31 March 2008

No More Pizza Hut For Me.

A pizza deliveryman told Des Moines police that he shot a man who robbed him at gunpoint when he delivered a pie late Thursday to a south-side address. The alleged assailant, Kenneth Jimmerson, 19, was taken to Mercy Medical Center in serious condition. He was charged this morning with first-degree robbery and will be taken to Polk County Jail when released from the hospital, police said. Melanie Stout, 18, the woman who placed the order for the pizzas, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.
This is music to my ears, but bad news for the bedwetters that want to ensure law-abiding folk are unarmed everywhere and are therefore guaranteed prey for criminals.
Restaurant officials have suspended the Pizza Hut driver, James William Spiers, while the case is under investigation. Polk County officials today confirmed that Spiers holds a valid gun permit, which was renewed in November.
And there's the punched-in-the-gut line. Well, Pizza Hut will get no more of my business, unless (maybe) they rehire this guy with a raise and apology. I'd like to see the part of the delivery man's employment contract that states he gives up his rights as a citizen just becuase he's on their dime.

UPDATE: An Iowa politician with some spine!:
"I think what he did was the right thing," Zaun told fellow senators today. "If was in a situation to protect my family, protect myself, to continue being a father, I would’ve done the same thing."Zaun said it was appropriate for Pizza Hut to suspend Spiers while authorities sort out the case, but "I’m going to be watching Pizza Hut.""What I want everybody to know ... is that there is people out there supporting this man and his right to defend himself," Zaun said.

30 March 2008

Liveblogging the Merseyside Derby

11:54 - Final whistle; Liverpool 1-0 Everton. The two halves were very different. Everton had more chances in the second half but not so much because they improved but because Liverpool really lost their steam. A win is a win, but it should have been 3-0. At least it'll be something to stick in Mirengoff's craw for another summer.

11:53 - Last sub for Liverpool; Peter Crouch for Steven Gerrard.

11:49 - Silly yellow taken by Torres. He's frustrated and he's coming off for Jermaine Pennant. Gerrard get a very good shot. Three mintutes of added time.

11:48 - Some life from the Reds. Benayoun works the ball forward that eventually leads to a curling shot from Kuyt that comes as close as the Reds have come in the second half.

11:42 - Liverpool still hold psession advantage but play has slowed. Liverpool sub Yossi Benayoun for Ryan Babel.

11:31 - Osman is moving up and putting on more forward pressure. Everton's second sub; Leighton Bianes on for Phil Neville. Another (fourth) Everton yellow, this one undeserved for Jagielka.

11:26 - Liverpool are looking jittery and bunched up. They've lsot some of their first-half potency.

11:22 - Everton's first substitution; Manuel Fernandes in for Steven Pienaar.

11:19 - Arteta's free kick comes in close to the goal. First real threat from a set piece.

11:13 - Better from Everton. They're winning more challenges for the ball. So far not as wide open as the first half. Still only Yakubu up front for Everton.

11:05 - And we are back. I had missed the late (third) yellow card for Everton; Pienaar on Babel at the end of the first half.

10:48 - Halftime; Liverpool 1-0 Everton.

10:46 - Liverpool move the ball from the corner to the front, but Kuyt's shot is weak. More of these chances need to be converted.

10:40 - Yakubu fouls Sami Hyypia. He's mad for not getting any support up front and couldn't make anything from drawing a cheap foul minutes earlier from Hyypia. Pepe Reina plays up the field that results in a Gerrard shot that hit the post.

10:33 - Torres is fouled by Jagielka resulting in anther good free kick that could have been converted.

10:30 - John Arne Riise delivers into the box but Ryan Babel can't get to it. That should have been a goal.

10:27 - Nice corner from Steven Gerrard, curling in; Kuyt could've gotten closer without Neville tugging his kit.

10:25 - Everton better now in the Reds end, but Liverpool keep making the long ball work.

10:20 - Phil Neville show a yellow card. What a shocker. Everton's midfiled tactics are not unlike those of a Philadelphia carjacker.

10:18 Dirk Kuyt with a drive on net after Torres gives Everton a spin. Good possesion by Livepool so far.

10:13 Mikel Arteta fouls Xabi Alonso. Everton still not off the back foot yet.

10:10 - Lee Carsley demonstrates the grace of a tanker truck on ice and earns the day's first yellow card. Everton players are notorious for getting sent off in this derby.

10:09 - GOAL! Fenando Torres at 7 minutes. Excellent finish. Liverpool 1-0 Everton.

10:05 - Good, brisk movement from the Reds.

10:00 - We're underway from Anfield!

Liverpool's lineup: Reina in net , Carragher, Hyypia, Skrtel & Riise defending, Lucas, Gerrard, Alonso and Babel in the middle and Torres and Kuyt up front.

Everton offer: Tim Howard in net, with Hibbert, Yobo, Jagielka and Lescott defending, Arteta, Neville, Carsley, Pienaar and Osman in the middle and Yakubu attacking.

29 March 2008

Hope in Europe

What is someone came to power in an EU nation who was not a predictable cowardly appeaser?

