Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My imagination ain't what it used to be

I had a pretty weird dream last night, and I don't remember all of the details, but I do remember that the grand finale to the whole thing was that I'd won some sort of sweepstakes, and as a result I got to meet...Jon Lovitz.

The man of my dreams, apparently.

Don't get me wrong, Lovitz is a funny guy, but couldn't I meet someone a little more impressive than that? Or maybe a sexy woman? I guess not.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bike crimes and misdemeanors

I had forgotten about George W. Bush's bike accidenmt at the G8 summit last year until I read this story earlier tonight:
US President George W. Bush was busily waving to security officers guarding the G8 summit when he swerved into one of them, leaving the hapless policeman on crutches, according to a British police report.

Bush -- described in dry police style as a "falling/moving object" -- was treated for scratches on his hands and arms after he went tumbling on a break from the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, last July 6.

Although the accident was reported at the time, the police incident report, published in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, gives further insight into the chain of events.
I'll spare you the summary of the accident: he was waving to some police who were there to guard against smelly hippies and poo-flinging anarchists, when he ran into one of the cops, injuring him. He got scraped up, too.

Anyway, he later called the guy to apologize, which is the stand-up thing to do. But here's the kicker:
The newspaper suggested that in Scotland, such an accident could have meant police action.

Earlier this year Strathclyde Police issued three fines to cyclists as part of a crackdown on careless riders.
Okay, moonbats, that's your cue to write your congressman an indignant letter demanding Bush be impeached. Or come up with a new rhyming slogan about how awful he is. Whatever gets you through the night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Grisly mystery downgraded to amusing anecdote

Via Ace, we now find out that yesterday's horrifying severed penis story wasn't actually so horrifying after all. It's actually somewhat amusing, it turns out.
Police had been investigating a report that a customer handed a clerk a severed penis to heat up in the store's microwave.

Investigators have since learned that it was not a real body part; but instead, it was part of a couple's alleged plan to pass a drug test.

According to McKeesport's police chief, a man and a woman had inserted urine into a fake penis that the woman was planning to use to pass a drug test.
Um, call me crazy, but wouldn't it have made more sense for the man to try and use a fake penis to pass a drug test? And shouldn't they have learned from the cautionary tale of Tom Sizemore that this wouldn't work?
One of them then went into the store and asked the clerk to microwave the object, which they had wrapped in a paper towel, so the urine could reach body temperature.

When the clerk noticed an unusual odor, she unwrapped the item to discover what she thought was a severed body part.


Upon hearing media reports about the incident, the couple contacted police to explain the situation.

The couple could face charges of harassment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
And I don't think they'll be passing that drug test, either.

More Cthulhu

I know everrybody just loved my Cthulhu post from yesterday, so why don't you checka-check this out? And while you're at it, check out Cthulhu's blog. He doesn't seem to have posted in a few years, but I'd imagine he's got other things to do. Sleeping, mostly.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I hope you haven't eaten recently

Because this story might just make you puke if you did:
Customers going in and out a Get-Go convenience store in suburban Pittsburgh Thursday didn't know what to think when they saw police activity there.

But, what occurred at this mini market has everyone baffled.

Police say a man came in to the store and asked a female clerk if she could use the store microwave to warm up something he had wrapped in a paper towel.

In and of itself, that's not an unusual request.

But, concerned about an unusual odor from the oven, the clerk opened the microwave to check on the item and found a severed human penis, wrapped up in a paper towel.
The clerk called the cops, but the guy ran away, and apparently hasn't yet been found. I'm assuming this guy wasn't involved since he's probably still locked up in Germany. At least I hope he is.

But whoever did it, you might want to use the microwave at home next time you feel like heating up somebody's crank.


...about the lack of posting this week. I've had a lot of work to do lately, and I've been feeling sort of...not sick, but just "blah," if you know what I mean. I'll try to get back into posting a little more sometime soon.

In the meantime, check out Tales of the Plush Cthulhu*, via Andy.

*If you don't know what Cthulhu is, check this out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

You think you had a bad day?

Well, compared to what happened to these people, I bet it was pretty good:
A village in the German state of Bavaria is recovering after being flooded with liquid pig manure.

