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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Snark of the Day

Courtesy of Rumproast:
And just as the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants, Sarah [Palin] knows that the Beaches of Freedom must occasionally be soaked black by the sticky hydrocarbons of American Exceptionalism.

On the Downsides of Birtherism

I don't listen to him, but my brother tells me that local talk radio scion Peter Boyles is a birther. Which is kind of sad really.

The debate about Obama's birth certificate isn't a debate between "right" and "left" so much as it is a debate between "those who can accept evidence" and "those who can't."

It's been proven that the dude was born in Hawaii. Conclusively. The State of Hawaii confirms he has a valid birth certificate and no amount of second guessing is going to change the fact that if the state says it's valid, it's valid.

Wah-Wah-Wah.

But now you have them jumping on Obama Affair Rumors from the National Enquirer. Again, this isn't a debate between "right" and "left" either. Again, it's all about the evidence.

Only here we don't have any. With the birth certificate, at least we have the Hawaii Department of Health Services saying it's valid. Here we have some anonymous limo driver who can't possibly know the things he claims to know:
On the condition of anonymity, the limo driver said he took Baker “from a friend’s home in the DC area to the Hotel George where I learned later that Obama would be spending the night.” The driver recalled that he “waited in the lobby while she went to change her outfit.”But to the best of my knowledge she did not have a room at the hotel and she was not staying there so I thought that it was a bit odd.”

The driver said he then picked up Obama at the airport and drove both he and Baker to various locations while he was campaigning for funds. Vera accompanied him to each meeting. “About 10:30 PM, I drove them to the hotel and they went in together!” “My services for the evening were done – and there was no indication she was going to leave the hotel that night.”
That's it?

Oh, I forgot. There's a tape.
“Investigators are attempting to obtain a tape from the hotel (that) shows Vera and Barack together,” the DC insider confided. “If the tape surfaces, it will explode the scandal.”
Yeah, but it better show them holding hands or kissing in the hallway or making out in the elevator. If it just shows them walking or getting in the limo, well, I'm not sure what that proves.

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Intellectual honesty is tough. Here's Daniel Larison, who is usually quite sensible when he's not writing about Serbia, being intellectually dishonest about Arizona's new immigration law:
Unless there is another undesirable provision that critics of the law have failed to mention, it would seem that the only people who have reason to complain about this law are those who are here illegally and those who believe that immigration laws should simply not be enforced.
Talk about an absurd black-or-white oversimplification!

What if you're complaining because you don't think it will work? Well, in Larison's formulation, you wouldn't exist and if you did, you wouldn't have reason to complain.

What if you're concerned about the provision that allows citizens to sue cities if they don't feel the enforcement effort meets a certain level? Sounds great in theory, but I see some potential problems. Maybe it's just me, but maybe it's a bad idea to let Joe Redneck Republican Voter --who votes NO on every tax increase-- to second guess the understaffed police department he now expects to enforce immigration policy.

I can keep going...

Do you trust Sheriff Joe Arpaio NOT to use racial profiling? Sure, if you'd trust Tiger Woods with a blonde!

Updated: I've read a lot of conservatives arguing that concerns about racial profiling in the new Arizona law are unwarranted. Which is why they made some amendments to the law to ease concerns about racial profiling, I guess...

Rielle Hunter Is Not A Good Liar

I think it's a good rule of thumb that, unless you're a porn star getting paid for the privilege, you shouldn't make a sex tape. This is doubly true if you're married to another woman and running for president, but I think it's just a good rule of thumb period.

But let's say you're dumb enough to make a sex tape...you're probably going to be dumb enough to mount this defense:
"So I took an action to destroy the tape and kept it in my personal belongings so no one would get a hold of the tape," Hunter added.
Ummmm...I'm sure there's a reason why someone would "destroy the tape" and then keep it in their "personal belongings." Maybe she wanted to look at the inert, destroyed tape and wish she could still watch it.

But I think it's more likely that she's just lying about that "action to destroy the tape" stuff.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Difference Between Drug Smugglers and Illegal Immigrants

From the AP:
PHOENIX – After a frantic hour-long desert search, authorities found a deputy wounded in a shootout Friday with suspected illegal immigrants apparently hauling bales of marijuana along a major smuggling corridor in southern Arizona.
Now I have no doubt these guys were involved in smuggling marijuana. But I seriously doubt they were "illegal immigrants."

