Tuesday, 04/28/2015


Overheard while playing in the woods: "This is just like a playground!"


April 28, 10:28 AM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's Like Nobody Ever Listens

 I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension."

 - Dr King

What's that you say?  There was yet another isolated instance of a black person being executed without due process?  People taking to the streets again, with some untidiness occurring?

Well then, we should judge them, remind them that it's their fault, and move on in the smug knowledge that the system works for us because we're so righteous.  And don't forget that we're totes committed to their passivity...er, non-violence!

[Y]eah, NV methods might be the "best" to achieve justice in Ferguson and elsewhere (both from a moral and practical perspective), but that's easy for me to say from my privileged position.  I was raised in the Quaker tradition more or less, spent decades learning about NV movements and how to apply NV tactics in a variety of circumstances, and of course benefit from the current power structures rather than being oppressed by them, so don't really know what it's like to suffer from repeated injustices.
[V]iolence is a natural, human response to negative exogenous developments so engaging in NV can be rather hard, which is why it's a tool of the strong and really has to be learned and practiced.  Yes, even Gandhi and King couldn't get everybody to adopt their philosophy, despite all the charisma they brought to bear--both also understood the reasons for violence by the oppressed, and sought to not only educate but foster the conditions where more people could join them.

So the folks in Ferg...uh, Bal'mer should stop with all the property damage and looting that impede social progress!

Property damage and murder have also been significant tools used by whites in denying black social progress.  Property damage and looting have also been significant tools in white political progress.  Property damage and looting have also been significat tools for communicating by the unheard.

It's easy for white dudes--and safe black scolds like Bill Cosby who yell at black kids to pull up their pants as though that's what is wrong with America and if only their pants weren't riding low they'd all have good jobs and political empowerment and never get shot by white dudes--to say rioting is bad and reinforces black stereotypes.  It's easy for white dudes to say that when white dudes who riot are never representative of their demographic and white dudes who kill always have a good reason because of those rioting black thugs and demons and animals.  It's easy for white dudes to say we should trust the system when it consistently and persistently disenfranchises and disrespects and disregards and dispossesses and disillusions black Americans.

It's easy for white dudes to not listen because they're always so busy lecturing.  So it becomes easy for other Americans to use the few tools they have available, when white dudes only want them to be impotent.

I mean, how stupid is it for people to destroy their own neighborhoods?

 It’s bred out of a larger sense of hopelessness, despair, and isolation from mainstream education and economic opportunities. Add to that an overall lack of respectful treatment in the criminal justice system, and not being offered the same economic, housing, and employment opportunities, and the ingredients are all there for a rebellion whenever an incident takes place. And when you’re angry, you’re going to take it out on the closet thing to you, in this case your neighborhood, probably most which you don‘t own anyway.

That's just silly.  This nation was founded on absolutely peaceful protest, and it really behooves today's thugs to sit in silent reflection upon that point.  Right, Martin?

[A] riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened...It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

Sorry, I didn't quite catch that?

 "If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin but he who causes the darkness."

The policy-makers of the white society have caused the darkness. It was they who created the frustrating slums. They perpetuate unemployment and poverty and oppression. Perhaps it is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes, but these are essentially derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.

When asking Negroes to abide by the law let us also declare that the white man does not abide by the law. Day in and day out he violates welfare laws to deprive the poor of their meager allotments. He flagrantly violates building codes and housing regulations. His police forces are the ultimate mockery of law. He violates laws on equal employment and education. The slums are the handiwork of a vicious system of the white society. Negroes live in them, but they do not make them any more than a prisoner makes a prison. And so let us say forthrightly that, if the total slum violations of law by the white man over the years are calculated and compared with the lawbreaking of a few days of riots, the hardened criminal would handily be the white man...

Nah, that can't be right.  The police are merely acting in the only possible manner in the face of thoughtless brutes.

Whew.  Now I feel better.  And I'm sure I'll never have to admonish people to resist properly ever again...


April 28, 8:57 AM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, 04/27/2015

Time Can Take A Flight

Sloooow dancin'...


