30 July 2008

Other Shoe Dropping

Once they landed Brunette, and since they never really talked about lingering injuries, it's not too surprising to see Gumpy bought out.

Hope he's not done in the league. Too bad he's done with us.

29 July 2008

Deep Fried and Look Like Squirrel

Looks like I'll have to brush up on my language skills before any tip to China:

28 July 2008

Someone Wake John Lesch From His Slumber

Remember that elected flunkie who wanted to ban 'bully breeds?'

Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, said he plans to push next year for a state ban on Akitas, chow chows, Rottweilers, pit bulls and wolf hybrids or mixed-breed dogs with any of the above traits.

"You never hear stories about roving packs of golden retrievers attacking children in our streets," Lesch said. "But you do hear about the pit bulls, who are responsible, according to Minnesota statistics, for up to one third of the vicious attacks in this state in the past five years."

Nice form, Lesch; legislate right after you watch CNN. That's even dumber that grocery shopping when you're hungry. And how did Lesch trot out his bullshit last summer? By hiding behind a child:
Lesch appeared at a Capitol news conference with 5-year-old Brianna Senn, whose face carried wounds from a pit bull attack this month on St. Paul's East Side. He mentioned other serious attacks in recent months and distributed a packet of news clippings about them. The dog that attacked Brianna was previously declared "potentially dangerous" by city inspectors.
Lesch failed to call for the stomping of the screwheads who were not in control of their dogs, but decided that breed-based genocide was the way to go (ever wonder how he'd apply his logic to gang members commiting crimes?). Well, as if you didn't realize how he was talking straight out of his ass then, we now have the proof:

Parents of a 2-year-old St. Paul boy bitten by a dog are running out of time to learn if the cocker spaniel has been vaccinated for rabies.

A man, 30 to 40 years old, pushing a 60- to 65-year-old woman in a wheelchair, sat near the family, Christensen said Sunday. "They had a dog. Oscar loves dogs, so we asked if he could pet the dog. They said yes, the dog loved kids."

Oscar reached to pet the seemingly friendly rusty-brown cocker spaniel, but it lunged and bit him just below the eye. It took six stitches to close the teeth puncture wounds on the boy's left cheek.

I expect to see Lesch snatch this poor child from his parents tonight and parade him before the tee vee news cameras, foaming at the mouth himself, calling for the immediate police-enforced
destruction of all dogs under 30 pounds. If he does this, he'll show himself to be a disconnected, pandering whacko. If he does not do this, he'll show himself to be a narrow-minded selective hypocrite.

Don't Remind Me

It's not new news but this makes it real:

All things being equal, I'd rather have kept Brian Rolston in St. Paul.

Unprecedented: Three-Way Tie at the Brickyard

They had the running of the Stink/Suck/Fail 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday. Amazingly enough, NASCAR, Goodyear and Tony George crossed the finish line at exactly the same moment.
The 15th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard was plagued by tires that couldn't last more than 10 or 15 laps without shredding apart on the 2.5-mile speedway's abrasive surface. So NASCAR threw the caution flag every dozen laps or so, allowing teams to bolt on fresh rubber. But that meant the 160-lap race turned into a series of 10- or 12-lap heats. By the time Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet took the checkered flag, there had been a race-record 52 laps run under yellow -- or nearly one-third of the race.
Legitimate motorsport competition can be found in MotoGP, the ALMS and the NHRA; they just can't often be found on tee vee, like NASCAR, Jerry Springer and Desperate Housewives.

UPDATE: More fodder for the "NASCAR is diseased" file:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR tried to even out the competition in the Nationwide Series on Wednesday by ordering all teams using Toyota motors to squeeze down their horsepower before this weekend's race in Indianapolis. Toyota has won 14 of 21 races this season in the Nationwide Series, and all but one came in a Camry fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing.

Going too fast? In auto racing? What NERVE Toyota has . . .
Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition (no irony there!), said the
Toyota motors are legal and in line with previous guidelines. But NASCAR is
responsible for maintaining a level playing field, and because Toyota is new to
the sport and working with new designs, the manufacturer has gained an advantage
over Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford.
Innovation? In auto racing? What NERVE Toyota has . . .

