Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poll Results

My "Who Would Make the Better President" poll is within a day of completion. Given the relatively few readers of this blog, I am pleased with the turnout.

Ron Paul clearly won, which means that most people who read this blog see things the way that I do.

John McCain came in tied at second, with three votes, which means that Golf Guy voted two times after his initial vote--next stop, Florida!

Adolf Hitler came in tied at second with McCain, and this disappoints me. For as much as I dislike McCain, he is no Hitler; and the idiot(s) who voted for Hitler were (I pray) merely fudging up the poll.

Barrack Obama came in third, with only two votes.

Any suggestions for the next poll?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rick Astley Will Never

Don't believe me? Check out the video.

A Good Point to My Anti-California Rant

My friend Bob pointed out something so obvious that I am ashamed (only slightly) to admit it.

It has to do with Los Angeles banning the installation of new fast-food restaurants in its impoverished southern area.

He points out that the people of southern L.A. don't buy fast-food because they are too poor for other types of food, rather they do so because they are impatient. It's essentially the same reason why we middle-class suburbanites eat so much fast-food: we're hungry; we want food now; and we don't want to wait for it.

The main argument against the legislation still stands--that the government has no business telling people what they can and cannot consume for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Do the meddling legislators even realize that fast-food restaurants are only built in an area where people want to buy fast-food? In essence, the government is using its coercive powers to prevent people from getting what they want. While this argument might hold for most if, say, the people of southern Los Angeles were trying to procure nuclear weapons, the truth is that the government its using its coercive powers to stop people from getting cheeseburgers, tacos, and fried chicken.

In closing, Bob added that there could easily be a string of healthy fast-food restaurants "where you could get carrot sticks for $1." However, as he correctly pointed out, these restaurants would speed towards bankruptcy because they wouldn't be offering what people want.

This is an excellent point. The government is looking to squash businesses that profit by giving people what they want, while at the same time the government is promoting businesses that are destined for insolvency because they don't give people what they want.

And we let the government make our laws?

The question of who's stupider, the people or the state elected by the people, is so much like the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg.


Brett Favre

Favre blew it. He should not come back to the league, but he just asked the commissioner for reinstatement.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


New England, specifically Massachusetts Bay, was once the seat of colonial puritanism. There a bunch of meddling busybodies and hypocrites--each calling himself "Goodman" or herself "Goody" as evidence of their Christian humility--utilized the coercive powers of government to injure and all to often kill anyone who chose to live according to a different set of precepts.

Let's see, there's the "pressing" death of Giles Cory, who was unjustly accused of witchcraft by a defendant hoping for mercy. Cory refused to enter a plea, which according to common law at the time meant that he could not be charged formally with witchcraft. In an attempt to force a plea, the court ordered that Cory be laid upon his back with a wooden palette upon his chest. Every time they asked him to cooperate and he refused, heavy stones were placed upon the palette until finally, after the application of hundreds of pounds of weight (all distributed on Corey's chest and stomach), Cory defiantly requested "More weight," and died.

Flogging was common for people who either skipped church or dared to conduct business on the Sabbath.

Roger Williams was banished--often an indirect death sentence given the wilderness surrounding the colonies--for having such crazy notions that an individual's relationship with God was something that neither the community nor government could mitigate. Luckily for Williams, he befriended the Narragansett's and negotiated with them to build his own settlement, which he called Providence--and which later became the colony of Rhode Island, a religious colony that was "radical" in its tolerance of other faiths and denominations.

In 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged for being a Quaker, this following a year that saw similar fates for at least six other Quakers.

Catholic priests were officially banned from even entering the colony, lest they be hanged (yes, that was the law).

The first execution in Massachusetts was of a teenager for a sexual act involving a farm animal (yes, that's disgusting, but it's pretty much the description of a victimless crime--besides, I heard that the sheep was into it).

The list goes on and on.

While there are still many puritans in Massachusetts, they aren't the Christian kind; they're of the socialist (or as they call themselves "liberal") ilk.

However, I think that California has surpassed Massachusetts in modern-day puritanism.

It seems that there is nothing that California's politicians think is outside of their jurisdiction. Trans-fats, while clearly unhealthy (or so I've been told) are now illegal in California. The people don't even have the choice. More recently, Los Angeles is looking into banning new fast food restaurants in the impoverished, southern part of the city. Apparently, obesity is a problem in this area, and politicians have blamed this on the number of fast-food joints there established.

Hell yes, California! These folks eat fast-food because its cheap, and they're too poor for much else. The solution: get rid of the fast food-joints. This will surely solve the obesity problem. Just ask any anorexic person. When you don't eat, you lose weight.

