Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Charlie Crist Being Sued?

Via Legal Insurrection who has more including the PDF of the complaint.

If Charlie Crist would have dropped out, he would have saved himself this trouble.

A pair of Republicans who contributed to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's (I) campaign for Senate have filed a lawsuit demanding that those donations be returned.

The class action suit seeks refunds for all of Crist's GOP donors, arguing that not refunding Republican donors now that the governor has left the party and is running against a Republican, actually violates state law.

The man leading the legal fight is Florida state Rep. Tom Grady, a former regional chairman of Crist's Senate campaign.

From what I've read, a donation to the candidate is a donation to that candidate. Regardless of party affiliation. It's a waiting game on how it will be played out in court.

Quarterly reports will be out at the end of this month. So we'll see how badly he needs to hold onto what funds he has in his account.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Joe "Scranton" Biden: Looking Out For The Little Guy

This video has been making the rounds. Joe Biden telling someone not to be "A Smart-ass". Videos of the event here and here and here and some background information here.

I do have an answer for Vice President Bite Me. No, the custard shop owner wasn't being a smart-ass. He was as serious as a brain aneurysm.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Innsurgents Killed By Needlepoint Accident And Their Own Bomb But Mostly Their Own Bomb.

Maybe if they spent more time at needlepoint, these needless accident's won't happen.

Eight Arab, five Pakistani and two Afghan militants were killed when bombs they were making exploded prematurely inside a mosque in eastern Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said Sunday.
The insurgents were assembling bombs in Desi Mosque of Yousifkhela district in the south-eastern province of Paktika on Friday, the ministry said.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reading Between The Lines Of Ezra Klein's Reason Why He Is Closing Down The Journolist

The 'Famed' Journolist that Ezra Klein helped found is being scrubbed in the wake of fellow member David Weigel resigning from the Washington Post. All after Weigel's emails became public. The Journolist-- a place where liberal bloggers can practice epistemic closure and group-think in safety-- is going bye-bye. He announced the closing of the list the other day and I did what I could to separate what he said and what he really meant.

I began Journolist in February of 2007. It was an idea born from disagreement. Weeks, or maybe months, earlier, I had criticized Time's Joe Klein over some comments he made about the Iraq War. He e-mailed a long and searching reply, and the subsequent conversation was educational for us both. Taking the conversation out of the public eye made us less defensive, less interested in scoring points. I learned about his position, and why he held it, in ways that I wouldn't have if our argument had remained in front of an audience.

I wasn't allowed on other email lists. So I packed up my toys and started my own 'Cool Kids Club'. Joe Klein wasn't invited.

The experience crystallized an idea I'd been kicking around for some time. I was on all sorts of e-mail lists, but none that quite got at the daily work of my job: Following policy and political trends in both the expert community and the media. But I always knew how much I was missing. There were only so many phone calls I could make in a day. There were only so many times when I knew the right question to ask. By not thinking of the right person to interview, or not asking the right question when I got them on the phone, or not intuiting that an economist would have a terrific take on the election, I was leaving insights on the table.

There was always some token Republican or conservative on those lists. They made me feel yucky. Always making me doubt myself. I didn't want that. Plus, seeing how I was in charge of the list, I can always make sure my two cents were the last word on any subject.

That was the theory behind Journolist: An insulated space where the lure of a smart, ongoing conversation would encourage journalists, policy experts and assorted other observers to share their insights with one another. The eventual irony of the list was that it came to be viewed as a secretive conspiracy, when in fact it was always a fractious and freewheeling conversation meant to open the closed relationship between a reporter and his source to a wider audience.

We would tell dick jokes. A lot.

At the beginning, I set two rules for the membership. The first was the easy one: No one who worked for the government in any capacity could join. The second was the hard one: The membership would range from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left. I didn't like that rule, but I thought it necessary: There would be no free conversation in a forum where people had clear incentives to embarrass each other. A bipartisan list would be a more formal debating society. Plus, as Liz Mair notes, there were plenty of conservative list servs, and I knew of military list servs, and health-care policy list servs, and feminist list servs. Most of these projects limited membership to facilitate a particular sort of conversation. It didn't strike me as a big deal to follow their example.

Obviously the first rule was flexible. The second was ironclad. There was a third rule. "No Girls Allowed". That soon went away. Besides, this was my list. Where else can I safely announce that I grew my first pubic hair?

But over the years, Journolist grew, and as it grew, its relative exclusivity became more infamous, and its conversations became porous. The leaks never bothered me, though. What I didn't expect was that a member of the list, or someone given access by a member of the list, would trawl through the archives to assemble a dossier of quotes from one particular member and then release them to an interested media outlet to embarrass him. But that's what happened to David Weigel. Private e-mails were twisted into a public story.

David Weigel must have really, really pissed someone off.

