Archive for December, 2002

December 31, 2002

Putting my money where my mouth is

I bragged in the comments section over at SKB‘s about the best Bloody Mary’s on Earth. Here goes the perfect Bloody Mary:

In a 16.5 ounce glass of ice combine:

A shot or two of Grey Goose (to taste, women seem to like them lighter)
1 Teaspoon of McIlhenny Tabasco Habanero Sauce
1 Teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Dab of horseradish (to taste)
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire
Dash of celery salt
Dash of salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Fill remainder of glass with V8 (not tomato juice but the vegetable juice)

Stir and garnish with celery.

Happy New Year to all.

Update: I’m reminded by a coworker that some folks aren’t as into spicy things as me (based on her experience with the aforementioned beverage) so you better start out with less habanero sauce (a few dashes, this stuff is stout) and work your way up to it. That is, if you’re inclined to spicy things.

December 30, 2002

Legislative update

On September 13, 2004, the illegal assault weapons ban (part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994) must be renewed by congress or it will expire. Time to start pestering our representatives and congress persons to not bring it up for a vote or vote it down if they do.

Brief Accounting Lesson

Mr. Hobbs, who is one of my favorite bloggers, gets something wrong and it is a rarity. Here, he states: The money is in the bank. They’re just waiting for you to pick out the merchandise. The statement he makes is correct. But the reporter is correct as well. Cash receipts and income are separate animals. Just because you have cash doesn’t mean you have income.

Yes, the money is in the bank but there is no revenue recorded from a gift card sale. In a normal sale, you record the receipt of cash and revenue. In a gift card sale, you record cash and a liability to give someone merchandise in the future (commonly called deferred revenue). That is if the company is following generally accepted accounting principles. So, the sale of gift cards actually only affect the balance sheet and have no impact on income until such time as the person redeems their gift card.

December 27, 2002

In God We Trust, All Others Provide Data

My wife and I have discussed having kids. The ideal scenario would be to have a boy and a girl. I mentioned (depending on the gender of the first child) that the second be determined. Thereís a procedure where they take sperm, spin it in a gadget, and separate the sperm more likely to yield boys from sperm more likely to yield girls. My wife wasnít repulsed by the idea but my parents were. They said it was unnatural and all the other moral/religious/unnatural type things people say about stuff like that. Where do we draw the line in mucking about with nature? I donít know. The capability of determining the sex of a child didnít freak me out. Genetic engineering to eliminate disease sounds OK to me as well. Stem cell research seems promising.

Now, someone has gone and cloned a baby. Mind you, they have not provided proof as yet, which is curious. And I wonít believe it until I see proof. It doesnít matter though because eventually someone will clone a human anyway. Oh, and the folks that supposedly did it are part of a cult. They believe that humans were created by aliens (Iím making a circular motion around my head area with my index finger, if you catch my meaning).

To paraphrase a famous line: science becomes more concerned with if they can do something and never bother to ask if they should do it. Iím not quite sure how I feel about this from a moral standpoint. It definitely gives me the willies. Soon, there may be a religious/moral fervor over things like: does it have a soul? Is it an Ďití or a girl? Can it get a Social Security card? Or (since itís a clone of an existing person) does it already have one? Are its fingerprints already on file? Should it pay taxes?

An informal poll at CNN said 80% of us are against cloning. I am against it too. My reasoning has nothing to do with the moral issues of Ďplaying God.í My reasons are because I fear what existing humans would do with clones. Suddenly, a corporation could clone an entire workforce. And without legislation, they could essentially claim them as property. Then folks are out of jobs, people debate the treatment of the clones, and then bad movies are made about the scenario in which the clones finally revolt and take over the world. Or some government clones soldiers. Or a whacko clones a master race. Or clone them to do laboratory experiments on them. Etc., etc. If we get all this nonsense squared away, I may have to develop an opinion on cloning as a moral issue. However, the debate will end up identical to abortion. Essentially, two groups of people believe two different things and there is no way they can convince the other of their view.

Are there advantages to cloning? Iíd say so. Off the top of my head, Iíd say we could probably grow replacement organs that work right the first time (since theyíre based on your genetic code). People incapable of having kids could have them made. And Iím sure there are more.

