Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Democrats - party of forebearance

The state of IL has much to answer for when you consider some of the jackasses sent to Washington in their name. Now Jerry Costello asserts his asininity as follows:
"Could you imagine what the Republicans would be doing to a Democratic president who was a CEO of a company that now has gotten billions of dollars worth of contracts - no-bid contracts - without competition? There would be hearings day after day. And my prediction to you is that you will see in this session of Congress that begins on Tuesday, there will not only be hearings but I think there ought to be impeachment hearings."
Yeah, that's it. The Dems have had the goods on Cheney for all this time, but out of the sweetness and light from their golden hearts, they've withheld their fire for the sake of the Republic.

I could dog-cuss George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress at great length for any number of issues. And then along comes some !@#$! lobotomy candidate like this to convince me that I have no choice but to vote against them and their party.

And spare me any crap about Costello being a lone crank. There's still such a thing as party discipline, and Costello was covering for Dick Gephardt in a state Gephardt has to win. If the Dems have any sense they'll take Costello to the woodshed and make him crawl to the nearest mike to apologize for being such a jackass. As things are I suspect it was a trial balloon, and if they think they can get anywhere with it they'll keep spreading the idea.

"But the Republicans did it to Clinton!" That's right, they caught the whorehopping degenerate lying about something trivial, risking perjury charges because he didn't think the Republicans would call him on it. That he was indiscreet enough to be messing with a pathetic bimbo who couldn't keep her mouth shut told us everything we needed to know about his judgment and fitness for office. (Protecting his family my eye - you do that by not whoring around in the first place). There's utterly no comparison here.

Tasteless entertainment

I often have CNN blaring in the background for some reason. I happened to look up as someone was playing a PC game in which you save babies Michael Jackson is dropping off a roof.

That struck me as pathological enough for me to blog about, so I went looking for it on Google. It was worse than I thought - there are several, as shown here, complete with reviews.

What's next?

Friday, January 16, 2004

Pull my finger

My referral logs tell me someone landed here wanting to know what animal was called the "ship of the desert". This is what he got. Then again, the way kids seem to be today, he'll have to ask the teacher what "seamen" are.

Perhaps there lives someone so innocent that they never put a little kid up to something obnoxious. Wimps! Not me.

My greatest single accomplishment was probably teaching some younger relatives (both girls, around 2 and 4) how to blow their noses without a handkerchief. Their mother had fun breaking them of that. Heh heh. In my defense, I was only about 13 myself.

I wasn't through yet. Another relative had sisters in high school, and he'd wind up talking to their many suitors. Seeking to help in raising a fine young gentleman, I gave him examples of things he shouldn't say, like "she's taking a huge nasty dump right now". How he survived to adulthood I'll never know.

And that's not even counting the stuff I put myself up to. Did you know you can build a fire in a commode?

So I must be carrying some heavy karmic baggage, eh? Oh no - one of the girls above got me back in spades.

I was told that she wanted to have 3 girls I knew stay overnight with her. Oh yeah, their boyfriends would be visiting too. I was going to be there chaperoning anyway, and nobody was leaving, so could I get them some ingredients for some frozen daiquiris? Trusting soul that I was, I took her at her word and got a bottle of rum and some frozen strawberries.

Hah! - think "Risky Business", only with free sex. Every kid from that end of the county must have shown up at their country home at one time or another that night, and their huge yard was covered with perhaps 40 cars. Terrific - I figured I'd be meeting the sheriff any minute.

Well, there was only one bottle, right? No, these kids had their own stuff, and the next day when I rousted the scheming princesses to help clean up, we gathered 7 huge yard bags full of beer cans and other containers.

I'm dealing with this the best I can, walking around, trying to keep the bedrooms empty and the john running. I didn't have to put out any fires, but the hordes did manage to break a door.

One girl I'd never seen before grabbed me and led me outside to a kid who had passed out. This was when I discovered that the debauchery inside the house was just the tip of the iceberg. Recovering my composure, I stood him up, shoved my finger down his throat as far as it would go and let Nature take its course. She held him while he barfed a regular Hawaiian sunset, then he straightened up and went back to drink some more.

It finally ended, with no fights, no known physical harm or conceptions, no DUIs or car wrecks and no visits from the law. Actually in retrospect it was kind of comforting to see how the kids looked after each other, but it wasn't anything I cared to repeat.

Anyway, on the whole I figure I'm on the good side of karma with this. And what do you know? - the girl who got me good above is now married with kids of her own...