In a column about Stanley McChrystal today, David Brooks talks about the union of electronic text, unheralded transparency, 24/7 media and a culture that has not yet settled on new rules for what is, and isn't, private, and what is, and isn't, newsworthy. "The exposure ethos, with its relentless emphasis on destroying privacy and exposing impurities, has chased good people from public life, undermined public faith in institutions and elevated the trivial over the important," he writes.

This is both good and bad. The good is that we can help craft a media message for someone like George Allan and the word, "Macacca"* and keep it alive until it sinks his candidacy. The bad is there is no way in hell we can spin any good out of Bob Etherigde and his assault on two students. But to in an effort to spin gold out of straw, we did our best to make sure the story is dropped soon.

There's a lot of faux-intimacy on the Web. Readers like that intimacy, or at least some of them do. But it's dangerous. A newspaper column is public, and writers treat it as such. So too is a blog. But Twitter? It's public, but it feels, somehow, looser, safer. Facebook is less public than Twitter, and feels even more intimate. A private e-mail list is not public, but it is electronically archived text, and it is protected only by a password field and the good will of the members. It's easy to talk as if it's private without considering the possibility, unlikely as it is, that it will one day become public, and that some ambitious gossip reporters will dig through it for an exposure story. And because that possibility doesn't feel fully real, people still talk like it's private and then get burned if it goes public.

There will be a blood oath in order to get on the next list. And whoever leaks this list, their nuts will be on an anvil. Hence, the no girls rule again.

Broadly speaking, neither journalism nor the public has quite decided on how to handle this explosion of information about people we're interested in. A newspaper reporter opposing the Afghanistan war in a news story is doing something improper. A newspaper reporter telling his wife he opposes the war is being perfectly proper. If someone had been surreptitiously taping that reporter's conversations with his wife, there'd be no doubt that was a violation of privacy, and the gathered remarks and observations were illegitimate. If a batch of that reporter's e-mails were obtained and forwarded along? People are less sure what to do about it. So, for now, they use it. Facebook pictures get used too, though there's a bit of shame in it. If the trend continues as it is, people will become much more careful in those forums. For now, we're in an awful transition, where we haven't quite adjusted for the public sphere's ability to appropriate the freshly-enlarged private sphere.

We aren't the gatekeepers of information like we use to be. And more and more people are starting to hold us accountable for what we say and do.

It was ironic, in a way, that it would be the Daily Caller that published e-mails from Journolist. A few weeks ago, its editor, Tucker Carlson, asked if he could join the list. After asking other members, I said no, that the rules had worked so far to protect people, and the members weren't comfortable changing them. He tried to change my mind, and I offered, instead, to partner with Carlson to start a bipartisan list serv. That didn't interest him.

Neener, neener. Tucker couldn't join. Hindsight being what it is, maybe I should have let him joined.

In any case, Journolist is done now. I'll delete the group soon after this post goes live. That's not because Journolist was a bad idea, or anyone on it did anything wrong. It was a wonderful, chaotic, educational discussion. I'm proud of having started it, grateful to have participated in it, and I have no doubt that someone else will re-form it, with many of the same members, and keep it going. Hopefully, it will lose some of its mystique in the process, and be understood more for what it is: One of many e-mail lists where people talk about things they're interested in. But insofar as the current version of Journolist has seen its archives become a weapon, and insofar as people's careers are now at stake, it has to die.

And I've posted way too many racist jokes and Buffy fan/fiction stories on that list. I'm scared crapless if someone leaked that.

But did you think the Journolist is going away for good? Journolist 2.0 goes into effect later this evening. As soon as I figure out who leaked Dave's emails, they will be black-balled.

As for Dave, I'm heartbroken that he resigned from The Post. Dave is an extraordinary reporter, and a dear friend. When this is done, there will be a different name on his paychecks, but he will still be an extraordinary reporter, and a dear friend.

I said there were two rules to join the list. There was another set of rules after you were admitted. Weigel broke the first two of those rules. Never admit to being on the list.

People on the list can be outed because of a leak or two. That's acceptable to a certain level. But better the mystique of being on the list and not a member than saying you are a member and then outed as never being on it. At least, that's how I tried to portray it to potential recruits.

Anyhoo, by outing himself, Weigel tried to get in front of a breaking story about the Journolist but the internal rules are set in stone. Dave did the noble thing by throwing himself under the bus.

But don't cry for him. Media Matters is hiring and is looking for someone and I heard (through the Journolist, no less) that they like the cut of Weigel's jib.

*Yes, "Macacca" was before Journolist's time but not other email lists that were active.

John McCain. The Matthew Lesco Of The US Senate.*

He's looking to give away money like a stranger in an unmarked van gives away candy to kids.

*In case you don't know who Matthew Lesco is.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Night Video

So It's Come To This

Comparing the Border Patrol with the KKK.

Before she complains about Arizona, she should take a long walk down 8 Mile Road to see how Detroit has been ran into the ground.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If You Don't Like This Segment By Steven Crowder. . .

. . . Then you are worse than the guidance counselor who told Hitler to "Follow your dreams".

Via The Jawa Report.

I Have My Alibi. . .

