Thursday, January 27, 2005

King Prig misses the point.... again

The Parents Television Council head honcho L. Brent Bozell, III has a new column upset that reporters don't give graphic enough descriptions of what is being complained about by his group to the FCC. He uses that, and the fact that newspapers refused to run ads like this in their paper as proof that the reporters know this stuff is indecent, and defend it anyway. He then calls this censorship.

"If the media are going to cover the decency debate, they need to do a better job of explaining exactly what the FCC is deciding. They should not have it both ways, implicitly or explicitly displaying their disdain for "censorship," and then censoring out the most controversial parts of televised raunch. Instead of being offered fair and thorough journalism, the American people have been cheated out of a complete understanding of the "censorship" controversy."

Hey moron, private publishers can choose what they want to publish or not publish. What your group wants is to have a government agency enforce restrictions on speech. That is censorship, the other is free market choice.

Save the NHL!!!!!

The two sides are meeting, but time is running out to save the season. I think the players need to suck it up and give the owners what they want in this one, and fight the good fight a few years down the road when the health of the league is more solidified. The players aren't going to be making any money if the league folds, or if they are gone for a season or two and the fans don't come back. Especially in markets that hockey is relatively new, like the South, fan retention will be a problem. Don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg players! You'll still make good money, and you'll be remembered as the ones who saved the league. Just accept the leagues CBA proposal and give me my hockey back!

In the meantime, Go Thunderbirds! (Seattle's minor league hockey team)

Wait until they come for you...

Radley Balko has a good article up at Fox about the erosion of our rights in the name of the drug war and DUI/DWI laws. Best quotes-

"The drug war has been eating at the Bill of Rights since its inception. Asset forfeiture laws, for example, allow law enforcement to seize the assets of suspected drug dealers before they're ever convicted of a crime. Even if the defendant is acquitted or the charges are dropped, the mere presence of an illicit substance in a car or home can mean the loss of the property, on the bizarre, novel legal principle that property can be guilty of a crime.
Thanks to mandatory minimum sentencing laws, a judge in Utah recently had no choice but to sentence a first-time marijuana dealer to 55 years in prison (he had a pistol strapped to his ankle during the one-time deal, though he never brandished it). Frustrated but hamstrung by drug laws, the judge in the case noted that just hours earlier, he had sentenced a convicted murderer to just 22 years for beating an elderly woman to death with a log."


"the Court could allow "random sobriety checkpoints" in which cops stop motorists without probable cause and give them breath tests, a practice that would otherwise again violate the Fourth Amendment.
The Court has since ruled that the urgency of the drunken driving problem gives states the option to legislate away a motorist's Sixth Amendment (
search) right to a jury trial and his Fifth Amendment (search) right against self-incrimination."

And from my wonderful state-

"The state of Washington just passed two laws remarkable in their disdain for everything our criminal justice system is supposed to represent. The first instructs juries in drunk driving cases to consider the evidence "in a light most favorable to the prosecution," an evidentiary standard that's unheard of anywhere else in criminal law. The second mandates that breath test evidence be admissible, no matter what — even if the defense can prove that the breath test machine was broken, or jiggered toward higher readings."

But common sense and liberty will never prevail in the case of drug law, because any politician who comes out on the side of relaxing drug laws, or at least protecting our liberties from being violated in the name of the drug war, will be labeled as "soft on crime". Who cares if our rights are eroded, as long as those damn addicts are kept locked up! I just hope nobody accidentally leaves a joint in one of these legislators cars....

Monday, January 24, 2005

I want a political license plate!

Actually, I don't. But I do think in this case if you're going to offer plates with one side of an issue, you have to offer the other side the same option. Otherwise, it's state-endorsed promotion of an agenda, which is clearly un-Constitutional. And I'm pretty sure the pro-lifers would go apeshit if you could buy license plates that said "Choose Aboriton" and the revenue of sales went to abortion clinics.

