Monday, February 28, 2005

Kill the children

There is a FOX article today about the upcoming decision in the Supreme Court regarding the death penalty for teenagers.

According to the article, "the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association, among others, have argued that 16- and 17-year-olds are, in a sense, physically incapable of making judgments as well as adults, and are therefore not as culpable."

Well, if that is the case, what about 18 or 19 year olds? Is there some sort of physiological change that occurs at 18? When, exactly, is a person capable of being culpable? And, what does "in a sense" mean?

I don't see the point in making a clear demarcation like that. How many of them are going to feel differently about the murder they committed at age 15 when they are 21?

I'd say that if you know the difference between right and wrong, then you know that killing is wrong. If you plan a murder, commit a murder, then take actions to conceal yourself as the perpetrator, you know you are wrong and you deserve to die....regardless of your age.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I am Psychic

Or maybe it is psychotic. Either way, I have a prediction.

Someone associated with either the FReepers or Little Green Footballs will scour Ward Churchill's books and find that he is also a plagarist.

At that point, the University of Colorado will finally get rid of him.

Why isn't Ward in movies? He is one scary looking dude. He could be the creeper killer in any movie. Even better, he could dress like a woman and play the part of Janet Reno...or Helen Thomas...or Madeline Albright...or, like Eddie Murphy, he could play all three in an uproarious but touching comedy about three lesbians caught in a love triangle while living in Amsterdam.

Liberal? Conservative? Libertarian?

A little of each, I think. I figure that I ought to post my personal political leanings so it is in writing and anyone that wants to argue with me about something will know where I'm coming from.

I'm a fiscal conservative. I don't think taxes should be collected so they can be given to other people that aren't doing something useful. I don't like welfare, subsidies or social security. Yes, I see many exceptions to that rule of thumb - physical and mental handicapps, etc.

The libertarian in me says that government should be as small as possible, to grant the maximum amount of freedoms. But that is tempered with common sense.

The liberal in me is all about helping others and agree with liberals, to a point, on many issues - from abortion to the environment to gay marriage.

No, I not a moral equivalest...or whatever they are called. I believe there is a moral right and a moral wrong.

I am a bit of a warmonger. I don't see the point of having the biggest stick unless you use it once in a while. A mix of positive and negative reinforcement seems appropriate.

These are general, rules of thumb. I try to use my own common sense, formed through my own experiences. I know there are exceptions to those rules.

I give money to charities that I trust.

I have great respect for many people - Tom Palmer on the libertarian front, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush on the republican front, Hillary Clinton or Tom Warner on the democratic side. They all seem to have good ideas, good moral character and a good dose of common sense. They aren't perfect, I don't agree with all they do and they are a strange mix of people to admire, but in my book, they do more things right than they do wrong.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Supreme Litmus test.

Via Powerline, I hopped to Hugh Hewitt, who pointed me to this post by Carol Platt Liebaou in which she complains that liberals are going to argue against assumed Supreme Court Nominee Michael Luttig based on the premise that he should be recused from death penalty cases because his father was murdered and he gave a victim impact statement at his father's trial.

Wew! This is really a stretch - by everyone involved.

First, we have to assume that Michael Luttig will be nominated to the Supreme Court - safe assumption, maybe, but still an assumption.

Second, we have to assume that liberals are going to argue against him - again, safe assumption.

Third, we have to assume that the liberals will use this argument - this is where it gets dicey. The only one making the assertion that liberals will/might use this argument is Hugh Hewitt and Carol Platt Liebaou.

Fourth, we have to assume that people will take the the "parrot lady" Laura LaFay (why does she write about parrots so much?) and her arguments seriously.

Fifth, we have to assume that Laura LaFay (or anyone else) even considers this an argument against the Judge. It is an argument she didn't actually make. She just reported on a few lawyers trying to get Judge Luttig recused (smart tactical move I think, though I'm not a lawyer) for just that reason. LaFay's big cause seems to be prison conditions. She also seems to be a bleeding heart liberal and has held the standard liberal line on Abu Graib while connecting it to US prison conditions.

This seems to me to be just a way to beat up on liberals for something they haven't actually done yet. Powerline, Hugh Hewitt and Carol Platt LieBaou should be ashamed. This is the same type of misleading crap that bloggers accuse the media of perpetrating. IF someone actually tries to use this argument, I'll jump on the bandwagon condemning it. But, unless they have some sort of evidence that this is in the works, they should all just lay off.

It is easy enough these days to beat up on liberals without having to invent things.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I know who I am.

Okay, I'll bite. Frank J. at IMAO has decided we should all put up our credentials. I'm game, so without any further BS on my part, my answers to:

1. Who the hell do you think you are?

I'm so pretty, oh, so pretty. I'm so pretty and witty and bright.

