Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ought-Seven, Trey



Still holding your breath? This one is behaving like a late November version of the pattern. Almost a month to go before September.

Rising Tide 2



Save the dates. Thanks for all the cats who are working on putting it together, and thanks to Mominem for pointing out me that I had yet to say anything about it. The oversight has been corrected.

Monday, July 30, 2007

You can't spell Putin without H-I-T-L-E-R

You ought to check this Nashi group out. There are some striking parallels between them and a certain youth group I'm currently reading about in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." And I imagine the encouragement of procreation at the Nashi youth camps will only increase their popularity. Hey, it worked for Manson. The only downside I see for the youngsters is that alcohol is strictly forbidden and we are talking about Russian guys and girls. Maybe they should allow drinking but only in the "Love Oasis" portion of their camp. That'll really get the birthrate going.

Ha Ha!

So Friday night I did something I haven't done since 1994*: I went and saw a movie on opening night. I even paid full price and didn't catch the matinee. What glorious movie event was so enticing that I dropped $7 for a ticket and braved the long theater lines? The Simpsons. It's funny because that movie wasn't even on my radar of movies to see. The only other movie I've been to the theater to see this summer is the Transformers and while I did enjoy it, I probably wouldn't have seen it yet if an old friend didn't ask if my wife and I wanted to go. I just don't go to movies often. And I figured I'd wait this one out until I could rent it. But then I saw the ad Friday that it was out that day and immediately thought, "I must go see this movie." Stupid advertisements.

It was a good movie. It's not as funny as some previous seasons. I'd say that
4 Monorail-level episodes would be more enjoyable but the Simpsons movie was still pretty good. The animation was a bit off. I couldn't place what was wrong with it but my brother pointed out they were using the same style they used on Futurama. My only real story complaint is that I'm pretty sure the Bart subplot was done before (a couple of times) and that Bart in general really wasn't that interesting a character after the first 15 minutes or so. That's ok since the Simpsons really didn't become the show it did until it stopped focusing on Bart and shifted focus to Homer. And Homer was spot on.

* Pulp Fiction for those of you playing at home. That's a rather interesting movie when you have no idea what to expect beforehand. I still remember how a lot of the audience walked out after the overdose scene.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Trouble for the Falcons

Q: You ever seen anything like that?

A: Hell, I ain't never even heard of anything like that.

For the first time evar, PETA may find themselves on the same side of an issue as all the punditry of the right wing. Our new animal-rights/national-security threat? Mike Vick aka Ron Mexico.

In even stranger news, this lawsuit will actually be a litmus test for the new national security bill - this is a bill that was ushered through Congress by an independent and a Republican, almost scuttled by the Democrats, who then overwhelmingly supported and took credit for the whole thing. Lot of web chatter over this one, and it was passed just in time to become the law that will affect the Vick/Mexico litigation.

So, the plaintiff in the case gets to accuse the NFL star of conspiring with both Iran, Al-Quaeda and animal abusers. But because of the new law, the NFL star might not be able to countersue the plaintiff for legal fees or damages to whatever shreds of a reputation he has left, because the new national security bill prohibits lawsuits brought against those who report suspicious activity.

And the stealing of identity, making money off animal cruelty to buy weapons from a rouge state sponsor of terrorism sure sounds like "suspicious activity" to me.

We will have to watch the sports newswire to find out how the government responds to this mess landing on someone's docket. Hint: if Atlanta moves their training camp to Guantanamo Bay, you know the result....

I mean, how many posts include the following tags?

I Can Has a National Language?

For everyone out there who thinks making English the national language of the United States of America will solve any real problem whatsoever (because it will solve a host of make-believe problems, all thought up, as strange as this sounds, by the people who want English to be the national language), I present two glaring English words that will henceforth be used together as 'exhibit A' to explain why you will lose the argument:

Popular Culture.

If there is anyone out there who really wants English to the be national language, and they are not just manufacturing some controversy to blame on political opponents, they need to meet someone who really follows these rules. For example, there is someone very close to me who sometimes spends up to 75% of his day loudly correcting other people's use of the English language in the most obnoxious and grating ways he can come up with. At least he does when I'm around.

I'm serious, his face twitches every time he speaks the term "y'all." He doesn't notice. It is like watching a new socioligical debate called "nurture vs culture."

Moral of the story: if you want to advocate for a national language, please make sure your own culture and native speakers of said language don't already spend their time hacking apart said language. And be prepared to be corrected all day, every day, every time you switch "its" for "it's," and hearing someone constantly tell you, "no, what you really meant to say was...."

