Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Anybody notice there's a war going on?

Apparently, while we were all snuggled away, waiting for Santa to arrive, Israel has invaded Gaza to rid the area of Hamas. Now I think Israel has every right to defend itself as it sees fit, and, after however many efforts to get the Palestinians to stop shooting rockets into Isreal (even after the voluntary evacuation of Isreali settlements in Gaza and the West Bank), it appears that Hamas will not stop its efforts to kill Israelis.

But that's beside the point of this post. The point is that the IDF now has a Youtube channel so the public, all over the world, can view certain military operations and evaluate Israel's tactics for itself. Of course, the IDF posts the videos, but it's an interesting use of the format, don't you think?

UPDATE: And, as is typical with all things Israel, Youtube is taking the IDF videos down, for some reason. Who do you think complained?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We here at Tannerball wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Hope to start posting more, soon. 2009 should be an interesting year....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 5 uses of the word "Blagojevich"

From a facebook group I'm part of (these are mine):

5. "Go shave your balls, you dusty old Blagojevich!"
4. "Oh, my achin' Blagojevich....you got any ointment?"
3. "This Blagojevich tastes a bit off." "That's because it's mayonaisse."
2. "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed Blagojevich."
1. "Blagojevich me?!? Blagojevich YOU!!!"

Friday, December 05, 2008


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Indigent criminal? Well, good luck, sucka!

Jesus. Even with all the problems surrounding indigent criminal defense in Virginia, where I do indigent defense, and Georgia, where I prosecuted, Louisiana's system seems positively barbaric.
A few facts about Louisiana's criminal justice system that might be helpful in putting the seriousness of this scandal into perspective:

• About 90 percent of criminal defendants in Louisiana are indigent.

• Louisiana only provides post-conviction legal aid in death penalty cases. Everyone else must either hire a lawyer, find a lawyer to handle their case pro bono, or handle the appeal themselves. Obviously, most have no choice but to opt for the latter.

One criminal defense lawyer in Louisiana told me that if you're convicted of murder in Louisiana and you're innocent, you're actually better off getting the death penalty. At least then you'll get a team of lawyers, investigators, and experts to help with your appeal.

Read it all.

Old Joe Biden, the everyman's Bullshitter....

Is Joe Biden qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? This is the familiar knock on Palin (which may be correct, although she's at least willing to acknowledge that she's got a lot to learn). Joe just says, well, whatever comes into his head at the time, regardless of whether it's correct, true, or even remotely close to accurate. It seems that he says things with greater authority, and, dare I say, gravitas, when he's got absolutely no idea what he's talking about.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Okay, so here's an explanation ...

of the current financial crisis. I still am trying to get my head around this situation, but it appears that although the MBS's have lost most of their value, the actual assets bundled into them are still paying off like a green grocer. What to do? It's an odd situation.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fell on bad days.

So, our betters in Congress get us involved in shaky investments, those investments go south (along with the government's player in the mortgage market), now they're hard at it to try to fix the mess, and they don't get the job done. Dow plummets, largest loss in the history of the market. Well done, Congress!! What are you going to do for an encore--rape my grandma while pouring sugar in my gas tank!

And, lest you think I'm not aiming this at everyone -- I BLAME EVERYONE!!!! I happen to be an innocent meager investor, and this year has removed a very significant portion of value from one of about two valuable assets I have.

Makes me feel like my man Tommy:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Presidential debates...

are usually something I avoid, but here's my take: Maybe I've had too much to drink, but the whole aesthetic of the debate favored McCain. Obama came off as someone who's never had his various positions questioned in any substantive way. He was on defense, and his defense came up lacking. McCain was direct, and he was able to point out where he differed from the Bush administration. Obama's running a campaign against someone other than McCain, and it showed.

We shall see.

UPDATE: see here:
OK, I’ll give you a real close now. Obama strikes me as a modern Chamberlain, praising his (oh-so-transient) “peace with honor.” McCain, however, comes across as “peace when we’re done kicking you ass and not one moment sooner.” And since this was ostensibly a foreign policy debate, I give the win to McCain. Oh, and one other thing — Obama is still talking as I write this. But he’s spending his last answer angling for the European vote, which does nothing but reinforce my point.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't be this guy....

Man arrested 1,000 times.
Mugshots here. Thanks to the CEF for the link.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Palin

Well, her hair may be out of date, or too long, or something, but she rocked it out last night. There's finally something to get at least a little excited about for this election -- you've got the Messiah running with Senator Blowhard, and the Meanest Man This Side of the Pecos running alongside a striking looking woman who, given the opportunity, would gut you like a fish if you pissed her off. I'm a fan -- we'll see how things unfold.

And sexism? Everybody keep moving, nothing to see here. Obama's above that sort of thing, right?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Reunions are fun. Really, I mean it!

Went to my 20th high school reunion this past weekend. Very fun, good to see lots of folks I haven't seen for a very long time. Good times.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Democratic Convention -- outdoors is teh fun!

They got puppets and such to make sure everybody takes the left, like, totally serious. There's nothing like paper mache to let everybody know you mean business!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh my goodness

This is going to be really, really fun. I mean really -- they can't be serious about this. Joe Biden? Crazy uncle Joe? This is the guy who gets drunk at Thanksgiving, feels up his cousin, and then confesses to having drunk all the wine in the house through a straw! AWESOME!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I like eggs, a lot...

but I'm suspicious of chickens who can write on their eggs. Very disturbing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Virginia is for lovers. . . or, well, maybe not

Watch out, porn merchants, both the Commonwealth and the Federal Government are comin' to get ya!

A taste of the trial:
For most of the movie, Jones says, the only thing that offended him was the low production value.

"It looked like they just hired four hookers and shot it in a warehouse," he says.

Finally, at 4:18pm an actress screamed out for her partner(s) to, er, finish "on my f***ing face!" and (spoiler alert) evidently someone complied with the request, for so too did the movie finish. At that point, Wood called for a brief recess, during which several gallery members stepped out for a cigarette and, because it was raining, a shower.

However, watching all the naughty material almost ended up for naught. When the jury returned, the prosecution called as a witness Dr. Mary Anne Laydon, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist specializing in rehabilitating the victims and perpetrators of sex crimes, and perhaps a welcome change of pace for the jury, considering that she was a woman wearing clothes. When Buzzelli asked Laydon to evaluate a still image from Sugar Britches, she testified, "The female has no pubic hair, no breasts, an angular body type. Typically this is someone whose body has not yet fully developed sexually. In most industrialized countries, this occurs at the age of 12."