A tank containing the fetid fertiliser burst, sending a deluge of porcine waste into the courtyards and streets of Elsa, police said.

The sewage was half a metre (1.6ft) deep in places.
That's fucking disusting. Anyway, I'm not sure if something was lost in translation in the following, but get a load of the classic German understatement:
"It was not very pleasant for the villagers," Volker Munk of Coburg police told the BBC News website.
Well, Volker, thanks for clearing that up for me.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Notable for its absence

This article on rising tensions between blacks and Latinos here in California is interesting.

For those of you who live outside of the Golden State, there have been a series of serious fights between black and Latino inmates in Los Angeles County jail facilities lately, but that's only a part of what the article deals with. It's also got this sort of thing:
Channa Cook, a teacher at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, said that even in her school, routinely regarded as one of the best in Los Angeles County, African American students each year skip school on May 5, the day when Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a 19th-century military victory over France. Mexican gangs have warned in graffiti that they will shoot blacks attending school that day.
Charming. There's also this:
Hate crimes experts also point to a worrying trend among the two communities in Los Angeles County. Unlike in the past when whites were involved in the lion's share of hate crimes, now, in anti-black hate crimes, 73 percent of the identified suspects are Latino and in anti-Latino crimes, 80 percent of the suspects are African American, according to a report by the county Commission on Human Relations.
Now, I've read through the article twice, and there seems to be something missing. A certain word that would seem to apply to this sort of thing, but which never, for some reason, gets mentioned. What could it possibly be?


A revelation

If you live anywhere near an In-N-Out, go and order some "Animal-Style" fries.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

The thing that wouldn't die

Drudge is saying that the MSM is going to keep flogging the Cheney shooting story next week. Yay.

Anyway, my favorite part comes at the end of the article:
On CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES, WASHINGTON POST reporter Dana Milbank fretted that the White House is exploiting the public's growing disdain for the mainstream media. "Of course they succeed,” Milbank said of Bush aides. “The press always looks awful. They will once again make us look awful.”

CNN's Candy Crowley added: "The perception is that we're whining."

White House correspondent Bill Plante of CBS agreed.

"The vice president and the White House have both used the constant press coverage of this story as a wedge,” he told RELIABLE SOURCES host Howard Kurtz. “It plays to the prejudices of the people who are predisposed not to like us, and it's one way to distract attention from what happened.”
Keep digging, boys!

Hmmmmmm...Why would the public have a "growing disdain" for hardworking MSM folks like Dana Milbank?

You know, I really have no idea.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Slow news day

Well, I'm glad we finally got this cleared up:
British rocker DAVID COVERDALE has confirmed the urban myth that his band WHITESNAKE was named after his penis.
Tawny Kitaen was unavailable for comment.

She doesn't have a leg to stand on--again

Dang, this is just low.
For the second time in recent months, somebody broke into a 16-year-old girl's home and stole her prosthetic leg -- including one that had been donated following the first crime, authorities said.

The thieves took a $12,000 cosmetic leg and a donated $16,000 leg that Melissa Huff uses to play softball, her mother, Lisa Huff, said. She said a camera in the room was untouched.

"It's insane. Who hates her that bad?" Lisa Huff said. "I went back to the girls' room and the room was trashed. Mostly Melissa's stuff."

In the first theft, on Nov. 1, someone cut a hole in a window screen and also took video games and other items, authorities said. Her doctor and two real estate finance companies donated money for a new, shock-absorbent "sports leg" with a flexible foot.
This has got to be something personal. I'd be checking out her classmates as suspects--it sounds like something a catty sixteen-year-old girl with a grudge would do. That, or somebody else who's missing a leg. Those shifty legless bastards can't be trusted.

The big kiss-off

The Oregon Court of Appeals is probably going to catch hell for this from opponents of three strikes laws:
It may have been a borderline call, but it was still a third strike. The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling that sent Nicholas Meyrovich to life in prison under a 2001 three-strikes law. Meyrovich got his third strike, a felony sex offense, for delivering an unwanted kiss.