Oh yea, by all means; clip the Toyotas' wings - wouldn't want Chevy, Dodge and Ford to have to do the work to go any faster would we? "Attention, Toyota: Stop being so good with your racing car or pay the consequences."

25 July 2008

"Do You Think You're What They Say You Are?"

This morning's trifecta is courtesy of Matt Drudge; the original 'he links, you decide' web dude:

First; Gerard Baker:

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

It only gets better the more you read. Item number two comes fro the very thorough Howard Kurtz:
But even as the likes of NBC's Andrea Mitchell and ABC's Jake Tapper rose to press the Democratic candidate on Tuesday, television viewers back home heard nothing but faint voices in the wind. The journalists weren't miked; only Obama's answers came through loud and clear. That may have been unintentional, but it underscored the degree to which Obama has controlled the message -- and, more important, the pictures -- during his exhaustively chronicled trek across the Middle East and Europe. Obama meeting the troops, meeting the generals, meeting prime ministers and kings, drawing a huge crowd in Berlin yesterday -- the images trump whatever journalists write and say.

In short, though Obamapalooza was not quite the lovefest that some expected, news outlets provided a spotlight so bright that their own people were left in the shadows.
I guess Bono had the week off, so legacy media needed something to light up the pixels.

Some journalists defend the coverage as a matter of marketing: Obama is hot, McCain is not. "The Obama phenomenon is so much the better story -- an obscure African American senator from Illinois, little known to most Americans two years ago, emerges as very probably the next president," says Terence Smith, a former correspondent for CBS and PBS. "That is a fantastic story. Of course it's going to get two or three times the space and attention and airtime of John McCain, who, while he may be a very appealing semi-maverick on his bus, is a much more conventional candidate."
Ooooo, look; a shiny thing! Let's put it on tee vee!
The power of stirring images was on display again yesterday in Berlin. Moments after finishing his speech at the Victory Column, as 200,000 Germans cheered, Obama strolled off with Brian Williams, camera crew in tow, to talk about what had just transpired.
Two backs being scratched there . . . third comes from the cranky, non-Red Bull-drinking adults who actually know the difference between important and not at IBD:

The New York Times' refusal to publish John McCain's rebuttal to Barack Obama's Iraq op-ed may be the most glaring example of liberal media bias this journalist has ever seen. But true proof of widespread media bias requires one to follow an old journalism maxim: Follow the money. Even the Associated Press — no bastion of conservatism — has considered, at least superficially, the media's favoritism for Barack Obama. It's time to revisit media bias.

An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans. Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.

The contributions add up to $315,533 to Democrats and $22,656 to Republicans — most of that to Ron Paul, who was supported by many liberals as a stalking horse to John McCain, a la Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos with Hillary and Obama. What is truly remarkable about the list is that, discounting contributions to Paul and Rudy Giuliani, who was a favorite son for many folks in the media, the totals look like this: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans (four individuals who donated to McCain). Let me repeat: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans — a ratio of 100-to-1. No bias there.
And finally a photo from the campaign jet, one candidate and the sophomorically gushing totally objective media:

24 July 2008

Why is This Man Smiling?

Because he's rationalized putting his crack-pot idealism ahead of the lives of others.

On Wednesday, (Edwin) Ramos pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder in the deaths of Anthony Bologna, 49, and his sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Bologna and his older son died in the intersection on June 22. His younger son succumbed to his injuries days later.

The victims' family learned that Ramos had been arrested at least three times before the shooting and evaded deportation, largely because of San Francisco's sanctuary status. The policy, adopted in 1989 by the city's elected Board of Supervisors, bars local officials from cooperating with federal authorities in their efforts to deport illegal immigrants.

The Bolognas' relatives say Ramos apparently benefited from the policy when he reportedly was convicted twice of felonies in 2003 and 2004 but never was turned over for deportation. "All San Francisco's sanctuary ordinance has done is bring violence and death to this once-great city," said Frank Kennedy, who is married to Anthony Bologna's sister.
Oh now, come on; just because three of your family members were gunned down in public by an illegal alien and repeat felon doesn't mean you should harsh the mellow of Gavin Newsom and the field-of-daisies Utopia that is San Francisco.

Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for San Francisco's mayor, said city officials were wrong to shield undocumented, juvenile felons from federal immigration authorities. "The sanctuary program was never intended to shield felons," Ballard said. "The policy was inappropriate." However, Newsom "still supports the worthwhile aims of denying the federal government" assistance in deporting otherwise law-abiding undocumented residents, he said.
That's EXACTLY the sort of backpedal you'd expect form a politician whose fantasy land policies result in the death. The finger pointing between the public pension-promised civic entities makes me physically ill. Oh, I get it Gavin; you hate the president so much, you're willing to sacrifice the lives of the citizens of you city to make your petty point.

23 July 2008

Rossi vs Stoner

You don't need to understand the commentary to appreciate what a cruel and amazing magician Valentino Rossi is when he's on race rubber.

On the Other Hand

There's ouch:

Nunez, 40, has never worked and has no high school degree. She says a car accident 17 years ago left her depressed and disabled, incapable of getting a job. Instead, she and her daughter, Angelica Hernandez, survive on a $637 Social Security check and $102 in food stamps.

The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it's more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don't buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles.
And then there's OUCH!:
They could probably do just fine with a few bags less of groceries, but that's just me. A little walking probably wouldn't hurt either.
To quote Moonbattery:
Public media - your tax dollar at work. Socialism can't even produce socialist propaganda as competently as the free market.
I think there's a reason this was a RADIO story and not a tee vee story.

Amatuer vs. Professional

The sources I tap to fill my head with information, frankly, has little to do with ideology, but everything to do with credibility. To wit:
I’ve made no pretense of objectivity in this race, and for that matter, neither has the HuffPo, which hosts columns from Barack Obama. Isn’t that just a “restatement of the Obama campaign’s talking points”? What’s the headline here — Shocker! Blogger has point of view?

Of course, had Beltrone bothered to contact me to get my thoughts on these issues, he wouldn’t have made this mistake. Funny how his “investigation” never led him to my e-mail address, or even to the Hot Air tips address, to ask me even a single question. I don’t bite, unless bitten, and I’d have been happy to discuss his “investigation”, but apparently he’s happier leaping to uninformed conclusions.
Read the whole account. It's a fine reminder that the blogosphere is made up of serious people and people who are not so serious about what they do.

22 July 2008

To Hell With the Facts

Listen to his stammering - even though the surge has been a great success for Iraqis and now given the chance to reconsider his earlier mistake, Obama STILL won't acknowledge the facts and continues to desperatly campaign against W, who isn't running for any office.

It's amazing to me the way so many people will follow this training wheels-equipped buggy right over the cliff.

21 July 2008

If Obama's Elected

A whole lot of people are going to owe J. Danforth Quayle a big apology:
Today on CBS's Face the Nation, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in Afghanistan, told the paparazzi-pursued correspondent Lara Logan that "the objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years.

The notion that Obama will be dealing with world leaders for eight-to-ten years, possibly up through July 2018, suggests that either (a) he believes that not only will he be elected and re-elected, but the 22nd amendment will be repealed and he will be elected for a third term, OR (b) he was speaking casually and just meant two terms.
or (c) he can't actually walk (crunch foreign policy timelines) and chew gum (add up two presidential terms) at the same time. If that's the case, someone at Punahou, Columbia or Harvard dropped the ball.

20 July 2008

Small Step / Giant Leap

Nothing too monumental; just posting this from my new BlackBerry. So there; now I know it can be done.

14 July 2008

Touchy Feely City Hall is at it Again

No one loves to mock the bizarre civic dysfunction that is the City of Minneapolis more than me but I'm essentially speechless over this one:

(Minneapolis) plans to unveil concepts for 10 artist-designed drinking fountains that (Mayor R.T.) Rybak championed at $50,000 each. Typical park fountains cost as little as $6,000. Rybak described his proposal as an out-of-the-box method for promoting flagging city water consumption, both for nostalgic reasons and hard-headed water financial imperatives.
I, on the other hand, have nostalgic longings for a city that isn't awash with violent crime and whack-job politicians.

