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

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tic Tac Die You Infidel Dog
by Lee

The Muslims, who are still pissed off about that whole Crusades thing a thousand years ago, might be interested in this product.

TIC TAC TOE CRUSADERS
Add a medieval twist to an age old past time favorite. Each hand painted poly resin game piece is 2 1/2” tall and designed for hours of fun. Includes 6” x 6” fantasy tic tac toe board.

Ah, wouldn’t it be wonderful if wars could be settled without bloodshed using an age-old board game like this one?

Chewhammad: “Allah curse you, you son of a motherless whore!”
C-3PO: “He made a fair move. Screaming about it can’t help you.”
Han Solo: “Let him have it. It’s not wise to upset a Muslim.”
C-3PO: “But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.”
Han Solo: “That’s ‘cause droids don’t cut people’s heads off, mutilate the corpses, then rape their children when they lose. Muslims are known to do that.”
C-3PO: “I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Muslim win.”

Posted by Lee on 03/29/07 at 03:20 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Their Own Future
by Lee

Iran today released an “anti-war letter” allegedly written by one of the captives.

The letter was released by the Iranian embassy in London, which stated that Turney was the author.

“Isn’t it time for us to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and let them determine their own future?” said the letter, addressed to the British parliament.

Fascinating, isn’t it, that Iran releases an “anti-war” letter which uses identical verbiage and phraseology to that which we see coming from the left-wing groups.  Why, it’s almost like the “anti-war” groups share many of the same goals as the peace-loving Iranian Republic.  And it’s not just the lefties, either.

“To feed more American troops into this bloodbath is wrong,” [Sen. Chuck] Hagel said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” In the end, he said, Iraqis must determine their own future.’

Look, I’m as critical as anyone of the incompetent way that this war has been fought.  But all this peace-and-love shit that we hear from the anti-war types is EXACTLY THE SAME as the propaganda we hear from America’s enemies.

Yes, Iraq should determine its own future, that’s always been the goal.  But you have to be a willing dupe or someone who wants to see America defeated if you think pulling out now is going to achieve that.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/07 at 11:56 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Firings and Torture
by Lee

Here’s one of the fired attorneys, David Iglasias.

Last summer, Bud Cummins [U.S. Attorney from Arkansas] and I had a joint narcotics prosecution between his district and my district. One day in August, he called me about the case, and then out of the blue, he goes, “Hey, Dave, I was asked to resign.” I said, “You gotta be kidding me. Why?” He goes, “I’m not sure, but I think they want to bring in one of Karl Rove’s people.”

Now, fast forward to December 7th—after I got the call from [Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys] Mike Battle [firing me], I remember thinking, Hey, Bud Cummins got asked to resign, too.

And then John McKay [U.S. Attorney from Washington] sent out this cryptic e-mail in mid-to-late December saying he was moving on, and he didn’t say where he was going next. It’s customary for outgoing U.S. Attorneys to send out an e-mail to their colleagues saying it’s been great serving with you, here’s my next great job, here’s where you can reach me. Well, he didn’t do that. I’m thinking: I bet McKay got the same phone call I did. So I called him right away and asked him. He confirmed it and said that he’d heard there were up to ten more. He gave me the names, and I started calling these people. Sure enough, we all got the same call on the same day. By mid-to-late December I had a pretty good idea of who was on the list. We then started to e-mail each other, basically just feeling sorry for each other because we all knew we’d done a good job. And at that point, nobody had told us what the problem was. We were all scratching our head, like, Why did this happen to us but not the 85 or so other U.S. Attorneys?

But what about Republican grumbling?

I heard some state Republicans were grumbling, and I’d heard that over the past year or so. But I figured, You know, if you do your job as U.S. Attorney, there’s always going to be people grumbling. You can’t operate your office to please everybody. That’s a recipe for mediocrity.

Mediocrity is the hallmark of what this administration stands for, so I’m not surprised that they weren’t impressed by this guy.  Now, check out this view on the administration’s approval of torture.

Well, I don’t like it. This country doesn’t stand for that. By condoning torture or near torture, we’re as bad as the people we’re fighting. Sure, we’re not cutting their heads off and filming it, but this country stands for decency. It makes me think of what Bobby Kennedy argued during the Cuban Missile Crisis when the military wanted to do a preemptive strike on Cuba. He goes, “You mean, you want us to do a Pearl Harbor, except we’re the Japanese. We don’t do that. Americans don’t do that.”