Meyrovich, 60, an exterminator, was inspecting the home of a Salem woman in October 2003 when he suddenly grabbed her and kissed her. The woman pushed Meyrovich away, but he took hold of her again and sucked her on the neck, stopping when a neighbor walked in.

Meyrovich was later convicted of first-degree sexual abuse, which under Oregon law requires the forcible touching of the "sexual or other intimate parts" of another person.
He argued that the neck isn't an "intimate part" of the body, but the court disagreed with him, citing the fact (and I'm paraphrasing here) that one adult doesn't generally touch another's neck like that during the normal course of business.

He also argued that the sentence "violated the Oregon Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment." And hey, he engaged in a little unwanted kissing and neck-sucking, but is that really grounds for putting a guy away for life? Well...
The court also disagreed that the sentence was cruel and unusual, noting that the three-strikes law was not aimed at the gravity of a particular crime but at habitual offenders. [Judge David] Schuman wrote that Meyrovich had been convicted of nine prior sex offenses before the kiss. [emphasis mine]
Yeah. Cry me a river, then, suck-boy. It's probably a good thing that neighbor walked in when he or she did; otherwise I wouldn't be able to write this snarky blog post about the case, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A worm in the Apple?

For years now, Mac users have been crowing about how there are no viruses that attack Apple machines. Well, pucker up, guys:
Reports indicate that someone has let loose a “Trojan horse” or worm for Mac OS X users. The program is hidden within a package that purportedly contains screenshots of Apple’s as-yet unannounced next major revision to Mac OS X. Whether it’s a Trojan horse or worm seems to vary depending on the source of the information. The code has also elicited a response from Apple, and a warning to its customers.

The package, called “latestpics.tgz,” first surfaced recently on a Mac rumors Web site. Independently verified by Ambrosia Software president Andrew Welch, he’s dubbed it the “Oompa-Loompa Trojan,” because the files in question check for the presence of an attribute called “oompa” — an apparent reference to the movie and book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
This is such a new phenomenon that the exoerts can't even agree on whether this thing is a Trojan Horse or a virus. Welch says it's the former, and an anti-virus company called says it's the latter, as does Symantec.

Apple told Macworld that it's not a virus:
“Leap-A is not a virus, it is malicious software that requires a user to download the application and execute the resulting file,” said Apple. “Apple always advises Macintosh users to only accept files from vendors and Web sites that they know and trust. We have a guide to safely handling files received from the Internet at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108009.”
Either way, I'd say yhtis was bound to happen sooner or later, and it'll probably get worse as the years go by. I've frankly never understood why there weren't more viruses that attacked Macs. Is it because they have a superior operating system, or because the kind of geeks that program viruses would rather just stick it to Microsoft?

Related: Learn to write a f'n limerick. Seriously, that just sucks.

Photo finish

Hey, guess where something creepy is going on?
Japan's obsession with camera-equipped mobile phones has taken a bizarre twist, with mourners at funerals now using the devices to capture a final picture of the deceased.

"I get the sense that people no longer respect the dead. It's disturbing," a funeral director told the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.
A disturbing trend? In Japan, you say? Get out of here!

The article says that some people look at it as a "memento" of the deceased. That's kind of nice, but I think I'd really prefer a photo of my friend or loved one from when they were still alive and kicking. It's just this thing I have--call it a hang-up, if you must--about not really wanting to look at pictures of the corpses of people I know.
At one ceremony, several people gathered round the coffin and took out their phones to photograph the corpse as preparations were made to begin a cremation, she was quoted as saying.

"I'm sure the deceased would never want their faces photographed," she said.
Well then, I guess they ought to have closed-casket funerals, shouldn't they?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Well, to be fair...

...the whole "democratic elections" thing hasn't really been working out as of late for Barbara's friends, either, now has it?

I'm confused

This couldn't possibly be halal, could it? Heck, it's probably not even kosher. Maybe somebody should ask.

Somebody else, I mean.

(Bareknuckle link via Ace)

Gaze upon the amazing talking weasel!

I was just listening to Hugh Hewitt's radio show on the way home from work, and I heard the following remarkable exchange he had (the transcript is from Radio Blogger) with former West Wing producer Lawrence O'Donnell, who insinuated in a Huffington Post entry that Cheney was drunk when the now-famous hunting accident occurred. Except that he didn't:
HH: But you think the Secret Service knew he [Cheney] was drunk and protected him?