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing. As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.

The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate Gordon Brown's determination to attend the Olympics.

Hey, it's only the Olympics, but it's a start.

Losing and Losing Badly

As if the Vancouver Canucks need to further convince the public of thier loser status, last night they opened the bag of cheap and dirty AFTER going behind by 4 goals and having to revert to their backup netminder. The only thing as sad as the way the Canucks conducted themselves was the way the Canadian media glosses over the spearing and match penalties they took.

28 March 2008

When Corruption Only Merits Page 16

You couldn't keep scum like Larry Craig and Tom Delay off page 1, but this item has a nice little cozy hiding place well out of teh bright light of the drive-by legacy media:

Puerto Rico's governor and four Philadelphians, including prominent fund-raiser Robert M. Feldman, were charged this morning in San Juan with federal campaign-finance related crimes. The investigation of Gov. Anibal Acevedo-Vila, a Democrat who faces re-election this year, was triggered by the FBI's Philadelphia City Hall corruption probe in 2003.

The governor was charged with conspiracy to violate federal campaign laws, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and filing a false tax return.

Luis Fraticelli, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Juan Field Office, said, "Our democratic system cannot function when public officials act as though they are above the law. Feldman, who raised more than $1 million for Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and Gov. Rendell, was a former business partner of Ronald A. White, the late power-broker who was the lead defendant in the Philadelphia corruption case.

Anibal Acevedo-Vila - just another Rezko-grade big-hitter advising Hispanic-challenged Barack Obama:
The case could have political ramifications beyond Philadelphia and San Juan. Acevedo-Vila has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in the Puerto Rico primary, which holds the nation's last primary on June 6.

It All Starts at Home

Barack Obama promises free health care, free college, good jobs and no taxes on anyone but trillionaires. He's going to take care of you in with some messianic federal umbrella. Trouble is, he hasn't figured out to take care of his own situation.

Several bloggers have note another curious fact about Barack Obama's tax returns: despite over $1.6 million in Schedule C income, most of it from royalties on his book, he did not take the elemental tax planning step of establishing a SEP-IRA. The tax magic is that you can shelter up to 25% of your self-employment income (up to $180,000 in 2007), and the investment earnings accumlate tax-free until withdrawn at retirement. Greg Mankiw (Harvard) suggests possible reasons that Obama did not do this:

Maybe he is getting bad tax advice. Or maybe he is expecting vastly higher tax rates in the future when the accumulated savings will need to be withdrawn and taxed. As Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee has written, "Future increases in tax rates potentially threaten to significantly reduce the value of your retirement savings and may even mean that you should not save in 401(k) accounts at all."

Just a Glimpse of Yellow

The light goes from green to red with but a glimpse of yellow inbetween but, hey; we are talking about public safety, right?
1) Chattanooga, Tennessee - The city of Chattanooga was forced refund $8800 in red light cameras tickets issued to motorists trapped by an illegally short yellow time.

2) Dallas, Texas - An investigation by KDFW-TV, a local TV station, found that of the ten cameras that issued the greatest number of tickets in the city, seven were located at intersections where the yellow duration is shorter than the bare minimum recommended by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

3) Springfield, Missouri - The city of Springfield, Missouri prepared for the installation of a red light camera system in 2007 by slashing the yellow warning time by one second at 105 state-owned intersection signals across the city.

4) Lubbock, Texas - KBCD, a local television station, exposed the city’s short timing of yellow lights at eight of the twelve intersections where the devices were to be installed.

5)Nashville, Tennessee - Even without red light cameras, police in Nashville, Tennessee have been earning hundreds of thousands in revenue by trapping motorists in conventional ticket traps at city intersections with the shortest yellow warning time.

6) Union City, California - In 2005, Union City, California was caught trapping motorists with a yellow signal time 1.3 seconds below the minimum established by state law. As a result, the city was forced to refund more than $1 million in red light camera fines.
Makes you want to pay attention to the next city council election in your town, doesn't it?


That's how many people have seen this. Why haven't more seen it? It is hard to watch. It's also easier to deny.

Fitna - It's not propaganda when it's their words and their actions. More on Geert Wilders and his film here.

A Dutch judge is expected to rule Friday on a petition filed by the Netherlands Islamic Federation that wants a ruling saying the film violates Dutch hate speech laws. The group is also seeking fines for every day the film is aired. But according to Houtzager, the film appears to fall within the boundaries of the law. "Obviously it brings forth negative aspects of the religion of Islam, but it doesn't specifically focus on the group of Muslims in the Netherlands."

There's also the problem of banning information in the age of the Internet. "Even if the court agreed on a ban of the film from the website originally broadcasting it, it would be difficult to ban it from mirror sites copying it," says Houtzager. The film is
currently making the rounds on YouTube as well as other video-sharing sites. And because the original site was based in Britain, Houtzager says it's out of Dutch jurisdiction.
UPDATE - LiveLeak cracked under threats real or imagined, but YouTube is still in business:

Do You See the Light?