The city is also awarding a $180,000 contract for a marketing campaign on behalf of city water, to be paid from water bills. And it has hired a consultant for almost $50,000 to develop a strategy for approaching suburbs about using more city water. The City Council eventually gave unanimous approval to the $500,000 fountain plan to be paid half from water bills and half from property taxes.
So if I lived in Minneapolis, I'd be paying extra to have some advertising agency flunkie eat shrimp cocktail while allegedly convincing other cities to use the water that's supposed to be for me. I wonder if next they will charge residents more to send the fire trucks to other cities, too.

Lisa McDonald, a former council member who ran against Rybak and is no foe of the arts, is among those critical of the fountain plan. "When you're in a situation the city is in, which is underfunded public safety and street repairs, then I question why we're doing that," she said. She's skeptical that drinking fountains will stimulate demand: "If you want people to buy water, you price it accordingly."
Here's the ugly part of the spin - this isn't merely the clown mayor paying nearly 10 times the going rate for something as utilitarian and basic as a drinking fountain, in this instance, he's pissing away tax money a thinly-veiled pander to the ever-begging arts crowd.

But Mary Altman said that the investment has to be considered as part of the city's public arts program, which she runs. Each year, a small percentage of the city's property tax-supported bonding program is devoted to public artwork. That's paid for such projects as artist-designed manhole covers and bus benches, and larger neighborhood-inspired gateways.
"Stop the car! We've got to get out and admire the manhole cover! Hey kids, just think; some poor folks only have plain old manhole covers in their towns. Isn't that sad?"

Also, why am I not surprised that the city's public arts program manger is delighted to have the fees citizens pay for water diverted to her bucket? Tuth is, you can dupe the average Mpls taxpayer into anything if you claim it's being done "for the arts."
The city picked . . . a private party willing to perform daily cleaning and annual daining and recharging of water lines. The latter requirement relieved council members aware that most of the irrigation systems that city has installed at selected boulevards and medians have gone dry as key parts break because of a crunch in operating money at the Public Works Department.
What will this private party charge the city for doing the city's work? Who knows, but know this: The city can't find the money to perform maintenance on its own drinking fountains, but they're still planing to pay nearly ten times the going rate for -artsy-fartsy water fountains and then spend at least $230,000 more to trick other municipalities to use Minneapolis water. What else do you need to know about how diseased Minneapolis is these days?
Rybak said he wants bubbling, gurgling fountains reminiscent of the kind he drank from as a kid growing up in the city. "I want that romance of water in a city of waters to be something that's just core to living in our city," he said.
Yea, and some folks want all the cops finally hired that Rybak promised two elections ago. How's that for use of city money? You know, if the mayor can't sleep at night because public water fountains don't match his childhood ideal (the very theme of civic dysfunction over there) then maybe he should take advantage of the modern advances in psychiatric medicine and not take advantage of the home owners in the city he portends to represent.

I don't ever want to hear this crackpot whine about alleged cuts of state aid to the city of Minneapolis ever again.

Ever again.

12 July 2008


Dude, Where's my Recession?

CNN keeps telling me that these are the end times economically, but fails to explain this:
If you hadn't heard, hundreds of people were turned away from Apple Stores last night, iPhone 3G-less. However, being gluttons for punishment -- and having nothing to do over the weekend -- they've returned in droves to Apple Stores, with reports of lines longer than 200 people stretching out from The Cube, Apple Store Chicago and even a store in Durham, NC.

The Wild pick up Krys Kolanos

I don't know that much about Kolanos but, along with Andrew Brunette, I like a roster that features those who have owned Patrick Roy.

Road to Nowhere

The bus is an option for my commute. I could walk a couple of blocks from my house, hop a bus, make 2 or 3 connections through one of the two downtowns or Bigmall (neither being my destination) and arrive on time to work about an hour and 45 minutes later. My other option is to take my paid-for car or motorcycle, without stopping, and make the trip in 15 minutes. Sorry, bus folks; there is no way to justify quadrupling the time I spent commuting by playing bus.