Cambria sprang up to object.

"Right from the beginning," Cambria said, "the Commonwealth has tried to make this an underage case. They have no proof and no good-faith basis to allege that any one of these performers is underage, and I move for a mistrial."

Buzzelli, having made this argument in federal court before, protested vehemently.

"It speaks for itself, that girl is clearly made to look like a child!" he said.

Robertson went one step further.

"It's no accident she looks the way she does," he said. "This film does appeal to pedophiles. Pedophiles will buy this film and get off on it!"

Wood wasn't buying it.

"Give me a break!" he said. "You're saying she's like a child because she has small breasts? I saw these movies; every one of these women was shaved!"
Read the whole thing--it's perhaps the best article about a court case I have ever read.

The truth is stranger than fiction, no error. Once again, we have people being turned into criminals for conducting what somewhere else would be perfectly legal. Obscentiy prosecutions are absolutely unique, in that the jury is asked not just to apply the law, but to base its decision on "contemporary community standards." That means there are potentially different results in different localities, even in the same state, which is a tricky thing indeed.

It's also difficult for me to see the value of a prosecution like this -- does Mr. Robertson actually think he's going to keep porn out of Staunton? I mean, he must have heard of the internet by now...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Maryland, cigarettes, the Commerce Clause, and the lash!

Maryland politicians are remarkable folks.
Politicians in Annapolis are scratching their heads wondering what happened to all those chain smokers who were supposed to help balance Maryland's budget. Last year the legislature doubled the cigarette tax to $2 a pack to pay for expanded health-care coverage. Eight months later, cigarette sales have plunged 25% and the state is in fiscal distress again.

A few pols are pretending to be happy that 30 million fewer cigarette packs have been bought in the state so far this year. As House Majority Leader Kumar Barve put it, fewer people smoking is "a good thing." Yes, except that Maryland may be losing retail sales more than smokers. Residents of Maryland's Washington suburbs can shop in nearby Virginia, where the tax is only 30 cents a pack, and save at least $15 per carton.

The Maryland pols are so afraid this is true that they've made it a crime for residents to carry two packs of cigarettes that weren't purchased in the state.

Let's examine two things here: first, the dubious morality of relying on smokers to fund government, and what happens when you raise the rent on those smokers. Second, how in the hell can this be consitutional?

On the moral point first: government, in its infinite wisdom, taxes certain products at higher rates than typical consumer goods. These can generally be considered "consumption taxes"--if you are going to buy these products, government is going to tax you because there are increased costs associated with your using the products. Gasoline, as an example, is extremely useful to the end user, but there are costs associated with consumption of gasoline, so it's only fair for the consumer to shoulder the burden of those costs through taxes. With cigarettes, arguably the end consumer should pay more per pack because of the costs associated with treatment of smoking-related illnesses amongst the pool of sick people who rely on Medicare or Medicaid for medical treatment.

The problem, of course, is that government is greedy--in the case of Maryland, instead of using the money to offset costs related to tobacco use, the legislature expanded the state-financed health care benefit, after raising the tax to $2.00 per pack. Well, of course people who have access to less-expensive cigarettes will go elsewhere -- in this case, just across the border to Virginia.

Now, there is absolutely nothing illegal about a Maryland resident purchasing cigarettes, or any other lawful product, in Virginia -- people do this every day by catalog or internet shopping. What Maryland has now done, however, is criminalize those who are engaging in perfectly normal and legal behavior for failing to pay a consumption tax. In other words, if this criminal statute passes muster, then any state can impose criminal liability on people engaged in perfectly legal interstate commerce based upon how much money is spent. If this is legal, what's to keep Virginia from saying "you can buy wine in Maryland, but any more than two bottles and you're a criminal." Or to keep Ohio from saying "if you buy clothing in Kentucky and avoid Ohio retail sales tax, then if you buy more than two shirts, we're gonna lock you up."

This leads to the second point of this post: the US Constitution doesn't permit this type of law.
The Congress shall have Power .....

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

The US Congress, and it alone, can regulate trade amongst the states. States cannot impose restrictions on trade from other states, such as import duties, prohibitions (except in limited circumstances, like diseased meat), or anything like that, unless the State itself is a market participant. Here you go:
Under the resulting protocol for dormant Commerce Clause analysis, we ask whether a challenged law discriminates against interstate commerce. [cits.] A discriminatory law is "virtually per se invalid," [cits.], and will survive only if it "advances a legitimate local purpose that cannot be adequately served by reasonable nondiscriminatory alternatives," [cits.]. Absent discrimination for the forbidden purpose, however, the law "will be upheld unless the burden imposed on [interstate] commerce is clearly excessive in relation to the putative local benefits." [cits.]. State laws frequently survive this Pike scrutiny, see, e.g., United Haulers Assn., Inc. v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 550 U.S. ___, ___-___,127 [*1809] S. Ct. 1786, 167 L. Ed. 2d 655 (2007) (slip op., at 14-15) (plurality opinion); Northwest Central Pipeline Corp. v. State Corporation Comm'n of Kan., 489 U.S. 493, 525-526, 109 S. Ct. 1262, 103 L. Ed. 2d 509 (1989); [***20] Minnesota v. Clover Leaf Creamery Co., 449 U.S. 456, 472-474, 101 S. Ct. 715, 66 L. Ed. 2d 659 (1981), though not always, as in Pike itself, 397 U.S., at 146, 90 S. Ct. 844, 25 L. Ed. 2d 174.

Some cases run a different course, however, and an exception covers States that go beyond regulation and themselves "participat[e] in the market" so as to "exercis[e] the right to favor [their] own citizens over others." [cits.]. This "market-participant" exception reflects a "basic distinction . . . between States as market participants and States as market regulators," [cits.], "[t]here [being] no indication of a constitutional plan to limit the ability of the States themselves to operate freely in the free market," [cits.] ("[W]hen a state or local government enters the market as a participant it is not subject to the restraints of the Commerce Clause"). Thus, in Alexandria Scrap, we found that a state law authorizing state payments to processors of automobile hulks validly burdened out-of-state processors with more onerous documentation requirements than their in-state counterparts. Likewise, Reeves accepted South Dakota's policy of giving in-state customers first dibs on cement produced by a state-owned plant, and White held that a Boston executive order requiring half the workers on city-financed construction projects to be city residents passed muster.

