Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one - H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Damn, Damn Tasty
by Lee

Sorry for the light posting, I’ve been cooking cornbread (from scratch!) and grating up onions and celery and such for my stuffing.  I’m going to eat Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house tomorrow, but Friday I’m going to cook my own turkey, the full spread.  Every year my company gives all the employees a turkey, so I’ve got a big 23lb bastard sitting in my fridge, just begging to be cooked and eaten.  I am only too happy to oblige.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 11:53 PM in Etcetera  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Nitpicking Maggots
by Lee

Yesterday I blogged on how the Democrats are making a big deal over the fact that the GOP fixed a small verbal gaffe in one of Bush’s speeches before including it in a commercial.  Well, this is even more ridiculous.

Nevada memo to George Bush: When making a first presidential visit to a state, use the right pronounciation of its name.

Bush, in Las Vegas on Tuesday, repeatedly said Ne-vah-da. To properly pronounce Nevada, the middle syllable should rhyme with gamble.

Mispronouncing the state’s name “sets people’s teeth on edge,” said state Archivist Guy Rocha. “He’s the president, and he ought to get it right. Nothing personal.”

State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, said the mispronunciation shows Bush, who won the state in the 2000 election, doesn’t care much about the state.

“They take such pains to orchestrate these trips and to make sure everything is politically correct,” she said. “You would think the name of the state would be a simple piece of that.”

Hey, Nevahda:  Fahk you, you petty bahstahds.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 04:08 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Empty Threats
by Lee

The UN is really baring its teeth with this decisive action.

The U.N. atomic agency Wednesday censured Iran for 18 years of secrecy, issuing a resolution that its director said gives him more muscle in policing the country for evidence of nuclear weapons ambitions.

Warning Tehran to stay in line, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said the measure sends an “ominous message that failures in the future will not be tolerated.”

Or what, Mohamed?  The UN will pass more useless resolutions, which it does not have the stomach to enforce?

“This is a good day for peace ... and nonproliferation,” ElBaradei told reporters, saying the resolution, “strengthens my hand in ensuring that Iran’s program is for peaceful purposes.”

The resolution, adopted by consensus by the 35-nation IAEA board of governors, did not confront Iran with a direct threat of U.N. sanctions as the United States had initially sought. Key European powers opposed a direct threat, worried that Tehran would stop cooperating in retaliation.

This is the classic definition of appeasement.  “We can’t actually get tough with Iran for violating UN rules, because then they might not pretend to be complying with them in the future.” Kid gloves never kept a dictator in line before, and it’s sure as hell not going to work now.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 03:48 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Do The Math
by Lee

This should nicely illustrate Bush’s fiscal irresponsibility.

Its very hard for Congress to show fiscal restraint when the White House hasnt raised the deficit as a primary issue, said Robert D. Reischauer, a former Congressional Budget Office director who now heads the Urban Institute. Spending restraint and tax increases are unnatural acts on Capitol Hill. It takes some political leadership from White House, some external motivation, to get Congress to focus on the deficit, and there doesnt seem to be any of those forces at work.

Goldman Sachs economists concluded last week that tax cuts and surging spending will push the deficit this year to half a trillion dollars, and any thoughts of relief thereafter are a pipe dream until political priorities adjust.

Even conservatives who support tax cuts have begun to note the imbalance. Government spending now totals $20,000 per household, a level not seen since World War II, said Brian Reidl, a federal budget analyst with the Heritage Foundation. Meanwhile, taxes total $17,000 per household.

Conservatives are so afraid of losing their majority status right now that they feel a need to . . . pass the other sides legislation to prove how moderate they are, Reidl said. But theyre showing an astonishing willingness to spend now and dump all the cost in our childrens laps, and an amazing unwillingness to reconcile the size of government with the amount of taxes needed to fund it.