Yet public transportation is still fed to us like a mother pushing the food pyramid. After ridership of the money-losing bus system declined to decade lows, we were hit up for a billion-dollar train, a shiny new thing, that takes nearly no cars off the road and will never come close to paying for its operation. We're also going to get another one that'll cost more, disrupt traffic more, and neuter the only bus route that came close to breaking even.

Among the many reasons the train systems sucks is that it's forever locked into slow mode. There's only one track in each direction. If you are at Bigmall or MSP and want to go downtown Minneapolis, it takes nearly an hour because every train stops at all 17 stations both ways. Since trains cannot pass other trains, the system cannot accommodate any express or limited-stop service.

Avoiding downtown for a Twins game by taking the train north to the Hubey Humparena is pure hell. You save the $6 you'd pay for parking in a ramp, but you're still paying $3.50 to ride the train, and far worse, you'll wait for up to an hour as thousands and thousands try to pack onto the southbound trains that are incapable of running with any more frequency to accommodate special events.

Here's a similar tale of crapola service on the same system's bus offering.
I showed up at the bus stop at Washington and Hennepin for the number 6 bus at approximately 11:15 p.m. There were a lot of angry revelers waiting—apparently the previous 6 had no-showed. Because skeletal holiday schedules were in force, it had been an hour without a 6 when ours arrived, jammed to the gills before it even hit downtown. The next 6 was an hour later, so no one wanted to wait for a bus with a seat. But by the time we hit 6th and Hennepin, the bus was full, so the driver left dozens of people standing on the lonely streets of downtown and points south until the next bus at nearly 1 a.m. There was no explanation from the driver, no call to the operations center to ask for assistance. That’s all too common among the blasé transit force, many of whom can’t even answer basic rider questions about how to get from point A to B.

More to the point, there should have been extra buses available. On special event days such as these, there’s an opportunity to make a great impression on one-time riders and get them out of their cars and into transit or at least increase transit’s support in a transit-ignorant community.
Folks here on the tundra love to squeal about some imaginary cost barrier of riding transit, but the truth is that if the service wasn't so slipshod and the experience such a downer for those used to the freedom and practicality of cars (black smoke, creeps and thugs, can't get there from here) there would be far more acceptance of public transit.

Unfortunately, it seems that instead of attracting more riders by making public transit more appealing and possible, governmental agencies seem to prefer the easier route of make driving less appealing and sometimes impossible.

Only slightly off-topic is this:

MBTA general manager Dan Grabauskas is spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars urging suburban commuters to “Dump the Pump,” brave the heat and take the T, yet the transit boss continues to drive to work from Ipswich to Boston in the cool comfort of his T-owned SUV.

The T chief also drove his roomy, air-conditioned ride to a June 19 event in Lowell promoting his new $52,000 “Dump the Pump” ad campaign aimed at getting people to take public transportation to conserve gas and help improve the environment.

“I do try to set an example by using the T within the city, but my schedule tends to be erratic. I need to be able to go anywhere at all times,” he said.

Who doesn't, Dan?

Cause and Effect

Wow - at the end of the day it turns out that words have meaning:
IndyMac Bank, a prolific mortgage specialist that helped fuel the housing boom, was seized Friday by federal regulators, in the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

The collapse is expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. between $4 billion and $8 billion, potentially wiping out more than 10% of the FDIC's $53 billion deposit-insurance fund.

The director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, John Reich, blamed IndyMac's failure on comments made in late June by Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), who sent a letter to the regulator raising concerns about the bank's solvency. In the following 11 days, spooked depositors withdrew a total of $1.3 billion. Mr. Reich said Sen. Schumer gave the bank a "heart attack."
I'm sure Schumer has a convenient "Blame Bush" angle available for the press.

Unworthy of International Citizenship

The United Nations Security Council; it's a wonderful exercise of head-up-assness:
The United States, having earlier in the week mustered the nine votes needed to pass the sanctions, stalled on bringing the resolution to a vote until it became absolutely clear that Russia was determined to stop it. Once the Russians announced on Friday that they would exercise their veto, the Chinese, often leery of taking a lone stand on delicate human rights issues, followed suit.