Friday, July 27, 2007

No Happy Ending...

will come from court decisions like the one in Hazelton, PA.

First of all, nothing ends up being resolved or explained. The judge in the case, and defenders of this decision, are not defending or explaining it. I could understand the strikedown, for instance, if the enforcement method was deemed unconstitutional for violating various Federal laws requiring equal opportunity in housing.

We had a similar debate in rental registration in Athens some years ago when they first started enforcing the "single-family zoning" ordinance. More explanation on that later, but if that law was considered constitutional, I can't understand how Hazelton's would not be. And no one is explaining it to me in any way that makes sense.

Second: this is the perfect setup for Republicans come election time. Republican reformers get tough on immigration and the will of the people turned back by an unchecked judicial decision. We get to ignore the 12 years these cats controlled Congress and did NOTHING to help clarify the immigration issue.

Third: this will frustrate an alreay enraged middle American population that is sick and tired of illegal immigration. The divisions this is creating in this country will take even longer to fix.

Make Me Fries

The title link is one to the YouTubes (SFW) and it is pure hilarity. Especially, especially if you were a rock music fan in the 90's, wondering why Eddie Vedder never releases certain lyrics.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

You Know You Love It

Map Tetris. Oh, yeah, we're talking a monster time waster, but maybe not. I'm sure feeling pretty good about myself.

Of course, on the 'Easy' level it took me almost 5 minutes, on the 'Hard' level (speed + rotators) I got 3:37.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who Dat?

We call him DJ back East. Saints still have a big edge when it comes to owning the NFC South, but the personell lining up at QB in the ATL may make the road a little harder in the long term.

The most wonderful time of the year....football season....soon.

Durn

The quote: "Bin Laden would be smart to hide where the U.S. pays the least attention; New Orleans."

Ouch.

Gotta be honest with you. I'm not sure how well guilt is going to play, if the idea is to shock the American people into caring about this place again. Though, the 'incompetent government' angle is sure to play well in any market, as the United States still doesn't have Bin-Laden, and the New Orleans recovery is being snarled, in no small part, but Federal officials who don't seem to have a clear idea of how to handle this crisis.

It sure will get attention, though. Of that I'm very sure.

I wonder what the blogsearch will look like tomorrow....

It is Called Diplomacy

Lot of press today about Obama telling folks he would actually have the gall to speak with 'rouge nations.' Folks within the foreign policy "establishment" are going bonkers over these ideas, and other members of the political class are calling this 'naive.'

Yeah, 'cause those "establishment" folks have been doing such a bang up job of things since 1989...

This is the kind of thing that only makes me want to cast my vote for the junior Senator from Illinois, even if he is a Mid-Westerner. Here's why:

The current policy of NON-ENGAGEMENT is an ABSOLUTE FAILURE.

Let us think about what nations these are, and how long our Not On Speaking Terms Diplomacy has been going on. Then, let us figure out how long these 'rouge nations' have been a thorn in our side:

North Korea: 1950/1950 - present. Cuba: 1961/1961 - present. Iran: 1979/1979 - present. Syria: not sure/not sure - present. Venezuela: we stopped talking to them after Chavez got elected, and then what happened? He got elected again, and relations deteriorated further - present.

Boy, that's one hell of a track record, ain't it.

Big talk from an "establishment" that considers the likes of China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, those bulwarks of freedom and justice and humanitarianism, as nations 'worthy' of speaking to, or even "Most Favored Nation" status.

BUT EVEN THERE, in the case of China, they are better off for our policy of engagement than they would be otherwise. Even Nixon was smart enough to figure that out.

So yeah, "establishment," please keep telling me about how Senator Obama will not go along with your wise and flawlessly executed plans that have proven so beneficial to this nation and the world over the last decades...

...'cause that will make my vote FOR Senator Obama that much easier, even if he ain't from the South.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Talk About Dropping The Ball

Yeah. Dante will love this link. All about taxes, baby, and not payin' 'em.

And, of course, it comes out of Louisiana.

(HT: Clicked, which is an exception aggregation. Includes links to this giant rubber duckie, Charlie Brown Manga (NOLA bloggers scroll down to the finish), and additional incidents of Americans and their cameras.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

With the Music Turned Up Really Loud

I was about to write one of those posts.

I just deleted about two pages of stuff because it don't sum nothing up. I'm reading this, and I'm reading this. And if you know me, if you've been reading me for the last 10 months, or the last two years, you can read those two articles and pretty much fill out those two pages on your own. It ain't nothing new, that what I would say.