. . . Should my kleptomania ever get out of control.

It's for a blog story I'm working on.

Thirty-three-year-old Desiree Fontaine, a reporter for WTNH-TV in New Haven, was charged with misdemeanor larceny last Saturday at a Milford shopping mall. Police say she stole about $105 worth of merchandise including jewelry, cologne and a men's Hawaiian-style shirt.
[. . .]
Police say Fontaine told an officer she was a freelance news reporter and was doing "something on the side.'' She didn't say for whom she was working.

Dan Rather emailed me to say that is the same excuse he uses when shoplifting womens panties.

Thanks to Elizabeth.

They Said That If I Voted For John McCain, Thought Police Would Arrest People For Passing Out Literature That Offended Religious Fundamentalists

And they were right.*

Lebanon? Baghdad? Tehran? Nope. Dearborn, Michigan. AKA, Dearbornistan.

For more background on what happened, see here at Answering Muslims.

In cases like this, being forewarned is being forearmed. Know yours and the officer's rights so you know when he is starting to overreach. And memorize this: "Officer, am I being detained or am I free to go?" The missionaries in Dearborn where smart to have cameras recording. Don't ask me, ask Bob Etheridge.

I saw this a while ago and it's very appropriate for what happened in Dearborn. 10 Rules for Dealing With Police.

Below The Beltway has more on the 10 Rules On Dealing With The Police. I don't think Christian missionaries were the intended audience but it's worth watching for the education. Be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

*I was going to use a variation of this title anyway but Smitty at The Other McCain linked to this. Who would have guessed that this title was at the number one spot?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"In The Very Best Of Hands"

Not much else here to say other than this:

The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sometimes it's as if Obama wants a man-made disaster to generate a crisis for him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quote For The Week: Is It Real Or Parody Edition

"Perhaps the President has not quite turned out to be the Reagan reincarnation we all expected, and in some ways I am beginning to believe this Obama fellow is unequal to the task. As the intellectual conscience of the conservative movement, and whatever our previous enthusiasm for the chap, we ought have the courage to point out those rare instances where his performance has been found wanting. Such as foreign and domestic policy. The important thing is that we not end up implicated in his shortcomings."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Now It Can Be Told. Updated With Case Studies In Stupidity

Why people vote for Democrats.

It's science. You can't argue with science.

UPDATE: With two case studies.

I don't know why this is a Media Matter's clip. I would have picked out this clip to showcase liberal stupidity.

The population of America is a little over 300 million. And she ballparks twice that. Not surprisingly, she's on welfare and doesn't have a clue how it works.

Stick with it for the exit quote from Savage.

To say that talk radio hosts don't do anything for the conservative cause never talk to callers like these.

Life After Porn?

Nightline touched on this the other day. Although this is a subject that could of had a more in depth focus from Nightline's old 30 minute format on stories. It did alright in showing the two sides.

Keep in mind that Christy Canyon is still drawing her paycheck from Playboy while doing this interview. She might not be doing porn anymore but she is still in the industry. She isn't going to bite the hand that feeds her.

The other thing I noticed there seemed to be quite a few video clips of possible paid content shown as B-roll. Someone at ABC News could have paid for it. I'm guessing it was George Stephanopoulos. He seemed to have a pretty good understanding on strip clubs.*

Porn can almost be put into the same category as Alcohol. A prohibition on it would only drive it underground. It would take away choice for people. If porn is outlawed, is it truly a personal choice made in the heart or denial by convenience?

There is an entire theological argument against porn but I'm trying to look at this from a political point of view right now. And this isn't about pointing fingers, either. I can't say that I've never looked at porn on the computer. I've done my fair share. But there is something about being a father of two girls that helped put porn in it's perspective too.

Porn is an industry driven on fantasy. As Kevin Nealon put it, "I was interested, interested, interested, very interested then suddenly no interest at all." Most guys wouldn't bother with it if they couldn't picture themselves opposite of the woman.

One the surface people see the make-up, borrowed wardrobe and touched up photos. What's never seen is the dark side of porn. There isn't room for the reality when your product is make-believe. As you can in the history of Crissy (not Christy) from the clip above:

My real name is Christina, not Crissy. “Crissy” was a name that came later and just sort of stuck. I am often asked how someone like me ended up in the adult film industry. I made some really bad choices in life, and I take full responsibility for them. I won’t be able to easily escape the reminders of my past, but I know that is not who I am anymore. I have a new beginning and a chance to help others to not make the same choices. Remember, it’s not our circumstances that determine who we’ll be, but how we deal with them, and it’s never too late to change.

I was born in Jacksonville, Florida. My earliest memories begin at age four. My daddy was gentle and loving, and my favorite memories have always been of sitting in his lap with my head on his chest. It was a comfort to listen to his voice and heartbeat while he rocked me in his chair, reading his bible or singing songs. He’d tell me that he was my “Daddy,” but God was my “Father.” My mother always had a song on her heart. Everywhere she went she was singing! It seemed to calm her soul and bring her much happiness. My mom was in the church choir. When she was in the front of the church, singing, she would tell my brother and I that she wanted to hear us singing from where she sat. After church we would always discuss what we learned during the car ride home.

