they had Glavine, Avery, Smoltz, and Maddox, all in their prime, all at once), with numerous injuries up and down the roster, and a whole bunch of rookies . . . SEVENTEEN of them this year. Shows what kind of organization Schuerholz has put together and what kind of manager Bobby Cox is. Oh, and Andruw Jones got a League-leading 51 regular-season home runs to go with his 128 RBI's, making him a viable candidate for MVP. Of course, I think he should be the MVP, but you probably already guessed that. As a life-long Braves fan, I can't say enough about this year's team. With all the injuries and some poor veteran player performances at the beginning of the year, even the Atlanta media wasn't too hopeful for the streak's continuation. Cox, the youngsters, and veterans who know the meaning of "teach the game" proved everyone wrong. It gives me hope for the playoffs and hopefully the World Series, something we've not been able to do in quite awhile. Maybe this team can prove my doubts wrong yet again.

Congrats guys.

Oh, and if anyone wants to give me some free tickets to the playoffs, they'd be appreciated.

UPDATE: In regard to the somewhat lukewarm pitching staff this year, in comparison with other years anyway, I firmly believe that the Braves should find a way to hire this guy:

He's admittedly not a great starter, but with his wicked fastball, he'd be a great closer.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Moonbats on Parade

Michelle Malkin has photos of the protesters from this weekend up at her site, with commentary. Pretty amusing stuff. My favorite pic of hers and her caption, just for the guffaw it evoked:
Liberals love malaise
My caption: In touch with reality

(I do wonder if anybody in the crowd realized who Malkin is and confronted her. She didn't say.) Gotta love it when the fringe groups get together to "protest the war," when really they're trying to push small, unorganized, and not very well thought out moonbat agendas. Speaking of which, check out Mudville Gazette's photo analysis of Daily Kos' "Do's and Don'ts of Protesting," or whatever it's called. My favorite Daily Kos rule? Glad you asked:
Want the police to target you? Wear a black bandana over your face. Wear a gas mask. I know, I know, it's the cool anarcho thing to do, but it's also very foolish. If you feel you might need them later (for whatever reasons...), put them in your bag where you'll have easy access to them.
For which Greyhawk posted the following picture:Hey, nice masks. I'm interested by your ideas, and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Oh wait. . . No. No I don't. Check out Mudville for the rest of the rules and the pictures of the protesters who apparently didn't get that memo from Kos.


JustOneMinute has an excellent article on Peter Daou's leftist view of the blogsphere. Basically, in his view, blogs, media, and pundits form a political machine, a "triangle" that pushes its views into the center ring. The main goal is (snicker) keeping the left from getting "the truth" out (like it did with Katrina--what do you know, yet another on the left praising the coverage of Katrina, I wonder why?) It brings up something I cannot stand. Check it:
"With a well-developed echo chamber and superior top-down discipline, the right has a much easier time forming the triangle. Fox News, talk radio, Drudge, a well-trained and highly visible punditocracy, and a lily-livered press corps takes care of the media side of the triangle. Iron-clad party loyalty – with rare exceptions – and a willingness of Republican officials to jump on the Limbaugh-Hannity bandwagon du jour takes care of the party establishment side of the triangle. The rightwing netroots, therefore, is already working within the triangle on most issues. Their primary strategic aim is to prevent the left from forming its own triangle, as occurred with Katrina."

Top-down, echo, bandwagon, well-trained, iron-clad party loyalty, bandwagon!!!???!!! (Throws Coors Light can across secret bat-cave-like bunker) I hate it when conservatives are painted as lock-step. No, my dear friends, no.

JustOneMinute does a fine job of discrediting these conclusions:

"Getting proper conservatives elected in 2006 and 2008, and finding someone (anyone!) to provide credible leadership on Iraq specifically and terror generally - that will excite right wing bloggers. And yes, that goal may overlap with defending certain Bush legacy projects, such as Iraq, but let's not confuse tactics with objectives."

But let me address more throughly the lock-step issue in what I'm sure will descend into a string of obscenities. There are two types of, for lack of a better word, "informed" liberals you meet. Determining which type you have on your hands is crucial to understanding if you're going to vigorously disagree or if the word "fascist!" will be screamed in your face. Type one is the Clintonian Democrat: a mix of the new left and LBJ; think Joe Lieberman. Type two is the self-named "Progressive" (although I can't see what's progressive about returning to the failures of communism): part new left and new new left; think Howard Dean and worse. The Progressives want to scream "fascist!" at conservatives. Probably the reason they think we're lock-step is that from where they stand, holding hands with George Galloway, it's hard to see the differences between Republicans and Democrats much less the full, richness of the conservative blogsphere. Well, allow me to disagree. I, for example, disagree with JustOneMinute's dismissal of the Progessive's agenda. Sure it will make Democrats a minority, but, as I've written before, I think a minority party of that kind of politics is dangerous and, frankly, useless. I want a strong, honest, and moral opposition party; not a bunch of crazed Marxists--all they can do is ruin things. And there's more disagreement: I don't agree with Reganite Fukuyama even though I loved his book. I break with the NRO on marijuana. I'm not for gay marriage, but I also don't know if we can win the issue. Now, I'm not saying these are earth shattering divergences, but the idea, pushed by both type one and two, that I can't think for myself and that all my views are the result of some Orwellian machine really burns me up. When I think of all the leftist bunk that I've had to watch on TV, and hear in the classroom, on the radio, in music, the net, and the flippin' network news--you name it.

To the left, from my political bondage in the "echo chamber," I hear you! I think about your "ideas." I choose carefully my positions and I re-examine them. And I love to argue both sides. (you should hear Garm and I go at it--wait that sounds bad).