Among other issues, China’s reluctance to criticize the human rights records of African governments it trades with has come under international criticism as the Olympics in Beijing draw near.
Oh, yea; wouldn't want to make China look bad with the Olympics right around the corner.
“The U-turn in the Russian position is particularly surprising and disturbing,” (Zalmay Khalilzad, American ambassador to the United Nations) said in remarks to the Security Council, saying it raised questions about Russia’s reliability as a partner. The United States proposed an arms embargo, the appointment of a United Nations mediator, and travel and financial restrictions against Mr. Mugabe and 13 top military and government officials. The Council has moved away from broad trade sanctions in recent years because they were considered too harmful to the civilian population.

Even though the United States knew at that point that it would lose, it decided to proceed with the vote anyway, to force the Russians and eventually the Chinese to publicly take a stand in support of Mr. Mugabe and the violence promulgated by his supporters to steal the election.

What Happened to Brew 52?

Well, it's been 26 weeks, and I don't see a turnaround for Brew 52.com. Participation has really fallen off the edge of the Flat Earth.

That's too bad. I really thought Brew52.com would be a way to get to know more about the art of the beer and get to make some new acquaintences for an occasional Beer Snob Night Out. Well, after a couple attemts to register as a user/participant were ignored by the site operator and now seeing the fall off in participation, I wonder if the whole exercise was just a web publishing display.

Oh well - like decent film, quality music and legitimate food, if you want the good stuff, you've got to be your own advocate.

10 July 2008

Brother, Can You Spare 35% of Your Adjusted Gross?

From Powerline:

Stephen Moore previews the most recent data in today's Wall Street Journal: "My contacts at the Treasury Department tell me that for the first time in decades, and perhaps ever, the richest 1% of tax filers will have paid more than 40% of the income tax burden. The top 50% will account for 97% of all federal income taxes, while the bottom 50% will have paid just 3%." Moore's preview does not include the companion income data.

Given that poorer citizens always outnumber the rich, political philosophers have worried that government based on majority rule could lead to organized theft from the wealthy by the democratic masses. "If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city," warned Aristotle.

Let's all ride the Tax Freedom Day roller coaster.

Let the Games Begin

Pre-Olymipic checklist in the People's Republic of China:

  1. Build staduim
  2. Expand airport
  3. Clean up river
  4. Jail journalists
Huang, who had already served a five-year prison term for political material posted on his Web site, had just published an article about China's latest forbidden topic: shoddy construction of school buildings in Sichuan province, where more than 9,000 children were killed when their classrooms collapsed in the May 12 earthquake.

As Huang predicted, when he and two friends walked out of that restaurant in Chengdu on June 10, the police closed in. He is being held in a detention house in the city, the capital of Sichuan province, charged with illegal possession of state secrets, a catchall term often used to stifle dissent.

Huang, 45, is among dozens of Chinese writers and lawyers who have been convicted, detained, placed under house arrest, tailed or otherwise harassed as part of China's broad crackdown on dissent in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Beijing next month. At least 44 writers are in Chinese prisons in violation of their rights to free expression, more than at the beginning of the year, according to a report released Tuesday by the PEN American Center, an advocacy group.
When the government is in charge of everything, people are slaves to the state; plain and simple.

Mankind: Saved by Beer

You think I'm kidding?
To avoid dangerous water, people had to drink large quantities of, say, beer. But to digest that beer, individuals needed a genetic advantage that not everyone had -- what Johnson describes as the body's ability to respond to the intake of alcohol by increasing the production of particular enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases. This ability is controlled by certain genes on chromosome four in human DNA, genes not evenly distributed to everyone. Those who lacked this trait could not, as the saying goes, "hold their liquor." So, many died early and childless, either of alcohol's toxicity or from waterborne diseases.
Thanks, George; I needed that.

More Food for the Chipper

Soon as the trees are done, here's some more debris I'd be happy to help run through the wood chipper:

Randal Joseph Hennes, 40, of Prior Lake, was charged with one count of criminal vehicular injury causing great bodily harm while under the influence of alcohol, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and third-degree drunken driving, according to the complaint filed Wednesday.

