Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Or not. (Pregnancy Pact, pt. 2)

Teen now says there was no pact. Sure. Like I would believe any of them now that their principal and parents and cops and who knows who all else has had their cracks at them . . .


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Because war is so popular these days, let's have some more

There is now a bill making its way quickly through the House calling for a naval blockade of Iran. Yes, with an "n"!! For those of you not hep to the language of diplomacy, a naval blockade is pretty much an act of war. Things are getting darker . . .

Labels: , , ,

FISA capitulation in the House

By a ridiculous margin of 293-129 (which still means a majority of House Democrats voted against it, but not by as much as one might hope), the House passed Steny Hoyer's "compromise" (read: caving in to Smirky and the rest of the Republican scum) FISA bill, which allows for the telecom companies to skate for their part in stripping your 4th Amendment rights from you. Whenever the President, or any of his Executive Branch minions, (such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.) decides to invade your privacy without probable cause or a warrant, he will now have the authority to do so granted by Congress, if the Senate concurs. The fact that that august body had already passed a bill even more craven pretty much seals this deal.
Gee, do you think the Republicans would have ever passed any bills whatsoever that its majority disagreed with when they were in control? Newsflash: they wouldn't, they didn't.
Congratulations to the President, as we prepare to give in to his demands to destroy the country yet again.
If you're not pissed, you're not paying attention. That clicking sound you hear is simply the government tapping your phone line; don't pay it any mind.
"Save me [Senate], you're my only hope!"
Right--this is me holding my breath . . .
Unf&*^ing believable. Land of the Free, my ass.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wow, this is really weird.

Apparently, a bunch of teens in Gloucester Massachusetts decided to make a pact with each other to . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . get pregnant and raise their babies together! What the?!
The most disturbing part of this story--and there are many--to me was that one of the girls coupled with a "24-year old homeless guy" in order to achieve this lofty goal. (Some of the others also got impregnated by similarly older men.)
Not to be sick or anything, but I wonder why these girls couldn't find any boys their own age for the job--I'm sure there would have been plenty of applicants, had they known . . .
I know, I know: real classy, bryduck. But c'mon, this is just whack.


Steny Hoyer stabs America in the back

Even though no one wants this, Steny Hoyer (D Rep.-Md.) has "negotiated" a "deal" that gives the telcoms immunity. Please call your representatives immediately to tell them to vote against this monstrosity. We do not need any action on FISA at this point, and we certainly don't need to provide prosecutorial immunity to companies who willingly violated our Constitutional rights. This is about illegal domestic spying, folks--the government has been strongarming the communications industry into tapping your phones, emails, and texts and helping them gather data. Seriously. This is not paranoia, but proven fact, and we must put an end to it. Please.

Labels: , ,

Not breaking news: Smirky doesn't believe in the Constitution

Obviously, this would never happen here: a reporter schooled Smirky on what the Supreme Court's job is, as reported on Monday. At the same time, Smirky throws the lowly Abu Ghraib prison guards under the bus, as if nobody gave those orders to torture. The interview, which was filled with the usual crud from Smirky and his doll's eyes wife, had one remarkable exchange that shows what a total--yet 100% scary--tool we have in the White House.

I mean, you've talked a lot about freedom. I've heard you talk about freedom -- I think every time I've seen you.


BOULTON: And yet there are those who would say, look, let's take Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and rendition and all those things, and to them that is the, you know, the complete opposite of freedom.

THE PRESIDENT: Of course if you want to slander America, you can look at it one way. But you go down -- what you need to do -- I think I suggested you do this at a press conference -- if you go down to Guantanamo and take a look at how these prisoners are treated -- and they're working it through our court systems. We are a land of law.

BOULTON: But the Supreme Court have just said that -- you know, ruled against what you've been doing down there.

THE PRESIDENT: But the district court didn't. And the appellate court didn't.

BOULTON: The Supreme Court is supreme, isn't it?

THE PRESIDENT: It is, and I accept their verdict. I don't agree with their verdict. And it's not what I was doing down there. This was a law passed by our United States Congress that I worked with the Congress to get passed and sign into law.

BOULTON: But it looked like an attempt to bypass the Constitution, to a certain extent.

THE PRESIDENT: This was a law passed, Adam. We passed a law. Bypassing the Constitution means that we did something outside the bounds of the Constitution. We went to the Congress and got a piece of legislation passed.

BOULTON: Which is now being struck down, I think.

THE PRESIDENT: It is, and I accept what the Supreme Court did, and I necessarily don't have to agree with it.

My only point to you is, is that yes, I mean, we certainly wish Abu Ghraib hadn't happened, but that should not reflect America. This was the actions of some soldiers.

I especially like the part where Smirky tries to show how our government works to someone who clearly knows far more about the inner workings of the American system than he does: "This was a law passed, Adam. We passed a law." Clown.
The last bit about Abu Ghraib is grossly offensive in its disingenuousness.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Whack video from Texas

John Cornyn is one of the most reprehensible Senators left, and that's saying a lot. His supporters, on the other hand, are simply weird. Here's a look at one of their videos. (I choose not to link to it directly for fear of giving their host the wrong ideas.) I especially like the line, "John opened up government/Let us all take a look"! Hahahahahahahahaha.
Vote Rick Noriega if you live in Texas and help save our country.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reason #12,362 why conservatives and the Republicans are evil

The Supreme Court narrowly decided last week that the right of habeas corpus still exists and needs to be enforced, even by the US government. Yes, there was a question about that among the craziest fringe groups ever to exist: the Republican Party and its appointed justices on the Court. You see, the vote was only 5-4. There are 4 justices on our current Supreme Court that believe habeas corpus--a basic human right encoded over 750 years ago in the Magna Carta--should be discarded. One vote is all that stands between our country and complete disavowal of any claim to modern civilization, and there isn't much we can do about that for a long time.
Even if Obama wins in November he won't be able to affect the balance of ideology on the Court. Barring some physical calamity, none of the wretched 4 (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, or Scalia) judges are going anywhere for many years to come, because they are all fairly young. (Selling one's heart and soul to Beezelbub has its benefits, clearly.) We can only hope/pray that the other 5 retire during the tenure of someone sane, and that is something we can do something about: stop voting for Republicans at all levels, until even one demonstrates the mental acuity and character demanded of a squirrel. The current crop certainly doesn't qualify under those stringent conditions . . .