April 27, 10:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

This Water Bowl We Call Earth

Us vs Them:

 They were communists,
              had the bomb, and were evil
Reagan told us
from the small grave
                 of a TV screen.
In the sixties, Nixon said the same
              thing, and the Panthers
              countered with "the Viet Cong never
called me nigger" With their picks
like unclenched fists,
              with their afros like the plume of an atom bomb,
they scared white and black folks alike. It is 2014,
and America is still scared of
                            the Russians and black people;
              now the American Dream is to be debt free,
which I am not, nor may ever be, but at least
              I'm no longer afraid of the Russians.

David Tomas Martinez.


April 27, 9:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Even Stars Die

And from the stars we came...


April 27, 8:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Moon Base Alpha?

I always dig ISS photos like this.


April 27, 8:14 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Shores Of Tripoli

The Marines' first battle on foreign soil began on April 27, 1805.  US Commanders involved in the Battle of Derne included Oliver Hazard Perry (later to become the hero of Put-in-Bay), and William Eaton, whose proper honor was debated in December (should he be given a sword or a medal, etc, etc?).

Ooh Rah!


April 27, 5:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

And Now For These Messages

What astonishing technology.


April 27, 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The United States Supreme Cis-het Court

How about everybody except Kennedy recuse themselves?  

Two anti-gay-marriage groups, the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association, have since called on Ginsburg to recuse herself, arguing that she can no longer be impartial. They’ve also targeted Justice Elena Kagan for officiating at a same-sex marriage, asking her to step down from the case, too.

Scalia is a well-known gay hater, so he clearly should not rule on this issue.  What's more, all of the Justices are cis-het so far as I know and clearly have a conflict.  Just to be safe, maybe the whole Judiciary should be disbanded.  Legislative, too...


April 27, 8:22 AM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 04/26/2015

Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter

Will's greatest work.


April 26, 10:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Before there were drones, there were Ju 52s, et al.  Murder is so much cleaner today!


April 26, 8:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I Hanker For A Hunka Venezuelan Beaver Cheese



April 26, 6:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hate Is The Outlier

Wow, didn't know Bob Schieffer had it in him:

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group,” Schieffer explained as if it were a warning to his viewers. “We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view — quote — you don’t speak for Christians.”

Perkins argued that the Supreme Court had no place deciding whether LGBT people deserved equal protection under the Constitution because “it does a disservice to both sides if the court weighs in on public policy like this.”

“The courts are decided [SIC] to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws, not to create public policy,” he opined. 

Which part of "interpreting whether bans on marriage equality are constitutional or not" isn't "interpreting the Constitution"?


April 26, 4:55 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




April 26, 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"We've stood over our ashes..."

To Pripyat:

At night, of course, our town
though emptied forever, comes to life.
There, our dreams wander like clouds,
illuminate windows with moonlight.

There trees live by unwavering memories,
remember the touch of hands.
How bitter for them to know
there will be no one for their shade
to protect from the scorching heat!
At night their branches quietly rock
our inflamed dreams.
Stars thrust down
onto the pavement,
to stand guard until morning . . .
But the hour will pass . . .
Abandoned by dreams,
the orphaned houses
whose windows
have gone insane
will freeze and bid us farewell!

Lyubov Sirota.


April 26, 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, 04/25/2015

Better Scurry

As fast as a leopard.


April 25, 11:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Never Forget That America Was Built By Stolen Labor On Stolen Land

History can be messy and embarrassing:

Slavery in New Jersey didn’t really end until the 13th Amendment was adopted after the Civil War. And even then it took two tries and more than a year for the state to ratify the 13th Amendment (which it did after Georgia, North Carolina, South Caroina, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana had already done so).

I wasn’t taught any of that history when I attended school in New Jersey. We learned about slavery in the South, but not about slavery in South Brunswick and South Orange and South Plainfield.

That’s why it’s good to see that New York City will soon be erecting a historical marker on Wall Street near the site of the official slave auction that the city operated there from 1711 to 1762. (New York didn’t pass it’s gradual emancipation law until 1827. Slavery was legal in the Big Apple for longer than it has been illegal there.)