Maryland is not a market participant in the selling of cigarettes. Its criminalizing the possession by its own citizens of more than two packs of out-of-state cigarettes is clearly discriminatory. The program it seeks to fund can be funded through the general budget through the general power to tax its residents. Even if you take the balancing test of Pike, as stated above, its seems to me that the State would lose -- the benefit the state gains by enacting this law is to solve a problem of its own making. In other words, I think the Commerce Clause prohibits state governments from criminalizing otherwise perfectly legal out-of-state commerce in an effort to fix a budgetary problem due to its own unwise choices.

Also, from a policy perspective -- why in the world would a state want to encourage people to smoke in the first instance? That's what needs to happen for the revenue to keep coming in, right?

I'd like to hear the counterarguments--I'm not certain I'm right, but it sure seems like it.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Slacking lately...

Summer's been quite the whirlwind, between work, swim meets, a short trip, yada yada yada. Sorry about that, but I've just been a bit tired and uninspired. Here's an excellent Rescue Me minisode for your enjoyment:

Lots of stupid news out there. John Edwards is a tool, as everyone already knew. Obama's starting to falter as the press clues in to its inability to be critical, and starts being critical, a little.

Bernie Mac died. That's a shame--he was a talented dude.

The Olympics started in Beijing, and some guy killed an American before plunging to his own death.

Here's the Tannergirl doing what she does best, with Tannerdad going a bit crazy with the yelling:

Have a great Saturday -- weather in the 'ville is beautiful, and the Tannerkids and I are off to the mall for some morning hijinx.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meanwhile, in Cobb County, Georgia

My former trial partner and most excellent (and surly) friend Henry Thompson just got done procecuting a nasty murder case, and the defendant got death.

Good work, I guess -- the death penalty is one of those things that makes me squirm. This dude appears to deserve it, however.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"This makes me want to kill some bitches."

I also love how they make a big deal out of pretending that they care what hubby thinks. Some of them are so brazenly unashamed - and proud - of how thoroughly they’ve emasculated their man that they even look right in the camera with a dull-eyed evil grin and say things like, “I like to let him think his opinions count, too.” Die, lady. Just die.
You’d almost feel sorry for these guys but you know what? They’re adults. They made a choice to marry these psychos and knock them up repeatedly, and to allow themselves to be relegated to “just-another-kid” status. Tough shit. Get a helmet.

She's right -- we men need to step up and be men. Marriage is not a contract that permits wives to treat their husbands like the doofuses on TV, or some sort of ATM that provides the ability to live well materially. We're real people, generally pretty smart, and have a lot to offer -- that's why women love us in the first place. I'm finding women later in life want a "real man" -- one who says what he thinks, is sensitive to a woman's concerns, can listen, but, at the end of the day, is not anything other than his own manly self.

Maybe I'm wrong, and my relationship history ain't the best, but we men need to step up and be, well, men.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008


Georgia's beloved mascot dies. I saw the Auburn game pictured above--he tried to bite the Auburn player who had just scored. That's a good dog.

"Big Oil": why they make a lot of money without doing what we think they ought to do! Damn them!

As we all know, politicians rank somewhere between used-car salesmen and lawyers on the credibility sale. But what to do with this kind of lying?
ExxonMobil “only spent $10 million on renewables last year,” House Energy Independence Committee Chairman Ed Markey (D., Mass.), moaned June 22 on ABC’s This Week.

“I am very angry, frankly, at the oil companies,” presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) said June 12. “Not only because of the obscene profits they’ve made, but their failure to invest in alternative energy to help us eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.”

“We are forcing oil companies to change their ways,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) told journalists May 7. “We will hold them accountable for unconscionable price-gouging and force them to invest in renewable energy or pay a price for refusing to do so.”

"Obscene" profits? "Unconscionable price gouging"? These politicians know that what they are saying isn't true, but that doesn't stop them from trotting out a boogeyman to distract the public from the real problem with domestic energy production -- Congress is not letting oil companies, coal companies, power companies, and the like do what they do best, which is develop new technologies or utilize property to generate energy. We know this, the politicians know it, and the oil companies damn sure know it. Sure, an oil rig is ugly (to some -- I think the rigs are incredibly cool), but it is also a safe and effective way of producing energy domestically, which in turn has the effect of our becoming more energy independent.*

Now, I take issue with the article linked above, but only for one reason: the oil companies investing in alternative energies aren't doing so from the goodness of their hearts, as that article implies (he may not have meant that, but it does appear to imply that). They are investing for the same reason anybody else invests in new technologies -- to make money, either from the technology itself or from the goodwill generated by the projects. And, as Martha would say, that's a good thing.

So what the politicians want to do is force these same companies, which are investing billions of dollars in alternative sources of energy, to contribute more to the effort. All the while Congress can sit back as energy prices rise and rise, and say "well, we're making Big Oil pay for alternative energy research, so we've done all we can do."

Worse still, a huge segment of our population will like them more for it.

*As I understand Obama's position, since it will take 10 years or so to get things going enough to make a difference, then we ought to spend our money on ethanol and other alternative fuels. Maybe he's right, but I don't think so. We can't possibly grow enough corn/switchgrass/other stuff to meet even the goals GWB set. It's also dirtier, a less effecient use of food-producing land, and does nothing to support at least one of the goals of energy policy -- reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

** I don't really get McCain's position on this either -- open up offshore leases again, but don't touch ANWR? Seems a bit daft to me.

Me, I like solar power. In the South (and probably elsewhere), everybody who has the money could generate at at least a portion of their own power on their roofs--if I ever build a house again, I'm gonna install some solar panels for the lights and such. Should be fun. And hideously expensive.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hopefulness. Changeytude. Same shit, different day.

Jon Stewart: you'll note he has to tell the audience it's okay to laugh at Obama and his various foibles. Jesus.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ah, Presidential politics

Missed this a few days ago.

Barack Obama is warning supporters that the general election fight between him and John McCain may get ugly, but the Illinois senator is vowing not to back down.