One of the by products of the public at large becoming aware of Jeremiah Wright is Legacy Media playing the Goose/Gander card. In this case, if Obama has an ignorant bigmouth for a spiritual advisor, surely Hillary must also have some religious vulnerability, right? Well, when the clowns at The Nation go looking, don't you dare tell them they won't find anything even vaguely similar:

So there's a Bible study group she belonged to in the White House and another in the Senate, which is sponsored by The Family. So what. A Bible study group, as probably no one at the Nation knows, it not like a secret society. You sit around and discuss the Bible and pray some. No animals are sacrificed or blood oaths taken. No coded messages exchanged.

Perhaps we can put this in terms the Nation might understand. Imagine there is a reading group that gets together to read Gramsci's Prison Notebooks and debate whether it is heretical or not. The shabby bookstore they meet in, several members of the group, and who knows what else, is probably one degree of separation or two from the Red Army Faction and the FARC. It's a small world. This doesn't mean everybody in the reading group is a Red, though granted, it's reason to pause for thought.

Wow - I'm defending Hillary Clinton; quite the unmedicated mood swing, even for me.

Finally - Something of Value from Berkeley

So maybe Edison wasn't there first:
Scott’s device had a barrel-shaped horn attached to a stylus, which etched sound waves onto sheets of paper blackened by smoke from an oil lamp. The recordings were not intended for listening; the idea of audio playback had not been conceived. Rather, Scott sought to create a paper record of human speech that could later be deciphered.

But the Lawrence Berkeley scientists used optical imaging and a “virtual stylus” on high-resolution scans of the phonautogram, deploying modern technology to extract sound from patterns inscribed on the soot-blackened paper almost a century and a half ago. The scientists belong to an informal collaborative called First Sounds that also includes audio historians and sound engineers.
Thanks to Flamer for the tip.

23 March 2008

Sanctimony via Bumper Sticker

I saw one of these on a first-generation Prius the other day.

I might not have noticed the car at all, except the driver was too busy with his phone call to care that he was straddling two lanes. In addition to the cheery rainbowness, there was that catch-all equals symbol, one humping an overpriced, local, boutique college and a one of those leftover Kerry/Edwards tags.

Armed with this obersvational evidence, I began to wonder about the parameters of the diversity the I was supposed to be celebrating, presuming the sticker-bearer was the model of diversity celebration themselves.

I mean, when was the last time the driver had red meat or drank beer out of a can? How much country music is on their iPod and what's the last movie they saw that featured a car explosion? Who the last conservative candidate that won their vote? What was the last sporting event they saw that didn't involve children? When's the last time they spent 10 minutes with someone not just like them?

How diverse are they really?

21 March 2008

Screwed Again by Privacy Policies

We're so civilized around here, we keep secret the name of this stabby little princess.

A 15-year-old girl has been arrested for allegedly slashing the throat of a taxi driver after she refused to pay her fare.

The girl was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault and booked into the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center where she was awaiting charges on Thursday. Her name was not released because she is a juvenile.

We wouldn't want the public to know her name in order to avoid the precious little psychopath.

Meanwhile, in other stabby, 15-year old girl news:
A 15-year-old girl arrested three weeks ago on charges she lashed out at undercover St. Paul police officers was arrested again Thursday night — this time accused of robbing a teen at knifepoint in St. Paul, police said Friday.

Thursday night's incident happened about a block from the Feb. 27 encounter with the officers. The 15-year-old held a knife to the throat of a 16-year-old girl, whom she apparently didn't know, threatened her and stole her purse, said Tom Walsh, police spokesman. A 20-year-old woman also was involved in the robbery about 6:30 p.m. outside the Super USA gas station at 976 E. Seventh St., Walsh said.
When sharp things are outlawed, only outlaws will have sharp things.

You Don't Need a Gun

It's ridiculous for anyone to consider keeping a firearm for self-defense. I mean, that's why we have the police, right?
WEST COVINA, Calif. (AP) - A woman was asking a 911 dispatcher for help when her pleas were interrupted by gunshots, then silence. She was shot to death.

The woman told the dispatcher someone was trying to break into her home in upscale West Covina, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Dan Rosenberg said. "Deputies heard gunshots followed by silence and an open phone line," he said.

The woman . . . had been shot several times. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene. "At this point we believe it was a burglary gone awry," Rosenberg said.
As if burglaries ever occur in a manner that satisfies all parties.

Anti-Second Amendment kooks take a warm, fuzzy feeling with them to bed every night. That feeling tells them that individuals have no right to protect themselves from predators and should be resigned to shrug their shoulders and stand aside for felonies committed in their own homes.

To these kooks, that warm, fuzzy feeling is more valuable than the life of another person.

20 March 2008

Where's the Heat?

No, I'm not complaining about the snow on this spring day in Minnesota, I'm just thinking of other ways to say "I told you so."

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So (Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory) has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says.

Pass the road salt.

