Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paying the Piper

the legal system has struck again!! Jury awards Marine’s Father 11 million in damages. HAHA!

BALTIMORE - A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

Snyder’s attorney, Craig Trebilcock, had urged jurors to determine an amount “that says don’t do this in Maryland again. Do not bring your circus of hate to Maryland again.”

Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God hates fags.”

A number of states have passed laws regarding funeral protests, and Congress has passed a law prohibiting such protests at federal cemeteries. But the Maryland lawsuit is believed to be the first filed by the family of a fallen serviceman.

Man, these scumbags got what was coming to them.


I was waiting for this. Brian, Thank you. A lawyer speaks..

Posted by Manwhore on 10/31/07 at 04:45 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Uncle Putin’s Kids

The Putin Youth, exposed.

Hundreds of students and state railway workers were ordered to attend demonstrations in Russia calling for Vladimir Putin to stand for an illegal third term as president, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

Regional government officials demanded that schools in Tver region and railway deparments in Novosibirsk provided pupils and employees to cheer the president at Soviet-style rallies in recent weeks.

Prosecutors are examining official telegrams laying out requirements for attendance at the rallies. The papers were uncovered by opposition politicians and appear to be a blatant breach of electoral law.

We do things differently in this country. Instead of giving presidents third terms, we wait an election and let their wives do it for them.

Update from Lee: Or their sons.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/31/07 at 04:14 PM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Let Freedom Ring

Ron Paul shows he still gets it, which is partly why other Republicans are so desperate to keep him on the sidelines.

Young ideas, a fantastic idea about individual freedom and allowing people to do what they want and take care of their lives, their lives belong to them, and get the government off their backs, and offer them low taxes, and make sure I never mess around with the Internet. Don’t tax the Internet, and don’t regulate the Internet.

You know, freedom is a very popular idea, and young people love it, and they’re open to ideas. And they like principled answers to our problems.

Sometimes the kids are all right. It says something about the sorry state of the GOP when a guy who actually believes in freedom (what a concept!) low taxes, less government interference-you know, actual, conservative ideas-is treated as a nutcase by pundits and political hacks posing as conservatives.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/31/07 at 03:53 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

How They Think

Having now agreed with Boortz, I feel the need to respond to this vileness:

One more thing about torture ... just so there is no question of where I stand (as if it matters). If we know that there is a nuclear bomb in downtown Chicago set to go off in hours; and if we have somebody in our custody who can tell us where that bomb is, we can (you might not want to read this) drive bamboo shoots up under his fingernails, nails into his eyes, crush his knees, and then, for good measure, drive a glass rod up his bin Laden and break it into tiny pieces, and then cut off anything we don’t’ think this guy is ever going to need again in his entire miserable life just to get him to talk ... if that’s what it takes. Let’s stop this asinine moral exhibitionism on the issue of torture. If you wouldn’t torture some worthless piece of human debris to save the live of someone you love .. .than step aside and let someone else do the job.

If this doesn’t exemplify the thinking of the pro-torture Right, I don’t know what does. It’s bullshit because (a) every torturer thinks there is a ticking time bomb; (b) these methods are most likely to get you false information and send you on a wild-goose chase while the bomb goes off; (c) the whole reason we have professional interrogators is so that people don’t get carried away trying to protect someone they love. Emotion doesn’t help.

Boortz also goes on to say that “Waterboarding, by the way, is not torture .. unless you define torture down, as the MoveOn Democrats and the media have been doing for years.” The United State has always considered water-boarding to be torture when it was done by anyone else. We specificially highlighted its extensive use by the Khmer Rouge as an example of torture. The only way this isn’t torture is if you think the rules are different for America.

I don’t.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 10/31/07 at 12:58 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Right-Thinking from the Right Coast

Who needs coffee when you’ve got The University of Delaware (via Boortz and WND):

The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism.

This is nothing new. “Diversity? The only diversity we want is superficial, not intellectual!”

Anyone who has been in academia within the last 20 years know this routine. You come on campus and some “diversity coordinator” spends a day telling you that you a racist, sexist, homophobic monster. Fortunately, most students are resistant to this brain-washing. They have a few beers, say “What the fuck!” and get on with trying to graduate and get laid. The few dim bulbs who swallow it create the next generation of “sensitivity trainers” and Professors of Education. Occasionally, you’ll get a professor who wants to spout the Party Line. And student organizations are all over it. But it generally gets ignored.

(My own undergraduate school was actually pretty good about this - they only required you take a course about some other culture. Women’s Studies qualified—apparently women are a mystery even to themselves. But I chose a course on South Asian anthropology and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. My current employer doesn’t do this—at least not for staff.)

Anyway, what’s got people’s boxers in a bunch is this:

Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught, among other things, that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

Adding: “By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudice, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination)”.

This is the new wrinkle—extending the Orwellian “re-education” through RAs. As if RAs didn’t already have their hands full dealing with young hormone-addled idiots who think they know everything.


