Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Friday, March 31, 2006

Goldmember’s Father
by Lee

The Religion of Peace™ has developed the Missile of Peace™.

Iran successfully test-fired a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads, the military said Friday.

Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards, did not specify the missile’s range, saying it depends on the weight of its warheads.

But state-run television described the weapon as “ballistic” suggesting it’s of comparable range to Iran’s existing ballistic rocket, which can travel 1,250 miles and reach arch-foe Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East.

“Today, a remarkable goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense forces was realized with the successful test-firing of a new missile with greater technical and tactical capabilities than those previously produced,” Salami said on state-run television.

It showed a clip of the launch of what it called the Fajr-3, with “fajr” meaning “victory” in Farsi.

“It can avoid anti-missile missiles and strike the target,” Salami said.

I’m calling bullshit on this thing actually being able to do what it says, but can we really avoid taking them at their word? 

Posted by Lee on 03/31/06 at 04:35 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Free Plugs
by Lee

For the first time since I added them, the Blogads are empty.  I just realized why:  when we switched URLs I forgot to update the new URL in my Blogads settings, so I’ve been registering 0 hits under the old URL.  No wonder nobody wants to buy an ad on a site with no visitors.

At any rate, just so there isn’t a gaping hole on one side of my page, I’ve decided to help out my fellow bloggers.  The first five people to with the subject “I want a free blogad” will receive a code to get a free two-week ad on my site.  You’re responsible for content and graphics and such, but the space is yours if you want it. 

Ready… go!

Update: Wow!  You offer something for free and you get deluged!  I ended up with 24 people asking for ads, and true to my word, the first five people got it.  Those of you who made the cut, the email should be in your inbox. 

And for those of you unlucky bastards who snoozed and lost, you could always buy one.  They’re not expensive. :)

Posted by Lee on 03/31/06 at 09:36 AM in Etcetera  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Legal Versus Illegal
by Lee

Somehow I ended up on the mailing list of Christine Chavez, apparently the granddaughter of the great farm worker labor organizer Cesar Chavez, who is running for Congress in the 45th district.  (And, from her website, it appears that she’s quite a piece of ass.) At any rate, I just got an email from her entitled “Support Immigrants. Oppose HR4437!”

March 31, 2006

We brought thousands of farm workers to Los Angeles so their voices could be heard on immigration reform.

Our food is harvested by immigrants… the Republican proposal to make them felons is wrong.

When the U.S. Senate voted on Monday… immigration reform advanced!

Please take a moment to tell President Bush not to support HR4437. Church leaders, teachers and health care providers shouldn’t become felons for helping immigrants!

Together we can do it! Si Se Puede!

Note that she never uses the phrase “illegal” to describe these immigrants.  My problem isn’t with them coming here, it’s with them coming here illegally, sneaking in over the border.  (End illegal immigration, and increase legal immigration.  It’s the only sane policy.) I just completely object to the way lefties like Christine here paint this as being some kind of anti-immigrant campaign when it’s nothing of the sort, it’s an anti-illegal campaign.  There’s a world of difference between the two.

Posted by Lee on 03/31/06 at 09:29 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Hirosaki Nagashima
by Lee

And the Japanese spake thus:

General Motors Corp. is struggling because the U.S. automaker has forgotten over the years how to make cars that truly cater to consumers, Nissan’s head designer said Friday.

“There was a lack of customer-orientation,” Nissan Motor Co. Senior Vice President Shiro Nakamura said of GM’s woes.

While he may be right, there’s one thing we haven’t forgotten how to make:  nuclear bombs.

Posted by Lee on 03/31/06 at 09:25 AM in Life & Culture  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Dead Bubbly
by Lee

I remember this story from a couple of years ago, and I could have SWORN I blogged on it, but I’ll be damned if I can find it.  At any rate, it seems that a former sharpshooter, who used his military training for evil, is headed to PMITA prison.

A former military marksman was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man in southeast San Diego, but a jury deadlocked on the culpability of a teenage co-defendant.

After 3½ days of deliberations, jurors convicted Lawrence Christopher Smith, 25, of shooting Dom Perignon Champagne from his car the afternoon of Nov. 26, 2004.

Smith was also convicted of attempted murder for pumping three shots into a drug dealer who owed him money on Sept. 12, 2004, and possession of marijuana for sale.

Now, far be it for me to make racial generalizations, but if your last name is Champagne and your mother names you Dom Perignon, what color would you most likely be?

Posted by Lee on 03/31/06 at 09:20 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, March 30, 2006

SOAP, IMC
by Lee

"Snakes motherfucker!  You hear what I’m saying?  We got motherfucking snakes on a motherfucking plane… I mean car."

Authorities said a man crashed his car after a pet snake he had wrapped around his neck began attacking him.

