Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito gets confirmed

Every time I think that this country can't possibly get more fucked up, I'm proven wrong.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Fuel for the Fire

So Ayman al-Zawahri has a new video out.

"Bush, you are not only defeated and a liar, but, with God's help and might, a failure. You are a curse on your own nation and you have brought and will bring them only catastrophes and tragedies," - Ayman al-Zawahri


Very interesting article at Forbes, I highly recommend reading it.

linky

iPod + Airport Express FTW

My prediction for next enhancement for the iPod product line - integrated ability to stream music to an Airport Express. When this happens, it will pretty much be Game Over for ever other portable vendor on the planet.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tennessee sees the light

So last January a "Crack Tax" went into effect in Tennessee which requires drug dealers to pay tax on illegal drugs and alchohol. In a process similar to that of cigarettes, the state issues stamps which are put on the drugs. A drug dealer busted for selling drugs which are not carrying the tax stamps gets proscecuted for both offences.

Tennessee has a pretty good F.A.Q. about the tax laws, where you can find interesting nuggets such as


1. What is the unauthorized substances tax?

The unauthorized substances tax is a state excise tax levied on controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, etc.) and certain illicit alcoholic beverages (untaxed liquors and spirits).

2. Who is required to pay the tax?

The tax is due by any dealer who possesses an unauthorized substance upon which the tax has not been paid as evidenced by a stamp available from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. A "dealer" is any person who possesses more than 42.5 grams of marijuana, seven or more grams of any other unauthorized substance that is sold by weight, or 10 or more dosage units of any other unauthorized substance that is not sold by weight.


linky

And guess what - this new tax brought in 2 million dollars of revenue to the state last year.

linky

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The greatest threat ?

So I was reading the comments over on Jaun Cole's blog, and I came across something which is so blantantly obvious, I am amazed that I had not thought of it before.

On September 11, Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of 2,740 americans. As of right now, Bush's lies have been responsible for 2,236 military fatalities.

Someone remind me again - who exactly is the greatest threat to the safety of american lives? And for how long?

Katrina the unexpected

No one could possibly have forseen the devastation that Katrina would have wreaked on the city of New Orleans.

Embattled former FEMA Director Michael Brown said, "I think we were all taken aback by the fact that the levees did break in so many places and caused such widespread devastation."

Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff said, "I will tell you that really that perfect storm of combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners and maybe anybody's foresight."

And on Sept. 1, President Bush told "Good Morning America": ''I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" that flooded New Orleans


yup, it really was a tragedy, and there was no way to tell, really. All totally unforseen - well, except for one minor detail.

On Aug. 27, two days before the storm made landfall, FEMA had prepared a slide presentation for White House officials. The FEMA slides said a Category 4 storm surge "could greatly overtop levees and protective systems." It's unclear who at the White House received this briefing or how its contents were distributed afterward.


and the response from the White House, is completely unexpected...

At a hearing today, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., said the White House has maintained a "refusal to answer" stance regarding questions and document requests by congressional investigators looking at the federal government's response to Katrina.

"Almost every question our staff has asked federal agency witnesses regarding conversations with or involvement of the White House has been met with a response that they could not answer on direction of the White House," Lieberman said.


Naturally, everyone involved is trying to get to the bottom of this.

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown has said that he notified the White House of his concerns about the storm on the weekend before it struck. Lieberman said that in a meeting with congressional investigators yesterday, Brown was advised by agency lawyers not to answer specific questions about whether he'd spoken to President Bush and Vice President Cheney in the days leading up to the storm.


linky

Monday, January 23, 2006

Google drops the W Bomb

Mondays are great for being obvious, and today I'd like to point out that there is a new googlebomb.

Go to google's site, type in "worst president ever" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. No surprise really, but entertaining nonetheless. As far as I know, he's the only person that has two bombs all to himself (the other is "miserable failure").

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. - 1 Timothy 6:10


That quote always gets mangled - most people say "money is the root of all evil".

...all papal documents, including encyclicals, will be governed by copyright invested in the official Vatican publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

The edict covers Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, which is to be issued this week amid huge international interest. The edict is retroactive, covering not only the writings of the present pontiff — as Pope and as cardinal — but also those of his predecessors over the past 50 years. It therefore includes anything written by John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI and John XXIII.


and in case you're wondering what has driven me to quote scripture...

A Milanese publishing house that had issued an anthology containing 30 lines from Pope Benedict’s speech to the conclave that elected him and an extract from his enthronement speech is reported to have been sent a bill for €15,000 (£10,000). This was made up of 15 per cent of the cover price of each copy sold plus “legal expenses” of €3,500.


