Archive for October, 2004

October 31, 2004

POTUS and SCOTUS

I was reading Colby Cosh’s headscratcher piece today, discussing various reasons people have for voting for one Presidential candidate or the other. One of these is the Supreme Court. The next President could appoint up to four new justices. It occurs to me that this could possibly be one of the really long-term effects from either guy, and as such deserves a pretty high priority on anybody’s pro/con list— possibly THE highest.

What say you? Any thoughts on who either guy would appoint? And beyond that, who they would appoint who could get past the confirmation process?

October 30, 2004

Old Bloggers Never Die…

In case you gave up visiting One Hand Clapping, the Rev. Sensing is back and blogging after a short hiatus. His son graduated (is that the right word?) from Marine Boot Camp. Congratulations to him and his family!

Semper Fi! (Is it OK for a non-Marine to say that?)

Looks like Chris is back

A new Day by Day! And I’m digging the new art style. Black and white, as though he’s headed for syndication or something?

October 29, 2004

The power of blogs

I can’t seem to turn on the TV without seeing a blogger. And bloggers are also breaking stories and fact checking the media. However, here’s a new one. It seems Pete and his DrugWarRant (a blog you should be reading) are at the center of a heated Illinois House race:

Speaking of smears, Weller, in the closing days of the campaign, is running a radio ad and sending out a direct mail piece noting that Renner is endorsed on a Web site called “DrugwarRant.com” and implying that Renner is somehow aligned with a group promoting heroin use. The race is featured on the site, but Renner is not for what they are for and told me he never asked for their help. Said Renner, this is “as low as it’s gotten.”

The problem with that, as Pete puts it, is that he is not a group and he doesn’t promote heroin use. Jerry Weller is a liar.

Spam problems solved

Regarding my spam troubles, Kathy Kinsley installed a couple things for me. One closes posts older than a week and the other defaults the comment moderation queue to Delete instead of Do Nothing.

All better and no bitch has to be choked. So, Alphie, take that!

Random mediocre political commentary

Sorry, rambling post ahead with no real thought out order or point. Just some random thoughts strung together.

So, we have allegations of widespread voter fraud from the left and the right. Obviously, both sides are playing for keeps. Additionally, there is violence against the GOP headquarters. It seems the left is getting a bit out of control. I suppose it’s in anticipation of the election not going well.

Last night on The Daily Show, Zogby called the election for Kerry. His reasoning was that it was close and the undecided will decide it. He said history has shown undecideds go against the incumbent.

Also, there is some mention of violence and riots after the election. And some are already saying the election will be decided by judges:

Equal Protection, like the Commerce Clause, is sort of an all-purpose method for the feds to assume authority for everything, even those things which are, constitutionally, explicitly under the control of the states. We will pay dearly for this down the road, because every fucking election for the rest of our lives is likely to be settled this way. After all, once an unelected, unaccountable branch of government assumes final authority over the election process itself, what could possibly go wrong?

Additionally, I caught the South Park election episode which was hysterical. It concluded by stating that each election, you’re given a choice between a giant douche and a turd because they’re the two guys who sucked up enough to get to be in the running. So, you vote against one guy or another.

And, to beat all, the Libertarian founder has endorsed Bush using the logic that this is no the time to fuck around. Coincidentally, I may have changed my mind on my vote had that been written a week sooner. Or maybe not. Tennessee is safely a red state.

Is this the preview to hard times ahead or will Tuesday just be the preview of a rather unceremonious changing of the guard or status quo? Pending apocalypse? I dunno. We live in interesting times.

Will it get better before getting worse or worse before getting better. I am of the opinion now that I just want this election over.

Update: Oh yeah, and I’m still calling this one for Bush. I am using the highly scientific method pioneered by William Burton:

I’ve come up with a rule of thumb for wagering on Presidential elections (at least general elections).

See who looks most like a funeral director, and bet against him.

Shallow? Of course.

But no more shallow than letting the big donors decide, or the Supreme Court.