Unfortunately, thanks to the shortsightedness of this president and the sycophants who support his every move, America does do that.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/07 at 09:03 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Yoo Change Now!
by Lee

Here’s a fascinating little question.  Who wrote the following?

“Congress’s power to compel members of the executive branch to obey its legitimate requests for information has long been deemed critical to the functioning of our democracy and has been upheld by the Supreme Court.”

The answer, it may surprise you, is Berkeley law professor and architect of many of the Bush administration’s more insidious policies, John Yoo, writing an op-ed in the WSJ back in 1997.

Interestingly, ten years later, there’s another op-ed in the Journal, but today’s piece (subscription required) argues that the Bush Administration can resist congressional subpoenas that relate to the current controversy concerning the firing of the U.S. Attorneys.

Of course he’s changed his mind.  As we all know, there are one set of rules for the Bush administration and another set for everyone else.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/07 at 08:55 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Semper Pinxit
by Lee

The Marines are banning big tattoos.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway announced the policy change last week.

“Some Marines have taken the liberty of tattooing themselves to a point that is contrary to our professional demeanor and the high standards America has come to expect from us,” he said. “I believe tattoos of an excessive nature do not represent our traditional values.”

The ban is aimed primarily at “sleeve” tattoos, the large and often elaborate designs on the biceps and forearms of many Marines. Similar designs on the lower legs will be forbidden as well. So will very large tattoos on the upper arm, if they are visible when a Marine wears his workout T-shirt. Small, individual tattoos will still be allowed on the arms and legs. (The Marines already ban them on the hands.)

Marines already tattooed are exempt from the ban but cannot add to their designs; anyone caught with fresh ink in the wrong places could be barred from re-enlistment or face disciplinary action. Getting a prohibited tattoo could constitute a violation of a lawful order, punishable by up to two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Brian Donnelly said.

Unit commanders must photograph and document sleeve tattoos to ensure Marines do not add to their ink.

The Marines and the other branches of the military already ban tattoos that could be offensive or disruptive, such as images that are sexist, vulgar, gang-related or extremist.

Many years ago when I was but a young whelp, there was a Chief on my ship who had a full sleeve.  From shoulder to wrist, all the way around his arm, he had skulls and fire.  Then, on the inside of his other forearm, he had—and I’m not making this up—a bleeding heart with a swastika inside it.  Now, call me crazy, but I doubt that would pass muster today.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/07 at 08:25 AM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

They Blinded Us With Science
by Lee

This isn’t a good development.

The US has lost its position as the world’s primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

The US is now ranked seventh in the body’s league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

When asked for comment President Bush remarked, “I just don’t know how this could happen.  I mean, I’ve been praying and praying.  During the past six years we’ve been doing what God wants, turning away from science and reason and putting our faith and trust in Him.  I just don’t get it.  Weird, huh?”

Okay, that was a cheap shot.  The real reason is more regulatory.  You’re going to be shocked, shocked to read this, but the countries who are ahead of us on the list have enacted business-friendly laws and policies.

Denmark is now regarded as the world leader in technological innovation and application, with its Nordic neighbours Sweden, Finland and Norway claiming second, fourth and 10th place respectively.

“Denmark, in particular, has benefited from the very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory environment and large availability of e-government services,” said Irene Mia, senior economist at World Economic Forum.

Get government out of the way of enterprise and there are no limits to what can be accomplished.

Posted by Lee on 03/28/07 at 03:12 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Brass
by Lee

I’m not a lawyer, obviously, so much of the esoteric minutiae of the law regarding the firing of the US attorneys has gone right over my head.  What bothers me most about this issue is not that it was illegal (though there may have been some laws broken), it’s the general concept that the president can politicize the law in such a brazen manner.  An article in the New York Observer really nails this point, I think.

“When I joined the Justice Department in 1990,” recalls Jonathan Shapiro, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, “there were still folks around who would tell you the story about how they lined the hallways to give Elliott Richardson a standing ovation when he left,” after the then Attorney General resigned in protest over Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. “When I left the job in 1998, there was still the sense that it was verboten to fuck around the with the U.S. attorneys. No one had the brass to fire them for political motivations—it would look far too craven, partisan and dirty.”

Craven, partisan, and dirty.  I can’t think of a better phrase to describe, in totality, the Bush administration.  There is no consideration—not the Constitution, not the law, not national security, not the reputation of America, nothing—which is outside the realm of their political machinations.  They’re just… scum. 