"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said at a fundraiser in Philadelphia Friday, according to pool reports.

Uh huh. I hope he also brings a gun permit, a trigger lock, and a good lawyer. And a health care plan. In his next fantasy I suppose Obama will want to channel his inner Clint Eastwood, who once explained that "I've got a firm policy on gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be the one controlling it."
Yup, Barack Obama ready to shoot guns and be a badass. Now, of course, he's being hyperbolic here -- he wouldn't dare use a gun to fight off a potential stabber, would he? Wouldn't he negotiate and use his Winnie-the-Pooh diplomatic skills to ensure that his would-be murderer could see the error of his ways, and voluntarily disarm?

Sarcasm aside, I used to think Obama was slick, likeable, and smart. Lately, he seems tone-deaf, arrogant, and, well, kinda dumb. Of course, he's running against the Republicans, so he's not going to have too hard a time with any of it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

First, they came for the speed limits

So, of course, with gas prices rising and folks all a-twitter about it, and the environmental "climate change" movement gaining ever more power, we begin to see calls for freeway speed limits to be reduced to 55 again, just like the miserable 70's.

Why is this difficult to understand? People drive faster because they want to get places. Speed limits are for safety -- they are not for fuel efficiency. If I have a car that gets 30-35 MPG, why should I be penalized by the government for the perceived sins of the SUV driver? If I can go 70 on I-64, I get to Richmond in one hour flat. If I go 55, it takes an hour and 20 minutes. That's 20 minutes I could have spent with my kids, sleeping, working out, reading, whatever -- for no corresponding increase in the safety of the road.

Also, if you want to drive an SUV or a minivan (most of which get as bad or worse mileage than the hated SUV), I don't begrudge you that -- you just have to buy more gas than I do. That's your problem, not mine.

As for global warming/climate change/whatever you wanna call it -- let me know when someone can definitively say human activity is really responsible. The earth was a hell of a lot hotter, and had way more CO2, back in the era of the dinosaur. And the Vikings. And all kinds of other times in the history of this planet. Are we so arrogant that we think we can destroy it by driving big cars? I reckon Al Gore is that arrogant, but he's also an idiot.

Cross posted at a new group blog just getting started: The Building Badness Foundation Quarterly Report.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Truth is not a defense . . .

before a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Background: McLean's magazine, based in Toronto, printed an excerpt from America Alone, a book by Mark Steyn, which avers that the West's (particularly Europe and Canada) declining birthrate has set the stage for immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, to take over and potentially radicalize the West (I haven't read the book -- I'm plagiarizing what I understand to be among the central themes). Now, think what you may of his premise -- it is supported greatly by things Muslim leaders have said.

Certain Muslims in Canada took offense at this, and filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, even though none of the parties to the complaint reside or have any real connection to British Columbia, as I understand the jurisdictional prerequisites of the tribunal. No matter -- there apparently aren't any rules.

The HRC has the authority, even if the printed speech is entirely true or entirely opinion, to sanction the offender with fines, injunctions, etc., if the speech has the potential of subjecting a person or group to "hate," whatever the hell that means. There are no rules of evidence, and the proceedings are apparently a farce.

They certainly are in McLean's case.
"Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.” —Canadian “Human Rights” Investigator Dean Steacy, responding to the question “What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?”

This is the way free speech ends, not with a bang but as the result of an administrative hearing in a windowless basement in Vancouver, Canada.

At least that’s where a “Human Rights Tribunal” is taking place this week that will further solidify the Canadian legal position that the right not to be offended by something you read is more sacred than the freedom of the press.

Oh yeah--the "judges" on the tribunals? Not judges at all, but employees of the Human Rights Commission, who have a vested interest in keeping the commissions going so they can save their jobs!

Read all about the show trial here or here or here (with much more material about the HRCs).

To some extent, Mr. Stacey is right: freedom of speech is an American concept (although it didn't really start with us), insofar as protecting the worst kind of speech from government intervention is a necessary evil to preserve a greater freedom--that of the free flow of ideas. One does not need to venture very far to understand what life can be like where there is no freedom of speech -- Cuba imprisons journalist and others for writing bad things about the government. Even if the things they write were wrong (and they aren't), would any of us tolerate living in a society where saying "I can't stand George Bush" or "I think Obama's a crook" would get you locked up?

What the hell is going on in lovely Canada?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Read it read it read it, and learn!

Mark Steyn says it all right.
I was watching the Big Oil execs testifying before Congress. That was my first mistake. If memory serves, there was lesbian mud wrestling over on Channel 137, and on the whole that’s less rigged. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz knew the routine: “I can’t say that there is evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not.”
Had I been in the hapless oil man’s expensive shoes, I’d have answered, “Hey, you first. I can’t say that there is evidence that you’re sleeping with barnyard animals, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and prima facie evidence, lady? Do I have to file a U.N. complaint in Geneva that the House of Representatives is in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?”

But that’s why I don’t get asked to testify before Congress. So instead the Big Oil guy oozed as oleaginous as his product before the grand panjandrums of the House Sub-Committee on Televised Posturing, and then they went off and passed by 324 to 82 votes the so-called NOPEC bill. The NOPEC bill is, in effect, a suit against OPEC, which, if I recall correctly, stands for the Oil Price-Exploiting Club. “No War For Oil!,” as the bumper stickers say. But a massive suit for oil — now that’s the American way!

I just love it -- I think you may be doing something illegal, but I have no proof, but you have to prove to me that you're not. Excellent. That's one of our esteemed and honorable lawmakers showing just how effectively she can say stupid things. The oil execs brought to testify in this kangaroo proceeding should have said "I'm here because you asked me. If you want to grandstand and call me a jerk, do so, but be aware that not only are you wrong on the facts, you're dishonest. If you're not lying, then you're an idiot that doesn't understand basic economics. If you're just pandering to your constituents, well, pander away and make sure that you try to kill the goose that laid the golden egg for the American economy."

Why don't we just nationalize the industry? That has worked so well in the past. Oh no wait....

UPDATE: Learn some more. American oil companies, supply of oil, and the policies that keep us paying more at the pump than we need to. But we must protect the majestic caribou!!! And China can drill in the Caribbean, but our companies can't even explore for oil in the most promising areas for domestic oil production. Sheesh.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Them intartubes are much fun.