Gonna write myself a letter, gonna mail it to my local DJ

Marsha Albert did, back in December 1963, and look what happened.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Saudi male teens' ideas about women

It's, um, enlightening if not particularly enlightened.

Stolen from my favorite colon addict at Diotima (aka διοτιμα). She has several other good links too - just keep scrolling down.

Well, I can't pass this link up:
In the thirty years since Roe v. Wade, the number of infant homicides has skyrocketed. According to a study released last year by the Centers for Disease Control, babies are at the greatest risk for homicide during the first week of life and are now ten times more likely to be murdered on the day they are born than at any other time in their entire lives.

In fact, babies are now killed on the first day of their lives almost daily in this country. The rate of infant homicide is now twice what it was before we began telling women they were free to kill their unwanted babies before birth.

Fear of Dirty Bombs

I had concluded that bloggers and their readers were far smarter than John Q. Public some time ago. The response to this post of Dean Esmay's is even more evidence.

Longtime readers will note that I have written of nuclear power and dirty bombs many times (here,
here, here, here, here, here, here, and even more yet.). Now StrategyPage is in on the act. Excellent. Would that every dangerous substance announced its presence as clearly as radioactive substances do.

Glass Harps

I'm not sure when the goblet was invented. I'm sure it's also undocumented when someone first ran their finger along the rim of one and produced a sound. Then later yet someone would have figured out how to tune them, and put them together so that they could be used to play a melody. That last person arguably was the first glass harper.

Leave it to Ben Franklin to come up with a better way. According to the WSJ, his favorite invention was the armonica. It was constructed of glass bowls that were nested and mounted concentrically on a horizontal shaft which could be rotated. Thus the musician need only move his hand from one to another to play another pitch without the complication of sliding his fingers along the rim.

With modern synthesizers being as cheap and powerful as they are, I'm guessing that we won't be seeing any further development with this. That's OK with me - somehow automating this any further seems to be missing the point.

Mass graves and WMD

Nelson Ascher explains it all here.

Gay issues again

Before it becomes too obvious, let me note that I'm not a lawyer. So let's make this really simple.

A marriage consists of a man and a woman. Anything else is not a marriage.

If the participants in love, that's good, but not essential - millions of marriages the world over are arranged by others such that the bride and groom have never even met before marriage. Thus love is not relevant.

If they procreate, that's OK, but not essential.

There is no "right" to get married. Both churches and states have reserved the right to restrict who can marry whom. Professions of love are not sufficient to overcome these, nor is procreation.

Gays have exactly the same right to get married that everyone else does. They just have to marry someone of the opposite sex. That they might love someone else is beside the point.

Being gay is not like being a racial minority. Gays are not required to identify themselves as such legally - it's not on their driver's license, passport or any other common legal document. Gays often cannot be recognized as such. Gays can claim to be straight and vice versa and no one can prove otherwise. In short, being gay is not an immutable state, but a choice. As such it's unworthy of being classed with handicaps, race and sex wrt Federal or state protections.

The various differential statuses and rights written into our marriage laws were designed for marriages consisting of a man and a woman. These are not necessarily appropriate for same-sex pairings. Whether it is appropriate to extend these to same-sex marriages should be addressed on an issue-by-issue basis by legislators in advance, and with input from interested parties like insurors. These issues will be addressed, and it will be far more expensive and less orderly if done in the courts after the fact.

The body of law that addresses marriage is large and complex. It would require substantial revision to accomodate new issues that arise with male-male or female-female relationships, and many issues that arise with male-female relationships would not apply. It makes no sense to encumber marriage law with innumerable new "if's" when it is already so complicated.

Such revisions would have to take place in all 50 states. That's a substantial effort. And for what? So a tiny sliver of our population might save some legal paperwork and expense. IMO such a demand is unreasonable.

Although I oppose federalizing marriage law, I would support a Constitional amendment defining marriage as a man and a woman just to prevent chaos.

I recognize that harmonizing marriage laws across the country would be beneficial, however. Surely we have talented lawyers who can write a code for "civil unions", packaging what is appropriate for such couples into something democratically acceptable nationwide. The final product might even result in better marriage laws. So I ask why gays don't pursue this approach?

I've heard some claim that the 14th Amendment somehow has something to do with this issue. I'm sure its authors would be astonished to hear this - I'm guessing that if someone had said "if you give blacks equal rights you're paving the way for homosexual marriage!" he would have been laughed out of the room if not sedated. Those of you who do think that an amendment written almost a century and a half ago can be interpreted so probably owe a huge apology to Senator Rick Santorum.

I guess that's enough flame-bait for one day.

Whatever happened to Christopher Cross?