So the official line from the vatican is: go forth and spread the words of the pope, but only after you pay us for the words, thank you very much.

linky.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Support The Troops - Write Two Letters

One thing that really pisses me off is seeing those stupid yellow ribbon magnets on cars. Doubly so on a SUV.

Supporting the troops should be just a little more difficult than reaching over the counter, grabbing a magnet (god forbid you damage the paint with a real sticker) out of a display case, and plopping it down on the counter next to your beer and chips.

How about doing this instead: take 5 minutes out of your life (you won't even notice if you write the letter during the commercial breaks in American Idol) and 68 cents out of your budget, and write a letter to your Senator and your Congressman, and ask him to pressure the administration to bring the troops home.

And I don't mean send an email. I mean pull out a pen, and use honest to god handwriting, on real physical paper, stick it in an envelope, and mail it. If you really, really feel strongly about it, in your letter you can tell him that your vote for 2006 (yes, believe it or not, some people actually vote) will rest solely on the response to that letter.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What Would Roberts Do?

So after yesterday's post, I got to thinking about Roberts again today.

I'm really, really curious as to how he would vote on a gay issue when one comes before the Supremes, as I really do believe that he is a closet homosexual.

I can only imagine what must be going through his head at every step in the decision making process - "if I do this, then people might guess my secret, so I guess I better do this instead". The longer he stays in the closet, the greater the number of his decisions that will be tainted by this thought process, and the greater the long term harm to our society.

What we need now is for a gay rights case to come before the Supreme Court to flush him out of the closet and get it over with, so that he can start making sound decisions with the interest of the public in mind. A case involving a monogamous gay couple that had been living together for 30 years and of which one party suddenly fell into a permanent vegetative state* would be ideal, as it would get lots of publicity from both the Jesus Freaks and the rational people.

The other thing to consider is that it would be better to get this kind of case tried before Alito shows up on the court, since it is becoming apparent that the Democrats in the Senate don't have the balls to try to filibuster him.

* note that in no way do I wish death or a coma onto anyone

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In Oregon, a hen called Roberts comes home to roost

Note: Everyone and his brother is writing this in some way or another, so I won't take credit for fantastic insight on this one....

Ron Wyden is a Senator from Oregon, who voted to confirm Roberts as a supreme court judge. In his endorsement of Roberts on Sep 28, 2005, he had the following to say.

One, on the basis of his public testimony, it is hard to see Judge Roberts as a man who will walk into the white-pillared building across the street and set about tearing apart the fabric of our society.

Two, on the basis of his public testimony, it is hard to see him as a judicial activist who would place ideological purity or a particular agenda above or ahead of the need for thoughtful legal reasoning.

Three, on the basis of his public testimony, it is hard to see John Roberts as a divisive, confrontational extremist who would try to further exploit the divisions in our society.


Oregon has a "death with dignity" type law, which basically says that if you have 6 months or less to live, and you have been advised and counseled, a doctor can give you the option to die with dignity at a time and place of your choice, by administering a lethal dose of something that will kill you. Note that this law was enacted at the request of the voters of Oregon.

The Jesus Freaks don't like this, so naturally the Federal government tried to override state rights (hellloooo, Federalism) by threatening to punish doctors who do this. Just like everything else, it ended up in front of the Supreme Court, which thankfully voted 6-3 in favour of "death with dignity".

The 3 opposing votes were from Thomas, Alito, and Roberts. In his very first vote, Roberts dissented with the majority, went against constitutional state rights, and sided with the right wing loonies.

Great job Wyden. Kudos to you. Your stupidity in confirming that right-wing extremist judge almost screwed your own state over. And I'll bet that you vote for Alito too. If your consituents have any sense at all, they'll remove you from office because you are clearly not serving their needs.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Opinions, opinions.

Skimming the headlines today, I came across this in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Laura Bush Defends Domestic Spying Program


a) Of course shes going to agree with whatever he said, she's the perfect example of what a right wing wife should be: a woman who breeds and shuts the fuck up unless she's agreeing with and or supporting her husband.

b) Who gives a flying fuck what she thinks?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Alito



One of my goals for 2006 is to write more, however I was planning to start in February rather than January, because I have a ton of other stuff going on. That being said, this ia a little important, so I'm posting something now.

Please do some research on Alito - a good place to start is his Wikipedia entry. After you are done, and you have learned that Alito is a judicial extremist whose track record indicates that he wants to put women back into servitude, wants to put control over women's bodies back into the hands of their husbands and their fathers, only likes white people, and favours big business instead of citizens, contact your senator and ask him to oppose the nomination.

Each of the following sites has information on how to ask your senator to oppose the nominatino of Alito. Please go to at least one, although all would be better.

ACLU

NAACP

NARAL, Pro-Choice America

National Organization for Women

People for the American Way

MoveOn