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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Memo to Joe Arpaio

You don't need a fucking .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a tank. I don't care if the Mexican army is invading Maricopa County with help from Al Qaeda, those weapons are not appropriate for any situation that domestic law enforcement will encounter.

Period.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not Necessarily

David Frum tries out a new anti-immigration stance.
Immigrants now make up some 15% of the US labor force. They are concentrated in the less skilled portion of the labor force and in industries hardest hit, especially construction.

If immigration levels were curtailed, the job gap would be a lot smaller. And if illegal immigrants returned home, rather than being put on a “path to citizenship,” the problem of putting the unemployed back to work would be smaller and easier.
On its face, it seems a bit convincing. Yeah, that would close the job gap, which would make the problem smaller.

But convincing unemployed Americans to become low-paid janitors and groundskeepers? That ain't gonna be easy...

I mean, can't they do that now?

Not only that, but once the unemployment situation improves, this entire argument will be moot.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beautiful and Strange Blastbeats

I couldn't get off work today. I was jonesing to hear the first part of this song.

It's the opening track off Mudvayne's self-titled record called Beautiful and Strange. It starts out with about a minute of...well, noise. I'm not sure what it is.

But then it explodes into a salvo of blastbeats and finger-bending runs. It's truly an athletic performance. Punishing, brutal, probably unnecessary, but man, it's a glorious thing to behold.

If you're a metalhead, that is.

The Weakness

I love it when conservatives complain about liberals spending too much money on stuff.

For example, here's a post by one of Outside the Beltway's new bloggers Doug Matconis pointing out the absurdity of spending $20 million on road signs touting the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act brought to you by President Obama.

Yeah, sounds like a huge waste of money. $20 million for road signs? Clearly a better use of this money would be a deposit into my bank account...

However, what's worse? Spending $20 million on some unnecessary road signs? Or spending trillions on a couple of unnecessary, unwinnable wars?

Ask your favorite Republican, see what they say.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Control Center

I saw this post over at Boing Boing and it felt...familiar.
I love this quote:

From this soaring room—its massive video wall looming over rows of desks where technicians sit surrounded by squadrons of eight-to-10 monitors each—come the commands that keep electricity flowing smoothly throughout the entire state.
For me, it could read something like this:
From this soaring room—its massive video wall looming over rows of desks where technicians sit surrounded by banks of equipment bays—come the commands that keep pre-feature advertisements flowing smoothly throughout the entire country.
Our video wall is just as big as the one in the photo, and just as cluttered. I wonder how often the technicians at the ERCOT actually look at the thing. They are, truth be told, mostly decorative.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Rot Runs Deep

This isn't a party thing, but it is a political thing.  Here's a guy...we'll call him Mac.  He's running for governor of the great state of Colorado.  He used to represent the State as a Congressman in Washington .  Had that job for years!  Made a lot of money, made a lot of friends, won a bunch of awards.  Check that out.  It's the Spirit of Free Enterprise Award.  You get that from the Chamber of Commerce.

So after 13 years soaking up the sunshine in Washington, the guy decides he might want to be governor someday.  He's earned it.  Lucky for him, the governor of Colorado, who's a major geek and FOB (Friend of Bush), is having marital problems.  Oh yeah.  Mrs. Guv done moved out of the governor's mansion and got herself a lawyer.  So much for that dude's career.

But Mac recognized a problem.  While the geek was trying to set himself up for higher office, an up and comer from the other party showed up.  He looked like he had a lock on it.  Colorado was changing sides, it seemed.  So Mac chickened out.

He let some other guy lose instead.

But Mac's ambition didn't go away.  It didn't even really go to sleep.  It just waited.  Only now there's a problem.  Mac's not the only one with ambition.  He's got some other folks trying to get their piece.  They didn't serve 13 years in Congress, so Mac's not too scared.  He's just a little annoyed.  He wants to scream, "Don't you understand?  It's my turn!"

No one understands.  13 years in Congress isn't exactly a badge of honor.  It's long enough to get the stink of the place on you.  It's long enough to think you're owed something.  That you did your time, and now you get your prize.  That's how it works, right?

So now, with enemies, Mac's 13 years in Congress have become a knife.  Not what he did in Congress, per se, but the culture of corruption it spawned.  Mac got lazy, you see.  He got greedy.  We know he feels entitled, but we didn't know how much.

Until it was revealed that Mac lied to us.  He wrote some boring articles for some boring think tank and they paid him three hundred grand.  Yes. 

$300,000

To write articles.  For a foundation.  Anyone else, they'd be lucky to get fifty bucks a pop.  But he's a Congressman.  You're not paying for the work.  You're paying for the name.

Unfortunately for Mac, he didn't exactly write the articles for which he received three hundred grand to write.  He stole them.  He stole them from another guy who stole them from another guy.  Yes, that's his defense.

Not an exact quote, but I quote:

"I didn't plagiarize those articles.  The plagiarism came from my researcher, who actually did most of the work.  I just thought it sounded good and I put my name on it."

Yes, the name that some foundation is paying you way too much for...

In case you've never heard the name, Mac is better known as Scott McInnis.  He says the plagiarism thing is a "non-issue."  His word.


But it's not a non-issue if you want to be governor.  This dude's overpaid ass is too lazy to write his own articles, and he wants to run the state?  Yeah, I don't think so...