Bravo, California!

It's just like the meddling SOB's who rail against countries in which children work in factories. These children work because without their wages, however meager, their families will starve. Which is better: a child who works but eats, or a child who doesn't work and doesn't eat? Who's really the compassionate one here, Bono?

Seriously, have you heard about Bono's textile factories in Lesotho, Africa? He pays salaries, not hourly wages. When you do the math, if his employees' salaries were measured according to hours worked, his employees work for below Lesotho's minimum wage. But don't blame Bono. Everyone knows that he moves in mysterious ways.

What people need is more freedom, not less. At any given moment, people are doing what they have deemed for themselves as what is best for them at the time. Whether or not the people are correct, it's their lives. Besides, history does not demonstrate any government's ability to do better for it's people.

Hey, California! Water can lead to death both by over-hydration and drowning. Water is also a key component in urine (ugh, how gross!).Why don't you save your citizens by banning water?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flight of the Conchords "Think About It"

This one too. Thanks, KV.

Flight of the Conchords "Jenny"

Thank you so much, KV for introducing me to this duo. Biobandit is hooked on them as well.

The Right to BEAR Arms

While the picture below is clearly a hoax, I think it's important enough to point out that it's in-line with what governments recommend. They recommend that you carry pepper spray rather than a gun to fight grizzlies.

And when you're dead, they authorize the park service to send a guy in with a gun to dispatch of the bear.

Monday, July 21, 2008

He Stopped Loving Her Today

I rank this as one of the saddest songs ever written. No one has done it better than George Jones.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Think back to when Paul Simon wrote "Mrs. Robinson" (1966--The Graduate was released in 1967, so I'm just guessing).

From that song, my favorite line is

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

Suppose that Simon was writing the song now. Who would he choose for today's ubi sunt?

Are there any sports heroes of more recent decades who simply played for the game? To me, Michael Jordan was too commercial, too into being Michael Jordan. Maybe Brett Farve will be a candidate in ten or so years, but not unless this whole "comeback" thing turns out just to be a rumor--unless he comes back and wins the Super Bowl, that is.

In all honest, I don't think that the 1970's, 1980's, or 1990's produced anyone who could be substituted for Joe DiMaggio.

Reply with any candidates.

Here's some audio of "Mrs. Robinson."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Retraction (a rarity)

On my most recent post, I apologized if I offended anyone with my rhetoric. I would like to retract that apology.

You are the problem so long as you support injustice. The lesser of two evils is still evil, and if you support it than you are nonetheless a supporter of evil.

The crap of the deal is that I will have to endure whatever the majority decides. I am at the mercy of millions of minions. How's that for a political system? I am not a free man. I am a slave to both the government and the majority that elected it.

This is not the land of the free, nor is it the home of the brave (and you can check all of your Johnny Horton mock-patriotism at the door).

Now I know why the South seceded, and why they fought so hard and tragically for secession.

Damn you, Lee. Why didn't you listen to Longstreet?

Offensive Lecture on Executive Privilege Et Alia

Bush has once again claimed "Executive Privilege" as an excuse to avoid being checked by the legislative branch.

Let me be clear: there is no such thing as "Executive Privilege." Read the damn Constitution (Article II is on the Executive Branch).

The whole thing comes--I think--from Marbury v. Madison (1803), when the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall declared that a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 (I think) was unconstitutional. This part would have enabled the court to issue a writ of mandamus to require the executive branch to submit to legislative authority. Writing for the majority, Marshall explained that such a power would violate the separation of powers.

The issue was whether or not the Court could force President Thomas Jefferson to require Secretary of State James Madison to deliver a commission as Justice of the Peace of the District of Columbia to one William Marbury.

What happened was when John Adams (the first and only Federalist president) lost the election of 1800 to his Democratic-Republican rival--Jefferson--he (Adams) began to issue appointments to stout federalists who would maintain office long after the party had declined into the pit of hell that it deserved (it has since been resurrected--first by the Republicans under Abraham Lincon--but now it is the backbone of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, that is that government is better than the people, the free market, and basic axioms of logic).

Adams made such unethical appointments to the last minute of his administration. Marbury was one of the so-called "Midnight Judges," in that Adams drafted the commission in the very moments before his term expired.

However, for Marbury, his commission came too late. Adams and his cronies had to leave, and it was up to Jefferson to order the delivery of the remaining commissions, of which Marbury's was one.

The duty to deliver such commissions fell to the Secretary of State, so Jefferson simply told Madison (the Sec. of State) to ignore the commissions--for if undelivered, the commissions were invalid.