(A) Shakopee police officer enroute to another call saw a pickup truck drive away from the scene, make a U-turn and head back south without stopping to help the fallen bicyclist.

Hennes was given a sobriety test and failed it but said he had only had one drink Monday night, the complaint said. Records show he's been (previously) convicted of drunken driving.

Nice. Put him in the chipper. This lady is looking like chipper food for sure:

Bear was due to begin her 1-year sentence in St. Croix County Jail Wednesday. On July 2, she was sentenced for her role in 55-year-old Michael Strauch’s death. As terms of her sentence, Bear was ordered to maintain absolute sobriety.

Friends of the Strauches spotted Bear drinking at a Chili’s restaurant in Woodbury and notified local police that Bear was violating a judge’s order. After confirming the judge’s sobriety order with St. Croix County, Woodbury police were dispatched to the Chili’s. According to the police report, Bear showed signs of intoxication and police detected the odor of alcohol on her breath. While talking to officers, Bear urinated in her pants and told police about it. She also admitted she understood she was violating terms of her sober restriction.

In September 2007, Bear pulled out in front of Strauch’s motorcycle. Bear’s blood alcohol level was not tested at the scene—but later it was calculated at 0.11. Police could not prove she was drunk at the time of the crash. Bear pleaded no contest to charges of vehicular homicide.

Some real model citizenry going on there. Ontheborderline has more background on this shithead:

07-08-2005 - Case 2005TR004575 Violation Date: 06-29-2005 Operating While under Influence (1st) — Guilty Fine: $690.00

07-08-2005 - Case 2005TR004576 Violation Date: 06-29-2005 Drink Open Intoxicants in MV-Driver — Dismissed on Prosecutor’s Motion

07-08-2005 - Case 2005TR004577 Violation Date: 06-29-2005 Operating Left of Center Line — Dismissed on Prosecutor’s Motion

07-25-2005 - Case 2005TR004877 Violation Date: 06-29-2005 Operating with BAC .10 or More (1st) — Dismissed on Prosecutor’s Motion.

Bear filed a “Not Guilty” plea and the court process lasted until she pleaded “Guilty” to the OWI charge. The court ordered a restitution fine and revocation of her license on 12-09-2005. She failed to pay the fine by the court ordered time resulting in her license not being reinstated until 05-17-2006.

Next on 01-02-2007 she was stopped by Hudson PD and charged with Operating After Revocation. It would be curious to hear what exactly was the reason for the stop, but undoubtedly during the license check it was learned Bear was driving without a valid drivers license. She was stopped again for an unknown reason by the North Hudson PD on 05-22-2007 and charged again with OAR (1st - Rev. due to OWI/PAC). Bear was required to post a $1,000 bond and the case ended with her pleading guilty to “Operating w/o Carrying License” and the case was settled on August 1, 2007, just 54 days before killing Stauch.

Sound like the police and prosecutors in Hudson are not exaclty detail-oriented. Here's one more I'm following that has yet to have any satisfactory resolution:

MacGillivray, 44, was westbound on Hwy. 7 near Hwy. 101 around 11:35 p.m. when her motorcycle was rear-ended by a pickup truck driven by a man from Eden Prairie, the State Patrol said. The incident is under investigation.

In the comments section, there is the unverified claim that the driver that hit her was arrested for DWI at his home after leaving the scene. We'll see how this one plays out, but we'll keep the chipper fueled up and ready for action.

UPADTE: Eleven-year-old Nicholas James Hagadorn has died of his injuries suffered in the incident cited at the top of this post. Let's hope that Randy Hennes will eventually be removed from civilization for good.

05 July 2008

Where's the Heft?

A chart to illustrate the point:
So who exactly ARE all those folks thirsting for?
He has proven over the last month or so that he has no platform, does not stand for anything, is disingenuous and not nearly as inspiring as his cadre of devotees claim him to be. From not keeping his word on using public election financing, to his on again, off again support for free trade, to his seeming approval for the Supreme Court's decision in the Heller case, while also having a record of staunch gun control, and his support of the FISA compromise, it's clear Barack Obama will say and do anything to pander to voters in the hopes of being elected.

