Tuesday, 07/29/2014

Blowing Them All Away

I need some of her magic.


July 29, 10:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Three lovely notes he whistled, too soft to be heard..."

The Unknown Bird:

                                   I never knew a voice,
Man, beast, or bird, better than this. I told
The naturalists; but neither had they heard
Anything like the notes that did so haunt me,
I had them clear by heart and have them still.
Four years, or five, have made no difference. Then
As now that La-la-la! was bodiless sweet:
Sad more than joyful it was, if I must say
That it was one or other, but if sad
'Twas sad only with joy too, too far off
For me to taste it. But I cannot tell
If truly never anything but fair
The days were when he sang, as now they seem.
This surely I know, that I who listened then,
Happy sometimes, sometimes suffering
A heavy body and a heavy heart,
Now straightway, if I think of it, become
Light as that bird wandering beyond my shore.

Edward Thomas.


July 29, 9:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Self-interest Improperly Understood

In honor of Alexis de Tocqueville's birthday, I return to something he described near the end of Democracy in America:

I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country.

Worshippers of Galt, who earnestly believe they never benefited from society and think the commonwealth enslaves them, are counterexamples of de Tocqueville, the antithesis of enlightened, or at least pragmatic, individualism exemplified by the likes of Henry Ford or even Adam Smith.  Self-interest isn't the same as selfishness, and sadly we've got more than enough of the latter floating around these days.  Wonder if more people tried to at least imagine--if not actually test drive--other people's lives, how much better our politics and policies would be...


July 29, 9:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Justice Tony Cassandra


A federal appeals court based in Virginia cited the words of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia when it struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage on Monday. In its ruling, the court embraced the language of a dissent Scalia authored in the Supreme Court case that struck down state sodomy laws.

I've wondered before if Scalia hates Lawrence a lot these days...


July 29, 7:55 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Not Origination

Haha, PLF loses.  DC Circuit rules:

The purposive approach embodied in Supreme Court precedent necessarily leads to the conclusion that Section 5000A of the Affordable Care Act is not a “Bill[] for raising Revenue” under the Origination Clause. The Supreme Court’s repeated focus on the statutory provision’s “object,” and “primary purpose,” makes clear, contrary to Sissel’s position, that the purpose of a bill is critical to the Origination Clause inquiry. And after the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB, it is beyond dispute that the paramount aim of the Affordable Care Act is “to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care,” not to raise revenue by means of the shared responsibility payment.

Coulda told you that.


July 29, 7:03 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, 07/28/2014

So It Begins

Give them a volley.


July 28, 10:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

There's More To The Constitution Than The Tenth

Senate candidates should know more about how federalism actually works:

"You know we have talked about this at the state legislature before, nullification. But, bottom line is, as U.S. Senator, why should we pass laws that the states are considering nullifying? Bottom line: our legislators at the federal level should not be passing those laws," Ernst said. "We're right…we've gone 200-plus years of federal legislators going against the Tenth Amendment's states' rights. We are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. So, bottom line, no we should not be passing laws as federal legislators —as senators or congressmen— that the states would even consider nullifying. Bottom line."

Of course, as the Daily Beast pointed out, states can't nullify federal laws.

Yeah, nullification is a dead letter, and if we've gone 200-plus years of something, generally the presumption leans toward constitutionality.  Fucking idiot.


July 28, 8:33 PM in And Fuck..., Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday Driving On Mars

Apparently its tires haven't gotten slashed:

"Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. "This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance."

A drive of 157 feet (48 meters) on July 27 put Opportunity's total odometry at 25.01 miles (40.25 kilometers).This month's driving brought the rover southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover had driven more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) before arriving at Endeavour Crater in 2011, where it has examined outcrops on the crater’s rim containing clay and sulfate-bearing minerals. The sites are yielding evidence of ancient environments with less acidic water than those examined at Opportunity’s landing site.