Friday, September 23, 2005

Geeking Out

Hello kiddies! Last time it was Nightstalkers and Blade. This time I want to talk commentaries. Battlestar Galactica commentaries. I just watched all the commentaries from the season one box set. How was it? Good. If you know anything about BG you probably already know it's one of the best shows on TV. You learn a lot about the writing and that most of the series biggest ideas were made up on the fly. For example, the 33 minutes in the "33" episode was just a arbitrary time they picked. Mostly, they talk about how great BG is and how they were going for something different and blah, blah, blah. That stuff is fine but for the conservative geek the commentaries tread on the dangerous ground of politics. They started out by questioning the whole "if you don't go about your life the terrorists have won" theory in a rather glib jab at Bush, but it was minor. Then they Suggest Starbuck and Cmdr. Adama are Republicans and Apollo is a Democrat. They talk a bunch about the influence of 9/11. And the topper, after pointing out that the characters have to make tough decision with the information they have the writer quotes Rummy's famous you go to war with the army you have line. Personally, I was amazed that a Hollywood type would identify characters he loves with Republicans. You generally get the impression that these guys are libs, but they're anti-PC semi-south park conservatives libs. The main thing is that I feel safer watching the show because I think they're not going break the filter. Speaking of commentaries I find there are a few basic types:

The Professor: Almost scripted lecture on culture, film, politics, history, etc.; informative though possibly off topic and annoying. Ex: The Saint.

The Back Slapper: "I love this guy, that guy was great, she did a terrific job!" Ex: Sky Captain, Blade 2

The Narrator: Worst of the lot, this one explains what only the blind could not understand. Man on the screen opens a door, Commentary track: "Here he opens the door." Ex: The Quiet Man*, The Exorcist

The Crowd: This comes in different forms, some times it's a group of buddies talking, sometimes it's people actually doing commentaries from a coffee shop or something. It totally works but sometimes it's like watching a movie with a bunch of idiots talking over it or inside a bus station. Ex: The Life Aquatic, Hellboy cast commentaries

The Inner Circle: The best of the lot. These commentaries bring you into the confidence and back story of the movie. Sometimes it can be too much info, or, in the case of politics, alienating. Ex: Evil Dead II, The Simpsons

Battlestar Galactica's commentaries are a fair mix of Inner Circle, Crowd, and Back Slapper, but worth listening to for a better sense of the characters in this gem of a series.

(*Ed. Note- Maureen O'Hara does the commentary for The Quiet Man. I love the movie; it's way up there on my list of great John Wayne movies. But her commentary. . . Oh God, her commentary. She actually narrates the opening credits. Then it goes downhill. I love movie commentaries, but this was my biggest let-down. Almost hellish to watch/listen. I kept waiting for some actual information, but all I got was "Yes, Bobby was the assistant Gaffer. He was my cousin-in-law twice removed. We never spoke much." AGHHHHHH!!!!! -Garm)

NRA wins in NOLA, ACLU absent

From the article:
The United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana today sided with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from peaceable and law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Good to see that my NRA subscription money actually did some good. Glenn Reynolds calls this a "Civil Liberties Victory," which of course it is, but it made we wonder (not for the first time) where the ACLU was in protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens of NOLA? I didn't hear anything out of them about the gun confiscations. In fact, at this time, they have nothing about it on their website, nor did they have anything about it a week ago when I checked, nor did they have any information about illegal firearm confiscations two days ago when I checked.

I guess the rights of NOLA's citizens (not to mention mine and yours) are only rights if the ACLU thinks they're right.

(Ed. Note- I'm sorry for the above line, really I am. It was a long day at work, etc. etc. I'll try not to let it happen again.)

Bush's War

The TV flickers and a woman holding a baby says her husband died in Iraq. I think, "okay, they have my attention." Now a cut to a black woman who's son died--he was on his way home. "Why does the fact he was on his way home matter?" I wonder. "This ad could go either way." Next an older woman, her son died in Iraq--he was the world to her--her voice is full of anger. "Here it comes!" The political attack ad starts: Bush lied, no WMD, no 9/11 connection, big mistake, Mr. Bush stop this war! Paid for by, ta-da, the gold star families for peace, which is Cindy Sheehan's group, you watch the ad yourself at their site. If you recall, Cindy recently left her senses, and I declared her officially over. I think this ad supports that opinion in that they now using new frontwomen. Frankly, its sad. Especially, when these "peace moms" say that they have to tell their kids their father died for a lie. But let's put all that aside--the anger, the exploitation, the mis-characterizations--forget it because the real point is making this solely Bush's war.

As if Bush could just end it by snapping his fingers, as if Bush started it without any help. He can't and he didn't. I helped. I voted. I supported the war--and still do. And ultimately, I accept some responsibility if the war is a big lie or mistake. There are many like me out there, people who said "don't even go to the UN; kill Saddam now!" This ad is designed to make us forget our part in the war because the only people that can really bring the troops home is the American people. When they call it Bush's war their really just giving the weak-kneed among us a backdoor on the true cause of the war in Iraq: The will of the American people.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Automated Sentry Gun

Ok, this thing is just cool. In fact, if this guy sold these things, I would seriously consider buying one. I don't know why, and I have NO idea what I would use it for (cats? paintball? anti-squirrel birdfeeder attachment? cats? Mr. Big-Shot from down the street? cats?), but I know for a fact that I'd have fun with it. Here's the basic outline: This guy created an automated optically-sighted sentry gun using a computer, some bits and pieces of hardware, and an airsoft gun that looks like an FN P90 PDW. It's a little like what they had in the game Half-Life and in the movie Aliens. Now I can't reinforce this enough: this thing AUTOMATICALLY tracks and shoots targets when activated. That's just awesome. For all the uber-geeks out there, he actually has some fairly detailed build-notes (and good pictures) of how he created this little gem. No schematics or anything, but enough to get the ol' wheels turnin'. Oh, and guess what? Here's the video of the creator testing the device on his brother! (it's quicktime)

Of course, my first thought after the initial "WOW that's cool" factor wore off was "Hmmm. . . If I built a custom, reinforced base, and switched out the airsoft gun for an actual. . ."