If you don't like the internet, you haven't been here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Simple = true = disconcerting = uncomfortable = political suicide

So Thomas Sowell says it right. Trade-offs are a necessary part of life, political or otherwise. Remember that when you think "it sure would be nice if those mean developers would build the necessary infrastructure, but I also want them to build houses that cops and teachers can afford."

Well, which is it, young feller? Do you want I should build that road or do you want I should build inexpensive houses?

Money comes from somewhere, ladies and gentlemen, and it's almost always the end consumer that pays the costs associated with bringing a product, any product, to the market. Do you think gas taxes are paid by the producers of gas? Think again! Do you think import duties are paid by the importers? Think again! Ultimately, the consumer pays, because companies pass all their costs along to whomever the next consumer of those goods or services are.

So, I ask you, when you think something is an unalloyed good, who pays for it? We all do, in some form or another, be it higher prices, decreased mobility, decreased choice in the marketplace, whatever. Trade-offs are inevitible in life, and we shouldn't act, or even hope, like they aren't.

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake!

Friday, May 09, 2008

First, they came for the jolly roger


Via Hit and Run.

So there . . .

Some other smarty pants agrees with my rant on sticking it to "Big Oil."
If you tell oil companies that they won’t be able to keep their profits past a certain point, you know what they’ll do? They’ll make money right up until that point and then they’ll stop. Unlike the guy building the better mousetrap, oil companies aren’t in it for the glory, they’re in it for the money. No oilman will go home hungry and wake up like Scrooge on Christmas morning, having repented because of a windfall profits tax.

Now, there will be plenty of punishment doled out, more than at a Belgian S&M club during recess at the European Parliament. But the crack of the windfall whip will land in unintended places. “Corporate sacrifice” means sacrificing share value, jobs and, most of all, reinvestment.

So people dependent on pension funds — union workers, government employees and the like — will be asked to sacrifice some of their retirement income. Jobs dependent on oil and gas extraction would be cut. And, as Schumer explains, money that would otherwise be invested in exploration and improved efficiency will instead be diverted to “alternative” energies that politicians (like Schumer) think are better investments.

No wonder Schumer’s so cocky, given the boffo success of Washington’s “investment” in ethanol, which creates more greenhouse gases than oil does, contributes to deforestation, and is fueling the starvation of millions around the globe.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ninnyhammers! All of Them!! CACAFUEGO!!

What are we looking for in our presidential candidates? HANDOUTS! POPULIST BUNK WITH NO POSITIVE ECONOMIC IMPACT! SUBSTANCE!

Take this "gas tax holiday" stupidity. What does it do? Well, it tricks people into thinking they're getting cheaper gas for a day. They're not, and Hillary (and McCain) know it.

Oh, and that "windfall profits tax" on BIG OIL (cue boogeyman music) is the rankest of stupidities. Think about it this way: a widget generates a 10% profit margin. A $10 widget, therefore, generates $1 of profit. Now, a huge increase in global demand forces the price of that widget up to $100. The company takes $10 in profit. Bully for the company, right?

Not according to the democratic candidates for president. It's somehow "unfair" for the oil companies to reap large profits, even though their profit margin isn't any bigger now than it was when gas cost 75 cents a gallon. The real dollars are greater, but that's what business of all sorts are run to do -- make large profits. It benefits the shareholders (a.k.a. the owners of the company), it benefits society at large because more profits mean more capital the company can invest in itself and other things, like alternative energy sources.

Who would you rather investing in alternative energy -- a company that has to answer to its shareholders and make a profit, or Congress? We're seeing right now how effective Congress is at getting things done -- we're right now subsidizing ethanol production to the point where there is going to be a global food crisis!! Good work, Mr. Senator! Starving poor Africans so we can feel virtuous about using less gas. Whoops!! Did someone say ethanol production at its current production level does absolutely nothing to reduce dependence on foreign oil? And that burning ethanol actually can produce more greenhouse gas emissions than gas? I SHALL IGNORE SUCH FACTS! And these are the idiots that would get to decide precisely what a "windfall" is. Why not just be honest and say "we want to redistribute the profits made by oil companies because it is politically expedient and popular to do so, and oil companies are easy targets that no one cares about. Remember that awful Valdez oil spill?"

Oh yeah -- did you know that Big Oil, such as Chevron, is actively promoting and researching alternative energy sources? Of course not -- if you listen to our idiot politicians. You'd also think pharmaceutical companies are the very devil, trying to kill everybody and make huge profits for their money-grubbing-cigar-smoking CEOs, instead of developing life saving treatments every day that we all feel entitled to have at virtually no cost.

It's looking more and more like anarchy for me. Anyone care to join me in the Independent Republic of Hank?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This is teh awesome.

Read the whole thing. Ten insulting words you should know. My favorite?
Definition: A swaggering braggart or boaster.

Analysis: Cacafuego literally means "shit fire" in Spanish. Anyone who boasts their new knowledge of insulting words from this article can be called a cacafuego.

That's not the only interesting thing about it:

Cacafuego is also the nickname of a 16th century Spanish galleon captured by Sir Francis Drake (El Draque or The Dragon as he was known to his Spanish victims). The ship's original name was Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Our Lady of Conception), but for some reason it's called by her sailors as "cagafuego" (fireshitter) or "cacafuego" (shitfire).

It was Drake's biggest plunder: it took his crew four days to transfer the cargo from the Cacafuego. In all, Drake got 80 pounds of gold, 26 tons of silver, 13 cases of silver coins, jewels, and more.

Synonym: BLATHERSKITE, BRAGGADOCIO, FANFARON, GASCONADER, and RODOMONTADE (English is full of this kind of word, though I think caca "shit fire" fuego is in a class of its own!)

Via Ace of Spades.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New favorite blog

New one on the roll. This one is flat out awesome. Any woman with balls enough to call herself a shitweasel is a-okay in my book.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More on the anti-smoking smokists

This, from my pal cf, is spectacular. RTWT.
THE BIG, brave Passive Americans responded with a vengeance. They began shouting at smokers in restaurants. They shuddered and grimaced and said "Ugh!" as they waved away the impure air. They put up little signs in their cars and homes: at first they said, "Thank You for Not Smoking," but now they feature a cigarette in a circle slashed with a red diagonal. Smokists even issue conditional invitations. I know—I got one. The woman said, "I'd love to have you to dinner, but I don't allow smoking in my home. Do you think you could refrain for a couple of hours?" I said, "Go ---- yourself," and she told everybody I was the rudest person she had ever met.