I've never understood the need to declare your religion/politics/musical tastes/etc. on the back of your car anyway. Especially controversial views. Do these people think anyone really cares that the person driving in front of you is pro-choice? That someone might be sitting in rush hour traffic behind your Darwin "fish" and think, "Gee, maybe I won't believe in Creationism anymore..."? I think the best bumper sticker I ever saw was the one that said "In case of the Rapture, this vehicle will be unoccupied". That person is awfully sure of their place in heaven! But it was nice of her to give warning I suppose....

I also think their should be a law that you can only have a personalized plate if it is 1) obvious what you're attempting to spell, and 2) that it makes sense. I hate trying to figure out the bizarre spelling of some plate, deciphering it, then having no idea what they mean. Just a pet peeve...

A wishy-washy win

The Supreme Court decided not to intervene on behalf of Terri Schiavo's parents in their bid to keep her alive through the use of a feeding tube. However,the court declined to make any sort of comment on the case, which I find a little cowardly.

I still see it as a win for those of us on the "quality" side of the right-to-die/quality-of-life arguments. This woman has been in a vegetative state for 14 years. Shouldn't she be allowed to leave this life at some point? While there is some disagreement on whether it's even possible for her to improve, at what point do the efforts to keep her alive become cruel? I feel very sorry for her parents (who are fighting to keep her alive), but the quality of life for this woman is just depressing.

As an aside, one of the arguments the "pro-life-no-matter-what" crowd makes is that we should never hasten death, but allow it to occur naturally. Well, how natural is it to be kept alive for 14 years with a feeding tube? If you've seen any video of this woman, you know how depressing her life is. Shouldn't we allow nature to take it's course at some point?

Friday, January 21, 2005

So wrong...

This verdict is wrong on soooo many levels. The parents of a girl paralyzed by a drunk driver successfully have sued the driver and the vendor for the stadium to the tune of $135 million. $75 million of that is the responsibility of the vendor to pay.

This is just wrong. The person who should be held responsible is the driver. Period. Anyone who has been to a pro sports game knows there is no way to control the drinking of fans. First of all, fans can drink before they even enter the stadium, giving them a head start on getting drunk. Secondly, there are multiple stands at a stadium. If one vendor tells me I appear too intoxicated to have another beer, I can try my luck at another stand. I can also go to a different stand each time I get a beer, so the server doesn't have any idea how many beers I had. Or, I can send my buddy to grab the beers. Or, stock up early and get lots of beers before the game. I went to the Seahawks/Cowboys Monday Night Football game this season, and because it was Monday, beer sales stopped at the end of halftime instead of the end of the third quarter. I still got pretty buzzed by drinking before the game, buying 2 beers before the game, 2 at the end of the first quarter, and 2 at halftime. I had a nice supply for the second half. Then, after the game, I TOOK A BUS HOME!!!

My point being, there isn't a lot the vendors can do to curb drunkenness at a game. And to hold a vendor responsible for the actions of a customer after they have left the establishment is simply asinine. I can also just imagine what kind of precedent this will set. Alcohol- The New Tobacco. Just think of all the things we can sue big alcohol for. Politicians can make political hay of this and big bucks for lawyers.


Goddamn queer cartoons....

What the hell is wrong with these people? They spend entirely too much time worrying about the "gay agenda" and looking for evidence. I think it's a very strange obsession. Cartoons are going to brainwash your kid into being gay? Weird idea.....

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Onion on Iraq's elections

"How are Iraqi citizens preparing for their Jan. 30th election?"

My favorite-

"Providing covering fire while friends run for office"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

NOW they seal the borders....