Athens v. Augusta

I know the runoff election for the 10th Congressional District in Georgia is between two Republicans, and I know that both of those Republicans aren't really the kind of representatives we need from either Georgia or the Republican Party (as a Democrat, I've been wishing the Republican side of the aisle would get back to the old Eisenhower mold instead of the current WTF cast they are in)...

That being said, if these results stand up, and the Athens area underdog defeats the Augusta area far right favorite in the runoff, I will smile the cheshire smile of someone glad to see it happen.

They Can't Arrest Us All

There are daily affirmations that most glorious part of the year will soon be upon us. We usually reserve daily affirmations for religious affiliations, but in the case of college football, we make due exception. It is right and proper.

In 43 Days. I don't usually post or link to these from here. But this one has special meaning for me. Not that I can relate to property damage in the name of historic victories or anything....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Alarm Bells are Ringing, Willie

I thought I heard the long, drawn out wail of an air raid siren in the distance. I wasn't just hearing things, neither. Drifting Through the Grift has the scientific explanation you all desire.

Meanwhile, the current dispach reads like this.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Class

Most Christians have it, the ones you hear on this video don't.

I recall something in the book of Matthew about Christians who find other people who disagree with them. The instructions go something like: if you find someone who does not welcome you and your message, let your peace come back to you, and shake the dust off your sandals as you leave the house. Can't think of the exact passage, but I know it is in there. The idea was to let God take care of the non-believers later so you can get on down the road with the good word and work on that whole internalization of religion thing.

Lotta 'talk-money Christians' out there, though, who have to prove to their other 'talk-money Christian' friends how 'Christian' they are. I guess there were no children going hungry or infirm and sick to care for anywhere or any sheetrock left to hang, judging by all the time these folks have on their hands to get over to the Senate chamber and stir up trouble...

Meanwhile, the walking-the-walk Christians are down at places like the homeless shelter, spooning out food; working to clothe and house their families and give a little bit to the less fortunate; hanging sheetrock in New Orleans and Mississippi; having dinner with friends of whatever other religion because life is too short and precious to each of us to spend it all arguing; and living lives of good example, hoping a little bit of the good upbrining will shine through in thier kids and friends. That's where the walking-the-walk Christians are. Just thought we should go over that, because they don't get near enough press in comparison.

But, said video will make the rounds. The anti-Christians will have their say and paint the whole religious community with the brush of lunacy, and then the whole religious community will feel under attack again by 'those culture warriors on the left.' And the whole thing goes on and on, same as it ever was, which is exactly how those 'talk-money Christians' make their money.

Shame, really.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I Have An NFL Draft

OH NOES THEY BE STEALIN' MY NFL DRAFT!1!!1!

Maybe, iffin' we's lucky. If we get it or not, I like to see it. Tells me the sports boosters are thinking outside the box, and that's good. NOLA will already own sports for the next year, what with the NBA All-Star Game, and - far more importantly - the Sugar Bowl AND the BCS College Football National Championship Game. That means, for a week at least, New Orleans will be the undisputed capitol city for millions of college football fans.

I'm sure I'll have more than a few friends in town that week.

That being said, the next logical step in this progression is to get New Orleans some really outside the box sporting events to host. I'm thinking futbol games, we should be hosting some Copa America matches at least, or some World Cup play-ins. From there, it is only a matter of time before we score an Olymic Games....

Planning

There are many interesting quips that can be made when one hears the news that 25 paratroopers drifted off course and ended up landing in a Colorado state prison. I mean, really, that's probably the safest way to end up in prison in the first place, and as long as the inmates don't know your guns are loaded with rubber bullets, I bet they wouldn't give you any beef.

But what really got me about this one is that the guards "handles the inadvertent intrusion correctly." I mean, I know they have to have a lot of contingencies on the guards' side of the fence, but I want to see the rulebook page concerning the standard operating proceedure (sop) for what you do when 25 apparently armed men in camoflage drop out of the sky towards your position.

Two things I just thought of:

1) Well, of course they have a contingency for this sort of thing in Colorado. Bet they're all copyrighted 1984 or 1985...

2) Paratroopers rule.

Down At the Bottom

Of this post over at NOLAdishu, we are reminded that the District Attorney's office down here did knowingly get rid of skilled personnel on the basis of race and age.

Just a reminder, in case anyone forgot. The folks downtown are trying the old "The-Buck-Don't-Stop-With-the-Guy-In-Charge Shuffle", but hopefully that won't work, and we can get rid of this guy.