Even though those years were the best memories, it was also during this time that I was first molested. I was swimming over at a neighbor’s house. This family had three little boys who we played with a lot. The father began fondling me while he was carrying me around in the pool. He took me to the bathroom and continued to touch me. I was about 5 or 6 years-old. I had no idea what was happening, but I felt sort of ashamed, so I didn’t tell anyone.
[. . .]
My dad became an alcoholic. His thinking became irrational. He’d rage and lash-out at my mom. He’d go out to bars and come home with gun-shot wounds, broken knuckles, bruises and blood on him. He’d say he was preaching the Word, and someone didn’t like it. I remember wishing my parents would get divorced because I just could not stand to hear the fighting. Late one night, while my brother and I were asleep, we were wakened by my parents, fighting. The arguing was so bad, my brother and I just stayed in the room, scared to come out, crying. We heard things crashing, my dad yelling, and my mother crying and trying to plead with him. She would usually take us and go to my grandma’s, but this time, he was threatening her, so she ran out of the house without us. My dad came into our room, gave us each a trash bag and told us to put in them what we wanted to take. He then ran off with us to another part of Florida.

Be sure to read her entire story. Her history isn't that different from many others in her situation. Childhood abuse seem to be the common denominator in them.

It's easy to see why women in the sex industry have trouble when they try to leave. Fast money for little work for women who have few trade skills. When women try to quit, it's mostly low paying jobs and long hours to get by. Reality. So they drift back to the lifestyle. If they hang in long enough, they might get a job like Christy Canyon being an industry insider.

There is a certain level of determination for those wanting to leave to achieve escape velocity.

*That really was a long way to go for a bad joke on George, I will admit to that.

FCC Wants To Control The Internet With A "Light Tough"

Via The Other McCain.

One more thing in a long line of items that the government is looking to take control over.

Reason has more

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Fallout From Bob "It Was Just A Hug" Etheridge

Zombie Telly Savalas emailed Etheridge to ask, "Who loves you, baby?"

A crowd rallied in downtown Raleigh Wednesday calling for Congressman Bob Etheridge's resignation after a video appeared on YouTube earlier this week showing Etheridge in a physical confrontation with young men on a Washington D.C. Street.

Meanwhile, the identity of the men in the video remains a mystery.

Spoofing the YouTube video, a crowd outside his Raleigh office chanted “Who are you?!”

Etheridge's Republican opponent, Renee Elmers, recorded an online campaign video using footage from the YouTube video. Some Democrats online accused the men of staging the incident. But Ellmers' supporters say it doesn't matter to them who the men are and that they stand behind her campaign video.

"I don't think there's anybody out there who hasn't seen it,” protester Ellen Batten said. “And as far as her using it, I don't think that we can consider that dirt because it's not something we went out and found. Bob Etheridge gave us that."
[. . .]
North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Andrew Whalen issued a statement saying, “Congressman Bob Etheridge quickly took the right steps and has offered a heartfelt and sincere apology, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping Renee Ellmers and her extreme right-wing Americans for Prosperity allies from trying to take advantage of the situation

“But consider the source. Mrs. Ellmers is a member of AFP and both have long held a vendetta against Congressman Etheridge. It’s no surprise they would try to score cheap political points with this poorly attended rally even after a pledge to take the high road.”

What Whaten really meant was: "This is really, really, really bad for Bob Etheridge. The fan didn't just get hit this time, it got covered.

And how dare Renee Ellmers use this isolated event against Bob Etheridge."

North Carolina's primary was held in May so there isn't an easy way to field a new Democrat for the district. Short of having Etheridge stepping aside and the party appoint someone new to run in his place. Which may have a worse affect than letting Etheridge stay on as candidate.

This needs to hammer Etheridge, however. With his voting record of being in lockstep behind Nancy Pelosi, Renee Ellmers should be able to have a good chance at winning the seat. So naturally, Micheal Steele and the NRCC haven't picked up on her yet.

You can listen to Renee talk to Ed Morrissey of Hot Air about the issues here (She comes on at about the halfway mark).

Related enough: When Congressmen attack. Do you know how to protect yourself?

Update: Etheridge sliding in the polls and Ellmers gaining? You betcha.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quote For The Week: Broken Promises Edition

If catastrophe comes, the American people must be able to call on a competent government. When I am President, the days of dysfunction and cronyism in Washington will be over. The director of FEMA will report to me. He or she will have the highest qualifications in emergency management. And I won't just tell you that I'll insulate that office from politics - I'll guarantee it, by giving my FEMA director a fixed term like the director of the Federal Reserve. I don't want FEMA to be thinking for one minute about the politics of a crisis. I want FEMA to do its job, which is protecting the American people - not protecting a President's politics.