Smokists practice a sadistic brutality that would have done Vlad the Impaler proud. Washington Times columnist and smoker Jeremiah O'Leary was the target of two incredibly baleful letters to the editor after he defended the habit. The first letter said, "Smoke yourself to death, but please don't smoke me to death," but it was only a foretaste of the letter that followed:

Jeremiah OLeary's March 1 column, "Perilous persuaders... tenacious zealots," is a typical statement of a drug addict trying to defend his vice.

To a cigarette smoker, all the world is an ashtray. A person who would never throw a candy wrapper or soda can will drop a lit cigarette without a thought.

Mr. O'Leary is mistaken that nonsmokers are concerned about the damage smokers are inflicting on themselves. What arrogance! We care about living in a pleasant environment without the stench of tobacco smoke or the litter of smokers' trash.

If Mr. O'Leary wants to kill himself, that is his choice. I ask only that he do so without imposing his drug or discarded filth on me. It would be nice if he would die in such a way that would not increase my health-insurance rates [my italics].

The expendability of smokers has also aroused the tender concern of the Federal Government. I was taking my first drag of the morning when I opened the Washington Post and found myself staring at this headline: NOT SMOKING COULD BE HAZARDOUS TO PENSION SYSTEM. MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY MAY BE PINCHED IF ANTI-TOBACCO CAMPAIGN SUCCEEDS, REPORT SAYS.


Smokers have become the new greenhorns in the land of sweetness and health, scapegoats for a quintessentially American need, rooted in our fabled Great Diversity, to identify and punish the undesirables among us. Ethnic tobacco haters can get even for past slurs on their fastidiousness by refusing to inhale around dirty little smokers; WASP tobacco haters can once again savor the joys of being the "real Americans" by hurling with impunity the same dirty little insults their ancestors hurled with impunity.

The tobacco pogrom serves additionally as the basis for a class war in a nation afraid to mention the word "class" aloud. Hating smokers is an excellent way to hate the white working class without going on record as hating the white working class.

And this is from 1990, before state-wide bans and other freedom-reducing political hijinks!

So please, hug a smoker today. Even if you have to hold your nose. Soon, a bad habit that gives pleasure will be outlawed altogether somewhere. Who will the busybodies have to be angry with? Who will they harass? We know it's not folks with guns, for obvious reasons -- they shoot back. Oh wait, now they're after trans-fats. Where does it end? When will we all be walking around wearing helmets because it's safer? In keeping with an earlier post, I say, if you don't want to be around smoke, don't be. If you don't want trans-fats in your diet, DON'T F$#@IN' EAT THEM! How hard is this?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mommy alert!

So, now you can't smoke at bingo games. I know plenty of people who just love smoking bans, because they don't like smoke (and, in some instances, smokers). What they don't understand is the slope we're sliding down when the government gets to make these choices for us.

Remember, there is nothing to keep a non-smoker from saying "I don't want to go to Miller's, for it is smokey and I don't like the smoke."

When the government says "you can't smoke in public places," there is a real economic impact that no one intends, and that's the difference. If a smokey bar goes out of business because not enough customers come in, well, that's life. If a regular bar/public place of business that permits smoking goes out of business because the government bans smoking from public places, then the government has just inserted itself into a market in which it has no expertise and no real accountability, and screwed up an otherwise perfectly legal business. If you can't understand the difference, you aren't paying attention.

Of course, there are all the "WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN" people -- to them, I say, if you don't want your kids around smoke, don't take them places that permit smoking. What people forget is that no one, and I mean no one, has a right to go wherever they want whenever they want -- you can get banned from bars, even if you don't smoke. Just because a non-smoker wants to eat dinner in perfect non-smoking bliss doesn't mean we that don't mind it (or, gasp, even smoke some) have to give up our seats at our places.

I keep talking about bars, because I like smokey bars, but the bingo thing is even worse. Bingo is a totally voluntary pursuit, and the bingo halls generally donate the money to charity. Now, the government has banned smoking and is interfering with the revenues generated, and the good work that bingo-charities often perform. And to the lawmaker that says "it just takes a period of adjustment," well, sometimes private businesses don't have six months to recover. Oh, and the ones that do make it through, generally make some sort of arrangement to get around the ban so they don't lose their smoking customers.

What's wrong with personal choice/responsibility determining whether businesses permit smoking? There are plenty of non-smoking restaurants and such here in town, and they do fine, as do the ones that permit smoking. To non-smokers who think smoking bans are okay -- I say remember that you don't have any right to go to Miller's, or Blue Light, or West Main, or wherever -- the owner can bar you from the premises for whatever reason, or no reason at all.

I hate Illinois Nazis.

Interesting juxtaposition

So in America (although the race was in Japan), where women can do pretty much anything they want, Danica Patrick wins an Indy Car Race. Awesome.

In Saudi Arabia, women are not permitted to drive golf carts.

And there are those who say we in America living in a fascist/theocratic dictatorship. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Now this is how you cuss out your manager.

Totally not safe for work or for kids. Like, not at all.

One of these is my newest client . . .

Should be interesting. Watch the video for a more complete initial rundown.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

So, when Hillary lies and lies and lies, does anyone hear it?

Remember when she said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, and then we found out that she was born years before he ascended Mt. Everest?  We all just laughed it off - she's a Clinton, after all, and this little cute lie doesn't really matter.  

Well, Christopher Hitchens unleashes his peculiar and effective venom on Hillary for the Tuzla story (you know, where she had to duck sniper fire, save a baby, ride a goat to safety, and then broker a peace deal), and it's pretty strong -- like cobra strong.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Braves. Nationals. New ballpark in DC. Result? Great freakin' game. Zimmerman (UVA man) homers to end the game.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tannerboy = way cool pirate

He's five, he's cool.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Okay so this is getting out of hand...

This dude really doesn't like Obama. I don't get it at all. Obama may be many things, but a pimp he is not. I really don't understand this kind of invective. Maybe that's why I don't go to church. Of course, a presbyterian minister preaching like this would be, well, unusual.