Mary Elizabeth Williams suggests that Ben Affleck — and the rest of us — should take a cue from his fellow actor/director Bill Paxton, who recently appeared on TLC’s knock-off version of Gates’ show, Who Do You Think You Are? When Paxton learned of his ancestor’s slave-keeping, he said it was “disappointing,” but that “Your history, good and bad, is your history.”

Even Vermont's relationship with slavery is a bit muddy.  But hey, the Green Mountain Boys made good.


April 25, 10:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yelling 'Groceries' At A Crowded Fire

Firefighters don't deserve to eat because WE PAY THEIR SALARY.  And they should only put out fires for profit.  You know the way Adam Smith and the God of Free Markets intended.


April 25, 9:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

98% Of People Still Believe In Family Values

Which explains why we wouldn't want the queers to have families:

"Their relationships are unions, not marriages," said Skinner.

Orthodox priest Hans Jacobse warned that "society will crumble" if same-sex unions were legalized.

"Marriage begins with God, not with the state," he said.

Why do these people hate the Pilgrims?


April 25, 7:48 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Allons Enfants De La Patrie

Take that, Nazis!


April 25, 7:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

We Have A Government Of Laws, Not Gods

I forgot that God stole this nation from indigenous people, rebelled against an empire, and framed a government that would require no religious test:

During an appearance on John Hagee Ministries’ Global Evangelism Television (GETV) network on Wednesday, host Matt Hagee asked the Texas Republican where the country had gone wrong.

“I think we got off the track when we allowed our government to become a secular government,” DeLay explained. “When we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution, that it’s based on biblical principles.”

“Governments like we have are very easy to destroy,” Hagee later noted.

Hagee's right that governments like ours are very easy to destroy by people such as he...


April 25, 5:41 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A Wudn't Mind A Mare Like That


The glarry forth waits ower abain
Wat boags streetched braid alang the Maine.
Frae ether side their horses gaen
ae Caffle's shap;
Then Paddy tuk an Rabble taen
A canny drap.

James Fenton.


April 25, 3:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, 04/24/2015

Never Can Stand To Be Kept Away

Ericka and I were singing this to the kids when they were not respecting our space.  They did not like it.


PS--The missing Be was not really my fault.  An existential thing.  All fixed now.

April 24, 11:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I Knew The Constitution Would Cause Something Awful!

Shorter losing argument: exercise of your constitutional rights causes other people to exercise their constitutional rights.


April 24, 10:09 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

You Say Sovereignty, I Say Criminality

Apropos of the aimless revolution thing I posted last night, here's a fun one:

Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt has a long history in the far-right fringesof the anti-government movement, so it is hardly a surprise that members of the radical “sovereign citizen” movement — who believe that they are not beholden to U.S. laws —are now courting his favor.

Pratt was a guest on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program on Tuesday when a listener called in identifying himself as a “sovereign” from Wisconsin and asked him, “I just wondered if somebody of your stature would stand up and scream from the rooftops that these 60 million codes and regulations don’t apply to us, only to U.S. citizens.”

While Pratt didn’t address the “sovereign citizen” movement directly, he told the caller that most federal laws are unconstitutional anyway and “should be stricken.”

“Well, I think you can make the same point with another argument, that the body of, the corpus of law and regulations you’re pointing to, almost none of it comes under the Constitution,” he said. “It gives powers to the federal government that were not given to the federal government in the Constitution. They should be stricken.”

Yeah, well, challenge those things in court.  If it's legal, don't matter none it ain't konstitooshunul until those damned activist judges get involved.  Your resistance is too illegit to acquit if you ain't scrupulous.  Rebellion oft has consequences, beyotch...


April 24, 8:18 PM in And Fuck..., Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

You Say Socialism, We Say Social Justice

It is our belief that social justice begins at home.