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quick hitter: as if we needed any more evidence that the media is useless

Here are two of the items on the (supposedly) same subject as they appear on Google News, as of 12:00PM today:
Obama Distances Himself from VP Vetters Washington Post
Obama Defends His Veep VetterCBS News
Niiiiiiiice. No wonder so many people still think Smirky's doing a good job, or that McCain is a maverick, or . . .

Labels: ,

House owner, part 5

There's a reason monopolies are illegal (although making a strong comeback under decades of Republican misrule). Without competition to challenge it, a company can set its own policies, fees, and standards regardless of their effects on the consumers they supposedly serve. And we just have to take it.
Case in point: TBO and I still don't have phone service, even after nearly a month of owning the house. Now, way back in the dark past, phone service was a monopoly, true, but Ma Bell was providing what many believed to be a public service and therefore exempt from the laws governing such things. In compensation, Ma Bell was also highly regulated so as to guard against the worst excesses a monopoly would naturally employ. In the mid-1980s, Ma Bell lost its monopoly status in the infamous break up decreed by the Supreme Court. A good thing? Not necessarily, because at the same time, the laws and regulatory power vested in the federal government regarding monopolies and business in general were also waning.
The end result is that we now have local monopolies on many communication tools, such as phone, cable, and internet services and absolutely no recourse as consumers other than to withdraw from the community entirely. If I want to get phone service at a reasonable price, I have no choice, because there are only 2 providers in my area: AT&T and Time Warner. No monopoly there, you say? (As if a duopoly is so much better . . .) Wait one minute. There is only one cable company that serves my neighborhood--Time Warner. The effect is that I can do one of 2 things if I want to remain connected to the 21st century: get my 3 services a la carte from the few providers out there, or get a "bundled service" from the only provider that has all 3: Time Warner. Buying all 3 separately would cost roughly $200/month (an obscene amount, imho), while Time Warner offers all 2 together for only a little more than 1/2 that.
Gee, whatever should I do?
So, even though there is no monopoly in the strictest legal sense, there sure is one functionally. And if you think Time Warner and AT&T don't know this and price their services (and avoid competition for coverage areas, and give lousy customer service) accordingly, you are a fool.

House owner, part 4

I'm sure most of us have had this done to us: we've been given a "window" when some sort of work has to be done on our living space, or we when should expect a package. Whether it's installing the phones, turning on the gas, or a delivery is forthcoming, we have been told to be home at a certain time. So we wait.
And wait.
And wait.
We can't leave, because if we aren't there when the workers/postal carriers show up, we will simply have to do the same thing again, with the added bonus of the unofficial disdain the delivery company/utility/etc. will show us, because we wasted their time.
I think it's absolutely ridiculous--the windows TBO and I have been given for this move have been as long as 5 hours (i.e., we should expect the worker "some time between 12 and 5", or "7 and 12", or some such. In the middle of our move, when I had taken 2 weeks worth of "vacation" time off of work, I was told that the delivery of our refrigerator and stove would take place between 12 and 5. So I made sure I was available at the stroke of noon; I ceased doing any work (of which there was plenty, lemme tellya!) for fear of not hearing the arrival of the delivery people.
1 o'clock came.
And went.
2 o'clock came.
And went.
3 o'clock came.
And went.
4 o'clock came.
And went.
At 4:45, I called the store (because if I had waited any longer, they would have been closed, of course), fairly seething with anger at this total waste of my day. I was told that I was next on the list and should see the delivery soon. I vented at the clerk, angrily telling him what bad customer service they had given me by wasting my day like this. He seemed unsure what to do, then meekly said, "I'm sorry?" It was obvious to me that this was one poorly trained employee, since he had no idea that an apology should have been the first thing out of his mouth, not the last, and the manner in which it was offered was feeble-minded and insulting. I hung up, verbally shaking my head in disgust.
5 o'clock came.
And went.
At 6, the men finally arrived. Now, I don't know about you all, but by my calculations, 6 o'clock is not "between 12 and 5", is it? In retrospect it dawned on me: the clerk at the store had the list of deliveries, and also knew the order which the drivers were using for their route. So why couldn't they make a better estimate of my delivery time? I was last on the list, for chrissakes, so they darn sure knew I wasn't going to be seeing anybody anywhere near 12, or 1, or 2, or even 3 o'clock! In fact, I would go so far as to say they knew I wouldn't even be seeing anybody at 4 o'clock, either.
I assume most of these companies/utilities have a fair bit of knowledge on how long things take if they've lasted in business/operation for over a year or so, and we're supposed to believe that they can't approximate their workflow any better than this? I call BS on that, or they are paying a serious boatload of overtime to their delivery people, and I have a hard time believing that OT isn't the first thing to go when the economy's in the tank as it is now.