Posted by Hal_10000 on 10/31/07 at 11:01 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Porno for Pyros
by Lee

Seriously, is there an ass-whipping painful enough?

A boy playing with matches started a Southern California wildfire that scorched more than 38,000 acres, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

The Buckweed Fire, which destroyed 21 homes on its rampage, began October 21 in the Agua Dulce community.

The next day authorities identified the boy as a suspect, according to a report issued by the sheriff’s department.

“After talking with the suspect, he admitted playing with matches and starting the fire,” the report said.

The boy, whose name and age were not given, is home with his parents, police said. The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney for possible charges.

When I was about six my dad caught my brother and I playing with matches, and he took the belt to our asses like you wouldn’t believe.  I can’t even begin to imagine how he’d handle this one.

Posted by Lee on 10/31/07 at 05:55 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Preach It, Gordo
by Lee

British PM Gordon Brown is meeting with Saudi King Abdullah.  CNN International showed a clip of a speech he just gave (I can’t find it online yet) where he condemned torture, whether it was in Myanmar or Zimbabwe or anywhere else, and said something to the effect of “human rights are universal and not negotiable.”

What a shame that, in addition to Myanmar and Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia, he could also have included the United States as countries which legally condone and practice torture.

Posted by Lee on 10/31/07 at 05:46 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Latest
by Lee

I’ve posted details of my new apartment over at LeeInChina.  Plus I’m freezing my nuts off because the fucking government hasn’t turned on the goddamned heat yet.

Posted by Lee on 10/31/07 at 05:38 AM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Spanish Muslims
by Lee

While you guys are sleeping I’m watching the Madrid train bombing verdict live on CNN International.  It’s like a Muslim OJ trial.  The judge is droning on and on, laying out the evidence and giving commentary.  I wish he’d just shut the fuck up and find them guilty already.

Just like CNN in the US they have stories that they run every 15 minutes or so.  One of them deals with the Madrid bombings.  They interviewed one guy who lost 40% of his hearing in the blast.  The thing is, he said that he was so traumatized by the attack that he could never ride a train or—I shit you not—work again.  That’s right, he was so traumatized because he was bombed on his way to work that he can never work again.

I feel for the guy.  He’s obviously a victim, but give me a fucking break.  Get your lazy ass back to work.

Update: Wow, surprising.  Some of them got the harshest penalties allowed by law, and some are going to get some weak-ass sentences.  Man, I’d hate to be those prosecutors right now.  Five of them were acquitted completely of the serious charges.

Fucking weak.  The Spaniards are bombed by Muslims.  As a result, they elect a socialist leader who pulls Spain out of the Iraq coalition—a victory for the terrorists.  Now the Spanish legal system has made them look even more weak.

Look, I understand that this is how the law works, and I’d much rather live under this type of system than any other, but damn.

Posted by Lee on 10/31/07 at 05:33 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mr. Skin

Who knew that Karl Marx was literally a butthead?

Karl Marx suffered from a skin disease that can cause severe psychological effects such as self-loathing and alienation, according to a British dermatologist.

The father of communism’s life and attitudes were shaped by hidradenitis suppurativa, said Sam Shuster in the British Journal of Dermatology. One of its symptoms is alienation-a concept that Marx, a martyr to boils and carbuncles, put into words as he wrote Das Kapital.

The condition was described as early as 1839 by a French physician, Alfred Velpeau. But, Professor Shuster says, ideas crossed the Channel less readily than wine and Marx’s true condition was never diagnosed.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a disease of the apocrine sweat glands, found in the armpits and the groins. The skin in the affected areas shows a mixture of blackheads, lumps that look like boils, spots and areas that leak pus. Doctors and Marx, who was born in Germany but lived most of his life in London, called them “furuncles, boils and carbuncles,” but Professor Shuster says that they were too persistent and recurrent for that. He searched Marx’s letters and found that he had started complaining of carbuncles in 1864, when he was 46, though it is possible that he had them earlier.

In 1867 he wrote to Friedrich Engles of the boils “on my posterior and near the penis"-areas characteristic of the condition. Marx was often unable to work because of the pain. He wrote to Ludwig Kugelmann in 1867: “I still have a carbuncle on the left loin not far from the centre of propagation, as well as numerous furuncles.”

A boil on his ass, eh? Considering he was a boil on humanity’s butt, it seems rather fitting.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/30/07 at 11:31 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sit On It, Ralph

Oh, this is rich.

WASHINGTON (AP)-Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry.

Nader’s lawsuit, filed in Disctirct of Columbia Superior Court, also named as co-defendants Kerry’s campaign, the Service Employees International Union and several so-called 527 organizations such as America Coming Together, which were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Democratic National Committee conspired to force Nader off the ballot in several states.

“The Democratic Party is going after anyone who presents a credible challenge to their monopoly over their perceived voters,” Nader said in a statement. “This lawsuit was filed to help advance a free and open electoral process for all candidates and voters. Candidate rights and voter rights nourish each other for more voices, choices and a more open and competitive democracy.”