 - James Couzens, Treasurer of Ford Motor Company (January 5, 1914)

Loomis looks at capitalists cannibalizing:

The credit card processing executive who decided he would raise the minimum wage for his company to $70,000 a year got a lot of attention this week. It’s certainly an interesting experiment at the very least...

What’s more interesting to me is the total right-wing freakout.
Three things come to mind...First, is the religious belief in “the market,” which is presented as this natural force like gravity but which of course is nothing but a serious of decisions made by humans about how to organize their economy. The idea that one would interfere with this natural force that tells you to make as much money as possible and screw everyone else is an apostasy that must be ridiculed and crushed.

Second is the lies that well-compensated workers aren’t productive. There is of course an enormous literature suggesting that happy workers are indeed productive workers. Here is just one piece of that literature...

Third, is the idea that this guy is committing class suicide, betraying the world of executives and giving credence to those who think that the government might need to do more to regulate income inequality and CEO pay. Limbaugh blathering about socialism once again shows that he doesn’t actually know what socialism is, but also demonstrates just what a threat this move is for the vast majority of American capitalists and their lackeys.

Yeah, Rusty knows dick about socialism.  Never has gotten it, so that's not the funniest thing.

It's the whole complaining by capitalists about what a fellow capitalist is doing.  Whether Henry Ford or Costco, when they do something to increase their market advantage (and/or address social justice), it makes other rich elites get upset.  

Almost like there's an implicit collusion to keep wages down (absent a strong union movement or more enlightened owners).  They don't like the market rewarding such action for some reason.

When, oh when, will the government help our Corporate Overlords if the Invisible Hand makes a horrible error in judgement and jerks off the wrong people?


April 24, 7:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Celestial Fireworks

Because why not?


April 24, 2:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

My God, It's Full Of Stars

Substantial Planes:

It doesn't
to me
poems mean
there's no
to the
and yet
walks the

A. R. Ammons.


April 24, 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Liberty To Study

I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study...Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.

 - John Adams to Abigail Adams (May 12, 1780)


Speaking of birthdays, on this date in 1800 in the House of Representatives:

On motion,

Resolved, That Mr. Waln, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Powell, be a committee, jointly, with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the Senate, for the purpose of making out a catalogue of books, and adopting the best mode of procuring a Library for the use of Congress, at the City of Washington, and for establishing a system of rules and regulations relative thereto.

Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do acquaint the Senate therewith.

The Senate followed suit the following Monday.  The legislation--an act to move the Federal government to Washington, which contained one section about establishing a library--had been approved the day before.

I was curious as to the constitutional questions that might h

Anyway, it's fitting that I'm getting all this information from the Library of Congress through the miracle of a network first developed by a US government agency (that is not mentioned in the Constitution).  And equally fitting they named its legislative information site after Thomas Jefferson, who made his book collection available to Congress after the British burned Washington:

Jefferson offered to sell his library to Congress as a replacement for the collection destroyed by the British during the War of 1812. Congress purchased Jefferson's library for $23,950 in 1815. A second fire on Christmas Eve of 1851, destroyed nearly two thirds of the 6,487 volumes Congress had purchased from Jefferson.

The LoC is much more than just a collection of books today, and one hopes we don't see further erosion of its budget.  Otherwise, for what did Adams and Jefferson study war?


April 24, 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thanks For 25 Years Of Discovery

Happy Birthday, Hubble!

The brilliant tapestry of young stars flaring to life resemble a glittering fireworks display in the 25th anniversary NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, released to commemorate a quarter century of exploring the solar system and beyond since its launch on April 24, 1990.

“Hubble has completely transformed our view of the universe, revealing the true beauty and richness of the cosmos” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “This vista of starry fireworks and glowing gas is a fitting image for our celebration of 25 years of amazing Hubble science.”

The sparkling centerpiece of Hubble’s anniversary fireworks is a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2, named for Swedish astronomer Bengt Westerlund who discovered the grouping in the 1960s. The cluster resides in a raucous stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Carina.

Just go see the thing in all its glory.  Spectacular.


April 24, 9:12 AM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 04/23/2015

Пору́чик Киже́

Ah, romance.