If the rover can continue to operate the distance of a marathon -- 26.2 miles (about 42.2 kilometers) -- it will approach the next major investigation site mission scientists have dubbed "Marathon Valley." Observations from spacecraft orbiting Mars suggest several clay minerals are exposed close together at this valley site, surrounded by steep slopes where the relationships among different layers may be evident.

The Russian Lunokhod 2 rover, a successor to the first Lunokhod mission in 1970, landed on Earth's moon on Jan. 15, 1973, where it drove about 24.2 miles (39 kilometers) in less than five months, according to calculations recently made using images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) cameras that reveal Lunokhod 2's tracks.

I was gonna say Opportunity isn't even old enough to drive, but it's 18 Martian years old, so it's all cool.


July 28, 7:38 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Everyone Sang

Siegfried Sassoon:

    Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
    And I was filled with such delight
    As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
    Winging wildly across the white
    Orchards and dark-green fields; on - on - on - and out of sight.

    Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
    And beauty came like the setting sun:
    My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
    Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
    Was a bid; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Shit got real 100 years ago...


July 28, 7:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Keys To The Gulag

Here, take these before we run away.


July 28, 8:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 07/27/2014

George Will Finds A Nutbrown Immigrant Child

A rare moment of agreement with him:

When iconic conservative columnist George Will gave his thoughts on the influx of Central American children streaming into the U.S., he left “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace struggling for words to respond.

“We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will said on the Sunday morning show. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 [children] per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old ‘criminals’ with their teddy bears is preposterous.”

Wallace stammered as he interjected that he predicted viewers would write in and criticize Will’s position.

“We can handle this problem,” Will said. “We’ve handled what Emma Lazarus famously called ‘the wretched refuse of your teeming shores’ a long time ago and [it was] a lot more people than this.”

Just so long as none of those motherfuckers grow up to be a DH.


July 27, 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet

Merrie Melodies - A Wild Hare (1940) by Cartoonzof2006


July 27, 2:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Outright Bans Shot Down

Really can't argue with Judge Scullin's ruling yesterday:

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.

File under: no duh.


July 27, 11:58 AM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Luddites Shouldn't Whine Online

"Data! Data! Data!" he cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay."

-The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Did you actually ever read the stories?

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes uses a smartphone just as you would expect a genius detective to, with the entire Internet at his disposal to assist in the deductive process. It’s clever, but it always seemed like cheating. Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock didn’t need no stinkin’ smartphone! A few puffs on his pipe was all that was necessary!

Actually, Holmes did use the Victorian equivalent of a smart phone: telegrams.  Not to mention newspapers, railroad time tables, etc.  Why?  Because he needed all available information to cogitate whilst puffing his pipe.

Fucking idiot.


July 27, 11:11 AM in And Fuck... | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Birthday, State Department!

On this date in 1789, the very first Executive department under our brand new Constitution was established, denominated (in the parlance of the times) as the Department of Foreign Affairs.  But a month later the House, followed by the Senate several days after that, passed another bit of legislation dealing with how exactly to transmit and publish new laws.  Not sure if there was any controversy surrounding the bill, but it was apparently referred to an ad hoc committee for a few days in the Senate, then Washington signed.

Then in September, the Department of State got its current name.  So I'm sitting here thinking, why the hell did they need to change the name?  I guess it makes sense since what was originally supposed to deal with foreign relations had some new internal responsibilities (later assigned elsewhere) added to its workload, the first name wouldn't really be fitting.  

The department still handles domestic things like certifying amendments to the Constitution and such, so it isn't just dealing with issues between sovereign states but within the United States.  Thus, it's a good name.

I just find it interesting how much the First Congress had to feel its way through all the bootstrapping.  They realized there was more stuff to be done, so quickly made adjustments to an existing department to take on the tasks.  All while organizing other Executive departments, debating the Bill of Rights, figuring out relations with Native Americans, arguing about compensation for elected officials, and tackling mundane things like establishing the post office and oversight of lighthouses.  It was a brave new world...


July 27, 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Dosadi Than Dosadi

Somehow, reading about how Hamas is winning and that destroying them might be bad (keeping in mind the irony of Israel's role as their creator) makes me think of The Dosadi Experiment.