Bush Kills Black Babies!

Or something to that effect, will be the headline after Rita hits. I made a prediction last time about Katrina that came true. Well, here's the prediction on Rita: First, It won't be that bad. Not the Hurricane, but the repsonse. This time the locals aren't going to screw up, FEMA will bulldoze idiots out of the way, and Bush is going to be all over Rita like white on rice. The Left and many Black leaders have been screaming that if it was rich or white people the response would quick and effective. Now, when Rita hits they'll be screaming that they were right. They won't think, gee, maybe they learned their lesson from Katrina or apparently Texas isn't as unprepared as the democratically ruled Louisana. They'll scream discrimination and worry about justifying it later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bye-Bye Now

Dan Rather spoke at Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, biting back tears, while claiming politicians had the Media under their thumb in what he dubbed the "new journalism order." Admit it Dan. You've been beaten by the alternative media. No politician in the world has the power to make Americans turn the channel the way they have, and the bloggers, the ones who fixed your little red wagon but good, aren't under anyone's thumb.

Rather, however, did praise the Katrina coverage, summing up why he's an old fogey who just doesn't get it with this overly dramatic line: "They were willing to speak truth to power." (translation: the MSM scored some political points against Bush) According to him that makes the coverage similar to the coverage of President Kennedy's assassination, although the connection is a bit lost on me, and somehow I've noticed that everyone getting all lovey-dovey with the Katrina coverage has had some questionable politics. Truth to power? How about just starting with truth, Danny? I don't think the job of the Media is to take on the government or the fat cats or some abstract concept of power. Yes, the Media should do all these things, but the idea that Watergate is the goal of all media creates a problem, the old we-know-they're-bad-now-we-just-have-to-catch-'em or "gotcha journalism" for short. That view brought us the alternative media because we don't need Dan Rather and his ilk to tell us how to think. In fact, it directly lead to Memogate because Rather was ready to believe, and still does, anything about Bush.

Rather was joined at Fordham by an obvious idiot, HBO Documentary and Family president Sheila Nevins whom added this gem, "If you made a movie about Darwin now, it would be revolutionary." No, Ms. Nevins, it would not be revolutionary. She fears hate-mail and intimidation from the religious right. Don't worry about them, they're just speaking "truth to power." (read in whiny mocking voice) People send hate-mail on documentaries made by morons that don't have any respect for views other than theirs. A fact she proved with this little comment: "The most R-rated is a body bag, not a naked body." This is exactly the kind of statement that sends me into the kind of tizzy that Garm likes to watch from a safe distance. The President of HBO Family fears the religious right and thinks that a body bag is worse than "G-String Divas," a show which infamously filmed a man paying a stripper to knee him in the groin repeatedly. Personally, I'd rather have to explain the body bag to a kid. What I can't explain is why these people think they're going to spark the revolution with their trash?

Yes, many of our numbers have fallen prey to the Media's control, but even more have realized a fact that is the overly dramatic battle cry of the alternative media:

Truth is power.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

30 Second Law School (part3)

Last time we talked about Rule 11. Today, I want to drop some knowledge on y'all about this thing called Judge.

"That's what I want to know about because without any knowledge of your understanding of the law, because you will not share it with us, we are rolling the dice with you, Judge... See, you've told me nothing, Judge. With all due respect, you've not -- look, it's kind of interesting, this Kabuki dance we have in these hearings here, as if the public doesn't have a right to know what you think about fundamental issues facing them." -Sen. Biden

So many in the blogsphere accept Sen. Biden's characterization of the Robert's hearings that it was depressing to me. Fortunately, I found one blogger that got it, and I decided to expand. You see judges are supposed to be impartial. Judges are not supposed to guess what the answer is ahead of time, they're are suppose to watch, wait, listen, and reflect. The public and Biden do not have a right to force someone to pre-judge a situation and than reject them if they don't like the outcome. It's a little something we like to call the "rule of law." You see judges are supposed to apply the law to the facts, they're not supposed to choose the outcome they like. And, while unfairly savaged in the hearings, Scalia and Thomas both write opinions that they think follow the law. Libs believe that it is nearly impossible to not interject one's personal beliefs. In fact, there's an entire school of disconstructionist, po-mo legal thought called Critical Legal Studies that claims laws are just social norms and judges are merely political operatives and such. Yes, being a judge isn't easy. Yes, sometimes the temptation to be impartial is great. Which is why there aren't cameras at SCOTUS. The jackals in the Media can't wait to politicize and suck the marrow from the bones of the Court's legitimacy. For example, Justice Thomas's son attended VMI. When a case involving VMI came up, Thomas recused himself. But in the Biden world we would have the Media swarming over the Court, howling for recusals on the slightest connection, and burrowing into the staff to turn clerks and aides against their masters, which is something that nearly happened during Bush v. Gore. For Roberts to judge he must not pre-judge, for if he did the fairness of the Court would be suspect and up for the condemnation of the most shrill and political elements of our system.

Hitchens vs. Galloway: British Blood-Bath

At the City University of New York, George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens "debate" the war in Iraq. I put debate in quotes because this was a brutal street fight of a debate, something only the British could bring us. If you don't know, George Galloway is a member of the British Parliament and recently appeared before the U.S. Senate responding to charges of being a shill for the oil-for-food program. Christopher Hitchens is the leftist, PLO loving commie Slate writer who states the reasons for the war better than Bush. "Democracy Now!," which is a commie radio show about how America is evil, sent radio host Amy Goodman to moderate. Now, most people would yawn and say who wants to watch a bunch of libs argue about Iraq? If you say that you've never heard either of these men speak. Galloway claims that Hitchens is a singular event in nature, a butterfly turned back into a slug. Hitchens all but accuses Galloway of supporting fascist death squads and accepting oil-for-food kickbacks. "Is it not rather revolting to appear in Damascus by the side of Assad and to praise the people who killed Casey Sheehan, and then to come to America and appeal to the emotions of his mother?" Hitchen argued. Galloway thundered about Hitchen's traitor status to which Hitchens gave the first socialist justification of Iraq I've ever heard:

"There are probably some people among you here who fancy yourself as having leftist revolutionary credentials, as far as I can tell that you do from the zoo-noises that you make... And the scars that you can demonstrate from your long, underground, twilight struggle against Dick Cheney. But while you're masturbating in that manner, the Iraqi secular left, the socialist and communist movements, the workers' movement, the trade unions, are fighting for their lives against the most vicious and indiscriminant form of fascist violence that any country in the region has seen for a very long time."