LO: No. Hey, stop lying about what I'm saying. Get this straight. Lawrence O'Donnell has no idea, and has never suggested whether or not the Vice President was drunk. I've never said it, and I never will, because we will never know...

HH: Well now, let's pause on that, Lawrence. Let's pause on that.

LO: ...because the Vice President made sure that you weren't going to be able to put a breathalyzer up to his mouth. He made sure of it.

HH: You said we've never...you said just now, you've never suggested that, but of course, the first line in your post is, the L.A. Times is edging closer to the most likely reason for the 18 hour delay.

LO: It is the most likely reason.

HH: That's not suggesting he was drunk?

LO: It is most likely that Ted Kennedy was drunk on Chappaquiddick. That's most likely, but I don't know it.

HH: But Lawrence, you just said you didn't suggest it. In fact, you just...

LO: It's not a fact. A likelihood is not a fact, Hugh. Wake up. You're better than this.

HH: Lawrence, you just said you never suggested he was drunk.

LO: I've never suggested that he was drunk, no. I've suggested it's a likelihood. [emphasis mine]

HH: And suggesting that he was drunk, and a likelihood that he's drunk...

LO: Hugh, you know the difference between a fact and a likelihood.

This is the kind of thinking you get from the people who rallied behind the man who famously pondered what the meaning of the word "is" is. O'Donnell never suggested that Cheney was drunk (even when he wrote, "I have never gone hunting with ultra-rich Republicans on a Saturday afternoon, but I have seen them tailgating at Ivy League football games, so it's hard for me to believe that any of their Saturday lunches are alcohol free.") but suggested it was "a likelihood." Riiiiiiight. You can't trust your lying eyes.

What do you have to do to get a Dem to own up to something they've actually said or written? Really, I'd like to know.

Update: Via Ace, now some other Huffyposter is insinuating that the whole thing is being covered up because Cheney is having an affair with the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland. Unless he's just saying the affair is "a likelihood," that is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sane Planning, Sensible Tomorrow

So, Paramount is going to be releasing Al Gore's global warming movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." This is the movie that the Washington Post described as "a movie about global warming. Starring Al Gore. Doing a slide show." It's described in a little more detail at the above Netscape News link:
Helmed by Davis Guggenheim ("Deadwood," "The First Year"), the film, which had its world premiere at last month's Sundance Film Festival, weaves the science behind the issue of global warming with the former vice president's personal history and longtime commitment to communicating the pressing need to reverse the effects of global climate change.

Oh, I'm sorry. I meant to make a snarky remark about Al Gore's movie, but I passed out on the keyboard there for a second.

But the pills work, right?

I got some bad news, guys. It seems that if you're not already, uh, proportioned like a porn star, those e-mails you've been getting probably aren't going to help.
"For patients with psychological concern about the size of the penis -- particularly if it is normal size -- there is little point in offering them surgery because it makes no difference," said Nim Christopher, a urologist at St Peter's Andrology Center in London.
Well, at least the guy is honest about it. And did you catch the name of the hospital he works at? St. Peter's? Heh.

Anyway, now that we've established that I have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old, let's get back to the article:
Christopher and his colleagues, who questioned 42 men who had the surgery, found the dissatisfaction rate was very high. Often the men requested another surgical procedure.
Yeah, whenever I'm dissatisfied with the way the surgery on my wedding tackle went, I immediately leap to the conclusion that I ought to have more surgery. Makes sense.
He added that spam e-mails advertising penis enlargement surgery were inaccurate and gave men unrealistic expectations.
Damn, if you can't trust spammers, who can you trust?

Monday, February 13, 2006

That all-important J-school training

So, by now everybody knows that Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot 78-year-old hunting partner Harry Whittington over the weekend. And I'm sure a lot of you have seen or heard clips from the feeding frenzy press conference at the White house today. I found the transcript at the White House's website, and if you scroll a little more than halfway down the page, you'll find my favorite question, asked by someone identified as "Connie."
Scott, would this be much more serious if the man had died?
This question was asked by, from what I could tell, a grown-up woman. A grown-up woman who, one assumes, works professionally as a member of the White House press corps. Someone who, it's fairly likely, went to journalism school at a decent (if not elite) college or university. A professional journalist, in other words.