Last week I asked how Iraq can hold elections with the security problems there. Well, now there's more evidence that Iraq is not ready to hold legit elections. The AP reports that 3 candidates have been assassinated in the last couple of days. Favorite quote-

"With insurgents trying to ruin the election, officials announced that Iraq will seal its borders, extend a curfew and restrict movement to protect voters during the balloting. "

I seem to remember a whole lot of discussion not too long ago about the hordes of foreign fighters pouring across the borders to attack our troops. Apparently we just didn't think it was important to stop them. Of course, I'm being sarcastic, but the larger point stands; how can there possibly be legit elections in Iraq with the chaos that continues there? I think one of the most damning facts is this-

"Lieut. General Thomas Metz, the commander of U.S. ground forces, said last week that four of Iraq's 18 provinces remain too unsafe for many to vote. These insecure areas -- which include portions of Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul and Saddam's hometown of Tikrit -- are home to as much as 40 percent of Iraq's population. "

Now, wouldn't that be like saying "Hey, 46 of America's 50 states are set to have an election. The states that won't be participating are California, New York, Texas and Florida. Sound good?"

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Left's racism

The above link is from Michelle Malkin, a sample of the hate mail she receives. While I'm no fan of Malkin's, this kind of crap from the left really pisses me off. The thinking that all minorities should be liberal is plainly racist. The underlying thought behind that idea is that all people in a group think the same way. But would anyone ever suggest that a middle class, middle aged white Christian was a "sell-out" if they are liberal instead of Republican? Of course not, but that is the message of some people on the left toward minority conservatives.

Personally, I think a growing population of minority conservatives in our country is a sign of good things. It means that some minorities are moving towards the more admirable tenets of conservative thinking, namely self-reliance. When some people get to a point in society where they see the dogma of the left in regards to race as outdated, isn't that a good thing? Why should minority conservatives be castigated, just because they are conservatives and minorities at the same time? Certainly debate their ideas, but once you bring race into the argument as a factor, you're only revealing your own racism.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Are the left monsters?

Douglas Kern at Tech Central seems to think so. His article (amusingly) points out that with lower birth rates than conservatives, lefties will die out without a way to replace their ideology. He then makes Bride of Frankenstein/Dracula analogies (immigration/brainwashing) for how lefties can reproduce.

The problem I have with Kern's premise is that he is against sending kids to "elite" lefty institutions to be schooled.

"every year, conservative families spend outrageous sums in order to send their smartest, most capable children to elite colleges, wherein radical leftists brainwash them into newly-minted blue-staters"

Ahhhh! The evil radical leftists with their horrible mind-bending abilities! Kern looks forward to the days that red-staters can send their kids to internet universities, community colleges and trade schools, and receive an education that is just as respected as a degree from a current 4-year college. Shouldn't college be a place where you are challenged? Why would he advocate sending your kid to a school that simply validates what you've been taught your whole lives? If "elites" ideas are so bad, why do the red-staters children succumb to them so easily? Brainwashing works on weak minds.

While the article is interesting, I think Kern's solution of further segregating people with different values is very bad for America.

The other quote I really hated was this stereotypical right-winger pap-

"...and in the red states generally - greatly outpace the reproduction rates of our over-educated latte-sipping superiors"

This "elites" and "over-educated" bullshit just drives me insane. The O'reillys and Hannitys of the right wing have actually decided to make being educated sound like an insult. What the fuck is wrong with their values if learning is something to be mocked? "Over-educated"?!? There's no such thing!

How can Iraq possibly have legit elections....

when this is going on? I simply don't understand why the Bush administration is insisting on holding elections in January, when it is obvious to the most casual observer that the security and logistics are going to render any election results a joke. The international election observers are going to be observing from another country for Christ's sake!

Can he do that?

I'm sorry, but I don't see how you can join the Army in the first place, and serve for nine years, and then decide you're a conscientious objector. I can see how actually being in combat might change your perspective on things, but I don't think you should be able to just refuse deployment after serving for nine years. The entire purpose of a military is to fight wars. You know that going in. You can't decide once you're in one that you don't like it and won't play anymore.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Billy Grahm's advice

Just out of curiosity, why would anyone write to Grahm for advice? His advice is always the same, regardless of the problem- accept Jesus as your savior and do what the Bible says.