All this while the crowd boos, cheers, hisses, and screams. When a "Democracy Now!" host is shocked at the level of pure acid being sprayed, yeah, that's worth watching! If you didn't catch it you can read the transcript here.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Hello Kiddies! Remember way back in the mid-summer when a mother of a dead soldier was holding a protest outside of Bush's ranch? Remember how the MSM wet themselves trying make her a "turning point" in the American view of the war? (pansies.) Remember? Remember that? Well, it got knocked off the radar by Katrina, which was two things the MSM can't ignore: a real, earth shaking, biblical event, and a chance to play politics with a real, earth shaking, biblical event. In the wake of that Cindy Sheehan is back again. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why we blogroll, why we read Drudge, why we seek out alternative media:
"I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes: if a human being is hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power. The only way America will become more secure is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest [sic]."
And that was the post-script on the media driven story that was "Cindy." Let's mourn together by looking at the logic of this statement. She says she doesn't care about race or creed or nationality, but we have to feed hungry people. If that were the true we should invade North Korea post-haste. That little troll is starving his people by the millions while he fiddles. Then she says Bush should pull out of Iraq and NO and step down. So, Bush should ignore the wishes of both Iraq's and NO's people? Then by stepping down Bush should hand over power to the much more compassionate and liberal Dick Cheney. This is the left? How did we ever get beat by these people. To any liberals out there I challenge you to defend this, and I dare you to suggest you're anything but humiliated that you followed this wacko. Dear Lord!

(h/t: Drudge)

Mandatory Cindy Sheehan Post

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pres. Bush's Speech

Sorry about all the light blogging lately; I've been busy with work and genie's been. . . well, I don't really know what he does. Anyway, here's some quick thoughts on President Bush's speech (video here) this evening:

Just about everything he said was pure vanilla, nothing shocking, nothing inspirational, etc. What I was really hoping for was to hear Bush confront the accusations of racism head-on. I wanted to hear Bush call a spade a spade and tell the world that such accusations are baseless (not to mention base) and are cheap, polarizing tactics used by some to gain political points in a time that what is needed is not such polarization, but rather solidarity among all Americans in the wake of such a disaster as Katrina. Unfortunately he didn't do that; again, a predictable speech. Hopefully he was trying to take the high road by NOT acknowledging such race-baiting in an attempt to not lend them credibility. If this is the case, he's wrong. I'm not denying that mistakes were made in the wake of Katrina, but I want to see the mistakes of everyone involved to come to light and be shown to the country, from the pork that was thrown about in New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole to the failures of FEMA and the Federal Government. If the race-baiter's, the hate-mongers, etc. yell long enough and loud enough, they'll be heard, and eventually their misconstructions of the facts will become truth. To them, there is no high road, there is no middle ground.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Quote O' the Day

“The fact of the matter is, Bill, I’ve been black all my life, nobody needs to tell me how to be black."
-Condoleezza Rice on The O'Reilly Factor.

See you in '08 Condi.

Bombings and Blogging In Iraq

A string of suicide bombers hit Baghdad today. You might not have heard yet what with all the coverage on Roberts and Katrina. But as I'm sure you all know, Iraqi blogs cover happening in Iraq as good as, if not better, than the MSM. Iraq the Model is such a blog. He's blogging on the attacks in Baghdad, here's a taste:
"I passed by two of the car-bombs on my way home, one of them-gladly-failed to detonate and the driver was arrested, he was apparently trying to attack the interior ministry, the crowd that gathered in the scene say the driver was Syrian.A few minutes later I saw a big explosion that was close to the green zone.The other passengers in the mini bus were discussing the explosion in Kadhimiya that killed more than a hundred construction workers who were waiting for employers to hire them."
This guy is in the war zone. There are tons of blogs out there like this that can give you a much better view of the real deal than some huge MSM outlet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Steven Seagal Watch #10

If Local, State, and Federal authorities had trouble handling Katrina they should have called Steven Freakin' Seagal--because he's the badddddeeesssttt of the bad, baby! And I mean bad. But with all this hurricane coverage whatever it is the monotone avenger is up to, and I'm sure it involves ninjas or lost treasure, is not making the news (probably just as the stealthy Seagal planned). So, until his return to the headlines here are some fun Seagal-related sites to visit. This one has the 10 universal rules of Seagal movies, for example:

3.A great amount of broken limbs
One of the fun parts of watching a Seagal flick is to count the number of broken legs, arms and fingers that his character inflicts on his enemies. I'm at a loss to think of which movie has the most broken limbs but I'll estimate that in his career he's probably broken over 200 or more. I think that he should just make a movie where he walks down the street breaking people's arms!
This site has lots of Seagal stuff, although it's not the most user friendly and contains graphic language, but it does have a drinking game!
"Any character discusses his CIA or strange past - One drink
Steven won’t tell them about his past when asked - Two drinks"
Drinking is almost a requirement when watching a Seagal flick, and paying attention to the rules will limit your contact with the gaping plot holes. However, the cake-taker is the Seagal Haiku section, meant to be read in a Steven Seagal voice whisper; here's a taste:
Take over this ship?
That's just not gonna happen.
I'm taking you down.
Both the drinking game and the Haiku's can be found under the "Spoofs" section. I liked the site's content, if not design, so much I decided to try my own haiku:
Executive Decision.
Never in decent movie again.
Wish I had really died.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Well, the thinkable has happened: FEMA Director Brown resigned today. Which means I get to use this picture again:

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Homo Says What?