Gore – Bush
Clinton – Dole
Clinton – Bush
Dukakis – Bush (but this one was close)
Mondale – Reagan
Carter – Reagan
Carter – Ford

By my measure, Nixon was the last guy who won an election while looking more like a funeral director.

Update 2: Oh and campaign finance reform; 380 or 3 tons of weapons that were there, then weren’t, then were moved, then weren’t, then sealed, then weren’t, that were moved, then weren’t, that were found, then weren’t; blood for oil; flip flop; yada yada yada.

The politics of fear

Politicians are trying to scare. One example is the assault weapons ban. And they (and their cronies) are lying about it:

FactCheck.org also cited examples of distortions used by Kerry supporters, including an ad suggesting that Bush opened America’s streets to gun-toting terrorists by failing to extend a ban on assault weapons.

The ad, sponsored by MoveOn PAC, displays an AK-47 with machine-gun fire rattling in the background. “This is an assault weapon,” an announcer tells viewers. “It can fire up to 300 rounds a minute. In the hands of terrorists, it could kill hundreds.”

FactCheck.org said the ad “is about as misleading as it can be” and fails to point out that fully automatic machine guns capable of firing 300 rounds a minute have been outlawed since 1934 and remain illegal. The online truth squad also pointed out that Congress — not Bush — allowed the ban to expire.

Of course, these same distortions have been present in the mainstream media too, who are part of the problem. Scaring the Hell out of you sells papers.

Today’s funny

The National Park Service has clarified that the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s Flood.

Oh and this is more Funny Sad, not Funny Ha Ha.

Update: Yeah, yeah, they’re just selling a book.

I didn’t know the NRA was running for president?

Article headline: NRA, Kerry seek votes in Appleton.

And I thought he was running against Bush.

Is SayUncle gonna have to choke a bitch?

I am generally non-violent. However, if I could get my hands on whoever it is that has spent the last two days spamming the hell out of my site, I’d beat them within an inch of their lives.

Of course, with WordPress, the spam never makes it to the site but goes into a moderation queue. And then I have to delete them. That can be a pain when it numbers 300 per day.

Volunteer Tailgate Party is up!

Except, it’s called the Rocky Top Roundup, a collection of posts from Tennessee bloggers. Give it a read.

October 28, 2004

Yahoo!

Anyone having trouble getting to Yahoo?

The war on private property

Land Survey Blog details the most restrictive land use law in the nation:

Known as the 65-10 Rule, it calls for landowners to set aside 65 percent of their property and keep it in its natural, vegetative state. According to the rule, nothing can be built on this land, and if a tree is cut down, for example, it must be replanted. Building anything is out of the question.

That’s pretty horrendous.

GMail Invites

I have a gmail account that I have yet to use. I don’t really know what the significance of it is or what it does. However, I apparently have six one invites in case someone wants one.

Update: none left, sorry. Man, they go fast.

Why I love WordPress

In the last 12 Hours, a spam bot has left over 120 spam comments. Not a single one made it to the blog.

It’s always a good idea to google things first

Drug War Rant:

A new acronym is born. D’Alliance notes that the ONDCP and the DOJ have given birth to the NSDAP (unfortunately, their method of reproduction involves screwing us). The mewling newborn, which will be quickly sucking at the public teat, is designed to go after the designer drugs. For a bit of fun, try googling NSDAP. Oops.

Heh.

Illinois assault weapons ban push

Triggerfinger details the lies of some politicos trying to push an assault weapons ban in Illinois.

Bastard update

Chad Daniel Crawford, who I blogged about here, placed kicked a small dog named Gizmo several months ago. It got national media attention. I heard on the news today that he has plead not guilty and his lawyer is arguing that the press coverage of the incident has had an averse affect on Mr. Crawford’s life.

Since the incident, he has lost his job; lost his apartment and was forced to move; and fears for his life (and received death threats). Good.