When Unification is No Longer Stylish

There comes a point when persuit of every individual feel-good folly consumes 50.1% of an agenda. That's when the reason everyone came together in the first place dissolves:
There are no details on the budget, yet there is an agreement on taxcuts (a demand from the liberals) and on an increase of the social benefits (a demand from the social-democrats), in addition to a commitment not to create a budget deficit. Perhaps they do believe in manna from heaven after all.

Nothing is said about the Flemish demands to regionalise the social security system, employment policies and other responsibilities they wanted to transfer from the national to the regional levels. Nothing is said about how they will solve the problem with Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, without which future elections will be unconstitutional.
Once these screwheads start dinking around with the last true Belgians, NATO should invade.

What Elephants Teach Us

The way free markets work is slightly more complicated than what Anderson Cooper might tell you:
Kenya banned the killing of elephants in 1979, effectively nationalising its herd. At around the same time, Rhodesia (as it still was) made elephants the property of those whose land they were on.

The result? Thirty years on, Kenyan elephants have been all but wiped out, while Zimbabwe’s are as numerous as ever.
Private property rights; it's what keeps This Place from crumbling into the East River. Understand? No?

OK - rebate checks, rebate checks!

19 March 2008

Poor, Vulnerable China

I think the 'life and death' claim pretty much guarantees which side will get the death:
Chinese officials blasted the Dalai Lama as a "wolf in monk's robes" Wednesday and said protests among Tibetans this month have sparked a life-and-death struggle between China and followers of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
Yea. I can see where the Dalai Lama and Tibetan forces are rally having their way with the Chinese military.

State media, meanwhile, reported more than 100 people had surrendered to police in and around Tibet's regional capital of Lhasa, where peaceful protests against Chinese rule turned violent last Friday. The communist government had promised leniency for those who handed themselves in and harsh punishment for those who did not.
Chinese leniency; none for me, thanks.

Foreign media are banned from Tibet, and China's entirely state-controlled media have faithfully reported only the official version of events, in which the government has said rioters killed 16 people. The government said troops did not fire on protesters and has denied claims by overseas Tibetan groups that 80 people were killed.
Can't wait to see those smoggy opening ceremonies.


"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."
Declaring that he is no longer a "brain-dead liberal", the famed American playwright performed the ultimate act of treason. After turning his back on a lifetime of progressive beliefs, (David)Mamet was flayed for staining his artistic credentials.

For the Left, Mamet's days as a provocative playwright are over.

The leftist glitterati is justifiably upset about Mamet's rejection of progressive beliefs. After all, he unpeeled the layers of hypocrisy of those who have made plenty of money, feeding very nicely on the fruits of capitalism, only to espouse anti-capitalist dogma because, let's face it, it feels so damngood.

18 March 2008

The Old 'Religion of Peace' Two-Fer

There are always both parts to these kind of stories: The overt hate crime that'd be bigger news if the shoe was on the other foot:
An Anglican priest in London was attacked by a group of young South Asians while being verbally blasted for his Christian faith, a report said. Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, who was attacked while wearing his clerical collar, is expected to be able to leave the hospital within a few days after being attacked nearly two weeks ago, The Times of London reported.
And the transparent backpedaling that attempts to sweep it under the prayer rug:
Kamil Ahmed, leader at the Ensign Youth Club, based on a council estate close to the church, said: "There are a lot of 14 to 16-year-old Asians, drunk and high on cocaine, wandering round the estate."It might be the people responsible for this attack reacted badly to being told off rather than targeting the church in a faith hate way." Local Respect Party councillor Abjol Miah said: "There are always individuals who will cause trouble."

Always Shout the Talking Points

That's probably what it says the little red books Howard Dean sends to all the faithfull.

In this instance, Peter's giant skull is so full of the hip, lefty jargon; he's just GOT to let it out!Even when he incorrectly uses the terms in a mall-centered teenager sorta way:
“Tyler Duvall is a little pointy-headed neocon with grand ideas about the future of transportation, and they all involve tolling,” DeFazio said. “He’s bright, young, energetic — just totally wrong, and has a bizarre, neocon view of transportation.”

And what, pray tell is the “neocon view on transportation”? Perhaps it’s Jews who want America to battle for private roads in Iraq to somehow benefit Israel? Tough to tell. We’re just waiting for the neocon influence to rear its ugly, traitorous head at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

George Clooney's Really Nice Watch

When the public activism becomes just another role:
If his previous form is anything to go by, the Tibetans should soon be able to count on the support of Hollywood star George Clooney in their struggle for freedom. After all, the man anointed by the media as the “heartthrob with a conscience” must have been pretty outspoken about China’s indirect responsibility for the on-going genocide in Darfur, right?

Well, not really.

“I have talked with Omega (about China) for over a year and will continue to talk to Omega,” Clooney told BBC Sport. “I have and will go to the places I and China do business and ask for help.”
What time is it, George?

I'd Like To Believe the Chief

But, alas, it is Minneapolis we're talking about:

Photo enforcement of red-light violations is proven to reduce accidents -- accidents that kill and severely injure far too many people.

Police chiefs in other cities already using photo enforcement tell me that "everyone becomes more law abiding very quickly" when it is used. And it is technology that Minnesota should use, too.

