Friday, September 30, 2005

I bet he wrote F$%^ You!!

Don't complain about your neighbor's grass to the authorities--you might end up in the news!
"He mowed an easily-read obscenity that was about three feet tall," Conboy said. Local media reported that the phrase was about 30 feet long across the yard.

Irate neighbors quickly discovered that they had very little legal recourse. Miller's actions are protected under the First Amendment.

"It's not neighborly, it's in bad taste, it's an affront to people with children, but it's not a crime," Conboy said of Miller's message. "It's his editorial reply to the city and his neighbors that he's mad about his lawn. And it's protected speech."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

German scientists --

may have been scary at one point in history, but now they are just plain making sense. One small step for beer, one giant leap for mankind.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

You will snarf your beer, friend

Read this.
Where was I? Anyhoo, sorry to be such a buzzkill, but what exactly did I do to deserve all this shit? I mean, Zarkman does his five-a-day. Zarkman volunteers at the madrassa. Whenever there's a village homo who needs stoning, Zarkman brings his A-game high heat. And what thanks does Zarkman get? A goddamned infidel peanut gallery of hashpipe trustafarians and skanky Code Pink insugent groupies too unsightly for Sig Eps Pig Night, that's what. That, plus a smoldering "safehouse" full of Syrian martyr-tards whose families all expect one of my famous personalized thank-you notes:

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. _AL-DURRA____:

Please find enclosed a Ziploc containing the remains of your martyr _TARIQ____. Though he is now frollicking in Paradise, his comrades and I will always remember him for his ___POKEMON COLLECTION____. Thanks to his holy sacrifice, we are one step closer to __EXTERMINATING THE JEWS___.

Yours in Sharia,

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita is for real--



I mean, really, yikes:
Levee Board President Jim Huey told NBC’s Lisa Myers: “As far as the overall flood protection system, it’s intact. It’s there today. It worked. In 239 miles of levees, 152 floodgates, and canals throughout this entire city, there was [sic] only two areas” that failed, namely the 17th Street Canal and the Industrial Canal floodwalls.

This is akin to saying, “All of Grandpa’s blood vessels worked perfectly, except for the two that went ahead and got blocked before his stroke.”

Monday, September 19, 2005

I knew it! I knew it!

Check it out: psychopaths make the best stock traders. And, apparently, zombies make the best lawyers.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

And, now that the hearings are over, the pundits get their say . . .

and one pundit's opinion is startlingly stupid when it comes to Justice Roberts. EJ Dionne, either willfully or ignorantly, totally distorts the job of a lawyer, the ethical responsibilities of a lawyer, and the ethical responsibilities of a judge. For example:
Roberts suggested there really were no such limits, or, at least, he wouldn't tell us what they were. "I've been on both sides of this affirmative action issue," he said cheerfully. Yes, but you can't be on both sides as chief justice. He fought the idea that his view of the lawyer's role "sounds like you're a hired gun," but that is exactly how it sounds. A chief justice is hired on behalf of all of us.
Take a good look at that. Justice Roberts is supposed to tell Mr. Schumer (himself a lawyer who should understand that these questions can't be answered by the nominee, or the nominee risks violating ethical rules) how he is going to rule with respect to affirmative action. Dionne isn't satisfied that Roberts indicated that he has been on both sides of the issue as an advocate -- a position any decent lawyer in a particular field finds him or herself in. Dionne wants Roberts to ANSWER THE QUESTION of affirmative action. Dionne knows that he can't. Remember, Roberts is still a sitting judge on the DC Circuit. Not only must he avoid passing on questions that might come before the Supreme Court, he has to avoid discussing questions and committing himself to a particular view for cases that may come before the DC Court.

Was Dionne so worried about things like this when Ginsburg went through this process? I imagine not.
In his testimony, Roberts was brilliant, affable, engaging and amusing. He was also evasive, calculating and, well, slick.