TN child porn laws under scrutiny

Tennessee’s child porn law may be so broad as to be unconstitutional:

Throw a bunch of trashy photographs of pigtailed “girls” engaged in vile acts in front of a jury.

Argue John Q. Citizen purposely downloaded those images because he wanted to view child pornography and liked what he saw.

Don’t bother trying to find the “girls” or their birth certificates. They don’t look 18.

Under Tennessee’s child pornography law, John Q. Citizen might well be headed to prison – even if those “girls” turn out to be adult actresses.

“Why can that not happen?” Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Jerry L. Smith wanted to know.

Additionally:

The chief bone of contention is a section in that law that allows a jury to “infer” or conclude that a person shown in pornographic material is a minor based on how the material is packaged, labeled or portrayed.

I think this is kind of silly. If the images are of consenting adults, there is no crime as far as I’m concerned regardless of marketing. Child porn is a horrendous crime, as long as it’s really child porn.

That being said, I’m also pretty sure Tennessee’s age of consent for sex is less than 18. That would seem to be a larger concern than young looking adults who have pigtails consenting to dirty pictures, since Tennessee also has a high occurrence of teen pregnancy.

Must be that blood in the streets they were talking about

A man steals a rifle from a police car (don’t they lock those things?) and starts shooting at people in a neighborhood:

A stolen squad car and gun rampage has the King County sheriff’s office scrambling for ways to keep their weapons from falling into the hands of crooks.

Folks here are still shaken by the fact the gunman walked through a Kent neighborhood shooting the stolen SWAT rifle. They say it could have easily turned deadly.

Police say it was 33-year-old Edgar Garcia who broke into a sheriff’s patrol car, found an extra set of keys and took off with it.

He got a sniper rifle from the SWAT team out of the trunk and allegedly shot and wounded Mike Dubuc in the right arm.

He then looked for other targets.

It gets better:

“He was shooting to kill,” neighbor Chad Todd said. “And then he pointed it at me and I ran over my fence to get my assault rifle. By the time I got that he was over in the woods, so I came here with my pistol to see if Mike was all right.”

Too bad Chad didn’t get him.

October 27, 2004

Do me a favor

On your way home, take the long way (especially if you have a big ass SUV). And if you could spray some hair spray out your window, that’d be great too. Why? Because it’s late October, the weather is beautiful and I’m wearing short sleeves.

I love global warming, even if it is made up.

RSS Stuff

This is to test whether or not my new RSS feed shows the entire post or just an excerpt. Should work but I’ll soon know. You feed readers out let me know if it works.

More on the global war on guns

This time from Interpol:

The new head of Interpol declared war on small arms today, saying the proliferation of pistols, shotguns and rifles threatens peace and law enforcement across Africa and around the world.

South Africa’s National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, elected as head of the international police agency this month, said he would use his tenure to ”do everything to ensure that this campaign against small arms becomes a global campaign”.

”In the Caribbean, the issue of small arms is a problem. In Africa it is a problem. In Europe it is a problem. In Asia it is a problem,” Selebi said in Pretoria at the launch of a new study on gun ownership in southern Africa.

Guns are a problem where guns are banned? That is odd. I also found this odd:

”As long as there are large numbers of firearms there can not be a guarantee of peace,” he said, adding that African police chiefs had agreed to work together to curb the number of small arms in circulation.

I thought guns kept the peace. That is, after all, why police officers carry them.

Gun friendly states

Enforcement problem:

A Justice Department report shows that Arkansas has rejected a higher proportion of applications to buy firearms than most other states.

One of every 48 prospective gun purchases in the state is rejected. On average, the survey of 40 states shows one of every 65 attempts to buy a gun is rejected.

Arkansas uses FBI background checks to enforce provisions of the Brady Bill, enacted 10 years ago. The law makes it illegal to sell guns to people with criminal records.

The Justice Department study shows that since 1999, 15,438 Arkansans have been rejected for gun purchases. In Connecticut, one buyer is rejected for every 330 purchases, while in Tennessee, there is one rejection for every 26 purchases in Tennessee.