Disadvantages? Yeah, it gives me the willies and I donít think we (the human race) can deal with it. Of course, the major problem with the human race is that itís always creating problems it canít deal with to the satisfaction of all (or heck most) of the population. Nukes, famine, nation building, to name a few.

The bottom line is that even if I had no moral qualms about cloning, the human race is not ready for this type of thing and the questions it will raise, aside from playing God/Mother Nature.

December 26, 2002

Getting our War on!

I know two reservist friends of mine who received cancellations of their existing orders and were told to report to Fort Campbell to await further instructions. Looks like now that the holidays are almost done, it’s time to blow shit up. Iraq? North Korea? Both?

December 23, 2002

Note to David Caruso

The whole point of acting is to try and not look like youíre acting.

Friday night, the wife and I decided to stay home since neither of us felt that great. My wife is a huge fan of CSI: Miami. I never thought Iíd like the show since it stars David Caruso. Turns out, I was right, I didnít like it. He delivers all his lines with the presence and panache of an inebriated Bill Shatner. And why is his character named Horatio? Who the hell names their child that? This episode had one really stupid line that I donít even think Jack Nicholson could have pulled off:

Random cop #1: Seems weíve got our fish.
David Caruso: No, [lame attempt at dramatic pause and a sigh delivered with all the poise and efficacy of Carrot Top] weíve got our shark.

Yeah, no wonder he was replaced by Ricky Schroeder.

So, why the hell am I talking about CSI: Miami? Because of these two scenes (annotated of course):

The scene is a little girl has been found dead at a Celebration Station (or some other place where parents take kids to play skee ball) and the police have detained the patrons of the place for interviews and fingerprinting:

Scene 1:

Random Guy#1: Iím in my third year of law school and I know that itís illegal for you to detain us.
Random Cop#1: [Doing his best Sly Stallone from Judge Dread] But you should want to cooperate with us as is your moral obligation to society, citizen. Now get back in line.
Random Guy#2: Is that true? Weíre free to go?
Random Cop#1: [takes piece of tape and gets hair sample from Random Guy#2ís sweater and pushes him away] No, not for you. Youíre a suspect now.

Random Guy#1 was correct. The police had no authority to detain anyone in that particular instance. A nifty resource for your rights with respect to police can be found here. Yeah, itís the ACLU but they do get some things right.

You have the right to ask if you are free to go. You can ask the police if you are under arrest or if you are being detained. If they answer no to both questions, you can walk. Of course, once you try to walk theyíll probably arrest you anyway.

Scene 2:

Random Guy#2 from the above is arrested. The police then go to his car with him and have him open it so they can search it.

Random Guy#2: Donít I have rights that protect me from this sort of search.
David Caruso: [again not quite as convincing as a porn starlet feigning ecstasy but slightly more convincing than a soap opera actress staring blankly at the camera at the end of a scene] Youíre in violation of parole yada yada yada so weíre searching your car anyway.

Again, paraphrased from the ACLU: Unless agents have a warrant or you consent, they are not legally allowed to search. Even if youíre arrested in your home, they can only search Ďthe immediate areaí in which you were arrested, which is typically interpreted as the room you were in.

Itís no wonder that the citizens of our country arenít more upset by violations of our civil rights since the masses are shown these violations in our popular television programs. Whatís actually worse is that these shows actually make these violations seem OK. I mean, who wants to see a child murderer go free? The cops did the right thing here. They caught the bad guy (actually, in the show the guy arrested didnít turn out to be the perpetrator). Who cares if they threw civil liberties to the wind! They got their man! And this is perfectly acceptable.

I think the real kicker is that they could have had these scenes with no mention of Ďrights.í Random Guy#2 could have asked Ďso, weíre free to go?í and the cop could have just said Ďno.í But the show actually brought it to our attention that the perps had rights and that the cops violated them. Quite curious if you ask me.