Gay Marriage. The recent hot spot in the culture wars. If you're like me you're not exactly sure how to address this issue, but if so, also like me, you're in a definite minority. Everyone knows exactly what should happen—literally, with a religious conviction. Recently, the Arnold, Governator of Kaleefornya, promised to veto a state-legislator passed gay marriage bill. Frankly, that takes stones in the people's republic of California. See, a referendum had clearly shown a majority of the citizens did not support gay marriage. But Arnold said the people or the courts should decide--which I assume means he'll roll over if they can get the state courts find a "fundamental right" to gay marriage. So, Arnold's walked a thin line that could hurt him on the right (as Chrenkoff points out). I actually know way more than I ever thought I would about the legal arguments on this subject. I'll sum up the whole gay marriage legal argument: gay marriage loses. Oh, it might not shake out that way, but, frankly, you have to reinvent the wheel to win gay marriage in the courts. I'm sure a lot of you are getting your amicus briefs ready as I write, but ease up, I'm here to discuss the realpolitik of the issue.

The truth is gays, regular gays--not the kind of gays other gays think are too gay--have a good argument for gay marriage.
If a person loves another person, then why shouldn't they be able to get married? Okay, there are a ton of assumptions in that statement, but that's where we conservatives could end up. On the wrong side of love. The problem is that gay marriage isn't really about love, for the political groups, it's about acceptance. So, what's the endgame? Can conservatives win? No. A lot of you won't be able to accept this point. Good. Don't. Fight like hell. But just remember California is likely to approve gay marriage, Mass. already has, and its going to be in pushed every second in the Media. The victory is already being heralded and anyone in the way is mocked as a hate monger. The left is ready to use gay marriage as a weapon, even using low tactics, like the whole Cheney's Daughter thing during the election. People aren't willing to take stances that appear to "outlaw" gays. But just as many aren't ready to say that being gay is okay. You hear them all the time: "He's gay--not that there's anything wrong with that." The unspoken part is "not that I want him to be my son's Scout Master, either." Look, I can sit here and tear apart what libs affectionately refer to as "legal arguments" all day long, but what's going to actually happen?

My guess is that as the culture wars move homosexuality more and more into the "Mainstream" people are going not to be willing to prevent gay marriage
purely on a moral basis. If you recall, the more liberal you become the less you're allowed to judge things as being good and/or evil. The problem with this is if in the process of losing this battle we could lose the justification of morality for a social rule or actual law. Marriage isn't moral to extreme liberals--if they even bother to entertain morality. Liberals show their contempt for marriage, spewing out lines like, “I don't think marriage is anything special,” something that obviously thousands of gays disagree with them on. No morality, no reason to stop things like incest. Wait? Incest? Well, actually no, not incest, because collectively speaking we all think its pretty darn icky. So, unless there's a horrible court decision you're not going to see "incest marriage" anytime soon (although... one cannot estimate the effect of the Internet--go Google "incest" and see how many hits you get). But Stanley Kurtz has been all over this subject and brings to the foreground an article showing that the next big step is polygamy. (No Mormon cracks, it's too easy.) You don't believe it? It'll never happen? I'm sure old TR would've said the same thing about gay marriage.

Now, I'm not giving up, but right now--no BS assessment--I think the best thing conservatives can do--short of staging an entire counter sexual-revolution, which I'm all for--is get homosexuals some sort of civil unions or domestic partnerships.
I don't like this idea. Creating a "marriage-lite" is like crippling marriage to save its life. Regardless, if we could cut the legs out from under the argument that gays are being punished it could end the issue. This means gays get an alternative bond and benefits and such. What do we get? Conservatives get to go on making moral choices and marriage is separate and, hopefully, sacred. Toleration traded for preventing forced acceptance.

Now, just relax, and let the hate-mail roll in....

Never Forget

Thanks to an unwitting Cox and Forkum for the illustration.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Red State Cool

Chrenkoff is blogging that blogging isn't enough. That's contrary to the MSM claim that the Right owns the media. We've come a long way, baby, but we've just barely made a dent in the media. Chrenkoff doesn't know what's next. I've got a suggestion: entertainment. It really gets my goat that movies, comic books, and TV can't be republican, can't be conservative. From The Passion of the Christ to Conan the Barbarian, right-leaning movies have been shown to make the money. Dennis Miller Live and Tough Crowd were hilarious shows! Of course, conservatives aren't as "lock-step" as your libs would have you believe, but we can at least agree on things like Reagan and self-reliance. The worst part is the conservative Hollywood types who, for whatever reason, keep a low profile politically--while the rest of Hollywood is having pagan-marxist orgies and making slanderous remarks about all conservatives. One guy that showed at the Republican National Convention was The Rock! Is it possible? A closet GOPer? Maybe...

Here he is doing his part, surrounded by folks that would tear his entrails out if he did turn out to be a Republican; well, maybe just move farther away down the line from him. I actually gave a little money to the Red Cross, so I think that entitles me to make up funny captions for this picture.

Reba: Hello, sexy--I'm going to tear you apart!
Rock: What!?
Caller: Listen to me very carefully--
Rock: If you touch one hair on her head--
Caller: You daughter is safe as long as you do as you're told...
Caller: Come on! You want my donation don't you?
Rock: Sir, I hardly think giving 10 bucks entitles you to have me give the "People's Elbow" to Laura Flynn Boyle--even though, I grant you, it would be fun.

Courting Terror, or ACL-You've Gotta Be Kidding Me!

"Won't somebody please think about the Enemy Combatants?"