"Would you say there's a general right to privacy?" Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked Roberts. "I don't know what 'general' means," Roberts replied. Fair enough, though I wish Schumer had also asked Roberts what the meaning of "is" is.
So, apparently, Schumer should ask a snarky question in response to Roberts' response to a completely stupid question. What does Schumer mean by "general right to privacy?" Schumer knows that you don't have a "right to privacy" when it comes to hiding your cocaine. You may have certain other rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, but you don't have a "general right to privacy" such that you can engage in private criminal behavior. So, of course, Roberts' response is not like Clinton's perjury -- Roberts' response is not only rational, but the only reasonable one to make in response to such a silly question.
But the doubts about Roberts have nothing to do with his good heart. The issue is the power about to be put in his hands and into the hands of President Bush's next appointee -- power both will enjoy for life. The Senate and the public have a right to far more assurance about how Roberts would use that power than they have been given in these hearings. The Senate is under no obligation to give the president or Roberts the benefit of the doubt.
There you have it. The problem with Roberts is not so much that Roberts is not a capable attorney and judge, but that he's Bush's appointee--Dionne doesn't like Bush, so he doesn't like Roberts. So, in Dionne's world, unless Roberts is willing to violate the ethical rules that bind all judges and commit himself to ruling in particular ways on particular issues without regard to the facts presented in that case, he is worthy of no deference at all. Maybe Dionne's a lawyer, maybe not--I don't know. If he isn't, he just doesn't know what he's talking about. If he is, he is a political hack.
The administration has stubbornly refused to release a share of Roberts's writings as deputy solicitor general. This is a dare to the Senate, and the administration is assuming it will wimp out. A "yes" on Roberts would be a craven abdication of power to the executive branch.

In keeping with Roberts's painstaking evasions, he wouldn't even express a view Thursday as to whether his deputy solicitor general writings should be released. That was the administration's decision to make, he said. "This was not your decision," Schumer replied. "But you carry its burden." Or at least he should.
So, in Schumer and Dionne's world, if I were to be nominated to be a judge, I would have to violate every confidence I had with my clients to pass muster. Because I am (sort of) conservative, the Senate is entitled to all my previous work. Insane. Completely. Lawyers don't have the luxury of posting their client's confidential information on the internet for all to see. Lawyers are required to maintain confidences--and apparently, a number of previous Solicitors General, both republican and democrat, say that Dionne and Schumer are full of crap.
That's right, and it's why as many senators as possible should vote no on Roberts -- by way of saying no to this charade. A majority of "no's," very unlikely to be sure, need not mean the end of his nomination. It would constitute a just demand for Roberts (and whoever Bush names next) to answer more questions in a more forthcoming way and for the administration to provide information that the public, and not just the Senate, deserves.

How many senators will have the guts to make that statement?
So, Senators should vote no to end the charade of client confidences, ethics rules for lawyers, ethics rules for judges, and common sense. Good work, EJ!! Nominees should "answer more questions" to satisfy everybody on the committee that the nominee shares their (and Dionne's) vision of the constitutional universe--the rules be damned. There's a name for this type of argument in constitutional jurisprudence, and it's called "specious."

Fun with the truth! Who knew?

Just read this. It is enlightening. And pretty funny. And sad at the same time.
Via Wizbang.

In other news . . .

Dianne Feinstein's notes for questioning John Roberts have been leaked to the press. I like the part about getting caught in the rain.

Well, at least he's honest . . .

about being too drunk to remember meeting the prime minister.
"We've spent a lot of money on alcohol and we've got absolutely wasted," Pietersen admitted of the England side's celebrations.

"For the past three or four months the boys haven't drunk very much because they've been really focused on winning the Ashes.

"Now we can let our hair down and get away with being really drunk. The boys are very fortunate to have got away with everything that's happened."

The headline says it all

Ick. Wacky Frenchman!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Put up a statue to unify the people --

In Bosnia, a town is buidling a monument to unite the people:
"We plan to erect the statue in November in the centre of the city," Veselin Gatalo, a member of the Urban Movement organisation, told Reuters by telephone on Monday.