I had a friend once who speculated (jokingly) that the government was in cahoots with space aliens. And what better way to get our citizens used to the idea than by having a television show about it. He further speculated (again jokingly) that The X Files was funded by the government to ensure that when Ďthe truth out thereí was actually known, no one would be that shocked by it. Maybe itís time to speculate that the VRWC is actually using government funds to pay for these television programs to get citizens used to the idea that their rights donít matter. Iím joking a bit to the extreme obviously.

It still is scary that the show minimizes the importance of our civil liberties. Iím awaiting the follow up story in which the case is thrown out of court once the ACLU attorneys get their hands on David Caruso.

Adieu!

December 19, 2002

Iíve been sucked in

I got into this blogging stuff because I liked the idea of spewing random stuff from my brain at the world. I saw Bubbaís site linked from the Metroblab and thought it would be fun. Now, I have developed some issues with blogging.

First: Man, there are a lot of us! Itís hard to keep up with all the goings on. You hop to one blog, that referenced another blog, which referenced another blog, which referenced some news article somewhere. When I started reading blogs, I stuck with the local blogs (welcome to Sugar by the way) then my bookmarks grew exponentially. Now, reading blogs takes up the first thirty minutes of my day.

Second: Some blogs arenít real exciting or entertaining.

Third: I usually blog while Iím eating lunch. By the time I get around to talking about stuff, itís been hashed to death by every other blogger out there.

Fourth: I continually just draw a blank. I try to think of stuff and I get nothing. Dunno if itís boredom, if Iím just tired, or if itís because everyone else has already covered what I was talking about.

This could be the beginning of a brief hiatus for me blogging unless I come up with some original ideas soon.

Adieu!

December 18, 2002

Boy, if I wasn’t married . . .

I’d move to Texas. Rachel Lucas posts on guns are incredible. What’s not to like? She hates Algore, Michael Moore, and celebrity activists. Woo hoo! You go, girl!

December 17, 2002

Puppy love revisited

Follow up on my puppy advice from before, which you can find here:

Leash Training: You canít take pupster out to the park without a leash. And how many times have you seen a dog tugging his leash and making life hard for his owner? There is a cure. Itís called a pinch collar. Some folks say that these collars are cruel. I disagree. When compared to a choke collar, a pinch collar is more humane and easier to use. With big dogs, you must yank pretty hard to get their attention with a regular choke collar. Plus, too hard of a tug can damage pupsterís throat. A pincher collar takes only a snap of the wrist and only pinches the skin. Even if youíre clumsy and do it too harshly, it will only be superficial damage as opposed to damaging a larynx. Your pup should pay attention to you on a leash. Keep treats with you when training him to use his leash. When you take a couple of steps, hand him a treat without stopping. Heíll learn to pay attention you which is what leash training is all about. This makes life easier on both of you. Only snap his collar if he tugs and you want to keep him close. Heíll soon learn not to tug too much. Leash training is entirely about repetition. Also, take obedience classes. Learning to Ďheelí requires a leash.

Company: Know your company. If you have people coming over that donít really like dogs, then put pup in the yard. Some folks are naturally scared of dogs. This makes your dog excited since they can sense these things. When I know company is coming, I put my dogs in the yard. Once company arrives and has settled in, I open the doggy door and pupsters come in and donít react as excitedly to the new guests. This avoids the mass greeting my dogs give to people when they come in the front door and are tackled by two decent sized dogs. This mass greeting involves jumping, licking, and the fastest moving butts you ever saw. This also teaches my dogs that people who come in when youíre outside are OK.

Set your limits on day one: If you donít want a full-grown dog on your furniture, never bring the pup on the furniture to begin with. If you donít want a 230 pound Mastiff crawling into bed with you at 3 a.m. then donít allow him in your bed as a pup. Much easier to teach them this from the beginning than to let them do it and try to break them of it when theyíre bigger (as my wife is now learning, despite my warnings).

Have your dog fixed: Unless youíre a breeder, there is no need to not have pupster spayed or neutered. This can curb behavioral problems, reduces health risks, and prevents aggression. Oh, and did I mention it avoids unnecessary trips to dog pounds.

December 16, 2002

Conservatives, civil rights, and soul searching

LeanLeft tells us that Nickles is a bigot. Okay. Sure, for a moment Iíll agree. Atrios tells us that Nickles is religious and opposes homosexuality due to his religious beliefs. Quite the conundrum. See, the Bible does actually tell folks that homosexuality is bad. However, Americans largely believe that people can be gay and it doesnít create a problem. I agree.