And she had to ask Press Secretary Scott McClellan if this would've been "much more serious" if Whittington had died. Yeah...I'll just let that sink in.

Anyway, McClellan answered her question thusly:
Of course it would, Connie. It would have been terrible. Personally, I don't know him very well, but I know Mr. Whittington and I have great respect for him from knowing who he is and what he's done. And it would be horrible news.
And that, in a nutshell, is why I could never do the job that McClellan does. Because I'd have been seriously tempted to use words like "fucking moron," ask "Connie" to stop wasting everybody's time, and beseech someone seated near her to smack her in the back of the head.


Should we let them starve to death?

So, the L.A. Times had a story this morning claiming that a U.N. report on detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will be coming out soon, and that it "concludes that the U.S. treatment of them violates their rights to physical and mental health and, in some cases, constitutes torture." Unsurprisingly, the report will call for the facility to be closed.

Anyway, the thing about the report that struck me as interesting was the following:
[U.N. "special rapporteur on torture" Manfred Nowak said that the U.N. team was "particularly concerned" about the force-feeding of hunger strikers through nasal tubes that detainees said were brutally inserted and removed, causing intense pain, bleeding and vomiting.

"It remains a current phenomenon," Nowak said.

International Red Cross guidelines state: "Doctors should never be party to actual coercive feeding. Such actions can be considered a form of torture and under no circumstances should doctors participate in them on the pretext of saving the hunger striker's life."
The emphasis there is mine.

Now, if the feeding tubes are being inserted and removed in a deliberately brutal fashion, that ought to stop. If, on the other hand, this is a process that necessarily causes discomfort because the detainees are resisting, what are the people administering the tubes to do?

And I'm surprised that force-feeding hunger strikers is considered torture. If prison officials were to simply let the detainees die of hunger, can't you imagine the howls of protest you'd hear about that? It seems like a real damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

If anyone can paint a clearer picture of the ethics involved here, I'd really appreciate it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Stop the presses!

Oh, snap! A bunch of reporters got the scoop of the century today when they caught President Bush making off the record comments about the NSA "domestic spying" program that he authorized.
CAMBRIDGE, Md. -- The eavesdropping tables were turned on President Bush on Friday. The president apparently believed he was speaking privately when he talked about listening in without a warrant on domestic communications with suspected al-Qaida terrorists overseas. But reporters were the ones doing the listening in this time.

The incident happened at a House Republican retreat. After six minutes of public remarks by the president, reporters were ushered out. "I support the free press, let's just get them out of the room," Bush said, intending to speak behind closed doors with fellow Republicans and take lawmakers' questions.
After the reporters left the room, Bush began to speak to the gathered Republican lawmakers about the program, apparently unaware that microphones had been left on, allowing reporters back at the White House to listen in.

And what, precisely, did the reporters catch Bush saying about the issue? Something juicy? Impeachable, perhaps? Well...
His private statements were basically no different from what he's said in public.
Pulitzer Prizes all around!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Oh well

On the plus side, I guess this means I won't have to change my voter registration to give the moonbats a hand at killing themselves:
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who has criticized President Bush and other elected officials for their war support since her son was killed in Iraq, said today that she won't run for office against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"I felt that putting pressure on her from the outside would be more effective than working from the inside," said Sheehan, 48, of Berkeley during a morning press conference.
Meh. My soul was already black enough, anyway.

In related but shocking news, Barbara Boxer actually said something intelligent:
"Maybe (Sheehan) is more valuable out there not as a candidate," Boxer said Tuesday.
Hell must have been unseasonably cool on Tuesday.

Looking for "Chagrin"

So, I'm sure everyone has heard about President Bush's announcement that a plot against the Library Tower in LA, the tallest building in the country west of the Mississippi, was foiled back in 2002.

