Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oops! He Did It Again!

Virgin birth. I only hope this time, He gets it right.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) Chocolate Fried Chicken!

2) Pride and Prejudice…and Kitties!

3) Could this be Adam Lanza, calling into a radio talk show a year before slaughtering a schoolfull of children with his legally-owned gun?

4) Well, at least our outsourced jobs are going to good people

5) Seriously, now…KAPTOXA


7) Roy Hinckley is dead.

8) This is your cell phone…in 1991.

9) Happy birthday, FLOTUS! Call me!

10)  OMG! He traded in his Bitchin’ Camaro!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Morning

Who knew grant applications could take so long and be so damned complex?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pain In The Ass’s Hit & Run* blog has a story about one David Eckert who was pulled over for rolling a stop sign and subsequently and -- ahem -- extensively searched. Following his arrest Erkert was taken to two hospitals and subject to two X-rays, two digital probes of his butt, three enemas, and a colonoscopy, none of which found drugs but gave Mr. Eckert the just-got-off-a-horse gait. After his butt was found to be clean Eckert got his sue on. He sued the police officers, the hospital, and two physicians; he was awarded $1.6 million. Reason explains the reason for the suit thusly (emphasis mine):
“Eckert... sued various Deming and Hidalgo County police officers; the hospital, which billed him more than $6,000 for these indignities; and two physicians, Robert Wilcox and Okay Odocha, who executed the elaborate assault under the cover of medicine.”
This is the kind of prose I have come to loathe and hate from Reason. There was no medicine being practiced here, Reasondotcom. They were searching for drugs. The cops were not concerned about the polyp in Mr. Eckert’s bum. They were concerned about the dope he wasn’t smuggling. Granted, after nothing fell out of his ass after the second enema, you’d think they would have given up. Plus, charging him was a pretty shitty move. Eckert’s attorney, Shannon Kennedy, did well but needs to work on her phrasing because she told the AP:

"It was medically unethical and unconstitutional. He feels relieved that this part is over and believes this litigation might make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else."
I’m not sure which is worse, that she actually said something was medically unconstitutional or that Eckert feels “relieved.” Trust me when I say Eckert isn’t “relieved” -- those inflatable donuts are not as comfortable as they look. But, then again that’s a good description of a solid BM. Apparently, as Reasondotcom explains at the end, a drug dog alert the police to the driver’s seat and the cops described Eckert as nervous as he stood with his legs together. Maybe he just had to pee?

*Hitting and running is illegal and wrong, kids, no matter how libertarian you are.

Chacun a Son Vie

Here is the difference between the US and France in a nutshell:

French President Francois Hollande has said he is experiencing a "difficult moment" in his private life, following claims of an affair with an actress.

But he refused to answer questions over the report, saying "private matters should be dealt with privately".

Mr Hollande was speaking at his first news conference since the allegations in the magazine Closer last week.

He said he would clarify whether Valerie Trierweiler was still first lady before a February trip to the US.

Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had said that, as President? He did say something similar – while still denying the allegations of an affair with Gennifer Flowers – as a candidate but that was when he was barely a blip on the primary calendar in 1992.

The stereotype of a successful Frenchman having at least one mistress in a pied-a-terre overlooking the Seine is legendary, and mostly accepted by the French with good humour. After all, this is a nation with a long history of monarchs and nobility with legendary prowess at bedding women, most notably the exploits of Casanova.

For the French domestically, this is minor fluff: a beautiful woman replaced with another beautiful woman by a man of power and charisma.

For the French internationally, it’s a nightmare. Take another look at that last paragraph. For a nation whose language is still the language of diplomacy, to insult the wife of a leader of another powerful nation by bringing a mistress along will be viewed as tawdry and unseemly by the opposition, and to take a wife one is about to divorce, or so the story goes, is humiliating to the wife.

And of course, Hollande to go stag would be nothing more than a reminder of his “man in a suitcase” status.

To M. Hollande, I offer a solution: bring your daughter Flora with you. An adult woman to escort you would force the American (and local opposition) press to shut up about it during the trip, and Flora being your daughter with Ségolène Royal disentangles you from the current nebulous status.

And sir, may I further salute you on your taste in women…

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Today In Aliens

Note To Self

Maybe He Tried Paying With 10,000 Peanut the Elephants?

SCOTUS Overstepping?

That’s what I think in light of the flapdoodle at SCOTUS over recess appointments:

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court seemed inclined to rein in the president's power to make "recess appointments" when the Senate is out of town, as justices on Monday suggested the practice under both parties had exceeded constitutional limits.

The Constitution grants the president power "to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate," allowing appointees to serve temporarily without confirmation—including some whose prospects for Senate approval were unlikely.

But justices of all ideological stripes suggested Monday that a tool intended to keep the government running during the republic's early days had morphed over the centuries into a weapon to be wielded in power struggles between Congress and the White House.