Never was there such a source for blog fodder as the ACLU. Jose Padilla, the press-dubbed "Dirty Bomber," has been sitting in a Navy brig in SC for three years now. He was declared an enemy combatant, and no sooner than did the ink dry but the legal eagles sprang to his defense. I bring this up when people lay the "well, no matter the crime, a person should have due process" line on me. Maybe, but maybe if you're a terrorist we should skip bail hearing? The "conservative" 4th Circuit of Appeals (that's two Clinton appointees and one Bush 41 judge) said "no way Jose" and left Padilla in that brig. Here's the article in the, yuck, Boston Globe, and Powerline has a brief, albeit truncated, summary. Basically, 1) Congress gave Bush the power to go after Al Queda, and 2) Padilla is just like Yaser Hamdi, a US citizen snagged as an EC fighting with the Taliban, just Padilla was caught here. Now, I know the headlines will read "BUSH CAN EAT YOUR CHILD," but let me point out a couple of things.

I. Padilla wasn't just caught here. He was caught coming off a plane ride from Pakistan. Nobody seems to be arguing over whether he was a member of the Al Queda glee club nor that he was here to commit a terror attack. Plus, they got him as he was stepping off the plane! They literally caught him on a mission. Hooray! Intel actually did something right (I hope)! Assuming all that is true, Padilla is an EC, if not legally, in plain-old horse sense. So, he was caught on American soil, last time I checked American soil was a battleground.

II. Ah, but the more wary reader caught the flaw above--how do we know he's all of those fairly specific things that allow an EC designation unless we run him through our little truth-machine: "the fair trial?" Well, that's kind of the point of Al Queda isn't it? I mean if some invading army hit our shores and we captured one I'd hope that most everyone (except the ACLU, of course, they love this country too much to defend it) would say slap that jerk in a brig until we are done gutting his buddies and firebombing his cities. That's the way everyone's suppose to do it. But now you got invading armies with no uniforms. In fact, one of our biggest luck-outs is that we are not near a Muslim nation--even without uniforms Muslim extremists may not blend--which is probably exactly why Hispanic-American Padilla was recruited to attack us. I don't have a great answer for this, but the civil-liberty types seem to be saying that you give an EC rights and lawyers and phone calls. That's a hell of a way to fight a war.

By the way--and I hate when people do this--Padilla had won at the Second Circuit but as the NY Times is careful to point out: "the Supreme Court said Mr. Padilla should have filed his case in the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina and is more conservative than the Second Circuit [emphasis added]." First of all, they didn't say they ruled. And its not a matter of should, but a matter of MUST. Without jurisdiction a court's finding is worthless, this is what keeps the 9th Circuit from declaring itself the source of all law in the universe. Lastly, "more conservative" is a little off here since conservative and liberal mean different things when applied to judges. To suggest otherwise leaves a sting of politicization in my mouth that makes me want to break something.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A+ B Movies

Frailty will always be a great movie in my mind for the red-state laugh I got to have in the theater. I saw it up north and a bunch of lib students were in front of me laughing, but I had seen enough horror movies to know what they were in for. Frailty certainly does have some great gallows humor--think Stand By Me meets Psycho meets Exorcist. I don't want to ruin it for you so I'm going drop the summary. I strongly suggest you watch it clean. The DVD is cool for a lesser known film because its got three different commentaries, deleted scenes, a making of, and some other little stuff. This movie's premise freaks out liberals and the writer commentary is mostly the poor guy trying to explain why this movie is not insane. A great cast, good child actors, plenty of blood, and a great twist. This is one of those movies that breaks the rules, but it plays by enough of them so as to blindside the veiwer.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina Lessons via Instapundit

I don't link to Instapundit often, since it's, well, Instapundit and doesn't really need any gratuitous links. Besides, if you're reading this blog, you've probably heard of and often read Instapundit anyway. Today though, Glenn has posted what he thinks are the 9 lessons that Katrina taught us. Most of them are pretty obvious, yet the sure-to-be-upcoming (and taxpayer-funded) commissions and panels are going to spend months trying to figure them out. Here's the Garm short version of the list, complete with Garm Commentary:

1. Don't build your city below sea level.
Duh. Moving on. . .

2. Order evacuations early.
Yeah, and if the evacuations are MANDANTORY, then enforce them. MANDANTORY has an actual definition, and it's not a synonym for VOLUNTARY. MANDANTORY evacuations are occurring as we speak, with soldiers and police going door to door and MAKING people leave.

3. Have -- and use -- a plan for evacuating people who can't get out on their own.
Actually New Orleans DID have a plan. Hence Reynolds' use of the word USE. See the pictures of flooded school buses here. Look Mayor Nagin, buses!

4. Have an emergency relocation plan.
Could also be considered number 3B, but it's not my list, I'm just borrowing it. This ties into number

5. Make critical infrastructure survivable.
Glenn analyzes the collapse of the NO police radio system. How could the local government NOT realize that communications were critical? And if the government did realize this, why did they not have a plan in place to deal with it? And if they DID have a plan in place, why was it not followed? And if. . . ok, ok, moving on to

6. Stock supplies and prepare facilities.
Again, duh. As Reynolds says, "All public buildings that might be used for refugees should be ready. We used to stock fallout shelters that way; we could do it again."

7. Be realistic.
In other words, it is NOT going to be possible for the government, be it Local, State, or Federal, to help every single citizen in their time of need, even if the other items on this list are followed. In the case of a natural disaster on the scale we're currently experiencing, it is up to the INDIVIDUAL to recognize that their government is not set up to handle such a large disaster event. That's why it's a DISASTER. The government can and should help before, during, and after such an event, but the citizenry must be counted on to do their part as well. In other words, remember the Boy Scout motto: BE PREPARED. Know what's going on around you, know what the disaster plan is, listen to what the experts are telling you, etc.

8. Put somebody in charge.
I'll just quote Glenn again, as he sums it up better than me, while saying exactly what I wanted to say:

Politicians and bureaucrats thrive on diffusion of responsibility, because it helps them escape blame (as they're trying to do in the finger pointing orgy that's going on now). Somebody needs to be clearly in charge. Right now it's mostly state governors, but this needs to be made inescapably plain, regardless of where it is.