2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass?

I am a $75 per hour whore, better known as a computer consultant. Just above lawyer on the pond scum food chain.

3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?

I worked for my high school newspaper - I was the guy that got to interview the principal and the town mayor...though I was very stoned and don't remember much. Except for that time that the mayor turned into a lizard and started speaking in heiroglyphs. I still can't figure out how he pulled that off.

4. Do you even read newspapers?

I don't like to get ink on my hands and there is a rubber glove shortage in my area, so no, I don't read them...just the headlines I can see through the glass on the little dispenser machine thingies.

5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?

Oh, this one I got nailed. Yes, I watch the naked news every night, though between the nudity and the jiggling of my bed, I don't catch much.

6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh?

Do Howard Stern and the XM comedy channel count as talk radio?

7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?

Fax? Hah, reviewing faxes is billable work...and the income tax rebate checks are all used up, so I usually just shred them.

8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?

Well, mostly because it is fun and makes me feel all powerful - like Superman and Spiderman - only in pajamas instead of tights.

9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?

I have a passport, it isn't mine, but I do have one. I also have an MSN passport, but I don't use it much, since they are a bunch of liberal weenies.

10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?

YES! I've been to both Los Angeles and New York City, plus Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, England, Phillipines and Washington, D. C. I consider hick a compliment. I'm glad you understand that I can take you out with a high powered rifle from a thousand yards, then gut you, skin you, mount your head and turn you into a very tasty road kill stew. Chili powder makes everything tasty.

11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk?

I did my time. Six years as a Navy Corpsman. My wife did 19 as an officer. I am permanently recallable due to my medical training. Part of that "back-door-draft" you guys always bitch about. I'll be happy to go when my number is called. And, just to prove a point, on March 5, my wife will be going to Bagdad for four months in her current job with the Army Corps of engineers. So, what have you done that is useful, other than talk bad about the military and collude with the insurgents.

12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face?

Well, yes, I have. I was a Navy medic, ran ambulances, did ER trauma work, etc. The goo that was on my best friends face was his acne. It was really gross and I puked up a lung. He had these vicious whiteheads that would pop if you just touched them a little. Sometimes, they'd explode like a bomb. Yuck. I'm getting nauseous just thinking about it. I've seen my share of blood and guts and puss...lots of puss. Ugh.

13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?

I am a father of four children and have two dogs and a wife with a weak stomache. I have definitely reached into a "pile of goo" - unidentifiable goo at that. So, there.

14. Once again, who the hell do you think you are?!

Call me Ishmael or Wade or Dead Guy or Frank or George but not Dan or Eason or John but maybe Steve or Bob. Never call me Brian. That would turn out badly. You haven't even called me that and I'm getting mad about it. My mother calls me by all my brother's order. She just starts at the top with each of us and goes through the whole list until we answer. My wife calls me sweetheart, baby and asshole.

I'm so pretty, oh so pretty. I'm so pretty and witty and bright!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Politicos are all Crazy

First, Maurice Hinchey sees Karl Rove behind every bush. Can you believe it? If Rove is really that much of an evil genius, he will be ruling the world in a few years. That is just paranoia in the extreme. Rove must be loving this. Imagine the power you would feel when you absolutely know that you have gotten into your opponents head to this degree.

Then, good ol' Charlie Rangel thinks the term Islamic Terrorist is racist:

Asked about the refusal by some European governments to declare Hezbollah an Islamic terror group, Rangel told WWRL’s Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter, “To call it Islamic terror is discriminating, it’s bigoted, it is not the right thing to say.”
Rangel even questioned whether, in fact, a worldwide Islamic terrorist movement even existed, saying, “We just take for granted that there is an Islamic terror movement because we do have some fanatic people who come from Islamic countries.”
The Harlem Democrat complained: “When we had the Ku Klux Klan we didn’t call them Baptist terrorists. When Hitler was killing Jews, we didn’t call it Christian terrorists.”

Baptist terrorists? Christian terrorists? Is he really that stupid? What did the KKK and Hitler have to do with religion? Neither group ever claimed to be doing the work of God. That's just stupid.

Finally, even PowerLine's John Hinderaker flew off the handle. Like a man, he admitted his mistake, apologized and moved on. Much better than the lunatics at other, more liberal sites.

Deep in the heart of Texas

So, I went to Texas last week - Dallas to be exact. It seemed like a very nice place. I was strange to see barren trees during such warm weather. I was also interested in the trees that didn't lose their leaves. I don't know what they were, but they were green and it was a nice break from the stripped clean mountains.

The place was also surprisingly clean. The roads didn't have any stones on them. I guess it is the lack of snow and salt trucks.

My one bad experience was a highly annoying bus ride. There was some wench sitting a few seats back babbling incessantly about whatever popped into her head.