Or, if you're in your early 20's or younger, who is Christopher Cross?

We'll let his website tell it:
Christopher?s entry into the public eye was complicated by unfortunate terms like ?meteoric rise,? ?rocketed to fame,? and the dreaded (and seldom accurate) ?overnight success.? Longed-for terms before the fact, intoxicating in their fruition, and finally next to impossible to parlay into a long-term career, particularly in a business on the verge of being revolutionized...

Four years, two albums, eight hit singles, several world tours, five Grammy's, and one Oscar later, Christopher rested. Wouldn?t you? But waiting there in the wings was that music merchandiser?s dream, that music purist?s nightmare, that soon-to-be-ubiquitous usurper of the imagination -- the music video. The world suddenly wanted its MTV, and it didn?t take long to see, in this new era of self-invented media darlings, that no amount of quick cuts, exotic locations, or writhing chorines would disguise the fact that, on the outside, Christopher Cross was just a regular guy.
Well, that's one way to put it. The fact is that if you lined up pop recording artists by looks, he'd be on the wrong end of the line. His picture wasn't found on the album covers or in the liner notes, and I know that when I first saw this guy who'd had so many big hits so fast I was expecting something different. Anyway, as I perceived it at the time the guy just all but disappeared after his first TV appearances.

Then again, why not? Unless he had a recording contract worthy of Boston or the Goo-Goo Dolls, he should have been disgustingly rich by then. If he's happy, everything's OK.

His music as I recall was highly produced pop. The songs were mostly slow and mellow with occasional exceptions like "Ride like the Wind". He sang in a fairly high register, and his voice was kind of asexual. I guess if I were looking for an artist who sounded something like him I'd pick (get the brickbats ready) Dan Fogelberg. Hey, if you want better reviews, go here.

Anyway, if you want more, here's Cross's official site.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

How to fix the Iowa caucuses

Stuart Buck notes that it's very easy to vote in the Iowa caucuses, which makes all sorts of mischief possible (cough Howard Dean cough). Here he cites Dan Savage's experience (you have to see this) and this concern:
According to The Des Moines Register, only 61,000 Democrats and 86,000 Republicans participated in the Iowa caucuses in 2000. Throw in a bunch of young, energized, devoted volunteers ? like the hordes of Howard Dean supporters I've seen leaving Seattle for Iowa in their hybrid cars over the last couple of weeks ? and, well, you get the picture. In a nine-way contest, even a few hundred out-of-state volunteers willing to show up at caucus sites and impersonate Iowans could distort the outcome on behalf of their candidate.
In closing, Buck notes
Requiring identification would be a great idea. The only problem is that whenever anyone proposes that people should have to show some ID when they vote, Democrats and liberals complain that any such requirement would be 'discriminatory.' Which is why I'm hoping that Dean's supporters do try to vote illegally in Iowa. Maybe that's what it would take for other Democrats to recognize the importance of having an ID requirement. I just can't understand why it should be easier to get away with voting illegally than it is to rent a video from Blockbuster.
He's right - nothing is a problem until it harms the Democrats.

Judicial Recess Appointments - A History

A PDF from the Federalist Society. One of the authors is Stuart Buck.

Germ juice

One solution to humans seemingly insatiable appetite for energy is to let bacteria do most of the work.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have identified a microorganism that is particularly good at converting sugars to electricity under natural conditions.

Who is Ron Suskind?

Yeah, he wrote the Paul O'Neil book that just came out. But here's more, from The Corner.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Onward Christian Soldiers

From CNN:
A painting by controversial artist Scott LoBaido, part of a new exhibit at the National Arts Club, depicts President Bush holding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's severed head in one hand and an American flag in the other.
They just interviewed the artist, Scott LoBaido, on TV. Believe it or not, there's a reasonably conservative artist in NYC.

The painting in question is on display at the National Arts Club and is to be there until January 29. I'm guessing that something will happen to it before that time is up.

Leopard Slug Aerial mating

And you thought primates had all the fun - try this.

Stolen from BoingBoing.

How long before Glenn Reynolds links to this?

TIME Magazine: Sexual Healing

Go away, Move On

This site has never claimed that MoveOn=Hitler. If you should happen to do so in the comments that wouldn't imply anything about my own position of course.

More about MoveOn here.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

The Bush test for airport security

This story tells about an Algerian who allegedly planned to martyr himself. Here's a quote:
The man had also shaved off all his body hair, a religious act often observed by would-be suicide bombers so that they are "clean" before entering heaven, the newspaper said.
Let's hope that the guys who are responsible for airport security don't think like I do.