July 27, 9:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, 07/26/2014

Kick Out The J Missions

Finally, a rover's going to the moon!  And a driver.


PS--I hate it when embeds are disabled.

July 26, 10:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Winter Is Here Again, Oh, Lord

It appears that Curiosity's all-seasons are getting dinged up a bit.  Martian municipal government really ought to raise property taxes to fix the roads.


July 26, 10:10 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Collision Avoidance

Sometimes it's crowded in space:

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

The comet’s nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers), shedding material hurtling at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, relative to Mars and Mars-orbiting spacecraft. At that velocity, even the smallest particle -- estimated to be about one-fiftieth of an inch (half a millimeter) across -- could cause significant damage to a spacecraft.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) made one orbit-adjustment maneuver on July 2 as part of the process of repositioning the spacecraft for the Oct. 19 event. An additional maneuver is planned for Aug. 27. The team operating NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter is planning a similar maneuver on Aug. 5 to put that spacecraft on track to be in the right place at the right time, as well.

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is on its way to the Red Planet and will enter orbit on Sept. 21. The MAVEN team is planning to conduct a precautionary maneuver on Oct. 9, prior to the start of the mission's main science phase in early November.

In the days before and after the comet's flyby, NASA will study the comet by taking advantage of how close it comes to Mars. Researchers plan to use several instruments on the Mars orbiters to study the nucleus, the coma surrounding the nucleus, and the tail of Siding Spring, as well as the possible effects on the Martian atmosphere. This particular comet has never before entered the inner solar system, so it will provide a fresh source of clues to our solar system's earliest days.

MAVEN will study gases coming off the comet's nucleus into its coma as it is warmed by the sun. MAVEN also will look for effects the comet flyby may have on the planet’s upper atmosphere and observe the comet as it travels through the solar wind.

Odyssey will study thermal and spectral properties of the comet's coma and tail. MRO will monitor Mars’ atmosphere for possible temperature increases and cloud formation, as well as changes in electron density at high altitudes. The MRO team also plans to study gases in the comet’s coma. Along with other MRO observations, the team anticipates this event will yield detailed views of the comet’s nucleus and potentially reveal its rotation rate and surface features.

Hope they remembered which system of measurement to use this time...


July 26, 9:37 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

You Know It's There, Yeah Here There Everywhere

We don't torture.  We don't like war.  We're not monsters.  Just ask Edison.


July 26, 9:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

No Colors Any More

I want them to turn black...


July 26, 8:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wide Awake In Philosophical Tranquility

To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defence, or by partial orders of towns, counties, or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government.

 - John Adams in A Defence of the Constitutions (1787)

Oh, Larry, you come so close to the truth

Prominent gun lobbyist Larry Pratt is doubling down on his insistence that members of Congress should have a “healthy fear” of being shot, lecturing a congresswoman who felt threatened by one of his group’s members that she just doesn’t understand the Constitution.

Right Wing Watch first reported Pratt’s comments in a March interview with radio host Bill Cunningham. Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Cunningham that a member of his group had spoken to a congresswoman who told him, “you want to shoot me, don’t you.”

“Well, that’s probably a healthy fear for them to have,” Pratt said. “You know, I’m kind of glad that’s in the back of their minds. Hopefully they’ll behave.”
[M]y speech was designed to educate citizens, and politicians, that it is the fact that Americans are armed that allows them to resist efforts to be dominated, intimidated, or controlled by politicians.

You should do your job in constant trepidation that:

* Should your constituents disapprove of your job performance, you will be publicly criticized from the soap box;

* Should you enact unconstitutional legislation in violation of your oath of office, you will be voted out via the ballot box;

* Should criminal charges be brought against Americans for crimes which are not authorized by the U.S. Constitution, these prosecutions will be nullified in the jury box; and

* Should you attempt to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.

