The Jury Talks Back

1/31/2009

(Almost) Nobody Walks In L.A.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 10:16 pm

My nomination for greatest Los Angeles blog ever: Walking in Los Angeles

Video not really related:

What do Bush Derangement Syndrome and Racism Have in Common?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 12:06 pm

Just as racism hasn’t ended, neither has Bush Derangement Syndrome.  Jennifer Rubin at Commentary writes,

Two weeks into the Obama administration it is, in some very real sense, a pleasure to  be done with the daily dose of Bush Derangement Syndrome which permeated not just the Left blogosphere, but most MSM coverage and even casual political discourse. It often seemed that pundits as well as ordinary voters were conducting a national contest to accumulate the most reasons to hate the President. Even those who agreed with some of the objections to the Bush administration found the whole tone unfair and tiresome. (Yes, yes, of course we all can’t wait for the new President.)

(more…)

Again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 12:44 am

Once more, Iraqis vote for democracy.

Iraqi woman displays purple finger

1/30/2009

“Civilian Expeditionary Workforce”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 11:19 pm

In what might be the first step in an attempt to cut the defense budget, I give you this.

The move is seen by some as an initial step towards fulfilling president Obama’s promise to form a civilian national security force as powerful as the U.S. military.

Wow.  I really can’t even begin to tell you how warm and fuzzy this makes me feel inside.  You think the uniforms will be brown?

And how about this little gem?

The intent of the program “is to maximize the use of the civilian workforce to allow military personnel to be fully utilized for operational requirements,” according to a Defense Department report.

I’ve seen less drivel come off of corporate memos.

The directive, which is effective immediately, states that civilian employees of the DoD will be asked to sign agreements stating that they will deploy in support of military missions for up to two years if needed.

Workforce members, who are divided into different designations under the directive, will serve overseas in support of humanitarian, reconstruction and, if necessary, combat-support missions.

You know what we call people like that around where I live?  Military personel.  Soldiers, sailors, and Marines.  And while “every effort will be made to reassign the employee to a nondeploying position” should the employee not want to deploy, there is a lovely loophole:

Management retains the authority to direct and assign civilian employees, either voluntarily, involuntarily, or on an unexpected basis to accomplish the DoD mission.

So don’t go making plans there, civie…

And I love how it’s “up to two years” for overseas deployment.  I recall the Left going insane over military personnel shipping out for 12 months, and they want to make civilians go for up to two years?

Yeah, there is no way this can end badly…

Literary Criticism Doesn’t Have to Be Stupid (Either)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 5:19 pm

Over at Acephalous, SEK takes Ben Shapiro to task for being such a stupid curmudgeon at such a young age.  SEK writes,

There’s much Updike wrote I won’t defend—Toward the End of Time deserved the slagging it received—but for Young Master Shapiro to choose, from a hefty body of work, the opening paragraph of Rabbit Redux to bury Updike beneath should stand as the object lesson in why movement conservatives whose tastes range from Forsythe to Uris ought not be writing about literature.

Read it for yourself.  And then think about where your expertise lies before you post.

Picture of the Day: Work Accident

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 4:08 pm

Abdul Rahman Al-Khatib, a Gaza cameraman, was seriously burned after getting too close to the torched US and Israeli flags.

Via Michelle Malkin

An Ethical Quandry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 3:38 pm

At the breakfast table this morning I asked myself, why, oh why, would a woman with 6 children, all of them under the age of 10, a set of twins being the youngest, undergo fertility treatments?  Is that ethical?

I think that a distinction needs to be made between a woman with six young children who becomes pregnant naturally (oops!), and one who takes extensive, expensive, and, strictly speaking, medically unnecessary steps.  With the medications, doctors visits, ultra-sounds, various procedures, etc…, fertility treatments, rarely covered by medical insurance, start at around $10,000 and can go up, way up, from there.  This woman must have been fully aware of what she was doing and undertook great cost and great effort to do it.

I don’t know this woman’s particular medical history, but I do know that in IVF even if you have 8 (or more) viable embreyos that make it to the 5 day stage, you don’t need to implant them all.  The storage technology has come a long way and the loss of, for want of a better word, potency, is minimal.

The woman refused selective abortions to reduce the number of fetuses.  This seems to me to be the only obviously morally unobjectionable decision made by anyone involved in this case.

A lot of discussion that I’ve seen on various blogs skips right to what many believe to be the heart of the matter.  Is there alimit of the number of children one ought to bear or a limit to what you may do to bear them?  One blogger asks,

When so many children are dying of starvation and disease around the world, and when so many childless couples are trying hard to have one child, isn’t it selfish to produce eight more?

The first question, whether in light of world poverty this sort of thing ought to be allowed, seems sort of silly.  I’m finding hard to imagine what effect 8 more children in the U.S. will have on the poor and benighted of the world.  The second question is even worse.  I don’t think that there is such desperate need for fertility drugs such that a ration should be put in place to make sure that “truly deserving” couples receive them.  There is as much and as good left over for others to use.

It’s my position that children ought to be born or raised for their own sake; they are not merely ends to satisfy the desires of the parents.  In addition, the state has an interest in the cultivation of the young.  This may mean staying out of the way of good parents, and not allowing bad or poor parents to shirk their responsibilities, but it may also mean not allowing something this extreme to take place.

In the end, I object to her behavior, though it may be out of pure prejudice, which according to Kirk isn’t always a bad thing, and I’m not quite willing to prescribe some sort of legal sanction, but I’m still trying to formulate the exact ethical principle at work.

1/29/2009

Nah-nah nah-nah-nah-nah

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 3:58 pm

Hey hey hey

Goodbye!