Posted by Lee on 03/28/07 at 02:23 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Gonzo Gots Ta Go
by Lee

The blatantly partisan attack by the Democrats against our stellar AG continues unabated.  The latest group of durn Amurka-hating libruls to call for his ouster are those radical left-wing editors over at National Review.

We do not need more evidence, however, to reach a conclusion about the suitability of Alberto Gonzales for the leadership of the Department of Justice. While we defended him from some of the outlandish charges made during his confirmation hearings, we have never seen evidence that he has a fine legal mind, good judgment, or managerial ability. Nor has his conduct at any stage of this controversy gained our confidence.

But… but… libruls!  Clinton!  Libruls!

Posted by Lee on 03/28/07 at 11:17 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Gordon Lefto
by Lee

Remember, the Democrats are the party of the common man.

The party’s campaign strategists operate under contracts that would make Halliburton blush. While their GOP counterparts work for a flat fee on presidential campaigns, Democratic media consultants profit on commission, pocketing as much as ten percent of every dollar spent on TV ads. It’s a business model that creates “an inherent conflict of interest,” concedes Anita Dunn, who served as a strategist for Bill Bradley in 2000. The more the candidate spends on TV advertising, the more the consultant cashes in. And that compensation is hidden from public scrutiny: Federal campaign reports reveal only what a campaign spends on ads, not how much the consultants skim off the top.

“Consulting,” says former Gore campaign chair Tony Coelho, “is a business that can turn into a racket.” Over the past two presidential elections, Rolling Stone estimates, that racket has cost the Democrats at least $10 million more in consultant fees than it did the Republicans. Even top GOP advisers, who usually counsel that greed is good, are amazed by the exorbitant fees. “If you want to elect your candidate, you ought to be able to work for a reasonable rate—not try to haul off a sack full of profits,” says Mark McKinnon, the lead media strategist for George Bush in both 2000 and 2004.

Overpaying consultants, McKinnon adds, may even have cost Democrats the White House. “Their consultants are getting ten percent—that’s outrageous.” He laughs. “That’s money that could have been spent on other parts of the campaigns. It might have captured 500 more votes in Florida for Gore in 2000—or maybe helped Kerry win Ohio in 2004.”

For all their talk about greed in relation to conservatives and other right-of-center types, this is nothing but pure, unadulterated, abject greed.  Which is about what we’ve all come to expect from liberals.

Posted by Lee on 03/28/07 at 10:35 AM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Too Much for Too Little
by Lee

When it comes to abortive pieces of legislation like Sarbox, Giuliani gets it right.

Sarbanes Oxley is almost another example of what we’re talking about with that housing market. And I’ve watching this from the time I was US attorney in the Justice Department. You go through a period of time in which we have these things happen where people commit crimes, which is kind of a part of human nature. Some people just commit crimes. Then we over regulate, then we have to go back and correct the over regulation. And I think probably that’s what happened to Sarbanes Oxley. We reacted. We reacted to some pretty serious crimes that were committed. Congress reacted. Probably over reacted. Some of the provisions are somewhat unrealistic about certifications--certificiations that somebody just can’t make accurately.

Government overreacting?  Perish the thought…

Update: Is Rudy Reagan’s heir?  Is it possible we might have a Republican candidate who isn’t a drooling slave to the fundamentalist Christian movement in this country?

Posted by Lee on 03/28/07 at 09:11 AM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Anyone Done the Old Stiffy Joke, Yet?
by Lee

Tim Blair points out another interesting little factoid, that “algore” means “coldness” in Latin.  I thought this had to be a goof a first but sure enough, here it is in the Wikipedia entry for algor mortis.

Algor mortis (Latin: algor—coolness; mortis—death) is the reduction in body temperature following death. This is generally a steady decline until matching ambient temperature, although external factors can have a significant influence.  A measured rectal temperature can give some indication of the time of death. Although the heat conduction which leads to body cooling follows an exponential decay curve, it can be approximated as a linear process: between 1 and 1.5° Fahrenheit per hour until the body nears ambient temperature.  The Glaister equation, for example, is (98.4° F − rectal temperature) / 1.5, giving hours elapsed since death.  As decomposition occurs the internal body temperature tends to rise again.