Obama, Race, and Adults

Not a big Obama fan, but I like Jon Stewart's take on all this business with the Right Reverend Wright.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Athens, GA--a'clobbering on St. Paddy's day

So you're minding your own business, snatchin' purses in downtown Athens, and what happens? Some uppity drinkers come running after you, tackle you, and sit on you until the cops come. Excellent:

During the scuffle, the man allegedly tried to pull a knife but it was knocked out of his hand, Blackmon said.

"He was in the process of pulling out his knife, when he got clobbered," Blackmon said.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I think I'd sue somebody too

Yuck. Don't they have bathrooms on planes? And they sell porn at the airport. That dude needs, well, something different in his life.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Going to Yale has its advantages....

Like your best college friend, who you've fallen out of touch with a bit, showing up in Time magazine.  What are you gonna do, when your friend is a mad scientist?

Tiny ninjas hate the angry cheese!

We don't know why the ninjas hate the angry cheese or the triceratops. They just do.

And then, the oral sex!

So Eliot Spitzer likes him some hookers. Whatever. Here's why you really shouldn't like him:
The rules don’t apply to Eliot Spitzer, or at least, that’s how Eliot Spitzer has acted throughout his public life. Sic transit gloria mundi.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Alma Mater does something very cool.

Tony Blair, teaching at Yale. Very cool.  Nice to be the best college in all the land.

Friday, March 07, 2008

American ingenuity, sticking its thumb in the eye of the man/nanny

Right on.  Smoking ban?  Just make everyone an actor in a stage production!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Awesome. I mean it.

Long time friend and sporadic commenter CF directs us to this great T-shirt, apropos of an earlier post and one possible interpretation of Ms. Steenbergen's comment about Hillary "giving good girlfriend."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"I have earned every wrinkle."

Hillary. Running for President as the candidate of "experience." What kind of experience? "Clinton's longtime friend Mary Steenburgen told a crowd earlier today that Hillary Clinton does girlfriend really, really well.'"

Oh goody! But, then again, I hear Obama does hopefulness really, really well, and McCain does toleration of torture (of himself) really, really well. For whom should I vote, with choices like these?

Monday, March 03, 2008


So here I am at Storm Peak with my buddy (click for large shot). Skiing was incredible, weather was great, and I am exhausted. Video presentation to come.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Crazy awesome

Barack Obama thought you'd like some chocolate.  Just keep clickin'. Via Ace of Spades.


All your southern states are belong to us!

New look for the site

You'll note a new look for the site. The art is by the Tannerboy, after playing in the mud. Many thanks to the daytimer for sharing the photo.

Life is good, people--eat it up!!!! And if you answer the question above, well, you'll receive the people's ovation and fame forever. On this site. That virtually no one reads. Happy friday--happy hour beckons!
UPDATE: Anonymous commenter #2 will receive the people's ovation and fame forever, with this answer: "He doesn't have shit all over him...and he looks like Mike Satterfield." Excellent work, lady or gentleman! Be nice to know who the commenter might be . . . some decadent Georgia grad, I'm sure.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My first ever online poll

Which is more boring?
Reading the dictionary
Watching soccer
Eating oatmeal
This poll
Your job
Hillary's hair
Obama's hopefulness
McCain's surliness
pollcode.com free polls

Choose wisely. Just so you know, "my job" right now consists of listening to tapes of a Board of Supervisors meeting in anticipation of litigation over a sewage treatment facility. So I'm going with that one.

This guy had some issues

With his wife. Choked her out, chopped her up in a machine shop, then gave a tearful interview during which he denied responsibility. 50-80 years, he got.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I can't think of anything to say except . . .

someone actually spent time doing this. Really?

Via The Corner.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You gonna eat your fat?

MMMMMMMMM. Short ribs, braised in wine and stock, cajun seasoning, stored overnight in the fridge. Yes, that white stuff is fat that rendered out of the meat. Fantastic.

A better use of the internet

An industrious classmate of mine from high school, Julie Smith-Thacker, has started up a blog to try to locate members of the class of 1988 from Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Kentucky. She even posted some yearbook photos, and I'm in one (the dorky one with the academic team). This is what the intertubes are all about!

Here's her photography site, also.

This, dear readers, is what happens when you have to organize a 20-year class reuinion.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Holy Crap!!!

Via Instapundit, we are directed here. There are more problems with this than I can think up right now, but here goes.
The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don't resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a "Patriot Corporation" and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts.

First, the government gets to define a "patriotic corporation" by that corporation's adherence to certain policy preferences of Obama's (and others, to be fair). Let's assume for a minute that a corporation in, say, Virginia, makes widgets and employs 50 non-unionized workers, at $15 per hour, but doesn't have a pension plan, opting instead for an employer/employee 401K plan that produces better benefits than a typical pension. That corporation is not a patriotic corporation, according to the formulation laid out above. Not even if it sponsors a Little League team, grants generous vacation and health benefits, gives money in all sorts of community outreach programs, etc., just because it doesn't permit a union--that its employees apparently don't need, because if they did, they would work somewhere else. And nowhere in this "patriotic corporation" explication (and I haven't read the whole act, so sue me) is any mention of whether my hypothetical widget corporation makes the best widget in the whole wide world. Oh, and that "neutral card check" things makes it so no one in the union has the right to a secret ballot when voting on issues -- meaning that every person knows what everyone else's vote was.

Second, I thought the Democrats were against defining things as patriotic or unpatriotic by virtue of the various policies espoused by people. Recall John Kerry shouting "don't question my patriotism" when questioned about his various "plans" to save us from ourselves? A good number of my lefty friends believe that dissent is the highest form a patriotism -- isn't granting government benefits to corporations because they conform to set policy prescriptions the exact opposite?

Third, this whole notion is eerily fascistic -- government control of the private means of production and all that. Since when does a corporation need to be "patriotic" to serves its customers and employees well? Sure, it would be nice if every company gave to the poor, provided high wages for its employees, and had apple-pie bake-offs every Friday -- but isn't that between the corporation and its employees (and yes, I know all about child labor laws and the like -- you folks know what I'm on about here)?

What's truly objectionable to me, speaking as the libertarian/anarchist that I am, is that the government gets to select certain corporations and grant benefits to those corporations without any regard to the quality of the work performed or to be performed. This is wrongheaded, stupid, and counterproductive.