Think of your safety and the safety of your loved ones. We need photo traffic enforcement in Minnesota.


I want to be on your side, Chief Dolan, but I don't trust the spoiled children who run that municipal encounter group called Minneapolis. The mayor and council play city all day long, believing they are so progressive, but they are really behind the curve when it comes to so many areas of modern city administration.

First, red light cameras won't do anything to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. All the camera does is take a picture after the fact. The ONLY way there will be safer streets is if those who run the red lights have their cars impounded and are put in jail. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege that should be speedily rescinded from the slackjaws that make driving dangerous.

Second, the Minnesota Supreme Court already said the city cannot punish the car. You have the law changed that essentially allows for prosecution without definite identification of the driver. It'll be interesting to see the reaction of the usual reactionary types on this one since they're so politically inconsistent. You know who they are - on one hand, they freak out if you ask them for identification at a polling place, but on the other hand, they'd gladly let Barack Obama see all their private medical charts if it meant getting free health care.

Third, and this is the Biggest Third Ever, Chief: You and that play city you're paid to protect had better be way out in the open about:
  • how locations are chosen,
  • how it's going to function,
  • how the prosecution will operate
  • how much money is in it for the city
  • how much money is in it for the for-profit, 3rd-party provider that will install and operate the whole thing?
Will the lights be retimed to catch manufacture more violations like they were in Garland, Texas? Will the outside company get a larger percentage of the fines like in Knoxville? Will the whole noble effort be tossed on the scrap heap is the revenue doesn't meet the projections like in Dallas, therefore reducing the whole safety crusade to a talking point?

How about this for an insight into council's chambers - Will the city dedicate the proceeds from violations to budget item that requires constant or increasing funding into perpetuity?

This has got to be about the enforcement and not about the money grab. Stop playing the progressive card, Minneapolis; this red light camera voodoo is failing all over the country and you're not even in the pool yet.

Pulp Comics

Ever wonder how one of the finest rock songs ever would translate into an Archie comic?

'Boo Hoo' Cired the Babies

Just another reminder that the adult-child dependency brokers/enablers are at the helm in Saint Paul:

DFL legislative leaders say they're troubled that Gov. Pawlenty hasn't been meeting with lawmakers to discuss legislative issues. (L)egislative leaders in both the House and Senate have ramped up their criticism of Gov. Pawlenty's travel. For weeks, they have made subtle and not so subtle comments regarding Pawlenty's out-of-state trips.

Oooo. Sounds like a serious charge. Is this travel typical of a modern state governor? Well we don't know, MPR didn't offer any comparisons in the story to establish context.

(DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson) Kelliher said she's worried that Pawlenty has not been meeting with her or other DFL legislative leaders. She said the last time she met with the governor was on Feb. 13, one day after the legislative session started. DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich said he hopes to see the governor come to the table as budget negotiations intensify. "I think it's shocking. It would be shocking to Minnesotans to know that their governor and their elected legislative leaders have not been in the same room since the start of the legislative session," Sertich said. "I've seen him more on the Sunday morning TV talk shows ... than I've been in the room with him."

Well, that does it; we can't have bedwetters like Tony Sertich walking around 'shocked.' Sounds like Governor Pawlenty is irresponsibly and completely AWOL. I wonder how many times, during their ram-it-through-quickly session, they've actually invited the governor into their sweat lodge of True Believers?

House Speaker Margaret Kelliher acknowledged she hasn't invited the governor to any meetings. She said she'd be happy to hold one in her office if the governor would attend.

Well, well; leave it to MPR to bury the lead in the last paragraph. What's this? Somehting from the other side?

"An average listener listening to this MPR story would get the impression that the governor has been gone and missed a lot of work. That's just not the case," said (Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian) McClung. "He has been out of the state. A vast majority of that time was on weekends, and the eight weekdays that he's been out were for official business."

Oh, now, keep it down McClung, we can't have any dissent. Things like the facts concerning a non-story like this are never really appropriate.

13 March 2008

Your Nanny State Preview

This is pretty close to a Reynoldsism: "They told me if Bush were reelected there would be no-authority busybodies wandering our cities and regulating parental judgement, and they were right!"
When she arrived, she parked in a loading zone. Her 2-year-old daughter Phoebe was asleep, so Coyne locked the car and activated the alarm, then took her two older daughters and another child to the Salvation Army donation kettle about 10 yards away.

A community service officer intercepted Coyne on her way back to the car. Crestwood police then arrested her.
Clinton and Obama are falling all over themselves in order to take care of your every need. And it will be mandatory. Wow, sign me up.

Not entirely unrelated:
Mark Brannon . . . told the deputy he was sick and in need of medical help. But instead of getting medical assistance, Brannon -- who does take pain medication -- was arrested for DUI. Randy Brannon says his father "blew a zero on the breathalyzer, but they wouldn't release him until 2:00 a.m."

Although there is a medical unit in Central booking, Brannon's family says Mark didn't receive medical attention until he was released. He then went straight to a doctor. "He could hardly walk. He was gasping for air," Randy explains.