"This will be a monument to universal justice that Mostar needs more than any other city I know."
The statue is of whom, you might ask? That's right---Bruce Lee!!

UPDATE!!! Here is an artist's rendering of the monument:


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Read this one too

I don't agree with Michael Kinsley on much of anything, but he's right on with this one.
Obviously -- obviously in hindsight, that is -- we should have spent the money to strengthen the New Orleans levees. President Bill Clinton should have done it. Presidents George Bush Senior and Ronald Reagan should have done it. As Tim Noah notes in Slate, warnings about the perilous New Orleans levees go back at least to Fanny Trollope in 1832. In fact, the one president who is pretty much in the clear on this is our current Bush -- not because he did anything about the levees but because even if he had started something, it probably wouldn't have been finished yet.
Recrimination is easy -- fixing the problem is difficult. Keep that in mind.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Five days with Katrina

Check out this slideshow. Gives you a good idea of what went on in New Orleans.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Keep this in mind . . .

before popping off about Katrina.
But then there is New Orleans . . . and my typing fingers tremble. Even nine days later, this writer can’t write. But readers need to know this: That Mayor Nagin is, or at least was, a good mayor, even if he failed miserably in this most important crucible; that anybody, anybody at all, who defends the response of FEMA and of President Bush in my presence or the presence of any New Orleanian is likely to get punched; that when Dennis Hastert spoke of bulldozing the city he spoke words that can never be forgiven, words that deserved the rebuke from Bill Clinton, who said if he had been in the same room when Hastert said those words that he, Clinton, might have assaulted him. They need to know that pundits across the country who asked why New Orleans and Louisiana didn’t themselves prepare for such a storm have no idea what they’re talking about, for the city and state have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into coastal wetland restoration and water-pumping stations and complicated engineering — but the feds have repeatedly failed to deliver promised matching funds, and have consistently ignored problems (replacing levee funds, for example, which are a life-saving responsibility of the Corps of Engineers, with channel-dredging funds for pork projects for waterways with almost no barge traffic).

Fair enough. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dear Paul Krugman

Is a google-illiterate. Mr. Krugman's latest article is left in tatters, with a nasty, brutish fisking. Read it and weep for the NYT.

Pinks v. Greys --

Which are you? Read the whole thing--a tiny taste for you?
The Pink Tribe is all about feeling good: feeling good about yourself! Sexually, emotionally, artistically – nothing is off limits, nothing is forbidden, convention is fossilized insanity and everybody gets to do their own thing without regard to consequences, reality, or natural law. We all have our own reality – one small personal reality is called “science,” say – and we Make Our Own Luck and we Visualize Good Things and There Are No Coincidences and Everything Happens for a Reason and You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be and we all have Special Psychic Powers and if something Bad should happen it’s because Someone Bad Made It Happen. A Spell, perhaps.

The Pink Tribe motto, in fact, is the ultimate Zen Koan, the sound of one hand clapping: EVERYBODY IS SPECIAL.

Then, in the other corner, there is the Grey Tribe – the grey of reinforced concrete. This is a Tribe where emotion is repressed because Emotion Clouds Judgment. This is the world of Quadratic Equations and Stress Risers and Loads Torsional, Compressive and Tensile, a place where Reality Can Ruin Your Best Day, the place where Murphy mercilessly picks off the Weak and the Incompetent, where the Speed Limit is 186,282.36 miles per second, where every bridge has a Failure Load and levees come in 50 year, 100 year and 1000 Year Flood Flavors.

The Grey Tribe motto is, near as I can tell, THINGS BREAK SOMETIMES AND PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE MY BRIDGE.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

No, I am not going to tip her! Why are you kicking me out?

This reminds me of a certain bachelor party, where the groom to be was kicked out immediately after being handcuffed to a pole by three dancers and stripped to his underpants. He was "escorted out" for not apologizing quickly enough to the waitress--he accidentally kicked her getting down off the stage. Didn't even leave a mark!