...That is why the second thing we need to do is to make sure that reconstruction is making a real difference in peoples' lives.
[. . .]
Instead of giving no-bid contracts to companies headed by the President's former campaign manager, we will make sure that rebuilding benefits the local economy. I have worked across the aisle in the Senate to crack down on no-bid contracts, and to make sure that emergency contracting is only done immediately after an emergency. When I am President, if there is a job that can be done by a New Orleans resident, the contract will go to a resident of New Orleans. And we'll provide tax incentives to businesses that choose to set up shop in the hardest hit areas.
[. . .]
I promise you that when I'm in the White House I will commit myself every day to keeping up Washington's end of this trust. This will be a priority of my presidency. And I will make it clear to members of my Administration that their responsibilities don't end in places like the 9th ward - they begin there.

When They Said That Obama Is The New Jimmy Carter. . .

. . . I had no idea how accurate they were.

Is the Gulf considered a 'Malaise' now?

Related enough: When you have lost Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. . .

Obama is a comedy goldmine? Who knew?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Worse Than The Spill Itself

Peter Schiff on Obama's Gulf of Mexico Speech last night:

"What we've learned from this spill is the unintended consequences of government policy,'' Schiff said. Drilling closer to shore is politically problematic because beachgoers don't want to see oil derricks, Schiff said. That has forced oil companies to drill in deeper water, a far more risky endeavor.

"We'd be better off drilling closer to shore,'' he said. "And why are we even drilling in water? Look at all the oil that's up in [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] in Alaska."

For such a 'Green' President, Obama hasn't done much for the Gulf area. Aside from photo opportunities.

Anyway, the worse this disaster gets, the better Obama likes it. It gives him the political capital to help push through Cap and Trade throw Congress. Never let a crisis go to waste.

As for people who say we need to get off of oil, wind and solar isn't going to cut it.

The production of corn ethanol is a loser for many reasons. Just a quick glance at corn ethanol's power density--just 0.05 W/m2--shows why the fuel makes no sense from a physics standpoint. Corn ethanol's low power density is inherent in all biomass, which leads us to the second of the Four Imperatives. Energy density refers to the quantity of energy that can be contained in a given unit of volume, area, or mass. And the low energy density of biomass--corn, switchgrass, wood, etc.--makes it difficult to produce sufficient amounts of energy without occupying huge swaths of land.

Now let's consider the power density of wind energy, which is about 1.2 W/m2, and solar photovoltaic, which can produce about 6.7 W/m2. Both sources are superior to corn ethanol (nearly everything is), but they are incurably intermittent, which makes them of marginal value in a world that demands always-available power. Nor can they compare to the power density of sources like natural gas, oil and nuclear. For instance, a marginal natural gas well, producing 60,000 cubic feet per day, has a power density of about 28 W/m2. An oil well, producing 10 barrels per day, has a power density of about 27 W/m2. Meanwhile, a nuclear power plant like the South Texas Project--even if you include the entire 19 square-mile tract upon which the project is sited--produces about 56 W/m2.

Yeah, there is math involved but the extent of it is "Greater Than" and "Less Than". Nothing on the market can replace oil as the best source of energy today.

Keep drilling, baby.

Related enough: Where are the environmental groups at exactly?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

If Obama only had met Doc Brown and his DeLorean.

“I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending,” Obama said

Bob Etheridge: Reaching Out And Embracing The Public

Always a man to encourage discussion across the political divide.

More evidence of his outreach to today's troubled youths.

The raw unedited video from the two flip cameras embeded below.

This way you can decide for yourself if it was a 'Hug' or actually 'Ambushed'.

Etheridge has issued an apology for his behavior:

"I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved," he said. "Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse. And will be swearing off of martini's before 10 in the morning"

I might have added that last line.

Vote Renee for Congress.

Follow her on Twitter here.

Foller her on Facebook here.

: The original video of the douche's behavior here.

Video: Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC2) Assaults College Student

I've seen Congressmen dodge and weave a question but this is ridiculous.

The Congressman swung first after being asked a question. I'm not a violent man but I admire the college kid's restraint in not shaking loose and punching back.

Big Government has the background info.

In fairness to Bob, he was questioned by a common person. You just don't.Do.That.*

By the way, vote for Renee Ellmers. Running in North Carlina's second Congressional district. Who was just handed a goldmine of a campaign commercial.

Thanks to Todd.

*So I tried to look at that from his point of view.

MORE: Unedited views from camera one and camera two here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Short DVD Review Of The Movie 2012

It didn't help the movie that I laughed out loud during some of the 'serious' parts.

But if you have a nice home theater system with a good sized screen, check it out for the disaster scenes. Beyond that, it's alright. If you must see it, wait for it on cable or rent it for free at the library.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Separated At Birth?

I've been watching too much Food Network. Although Diners, Drive-in and Dives is pretty awesome.

The Arizona Border, S.B. 1070 And A Viewpoint From An Officer Of The Law: Part I

Much hubbub has been made about the new law passed in Arizona. Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, have both criticized it and then admitted to not knowing what's in the bill. A bill which can easily be found after a five second Google search.