Of course, as Instapundit says, "THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE RE-ELECTED, people would want the government to start rewarding and punishing companies based on how "patriotic" those companies were. And they were right!"

UPDATE: With his usual concise prose, Thomas Sowell examines what I think I'm describing much more articulately and cogently.

Good God in Heaven. . .

Yet another reason not to go to prison. Ever.

The waxing of the floor is complete . . .


Monday, February 11, 2008

Tunak Tunak!

I have been accused of wasting time on this blog, instead of working. FYI--this post took about 30 seconds, including finding THE MOST AWESOME MUSIC VIDEO IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. THE WORLD!!

Amazing Grace

Dropkick Murphys. They rock.


Heading to Steamboat Springs at the end of the month to go skiing. The reports are very good, and there's currently plenty o' snow. Haven't been skiing in like 12 years, though, so I may die. And then where would you be, dear readers? WHERE?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hair Tangles!!

You will note a new blog in the blogroll called Hair Tangles. That's the Tannerdaughter (G-dog) and her friend Mobird. Awesome stuff, for an 8 year old. Check it out.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Another super good mixtape (on CD, because I cheat)

So here goes:

1. Don't Let Go/Weezer
2. You and Me & the Bottle makes Three/Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
3. Pablo Picasso/The Modern Lovers
4. For Guy's Eyes Only/Hockey Night
5. 99 Red Balloons/Goldfinger
6. I Want You so Hard (Boy is Bad News)/Eagles of Death Metal
7. Stranded/Dayroom
8. Sweet Little Thing/Lucero
9. Quicksand/Dinosaur Jr.
10. 10 AM Automatic/The Black Keys
11. The Company I Keep/Drive by Truckers
12. I'm Shipping Up to Boston/Dropkick Murphys
13. Give you My Car/Flys
14. Almost Like Being in Love/Frank Sinatra
15. What Makes you Happy/Liz Phair
16. The Impression That I Get/Mighty Mighty Bosstones
17. Paper Thin Walls/Modest Mouse
18. All the Same to Me/Lucero
19. Wicked Game/Giant Drag
20. Jealous Guy/Deftones
21. Beer/Reel Big Fish

And yes, W, I am aware of the repeats. Making it for someone else--don't hate the player, hate the game.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vodkapundit . . .

Drunkblogging the latest Republican debate so you don't have to watch it. Thank goodness I didn't watch.
7:13pm Huckabee wants to build a great big highway. Ron Paul is seething, because he just know it’s the fifth sign of the coming of the North American Union.

7:14pm To Romney: “Are these other jokers really tax cutters?” Again, Paul got stiffed. Again, Romney appears stiff. You know what bugs me about Romney? If his hair were even only slightly curly, you’d swear he was a Viagra-laced penis. The man is erect.

7:14.5pm Mormon Erectus.


7:27pm Once you start to think of Romney as a six-foot-tall erect penis, you just can’t see him any other way. I mean, watch the guy with that in mind and tell me I’m wrong. “We’re the party of fiscal responsibility. Bulging, thrusting fiscal responsibility.”


7:54pm Romney just claimed credit for getting pro and anti-gun control people together. The sound you just heard was millions of his votes getting sucked out of the South. It’s hard to see how McCain doesn’t become the nominee. It’s even harder to see me voting Republican next November.

7:56pm Giuliani just accused Romney of being too lawyerly. Which is probably true, especially if the lawyer in question is a six-foot man penis.

7:58pm When you talk about the weather, I tune you out. When presidential candidates are forced to talk about the weather, I worry about the fate of the American commonweal. And then I go pour myself a drink. Excuse me while I miss the next question or two.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008


A day in the life.

Playin' Kraken

Typin' Kraken

Rockin' Kraken

Snackin' Kraken

Cookin' Kraken

Cookin' Kraken II

Strummin' Kraken

Relaxin' Kraken

Drinkin' Kraken

Mackin' Kraken

Swingin' Kraken

Smokin' Kraken

Brushin' Kraken

Crashin' Kraken

Spam commenter

So I always get excited when people comment on this here blog, but lately I have been getting comments from some anonymous commenter relating to payday loans. They are even specific to the post, so I have to give them credit for being creative. Otherwise, the payday loan people can go bite crank.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow day!

Lovely snow for a while today. Even old Stonewall Jackson appears to like it.

Why not Hillary? Here's why

Said much more eloquently than I could have.
On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia in April 1995—the kind of banal trip that she now claims as part of her foreign-policy "experience"—Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim "worked" well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton's memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York.

Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953, so the story was self-evidently untrue and eventually yielded to fact-checking. Indeed, a spokeswoman for Sen. Clinton named Jennifer Hanley phrased it like this in a statement in October 2006, conceding that the tale was untrue but nonetheless charming: "It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add."
Ouch. But wait! There's more!!
One also hears a great deal about how this awful joint tenure of the executive mansion was a good thing in that it conferred "experience" on the despised and much-deceived wife. Well, the main "experience" involved the comprehensive fouling-up of the nation's health-care arrangements, so as to make them considerably worse than they had been before and to create an opening for the worst-of-all-worlds option of the so-called HMO, combining as it did the maximum of capitalist gouging with the maximum of socialistic bureaucracy. This abysmal outcome, forgiven for no reason that I can perceive, was the individual responsibility of the woman who now seems to think it entitles her to the presidency. But there was another "experience," this time a collaborative one, that is even more significant.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Top Ten Reasons not to drink too much beer and cut your own hair.

10. You don't have the right tools, so stop it.

9. Even if you do have the right tools, it takes way too long.

8. You'll get cut hair all over the f$#@in' place.

7. Even if you get in the shower, completely naked, the hair just, well, gets all over the F%$#in' place.

6. You won't vacuum afterward, no matter how many times you tell yourself you will.

5. You can't do the back right, so you end up with a mullet no matter how hard you try.

4. You could have spent the 12 bucks you saved on beer and/or brown liquor. You're going to have to spend it in two days on a decent haircut, you idiot.

3. A barber knows what he's doing, so you don't end up having two haircuts.

2. That beard trimmer you're going to use doesn't have enough power. Even if the TV commercial says it does, it doesn't. It really doesn't.

1. There is not enough hot water in your hot water heater to wash off the shame of telling your friends/officemates "I got drunk and cut my own hair."