Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ordered Liberty: Chief Justice Roberts on the judicial confirmation boondoggle

This is utter fucking lunacy.
Over at the Legal Insurrection law blog, clinical law professor William Jacobson notes that the vast majority of the blame for this problem rests with the Democrats, who have blocked Republican nominees for purely partisan reasons. He's spot-on with that observation. There is no question that the Democrats have blocked Republican nominees for no other reason than those nominees' good faith beliefs in the proper role of the courts and the proper interpretation of the Constitution. If the problem of politics in regard to judicial nominations is to be remedied, it's up to the Democrats to step forward and admit what they have done and take steps to insure that they will evaluate judicial nominations fairly and with an eye to the qualifications of individual nominees, not base political machinations.

For Real Estate Developers, Failures Hardly an Obstacle -

This reminds me of nothing so much as a huge game of monopoly
"But the truth is that there have been surprisingly few career fatalities among New York developers, even though they have lost billions of investor dollars on overpriced real estate and have littered the city with unfinished apartment buildings. While a homeowner who lost a house to foreclosure would find it difficult to borrow for years, developers who defaulted on enormous loans have still been able to attract money.

The reasons, experts say, are that there is still plenty of money floating around and that the market has a very short memory."

Video - the best of Shakira's butt

Happy new Year

Video - Bear v CameraBot

Description of mathematics, take 2 bis « Mathematics under the Microscope

Description of mathematics, take 2 bis « Mathematics under the Microscope: "Mathematically educated people are stem cells of a technologically advanced society. Because of universality of mathematics, mathematicians and well educated users of mathematics  are flexible in applying and inventing tools for work in technological environments which never existed before."

Things that I read in the Atlantic

How WikiLeaks Just Set Back Democracy in Zimbabwe - Christopher R. Albon - International - The Atlantic:
"The topic of the meeting was the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by a collection of western countries, including the U.S. and E.U. Tsvangirai told the western officials that, while there had been some progress in the last year, Mugabe and his supporters were dragging their feet on delivering political reforms. To overcome this, he said that the sanctions on Zimbabwe 'must be kept in place' to induce Mugabe into giving up some political power. The prime minister openly admitted the incongruity between his private support for the sanctions and his public statements in opposition. If his political adversaries knew Tsvangirai secretly supported the sanctions, deeply unpopular with Zimbabweans, they would have a powerful weapon to attack and discredit the democratic reformer."
I find myself in the surprising position of arguing that Tsvangirai SHOULD be charged with treason. Supporting economic sanctions against your country while you are the Prime Minister pretty much defines the crime in my book. If you argue otherwise then you are put in the position of saying that the ends do justify the means and that is an argument that I have very limited time for.

Sisters’ Release Requires Kidney Donation -

Sisters’ Release Requires Kidney Donation -
"Two Mississippi sisters serving double life sentences for their roles in an $11 armed robbery will be released, but only on the condition that the younger sibling donate her kidney to her sister, whose organs are failing, state officials said Thursday."
This is so appalling that even i am amazed at the cynicism of Haley Barbour.

Happy New Year

May all of you have a 2011 that brings you all that you seek

Friday, December 31, 2010

On Having a thick skin

I would think that it is important, if you choose to put your ideas out on public view, to have a thick skin. It is amusing to me how many professionals in this field do not. I have, on a great day, 200 readers. My best month (November 2010) was about 5000. I had 2 visits today from a pro that felt i had done him wrong. The blog he writes for at the moment gets about a million readers a month. I understand defending one's online reputation but come on. I am not a gnat on his small toe. This strikes me as a recipe for burnout.

things that strike me as funny - Atheism as oppressor edition

American Power: The Arrogance of the Atheists: "The militant atheist wants nothing more than to spoil the believer's spiritual journey."

A little magical Thinking never hurt anyone ... did it?

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Look For The Union Scapegoat Label: "No, what Hindraker is doing is putting the blame for state fiscal problems squarely on the backs of public employee unions instead of public officials always making the decision to cut taxes to remain popular.  The magical thinking of cutting taxes not adding to deficits is idiotic and leads to this kind of shoddy, irresponsible scapegoating of public employees."

Conor Friedersdorf is 100% correct in this case

The Trouble With Non-Libertarians - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"What about a voter who wants to grapple with the world as it is? I think he or she ought to conclude that libertarians hold very little power in this country (as Beam points out), that a Congressional majority that would implement their least mainstream ideas – returning to the gold standard, for example – is utterly implausible, and that electing more libertarians like Ron Paul is far more likely to advance the most popular libertarian policies, like an end to marijuana prohibition, smart cuts to the Pentagon budget, and rolling back the nanny state. Instead, non-libertarian pundits delight in focusing on the least likely libertarian ideas to be implemented, and pointing out real flaws in theoretical libertarianism – the Civil Rights Act dustup, for example – that have little bearing on actual political questions that face America. In this sense, it is non-libertarians who are making the ideal the enemy of the practical, and I wish they'd stop it"
Much to my shock, I found my head nodding in agreement all the way through this piece. It is why I read those that i generally disagree with. Every now and then I get a new perspective.