April 23, 11:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

no chunky mechanics of the living

Political Theory:

In a famous painting of a founding father
and the back end of a horse
it’s the horse butt that’s properly lit
groomed out        smooth       an immortal peach
Who can say what it means about revolution
that the horse’s tail emerges as though it had no bones in it

Jessica Fjeld.


April 23, 10:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


I have always enjoyed a highly-refined sense of style and taste.


April 23, 9:31 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Glorious Revolution

I really need to develop this further, but after the latest killer police incident wherein protesters are a lynch mob, I couldn't help but think of Pauline Maier:

The fundamental values of the Radical Whigs were realized most fully in a well-ordered free society, such that obedience to the law was stressed as much or more than occasional resistance to it. Moreover, while eighteenth-century Whig writers stood ready to challenge anyone who denied the people’s right of revolution, they still sought to limit and even defer violence by a series of pre- conditions that were ever more carefully defined between Milton and mid-eighteenth-century writers like Hutcheson.

Naturally, the Real Whigs’ justification of resistance could reinforce the colonists’ tendency to condone uprisings where authorities were unresponsive to public needs. In fact, how- ever, the Whigs’ contrary emphasis on order and restraint counteracted any tendency toward a too-ready resort to force. In this way, Whiggism tempered the use of violence in the colonies, particularly during the eleven years before inde- pendence. The need to reconcile the impulse toward resistance with the injunction to restraint became, in fact, one of the central intellectual and practical problems of the American revolutionary movement.

It's that tension between following the law and resisting it that is rattling around in my head.  Gandhi addressed it, too:

For the most part we obey such laws out of fear of the penalty for their breach, and this holds good particularly in respect of such laws as do not involve a moral principle. For instance, an honest, respectable man will not suddenly take to stealing, whether there is a law against stealing or not, but this very man will not feel any remorse for failure to observe the rule about carrying head-lights on bicycles after dark.

Indeed it is doubtful whether he would even accept advice kindly about being more careful in this respect. But he would observe any obligatory rule of this kind, if only to escape the inconvenience of facing a prosecution for a breach of the rule. Such compliance is not, however, the willing and spontaneous obedience that is required of a Satyagrahi.

Satyagrahi obeys the laws of society intelligently and of his own free will, because he considers it to be his sacred duty to do so. It is only when a person has thus obeyed the laws of society scrupulously that he is in a position to judge as to which particular rules are good and just and which are injust and iniquitous. Only then does the right accrue to him of the civil disobedience of certain laws in well-defined circumstances.

So what an interesting question: how can the cops judge if they don't scrupulously follow the law; how can the protesters scrupulously follow the law when pretty much everything they do is criminalized?

And how can Tea Partiers call for rebellion against Obama?

As I said, I have to work on this.  Not even quite sure of my thesis.  But there's a tension I've gotta explore--not that I haven't before, but need to more in the current historical context.


April 23, 8:14 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

And Justice For All

Mustang Bobby on Bobby Jindal:

Those who believe in freedom must stick together: If it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all. This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters. This is the grand bargain that makes freedom’s defense possible.

In short, religious bigotry has a long and proud tradition in America, and no bunch of radical liberals and people of conscience are going to put an end to it.

I doubt that Mr. Jindal is self-aware enough that “if it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all” (just pithy enough to fit on a bumper sticker) is exactly what the fight for gay rights is all about.  No one is asking him to change his faith-driven view on anything.  You are free to discriminate against anyone you want in your church or in your mind, but if you’re going to sell cakes, flowers, and hotel space to the public, you have to sell to all the public or not at all.

'Freedom for all' has always been limited, sadly.  Taney told us that "negroes" didn't have freedom as envisioned by the Founders.  Women didn't have the freedom to vote.  Hell, married white hetero couples couldn't even buy contraceptives.

When those who believe in freedom stick together, blacks, women, everybody gains more freedom.  And when people who believe in only their freedom divide us, generally they lose.  That's justice.


April 23, 6:42 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stripping The Constitution

Can't let Ted Cruz have all the fun, eh?