At the Federalist Party's behest, Marbury sued. His argument was to envoke the writ of mandamus that would empower the Supreme Court to require Madison to deliver the commission.

Jefferson and Madison stood fast, and they prevailed.

This is the context from which Bush claims his "Executive Privilege" to deny Congress access to information.

It's a load of horse manure. That's what it is.

Marshall ruled because he feared that such a power would enable a separate (but equal) branch to usurp the authority of another branch. That is perfectly rational. The writ of mandamus, as it was worded in the Judiciary Act, was unwise.

However, Marshall's decision in no way made the executive branch immune from legislative scrutiny. Look at the damn case, and see for yourself.

But Bush thinks that anytime anyone wants to examine his administrations actions, he can just claim "Executive Privilege."

Here's a pasting of Article II of the Constitution. This article defines the executive branch and its limits by stating what its powers are. Nowhere is there a word of anything akin to "Executive Privilege":

Section 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representatives from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--''I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.''

Section 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Not only is there no mention of anything resembling what Bush calls "Executive Privilege," consider how much is not constitutionally within the President's power. Look at all promised by McCain and Obama. Virtually none of it is within their constitutional jurisdiction.

Jesus, people, learn the Constitution. See what frauds are these sonsofbitches that are funning for office. You blew your most recent opportunity with Ron Paul. For the next few years you (and I, unfortunately--because you a-holes drag me down)will suffer both unnatural inflation and/or increased taxation. All because you couldn't lend your support to the one man who stood up and said, "No more."

God damn it, you all are harder than the Berlin Wall to break.

If you're offended by that, then it's your own fault.

To My Wife on Her Birthday

Today my wife turned 33 years old.

For slightly less than a month, I remain 31.

Therefore, I dedicate this to my dear wife--the mother of my children, lover of my dreams, and best friend.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Everyone in my family always hated Sammy Davis, Jr. I learned this when I was very young and trying out impersonations of Billy Crystal impersonating Sammy (though my grandfather said that I sounded more like a gay Ed Sullivan--which meant nothing to me in the mid-1980's).

I will probably always enjoy Frank Sinatra's and Dean Martin's material more (as a whole), but Sammy had a presence that cannot be rejected--to the extent that he probably put on a better solo show.

Here are a few clips of some of my favorite Sammy Davis, Jr. songs. It is an incomplete presentation, for some of the choice ones are not posted to youtube.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Cotton Fields" Multiple Covers

Below are some interpretations of the same tune, "Cotton Fields," by blues singer "Lead Belly" Huddie Ledbetter. For my money, The Beach Boys, under Brian Wilson's genius, covered it best.

There's just something about listening to different versions of the same tune.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Humans Are Dead

By Flight of the Conchords

The Rubber Biscuit Song

Turkey Attack!

The headline read "Four Held in Turkey Attack."

My first thought was, "A group of guys attacked a turkey?" Then, as the page was quickly loading, I realized that it meant Turkey the country.

"Hell, there's nothing novel about that," I thought, so I closed the page.

I need to remember this story before I get all intrigued by a successor: "Turkey Fights Back."

Monday, July 07, 2008

Candidates and Religion

Many people will argue in defense of candidates that neither a candidate's race, gender, nor religion matters.

I agree that race and gender do not matter. In some contexts, perhaps they may--at least a little. However, in the context of the United States, I suggest that they matter as much as if a candidate enjoys boxers or briefs--of course if gender is the issue, then that may very well be an interesting (perhaps even significant) issue.

Religion, on the other hand, matters. A religious man (or woman) can be good. Indeed, a religious man or woman should be good.

That said, there is also a danger inherent in powerful and religious people. Need I list the examples?

Of course nonreligious people also have accounted for much grief to this world's history, but look closely at them. Hitler's Nazism was essentially religious, as was Lenin and Stalin's Bolshevism.

Blind devotion to anything and a willingness to destroy all opposition is dangerous in all forms, whether it wears a cross, a yamaka, orange robes, paramilitary tunics, or suicide bombs.

Let's look a Barack Obama. For twenty years, he belonged to Jeremiah Wright's congregation (I decline to call him a reverend). Now either Obama believes in Wright's outrageousness, or he doesn't.

If Obama is truly a follower of Wright (and is only distancing himself from the false prophet for political reasons), then Obama is a dangerous man.

If Obama doesn't really believe the kind of things that Wright utters, then why was he a parishioner for so long? The only good answer is that Obama doesn't really believe anything in terms of religion, and that he only went to church to make himself appear a religious man so that he could one day run for president.

The latter may actually make Obama even more dangerous than the former.

As for McCain, he's just useless. Not dangerous, just useless. Enough said.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Two Things

Two things.