Except this is not really very funny. Well, yeah it is, but I don't think stabbing someone for refusing your offer of a lapdance is an appropriate stripper-response.

Piling on in the wake of Katrina

I have a hard time getting into the blame game for the situation in New Orleans, but this makes me wonder if the city fathers (or mothers) weren't having too much to drink while decisions needed to be made. Remember Nero? Anyone?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blog for relief day

has been announced. Get to it. Find the links, and give some money (or time, or food, or clothing) to the effort.

Ask the difficult questions?

Not right now.
Race remains largely untouchable for TV because broadcasters sense that they can't make an error without destroying careers. That's a true pity. If the subject were a little less taboo, one of last night's anchors could have asked a reporter, "Can you explain to our viewers, who by now have surely noticed, why 99 percent of the New Orleans evacuees we're seeing are African-American? I suppose our viewers have noticed, too, that the provocative looting footage we're airing and re-airing seems to depict mostly African-Americans."
. . .
But we aren't one united race, we aren't one united class, and Katrina didn't hit all folks equally. By failing to acknowledge upfront that black New Orleanians—and perhaps black Mississippians—suffered more from Katrina than whites, the TV talkers may escape potential accusations that they're racist. But by ignoring race and class, they boot the journalistic opportunity to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of a whole definable segment of the population. What I wouldn't pay to hear a Fox anchor ask, "Say, Bob, why are these African-Americans so poor to begin with?"

Read the whole thing.

Everybody needs a joke today . . .

So here goes. Via email from my law partner:
The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had covertly funded a project with the U.S. auto makers for the past five years, whereby the auto makers were installing black box voice recorders in four-wheel drive pickup trucks and SUV's in an effort to determine, in fatal accidents, the circumstances in the last 15 seconds before the crash. They were surprised to find in 44 of the 50 states the recorded last Words of drivers in 61.2 percent of fatal crashes were, "Oh,SHIT!" Only the states of Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama and Texas were different, where 89.3 percent of the final words were: "Hold My beer, I'm gonna try somethin."

Hillbilly's last words? "Hey man, check this out."

Delicious response to the global warming = Hurricane Katrina meme

From my internet-trolling super newshound of a neighbor, we get the follwoing email:

In a great send-up of that idiot from Boston Globe who wanted to blame Katrina on GW, as in Global Warming, I give you--

Eric Free of Oceanside, Colo., has a different perspective:

You are way too cynical and know-nothing in your mockery of RFK2 et al. The flood in Genesis was caused by Global Warming. So was the Johnstown Flood. So was Curt Flood. So were the Ten Plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea.

The Chicago Fire of 1871 was caused by Global Warming. So was the Panic of 1873. So was the Panic of 1837. The bubonic plague too was caused by Global Warming (how could you forget this?). So was the fall of Constantinople (note the parallel with the war in Iraq). And the Red Chinese onslaught across the Yalu River in the Korean War was caused by Global Warming. So was the Normandy Invasion in World War II. So was the Norman Invasion of 1066. And the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and Haley's Comet. And for that matter the Hale-Bopp Comet.

The title weather in "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" was clearly caused by Global Warming. So was the pink snow in "The Cat in the Hat." So was Andersonville Prison during the Civil War. So was the entire Civil War. So was the Amityville Horror. So was the Dunwich Horror. So was the failure of the Colorado Rockies to make it to the World Series every single year that they've been a Major League franchise. So was the failure of any of the three "Matrix" movies starring Keanu Reeves to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

AND GEORGE W'S ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY IN 2000 WAS CAUSED BY GLOBAL WARMING!!! (Why do you think he opposes an end to it, after all?)

Great, eh? But I have a different perspective. I think that the looney left subconsciously is in total awe of Bush. In fact, they think he is G-d Almighty. Why else would they attribute such omnipotence to him? Thunderbolts, hah!! I'd like to see Zeus produce a hurricane like Katrina. No, it takes Bush 43 to pull that off!

Via Opinion Journal's Best of the Web. Scroll down to "The Fake Weather."