We take in $17,000 per household, and spend $20,000.  It’s not hard to figure out.  There are two schools of government thought:  increase taxes and increase spending (Democrats) or cut spending and cut taxes (Republicans).  The Bush administration is the worst kind of hybrid: increase spending and cut taxes.  This is a huge turd sandwich, and we’re all going to have to take a great big bite.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 11:56 AM in Politics  • (6) TrackbacksPermalink

Mmm Mmm Good!
by Lee

Now this would make me work harder.

Pleased with workers who scored top marks on customer service, Air Canada recently picked 100 at random to give them a bonus—a $3.78 hamburger coupon that expires in five weeks.

Employees winning the award were sent a personal letter containing the coupon, redeemable until Dec. 31 at the Harvey’s hamburger chain, Second Cup coffee shops or other restaurant outlet owned by Cara Operations Ltd., which provides food service for the insolvent airline.

Air Canada said the awards came at no cost to the carrier, mainly because the coupons will soon expire.

The really exceptional employees get fries with that.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 11:53 AM in Those Wacky Canadians  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Ugh
by Lee

Sorry for the light posting.  I’ve been fisking some numbnuts over at MOOREWATCH, and I figured you guys might want to take a look.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 02:01 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

He’s A Conservative
by Lee

And the naysayers said that Arnie was a liberal who would raise taxes.  Boy were they wrong.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presented lawmakers Monday with nearly $2 billion in midyear spending cuts aimed primarily at social programs, including payments to doctors who care for the poor and recreational programs for developmentally disabled children.

The spending reductions would touch nearly all parts of state government—except prisons and public schools—but fall heaviest on health and welfare programs such as home care for the elderly.

Dismantling the welfare state a little bit at a time.  I love it!  Others do not.

The proposals got a cool reception from Democratic legislative leaders.

“I don’t see a lot of this happening,’’ said Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco.

Big surprise there.  The bleeding hearts want to keep the state hemorrhaging money to pay for their bloated social welfare programs.

“I hate to see we don’t have everything on the table—like raising revenue. Just borrowing and cuts seems as if we’re missing a big piece,’’ said state Sen. Dede Alpert, D-Coronado (San Diego County).

TRANSLATION:  “Raising revenue” means “taxing rich people.” Taxing the rich means destroying what’s left of the California economy, and de-Davisizing the economy is the only chance this state has of ever paying off the mountain of debt it is currently buried under.

Go Arnie, Go!

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 12:53 AM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Speaking from Experience
by Lee

According to Drudge, Al Gore has attacked the recent GOP political ads as being “not worthy of the presidency.”

Well, that’s a subject Al would know a lot about.

Posted by Lee on 11/26/03 at 12:27 AM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Fixing A Flub
by Lee

My God, the Democrats are desperate.

It may be called the Case of the Disappearing Pause.

When President Bush laid out the potential threat that unconventional weapons posed in Saddam Hussein’s hands last year in his State of the Union address last year, he became tongue-tied at an inopportune moment.

The line read, “It would take one vial, one canister, one crate, slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.” But Mr. Bush stumbled between the words “one” and “vial.” And when at the word vial, he pronounced the “v” as if it were a “w.”

Yet in a new Republican commercial that borrows excerpts from that speech, Mr. Bush delivers that line as smoothly as any other in the address, without a pause between “one” and “vial,” and the v in “vial” sounds strong and sure.

Republican officials acknowledged yesterday that the change was a product of technology. The line, they said, was digitally enhanced in editing “to ensure the best clarity.”

So, what do the Democrats think?

[GOP] officials said the line in question was “cut and pasted.” Still, Democrats were ecstatic over the perceived chink in an advertisement that they have criticized for days as unfair.

“Audio cutting and pasting is `Bush speak’ for them having doctored their own ad,” Jim Mulhall of the Democratic National Committee said.

Douglas E. Schoen, a Democratic pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton, said that making an alteration in the State of the Union address was different.

“The distinction I would make,” Mr. Schoen said, “is what the president says at the State of the Union is an essential part of the historical record.”

