Friday, June 27, 2008

President's Men reflect a disdain of law and authority reminiscent of the President's

Here's an example of why the Bush administration should have been impeached.

The utter disdain for another branch of government defies reason.

I don't know about you, but despite how much I complain about Congress, I still respect their authority as the representative of the people.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2nd Amendment wins the right to be an individual right.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the 2nd Amendment.

I argued months ago on scotusblog back in November (2nd Comment) against the collective right angle some were taking against gun rights.

Some, who opposed my position, took me to task, but failed to provide any substantive support for their position (hint: There isn't any in the case law...), only invective.

As a staunch reader of the Washington Post, I will provide the link to their story on the case.

Keep in mind that the local DC paper takes a local slant, so be warned.

My position on the collective right is clear: You cannot have a collective right in this case unless it is composed of individual rights. Sort of like the bundle of rights we have with copyright law.

No case law, no original intent, and little to no history supports a collective right for the 2nd Amendment.

The justices also noted (surprisingly for the Conservatives on the bench...) that the framers enacted the 2nd Amendment to codify an extant right. That should shut up the assholes who preach the philosophy that rights don't exist and any so-called right comes from your ability to buy it (Richard Posner).

Anyway, it's a rare day when I side with the Conservative Justices, but I am 100% with them on this one.

Big damages against Exxon reduced--it doesn't make headlines though

Here's an example of the stuff that goes on in court cases that rarely make the big headlines.

It makes front page news when we hear about a woman winning a large damage award from McDonalds for spilling coffee on herself. What you don't read in the papers is how the court reduced her award.

Why is that? Because the amount actually received is always in line with what one would expect and not really a headline maker.

In this story, Exxon had its damage award from the Valdez oil spill reduced to a quarter of what the jury awarded.

Normally, a remittitur is within the court's discretion. Sometimes though, I think it a violation of the jury's power to change the award unilaterally.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tim is ticked off over this steaming pile of privacy-invading crap!

Can you say, "PISSED OFF!"

Well, I'm thoroughly ticked at our spineless and craven legislature over the new wiretapping bill.

Read this: Totally Spineless, Freedom-hating, Orwellian, Sons of Bitches!!!

If any of you support this legislation you don't deserve to call yourselves Americans.

Is that plain enough for you?

I defy any of you to argue that losing our privacy to the government is ever a good thing.

De-regulation has its problems

This editorial from RealClearPolitics offers up a stunning insight into how de-regulation is not the panacea for business that the laissez-faire types invisage.

Our economy is highly complex and the airline industry is almost a necessity for our economy--that is until we have an alternative like a railway system.

I'm forever suspicious of hard core de-regulator types. It's rare that de-regulation brings the benefits that its advocates offer up.

Airline de-regulation has resulted in the mess we now have.

The government has a useful role to play in priming the pump and re-orienting industries that are necessary for our country.

Those that advocate de-regulation for what ails us are no different from the snake-oil salesmen whose concoctions "cure" everything.

In the final analysis, neither works as advertised.

But of course, the advocate will always find an excuse for its failure rather than own up to their bullshit.

The "Why" and "Wherefore" of Ticks

Here's a rather disgusting article with some good information about ticks.

The key to avoiding tick-borne diseases is to get them off quickly. The bacteria they carry can take up to 24 hours to infect the tick host.

This article is done for the benefit of someone I know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

McCain suffers from conservative fragmentation

Politico has an interesting piece on McCain's troubles with conservatives.

The piece notes that McCain suffers from fragmentation in the conservative movement.

The author points to the three strands of conservativism that will remain into the future:

1) Tom Tancredo's brand of jingoism and anti-immigrant ideology

2) Ron Paul's libertarian type that involves reduction of government, taxes, and many social controls

3) Mitt Romney's business-oriented brand, favoring corporativist development.

Good points, but not necessarily the real future of conservativism.

Out of all of those, the only one I find remotely favorable is the second kind.

Bush still a moron, but more accountable for his ignorance

Slate has an editorial that paints a grim picture of Bush and his intellect or lack thereof.

The piece sets out in detail the conditions that formed Bush's anti-intellectualism and how it has infected his life ever since. Unfortunately, if what the author says is true, then Bush has opted for ignorance.

But then, ignorance is a choice. People choose to forego educating themselves and thus choose ignorance. Some do it because they are lazy, others, like Bush, do it because they adopt an ideology that provides them with certainty. Bush began this odyssey into moron-land by becoming an evangelical. This inevitably led to ideology, since he was politically inclined.

Stupidity could be excused because stupid can't help it. Bush doesn't lack for ability because his parents and family exude ability, so stupid isn't his problem.

The damning aspect to this boils down to choosing to be an idiot.

We've all paid the consequences for his personal life choices.

Dobson is a fool.

I'm not familiar with what Obama said, but after reading what Dobson said about the Bible and its precepts, I am inclined to side with Obama.

I've read the Bible and you cannot take it literally or worse, apply it literally, in its totality and operate within the bounds of the law.

Dobson has a lot of nerve passing judgment on what anyone says. He's violating the New Testament injunction to not judge lest one be judged.

Hypocrisy runs rampant with Dobson. What a fool.

Monday, June 23, 2008

McCain on target with energy proposal.

Finally a McCain proposal that is a great idea.

The Senator proposes giving $300 million to whomever comes up with a new type of battery.

I would encourage everyone to check out EESTOR. They have an ultracapacitor that may fit the bill. I have a previous post on this company and their developments.

This is a good start when we have both candidates looking in the same direction for energy issues.

I agree with McCain that our energy issues are intimately tied to security matters.

George Carlin dead at 71

One of my favorite comedians died.

George Carlin, who came up with the Seven words you can't say on television, passed away in Los Angeles. Link.

I'll sure miss him. I owned a number of his stand-up routines on DVD. In fact, he was the only comedian that I bothered to buy on DVD.

Goodbye George.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grief has addictive qualities for some

A new study reported by Science Daily tells a complicated tale for grief.

In some, grief activates the reward center in the brain. Grief becomes a type of addiction. To keep the reward center activated, these people focus on their grief to the point of becoming debilitated.

This is a fascinating study. These things occur outside the realm of conscious thought, so we cannot blame those who get into a cycle of grief from which they cannot escape.

Living standards decline as wealth shifts to the East

The London Times has an editorial that foretells a future beset by lower living standards in the West.

We're seeing the results of this shift now, with Americans suffering the highest productivity of any industrialized nation, while seeing stagnant wages and growth.

We've outsourced ourselves into decline.

We cannot stop this shift, but we can ease its pain. As a nation, we have the opportunity to relieve some of the burdens on American workers and families by providing universal health care insurance. People can work without the worry of a catastrophic illness destroying their families.

We can begin infrastructure spending to improve our efficiencies and pump money into the economy while stimulating job growth at home.

Time for getting our heads out of the sand