Of course, this good news probably didn't sit too well with the folks at the Los Angeles Times, who wasted no time in finding people who work in the building to carp about the whole thing in an article titled "Post-Threat Chagrin Around the Tower."
Employees in and around the U.S. Bank Tower reacted with concern, confusion and skepticism to President Bush's reference this morning to a terrorist threat four years ago against the high-rise building.

"I thought it was something recent," said Erol Andal, who manages the Petite Cafe sandwich shop just outside the building. "All I heard was that somebody had a shoe bomb at LAX."
That must be the "confusion" noted in the opening paragraph.
Other downtown employees saw the new details as a political move by Bush to "keep us living in fear" and garner support for the war on terrorism.

"It's a travesty.... I mean, we've caught him lying so many times," said Mark Lea, who works at a major law firm in the Wells Fargo building next door. "He's only doing this to draw up support for his domestic spying."
So, Bush is lying about this? I guess Mr. Lea thinks so, though he gives no evidence. Note that his political affiliation, for some reason, is not mentioned. I guess that's not important in a story like this one. On the other hand, if he had, say, signed his voter registration form in an amusing fashion, well, that might be a horse of a different color.

Anyway, let's get back to the completely non-partisan chagrin:
Patrick Grover, who works on the tower's 2nd floor, agreed.

"I'm not alarmed [by the threats]," Grover said. "I'm alarmed that they're exploiting it years later."

Grover called Bush's announcement "malarkey," criticizing the president for supposedly setting up a "smokescreen" now that the administration's spying policies are under attack.
Now, I realize that L.A. skews pretty blue, but couldn't the author of the piece find a single, solitary person who thought the announcement of a foiled terrorist attack was good news? I mean, it's not like she only went to the area looking specifically for negative reactions, right?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The LAPD is no fun anymore

In a move that's sure to piss off Southern California TV news producers, LA Police Chief William Bratton introduced something that's being called a "GPS gumball" the other day.
Police Chief William J. Bratton unveiled a strange new weapon in the police department's strategy to halt high-speed pursuits -- adhesive darts with a global positioning system that are fired at fleeing cars by police.

Once fired from a patrol car, the GPS dart is designed to stick to a fleeing car, allowing squad cars to back off the chase.

"Instead of us pushing them doing 70 or 80 miles an hour," Bratton said, "this device allows us not to have to pursue after the car. It allows us to start vectoring where the car is."


There were more than 600 pursuits in Los Angeles and more than 100,000 nationwide last year. Critics have long questioned the wisdom of police pursuits because they can endanger bystanders and officers.
Well, yeah, but on the other hand, they can be entertaining as hell. If you don't live around here, you might think I'm crazy for saying this, but high speed chases are great TV, mainly because there's always a chance that the one you're watching will end violently, although most of them don't.

Hey, if hoping to see a car theif or drug dealer die in a hail of police gunfire is wrong, I don't want to be right.

For an archive of car chase videos, click here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

It doesn't improve with age

So, Bulgarian authorities recently impounded 75 tons of beef which had been imported from Ireland. Why did they go to the trouble of doing this? Well, the meat was apparently twenty years old:
Three truckloads containing 75 tons of the discoloured meat was blocked at Bulgaria's south-west border with Greece last month because its papers were suspect.


Bulgarian media have reported that meat producers import old meat to use in salami and other processed food.
Okay, so processed meat products have a rich history of including all sorts of nasty stuff--that I understand. What I want to know is why anybody would have bothered to hang onto the meat for twenty f'n years!!?

Sophisticated Europeans

Next time someone tries to tell you about how boorish and stupid Americans are, especially when compared with our European cousins, you can go ahead and politely shove this in their face:
Hundreds of fans of German club Borussia Dortmund waved huge inflatable penises at local rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday above an abusive message for their hosts.

The pink blow-ups and a huge banner in Dortmund's yellow and black suggesting Schalke fans should procreate with themselves added a splash of colour to the dour 0-0 draw between the two Bundesliga sides.
Must be some of that nuance that we knuckledragging Bu$hitler voters don't understand.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Orange County Über...whatever

There's an interesting article in today's Orange County Register (free registration required) about boycott that's being proposed by a group calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Rights (you'll see why that name is funny in a minute).
A coalition of nonprofits groups, labor unions and business owners on Thursday threatened to boycott any Costa Mesa business that refuses to display a poster opposing the city's immigration-law enforcement plan.