So, we have religions that say being gay is bad. But we have freedom of religion. So, we can participate (as is our right and the right of our elected officials) in a religion that views giving rights to others as bad since the others donít prescribe to our religious ideals. It gets complicated I suppose. The point is that Nickles can think that if he wants. It is his right. If people donít like it, they wonít vote for him. You know, the premise of our country.

Now, LeanLeft of course implies that all Republicans are evil and must be stopped at all costs since they’re all bigots. Despite this fact regarding civil rights:

In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes. Ė Go here for other stats regarding Republicans and civil rights. Plus some badmouthing of JFK, the liberal diety.

Yet the Democrats want to take credit for civil rights today, despite their collective record. And they want to point out the few black sheep from the Republican Party and then ascribe that to all conservatives.

I am a fairly conservative guy but not a Republican. Iím more of a libertarian (with a little L) and Iíll point out problems from each major party. However, I find it ludicrous to potty mouth conservatives because of a few black sheep. Itís as ludicrous as me pointing out that in 1948 Thurmond was a Democrat and then saying that all Democrats are against civil rights.

I liked it

Posted this at the Metroblab. I liked it and wanted to keep it around on my site:

So, I will assume for a moment that Lott is in fact a racist.

But what’s the problem? It doesn’t matter what he does or how he feels in his personal life. He is after all perfectly capable of keeping his personal feelings separate from his duties as a public official. He can still do a damn fine job despite the failings in his private/personal life. Am I right? None of his personal shortcomings will ever affect the fine job that he will do as majority leader!

Note to the Clintonistas: See how fucking stupid that sounds!

My new favorite website

Along the lines of OpenSecrets, is Issues2002. Research your candidates and find out their stances and voting records. Knowledge is power and all that crap. Thanks to LeanLeft for pointing me in its general direction.

December 13, 2002

Time Bomb Sent To Iraq

Apparently, Sean Penn is much more intimidating than nuclear weapons. I love this plan from the Bush Administration. I mean, how long will it take before some Iraqi guy tries to take his picture or ask about Madonna? Then Penn will unleash destruction upon the Iraqi people. We should fly Madonna in too. Or John McEnroe or Woody Harrelson?

December 12, 2002

Itís not my fault again

My last post on personal responsibility addressed who I thought was to blame. Now, for something not entirely different. In this country, we also blame objects for actions. Itís very easy to blame crime on guns, an inanimate object, instead of the crazy, whackos who pulled the triggers. Or three wheeled ATVs, instead of careless drivers. So, we have to ban these items.

My favorite lately is this column. In which the headlines reads: SUV careens into crowd of people; two dead, 17 injured. Wow, this SUV suddenly developed free will and lunged into a crowd of people? No, if you read the article youíll find that a person was actually driving it. But the implication, of course, is that the SUV is to blame.

To this end, we put warning labels on objects or just outright try to ban them. Weíve banned (or tried to) three-wheeled ATVs, lawn darts, those little Battlestar Galactica space ships that shoot tiny plastic missiles, and a whole slew of other things to keep us (and our children) safe.

Side Rant: I am convinced that warning labels will be the end of the human race. I personally donít want the guy whose life is saved because he read the warning label on the aluminum ladder that said you shouldnít put said ladder up against an electrical transformer in my gene pool. The lady who avoids death because she read on the automobile sun visorís warning label that the visor should not be used while the vehicle is in motion should absolutely not reproduce.

Now, someone will think Iím a Nazi because of this and their retort will be Ďthen why do we cure sick people, since theyíll continue to tarnish the gene pool.í Because, weíll eventually cure diseases. There is no known cure for stupidity.

Put simply, if you kill yourself (or someone else) by hurling a lawn dart in the general direction of a person, youíre an idiot. There shouldnít be a class action suit against the lawn dart manufacturer. You should go to jail for your negligence (if you killed someone) or die if you killed yourself. Natural selection is a harsh mistress.

