Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Home Cheesy Home
by Lee

Consul asks:

Just to throw this in: when is the old site gonna be back up? Or can I assume this is the permanent home of RT?

For the time being, the Blistering Cheese address is the home of RT.  Basically here’s the deal.  When I was DOS attacked by the porno spammer he not only attacked my IP address but he attacked the Right-Thinking.com domain as well.  Basically this means that I could have totally moved the site to a whole different hosting company and the attack would have followed me.  So we’ve changed IP addresses and temporarily disabled the RT.com domain. 

The site you’re seeing here now is exactly the same site as before.  The only thing that has changed is the URL.  Eventually we’ll get the new URL turned back on, but for now we’ll keep using the Blistering Cheese address.  Think of the blog being a house.  Right now there are two doors which enable you to get in.  No matter which door you get in you arrive in exactly the same house.  Right-Thinking.com is a door and BlisteringCheese.com is another door.  Both take you to the same place.

So, for technical reasons, the URL to the site is going to, for the short term, remain Blistering Cheese, We’ll keep you posted as to when this will change.

Posted by Lee on 12/04/05 at 02:49 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Electric Politics
by Lee

One of the recurring points we hear from the anti-war asshat left is that Iraq’s electrical capacity is still woefully inadequate, thus implying that the US effort in this regard has been failure.  However, here are the statistics from the USAID website.

Decades of minimal repairs and sporadic maintenance left Iraq’s electrical system with limited power to light homes and power businesses. Before the conflict, the amount of power available varied throughout the country. Typically, Baghdad residents had electricity for up to 24 hours a day while Iraqis in other parts of the country were forced to manage with far less—in some places as few as three hours per day, if any at all. … USAID dedicated more than $500 million under its first infrastructure reconstruction contract, awarded in April 2003, to rebuild the electricity sector. Working together, USAID, the USACE and the MoE achieved the goal of exceeding the pre-conflict level of power capacity by October 2003. … As of June 1, 2005, USAID activities in the electricity sector have added 855 megawatts (MW) of new capacity to the electrical grid.  By the end of 2005, the total capacity contributed to the grid through USAID projects will be over 1,600 MW. This total will represent a significant portion of the total capacity added by the US government.

So, while Iraq’s electrical output might be less than perfect, it is significantly better than under Saddam, and all this has been accomplished during a time of war with a determined enemy working feverishly to sabotage the effort.  I bring this up because I was reading this CNN article about New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin’s efforts to woo evacuated residents back to the city, and I came across this interesting little factoid.

Nagin told the audience electricity was available to 70 percent of New Orleans and the rest would be online by January. He said the drinking water was safe and that emergency services were again available.

Fascinating, isn’t it.  Here we are three months after the hurricane, and New Orleans is still only at 70% of its previous capacity.  And this is in a time of peace, with an electrical grid that was previously in perfect working order.  I guess, despite the plaintive wailing we hear from the left, restoring electrical power isn’t as easy as flipping a light switch.

Posted by Lee on 12/04/05 at 12:56 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Gettin’ My Meat On
by Lee

I got a wild hair up my ass today and decided to cook a pot of gumbo.  Mmmm mmm mmm this is some good shit.  The house smells fantastic.  And there’s nothing better than cooking something like this yourself, making it exactly the way you like it.

Posted by Lee on 12/03/05 at 06:29 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Tale of Two Lists
by Lee

Now this is an interesting exercise in comparing and contrasting the Red State/Blue State dichotomy in contemporary America.  Take a look at these two lists.  The first ranks states in terms of smart or dumb by evaluating their public school systems

on 21 factors, including student achievement and attendance, positive outcomes, strong student-teacher relationships and school district efficiency. Other factors are the number of high school graduates, reading, writing and math proficiency, percent of school-age kids in public schools, high school drop out rates, student-teacher ratios and class size.

Here’s the top ten.

1. Vermont
2. Connecticut
3. Massachusetts
4. New Jersey
5. Maine
6. Minnesota
7. Virginia
8. Wisconsin
9. Montana
10. New York

Mostly blue states, through there’s a few red ones in there.  Okay, let’s look at the bottom ten.