Now, he’ll make his idiotic statements in front of his house, I’m sure, and we will all roll our eyes and – for the first time for some of us – agree with Chicago Mayor Daley in thinking “cuckoo”

Pat Quinn is now the Governor of Illinois, and maybe he can fix some of Hot Rod’s eff-ups.

And a final note, to paraphrase a bit from the closing arguments: Roddy, in a criminal trial, would certainly have every constitutional right to call whatever witnesses he wished, but he did not have a constitutional right to be Governor.

This was not, in any way shape or form, a criminal trial, so “beyond a reasonable doubt” or the right to call whatever witnesses he liked didn’t apply.  The Illinois Senate adopted these rules knowing that, in the future, they would likely be used against them should it ever come to that.  This was a serious matter, a tone the former Governor apparently did not share since he never so much as appeared during the prior days of the trial.

59-0.  Blago’s out.

Ding dong, the whack-job’s unemployed…

And unable to so much as get elected dog-catcher in Illinois.  Fitting, I think…

1/27/2009

Vietnamese civil war in San Jose

Filed under: California Politics — aunursa @ 10:26 pm

Four years ago Madison Nguyen was elected to the San Jose City Council, reportedly the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to political office in California.  San Jose is the tenth largest city in the U.S., and nearly 10% of city residents are of Vietnamese descent.

Today Nguyen is fighting for her political life, facing a recall over an issue that has divided the city’s Vietnamese residents.  The March 3rd special election will cost the city $500,000.  If the recall is successful, it will cost another $500,000 to hold another special election to fill the seat.  Nguyen has raised about $200,000 to fight the recall; her opponents have raised $100,000.  The election will only involve voters from Nguyen’s district, three-fourths of whom are not Vietnamese.

What damning issue has aroused Nguyen’s opponents, many of whom consider her a traitor to the Vietnamese community?  What unforgivable insult caused one protester to conduct a four-week hunger strike?  What political sin did the councilwoman commit that drove more than 5000 constituents to sign recall petitions?

It’s about the nickname for a city neighborhood around Story Road with predominantly Vietnamese stores and restaurants.  In January 2008 November 2007 the city council voted between two proposed nicknames.  Many residents want the neighborhood to be known as “Little Saigon.”  Nguyen and the majority of the city council preferred the monikor “Saigon Business District.”

This nonsense, on which the city and its residents will waste between $1 and $2 million, reminds me of a scene from the Star Trek episode, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.”  Bele, a police commissioner from the planet Cheron, has been chasing a political fugitive named Lokai for 50,000 years.  Bele tries to explain to the Enterprise crew why he and his opponent are mortal enemies.

.

  • Bele: It is obvious to the most simple-minded that Lokai is of an inferior breed
  • Spock: The obvious visual evidence, Commissioner, is that he is of the same breed as yourself.
  • Bele: Are you blind, Commander Spock?  Well, look at me.  Look at me.
  • Kirk: You are black on one side and white on the other.
  • Bele: I am black on the right side.
  • Spock: I fail to see the significant difference…
  • Bele: Lokai is white on the right side.  All of his people are white on the right side.

Citigroup Jet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amphipolis @ 6:28 am

Citigroup buys a $50 million corporate jet from France after receiving $45 billion in bailout funds, exposing the bailout for the fraud that it is. I never knew that the Federal Government was responsible for keeping big businesses afloat with my tax money, allowing them to engage in all sorts of risk with no fear of consequence.

But the jet issue probably isn’t fair. I’m sure they had plans to buy it for years, probably to replace another jet or something. Big corporations make lots of purchases. Surely the Treasury knew that.

Then there is this story:

In any case, the administration does not want the plane put in service under the Citigroup banner.

This is downright disturbing. Can the Obama Administration really tell a large American corporation what to do with their jet, as if it was owned by the Treasury Dep’t?

We will soon learn the answer to that hypothetical question (yes). He who pays the piper calls the tune. But does the American public know this, or what the consequences of this could be? Do we want our elected officials making these decisions?

Note that any objection to this purchase is purely political. It makes politicians look bad.

1/26/2009

Hurry it up, Illinois Senate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 5:32 pm

The man isn’t even there.  Then again, I wouldn’t be there either if I knew my ass was going to be kicked to the curb, but his not being there just makes it easier.  Give the evidence (that should take a few days), and vote his sorry ass out.

I’m sick of his whiny, weaselly ass bitching about how “it isn’t fair!!”

Life isn’t fair, cupcake.  Life sucks, get a helmet.

Cowboy the eff up.

Downstate Illinois has put up with your rampant favoritism of all things Chicago.  I’ve had my mom’s pension fund (she’s a teacher) raided twice because you needed the cash.  I’ve seen you hold back state education dollars for down-state schools (my per-credit hour costs have gone up twice in as many years), and I have seen road projects neglected.  I’ve seen state money poured into a Chicago stadium…  THING…  just so you can get the Olympics.

We don’t want the Olympics.  We want roads that don’t ruin tires with their chuck holes.

So go.  Stay the hell away from IL.  You just make it a short wait to boot your ass out.

I hope Quinn has your stuff dumped on the curb.

1/22/2009

AP now attacking Palin for protecting her children

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 5:36 am

Unable to hide their contempt for Sarah Palin, the Associated Press put out another biased attack piece posing as a news story — this time going after the Alaska governor for attempting to shield her children from unfair media scrutiny.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going on the offensive against news organizations and bloggers she says are perpetuating malicious gossip about her and her children.  But political observers say the former Republican vice presidential candidate can’t have it both ways, trotting out the children to showcase her family values, then trying to shield them from scrutiny.

Palin’s statements are dismissed or deliberately misconstrued, and critics get the last word on every issue.  The writer makes no attempt to hide her bias.  To give just one example, the writer compares the vicious attacks on Palin’s children to media photographers taking pictures of Sasha and Malia Obama when they entered their new school two weeks ago.

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