Witnesses said Courtland Johnson was driving erratically and crashed his PT Cruiser into several barricades at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. According to reports, he got out of his car, wrestled with the snake and then drove off.

When authorities caught up with Johnson, 30, at his home, he told them he crashed into another car that had stopped short in front of him. After questioning, Johnson admitted he panicked when his snake bit him.

Note to self: when driving, don’t let your pet snake wrap itself around your neck.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/06 at 11:27 PM in Life & Culture  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Legal Illegals
by Lee

From a AP story about the immigration issue:

Among other things, the legislation would make it a crime to be in this country illegally.

Hasn’t it always been a crime to be in the country illegally?  This remark is perfectly indicative of the way people view illegal immigration in this country:  they’re not criminals, they merely violated the law.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/06 at 03:31 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Praying for Evidence
by Lee

Many of you will be shocked, shocked to read this, but prayer does absolutely nothing for you.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Researchers emphasized their work does not address whether God exists or answers prayers made on another’s behalf. The study can only look for an effect from prayers offered as part of the research, they said.

They also said they had no explanation for the higher complication rate in patients who knew they were being prayed for, in comparison to patients who only knew it was possible prayers were being said for them.

The work, which followed about 1,800 patients at six medical centers, was financed by the Templeton Foundation, which supports research into science and religion. It will appear in the American Heart Journal.

Being someone whose father died after heart surgery, I can tell you that these results don’t surprise me in the slightest.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/06 at 12:55 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Swiss Mrs.
by Lee

Okay, here’s another one I just don’t fucking get.  First we have hot teachers banging their students, and now we’re got yet another European broad who has married an American death row inmate.

A former pizza delivery man with a long criminal record was executed Wednesday for the robbery and slaying of a Houston-area man 13 years ago.

“I love my children. I love my family,” Kevin Kincy, 38, said in a brief statement. “That’s it.”

Before the drugs took effect, Kincy pursed his lips into a kiss and smiled at a Swiss woman who married him last year. They met on a death penalty Web site that seeks pen pals.

Kincy was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m., eight minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow.

HBO did a documentary about this a few years ago, women who marry men convicted of murder while they are in prison.  So many of them are Europeans who meet through these prison pals websites.  Fucking kooks, all of them.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/06 at 09:57 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Kids and Guns
by Lee

A bunch of schoolkids in the UK have demonstrated the total futility of gun control laws.

Schoolchildren have exploited loopholes in Britain’s arms controls by importing torture equipment including thumb and wall cuff restraint devices and a Chinese “sting stick” - a metal bar covered with spikes.

All that teenagers from Lord Williams’s school in Thame, Oxfordshire, needed was a letterhead, a mobile phone, an email address, and a little money. They also set up a separate company in Ireland to avoid British controls on the sale of small arms.

The government says it is opposed to any trade in torture equipment, but bans only those items mentioned on a published list. The wall cuffs from Poland, thumb cuffs from Taiwan, and sting stick from China do not appear on the list.

The pupils set up two companies, Williams Defence and Williams Defence (Eire). Through their Irish company they arranged deals to destinations covered by British and other national trade embargos, including the sale of Pakistani grenade launchers to Syria, Turkish guns to Mali, and South African rifles to Israel.

The Thame children got quotes but did not go ahead with the deals. However, children from a school in Portloaise, near Dublin, succeeded in buying electric shock batons from Korea and leg irons from South Africa.

The ease with which British controls on trade in torture equipment and small arms can be evaded is exposed in a Dispatches programme, After School Arms Club, presented by Mark Thomas, to be broadcast on Channel 4 next Monday. “It should not be legal, and yet we’ve proved that children, who by law are not allowed to drink alcohol, can broker arms from countries along a trade route from Poland to China, Israel to South Africa. And many of these arms are used against - or tragically even by - children,” said Maddy Fry, 16, a pupil at Lord Williams’s school.

Now, admittedly, the children weren’t buying guns, but the principle is the same.  No matter how much you ban something, no matter how many laws you pass, it will always be possible to find loopholes.  If a bunch of students can order torture equipment, how difficult would it be for an experienced criminal enterprise to get in a shipment of AK-47s?

Posted by Lee on 03/30/06 at 09:46 AM in 2nd Amendment  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Losing My Religion
by Lee

Some religious website has a quiz up where you can find out what church or faith is right for you.  Check out the Belief-O-Matic.

It turns out I’m a Unitarian Universalist, followed by a Secular Humanist, and Non-Theist.  Surprisingly “Christ-Punching Leftist” wasn’t on the list.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/06 at 08:02 PM in Etcetera  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Hot for Teacher, Yet Again
by Lee

And the latest hot teacher to bang one of her students is Brandy Yates.

A former junior high school teacher in Emery County is charged with felony sex abuse of a minor for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old boy.