I was highly amused by all the billboards. They were advertising specifically to Texas. In the mountains, the billboards just advertise something - Hardee's, Sheetz, beer, etc. In Texas, they relate the product specifically to Texas. There was a billboard for Crown Royal that had a regular size bottle and a "Texas" size bottle. American Airlines proclaimed that it "does Texas better."

The buildings were very cool looking. Not too many standard sky scrapers. The buildings had lots of architectural detail and design. Even the sound barriers on the highway had cement caps and some keystone looking things.

The traffic was relatively light and there didn't seem to be much construction going on. It seemed to say that the area was stagnant, but there were far too many small businesses to bear that out.

The oddest thing - Walmart, Target, Pizza Hut, Calico Corners, etc. make you feel at home, but Sonny Bryans smokehouse bbq and Landry's Seafood let you now you are in Texas.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Now I know which exit.

I took a five state odessy yesterday. Virginia, through West Virginia, through Maryland, through Pennsylvania, finally ending in New Jersey. I came back the same day.

When I got close to my final destination, I was early. I decided to stop for gas and a coffee refill. I picked a random exit off of I-78 and expected to see an area typical of a highway exit. Fast food, car dealerships, restaurants, gas stations and miscellaneous businesses. What I saw really surprised me.

It was like wilderness. Not 100 feet from the ramp, the forest started. There were a scattering of houses mixed in the trees and some quaint settings that were actually quite nice. There was even a sheep farm, which I would expect to see in WV, not NJ. I had to drive a mile to get to the gas station, where I received full service on my vehicle. Fill up, window wash and tire pressure check, just like the old days. I went inside for a cup of coffee and the clerk was cleaning up the coffee area and pored the cup of coffee for me. Decent coffeee at that. I was pleasantly surprised and got a very good first impression of NJ. Then it went down hill.

MapQuest took me through the heart of Newark. Here I am, a big goofy white guy wearing a suit in a giant pick up truck, in the middle of a ghetto with prostitutes hollering at me. I was somewhere in the vicinity of the art center, which apparently is a very rough section of town. I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it out alive. Every person I passed was of a race other than white and glared at my offensive presence.

Then I got to the Kearny area. It was very nice. A long straight boulevard with shops, people walking, kids going to school and remarkably clean. But, there was no place to park. Here I am in the land of cars and highways, just surviving the ghettos and I couldn't find a parking spot. I kept driving and felt certain I would hit another ghetto at any moment and risk my life again.

My business finished, I found a safer way out of town. I took the Garden State Parkway, which has an amazingly large cemetery that stretches out on both sides of the road and has a little deli-food mart on one corner, right up against the tomb stones and mausoleums. One each side of the cemetery, there was a two lane road with row houses across the street. I'm not sure I'd want to be there in life or in death. Both prospects are disconcerting.

Traffic was much lighter than I thought. There were plenty of cars and we were following very closely, but traffic was moving very well.

The strangest part of the trip was leaving NJ. I flew right into NJ along I-78, but on the way out, I had to stop and pay a toll. It was very Hotel California-ish. You can get in, but you can't get out. At least not without paying 75 cents.

All in all, I thought NJ was a nice place and wouldn't mind going back.

Other strange sites:

A female flasher on I-81 north of Harrisburg. She wasn't very well endowed though.
A donkey farm in PA along I-78 in which each donkey had a private barn that looked like a giant "dog-gloo" you can get from the evil WalMart.
A convoy of six tanker trucks carrying different chemicals. Lord knows what would happen in a pile up.
A male of middle eastern decent with a dot on his forhead. I've seen women like this, but never a man. I don't remember what it means or whether it is religious or cultural. I just know I never saw a man with one.
A funeral procession with some idiot driving beside each car and honking. I think he was telling each of them that thier lights were on. Kind of funny, but tasteless.
Real, live prostitutes. Other than Tiajuana strippers, I'd never seen a prostitute.
A rain, snow line. I didn't realize it was really a line. It was raining and as I went up over a mountain, it very abrubtly turned to snow.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Silly Radley, Its "For The People"

Radley Balko is confused by Kevin Drum's logic. I can explain.

Drum is very consistent in his views. It just doesn't make sense to a Libertarian, because, well, the logic is designed to not make sense, but sound like it does.

Radley views the logic from a freedom perspective - freedom of choice, freedom of association, freedom from government interference. It all makes good logic and good sense to most of us. But, Drum uses different logic. It is NONSENSICAL LOGIC. It is a great tool for the left to use. They can make all kinds of nonsensical claims and then back it up with logical, intelligent thought that the rest of us aren't smart enough to understand. Look:

It is good for the people for the government to prevent the people from smoking.
It is good for the people to prevent the government from taking their property.
It is good for the people for the government to protect their sexual preferences.
It is good for the people for the government not to go to war.
It is good for the people for the government to censor television and radio.