09 March 2008

A Uniter Not a Compromiser


The Obama campaign has sent journalists eight pages of examples of his reaching across the aisle in the Senate. But these are small-bore items of almost no controversy - more help for war veterans, reducing loose nukes in the former Soviet Union and the like. Bipartisan support for apple pie is hardly a profile in courage.

On the difficult compromises that required the political courage to challenge one's own political constituency, Obama flinched: the "gang of 14" compromise on judicial appointments, the immigration compromise to which Obama tried to append union-backed killer amendments, and, just last month, the compromise on warrantless eavesdropping that garnered 68 votes in the Senate. But not Obama's.

Who, in fact, supported all of these bipartisan deals, was a central player in two of them, and brokered the even more notorious McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform? John McCain, of course.

Like, Omigod - Hillary Fer Sure!

There is no worse endorsement for a political candidate that a bumper sticker on a car driven by an inattentive lout. Well, except maybe for this:
She's so much more polished and experienced than anyone else. Last night, a friend, a social worker in L.A. who works with underprivileged kids, was saying how these girls who have never been interested in politics before are so excited that a woman might be president. I mean, look how many women are in government…Hillary's one of, what, [a handful of] female senators? I also like Obama. I even like McCain. I disagree with his war stance—which is a really big deal—but I think he's a very moral person. I met him and Hillary on the same day, actually, when I went to Washington with Finca [a nonprofit that gives loans to businesswomen in developing countries]. Hillary was by far the smartest person I met that day. Just totally focused, and knew more about the issues than anyone else, and was so able to go from one thing to the other.
Sometimes dense things come in pretty packages.

07 March 2008

She Said, She Said Something Else

Last week, local legacy media eagerly swallowed the bait:
Jennifer Boulden had just made a slow U-turn on Hwy. 169 south of Shakopee, when the guy coming up fast behind her started honking and motioning to pull over. She stopped on the shoulder and the man got out of his pickup. She rolled her window down and said he started screaming at her. He walked away, and she followed him to his truck, trying to apologize. He kept swearing. She got scared and tried to call 911, but he grabbed her cell phone and threw it on the highway, she said. It shattered. Then he picked up the 5-foot-5, 125-pound mother of five from Prior Lake and tossed her. "I was high in the air and then I was in [the] middle of 169 northbound," she recalled from her hospital bed Thursday morning at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee. "I remember rolling over and hearing skidding brakes. A lady got out and stopped traffic. A man ran and scooped me up and carried me to side of road."
All the trappings of the kind of story local media love: A huge, mean man in a big truck abuses petite soccer mom just trying to do the right thing. Fortunately, in this case, law enforcement did the right thing, poked around, asked questions and didn't accept the easy, first draft of the story:
A Prior Lake woman who said an enraged driver threw her onto Hwy. 169 near Shakopee last week has changed her story after police confronted her with conflicting statements from other witnesses. Boulden was talking on her cell phone when she made a U-turn on Hwy. 169 near the Mobile Manor Trailer Park. She pulled into the passing lane in front of a man driving a pickup truck. He locked up his brakes and swerved into the grassy median to avoid a collision on the four-lane highway. He drove back into the lane behind her.

The pickup driver walked up to Boulden, who rolled down her window. He yelled at her for her poor driving and using a cell phone, then returned to his truck, where a woman and two children waited. Boulden walked back to his pickup and argued with him. The man wanted to leave, but she tried to keep him from shutting his driver's door. He pushed her down. Her cell phone fell and broke. He drove away.
That there is a different story that the one she spun last week, the one that every media outlet screamed from the top of the hill.

Boulden could not be reached for comment today.
That's also a change, because when she had everyone believing her story, you couldn't keep her off tee vee.

Actuarialize This

Something to think about as people ask you to trade your vote for free shit paid for by unnamed others:

So now it’s election season 2008, and the candidates are talking about the “health care crisis.” It’s a funny sort of crisis in one sense, because people are managing to survive to be older and healthier than they were before the crisis. But if a politician insists it’s a crisis, who are we to argue?

The idea of (Hillary's) mandate, though, is that if you include these low-risk people in the whole insurance pool, the premiums they pay can be added back to the pot for older people and people with serious illnesses, which makes the insurance more “affordable” — for them. It’s exactly the same situation as if we charge a 25-year-old the same amount for a year’s term life insurance as we charge his 75-year-old grandfather: it may make the insurance more affordable for Granddad, but it does so by overcharging young Elmo. Add in the “mandate,” so Elmo can’t opt out, and we have a universal care plan that forces Elmo to pay for services he doesn’t get so that Granddad can pay less for the services he gets. But it’s “voluntary” — you get to pick your insurance plan to some extent — and it’s not “tax-supported” because you are just paying the insurance company directly.

So in this mandated universal coverage plan, the government comes and makes me give someone money so it can be distributed to other people, and I don’t have any choice about participating. Where I come from, we call that a “tax.” Whatever it is, it ain’t insurance.