41. Tennessee
42. Hawaii
43. Alabama
44. Alaska
45. Louisiana
46. California
47. Nevada
48. New Mexico
49. Mississippi
50. Arizona

Okay, so if we accept these numbers as true then Blue States are, generally speaking, “smarter” than Red States.  But California?  The crown jewel of the liberal left?  The 8th largest economy in the world?  The most progressive state in the country?  The one which consistently goes for the Democrats in every national election, which has a state government dominated by Democrats and liberal Republicans?  This is the 46th best school system in America?

Okay, the next list is the 2005 Generosity Index, which ranks the generosity of states by using

published data of individual tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, we compare the rank of each state’s average adjusted gross income (AAGI) to the rank of each state’s average itemized charitable deductions (AICD). The arithmetical differences between these two rankings are then themselves ranked, resulting in the Generosity Index rank.

Before we go on, what do you think the red/blue breakdown here is going to be?  Okay, let’s continue.  The top 10 most generous states are:

Posted by Lee on 12/03/05 at 12:00 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, December 02, 2005

Showing Off
by Lee

Time to show off a little.  I was just poking around in the database trying to figure out what was wrong with this post, and I happened to notice the site statistics. 

Posts: 8,084
Pageviews:  16,009,258

Not bad for three years, huh?  I forgot to make note of it, but this past November was the Third Blogoversary of RTLC.  That’s either pretty cool or an astonishing statement on how empty and vapid my life is.

Posted by Lee on 12/02/05 at 10:31 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

bugMachine
by Lee

For some reason the comments to this post are completely fucked.  So let’s migrate the discussion from there to here.  Apologies.

Update: A question for you.  Did any of you write out your comment in a text editor or word processor (i.e. MS Word) and then paste it into the comments box?

Posted by Lee on 12/02/05 at 09:44 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Nailed By A Cross
by Lee

I had never heard of Larry the Cable Guy until his publisher bought a Blogad on this website to promote his recent book.  Apart from the fact that he has a recently-published book and is popular with Southern rednecks, I really don’t know jack shit about him.  One person I do know a lot about is David Cross, from Mr. Show, of whom I have been a big fan for years.  And in this article, Larry the Cable Guy gets fucking pwn3d by David Cross.

Posted by Lee on 12/02/05 at 12:38 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

It’s Fucking Christmas!
by Lee

Hey, when the radical fundies are right they’re right.

The word “Christmas,” nearly absent in marketing by major retailers in recent years, has been quietly revived by some stores. Retail expert Jim Lucas says they are responding to consumers’ desire to make the holidays more personal - whether they observe Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

“They are saying this has become very commercial and they want to reclaim the holiday season and make it relevant,” says Lucas, head of strategic planning at ad agency Draft Worldwide.

Chains also may be responding to a push by groups such as The Catholic League and American Family Association (AFA) against a generic “winter holiday.”

The AFA cited 10 retailers (Kroger, Dell, Target, OfficeMax, Walgreens, Sears, Staples, Lowe’s, J.C. Penney and Best Buy) for omitting Christmas in ads. It urges shoppers to go where Christmas is recognized.

“If you are going to make your earnings on the year because of Christmas, why should you be ashamed to call it Christmas?” asks AFA President Tim Wildmon. “People don’t buy Thanksgiving gifts.”

At work last year they announced we were going to get a Christmas tree and they encouraged people to bring in decorations.  The thing was, they didn’t call it a Christmas tree, they called it—and I’m not making this up—a “non-denominational holiday tree”.  Then, in the next sentence, they stated that there would also be a Menorah, which made me wonder why it was called a Menorah and not a “non-denominational holiday candelabra”.  I was so tempted to find a little statue of Jesus, make a little sign that said “Non-Denominational Holiday Savior”, and hang it on the tree.  That would have been funny as hell.

Posted by Lee on 12/02/05 at 08:15 AM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Last One Standing
by Lee

It looks like we’re going to be going solo soon.

Two of America’s allies in Iraq are withdrawing forces this month and a half-dozen others are debating possible pullouts or reductions, increasing pressure on Washington as calls mount to bring home U.S. troops.

Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by mid-December. If Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea reduce or recall their personnel, more than half of the non-American forces in Iraq could be gone by next summer.

Japan and South Korea help with reconstruction, but Britain and Australia provide substantial support forces and Italy and Poland train Iraqi troops and police. Their exodus would deal a blow to American efforts to prepare Iraqis to take over the most dangerous peacekeeping tasks and craft an eventual U.S. exit strategy.