There’s a bit of historical perspective to be put in place here: when the Constitution was written, it was rare for Congress to break, but when they did, it was for long periods of time.

After all, even a horseback ride along the east coast to Maine or South Carolina was a substantial investment of time, and Congress was not considered the primary source of a representative’s income back then.

Recess appointments made sense then: a President often couldn’t wait the month or so for the Senate to return.

The prevailing opinion is that the Senate is much more “reachable,” much more available to consider appointments now, despite the fact they work less than half a year.

Ah, but the prevailing opinion is not important here, because the counterargument is that the Senate used to rubber stamp appointments unless there was a genuine reason to delay or even turn down a nominee. That’s no longer the case.

SCOTUS, I think, is overstepping its jurisdiction here, because in truth the only way to remedy the recess appointment concern is to overhaul the entire Senate “advise and consent” process, something justices should be loathe to do.

This power is written into the Constitution. If you’re going to claim to be a strict constructionist, you want to leave this alone.


If Only There'd Been A Good Guy With A Gun...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

City Journal: De Blasio Sucked At Mayor Before Becoming Mayor

According to City Journal, Bill de Blasio sucked as mayor before he was sworn into office. New York City’s first progressive mayor in 20 years is taking his sweet ass time appointing agency heads and this is because progressivism is a failure. City Journal, which actually brags that The New York Post called it “the place where Rudy [Giuliani] [got] his ideas,” already knows that the de Blasio mayorship will be awful because Giuliani and Bloomberg made quite a few of their appointments prior to their inauguration.
The Journal quickly dismisses a Hunter College political science professor’s opinion that the mayor shouldn’t rush to make these appointments because “quality over quantity” is stupid. Also, that’s just what an apologist would say. The quality of 9/11 mentions made by Giuliani were not provided of as an example.
Mayor de Blasio’s brand of progressivism appears to be a failure because there aren’t many candidates that share his steal from the rich, give to the poor beliefs. For example, many potential candidates for school chancellor were crossed off the list because they advocated for closing failing schools and increased school choice -- a euphemism for charter schools. The Journal seems shocked Carmen Farina, who opposed many of the Bloomberg education policies including the emphasis on standardized testing, was eventually chosen. I assume they are surprised that someone, anyone, was chosen.
The dissection of the not-yet mayor, which was posted on December 31, 2013, then gets into the real issue at hand: why we don’t need to care about income inequality because de Blasio appointed an ex-Goldman Sachs executive. Apparently de Blasio’s“two New Yorks” message was nothing more than populist nonsense that he didn’t believe in. The exec was appointed to the housing and economic development.
There were a few interesting adjectives that belie the Journal’s unbiased critique of the mayor’s focus on inequality, which is “rudimentary” at best. These adjectives including taxing and spending money on “unproven” fixes, like universal pre-K classes and “ever-more subsidized” housing for those “not rich” or “lucky” to live in rent controlled dwellings. Fucking “poor” people.
If that doesn’t convince you that de Blasio is the worst mayor NYC had yet to see, he’s also sometimes late to meetings and events. This raise questions like, “Why was he late and did he know he was going to be late?” and “Did he apologize? Was it sincere?” I mean, it’s not like he’s busy appointing people.

Edit: here's the link

Flight of Fancy

Last night I watched the movie Flight with Denzel Washington. In the film (and I promise not to completely spoil it because it is a good flick) Denzel plays Captain Whip Whitaker, a commercial airline pilot who lands a plane after a catastrophic mechanical failure, saving nearly all the passengers on board.The film recreates a plane crash in horrifying detail as well as the horrors of alcohol and drug abuse. Whitaker was hammered drunk that fateful day. Throughout the film it becomes apparent that Whitaker's alcoholism is a real problem that he refuses to admit. 

After carefully looking at my alcohol abuse, and quickly dismissing it as a nonissue, I remembered this NPR story from December. According to MIT statistics professor Arnie Barnett, the odds of a safe landing is good. Like really good. The chances of being killed in a plane crash is about 1 in 15 million. 
"At that rate, 1 in 15 million, you could go approximately 40,000 years, taking a flight every single day, before you would, on average, succumb to a fatal crash," Barnett says.
Those are some damn good odds in my humble and terrified-of-flying opinion.

Flying has long been one of the safest ways to travel and with trains derailing, and cars spontaneously combusting, it's looking even better. Although it is still hard to belief that an aluminum tube hurdling 30,000 feet above the ground at speeds of 600 MPH is "safe." But, as the good professor explains, advances in nonflammable materials and collision detection systems make even a crash more survivable.

I like to think of myself as a rational person, and these statistics should put my mind at ease before and during a flight but they don't and I will continue to get hammered drunk before, during, and after a flight, or work, or day of the week. But don't worry, I take public transportation, which is relatively safe but creepy as hell.