Brandy Yates, 26, was a teacher at San Rafael Junior High School in Ferron. Authorities have filed a second-degree felony count of forcible sexual abuse against her because she was in a position of special trust.

Prior to San Rafael JH, Yates formerly taught a first-grade class at Three Falls Elementary School in Hurricane. Before that she taught sixth grade at the Desert Hills Institute.

Here she is.

image

And, as usual, this is a girl who wouldn’t go out with me on a dare.  I live in hell.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/06 at 06:30 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Importance of Leadership
by Lee

Wired has a list of Steve Jobs’ all-time best quotes.  This one struck me as being particularly insightful.

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
-- BusinessWeek, May 25 1998

This is one of the best illustrations of the importance of leadership that I’ve ever read.  For example, Apple has spent decades building up its image as a company of innovation, the company that is always there to show you the next big thing.  When they come out with a new product, the world takes notice.  It takes consistency of performance to build up that kind of trust.  People recognize that they don’t know everything, and they look to people they trust to show them what they want.

To extrapolate this further, this is, I think, George W. Bush’s biggest problem.  It’s not that he has ideas that people don’t want, it’s that he’s just so damn bad at showing people why they should want them.  Successful leaders understand that you have to constantly deliver, and in the event that you stumble or one of your ideas doesn’t resonate, you need to cut your losses and make sure you deliver big on the next one.  Bush doesn’t seem to grasp this.  He has the right idea, in the sense that you can’t govern by focus groups, the way Clinton did.  You need to have a set of beliefs to which you stick.  This is what I like about Bush.  But the flip side of that is you need to have a way of articulating those beliefs, of marketing them to the public, of keeping people interested.  This is where Bush fails miserably.  He seems to have an attitude of “Hey, trust me.” But trust has to be built.  When you simply expect people to trust you by virtue of your current status, you open up the door for someone to come in and steal your thunder.  Look at Apple and the iPod, or Google.  Both these companies swept in under Microsoft and innovated their way to the top of the heap by offering superior solutions.  Here’s another Jobs quote.

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
-- Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998

It’s about ideas and leadership and innovation.  Bush’s attitude can be reasonably summed by by, “Hey, they elected me, they should trust me.” But that’s not how it works.  It never has, and I don’t think Bush will ever realize this.  Not only that, but rather than hire people who do realize it, he seems to surround himself by people who will reenforce what he already believes. 

Bush.  Good man, great ideas , lousy president.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/06 at 02:58 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Grand Hick Auto
by Lee

I guess personal responsibility doesn’t mean jack shit in Alabama.

The Alabama Supreme Court rejected an appeal by video game makers and sellers who asked a judge to throw out a $600 million lawsuit blaming the popular game “Grand Theft Auto” for the murders of three employees at the Fayette Police Department.

Ruling without comment, the justices refused to let the companies appeal the decision of a trial judge who refused to dismiss the suit over the slayings of two police officers and a radio dispatcher in 2003.

The Supreme Court did agreed to hear manufacturers’ claims challenging whether Alabama courts have the power to hear the case.

A lawyer for the victims’ families said the high court’s refusal last Friday to grant an appeal set the stage for what could be the nation’s first trial over killings blamed on video games, perhaps as early as January.

You always used to think that the south, as compared to the bastions of pseudo-intellectual idiocy like the coasts, was the one place in America where common sense and traditional notions of right and wrong and responsibility still applied.  I guess not.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/06 at 02:49 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Black Robed Mook
by Lee

Scalia don’t take no fucking shit from no reporter.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a scathing letter to the Boston Herald, accused the newspaper’s staff of watching “too many episodes of the Sopranos” for interpreting a hand gesture he made at a cathedral as obscene.

The Boston Herald reported Monday the justice made “an obscene gesture, flicking his hand under his chin” in response to a question about whether lawyers might question his impartiality in matters of church and state. The incident occurred after he attended Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

But Scalia wrote in a letter to the editor that the gesture was not obscene at all, but dismissive. Scalia said he explained the gesture’s meaning to the reporter, to no avail.

Scalia quoted from “The Italians” by Luigi Barzini: “The extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin means ‘I couldn’t care less. It’s no business of mine. Count me out.”’

Scalia wrote that the reporter concluded it was offensive because he initially explained his gesture by saying, “That’s Sicilian.” He blamed the mistake on excessive exposure to the HBO crime family drama.

“From watching too many episodes of the ‘Sopranos,’ your staff seems to have acquired the belief that any Sicilian gesture is obscene — especially when made by an ‘Italian jurist.’ (I am, by the way, an American jurist.)” Scalia wrote.

And if you print lies like that about me again, I’ll send a couple of my boys around to break your fucking legs, capisce?

Posted by Lee on 03/29/06 at 11:10 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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