To be an illegal immigrant, you must do more than cross the border to smuggle drugs. You kind of have to emigrate.

But they have that new law in Arizona so everyone's a potential illegal immigrant...

It's Starting

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Good News

According to my latest round of blood work, I won't be needing any of this.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Perils of Tight Pants

Last week, I had a bit of a medical crisis. Here's what happened:

I wore some tight jeans. The tight jeans chafed my hairy-ass legs. The chafing caused some ingrown hairs. Being the genius that I am, I plucked them with my tweezers. The tweezers became contaminated. The contaminated tweezers spread an infection.

Two days later, I had six painfully itchy and swollen boils on both legs. They swelled up to the size and hardness of golfballs. Imagine a mosquito bite, then multiply the discomfort by ten.

I've had ingrown hairs before, and some of them have even gotten infected, but I've never had one this bad, much less six at one time.

I was freaking out!

By Thursday morning (and when I say morning, I mean like three o'clock in the morning) I was pacing my house, pondering flesh-eating bacteria, drug resistant staph infections, septicemia...all nightmares for a guy who fears amputation more than death. I was asking myself, am I going to lose my legs? Am I going to go into a coma and wake up the human torso? Am I going to die?

Of course, as the panic subsided, the rational part of my mind kicked in. It said, "Well, what are you gonna do about it?" Should I go to the emergency room? Or wait until morning to call a normal doctor?

I opted for B. Luckily, they were able to see me that morning. The doctor asked me all the questions I expected. "Do you have a fever?" "No." "Have you been vomiting?" "No." "Do you have diabetes?" "God I hope not! Last time I had blood work done, the answer was no."

In the end, she prescribed me some antibiotics and scheduled a follow-up appointment. (Later this morning...so cross your fingers that it comes back negative on the diabetes thing.)

Here we are, six days later and my wounds are finally starting to heal. I've already tossed the tweezers and I'll never wear those pants again. I'm going to clean my whole house with bleach this week. And hopefully...hopefully, this will never happen again.

The Tech

I almost made it an entire week without receiving a call from that lazy idiot of a tech in California.

At one point during our conversation, I asked him, "Did you even read the ticket?" To his credit, instead of feeding me some lie, he was honest.

"Well," he said in his annoying nasally voice, "not the whole thing." Wonderful! How are you going to fix a problem you don't fully understand?

As it turns out, the problem was no longer occurring. Which led the dude to say something like, "Oh, so I came out here for nothing."

No, dummy. You didn't read the ticket, you didn't check to see if the problem was still happening. In other words, you went out there for a very good reason:

You're an idiot.

Monday, April 26, 2010

And Justice For All

Speaking of awesome, I think it's awesome that Metallica has been releasing professionally-filmed live performances on Youtube. Not just snippets, but whole songs. Even the long ones.

I have to say, they still bring the thunder.

STFU

Blabbermouth says:
MEGADETH and SLAYER, who last toured the U.S. together 19 years ago on the "Clash of the Titans" extravaganza, have confirmed that they will each perform, start to finish, their 1990 releases — SLAYER's world-wide, million-selling "Seasons In The Abyss" and MEGADETH's platinum "Rust In Peace" — on the upcoming Canadian and American Carnage tours.
Do you know how awesome that's going to be? It makes me feel like this:

Learning from China

James Fallows, who lived a couple years in China, compares Arizona's immigration law to how foreigners are treated in China. (Remember, China is historically and culturally averse to foreigners.)

His last sentence is quite funny:
Here's the point of comparison between the impending Arizona situation and China: it's no fun knowing -- as citizen and foreigner alike know in China, and as Hispanic-looking people in Arizona soon will -- that you can be asked to show proof of your legality at an official's whim. But if it's sobering to think that the closest analogy to a new U.S. legal situation is daily life in Communist China, we should also look on the bright side. With some notable and serious exceptions, I typically did not see Chinese police asking for papers on a whim. Usually something had to happen first. Maybe soon the Chinese State Security apparatus can travel to Arizona and give lectures to local police and sheriffs. They can explain how to avoid going crazy with a new power that so invites abuse. "Civil Liberties: Learning from China" can be the name of the course.
Yeah, "Papers please," though polite, isn't the hallmark of a free and open society. Never was, never will be.

And It Starts...

One of the bad things about living in a police state is that unless you're one of the police, you're subject to getting dicked around.