Less than a week before the Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in potentially one of the nation’s most influential cases on gay marriage, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015 to preserve state bans.

“For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution.” King said in a news release. “Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control, and abortion. These Unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.”

King’s bill strips way Article III of the Constitution, which gives federal courts the jurisdiction to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage. 

That last graf looks like a bad rewrite of what King's press release says:

My bill strips Article III courts of jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction, ‘to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage.’ 

The text of HR1968 isn't available yet on Thomas, so we'll just go with what he says for now.  

Article III courts are Federal, and have certain constitutional jurisdictions.  One of their jobs is to deal with controversies between States, which some folks are hanging their hats on to deny King's proposal has any constitutional merit.

Yet I'm not sure we'd ever see a State sue another State over marriage recognition.  The only parties who would sue a State are citizens of another State, which according to the 11th Amendment is not something under Federal jurisdiction.  And Congress clearly can deny SCOTUS the power to review appeals of certain types of cases.

It's a stupid proposal, and will go nowhere like, you know...pretty much every other attempt to break down the separation of powers.  But it will fail on the political plane, not constitutionally the way I see it.

Now, lemme address one truly horrid thing King asserts.  When he cries about unenumerated rights, he curiously ignores the 9th Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

But maybe it's not so curious.  If he elides the 9th, then Griswold and thus all reproductive freedom protected by SCOTUS rulings become mere phantasms.

Then that would only leave 2nd Amendment remedies to protect marriage equality...


PS--Lemieux has more.

April 23, 5:25 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What About The Americans?

Some days I do miss the Evil Empire and the Cold War's simpler times.


April 23, 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I Have A Right To Defend Myself Against Your Disease

Once more, with feeling:

I'm happy to note that the principal of Sam's school informed me recently that 98% of the students are in compliance.  But we'll definitely continue agitating House members for removal of the exemption to protect herd immunity and our vulnerable populations all over Vermont.


April 23, 9:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, 04/22/2015

Round And Round The Garden Like A Teddy Bear

Put that in your blog...


April 22, 10:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Well, It All Makes For Interesting Conjecture

The Empty Glass:

[I]t occurs to me that what is crucial is to believe
in effort, to believe some good will come of simply trying,
a good completely untainted by the corrupt initiating impulse
to persuade or seduce—
What are we without this?
Whirling in the dark universe,
alone, afraid, unable to influence fate—
What do we have really?
Sad tricks with ladders and shoes,
tricks with salt, impurely motivated recurring
attempts to build character.
What do we have to appease the great forces?
And I think in the end this was the question
that destroyed Agamemnon, there on the beach,
the Greek ships at the ready, the sea
invisible beyond the serene harbor, the future
lethal, unstable: he was a fool, thinking
it could be controlled. He should have said
I have nothing, I am at your mercy.

Louise Glück.


April 22, 9:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Planet A Day

What would it look like if the Earth orbited the sun?

 - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Look at that Blue Marble, orbited by the sun:

The picture of which may or may not have been taken by Jack Schmitt, the only scientist to go to the Moon and thus, my favorite astronaut (or depending on my mood, tied with a couple others).  Makes me sad because Schmitt is a climate change denier, which maybe shouldn't be surprising because of this exchange during Apollo 17's first EVA:

118:08:02 Cernan: Oh, man. Hey, Jack, just stop. You owe yourself 30 seconds to look up over the South Massif and look at the Earth!

118:08:07 Schmitt: (Pretending surprise) What? The Earth?

118:08:09 Cernan: Just look up there.

118:08:10 Schmitt: Ah! You seen one Earth, you've seen them all.

On the one hand, it's kinda cute that he's so focused on the rocks because, of course, he was a geologist by training.  But it also shows a strikingly cavalier attitude, even in jest, toward the onliest home we got.

As Cernan said a beat later: No you haven't, babe. When you begin to believe that...