Yeah, he always goes for the last remedy first, which is funny given how unsuccessful it's been in our history.  But he's a mere hair's breadth away from the real Madisonian perspective.  And he forgets what the real defense against tyranny is, as noted by another Virginian, President George Washington:

The well informed members of the community, actuated by the highest motives of self-love, would form the real defence of the country.  Rebellions would be prevented or suppressed with ease; invasions of such a government would only be undertaken by mad men; and the virtues and knowledge of the people would effectually oppose the introduction of tyranny.

Republican (civic) virtue is the greatest bulwark against despots.  Once you get to using arms, as even Pratt observes in his list, you've pretty much already lost (and/or left yourself open to every crackpot's interpretation of tyranny).

Dude should be speaking out against standing armies more than speaking of the cartridge box.  Dude should be agitating for an electoral revolution like the one Jefferson engineered.

Otherwise people might get the wrong idea...


July 26, 7:30 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Not So Fast

Remember that group of haters telling us they were going to fast against marriage equality?  Yeah, well:

[The Virginia-based Family Foundation] has since told members that they don’t actually have to give up food at all to take part in the ‘fast’.

They wrote: “We are asking the entire Body of Christ to join us for this feast – giving up physical food isn’t necessary – but feeding on the spiritual food provided is vital.”

As people don’t actually have to give up food to take part, the group opposed to re-defining the definition of marriage seem to be re-defining the meaning of a fast.

Eh, can't blame them, really.  I understand what it's like to go without food for a losing cause.


July 26, 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Precious Foundings

On this date way back in '75, the Continental Congress established the Post Office, which carried through the Articles to the very Constitution that still operates more or less today.  

Anyway, as I have often mused about such milestones on our historical continuum, as well as the conflation of said markers, I read an excerpt from The Lovers' Quarrel: The Two Foundings and American Political Development with a high degree of interest:

If the Federalists and their disciples have specialized in creative syntheses and resyntheses, and layering new meanings on old ones, the Anti-Federalists and their descendants have always responded with historical revisionism. Since the First Founding came first, their followers never felt obligated to engage in any reconciliation with the innovators of their age. As Jefferson took it as a badge of honor that he would “never turn an inch out of my way to reconcile them [the Federalists’ leaders],” today’s Anti-Federalists are similarly unflinching in their commitment to (what they believe to be and indeed fittingly call) “first principles.” If Grover Norquist is uncompromising and inflexible, he is no more so than another earlier neo-Anti-Federalist, John C. Calhoun, who was so rigid he was called the “cast iron man.” Meckler and Martin were only doing what Madison, Jefferson, and Calhoun did, when they first insinuated Anti-Federalist meanings out of Federalist words, in the debate about the First Bank in 1791, the Revolution of 1800, and the Nullification crisis, respectively. Theirs was the same strategy Herman Cain deployed, if less wittingly, when the latter alleged, in a speech announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in May 2011, “For the benefit for those that are not going to read it because they don’t want us to go by the Constitution, there’s a little section in there that talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That section is actually in the Declaration of Independence. Here was another disciple of the First Founding who could not think of the Second Founding as legitimate on its own terms, but who believed that it needed to piggyback on the legitimacy of the First. Consider, also, the web page articulating the “Core Principles” of the John Birch Society, where the Declaration of Independence is twice cited and the Constitution not at all. Consider, finally, Governor Mike Huckabee’s anti-federalization of Federalism at the Republican National Convention in 2012:

So fearful were they [the Second Founders] that government would grow beyond their intention that even after crafting our magnificent Constitution, they said, “We can do even better.” They added amendments that we call the Bill of Rights that limit what the government can do and guarantee what “We the people” have the unimpeded right to do—whether to speak, assemble, worship, pray, publish, or even refuse intrusions into our homes.