Which is a further reminder of something: what in the Hell is wrong with prosecutors in the United States these days? Seriously, between Mike Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse Player-gate, the David McDade & Genarlow Wilson fustercluck in Georgia, and this ridiculous situation in New Orleans, the whole criminal justice system is looking like it is about to implode. Without prosecutors we can trust to 1) do their jobs correctly and 2) advocate the people's cases in the interests of justice, we will be reduced to anarchy, as any defense attorney will be able to get any defendant off anywhere because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Sprout, I hope you are paying attention. When you get that fancy law school degree, you'd better get to bein' a part of the solution, bub. I know where you stay at.

What we really need is every law school graduate to begin a summer internship with the Jim Letten School of Kicking Tail and Taking Names.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thinking Out Loud: Friday Open Thread

Just a theoretical: what would happen if approximately 5,000 people were to show up at a District Attorney's office and place said public figure under citizens' arrest?

The charges? Aiding and abbetting suspected felons and accessory after the fact of a murder. Up to six counts, each.

Do you think there'd be any traction, there? Would the citizenry have a case?

There are no wrong answers here. Discussion is a participation grade for the day.

Please also consider the possibility of a change of venue, and possible federal invovlement for hate crimes.

In the News

Most of y'all are news junkies like me. Doubtless you have heard, through one medium or another, that Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) is in some rather high temperature water because he's one of the 'sanctity of marriage' conservatives who happens to enjoy visiting houses of ill repute.

But that ain't the real news out of Louisiana on this day, especially down here in New Orleans. Down here in this part of the world, The District Attorney is under fire because he continues to not prosecute murderers and seems incapable of doing his job.

To say folks have been unhappy with this situation for quite some time would not do justice to how livid the population is with the city's current crime situation. Calls for the District Attorney to resign or be fired are rippling across the airwaves, mail, phone lines and interwebs. If anyone needs a reminder, the folks who do not take crime in this city seriously were duly warned by about 5,000 New Orleanians that January 11th, 2007 was their last chance to deal with a rational population.

Today is 6 months + 1 day post-warning. And, historically speaking, you don't want to have an agitated, radicalized populaiton ready to move in the heat of the summer. It ain't worked out so well, historically speaking, for the powers that be.

Please join us for some real news, in the links section to your right entitled "Crescent City." I'm sure there will be more to this shortly.

The Greatest Thing on the Internet

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big MySpace guy. I have an account and I look at it every now and then but otherwise it falls largely into misuse. But this wonder of the MySpace website is well worth visiting. It's called Minisode. It's a website that has condensed versions of all of your favorite TV shows of yesteryear. For example, I saw a 6 minute version (including credits) of the episode of the Facts of Life where Tootie gets drunk. It was incredible. This is almost as good as the fan project telling the entire Macross story in 20 minutes using the recaps, previews, and the closing of episode 36 of Robotech.

What would you like to see condensed versions of?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This Post

Reminds us, and you will be reminded constantly, that college football season is less than 60 days away. Rules of conduct are under consideration, and the post also includes (almost as lagniappe but really so, so necessary) perhaps the best picture ever taken of The War Tiger Eagle Peeple.

Didn't Expect This

Sheehan vs. Pelosi 2008. In an election. In San Francisco. Got to tell you, I didn't see that coming. Got to tell you I have no idea what to think of it, really.

I don't know what Sheehan thinks she could do in Pelosi's place anyway. From what it looked like to me, the Democrats in Congress ran into something called the 'Presidential Veto.' Someone ought explain to Ms. Sheehan that things of that nature tend to happen on divisive measures. It happens every once in a while in a republic, when consensus is not reached politically among the delegates.

It wouldn't matter if, right now, every single Democrat voted to bring every troop home tomorrow (and they don't even have an intra-party consensus on that one), they wouldn't have enough votes to override a veto.

Strange that the folks who see the most danger to the republic seem to understand the republic's processes the least.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Birthday Party



231 years later, we are still the World's Rockstar. And, no, we can't hear you over the sound of how awesome we are (Jmac has video evidence of this.). We will return to our regularly scheduled programming of making each other mad sometime tomorrow morning. As for today, there is barbecue, bourbon and high explosive toys to be enjoyed.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Standing Water?

Still pretty high on the local threat matrix. What makes the headlines? "A picture of Moses or Jesus or some Russian or Greek figure. I don't really know for sure."

Just like the coverup being worse than the crime, this is a classic example of the reaction being disproportionate to the action.