December 11, 2002

But that can’t happen here

This article (link provided by Instapundit) makes me wonder what several hundred thousand Rwandans and Ugandans think about gun control. Or six million Jews in 1930s poland, etc.

Itís not my fault . . .

Nothing ever is. Itís the fault of society, my parents, somebody else or any various addictions I may have. At least, thatís the message we in America hear every day.

Whitney Houston honestly believes that she is a victim of drug addiction. No Whitney, youíre a crack head with too much money.

Hillary Clinton honestly believes sheís the victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. No Hillary, youíve done some questionable things in the past. And when you stepped into the limelight some of that stuff reared its ugly head. And your husband isnít a saint.

Some old granny thought it was McDonaldís fault that she spilled coffee in her lap. No, you shouldnít have spilled it on yourself.

And a burglar in New York City broke into a womanís home and cut himself on the glass. And guess what! A jury said it was the womanís fault. No, you shouldnít have been breaking into peopleís houses.

What has happened to our country? Weíre too litigious, nobody is responsible for anything, and we actually sit idly by and absorb this crap. Whoís at fault? I have some ideas:

The media: They pipe this stuff into our homes and (quite often) take the side of the imbecile that thinks the bad things that theyíve done were the result of them Ďnot being happy.í Hey moron, none of us are happy all the time. Happiness comes in little tiny bursts, itís not a perpetual state of bliss. Contentment, however, is attainable.

Lawyers: Well, someoneís gotta get rich off this lack of personal responsibility nonsense. Since lawyers and their clients make big bucks of this crap, it perpetuates.

The medical/psychiatric/therapy/self-help crowd: By far the biggest enabler of this trend. Psychology (from the Greek Psych meaning Ďto makeí and Ėology meaning Ďstuff upí) has given us several new tools to avoid being responsible for ourselves. We get Chronic Fatigue Disorder to justify why weíre tired all the time, it has nothing to do with not sleeping, taking care of ourselves, or anything like that. We get Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder to explain why we canít control our kids and must drug them into compliance (by they way, the US is the only country that actually recognizes this as a disease). We get Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to explain those little quirky things about ourselves that we donít like. And we get Manic Depression to explain why we feel different ways at different times. And the catchall: Depression. If youíre not happy all the time, you must be depressed. None of us are happy all the time. Deal with it.

A story about me: Several years ago, there was about a two month period in which I lost (while not dieting) about 20 pounds. This is a big deal when you only weighed about 160 pounds at the time and are six feet one inch tall. So, concerned, I go to my doctor. They poke, prod, and take samples. All the tests come back and I am the pillar of good health apparently. So, my doc says heís going to prescribe mood elevators for me. I get a nifty prescription to Zoloft. Which I took for exactly three days and threw away. It made me non-reactive to my surroundings, apathetic, and, of course, I had a problem with the erection that I had for three days straight (ordinarily, that wouldnít be a problem but I wasnít dating then). I called up the doctor and asked what Zoloft did. He told me it elevated my mood. I asked how. He couldnít answer. I did some research and found out Zoloft slowed the production of serotonin, which is what makes your body regulate various processes. I stopped taking the stuff after reading the side effects and realized I was having some of them. I finally concluded I was stressed and just wasnít eating right and all returned to normal shortly thereafter because I started eating a big breakfast. The moral: they had no idea what was wrong so they doped me up. And this behavior continues today.

Parents are willing to administer drugs to kids that are possibly addictive and could lead to kidney failure because they canít control their kids. Since the canít control them, the kids must have ADHD, so your local psychobabbleist will prescribe you anything you want. It has nothing to do with poor parenting skills. Doctors are willing to administer drugs to people and really donít know what the drugs do.

Now, obviously, Iíve gone to the extreme on this. I do realize some people are legitimately depressed or legitimately have ADHD or these other Ďdisorders.í But these are definitely over-diagnosed and are used as excuses for bad behavior. Like when the woman killed her five kids because she was depressed. I really wish the medical/psychiatric/therapy/self-help crowd would take a bit more care in diagnosing this stuff. But not every single one of us who does something stupid has a psychological disorder.

Iím off to write my own self-help book. It will be entitled Iím Okay, Youíre Fucked Up.