Read it all. It's a good lesson in the study of broken, diseased government and how delusional voters are reached.

Nancy Needs to Choose

What the hell is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? From a playing-the-game perspective, her only real strategy seems to be to take the side opposite the nearest non-liberal. Before she throws in with the side opposite the presumptive Republican nominee, in this case, she might want to consider what side she's therefore advocating:
Nancy Pelosi . . . said Boeing had been on course to supply the US Air Force with tankers until Mr McCain "intervened." "My understanding is that it was on course for Boeing before. I mean, the thought was that it would be a domestic supplier for it," Ms Pelosi told reporters. "Senator McCain intervened, and now we have a situation where the contract may be - this work may be outsourced."
Oooo . . . I guess McCain is really un-American, huh Nancy?

The air force originally chose Boeing to supply it with 100 tankers. But Congress cancelled the deal after it emerged that Darleen Druyun, a former top air force acquisitions official, had held illegal job discussions with Boeing while still negotiating the deal. Ms Druyun admitted boosting the value of the deal to help Boeing. Mr McCain has pointed to his aggressive investigation into the Boeing deal as evidence that he is willing to stand up to powerful corporate interests. The tanker scandal claimed the career of former Boeing chief executive Phil Condit. Ms Druyun and Mike Sears, Boeing's former chief financial officer, were sent to jail.
Hmmm. Seems McCain is trying to make sure the deal is square, and not spun unfairly by now-imprisoned Boeing clowns. I think Pelosi should come right out and say (in order to spite McCain) that she's in favor of corruption in the process of issuing military contracts.

Every Day I Get In the Queue

Sometimes the people in the carrot business need to remember where their sticks are stored.
Muni drivers have reported over the last couple of weeks that people have been shutting down the power on their buses by flipping a switch that can be accessed easily through an unlocked panel on the outside of the bus. When that happens, the drivers can't accelerate, they lose radio contact with dispatchers and the interior lights on the buses go out.

News of the bus tampering comes as Muni officials are working with police to step up patrols along parts of the 44-O'Shaughnessy and 54-Felton routes, particularly in and around the public housing projects. There, witnesses reported that teenagers and young adults have thrown rocks at the buses, breaking windows and denting the bodies, officials said. A couple of drivers reported being assaulted, although nobody has been seriously injured.
So, local hoodlums aren't fully embracing hybrid public transportation in San Francisco? I'm surprised they haven't deployed the National Guard. Oh, that's right - the only thing more heinous that obscuring the Green Life is anything involving the military.

Perhaps the answer is to replace the easily-foiled busses with a reasonable fleet of paddywagons but, then again, I'm pretty judgmental.

06 March 2008

TSA - the New McDonald's

The torch has been passed.

The standard bearer for flunkie employment is no longer a fast food chain. It is now the agency in charge of keeping commercial aircraft from blowing up.

A sick teenager said an over-zealous security screener at Orlando International Airport put his life in danger.

James Hoyne, 14, has a feeding tube in his stomach and carries a back-up in a sealed clear plastic bag. Hoyne said two weeks ago a TSA officer insisted on opening the sterile equipment, contaminating his back-up feeding up tube which he later needed.

"I said 'Please don't open it' and she said 'I have to open it whether you like it or not. If I can't open it, I can't let you on the plane.'"

Sure seems like "I'm just doing my job" is code for "I have no ability to use the brain I carry around inside my head."

Paving the Way for Sharia Law

Q - Who's clearing a path for a religious-based parallel universe based on Islam?
A - All the same people who usually try to purge all forms of faith from public life.

At Harvard:
Six times a week, Harvard kicks all the guys out of the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center at the request of the Harvard Islamic Society. This is to accommodate those female Muslim students whose faith won’t let them work out in front of men.

In the old days, Harvard would have laughed if some Catholic or evangelical mother urged “girls-only” campus workouts in the name of modesty. Today, Harvard happily implements Sharia swim times in the name of Mohammed. At Harvard, that’s called progress.
At a local community college:

Last week, I visited a Muslim place of worship. A schedule for Islam's five daily prayers was posted at the entrance, near a sign requesting that shoes be removed. Inside, a barrier divided men's and women's prayer space, an arrow informed worshippers of the direction of Mecca, and literature urged women to cover their faces.

Sound like a mosque? The place I'm describing is the "meditation room" at Normandale Community College, a 9,200-student public institution in Bloomington.

In the city of Minneapolis:

"We will continue to support these and other small businesses with almost $5 million dollars of business financing tools that provide . . . alternative financing loans with no interest to business owners whose religious beliefs restrict them from receiving traditional interest-based financing."

Mmmmm, yea; if you could just allow the United States to remain a secular nation that would be great.

05 March 2008

Oh C'mon; it's Only a Coincidence

There's no way this was by design, right?
Monday’s NBC psychic crime drama "Medium" featured a plot line in which an Arizona senator and former POW is discovered to be a two-time murderer and a cannibal. While it is safe to assume that the story was written before the Hollywood writers’ strike, and before the rise of John McCain to front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination, the blatant use of McCain’s personal history, as a politician and Vietnam POW, as grist to feed the murderous plot is obvious.
Tune in for next week's episode, in which a one-time actor turned governor of California and eventually cold war-winning President of the United States has a hobby of throwing puppies off cliffs and the only way he can be stopped is by the courage of the duo of a silver-spoon, Hawaiian born messianic figure and a weepy social fixer from Illinois Arkansas New York.

