31 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Via El Reg.

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31 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

The Rude Pundit takes on Ann Coulter (WARNING: language).

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31 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Excerpt:

. . . I’m calling on the Republican leaders in the Senate to stop holding America’s small businesses hostage to politics, and allow an up-or-down vote on this small business jobs bill.

At a time when America is just starting to move forward again, we can’t afford the do-nothing policies and partisan maneuvering that will only take us backward. I won’t stand here and pretend everything’s wonderful. I know that times are tough. But what I also know is that we’ve made it through tough times before. And we’ll make it through again. The men and women hard at work in this plant make me absolutely confident of that.

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Anne Rice falls into a trap that many persons have fallen into: Confusing those who call themselves “Christian” with the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

Afterthought:

Sadly, those who call themselves “Christian” (and whom Andrew Sullivan calls “Christianists“) are the often the strongest argument against the teachings and example Jesus Christ.

Where he was gentle, they are harsh.

Where he was kind, they are cruel.

Where he was forgiving, they condemn.

Where he loved, they hate.

They cause me shame to profess my faith.

In a related vein, I listened to this interview Friday.

It is worth your while, if not to listen, to read the excerpts from the transcript; the subject of the interview gets the difference between Chrisitianism and Christianity, and it cost him his job.

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31 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Somerset Maugham:

Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind.

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31 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

George Bernard Shaw, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Masters of the Universe

You can trust your friendly neighborhood bank, except when it’s run by incompetents and is too small not to fail:

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Give Me a Break

I can be equivocal* on the effort in Afghanistan, but I’m calling bullshit on this. This is PR damage-control bullshit:

The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks may have blood on its hands, the Pentagon said on Thursday, warning its unprecedented leak of secret U.S. military files could cost lives and damage trust of allies.

As if any thinking person doesn’t realize that persons in Afghanistan or Pakistan already know what’s going on there on both, or on all three, or on however-the-hell-many sides there are in that mess.

There are few similiarities between the Wiki-Leaks leak and the Pentagon Papers, but there are two. Both include stuff that

  • the Pentagon and the government and even the allied governments already knew, and
  • the Pentagon and the government and even the allied governments did not want their citizenry (citizenries?) to know.

Until Wiki-Leaks is caught offing wedding parties with drones, I shall keep calling bullshit.

________________________

*I am equivocal.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

The big question is, did they get David?

Someone snuck (sic) into Gibson’s front lawn and snatched close to 150 (lawn gnomes–ed.).

“I had them all along the flower bed here and then I had them on the brick,” Gibson said as she pointed toward her fence. “I had them all out in front of my flower pots.”

Gibson figures the thief or thieves stole close to $2,000 worth of lawn gnomes.

I’m trying to visualize a yard with 200 gnomes.

To my relief, I am unable to.

Video at the link.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Nothing much to add to this, except that all these locations are in the Upper Bay, where I used to go boating and where my kids went to scout and YMCA camps.

The team took water samples before and after significant rainfall at seven beaches and recreation spots along five rivers that feed the Chesapeake Bay. Their goal was to gauge the impact of stormwater — one of the fastest-growing pollution sources in the Chesapeake Bay — on bacteria levels in the water.

For comparison, the team also took two water samples from a household toilet: one while it was clean, and another after human feces had sat in it for four hours.

After rain on July 15, the tests showed that three of the seven sites had bacteria levels far higher than Maryland and Virginia standards for safe recreation, and five were above the level for safe swimming. Two — Savage Park in Howard County and Middle Branch Park in Baltimore — had bacteria levels much higher than the dirty toilet.

Deregulation will undoubtedly fix this.

Also, you may already have won.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Steve Benen wants to know, when Ensign is facing criminal charges and Rangel is facing (probably) censure at best . . . .

No reporters staked out in front of Ensign’s home. No op-eds speculating about the need for Ensign to resign in disgrace. Instead, the media’s fascinated with Charlie Rangel.

Rangel is facing a probe from the House ethics committee, while Ensign is under scrutiny from the FBI.