You know, if they had changed what he actually said then they’d have a case.  But all they did was correct and clarify a slip of the tongue.  That would be like someone complaining when I go back to a post and fix a typo, something I do all the time.

Doesn’t this just show how pathetic and desperate the Democrats are?  They’re screwed and they know it, so they’re clutching at anything they can.

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 10:38 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

PC Run Amok
by Lee

Two signs that political correctness is about to destroy the fabric of this country.  The first involves a stuffed animal.

An officer who drove up to a downtown bar on a hip-hop music night with a stuffed gorilla on the front grille of his police cruiser apologized to Police Chief Derrick Foxworth on Monday, saying his actions were not racially motivated and he had no idea they might be offensive.

Patrons in the mostly African American crowd at Ringlers Pub’s Mello Monday show last week found the action offensive and racist. Some used their cell phones to take photos of the police cruiser with the animal attached.

“I think everyone was kind of shocked,” said Clyde Fulkerson, Ringlers manager. “It’s just another stupid incident. It’s either a real ignorant, insensitive policeman or an insensitive, racist policeman.”

And why was there a stuffed gorilla attached to the front of the police cruiser?

Shaw led an intoxicated Robert Fowlkes, 35, out of the club, handcuffed him and placed him in the back of his patrol car. Fowlkes, a familiar face to police, is known to carry a stuffed gorilla with him downtown. As usual, he had it that morning.

Shaw told the chief the gorilla was “soaking wet, and smelling like urine and vomit,” according to Foxworth. The officer did not want to put the stuffed animal in his car, or even in the trunk, because he feared it would contaminate his personal belongings and leave an odor. Instead, with the help of another unidentified officer at the scene, he attached it to the front grille of the car, and drove with the stuffed animal there to a detoxification center, where he dropped off Fowlkes.

But, my friends, in Je$$e Jack$on’s America, anything that could possible construed as being the slightest bit racist is thereby prima facie evidence of a vast racist conspiracy.  It’s nice to know that the career of these officers will probably be ruined because a bunch of whining maggot clubgoers had camera phones and thin black skins.

The second story involves tacit approval by the City of Los Angeles of the institution of slavery.

Subject: IDENTIFICATION OF EQUIPMENT SOLD TO LA COUNTY
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 14:21:16 -0800
From: “Los Angeles County”

The County of Los Angeles actively promotes and is committed to ensure a work environment that is free from any discriminatory influence be it actual or perceived. As such, it is the County’s expectation that our manufacturers, suppliers and contractors make a concentrated effort to ensure that any equipment, supplies or services that are provided to County departments do not possess or portray an image that may be construed as offensive or defamatory in nature.

One such recent example included the manufacturer’s labeling of equipment where the words “Master/Slave” appeared to identify the primary and secondary sources. Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label.

We would request that each manufacturer, supplier and contractor review, identify and remove/change any identification or labeling of equipment or components thereof that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature before such equipment is sold or otherwise provided to any County department.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance.

Joe Sandoval, Division Manager
Purchasing and Contract Services
Internal Services Department
County of Los Angeles

Protests are undoubtedly being organized right now against Russell Crowe’s new film Master and Commander.  Surely in a city the size of Los Angeles there are enough people with thin black skin to organize a picket line.

Simply disgusting.

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 03:56 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Banning Dikes
by Lee

This is so stupid.

A Wyoming teenager has enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union in fighting a same-sex date ban at her high school.

In September, Amanda Blair tried to defy the rule by taking another young woman to the homecoming dance at Big Piney High School. They were kept out by sheriff’s deputies at the request of school officials.

Blair and her mother went to the school board after the dance, asking that the rule be changed. They contacted the ACLU after getting no sign from board members that the ban was going to be lifted.

Blair is straight, but said her test of the policy is meant to help and support her peers who are homosexual.

The ACLU said the ban violates students’ constitutional rights to freedom of expression and equal treatment.