And for that matter, why do papers run his column? Are there people who actually read it every day, just to see what problem Grahm will "solve" by telling them to get right with Jesus? Seriously, in the last few days he has solved the problems of porn, a bad temper and drug use. All with the same advice. Really, who reads this?

Armstrong Williams scandal

By now you've heard that Williams was a paid shill for the Bush administration. What I can't fathom is why the administration would feel the need to pay off a commentator in the first place! Right-wing radio is filled with hosts who pimp for Bush for free (Hannity, Rush, etc.). Why feel the need to pay off one of them, and for one specific issue?

Which begs a larger point- while Williams certainly should have disclosed his paid spokesman status when appearing on other news shows, is it really wrong to accept payment for promoting something you believe anyway? Why not get an extra paycheck for saying something you were going to anyway? However, as a "conservative", he probably should have turned down the money on principle- you know, waste of taxpayer money, big government, blah, blah, blah.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Sports blogging

What a disappointing season. What a disappointing end. Once again, the Hawks couldn't get it done in the clutch. And to lose again to the Rams.... It's going to take a lot of booze to get over this season.

It's one thing when you know going into a season that your team kind of sucks. You're ready for it. You root for them anyways, but you kind of see the wins as a bonus, and you take losses with a grain of salt. But when your team is expected to be really good, when national sportswriters are picking your team to go to the Super Bowl, when you start 3-0, well, then it's really painful to watch your team fall apart. I've been going to Seahawks games for over 20 years. I can probably count on one hand the home games I've missed in the last 10 years. And it would be so nice to not finish a season saying "wait 'till next year, we have a really good core".

All the teams I was rooting for on Wild Card Weekend lost. Next weekend should be fun though.

But there is no NHL to take the edge off.

So..... Go Sonics!!

Why make fun of the South....

When they're so good at lampooning themselves? My favorite quote-

""I've been a librarian for 40 years and this is the only book I've objected to so strongly that I wouldn't allow it to circulate," said Robert Willits, director of the Jackson-George Regional Library System..."

Really? Of all the books published in the last 40 years, the most offensive thing in any of them is fake nude pictures of the Supreme Court? REALLY?!?!

Update: The Library Board reveresed it's decision, America: The Book will now be available in libraries in Mississippi.

Friday, January 07, 2005

But everyone knows the undead are Democrats....

Washington state governors race update- While the Democrat seems to have won, there have been many voting irregularities, including dead people voting. While in principle I want every vote counted and a fair election, I must admit some satisfaction in the Republicans having to be the ones challenging the election. Especially after they kept calling for the Democrats to concede when their boy was ahead. C'mon Republicans, just concede, accurate vote counts aren't that big a deal!

King Prig, acting a little defensive

L. Brent Bozell, III, the head prude behind the Parents Television Council, felt the need to defend himself against a paper by CATO analyst Adam Theirer. Too bad that Mr. Bozell can't even defend himself without lying and mis-characterizing what was said about him. My favorite paragraph in an essay filled with defensive whining-

"Mr. Thierer believes that parental responsibility should be limited to keeping children away from those polluted airwaves. Does he also believe people should be allowed to put obscenities on their license plates and if parents don't approve they should just keep their children off the roads? If a drug dealer is peddling his wares in a school parking lot, is keeping the child out of school the only solution? Such is the incoherence of the libertarian thought process."

Well Mr. Bozo, while we can't put obscenities on license plates, we can have a license plate holder that says "THE PTC ARE COCKSMOKING BITCHES" and have a bumper sticker that says "FUCK OFF KING PRIG". But I'm sure in your ideal world, people would not be able to wear what they want, as well as not watch what they want. And the drug analogy is absolutely asinine; there is no Constitutional right to peddle dope, but there is one that guarantees freedom of expression.