Only an Anti-Federalist, original or modern, would see the Bill of Rights, which Publius had argued vigorously against, as an improvement on the Constitution. The frequency and predictability of the foregoing faux pas tell a deeper story, especially now that we have seen the pattern of revisionism that (the post-ratification) Madison, Jefferson, Calhoun, Van Buren, and others in the Anti-Federalist tradition had pioneered. The modern Tea Party and the conservatives who share the movement’s views are Anti-Federalists in their newest guise; their conflation of principles from the Declaration with words from the Constitution is merely the most recent attempt to do a makeover on the 1787 revolution in favor of government, which, as Gordon Wood rightly noted, had done no less than “shattered the classical Whig view of 1776”—the view espoused by the Anti-Federalists.

Me likey.  And I'll just point out that my birthday is coming up...


July 26, 10:52 AM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Wind

Antonio Machado (translated by Don Paterson):

The wind pulled up and spoke co me one day.
The jasmine on his breath tool: mine away.

"This perfume can be yours too. if you want:
just let me carry off your roses’ scent.”

"My roses? But I have none left,” I said.
“The flowers in my garden are all dead.”

He sighed. "Give me the withered petals, then.
The leaves that rattle in the empty fountain.”

With that, he left me. And I fell to weeping
for the garden that they gave into my keeping.

The literal and figurative aspects strike a chord with me today.


July 26, 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, 07/25/2014

The Great G Minor Symphony

No little symphonies here.


July 25, 11:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Star-crossed Haters

Well now:

Does love conquer all? That's the question being asked by a group of 20-somethings in the West Bank amid renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas. Using the popular dating apps Tinder and Grindr, they are examining how the conflict is playing out on these online dating services.

The results, which reflect the conflict's deep divisions, and also the mundane reality of dating applications, are documented on the blog Palestinder. Because Israelis use Tinder and Grinder a lot more than Palestinians, the blog provides an unvarnished look at unsavory Israeli opinions of Palestinians more than a view across the divide. Then again, one probably shouldn't expect more from an experiment of this kind.

Spoiler: they all die.


July 25, 9:51 PM in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tipping Points

Well, shit:

At the end of the last Ice Age 18,000 years ago, the Northern Hemisphere transitioned rapidly into a new climate state. Glaciers retreated and the world warmed, and by 11,500 years ago, the planet had entered the constant summer of today's Holocene Epoch.

Right before this shift, there may have been a warning sign that the planet was hitting a tipping point into a warmer state, finds a new study published yesterday in the journal Science.

The signal was this: Climate and temperature conditions in the northern Pacific Ocean, near Alaska, closely matched temperatures in Greenland such that as the northern Pacific warmed, so did Greenland.

This was highly unusual; usually, the climates of the regions are out of sync.

The findings are relevant to scientists concerned about tipping points resulting from future climate change. As levels of carbon dioxide rise in our atmosphere, the planet may hit a threshold beyond which today's world ceases to exist. The planet may enter a new climate state.

Welcome to the New Normal?  Sorry, kids, best of luck...


July 25, 9:02 PM in Biofuels, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

History's Rime

Ancient Mariner, from Part the Second:

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


July 25, 8:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Had It Been Another Day

I might have looked the other way...


July 25, 7:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Viking saw a face, I can't forget the time or place:

Oh, turns out it isn't a face.


July 25, 6:42 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Come Ride With Me

Through the veins of history...


July 25, 6:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Color Of Rafael Cruz's World

You tell 'em, Pops!

[Ted Cruz's dad] told “Faith & Liberty” host Dave Garrison on Tuesday that President Obama and Fidel Castro are two peas in a pod, claiming that both leaders “operate by the same rulebook” in their supposed attempts to “embrace socialism,” “eliminate the concept of God” and “make the people serfs of the government.

“As a matter of fact, I think if the left had their way, they would do away with the whole Bill of Rights,” he said.

I'm a pretty big fan of the BoR, even the 2nd and 10th amendments.  I'd like to make sure it's actually meaningful in today's political context and protects the People from corporations and the undue influence of wealth on our electoral processes, which is why I'd like a 28th amendment that shores up individual liberty.  Go figure.


July 25, 4:54 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

You Turned Around And Look Behind

Their smiling eyes won't help you down.