Why I allow Comments

I allow comments on this blog. This is because for me it is a conversation, not a monologue (despite the fact that I only have a couple hundred readers on a good day and it is rare that a comment is left). I am thrilled when someone thinks that I have treated them unfairly and tells me so. I even like it when someone calls me nasty names (although i more often get those in emails). It lets me know that someone took the time to read what i wrote and contra many, i do not write for myself. I have never quite understood blogging as a non-interactive activity. I know that Andrew Sullivan does it very successfully at the Atlantic and he is one of my daily reads. Perhaps i would be of another mind if I had 50K daily visitors and had to be constantly dealing with the silliness in the comments that would entail. Fortunately that will never be much of a problem.

Lawsuit: Diabetic 'pummeled,' shocked by Hamilton County deputies | | Cincinnati.Com

Lawsuit: Diabetic 'pummeled,' shocked by Hamilton County deputies | | Cincinnati.Com:
"The 52-year-old longtime diabetic's blood sugar levels had dipped to a dangerously low level causing him to weave into another lane.

A Hamilton County sheriff's deputy spotted him on Clough Pike and suspected drunken driving.

What happened over the next two minutes and 20 seconds should never happen to anyone, Harmon said.

Deputies broke the window of Harmon's SUV, shocked him seven times with a Taser, cut him out of his seatbelt and wrestled him to the ground, severely dislocating his elbow, and causing trauma to his shoulder and thumb.

The deputies' actions prompted a state highway patrol trooper to pull one deputy away from Harmon because he was so concerned about how Harmon was being treated. That trooper alerted his bosses to the deputies' actions.

Even after learning the incident was a medical emergency, deputies charged Harmon with resisting arrest and failing to comply with a police officer's order."
But there is no problem with systemic racism in this country. No sir via Balloon Juice

Conor Friedersdorf is a hack

Reasoning Backward From Utopia - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
There are other methods of changing society and addressing problems, and in a free country, those levers are more likely substitutes for free-wheeling wonkyness than violent revolution.

or maybe
The most likely outcome, and the most sensible one, is for progressives to just do what conservatives do—try to win elections and appoint judges who interpret the constitution in a way that’s friendly to progressive policy aims.

Which was the sentence after the one he chose to quote.

That, boys and girls, is how you get to be a fill-in blogger at the Atlantic. i guess it explains McMegan a bit more.

Politico Commenter of the day

POLITICO Forums:Politics: Top 10 breakout stars of 2010 - "kamala harris will never get anywhere. When people outside of her gay neighborhood in san francisco get a look at this insane, white-hating communist witch, they will recoil. She would NEVER have been elected AG, except in a year when every Mexican, homo and communist in California lined up and voted straight democrat. Even the prisoners in jail were rooting for her and brownie.

California has finally fallen 100% into the hands of the far-gone left. The white middle class is fleeing as fast as they can sell their underwater houses and head to Texas or some other red state. The white working class left years ago.

They say, 'as California goes, so goes the nation?'

Better hope not."

Georgia GOPer Pushes Bill For Taxes To Be Paid In Gold And Silver | TPMDC

Georgia GOPer Pushes Bill For Taxes To Be Paid In Gold And Silver | TPMDC: "Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R) has sponsored legislation to force the state to conduct all monetary transactions with U.S. gold or silver coins."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Zandar Said

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Last Call: "And as before, this article do I see 'raising taxes in order to close budget gaps' as an option.  We're being told that bankruptcy and contract abrogation of state employees is the 'only option' that must be considered before 'turning on the printing press"

You Can’t Bluff Someone Who’s Not Paying Attention

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » You Can’t Bluff Someone Who’s Not Paying Attention:
"These days, though, we’re such a stupid nation and one segment of our population is so thoroughly into the Jeebus was a Conservative kool-aid that Christine O’Donnell has moved from mark to become God’s Accidental Grifter.
i am constantly amazed that people don't understand that the average IQ in this country seems to be dropping news: Tripped up: NFL docks Jets $100,000 for sideline incident news: Tripped up: NFL docks Jets $100,000 for sideline incident: "The team was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for violating league rules when assistant coach Sal Alosi ordered players to form a sideline wall, then tripped Miami's Nolan Carroll during a punt return earlier this month."