In order to cut to the chase, I asked a friend of mine who is on the front line about the new law. Rick has been in law enforcement for the last 15 years, serving in central Arizona and I am very grateful to him for taking time out and answering very politely and diplomatically some questions I had.

Dave: How long have you been in law enforcement? You're not some wet behind the ears rookie, are you?

Rick: I’ve been in law enforcement for almost fifteen years.

Dave: I know you are north of Phoenix [In the Yavapai County area] but do you still have issues with illegals, drug runners and human smugglers?

Rick: We do. I-17, Hwy. 93, and I-40 are all major corridors for human smuggling and drugs. Locally, too, there are problems with criminal activity related to illegal aliens. A lot of the crime is illegals preying upon each other, but not always. Another issue is that it is very simple for them to flee back to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Finally, firm identification of them can be troublesome.

Dave: You'll be one of the many officers who will be enforcing the new law when it goes into effect, right?

Rick: I will be expected to enforce the law when it does take effect.

Dave: Will you need any special training for it's implementation or is it pretty much self explanatory?

Rick: While it is fairly self-explanatory, I have heard through local news reports that Governor Brewer has mandated the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) to develop a training program. This is not unusual, and there is typically a DVD put out annually by AZPOST with all new laws and case law covered in detail. One key issue I can already see as crucial will be documentation. The legitimate reason for contact, along with the factors (there should be more than just one) leading to the reasonable suspicion to inquire further into immigration status must be well documented. This is primarily to make sure we are in accordance with the statute and not profiling or abusing people’s rights, but will also be important in reducing civil liability.

Dave: Before 1070, what would you do in a scenario where you would pull someone over but they would have no car registration, insurance or driver's license. It was obvious to you that they were illegal. What were your options?

Rick: Arizona currently has a law on the books which requires drivers to carry ID while operating a motor vehicle. It is a misdemeanor offense, which means an arrest can be made. That or even driving with no current license can result in the vehicle being towed. The lack of registration and insurance would likely just result in citations.

For about the last five years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been a lot better about responding to pick up loads of illegals being smuggled across the state. They still will not come up for just one or two people. We also have some officers who are 287G certified, meaning they can do the detainers and have a direct pipeline to ICE. The problem is that the program is limited in the number of officers ICE will allow, and it is hard to get slots for the training. Additionally, it is still a long, drawn out process, which will be greatly improved with the new law.

I have seen Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik on the news a couple of times talking about the law. He does not support it, and he says that everything works fine for them now with their relationship with ICE. I respect the Sheriff’s opinion, but he is south of I-10. The system undoubtedly works a lot better there than here because they actually have ICE and Border Patrol agents right there.

I have also had the opportunity to work on some cases with agencies in the Phoenix Metro area. I am aware that they have recently had a large influx of both Eastern European and African immigrants, some legal, some not. Both have a criminal element within, just as any group of people tends to. The citizenship process, as well as the work visa process, can assist in weeding out some of that criminal element. It is not perfect, but it helps. As I said, many of the crimes involving illegal immigrants are perpetrated on victims of the same ethnic or national group, and they are frequently brutal kidnappings, robberies, and homicides, especially when they relate to drug or human smuggling. Reducing the numbers of illegal immigrants, regardless of their origin, can potentially make life safer for the legal immigrants, which should be important to all of us.

The fact is that the majority of the illegal immigrants in Arizona are Latino, so most people affected by this law will be Latino. That is simply the nature of the percentages, not proof of racism. They will not, however, be the only ones by any means.

Dave:So you were allowed to inquire about their nationality or would that be considered to be racial profiling? It sounded like it was pretty obvious if the person you were pulling over was in Arizona illegally if they didn't have a driver's license.

Rick: Not having a license by itself would not necessarily be an indicator of illegal immigration, but it may be one of a number of factors. It would lead one to ask where they are from. No matter what someone looks like, if we have contact with them and they don’t have ID, we typically ask for full name, DOB, and the state where they have a license or ID. That allows us to run their information and get physical descriptors and other information we can use to confirm their identity.

We can typically ask anything of anyone. I am unaware of any case law restricting what can be asked. There are the 5th and 6th Amendment protections clarified in Miranda vs. Arizona, but they don’t restrict what can be asked, only when. The fact is that we build evidence and gather information based on the totality of the circumstances, not one isolated fact. The questions we ask may be guided by information we already have. Basing a decision to take action or not one just one factor, no matter what it is, is simply bad police work. There are always multiple pieces to even the simplest puzzle, and we have to ask questions and gather evidence before making a final decision. Nationality may well be one of those questions, as may citizenship status. Race would not really even be a good indicator in Arizona. A large portion of the population here is comprised of legalized or natural born Latinos, many going back multiple generations. A quick look at an Arizona map is one indicator of the deep, long-standing, Latino culture in the state. Assuming that someone is here illegally simply because their skin is dark would be ridiculous.