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the DNC tried to bankrupt Nader’s campaign by suing to keep him off the ballot in 18 states. It also suggests the DNC sent Kerry supporters to crash a Nader petition drive in Portland, Ore., in June 2004, preventing him from getting enough signatures to get on the ballot.

And you thought Al Gore’s whining was bad...look, as much as a douchebag Kerry is, this is quite a stretch. Even if he’d been competitive, does Ralphie really think he could have kept Bush from winning? All he would have done is take votes away from Lurch, and that’s why third parties can’t get taken seriously in this country.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/30/07 at 04:34 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Casper the Friendly Brit

This has to be the coolest thing I have ever seen!! British Ministry of Defence unveils invisible tank.

New technology that can make tanks invisible has been unveiled by the Ministry of Defence.

In secret trials last week, the Army said it had made a vehicle completely disappear and predicted that an invisible tank would be ready for service by 2012.

The new technology uses cameras and projectors to beam images of the surrounding landscape onto a tank.

The result is that anyone looking in the direction of the vehicle only sees what is beyond it and not the tank itself.

A soldier, who was at the trials, said: “This technology is incredible. If I hadn’t been present I wouldn’t have believed it. I looked across the fields and just saw grass and trees - but in reality I was staring down the barrel of a tank gun.”

It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. If this technology alone could mask a human from vision, I can see the entire male market of japan purchasing one to catch a panchira.

Update from Lee: This sounds like a plot to a bad movie.  A general is in charge of a project to make an invisible tank, he can’t get it to work in time, so he just has the press and visiting brass looking at an empty field, where they are all amazed that none of them can see the tanks.

Posted by Manwhore on 10/30/07 at 02:34 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Fareed vs. Norm

Judge Terror States on Their Actions, Not Their Words

A nice short debate between Fareed Zakaria and Norman Podhoretz on the subject of Iran can be found here:

So the question about Iran’s rationality rests on this: They’ve been in power for 30 years. What have they done? Iran has followed a pretty rational, national interest-oriented foreign policy.

If you look at the way in which they opposed al-Qaida and the Taliban, this was another Islamic revolutionary movement. You’d think that they would find them sympathetic, but, no, they were the sworn enemies of al-Qaida and they helped the United States depose the Taliban.

By and large, over the last 30 years...they’ve been fairly calculating, they have followed their national interest. When it has bumped up against the United States, they have worked against us. When they have thought that our interests were in common, as in Afghanistan, they’ve worked with us.

I disagree somewhat with Fareed—isolating yourself from the world’s biggest economy isn’t exactly rational—but read the debate. Podhoretz—who, incidentally, has been absolutely wrong about everything throughout his career—keeps coming back to what the Iranians say. Zakaria keeps coming back to what the Iranians have done.

There is sometimes a huge difference between what politicians say and what they do. Just in the last few years in this country, Bill Clinton governed a lot more conservatively than he talked and George Bush has governed a lot more liberally than he talked. People who allow sleep deprivation say, “We Don’t Torture!” while men who made careers exaggerating atrocities say they support the troops. I once dated a woman who lived in DC and she told me, “This is a town of bullshit. Never listen to what anyone says.” I somehow doubt that Bullshitism is exclusive to Washington.

Iran has been brutally oppressive to their own people and has supported terrorism aboard. That’s plenty of reason to oppose and contain them. But if they are making moves to become the Fourth Reich, they are being awfully subtle about it. The more I listen to this debate, the more the “Attack Iran Now!” crowd sound like unhinged misinformed lunatics.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 10/30/07 at 12:09 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Smells Like Tween Spirit

So this is where I’ll be tonight, at the Hannah Montana concert:

It’s dad’s and daughters. We’re hitting dinner beforehand and will surely have a few drinkie-poos (Shirley Temples for the girls). We’re using public transit so no worries.

I keep joking that we should all eat some shrooms and slam a few 40oz’s before the show so we can pass out in the aisle and show these girls what a real rock concert is like. My wife doesn’t find the humor in that. Not sure why.

Update: This article describes just how big this tour is.

Vanessa Danielle of StubHub, a major ticket-reselling firm, says the tour has more than doubled the dollar volume of the most recent excursions by Justin Timberlake and Van Halen. It is on track to surpass the Police as StubHub’s top tour ever in both dollar volume and tickets sold.

Like it or not, that’s some serious success.

Posted by on 10/30/07 at 09:49 AM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Apple That Roared
by Lee

Over at LeeInChina I was asked whether I had installed Leopard, Apple’s new operating system.  I have not, simply because being in China it’s not like I can just hop in the car and drive over to the Apple Store and pick up a copy.  I don’t even know where to find Apple stuff in Beijing yet.  That being said, there have been some reports of some issues with the new OS, so even though I’m busting a gut to get at the new features, I think I’ll wait a few days until some of the patches are released and the kinks worked out.  I’ll probably find an Apple retailer this weekend and buy a copy.

Anyone out there got it yet?  Work okay for you?  How are you liking it?  Any of you Windows types done the hack yet?

Posted by Lee on 10/30/07 at 06:12 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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