I Disagree

More sloppy, subprofessional raggedness from the holy oracle. First:

A violent weekend in the Twin Cities saw two teenagers gunned down in drive-by shootings and a woman shot to death through the door and window of her home in the presence of children.

On Sunday afternoon, community leaders and police asked for the public's help in solving Saturday's shooting death of a 14-year-old boy in Minneapolis, which police said could be linked to the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Gustavo Ortega in Richfield later the same day. At about 1 a.m. Sunday, about 11 hours after Saturday's first shooting, a woman was fatally shot in Minneapolis' Phillips neighborhood.

Two plugged in Minneapolis and one in Richfield. None in St. Paul. Get off the 'Twin Cities' thing, Strib. Stop trying to draw St. Paul into Hennipen County's self-made mess. Next:
'Cheap vodka' led to teen's death in hotel pool, police say.' The South Dakota teen who drowned in a Bloomington hotel pool during an unexpected air travel layover had a blood-alcohol reading of more than .33 percent after drinking from an ill-gotten bottle of cheap vodka, police said today.
I don't care if you're quoting the cops - cheap vodka didn't do in the kid; too much vodka did.


ZERO for 4 on the power play. Cap'n Gaby goes to the box for 4 of the last 6 minutes. All the cute crap that never works. "Ugh:" That's all I have to say about that.

Sometimes it's Hard to be a Woman

(Apologies to Tammy Wynette) having all those first-time voters swooning for just one man:

If she thinks it's hard out there as the wife of a Senator and the wife of a Presidential candidate, just think of the demands of being first lady. And the strains of having your husband and your kids' father being President. If she thinks raising her family is hard now, if she thinks she can barely keep her head above water now, she in no way should think that she could make it with Barack in the White House.

Besides, in Hillary's America, she will have a village to help raise her kids. And if there one thing we've learned from her whining, it's that Michelle needs a village to raise her kids. Yes, Michelle needs Hillary. For the children.

Bless you, Jeff Dobbs, for thinking of the children in these harried times.

04 March 2008

Questions For the Candidate

From Peter Kirsanow:
3. Could you please cite three things you’ve done as senator to help win the war in Iraq?

4. Your campaign stresses your leadership abilities. Please provide specific examples of your leadership, either in the Senate or Illinois legislature, on the following issues: The War on Terror, taxes, immigration, health care, energy, and education.

6. Stephen Moore calculates that your tax increases would result in a 52.2 percent income and payroll tax. Moore also states that your estate tax would be 55 percent, the dividends tax 39.6 percent, and the capital gains rate 28 percent. Do you dispute these numbers? If so, please provide your respective rates.

12. There’s a good chance that sometime during the next administration, Iran will have the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Will you permit this to happen? If not, (without divulging specific tactics) what would you do to prevent it?

19. You support giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and letting them participate in the Social Security system. Why won’t this encourage more illegal immigrants to come to the U.S.?
It's not likely these questions will get asked, because the types of responses they'd bring do not make good ObamaTV moments.

"That was the information that I had at the time. . . . Those charges are completely unrelated to me. . . . I have said that that was a mistake. . . . The fact pattern remains unchanged." When those failed, Obama tried another approach. "We're running late," the candidate said, and then he disappeared behind a curtain.

Before he beat his hasty retreat, however, Obama found time to assign blame for the tough questions suddenly coming his way. "The Clinton campaign has been true to its word in employing a 'kitchen sink' strategy," he protested. "There are, what, three or four things a day?"

01 March 2008

Too Much RFID in the Air or What?

What's with everyone going nuts all of a sudden? Item 1:

Police nabbed a 21-year-old Florida man at the Tampa airport after they found him hiding a box cutter in a hollowed-out book titled "Fear Itself." Benjamin Baines was also found to be carrying the Bible and the Koran, as well as other books on Islam, including "Muhammad in the Bible," "The Prophet's Prayer" and "The Noble Qur'an," The Tampa Tribune reported.
How much fun would it have been to sit next to this cat coast to coast? Item 2:

(P)olice said firearms and an "anarchist type textbook" were found in the same room where the ricin was discovered two days later. Capt. Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference late Friday that the book was tabbed at a spot with information about ricin. Police found the firearms and books on Tuesday after a manager at the Extended Stay America motel called police upon discovering weapons, he said, without elaborating.
I sure hope that part of this guy's out-of-control mental spiral didn't consciously choose Las Vegas as a place to freak out. C'mon Las Vegas is for fun, not for popping your bolts. Item 3:

Watching 48 hours of video tape to prepare for a women's basketball will make anyone insane and, to think; I get the Big Ten Network on my array and hadn't ever bothered to pay attention to it.