This is why I talked about documentation being so important. In any case, that list or description of the total circumstances is vital to the successful prosecution of a case. An example would be a description of an individual with bloodshot, watery eyes, an odor of an alcoholic beverage on their breath and person, an open fly, slurred, mumbled speech, staggering, swaying, and using the car for balance. Any one of these factors alone would not be an indicator that someone is driving impaired, but in their totality, they make a good case for at least digging deeper. The documentation allows supervisors and attorneys to review cases and determine that there was a good set of circumstances and evidence to support the decisions made.

One final point regarding inquiries about nationality is custodial arrest. Anyone booked into jail on any offense is asked for their place of birth and citizenship. This protects the arrestee as it allows jail staff to know they need to contact the arrestee’s Consulate.

Dave: I saw that the mayors of San Fransisco and Los Angeles are calling for boycotts of Arizona. Would you say Arizona is a good place to visit?

Rick: Arizona is a good place to visit. Arizona has a great deal of cultural, historical, and geographical diversity. There are a lot of recreational opportunities, and Arizona is a fairly inexpensive place to visit. In addition to that, Arizona has one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon.

Dave: [Carol at No Sheeples here had this question] Have you heard of La Raza? The activist group who thinks parts of the southwest from California all the way to Texas is really still part of Mexico.

Rick: I have heard of La Raza, and they are not the only group which believes that the majority of the Southwestern US is still rightfully Mexico’s. I don’t know the names of any of the other groups, and I don’t really know much more than that thumbnail sketch.

Dave: Have you had any groups protesting the new law where you are at?

Rick: I am not aware of any protests against the law in my area, but that does not mean there weren’t any.

Dave: What about Tea Parties? How did the two compare?

Rick: The Tea Parties have been very peaceful and included a reasonably diverse crowd, including some Latinos.

End of Part I.

Somehow The Animals Always Seem To Know

Think Janeane Garofalo's dog peeing on her is an isolated event?

Think again.

Thanks to Todd.

Lady Gaga Is Talented, I Have To Admit That

Really, I think her song stands alone. Lady Gaga doesn't need a video where she acts out fantasies of being gang raped by pseudo-looking Nazis or reenacting scenes from Caged Heat.

Surprisingly enough, "Telephone" isn't that bad when it's stripped down to a piano and vocals. But then it wouldn't appeal to the couch monkeys who watch MTV all day long.

Sarah's version of "Bad Romance" is online here. She has quite a few videos where she strips down the songs to it's bare minimum.

Meant to get this out last night. Friday night video delayed is Friday night video denied.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bobby Jindal In Action; Barack Obama Twiddles His Thumbs

There should be no reason why Gov. Jindal can't have the authorization to use this approach to cleaning up the beaches on a massive scale.

Cajun engineering at it's best.

Barney Frank: "Give Us More Authority"

Via Real Clear Politics.

To be fair, Republican do this as well from time to time. Paint their opposition in broad strokes if only to set them up as easy targets to knock down. And most of the time they have legitimate reasons to paint their target as such. But not to the level of rhetoric that liberals use.

Progressives and liberals like to prop up caricatures of what they think a
Republican is in their mind and then have a two minute hate session. Think Emmanuel Goldstein from 1984. I know I've used that analogy before but it's an apt example. Which is where you get Whoopi Goldberg asking John McCain if he wants to bring back slavery.

And even here. With Barney Frank talking about how the Republican party has moved "so far to the right" (laughable in it's own right) that the Republicans will start
dumping motor oil into the rivers as soon as they are in power again. Or something.* All to the cheers and whoops of the useless idiots in the room.

Needless to say, this man does not need anymore power ceded to Congress and the President.

*As for damage to the environment, Captain Kick-Ass has been sitting on his hands for almost 2 months now with a non-stop oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. But that's another posting for another day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Government Motors Spent How Much On This?

To begin with, Chevy is synonymous with Chevrolet. The same way FexEx is the same as Federal Express and Coke is the same as Coco-Cola (Certain middle American countries not withstanding).

The problem isn't name recognition.

General Motors Corp. employees should no longer refer to Chevrolet automobiles as "Chevys," sales and marketing officials said in an internal memo.

Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, GM vice president for marketing, said in a memo issued Tuesday to employees at the corporation's Detroit headquarters "consistency" is important for the Chevrolet brand -- and it would be helpful in that regard to stop referring to Chevrolets
at Chevys, The New York Times reported.

The management at GM needs to look at their contract with the UAW if they want to be realistic about getting competitive.

Besides, this song wouldn't be the same if I drove my Chevrolet to the bidet.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quote For The Week

Whether Barack Obama is simply incompetent as president or has some hidden agenda to undermine this country, at home and abroad, he has nearly everything he needs to ruin America, including a fool for a vice president.

Zo On Ashton Kutcher And Pretty Much Everything Else

Even though he is a little ADD and tends to go off on a tangent here or there, he's spot on here.