April 22, 8:45 PM in Biofuels, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Some Vax Sanity In Vermont's Senate

Glad the Senate passed the anti-anti-vaxxer legislation, but man:

Chittenden Sen. David Zuckerman opposed the plan because he thinks parents have a right to determine what's best for their children. "The important factor for me is that the human body itself, our body, is our one vessel that we have complete control over,” he says. “Considering there is evidence of individuals having basically allergic reactions to shots, if we ... force everybody to have them, there are a percentage of our population for whom we are forcing to have these kinds of reactions." 

I used to buy veggies from Zuckerman, and have had cordial exchanges with him over the years on legislative issues--we agree on many, many things.  A bit disappointed that he thinks belief trumps public health, particularly since the percentage of allergic reactions is vanishingly small, and the medical exemption remains.

Of course, people of conscience aren't being forced to do anything, but rather being offered a choice: do what's right for the body politic, or keep your kids home.  It's not like jackbooted thugs are coming to your house and poking your kids full of holes.

Anyway, back to the House, who hopefully will not punt on the issue again.


April 22, 6:48 PM in Conscience | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

E Pluribus Unum In Deum

So Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864 on April 22.  In...um, 1864.

The legislation authorized a new 2-cent coin and changed the composition of the penny.  It also allowed the Director of the Mint and Treasury Secretary to design them, which was important because an act of 1837 mandated that LIBERTY be inscribed on coins, preventing anybody from putting IN GOD WE TRUST on them.  Which apparently everybody wanted to do:

Ridleyville, Pa., November 13,1861.

Dear Sir [Sec'y of Treasury, Salmon P Chase]: You are about to submit your annual report to Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.

One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form in our coins.

You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were now shattered beyond reconstruction! Would not tbe antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words "perpetual union;" within this ring the all-seeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words "God, liberty, law."

This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.

To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.

Minister of the Gospel.

Indeed, no possible citizen could object.


April 22, 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Taking Historical Accuracy Too Far

I never said most of the things I said.

 - Abraham Lincoln

I cannot help but love this:

An Ohio Statehouse banner marking the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's death includes his famous words "With malice to no one, with charity for all."

Except that's not exactly what Lincoln said in his second inaugural address. What he said was, "With malice toward none, with charity for all."

A spokesman for the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board tells The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1bful7u ) officials wanted the banner to be historically faithful to the original one hung on the building on April 29, 1865.

People couldn't even get it right for his damned funeral.  Small wonder nobody quotes the guy--or anybody--correctly on Facebook.


April 22, 1:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Searchin' In The Sun For Another Overload

I know I need a small vacation...


April 22, 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Have You Met A Lot Of Purple People On Earth?

Sorry, but you're a lying bigot:

The former assistant police chief in Parma, Missouri denied allegations on Tuesday that racism and sexism played a part in his leaving the department following the election of a black woman, Tyus Byrd, as mayor.

“It’s appalling to hear those accusations, and it’s personally offensive,” Rich Medley told Vocativ. “A person is a person, whether they are a man or woman, white, black, yellow, brown, pink or purple.”

Do you see the tell?  There's another later in the story, as well...


April 22, 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gold Star On The Fridge For Ted Cruz


Ted Cruz hasn’t really “stood up and fought” so much as he’s stood up and shouted HEY LOOK AT ME I’M STANDING.

Sounds just like my kids.


April 22, 8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, 04/21/2015

Крейцерова соната

It should be the Bridgetower Sonata...


April 21, 10:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Steadfast Rock Of Immortality

Last Lines:

NO coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast, 
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life—that in me has rest,
As I—undying Life—have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts: unutterably vain; 
Worthless as wither'd weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main...

Emily Brontë.


April 21, 7:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Where Congress' Money Comes From

That's just dandyCorporations now spend more lobbying Congress than taxpayers spend funding Congress.

Yeah, we need to increase funding for the non-partisan Congressional services, for starters.  Public campaign financing would be another important leg of the stool.

And finally, instead of trying to cut Congress' salaries, we should make sure they are well compensated so regular people can afford to serve in the first place (taking the seats of the greedy bastards who want to work on K Street).


April 21, 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)