9. Make people care.
Disasters are by definition horrible events that are not planned for. That needs to change. All levels of government (there are more than enough fingers to point at FEMA, Ray Nagin, Blanco, etc. rather than just point at any one of them) need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

To sum up this entire list, and to sum up what any possible 9-11-style commision might find, I humbly submit this:

Flood Recedes, Thugs Take Over

Who are these people? NO get hit with the biggest hurricane a city can be hit with and what do they do? They take pot shots at people trying to help. They see a chance to smash up things and they take it. They see people suffering and they thrive on it like some kind of ghoul. I'm talking about the political bomb-throwers. Like this "gentleman" whom revels in the opportunity Katrina (already label Katrina-gate) affords to claim political victory. No, no, he's not done, yet--because if you didn't know, Katrina isn't just the personal failure of Mr. Bush, or global warming, or race--no its a demolition of the American System, listen to this second article:

When President Bush told "Good Morning America" on Thursday morning that nobody could have "anticipated" the breach of the New Orleans levees, it pointed to not only a remote leader in denial, but a whole political class. The uneasy paradox which so many live with in this country - of being first-and-foremost rugged individuals, out to plunder what they can and paying as little tax as they can get away with, while at the same time believing that America is a robust, model society - has reached a crisis point this week.

Let me see if I understand... Bush supporters killed NO? Look, a lot of people dropped the ball on the Hurricane. When a person looks at people dying and suffering from a natural disaster and says here's my chance to use that misery to my own ends. Metaphorically speaking, what makes them different from the looters? Listen to what Hollywood had to say:

"It's devastating and I'm ashamed of the way it's being handled and, when we get home, we'll be doing PSAs (public service announcements) and I want to help in whatever way I can because I'm embarrassed and I think it will hopefully change a lot of politics," Dunst said.

Yes, that's it. Not I hope things get better, or even I hope the people who screwed up are sacked. No, we're going to change "politics." We're going use the bodies of the dead and dying as a stepping stone for our views. It is important to note that this is what the left think Bush did with 9/11 and thus they now refer to Katrina as the "anti-9/11"--the cure, if you will, to the nation's rallying. They were right, floods do bring the snakes out.

This sparkling blogger has a quick break down of the MSM coverage, and the USS Neverdock is all over this BBC's harsh attacks.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Let's Hear It For Kuwait

And the rest of Middle-East! They're giving tons of aid. Europe doesn't seem to be giving much at all. Kuwait is giving 500 million dollars and lots of free oil. Now, I don't want to be a jerk and not mention that Saudi Arabia is giving 1.5 billion, but Kuwait ain't no Saudi Arabia--and I think we're all a little cynical about the US/Saudi relationship. But still... Emoodz has the list of all the Arab aid givers. I mean the French sent cots. It nice to know who your friends are.

and the most obvious Drudge headline is:

N.O. Water - 45,000 times what's considered safe.

No, really? I'm shocked!

Monday, September 05, 2005

30 Second Law School (part 2)

Last time, we talked about con law. Now, let's talk about Rule 11. Its a little section of the federal rules of civil procedure. Basically, its rules for how you sue in civil court (non-criminal). Rule 11 is about dishonest and/or stupid people. It has horrible sanctions that make lawyers wet themselves. Things like paying the other side's attorney's billable hours for all the time an effort they took in trouncing you. Unfortunately, lawyers are always right, about everything, all the time. Which was bad for this idiot. He was just so right about what a killer argument he had that he couldn't understand when the court dismissed the case. So, he sued again in another case with the same argument--they just needed to read it over again, you see. Case dismissed. So, what does he do? Yup. Same argument. Only this time the Court dismissed and the other side brought down the Rule 11 hammer.
"Defendants argue that Mr. deLone should have been aware that the complaint did not state a claim cognizable under section 1983 because Mr. deLone himself litigated the cases which established the controlling law in this judicial circuit,...sanctions in the amount of the attorney’s fees and costs reasonably incurred by the defendants, and no greater than necessary to adequately deter Mr. deLone from engaging in similar conduct in the future."

I know that might not sound too bad to some of you, but every lawyer out there just experienced some shrinkage, even the women.

A+ B Movies

Ah, revenge. Garm and I love revenge movies. Mostly because we dream of methodically slaughtering our way through our enemies until we find the person responsible and beat them to death...what, don't you want to do that too? Get Carter was a 1971 British mob-action movie. In 2000, the yanks got a hold of it. Sly Stallone plays Jack Carter, mob muscle. His brother dies, and Carter starts shaking trees--what falls out is a great performance. This is a simple, brutal, slick revenge movie. Like Man on Fire, which probably more people saw, this movie really grabs you and doesn't let go. A great cast, a great twist, realistic fight scenes, and experimental editing makes this movie worth watching. Old folks will be asking why the car turned upside down and kids will be scarred for life, but if you hanker for sweet, sweet revenge give this somewhat lesser-known flick a try.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

While everyone on the Left. . .

seems to think that Bush and the Republicans are the sole reason so many have died/are dying in NOLA, I ran across some interesting photos over at the JunkYardBlog. First the analysis of the photo:

With the improved resolution we count 255 buses in that one lot. That means at a capacity of 66 on board, 16,830 New Orleans residents could have been evacced out in one trip. Even if you have a lower capacity per bus, say 50 per bus, you're still getting nearly 13,000 out in one run. In an emergency mandatory evacuation, you could probably get away with putting more than 66 on each of those buses.
And here's the photo:Now, did Bush control those buses? No. The local government does and did. Now they're as waterlogged as the rest of New Orleans. Again I'll quote the JunkYard Blog, since it's late and I don't have time tonight to write too much:

Led by Jesse Jackson, Robert F. Kennedy Jr and a slew of other major leftists who can't win political power the legal way, a larger than reasonable number of Americans have been sniffing revolutionary airs since the crisis started. They have tried to turn hurricane Katrina into a race war. They have blamed the crisis on everything from Bush hating blacks to the Iraq war to irrelevant budget cuts to whatever canard they could dream up. We should ask ourselves, to what end? Bush isn't running for re-election in 2008. He'll leave office soon enough. So why stir up so much animosity in the midst of crisis? What is their end game, or are they just driven by pure hate?
If we let Ray Nagin, Jesse Jackson, RFK Jr and the rest of the leftist mob define Katrina and tell us what went wrong, the coming big bang will be dangerous. These are dangerous people. They taste the air and sense blood. They feed on misery. They must be answered, they must be pushed back, or they will win.
Ditto. It's time for the residents of New Orleans to start asking Mayor Nagin some hard questions instead of just asking them of the Federal Government. Read the whole thing.