What a total waste of time and effort this ban is.  When I graduated high school in 1988 there was a girl in my class named Jennifer Hawley, and she was a lesbian.  She was kind of a butch chick, too.  When she showed up at the prom she was wearing a tuxedo and her date was one of the best looking girls I’ve ever seen.  Every guy at the prom was just drooling over Jennifer’s date, who didn’t go to our school.  My point is that this took place fifteen years ago in Texas, and the sky didn’t fall.  Nobody cared, everyone had a good time, and we all got to ogle the gorgeous date of a lesbian girl from our class. 

What possible benefit could there be to this type of ban?  Attitudes towards these matters are a lot more open today than they were 15 years ago. 

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 03:47 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Hacking DRM
by Lee

Following up on this post from this morning about the cracking of Apple’s DRM technology, we now have this beautiful example of the justification of thievery.

“We don’t think that digital rights management is a good deal for consumers,” Greg Bildson, COO of the online file-sharing service LimeWire, told TechNewsWorld. “Paying 99 cents for digitally restricted songs robs the consumer of usability. DRM will always be a target for hackers.”

“We support open systems that don’t hide anything from the user and don’t place artificial restrictions on what an Internet user can do,” he added.

This is what galls me about this whole issue.  Apple is selling a product.  Before you can buy their product they lay out the terms and conditions under which you can purchase anbd subsequently use songs from the iTunes music store.  If you agree to these terms then you are free to download and listen to ITMS music, pursuant to the rules you previously agreed to.  If you think that “paying 99 cents for a digitally restricted song robs the consumer of usability” then you are free to decline Apple’s terms and take your business (or lack thereof) to one of their competitors.  This is how a free market works—those things which appeal to consumers will succeed, and those which do not will fail. 

If you agree with Bildson’s assertion, the avenue open to you is to refuse to use the service, not to agree to use it and then complain about it later.  This would be akin to buying a car, then changing your mind later about the interest rate and refusing to make your payments.  Any attempt to circumvent DRM is simply a means to permit the stealing of music.

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 01:37 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Fun With Diseases
by Lee

’Allo, guv’nor!  Cor blimey, this is right odd, innit?

An American woman has been left with a British accent after having a stroke.

This is despite the fact that Tiffany Roberts, 61, has never been to Britain. Her accent is a mixture of English cockney and West Country.

Doctors say Mrs Roberts, who was born and bred in Indiana, has a condition called foreign accent syndrome.

This rare condition occurs when part of the brain becomes damaged. This can follow a stroke or head injury. There have only been a few documented cases.

This is quite similar to “Pain in the Ass Syndrome,” where a person has hemorrhoids so severe that they begin to speak French.

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 11:49 AM in Science and Technology  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Cause and Effect
by Lee

From the Chicago Sun-Times this morning, on The Reagans:

The heated battle over the TV movie about the man who presided over the end of the Cold War continues to burn white hot this week…

If by “presided over” you mean “caused.”

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 11:42 AM in The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Apple Core
by Lee

I’m honestly surprised that this hasn’t happened sooner.

The man responsible for writing software that allowed people to circumvent copyright technology on DVDs has posted software on the Internet that may allow Windows-using customers of Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store to break digital rights management (DRM) technology that protects files downloaded from that service.

A link to the file, called QTFairUse, was posted on a Web log that is maintained by Jon Lech Johansen, also known as “DVD Jon.” When compiled and run, the program allows iTunes users to make raw copies of songs that use Apple’s MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) standard.

According to comments in a file included with the QTFairUse code, the program allows users to open and play an AAC file using Apple’s free QuickTime media player, then save raw AAC data to a file on the computer.

However, the file posted by Johansen still requires significant technical knowledge to use.

The file was posted as uncompiled C language code and must be compiled before it can be run. Also, while the output file created by QTFairUse would be an identical copy of the original, the copying process does not create a file that can be immediately played by music applications on a user’s computer. However, if Johansen continued to develop the code, it could lead to ripping applications that removes the DRM from iTunes files.

Advantage hackers.  Let’s see what Apple does next.

Posted by Lee on 11/25/03 at 11:04 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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