July 25, 10:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Recall The Carousel


Recall the carousel. Its round and round.
Its pink lights blinking off and on.
The children’s faces painted garish colors against
an institutional wall. And the genetics. The
We won’t be here too long  ...    Do not step off  ...
The carousel? Do you recall? As if
we were our own young parents suffering again
after so many hundreds of hours of bliss.
And even the startling fact that
what had always been feared might come to pass:
A familiar sweater in a garbage can.
A surgeon bent over our baby, wearing a mask.
But surely you recall
how happily and for how long
we watched our pretty hostages go round.
They waved at us too many times to count.
Their dancing foals. Their lacquered mares. Even
a blue-eyed hunting hound
was still allowed back then.

Laura Kasischke.


July 25, 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 07/24/2014

"This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation."

Sure, I'll buy that.  Now, did Tricky Dick have this call recorded?


July 24, 10:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Constitutional Evolution

BooMan Johnson is right:

[I]t doesn't matter that the Founders didn't endorse the abolition of slavery and the death sentence or gay marriage or abortion rights or female suffrage. They knew that standards would change and they provided us with a way to deal with that change. In some cases, we could amend the Constitution, in others we could pass new laws, and in still others judges would make rulings consistent with changing standards about privacy and human sexuality and crime and punishment.

We aren't supposed to live in amber, stunted with the same moral sensibilities as 18th-Century men.

If we're stuck in amber, it means we've gone extinct.


July 24, 8:58 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

PETA Could Give A Shit About Humans


PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, announced in a blog post on Thursday that it will offer financial assistance to 10 families who can’t afford their water bills — if the families go vegan, that is.

“[W]ith the help of a generous PETA member, we have come up with one small way to assist Detroit residents and save animals, too,” PETA writes in its post. “Thanks to this donor, PETA will be able to pay off the water bills for 10 families who commit to going vegan for one month. We’ll also help them get started by giving each family a basket of healthy vegan foods and recipes.”

The group asks people who are interested to take photos of their overdue bills and send them in along with a pledge to go vegan. It gives no indication of what it would do should someone accept the funding and then immediately start eating meat again.

Go fuck yourselves, you grandstanding, unethical assholes.

*munches on pork tenderloin with extra spite*


July 24, 8:14 PM in And Fuck... | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

America Doesn't Torture

It's just enhanced justice, amirite?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Thursday called Wednesday's botched execution in Arizona "torture."

"I believe in the death penalty for certain crimes. But that is not an acceptable way of carrying it out. And people who were responsible should be held responsible," he told Politico. "The lethal injection needs to be an indeed lethal injection and not the bollocks-upped situation that just prevailed. That’s torture."

What a fucking wuss.


July 24, 7:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

You Aren't Recording This, Are You?

Bye bye, Dick:

A grand jury has returned indictments against seven Nixon aides, including former Attorney General John Mitchell, as part of the Watergate investigation. Leon Jaworski, a special prosecutor appointed by President Nixon, and the seven defendants wanted access to audio tapes of conversations recorded by President Nixon in the White House.

Nixon claimed the concept of executive privilege gave him the power to withhold sensitive information, such as the tapes, from other government branches to maintain confidential communications within the executive branch and to secure the national interest.

On July 24, 1974, a unanimous Court (with Justice Rehnquist not taking part due to a prior role in the Nixon administration) ruled against the President. Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the President didn’t have an absolute, unqualified privilege to withhold information.
As the Supreme Court drama was unfolding, the House Judiciary committee was working on three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. The evidence on the tapes was critical to the impending House impeachment proceedings against Nixon.

The Court ordered the tapes released as soon as possible after a judge had listened to the tapes to decide they were relevant to the trial of the former Nixon aides. About two weeks after the Supreme Court’s decision, President Nixon resigned from office.

Which brings to mind a favorite Bloom County strip:

My memory has not been shredded...


July 24, 2:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday Walkblogging

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a busy girl, no time to talk.

Taking a break, disturbed only by Mexico's romping through the underbrush.

Go, Team!


July 24, 1:00 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Shepherd's Song

After yesterday's storms, this seemed apt.