Never mind the whole state's consistently respecting property rights junk and the lack of reasoning behind whether it is really good for the people or not. All that is important is that people like Drum understand.

They understand why the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz is smart. The wizard gave him a diploma, which he didn't need, because he was always smart, even though his head is filled with straw. He just needed proof that he was smart, which suddenly made him a math genius, showing he was smart. But, he didn't have to show he was smart. We knew he was smart because we have proof - he has a diploma! See?

It is logic, it just doesn't make any sense. I'll give you an example that maybe you can understand.

Nickels are money.
Pennies are money.
I have three pennies.
You have one nickel.
Three pennies weigh more than one nickel.
I have more money than you.

It is very logical, it just doesn't make sense. Don't get all worked up over people like that. It will only frustrate you. Don't ask for consistency, because they are being consistent, its "for the people."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Happy Birthday to Ron and Me

Yesterday was my birthday. It was also Ronald Reagan's birthday. Ronald Reagan is the reason I am a republican...most of the time.

As a child, growing up in central PA, I only got a few television stations. Each time the President was on TV, I watched. I never really understood what he was saying. I was very young and he was using very big words. But, I was fascinated nonetheless. When I did understand what he was saying, I agreed. I didn't have the Vietnam War or Watergate cynicism evident in the reporters that commented on his appearances, so I usually disagreed with them. I also was touched by the Reagan magic that made it seem he was talking directly to me.

When I graduated high school, I joined the Navy and ended up stationed at the Quantico Marine Corps base (I was a corpsman) where I met President Reagan face to face. He was there for a horse ride at the stables. Apparently, he did that rather frequently. I was lucky enough to be part of the crew deployed to support the President's visit. He made it a point to shake each of our hands and ask us a small talk type question. It was a huge waste of time for a man with so much more to do, but he stopped, to talk to a few service members that were likely to vote for him anyway. There was no press and no mention of it anywhere other than the base paper.

I met him for a second time when he and President Bush 41 went to Quantico for a round of golf. Again, my republicanism was reinforced when both men took the time to thank the servicemen present. But, I was especially joyed at the fact that Reagan remembered me.

On the other hand, President Clinton never came to Quantico and the stories I heard from friends that worked in the White House Communications Office totally turned me off.

Ronald Reagan is the reason I am a republican and George W. Bush is the reason I still am. He's learned the Reagan lessons of being a human, not just a politician. I provide as evidence of this, three things.

1. He went to Bagdad on Thanksgiving. He didn't have to do it. It was dangerous for him personally. But, he wanted to show his solidarity and thanks to the troops. No matter how the media portrayed this, he did it for the troops. Was the danger he faced worth the publicity at a time well before the election was heating up? I think not.

2. Donald Rumsfeld did take responsibility for Abu Graihb. He offered his resignation on two seperate occasions. But, President Bush realized that Rumsfeld is well liked and respected by the men in the field. He didn't want to change leaders in the midst of the conflict. It would have gained him votes and made his political life easier if he let Rumsfeld take the fall. But, he thought of the troops first.

3. He retroactively increased death benefits paid to families of service members killed in action. He could have done this before the election and gained some votes, but by waiting until after the election, he sent the clear message that he sincerely cared about the troops and what happened to their families.

President Bush is a great man following in the footsteps of one of the greatest President's the United States ever had.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President - to both of us.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I was bad, I was punished.

I was late, it was raining, I really needed to get to work and I was driving too fast. I knew I would slide if I stopped for the red-light, so I took my chances and lost. I still think the little old lady I clipped pulled out on purpose. I know she saw me. That's why I was mad.

Yes, I ran a red light and clipped a gaggle of little old ladies and spun their car completely around. To make matters worse, I got out to yell at the driver (because I KNEW she saw me coming and pulled out anyway). I walked right up to her car, she rolled the window down, I said "you stupid f***ing bitch," then all hell broke loose - on me.

She nailed me right in the face with mace - not pepper spray, real mace. I was blinded and could hardly breath and dropped to my knees. Then, she got out and started beating me - viciously. She hit me repeatedly with her purse. Then, the other three old ladies joined in. I was poked in the legs and ribs with an umbrella, I was thumped with a purse, I was kicked in the ribs and one of them even smacked me a few times with a bible. I know it was a bible because I could clearly see the cross coming at my head and had some catholic school flashbacks.

It may seem cowardly, but in the face of superior numbers and superior firepower, I retreated to my car and got the hell out of there. At least I won't have an increase in insurance. My bumper was a little dented and that's it.

But, my body, pride and ego are severely bruised.

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