Let's say you're a brownish truck driver in Arizona...
Abdon was told he did not have enough paperwork on him when he pulled into a weigh station to have his commercial truck checked. He provided his commercial driver’s license and a social security number but ended up handcuffed.

An agent called his wife and she had to leave work to drive home and grab other documents like his birth certificate.

Jackie explains, “I have his social security card as well and mine. He's legit. It's the first time it's ever happened.”

Both were born in the United States and say they are now both infuriated that keeping important documents safely at home is no longer an option.
Freedom means having your papers on you at all times.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rick Perry: Idiot

Glenn Beck hosted an event in Tyler, Texas called "Taking Back America."

Texas Governor Rick Perry was there, buying into the rhetoric, as usual. At one point he gurgled out this bit of nonsense:
"Americans can take their country back and send a message to this administration, to this Congress and I consider myself proud to be in that army," Perry said.
Now I know there's more Republicans than Democrats in Texas, but there are still a lot of Democrats in Texas. (In fact, I'd wager that there are more Democrats in Texas than in New England.)

So when Rick Perry says, "Americans" he means "Republicans," and when he says "take their country back," he really means "get a Republican majority again."

It's useful to remember that, lest you start thinking you're a "real" American and everyone else you encounter in your daily life is either "one of us" or "one of them."

Rancid

Working the night shift, we've got a guy who has to --HAS to-- watch Chelsea Lately. And I don't mind. I like Chelsea Handler and some of her "Comedians of Chelsea Lately" are funny.

But let's face it, the show sucks. It consists of a self-deprecating monologue, a "round table" where 3 of the "Comedians of Chelsea Lately" crack jokes about whatever's in the gossip rags, and then an interview with some Z-list actor on a show you've never heard of or seen.

In other words, it's a complete waste of time...unless you're watching it at work where you're getting paid. Then, it's only a slight waste of time.

What's worse, though, is that immediately after Chelsea Lately is the newest episode of E! News, featuring Ryan Seacrest and this bag of bones:
I don't mean to offend anyone, but Giuliana Rancic straight up grosses me out. Not only does she have the unhealthy glow of "eating disorder" in that skinny face and bony body, but she reminds of an alien, specifically the Greys.

And those fuckers are creepy.

Most Questionable

This made me laugh:
Josh McDaniels' Most Questionable Moves As Broncos Head Coach
Hate to say it, but I can't wait till this guy gets run out of town.

An Interesting Thought Experiment

From Tim Wise, who makes some great points in this piece:
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.
It's a nice thought, but let's get real.

These people cannot be reasoned with. So why bother?

I've never seen a birther look at Barack Obama's birth certificate and say, "Okay, well, that settles it."

Nope, that's not how it works. Sorry.

Updated: John Quiggin has more on the futility of trying to reason with right-wingers:
The unifying feature of the right in the 21st century is not so much ideology as an embrace of ignorance, represented most obviously by the leading figures on the right in the US, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. Rather than reflecting an even partially coherent world view and political program, rightwing politics now consists of the restatement of talking points in favor of a set of policy positions that represent affirmations of tribal identity, rather than elements of a coherent program.
Exhibit A: The latest from my right-wing aunt in Texas.

Policy position? Or affirmation of tribal identity?

Here's an example of a policy position that's little more than an affirmation of tribal identity.
The bill requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.
This reminds me of the dummies in projection booths all over the country. You know, if a projector is having a problem, they just unplug it.

It doesn't fix the problem; it just makes it go away for a while.

Same thing here. Wingers are very good at sticking their fingers in their ears and going LALALALALA when it comes to illegal immigration. Coming up with solutions?

Man, they really suck.

Speak English or Fuck Off

I hate to generalize, but if you vote for this guy, not only are you an idiot, but you're also kind of a dick.
"We speak English here."

Yeah, you do. Now.

From pre-history until the 17th Century, the people of Alabama spoke various Muskogean languages.

And then there's the various European powers that controlled it in the colonial days:
The French founded the first European settlement in the state with the establishment of Mobile in 1702. Southern Alabama was French from 1702 to 1763, part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1780, and part of Spanish West Florida from 1780 to 1814. Northern and central Alabama was part of British Georgia from 1763 to 1783 and part of the American Mississippi territory thereafter.
I'm fairly certain the French and Spanish didn't speak English. But no matter...

There's nothing that says "freedom" like "English Only" policies!