If you like good drama and writing, then see There Will Be Blood. The ending is not startling. It's perfect.

Also, my son wants to take Karate. What kind of man would stand in the way of that? I not only enjoyed my training in Chinese Kenpo and Tae Kwan Do (the latter was far more useful, even though I progressed two belts farther on the other), but it gave me a confidence that exceeds my physical appearance.

Initially, I look like a fat, soft guy (the baby face that hasn't aged since I was sixteen doesn't help either). However, I can carry myself with the knowledge that I can defend myself.

The irony is that all three of my "bloody"/"punching" fights occurred before my martial arts training (of the three, I clearly won two, and the third was a draw).

I've never had the opportunity to misdirect an opponent's attack, break his arm at the elbow, break his nose with my knee, and explain to the authorities why I had to do what I did. However, I know how to do this, and I can envision it perfectly. I'm not bragging here. Indeed, anyone with more than three years of martial arts training is likely to hand me my teeth in a handbag. I'm just saying that I feel that, under normal circumstance (i.e. against an average Joe Blow, no matter how big) I have a good chance of prevailing.

My daughter also wants to take karate, and when I think of how predatory young boys can be (and how malicious other young girls can be), I cannot help but think that such training will be an invaluable asset.

Call me antiquated (i.e. "old school"), but I think that young ones need the confidence to carry themselves on the schoolyard and beyond.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Choice

It seems that most of Hollywood's elite (i.e. rather uneducated--but pretty) support Barack Obama for president.

There's one reason (among many others) to oppose the senator from Illinois.

Unfortunately, there are many who think that opposition to Obama must mean support for McCain.

Tsk tsk.

Let's say that you want to bake cookies.

Some a-hole from Hollywood says, "You know what would make these cookies great? Try some cyanide."

Then there's some other a-hole from, lets just say Arizona, who says, "No, what these cookies need is some arsenic."

In both of these cases, you would (I hope) be keen enough to tell both the person from Hollywood and Arizona to eat feces and expire (I edited my choice words because I knew that Golf Guy would object).

And yet, the two candidates for this country's major (but not only--dammit) political parties are Obama and McCain.


His son had been missing for six weeks in the Amazon rain forest.

After the government called of the search, he continued.

He searched far and wide, saving little time for rest.

He found his boy, alive--but barely. The young man was lying beside a riverbed. He was dehydrated, starving, and covered in insects and insect bites.

When the father brushed the insects aside and tried to revive his offspring, the young man simply "[g]ritted his teeth, and died."

How's that for an un-Hollywood ending?


Right now, one of the big questions to McCain and Obama refers to the meaning of patriotism.

The word "patriotism" is rooted in "patriot," further rooted in "patria"--Latin for "father," but in this context meaning "fatherland."

There are two basic kinds of patriotism. One says, "My country, right or wrong." It is this kind of patriotism that follows the government in war against southern states that would have otherwise coexisted peacefully alongside the northern ones.

Such is the kind of patriotism that waged an unjust war against Spain because our imperialism was so much better than Spanish imperialism (ours doesn't have accent marks, you see).

We're talking about the kind of patriotism that said to throw Japanese-Americans into concentration camps because they just might be allied with Hirohito (however, if these same Japs want to join the army, navy, or marines--then they're more than welcome).

This, the patriotism that said more dying in Vietnam was better than admitting the mistake of Vietnam.

The very same patriotism led us into Iraq, and might well lead us into Iran.

Then there's the other kind of patriotism.

This other patriotism respects the ideals upon which the fatherland is founded. Government exists only to protect the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (I italicized "pursuit" because too many sub-literate people think that they are entitled to happiness itself), that any action the government takes beyond that sacred charge is essentially tyranny, and that tyranny in all forms, great and small, must be opposed--and violently if necessary.

This other patriotism will not follow its flag into an unjust war. It will not accept the degradation of an entire minority because it suits the national majority.

This other patriotism will stand up to the fatherland and say, "Enough, God damn you," and it will shake its fists and threaten reaction to injustice.

Most ignorant people perceive this latter kind of patriotism as closer to treason.

I disagree.

The fool who follows his country's flag without a second thought might as well be clothed in a Waffen SS uniform.

We desecrate the memory of those Germans who stood silent while their government perpetrated one of the greatest evils of the modern era. However, if you follow the first kind of patriotism, then to look upon such Germans as so you are a hypocrite.
I know. I know. I know. I need to post. Trust me, I've wanted to do so, but I've been preoccupied. To date, I have two partially finished posts. Expect them soon.

As a gesture of gratitude, I'm reducing by 50% your next re-subscription to this blog.

Bill of Rights