"We will not give these businesses the luxury of neutrality," spokesman Nativo Lopez said. "The silent Germans allowed the Nazis to flourish, and there can be no silent Germans on this issue."
So, we're two paragraphs into the story, and we've already got a Nazi reference. What's at issue here?
The City Council voted 3-2 in December to allow some police officials to check felony suspects' legal status and to launch the deportation process if they are in the country illegally. Officials say it's a tool to get criminals off the street.
That's right, folks. The police are being allowed to perform a law enforcement function. If somebody--a felony suspect, mind you--is in this country illegally, the cops can initiate the process that will have them deported. Can the gas chambers and ovens be far behind?

While these people are fully within their rights to call for a boycott, the heavy-handedness of the whole thing may end up costing them some support. Observe:
"We'd put up the sign because we are against this policy based on its (merits), but we don't like anyone trying to force us to do so," said Hooman Yeroushalmi, manager of Persian Treasure Rugs on Newport Boulevard.
There's more to it than just the threatened boycott, too.
The coalition, Citizens for Constitutional Rights, also called for Costa Mesa residents to practice "non-violent civil disobedience" by refusing to provide police officers with information about crimes.
So, if one of your friends or loved ones is murdered in Costa Mesa and a witness refuses to come forward, you can take some comfort in the fact that they're not being one of the "good Germans" by helping police to catch a killer.

You've also got to love the group's name. What "Constitutional Rights" are they agitating for here? Remember, we're talking about a proposed law enforcement policy that would allow police to begin deportation proceedings against felony suspects who are also illegal aliens. I must have missed the part of the Bill of Rights that guarantees your right to violate the country's immigration laws with impunity.

Maybe that's one of those "penumbras" that we're always hearing about.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Confidential to the Lady from Bangkok

Yeah, thanks for the advice Anna, but if the reason you're afraid is because some maniac is chasing you with a rusty chainsaw, whistling might, you know, give away your hiding place.

And then, well, you're pretty much screwed.

Your three "straight" San Francisco dads are very disappointed

You know you're in trouble when the Olsen twins have to host your intervention:
Former Full House cutie Jodie Sweetin has earned herself a spot on the lengthy list of child stars gone wrong.

During an appearance on Good Morning America Wednesday, Sweetin, who played middle sister Stephanie Tanner on the hit sitcom, revealed that she is a recovering meth addict and once battled a daily drug habit.
She'd finished high school and college and got married to a cop after the show had ended, but then, "Two years ago, bored and unemployed, the former child star began experimenting with drugs as a way to pass the time."

You know, I get bored a lot, but I've never once found myself weighing whether I should play some computer solitaire or smoke some meth.

Because, duh, I shoot tar heroin. Meth is for losers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hey, you! With the cigarette!

Don't let the sun set on your ass in Calabasas, California.
The city of 30,000 this week adopted an ordinance — considered by experts to be one of the toughest in the nation — strictly regulating smoking in public places. The rule bans smoking in outdoor spaces when other people are in the area.


Calabasas' law, approved Wednesday, is intended to protect residents from the health hazards associated with secondhand smoke by restricting where people can smoke outdoors.

Officials are still working out the details of the ordinance, but the intent is to prohibit smoking in public areas where both smokers and nonsmokers congregate. [The City's do-gooding busybody of a Mother Mayor Barry] Groveman said he hoped that the law would prompt operators of spaces such as malls and restaurants to establish convenient, segregated "outposts" where customers could smoke, much like airport smoking areas.

The new law will work like this: If someone is smoking in a public area in violation of the ordinance and is asked by another person to extinguish his cigarette, cigar or pipe and the smoker refuses, then the offended person can file a written complaint with the city attorney's office.
Isn't that nice? You've got a law that not only segregates one class of people from the rest of their fellow citizens, but also relies on the latter group to become informants, butting into people's use of a perfectly legal product which is sold in stores and heavily taxed by the government.

But hey, this is just something that's going to deal with smoking in the community's public spaces, right? Right?
The City Council has also been debating proposals that would ban smoking in cars that children are riding in, as well as on apartment patios, though no action has been taken on those ideas.
Oh. That's just. Fucking. Great.