“The vibrations of unease from within the United States clearly have an impact on public opinion elsewhere,” said Terence Taylor of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington. “Public opinion in many of these countries is heavily divided.”

Hey, if these countries pull out then they pull out.  I don’t think we should ever have to define the righteousness of our mission by how many people contribute to it.  Most of these countries have hung in there with us for the whole duration of the war so far and that is to be commended.  Ultimately, however, this is our war, and if we have to go it alone then so be it.

But this relates to a point I’ve made recently about Bush’s lack of ability to articulate a clear position on why victory in Iraq is imperative.  He finally learned that regurgitating the same three bumper sticker-length bullet points wasn’t going to work, and he delivered a fantastic speech.  The “download the plan yourself” was a masterstroke.  If he’d been making this type of argument in this manner for the past three years the support in America would be higher, and this would provide more of a degree of cover for other nations to keep their troops in Iraq.  But we have to deal with the situation in which we find ourselves, and the reality is that we should expect to be going it damn near totally alone in Iraq within the next year or so.

Posted by Lee on 12/02/05 at 07:54 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rosa Moore
by Lee

I haven’t done a Michael Moore post in a while, but he just emailed out this drivel to his mailing list.

I just thought we should all pause for a moment today to remember the simple act of courage, defiance and dignity committed by Rosa Parks when she refused to move to the back of the bus because the law said she had the wrong skin color. The greatest moments in history, the ones that have truly mattered and have taken us to a better place, are made up of scores of these singular acts by ordinary, everyday people who could no longer tolerate the crap and the nonsense of those in charge.

Today, whether it is a student who holds a sit-in to get the army recruiters off his campus, or the mother of a dead soldier who refuses to leave the front gate of the president’s ranch, we continue to be saved by brave people who risk ridicule and rejection but end up turning huge tides of public opinion in the direction of righteousness.

That’s right, folks.  Prostituting the memory of your dead son, and working to keep other people from making the adult decision to join the military, are the intellectual and moral equivalents of standing up against racist society in furtherance of civil rights.  And the left in this country wonders why it can’t appeal to normal people.

What’s next?  People who recycle their empty soda cans are the moral equivalent of Mahatma Gandhi?  Anyone else think Mikey and his fans might have a slightly overinflated sense of self-importance?

Posted by Lee on 12/01/05 at 10:11 PM in Michael Mooron  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

My Kingdom for A Gun
by Lee

Okay, I know we’ve had this discussion before, but let’s do it again.  I’m going to buy a handgun sometime in the next few months.  I was raised around shotguns and rifles but I know jack shit about pistols.  So, what are your favorites?  Assume a $400-$600 price range, but I’m willing to spend a little more for the right gun.  I’m thinking maybe a classic 1911, but I’m totally open to suggestion.  Hit me with your best shot.

Posted by Lee on 12/01/05 at 10:03 PM in Blegging  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Bitter Little Pill
by Lee

Sorry, guys, but every one of you deserves to be suspended.

Walgreen Co. said it has put four Illinois pharmacists in the St. Louis area on unpaid leave for refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception in violation of a state rule.

The four cited religious or moral objections to filling prescriptions for the morning-after pill and ‘’have said they would like to maintain their right to refuse to dispense, and in Illinois that is not an option,” Walgreen spokeswoman Tiffani Bruce said.

A rule imposed by Governor Rod Blagojevich in April requires Illinois pharmacies that sell contraceptives approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control.

Pharmacies that do not fill prescriptions for any type of contraception are not required to follow the rule.

Ed Martin, an attorney for the pharmacists, on Tuesday called the discipline ‘’pretty disturbing” and said they would consider legal action if Walgreen doesn’t reconsider.

At least six other pharmacists have sued over the rule, asserting it forces them to violate their religious beliefs.

Many of those lawsuits were filed by Americans United for Life, the Chicago public interest law firm with which Martin is affiliated.

This seems pretty straightforward to me.  Walgreens is hiring these pharmacists to perform a task, filling prescriptions.  They are refusing to perform the task for which they were hired.  Thus, they should be suspended and/or fired.  If they want to work for a pro-life pharmacy they can go and find one.  Otherwise they need to shut their pieholes and go back to filling prescriptions like good little employees.