December 09, 2002

Activist Judges Piss Me Off

Quite the stir in the Blogosphere regarding the general fucking stupidity of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision. Instapundit, Clayton Cramer, SKB, and several others have taken up the cause of pointing out whatís wrong with this ruling. And theyíve done a far better job pointing out inconsistencies than I could do. Check out Instapundit and Clayton Cramer for some legalese type of stuff. I get the feeling that the ruling will be struck down by the Supreme Court, as usually happens with the 9th Circuit (per our long lost comrade in arms half-bakered).

The fact of the matter is this: From a constitutional perspective, the American people (individuals) have a right to keep and bear arms. Period. However, some folks (you know, the type that think youíre too stupid to be responsible for yourself and ban things like lawn darts and pop rocks) want to believe that the second amendment does not guarantee such a right, because you are too stupid to possess a firearm and we gotta do it for the children. So, they make stuff up. For example, they think the phrase Ďwell regulated militiaí must mean the National Guard and other made up stuff. This is regardless of the fact that the law also tells us who the militia is. Itís me, itís you, and itís that guy down the street.

So, letís run down the basic anti-gun arguments and rebut them:

1) Our forefathers didnít know weíd have machine guns! Bullshit. They knew technology would advance to an extent. And, if at the time, machine guns were available, Iím sure our founding fathers would have used them instead of muskets.

2) We donít really know what they meant by the second amendment due to its wording. Bullshit. We know exactly what the meant. They wrote volumes about it. Read the Federalist Papers and the personal journals of our founding fathers.

3) You donít need assault weapons! Why not? Theyíre functionally the same as sporting weapons. They just look mean. For example, this weapon:†

Affected by the California law is illegal.

This one:



isnít. Theyíre both functionally the same. They both are semi-automatic. Each fires .223 caliber rounds. Each has magazines that hold 3 to 30 rounds and each can be fitted with folding stocks, suppressors, slings, and bayonets. But one looks meaner than the other. Because one looks meaner, it’s banned. These laws are a waste of time for preventing crime. High capacity is also about convenience. I go to the range with my 15 round magazines so that I donít have to reload as often.†

4) You donít need that to hunt. Itís not about hunting, sparky. Itís about the people and their right to arm themselves in defense against tyranny.

5) But the most recent Supreme Court Decision took the militia stance!

Not really. It said that a sawn-off shotgun did not resemble a militia weapon and therefore wasnít protected by the second amendment. It didnít say who the militia was.

6) But even by purchasing those weapons, you couldnít stand up to the government if it became corrupt! Youíre right. I probably couldnít win. But with those weapons, I could do more than if I had a rock, stick, or some sort of garden implement. To paraphrase Washington, Ďwe canít expect victory, but we can deserve it.’

7) Guns cause crime.No, they don’t. There are several studies that say guns cause crime and just as many that say the prevalence of guns reduces crime. The facts are that people commit crimes and will do so with or without guns. The periodic shooting of someone is a small price to pay for freedom. It just sucks if you’re that guy that gets shot.

Party Affiliation

I went to the holiday blogger bash and had a good time. Surprisingly, there was very little political debate. That was fine with me. Maybe we should take an oath not to debate at these little social functions, since most of us are apparently armed. Just jokes! Seriously, it was fun.

I met Rich. Heís one helluva guy. Very nice and very insightful. He is absolutely one of the most polite people Iíve ever met.

I met Mr. and Mrs. Bubba. They were extraordinarily charming and entertaining. If you think Bubba is witty in electronic media, meet him in person. And, no, Bubba looks nothing like a hippie.

Mr. Reynolds and his wife were there, though I only spoke with them briefly.

I got to thank Bjorn and Brehd for Ďmaking me laugh aloud at least once a week.í Super nice guys. I actually thought Knoxpatch was run by only one person. But there are actually two of them. Whoídíve thunk it?

I also met Troy and Jason. Definitely a couple of engaging lads. Far more culturally upstanding than myself.

Everyone who went witnessed that I am just as abrasive in person as I am online. And what did I learn from all this? Man, we bloggers can drink!