That was some nice respect we used to have for personal freedom here in California.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going outside to enjoy a smoke while it's still legal in my neighborhood.

Update: Welcome, protein wisdom readers! If posts about anti-smoking laws aren't your thing, I've got stuff about lonely housewives, robot temps, fur underpants, and a cute puppy, among other things. Enjoy!

Pimpin' ain't easy

But it's probably a little easier if you don't locate your brothel right across the street from a police station.
The Galindo Avenue apartment got a lot of use. But nobody actually lived there.

A former-Fairfield couple who rented it pleaded no contest Monday to charges they ran a brothel there for a year -- directly across the street from the Concord police station. They used the Internet to employ prostitutes and market their service to customers.

Debra Watts, 52, pleaded no contest to three felony counts of pimping and pandering, and will serve one year of home detention, said prosecutor Jose Marin.

Her husband, Ernest Watts, 63, entered the same plea to one misdemeanor count of maintaining a house of prostitution.
On the other hand, the article says that the cops didn't actually find out about the whole operation until an informant told them about it in exchange for leniency on an unrelated fraud charge. Pretty observant there, guys.

The defense attorneys in the case provide some of the best comedy in the whole story, though.
As part of the terms of their probation, the couple cannot work in any kind of business that relates to prostitution. Before Monday's sentence, they had moved to Las Vegas.

"It's kind of ironic, for the crime they were charged with," said Debra Watts' attorney, Craig Pinto.
Uh, actually, that doesn't really sound very ironic at all, Mr. Pinto. Now please, put away that Alanis Morissette CD.

Remarkably, though, that wasn't the most unintentionally hilarious thing uttered by an attorney in connection with the case. Check this out:
"What's wrong, even if prosecutors were able to prove their case, with consenting adults going to a safe place for safe sex?" said Eric Saphire, Ernest Watts' attorney.
Apparently, this man who ostensibly went to law school and passed the California State bar exam at some point, is unfamiliar with the concept that prostitution is against the law.

With that kind of representation, I'm frankly surprised that Mr. and Mrs. Watts got away from this without any prison time.

Fascism arrives

As everybody knows by now, Cindy Sheehan was arrested yesterday after being told by Capitol Police that she couldn't wear an anti-war t-shirt inside the House gallery during the President's State of the Union address.

According to this AP story, the wife of a Republican Representative from Florida was also removed from the chamber for wearing a "support the troops" t-shirt. The article also says that charges against Sheehan have been dropped and that the Capitol cops apologized to her. Fine. Whatever.

Sheehan was a guest of California Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, who is quoted in the above-linked San Francisco Chronicle story as saying, "It stunned me because I didn't know in America you could be arrested for wearing a T-shirt with a slogan on it...That's especially so in the Capitol and in the House of Representatives, which is the people's House." Well, according to the AP article:
The two women appeared to have offended tradition as much as the law, according to several law enforcement and congressional officials. By custom, the annual address is to be a dignified affair in which the president reports on the state of the nation. Guests in the gallery who wear shirts deemed political in nature have, in past years, been asked to change or cover them up.

Generally, the House's sergeant at arms sets out rules at the House speaker's direction. The Capitol Police enforce them and the Secret Service evaluates any threat to the president.

Rules dealing mainly with what people can bring and telling them to refrain from reading, writing, smoking, eating, drinking, applauding or taking photographs are outlined on the back of gallery passes given to tourists every day.
A spokesperson for the Capitol Police said that there were no such guidelines issued to SotU guests, so that may be where the whole hullabaloo came from.

Anyway, the stupidest part of this whole story is brought to you courtesy of Rep. Pete Stark, a Democrat (of course) from Fremont, CA. Stark is quoted thusly in the Chronicle:
"I'm still trying to find out why the president's Gestapo had to arrest Cindy Sheehan in the gallery. ... It shows he still has a thin skin."
The millions of people who were shot, beaten or worked to death, or herded into gas chambers after being arrested by the actual Gestapo between 1933 and 1945 were, apparently, unavailable for comment.

(Chronicle link via protein wisdom)