The Old and The Busted: Paganism. The New Hotness: Environmentalism.

Another Gore Marriage In Trouble

I guess this means that another sequel to 'Love Story' is off.

[F]riends of the family quietly confirmed to PEOPLE on Wednesday that the eldest of the couple's four children, daughter Karenna Gore Schiff, is separated from her husband of 12 years.

Karenna, 36, and Andrew "Drew" Schiff, 44, "have been separated for a couple of months and in marriage counseling," says a friend of the couple, who live in New York and have three small children: Wyatt, 10; Anna, 8; and Oscar, 3. Another friend of the Gore family said of the split, "It's amicable and they are in counseling. They are not divorced."


John McCain Continues To Piss Down The Backs Of Arizona Voters And Telling Them That It's Raining

Via Hot Air.

It appears this will be part II in an ongoing series.

I have to agree with Allahpundit that this ad isn't as bad as 'Build The Dang Fence' where McCain looks angry enough to chew prickly pear cactus but it is a close second.

To accuse J.D. Hayworth of being an insider when McCain has been in Washington DC for almost 30 years is laughable. McCain prided himself on being the 'Man To Get Things Done' in the Senate. He worked across the isle more times than I can count. He couldn't attain such a status if he wasn't an 'insider'. Is he looking to reclaim the 'Maverick' title again?

Cross posted at Not One Red Cent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is This The Location For Al Gore's New Home?

I found this in less than 5 minutes on Google Maps and using the pictures from here.

View Larger Map

The pattern in the driveway is the same as well as the swimming pool and the hot tub in the backyard. At over 8 million for the house, one would hope the contractor wouldn't use that floor plan to make track home after track home.

Of course this means Al Gores thinks that the War On Global Warming has been won seeing how his new house is only 150 feet above sea level. Assuming Tipper doesn't get the house in the divorce.

Helen Thomas Fired For Saying What Most Of The White House Press Corps Only Thinks

So long, Helen.

The White House Press Pool. Now with 25% less hate and 50% more sobriety.

This puts the her old employer in a bind. I'm guessing that they will say she's old and senile to circle the wagons around her. But if she's old and senile, what was she doing reporting from the White House? Isn't that rather irresponsible on their part not to remove her before now? And if she is so senile, then that should call into question her credibility of anything she's done these past few years.

My guess is that she had a moment of clarity and spoke her mind. And now she's finding out that there is consequences of free speech. I'm kind of glad that it did happen this way. Kicked to the curb and disgraced in public rather than some celebrated retirement party with pandering speeches by friends and colleagues.

It's about time for a fresh face and some new blood in her spot.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jamming With The Clash

One of the better punk bands out there. Green Day doesn't deserve to clean Joe Strummer's toilets with M.I.A. wardrobe.

Besides, Joe Strummer did a duet with Johnny Cash. That's at least an 11 on a cool factor.

Top Ten Pick Up Lines To Be Use By Al Gore

Now that he is single and swinging.

10. "Yes sweetheart, I really am a robot and I'm programmed to last all night."

9. "Why yes, you can call me President Gore."

8. [on the phone to the escort service] "What do you mean, you don't take Carbon Credits?"

7. "My delivery isn't the only thing that's stiff, if you know what I mean and I think you do."

6. "Why don't you come over to my place and we can try out some of the tricks Bill Clinton told me about."

5. "If you want to see how big my hanging chad is, let's go to my place & do a recount."

4. "Elected? No, I 'Selected' you."

3. "Excuse me while I climate change into something more comfortable."

2. "Did you know I invented the internet?"

And the number one Pick Up Line To Be Used By Al Gore is: "I promise you a kinky night of passion, I was Vice President after all. I know all about vice!"

Other notable pick-up lines:

My carbon footprint? Why it’s a size 16. And you know what THAT means, right?

There is an inconvenient growth in my pants. Baby,

I'd like to Gore your Bush.

I won't tap offshore oil, but I will tap that ass.

Thanks to Heidi for the help on some of these.

It Goes To Show. . .

. . . That George continues to be the Beatle with the most talent and class.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Case You Haven't Noticed. . .

. . . Blogging has been a bit light the past few days. Real world priorities have been taking place and hobbies like sitting in front of a computer reading current events have been taking a back seat.

One note of interest: The people who burned the effigy of Obama have been cleared.

West Allis police said on Friday that no criminal charges will be filed in the burning of a President Barack Obama figurine in a West Allis bar on May 15.

"The facts of the case do not support the issuance of any state criminal charges or municipal ordinance violations," Deputy Chief Jerry Ponzi said.

The West Allis Fire Department is checking to see if there were any violations of the municipal fire code.

The owner the tavern said the incident is being "blown out of proportion."
[. . .]
Since the video was released, Schoenfeld said her family has been getting death threats.

"I have to take full responsibility because it did happen at my bar," she said. "But it was not racially motivated."

The Secret Service was looking into the incident as a possible veiled threat against the president, but that investigation has since been dropped. [emphasis mine]