December 05, 2002

Happy Birthday Gramma

It’s been over five years. I should’ve been there for you more often and for that I am sorry. Since you’ve been gone, Iíve gotten married, built a house, got a new pup, finished my masters, gone through a couple of jobs, and pondered heavily going into business for myself.

My wife is the most beautiful and caring women in the world. I only wish she could have met you. I know youíve met her. Sheíd love to have met you.

Maybe in the daytime you could swing by the house and tell the pup to stop tearing up the yard. Youíd like him too, though heís a bit rambunctious. Iím sure youíd love our house too and visit anytime you want.

The rest of the family is doing great and weíre all getting ready for Christmas, which I now is your favorite time of year. My wife put the Christmas tree up way early, just like you used to do. I wonít let her keep hers around until March though. Weíll definitely miss you at Christmas again.

Since I moved to the new house, I drive by your grave on my way to work every day. Iím sorry I havenít stopped by there since youíve been gone but itís more than I can handle and I hope you can forgive me. Iíll try to stop by on Christmas. Please forgive me.

You were one of a kind!

December 04, 2002

Wealth Redistribution Part Deux

SKB has more on this living wage nonsense for KTown.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
–Thomas Jefferson

Once in while those judges earn their keep

Padilla can talk to his lawyers.

The ruling was a blow to the government, which had argued that Padilla had no right to challenge its actions in court because he was detained as an “enemy combatant.”

Good! Now whenís the first challenge to Total Information Awareness going to occur in court?

Now, they can fry his punk ass legally and without violating is civil rights!

SayUncle vs. Barry

Re-posting this because Barry asked in my comments section to briefly explain why I believe the Second Amendment is an individual right:

SayUncle believes in the Second Amendment and that gun ownership is an individual right. As evidenced by the following:

Second Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

USC Title 10, Sec 311: The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States Ö

Now assume that since then certain laws prohibit discrimination based on age and gender that it would also include the elderly and women.

And some additional stuff:

The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, does not refer to the National Guard, which was created 130 years later, in 1917. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing trespassers under federal law, is not a state militia or a militia of the citizens.

Update: No word from Barry yet.

December 03, 2002

Warming up those cold dead hands

A group in DC is challenging the districtís almost thirty year old ban on guns. Good! It kind makes me wonder why NRA isnít very active in lawsuits. The NRA (which I have problems with) seems to spend more time lobbying than challenging unconstitutional gun laws. Theyíre more prevention oriented I suppose but they may want to become more litigious. Could be interesting to watch and see, especially after the Justice Department changed its longstanding gun ownership policy.

I think recent terror attacks and the unconstitutionality of homeland security could see more focus in the future on gun ownership.

December 02, 2002

More Wealth Re-distribution

I heard on the radio (News Talk 990) this morning a commercial for a living wage. Thereís some group proposing one in Knoxville. It got me curious so I looked it up. For information, go here.

Some people think that raising the low-end of the salary spectrum (to about $19K apparently) will bring great wealth and happiness to the land. From the aforementioned site:

What is the living wage campaign? It is an organized effort to force employers to inject a welfare mentality into the workplace. emphasis added

Donít we have minimum wage laws already? Arenít they largely ineffective? Donít these wage increases typically lead to goods and services costing more? My understanding was that an increase in minimum wage leads to temporary relief of those it targets followed by a leveling out. Then, the people who make more end up paying more for lower-skilled services than before. So, the end result is temporary relief for the low wage earners, higher prices for everyone, and at the end itís like the wage increase never happened, except that the middle class now fundementally earns less.

And how in the hell is a welfare mentality good for any thing? The problem in our country is we collectively have a welfare mentality. Nothing is anyone’s fault and everyone should pay for everyone else right? Bunch of crap!

And why should companies have to pay for this crap? Oh yeah, because business is evil and doesnít pay its fair share. And, damnit, they should give! Never mind that theyíve given folks jobs, provided services, and pay taxes. Itís not enough! Now we must unite and demand that they pay more! So, when your 99 cent value menu at Wendyís goes up to $1.19, youíll know why.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, I’m opposed to this living wage crap!

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

Uncle Pays the Bills

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