You’re not being hired to fulfill some kind of personal ethos, you’re hired to put pills in little bottles.  If they’re not prepared to do that, I’m sure Walgreens will have no problem replacing them with someone who will.

Posted by Lee on 12/01/05 at 08:02 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

I Want A New Drug
by Lee

And on the same day we hit lucky 1,000 the Singapore government will be executing this guy.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Thursday the execution of a convicted Australian drug smuggler will go ahead as planned at dawn on Friday.

“We have stated our position clearly,” Lee said in answer to a question after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The penalty is death.”

Australia been lobbying for months to stop the execution of 25-year-old heroin trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van, who received a mandatory death sentence after he was caught in 2002 at Singapore’s Changi Airport on his way home to Melbourne carrying nearly 14 ounces of heroin.

Earlier Thursday, Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock called it “a most unfortunate, barbaric act that is occurring.”

Ruddock criticized the imposition of the death penalty, especially in Nguyen’s case which he said had mitigating circumstances—Nguyen said he smuggled the drugs to try and pay off loan-shark debt for his brother in Australia.

Asked about the comment, Lee would only say that “the Australian press is colorful.”

Lee emphasized that all factors, including Australian letters for clemency, had been “taken into account” but said that “the law will have to take its course.”

He said had the drugs gotten into circulation they would have caused misery for thousands of people, and said his country had to uphold the rule of law “with impartiality for Singaporeans and foreigners alike.”

Look, I have to side with Singapore on this one.  When you walk through Changi airport they have signs reminding you that drug trafficking is a capital offense in Singapore.  In customs they have signs all over the place.  It is absolutely impossible to enter Singapore and not, at some time, be aware that drug smuggling could get you executed.  Singapore is a law-abiding country, with a solid court system.  They’re not some third world backwater in any sense of the word.  They’ve determined that the penalty for drug smuggling should be death, this guy broke their law, and now he’s going to pay the price for it.  If you don’t want to suffer the punishment for breaking another country’s laws, there are two simply solutions: don’t go there, or don’t break the law.

Posted by Lee on 12/01/05 at 08:17 AM in Down Under  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Opa!
by Lee

American culture is so violent.  With our guns and our video games and our movies, is it any wonder our kids are acting violent at younger and younger ages?  Why can’t America be more like Europe, where lives are more serene and stuff like this never happens?

Three children were arrested Thursday for allegedly strangling an 80-year-old woman during a burglary, Greek police said.

The victim, who lived alone on the island of Salamina, just off the coast of Athens, was discovered dead on Wednesday by her sisters. They initially thought she had died of natural causes but called police after realizing the house had been burgled.

The three boys — aged 7, 8 and 14 — also allegedly took more than euro600 (US$700) from the woman’s house, police said. They will face murder charges in a juvenile court, police said.

America.  When will we learn to be more like Europe?

Posted by Lee on 12/01/05 at 08:10 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

And the Voltage Goes To…
by Lee

And here comes lucky 1,000.

A killer on North Carolina’s death row worries about becoming a macabre footnote to history—the 1,000th person executed in the U.S. since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.

“I’d hate to be remembered as that,” 57-year-old Kenneth Lee Boyd told The Associated Press in a prison interview. “I don’t like the idea of being picked as a number.”

But with no doubt of Boyd’s guilt in the shooting deaths of his estranged wife and her father in 1988, it appeared unlikely the courts or Gov. Mike Easley would stop the execution, set for 2 a.m. Friday by lethal injection.  …

In a prison interview, Boyd did not deny shooting Julie Curry Boyd and her father, Thomas Dillard Curry. The Boyds were separated at the time, and Julie Boyd was living with her father. Boyd suspected his wife was having an affair.

Boyd said he was drinking the night of the murders.

“I remember sitting in my house, nobody there,” he said. “I blinked my eyes and I’d done shot my father-in-law. When they told me how many times I shot her, I couldn’t believe it.” He added: “It’s just a thing that happened, just snapped.”

Amazing, isn’t it, how all these murderers are super spiffy guys who had been drinking and just snapped.  Horeshit.  “I didn’t mean to rape that woman.  I had been drinking, and I remember sitting in my house, and before I knew it I was jamming my penis in her rectum.  When they told me how many times I raped her I couldn’t believe it.  I just snapped.” What a crock of shit.

Posted by Lee on 12/01/05 at 07:58 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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