July 24, 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Separated At Birth?

Been trying to figure out where I've seen Mark Gatiss, the actor who plays Mycroft Holmes, before.  Now I know.  Here he is in Sherlock:

And here he is playing Supreme Court Justice Alito:

Gatiss has quite the range!


July 24, 10:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Propaganda Can Only Cover Up So Much

Go figure:

For the first time, perhaps, Americans are witnessing the suffering of Palestinian people in the establishment press. Even while the framework of “Blame Hamas” dominates mainstream media coverage, the humanity of Palestinian people is cracking through the decades-long, well established façade of pro-Israeli propaganda.

And how can it not? When the actual experience of journalists contradicts the propaganda narrative, if they have a heart or a brain, they cannot help but see Zionist propaganda for what it is. This is possibly why Israel kept out foreign journalists during the 2008 Cast Lead operation.
Despite the serious intimidation faced by journalists...such pressure seems to be working less and less. While Magnay was called away from Gaza by CNN, a vigilant social media sphere combined with mass protests around the world has created a climate where if media institutions are to retain their credibility they have to at least appear to be balanced.

This is the opening that Palestinian rights activists and supporters need to harness in order to reframe the debate. While they lack lobby groups, media watchdog outfits, paid trolls, disinformation experts and the vast financial resources of the Israeli side, they do have one thing going—the truth.

Let's hope that eventually puts pressure on Israel.  I'm not overly optimistic.


July 24, 9:22 AM in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


July 2012.

July 2013.

July 2014.


July 24, 8:05 AM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, 07/23/2014

Psalm 8:3

"This has been far more than three men on a mission to the Moon; more, still, than the efforts of a government and industry team; more, even, than the efforts of one nation..."


July 23, 10:45 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Apparently Some People Aren't Aware Of Bicameralism

It seems that Ted Cruz thinks he's a member of the House and not the Senate.


July 23, 10:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Obama's So Alien

The Prez met with Mike and Buzz and Carol Armstrong yesterday, but this older vignette stuck out for me:

After his last meeting with the crew — marking the 40th anniversary, in 2009, when Armstrong was still alive — Obama said he remembered following the Apollo missions, sitting on his grandfather's shoulders to watch the capsules coming into port in Hawaii.

How quintessentially American to watch our conquering star voyagers' spacecrafts coming into port!  But not even that counts for somebody like Rep Steve King (R-IA).


July 23, 7:33 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Maladjusted In Defense Of Liberty

The whole "you can't be intolerant of intolerance" canard reminded me of Dr King:

I am sure that we will recognize that there are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted.

There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will.

We must never adjust ourselves to racial discrimination and racial segregation. We must never adjust ourselves to religious bigotry.

We must never adjust ourselves to economic conditions that take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. We must never adjust ourselves to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence.

Thus, it may well be that our world is in dire need of a new organization, The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment.
Men and women should be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos, who in the midst of the injustices of his day, could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream'; or as maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln, who in the midst of his vacillations finally came to see that this nation could not survive half slave and half free...

And through such creative maladjustment, we may be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man's inhumanity to man, into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.

We must never adjust ourselves to LGBT discrimination and marriage inequality.  We must never adjust ourselves to physical violence against women who exercise their rights to reproducitve self-determination and the doctors and others who help them do so.  We must never adjust ourselves to disenfranchisement and denial of services to the poor.

It's really just another way of being intolerant of intolerance, all in defense of liberty, which is no vice...


July 23, 6:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tolerate The Bigots!

Yeah, whatever:

Rubio acknowledged the United States has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians. But he said he could not support such unions despite a quick-moving shift in public opinion in support of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

"There is a growing intolerance on this issue," Rubio said of those who back same-sex marriages. He then urged his opponents to show civility: "Tolerance is also a two-way street."

It ain't a two-way street.  You're denying people civil rights, we're fighting you, just like abolitionists fought slavers who were so very upset by their rudeness they started a fucking civil war.  We're under no obligation to tolerate evil.


July 23, 6:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)