The height of Obama's chutzpah, was when earlier this week he held a speech on patriotism. This, after a member of his own staff made light of McCain's service record saying, "I don't think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president." Obama's speech was given in front of several American flags, and with Obama sporting a flag pin of all things. My favorite quote: "I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine." Never mind that it was his own staff questioning McCain's patriotism that prompted the whole thing.
Had Republican candidates kissed and made up in a town called Unity, they'd have been laughed off the air by Anderson Cooper and his ilk.

Also on the subject of light in the brainpan:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the (Heller) ruling "just flies in the face of reality. You just wish the Supreme Court could spend a week in public housing and then come out with this decision. It's very easy and comfortable to stand there with security guards and metal detectors and make these decisions."

That's right; if only the Supreme Court would only take an extension course on method judiciary. Hizzonner went on:
"Is there anyone out there who really believes that we need more guns in public housing?" Newsom said. "I can't for the life of me sit back and roll over on this. We will absolutely defend the rights of the housing authority."
The RIGHTS of the housing authority? Are you kidding me? What government entity has rights? The merely have powers and those powers never trump the rights of the citizenry. If Newsom and his petty band wish to deny citizens of their Second Amendment rights, what other parts of the Bill of Rights would he deny them?

Not unnoticed; the city of San Francisco had already banned guns in public housing, so what's with the "more guns" reference? How'd that gun ban work up until now?

03 July 2008

Lap Dog

"You say '100 pounds' like it's a bad thing."

02 July 2008

Holding Court

A good perspective on the heels of the Heller decision:

Liberal justices have been willing to uphold virtually any use of race by the government--including quotas in higher education, set-asides for government contracts, and raced-based assignments of students to public schools--so long as the government claims benign motives. The conservatives, by contrast, argue that the government must treat people as individuals, not as members of a racial caste.

Other examples could be raised. The conservatives, for example, have been more sympathetic to free exercise of religion claims than the liberals, and more inclined to forbid government regulation of "hate speech."

The point should be clear. There are many ideological differences between the conservative and liberal justices on the Supreme Court. But a consistent, stronger liberal devotion to supporting individual rights and civil liberties against assertions
of government power isn't one of them.

01 July 2008

Let's Face it:

All mediocre art is just a rubber duckie or two from becoming a masterpiece.

"We're Terribly Sorry" Began the Apology

Unfortunately, the apology was not completed with "We had no idea about the depth of your cultural ignorance:"

A police force has apologised to Islamic leaders for the "offensive" postcard advertising a new non-emergency telephone number, which shows a six-month-old trainee police dog named Rebel.

The German shepherd puppy has proved hugely popular with the public, hundreds of who have logged on to the force's website to read his online training diary. But some Muslims in the Dundee area have reportedly been upset by the image because they consider dogs to be "ritually unclean."

Tayside Police have admitted they should have consulted their 'diversity' officers before issuing the cards, but critics argued their apology was unnecessary.

Richard Cook, director of the Campaign Against Political Correctness in Scotland, said: "Britain is the greatest dog-loving country in the world. "In our culture, dogs are a man's best friend. I don't think Andrex are likely to be dropping the puppy dog from their adverts and for the police to apologise is ludicrous."

The United States' trip to hell in a hand basket is now enjoying it's European preview.
UPDATE: But wait; there's more from over there:

Sarah Desrosiers, whose Wedge salon specialises in "urban funky" cuts, says she turned down applicant Bushra Noah because she was "selling image" and needed her staff to display their hairstyles to the public. Ms Noah, 19, is claiming religious discrimination and suing Ms Desrosiers for more than £15,000 for injury to her feelings, as well as an unspecified sum for lost earnings.

Ms Noah said today she had attended a total of 25 interviews for hairdressing jobs without success and had decided to take legal action because she had been upset by Ms Desrosiers' comments. She said: "I decided to sue this hairdresser because she upset me the most. I felt so down and got so depressed, I thought if I am not going to defend myself, who is?

A twnty-five time loser 'takes a stand,' but apparantly cannot see the forest for the trees. I do feel a bit better about the plight of the UK as a whole after perusing the comments on the story.