As I’ve said before, gun friendly states seem to enforce existing gun laws better than non-gun friendly states. I think it’s probably because if you have too many, you can’t enforce them all. I guess they let the important ones slide.

Careful out there

Kinda frightening:

Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for at least four, possibly five men today, who barged their way into a couple’s home in south-east Shelby County.

The couple was severely beaten. The couple told Sheriff’s Deputies they awakened about 4:30 this morning when several men banged at the back door at their home, which is located in the 9400 block of Plantation Lake Road near Collierville. The men wore ski masks and black shirts that said “POLICE.” All of the men, armed with pistols, were yelling, “Police! F.B.I.! Open Up!” As the couple answered the door, the men barged their way inside the house demanding money.

They forced the lady to take them through the house ransacking various rooms. Not finding any money, the men beat the woman and her husband with their pistols and a cue stick from a pool table. The couple was then taken to a bathroom where their feet were bound with duct tape.

Like you and me, only better

In New York, it’s expensive to even get the city to allow you to own a gun. It’s impossible to get permission to carry one, unless you’re a celebrity or filthy rich (ask Robert Di Nero):

Gov. Pataki has quietly allowed one of his biggest contributors to be made a “deputy superintendent” and “colonel” in the State Police, angering law-enforcement officials, The Post has learned.

David Mack, a megamillionaire New York City construction executive whose brother provided the governor with a controversial private jet ride to a St. Barts vacation last year, regularly shows up at official functions, including police funerals, in a full-dress police uniform with a 9 mm pistol on his belt, a prominent law-enforcement source told The Post.

It mentions later in the article that he’s not authorized to carry a handgun and has no police power. Why, then, can he pack a 9MM when in uniform?

That partisan NRA

Two candidates in a race both have an A rating from the NRA. The NRA wants one to win so they change one rating to an F. Further in the article we find the NRA’s reason:

On a portion of the tape from the hour-long show, Velazquez said, “Somebody once told me that in Montana, you have two choices: You could be in favor of gun control or you could run for office, but you couldn’t do both. So, you know, I’m not in favor of gun control because I might run for office again.”

Velazquez also said on the program that she wasn’t sure the framers of the constitution intended a broader, universal right to gun ownership and commented she believes “they had envisioned a limited right to gun ownership.”

Velazquez said Tuesday her remarks were taken out of context. The initial statement about running for office was made in jest, she said.

I’m not sure who is playing politics here.

Riots

I’ve heard around the spectrum talks of this election ending badly. By badly, I don’t mean in terms of your guy losing. I mean people addressing the potential for post election violence. If it’s close, will there be riots. If it goes to court, will there be riots?

Also, one of the Supreme Court justices is ill. In the event he’s not around for the pending case, would a 4-4 vote cause riots?

I’m just wondering how likely it is that this thing could end badly. Thoughts? I tend to doubt there will be substantial riots except maybe in Democrat leaning large cities.

I have two beers bet on this election and rioting would interfere with my ability to collect. I’d hate for Kevin and Chris to brave the riots to bring me my beer!

Unbelievable

I’m sure Hell has a special place for people like this:

When the dog arrived at the shelter, care-takers counted between 50 and 60 cigarette burns all over her body.

BSL in Canada update

Ontario’s pending pit bull legislation has been introduced:

The Ontario government introduced its legislation to ban pit bulls in the province Tuesday afternoon, with an eye toward passing a law by the end of the year.

Attorney-General Michael Bryant said he is committed to pushing the ban through, despite a growing chorus of opposition from dog owners who say it is misguided to blame the breed.

And the dumbass quote of the day:

“If this is an inherently dangerous dog, as I believe it to be, then you can’t leave it to the dog owner to every single time put the muzzle on it,” Mr. Bryant told reporters on Tuesday.

“Just like you can’t leave it to the gun owner to always put the safety clip on a weapon before it goes out in public.”

It’s a dumbass twofer. First, No breed is inherently dangerous. Secondly, what the hell is a safety clip?