What Do Women Want? - Dennis Prager - National Review Online

What Do Women Want? - Dennis Prager - National Review Online:
"Women get what they want most: to be married to and loved by a man they admire. Men then attain what they want most: to be admired by the woman they love. And society gets the thing it most needs: admirable men."
I really don't know where to begin with this.

Thinking about changing the blog title

To "Constantly Amazed at the stupidity of people"

fiction - A Sketch from a Scene From A Life

When he looked up from his plate of eggs he stared straight at the biggest blue eyes that he had ever seen. Where had they come from? why were they still dripping blood?

on Bigotry

Is there something specific to the american psyche that makes the kind of casual bigotry that we see here so easy? I come originally from canada and while it is no paradise I do not see the kind of everyday sexism, racism and homophobia that i see here. There are bigots but everyone KNOWS they are bigots, including the bigots. It isn't just a "well you are in the South" thing either. i saw much the same in the three years that i spend in New England. I just don't get it. Someone explain please?

Mecklenburg, NC County Commissoner: “Homosexuals Are Sexual Predators” « Alan Colmes' Liberaland

Mecklenburg, NC County Commissoner: “Homosexuals Are Sexual Predators” « Alan Colmes' Liberaland: "Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Commissioner Bill James is upset with Congressman Richard Burr (R-NC), for voting for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. (h/t Think Progress)  In an email exchange, James expresses discontent with County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts’ call for a letter thanking the North Carolina congressional delegation for voting for repeal."

Video - Quadrotors!

Very cool

Shock Therapy for Jobs - CNBC

Shock Therapy for Jobs - CNBC:
"Now, after the severe financial panic of two years ago, it seems clear that too many tax and regulatory obstacles are blocking satisfactory job creation. And it also seems clear that a number of fresh new incentives will be necessary to spur the kind of prosperity that Americans desire. Following the deep recession, we need shock-therapy, pro-growth, tax-cut and deregulatory incentives.
Where is Naomi Klein when i need her?

Whirlwind activist Rizg called to work for others - Metro -

Whirlwind activist Rizg called to work for others - Metro - "If Stephen Lewis knows you by name, chances are you’re well-connected in the world of doing good works.

Verena Rizg is certainly that.

The 23-year-old is a tireless social activist and volunteer, spoken-word artist, singer, songwriter and musician.

She’s done volunteering stints at an orphanage in Mexico and another in Haiti, as well as teaching at a school for girls in Egypt.

And she did much of it while enrolled at Dalhousie’s School of Nursing, which she graduated from with top honours last spring."

Why, those were a tribute from an admirer of mine. | TBogg

Why, those were a tribute from an admirer of mine. | TBogg: "Sure she’s making a living off of the yokels much like Sarah Palin does, but she lacks the white trash feral cynicism of a Palin. O’Donnell’s no Grifter Grizzly, she’s more Blanche Dubois; spiritually pure,  lost in a fantasy and depending on the kindness of strangers."

Obama Extends Hawaiian Vacation Another Day

Obama Extends Hawaiian Vacation Another Day
: "HONOLULU — President Barack Obama is extending his Hawaiian vacation by another day."
Cue the lazy black man howling from the wingnuttery

Tucker Carlson is still a douchebag

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "On the other hand, Michael Vick? Who wants to defend the guy? But he's not Dick Cheney. He's not George W. Bush. Tucker Carlson thinks he should have been executed. Ben Roethlisberger raped someone. Should he be executed? I'm tired of this stupidity. Call me when people start calling for the execution of the people who brought us the war in Iraq."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Death Penalty On the Wane - Reason Magazine

The Death Penalty On the Wane - Reason Magazine: "The typical Texas death case carries a price tag of $2.3 million. A 2005 study pointed out that 'New Jersey taxpayers over the last 23 years have paid more than a quarter billion dollars on a capital punishment system that has executed no one.'"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Porn site: publicizing takedown notices is copyright infringement

Porn site: publicizing takedown notices is copyright infringement: "Part of the case, originally filed in 2005, is back before the San Francisco-based appeals court. Among other things, Perfect 10 alleges Google’s forwarding of Perfect 10’s takedown notices to the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse website constitutes copyright infringement."

Blizzard Disproves Global Warming - Moron Alert

‘Unexpectedly’! Global Warming Continues to Bury East Coast in Blizzard : The Other McCain: "
Global warming is a hoax, a dishonest racket. a crooked scam whose chief purpose is to provide taxpayer-funded employment for “environmental science” majors. In a truly just society, the perpetrators of this hoax would be treated like Bernie Madoff.
Robert Stacy McCain is a fuckwit of such huge proportions that i can barely bring myself to link to him but this was so stupid that I just couldn't help myself.