RIP Rehnquist

Our condolences to his family and we thank him for his many years of service to our country.

I'll post thoughts on the political aspects and implications of this later, hopefully tomorrow, but for now I'll say this, and if anybody finds it in poor taste, I'm sorry, but not THAT sorry. Hopefully the late Chief Justice would see the humor:


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gas Panic Hits Georgia

(note: this is a dual-authored post. See below for updates. genie is reporting on the situation in South/Mid GA., where he lives, and Garm is doing the same up in the Atlanta Metro Area)

Rumors are flying, but the word on the street is that gas stations are running out of gas because of the hurricane. All over South GA they're stacked five to ten deep on each pump waiting to fill up because at 4pm they're shutting down. No more gas. At least for the day. Prices are above 3 dollars a gal. There's talk of rationing. More updates if I get them. -genie junkie

Update: Governor calls for calm. Here's a two-hour old report on the circumstances. -genie junkie

Update: It's even worse in the ATL and the AMA. Here's the report from an Atlanta news station:

Hurricane Katrina knocked out power to two pipelines that bring gas and jet fuel into the region. The lines have been down for two days while the Metro typically holds onto a 10-day supply of gasoline.
Governor Perdue said he contacted the state's gas distributors Wednesday morning and has been assured that they are working to address the supply problem. He said that a significant amount of the state's gas supplies are not affected because they arrive at the port, not by pipeline.

"To further ease the supply problem, we have temporarily waived the fuel additive requirements to expand the supply of gasoline," he said. The EPA approved the request to waive the additive, which allows for more types of fuel to come into the metro area.

Local news outlets are NOT reporting that the pumps are to be shut down at any specific time, at least in the AMA, but logic suggests that when the tanks run dry, the pumps will too. People are rushing to stations to hoard gas, which is NOT helping any of us, according to GA. Gov. Sonny Perdue. Word on the street and eyes-on experience saw long lines in the burbs and out in West Georgia, including one gas station patron filling at least 15 3 gallon gas containers. Will update. -Garm

Update: Local TV news is showing video of a few gas stations literally changing their prices by the minute, in a couple of cases as high as $5+ per gallon. Is this gouging? I don't know, and no one in the local media has said anything, but I have yet to see any "big name" stations (BP, QT, etc.) doing this yet. Cancel that. Just saw a BP with $5.87 posted. -Garm

Update: Governor Purdue at his press conference denounces any price gouging and urges patience, conservation. Ironically, some stations are lowering their prices, thus gaining more customers. IMHO, this "panic" is temporary; unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the message here in the ATL. Here's hoping people will take a deep breath overnight and be a little more thoughtful tomorrow. According to local interviews with gas station patrons, most of the "panic" is word-of-mouth/Internet gossip. Their panic over a possible gas shortage is actually creating that shortage, or at least snowballing its creation. -Garm

Update: Similar panic has been reported in FL, though it is also reported as false. -Garm

Update, Day 2: In the AMA local media is still reporting shortages, though IMO and in the opinion of local government agencies, the shortage is mostly due to citizens rushing to the gas stations and also the hoarding of gasoline. The pipelines are back open, though running at much lower capacity; the lines are being run without pumps in Mississippi, which obviously doesn't allow the same amount of flow as a week ago. Petroleum is arriving in Savannah, and officials say that gas supply will normalize by the weekend. The prices will still be elevated somewhat, but price-gouging cases are already being investigated. Like I said yesterday, hopefully people are analyzing the situation and calming down somewhat. Go here for the latest (as of this post) local news -Garm

International help after Katrina

Russia is offering assistance. And so is (surprise) Venezuela, of all countries. Good for them. Lord knows that the Gulf States affected by the hurricane need any help they can get. So I guess I can cross Russia and Venezuela off the list of countries who only pay lip service to being our "friends." I should be mad, but I'm sufficiently numb to the fact that much of the rest of the world hates the U.S., regardless of the good things we've done for them that I'm not THAT angry. As Kira says:
There is no international relief effort for America's tragedies. And we don'’t expect any. Americans will take care of their own. . . again.
Update: Looks like some in the international community ARE starting to help out with the disaster. Check out The Bad Hair Blog for details. I stand by my "sufficiently numb" comment above.

Steven Seagal Watch #9

Oh, yes! He's back again. New movie? New Album? Defusing another Atomic Bomb? No, the one-time Mountain Dew pitch man is wants you to taste something: his berries. Yes, the "Glimmer Man" has his own line of energy drinks. Here's a real quote (I swear I did not make this up): "I have traveled the world creating this drink; there is none better that I know," he whispered. The secret formula has something to do with the mystical Tibetan goji berries, which, as we all know, grow only in the deepest hidden valleys of the Himalayas where they are guarded by the mighty yeti. Keep on the look out for Garm to post on Seagal's brush with the mob, since one of his producer buddies just got out of jail.

Until next time: WWSSD (which I guess means What would he drink in this case.)

(Ed. note: I swear, when I first looked at the above picture, it took me a second to realize that it's a PLASTIC head of Seagal. -Garm)