Sunday, February 24, 2008

Memory Lane

I am reminded that when I was in college, the euphemism for vomit used to be "ralph" -- a startlingly appropriate term these days.

I cannot imagine what possesses Ralph Nader. He has no qualifications at all for being President. Perhaps he loves the lifestyle -- panhandling, television appearances, blowing hot air, eating rubber chicken and local delicacies, and flying to and fro in the earth.

At least Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and their ilk now have a candidate. They hate McCain rabidly ... though since they do everything rabidly, perhaps the intensity is on the usual note. For people who are racist and/or sexist and who hate McCain, there is now a white male who is utterly useless just wating for donations and votes.

A Day Late

My very first blog post was DATE: 02/23/2004 08:06:40 PM.



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Temper Tantrum

One of the major ways that George Bush gets his way is by throwing tantrums -- as in "If you won't give telecoms immunity, I won't sign the FISA bill." And then he tries to shift the blame for no FISA bill onto the people who would not knuckle to his tantrum. Waaaaah, George! Waaaaah!!!

Face it. Telecoms have always known that they should not tap lines without a warrant. I used to work for one. They would not even tap your own line at your request to get rid of threatening and nuisance callers without a judge's ok in the days before Caller ID. They knew that spying was illegal. What? Did George tell them he would get a retroactive FISA warrant and then fail to do so? If that is the case, the telecoms have a valid defense. If it was not the case, they did wrong and they know it. Moreover, if that is the case, they really should be refusing to cooperate with a government that lies.

The current FISA legislation was offered without Mr. Tantrum getting his demands met. Good. He can sign it or not -- his choice. But his choice is no one's "fault" but his.

Friday, February 22, 2008

There's Only One Leetle Problem

The President of Turkey has declared that he is ok with allowing Moslem women to wear head scarves at the University.

I think that Iraq has been an admirable field test of "allowed to wear scarves." Saddam Hussein had pretty much westernized Iraq and had forbidden the signs of sectarian behavior, including scarves. When the US broke the Iraqi system, scarves came back -- and so did groups of male thugs who harassed and attacked women who did not wear them. The scarf is now required because when religious insanity is allowed out in public, threats soon make a demonstration of piety mandatory -- especially for women. Whenever men are permitted to form intimidation packs, this will happen.

And Moslem men, in particular, rove in packs -- especially the hyper-pious ones.

Turkey is heading for trouble.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thanks to Making Light

and to Teresa's Particles, I've been introduced to a new blog, -- and the particular pointer went to an article on maintaining one's standard of living in retirement.

One of my friends who retired this past year said he just got a call from his old company, and they want him to come back to work again. Now I will note that he's pretty near a genius, and they are only showing good sense. I'll also note that he started living off his 401(k) and found that he really should have saved more.

The article noted above especially details the amount of money one needs for medical care in retirement, and spots it at 250K to 550K. I don't think that many people have that kind of money set aside for their entire retirement, no less just for medical care. I know that out of pocket medical policies are insanely expensive. Mine has been about 7K a year, and it is a relatively inexpensive policy that I got to by paying 18 months of COBRA and then immediately starting the policy as a guaranteed continuation. There was no inexpensive alternative.

People joining AARP and anticipating reasonably priced health insurance will get a real shock. AARP does not have a regular full medical policy available in most states, but only a couple of wimpy supplemental policies that will pay maybe 200.00 out of a room cost of 5K or more per night. A band-aid on an evisceration, in other words.

Watch your candidates, folks ... see if they speak of the problems that are looming. Most people are headed for financial disaster. Maxed credit cards. Maxed credit. No bankruptcy. No insurance. No money.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"Twister Victims to Receive Trailers" -- I am speechless.

No person in their right mind would live in a trailer in Tornado Alley. Trailers are tornado magnets. There is never a set of tornadoes that doesn't hit and demolish a trailer court. I once theorized that if we wanted to change the climate, we should move all trailers to Arizona, and then *they* would get the tornadoes.

Thanks FEMA. Thanks a lot. Formaldehyde interiors and tornado magnet exteriors. What else could someone with a disaster want?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Enumerated Rights Redux

When you put the words “enumerated rights” into Google, the following are the first three entries:

Incorporation (Bill of Rights) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[9] Black felt that the Fourteenth Amendment required the States to respect all of the enumerated rights set forth in the first eight amendments, ... - 74k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Restoring the Lost Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It's tempting to do something similar and simply check the law against the list of enumerated rights. But the Ninth Amendment says (in its entirety) "The ... - 41k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
More results from »

Eccentricity: Enumerated Rights - 2 visits - Feb 1
The Bill of Rights belongs to that group of Constitutional items known as "enumerated rights" -- those written out explicitly so that no one could claim ... - 61k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Frightening, isn't it? When you search for this basic tenet of the Constitution, you get two Wikipedia articles and then a blog post I made a year ago because I was furious about the way our government was (and is) behaving. We had an Attorney General who did not know that there was a right to habeas corpus written right there in the Constitution – much to the shame of those who appointed Gonzales, and who confirmed such an ignoramus to that office.

US courts have pretended for years that Jose Padilla has no rights. This article explains what was wrong and illegal about the treatment Padilla was subjected to.

If we are counting high crimes and misdemeanors, the abrogation of habeas corpus is high on the list, but the complete disregard for enumerated rights, from "free speech zones" in violation of the First Amendment through all the others except number three make a body of crimes that break the oath of office taken by members of the administration. A mere court oath breach was enough to set the dogs on William Clinton. Where are those who hold oaths so dear now?

But let us return to Google results for today. Why is a very small blog's brief discussion of enumerated rights third in a Google search on this important topic? Where are the mainstream news articles or columns about the Constitution and its application to the way the US government functions? Where is the American Bar Association? Where are the law school papers and articles?

And last, worst – where are the court cases that cite the enumerated rights as reason to overturn actions of the US government during the last seven years?

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Seeing as how the Feds have done almost nothing toward rebuilding New Orleans, when storms strike and level entire areas, we need to take individual action instead of thinking that the government will help.

Monkeyfister is seeking donations for the victims of the recent tornadoes. Click to visit his site and give ten via the Red Cross or the United Way. The Salvation Army is another charity that gives plenty to folks who lose everything in disasters. Just label your contribution to assure that it goes to the recent tornado victims.

Monday the temperature here was 75 degrees. Tuesday morning we had a thunder ice storm, and the temps dropped to the twenties. The collision of cold and hot brings tornadoes, and five states were hit. We were just lucky this time. April, May and June are the most common tornado months, but when there are clashing weather fronts, any place and any day is a possible day for tornadoes. The high death toll reflects how unexpected these were. Go help the people out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No Matter How Often they Repeat It

Waterboarding is still a war crime. People were tried for doing it after WWII. The defense fails. It is still a crime no matter how many times Mr. Bush repeats himself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Hole in the Polls

Polls are conducted by phone.

Surprisingly few people under 35 have landlines. The get their internet from cable, and their phones are wireless. This means that the youth vote has no voice in most polls.

The polling company that wants to be most accurate will soon have to send text messages to wireless subscribers. "Be Polled! Return this call to register your opinion. Press 1 for Democrat, 2 for Republican, 3 for No Opinion. If you press a 1 or a 2, you will need to enter a candidate number...."

I suspect that the polls would change percentages in interesting ways if methods were updated.