Is this just the IOKIYAR rule taken to the extreme? Was there some kind of memo stating that only Democratic scandals deserve media attention in an election year?

I think there’s more to it than IOKIYAR. Most reporters and pundits with a national audience cluster in New York and Washington; the major news organizations are headquartered in New York.

Rangel is local news for them. Except for conventions on the Lost Wages Strip, Nevada is just some place out there somewhere that they rarely visit and know little about.

They’ve decided what to write for their columns and commentaries each day before folks in the Mountain Time Zone are getting to work.

Unless it happens to Lindsey Lohan or Jennifer Anniston, they have no idea what’s going on west of Leesburg, Virginia.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Life under the Regency

Virginia AG Cuccinelli finally passed his US Navy Vets campaign contributions to an outfit that will use them to benefit real vets. The founder of US Navy Vets is still missing and unaccounted for. Assuming the money was invested at 4% compound interest for the three or four months since the US Navy Vets was revealed to be a likely fraud, he might kick in an extra $500-700.

In other news, he continues to believe that mysterious magical thinking counteracts the laws of physics, biology, and chemistry.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

I know these folks. Ever since I first met them, they has been planning and talking about this, taking pains to play by the rules and do everything within the law and above board.

And now they are twisting slowy in the wind.

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30 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Greater Boston YMCA will train its 1,500 employees in Eastern Massachusetts on a state law protecting mothers’ right to breast-feed in public, after an employee at its Woburn facility told a mother to stop breast-feeding her baby because doing so violated the Y’s policy against eating food in a child care facility.

The rule in question is designed to keep persons from spilling vuctuals on the floor to attracting varmints. It is anti-varmint victual, not anti-infant ingestion.

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29 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Family business.

Back tomorrow.

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28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

More here.

Via the Richmonder, who spells it out.

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28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

This is an oldy but moldy. I heard it on Michael Feldman’s show and found a transcript here.

Dress Code: It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary.

If we see you wearing $350 Prada shoes and carrying a $600 Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.

If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

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28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Arizona racial profiling on hold:

(Judge) Bolton’s ruling stops four of the law’s more than a dozen provisions from going into effect. “The court also finds that the United States is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the court does not preliminarily enjoin enforcement of these sections,” she states in the ruling. “The balance of equities tips in the United States’ favor considering the public interest.”

Key parts of (Arizona) SB 1070 that will not go into effect Thursday:

  • The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there’s reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
  • The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry “alien-registration papers.”
  • The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)
  • The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.

The ruling says that law enforcement still must enforce federal immigration laws to the fullest extent of the law when SB 1070 goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Individuals will still be able to sue an agency if they adopt a policy that restricts such enforcement.

Bolton did not halt the part of the law that creates misdemeanors crimes for harboring and transporting illegal immigrants.

Reactions from Arizona pols and their promises to appeal are at the link.

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28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Karen explains:

I talked to a lady from church a couple of weeks ago. She wants to replace her old 3.5 gallon toilets with 1.6 gallon models, to get the credit. But since she’s been out of work for a year & a half, she wanted to know how much she was looking at if she got regular, plain jane toilets that aren’t name brand. If she wants to do it, she’ll buy them & call to get them installed.

Joe was at a woman’s house the other day. She has leaks on all 3 toilets she has in her house. He was able to repair 2 of them, but the 3rd has to be replaced. She’s going to check with her neighbor to see if they have an old toilet they changed out, that she can have. Her house has been on the market for 18 months, with no serious offers. And she’s in prime area, in Golden.

More at the link.

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28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Titans of Industry

The Boston Globe, on Tony Hayward’s $18,500,000.00 severance pay for performance package from Buccaneer Petroleum:

Hayward’s exit package speaks to a broader problem. Corporate CEOs are rewarded handsomely in good times. In bad times, they’re rarely penalized to the same degree. In any sane accountability system, overseeing the degradation of a major arm of the Atlantic Ocean would disqualify Hayward from a golden parachute many times larger than the average worker’s lifetime earnings.

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