So, when you due your body goes stiff as a board.  That’s called “rigor mortis,” though being stiff and wooden and unappealing as a dead body are both quite apt descriptors of our former VP.  And when your corpse cools off and loses temperature this is known as “algor mortis.”

Does it seem to me that Al Gore should legally change his name to Algor Rigor?  After all, cold and stiff seems to sum him up quite nicely these days.

(Ten bonus points to anyone who gets the title of this post without Googling it.)

Posted by Lee on 03/28/07 at 12:10 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Load My Glocksen
by Lee

I know JimK will have some comment about this but, seriously, I am SO hot for that Gina chick on American Idol.  Seriously.  To rip off a line from Kramer, she can bring home the bacon and fry it in the pan.  Wow.

Posted by Lee on 03/27/07 at 11:24 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Deluge-Down Economics
by Lee

We often hear from the liberals that most of the money the government spends gets spent on eeeeeeeevil rich people and their eeeeeeeevil kkkorporations.  Unfortunately, according to this study at least, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Overall, we find that America’s lowest-earning one-fifth of households received roughly $8.21 in government spending for each dollar of taxes paid in 2004. Households with middle-incomes received $1.30 per tax dollar, and America’s highest-earning households received $0.41. Government spending targeted at the lowest-earning 60 percent of U.S. households is larger than what they paid in federal, state and local taxes. In 2004, between $1.03 trillion and $1.53 trillion was redistributed downward from the two highest income quintiles to the three lowest income quintiles through government taxes and spending policy.

From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.  This should replace “In God We Trust” on our money.

Posted by Lee on 03/27/07 at 09:45 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

It’s Done
by Lee

I officially registered as a Libertarian today.  It’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to do since, oh, forever, but I actually did it today.  I feel like I just gave birth.

If the GOP nominates a halfway decent candidate (Giuliani, for example, someone who isn’t a rabid fundamentalist Christian asshole) then I will probably vote for them. But I’m done voting for the Party of Jesus.

Posted by Lee on 03/27/07 at 09:40 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Chinese Burn
by Lee

The incomparable Tim Blair has a link-filled post full of claims from various left-wing morons and assorted environmentalist detritus who claim that (gasp!) China’s air quality standards are so much higher than America’s that you can’t sell an American vehicle in China.

As someone who has lived in China, allow me to retort.  I’m at work right now so I don’t have time to go digging up links to verify everything I write here, but these are the facts as I remember them.  General Motors (American car company—boo hiss) operates a plant in Shanghai.  It is, if memory serves, a joint partnership with the Chinese communist government.  Indeed, on the tail end of the cars they specifically say “GM Shanghai” on their name plates.  There are similar deals in Beijing with some of the European car manufacturers, I forget whether it was Citroen or Fiat.  At any rate, the ChiComs know that western companies want into their market badly, and they’re prepared to split the profits with the Chinese government in order to do it.

So, what kind of vehicles do these endeavors produce?  Basically a new model car in China is the same model you could buy in the US five years ago.  When they make the injection molds to produce the plastic bodies for US cars, they will recycle those same molds in their Chinese plant, since the average Chinese doesn’t know what the latest and greatest minivan looks like anyway.  In other words, no matter how clean our technology gets here, the vehicles made and sold in China by western companies will always be 3-5 years behind us.

So, let’s look at air quality.  I live and work in Los Angeles, one of the cities in America with the worst air quality.  The air in Shanghai is, to put it mildly, disgusting.  It’s so dirty we used to joke that any time we could see blue sky it was actually some kind of new light-blue pollutant.  Imagine putting your face between Michael Moore’s asscheeks after he’s eaten a lunch of cabbage and sardine burritos and you’ll begin to get an idea of what it’s like.  Here’s a few photos to show what I am talking about.  The first is taken from the observation deck of the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai.

image

Note the copious levels of filth extending from the sky all the way down to the street level.  The second is taken from the Summer Palace outside Beijing.


image

See those buildings hidden off in the haze above the treeline on the left?  That’s downtown Beijing.  The air is so filthy that you can barely even make out the entire cityscape. 

Before any of these treehugging celebrity lunatics rant and rave about the tranquil beauty of China and its air quality they might want to, y’know, actually visit there.  The air is so dirty that I actually went outside with a knife, cut a cube out of the air, and took it home with me in my suitcase.

Los Angeles on its worst day is less polluted than China is on its best.

Update: But wait… there’s more!

Posted by Lee on 03/27/07 at 11:59 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink
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